No Longer Just a Kiss

Note: This commentary was delivered by Prison Fellowship President Mark Earley. "You either have a wedding or you burn down something." That was the recipe for garnering ratings during sweeps week back when the TV show Happy Days was in syndication. But no longer -- things have changed. Today, shows like The O.C. and One Tree Hill take advantage of kisses to gain publicity -- but not just any kisses. The sweeps attraction today is the now nearly pedestrian lesbian kiss. It might be predictable, but as Virginia Heffernan writes in the New York Times, it can "transform a lackluster show into a news headline." It's easy to think that this is the media's courtship of the gay community. But the fact is, same-sex kisses are not political statements, so much as they are exploitation. As Heffernan noted, these "controversial" storylines are "reversible": "[S]weeps lesbians typically vanish or go straight when the week's over." Nevertheless, same-sex kisses remain attention-getters for those trying to promote acceptance of homosexuality. And recently, in a decidedly non-blue county in northern Virginia, a student-written and -directed play raised eyebrows. The play, "Offsides," was performed at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Virginia -- down the road from Prison Fellowship's offices. It's about a football player "coming to terms" with his homosexuality. It may not have received as much notice except for a scene that ended in what appeared to be a kiss between two boys as the lights went down. "People are who they are," said the student who played the main character. "Accept them. That's it." That argument always seems to be the conversation-stopper, but it doesn't have to be. In his book Ask Me Anything, Dr. J. Budziszewski provides a rejoinder. While gays equate "love" with "acceptance," Budziszewski offers another view: "Love is a commitment of the will to the true good of the other person. . . . [A] perfect Lover [that is, God] would want the perfect good of the beloved. . . . He would loathe and detest whatever destroyed the beloved's good -- no matter how much the beloved desired it." And what destroys us -- all of us -- is sin. If we refuse to let go of it, writes Budziszewski, we say to the perfect Lover, "I bind myself to my destruction! Accept me -- and my destruction with me!" There is nothing "loving" in condoning or promoting homosexual acts. As Virginia Delegate Richard Black said in response to the play, "This is a considerable health hazard right now. If we encourage just one child to experiment and contract the HIV virus, then we have done an enormous disservice to our children." Indeed, not only do we put them at physical risk, but at spiritual risk by turning them against who they are as God created them. The lyrics to the old song "As Time Goes By" from Casablanca go like this: "And no matter what the progress or what may yet be proved, the simple facts of life are such they cannot be removed. . . . A kiss is just a kiss . . . The fundamental things apply as time goes by." Well, today it seems that a kiss is no longer "just a kiss," but "the fundamental things" do still apply despite our changing culture. Regardless of misplaced kisses in Hollywood or at high school, as the song says, "Woman needs man, and man must have his mate -- that no one can deny."


Chuck Colson


  • Facebook Icon in Gold
  • Twitter Icon in Gold
  • LinkedIn Icon in Gold

Sign up for the Daily Commentary