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February 02, 2012

Comments

Given that only 50% of identical twins (last I read) where one twin is gay that the other is, I think that making the statement that our orientation is _purely_genetic_ is quite premature. Clearly there is a genetic component since there is a significant parity between siblings where one is homosexual. But to place the burden solely on genetics, for any kind of "predisposition" (for homosexuality, alcohol abuse, sociopathy, etc.) would seem to be a stretch. I would venture to guess that there are feedback loops in personality development that could accentuate or diminish various traits based off of our experiences, choices made and such.

Hi Kevin,
If you are addressing the genetic claim in general then please forgive this comment. If you are thinking that Alan was making the claim that homosexual orientation is strictly predisposed by the genes I think you are mistaken. He was saying it is our sin nature that were are all born with. Like the homosexual, we are all sinners from conception.

If the Adam and Eve story were true, unless God decided their disobedience would change their DNA, their decenants would have inherited their original perfect nature, so people's tendancy to immorality would still be God,s fault. And it would be just as unfair to hold people responsible for their actions if everyone had an inherintly evil nature as if only some people did.

Henrydavid,

You tell him that during the judgement. Let's see how far you get with that.

Daron, when Alan says "Homosexuals are born with an orientation. And it is genetic", that would indicate that Alan is saying that homosexual orientation and predisposition is purely genetic.

Again, Alan says "Although we’re born that way, it’s not because of God. It’s a genetic problem that we inherited from our ancestors."

I think Alan makes it pretty clear that his position is that homosexual orientation is strictly genetic and that homosexual behavior is where choice comes in.

While I agree with the latter, the former is a gross simplification of a highly complex process of innumerable choices and consequences of which a complete understanding is probably impossible.

Trent,

If God is just (as Christians believe), I wouldn't need to tell Him, Her, or It that because He, She, or It would have prevented people from having an inherently evil nature in the first place.

Better hurry up and finish the series.

It will soon be too late.


Having been born the third daughter of Daniel and Susan Moore, you grow up in a conservative Tennessee community. For as long as you can remember having sexual interests, you remember being attracted exclusively to other girls. You are not and have never been romantically interested in men. It’s just not in the cards. You are, however, romantically interested in someone. Suspecting that you are not one of those strong souls who can do well being alone, you began to panic as a young teenager. Now forty years of age, you know you had every reason to panic. You are alone, as though by divine design, and frequently feel as though you are the victim of a heavenly morality that is unintelligible to you. “The law was not made for man, but man for the law,” you can’t help but feel.

Having no real ability to be romantically interested in men and being prohibited by the Lord from being romantically involved with women, you believe, with all past experience as a guide, that you have been condemned to the unenviable fate of a perpetual, though perhaps occasionally interrupted, loneliness. Over the years you are variously overcome by isolation, loneliness, periods of relief, periods of anger, confusion, disappointment, consolation, depression, and resentment. People have killed themselves over these things, you think to yourself. “What on earth is so morally wrong about two women being romantically involved” you wonder. “What reason does God have for subjecting me to this?” The typical answers are, of course, rather mindless and merely memorized, as you are well aware. And in any event, you think to yourself, those answers were never meant to be answers for those for whom the questions are actually a question. The answers have other purposes, you conclude. The concerns about AIDS, for instance, are hardly relevant in your case, since you know that your chances of contracting it from having sex with another woman are unbelievably low. There just is no credible health risk, in your particular case. In fact, you can think of no clear harm that would come from the relationship that is anywhere near comparable to the harm you have experienced and will in all probability continue to experience living a life of loneliness in obedience to a principle whose reasonableness is not at all apparent to you.

Convinced that it is God’s will, you continue to “bear your cross,” as it were. In the meantime you can hardly stomach what you are regularly told. It is patently obvious to you, for instance, that the chief anxiety among many Christians is not the terribleness of being dealt the hand you were dealt, but the terribleness of having laws permitting folks like you to marry women. Multitudes, from their places of comfort and in full possession of their hearts’ desires, eagerly pronounce to you that the Lord would have you continue to resist, for no reason apparent to you, the deep and unrelenting desire for the woman you love, an inclination that you have through no fault of your own, an inclination that God, for reasons inscrutable, saw fit to not relieve you of, and an inclination whose satisfaction the Christians in your life are eager to greet with a portentous, “Sin!”. How casually they tell you that you are not the only one with a right to complain, that they had to wait twenty-seven years or so before their heart’s desire was given to them in marriage and romantic commitment to the one they so deeply loved. Everything in you boils up in frustration, and you ask rather angrily if they know the difference between enduring a burden from which, with probability on their side, they can hope for relief, from which they may have presently been relieved, and enduring a burden with no sign of relief in sight, at the apparent cost of deep desires for romantic companionship, and for no reason apparent to yourself other than the raw authority of a divine command. Is there really, you ask rather forcefully, so little that is unique about my complaint? Has my hallelujah not been thrown into a furnace of pain of which most are thankful to be ignorant? With the frustration of your response evident, you are told that you are loved by God, that he will empower you, and encouraged to trust in him. But you know what God’s “empowerment” looks like, since you’ve seen where that has put you in the past forty years. You know that God is about as likely to relieve you of your loneliness as he is to relieve your brother of the paralysis he has suffered from for thirty-five years. You go home, looking for something to read, and pick up C.S. Lewis. You read,

But go to Him when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence. You may as well turn away. The longer you wait, the more emphatic the silence will become.

Your heart swells up with gratefulness before such honesty. You quote from memory a beloved passage of Scripture: “Pardon me, my lord,…but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” In full respect of these horrors, you say, “Behold, I am insignificant, what can I reply?” You put your hand over your mouth and let the questions go unanswered.

Kevin, you seem to be ready to throw out the baby with the bath water. Why are you stuck on trying to say that Alan's position is that sexual orientation is genetic, when he actually uses the phrase "But it is not sexual orientation [that homosexuals are born with]" in the third paragraph?

Now if you want to disagree with Alan that a "sin nature" is genetic?

Malebranche, I am moved by your courage and your sacrifice. I pray that God will answer your question to your satisfaction. I pray that you are able to hear, understand and accept the answer that you get and that it will give you peace.

I should clarify that what I reproduced was a rather imaginative reconstruction about how awful it must be for some of these folks. It's not necessarily autobiographical.

For anyone who can relate to Malebranche's imaginitive reconstruction, I recommend a true story: Washed and Waiting.

I recommend it for heterosexual single people, as well, who feel they've passed the age where marriage is likely. You'll be able to relate to, and benefit from, much of what he says.

My bad for misunderstanding the source of your post, but the prayer remains the same.

Henrydavid,

That doesn't appear to be the case. His view of just seems to be different than yours.

Feel free to tell him that he is wrong at the time.

RonH, just read your post... too late for what? You got some special inside information on Judgement Day?

This is more of a general point than one particular to homosexuality, but it's a pity that our culture has done such a fine job of programming us to think that unless we can have sex (and not just sex, but regular, mind-blowing sex) then we aren't fulfilled as people. No wonder it sells so well. And no wonder we divorce and remarry so often when it doesn't "feel" the way we think it should. After all, the heart wouldn't lie, would it? (Jer 17:9)

If someone thinks that their entire life is a waste because they don't get laid enough, then their values may need some tweaking. And if you think that you can't have a fulfilling, loving relationship with another human being save by carnal knowledge, then there's some issues with that, too.

Malebranche,

Let me get this straight.

You encourage Ms. Moore to carry on.

Is that right?

RonH

RonH,

Nope. I think she should get a girlfriend! I'm going to be stoned to death for that one!

I just wrote that from the perspective of someone who is both gay and is conflicted about it for reasons pertaining to faith. That's the sort of person that I expect has quite the awful internal life.

jw,

If you follow the link I left, you'll see that gays are going to be marrying more in the near future than they do now.

There will be a snowball effect.

There will be some small and shrinking audience/market for clunky messages like the OP for a while.

Then not enough market to bother.

But you'll still be able to find such things in old books and in the Wayback Machine.

RonH

Malebranche,

Thanks for the clarification.
I think she should too.

Thanks for the piece.
It was moving under my misinterpretation.
I like it even better now.

RonH

Ron,

Back in the 60's, you'd have thought free love and hippie culture were gonna be the way of the future, in the 80's the Reagan Youth were gonna take over the world, and in 2000 we all figured JNCO's and rock-rap were gonna erase all that was good and decent.

Don't put too much faith in what teens and twenty-somethings think. Not only are they prone to mature, they're also known to have kids who disagree with them.

This is horribly ignorant.

Bennett,

Look at the chart. I don't need to rely on the teens and twenty somethings.

RonH

Ron,

Ehhh, maybe. They're certainly the group most likely to say that anything consenting adults do sexually is "fine". Other groups might favor letting gays "marry legally", but that's not quite the same as approving of homosexuality. I approve of letting people smoke dope "legally", but drop "legally" from the sentence, and my opinion's pretty different.

All that aside, though, society and the law approving of something may or may not make something moral. That one's still debated.

I like this and have referenced it more than a few times to show that statistically, things aren't always what they seem. It proves that basketball players were born that way.

Malebranche,

Thanks for posting that reconstruction. It reminds me that we often do leave compassion out of the equation.

Bennett,

I was making 3 rather narrow points about public opinion on gay marriage.

The first is that we are past the crossing point - more people favor legal gay marriage than oppose. There's no doubt about this.

The second is the trend is strongly in the 'favor' direction. Trends can stop at any time but this one seems to be accelerating.

The third is the snowball effect. When people people know a member(s) of a minority their feelings about that minority change. People who get to know gays find out that they are - mostly - just like everyone else -except they are gay.

You can deny my points if you want. You don't seem to do that.

Or, you can accept them. (Is that what "Ehhh, maybe" means?)

Or you can change the subject. Looks like that's your approach, mainly. Fine. But what does that accomplish?

RonH


Ron,

I think the legalized gay marriage thing is a red herring from the blog topic, as to whether God would punish people for being who they really are, and the corollary issue of whether gay people are simply "as God made them."

I don't actually know whether gay marriage will achieve widespread legal or social acceptance. I neither accept nor reject your statement out of hand. For that matter I, like Malebranche, have great sympathy for GBLT persons and have several persons among my closest set of friends who are gay. I just don't think that public opinion makes a good referent as to whether or not a thing is moral. Was homosexuality immoral and evil back when sodomy laws were written and enforced? Was interracial marriage immoral during Jim Crow? I'm not content to let the government or tyranny of the majority decide for or against on that sort of issue.

Bennet,

A red herring here would be a "piece of information [that] is or is intended to be misleading, or distracting from the actual question." (OED quoted in Wikipedia)

You see my comment as a red herring. Well, it is - if you accept certain premises of the OP.

But I reject these premises.

My intuition is that you reject them too because you have gay friends and I bet you have no rapist friends and no murderer friends. You don't really think gay behavior is wrong.

The same set of intuitions led me to point out the poll data. These data are not a reason to change your tune. They are not a premise in an argument. So forget that angle. I'm just pointing them out. Just sayin'.

RonH

Westminster Confession: Chapter III; Of God's Eternal Decree

III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.

VII. The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extends or withholds mercy, as He pleases, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice.

_____

Yes, unless you see true repentance, God predestinated a vast majority of people to eternal damnation. Hint, you'll know them by their fruits.

Ron,

No problem. You're right, incidentally. As it happens, I also have former heroin addicts, prostitutes, strippers, alcoholics, thieves, liars, and cheats amongst my friends, in varying degrees of active/retired/penitent status. I don't confuse being sinful with being scum. No human is scum, but no human is free of sin either.

I wouldn't classify homosexual sin differently from any other sexual sin, and I do feel that there needs to be a context to establish when a behavior--any behavior--is sinful. I consider it a thorny issue, but have no worries that I love and accept my friends whether they do or don't dance the horizontal tango with whomever they please.

That said, I also love and accept my morbidly obese mother. She was born inclined to be fat, and frankly chose to pursue that course, though she'd much rather not be. If I had better evidence that some Levitical laws that sit side by side with kosher diet, or a couple Pauline passages where the emphasis is on general promiscuity and degeneracy, I'd be more certain that my gay friends could or should change.

As it is, I'm fairly skeptical about almost anything said for or against homosexuality. I don't think it's Plan A, for obvious mechanical reasons, but it's a nebulous issue that isn't going to be easily settled by votes, or neuroscience, or evolutionary biology, or Biblical exegesis, or much of anything else. It's just very complicated. I certainly have a personal stake in it, as well, that I won't get into, so I've got my own confirmation biases to worry about.

I do, however, maintain that whether you're for or against or neutral on LGBT activity, it's a shame to classify a person by their sexuality, at least as much as it is by their gender or race. We're so much more than that. It gives me the same sadness to hear someone reduce himself to a 'gay man' as when some bigot refers to a migrant worker as an "illegal." It's dehumanizing.

I don't really have "a tune" to change, as such. I'm somewhere in the agnostic range on this particular issue, but not at all confused about whether to love them anyway.

I get where everyone is coming from in their comments. As well,I don't think that those of us who are heterosexuals(straight)would be so annoyed at the gay community if most of them behaved in a way they aren't too imposing upon everyone to ACCEPT who they are. For example, straight people are not running around having pride parades to impose on people to prove something or to hide some sort of guilt. I think it's downright guilt and consciousness of wrongdoing on the part of the gaycmunity as with their pride parade-or else we wouldn't be hearing of people "coming out of the closet". What were they doing "in the closet" so long? Feeling guilty about the situation? Having extreme moral issues and concerns before finally coming out and saying,"Oh what the heck...What do I have to be ashamed of..Let's show them 'in the form of a pride parade". Please spare me this foolishness. Take genetics out,take out things to justify for bad behavior. We all have done things that were bad and we knew that it was bad but we made the choice not to stop. Okay that's understandable,but this is beyond homosexuality just being "sinful nature". If homosexuality is just sinful nature, that means if a homosexual is converted by God,he/she can no longer be gay since it's "sinful nature". Well now here's the controversy: People claim to be changed by God, claim to be pastors, priests and religous in many aspects yet they maintain that they're gay which in the context of the post would still maintain that their change is not real because they are still held captive by this "sinful nature". Two wrongs can't make a right. No matter what we do to justify the gay position: God looks at the heart, and it is the heart which decides how the mind is going to work with what happens on the outside. You don't have to actively be involved in the behavior to be guilty of the wrong. Sin and the thoughts proceed from the heart. So saying,"I'm gay,but I don't actively involve myself in THAT TYPE OF BEHAVIOUR" won't cut it. If God deems it abominable,then what else are we to say to that?

Richard,

You may be right about there being troubling aspects of "gay culture", much as there are troubling aspects of "college culture" and any other subculture that primarily centers on sex and self-affirmation. But not every gay person is a part of that. The question is, what about homosexuality is "abominable"? In that context, we can discuss it as sinful or harmful, sure.

But my analogy would be that while 'murder' is wrong, not every killing of another human being is a murder. In fact, if I *failed* to kill someone who wanted to kill my daughter, I'd be morally culpable in some modes of thought.

This is an issue that would benefit from a little more nuance than just declaring this or that "abominable."

You're also getting onto very shaky ground saying that someone who experiences urges that they don't follow is still culpable. We all experience temptations, even the greatest saints. If you think being tempted is the same as being guilty, then that's a bit problematic. If you mean that it's culpable to engage in some sort of cognitive dissonance where someone goes "Well, I'm gay and think it's fine, but I guess I'll just humor God and refrain," then that's... just kinda confusing, really.

Richard,

What were they doing "in the closet" so long?

1) If they were in the closet because of guilt, that doesn't make the guilt justified.

2) Have you heard? Gays are persecuted, collectively and individually. One gay person might answer you: If I hadn't been in the closet my parents would have kicked me out of the house. Another might tell you they would lose their job.

RonH

My "in the closet" comment has more to do with the gay lifestyle being a normal lifestyle,nature or behaviour. The point is,if it's normal to the conscience of that person who has to deal with that part about him/herself,they wouldn't have to hide behind it, and he/she would always be proud to be in a position to stand up and defend what he/she feels is normal behaviour or nature. Why would I want to "hide in the closet" if I was conscious that my nature is normal and right in my own heart and mind? Yet,I acknowledge that there are many who have come out and stood up for there rights in the form of pride parades. You see? Here's another downside again concerning coming out: Why would one have to have pride parades if the nature and behaviour is normal and right? Like I said earlier,heterosexual(straight)people don't run around having pride parades to celebrate being straight. So it's hard for me to visualize how one could engage in pride parades if,in his/her conscience,the gay lifestyle is normal and right. Are we going to try and fool ourselves into believing that those who are of this lifestyle are not even a little bit conscious that there is something strange or off about their lifestyle or nature? I'm very understanding of them fearing to lose their jobs or having their parents kick them out for the lifestyle they choose and I don't like the fact that their family should disown them for something that they may very well have no control over,but nothing can justify or change how God sees it. Understand,I don't run away from them and I don't condone any such type of severe behaviour. They're normal people like all of us,but I will not downplay or try to make right a lifestyle or nature that is abominable in the sight of God. All I'm saying is,if you're engaged in "normal" behavior,there's no reason to over-flaunt it and have pride parades.

Richard,

Would you say that being Irish is shameful, then? I mean, it was stigmatized in this country for years, and nowadays there's Irish Pride parades every St. Patty's Day.

You may also be wrong about gay people *wanting* to be in the closet, rather than feeling pushed into it by social stigma.

You can take a guess, then, why they might have a parade, if they've felt forced to lie and conceal something for years.

Dave - Thanks for posting the portion of the Westminster Confession.

Can you answer this question, If God is not responsible for the sinful nature of humans, who is?

I try to be a faithful follower of Christ - but I have always struggled with this question.

Maybe God didn't cause us all to have a sinful nature, but he at least allowed it. So, I have to conclude that it was the best outcome for some reason. Do you have any thoughts on why God would allow us to end up as we are?

Thanks for your feedback.
Eric

Bennett, you are way off topic. Being Irish and gay are not the same thing. I gave an example as this: Heterosexual(straight) people are not running around having pride parades. How can you bring up being "Irish"? Being Irish is not a nature nor behaviour. It's a nationality so please clarify why you would use that example? I'm aware of the severe and emotional casualties of the Irish, the Black or the Jewish population etc.,but we're not talking about a nationality. Who cares if somebody wants to celebrate being Irish, American or what have you? There's nothing wrong with that. My point is why celebrate something you deem as normal and right like there's something to prove or do to convince yourself of its validity concerning moral codes? Am I going to ask a person why he/she is Irish pertaining to morals? Why would I go to someone and say,"It's wrong to be an Irish?" It's downright crazy. Surprisingly, there are people who do that anyway. You are born White,Black,Hispanic,Oriental etc. Please can we all take a vote at what we categorize as being gay so we can reach an appropriate conclusion? Is being gay (a)nationality (b)race (c)nature (d)behaviour, and is being gay (a)something one's born with (b)influenced behaviour (c)preference or choice. Then,we can do a thorough study and comment on God's stand on this topic because honestly,a lot needs to be clarified here.

>Eric; If God is not responsible for the sinful nature of humans, who is?

>>I hold to the Federal Theory of Original Sin (search out Charles Hodge), where Adam represented his posterity, just as Christ, the Second Adam represented his posterity.

That is, God imputed Adam's sin to his offspring, just as God imputed Christ's righteousness to his elect. We had nothing to do with Adam's sin, nor with Christ's righteousness.

People are consequently born predestined to sin and destruction in Adam, including the sin of homosexuality. Whereas, God's elect, though conceived in sin and death, are predestined to life and rewards in Christ.

I don't know how many here are familiar with L. Ray Smith and his website under the heading of "Exposing Those Who Contradict" at bibletruths.com, but he has some interesting points concerning Dave's point concerning the origin of sin and the wisdom of man. Here's some of what he states: If Adam had shown just a little restraint,the world wouldn't be in the giant mess that it is in today? Oh really? Well,why then didn't Adam exercise restraint? What went wrong? Did the first humans malfunction? Was there a flaw in their original design? God was the Designer; Is God to be blamed? Not according to Christendom. But why not? Now listen carefully. Here is wisdom beyond its years. When a scientist creates an experiment or a machine that malfunctions,is he responsible for the malfunction? Yes. Does he hold the machine or experiment responsible? No. Does he hold God responsible? No. Okay..Now according to Christendom,when God creates an experiment or machine that malfunctions,is He responsible for the malfunction? No. Does He hold the experiment or machine responsible? Yes. Does he hold man responsible? Yes. See the wisdom? I have just shown you one reason why God calls the WISDOM of this world STUPIDITY! 'For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written,He takes the wise in their own craftiness'(I Corinthians 3:19). First,Christendom assumes that God's creation of humans malfunctioned--IT DID NOT! Second,they assume that God does not take responsibility--HE DOES!....Few indeed have ever stoped long enough to consider that just maybe God intended for the world to be in the hellish mess that we find it. Not for all eternity,but for the present,for a period of time,for a great purpose. It just seems so wrong to Christian thought to believe that God would have purposed such an evil and unhappy world. But look at the alternative. Are we to believe that God tried(albeit unsuccessfully)to make a good creation,but was unaware of its potential to run amok? And ever since,God must therefore either lack the love for humanity to straighten it out,or He lacks the power and the ability. But either way it disowns God's sovereignty and presents us with a God Who either CANNOT or WILL NOT STOP THE INSANITY! They would have us believe that God's solution to rid the world of sin and evil is to torture most of humanity in fire for all eternity. The whole idea is blasphemous. If a carnal-minded human can take responsibility for an invention that malfunctions,I submit that God is bigger and more responsible than puny man. Be it known to all that God takes full responsibility for His creation, and absolutely nothing in His creation is malfunctioning. Here's the proof: If a thousand Christians were given the assignment to write an essay describing the world as it was after God completed it,but before man sinned,I am positive that we would get one thousand essays describing the unbelievable beauty,harmony,and perfection of all creation including man and beast. However,would such essays be based on the Scriptures? Let's look at a little understood scripture: 'For the creature[and/or creation itself]was MADE subject to VANITY NOT WILLINGLY,but by reason of Him[that's God]Who HATH SUBJECTED the same in hope. Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the BONDAGE OF CORRUPTION into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the WHOLE CREATION groans and travails IN PAIN until NOW'(Romans 8:20-22)!.." end of quote. He says much than this so for more,go to L. Ray Smith "Exposing Those Who Contradict" under the heading of "The origin of Satan,Evil,and Sin".

"Please can we all take a vote at what we categorize as being gay so we can reach an appropriate conclusion?"

Probably not. And given that most of us would have no idea what we're talking about (much as happens in most general elections), what would it prove?

"Being Irish is not a nature nor behaviour."

Well, I was born Irish. It affects how I behave. Some would even say that it's in the blood, since I consider myself Irish long after my family left Ireland. It was once considered a genetically-inferior breed (the Brits had lovely little charts showing how the Irish and the "Negroes" were both more closely related to apes than the "highly-evolved" English). Plenty of reasons why there's parallels.

You think being gay is intrinsically awful, but you don't think the same about Irish. But if I no more chose to be born Irish than gay, why should I be more ashamed of one than the other?

What qualifications or evidence do you have, exactly, to assert that gay people are trying to conceal their shame, as it were, by either staying in the closet, or coming out, or entering a gay pride parade? For that matter, how can you be so dogmatically certain that they all have the same motives? Heck, they may not even all be gay for the same reasons, or to the same extent.

Now, sure, being Irish isn't the same as being gay. But it's not so wildly different for the purposes of throwing a parade. The whole point of those parades is to show that you're proud to be a member of a group. I realize that straights don't have parades, but they also make up 95% of the population. It's kinda not exactly a sub-group. White people don't have parades to celebrate being white, either. Nor do you see a whole lot of 100 IQ Pride Parades. There's really no sense of group identity for being the tallest part of the bell curve.

Now, if heterosexuals were a small fraction of the population, wholly responsible for maintaining the human race by the, ah, fruit of their labors, I bet you anything we'd have parades to celebrate our status. If we could find the time. ;)

Dave and Richard - Thanks for your infomative comments.

I think we all agree that the our sinful natures were inherited from Adam - per the plan of God.

I also agree with Richard's post that nothing in the world has malfunctioned. Everything is happening per God's plan. I praise him for his amazing, and sometimes hard to understand, soveriegn plan.

Bennett, don't delude or deceive yourself. Being Irish is NOT A NATURE OR BEHAVIOUR. So,if you WANT to behave a certain way and call it "Irish",it's your loss and no one else's. What if someone were to display a certain behaviour,are you saying that you can discern what country they come from without him/her telling you? You say,"It's in the blood". Why people make that statement has to do with genetics and that of their immediate families for example when someone might make a remark that,"He's stubborn just like his father. It's in the blood". That statement has nothing to do with nationalities/countries. What are you trying to say? Irish people are nice people IN A DIFFERENT WAY? Irish people are bad people IN A DIFFERENT WAY? Do Irish people have different emotions than human beings on a whole? Are Irish people a different kind of human species? So does it mean that it can be worng or right to be Irish? Come on Bennett,be real. Being Irish and being gay are not in the same category no matter how you put it. Bennett,the reality is, is that the gay population has pride parades. Straight people don't. We can't change what it already is, so for me to go on this irrelevant road of reverse psychology or reverse of roles, putting a small fraction of straight people in a "what if" situation celebrating pride parades is really a waste of time. What if what if what if...As if "what if" justifies the means. If,if,if,if. Look, it is what it is. We have to deal with what is instead of "what if".

Richard,

Do see above "being Irish isn't the same as being gay. But it's not so wildly different for the purposes of throwing a parade."

I realize there are significant differences. You seemed to miss the bit where I was pointing out that minorities tend to have a sort of "cultural pride" that majorities tend not to celebrate, simply because there isn't really anything exceptional about being the norm. I don't get ruffled over having brown hair, either; it's pretty average. My redhead friends tend to be more proud of their hair, even though they did nothing to determine it.

The bottom line is that gay people may have parades to celebrate their difference, just as Irish or German people might.

Now, you believe that being gay is sinful, that much is clear. As a consequence, you figure that gay people think of being gay in a different way than, say, black people think of being black. But many gay people do not, in fact, think they chose to be gay, or that it's a voluntary association, or even that it's "sinful". So it's wrong to attribute a motive to them based on a set of assumptions that they don't share with you.

Now, I don't know whether being gay is a "nature or behavior", whether it's inborn or conditioned, or some combination of the above, or varies amongst individuals. I'd suspect it's the latter, at the least. And neither do you.

"Do Irish people have different emotions than human beings on a whole? Are Irish people a different kind of human species? So does it mean that it can be worng or right to be Irish? Come on Bennett,be real. Being Irish and being gay are not in the same category no matter how you put it."

I'm sorry, are you saying that gay people, in contrast to Irish people, have different emotions and are another kind of human species? You really need to clarify this statement, because it sounds pretty bigoted the way you phrased it.

HenryDavid - I'll be attending a conference in a couple of weeks featuring Michael Behe and Richard Sternberg about "Epigenetic Keys." An epigenome is "an intricate system of microscopic tags, flags and switches inside our cells that plays a vital function: turning genes on and off at the right time. It's the 'software' that runs our 'DNA hardware.'" This is a hot new topic in the field (and not just for Behe and company). One of the reasons is that "our health habits can rewrite parts of our epigenome, and changes can even be passed to the next generation." Although it would be speculative at this point, it is interesting to consider the possiblities related to Adam and Eve.

Bennett,take time to reread my recent comments concerning the "Irish" subject. I just wanted you to see what problems you created when you classified "Irish" as "affecting" certain BEHAVIOUR. Remember,you stated,"I was born Irish. It affects the way I behave". Then you went along the line to say that "some would say it's in the blood",and I have made it CLEAR to you that being "Irish" is NOT a BEHAVIOUR OR NATURE. NATURE AND BEHAVIOUR VERSUS NATIONALITY/COUNTRY was the context that I had been drawing on the whole time. As I have previously stated,the "it's in the blood" quote is made by people in general based upon genetics and traits within their immediate families. The example I used was,"He's stubborn just like his father. It's in the blood". Again,let me reiterate,that quote has nothing to do with NATIONALITIES/COUNTRIES. How clear do you want me to make this? Being gay is NOT A NATIONALITY. Being Irish IS A NATIONALITY. How clear is that now? Does the gay population have a country,or maybe an island,from which they originate from that I should know about? Let me know. Understand, I based the "Irish" questions on the way that you categorized being "Irish" as AFFECTING BEHAVIOUR. So,instead of giving you the general differences in when someone says that they're gay versus someone who says they're Irish,American, Canadian etc.,I decided to let you see the flaw in how you categorized a NATIONALITY as a BEHAVIOUR OR NATURE. That's why I asked you if you could tell what country someone came from based on their behaviour or nature. I stayed on that particular topic of "being Irish" to let you see how foolish it is to make similar attributes between a NATIONALITY and a NATURE OR BEHAVIOUR. So,staying within "your idea" of what it means to be "Irish",I asked,"Do Irish people have different emotions than human beings on a whole? Are Irish people a different kind of human species? So does it mean that it can be right or wrong to be Irish?" All this was based upon letting you see what would happen if we were to put being "gay" in the same context as being "Irish". I hope you get my point. You can't put these two terms in the SAME CATEGORY OR CONTEXT. Simply speaking,being Irish IS A NATIONALITY. IT'S NOT A BEHAVIOUR NOR IS IT A NATURE. Whereas,being gay is in the category of BEING A NATURE OR BEHAVIOUR. Now let's put these two together in the proper perspective using examples as these: "I'm a gay Irish person" "I'm a gay person from Ireland" "I'm Irish and I'm gay". Being Irish is based upon having Irish origins,parentage or family relations,or being born in Ireland. So, not everybody can say that they're Irish. IT'S NOT A BEHAVIOUR OR NATURE. However,being gay is not confined to a particular or single island or country. IT'S NOT A NATIONALITY. Is this clear enough for you? I'm certainly not saying "that gay people,in contrast to Irish people,have different emotions and are another kind of species". As I have maintained,I was allowing you to see the problems in your attempt to flip over a nationality to make it sound like it was a nature or behaviour. All those questions were rhetoical for that sake alone. I would never resort to label human beings as other species. Again,let me clarify,I based the rhetorical questions on the context of your classification of so-called "Irish" behaviour,NOT gay people. Bennett,can you show me exactly where I said anything along the lines of "gay people,in contrast to Irish people,have different emotions and are another kind of human species"??

First off, thanks for making sure to put the really important parts in caps, several times, to make sure I could see them. Those tiny little normal letters are too dense for me to parse.

The parallel to Irish pride was simply that--a parallel. I realize one is a nationality, and the other isn't. I said they were similar, not identical. No need to spell it out for me IN BIG LETTERS.

In fact, the primary similarity that I meant to emphasize was, and I said so, that either one is a sub-group which might reasonably be expected to feel that they were "born that way" that there was nothing "right" or "wrong" about being as they are, and further, that they are part of a smaller group within the larger context of society. It's a way of celebrating "Le difference" as the French call it.

At this point, though, I'm not sure exactly what the point at issue is. My apprehension (or possibly misapprehension) was that we were discussing whether or not gay people are entitled to have parades, and as a corollary issue, whether these parades are somehow symptomatic of a deep-seated desire to mask their shame at being gay.

I don't think you've shown that they should not have parades, nor that they are hiding their shame. You have asserted it, but I have not seen any evidence.

Now, if you're trying to make some other point, then it has thus far eluded me. If you feel that I am mistaking your intent, could you calmly and concisely outline what it is that you're attempting to assert, and what evidence you have for it?

"It seemed normal for me to fantasize about having promiscuous sex with girls"

Yes, promiscuous sex is bad, if that is what your point is.

Now, if one were to say.... "It seemed normal for me to fantasize about having a relationship with a girl," nobody would have a problem. If one were to say, as a man, "It seemed normal for me to fantasize about having a relationship with a man".... suddenly that is immoral and wrong?

For everyone who has been born with a straight orientation.... just for 5 minutes, imagine being told that you could never act on it, that you could never be in a relationship with someone else, and that you would have to be content being single for the rest of your life --- knowing that this God-given desire to have a companion has no object for which you are allowed to satisfy it with. That is EXACTLY what you are telling all the gay folks out there, and you will realize how absurd your silly claim is, not to mention, how devastating, isolating, and hopeless that would be for you.

Hey Bennett, in response to your question,you asked me to clarify something because you thought it was phrased in a bigoted way, and I did what you asked by being as detailed as possible with my answer. You remember, don't you? I'll quote your words as a reminder: "I'm sorry,are you saying that gay people,in contrast to Irish people,have different emotions and are another kind of human species? YOU NEED TO CLARIFY THIS STATEMENT,BECAUSE IT SOUNDS PRETTY BIGOTED IN THE WAY YOU PHRASED IT" end of quote. Your words,not mine

Yes, I remember. Thanks again for compensating for my astigmatism and myopia there. And?

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