Is opposition to defining homosexual practice and transgender identity as normative tantamount to racial prejudice? Certain voices, even within the Christian community, would have us think so. In a brief but bitter sermon at the United Methodist Church’s General Conference morning worship service, Bishop Sally Dyck of the Chicago Episcopal Area said The United Methodist Church has “a category of humanity we call incompatible with Christian teaching.” For nearly 45 years the denomination has judiciously stated that it believes “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” According to “Good News” magazine, when delegates at the 1972 General Conference introduced the phrase into the Book of Discipline they wanted to make clear it was the practice of homosexuality they found incompatible, not people who are identified as such. Bishop Dyck went on to say, “I don’t believe LGBTQ people are any more sinful than I am. I know not all of you think the same way. I’m not here to argue with you.” However, Dyck went on to say, “Our church is structured on racism. … Racism is in the very air we breathe as we do our work together.” And then she cried out, “Why is racism not declared incompatible with Christian teaching? Why isn’t racism incompatible with Christian teaching!”
Dyck may have inadvertently stumbled over the crux of the matter. Is opposition to the practice of homosexuality and transgender identification equivalent to racial prejudice? Racism has historically been defined as prejudicial thought and acts against a specified ethnic group. The people group under consideration may stand in the minority or majority, but the common denominator is ethnic definition. Gender prejudice is an equally significant, albeit separate issue. Males dominating females in any capacity is rightfully considered gender inequality, standing in opposition to the equal footing described and prescribed by Scripture. However, sexual preference is a different issue entirely. In no way does sexual preference qualify as racism or gender bias. ‘Common sense’ definition of racism is nonsense. Follow the logic. If sexual preference defines, then who is to say paedophilia is wrong, or beastility, or necrophilism, the list goes on, ad nauseum. Well intentioned though they may be, those who introduce the race card into the debate over sexual practice, are amoralists of the most dangerous variety–wolves wearing sheepskins. To step away from biblical morality is to tumble headlong in a moral free fall into an abyss far darker than any can imagine.