Of Bible thumpers and Homosexualityby "Joe"
Attention, all those who care! This is my first column for Oasis. Who am I, you ask? Okay, so you don't care... I'll tell you anyway. I'm a 15 year old high school freshman (becoming a sophomore this fall) living somewhere in the Midwest who is too paranoid to give out his real name. I enjoy reading and writing fiction; listening to and playing classical music on the piano as well as composing it; and writing computer programs. That's about all I can say for now. And on to the article...
Sexual orientation issues seem to be popping up in the media with uncanny frequency, and every time they make headlines, ignorance and idiocy show up in abundance. For example, let me quote some passages from an article that appeared today in a local paper:
Locals take role in debate of gay clergy
"... the annual convention of the Presbyterian Church took its first steps toward a vote on ordaining gay people. ... Speaking for the opposing side was <name deleted>: 'In 1977, the Lord Jesus Christ delivered me from the bonds of homosexuality. He brought to me another life, and a wife made in heaven. ... I know that Jesus Christ heals the homosexual, the bisexual, the asexual. He heals them because he longs for them to enjoy the full blessings of heterosexual partnership that he created from the beginning.'"
The above eloquent quote from a so-called "reformed" homosexual leaves me caught between amusement and misery. I almost want to laugh at the sheer lunacy of it, yet it greatly sorrows me that such ignorance as this runs rampant in our society. First and foremost, I believe that there is no such thing as a "reformed" homosexual. Scientists and psychologists have many conflicting explanations as to the cause of homosexuality. Some say that it is coded biologically in a fetus' DNA before it begins developing. Others explain that it is caused by hormonal "imbalance" in the uterus during pregnancy. Many others claim that it develops as a result of one's parent-child relationships. The fact of the matter is, no matter how sexual orientation is caused, it is PERMANENT. Very few truly straight men and women ever leave mutually beneficial heterosexual marriages, explaining that they suddenly "turned gay." Why, then, would the converse apply? The pitiable individual whom I quoted above claims it is the work of Jesus Christ.
I am a self-professed atheist. This column is not meant to be a place for me to write about religion. However, the vast majority of people (including me) believe that if there is a God, he does not intrude directly into people's lives to "save" them. Not since the days of the prophets, 2000 years ago, has God (supposedly) caused miracles or spoken to people. Modern-day examples of divine intervention are notably absent. A case in point is the Holocaust, in which 10 million individuals including religious, righteous Jews and Catholics were mercilessly slaughtered by guns, gas chambers, and ovens. 10 MILLION PEOPLE. That's 4% of the population of the United States. Out of every 25 people, that's one killed. One cannot rationally say that so many people - including over a million CHILDREN - deserved to die. Yet God did not descend from the heavens in a flaming chariot with trumpets sounding to save them. They all died horrible deaths. Jesus Christ the Savior did not intervene.
Why, if Jesus would not save innocent children from being burned alive, would he interrupt the laws of nature and physics to alter the sexual orientation of this individual? Is he more pious and deserving than the noted scholars and priests slain ruthlessly by Hitler's Nazis? While I'm on a roll, if he is so deserving of divine intervention, why would God have "afflicted" him with the so-called "bonds" of homosexuality in the first place? Many gay men and lesbians are reputed religious officials and scholars. Yet Jesus does not deliver them. Numerous gays, lesbians, and bisexuals are kind, loving, caring individuals, some of whom even repent and pray to God to "heal their homosexuality." Yet, in 99.999999% of cases, this doesn't happen (see Eddy Pittman-Wells' touching story). Meanwhile, many heterosexual men and women are child abusers, murderers, crooks, drug dealers, and rapists. Yet God has not "punished" them by making them homosexuals. Clearly, either Jesus draws lots randomly to determine whom he will "save" and "afflict," or his argument is utter B.S.
This pseudo-savant goes on to babble that Jesus "wants [homosexuals, bisexuals, asexuals] to enjoy the full blessings of heterosexual partnership that he created from the beginning." Where was this psycho during freshman biology class? Contrary to what is professed in the Bible, it has been proven and is commonly accepted that man did not spontaneously pop into existence in the form of a heterosexual couple whose names were Adam and Eve and who were created from dirt. Clearly, if God did create life, he created it in the form of single-celled prokaryotic organisms like bacteria, which consist of little more than DNA. These microscopic organisms, which were God's first creatures, reproduced by an asexual method known as binary fission. For billions of years, life only existed in forms too small to be seen by the naked eye, all of which reproduced asexually. There goes the validity of the statement that God created heterosexual partnership from the beginning. In fact, it is only very recently, with the advent of multicellular plants and animals, that concepts of "male" and "female" developed. Even today, many flowers with both male and female parts fertilize themselves, rather than accepting pollen from the male organs (stamen) of another flower. Are these flowers immoral? Clearly, God did not have the idea of a married couple consisting of a male and female human being in mind when he created life (assuming he created it). Were it not for a random set of environmental conditions and chemical compounds, sentient human life may never have developed from apes and their ilk. If the temperature had been a degree lower or if gravity had been a bit stronger, we might still be reproducing today by splitting in half.
It disappoints me greatly that in today's society, where information is as near as one's computer terminal or public school, some individuals place all of their faith and trust in a book written over two millennia ago. Many homophobes base their irrational hatred of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals on several obscure passages in the Bible. Although I am not a biblical scholar, I do know that these same individuals who vehemently detest homosexuals blatantly ignore other passages of the Bible that are given equal emphasis. For instance, if one bases his homophobia off of the Bible, he must presumably eat the meat of no animal with cloven hooves. So, if your bible-toting gay-basher eats pepperoni or bacon, he is a hypocrite. This same book that supposedly outlaws homosexuality treats the eating of shrimp, crabs, and oysters as an equal abomination. The Bible outlaws driving cars or any other type of "work" on Saturday. The Bible dictates that menstruating women remove themselves from their homes. Even if the Bible is the truth and Jesus the Savior, he never once mentioned homosexuality. Quite obviously, we have changed immeasurably from the tribe of ancient desert-wanderers who supposedly received these laws from God, and those who pick and choose certain passages to support their ridiculous hatred of their fellow human beings while ignoring others invalidate their own arguments.
Those who desperately cling to their carefully selected bible passages to vilify homosexuality while ignoring reiterated messages of unconditional love defy traditional logic. These closed-minded, parochial fools call love a sin, but only when it happens to be a gay man or lesbian who is doing the loving. Sins in the biblical sense, like eating ham or worshipping idols, are conscious choices that can be carried out or not -- regardless of whether they are morally correct. Working on Saturday may or may not be the morally correct thing to do, but nonetheless, one can choose not to do it. It is a CONSCIOUS CHOICE. Conversely, love is NOT. Heterosexual men and women do not CHOOSE to fall in love with one another. When a straight man looks at Pamela Anderson's breasts, he does not say to himself: "My, she has nice breasts. I think that I will become sexually aroused now. Well, perhaps I shouldn't like her bust. It wouldn't be right. But I guess that I will become aroused anyway." It is a chemical reaction in the brain! Identically, when I see a picture of a good-looking male, I do not ELECT to enjoy it. I do not CHOOSE to like men over women any more than my male heterosexual friends CHOOSE to like women over men. Can you imagine a youth thinking to himself: "Well, let's see. Will I be gay or straight? Will I conform to the stereotypical image of the masses and have a carefree life, or will I subjugate myself to the blind hatred and scorn of 90% of the world population? Well, it's a tough choice. I guess I'll become gay." Offered the choice, would ANYONE choose to be homosexual when he or she could just as easily be heterosexual and avoid all the grief and stress that comes with it? NO! It is NOT A CHOICE! IT CANNOT BE CONTROLLED! Therefore, it logically follows that homosexuality cannot be a sin! One cannot choose whom to be aroused by.
Imagine if, suddenly, trumpets sounded and God appeared atop Mt. Sinai, claiming to have revised his laws. Imagine if, then, the words of every Bible on Earth changed to indicate that homosexuality was the proper way to live, and that heterosexual sex should be used solely for reproduction and not enjoyment. Could the billions of straight men consciously choose NOT to like naked women, and suddenly CHOOSE to lust after naked men? Could the billions of heterosexual women spontaneously become adverse to sex with men and INSTANTLY become lesbians? Somehow, I think not. It is NOT a CHOICE.
Whether one lives by the Bible or by logic, by tradition or common sense, blind hatred, prejudice, and bigotry is wrong IN ANY FORM. As the signs of those in favor of gay ordination at the Presbyterian convention read: "Jesus didn't say 'Love everybody, but...'" Nowhere in the bible does it say "Love thy neighbor as thyself, unless he's gay." But what if your neighbor eats pork?!