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The Founders on Homosexuality by Dave Miller, Ph.D.
Of those living today in America who were alive 50 years ago, few could have imagined, let alone predicted, that homosexuality would encroach on our culture as it has. In fact, it would have been unthinkable. The rapidity with which homosexual activists continue successfully to bully the nation to normalize what once was universally considered abnormal is astonishing. And toleration has not satisfied them. Allowing their views to be taught in public schools has not appeased them. No, they insist that societal endorsement extend to redefining marriage to include same-sex couples.
A pernicious plague of sexual insanity is creeping insidiously through American civilization. Far more deadly than the external threat of terrorism, or even the inevitable dilution of traditional American values caused by the infiltration of illegal immigrants and the influx of those who do not share the Christian worldview, this domino effect will ultimately end in the moral implosion of America. Indeed, America is being held captive by moral terrorists. The social engineers of "political correctness" have been working overtime for decades to restructure public morality.
The Founding Fathers of these United States would be incredulous, incensed, and outraged. They understood that acceptance of homosexuality would undermine and erode the moral foundations of civilization. Sodomy, the longtime historical term for same-sex relations, was a capital crime under British common law. Sir William Blackstone, British attorney, jurist, law professor, and political philosopher, authored his monumental Commentaries on the Laws of England from 1765-1769. These commentaries became the premiere legal source admired and used by America's Founding Fathers. In Book the Fourth, Chapter the Fifteenth, "Of Offences Against the Persons of Individuals," Blackstone stated:
IV. WHAT has been here observed..., which ought to be the more clear in proportion as the crime is the more detestable, may be applied to another offence, of a still deeper malignity; the infamous crime against nature, committed either with man or beast.... But it is an offence of so dark a nature...that the accusation should be clearly made out....
I WILL not act so disagreeable part, to my readers as well as myself, as to dwell any longer upon a subject, the very mention of which is a disgrace to human nature. It will be more eligible to imitate in this respect the delicacy of our English law, which treats it, in it's very indictments, as a crime not fit to be named; peccatum illud horribile, inter chriftianos non nominandum ["that horrible sin not to be named among Christians"-DM]. A taciturnity observed likewise by the edict of Constantius and Constans: ubi fcelus eft id, quod non proficit fcire, jubemus infurgere leges, armari jura gladio ultore, ut exquifitis poenis fubdantur infames, qui funt, vel qui futuri funt, rei ["When that crime is found, which is not profitable to know, we order the law to bring forth, to provide justice by force of arms with an avenging sword, that the infamous men be subjected to the due punishment, those who are found, or those who future will be found, in the deed"-DM]. Which leads me to add a work concerning its punishment.
THIS the voice of nature and of reason, and the express law of God, determine to be capital. Of which we have a signal instance, long before the Jewish dispensation, by the destruction of two cities by fire from heaven: so that this is an universal, not merely a provincial, precept. And our ancient law in some degree imitated this punishment, by commanding such miscreants to be burnt to death; though Fleta says they should be buried alive: either of which punishments was indifferently used for this crime among the ancient Goths. But now the general punishment of all felonies is the fame, namely, by hanging: and this offence (being in the times of popery only subject to ecclesiastical censures) was made single felony by the statute 25 Hen. VIII. c. 6. and felony without benefit of clergy by statute 5 Eliz. c. 17. And the rule of law herein is, that, if both are arrived at years of discretion, agentes et confentientes pari poena plectantur ["advocates and conspirators should be punished with like punishment"-DM] (1769, 4.15.215-216, emp. added).
Here was the law of England-common law-under which Americans lived prior to achieving independence. That law did not change after gaining independence. To say the least, such thinking is hardly "politically correct" by today's standards.
How many Americans realize that while serving as the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, the Father of our country was apprised of a homosexual in the army. The response of General Washington was immediate and decisive. He issued "General Orders" from Army Headquarters at Valley Forge on Saturday, March 14, 1778:
At a General Court Martial whereof Colo. Tupper was President (10th March 1778) Lieutt. Enslin of Colo. Malcom's Regiment tried for attempting to commit sodomy, with John Monhort a soldier; Secondly, For Perjury in swearing to false Accounts, found guilty of the charges exhibited against him, being breaches of 5th Article 18th Section of the Articles of War and do sentence him to be dismiss'd the service with Infamy. His Excellency the Commander in Chief approves the sentence and with Abhorrence and Detestation of such Infamous Crimes orders Lieutt. Enslin to be drummed out of Camp tomorrow morning by all the Drummers and Fifers in the Army never to return; The Drummers and Fifers to attend on the Grand Parade at Guard mounting for that Purpose ("George...," underline in orig., emp. added).
Observe that the Father of our country viewed "sodomy" (the 18th-century word for homosexual relations) "with Abhorrence and Detestation."
Homosexuality was treated as a criminal offense in all of the original thirteen colonies, and eventually every one of the fifty states (see Robinson, 2003; "Sodomy Laws...," 2003). Severe penalties were invoked for those who engaged in homosexuality. In fact, few Americans know that the penalty for homosexuality in several states was death-including New York, Vermont, Connecticut, and South Carolina (Barton, 2000, pp. 306,482). Most people nowadays would be shocked to learn that Thomas Jefferson advocated "dismemberment" as the penalty for homosexuality in his home state of Virginia, and even authored a bill to that effect (1781, Query 14; cf. 1903, 1:226-227).
Where did the Founding Fathers and early American citizenry derive their views on homosexuality? The historically unequivocal answer is-the Bible. "Traditional" (i.e., biblical) marriage in this country has always been between a man and a woman. In the words of Jesus: "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?" (Matthew 19:4-5, emp. added). He was merely quoting the statement made by God regarding His creation of the first man and woman (Genesis 1:27; 2:24). God created Adam and Eve-not Adam and Steve, or Eve and Ellen. And throughout the rest of biblical history, God's attitude toward same-sex relations remained the same (Miller, et al., 2003).
In the greater scheme of human history, as civilizations have proceeded down the usual pathway of moral deterioration and eventual demise, the acceptance of same-sex relations has typically triggered the final stages of impending social implosion. America is being brought to the very brink of moral destruction. The warning issued by God to the Israelites regarding their own ability to sustain their national existence in the Promised Land is equally apropos for America:
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.... Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations...lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you (Leviticus 18:22-28, emp. added).
Mark it down: THE GOD OF THE BIBLE WILL NOT ALLOW THE ABOMINATION OF HOMOSEXUALITY TO GO UNCHALLENGED AND UNPUNISHED. Unless something is done to stop the moral degeneration, America would do well to prepare for the inevitable, divine expulsion.
REFERENCES Barton, David (2002), Original Intent (Aledo, TX: Wallbuilders), 3rd edition.
Blackstone, William (1769), Commentaries on the Laws of England, [On-line], URL: http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/blackstone/bk4ch15.htm.
"George Washington, March 14, 1778, General Orders" (1778), The George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799, from ed. John C. Fitzpatrick, The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799, [On-line], URL: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/mgw:@field(DOCID+@lit (gw110081)).
Jefferson, Thomas (1781), Notes on the State of Virginia, The Avalon Project at Yale Law School, [On-line], URL: http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/jevifram.htm.
Miller, Dave, et al.(2003), "An Investigation of the Biblical Evidence Against Homosexuality," Reason & Revelation, 24:81, December, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2577.
Robinson, B.A. (2003), "Criminalizing Same-Sex Behavior," [On-line], URL: http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_laws1.htm.
"Sodomy Laws in the United States" (2003), [On-line], URL: http://www.sodomylaws.org/usa/usa.htm.