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February 23, 2012

Comments

"This mistake in thinking is known as the naturalistic fallacy. You can’t get an “ought” from an “is.” Even if homosexuality is natural, it doesn’t prove it ought to be."

The argument is that if someone is born homosexual, then it is outside of their control to not be homosexual. If being homosexual is outside of someone's control, then being homosexual cannot be immoral.

The argument is based on the axiom that "ought" implies "can". (Or it's contrapositive "cannot" implies "need not".) Note that "cannot" is a factual claim, and "need not" is a moral claim.

There's no such thing as an is-ought fallacy. (There are of course fallacies involving factual premises and moral conclusions...but they are not fallacies simply because the premises are facts and the conclusions values.) The moral axiom that "ought" implies "can" contradicts the existence of such fallacies.

With that said, the argument from an inability of homosexuals to be un-homosexual to the idea that homosexual behavior is morally permissible is fallacious. But not for any bogus is-ought reasons.

Alcoholism is very probably an inborn genetic predisposition. That does not render drunkenness morally permissible.

The tendency toward sexual urges that most men have toward women is indeed in-born. These urges are not simply turned off when a man marries, no matter how happy the union. The urges continue to exist toward many women, both married and single, that cross the normal man's path. That does not make promiscuity morally permissible.

The urge for alcohol or sex can be resisted and thwarted. Not every urge must be obeyed, thank God.

Because of this, the argument fails because the premise of inability, even in the case of innate homosexuality, is simply false.

When folks say that homosexual orientation is inborn or genetic, I take it that the reason they are saying this is because they believe that many have a homosexual orientation through no fault of their own and that is pretty firmly rooted. That, by the way, can be true whether or not the orientation is genetic. I for one do not doubt that it is true.

So how might this be relevant to the morality of homosexuality? Alan says it is not relevant at all, but I think that is just because he has capitalized on the fact that often, even when people are on to something, they struggle to articulate it, often do so in an incomplete manner, and are often easily tripped up. That, of course, puts the apologist in the perfect position to pounce on his opponent and point out the gap.

But I think we can help our interlocutor out a bit, and at least make their cases stronger than Alan has cared to make it. Here’s a shot. The fact that there are many people who through no fault of their own have deep seated desires for homosexual relationships provides those people with at least some reason to pursue those relationships. I have not yet said, of course, that it provides them with overriding reasons to pursue those relationships. Perhaps there are other considerations that tilt the balance of reasons strongly against pursuing such relationships. But we can at least acknowledge this: in the absence of strong reasons to do otherwise, homosexuals who through no fault of their own have deep seated desires for homosexual relationships have good reason to pursue those relationships.

Now we must ask ourselves this. Are there any other considerations that clearly outweigh the reason already mentioned to pursue a homosexual relationship? Let us stipulate that the person in question is a lesbian, is very responsible, and if she pursued a relationship with another woman would no doubt pursue a committed, lifelong, monogamous relationship. In her case what counterbalancing reasons can we give her to not pursue the relationship? Appeals to health concerns will have no purchase in this case. Appeals to respecting the dignity of persons will be wholly irrelevant, since there is no obvious way that such a relationship would involve disrespect. Appeals to subtle psychological harms caused by such a relationship will hardly be the sort of claims we will have any confidence in, and will not clearly outweigh the harms caused by not pursuing the relationship.

So perhaps we should construe our interlocutor’s point as follows. We clearly cannot blame them for having the deep seated desires that they do. Furthermore, these deep seated desires give them a prima facie reason to pursue those relationships, though perhaps this reason is outweighed by other considerations. However, no sufficiently weighty counterbalancing reasons exist for them to not pursue those relationships. All things considered, therefore, they have good reason to pursue those relationships. But if that is the case, then it is hardly immoral of them to do so.

Here the apologist will no doubt claim that there are sufficiently weighty counterbalancing reasons for them to not pursue the relationship, namely that God prohibited it! But if that is all we can appeal to, then we are tacitly conceding that we can think of no good reasons for the prohibition and so are reduced to appealing to the raw authority of a divine command. We are at that point recommending that a person pursue a lifestyle that frustrates some of their most deep seated desires and sometimes causes them deep distress merely in order to conform to a mandate whose reasonability is not at all transparent and whose very existence is highly disputed (it is not, after all, obvious in the least that there exists a God who has taken an active interest in prohibiting lesbians from becoming romantically involved). That is hardly the sort of recommendation that is going to win the Christian community a reputation for being compassionate or even minimally reasonable. I think it is a recommendation that should win them a reputation for being willing to sacrifice compassion and reasonability in order to persist in highly questionable theological dogmas to which they are wedded. I have little doubt that that is the reputation it will in fact win them.

Hey Mal, you whole case ignores the word of God and roots morality in mans subjective desires. You could've just said "what one deeply wants cannot be immoral." This is, of course rediculous.

Or maybe its ridiculous ;-)

That's only half his case, BradB. The other half is he thinks STR contributors have bad character.

Alan writes: "You can’t get an “ought” from an “is."

I'm not sure that's correct, since you expect us to infer from this "fact" that one ought not to engage in that sort of reasoning, which, of course, is an "ought."

The "naturalistic fallacy" is only a fallacy if one believes that nature is completely devoid of final causes. That is why it is a "fallacy'" that arises in our modern world, one committed to a mechanistic philosophy of nature.

Having said that, you are indeed correct one cannot move from fact that homosexual inclination is the result of certain material and efficient causes (assuming this thesis is correct)--genetic ones, if you will--to the claim that their affects ore morally benign. Some people are born blind, but that does not mean that blindness is good. In fact, we judge it as "not good" precisely because have knowledge of a human's essential properties, one of which is the capacity for sight.

As an aside, it is interesting that Gaga does not say that one is "conceived that way," for in that case abortion could be seen as an instance of unjust harm inflicted upon some tiny members of the gay community.

"But we can at least acknowledge this: in the absence of strong reasons to do otherwise, homosexuals who through no fault of their own have deep seated desires for homosexual relationships have good reason to pursue those relationships."

Couldn't we say this too.

But we can at least acknowledge this: in the absence of strong reasons to do otherwise, alcoholics who through no fault of their own have deep seated desires for drunkenness have good reason to pursue drunkenness.

But we can at least acknowledge this: in the absence of strong reasons to do otherwise, Lesch-Nyhan victims who through no fault of their own have deep seated desires for biting themselves and banging their heads against hard surfaces have good reason to biting and head-banging activities.

I suppose you could say that in the case of alcoholism and Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, there is no absence of strong reasons to do otherwise.

But that doesn't have the ring of truth. It seems that this isn't even a good principle. The mere fact that I have an involuntarily acquired strong urge to do something doesn't automatically translate into a strong reason even if there are no countervailing reasons not to do that thing.

Would the LN sufferer be golden as long as he is wearing a helmet and mouthpiece?

At best, the involuntarily acquired urge constitutes a cause of the subsequent action in obedience to the urge.

Francis,

Good to see a Thomist comment on here :) You and Greg (or another STRer) should really consider a formal debate over morality (Natural Law vs whatever exact theory Greg holds to).

Couldn't we say this too.
But we can at least acknowledge this: in the absence of strong reasons to do otherwise, alcoholics who through no fault of their own have deep seated desires for drunkenness have good reason to pursue drunkenness.

Yes, and I think that is exactly what we should say. And in this case, there are counterbalancing reasons, which is why folks shouldn’t devote their lives to drunkenness.

I’m a bit uneasy about suggesting that the desire to have a meaningful, lifelong same-sex relationship is analogous to the desire to get drunk. Of course, you have said no such thing, but I just wanted to get that on the table so we’re clear on at least where I stand on that.

Unlike the urge to bang one’s head against the wall, the desire that some people have for meaningful, lifelong same-sex relationships is hardly the sort of thing that obviously cannot constitute a significant part of a reasonable plan for achieving a good life. Maybe after long and hard reflection we will see that it actually cannot form part of such a plan, but it is in no way obvious on the face of it that it cannot.

So I see no difficulty at all in the view that in light of the fact that these desires are both deeply rooted and clearly are not mere urges, those who have these desires have good reason to pursue those desires unless there are sufficiently weighty counterbalancing reasons for doing otherwise.

Hi Francis, you said:

"The "naturalistic fallacy" is only a fallacy if one believes that nature is completely devoid of final causes."

Would you provide an example of a final cause as you are using it, so I can understand your statement fully?


Hi Daron, you're right about the proclivity by Malbranche to slight the writers here from STR. If memory serves me, here recently Mal has had the usual cast of avowed atheists or at minimum unorthodox theists agree with his statements on various threads. We find it hard to agree with his views, I seriously doubt that even the historical Malebranche would approve of this kind of slander being associated with his name, [his own troubless with orthodoxy notwithstanding].

Malebranche

"All things considered, therefore, they have good reason to pursue those relationships. But if that is the case, then it is hardly immoral of them to do so. "

I can have good reasons to commit a bank robbery and I can list all the benefits that I will gain by doing so. Does the fact that I can come up with "good reasons" for doing something immoral automatically make it a moral act? What say you?

I have to admit that I have some concerns about the way the ex-gay community is used in this story. The vast majority of ex-gays admit to having some remaining same-sex feelings, and even a study of Christian ministries by Christians (i.e. Jones and Yarhouse) shows that only a minority of those who want to experience change in their orientation actually do.

I do know some people who have experienced some change in their orientation, but I know more who are in faithful celibacy despite admitting that their orientation hasn't changed. Several of these people have spent years and years trying to change their orientation.

Furthermore, it is always possible that homosexuality could have different causes for different people. Perhaps in some cases it is more subject to fluidity than in others. The current state of research really doesn't tell us a whole lot about what actually does cause homosexuality.

Although I agree that homosexual practice is sinful, it bothers me to see ex-gay stories used in this way.

Neo,

And that doesn't even touch on the theory that we're all bisexual to some extent, and really we ought to wonder what causes "mono"sexual behavior in such a striking majority. If it is indeed the case, it's a small wonder that people appear to transit from gay to straight, or vice versa, in their life. I have more than a couple friends who identify as bi, and some of them simply choose to ignore their same-sex desire without denying that it exists, not because of the stigma, but because they prefer to have children and a long-term relationship, which they don't see as feasible with a same-sex partner.

I wonder if the severely diminished life expectancy for gays (and incomprehensibly higher rates of STDS) would be considered a sufficient counter balance (especially when compared to life expectancy for alcoholics, for instance). Additionally, I'd recommend researching the percentage of "gays" who routinely have sex with members of the opposite sex. The premise that gay folks just want to have "the same kind" of life-long monogamous relationships as straight folks doesn't hold up to even the slightest investigation. Don't believe me? Look for yourself.

Just a quick note to the argument. I remember seeing Dr. Dobson on Larry King years ago and he was asked about homosexuality if it was genetic or a decision. He came up with what I think makes a lot of sense---he said that people are not born that way and it is not a consious decision. He said it was a function of a child's development and their identifying with the parent of the opposite sex in lieu of the parent of the same sex.

Brad:

See my First Things article on Richard Dawkins, which you can get to by just clicking my name.

I can think of 3 secular and 1 theological reasons why "born this way" is irrelevant:

(1) Alan has raised this one already - having an inbuilt predisposition to a behaviour doesn't imply that it should be encouraged. Try the same argument on for kleptomania, pyromania, or even adultery (which almost every adult male has a predisposition towards), and see how facile it is as a standalone argument.

(2) Triumph of psychology over biology. If you are male, you are biologically configured for sex with a woman. Vice-versa for women. Except for a tiny tiny minority of people, there's no grey area her about which camp a given individual belongs too; a genetic assay will reveal it 100%, as will the briefest of physical examinations of the torso.

"Born this way" as a catch-cry completely fails to explain why we should prioritise subtleties of psychology over blatant biology.

(3) There's a difference between accepting an impediment and promoting it. To take the extreme example, it's a very good thing to accommodate people hampered by blindness or lack of limbs. It's a nonsense to advocate these as desirable traits and seek to encourage others to acquire them.

(4) The Scriptures clearly say that we are all sinners, "born this way". To argue that nature should sanctify immoral behaviour is fundamentally anti-gospel.


Note that there are two things my arguments above completely ignore:
(1) whether homosexual behaviour is actually innate.
(2) whether homosexual behaviour is actually moral.

Instead, my point is that "born this way" is clearly a very weak argument for assessing morality, and it's far better to let the question of nature pass for the sake of argument and instead focus on the moral consequences (or lack thereof).

Nice Andrew, excellent post. Your 1-4 points are as self evident as anything that we usually wouldn't dare question. One has to be educated out of, or away from admitting these plain truths naturally.

"Triumph of psychology over biology. If you are male, you are biologically configured for sex with a woman. Vice-versa for women. Except for a tiny tiny minority of people, there's no grey area her about which camp a given individual belongs too; a genetic assay will reveal it 100%, as will the briefest of physical examinations of the torso."

I am biologically configured to give and receive oral sex to male or female. No? I am biologically configured to give anal sex to men and women. Right?

Biologically configured and being able to reproduce are different.

Folks on this thread might be interested in this story. Looks like same-sex marriage is about to be legalized in Maryland:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/24/gay-marriage-maryland-legal?CMP=twt_fd

Addendum: biological distinctiveness still applies if we limit ourselves to sexual dimorphism and ignore the sex act. Why should our perception of what sex we wish we were be more "born this way" than the sex we obviously are?

Again, this fails to address how sexual dimorphism should play out in society. That's a separate discussion. The point is that the burden of proof should be on those claiming primacy of innate psychology over innate biology.


Decades of research to discover a “gay gene” have been unsuccessful.

One what basis is it claimed researchers set out to do this?

In general, there is no gene for X.

RonH

In a weird way, we can agree that we are born this way. In what way? We are born in a behavior that is inclined to sin. Many times we in some way inherit our parents who might have been drug addicts, alcoholics or other sinful behaviors but does that mean we embrace it with love or try to correct or restrain it?

If our parent was an adulterer and we seem to follow in the same sin pattern; do we embrace it or try to restrain it? If the bible calls this a sin; do we agree with it or try to substantiate it somehow to quality it as acceptable? We are told to repent and come to Jesus for Salvation but to choose to come to him without repentance is futile.

Malebranche has so effectively answered this as a technical argument that I feel there is little more to add except this:

Homosexuality exists on a gradient; a sliding scale. Not all individuals who experience same-sex attraction experience that attraction to the same degree or magnitude. The same could be said for individuals with tendencies toward violence or alcoholism (although again, I do not feel that these things are one-in-the-same). For some, homosexual urges begin so early in their childhood that their young brains are not even capable of defining them. Culture also has everything to do with the equation. If you are born with a genetic predisposition toward anything, the culture you are raised in will have everything to do with how that genetic predisposition is manifested. Classic Nature v. Nurture. Even if you are heterosexual, the degree or magnitude of your sexual morality; to what degree you indulge desires to view pornography or engage in promiscuous behavior, all of that is intersected with culture and tolerance. For all of these reasons and more, no one man has the authority or even the sheer ability to effective and accurately comprehend all of the nuances of any one thing that is so personal and subjective and mysterious as sexuality, particularity a man, who I will assume for the sake of sparing the author of this blog the searing sting of hypocrisy, has not either experienced or indulged in any homosexual thoughts or activity himself.

Do not judge another person until you have walked in their shoes. There is one divine judge. Alan, if you were an ex-gay (so you call it); if you had struggled with homosexual desires and overcame them, you words here would have a lot more credence and resonance here; however, I do doubt they would be so mechanical.

One more thing I would like to add is that homosexual behavior exists in nature. In can occasionally be seen in a wide array of species from the higher apes down to sexually dimorphic fish and reptiles. Are we to hold nature to the same principals? Are we to judge nature as we judge man? Certainly not. Are we to question God the Father, the Divine Creator of all things why homosexuality emerges in nature? Perhaps there is an argument for it being natural. I think there is a legitimate argument for a young, same-sex couple if they can practice the same chastity and share a mutual faith in God and Jesus as a heterosexual Christian couple. I think there is an argument for the same-sex couples out there who are devoted Christians and devoted to Jesus Christ. You can put a cute little moral bow on a topic that is so incomprehensibly dynamic as human sexuality, especially if you are looking down at it through a discerning lens, with an obvious bias and simply doing the best you can to make it fit into logical and rational paradigms. A deeper sensitivity is needed here. In fact, it is required. All of us were created equal; we were all born into sin and we all live in sin every day. Even if those sins are "merely" prideful. This type pf rhetoric closes a door and leaves you preaching to the choir.

Hi M. Stan since you admire Mals comment and have compounded his reasoning with yours in your similar appeal, maybe you can answer the legitimate challenges that have so far gone unanswered by Malebranche. These same challenges will apply to your comments.

Andrew,

"Biological distinctiveness still applies if we limit ourselves to sexual dimorphism and ignore the sex act."


Sexual Dimorphism deals with behaviors, which is what you are talking about right? Is not the sex act a behavior?


"sex we wish we were"

Are you equating homosexuality with transgender wishes?

Since identical twins have identical genetics, it would follow that if one twin was homosexual, the other would also have to be homosexual 100% of the time.

This does not follow. There are lots of traits that have genetic components that are not 100% shared between identical twins. While height is close to 100%, there is variation between twins. Additionally, traits like intelligence, autism, Alzheimer's, and schizophrenia have a genetic component but are not 100% shared between twins because of environmental effects.

In other words, even saying that the genetic contribution to homosexuality is 15% is not accurate because identical twins are usually raised together and share a similar environment. In order to isolate the contribution of genetics, one would have to study identical twins raised apart. That way you eliminate the effect of their environment.

This is a misunderstanding of how twin studies work. Twin studies compare identical twins (100% genetically identical) with fraternal twins (50% genetically identical). This is because identical and fraternal twins essentially share the same environment, the same womb even, and so you are able to measure the genetic component of the trait being inherited.

For example, in one study of identical twins with at least one twin having autism, the other twin had autism more than 60% of the time. On the other hand, fraternal twins share autism less than 10% of the time. From this you can determine that genetic inheritance is playing a role in expression of the trait.

So if you want to talk about twin studies with regard to sexual identity, you need to compare identical and fraternal twins, otherwise you are attacking a straw man because you are not properly describing how geneticists use twin studies.

Well said, Robb.

I honestly don't think that homosexuals are born that way. (Shocked?)

I think homosexuality is more related to sexual fetishes. Though there is a genetic component to homosexuality I think if we were to study the development of sexual preferences and fetishes, we would shed a lot of light on why homosexuals are the way they are.
After some inner reflection on my own sexual preferences. I do understand why homosexuals would think they are born that way. In a sense, they are. I don't remember when or why my fetishes developed. For all intensive purposes I was "born that way." But I wouldn't blame it on genetics entirely.

Of course homosexuals are born that way...born in sin, and bent on rebellion against God? Among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath like the rest of mankind.

I think part of the argument against "born that way" is also that people who use it only use it one way. They say homosexual people cannot become heterosexual. They do think that heterosexual people can become gay, or bisexual. The gay community is full of people who were once heterosexual. This is often even promoted. However if the argument for "born that way" would be correct, there would be no formerly heterosexual homosexuals and it would be just as wrong to try to make heterosexuals become homosexual as the other way around.

After reading quite a bit more than I really have time for, it seems pretty clear that no one respectable is willing to claim pure genetic causality. Environment is generally given more weight to account for behavior, and genetic research really is illequipped to account for behaviors. Robb even makes this appeal to environment in his first paragraph although the main point seems to affirm a genetic disposition is more primary.

Josh's post says as much also, but I think my question to Josh would be what factor if any does knowledge have on behavior. It seem like his personal testimony of "sexual fetishes" has left out or divorced knowledge or understanding completely from passions--a mistake I believe--I think it's a two way street. On the whole, I agree with Josh's summary in general. BTW Josh, check this out, :~).

elrond, here's a quote I read that came to mind when I ready your post.

"In the Globe story, a gay advocate speaks of the "immense malleability of human sexuality." Interestingly, this observation seems to have been lost on the American Psychological and Psychiatric Associations--which both claim that there is no evidence that homosexuals can change."

no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors

At least quote the entire section.

There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.

Argument 2 I agree with. Just because something is doesn't mean it ought to be that way. Yes.

Argument 3, though... the "ex-gay community" is more myth than fact.

Here's a Christian gay man's take on it, which is definitely worth hearing: http://jewishchristiangay.wordpress.com/2011/10/15/is-it-the-end-of-the-ex-gay-movement-as-we-know-it/

And since we're quoting the APA,

All major national mental health organizations have officially expressed concerns about therapies promoted to modify sexual orientation. To date, there has been no scientifically adequate research to show that therapy aimed at changing sexual orientation (sometimes called reparative or conversion therapy) is safe or effective. Furthermore, it seems likely that the promotion of change therapies reinforces stereotypes and contributes to a negative climate for lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons. This appears to be especially likely for lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals who grow up in more conservative religious settings.

Thanks brad. It's another thing to blame on my home-school education.

"has left out or divorced knowledge or understanding completely from passions--a mistake I believe--I think it's a two way street."

Can you explain a little more here please? If you have time.

@Brad B I guess the ex-gays I have ministered to over the years didn't get the APA's memo that they are consigned to a life of homosexuality whether they like it or not. Talk about "reinforcing stereotypes and contributing to a negative climate" against those who have been set from gay slavery. You might want to read "Ex Gays?" and extensive and exhaustive study of this issue by Stanton and Jones.

Hi Josh, I'm a fan of homeschool education, you most likely would get some deficiency as we all do no matter the system. Anyway, that was meant in a good naturedly way. As far as explaining, I just meant to suggest that passions, sexual or otherwise are connected to our whole being which includes rational thought. In the case of most passions, the gut intuition thinking colors rational thought, and rational thought can change passions and emotions--so long as it is embraced as true. Another way of saying it would be when someone wants to believe something, they simply will not be convinced by evident reason. Conversely a gut intuition passion that has been proved to be hazardous/unhealthy/generally undesirable can change the affections.

Hi Pedalingparson, I think you have confused me with brgulker, I actually agree with your position as evidenced by the last sentence of the 2/26 at 1:36 p.m. post shows.

Identical twins do not have 100% identical DNA, and here is the evidence to the claim:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/11/health/11real.html

jjhart25,

You are absolutely correct. There is no way that two individuals, arising from two cells, with trillions of cell divisions and trillions of copies of the genome made in between, can possibly have identical DNA. DNA replication is an imperfect process and mistakes are made.

For instance, even the cells in your own body don't have 100% identical DNA because of these mistakes.

Identical twins are still as close to 100% identical as you can get though.

I will not write as eloquently as some of you have on this topic, but I don't think until you have actually walked this journey with someone you love deeply, you can judge any of this. My husband and I, have for as long as we can remember back, been blessed with very strong Christan heritages on both sides of our family. We both taught Sunday School every Sunday, husband is a Deacon, in other words we had our children at church EVERY time the door was opened. We wondered about our son from a very early age, made extra time for father/son interactions etc. Our son has battled this through so much heartache you can't even BEGIN to imagine. We have all prayed, fasted etc etc etc from the time he was a young child, but our son is GAY. I have taught in the christian/public schools and worked in church nurseries for years--BELEIVE ME, when I say, all you have to do is watch some very young children and you will see this in them too. You can pretend you don't and keep God in that little box that makes you feel safe for some reason, but I am telling you from the bottom of my heart, people are BORN THIS WAY. I don't understand it and I know that I never will, but I can't tell you how ludicrous some of this reasoning sounds--You may not like it--it disgusts you etc etc, just say that, but PLEASE don't keep persecuting these people. The church is going to have to answer for this treatment some day. We are all God's creation, and HE is going to take that personally. Is it sin to live in this lifestyle? I must admit the Bible seems to lean towards that way although I have heard others speak differentIy on possible greek tenses etc. This is what I do KNOW without a shadow of a doubt, I am so GRATEFUL that I have a GOD that looks on the heart of a person when HE judges. Many of you are so filled with hate that it spills forth in everything you say--YOU will be judged by this same God--Of all the bents etc to be given or have to deal with while living on this Earth, is there ANYTHING as difficult as having these feelings and not being able to express them like hetero people can? Can you even imagine? Have you ever even tried to put yourselves in this place? I sincerley pray that none of you ever have to experience the pain of trying to deal with a gay child amongst your Christian brothers and sisters--it is like walking a tight rope every single day---there is no compassion--only judgement and words so unimaginable that I find myself wanting to flee my Sunday School class. Just unbelievable. IT's wonderful those of you who have the strength to live a celibate life, but you are still gay because you were born that way. One more question, what age were you when you decided you were going to be heterosexual? Just kind of happened, didn't it? That's the exact same way it happens for gay people. Is my son a sinner? Yes, we all are. Is he a deviant? Asolutely not--He is an articulate, compassionate, intelligent young man, and I wouldn't trade him for anything in this world! I ask that instead of judging my son, you PRAY for him every single day (his name is Paul) that he will some day be able to feel the unconditional love of God from other Christians. I walk 4 miles every single day, and another promise from my heart, God is leading me by my hand every day and whispering in my ear, Trust me--Trust me--Trust me, and I do!! Thank-you for listening--By the way, my son, has yet to be in an intimate relationship. He is trying his best to be truthful with us and God. WOW WHAT A GUY!!!

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