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04/25/2008

Dallas, Sex-us: Examining one pastor's imperious views

by Jeremy Hooper

In a lengthy article in which he tries to rationalize the modern church's hard-line stance of 'mosexuality, Rev. Dallas Henry has outlined some key points of his side's crusade. No fans of having our lives and loves trivialized in simplistic, dogmatic ways, we will now address two of the ideas that Mr. Henry raises:

#1 A “gay gene” has never been found. Homosexuality is a CHOICE. It is true that some people have more gay tendencies than others. They have more of an inclination to turn to a gay lifestyle. BUT - it’s their CHOICE. Children of alcoholics and child/wife abusers are more likely to become alcoholics and child/wife abusers themselves. BUT, it’s their choice. You aren’t born that way. Environment, society, culture and values play a big part in a person turning to a homosexual lifestyle. BUT, it doesn’t MAKE them a homosexual. It’s their choice.

A gay gene has never been pinpointed, so that means homosexuality is a "choice"? That is the most intellectually unsound, widely unscientific, commonly regurgitated, patently offensive leap in logic of the evangelical Christian movement. And beyond the illogic, the arrogance behind the assertion is simply astounding. Hell, they're almost more cocksure about this "choice" thing than this gay male writer is boner-sure about loving a dude!

The truly annoying thing is that these folks use a technically correct concept and exploit it in the most simplistic fashion. Yes, technically, ANY sexual activity is a choice. Nuns and priests pledge a vow of celibacy (at least in theory). Others choose the same sexless state for a myriad of reasons. And yes, technically, nobody -- be they hetero, homo, or anywhere in between -- has to act on their biological desires. But to only single out gay people as making a "choice" is a uber-simplistic bastardization that makes a reasoned brain cry out in anguish!

Have we pinpointed a root for sexuality? No, not concretely. But there is FAR MORE knowledge, scientific backing, medical opinion, and good old fashioned common sense on the side that sees sexuality as a spectrum onto which people fall in different places. It's understandable why the evangelical community overlooks prevailing scientific opinion, as overlooking what is inconvenient is commonplace within their movement. In doing so, however, they are only going to increase the divide between those who wish to cull their opinions from the realities of the God-given world, and those who want to alter the world's truth so as to make it more in accordance with their one-sided interpretation of a handful of scriptures.

#2 When people evaluate the lifestyle of the homosexual, they are not JUDGING anyone - God has already done that. All they can do is repeat what God has already said in His judgment of homosexuality. We do not HAVE to judge anyone - we leave that up to God, and He has made it clear in His Word what He thinks. A retired preacher once said that when you come to a traffic light and state what color it is; red, green, or yellow you aren't judging it when you say what it is.

Well no, you wouldn't be judging the traffic light in that example. Just like you wouldn't be judging a gay person if you merely acknowledged its existence and acknowledge that the person is, in fact, a homosexual. However, if you throw a stone at the traffic light because your personal faith beliefs have told you that electronic color changes are perverted and sinful, then you would, in fact, be passing judgement! You're allowed to do so; but you really should have the backbone to admit that you are casting a negative decision!

One can turn to the Bible and find butt loads of judgements that are overlooked or rationalized by the vast majority of modern Christians (including the idea that we shouldn't judge). Whereas every other passage in the lengthy tome seems to be up for conversation and varied interpretation, modern evangelists act as if God has gone on international television and explicitly cast his opinion against the 'mosexual set. Nothing could be further from the truth! Many religious folks view the scriptural passages that speak on homosexuality as not actually talking about gayness as we know it in modern times. Others point to the fact that the strongest condemnations are the words of Paul, who is speaking about people who appear to be completely hetero, who went to temples and had sexual relations with a prostitute for the purpose of idol worship (therefore having sex that was unnatural to their hetero nature and which did not glorify their Creator). Others still examine the fact that words like “malakos” and “arsenokoitai” are translated today to mean "homosexual," which does not seem to be the definition that was intended. But to those Christians who hold an anti-gay mindset, these open-minded religious folk are written off as left-leaning, blasphemous, liberal, and/or in the pocket of "the gay agenda™." Again -- it's intellectually improper!

The definitives they use are what fuel this so-called "culture war." Whereas our side more tends to look at all the data at hand and assesses such with a reasoned outlook, their side often feels like they can trump anything we say with the words "I'm a Christian." Until there is some movement from their side, we are going to get nowhere in this debate. And until we get somewhere in this debate, we will never reach a united state in which we can join forces to combat TRUE societal ills!

The_Church_And_Homosexuality.shtmlThe Church And Homosexuality [CCL of Maine]

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Your thoughts

http://i-know-the-internet.blogspot.com/2008/04/i-interrupt-your-normal-brodcast-of.html

it's short and sweet but i'd love you to read it

Posted by: anon | Apr 25, 2008 11:29:45 AM

What about those homo fruit-flys? Where the researchers altered one gene on the fruit-fly dna and voila homos. For fruit-flys the determining factor for same-sex attraction is simple.

For humans (with many more dna pairs) it may be a bit more complex, but most of what we know about ourselves biologically has come from experimentation on lower species. It might be somewhat ethically dubious to alter genes in fetuses and then wait 20 years to see what happened.

Dick Mills

Posted by: Dick Mills | Apr 25, 2008 11:41:20 AM

Of course, they're all cafeteria Christians. And thank you for hitting on the translation errors.

And let us not forget that eating shellfish is also an abomination. Uh oh.

Posted by: Reverend Antonino Stefano Pelliccia | Apr 25, 2008 11:41:41 AM

Have they found the "straight" gene yet? - if not, I guess that is just a choice as well.

Posted by: craig | Apr 25, 2008 1:50:47 PM

:Have they found the "straight" gene yet? - if not, I guess that is just a choice as well.:

And in response to that, they will just say 'yeah, but it's a GOOD choice'.

There's no point in arguing rationally with the die-hard religious haters. They're right and we're wrong because god says so. Who are we to argue with god?

Posted by: | Apr 25, 2008 2:01:07 PM

Anon: Our point is not to argue with the diehard. It's to speak to the millions of impressionable people in the middle who are hearing their messages.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Apr 25, 2008 2:07:27 PM

Anonomous, you mean it is a GOD choice. I always have to ask myself, "if god is such an expert on sexuality, then who the hell is he fuckin'?" If he made us in his image, then where is the female part to that Trinity???

Oh, the church is his bride?? Jerry Falwell (if he made it up there) must have been pretty surprised (pissed) to find out what that meant.

Dick Mills

Posted by: Dick Mills | Apr 25, 2008 2:40:27 PM

Dick Mills,

Falwell is in hell, and he's PISSED that there's nothing deep-fried there.

Posted by: Scott | Apr 25, 2008 3:18:05 PM

Scott, that scenario works for me too. The story isn’t as important to me, just as long as Jerry Falwell ends up getting fucked by god in the end; literally, or figuratively.

Dick Mills

Posted by: Dick Mills | Apr 26, 2008 4:24:42 AM

Thanks for this post. Personally, I'm mystified why any of the fundamentalists speaking out against homosexuality aren't called on their hypocrisy. Plain & simple, they are breaking so many rules in the bible, (unless they're living an orthodox Jewish lifestyle), yet casting stones at gays for one specific issue. I can't figure out why they always get a pass on this, whenever they appear on various news programs, ranting against "the gay agenda".

Posted by: Greg | Apr 26, 2008 9:30:39 AM

Being straight is a choice.

Posted by: Ryan | Apr 26, 2008 10:52:48 PM

Dick Mills,

I seem to recall reading somewhere that originally it was not the father, the son, and the holy spirit, but rather the father, the mother, and the son. The mother was morphed into the ambiguous "holy spirit" later on in xtianity as society became more misogynistic. When xtianity was new there were still Goddesses and women's mysteries to contend with so they had to honor the mother figure to get some converts. But once that was all stamped out they changed it over.

Just a random snippet. :) and no, I'm not a xtian, LOL. :)

Posted by: Wren | Apr 27, 2008 4:52:57 AM

Wren, I would even be happy with that. So, god is married to the "holy spirit", Jesus is the bastard child of some adulterous schtupin' (I like that word Jeremy), and Jesus is still fuckin' Jerry Falwell! Now, isn't that the perfect "family values" picture!

I am finding it more and more difficult to get the picture out of my head of Falwell bent over with his shorts down around his ankles . . . probably Karma - or Lewis Black is "channeling" through me, and that is just what is in his mind all of the time.

Dick Mills

Posted by: Dick Mills | Apr 27, 2008 11:55:35 AM

Church folk can babble on until the end of time with their religious dribble, but I will never succumb to thier beliefs that are taken from a book, which its self is of questionable origin.
If it's not genetic, or by choice, the fools will just conjure up another 'fantasy' remedy for homosexuality.
I think its about time they pulled their head out of their asses and took a big whiff!

Posted by: Shaney | May 1, 2008 9:31:11 PM

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