They knew God. That’s the hardest thing to stomach. The people of Romans 1 who were calling sin as something righteous, knew God.
“For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitutde. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened” (v. 21)
“And because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a worthless mind to do what is morally wrong” (v. 28).
“Although they knew full well God’s just sentence, that those who practice such things deserve to die–they not only do them, but even applaud others who practice them” (v. 32)
And if they didn’t “know” God as it seems apparent that they did, men are without excuse (v. 20).
The bottom line is that the people who knew God decided that they preferred their lustful behavior, perhaps even trying to “baptize” it as Ok and righteous. And they not only practice such things but lauded others who do the same.
If this is not a snapshot of life today, I don’t know what is. In Genesis 3 where satan deceives and tempts Adam and Eve with the seduction that ‘they would be as God, knowing good and evil.’ And that’s what I think is happening today. People put themselves in the place of God believing that they know good and evil rather than surrendering themselves to God.
We all must be careful not to follow suit. Every sin in anyone’s life, including our own, is justified for some reason. But if not careful, we can harden our hearts against the truth until our thinking becomes “nonsense.”