“In the fifteenth century, men cross-examined and tormented a man because he preached some immoral attitude; in the nineteenth century, we feted and flattered Oscar Wilde because he preached such an attitude, and then broke his heart in penal servitude because he carried it out. It may be a question which of the two methods was the more cruel; there can be no kind of question which was the more ludicrous. The age of the Inquisition has not at least the disgrace of having produced a society which made an idol of the very same man for preaching the very same things which it made him a convict for practising” (Chesterton, Heretics, pg. 3, emphasis added).

Oscar Wilde was an illustrious playwright who was adored for his flamboyant attitude, dress, and actions. He became bolder and was eventually convicted of “gross indecency” (homosexuality) and sentenced to two years of hard labor. When he was released he was penniless and in poor health, shunned by the society that had so celebrated him. He died a few short years later.

I can see why the GLBT community views society as being hypocritical: unbridled sex is our god (and this appears to be true for far more than the 50% who vote for gay marriage). We worship it at the movies, on the internet, and in our unsanctioned bedrooms. We praise boundless sex in our music, in our jokes, and in our novels. Our societal morals regarding sex have unraveled, and I can see why claiming that homosexuality is wrong would be seen as silly: why not just be done with the morals entirely? Why pick and choose? But what the GLBT community doesn’t understand is that a complete unraveling of a sweater is not necessarily better than half a sweater. If I’m outside in Ohio in January, I’d prefer half a sweater to a pile of yarn. Let’s acknowledge that we’ve let the clothing unravel, learn to knit, and put some clothes on. If we’re fully clothed, we will be able to make a much more solid case for clothing.

Of course, we still might have trouble agreeing with the GLBT community as to what season it is and what clothing we should be wearing/not wearing in the first place. Image