Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gagnon Responds to Newsweek Cover Story

As expected, Robert Gagnon has offered a detailed (23 page) response to Newsweek's cover story that purported to make a biblical case for homosexuality. (Also available in PDF.)

A couple of quotes: "There is not the slightest effort on Miller’s part to think critically about her own line or reasoning." "Lisa Miller’s article is so poorly researched and so badly (and arrogantly) argued that the editors of Newsweek should be ashamed of themselves for publishing it. But they are not ashamed."

Here's the outline:
The Witness of Scripture apart from Jesus

A Strong Male-Female Prerequisite throughout Scripture
The Implication of the Creation Texts for a Male-Female Prerequisite
Paul’s indictment of homosexual practice and view of marriage
  1. Was Paul’s indictment of homosexual practice limited to violent forms?
  2. Paul on the single life and the purpose of marriage
Leviticus and Miller’s Bad Analogical Reasoning
David and Jonathan

The Witness of Jesus

Jesus and the Creation Texts in Genesis 1-2

Miller’s Argument about the ‘Sexually Inclusive’ Jesus
Jesus, Love, and Homosexual Practice
Other Evidence for Jesus’ Negative Stance on Homosexual Practice

Concluding Thoughts
Here's a summary:
To arrive at her ideological objective Miller makes a number of bad moves. She overemphasizes discontinuity and underemphasizes continuity between marriage values in Scripture and our own values. She engages in a distorted form of analogical reasoning that elevates distant analogies over close analogies. She shows little or no understanding of the historical and literary contexts of the texts that she treats. She ignores just about every major argument against the positions that she espouses. And she extrapolates, from certain “universal truths” in Scripture, conclusions that the scriptural authors would have found appalling and that bear little logical connection to the agenda that she seeks to promote.
Regarding Newsweek's journalistic integrity, Gagnon writes:
The question must be asked: What is it with the “elite” newspapers and newsmagazines over the past decade? Are they so obsessed with promoting the homosexualist agenda that they have now given up even a pretense to objectivity, balanced research, and good sense? Do they care nothing for destroying their reputation, built up over many years, as credible sources for news and commentary? These news sources are more and more resembling a homosexualist Pravda—a different agenda but the same style of propaganda “news” reporting that would make the old Kremlin leadership proud.

We should, of course, continue to dialogue with homosexualist advocates like Miller and Meacham. However, their support for a homosexualist ideology is so brazen and offensive in its blatant misinformation—obviously they are very angry about the passage of Proposition 8 in California—that subscribers to Newsweek should give serious consideration to canceling their subscription. For such homosexualist zealots as Miller and Meacham, reasoned argumentation is unlikely to have any major impact. They will understand the language of money, though. It is clear that, ultimately, Miller and Meacham have little desire to make responsible arguments about the merits of moral appeals to Scripture (their refusal to consider any major argument against their position is evidence enough of this). They have only one objective; namely, to intimidate Jews and Christians who appeal to Scripture for their opposition to homosexual practice. Such persons must either shut up or else be treated as the ignorant religious bigots that Miller and Meacham claim them to be.