So, I first stopped watching this at the 4:19 second mark. The part when the audience got up in a standing ovation. First, I’m wary of TedTalks anyway. From what I know of Ted Turner, he was a staunch atheist, committed to eliminating religion from the public square. As far as I know, most TedTalks are expressly aimed at demeaning, degrading, and slandering Christianity, if not just theism more broadly. That makes me initially skeptical about this woman’s story, and her intentions. She seems “hand-picked” for a TedTalk that continues to push a social narrative. The audience’s reaction is indicative of their adherence to that narrative.
Also, right before the ovation, it is already clear that she has a made a logical fallacy. Just because her daughter decided to be lesbian (or was it bi-sexual), doesn’t mean that she had to choose anything. If my son chose to become an alcoholic, which I could also show from Scripture is sinful, why would I be forced to choose between his alcoholic lifestyle and my church? She has identified her daughter with her behavior, which is a category error. We all have behaviors that are sinful, but if our identity is in Christ, then we are free from identifying our self with our behavior.
Moreover, why couldn’t she have, as any mother has to do with their children’s behavior, continued to love her daughter, without leaving her church? Is giving up one’s convictions so that someone else can live in accordance with their sexual desires somehow an example of love? I don’t see how. In fact, I see the abandonment of convictions as more of a vice, than a virtue. I mean, what if the daughter had said she preferred to have sex only with underage girls? I’m assuming the mother wouldn’t have “chosen” her daughter over her church then? But why not? Why would the mother resist that unbiblical sexual desire, but not this one?
Second, her claim that most Christians accept LGBTQ is ambiguous. It could mean that most Christians accept people who are LGBTQ, but it says nothing about the sexual behavior of people who are LGBTQ. I don’t think that most Christians accept that LGBTQ behavior is okay, even if I hope that most Christians accept people who are LGBTQ.
Third, why can’t we serve the gay community, without compromising the authority of Scripture? They both seem compatible. However, most of the gay friends I have known were pretty well off. Either way, if I were to run across a homeless man who I was able to help, I would obviously not bother to find out if he was attracted to men or not before helping him, as if that would matter in any relevant way.
Fourth, how can this woman claim that she knows what God says, if she doesn’t think Scripture is right? There is an epistemic problem here; how can we know that her claims are true? I hear a lot of assertions here, but few arguments. However, I don’t think arguments were the point of this talk, it is an emotional appeal to an audience already on board with that appeal. Also, to claim that she represents the voice of God seems pretty haughty! Why can’t the fundamentalist just make the same claim? However, even then, notice how the applause was subdued after she mentioned that she represented God. My suspicion is the audience would have preferred to leave God out of it completely, even if it was a god more suitable to their tastes.
Fifth, what if part of the reason that some LGBTQ kids are struggling is not because of mean parents, but because to live an LGBTQ lifestyle is confusing, and perhaps intrinsically harmful. What about those studies? There is a level of dishonesty in this talk and I don’t think all the evidence is being brought to light.
Sixth, in all honesty, I would question the examples of “mean parents” she uses here. They sound like stock examples. She doesn’t quote sources, and we shouldn’t be too gullible and just accept everything that people say as true. Sometimes a little fact-finding fills in context that makes the story seem quite different. There is, after all, a lot of “fake news” out there. I am not trying to whitewash what is legitimately bad behavior by people who either claim to be, or genuinely are, Christians, but the agenda against Christianity today is so explicit, that we can’t just accept everything as fact. We do have to be wise as serpents, as well as gentle as doves.
Seven, I think we can affirm her desire to help LGBTQ kids who have been mistreated. But, so can Christians who don’t accept LGBTQ behavior as part of God’s plan for human sexuality. In fact, to help someone whose behavior you don’t accept would be even more loving than to just help someone with whom you agree with (I think there is a little parable about a Samaritan that talks about that very thing).
Finally, as a religious fundamentalist myself (of a certain kind, of course), I wonder what this woman would suggest if religious fundamentalists, who are nice and kind and gentle, still said “no” to her plea to accept LGBTQ beliefs about human sexuality? What does one do with the fundamentalist, if they simply refuse to acquiesce? Does one also extend the Golden Rule to them? It seems to me that already she is going down the road of generalization and demonization, which is the same thing she accuse religious fundamentalists of doing.
I’m not terribly moved by these appeals to accept LGBTQ agendas. First, I think LGBTQ folks have already been accepted for the most part by the culture. Second, the emphasis now seems to be on continuing to sully the image of Christians, especially evangelical Christians or conservative Catholics. Third, and this is the most important, I think LGBTQ people should be told the truth! If the Bible is our highest authority for all things faith and practice, and if the common-sense (and even scholarly consensus) interpretation of the Bible with regard to human sexuality is correct, then to NOT continue to tell LGBTQ folks the truth, would be to fail to act lovingly. If the Bible is correct on this issue of same-sex sexuality, and the Bible is our highest authority, then the answer is clear: we must devote ourselves to winning LGBTQ folks over to Christ. There is nothing to be ashamed about that.
Finally, and I mean it this time, what about all of the folks who left the LGBTQ lifestyle because of Christ and Christians!? Do they count? What about their stories?