Thinking Out Loud - Ms. Green

Commentaries from a female, conservative Christian worldview. Intermittent observations on human behavior and current events. Occasional bursts of personal tirades,confessions, and discoveries. Frequent discussions about my "Narrow-Minded Faith".

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Homosexuality - Identity or Behavior?

If you say something enough times, people will start to believe it, regardless of whether it is true or not.

Homosexuals are born that way.

Really?

Homosexuals like to say “I was born this way”, or “God made me like this.” I’ve also heard “I’m a woman trapped inside a man’s body,” or “I’m a man trapped inside a woman’s body.”

Certain studies have seemed to show that maybe homosexuality is genetic. Supposedly, a “gay gene” has been found. But when you look closer at these studies, their claims fall apart.

Dr. Simon Levay of the Salk Institute was one of the first to come out with a study seeming to indicate that homosexuality is genetic. His research included about three dozen men – a little more than half were homosexual and the others were heterosexual. He found that the part of the brain called the hypothalamus was generally smaller in homosexuals than in heterosexuals. This led him to conclude that it suggested that “sexual orientation has a biologic substrate”.

The homosexual advocates ran with it. It was all over the news, it was proclaimed as fact: homosexuals are born that way.

Dr. Levay, who is himself an open homosexual, actually admitted publicly that he did not prove that homosexuality is genetic, he did not prove men were born that way, nor did he find a “gay center” in the brain. In fact, all 19 of the homosexual subjects ended up dying from complications of AIDS, and there is evidence that the disease itself contributed to the differences in the two groups of men.

In other research, identical and fraternal twins were studied. One of the two researchers, Richard Pillard, was also openly gay. It was discovered that of 56 sets of identical twins, 52 percent were both homosexual – again, the homosexual activists pointed to the results saying it proved there was a gay gene. However, what is not said of their findings was that there were identical twins where only one of the twins was homosexual. If homosexuality was genetic, then just like eye color, sexual orientation would be identical.

In the 1970’s, Robert Spencer was instrumental in getting homosexuality taken of the list of mental disorders by the American Psychiatric Association. At the time, he was convinced that sexual orientation could not be reversed. However, he has since changed his mind and publicly stated that he believes he was wrong and that some people can and do change.

To say that “God made me this way” is to mock God. God clearly says in Scripture that homosexuality is a sin, and that would make God the author of sin, which He is not. To say that you are” a woman trapped inside a man’s body” is to say that God made a serious mistake, which would mean He was not a perfect God.

It’s one thing to for me to hear lost people say these things. It is quite another to hear people who claim to be Christian say them. Homosexuality is a choice. It is not an identity. It is a sin just like adultery, promiscuity, fornication, incest, bestiality, or any other sexual sin. Does everybody struggle with this sin? No. Are some people more prone to it than others? Yes. But that doesn’t change the fact that it is a behavior – a choice – not who someone is.

I’ve had and still have people close to me who are either in or were at one time in the homosexual lifestyle. The overwhelming majority of them were molested as children or came from an extremely dysfunctional family. They weren’t born that way. Their circumstances, their environment, led them to that sin for one reason or another. There is no "adultery gene". There is no "incest gene" or "promiscuity gene". There is no "gay gene".

We as Christians have to reach out to our homosexual friends and family and let them know they can overcome that sin just like any other sin. We can't let them believe the lie - that they can't change - they are destined to that lifestyle. We have to tell them in love that they were NOT born that way, so that they don’t give up and succumb to a life of heartache, medical problems, and emotional distress, thinking that they have no choice. And we have to let them know that their sin has been paid for on the cross of Calvary, and Jesus is waiting for them to come to Him for healing, for forgiveness, for strength to change, and for an abundant life.

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17 Comments:

At 2:18 AM, Blogger Lone Ranger said...

Since homosexuals don't typically breed, if it were genetic, it would have been bred out of the human gene pool thousands of years ago. But I don't believe it's a choice. It is a mental illness, just like any other sexual aberration. There will never be a cure, because it is politically incorrect to look for one.

 
At 2:24 AM, Blogger Tam_Gu_Ja said...

Must be curious about your statements. You quote your religious beliefs and then critique studies about the source (nature or choice) of homosexuality based upon the validity of thier scientific approach. If modern scientific methodology were, in fact, to establish using credible, reliable, and reproducible studies that in a significant portion of homosexuals there was a biological source for thier behaviour, would you be open to serious consideration of the study, or simply dismiss it based upon religious grounds ?

 
At 8:16 AM, Blogger Neil said...

Beautifully said, Ms. Green. I typically argue that 1. It isn't genetic and 2. Even if it was, we do all sorts of things quite naturally that are still sinful (greed, anger, lust, etc.).

I have a lot of compassion for GLBT people. One of the great tragedies of their movement is that the "born that way" myth pushes out the fact that you noted: "The overwhelming majority of them were molested as children or came from an extremely dysfunctional family." These people need help, not encouragement to stay in a destructive lifestyle.

One of my frustrations is with fellow believers who haven't taken the time to determine what the Bible really says about homosexuality, yet they are quick to buy into the world's views.

 
At 10:04 AM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

Tam, you ask a very fair question. I am always interested in what science has to say - at one time I thought I would be an archeologist and studied several years in college in the science of anthropology. However, because I believe that God has revealed Himself to us through the Bible, when I read or hear something scientific that is contradictory to what God says, even if it appears to be true,I know that eventually it will be proven wrong. There are entire books that are no longer in print because the Bible was eventually proven correct and they were proven wrong. If you have time, please read my post on Science and Christianity. Thanks for stopping by. You are welcome to post anytime.

 
At 5:24 PM, Blogger D.Daddio Al-Ozarka said...

"...or simply dismiss it based upon religious grounds ?"

No...I dismiss it because it goes against nature.

No matter what some gay-sympathizing "scientist" may say to the contrary.

 
At 10:05 PM, Anonymous Herm said...

Homosexuality comes from the same soup as pride, greed, arrogance, and rebellion, which is the narcistic nature of self love. So in some aspect, one could say it is genetic if you trace it back to the seed of original sin. Only a depraved nature can produce this kind of behavior. Only love of self can separate us from the love that God wants us to have through his son, Jesus Christ. God Bless, Herm

 
At 1:20 PM, Blogger Brooke said...

Is it genetic? No, because as Lone Ranger said, why would it not have been bred out of the gene pool, unless you count those who marry to put up a front...

Is it a choice? Yes... But not a logical kind. Does one just flip a coin, having no real preference? No. It is a choice, just an aberrant, deviant one.

 
At 8:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

some of you people need to really think about reality and what it takes from our imagination.. and also how it contributes.

 
At 10:18 PM, Anonymous theobromophile said...

1. There is a difference between genetics and biology. That which is biological is not always genetic - as genetics interact with environment and other factors to create biological issues.

2. Even identical twins are not "identical" in every manner. Height is clearly genetic, but I've known identical twins who are 2" apart. The big thing with identical and fraternal twins is: when a trait is noticed at a statistically significant higher rate in identical twins than in fraternal twins, it is a genetically-linked trait.

I oppose anyone - of any viewpoint - who asks too much of science. The R-squared value of genetic traits has never been determined to be 1.

3. You can't argue environment and then argue against it. Homosexuals have, for social reasons, had children for centuries.

4. Evolution is not complete. Infertility and Down's are both genetic (Down's runs in families), yet those have hardly been bred out of the population. Infertility, obviously, would be bred out much faster than homosexuality, but that hasn't happened.

5. Evolution will favour homosexuality in certain situations. Assume, for the sake of argument, that homosexuality is genetic. (That, after all, is the assumption that you are trying to refute.) You cannot refute it by saying that it would be bred out of the population. If the gene that causes homosexuality in men causes increased fertility in women, such that the reduced fecundity (sp?) of men were outweighed by the increased birth rate of women, the gene would be favoured.

Mostly, my point is that there are good arguments and bad arguments about the origins of homosexuality. If you expect too much of genetics, you can say that something is not "genetic." None of your arguments actually hold water. Genetic traits that are not favoured can still survive (if the mutation happens frequently, or social reasons cause the person to keep breeding, or if it is disfavoured in certain situations but favoured in others); genetic traits do not manifest the same way in every individual (ex. identical twins & height and appearance, both of which are plainly genetic); and genetic factors interact with environmental (and social, but that's a different issue) factors to create different results.

It could well be that homosexuality is partially genetic but controllable (i.e. there is a predisposition but the individual can ultimately be attracted to the opposite sex). Many lesbians, for example, were assaulted by men as children and seek comfort and companionship with women.

I believe that God has revealed Himself to us through the Bible, when I read or hear something scientific that is contradictory to what God says, even if it appears to be true,I know that eventually it will be proven wrong.

True, but.

Homosexuality could be genetic. Like Neil says, there are many negative character traits that may be genetic - predisposition towards violence, lust, or any other sin. I'm familiar with the Bible but will defer to others: as far as I know, the Bible never says that humans are genetically made to be without sin. In fact, last I checked, some of the point of the Fall is that we are all born with sin... and what you are saying is that, AS A FACT, God did not use genetic homosexuality as a way of making some humans predisposed to a certain sin.

That, to me, sounds like Satan's sin - that of knowing God's mind.

Science and theology are never in conflict. Both are aimed at finding Truth.

I will end by quoting Einstein: "God does not play dice with the universe."

He spoke those words to Schrodinger, who had theorised that all matter moves in unpredictable but probabilistic ways (i.e. akin to dice). Einstein later admitted that he was wrong.

 
At 5:22 PM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

"There is a difference between genetics and biology"

No argument here. They are connected, but different.

"Even identical twins are not "identical" in every manner"

True - but if Homosexuality were genetic, you'd think both "identical" twins would be homosexual every time - just as they have the same hair color, eye color, etc. But such is not always the case. There are documented cases of one twin choosing homosexuality and the other remaining true to their sex's natural inclinations.

"You can't argue environment and then argue against it

Where did I do that?

Evolution is not complete

Since I don't believe in evolution, and there is no proof that it exists, then this statement is irrelevant.

Evolution will favour homosexuality in certain situations. Assume, for the sake of argument, that homosexuality is genetic. (That, after all, is the assumption that you are trying to refute.) You cannot refute it by saying that it would be bred out of the population. If the gene that causes homosexuality in men causes increased fertility in women, such that the reduced fecundity (sp?) of men were outweighed by the increased birth rate of women, the gene would be favoured.

No offense, but I can't deal in assumptions that have no basis in fact.

as far as I know, the Bible never says that humans are genetically made to be without sin.

No, it says that man was created in the image of God and was perfect, but with free will. It was man's choice to sin that began the degradation of man that has continued through the years until the present. The suffering, decay, calamaties, and other evils of the world are ultimately the result of sin.

I will end by quoting Einstein: "God does not play dice with the universe."... Einstein later admitted that he was wrong.

Einstein was actually right. God does not play dice with the universe. He has an ultimate plan in everything. Just because we don't always see it or understand it doesn't mean it's not so. If we understood God completely, He wouldn't be God.

Thanks for your input on all this. And your politeness.

 
At 9:10 PM, Anonymous theobromophile said...

Ms. Green,

Are you suggesting that quantum mechanics does not work in the way scientists believe that it does?

Do you not believe in microevolution? I ask that honestly. Most Creationists believe in it - they understand, for example, how viruses mutate. Homosexuality "breeding" itself out of the population is such an example.

True - but if Homosexuality were genetic, you'd think both "identical" twins would be homosexual every time -

NO! :) That's my point. Height is genetic, but identical twins are not the same height. Genetics does not lead indisputably to a certain result each and every time. Take eye colour. Mine started off as brown and have moved over to hazel/green/whatever. Recessive genes can become dominant, and twins can manifest their genetics differently.

Twins will have different IQs, different fingerprints, and a host of other things.

Breast cancer has a genetic component. Not everyone who has BRAC-1 develops the cancer, however, and many people without it do not develop cancer. Under your theory, it would not be genetic. You ask too much of the term.

No, it says that man was created in the image of God and was perfect, but with free will. It was man's choice to sin that began the degradation of man that has continued through the years until the present. The suffering, decay, calamaties, and other evils of the world are ultimately the result of sin.

An honest question: do you not believe that there can be any genetic component to any sin? Alcoholism runs in families, and, while the Bible does not speak out against it in the same manner as it does homosexuality, I do think it would be covered under the idea of not violating your body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

I honestly don't think that it matters, Biblically, whether or not homosexuality is genetic. If not: it's behavioural (or environmental) and worthy of compassion and reorientation. If it is genetic (or biological), then it is akin to every other genetic or biological flaw that we must struggle against.

 
At 9:30 PM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

Theo, the type of twins I am referring to (there are several types of twins) are monozygotic twins, which are genetically identical and have the same DNA. External and environmental influences, as well as personal choices, can lead to some differing between two monozygotic twins, but their genetic makeup, their DNA, stays the same. And since there have been studies proving that one of two identical (monozygotic) twins would be homosexual, while the other was heterosexual, leads one to the conclusion that a "choice" was made. In other words, it "wasn't" in the genes.

Do I think some people are predisposed to some sins? Absolutely. I'm predisposed to substance abuse and pride, among many other things. I'm not predisposed to homosexuality, although in my early adult years I toyed around with the idea. But if I had experimented, it would have been a concious choice - it would not have been "who I am".

The wonderful thing is, no matter what sin I'm predisposed to, God is able to help me overcome.

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." I Corinthians 10:13

 
At 3:29 AM, Blogger Brian said...

What about the fingerprints of identical twins? Did they choose to have different fingerprints?

 
At 6:29 AM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

Brian - if you made a post that didn't appear, it got lost for some reason. Please repost.

As for your question, "What about the fingerprints of identical twins? Did they choose to have different fingerprints?"

From what I understand, fingerprints are not entirely genetic, and can be affected even by the environment within the womb. Fingerprints are a physical trait though, not a behavioral one. Identical twins' fingerprints are extremely similar though.

 
At 8:10 AM, Anonymous John Kaiser said...

"If homosexuality was genetic, then just like eye color, sexual orientation would be identical."

I find this to be the most persuasive argument on this issue.

 
At 1:32 PM, Blogger Brian said...

What if, unlike whether a person can or cannot curl his/her tongue (which is genetically determined by just one gene), what if there are a combination of factors that lead to sexual orientation ... much like height is determined both by genetics and by environment. Just because two twins are not the exact same height doesn't mean you would say there is absolutely no genetic component to it. Might sexual orientation be similar?

Might it be a complex interaction of genetics, pre-natal hormones, early childhood experiences, and yes... maybe even traumatic life experiences?

This would account for why the identical twin of a gay man or lesbian is more likely to be gay or lesbian himself/herself than the average person. But it would also explain why there is not a 100% relationship.

Just as identical twins develop different interests, different heights, etc, might there may be a multitude of factors influencing sexual orientation.

As we know, the human body and human development rarely comes with a simple "either or" answer.

From my own, albeit somewhat limited, experience, I have never found any person who has chosen to be attracted to men or women. They may choose whether or not to accept themselves or whether or not to pursue relationships (and with whom) or when to become sexual active (never, in a relationship, when married, etc) ... but the orientation is not chosen.

Interestingly enough, sexual orientation is not a strictly behavioral trait. In fact, sexual orientation produces measurable physiological responses. However, just because sexual orientation is an innate part of individuals, there men and women who are homosexual who choose not to act on their orientation (see: Exodus International).

 
At 9:49 PM, Blogger Ms.Green said...

Brian,

I agree that some are more predisposed to certain sins than others, but the fact that we all have a sin nature does not excuse our sin. And God always gives us a way out, if we'll submit to Him and not seek to only fulfill our own lusts - whether they be material, physical, or emotional. What I don't agree with is the notion that God creates "homosexuals" and then says it's a sin to be a homosexual. That is a contradiction, and God does not contradict Himself. Too many seek to find a "loophole" in Scripture that will allow them to continue in their sin instead of seeking His will and His power to overcome sin.

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." I Corinthians 10:13

 

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