Tu quoque. Making molehills out of mountains – Part 6

Today we will address a common logical fallacy people use when they really do not want to discuss the Bible, but instead want to try to make you feel bad for actually believing in  God’s Word. If you would like to start back at the beginning of this series, here are the links to parts 1, 2, 3, 4  and 5. I am reviewing the blog article A Mountain I’m Willing to Die On in which the author has decided that homosexuality is not a sin.

I was immediately reprimanded for my blasphemy by a woman who reminded me of 1 Corinthians 6:9–10. But I was confused because this woman was speaking. In church. And she was also wearing a necklace. And I could see her hair, baby. She had no head covering. All of which are sooooo totally against the New Testament Bible Rules. And so I assumed that she had decided not to follow the parts of the Bible that limited her particular freedoms, but to hold fast to the parts that limit the freedoms of others. I didn’t point this out at the time, because she wasn’t a bad person. People are doing the best they can, mostly. It’s best not to embarrass anyone (Glennon).

I want you to notice that Glennon is not interacting with any Biblical texts that may or may not address the topics of women speaking in church, wearing jewelry and covering their hair. This is an example of the logical fallacy called tu quoque. Basically, Glennon is effectively calling the women at church a hypocrite. Now, even if the woman is hypocritical, Glennon has not really addressed the issue of whether or not homosexuality is a sin as described in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.

As another example of the tu quoque fallacy, imagine if a 2-pack-a-day chain-smoker told me that I needed to lose weight for health reasons. Calling that smoker a hypocrite might be accurate since they too are not taking care of their own health. However, the chain-smoker’s hypocrisy does not change the fact that I should quit eating a whole bag of chocolate chips every week and drop a few pounds. Glennon has made up her mind to disregard 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and wants to shift the focus to other parts of the Bible that are not directly relevant to the issue of homosexuality that she is addressing. I discussed 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 in some detail in Part 3 of this series, but here it is again:

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

It would be fascinating for her to actually try to interact with this text. There are some questions that would be fascinating to ask Glennon or people who hold similar views on this text including:

  1. Does everybody inherit the kingdom of God? If not, who does not? Why not?
  2. If homosexuality is not a sin, are any of the other activities on this list sins?
  3. Why did Paul say, “Do not be deceived?” Is not your position consistent with the problem in the Corinthian church that Paul is addressing?
  4. If someone stole your identity, your car, swindled all of the money from your bank and retirement accounts, committed adultery with your husband, and was unrepentant of all these things, would you expect them to inherit the kingdom of God? Why or why not?

Since women’s head coverings, jewelry and speaking in church are not the actual topics of Glennon’s article, I will not take the bait and make this article series any longer by chasing after those red herrings. And, if you want to go learn more about logical fallacies, there is a fun little book called The Fallacy Detective that is an awesome resource.

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