Robert P. George on the Pro-Choice Arguments for Slavery & Sodomy
In a posting on a law professor’s weblog, a scholar who argues for the revision of Catholic teaching to accept homosexual conduct in “loving, committed relationships” claimed to be struck by similarities in the use of Scripture between the contemporary debate over homosexuality and the nineteenth-century debate over slavery.
What he, and others who offer the same argument, have in mind, it seems, is that both Christian defenders of slavery in the nineteenth century and Christian critics of sodomy today use biblical passages in a literalist manner as “proof texts” for their views, and that the arguments of the second will someday be seen to have been as indefensible as those of the first. To my mind, however, it is the differences between the nineteenth-century debate over slavery and our debate that are more striking.
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Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University (web.princeton.edu/sites/jmadison). His books include In Defense of Natural Law (Oxford University Press) and Conscience and Its Enemies (ISI Books). He has served as chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. He is a senior editor of Touchstone.
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