Ladies, please skip this section. I feel it is necessary to speak frankly due to the seriousness of the issue, but I wish it were not so.
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The term homosexual is an oxymoron; for the essence of sexuality is duality, not sameness. Make it the same, and it is certainly not sexual. Most languages besides English are bristling with the division of the universe into complementary polarities identified by gender. Two things that are the same are eo ipso not sexual. Sexuality is a deep cleavage, and understanding it should be part of any epistemology.
We can see that the admiration a little boy has for a little girl (before the age of cooties) is sexual though it has nothing whatever to do with reproductive organs or their stimulation. It is an intuition of the beauty of the Other. Likewise, many, perhaps all young boys in healthy families at some point declare that they intend to marry their mothers some day. This again is sexual, but only in the chaste sense of worshipping the Other. Freud could never understand this. He projected his own perversions. We can imagine that in a healthy world, youths would court maidens with only a precursive, vague glimmering of physical union on their mind. Think how wonderful it would be if the betrothed couple heard about the birds and bees for the very first time in the last marriage counseling session. It would be like the cream on the cake. There was a time in America when just that was the expectation. I know this from an uncle, who once deplored the irrelevance of that aspect of his seminary training for marital counseling in view of the sixties revolution. Indeed, we read in the always reliable Peggy Mitchell,
Like most girls, her imagination carried her just as far as the altar and no further. (Gone with the Wind, ch. 6)
Of course, she knew that married people occupied the same bed, but she had never given the matter a thought before. It seemed very natural in the case of her mother and father, but she had never applied it to herself. (ch. 7)
How wonderful such a world would be! This would be attraction that would be sexual without being orgasmic. The latter would be like a final, surprising crescendo, not even expected.
In the sexless world of the homo, a world of all men would not be a fundamental contradiction. He might lament the inability of humanity (given current technology) to procreate; he might lament the inability to go shopping with a woman; but a womanless world would not be a fundamental contradiction to his view of human life.
Life is called sexual by him only to the extent that some physical organs connected, in the world that he rejects, with sexuality, as the physical differentiators, can be reduced to mere exciters of orgasm. But this is fortuitous and contingent.
Consider: Imagine if orgasm and its preliminary sensations could be excited by rubbing the head a certain way. Then two people of any kind could mutually stimulate orgasm by rubbing each other’s heads. There would be nothing sexual about it at all. It would simply be a sensation, one that anyone could stimulate in himself or in another.
This insight is obvious as soon as you think about it. We have been stealth-attacked by the replacement of sexuality with orgasm. “Homosexual” actually simply denotes “homo-orgasmic.”
The use of another person’s body to stimulate orgasm differs from masturbation in that there is a community rather than a solitary individual. This does not mean (contra Douglas Wilson) that masturbation is “homosexual,” but rather that both it and so-called “homosexuality” are actually non-sexual: simply orgasmically stimulative — though the former could be modulated by the different possibilities of fantasy. But no time to pursue that now.
From these considerations, we can see that there is a way that a hetero-sexual (a redundant term even as the other is oxymoronic) can participate in an aspect of the evil of homo-orgasm, namely, when they use another’s body as mere instrumentality for a pleasure that has been reserved by our Designer as “cream on the cake” for a particular, specific kind of community, namely husband and wife joyfully united to form a family. However, clearly a legal husband and wife (let alone people that are just dating) can be committing this aspect of the homo-orgasmic sin if their relation to the Other has been reduced to this mere instrumentality. This was the sin of Onan. And this is exactly what large swaths of our people have in fact been reduced to. It is presupposed in the very way this issue is discussed, even by Christians. Wife-sodomizing and -humiliator Mark Driscoll is an emblem of how far we have sunk as a people — that such a monster is not publicly tortured and executed. But even the tea-time unqualified endorsement of birth-control by most Christian teachers today is a strong tilt in this direction.
Thus we can see that part of the sin of homo-orgasm-ism is committed by people that to all appearances are not in that camp at all: who might even appear to be “happily married.”
But only partly. The full homo-orgasmic participates in other spheres of sin as well, which is ultimately, as St. Paul teaches us in Rom. 1, a substitution of the creature for the Creator. This is done by imaging the world according to our own desire rather than as it is. When our desire is corrupted, this sin is exasperated.
A respect in which we can say that the flock of modern Bible teachers are not quite as bad as full homo-orgasmic sodomites despite their shared view of instrumental hedonism, is that in their imaging of their partner, there still remains a scrap of nature which, like a granite wall, prevents them from taking the final plunge. But their wives are still objectified hedonistically. They are still deeply perverted, even while giving long-faced explicit exposition of Scripture that was written in euphemisms, and meant to be.
No commentary on Song of Solomon written after the Revolution can be trusted. The Sexual Revolution of the 60s was actually, along the lines I have just outlined, a de-sexualizing, but orgasmic revolution. It was inherently auto-hedonistic, using the Other now as a platform for self pleasure. Women were slower to reach rock bottom. They never could understand. “Why doesn’t he ask me to marry him?” The actual answer: “because you are naught but a platform for his auto-hedonism; why would he marry a platform?” was inconceivable to them for the first 40 years after the Orgasmic Revolution. Now, apparently even women have sunk so low— if certain rumors are to be believed; which I hope not.
In the Bible, there is more going on than mere euphemism. Euphemism implies that we know the referent, and are toning it down for reasons of delicacy; like speaking of the dead sleeping (if indeed this is a euphemism and not something deeper). In the case of the poetry of the Song of Solomon, it is not at all true that we know the referent of the imagery. Or more to the point: the fact that we don’t know probably means it does not have such a referent and was never intended to. What is described is the rush of the ecstasy of love as such, groping for pleasing images as only a poet can do, and not by the slightest intent a step by step in code-language for how to stimulate such an ecstasy.
This is why MacArthur’s criticism of Perv Driscoll falls short. He thinks that delicacy should be preserved. But that is not the main problem. Perv Driscoll is injecting a sinful view of life into imagery that does not contain it. He is teaching that certain poetic imagery teaches that sodomy is not sin; is indeed commanded. This is not in the first place a violation of delicacy. It is not that “that’s not the way to do it” as Piper chimed in. It is not that some things should remain obscure for delicate souls. It is that it is false. It is perverting of the word of God and (consequently) a perverting of nature.
If the term “homosexual” is oxymoronic and dishonest, what term then should we use? In this essay, I have proposed the neologism: homo-orgasmic, and homo-orgasm-ism. The use of this term would increase the honesty of discourse tremendously. If it can’t catch on, I have no problem with slang like fag, or older terms like queer, homo, sodomite, fudge-packer, or bugger, or be creative with descriptors like “two men that like to play with each other’s wee-wee” or “butt-fuckers.” Notice that all these ways emphasize an action, while the term we are rejecting shifts the focus to “something one is.” This is why language is important. To insist on using a stative rather than dynamic term, half the battle is lost before the battle is joined — indeed, before most people even know it is a battle.
As should be obvious by now, the point is not to be disproportionately hard on the fudge-packers. Homo-orgasm is homomorphic with the entire homo-hedonism of our society. Politicians of all stripes and orientations are orgasmists, college professors are, and many preachers. The entire society is carefully trained to this viewpoint by a thousand flickering TV channels. In the self-commissioned pseudo-church, pornographers like Driscoll occupy pulpits, supported by an army of enablers like Piper and Wilson. In the real churches, there is more discernment: but is there a difference at rock bottom? Who is leading a counter-charge? Nay, they suppress any serious attempted antidote with the trump card of Niceness. “Only the gospel should offend” they say. “Always be nice, and never offend unless it has to do with them asking Jesus into their hearts.”
God help us.
Before leaving this, a brief note on the most obvious objection to what I have expounded should be made. “It is better to marry than to burn (I Cor. 7:9),” the objector says. Here, the Apostle seems to commend a utilitarian view of marriage, so that it almost seems like an instrumental alter-orgasm-ism is put forth. Does this not correlate well with Driscoll’s auto-hedonism, provided only that the legal checkbox is first seen to, namely the contract known as marriage? Indeed, the traditional English wedding service seems to ratify this when it asserts that marriage was ordained, secondly, “for a remedy against sin, and to avoid fornication; that such persons as have not the gift of continency might marry, and keep themselves undefiled members of Christ’s body.”
But First Cor does not teach the intended purpose of marriage is taken up by a remedy for burning. Rather, “if you cannot but,” then it is better to marry than seek any other outlet. Think of the analogy of a glutton. Things have gotten so out of hand, that he really needs to fast for a couple weeks. But his mind is entirely preoccupied with thinking about food. Okay, eat a little bit each day; better that than be consumed with thinking about it. From such advice, however, we should not develop a theology of food that suggests the purpose of the dinner table is to scratch an itch. Instead, the itch graciously pushes you to something far greater: fellowship around the table, in terms of which delectable food is icing on the cake. Even the tastiness of the food is not exactly a moment of hedonism. Even in the enjoyment, love and appreciation of the preparer is entailed, and a sharing. Someone at itch-scratching level is missing the main thing; yet even in making this error, might be better off than not having even that.
The first thing we should notice about Corinthians in general is that the city was one of the hotbeds of orgasmic debauchery in the ancient world (“such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles,” I Cor. 5:1). Evidently, the nascent church of God could not, in its entirety, shake off their former ways all at once. There was a faction that justified playing around with an appeal to nature and thus creation: “Meats for the belly, and the belly for meat” (6:13); with the clear implication of a “just as” argument. A man has needs, after all. These needs are part of the organic way we were constituted in Creation, they were saying. Just like we need to eat food.
The holy apostle answers this first with a non-sequitor meant to shake them out of the besetting sin at the bottom of their moral equivocation, the veneration of Nature: “but God shall destroy both it and them” i.e. both the belly and meats. This is hyperbole meant to destroy, not meats (let alone all of nature), but the Nature-veneration that would justify treating natural needs as ends in themselves. For in other places, the great day is depicted as a feast; Paul does not mean to contradict this. Rather, it is so much as to say, creation cannot be appealed to here. What God made from nothing, he can send back to nothing. And better he should do that, than that you should worship your belly, using nature as your excuse. A lawful, moderate appetite is self-transcending, pointing to something beyond itself. Thus the Anglican service rightly exhorts:
DEARLY beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted of God in the time of man’s innocency, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church; which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence, and first miracle that he wrought, in Cana of Galilee; and is commended of Saint Paul to be honourable among all men: and therefore is not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly, to satisfy men’s carnal lusts and appetites, like brute beasts that have no understanding… (emphasis added).
In the first place it is about family and children, contrary to all the ways our modern preachers endorse barrenness. Then, after giving due place as above, it finishes this section by affirming that marriage was ordained, thirdly, “for the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity.”
It is true that a marriage that falls short of all this in inward disposition is still a marriage; but that is not the question here. It may even be granted that romance as an ideal within marriage was slow to develop. For Plato, Eros should be sublimated to love of the Forms — an abstraction that later became the basis for either an ungodly asceticism or licentiousness — often both together, as the Manichaeans. The Troubadours recovered the erotic in the deeper sense after long desuetude. However, the Song of Solomon does prove that theirs was a recovery, not something totally new. Moreover, even if the Medieval had given us something new, it would not follow that “going back” would be good. Hegel may have been wrong when he asserted the Prussian monarchy was the culmination all history, but it would be even more ridiculous to suppose history moving back to one of the previous stages. The experience of love may take on yet new layers of meaning, hitherto unanticipated; but it could not go back to mere procreative functionality (if it ever was): though better that by far than the orgasm-ism of our age.