The Eww Factor Isn’t it

Joe Dallas, former homosexual activist, now married, father, and family advocate calls it the “Ick Factor” (Speaking of Homosexuality, 32). “Eww” is what comes to my mine. Choose whatever exclamation you will, Christians need to recognize that when it comes to homosexuality the Christian will probably have “an exaggerated emotional aversion” (Ibid.). Dallas points out, “Some distaste at the image or concept of homosexual sex is to be expected and doesn’t constitute homophobia but, instead, a natural aversion to unnatural behavior” (Ibid.). That describes what the Eww Factor is. I want to tell you what it isn’t.

The Eww Factor is not the sin of homosexuality. In the early 80s, some conservative pastors took this approach. They spoke literally and graphically of the sin of homosexuality. They had statistics about number of partners, disease rates, and of course details of the acts themselves. They would preach this from the pulpit. They achieved their goal of getting people to say, “Eww!” But having brought people to a sense of “eww” you have not brought them to the sin of homosexuality. This they could have and should have learned from the Pro-Life movement.

The movement to use the Eww Factor for the Pro-Life cause probably peeked in the 90’s when the body of an aborted unborn baby was held up at a Pro-Life rally. What led up to this was graphic pictures of aborted babies and videos of abortions in progress. You really can’t look at these and not go “Eww!” However, disgust with the process or even the result of abortion doesn’t mean you see the sin of abortion.

What happened in the case of abortion? Pro-Life people showed graphic, bloody pictures. Anti-Life people showed hermetic clinics, caring doctors and nurses. And now with the abortion pill, the Eww Factor is substantially reduced. The sin is not, but if you have equated the Eww Factor with the Sin it will be for you.

This is what happened with the gay movement. They hammered relentlessly against the Eww Factor. The Eww activists painted a picture of promiscuity the gay activists pictured long term relationships. The Eww activists showed violent, quick trysts; the gay activists pictured romance. And with the entertainment industry solidly in their corner there was no way the Eww enthusiast could paint pictures as fast as Hollywood and Reality TV did. Watch 13 Reasons Why. If there is a hero in this portrayal of teen angst it’s the gay guy. Watching pre-teen movies and mainstream sit-coms from the 80s through the aughts, you saw the gay character go from the weird one you sympathized with to the all-wise Yoda character who had it all together. Now LGBT has flowered and fruited (really no pun intended) into Q. Now the gay character is portrayed in all his or her queerness – think of drag queens – but still having the status, the gravitas, the savoir faire of the original mainstream gay character.

The Eww Factor has completely been eradicated from all things LGBTQ, but Scripture doesn’t condemn homosexuality in all its flavors and abortion in all its forms because they were disgusting but because they were sins against God’s holy will as expressed in the 6th and 5th Commandments respectively.

If we tie any sin to an Eww Factor rather than to God’s rejection, we tie the acceptance or rejection, the rightness or wrongness of it to how men feel rather than to what God wills. What men feel can change, does change, but God’s will does not.

About Rev. Paul R. Harris

Ordained pastor of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
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