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Essay on Homosexuality

As far back as 1993 more than 75 openly gay and lesbian officials had been elected in local, state, and congressional positions in the United States. More than 130 counties, cities, and States had gay rights laws on the books.

Today, more and more there is a push for States to endorse same sex marriages. What do you feel about this? Are we being too narrow minded, too insensitive, to say we oppose it. And what do you think Jesus would say about today’s gay and lesbian movement? Some religious groups openly accept homosexuals into their fellowship. The Episcopal Church has even appointed a homosexual to the office of Bishop. According to pro-gay polls in the United States around 25 percent of Episcopal priest and 50 percent of Roman Catholic priest are gay. A study of the Church of England reported 15 to 30  percent of their priests are gay. However, because these figures come through pro-gay sources, they undoubtedly need to be downsized. Nonetheless, there can be no question that the figures are high. Recently a leading scholar in the Churches of Christ has been reported to have sex with young men. Should this be normal for all of us? If one man can establish a church for the gays, why cannot another establish a congregation for the “practicing prostitutes, drunkards, and idolaters”. For most Christians the central issue is neither whether God loves homosexuals nor whether Jesus died to save them. The basic debate has been whether God endorses homosexual practice as an option, or whether homosexuals must be repentant and practice abstinence.

Homosexuals have long claimed that it is not a matter of choice for them, but it something they were born with. Swaab and Hoffman studied the brains of thirty four subjects. There were 18 male subjects who died from a variety of causes. There was second group of ten homosexual men who died of AIDS. The later group consisted of four males and two females. The conclusion of the study is that the human hypothalamus of the homosexual men is 1.7 times as large as that of the rest of the reference group.

Of course the genetic claim for homosexuality is important to that group for at least two reasons. First, if homosexuality is something innate, then homosexuals are no more responsible for their sexual orientation than for eye color or height. Attempts to get homosexuals to change will also be useless.

Second, this claim has political implications. They could claim civil right status as a minority.

However, researcher Kenneth Klivington, at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, raises the chicken and egg question regarding the hypothalamus; does its size determine homosexuality, or does homosexuality determine its size. Furthermore, the males studied had AIDS. Could the differences in the hypothalamus be the result of that disease rather than the cause of sexual orientation? Francis Stevens, the editor of Deneuve, a lesbian news magazine was also skeptical of the findings: If the gay guy’s hypothalamus is smaller, what’s it like for lesbians? Good question.

A very important study of genetics has to include identical twin studies. The Boston University School of Medicine has conducted this type of study. Among 56 homosexual men who were twins, 52 percent of their identical twins brothers were also homosexuals. By contrast, only 22 percent of non-twin brothers and only 11 percent of adoptive brothers were found to be gay. Am I missing something? If there is to be a genetic explanation for homosexuality should not 100 percent of the identical twins be gay? A 1992 British Journal of Psychiatry reported the results of study in which, of 46 homosexual men and women who were twins (both fraternal and identical), only 20 percent had a homosexual co-twin. The report concluded that genetic factors are insufficient explanation for the development of sexual orientation.

It is probably better to say that homosexuality is the result of a variety of causes. There is some evidence that family pathology at least to some being homosexuals. About 67 percent of male homosexuals come from a home where the mother is a domineering man hater and the father is weak, detached and often uninvolved in the family. Bieber’s exhaustive study strongly supports the nurture hypothesis as the cause of homosexuality. The 106 homosexuals in his study were afraid of the opposite sex, inhibited heterosexually and too close to their mothers. They often hated their father or brothers. They fathers were usually detached and hostile. In comparison with a group of heterosexual men, their parents often had a poor marital relationship. Their mothers tended to favor their homosexual sons to their husbands. They discouraged masculine activities and attitudes and encouraged feminine activities and attitudes.

Scripture and Homosexuality

Many Christians are ardent opponents to homosexuality because they believe that it is contrary to the explicit teaching of the Bible. However, many homosexuals have come to the conclusion that it does not condemn their practice. I want to examine several passages of Scripture noting both traditional and more recent homosexual interpretations.

Genesis 19:1-11

The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah has traditionally been understood to be homosexuality. However, the passage has been challenged at least in two ways by homosexuals. First, some have argued that it is not talking about ordinary homosexuality but rather homosexual rape. However, the text does not slightly hint that what the men of Sodom wanted to do would be permissible if only Lot’s guest had consented. A second interpretation of Genesis 19 claims that the passage is not about homosexuality at all but rather a gross violation of the hospitality code. Lot entertained two foreign visitors who might have had hostile intentions for the community. Therefore, the men of Sodom were suspicious of the intentions of these visitors in Lot’s house. They support their interpretation by arguing that the Hebrew word yadha is found 943 times in the Old Testament. It is only used ten times to refer to sexual relations, and according to their argument only to heterosexual relations. Therefore, yadha must be taken to mean “to know” or to “get acquainted with”. This also carries over the Lot’s daughters, where he is simply saying to get to know his daughters better.

However, even in other places in the book of Genesis yadha is used uncontestedly of something sexual. (Genesis 4:1, 17, 25; 24:16; 38:26). Context, not the number of occurrences, determines the meaning of the word in a particular setting. The text says that Lot’s daughter had not known man. The verb is yadha – that is they have not known coitus. That yadha in both occurrences in this story means sex knowledge is affirmed both in the Brown-driver-Biggs Hebrew Lexicon and in the Kohler-Baumgartner Lexicon. Moreover, current English translations translate the verb in this way. No informed person would argue that homosexual acts were the totality of the sin of Sodom; but one who accepts the New Testament interpretation of Old Testament passages finds confirmation of the sexual nature of their sin.

For example, II Peter 2:8 and Jude 7 give a striking commentary on the sin of Sodom.

Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13

Both of these texts describe homosexuality as an abomination punishable by death. Homosexuals say that this does not signify that homosexuality is wrong, but because in the Old Testament world it was associated with idolatrous pagan worship. Sometimes the word abomination refers to an idol as in Isaiah 44:19, Jeremiah 16:18 and Ezekiel 7:20. Specifically it is claimed that Leviticus 18 has the purpose of distinguishing Israel from its pagan neighbors (18:3) and the prohibition of homosexuality follows directly after the condemnation of idolatrous sexuality (18:21) The same is true of Leviticus 20.

However, homosexuality is condemned in the context of adultery, bestiality, and incest as well. Clearly, those practices were not prohibited simply because of their association with idolatry.

These passages in Leviticus do not raise the question of what one’s sexual orientation is; they do not ask whether the two persons involved think they are in love or not; they do not ask whether a permanent relationship exists or whether it is a one time act between nameless strangers. These laws do not discuss emotional conditions at all.

Romans 1:21-27

Homosexuality was a common practice in the pagan world of the first century. Several of the early Caesars were homosexuals. It is by no means a twenty first century invention of sexual behavior. It is best not to diagnose homosexual sex acts as a sickness but rather as sin. Homosexual acts are condemned both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. The apostle Paul was aware of the homosexuality of his day. Paul brings them under God’s condemnation which puts them in need of salvation. Homosexual conduct, like other sin, dethrones God (the Creator) and enthrones man (the creature). Paul also says that homosexual conduct is unnatural. That’s the last thing that gays would ever want the Bible to say about what they do. This is the only specific text that deals with lesbianism (homosexual relationships between women).

I Corinthians 6:9-11

The apostle Paul referred to homosexuals when writing to the church at Corinth, and then said, “and such were some of you” (I Corinthians 6:11). God has the power to redeem people, forgiving them of sin and freeing them from its dominion over their lives. Homosexuality is no exception. There are others who believe that homosexuals can change.

Dr. John Money

Some People do change their sexual orientation. There is absolutely no harm in trying.

Glenn Wood and John Dietrich

Despite the rhetoric of homosexual activists, all studies which have attempted conversions from homosexuality to heterosexuality have had significant success.

Ruben Fine

I have recently had occasion to review the result of psychotherapy with homosexuals and been surprised by the findings – a considerable percentage of overt homosexuals became heterosexual.

Irving Bieber

We have followed some patients for as long as ten years who have remained exclusively heterosexual.

Lawrence Hatterer

I’ve heard of hundreds of other men who went from a homosexual to a heterosexual adjustment on their own.

Patricia Hannigan

Each person has to decide where his or her own satisfaction lies; there is no one formula. If the foremost priority in one’s life is his religious faith, then his personal happiness might come from conforming to that faith rather than from pursuing his sexual orientation. With human beings, truly anything is possible.

From the Bible and these experts we learn that if a person is motivated and willing to exercise patience and discipline, you could have a good reason to be optimistic about change. People definitely can and do change. Sexual integrity is an act of the will, expressed through day to day decisions. No matter how close the gay movement comes to making the acknowledgement, “we can’t help who we are,” I can’t imagine a single one who is eager to relegate himself or herself to the status of a robot, without personal choice.

Conclusion

In the story of creation in Genesis 2, God created Eve out of a part of Adam’s body, as one suitable for Adam. He did not create another man to consort with, but he created a woman, and established marriage upon a heterosexual relationship. The creation story plainly shows that God’s will and plan for mankind is that one man and one woman is what constitutes a marriage. Moreover, in I Corinthians 7:2-5, the apostle Paul reveals the moral foundation for satisfying our sexual desires. It is clear that it is to be found in marriage between a husband and a wife.

As George Washington accurately observed in his “Farewell Address,” national morality cannot prevail apart from religious principle:

And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds… reason and experience forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.