Same-Sex Marriage Is Disrespectful of the Human Body, Christian Philosopher Nancy Pearcey Says (CP Interview 2/2)
Same-sex marriage supporters ignore biology and disrespect the human body, Nancy Pearcey argued in an interview with The Christian Post about her new book, Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes.
Finding Truth uses Romans 1 to develop five principles that Christians can use to understand ideas that are antithetical to the Christian faith and articulate a response to those ideas. Those principles are: 1. Identify the idol. 2. Identify the idol's reductionism. 3. Test the idol: Does it contradict what we know about the world? 4. Test the idol: Does it contradict itself? 5. Replace the idol: Make the case for Christianity.
Each of the book's core chapters teaches how to use each principle. The back of the book contains a study guide to further help readers, or small groups, learn to use the principles.
In part one of her CP interview, Pearcey said she wrote the book mainly out of a concern that young Christians are not getting the tools they need to grapple with difficult questions, and when they lack such tools they are more likely to fall away from the faith.
In this part two of the interview, Pearcey was asked to demonstrate how to apply those principles by addressing the topic of same-sex marriage.
Here is the transcript of her emailed response:
CP: You say that the five principles you discuss are not just for communicating with those outside the Church but within the Church as well, because the Church can also be influenced by non-biblical ideas. Can you illustrate that with the current controversy over marriage? How would you use the principles to think about the churches and Christians that believe marriage is also for same-sex couples?
Pearcey: Secularists claim that their view of same-sex marriage is an expression of respect. But surprisingly, the underlying worldview is actually a disrespectful view of the human body.
In an earlier age, nature was recognized as God's creation, expressing God's purposes. Because our bodies are part of nature, the human body has a purpose too. The biological correspondence between male and female in reproduction is part of the original creation that God pronounced "very good" — morally good — which means it provides a reference point for morality.
What changed this purpose-driven view of nature? Darwin's theory of evolution: It was proposed expressly to eliminate the concept of purpose or design in nature.
This not only changed biology, it also caused a monumental shift in moral thinking. For if nature no longer bore signs of God's good purposes, then it no longer provided a basis for moral truths. Nature was just a machine, churning along by blind, material forces.
The human body too was reduced to a morally neutral mechanism. Our sexual identity no longer provided clues to how we were intended to live. And if nature did not reveal God's will, then it became a morally neutral realm where humans may impose their will and preferences.
This background is crucial for understanding the impact of homosexuality. Think of it this way: Biologically, physiologically, males and females are clearly counterparts to one another. That's how the human sexual and reproductive anatomy is designed.
As a consequence, engaging in homosexual practice requires individuals to contradict their own anatomy — to override the obvious design of their physiology, to act in opposition to their own biology.
The implication is that biology does not matter.
We need to help people see that this is a profoundly disrespectful view of their own body. It treats the body as having no intrinsic purpose or significance — giving no clue to who we are as whole persons. Thus homosexuality has a self-alienating and fragmenting effect on the human personality.
By contrast, the biblical view respects our biological identity, and thus leads to a holistic integration of personality. It affirms our integrity as embodied persons. The root word of integrity means whole, integrated, unified — our minds and emotions in tune with our physical body.
The biological correspondence between male and female is not some cosmic accident in a meaningless universe. That primordial diversity is part of the original creation that God affirms as "very good."
Finding Truth demonstrates how the Christian worldview is not only true to reality, but that it also grants a higher worth and dignity to the human person than any secular alternative.