Answering a Critic

An individual saw last week’s blog, “Moral Fluidity” and shared it on his webpage, first by quoting snippets from our article and then by offering his commentary (we have also done a webcast on this as well):

If we allow the gays to marry, next it will be polygamy and pedophilia. The article points out that now 6-7-year-olds can choose their gender, why not allow them to use their newfound gender for sex? How could we say that is wrong? For starters, an anatomically female may feel like a boy, but this child is still PREPUBESCENT!!! I can imagine no scenario where a trans child suddenly feels like an adult at the age of SIX!

Secondly there is a wealth of information and studies that categorically state that children can’t give informed consent and that sex at that age is universally bad for them. I think us moral relativists have got that one figured out, we don’t need to worry about that slippery slope.

The writer is correct that prepubescent six-year-olds are too young to choose with whom they might like to engage in sexual activity. However, if the age of consent laws are altered in future years, to accommodate pedophile “needs,” Christians will STILL believe that six-year-olds are too young and will STILL see it as child abuse. But our critic should search his conscience to answer whether he will stand by his assertion when the time comes that such a stand will cost him – when he will be called a “bigot,” a “hater,” or worse.  Perhaps he will, but there are an awful lot of people who have already changed their moral views on a myriad of issues once their former view became unpopular, out of the “mainstream.”

American culture is still largely opposed to pedophilia, but our culture is also rather “schizophrenic” concerning children and sex, denouncing child sexual abuse while at the same time tolerating the sexualization of children to a high degree. Look at some of the clothing styles offered to children; check out the television programming aimed at them, and ask yourself whether these things contribute to the innocence of children or tend to expose them to adult situations at far too young an age. Those whose moral “values” are shallow and based on ever-changing popular norms will do an about-face on pedophilia, we believe, though we would love to be wrong. The way we see it, , we are well on our way down the slippery slope our critic mentions.

Is our critic aware of the current cultural trends on this issue? The American Psychiatric Association has been involved in normalizing pedophilia for a decade or more. In 1998 – almost 20 years ago – the APA published, “A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples,” which took the position that pedophilia may be beneficial to children and that a child would only feel bad if society labels it as bad. How did they put it? Oh yes, pedophilia:

”… may represent only a violation of social norms with no implication for personal harm.”

In order to minimize the possibility of the child feeling bad, it was suggest that language like

”adult-adolescent sex” or ”adult-child sex” be substituted, in some cases, for ”child sexual abuse.”

Once a prestigious organization like the APA begins suggesting that we need to start using more affirming language like “adult-child sex” to eliminate the stigma, we can be sadly sure the process of normalization is well under way. There has been consistent movement since then to make pedophilia more socially acceptable and thus easier and less stigmatizing for children to “choose.” So much for moral relativists having “that one figured out.” We addressed much of this a few years ago. in “Sex Before Eight or It’s Too Late.”

Leaving aside the issue of pedophilia, children cannot possibly know what it feels like to “be” the opposite gender. How would a male of any age know what it “feels like” to be female? Even asking a six-year-old what gender he or she “feels like” is as ludicrous as letting them choose whether they want to stick a knife in their ear because they self-identify as a Filet Mignon. It is child abuse. The critic has more to say:

But what about the polygamy?!?!? King David supposedly had a myriad of wives and concubines and God was cool with that! David had more women than Ron Jeremy and God repeatedly blessed him! “But, but, that was in the Old Testament!” Was it before Adam and Eve? Was it before God made marriage a sacred bond between one man and one woman? If God’s laws are different in a different time and place his laws are RELATIVE! If God has different laws for different people his laws are SUBJECTIVE!

It is true that polygamy was practiced in the Old Testament, but just because something is descriptive in Scripture does not mean is it prescriptive. God may allow things which are not His prescriptive will for a variety of reasons. We see this in Matthew 19 regarding divorce. Watch how the language plays out from the questioners and Jesus in verses 7-8:

They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

The way the question is worded it makes it sound like God through Moses commanded divorce. Jesus responds by saying, “Moses allowed” divorce and He gave the reason, “Because of your hardness of heart.” Jesus goes on to point out that “from the beginning it was not so.” God’s prescriptive will is one man, one woman, married for life. He made allowances due to the hardness of the human heart. To protect women from being passed around as chattel, He set up protective rules as to how divorce was to be handled. God does not give us the reasons why He allowed polygamy in the Old Testament but in responding to the question, “Why did God allow polygamy / bigamy in the Bible” at Got Questions.org, Elmer Towns offers a credible possible answer:

…due to patriarchal societies, it was nearly impossible for an unmarried woman to provide for herself. Women were often uneducated and untrained. Women relied on their fathers, brothers, and husbands for provision and protection. Unmarried women were often subjected to prostitution and slavery. The significant difference between the number of women and men would have left many, many women in an undesirable situation.

So, it seems that God may have allowed polygamy to protect and provide for the women who could not find a husband otherwise. A man would take multiple wives and serve as the provider and protector of all of them. While definitely not ideal, living in a polygamist household was far better than the alternatives: prostitution, slavery, or starvation.

Whatever the reason though that polygamy was allowed, our critic is right that God blessed King David greatly – and David was a sinner, beyond a doubt. God often blesses sinners. In fact, EVERYONE He blesses IS a sinner, without question. We can all be thankful for that.

Don and Joy Signature 2

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