To the Honorable Gov. of the Great State of New Jersey, Chris Christie:
Not long ago I read a profile of you in a national publication. I was impressed with your commitment to your wife, your four children and your Roman Catholic faith. Today, however, I was distressed when I read that you signed a law banning licensed therapists from helping children who are struggling with same-sex attraction discover a way out.
The gay sponsor of the bill said that it was "an insidious form of child abuse" to suggest that a child or teenager can change. You affirmed his position and stated three things: 1. People are born gay; 2. Homosexuality is not a sin; 3. To expose children to the health risks of trying to change without clear evidence of benefits is not appropriate.
With all due respect, for Christian parents, counselors and parents to remain silent when you make these kinds of statements would be inexcusable. Millions of decent, concerned citizens view this as a further erosion of parental rights! Additionally, this law is forcing scores of counselors to withhold counseling that is consistent with their conscience and professional training. It is a shameful infringement upon our First Amendment rights.
Young people today face challenges in the realm of sexuality that are unparalleled in our history. When you and I were growing up with our Roman Catholic training, we never faced the avalanche of pornography and celebration of homosexuality prevailing in the media, schools, government and entertainment there is today.
Multitudes of young children and teenagers are wrestling with sexual identity as they come of age. To capitulate to the gay agenda and stonewall providing options for those who are asking for them really is unconscionable. And since you pride yourself on being very up front and to the point, I'd like to submit to you that your three points are completely inconsistent with what should be your Roman Catholic and Christian worldview.
Time for Truth-Telling
When our family used to travel in our old Dodge minivan for trips through Pennsylvania, there were numerous long tunnels we'd go through, burrowed deep in the mountains. We'd all hold our breath (except the driver) to see who could "hold out" the longest. Going through those tunnels was a bit frightening at times. They were so dark, stark and musty. Yet all of us knew eventually they'd end and we could all breathe a sigh of relief as we expelled our pent-up breath, coming out into the light.
Sometimes in life, we have to be willing to go through some dark tunnels of "truth telling"—uncomfortable and unpleasant as they are—to emerge into the light of day. In light of your three statements affirming this new law, may I submit the following for your prayerful consideration?
1. People are not born homosexual. According to Scripture and science, homosexuality is not part of someone's biological constitution. People will argue to the contrary, but being gay is not like left-handedness. There is absolutely no scientific evidence of a gay gene. Nature or nurture? The answer is the latter. This is not opinion; it's truth.
I do think some people are more susceptible to homosexuality than others (proclivity vs. practice). We all struggle with various sexual temptations, but we don't have to surrender to them.
Gov. Christie, there is a difference between desire and deed! Granted, many people lay in their beds wrestling with feelings and fantasies regarding homosexuality, but heaven help us if we tell those individuals, "See, that proves you are gay—now embrace and celebrate it!"
Today there is a lot of confusion in our culture regarding homosexuality. There is also a denial of the truth of the Scripture that reveals God's natural order (divine design) and the consequences of disregarding it.
"Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
"Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error" (Rom. 1:24-27, NIV).
2. Practicing homosexuality is a sin. Every one of us inherits a "sinful nature"—a natural tendency to selfishness and self-gratifying behavior. The reality is that our "flesh" looks for ways to be indulged. God’s way is to control yourself, while our culture's way is increasingly about indulging yourself.
While parents, counselors and all of us should express understanding regarding people's upbringing and pain, we cannot release people from taking personal responsibility for their actions to do what is moral and right. Your well-publicized battle with overeating and endangering your health through poor nutritional choices probably makes this easy to comprehend.
Gov. Christie, may I encourage you to consider sitting down with your Catholic Bible and look up the following verses to see how clearly and unambiguously Scripture sites practicing homosexuality as sinful conduct? Please consider Genesis 19:4-7; Judges 19:22-23; Leviticus 18:22, 29-30; Leviticus 20:13; Deuteronomy 22:5; Romans 1:24-28; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:9; and Jude 7.
3. The health risks of encouraging people to stay in a homosexual lifestyle far outweigh the risks of helping them to change.
Gov. Christie, I have served people and helped them change for the better for 41 years of ministry. I don't say this to impress you, but to let you know that I speak from experience. Oftentimes in counseling people to make change, it's uncomfortable and difficult. Yet I find from experience that if people will "bite the bullet" and hang in there for the long haul, they find a new life of freedom, purpose and peace. Read 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 to see the exciting news of how people then and now discover transformation through God's supernatural power.
Here's the deal: Are we really helping young people by reinforcing the prevailing notion that people are born gay—stuck to be this way for the rest of their life? And yes, there are pretty frightening consequences to this lifestyle that folks had just better accept:
- The 2008 International Conference on AIDS in Mexico City reported, "Gay and bisexual men are 19 times more likely to become infected with AIDS than the general adult population."
- The Centers for Disease Control reports that there are close to a half a million new cases of the HIV virus annually, and "the majority are among homosexuals and bisexuals."
- Homosexuals experience appreciably higher rates of psychiatric illnesses, including depression, drug abuse and suicide attempts.
- Gays have alarming levels of sexually related diseases, such as anal and penile cancer. Because of their sexual activity, many homosexuals suffer immensely from what is medically known as "gay bowel syndrome," in addition to outbreaks of herpes lesions in the mouth.
- On average, gays have shorter life spans—up to 20 years less.
- Nationally known lesbian author Camille Paglia says, "History shows that male homosexuality, which like prostitution flourishes with urbanization and soon becomes predictably ritualized, always tends toward decadence—they are harmful."
Gov. Christie, among your four children is a young teenage boy. Since you are known for your bluntness, can I share in a transparent manner some things that happened to me when I was his age and then ask a closing question?
As a young teen, two male teenage relatives tried to seduce me into sexual experimentation with gay sex. Additionally, I had a homosexual pick me up once while hitchhiking, and he offered me money to come to his apartment for an enema. (I was 13 and clueless as to what that was.) In a relatively short time, I jumped out of that car!
To this very day, I am grateful to God for parents and pastors and counselors who early on set me on the path to normal heterosexual sexual understanding. I knew right from wrong. I was able to discern, when faced with something that the Bible said was "unnatural" and "shameful" (Rom 1:24-27), what was the right thing to do.
Gov. Christie, I beseech you to step back and take a fresh look at this law. Think about your children. Think about the future of our nation. Think about how we can best prepare young people for a healthy and successful life. If your son when through what I did, found himself temporarily confused and traumatized, what kind of counsel—honestly—would you want him to hear?
Many believe you have aspirations for the presidency. I close this appeal by directing you to our Founding Fathers. They honored a Judeo-Christian belief system and upheld the Bible as their source of wisdom for life, laws and legislation.
Respectfully submitted and upholding you and your family in my prayers, I remain,
Larry Tomczak is a best-selling author and cultural commentator with over 40 years of trusted ministry experience. His passion is to bring perspective, analysis and insight from a biblical worldview. He loves people and loves awakening them to today's cultural realities and the responses needed for the bride of Christ—His church—to become influential in all spheres of life once again.