Below, I made a comment about Thomas Cranmer. In his response, commentator Alex mentioned in passing that he began to read a biography of Cranmer but was put off and lost interest in reading more when he found that the author of the biography dedicated the book to his homosexual "partner."
Subsequently, someone who occasionally reads this blog (but does not comment) came to me and said, apropos of that exchange, "Well, if you're going to refuse to read any book written by a sinner..."
The implication was pretty clear: Alex shouldn't have been put off from reading the book, because all books are written by sinners, after all.
Now, this is a completely misguided way of looking at it, as I tried to tell the reader. But I lacked time and clarity, being, among other things, taken very much by surprise at the remark. So here is further detail.
First, the author of that book about Cranmer (I haven't tried to look it up, so I don't know the author's name) is not simply "a sinner." The remark about "not reading any book written by a sinner" reflects a failure, or a refusal, to acknowledge that homosexual activities are not just generic sins. They are sins against nature. They are perversions. Hence, the author is not just "a sinner," he is a person with a seriously warped sexuality, a person with a serious problem. Moreover, he glories in and is proud of this perversion. He is openly living in a sexual relationship with another man and is so proud of this that he dedicates his book to him. One wonders: Suppose the author had dedicated the book to a minor child with whom he was having an affair. Would my reader then have made the remark about "refusing to read any book written by a sinner"? It is completely understandable that someone would feel less inclined to read a book, and especially a book about Cranmer, upon seeing the dedication to the homosexual "partner."
Second, the author of the book is attempting to normalize his perversion in society by publically dedicating the book to his sexual partner. He is being "in your face" with the reader in an attempt to promote acceptance of his sin. This attempt to corrupt the morals of society, and in particular, of Christians in society (likely a large part of the audience) is an additional wrong.
Third, and relatedly, by spitting in the face of the Christian morality of two thousand years, the author of the book is insulting his likely audience by making this reference. So on top of everything else, the author of the book is rude to his readers.
Fourth, self-identified "gay scholars" often have an agenda. In literature, this takes the form of bizarre reading of texts in order to talk about sexual matters frequently, to turn all literature into pornography. In history this can take the form of weird psychologizing of historical figures and baseless implications that these characters were homosexual. "Queer studies" has been a horrible blight on the humanities for quite a while, but I suspect my reader has never heard of it and hence was unaware of the fact that the dedication calls into question the quality of the book's scholarship.
Having (unfortunately) paid good money for the book, Alex might have decided to see how good or bad it was by further reading. But I fully support his decision to stop reading and would also support him if he simply dropped it into the slot for the local library book sale. Or into the garbage can. Life is short, and of the making of books there is no end.
I write this, because it is important that someone be willing to come out and say such things. Increasingly it is considered simply "not done" to call homosexuality a perversion in public or even to be annoyed or put off by proud displays of it, as in the dedication of the book about Cranmer. So upside-down has our society become that the author's action in dedicating his book to his homosexual lover is not considered bad manners but saying frankly why there is a problem with his doing so is considered bad manners. Unfortunately, such acceptance of proud, active, and blatant homosexuality as, at most, "just another sin," is becoming prevalent among Christians, even among Christians one would have thought to be conservative. But such moral equivalence is part of what has gotten our country into the mess we are presently in. It should therefore be answered clearly.