Oprah Winfrey was interviewed by Barbara Walters, who asked about Oprah’s relationship with her best friend, Gayle King. Oprah shared her deep love and respect for her friend. Then Walters asked her about the rumors surrounding their relationship – that she and Gayle are lesbians.
The fact that people even ask this question illustrates something very important. Our culture has moved rapidly toward the promotion of homosexual identity and behavior. Along the way, more and more doubt and suspicion are cast on deep same-sex friendships. Almost any two men or two women who have a deep relationship will be asked the question Oprah was asked, “Are you gay?” Either that, or the thought may lurk in people’s minds.
In an article entitled “A Requiem for Friendship – Why Boys Will Not Be Boys & Other Consequences of the Sexual Revolution,”* Anthony Esolen writes eloquently about the acceptance of homosexuality and, its impact on male relationships today, and especially its effect on boys:
The prominence of male homosexuality changes the language for teenage boys. It is absurd and cruel to say that the boy can ignore it. Even if he would, his classmates will not let him. All boys need to prove that they are not failures. They need to prove that they are on the way to becoming men—that they are not going to relapse into the need to be protected by, and therefore identified with, their mothers.
Given our current culture, a boy must be very secure in his identity to engage in a deep friendship with another boy.
In the same way that modern relationships are questioned, close same-sex friendships from the past are now questioned and co-opted by the gay community and revisionist historians. After all, if this is how we think and live, those in the past must have thought and lived the same way. A couple hundred years ago it would have been inconceivable for a theologian to question the biblical accounts of David’s friendship with Jonathon or of Ruth’s relationship with Naomi. Today you can find sites all over the internet that take it for granted that they were all “gay.”
The sexual revolution trampled and distorted marriage and sexuality. Similarly, the constant onslaught of homosexual television, books, movies, pride and parades has colored our thinking today, casting the shadow of a rainbow flag over close same-sex relationships.
What gives me hope is that many in the church are awakening to the need to teach about healthy sexuality and about the need for healthy friendships between men and between women. In addition, I’ve seen more and more little things, like a family that takes a troubled teenager into their home or men turning to other men for support and friendship. We should not despise or underestimate small beginnings, but encourage this one-by-one transformation of the culture.
*See also his 5th argument against public acceptance of same-sex marriage, here: http://merecomments.typepad.com/merecomments/2006/08/ten_arguments_f.html