An e-mail exchange:

A couple of days ago I posted something responding to a Les Kinsolving column that criticized Cheney’s support for his lesbian daughter. My post, which was just a titch sarcastic, explained that though Mr. Kinsolving was suggesting that this sort of thing could lead to sadomasochists having the right to get married, too, it turns out that sadomasochists are already entirely free to get married. So are people who want to engage in sodomy (a term that Mr. Kinsolving used pejoratively, but which can include oral and anal sex, and sex within opposite-sex couples as well as same-sex couples).

I then got into this interesting e-mail exchange:

[A reader:] Sexual depravity is ruining America morally. Why are you supporting that?

[Me:] What kind of sexual depravity? Husbands and wives having oral sex (which is indeed part of the definition of sodomy)? Can you give me any evidence that this is ruining America morally? . . .

[The reader:] Sodomy as commonly understood by probably over 95% of native English speakers: “anal sex between two men”. You may be right in saying the current definition includes other sexual acts, but those are not what Sodom was famous for, and the act it gave its name to. Homosexuality is debasing to all who take part in that perversion. The finer sensibilities that distinguish humans from animals, these are partly benumbed by this debasing act. All society suffers proportionately.

[Me:] (1) Well, Mr. Kinsolving doesn’t seem to take this view, since he seems to oppose lesbianism, too. [Recall that the Kinsolving column began with a criticism of Cheney’s lesbian daughter, not of male homosexuals.]

(2) You make assertion after assertion, but you give no support for them. Why is it exactly that I suffer because two friends of mine decide to have sex in a particular way in the privacy of their own home? Why does it even debase them? Why does it erode the finer sensibilities that distinguish humans from animals? Again, you just say these things — why should I believe them?

[The reader:] The fact that you cannot determine that sexual perversions such as sodomy are debasing is in itself evidence that you are unable to determine what the truth is at this time. When you begin to search for truth with the aim to live the truth, you will find it.

God made us for a reason.

Well, that’s logic for you! God made us for a reason. That reason (isn’t it obvious?) must be “to avoid having anal sex.” The people who seem to have a pretty strong urge to have anal sex with each other — what about them? Well, God obviously made them for the same reason, which is that they should avoid having anal sex. (Whatever you may think about whether homosexuality is genetic, it does seem that there are some people who do have a pretty strong desire to engage in homosexual conduct, about as strong as heterosexuals’ presumably God-given desire to have genital sex.)

What’s more, you don’t even need quotations from the Bible any more to prove this: The very fact that the listener doesn’t agree is just evidence of how foolish he is. QED. Hey, I’m persuaded — how can one resist the force of an argument like that?

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