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“How Does My Gay Marriage Affect You?” This.

“How does my alternative lifestyle affect you?” 

That was the $64 million, go-to deflection mastered by the gay political lobby during its relatively short struggle for normalization and cultural embrace.  The strategy was cunning, because whatever answer was given by Christian or secular moral traditionalists, it was immediately dismissed as “slippery-slope” speculation. 

When those traditionalists suggested that normalization of homosexual relationships would inevitably lead to demands that the state extend the boundaries of marriage to include same-sex couples, activists scoffed that the homosexual experience was uninterested in monogamy, marriage, and other trappings of heterosexual identity.

When that assurance proved to be false, traditionalists openly projected that state affirmation and inclusion of same-sex marriages would present an ominous threat to the efficacy of conscience rights, activists chided that this was about hospital visitation privileges, tax benefits, and equality, not about forcing anyone to condone behavior they found personally objectionable.

When that promise was revealed to be insincere, traditionalists pointed to specific examples of state-sponsored harassment and censure of private citizens and their businesses and objected to the emerging economic bullying rapidly unfolding against them.  Activists sneered at these concerns, even as they openly cheered the legal and economic persecution.

So in a move that surprised precisely no one who has been paying attention, the online retail colossus Amazon made a move this last week that portends a coming calamity for moral traditionalists, specifically Christians.  To understand why, you have to be willing to think logically – something that the sexual revolutionaries directing pop culture have no desire to do, and will work overtime to prevent other people from doing.

Under pressure from the LGBT political lobby, Amazon has banned all books by Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, the founder of so-called “conversion therapy” for gays.  Now, here’s where it is necessary to think: Nicolosi was known as a Catholic psychologist, but his theories and therapies were thoroughly secular.  They were not tied to any Biblical theory or teaching.  Banning Nicolosi’s books is not “banning Christianity” or “banning Biblical teaching.”  To suggest that would be wrong-headed and counterproductive.

What is important for thinking people to do is to recognize why Amazon is banning his books, however.  They are banning them for one reason: he taught that it was possible to change one’s sexual orientation.  That is the idea that is culturally reviled – the idea that change is possible.  It is so reviled, that in NBC’s report on Amazon’s decision, they argue that this idea is so dangerous and deadly it causes people to die.

Why is that a problem for Christians?  Because even if Nicolosi’s therapies and theories were secular themselves, the idea that a person’s orientation can change is a concept rooted in Scriptural truth.  Boyce College scholar and professor Denny Burk explains,

“The Amazon ban and the suggested legislation to ban conversion therapy isn’t limited to Joseph Nicolosi’s teachings. This ban defines any attempt to change one’s sexual desires as “conversion therapy.” Well guess what? That means that every single Christian who believes that that God’s grace changes sexual sinners would be implicated by this ban and by such legislation. 

What Amazon has done is really chilling. They have now set the precedent for banning Christian teaching about sexuality from the books that they sell on their platform. Just to be clear again. I am not saying that Nicolosi’s books are in any way “Christian teaching.” I’m saying that orthodox Christianity has always taught that Jesus both saves and sanctifies sinners—meaning that the gospel helps us to change, even in our wayward sexual desires. To the outside world, that may sound like “conversation therapy.” To those of us who are orthodox Christians, it sounds like the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).”

As a Christian, I believe and I have written many times that the same power that lifted Jesus from the grave is beyond capable of either altering a person’s sexual attractions or providing them the strength to resist the temptations associated with them. 

I profess belief that the Apostle Paul was under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit when he wrote of those “homosexual offenders” who had encountered the sanctifying power of the blood of the Lamb, “that is what some of you were” (1 Cor 6:11). 

I admire and celebrate the Gospel testimonies of men like Sam Allberry and Christopher Yuan, as well as women like Jackie Hill Perry and Rosaria Butterfield – individuals who have lived the very change that pop culture foolishly regards as impossible and Amazon bans as contemptible.

Things aren’t likely to be comfortable for those of us who believe such things in the days to come.  So be it.  But if anyone is still curious, to answer the original question: this is how that alternative lifestyle affects us.

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