Kathleen at Hillbuzz notes that the media is obsessing over Herman Cain's supremely unshocking (indeed perfectly predictable given the fact that he is a known Social Conservative and Christian) position on homosexuality:
"I believe homosexuality is a sin because I’m a Bible-believing Christian, I believe it’s a sin,” he said. "But I know that some people make that choice. That’s their choice."
Cain was asked: "So you believe it’s a choice?"
"I believe it is a choice," he responded.
Watch the full interview here.
Now, as a Calvinist, I am not too committed to the choice language here -- I am willing, for the sake of argument to suppose that some homosexual temptations are inborn and, like congential blindness, may be a greater burden to some folks than to others. But his basic point remains a standard element of biblical thought (though it gets a lot less air time in the Bible than in modern evangelical politics).
Kathleen has a long and well-thought analysis of the politics of division that CBS is trying to practice here. I don't want to focus on that, but here is a brief taste to give an idea of where she is heading:
Herman Cain’s religious beliefs are shared by millions of Americans on the “religious Right.” (They aren’t shared by me, as it happens, but more on that in a moment.) I believe this news story was designed to drive a wedge between this segment of the Anti-Obama Coalition and libertarian-leaning GOP voters like myself.
If Herman Cain’s religious beliefs bother you, I’d like you to take a deep breath, and give the issue more thought than the LSM wants you to. I expect my take on this will be extremely controversial. But I’m going to go out on a limb and treat Hillbuzz readers like thoughtful, intelligent adults, unlike the LSM. (I realize this is a risky thing to attempt on the Internet. But I think the Buzzverse can handle it.)
So my question is, given the fact that the US is careening toward the edge of an economic cliff that could destroy the country as we know it, why I should care what Herman Cain (and millions of Christians) think about homosexuality?
This is all quite correct, but there is one point I would like to add to the discussion. From my comment on that site:
While I agree that Mr. Cain's statement that "homosexuality is a sin" is true, he isn't speaking the whole truth. The danger of stopping where he did is that it gives the impression "you are a sinner and I am not." As Christians we must also confess "I, too, am a sinner". This does two things: it shows that the speaker loves truth more than being popular and it disarms the charge of hypocrisy, which is about the only thing (other than smoking) which is still considered a sin in our culture. Now, I am sure, if asked, Mr. Cain would not hesitate to admit that he is a sinner. But I would like to hear him say so everytime this topic comes up. And that goes for all my other fellow Christians and social conservatives.
(In fact, Cain may well have made a similar point in this interview, since that is exactly the sort of thing that the LSM would be likely to edit out, for the reasons that Kathleen mentions in her post.)