David Closson

David Closson is credited with authorship of Family Research Council’s latest anti-LGBTQ diatribe.

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Family Research Council, an anti-LGBTQ hate group has published a new document titled: Biblical Principles for Political Engagement: Worldview, Issues and Voting. The credited author is FRC’s David Closson.

Note: This post contains some very verbose paragraphs of quoted text. I have chosen to provide them in full. Moreover, this commentary is limited to issues associated with LGBTQ people. The actual document includes other issues such as reproductive choice.

The purpose of FRC’s lengthy thesis is to encourage FRC’s constituency to vote for Republicans. A Republican administration sates Tony Perkins’ greed for power. Mr. Closson would undoubtedly claim that he is setting forth biblical values, leaving electoral choice to the reader. Yeah, sure.

I might take that seriously if anyone at Family Research Council ever criticized Donald Trump for his indecency and pathological lying. To “bear false witness” is still prohibited and unambiguous. It constitutes an important religious value. Does it not?

I will get into prioritization later. Which biblical value is more important? Honesty or disapproval of same-sex marriage?

Indeed, most Christians agree that disapproval of gay sex was based on disapproval of the exploitation of young slaves and disapproval of pederasty.

Furthermore, voting for Trump is not voting biblical values by any definition. Donald Trump is infamously amoral. Trump has a history of moral indecency going back more than 40 years.

The opening paragraph which is comprised of rhetorical questions serves to emphasize the flaws:

Do Christians have a moral or biblical obligation to participate in
government? Is there a distinctively Christian way to engage in
the political process? Do Christians have a duty to vote, and if so,
what principles should inform them while casting their ballots?
How should pastors think about politics, and how can they
shepherd their congregations well during an election season?

“Christians” is too all-encompassing. What Closson really means is orthodox evangelic Christians who believe as he does.

Closson is also consumed with not providing any form of prioritization of matters. There is a design to this intellectual dishonesty. No matter how you manipulate the text, the intent of Family Research Council is to endorse Trump over Biden.

Prioritizing matters ruins the endorsement. For example, Joe Biden was a proponent of marriage equality. Does that delegitimize Biden as a candidate when he is infinitely more principled than Trump?

Mr. Biden lacks “pussy grabbing.” He doesn’t have two divorces and six creative bankruptcies. Furthermore, Mr. Biden in an honest man who tells the truth and has never used government service to line his own pockets.

Marriage equality is the law of the land. Which is more important? Having advocated for same-sex marriage or being demonstrably more honorable than Trump? I would think that the latter prevails. I cannot imagine a thought process that places a greater priority over being anti-LGBTQ.

Family Research Council disagrees:

When it comes to the issues of abortion and marriage/sexuality
today, the Republican and Democratic national party positions
fundamentally disagree. Concerning marriage, the 2016
Republican Party platform states, “Traditional marriage and
family, based on marriage between one man and one woman,
is the foundation for a free society and has for millennia been
entrusted with rearing children and instilling cultural values.”
The 2016 Democratic Party platform states that Democrats
“applaud… [the] decision by the Supreme Court that recognized
that LGBT people—like other Americans—have the right to
marry the person they love.”

The above raises other questions: Should voters seek to implement, as public policy, their religious beliefs? If so, how would that affect people who hold different religious beliefs?

This becomes very clear in matters of reproductive choice. An orthodox Catholic believes that abortion is wrong. However, he or she might be capable of seeing the differences between personal choices to conform to the dogma in contrast to imposing that same dogma on other people, most of whom will not share the same religious beliefs.

Closson continues:

Another issue that the Bible addresses is marriage and human
sexuality. Similar to abortion, there is a very clear worldview
divide between Republicans and Democrats on human sexuality.
As reflected in their party platform, Republicans believe marriage
is the union between a man and a woman and think that every
child deserves both a mom and a dad. Republicans are also
willing to argue that biological sex is not fluid and that adopting
the aggressive social agenda of LGBT activists puts women
and girls in danger. Virtually all Democrats, on the other hand,
embrace the 2015 Obergefell Supreme Court decision that
legalized same-sex marriage, believe American foreign policy
should advance LGBT rights around the world, and insist on
expanding SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) laws to
fight discrimination.

GOPers are pretty good at spouting the losing arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges. Closson is not only intellectually dishonest but literally dishonest. Arguing that “biological sex is not fluid” is to suggest that some people believe otherwise. Who would those people be?

Closson is referring to transgender people. When precisely did a trans female ever compromise the safety of any cisgender female?

Furthermore, there is some intentional naivety at work. Republicans pander to their Christian base. Privately, many of them are in accord with Democrats when it comes to marriage equality and nondiscrimination protections. Pandering is a dishonest transaction per se. Should voters support people who lie to them in order to get their vote?

FRC makes an obvious and intentional omission regarding nondiscrimination protections:

Democrats also support the Equality Act, which would codify
sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes in
U.S. civil rights law, thereby granting them the same status
as race and national origin. This perpetuates the lie that one’s
sexual inclinations are equal to one’s skin color, something we
as Christians know will cause much harm to our neighbors
if left unchecked. The Equality Act also undermines religious
protections currently in place by stripping individuals of a
Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA) claim or defense.
If the Equality Act were to become law, the government could
compel Christians and members of any faith with objections
to same-sex marriage and homosexuality to violate their
religious beliefs in a variety of ways. In May 2019, the House of
Representatives passed the Equality Act by a 236-173 vote; 228
Democrats voted for the bill compared to only eight Republicans
who supported it.

FRC “perpetuates the lie” that sexual orientation and gender identity are; a) not “sexual inclinations” and b) that sexual orientation and gender identity are not comparable to race.

It is completely contrary to established science to claim that human sexuality is more voluntary than race or national origin. The reason for the lie is to promote discrimination.

The obvious lie of omission is religion. FRC is fine with religious choices granting people “the same status
as race and national origin.”

It is also hypocritical when they refuse to accept settled science. No one ever volunteered to be gay or to suffer from gender dysphoria. People do volunteer to accept religious dogma as incontrovertible truth regardless of evidence to the contrary.

Furthermore, requiring people who do not approve of marriage equality to provide service in public accommodations does not cause them “to violate their
religious beliefs in a variety of ways.” Their religious beliefs and their exercise of religion remain unchanged.

The majority in Bostock v. Clayton County (prohibiting employment discrimination) were clear in their belief that there was an imbalance of asserted rights. Firing an employee because he is gay is far more injurious to the gay person than anything adverse to an employer having to retain his employment in spite disapproval.

The same holds true in public accommodations. Refusing service to a gay couple does violence to that couple. Having to comply with applicable law does not injure the proprietor in any meaningful way. They are still free to disapprove of same-sex marriage.

And finally (in case you haven’t had your fill of toxic BS):

On human sexuality, the Bible is clear that God ordained
marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Marriage is
the institutional means by which God’s image-bearers fulfill the
divine command to fill and subdue the earth. The Bible holds
marriage in extremely high regard, and changing its definition,
like the Supreme Court tried to do in 2015, is a direct affront to
God’s authority. While supporters of same-sex marriage claim to
be on the “right side of history,” they are on the wrong side of the
Bible—not to mention biology, anthropology, and sociology—
on this important issue. Republicans and Democrats differ
greatly on this topic, with most Republicans rejecting the sexual
revolution represented by the push for LGBT rights and most
Democrats embracing and promoting it.

The Bible is not clear. Even prior to 2015 most liturgical Protestant churches and most synagogues were happy to join gay couples in marriage. Once again Mr. Closson is being dishonest. He is posing an argument in favor of marriage equality (the right side of history) as the argument.

Yes. People favoring marriage equality are — and will be — on the right side of history. However, that is not a benefit of marriage equality. The benefits of marriage include things like being able to establish a marital estate to protect each other financially and any children that they might raise. A benefit of marriage equality is providing children raised by gay couples with emotional security. Closson is indulging in a form of the logical fallacy of a straw man argument.

Needless to say, being a proponent of marriage equality does not mean that someone is at odds with “biology, anthropology, and sociology.”

The point of my treatise is that voting supposed biblical values is to ignore more important factors. Someone might not approve of same-sex marriage for example (FRC seems obsessed with the topic). However, no matter who wins the presidency in November that has no effect on someone’s religious beliefs. Obergefell v. Hodges likely remain the law of the land.

I know that it is trite but no one has ever been forced to marry someone of the same sex.

Voters — including orthodox Christians — should be more concerned with other issues:

  • Who is most competent at running the country?
  • Who will be the most honest with citizens?
  • Who best represents America to world by honoring decency, truthfulness and diversity?
  • Who will be most attuned to the details that go into formulating foreign policy?
  • Who will be most attuned to the details that keep us safe?
  • Who would be most competent were we to experience another crisis like the current pandemic?
  • Whose economic policy will benefit average citizens rather than our wealthiest citizens?
  • Do so-called biblical values prioritize basic decency and civility?

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