Principles or prejudice? The Kirk Cameron conundrum

Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives morning show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not those of St. George News.

OPINION – When former TV heartthrob Kirk Cameron chose to pursue faith-based film making instead of a more traditional Hollywood career, he gave up a lot. But he couldn’t bring himself to part with his principles.

This was made abundantly clear during a recent interview with Piers Morgan on CNN when Cameron was asked about his views regarding homosexuality. To his credit, Cameron didn’t qualify his answer with platitudes and disclaimers.  He calmly stated that he believed homosexuality was “unnatural” and “ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.”

If there’s anything that our popular culture finds more offensive than honesty, it’s someone who is unwilling to pretend that right and wrong no longer exist. Now Cameron stands accused of hate speech; the only real sin left in American culture today.

But before we grab the pitchforks and torches, there are two points worth pondering.

First, Cameron was asked about his thoughts about homosexuality, not homosexuals. This is a critical distinction because his answers reflected his opinions concerning a behavior and not about the individuals who might engage in that behavior. A person can strongly condemn alcoholism or drug abuse without being accused of directing hate speech at alcoholics or addicts.

When detractors level the accusation of “hate” against Cameron, we are left to draw our own conclusions of what exactly that word means. Critical thinkers will recognize this as the bogus or unspecified predicate that appeals to the audience’s emotional associations rather than describing a clearly defined offense. About the only thing we can safely assume about Kirk Cameron is that he is accused of holding unpopular opinions.

Cameron was asked his honest opinion and he gave it, without malice. Why this should be intolerable to the most tolerant among us is not clear. Those who see things differently than Cameron are free to advance their own points of view. So why the scorched earth denunciations from those who disagree with him? Milton showed great faith in the power of free speech in “Areopagitica” when he declared, “Who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?”

Uniformity of opinion has always been the hallmark of a dictatorship. Only in this case, the emerging dictatorship is cultural rather than a political one. Cameron’s critics seem to have forgotten how to disagree in a civil manner. Any good points they might have to make are lost in vitriol and the desire to punish him for his opinions. Rather than persuade him to their point of view, they seek to intimidate him into silence.

The second point is that Cameron’s depiction of homosexual behavior being “ultimately destructive” to society’s foundations is not without merit.

In 1934, a British anthropologist named J.D. Unwin published a book titled “Sex and Culture” in which he studied the rise and fall of 86 different societies. They included the Roman, Greek, Sumerian, Moorish, Babylonian, and Anglo-Saxon civilizations and spanned hundreds of years of history.

Among the most remarkable findings of his study, Unwin discovered that, without exception, societies flourished during those times when they valued sexual fidelity and declined when sexual mores loosened. Cultures that gave priority to sexual pleasure over self-control lost what Unwin called their “expansive energy” and dwindled.

These findings are even more extraordinary considering that Unwin was not writing from a religious perspective and applied no moral judgment to his discoveries. In Unwin’s own words, “I offer no opinion about rightness or wrongness.” Likewise, Unwin made no distinction between heterosexual or homosexual permissiveness. He simply called the patterns as he observed them.

Those who accuse Kirk Cameron of singling out homosexuality as a detriment to society are forgetting that his answer was reflective of the question he was asked. Cameron’s films like “Fireproof” and “Courageous” have given no free pass to heterosexual misbehavior. They have been powerful yet loving invitations to men of faith to eschew immorality and to live up to the standards of fidelity and personal integrity that their beliefs require.

It is impossible to stand for one’s beliefs without encountering opposition. A person who refuses to abandon their personal convictions in order to gain approval from others deserves respect, whether we agree with them or not.

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Copyright 2012 St. George News.

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  • Mike H March 8, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Though I agree with much of what you say as regards to Cameron being able to have his own unvarnished opinion, there is a problem when that opinion might be predicated on a fallacy. I’m not in the mood to debate ad nauseum the issue of the Bible and the way it was created and all that. I have found in the last few years that people will not be swayed, especially when it comes to religious doctrine even when confronted with facts and the irony of espousing one’s doctrine whilst wearing clothes of a mixed fiber which is also spoken out against in the same section as the ban on homosexuality it. I always come back to one simple argument, if it was that big of deal why wasn’t it in the big 10, why did God decide to be obtuse about it?
    Anyhoo, my biggest issue as a gay person (gasp, surprise) is this continued correlation between gay and sexual. Yes, the correct term is homosexual, but for most of us, at least the ones I feel confident speaking for, it is not a sex issue, it is an emotional issue. Yes, obviously gender and sex play a part in it, but just as you can have gender-normative married couples who no longer partake in the physical aspect of the relationship so too can you have gay people that do the same.
    The only way gays will destroy society and cause the fall of it is simply through the inability to procreate in their same-sex relationships. But in this world that is quickly approaching 7 billion people, I highly doubt we will make that big of a dent and if you think about it one could argue for the existence of gays as an evolutionary trait to try and keep overpopulation from happening. But that’s just a leap at trying to justify my existence. lol Yes, there are trampy gays, as well as trampy and promiscuous straight people, but there are also very moral and monogamous members of both groups. See, we’re really not that different.

  • Judy Yager March 8, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Common sense tells you that homosexuality is “unnatural” for the mere fact that two men or two women cannot create a child together.

  • Heather March 8, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Beautifully written! Thank you!!

  • Mark March 9, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Again, spot on Bryan. The timing of the attacks are suspect as his new movie is set for release within days.

  • Laura March 9, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Quality piece–thanks!

  • gluis March 9, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Thank you for coming to Kirk Cameron’s defense. It is appalling that people cannot RESPECT a different point of view, especially when it comes to foundational, religious beliefs.

    These left-leaning liberals will TOUT respect when it comes to their POVs or even the POV of extremists around the world, even to the tun of terrorists, but have NO tolerance when it comes to Christians. We have to ALL be given the same privilege/right to express our principles and beliefs.

    Shame on Piers Morgan for having to harangue Kirk. Obviously he’s as much about ratings and appealing to the liberals/extremists as he is about perpetuating anti-Christian BIAS.

  • Lawrence March 9, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Good piece of “intellectual” thought Bryan. With the many “firestorms” we’ve endured, these past
    several years, coming from the LEFT in our society and supported by the MSM, I’ve decided to use
    the term, “selective indignation”. Limbaugh’s use of those vile terms here of late v.s. Maher’s equally
    vile terms thrown at Palin. What did we hear from the women’s rights groups or the MSM on either.
    “Selective Indignation” toward the Limbaugh language, not a word on Maher’s multiple comments.
    Alec Baldwin calling for people to storm Henry Hyde’s home and stone him to death, along with his
    family v.s. Sarah Palin’s use of the term “target” and how it “led to the Arizona shooting”. “Selective
    Indignation” toward Palin’s use of absolutely harmless terms, but Baldwin was just a “free speech
    comedy act”. I could go on, but I won’t. We suffer from much, “SELECTIVE INDIGNATION” and people
    have to start thinking for themselves and analyze all that they read or hear. BTW; I will agree with much
    of what Mike H. said in his comment above. I’m a heterosexual man and have known several “gay”
    folks over the years. While I do not subscribe to their “sexual gayness”, I found nothing else about them
    that I would judge any differently than that of the heterosexuals i’ve known. Most are just people trying
    to live their lives as normally as anyone else, but their gender associations are not the same as most of
    society. Bryan, thanx for your “opinion” article. ……..Lawrence F.

    • Lawrence March 9, 2012 at 3:28 pm

      Lest someone would take offense to me singling out ‘the LEFT” and the “MSM”, I want to make it clear
      that I have no love for the “RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION” coming from the religious zealots on “the RIGHT”.
      Example being the so called CHURCH which demonstrates at military funerals, “condemning to hell”
      those who would serve in a military that allows GAYS to serve. All of this HATE RHETORIC coming from
      both the LEFT & the RIGHT, serves only to further divide this nation. The “activists” are making all the noise for their respective causes and most of those they pretend to represent, would rather not be associated with the “cause”. IMHO, ……Lawrence

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