Why are Christians homophobic?

by Matt Slick

First, let's define "homophobic." The word is derived from the Greek homo, meaning "same," as in "homosexual" (same sex). The word "phobic" means fear from which we get the word "phobia." Generally speaking, Christians are not homophobic. They're not afraid of homosexuals (though some might be).  It is just that true Christians consider homosexuality a sin. Think about it this way--Christians would consider theft a sin but are not "cleptophobic." Just because we believe something is wrong, doesn't mean we are phobic anymore than someone saying Christianity is wrong makes them Christophobic.

You see, Christians are not into "correct speech" and "correct thought" advocated by the dystopian intelligensia.  Just because lots of people think homosexuality is right, doesn't make it right.  Moral truth isn't determined by the majority opinion or what year it is.  Saying "Most believe it is okay, therefore, it is okay," or "But this is the 21st century!  Homosexuality is just another lifestyle" doesn't mean it is okay. Pro-homosexuals have no standard of authority, other than their own opinions, upon which to base their pronouncement. Christians stand on the authority of the Word of God.

Nevertheless, to more accurately look and see if Christians are homophobic1, we need to further define homophobia. 

  • Homophobia is the term used to describe the irrational fear, hatred, aversion to or discrimination against people who are homosexual, or same-sex attracted, or who are perceived to be homosexual or same-sex attracted. - See more at: http://www.acon.org.au/youth/Homophobia/what-is-homophobia#sthash.ek1ls2yC.dpuf

    "Homophobia is the term used to describe the irrational fear, hatred, aversion to, or discrimination against people who are homosexual, or same-sex attracted, or who are perceived to be homosexual or same-sex attracted." 2

  • "Homophobia encompasses a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). It can be expressed as antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, or hatred, may be based on irrational fear, and is sometimes related to religious beliefs."3

We can extract from the definitions that homophobia is an irrational fear, having "negative attitudes" manifested in discrimination against homosexual people. But these definitions are problematic.

  1. Who says what is and is not an irrational fear so that people can be labeled as being irrational?
  2. Who defines "negative attitude"? 
  3. Is simply considering homosexuality a sin a "negative attitude"? 
  4. Are all negative attitudes wrong or just the ones against homosexuality?
  5. Are the homosexuals trying to invade our private thoughts, so we don't even think negatively about it?
  6. Do the definitions imply that any person who doesn't like homosexuality is now homophobic?
  7. Why is religion attacked as though the standard of homosexuality is "obviously" correct and religion is not?
  8. Are Christians obligated to accept these definitions as being the right ones?
  9. How are the definitions not oppressive and accusatory against anyone who doesn't agree with homosexuality?

It is not an irrational fear to consider homosexuality a sin anymore than it is an irrational fear to consider adultery a sin, lying a sin, fornication a sin, or theft a sin, etc. We Christians believe it is wrong, but no Christians I've encountered are afraid of homosexuals. Although we do consider it to be sinful, we are not homophobic.

One last thought

The problem with answering the question as to whether or not Christians are homophobic is that it deals with the subjectivity of people's feelings and opinions as well as a one-sided set of definitions written by those sympathetic to homosexuality.  The real question is whether or not homosexuality is morally correct or natural.4

  • 1. "The term 'homophobia' was introduced into literature by George Weinberg in 1972."  http://www.proud2serve.net/guides/326-what-is-homophobia-and-what-does-heterosexism-mean
  • 2. http://www.acon.org.au/youth/Homophobia/what-is-homophobia#sthash.ek1ls2yC.dpuf
  • 3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homophobia
  • 4. Saying that it is natural is problematic since what is natural is subjective.
 
 
About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.