It’s 2022! Happy New Year, everybody! As we face 2022 there are some hot button questions that I know you’re dying to get answers to:
Will COVID-19 ever end? Will U.S. Democracy be trashed like a used surgical mask before the year is through? Will the earth be swallowed up by fire and/or water and/or mudslides due to climate change? Will conservatives purge libraries of books with LGBTQ+ content and burn them in a pile while crying about how Marjorie Taylor Green getting kicked off of Twitter is an egregious act of censorship? Will transgender people continue to be attacked by state legislatures for daring to exist? Is homosexual promiscuity worse than heterosexual promiscuity?
Wait, where did that last question come from? I didn’t approve that. Ah, I see, that question comes to us courtesy of Pure Life Ministries Founder and President Steve Gallagher who insists in a recent post to his website that “this is one of many hot-button questions in our day and age” Is it, though? Really? I’m going to go with no.
But, of course, it’s not a serious question. Even as he sets up his post with, “Many years of well-intentioned Christian activism against homosexuality in our country has left the gay community with the impression that Christians are self-righteous and intolerant,” as if he isn’t about to display said self-righteous intolerance. Let me point out that “promiscuity” is being used here to indicate that having sex with multiple partners is a bad thing, which is not a universal belief at all. So the very premise of his argument is garbage.
Anyway, he gives four reasons for why promiscuity is worse when the gays do it. The first reason? The Bible says it’s bad. (Again, an interpretation that is not universal.)
Second, it’s icky. “While it is sinful for a guy and a girl to engage in extramarital sexual intercourse, their behavior fits within the parameters of ‘normal’ sex — something that cannot be said of sodomy and the like,” he writes “and the like” is doing an awful lot of work in that sentence. Again, shaming people for sexual desire is wrong, and that’s exactly what he’s doing by calling the kind of sex HE has (or is claiming to have) normal, implying that everything else is not normal.
Gallagher’s third reason belies a very deep (no doubt deliberate) misunderstanding of identity and culture. He, again, positions himself as the default, which causes him to ignore the fact that he, too, has a sexuality and culture that deeply informs his understanding of his own identity. You know, like how white people think about race only when it comes to non-white people, not themselves.
“[Heterosexual] behavior affects a person’s perception of himself,” Gallagher writes. “The [heterosexual] movement has spawned an entire community and culture within our nation—complete with its own Christian denominations.”
Note that I replaced the word “homosexual” above with “heterosexual.” Heterosexuality, and the gender binary while we’re at it, shape folks like Gallagher hard whether he acknowledges it or not.
The fourth and final thing is that homosexuality makes people sad, “In my years of ministering in the realm of sexual addiction, it has been clear to me that homosexual activity brings about emotional suffering and a spiritual corruption that runs very deeply,” he writes. “It doesn’t take much to see how deeply gays have been scarred as a result of the course their lives have taken.”
A couple of things: gays going to someone like Gallagher for ministry are definitely in a bad place. It’s not because they’re gay, it’s because they’ve accepted Gallagher’s narrative that they are shameful and bad. That’s going to bum anyone out. But it also speaks very loudly that he says he’s not getting the same suffering and guilt from heterosexual men, even though sexual assault is rampant and we live in a culture that celebrates the sexual conquest of women by men, consent be damned. Our culture is deeply sick when it comes to how we define men and women and our rigid gender expectations. The abuse of women — sexually, physically, mentally, emotionally — should bother straight men a whole heck of a lot more than it does.
You don’t have to look much further than Donald Trump’s “grab ‘em by the pussy” comment. We let that guy be the most powerful man in the world. In fact, did you know that Trump “spawned an entire community and culture within our nation—complete with its own Christian denominations?”
It really is one of many hot-button questions in our day and age.
D’Anne Witkowski is a writer living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBTQ+ politics for nearly two decades. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.