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What if Homosexuality is Biological?

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The Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, recently penned an article that has both fellow evangelicals and homosexual activists feeling none too gay. Mohler raised the ire of the former group by stating that science may very well prove there is a biological basis for homosexuality. Then he sent the latter group into a tizzy by reasserting that homosexual behavior is sinful and that modern science may offer prenatal remedies for it.

That homosexuality may have a basis in biology is rejected by many on the right for the same reason it is embraced by homosexuals. The reasoning is that if such feelings are biologically induced, then homosexual behavior is neither sinful nor a choice. Thus, the genesis of same-sex attraction has become a locus of debate in the culture war. The truth is, however, both sides have fallen victim to a misconception, one I have long wanted to dispel.

Any biological basis for homosexuality would only be relevant insofar as preventing the condition is concerned; it has no bearing on morality. This is for a very simple reason: Biology doesn’t determine morality.

Think about it. Many of the same people who tell us homosexuality is inborn also claim that sociopaths (those without consciences and who exhibit antisocial behavior) may be born and not made, but if this is true, would that render it moral for these individuals to trample the rights of others? If one is born with homicidal instincts, would it be licit for him to commit murder? Don’t scoff, for it’s precisely the same reasoning. Either morality is dictated by biology or it isn’t.

How we answer this question has profound implications for the future, and this is why relativistic single-issue activists – who are often blinded by an all-consuming passion to promote their cause – are so dangerous. We must not embrace the fiction that biology has any bearing on morality whatsoever, not in the name of legitimizing homosexuality or in that of any other issue, no matter how great or small. Even if the issue were a noble one, to do so would constitute the setting of a dangerous philosophical precedent simply to achieve a short-term social victory.

To accept this supposition would place society’s moral compass at the mercy of nature, which, mind you, is far from inerrant. Biologically induced disorders and deformities are as staggering in number as they are curious in character. Whether it’s dwarfism, giantism, microcephaly, Huntington’s disease, spina bifida, or something else, they’re sufficiently frightening to make every parent hope and pray for a healthy child. Thus, even if biology were the sole author of a person’s feelings (which I don’t believe), why would we think nature any more perfect an architect of that realm than it is of the physical one?

It doesn’t take too fertile an imagination to grasp where such a misconception would leave us. If biology determined morality, then any tendency attributable to nature would have to be thought moral. If, as some claim, there is a hereditary basis for alcoholism, it would follow that it is moral for those so afflicted to drink like a fish. If we found that incorrigible children were in the grip of a bad-seed gene, it would follow that it is moral for them to misbehave. What if we next found a biological basis for domestic violence or pedophilia? Why, it would be a Pandora’s box, for our collective moral compass could then be no better than the worst of human biology.

A corollary of the aforementioned is that whether or not homosexuality is a choice is also irrelevant to the discussion of morality. Again, the sometimes brutal dictates of nature — and those of nurture, for that matter — saddle innumerable hapless souls with crosses to bear, some physical, some emotional, and some psychological. We never labor under the illusion that innateness translates into goodness – that is, not until a squeaky wheel finds that its agenda collapses when people don’t check their brains at the door.

I need to clarify something about this matter of choice. The wise don’t claim that people choose to have homosexual feelings, as the homosexual lobby would have you believe. It’s obvious that feelings are rarely of our own conscious design, as nature, nurture, or both determine man’s emotional constitution just as they do his physical one. Rather, choice enters the equation when the afflicted choose to act upon those feelings.

So it is with all feelings. People can experience countless urges and impulses, some positive and some negative, and insofar as their wisdom and will are sufficient, they avoid acting upon the latter. When they do act upon them with full knowledge and consent of the will, they sin.

Thus, the truth here is simple: Homosexuality may not be a choice, but homosexual behavior certainly is.

Regardless of their origin, to assert we are to be governed by feelings is not only wrong, it reduces us to animals. Beasts act on feelings, enslaved as they are by instinct, which is why we don’t accuse them of immorality. A lion may kill the cubs when taking over a pride, a female praying mantis may decapitate the male, and a coyote may eat his prey while it’s still alive, but they do not sin. They merely act in accordance with their nature, being bereft of both intellect and free will, two qualities that make man like God.

The embattled Rev. Mohler has been likened to infamous Nazi death camp doctor Josef Mengele for his support of prenatal intervention to prevent homosexuality. Harry Knox, a spokesman for the homosexual group the Human Rights Campaign, said “He’s [Mohler is] willing to play God…in spite of everything else he believes about not tinkering with the unborn.”

This is irrational and another example of ignoring a widely accepted and moral principle in the name of furthering a selfish cause. Medical intervention — be it genetic or chemical, within the womb or without — is morally licit when designed to correct abnormality. For instance, who wouldn’t support such intervention to cure sickle cell anemia or any of the problems I mentioned earlier? This isn’t playing God or the Devil, for it isn’t directed toward eugenics or the creation of monsters. It isn’t the remaking or unmaking of God’s plan, but the bringing of rebellious nature back into harmony with it.

I might also point out that, while I never shrink from labeling homosexual behavior immoral, such a belief is no prerequisite for remedial action. After all, we don’t for even a moment think microcephaly is immoral, but neither would we for even a moment hesitate to correct such a problem. By definition, homosexuality is an abnormality and there are many good reasons to cure it, among them being health, social, and personal happiness imperatives.

Of course, like other groups that seek power, the homosexual lobby wants its constituency to grow, knowing there is strength in numbers. Like anyone looking for happiness, not in virtue but in the acceptance of his vice, they want the approval of others. Like anyone seeking to justify the unjustifiable, they cannot bear the light of truth shone on that which looks best in darkness. The truth can be scary. It’s just a pity it doesn’t scare them straight.

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About Selwyn Duke

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=diana+hartman diana hartman

    Eye color is also biologically induced. Are we saying eye color is okay (read: not subject to being altered per society’s like/dislike of a particular color), so must then homicidal tendencies? Dare we equate height and how far up one can reach with acts of pedophilia?

    Part of the controversy surrounding Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is that it could well be the (biologically necessary) flipside of the world’s most relevant inventions, innovations and discoveries. To “cure” it is to potentially squelch those who might otherwise go on to do great things.

    To categorize homosexuality with the crippling ailments of sickle cell anemia, spina bifida or Huntington’s disease is to suggest at least an equal rate of distress. No one ever died of or has been hospitalized with homosexuality. Homosexuality is no more a restriction or a distortion of behavior than is heterosexuality. Sexual hang-ups and disorders (“ours” or “theirs”) are a mental health issue and are hardly exclusive to any one sexual orientation.

    Not all biologically determined traits are equal. To suggest they are, on any level, is to presuppose one’s position in the grand scheme of things as if that position were the right, normal, moral and correct position. There’s your “playing God” scenario, and since I don’t believe in God, that would be more along the lines of assuming the role of an imaginary creature in the real world.

    Keep your unicorns to yourself. The rest of us would prefer to use real horses.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    In terms of human history another human “malady” which took a mental rather than physical form was considered “Evil” by evangelicals. This mental aberation with no basis of physical birth was considered the devil invading a child at birth and was so feared, that when a child was discovered with it, it was taught to behave “normally” and never exhibit the trait in public for fear of public scorn…

    What Malady?

    Being left-handed.

    Why is it that human kind isn’t happy unless it has something to hate?

  • http://www.bob.seldo.com Bob

    I think that the liberal and fair-minded amongst us who do not think homosexuality is in any way immoral should give the “biology” question the disdain it deserves.

    If, as I do, I want to argue that homosexuality isn’t immoral anyway, then whether or not it is biologically based is irrelevant. Wearing glasses isn’t a moral issue. Does it matter if you wear them as a lifestyle choice (when you could wear contacts) or if you class it as biology because it’s related to eyesight? No. It doesn’t matter. Since it’s not a moral issue, it’s irrelevant.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Thus, the truth here is simple: Homosexuality may not be a choice, but homosexual behavior certainly is.

    Absolutely and undeniably true, Selwyn.

    But you know, to piggyback on what Jet said…left-handed behavior is also a choice. Left-handed people can choose to act right-handed, can easily acquire the motor skills that allow them to throw, catch, write, cut scissors, and hold objects with their right hand as well as any “biological” right-handed person. FAR more easily than a gay person could train themselves for heterosexual behavior.

    But why the hell should either group, left-handed or gay, have to?

    You compare homosexuality to sociopathy, sickle-cell anemia, dwarfism, giantism, microcephaly, Huntington’s disease, and spina bifida. Most of these conditions inherently pose immediate, chronic, long-term and potentially fatal consequences to the afflicted. Sociopathy is a condition that inherently poses immediate, long-term and potentially fatal consequences to others.

    Homosexuality does none of these. Jet and I compare it to left-handedness because, in terms of its inherent consequences to the person who possesses the trait and to others, it is far closer to left-handedness on the spectrum than it is to any of the conditions you mention.

    It is also, by the way, the comparison that the American Psychiatric Association uses when comparing homosexuality to heterosexuality: that homosexuality is abnormal to roughly the same degree that left-handedness is abnormal. (Both, after all, comprise approximately 10% of the population.)

    You write that “there are many good reasons to cure it, among them being health, social, and personal happiness imperatives.

    Which I don’t understand. I wasn’t aware, first of all, that homosexuality posed inherent health problems. Are homosexuals more likely to be born with webbed feet or cystic fibrosis? Are they more likely to develop Alzheimer’s or stomach cancer in later life?

    Social? Not that I want to keep harping back on this, but curing left-handedness would have enormous social benefits as well. After all, everything in American society–from cars to computer keyboards to sports to the written language itself (as any left-handed person who writes longhand can tell you)–is designed with right-handed people in mind. But no one seriously advocates curing left-handedness. I wonder why.

    Personal happiness: God, I don’t know where to start. Let’s just say that if we set out to “cure” every trait that might interfere with personal happiness, we’d pretty much exterminate the human race.

    Which leaves us back with the plain ol’ “it’s immoral.” But what is immoral about it? I’m still not clear on that. And until that can be demonstrated, I’m at a loss as to why it should be disparaged, discouraged, or “cured.” And I’m not even gay!

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Until the common man can figure out that being gay and being a pedophile, a sexual pervert, and a nymphomaniac are not forever superglued together, no progress will ever be made on this subject.

    99.99 percent of all gays are no different from straights, except for who they sleep with… and that’s what scares the homophobes the most, you can’t tell a left-handed person just by looking at them, and you can’t tell a gay person just by looking at them.

    You fear what you don’t understand
    you kill what you fear…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Mike, to answer your question, in ancient times, for a group or race of people to have any hope of survival, there was but one way…”safety in numbers”

    Taboos were passed early on that any sexual practice that didn’t produce children-and lots of them-was forbidden. That’s why multiple wives were allowed in biblical times, but the spilling and waste of male seed through masturbation and homosexuality wasn’t.

    Unfortunately those taboos have been passed down in time, even though they’re no longer needed.

    God didn’t write the bible

    Man did

  • http://www.lorimortimer.com/blog lori

    Wow. The writer thinks that homosexual sex is immoral but that eugenics is just dandy.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirsig%27s_metaphysics_of_quality DNeuman

    Wow, I’m totally impressed with all of the above comments. They made their points much better than I could.

    One thing that puzzled me at first was Duke’s all or nothing approach to morality. Then I realized that he probably thinks that if morality isn’t written down in a sacred book, then there can’t be any morality at all. Which, I suppose, why fundamentalists distrust atheists.

    But I do have a source for my ethics that I think can be considered universal, and brushed on in some of the above comments. And that is to consider the harm from any action or policy. I would also give harm to society more precedence than harm to the individual. Many philosophers have come up with this, but I first learned about it from Robert Pirsig in his book Lila: An Inquiry into Morals. In it he describes his “Metaphysics of Quality

    So sociopathic behaviour would be unethical/immoral. But homosexuality has no more impact on society than left-handedness (maybe even less if you are a scissor stocker) and there is no reason to prevent or remove it, regardless of how one arrives at it. Marriage of any kind is a benefit to society, so we should not restrict whom one is allowed to marry.

    Removing society from the tyranny of an uneditable book, we can decide the morality/ethics of any variety of situations completely unpredicted by past generations.

    One could argue that this idea forces people to subjugate themselves for the greater good. I think only to some extent, since the morale of the individual is also an important factor in the health of the society.

  • J.J. Hunsecker

    you appear to have “fallen victim to a misconception” that you know what you are talking about. You present no science, have none in your background, but think your beliefs are enough justification.

    Is your knowledge of someone choosing not to participate in homosexual acts first hand? It would explain a lot.

  • Nick in Cleveland

    “Personal attacks are not allowed. Please read our comment policy.”

    Funny that those of us who comment are subject to those terms, but the author thinks that drugs, invasive pre-natal surgery and denial of one’s God-given nature don’t fall under “personal attacks.”

  • Rodrigo

    I would just like to add something the the being left handed- being gay thread. Imagine it eugenics had been developed in the time when lefties were still considered abominations, surely you would also agree on the “correction” of such “abnormality” and equate it to all the disorders that you mention.

    We should not decide such matters on the opinion of a book so old we can only imagine the original intent of the writers. And even if we were sure of their intent it would be irrelevant, for we live in a society with freedom of(and from) religion.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    As a non-believer, I completely disagree/disregard the author’s belief that homosexuality is sinful. However, I do very much appreciate his critical distinction between biology and morality.

    Moreover, I’d like to challenge some of the good liberals who seem eager to attack “eugenics.” Being anti-eugenics might make sense for a pro-life absolutist who doesn’t believe we should be tinkering with God’s work.

    On the other hand, good liberal pro-choice advocates would seem to be obligated to also support a woman’s choices to in vitro treatments of whatever kind the pregnant woman wishes. Her body, her choice – right?

    If you’re going to lose your mind over anybody even suggesting that it might be morally questionable to absolutely KILL a fetus, then I don’t see how you’d be able to object to any possible thing that the woman might choose to do that she thinks would actually HELP it.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    but Al..where does one draw the line?

    genetic diseases, eye color, handedness…being gay?

    a good case could be made to prevent hereditary diseases…but other factors, which could influence the new Person being born without their consent?

    definitely a dialog that needs to be had, to discuss the overall ethics inherent in the situation for all concerned, the parents, the doctors..and especially the child

  • Sister Ray

    To me, the eugenics issue applies to the ethics of abortion. Will society put pressure on women to abort if the fetus has Down Syndrome or other disability? The founder of Planned Parenthood thought feeble-minded people should be prevented from reproducing.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    So…Let me see if I’ve got this “Straight”, it’s immoral to interfere with an unborn fetus by aborting it as it is a life created by god and should not be altered or interfered with. Anything that the child is, is “God’s will”…

    … but it’s okay to alter it genitically if it’s gay?

    uh huh…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    the Planned Patrenthood/abortion thing is a dying dinosaur…with the legalization of the “morning after” pill..this issue disappears

    Jet hits closer to the bone, and as i said, this is a discussion that NEEDS to be had, at the highest levels…to begin the outlining of Ethics in 21st century medicine

  • Randy in Manitoba, Canada

    A baby’s development journey from conception to birth is at risk of any of one or more of an infinite number of physical and mental abnormalities.

    If a baby is afflicted only with the abnormality of being gay, the baby is technically so close to being biologically normal when compared to the potential abnormality spectrum that it is tantamount to being a normal baby.

    The time, effort and resources to attempt to rectify this insignificant abnormality of being gay verses being straight compared to the many other abnormalities that afflict babies and do cause a true financial and social burden on society are a gross mismanagement of the priorities of society.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    the Planned Patrenthood/abortion thing is a dying dinosaur…with the legalization of the “morning after” pill..this issue disappears

    Well, with the over-the-counter-ization of the “morning after” pill, anyway. There’s still activist pharmacists on the “legal, but prescribed” side.

  • DNeuman

    Sister Ray #14:
    I believe a woman can get genetic tests down to see if the baby has things like Down Syndrome. She can decide what she wants to do with that information. But yeah, I wouldn’t want the government making that decision for me.

    Jaz #13:
    Parents already make a lot of choices for their children:
    * what school they go to
    * what tv they watch
    * do they buy educational toys or not
    * do they take an interest in their education
    * how they express their love (or don’t)

    These things have a profound effect on the child’s later life. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to hear from the child:
    * why didn’t you marry someone smarter so I’d get better grades?
    * I hate my eyes. Why didn’t you marry someone with blue eyes?
    * Why did you marry someone who is bald? Don’t you know what that is going to do to me?

    Of course I’ve never heard of any kid saying that. Everyone seems to know that they get what they get. Or maybe it takes a while before they realize why they get what they get, and by then they are resigned to it.

    While it makes me queezy right now, I suspect that some day genetic alteration of the fetus will be the norm. What parent wouldn’t want to give their child every advantage possible?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    true enough, Michael..but they lose the legal battle every time…they need state licenses, and refusing service means their license gets revoked

    self correcting, and it will take a while for the “litmus test” of abortion policy to fade away

    but it will

  • Brandon Riley, Ph.D.

    “By definition, homosexuality is an abnormality and there are many good reasons to cure it, among them being health, social, and personal happiness imperatives.”

    Wow. Where to begin?

    Let’s start with your use of the term “abnormality,” which I have to assume confounds normality with majority. Because most people are heterosexual, it follows from this simple calculus that homosexuals are not normal. Indeed, it would imply that any characteristic not shared by the majority (such as being left-handed or having blue eyes) should be considered a deviation.

    You certainly aren’t using “abnormal” in any meaningful clinical or health-related sense, because in the mental health paradigm, abnormality is defined by the presence of a harmful dysfunction. Decades of psychological research have demonstrated that homosexuality is not inherently pathological. To the contrary, the negative effects you mentioned on “health, social, and personal happiness imperatives” are understood to have their origin in cultural heterosexism and internalized homophobia. In other words, we understand them to be common psychological consequences of oppression.

    Homosexuality is quite distinct from the harmful dysfunctions of sociopathy, pedophilia, or microcephaly. So distinct, in fact, that it is absurd to juxtapose them. The first two involve behaviors in which other people are victimized, and the last is associated with mental retardation and other neurological disabilities.
    Speaking as a gay man in a helping profession that required years of advanced education and training in psychology, I find your comparisons rather unjust.

    All major medical and mental health organizations – the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, etc. – have affirmed for decades that homosexuality is not a disorder and, by definition, cannot be “cured.”

    Mohler is not advocating anything that could be medically construed as treatment or a cure. What he’s proposing is the elimination of a biological predisposition to same-sex attraction, a human phenotype he happens to find distasteful. As Wane Besen keenly observed, what Mohler envisions is nothing less than a “final solution” to gay and lesbian persons.

    The only refuge homophobes like Mohler have left is religion, which they handily trot out to justify their condemnation of homosexuality. But I find it interesting that they should cling so tenaciously to certain passages while discarding others. And by “interesting” I mean hypocritical, because their selective adherence is not motivated by any rational or coherent morality. As Leonard Pitts Jr. recently remarked:

    “Bigots often wrap their objections up in claims of fundamental right and wrong where sexual orientation is concerned: I have a moral objection to homosexuality, they will say loftily.
    I’ve always thought ‘visceral’ would be a better and truer adjective. As in, a gut-level objection to people of the same sex engaging in physical or emotional intimacy.”

    At least gay and lesbian people can make the argument that their choices are motivated by love. Mohler and his supporters cannot truthfully say the same.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    to the Doctor in #21 above

    /thunderous golfclap

    sheer poetry of Reason…

    nuff said

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Brother Jaz sez: “but Al..where does one draw the line?”

    I don’t know. I’m just extremely wary of the government getting to draw such lines.

    Jet [comment 15]- No, I’m not saying that. Depending on circumstances, I will tend to personally regard abortion as a bad sin – but even there I’m not inclined to grant government authority over such things.

    As to in vitro anti-gay treatments, that’s way too purely theoretical to really answer. I would be pretty strongly predisposed to frown on such a thing, even if it were safe and effective. So I would probably be against it personally, but even more reticent than with abortion to grant government authority in such matters over the mother.

  • Akeela

    Being born gay is every bit as sinful as being born black, or blonde.
    I always thought that homosexuality was God’s (and/or Nature’s) plan to counter our excessive enthusiasm for the “be fruitful and multiply” advice that we got a while back.

  • nugget

    Al Barger quoted author’s belief that homosexuality is sinful.

    The author never said that. Duke said that he/she believed that the behavior was sinful.

    This article was excellent and I havn’t read a decent rebuttal.

  • nugget

    Brandon Riley you miss the point entirely. Quit thinking with your emotions.

    You quote Leonrad Pitts Jr., “As in, a gut-level objection to people of the same sex engaging in physical or emotional intimacy.”

    no one said physical OR emotional. I think Selwyn refers to the physical manifestation of homosexuality and nothing else. The behavior, the action, the anal sex to be blunt.

    Question Dr: do you think that homosexuality is NOT a product of our biology? After all, that would be very un-doctor of you.

    The author’s primary point seeks to clear the misconception that biology is a viable moral excuse one can use in life. It’s a lesson in logic, not a lesson in the differences of peadophilia and homosexuality.

    Homosexuality behavior is something that could and should be avoided somehow. This may not mean clinical treatment or cures. (because it’s not a disorder, right?)

    Saying “I was born that way” doesn’t give anyone a free moral pass.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Homosexuality behavior is something that could and should be avoided somehow.

    Why?

  • B. Riley, Ph.D.

    Well, Nugget, I think homosexual behavior is a combined product of a) biology (a predisposition toward same-sex attraction), b) free will (to acknowledge and act on these feelings), and c) mature social interest (the need to love and be loved).

    To be blunt, you seem to think we’re all about anal sex. (Why is it always about the sex with you people?) You do realize that we have feelings too, right?

    You might be surprised to learn that most gay men, in fact, prefer oral sex and mutual masturbation to anal sex. Or that some straight people even engage in anal antics now and then! (Heavens, what will the neighbors think??)

    You are correct that biology is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for morality. But Duke’s piece goes far beyond that; his illustrations and characterizations of homosexuality as “disordered” are based on flawed evidence, while his assertion that homosexuality is “unjustifiable” lacks any rational basis whatsoever.

    I do not have to prove that homosexuality is moral; rather, you need to prove that it is not. What harm have I done? Please demonstrate exactly how and why I am guilty of some wrongdoing, Mr. Prosecutor.

    And no, “Because the old Jewish ghost in the sky says so” doesn’t count. Let’s be grown-ups.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    excuse me…but how exactly is homosexual behavior..”immoral”??

    if you want to go Leviticus on us..i do have some salient points on that, but if we are speaking in the pure secular sense…how is someone being gay, or having a gay relationship immoral?

    if we are speaking only about consenting adults…then who is harmed by them?

    a clip about the fallacy of the Leviticus argument.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Dr. Riley says, “And no, ‘because the old Jewish ghost in the sky says so’ doesn’t count. Let’s be grown-ups.”

    Gonzo Jaz posits the opinions of the writers of West Wing as received wisdom [we’ve fallen that low that this is where Biblical understanding comes from?]

    I’ve said this before and will say this again. In my opinion, Leviticus 18 does not apply to people who are NOT Children of Israel. The Seven Commandments of Noah do. Additionally, and more importantly, because Leviticus 20 describes homosexual behavior as a capital crime, there MUST BE AT LEAST TWO WITNESSES to get a conviction of death.

    Therefore, In my opinion, the prohibitions in Leviticus, as they are written were and are designed to keep the Children of Israel from engaging in the temple prostitution commonly associated with idol worship. European and American culture has that same kind of idol worship today – only it is called pornography – and it infests your culture like cockroaches in a garbage pail.

    For non-Jews and people who are not children of Israel to attempt to follow our laws is really a waste of time. They are not written for you at all. They are written for us, and are designed to keep us holy on our own land. See Leviticus 18:25.

    So, for you to reject “the old Jewish ghost in the sky,” doctor, and then talk about how adult you are, only shows how childish you really are.

    Try learning what it is that you spit at so vehemently. There may be a surprise or two in store for you in the end.

    Enough said.

  • J.J. Hunsecker

    “I think Selwyn refers to the physical manifestation of homosexuality and nothing else. The behavior, the action, the anal sex to be blunt.”

    Hey genius, lesbians don’t perform anal sex. You are apparently too immature to take part in this conversation to be blunt.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    Ruvy…what I was trying to point out was that those attempting to utilize OT scripture for trying to say such behavior is “immoral” in the context of Today , was fallacious…i used that clip because it demonstrates some of why such is the case.

    that the text you cite refers to this as a “capital crime” clearly demonstrates what i’m trying to point out…and the clip mentions quite a few other “capital crimes” according to the same texts…and shows how strange these things appear in today’s context…

    i like the clip especially because it gives chapter and verse for many of the examples

  • Dr. Riley

    Dear Ruvy,

    Thank you for expressing your opinions on Leviticus.

    However, the reason these archaic laws have no relevance to me is not because I’m a gentile, but because I’m not superstitious.

  • nugget

    Why?

    In my life experience, I have never met one gay person that could legitimize monogomous gay relationships for me. I have met, befriended, confided in, and worked with lots of gay men. I can’t speak about lesbians because I don’t know any personally. I do like the indigo girls though.

    Based on the men that I’ve known and been friends with (over 10 at least) they’ve ALL been very confused as far as relationships go. They’ve ALL been extremely preoccupied with sex. I know what you’re thinking. How does this make them different from straight men? Well, sex for a straight man is certainly a preoccupation, but this is derived from the fact that it’s much much more difficult for straight men to GET sex. Hell I wish I was gay sometimes. Based on stories of my gay friends, I could run to the local gay clubs and have no problem getting BJ or sex within the hour.

    MEN are sexual beasts. Men loving men is a more sexual relationship than it is emotional. ALL of the gay men I’ve known ALSO had sexual tendencies to be attracted to women too. A few of them liked my fiance (at the time), and were sexually attracted to her. She’s very good looking and has a great personality. Any guy would be an idiot not to be attracted to her.

    Ironically, I saw her as a true litmus test for a gay. That is, was he truly JUST attracted to men? Or was there some strange attraction to women too? Lurking there in the back of their minds? Well in most cases, at that time, my wife (now) and I agreed that they were bisexual. Honestly, those men didn’t know what they wanted. They were gung ho openmindedness and gay rights, but they weren’t truly looking for monogomous gay relationships.

    As far as being your everyday, honest, relationship-seeking gay man just looking for love, I’ll believe it when I see it. I havn’t seen the abberation. I havn’t seen the anomoly. I havn’t even seen CLOSE to the picture you bloggers (or Brokeback Mountain) paints of good quality moral gay men. Where are they? Where are you good gay men that want 30 year relationships and loving kids?

    If you exist then you are a .05% minority. I’ve seen what’s in this world.

    Let me add, EVEN in Brokeback Mountain the romance was overshadowed by their lust. There was hardly ANY wooing on either side. They didn’t even kiss. Do any of you recall watching a great romance movie where penetration preceded the kiss? think about it.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    Nugget, you’re painting with an EXTREMELY broad brush, and the paint’s not holding up very well.

    For example, you say,

    Where are you good gay men that want 30 year relationships and loving kids?

    If you exist then you are a .05% minority.

    Which, unless you can actually provide fact-based statistics that back up that claim, is ridiculous. You’re basing it on your very narrow experience with gay men (and one fictional motion picture).

    There are 15 million gay men in this country. If you have been close (close enough to know the very intimate details of their sexual history and/or desires, as you describe here) to 30 of those, you are working on a sample size of two one-millionths of one percent of gay men in America. And you can’t possibly make any meaningful or realistic judgement about ALL or MOST gay men based on that.
    (And by the way, I can introduce you to at least five long-term, monogamous gay male couples just within two miles from my house. But that’s hardly a representative sample either.)

    BUT, let’s say you’re absolutely right. Completely and totally accurate about gay men’s sexual dispositions in this country. Let’s say the vast majority of gay men consider monogamy a joke; sex is their all-consuming interest; and all of them harbor attractions to women anyway.

    So what?

    None of that is any reason to try to get rid of, or advocate the avoiding of, homosexual behavior. If the behavior is between consenting adults, and all of them know exactly the homosexual behavior in which they’re engaging, and not a single person not engaging in the homosexual behavior is in a clear and present danger from the other people’s homosexual behavior…then their behavior is their own to determine, and neither you nor I nor anybody has any right to say that it should be curbed, avoided, or even slightly restrained.

    And again…that’s assuming your (highly opinionated, neither documented nor thoroughly examined) statements about MOST gay male sexual dispositions, are correct.

    In other words, even if you can prove that the (highly opinionated, undocumented, poorly investigated) things you said about gay men are right, you haven’t given a very good answer to my question. So I’m going to have to return to it.

    Homosexuality behavior is something that could and should be avoided somehow.

    Why?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Nugget sez-There was hardly ANY wooing on either side. They didn’t even kiss.

    You obviously didn’t catch my article on how Brokeback Mountain took the best Kiss of all time Award?

  • J.J. Hunsecker

    “In my life experience, I have never met one gay person that could legitimize monogomous gay relationships for me.”

    That’s because they don’t have to. What an ego you have. You knew 10 people and they define a whole group? I am awed by your ignorance.

    “Any guy would be an idiot not to be attracted to her.”

    If she married you, that’s one big knock against her.

    I’m not sure what your preoccupation with Brokeback is about, but just because it’s in a movie, doesn’t make it real. Or do you also believe animals can talk because you saw it in a movie?

  • J.J. Hunsecker

    MJW, great response. game, set, match.

  • sr

    Dr. Riley you will receive no respect from me. Ruvy, don’t give the dude the time of day. Jet my amigo, you know I respect you, however your comment #6, God didn’t write the Bible, Man did. You are partly correct. Man did with the guidance of God. I believe you know that also. Im just a simple man crying in the wilderness eating locusts. It’s my destiny. I stir-fry the locusts in my wok with lemon butter.

  • nugget

    Michael J. West:

    I like how my personal experiences have to reach some national statistical standard for you to understand. If you were being real you’d say, “yes, I understand that misconception because of A, B, and C, but you might be mistaken because…”

    Right. Don’t talk to me about sample sizes and limited experience. How well do you know those neighbors of yours?

    then their behavior is their own to determine, and neither you nor I nor anybody has any right to say that it should be curbed, avoided, or even slightly restrained.

    Am i your straw man or phantom now? You think you have me pegged?

    I don’t want to control gays, I’d like to see gays being honest about sexuality and relationships. So far, in the public and private sector, I have yet to see it.

    Besides, say, the Indigo Girls and that series, “Angels in America”, (and even those examples teeter on being kitsch and closed to straight men that don’t PANDER), I’d say every example, public and private I’ve seen that represented is anything BUT convincing. Even the gays I’ve met in church are noticeably self-righteous and obnoxious about their sexual preferences. They might not be loud about it, but let’s just say they are less than humble. Humility is not a word I associate with a gay man.

    I’m not asking to be won over, I think homosexuality is wrong. Ask any 5 year-old what they think about two men in love and they’d have the most honest reaction you could ever dig for. It’s the same as asking a 5 year-old what they think about drinking, smoking, fighting. They don’t like it. They don’t want to be around it. Something about it is adulterated and wrong and weird.

    I trust those instincts of a small child, Michael. You may say that it’s a conditioned response to societal norms. Something the kids are taught to believe and understand. I don’t believe that. Kids know. Kids are immediately sensitive to perversion and such. That’s why.

    I’ll live my life not saying a word to any gay man’s face about my reservations of their lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think that it’s wrong. I do NOT need to explain why it’s wrong. Just like I don’t need to explain why anything else is wrong. It just IS. Simple enough for you?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Nugget prejudices can only be taught, which is exactly what you did to your five-year-old.

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

    Can your kid also point out hetrosexual child molesters?

    Can your physic kid also point out jews or left-handed people? Our kid sounds like the perfect candidate for airport security screener looking for terrorists.

    Your child believes those things about gays and smoking and drinking because you yourself taught your child to have that attitude.

    I pity you and your child, and your so-called gay friends.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    By the way who the hell have you the almighty right to judge what’s right and wrong.. and only by your standards?

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Ask any 5 year-old what they think about two men in love and they’d have the most honest reaction you could ever dig for. It’s the same as asking a 5 year-old what they think about drinking, smoking, fighting. They don’t like it. They don’t want to be around it. Something about it is adulterated and wrong and weird.

    Sorry, Nugget. That’s just a load of crap. I have a kid who’s almost 5 and she has several schoolmates who have same-sex parents. She doesn’t think it’s weird or creepy, it’s just a fact of life for her, because we’ve never told her to think otherwise.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx jaz

    still no answer as to why this is counted as something “immoral”…or even the simpler Ethical question of who does it harm to have this behavior between consenting adults

    until someone can point that out, and substantiate the claim…then it ain’t anybodies business but those involved…and it’s hypocritical to call anyone “immoral” without showing your Proof

  • Dr. Riley

    “I’ll live my life not saying a word to any gay man’s face about my reservations of their lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think that it’s wrong. I do NOT need to explain why it’s wrong. Just like I don’t need to explain why anything else is wrong. It just IS. Simple enough for you?”

    Very simple, Nugget.

    And also very unsophisticated. This is classic “black and white” thinking. Is your world really so devoid of color?

    You cannot identify any real harms from being gay or lesbian. You cannot identify any rational basis for your heterosexist position. You can only stereotype based on your limited experience (as viewed through your biased lens) and what you’ve seen in a movie.

    What it seems to boil down to is, “I just don’t like homosexuality. Therefore, it is wrong.”

    Not “wrong for me personally,” but “Wrong. Period.” There can be no debate on this because there is no real thinking involved. Your mind is made up, and not even the most compelling evidence or argument could sway you from your overvalued beliefs.

    I have already quoted Leonard Pitts on this. Your objection is a visceral one, not a moral one. It is a purely gut-level reaction. When you say, “I do NOT need to explain why it is wrong,” you’re really saying, “I CAN’T explain why it is wrong.”

    This is exactly what I would expect. Hate is often very difficult to justify.

    (And you accused me of emotive reasoning! How ironic.)

    As for that line about how you “Trust the instincts of a small child” – come on. Spare us this romantic drivel. Children are not born knowing right and wrong, and it is well known that children absorb their beliefs, values, and prejudices from the world around them.

    Oh, wait. You don’t believe that, either.

    How convenient that you can just override facts with what you want to be true. Clearly, your magical thinking grants you the advantage here.

    I concede. Not because your points have any semblance of validity, but because I know when I’m wasting my time.

  • J.J. Hunsecker

    “Ask any 5 year-old what they think about two men in love”

    Yeah, because a five-year-old understands the concept of love. Ask a young male toddler if he has a girlfriend and he’ll say that’s gross, so according to your way of “thinking,” no couples should form. You better hope that five-year-old is okay with intercourse, or there goes the species, although I wonder if that would be a bad thing. A five-year-old would rather stay at home watching cartoons than going to church, so why are you bothering to go?

    “I trust those instincts of a small child,”

    you mean, just like a small child whose instincts think it’s okay to take candy from a stranger, to touch a hot stove, to run into a busy street, to drink liquids under the sink, to put everything they pick up into their mouth?

    I do know this: I would certainly trust the thinking of a five-year-old over yours after this sad display.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Selwyn Duke is just a faithist shill and entirely lacking in the ability to think. This article is appalling.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Wow, Nugget – Jet, Dave, Jaz, Dr. Riley, and J.J. have already done an excellent job of refuting your argument. But I’ll take a whack at it anyway.

    I do NOT need to explain why it’s wrong. Just like I don’t need to explain why anything else is wrong. It just IS. Simple enough for you?

    If by “simple enough,” you mean ludicrously, inanely, impossibly oversimple, then yes. It’s simple enough.

    For starters, what makes you think you don’t need to explain why anything else is wrong? Of course you do! At least, if you want to have a leg to stand on when you declare something to be wrong.

    Murder, for example, is wrong because it undeservedly takes the life of a human being who, by virtue of his/her very existence, enjoys the right to exist. Rape is wrong because it violates the safety, privacy, and sanctity of another person’s mind and body without that person giving consent. Stealing is wrong because it violates another person’s property, that which they (or someone who loves them) acquired using their own legitimately earned money.

    Nothing, absolutely nothing, is wrong because “it just IS.”

    Ask any 5 year-old what they think about two men in love and they’d have the most honest reaction you could ever dig for. It’s the same as asking a 5 year-old what they think about drinking, smoking, fighting. They don’t like it. They don’t want to be around it. Something about it is adulterated and wrong and weird. I trust those instincts of a small child, Michael.

    My brother was 5 years old when he asked my mother where babies came from. She told him. He threw up. But I presume that you trust those instincts of a small child.

    I don’t say that a 5-year-old gives “a conditioned response to societal norms.” That would be ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as trusting the instincts of a 5-year-old, whose instincts are actually to distrust anything that is different from their own immediate experiences. Just as it’s a 5-year-old’s instinct to recoil in horror from a stalk of broccoli on their plate, even though they’ve never tasted broccoli before: it looks weird, compared to the things they like to eat, therefore it’s gross.

    Am i your straw man or phantom now? You think you have me pegged?

    Well, actually, what you said earlier was, “Homosexuality behavior is something that could and should be avoided somehow.” I repeated that wording back to you and you say, “You think you have me pegged?” Well, yeah, I do. You said that homosexual behavior is something that should be avoided, so I have you pegged as a person who thinks that homosexual behavior is something that should be avoided.

    I don’t want to control gays, I’d like to see gays being honest about sexuality and relationships.

    As I indicated, that’s not what you said before. You said that homosexual behavior is something that could and should be avoided. It’s right up there in your comment 26.

    So how is my holding you to that statement, making you into a straw man?

    Don’t talk to me about sample sizes and limited experience. How well do you know those neighbors of yours?

    Funny, it seems to me that in my comment (#35), when I talked about my gay neighbors, I said “But that’s hardly a representative sample either.” In other words, I admitted that my experience with gay men can’t possibly be used to represent the thoughts or actions of the majority of gay men. Yours can’t either, but the difference is that I’ve admitted that and you haven’t.

    But if you’d really like to rest your laurels on the knee-jerk idea that “homosexuality is wrong because it just IS,” rather than using your brain and coming up with a reason that actually makes sense and can be applied, you’re perfectly welcome to do so.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    I had a long response typed in, then I hit “Publish” and it disappeared. Which is bullshit, but ain’t much I can do.

    Of course, Jet, Dave, Jaz, Dr. Riley, and J.J. had already done a perfectly fine job refuting your arguments, Nugget, and all I would have done is supplemented them.

    I do want to point out that you said, in your comment 26, “Homosexuality behavior is something that could and should be avoided somehow.” In #35, I said, “neither you nor I nor anybody has any right to say that it should be curbed, avoided, or even slightly restrained.” To which you replied in #40, “Am i your straw man or phantom now? You think you have me pegged?

    Well, yes. I think I have you pegged as someone who thinks that homosexual behavior should be avoided. Because you said you did.

    As for the rest? Well, hey. Since you’ve decided that homosexual behavior is wrong because “it just IS,” and that for some reason you need no justification that either (a) makes sense or (b) can be applied in any practical way, I’ll let you off the hook, Nugget. Using your brain is terribly overrated.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Oh, look! NOW my comment suddenly appears. Disregard Comment 49, then. It’s just a Cliff’s Notes version of #48.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Michael: the slightly moody spam tool briefly retained your comment for reasons beyond comprehension.

  • MAOZ

    Ruvy, re your discussion at #30, I want to point out that in the Mishne Torah Ramba”m states explicitly that sexual relations with another male are forbidden to a ben No’ach (as well as relations with his mother, his father’s wife [even if she’s not his mother], an animal, etc….). See Hilchot Issurei Bi’ah 14:10 or Hilchot Melachim U’Milchamoteihem 9:5.

  • http://shagya-blog.blogspot.com/ Werner

    Homosexuality is a given of evolutionary biology in the same fashion as left handedness. In the former case there is a slight advantage in having a small part of an “inclusive group” who serve as group of extra “brothers”. The comparison with sociopathy is weak since many things have a basis in biology, from eye colour to intellectual abilities. About all we can say is that this form of genuine evil can not be “cured”. Isolation is about the only answer.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    In the era the bible was written it was imperative that people reproduced as many children as possible in order to make sure their race or ethnicity endured, otherwise they’d be overrun by their enemies.

    Thus sexual activity natural or not was outlawed such as masturbation and homosexuality.

    Safety in numbers.

    That no longer holds true, though people keep holding onto desparately to an out dated text written centuries ago.

    The same as only permitting your children to study from a 2000 year old math book, or medical text.

    Time to grow up into the 21st century kids… the only reason left to hold onto the Bible is as an excuse to hate people.

    There are plenty of contemporary texts that teach “morality” a lot better and are better informed.

    herasy… I know

    But of course that’s only my opinion…
    Jet