December 04, 2004
Does an "alternative lifestyle" have to be alternative?
I just watched a taped episode of CBS's "Cold Case" from three weeks ago. The episode centers around a young gay man who is murdered in 1983. I won't give away "who done it," but I will divulge that the episode unabashedly depicts gay men touching each other, hugging, cuddling -- nothing more "racey" than if the people involved were male and female. Holy Rollers, hold onto your bibles! I was very glad to see such a progressive approach to homosexual couples on what is a very good television show, but I didn't really think anything was up at first. It took me a few minutes to realize that stations don't usually nonchalantly show gay couples being affectionate or end a show with a gay wedding, especially not at 7:oo p.m. in the Heartland, especially not a network that just rejected a commercial showing a church that accepts homosexuals as just as good as you or me. It then occured to me that CBS did something great three weeks ago, then regressive this past week. Why the change in temper? I was tempted to just write off CBS as a network of hypocrites. They know that young, "progressive" people watch "Cold Case" and might be turned off if the show held back or otherwise implied that a couple consisting of two men ought not to be able to hug one another on network television, when a couple consisting of a man and woman can. But, they have to look out for "families" and cannot allow acceptance of homosexuals outside of "Cold Case." But that's not it. CBS rejected that commercial -- while producing and airing that episode of "Cold Case" -- for another reason. I think that it is hard for people with "family values" to swallow that a person can have an "alternative" lifestyle and still have faith or be a good Christian. It is inconceivable that a person can be homosexual and still be a "good" person who attends church and loves Jesus. The alternative lifestyle must be an alternative to the kind of lives the rest of us lead? I don't think people are willing to accept that being homosexual is a sexual orientation and not necessarily a different kind of lifestyle. What's the difference between me and someone else working on a PhD in philosophy who happens to be homosexual? Does he or she necessarily hate God's people? Is he or she more promiscuous than I am? Is he or she a threat to "our values"? Will he or she getting married ruin the "sacred institution" of the American family? Two PhD students in philosophy will do many of the same things and live very much the same lifestyle, even if one prefers members of the same sex. It's plainly stupid to think that someone will live a totally different, totally alternative lifestyle just because of who they prefer sexually. Is academia that different? Would not the same be true of other "lifestyles"? Are not homosexual and heterosexual people very much the same, save for our sexual preferences? What makes a homosexual: preference for the same sex, or promiscuity and moral uncleanliness? What makes a heterosexual: preference for the opposite sex, or family values and Christian love? Cannot homosexuals love God, God's people, Jesus and all the rest the same as heterosexual people? I don't think that the American public is ready to accept that. They think that homosexuality is really an entirely alternative lifestyle -- wholly unlike our own safe and tame heterosexual adventures, right? The fact that, when I have sex, I can maybe "make a baby" makes me more able to love Jesus and to embrace some kind of family values, right? Sheerly by virtue of the fact that I prefer women to men, I am capable of living a normal life? If everything about me stayed the same, but I suddenly preferred men, all of that would change? Because sexual preference determines everything, right down to your ability to love Jesus and your neighbor, right? Bullshit.