In the old days you had to be rather literate if you wished to be an anti-Christian. That is, you had to read a few books. You had to be able to follow an argument. Two centuries ago you would read Voltaire or Tom Paine. And in the late 1800s you’d read Herbert Spencer or Thomas Henry Huxley. And in the first half of the 20th century you would read Freud or Bertrand Russell or John Dewey. (Dewey never explicitly attacked Christianity. He simply took it for granted that we are already living in a post-Christian world.)
Since then, however, most people don’t have much of an appetite for reading theoretical attacks on Christianity, the anti-Christianity population of the United States was never more than a relatively small thing. This is not to say that the majority of people who claimed to be Christians were enthusiastic in their Christianity. No, many were indifferent. But being indifferent is one thing. Being opposed is something else.
When about three-fifths of the 20thcentury had passed, anti-Christianity in the United States suddenly expanded tremendously, especially among the younger generation. America went through a great cultural revolution in the 1960s, and perhaps the most important subdivision of that revolution was the so-called sexual revolution.
All of a sudden, almost overnight it seemed, rules of sexual morality that had been virtually unquestioned for centuries were tossed out the window. Premarital sex was okay, casual sex was okay, unmarried cohabitation was okay, out-of-wedlock motherhood was okay, abortion was okay, divorce for whimsical reasons was okay, and soon homosexuality was okay too.
I don’t mean that these things had not happened before. They had been happening from time immemorial. But when they happened prior to the revolution almost everybody said, “These things are not right.” Even the people who did these things agreed. They said, “What I’m doing is naughty, but I rather like doing it, so I’ll do it anyway.” The rules were violated, but they weren’t rejected.
In the sexual revolution, the rules were rejected. Young people said, “My parents think this is wrong, but they are mistaken. It is not wrong at all. Just the opposite. When I violate Christian rules of sexual morality, I am giving proof that I am brave and free and enlightened.”
These now-rejected rules of Christian sexual morality were not simply incidental or ornamental features of Christianity. No, they lay near the very heart of the religion. Therefore, whoever rejected Christian sexual morality also rejected Christianity itself.
And so, thanks to the sexual revolution, you could join the crusade again Christianity without having to read any books. All you had to do was go to bed with your girlfriend or boyfriend, avoid having a guilty conscience about this, and then congratulate yourself for having risen above ancient prejudices. Any idiot could do this. Anti-Christianity, which had never been more than a minority persuasion, was suddenly a majority persuasion.
Of course, many nominal Christians denied what I have just asserted, that an embrace of the morality (or immorality if you prefer) of sexual freedom entails a rejection of Christianity. To this day liberal Protestantism continues to deny it. It winks at a wide variety of sexual sins; it condones abortion; it ordains openly gay or lesbian ministers.
And while it does all this, it asserts that Jesus (that amiable Palestinian rabbi from the first century CE) would approve. This is of course absurd. Liberal Protestantism is pursuing a course of self-destruction, a course of institutional suicide.
If the sexual revolution has been the most effective weapon against Christianity, the homosexualist movement (nowadays usually called the LGBT movement) has been the most important weapon in the sexual revolution. At first glance this seems awfully strange, since not many people wish to be free to engage in homosexual or bisexual activity, and fewer still wish to alter their gender. So why has the LGBT movement been effective – and it has been very effective – in persuading Christians that Christianity has been wrong for centuries in condemning homosexual sodomy?
For two reasons. First, the LGBT movement has for many years now been absolutely brilliant at the art of propaganda. It has dominated the three “command posts” (if I may call them that) of American popular culture – the news media, the entertainment industry, and our best colleges and universities. For decades it has used these institutions to spread the word that “gay is good” and that homosexuals are “born that way” and that if you’re of a different opinion you’re a hater. More recently, and very suddenly, it has persuaded much of the nation that there is no necessary connection between one’s biological sex (male or female) and one’s gender identity (male, female, and God only knows what else).
Second, it has utilized a great Christian moral principle, namely love of neighbor, to destroy Christianity. True Christians will abstain from causing pain to their homosexual or transgender neighbors. But you cause grievous pain to the feelings of these neighbors whenever you affirm that humans come in two sexes, male and female, and whenever you adhere to the ancient Christian teaching on sodomy. For a Christian to approve, for instance, of St. Paul’s words against homosexuality found in the opening chapter of his Letter to the Romans, is tantamount to telling gays and lesbians that they are worthless human beings.
“But I’m telling you no such thing,” replies the Christian.
“You are a fake Christian,” answers the LGBT propagandist. “For you are doing precisely that.”
It used to be that homosexuality was “the love that dare not speak its name.” Today the Christian view of homosexuality is the censure that dare not utter itself.
And so liberal Protestant churches celebrate what used to be a great sin, while liberal Catholics, many of them priests and bishops, maintain a discreet silence, never openly approving of sodomy, but never openly disapproving either.
That way madness lies.