In this article, I’m going to respond to an article by William Lane Craig titled “A Christian Perspective on Homosexuality.” The article uses a range of terms that are generally rejected in current discourse including “homosexual,” “practicing homosexual,” and “homosexual lifestyle.” Any good apologist should know that good apologetics begins by avoiding causing unnecessary offense to others. And I would implore Craig to update his lexicon by consulting GLAAD’s media reference guide.
GLAAD’s media reference is helpful not only for providing a guide to currently accepted terminology but also for calling out and avoiding particularly inflammatory prejudices. One of the most insidious is the historical link between gay people and pedophilia. The guide observes,
“Being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender is neither synonymous with, nor indicative of, any tendency toward pedophilia, child abuse, sexual abuse, bestiality, bigamy, polygamy, adultery and/or incest. Such claims, innuendoes and associations often are used to insinuate that LGBT people pose a threat to society, to families, and to children in particular. Such assertions and insinuations are defamatory and should be avoided….”
Sadly, Craig invokes several of those associations in the article including the aforementioned link between gay people and pedophilia/child abuse. Craig makes the association in the form of two rhetorical questions:
“would you want a practicing lesbian to be your daughter’s physical education teacher at school? Would you want your son’s coach to be a practicing homosexual, who would be in the locker room and showers with the boys?”
Let’s set aside the blushingly dated terms “practicing lesbian” and “practicing homosexual” and hone in on the primary point Craig is making. What is the problem with a lesbian teaching physical education to young girls? Craig’s suggestion is clear: the children are at an increased risk of being molested by a lesbian. When it comes to the boys, Craig takes the inflammatory rhetoric up a notch by suggesting that the male coach will hop into the shower with the boys after practice … because you get real sweaty shouting from the side of the field. And y’all know what a gay man in the shower is likely to do to young boys, right?
While this article was originally written several years ago, the most recent update in 2019 simply added more medical information while leaving untouched the dated terminology along with the inflammatory suggestion that gay people are more likely to molest children.
At the beginning of the article, Craig complains that Christians are often viewed as homophobic, intolerant, even hateful. Alas, he seems oblivious to the degree to which his own words in this very article are indeed homophobic, intolerant, and hateful. The fact that such attitudes are shared without apology by a man widely reputed to be evangelical Christianity’s leading apologist illustrates how widespread homophobia is in contemporary evangelicalism.