On the European Continent–especially France, Spain, and Russia–there’s never been any doubt that the Left is anti-Christian; the quest to eradicate Christianity from public life has been practically its defining feature since the eighteenth century. Liberalism in England and America, while acknowledged by friends and enemies as a Leftist movement, has always tried to understand its relationship to Christianity, and other religions and “comprehensive” philosophies, differently. Supposedly, Anglo-American Leftism does not require historical Christian orthodoxy to be false, only controversial or irrelevant to governing. Liberalism presents itself as a neutral position, an agreement to disagree and not throw the weight of government coercion one way or the other. Thus, liberals are fond of saying that a policy of legal abortion is a way of not deciding whether the act in question is murder or harmless lifestyle enhancement. I think this claim is untenable–and I especially don’t see how the neutrality line is consistent with liberals’ insistence that the government make sure that women have easy access to abortions, as if whether or not this is something that is good to have access to weren’t the very thing liberals claim to be neutral about–but that’s an argument for another time. Sometimes the supposed neutrality of the liberal state is presented as a recognition of how little power government has to influence the private morals of its citizens: “You can’t police bedrooms”, and all that. Again, there are arguments for and against this view, but at least it’s not obviously absurd. It seems perfectly possible for someone to say, for example, “I think prostitution is utterly wicked, but attempts by the government to suppress it would be futile and counterproductive”.
In the past few years, Anglo-American liberalism has basically abandoned this “neutrality” position. It did this by embracing the homosexual agenda. Now, one can imagine a sodomy-friendly liberal policy that plausibly respects the strictures of official neutrality, e.g. “We liberals don’t think the state should take any position on the morality or lack thereof of homosexual acts. We won’t punish them, and we won’t bar sodomites from government positions. If someone thinks that what these people are doing is wrong, they are free to argue it in the free marketplace of ideas.” However, the Left–and I mean the entire Anglosphere Left–has gone far beyond this. It insists that homosexual relationships are positively good. It sets aside a whole month to officially celebrate them. It seeks to award civil benefits to those who claim to be engaged in such relationships. It demands that public schoolchildren be taught to hold a positive view of active homosexuals. Furthermore, the Left–and I mean the entire Left–believes that disapproval of homosexuality is itself a social vice that must be eradicated by government action. Schoolchildren holding gender essentialist views are now actively terrorized by euphemistically-named “anti-bullying” campaigns. The state has broken off collaborations with the Catholic Church precisely because the Church refuses to endorse what the Left regards as the unquestionable good of homosexuality. There is no way that a liberal can say that liberalism is neutral on the moral question of homosexuality–or the related ontological/teleological question of gender; it is actively campaigning for one view and using the power of the state to discourage other views. Nor can liberals claim that they are simply keeping their noses out of other peoples’ business because they don’t think the state has any real power to affect public morals. The whole point of their campaign is to alter the public’s moral perceptions. This necessarily means redefining marriage in the minds of its participants into a genderless arrangement and impeding the ability of gender essentialist and/or religious parents from transmitting their moral beliefs to their children.
So liberalism isn’t even pretending to be neutral anymore. Fine, you might say, what’s the big deal? I mean, nobody but a few political science professors ever really imagined it was. Most liberal voters hold the more forthright view that their moral opinions are objectively correct and should be reflected in law for that reason. It’s best that they drop the whole “neutrality” smokescreen now, so we can get to the serious work of arguing over whether their beliefs (utilitarianism, tolerance, etc) really are true.
But there is something new and troubling. Aside from idolatry and possibly adultery, no sin is condemned as clearly and forcefully by the Christian tradition as sodomy. Whether one looks at the Bible, the Fathers, Popes, or Protestant Reformers, the witness is unanimous. Nor is this a belief that the Church just absorbed from the surrounding culture; opposition to homosexuality was, like opposition to infanticide and polygamy, one of the defining features of Christian life in opposition to paganism, whose opinion of these practices was more ambiguous. Now, liberalism claims that not only is homosexuality morally unproblematic, but that disapproval of it is itself a grave moral fault–the supreme liberal sin of intolerance. Thus, liberalism now claims that one of Christianity’s clearest and strongest moral stands is itself wicked. If true, this would mean that Christianity must be a false religion. Liberals may admit that Christianity has a few correct teachings, but they are committed to eradicating the belief that it is a reliable guide to truth about morals and human nature.
That’s the new thing. Anglo-American liberalism has not admitted before that it wants to make it official policy that Christianity is a false religion. The real reasons to oppose the androgynist agenda, of which the approval of homosexual perversion is only one part, are philosophical and anthropological; they don’t rely on any particular revelation. However, it is certainly worth noting that Leftism now regards it a matter of basic justice that the religion of the majority of the American population be rejected as false.