Currently I’m doing some research into the roots of the contemporary movement that defines homosexuality and same-sex affection as intrinsically and fundamentally wrong, and which has led to the American difficulties in approving same-sex marriage. One of the earliest I was able to reference has been “Our Dance has Turned to Death”, by Carl W. Wilson, a religious apologetic tool published in 1979 which has become the root of a whole generation of propaganda. It is interesting to look back on a book written decades ago, before I had even graduated from High School, seeing how it was used over the years. I’m sure the author is very happy: if anything it went beyond its original intent. Yet in spite of that, we can look back on it now and see how deeply discrimination and deceit are written into the fabric of the what the author calls logical thought: which is really nothing more than his desperate desire to prop up his failing legalism with Pharisaical arguments. His desire, similar in fact to many religious leaders of his generation, was and is to see people voluntarily submit to economic and religious subjugation, in the name of the Bible and the church. This is the complete reversal of what the Bible was intended to be, as I hope to illustrate.
To find this book, my local library had to search far and wide: they finally found it at the “Tyndale University College and Seminary”, a school that I once considered attending: a different time and a different perspective. Back then, it would have been known as the “Ontario Bible College” (OBC), and was rather similar to “Moody Bible Institute”, which I attended and graduated with a degree in Pastoral Studies. OBC went bankrupt in the 1990s and was restructured to become the school from which I “borrowed” this book. (I wrote “borrowed” in quotes because this is the first time I’ve had to pay for a book acquired through the library. I had thought they might have had to ship it a significant distance, so I didn’t mind: but it amounts to about 1.25 per kilometre to get this book. That would almost pay for a taxi in Toronto.) So now I have a very set period of time that I can write this review, and the subject will be my next series of posts.
Mr Wilson claims to be a “Christian sociologist”, but his degrees (which are touted on many websites as simply “three degrees”) are in chemistry, biology and theology (Alibris.com). His educational achievements were mostly within the Christian subculture: which is to be respected but must be taken in context. His words and hate have spread much further; there are intellectual children and grandchildren who are his legacy, now in power and similarly trying to get people to submit their well-being to the increasing strength of their religion. From Mike Huckabee to George W. Bush to Steven Harper, these men would have all learned their roles from a philosophy that was borne from the likes of this book. My teaching at Moody would have started only a few years after this book was published, so I similarly matured in the same kind of philosophical mix. Indeed, I’m very familiar with most of his arguments. I rejected most of it because it did not work, although there are enough elements of truth make one have to think. The men listed above have dropped parts of it less because they don’t work than that they are not popular. But they all sprout from the same seed: a seed that comes from Biblical teaching in name only, and bears very little of its fruit.
That being said, I will write comments and quotes on a chapter by chapter basis. Most of the reviews that I could find came from a conservative, Bible-thumping perspective (the kind who don’t care about logic as long as there is a verse to back it up); they did not really quote much of the book, but simply recommended it. (Interestingly, I did not find a single review of this book by a woman; I assume that most of those who followed the teaching of the book and who were allowed… encouraged… to read it by their husbands did not consider themselves able to write a review that might be read by a man.) I cannot consider it anywhere near a positive book; I would recommend that no-one read this book and I’m glad it was so difficult to find (in my “Goodreads” page, for instance, it is listed on my shelf “to burn”). But I will proceed to explain exactly how the logic of the book fails, from both a modern and from a Biblical perspective.