First published at Between the Lines on December 19, 2002 The ancient Roman Emperor Justinian believed that homosexuality was the cause of earthquakes, plagues, famine, and various other maladies. Modern-day critics have been only slightly less creative in their allegations. Homosexuality has been blamed for the breakdown of the family, the AIDS crisis, sexual abuse… Continue reading Homosexuality and Morality, Part 3: The Harm Arguments
John’s column “The Gay Moralist” appeared bi-weekly in Michigan’s Between the Lines from 2002-2007, and then weekly at 365Gay.com from 2007-2011. His columns and op-eds have also appeared in other venues, including the Independent Gay Forum, The Advocate, the Los Angeles Times, The New Republic and the New York Times. Most of these columns are archived here.
Homosexuality and Morality, Part 2: The Bible
First published at Between the Lines on December 12, 2002 MANY PEOPLE claim that homosexuality is wrong because “The Bible says so.” This claim rests on two presuppositions: (1) The Bible condemns homosexual conduct. (2) The Bible is a good moral guide. Each of these raises questions. Regarding the first: does the Bible condemn all… Continue reading Homosexuality and Morality, Part 2: The Bible
Homosexuality and Morality, Part 1: The Essential Question
First published at Between the Lines on November 22, 2002 THE HOLIDAY SEASON is upon us and with it come holiday dinners, which can be hazardous to your health. This is not because the dinners are fattening or because you might choke on the wishbone. It’s because holiday dinners mean extended family gatherings, and your… Continue reading Homosexuality and Morality, Part 1: The Essential Question
First published in “Between the Lines” in September of 2002 I have just returned from two weeks in Finland, with brief excursions to Estonia, Russia, and Norway. It was my first trip to Europe, and I came away from it having learned a profound and valuable lesson: My gaydar is useless in Europe. Nobody warned… Continue reading European Gaydar
Facts, Values, and Nuclear Weapons
First published in the author’s syndicated column on June 27, 2002 Last week I was invited to give a talk on homosexuality at the Lawrence Livermore National Research Laboratory, which is a nuclear weapons research facility just southeast of San Francisco. (Apparently San Francisco has a dearth of experts on homosexuality, so they need to… Continue reading Facts, Values, and Nuclear Weapons
First published in Between the Lines in June 2002. Last month I learned of the death of an ex-partner. It’s an odd feeling to lose to death someone whom one has already lost to painful separation. But it’s a loss nevertheless. Robert and I met as graduate students in philosophy at the University of Texas. … Continue reading Remembering Robert
Pedophilia in the Priesthood: Are Gays the Problem?
First Published in “Between the Lines.” March 28, 2002 FIFTEEN YEARS AGO I was a candidate for the Roman Catholic priesthood. One night during a candidate retreat I was alone in a monastery rec room with a youngish priest — let’s call him Fr. Jack — who was attempting to counsel me as I struggled… Continue reading Pedophilia in the Priesthood: Are Gays the Problem?
First Gays, Then Polygamists?
First published in “The Harvard Gay and Lesbian Review” on November 30,1999 AN INCREASINGLY COMMON objection to same-sex marriage takes the form of a slippery-slope argument: “If we allow gay marriage, why not polygamy? Or incest? Or bestiality?” This argument is nothing new, having been used against interracial marriage in the 1960’s. But what it… Continue reading First Gays, Then Polygamists?
The Bible Condemned Usurers, Too
First appeared in the Harvard Gay and Lesbian Review, November 30, 1996 GAY RIGHTS ADVOCATES sometimes suggest that if the Bible condemns homosexuality, so much the worse for the Bible. Yet that position hardly works for everyone. Many people maintain that the Bible is the true word of God, and not all who do are… Continue reading The Bible Condemned Usurers, Too