Apparently the phallus stands tall in Steve Hickey's imagination. Hickey, the South Dakota state legislator and pastor of a church in Sioux Falls, authored a disingenuously gratuitous Facebook post a couple of days ago decrying the Sioux Falls Argus Leader's refusal to print this letter to the editor, which is aimed at "board-certified" doctors in South Dakota, asking them to weigh in on the matter of the safety of men having anal intercourse. Hickey's letter refers to the anal canal as a "one way garbage truck." Hickey's "concern" about the safety of the practice is apparently limited to male participants, as he claims, because homosexuality is about to become a "front page topic" in South Dakota "for the next few years." Apparently, men and women engaging in the practice, having done so for eons (Shakespeare makes a sly reference to it in Romeo and Juliet, when Mercutio muses about it in Act 1, Scene 2) with no particularly personal or epidemic consequences, is either ignored or overlooked by Hickey. Anal penetration is a long-standing sexual activity that probably doesn't merit any more than the usual cautionary practices that should be applied to all sexual encounters. I'll bet Reverend Hickey knows that even the missionary position has its risks.
So why does Hickey single out males engaging in the activity for public scrutiny by board-certified South Dakota doctors? I doubt that he can answer that question. His preoccupation with homosexuality has been evident in his legislative record, having, for example, just failed as a prime sponsor of a bill, that would excuse shop keepers from serving homosexual patrons if it offended their religious beliefs. But what up until now has seemed like mere preoccupation has flowered into an obsession, considering his poorly thought out insistence on limiting his concerns about anal penetration to men, completely ignoring its long history as an activity engaged in by heterosexual couples. Slapping back at Hickey's implication that homosexual activity "is not good for the body or mind," is board-certified physician Kevin Weiland of Rapid City, whose televised rebuttal unequivocally rejects the notion that there is something inherently unhealthy about homosexual sex.
Surprising to me about all this is that the Reverend Hickey seems to have lost touch with some pretty clear admonitions in the Holy Bible against meddling in other people's affairs. For starters, there's Proverbs 26:17--"Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own." Then Peter weighs in: I Peter 4:15--"But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters." Consider that Peter puts meddling in other people's affairs right down there with the transgressions of a "murderer, thief, or evildoer." Get that Reverend Hickey and like-minded supporters? Though I think I've made my point, I'll throw in one more. Here's Paul in his first letter to the Thesallonians 4:11--". . . study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you."
Going forth and spreading the word is a Christian imperative that I've long admired and supported. I believe Reverend Hickey and his congregation are committed to living Christian lives and sharing the blessings of their spiritual bounty with others. It's self-evident that these folks regard homosexuality as a sin. Its emergence as a socially acceptable and legally protected activity is abhorrent to them. Hickey acknowledges as much by noting in his Facebook diatribe that "our religious community [is] leading on these moral issues." And therein lies the breakdown of the process. "Spreading the word" is one thing, "forcing it on others" is another. Life in a Christian society is all about individuals making choices, not having their choices made for them, as Hickey's version of an oppresive Christian culture would do. Lot's wife didn't have to look back at Sodom. She chose to--and suffered the consequences. That's the Bible's ultimate parable about choice, and it is lost on Hickey and his followers. Why can't they see that?