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Thursday, August 09, 2012

Homosexuality

The Bible is clear. "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination" (Lev 18:22). Still, you will hear "Is the Bible really opposed to homosexuality?" There are multiple reasons for the question. First, some use it as a deflection. As long as someone is asking the question, they're free to continue as they were. Some use it as a dismissal. "You can't really know what the Bible says on the subject, can you?!" But some are caught up in the difference between lying with a male as with a woman and "homosexuality". The difference, they believe, is between an act and a lifestyle. Indeed, the Bible does not talk about a lifestyle on the subject, but the sexual act (Rom 1:26-27) that generally accompanies it. The Bible doesn't really talk much about lifestyles at all, but about actions. Only God, you see, can look on the heart.

It begs the question. What is "homosexuality"? I mean, I tend to think of it as "homosexual acts", but they don't. ("They" refers to everyone who understands "homosexuality" to be a lifestyle rather than an act or a desire.) So what is it? One of the things you hear quite often is that it's similar to race; it's an identity. It's something you're born with. Back in 2008, Michael Gross coined the phrase in The Advocate, "Gay is the new black." Race and sexual orientation are inexorably linked in the minds of many.

And still it begs the question. What is homosexuality? You see, with race and gender, you can actually find out. You can generally see and if you can't see you can easily run some simple tests. Genetic testing will tell you if the person is black or Asian, male or female, and even who their parents are. "Homosexual" isn't so easy. The only way you can tell is if someone says so. And that's not very definite. I remember the case of actress Cynthia Nixon who decided she would be gay. Wait ... that's not supposed to be able to happen, is it? Then there was the tale of Anne Heche who had the widely-publicized relationship with Ellen DeGeneres ... until they broke up. Then she married a guy, had a son, and six years later divorced. Last I heard she's still living with James Tupper ... a guy. So what was she? Was she a homosexual or not?

You certainly can't tell by actions, apparently. Gay rights advocates are up in arms over the connections being made between Jerry Sandusky and "homosexual". Yes, he's a pedophile. But he is exclusively drawn to males -- "same-sex". That would make him "homosexual". "No, no!" they cry. "Don't put him in our camp!!" But ... isn't that the definition of "homosexual" -- an attraction to the same gender?

Then, of course, there are the "others" that throw the whole thing farther out of the realm of definition. Is a transexual homosexual? Or how about "LUGs"? Have you heard of "LUGs"? The acronym is for "Lesbians Until Graduation" where certain females only engage in lesbian relationships until the graduate from college. Homosexual or not? What about the guys in prison? They consider themselves almost exclusively heterosexual, but they engage in almost exclusively homosexual sex in prison. Are bisexuals homosexual when they are attracted to the same gender and heterosexual the next moment when they are attracted to the opposite gender? It's not clear.

So, if "homosexuality" is "the new black", something akin to racial identity, something similar to gender, who decides who gets this particular identity? By what means do we determine that this person is indeed "homosexual"? We're planning to give them special rights. (I can't sue a store that won't let me in because I'm not wearing a shirt, but they can sue, say, a photographer who doesn't wish to photograph their commitment ceremony. That's special rights.) How do we determine who gets them? How do we decide with some certainty who indeed is the "new black"? I don't think it's nearly as clear as one might think.

Well, this won't sway anyone. "You're taking rights from a particular group," they'll say even if the group cannot be defined. "The Bible doesn't say much about it," they'll assure us, but when someone claims to agree with "biblical marriage", everyone knows right away that this is a contrasting definition from "same-sex marriage". And, despite the protests and complaints, everyone knows what the Bible says about the subject. It's a sin. Is it a condition from birth? Many would like you to think it is. But the Bible doesn't really care. The choice is not "To whom am I attracted?" any more than it is "Who do I hate?" In the latter case, the choice is "What will I do about it?" Oh, and look! It's the same in the former. It's not "race" or "gender" or "the new black". What you do about it is a choice regardless of its origin. And what the Bible (you know, God's Word) says about it is not unclear. What you think about me for saying such a thing isn't really important, is it? What I think is irrelevant. But you have to decide, "Do I go with what I want or with what God wants?" That really is the question in the end.

5 comments:

growup318.com said...

Great post!

starflyer said...

Good post Stan. Keep proclaiming the truth. It'll be interesting to see what some of your readers will say!

Craig said...

It seems as if you are asking what makes a homosexual. Is it the desire to engage sexually with someone of the same gender or is it that actual sexual act?

Stan said...

Well, first I'm pointing out how difficult it is to define. For instance, "the desire to engage sexually with someone of the same gender" might appear to be clear enough, but then you have bisexuals who have that same desire and transgenders who ambiguous in gender.

Second, I'm pointing out the difference between "race" and "sexual orientation". Race doesn't change. It is genuine, testable, provable, observable. "Sexual orientation" is fluid, either by choice or by circumstances. People move in and out of this "group". They aren't the same thing.

Third, I'm bringing into question today's use of the term, "homosexuality". It's deemed an identifier, a lifestyle, a defining component of a particular human being (much like race does). On the other hand, like hair color and eye color today, it appears to be completely variable and indecisive. I am questioning, then, the use of "homosexuality" as an entity rather than a sexual activity.

Craig said...

Thanks, I think we're in the same general area.