Eugene Volokh calls on Christians to denounce Jimmy Swaggart:
I’m not asking for anything much — I’m simply saying that Christians should be outraged at Swaggart’s essentially slandering their religion, and should denounce his views, to make clear that his views (though purportedly Christian) are not mainstream Christian views. Swaggart calls himself a Christian; was once a very prominent minister; continues apparently to have some influence; and purports to interpret the Bible. His statements are representations of what Christianity is supposed to be about. I would think that Christians would want to denounce those representations, and the closer they are in denomination to him (e.g., Protestants, evangelical Protestants, etc.), the more they would want to do that.
I agree in concept. And what did Swaggart actually say?
I’m trying to find the correct name for it . . . this utter absolute, asinine, idiotic stupidity of men marrying men. . . . I’ve never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I’m gonna be blunt and plain; if one ever looks at me like that, I’m gonna kill him and tell God he died.
Yes, I have no problem whatsoever denouncing Swaggart’s statements. They are stupid, they are contrary to both Biblical principle and evangelical Christian teaching, and are particularly outrageous being voiced by someone who is apparently still in a position of church leadership, however minor. It is good that he has apologized for his comments; it would have been much better had he never made them in the first place.
I daresay that I am looked at that way far more often than the delectable Mr. Swaggart, and I have never killed anyone nor felt any need to. I am as vocal in my criticism of the gay agenda as anyone, I am opposed to homogamy,* I believe homosexuality to be a serious spiritual disease and a serious sign of societal decline, and I reserve my right to mock them as viciously as I mock everyone else just because I feel like it. (A community can’t expect to inflict Erasure on the world, among other things, and expect to get away scot-free.) But a homosexual man has the very same rights to life, liberty and property that I do, and is possessed of the same worth in the eyes of God that I am.
God forgives all who repent, no matter what their sin. Repentance comes easily to no one, but it comes to all who ask for it. You cannot be a little bit sinful any more than you can be a little bit dead, and those who take joy in the knowledge that the world regards their sins as more acceptable than those of others would do well to keep that in mind.
*I’m opposed to state-granted heterosexual marriage too, come to think of it.