Saturday, September 17, 2011

An Unnecessary Defense of Lutheran Pastor Benjamin Dueholm

Of course, I've covered monogamy here at TAE several times, mostly from the standpoint that the tribal culture of our early species, combined with the long gestational period, seems to indicate to me that monogamy was probably the preferred (though admittedly not always followed) sexual construct for our species tens of millennia ago. Typically when I write those posts Ben will chime in that even if I'm wrong it doesn't matter because humans have free will and can choose monogamy anyway.
Here, Ben wrote about Dan Savage's no-nonsense approach to his sex advice column. Read it. Here, Joe Carter points to the Dueholm piece as evidence of the decline of the liberal church, or America, or Western Civilization, or whatever even worse thing exists that can decline because of liberal (and there for sexually-devious, obviously) preachers and their coordinated attack on the Church's teachings.

Disclosure: Ben Dueholm is my brother-in-law. Further disclosure: I have contributed to the Lutheran e-zine that Dueholm edits when he isn't perpetrating a shadowy war on Christian Ethics.

And because of my close relationship with him, I can share all the intimate details of this rogue's depraved marriage ethic and the faithless way he disparages monogamous relationships with every exhale of his toxic breath. Unfortunately there aren't any. I have not one example of a time when Ben has chosen a path other than monogamy, and knowing my sister as well as I do, I must admit that he's probably been tempted. Together thy have raised a delightful, intelligent child, and take another under their roof in foster care, where she has thrived. All part of Ben's plan, obviously, to indoctrinate a stranger's child in his perverse sense of Christian values.

Obviously I kid. What Mr. Carter is missing is a sense of history. A couple millennia ago, the Bible made it totally clear that Jesus would return any minute and get busy with his sword of justice. And yet it didn't happen. Revelation was re-read a little less strictly, and the Church survived. A couple centuries ago, the Bible made it patently clear and obvious that the Earth was a flat rectangle around which the sun faithfully spun. And yet scientific progress sort of blew that one up. The Old Testament interpretations were loosened, and somehow the Church survived. 150 years ago Darwin took a shot across the bow of Genesis, and the liberals embraced a new version of Christianity, where the lesson of Genesis, but not the word, was important. And somehow the Church survived. Then some liberal mainline churches decided to let women preach. What an atrocity! And yet the Church survived. Now the free-thinking liberals are trying to destroy the Puritanical monogamy (that has worked so well for Catholics, right?), and Carter seems to think that if they succeed then the Church will suffer or flat out disappear. I humbly submit that Carter needs to relax. The Church has survived for hundreds and hundreds of years, despite the vile, bellicose undermining that Ben is clearly guilty of.

Then there is the fact that Mr. Carter is flat out wrong. I live in Kansas, in the suburbs of Kansas City. My state finally managed to drive out the last cursed Democrat from Congress, now we bask in the purity of our ultra-conservative GOP Senators, GOP Representatives, and GOP Governor. Evolution is continually barraged with attacks, and the Governor is doing everything he can to ban abortion (another evil that somehow destroys liberal mainline churches).
And yet, the three largest churches in the area are all liberal mainliners. They embrace and support their gay members, some going so far as to allow gay clergy! Blasphemy! Shouldn't these churches be declining? Or disappearing? Instead they are spreading, creating "branch locations" which quickly fill their pews, as Christians flock to hear their message that seems to say "worry about your own Christianity before you start judging others."

I guess I should write some catchy, witty conclusion to this but I really don't have one. The point is that when people try to subjugate their peers into matching their opinions or suggest they be banished...they always lose that fight. When you embrace the diversity of the opinions of the human race - you grow.


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