The Right Coast

January 08, 2004
God and gays yet again
By Tom Smith

James Tarrato opines on

The kindest thing that can be said about [Dean's] comment is that it shows a very crude mind at work. 'God created it, therefore it isn't sinful' makes no sense from the standpoint of Christian theology, which holds that man is innately sinful and must seek salvation through Jesus. In our pluralistic society, of course, no one has to believe that, but Dean does claim to be a Christian.

Actually, James, it makes a lot of sense from the standpoint of Christian theology. In fact, "God created it, therefore it (whatever God created) can't be evil" is a fair summary of the starting point of St. Augustine's analysis of the notoriously difficult problem of evil. Indeed, it is precisely because of this premise that philosophical theology often analyzes evil as a species of non-being. The traditional theology, very crudely stated, is that God created man good, then through some original sinful choice, man got corrupted and this corrupt nature is somehow inherited by the rest of us, putting us in a state of original sin. But God didn't create us with a sinful nature; that's the fault of Adam and Eve. So the story goes.

Of course, that does not mean there is not some natural law account of the sinfulness of homosexuality that could be made. Without having thought about it carefully, I can at least say it makes a difference to me that some people are probably genetically destined to be gay. I'm not sure what follows from that, but for all the tut-tutting about the so-called naturalistic fallacy, I doubt many people would consider it ethically irrelevant.

None of this goes to the point of Howard Dean's possibly genetic disposition to stick his foot in his mouth.