On another blog, I have been discussing the biblical perspective on homosexuality, and have gotten some good questions. Here are my answers, familiar to all who read here regularly. But they bear repeating.
1. Why did our lord God create gay and straight people?
As a caveat to those who don’t see the Bible as authoritative, I am not asking you to believe it because the bible says so. I am rather appealing to reason, using scripture as a guide. If you don’t buy the assumptions or logic, fine with me. But I am NOT appealing to religious authority.
Biblically speaking (i.e. I am trying to relate what I believe the scriptures teach, not just my opinion), the short answer is that God created us male and female, and God created mankind with purity, but mankind corrupted himself:
But I did find this: God created people to be virtuous, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path.
So even if people are BORN with abnormalities, it is not that God created them that way, but that sin and sickness and death have damaged the gene pool. Therefore, not every condition, including homosexuality, can be justified even if it has a genetic component. Just because someone has a tendency towards aggression or promiscuity doesn’t justify such behaviors as “normal” or intended by God.
I would further argue that God did not make homosexuals, but considering that homosexuality is probably largely environmental in nature and not genetic, I would say that it is more likely a developmental dysfunction. So if by the phrase “God made homosexuals,” you mean “God made us this way, therefore he intended it,” I would argue that just because we are all born sinners does not mean that is what is what God desires or intends.
Further, since I believe homosexuality to be largely environmental in origin, God did not make homosexuals, but rather, the sinful environment caused emotional trauma which LED to homosexual identity.
2. If we are such an abomination to god why do we exist?
Homosexuals are not an abomination, homosexuals are people made in the image of God, and like the rest of us, sinful as well. Homosexual *desires and actions* are abominable, as are other sinful actions that heteros engage in. I suggest reading Is man basically good or evil? for the biblical view of man’s nature.
To some extent, it is immature reasoning that equates the moral judgment of an *action* with disapproval of one’s person. When I correct my children, I am quick to let them know that I love THEM, but their actions were displeasing to me. I let them know the difference, because a child can experience correction as an attack on their being and person, not just a corrective action meant to guide them.
With homosexuality, I understand that it is rooted so deeply in the psyche that condemning SSAs as wrong seems like a rejection of your person. However, we affirm that such attractions are NOT the true self, but a defense mechanism that separated you from your gender and the corresponding OSA, and this true self which you are separated from is still waiting for affirmation and development.
3. Why do you hate us so much?
There are two issues here. First, many Christians and anti-gays are insecure, immature people who delight in ridiculing and condemning others due to their insecurity. Can’t justify that at all. But not all gay opposition is of this sort, even if gay advocates like to paint it as such.
Second, as I’ve described in What is hate?, moral disapproval is not hate. To characterize it as such is to dumb down the conversation, abuse the language, and basically be guilty of ad hominem attacks rather than employing reason and civil respect. While you may experience opposition to your legislative and social efforts as hate, most opposition, especially Christian opposition, is not hate.
4. How do we the gay people of the world threaten the welfare of the world?
The short answer is, to some extent, what we all do in our private sexual worlds is our own business, and really affects no one. But when we push our atypical habits and perspectives on others, we must then be ready to defend our legislative efforts as “healthy for society.”
And the fact is, studies show that atypical families, including single parent homes, gay parent homes, and most other non-hetero homes (that have love), are sub-optimal for child development, and by extension, are bad for society.
So, should we make single parent homes illegal? No one is pushing for such. However, we also acknowledge that this is NOT the natural, preferred setup. Not for the individual, not for the child, and not for society.
We say the same about gay parenting. We don’t want to make it illegal, but neither do we want to establish it as a normal variant when it is clearly abnormal – I mean, even nature shows that gays can not produce children under any normal circumstances (please don’t bring up the infertile couple argument – we consider infertility an unnatural problem to be solved anyway, and an exception to the rule, while the rule for gay couples is – nature can NEVER produce children to a gay couple).
There is a second reason why normalizing homosexuality may be bad for society. If it is a dysfunction, with higher associations with other mental illnesses such as depression, suicide, domestic violence, and substance abuse, then calling it a normal healthy variant is a LIE, and lies always damage society and individuals.
I think of my friends who are now ex-gay and living happily – what if they had believed that they were doomed to be victims of their SSA for the rest of their lives? Maybe THAT hopelessness contributes to suicide among gays!
If we promote unhealth as health, people suffer, and so does all of society, because we’ve now established a pattern of conclusions based, not on science, natural and moral reasoning, and relatively trustworthy historical and religious traditions, but upon politics and self-deception that originates in man’s desire to justify sin, which is his nature.
5. I truly want to understand why you think the way you do.
OK, there you go. Again, Christians probably could do better bringing grace and kindness into the equation even if they believe that the TRUTH is that homosexuality is a dysfunction and a sin. But no amount of kindness in delivering such a message can stop the accusations of hate from people bent on disagreeing with such a message.
And science is somewhat inconclusive on the causes and possible associated problems with homosexuality, though it is not silent. In the meantime, I think that government should remain neutral on the subject, neither condoning (through redefining marriage) nor criminalizing (e.g. sodomy laws) homosexuality.
Encouraging kids to explore such sins, or telling them that such unhealthy choices are healthy or normative almost certainly will cause damage, and while the jury is out, it is irresponsible to teach such things.