The transformation now taking place in Western culture has been fueled by a multi-pronged, comprehensive strategy aimed at undermining the traditional foundations of Western civilization. In psychology, medicine, politics, and law, cultural revolutionaries have gone on the offensive. Their assault has not been confined to those fronts alone. The postmodern prophets of polymorphous perversity have also conscripted education and even theology into their service.
Besides the psychological, medical, political, and legal strategies, there is also an educational strategy directed at the schools and at the young. The goal here is to reach the young and ultimately to separate them from their parents, freeing them from parental authority and parental teaching. Earlier in the 20th century, it was John Dewey who first argued that society ought to act decisively to free children from the repressive prejudices of their parents. His philosophy largely won the day, and that is where we now stand. Elementary schools have essentially become laboratories of social engineering. In fact, groups like the Gay and Lesbian Servies Network (GLSN) have mobilized to influence schools' curricula with the goal of changing young minds. By introducing their programs, literature, and media into elementary school classrooms, they hope and intend to infect the next generation with this ideology of polymorphous perversity.
Take a look at the artwork now found in elementary school textbooks. Look at who is holding hands. Look at who is embracing. The nuclear family--Mom, Dad, Dick, and Jane--is no longer to be taken for granted. If the agents of polymorphous perversity have their way, Dick and Jane will now be raised with two moms, or two dads, or any other conceivable "family arrangement." The important thing is for children to be disabused of the notion--brought on by their parents' irrational prejudices--that marriage and family are somehow normative.
This strategy is only accelerated in middle and high schools. There, the ideological induction is radically increased with mechanisms such as comprehensive sex education. Comprehensive, of course, does not refer to a deeper understanding of the nature of human sexuality. Nor does it point to a deeper comprehension of the moral issues at stake. Sex education is comprehensive only in the sense that nothing is deemed out of bounds. Morally, quite literally anything goes--so long as it is personally fulfilling.
School-based clinics are another tool of the age of polymorphous perversity. Once again, children are separated from the authority and teaching of their parents, and shuffled off to clinics where they are offered all manner of "assistance"--from sexual counseling to contraceptives. Often this happens without any parental knowledge at all, much less parental notification or permission.
Other special programs are directed to middle and high school students in such a way that most parents have no idea what their children are actually are learning. Rarely do these events have the word "sex" in them, and only by mistake are they ever packaged in such a way as to trigger parents' concern. and they rarely have the word "sex" in them. Instead, they are advertised as "special emphasis weeks" focusing on diversity, tolerance, and difference. Of course, anything labeled "difference week" will undoubtedly be much more "different" than you think different can be!
Even textbooks reflect these changes. The agents of polymorphous perversity have made public school curricula the object of their strategic concern, and it is increasingly common for teenagers and even younger children to read books categorized under "young adult literature." These books are nothing less than pornographic. They are worldview evangelism for the age of polymorphous perversity, and they have found their way even onto the shelves of many school libraries.
The college and university level, for its part, is now a circus of sexual revolution. Considering this, author Paul Berman once said, "It is now forbidden anymore to forbid." But the revolution is not strictly from the bottom up. It is also being pressed from the top down, with increasing numbers of colleges and universities even offering programs in gay and lesbian studies. All this is an ideological engine for placing within the university structure, and within the faculty, and within the curriculum, a seed of sexual revolution that will ultimately normalize the abnormal and abnormalize the normal. Furthermore, anyone who is not "with it," is not only sick and pitiable, but is in fact dangerous to the body politic--backward, ignorant, and repressive.
This has led in many university cultures to a specific targeting of Christian organizations. At places like Tufts University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and some Ivy League institutions, there have been cases in which Christian organizations have been told that they must allow practicing homosexuals to be officers in their organization, or they will be barred from campus and removed from recognition as an official student group. In other words, a Christian organization may remain on campus only so long as it forfeits Christian morality--all in the name of diversity and tolerance.
There is also a cultural strategy focused on the elite centers of American culture. The media industry, the entertainment industry, music, and even advertising have essentially become the bulletin board dissemination service for the age of polymorphous perversity. Many Christians would be shocked to see how some companies who carefully manage their wholesome image, advertise to the homosexual community. Many of these are corporations whose names we know and whose products we buy, but they present an entirely different face when extending themselves to the culture of polymorphous perversity.
It is no exaggeration to note that Hollywood, with very rare exceptions, is simply given over to this culture. In fact, Hollywood movies have become the principal means whereby the culture of polymorphous perversity is mainstreamed to the entire nation. So even though it might appear from electoral maps that this polymorphous perversity is confined to the coasts and a few other urban areas, the reality is that this philosophy of liberation reaches into every community and into every home by means of entertainment, music, movies, and advertising.
Finally, there is a theological strategy. The single greatest obstacle to the victory of the culture of polymorphous perversity is the Judeo-Christian heritage. The greatest obstacle to the normalization of homosexuality is the Bible. Therefore, the cultural revolutionaries have implemented a strategy to completely transform the understanding of sexuality as handed down in the scriptures and as understood by the Christian church throughout the centuries. What has emerged from this subversion of theology is two rival traditions, two religions, each claiming to be Christian. One of these "Christianities" is no longer based upon biblical authority, no longer committed to the great doctrines of the faith, and no longer committed to the faith once for all delivered to the saints. Yet they continue to bear the name Christian and continue to claim that they have not in fact abandoned the authority of scripture.
The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah, they claim, was not homosexuality, but inhospitality. This, however, is a recklessly subversive argument. It simply ignores the clear import of the story in favor of advancing a cause. What about those passages in Leviticus which condemn homosexual acts? What they suggest, according to the cultural revolutionaries, is that homosexual acts are sinful only insofar as they are specifically committed by persons who are heterosexual. A similar argument is made about Paul's reasoning in Romans 1. Paul had no understanding of our modern idea of sexual orientation, the argument goes. Nevertheless, his teachings are still useful because they remind us that a person should follow his or her orientation: To violate one's sexual orientation would be a sin against nature--not nature itself, but one's own nature.
Yet it seems clear from Romans 1 that the apostle Paul had a pretty good idea of sexual orientation. In fact, Paul very clearly indicts sinful sexual orientation, for he deals not only with sexual activity, but with the passions that lead to such activity. "Men with men," he says, "leaving the natural use of the woman and burning with desire one for the other." The Bible simply leaves no room for equivocation.
As the late Elizabeth Achtemeier of Union Theological Seminary once admitted, if there is any one thing that is plainly revealed in scripture, it is scripture's absolute condemnation of homosexuality in every form and in every context. There is no room for negotiation. If homosexuality is to be squared with biblical teaching, it will only be through subverting the entire authority of scripture and setting up a rival, non-Christian Christianity.
In all these areas--psychological, medical, legal, educational, cultural, and even theological--the age of polymorphous perversity has made great strides toward entrenching itself in the Western mind. The great question is whether our civilization can survive this assault. And the answer of course is no--not unless there is a fast recovery of the biblical worldview which grounds sexuality, marriage, the family, and ultimately civilization itself.
[Editor's Note: This is an edited transcript of an address Dr. Mohler gave earlier in 2005. This is Part Three of four. Scroll down for Parts One and Two. Tomorrow: Can Civilization Survive?]
R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. For more articles and resources by Dr. Mohler, and for information on The Albert Mohler Program, a daily national radio program broadcast on the Salem Radio Network, go to www.albertmohler.com. For information on The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, go to www.sbts.edu. Send feedback to [email protected].
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