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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Why is being gay an abomination?

According to the bible, being gay is an abomination. Supposedly two people of the same sex sleeping together is disgusting to the Lord. Well, this idea needs to be approached from two perspectives.

The first is whether or not being gay is a natural orientation. Since I am not gay, I have no way to know if this is true or not. However, since I am not gay, I do know that I am not interested in gay sex. I also know I enjoy heterosexual sex very much. I know it is not a "choice" over this issue. It would not matter how mad I was at my parents or how many times a priest tried to have me help him be one with the Lord, I have no interest in that. Not that there is anything wrong with it, to quote Seinfeld. So, from a personal perspective, it does not seem like  homosexuality is a choice.

And let's be honest, the homosexual acts of anal penetration and oral sex are also performed by heterosexual couples, often with much enjoyment and gusto. Therefore, it cannot be said that these actions are homosexual acts.

How about other animals? After all, gay sex is often referred to as being against nature.

Sodomy has been stigmatized for century upon century, and in many cultures across the world and through time, mostly seeking to stigmatize relationships between members of the same sex. Almost invariably, when it is criminalized, those who criminalize it (or would do so) refer to it as the "crime against nature" or the "sin against nature." The presumption is that homosexual behavior is a perversion, and a uniquely human perversion, engaged in as the result of what is presumed to be a learned attraction to members of the same sex.
There's only one problem with that assumption: None of it is true.

In the approximately 1,000 to 3,000 species whose behavior has been well researched and described in the literature, approximately 450 have been shown to have clear homosexual behaviors.  Any homosexual behavior you care to name - anal sex, same sex kissing, long-term pair bonding between members of the same sex, courtship rituals unique to homosexual couples, all these and many more are all commonly found in the animal kingdom.

Lets also look at it from a biblical concept. What does the bible say about it? I know it calls it an abomination in the OT. However, Jesus makes no reference to homosexuality being a sin in the NT. Since Jesus is supposedly God, and Christians believe he is all knowing, surely he would have made some comment on homosexuality if he felt it was a problem.  However, for some reason, Christians feel this is worse than almost anything else. Which is an odd perspective given the number of gay adult videos viewed every year, compared to the actual percentage of gay people in the world. However, what other abominations does the Bible specify? Of course, adultery (Lev 18:20), sex with animals (Lev 18:23), remarrying one's wife after she's had another husband in between (Deut 24:4), or approaching any woman during the time of her "uncleanness" (Lev 18:19). Cross-dressing is out (Deut 22:5).

Other abominations include tarot readings, glancing at your horoscope, trimming one's beard, and getting a tattoo (Lev 19:26-28). Haughty eyes (Prov 6:17) and telling lies (Prov 6:17, 12:22) are big abominations. Being untruthful also includes false weights and measures (Prov 11:1), or any other dishonesty in business. "Everyone who acts unjustly is an abomination to the LORD your God" (Prov 11:16).

Charging or paying interest are abominations. Bankers and anyone with a mortgage, car loan or credit card debt will be unavailable to throw the first stone, regardless of the interest rate (Psalm 15:1-5, Jeremiah 15:10). Graven images of other gods are an abomination (Deut 7:25).

Let us not forget wearing blended fabrics. Deuteronomy 22:11 forbids wearing a material made of wool and linen, but Leviticus 19:19 says it's an abomination to wear any blended material, period. Hence a woman in a man's button-down can be doubly abominable if it's a no-iron, easy care blend of cotton and polyester.

Of course, when confronted with such information, there are people who will tell you that the blended fabrics abomination is really just a symbolic warning that Jews should not mix with other cultures, and that the dietary laws were set aside for Gentiles at the Council of Jerusalem, and that these "other abominations" were about self-preservation, hygiene and just for Orthodox Jews anyway. In short, when something they do is shown to be an abomination, many abominators become instant anthropologists, Biblical scholars and historians as well.

So why do active abominators continue to refer to the Bible when condemning homosexuals? Are such men and women unaware of their own abominations detailed in the same scriptures? Or are they simply hypocrites like so many Christians are?

For myself, I am sure that these Christian people who must be full of integrity, since they are continually telling everyone this tidbit of information, once informed of their own abominable behavior, will step into the circle and accept for themselves whatever punishment they were going to hand out to others. "Since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) That's the verse I recall whenever someone uses the Bible to justify a pet bias.

So, as we can see, there are many things that the biblical god takes issue with. But for some reason, what christians' focus on is homosexuality. I will avoid the easy target of saying perhaps they hate something they see in themselves and suggest that they work on accepting gay people as easily as they do with people who wear blended fabrics or men who trim their beards.

I get asked alot why I stand up for gays, if I am not gay myself. I defend many people that are not the same as me. I defend liberals when the attack on them is unwarranted, but I am not liberal. I defend Muslims when the attack on them is unwarranted, but I am not Muslim. I stand up for Christians when their right to free speech is infringed, as I would stand up for anyone’s right to free speech. As much as Fred Phelps repulses me, he has a right to speak his bigoted and insane views. And when gays are attacked, I stand up and defend them, even though I am not gay. It is called being an American citizen. You should try it sometime.

“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals, and 362 to heterosexuals. This doesn’t mean God doesn’t love heterosexuals, it’s just that they need more supervision.
-Lynn Lavner

Homosexuality in males may be caused in part by genes that can increase fertility in females, according to a new study.
The findings may help solve the puzzle of why, if homosexuality is hereditary, it hasn't already disappeared from the gene pool, since gay people are less likely to reproduce than heterosexuals.
A team of researchers found that some female relatives of gay men tend to have more children than average. The scientists used a computer model to explain how two genes passed on through the maternal line could produce this effect.
In 2004 the researchers studied about 200 Italian families and found that the mothers, maternal aunts and maternal grandmothers of gay men are more fecund, or fruitful, than average. Recently, they tried to explain their findings with a number of genetic models, and found one that fit the bill.

"This is the first time that a model fits all our empirical data," said Andrea Camperio-Ciani, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Padova in Italy who led the study. "These genes work in a sexually antagonistic way — that means that when they're represented in a female, they increase fecundity , and when they're represented in a male, they decrease fecundity. It's a trait that benefits one sex at the cost of the other."
The researchers detail their findings in the June 18 issue of the journal PLoS ONE.
If this scenario turns out to be true, it could help explain the seeming paradox of hereditary homosexuality. Since gay people are less likely to reproduce than heterosexuals, many experts have wondered why, if homosexuality is caused by genetic factors, it wouldn't have been eliminated from the gene pool already.
But if the same genes create both homosexuality in men and increased fertility in women, then any losses in offspring that come about from the males would be made up for by the females of the family.
"Sexually antagonistic selection is an old idea by Richard Dawkins, but this has never been proven in humans," Camperio-Ciani told LiveScience. "There are a large quantity of these traits found in insects, for example, and recently in deer sexually antagonistic traits have been discovered, showing that high-ranking males produce rather unsuccessful daughters. We found that sexually antagonistic selection is operating also in our species, and we found it in a very important trait, which is homosexuality."

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