[dropcap]F[/dropcap]ollowers of Jesus who comment on cultural issues: it is time to stop using the B-word. The B-word to which I refer is bestiality.
Part of the ongoing commentary on Phil Robertson’s GQ interview was an exchange I just watched on CNN. The opposing sides were held by Russell Moore of the ERLC and Michaelangelo Signorile from HuffPo’s Gay Voices. Early on the moderator brought up perhaps the most controversial of Phil Robertson’s comments which included a mention of bestiality. From the Phil Robertson GQ article:
“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong,” he says. “Sin becomes fine.”
What, in your mind, is sinful?
“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
Godwin’s Law has long been an Internet discussion axiom. The main practical take-away from Godwin’s law is if you invoke a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis you have lost the debate.
In public debate the word bestiality is the new Nazis. It indicates you have no serious argument and should not be given the time of day. Whether true or not is irrelevant; it has the reality. It is not a mic drop; it is an eye-roll.
I think it is time for followers of Jesus to stop using bestiality for moral comparisons in debate. Why?
Stop using the B-word because it creates too large an opportunity for distraction. You can make a cogent case against gay marriage, for instance, without using the B-word. If you use the B-word you will have the argument turned against you or shifted from the focus.
Stop using the B-word because there is no straight line between any single sin and bestiality. Neither smoking joints, adultery, homosexual activity, greed nor back-talking are specific gateway sins to bestiality.
Stop using the B-word because bestiality becomes it comes across as a sad scare tactic. Like Democrats and Social Security or Republicans and terrorism, invoking the B-word plays on fear rather than truth.
Stop using the B-word because there are plenty of more prevalent sins around to condemn.
Followers of Jesus we simply must be smarter. The Lord did say of His time, “The sons of this age are more astute than the sons of light in dealing with their own people” (Luke 16:8, HCSB). Can we just stop perpetuating the lack of astuteness Jesus witnessed? Perhaps not, but we can certainly try.