113 thoughts on “A new blog for New Directions”

  1. I’m not sure about that Ann – I’m not usually attracted to things I can’t relate to or don’t understand

    Jayhuck,
    I am glad you quesitoned this –
    I mean attraction usually begins because of physical attraction, however, it cannot be sustained unless an interest is formed – that only happens if you are curious about the individual and want to know more about them. This can sustain the attraction for a lifetime.
    p.s. – I totally understand the attraction to geeks, especially if they are Jewish!

  2. I agree with you Ann – I don’t think, now, that what you and I are talking about, or what you and Evan are talking about, is what Evan and I were talking about earlier – I’m off to bed 😉

  3. I sometimes think it would be great to know WHY I am attracted to these things and then other times I think its best that that remain a mystery

    Jayhuck,
    You never have to worry about chiming in on any post I am involved with – I always value your input.
    I have often looked back and wondered what it was about certain individuals that held my captivation compared to the kind of person I am attracted to now. I can pinpoint many similarities but also many differences. The one thing that remains consistant is the element of curiousity for that which I do not know – no matter how insignificant it is.

  4. I’m starting to think maybe I should just go to bed – I apparently can’t form complete sentences anymore 😉

  5. I’m not sure about that Ann – I’m not usually attracted to things I can’t relate to or don’t understand – for me I have to be able to relate and understand on some level in order for there to be some attraction – I think it really all depends on what we mean when we talk about what is unknown or known, or what we mean be being able to relate to or even what we mean when we say – lots of unknown and problems with definitions – not sure we’re all on the same page with all these either – I’m a little lost 🙂

  6. I believe that Bem’s idea that we are attracted to the unknown is simply one of many theories of attraction and orientation – it is NOT fact

    Jayhuck,
    I don’t know who Bem is (sorry) and just thought this (the unknown) was common knowledge. When the mind is stimulated with curiosity and of that which we do not know or cannot relate to, desire is stirred as well, often sexual.

  7. Daryl Bem, as I understand his study, was trying to further the idea that the Environment played a larger role in determining orientation, which stands in contrast to the findings of this current study – I culled this from The Box Turtle Bulletin:
    “But until now, the question has remained as to what came first, the orientation or the brain development.
    To get round this, Savic and her colleague, Per Lindström, chose to measure brain parameters likely to have been fixed at birth.”

  8. I thought you were trying to push Daryl Bem’s view, which is different and with not nearly as much emphasis on the biological/genetic. My apologies!!!! This study adds to the growing body of evidence that homosexuality is largely a biologically “fixed trait” 🙂

  9. Jayhuck,
    That exactly what I was arguing!!
    The scans reveal that in gay people, key structures of the brain governing emotion, mood, anxiety and aggressiveness resemble those in straight people of the opposite sex.
    If the brain structures that govern emotions in gays are similar to those of the opposite sex then they view the same sex in a similar manner the opposite sex does. Which means they feel similarly as much emotional ‘otherness’ to the same sex as straights do to the opposite sex. :p

  10. I did like this quote from the New Scientist on the new study out from the Karolinska Institute – which can be found on the Multiple Factors thread on this site:
    “Brain scans have provided the most compelling evidence yet that being gay or straight is a biologically fixed trait.
    The scans reveal that in gay people, key structures of the brain governing emotion, mood, anxiety and aggressiveness resemble those in straight people of the opposite sex.
    The differences are likely to have been forged in the womb or in early infancy, says Ivanka Savic, who conducted the study at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.
    “This is the most robust measure so far of cerebral differences between homosexual and heterosexual subjects,” she says.”

  11. Evan,
    Perhaps I’m not making myself clear – this statement: ” becoming curios about a gender that is perceived to be mysterious (’other’) ” is what is debatable. My understanding is that it comes from Daryl Bem’s THEORY which is only one of many current explanations for orientation and attraction. It is statements like this “That must create a feeling of otherness to the same sex, in terms of emotional valence.” that you make about what is merely a possibility – but that you present as fact, that I have a problem with

  12. Jayhuck,

    I may be wrong, but I believe this is just a theory, isn’t it? This whole idea of the other, the unfamiliar, being what you are attracted to , etc….

    There’s no point in debating this idea of emotional otherness drawing on abstractions and what we think ‘otherness’ means. Attraction is what makes people suddenly shift their visual focus to a gender-typical person that has very good features. So, two steps: becoming curios about a gender that is perceived to be mysterious (‘other’) and looking as if hypnotised at some very good features that person flaunts. But what technically makes people see one gender mysterious and the other ordinary is the bone of contention here. We may one day find the chemical stuff behind it, just as Freud said, but that won’t mean we have understood how attractions are formed.
    We have a few documented facts in research about gender atypicality of gay men and women along many dimensions: aggressiveness – in men, spatial orientation, otoacoustic emissions and auditory evoked potentials, mental rotation tasks, verbal fluency. Childhood gender atypicality has become the staple predictor of sexual orientation in this field of research; there is no other better predictor as yet. Also, there is a massive body of evidence on the role hormones play in the structuring of brain areas that produce the forementioned measurements. All these point to a set of atypical patterns in the gay brains that produce the reported feelings of ‘being different’. Most, if not all of them present similarities across genders and sexual orientations: gay men score score closer to straight women and gay women score closer to straight men. That is a strong indicator that gay brains perceive gender in an atypical manner, ie they perceive the other sex in a like-minded way and the same sex in a way that is typical for the opposite sex. That must create a feeling of otherness to the same sex, in terms of emotional valence.

  13. Ann,
    Sorry for the all the posts, and for butting into a conversation 🙂 I do agree with you AND Evan on the idea that we do not currently know why we are attracted to certain things that may or may not have anything to do with gender – such as one’s voice, or eyes, or physical build. I am attracted to geeky men, particularly of Jewish descent – there are certain other characteristics like eyes, wit, sense-of-humor, etc that I am also attracted to – I sometimes think it would be great to know WHY I am attracted to these things and then other times I think its best that that remain a mystery 🙂 Bem wasn’t completely wrong when he suggested a correlation between attraction and mystery – However,
    Saying that we don’t know WHY we are attracted to certain traits is not the same thing as saying we ARE attracted to THE OTHER – that the Exotic does indeed become Erotic 🙂
    Again – sorry for butting in – I’m gonna add that to my list 🙂

  14. Ann,
    I believe that Bem’s idea that we are attracted to the unknown is simply one of many theories of attraction and orientation – it is NOT fact 🙂

  15. Ann,
    Yes. We are attracted to what is emotionally unknown to us (in gender terms). But that can be profiled without losing attractions. I can think of a number of things that I find attractive in women (like narrow waist, warm and small voice, long hair) but I still can’t explain why it works. There must be a design that makes things match. 🙂

    A shirt that is usually tucked in and now is out will stimulate a woman’s curiosity – that can definitely lead to interest and that can lead to desire – especially if it looks a little messy

    I’m all ears… 🙂

  16. Interestingly, after doing some more reading on Bem, he seems to support the idea that the surrounding culture, especially gender-polarizing cultures (as I’m assuming ours is), strongly influences its individuals – the researchers on orientation as well as the subjects. Now, on another post, we have a different study from the Karolinska Institute suggesting that maybe these influences aren’t as strong as Bem theorized – at least that’s how it seems to me 🙂

  17. Evan,
    I also don’t mean to suggest that there isn’t anything to Bem’s theory – He obviously has many respectable followers and has done a great deal of research in this area – but his IS only one of many explanations out there – It is a possibility, NOT a fact, and should not be stated as such

  18. Evan,
    No one is actually attracted to ‘the same side.
    I may be wrong, but I believe this is just a theory, isn’t it? This whole idea of the other, the unfamiliar, being what you are attracted to , etc….

  19. Evan,
    LOL – I’m fairly certain we’ve been down the Daryl Bem road and have had lengthy discussions why there are real problems with his “assertions” – why do I feel like we keep going around in circles??? 🙂
    There are several problems with the gender perception idea – the smallest being there are many gay men who don’t fit into that niche.

  20. There needs to be a marked differential in emotional meeting (that’s why I say attractions are sparked by something).

    Evan,
    Isn’t so much of attraction generated by what we do not know? In other words, I can be very physically attracted to someone initially but that cannot be sustained unless I have a desire to think about, wonder about, and fantasize about what I don’t know (and later part of what I do know). When this is satiated, even temporarily, desire looses some of it’s potency until it is awakened again by interest in the unknown. These can be some of the smallest and inconsequential things but I think they matter because it stimulates the brain and that creates an interest in the other person and that stimulates desire. A shirt that is usually tucked in and now is out will stimulate a woman’s curiosity – that can definitely lead to interest and that can lead to desire – especially if it looks a little messy 🙂

  21. Jayhuck,
    LOL, I don’t know what the Narth people say about it. But my thinking was closer to the influences that early patterns of peer socialisation can have on future attractions. There are studies that show correlations between hormonal exposure in the womb and toy preference. There are also studies that show that on the average boys are more aggressive, which again points to hormonal influences. Furthermore, studies on adult men’s levels of aggression saw the same gender-typical trait confirmed, but also indicated that gay men scored significantly lower. Now, I think you remember Daryl Bem’s EBE theory. He asserted these basic gender traits (he also included levels of activity, a temperamental dimension) are what decide early companionship preferences and later sexual attractions.
    So gender perception should refer to how someone perceives both genders discriminately, starting from infancy up until puberty, when sexual attractions kick in as a result of hormonal brain activation. The gender that is perceived as ‘the other’ in emotional terms (not in cognitive terms, as in ‘I am a man just like him’ or ‘Unlike me, she is a woman’, but in autonomic reactions) makes the individual feel attracted. It makes them fantasise about that person, want to get into their world, to respond to the their attraction, to interact with them, etc. Gender attraction is like that Doors song: Break on thru to the other side! No one is actually attracted to ‘the same side.’ There needs to be a marked differential in emotional meeting (that’s why I say attractions are sparked by something). I think attractions are basically an equation between the emotionally perceived “bigger” guy and the emotionally perceived “smaller” one. But there must be a slew of factors that can play subtler roles.

  22. Evan,
    You seem to be spouting NARTH ideologies again – maybe I’m wrong. Please tell me your opinion on how gender perception influences attraction. You haven’t been very clear about what you mean – then we can go from there.

  23. Jayhuck,

    You seem to be suggesting that perception of genders precedes attraction when it may be just the opposite

    I don’t see how. You first develop your gender perception and then reach a stage when sexual attractions kick in. Children usually show companionship preferences but they are not aware that this can later lead to sexual preferences for the gender they felt as distant or different. That must have some genetic support.

    You seemed to miss the point on reproductive ability.

    ?

  24. by biological perspectives = by what biology has to say about our Raison d’etre

  25. From a biological perspective our only reason on Earth is to have and raise children. Anything that gets in the way of that goal is ruthlessly cut down by natural selection.
    I guess its a good thing we aren’t biological zombies then 🙂 And luckily for all the single, barren and gay people in the world, we aren’t bound by what biological perspectives. And I’ll repeat myself, as I’m fond of doing – gay people have children all the time. A ran into an old, old friend the other day and found it she had married her lesbian partner of many years. They both had had kids – the “genetic material” we will call it was donated by two of their gay male friends 🙂

  26. jayhuck
    From a biological perspective our only reason on Earth is to have and raise children. Anything that gets in the way of that goal is ruthlessly cut down by natural selection.
    If homosexuality was like blue eyes or hairy arms or extra strong teeth scientists wouldn’t even care. Exclusive and lifelong homosexuality is a game plan that never works in any environment. If SSA was rare it would be a yawner, but it’s not. It’s EVERYWHERE and that makes it pretty, darned interesting.

  27. I suppose it depends on what you mean by gender perception, now that I think about it.

  28. As long as they’re taxpayers, the state has nothing more to ask from them.
    As long as they are taxpayers, however, they have FAR more to ask of the state 🙂

  29. Yes Evan, I realize that men are more prone to X-linked disorders.
    That’s assuming that there is only one thing that is “sparking” them, as you put it. It may be as complex, and studies seem to support this idea, as an interplay of several different things. If one area has dominance over another has yet to be determined.
    You are correct that we are not biological zombies – I don’t know a single person that posts here that would even suggest we are. But we do have primary those things that we are more attracted to than others. What the Multiple Factors study seems to suggest is that genes are definitely playing a big part in our attractions.
    You seem to be suggesting that perception of genders precedes attraction when it may be just the opposite

  30. My question(s) regarding having fewer offspring still stand though: Is having fewer offspring always a bad thing? We talk about having less offspring as a blanket bad sort of thing, but I think there are instances in which it might actually be beneficial.

    Not being able to have reproductive behaviour can be looked at as a form of reproductive disability, in that a person does not have the necessary attractions to be able to initiate or sustain that. But individually, that person may be otherwise perfectly healthy. Other people may have attractions that can lead to reproduction, but may have dysfunctions of the reproductive system or genetic diseases that make them infertile.
    However, it’s not homosexuality that is the only interesting issue, but what causes all variations in sexual orientation. I read a family study that observed inheritance patterns of homosexuality, asexuality and transsexualism, which made the authors conclude that it’s not one particular sexual orientation that is inheritable (or two of them), but gender variance that can take many forms along the same spectrum.
    I’m not sure that it makes sense to discuss how beneficial homosexuality or any other non-reproductive sexuality can be, unless they become more and more prevalent, posing a threat to species perpetuation. But that’s not the case. So I don’t see why would we discuss whether some people’s particular sexuality is beneficial to society, as long as they or some of them don’t live that as a disability. As long as they’re taxpayers, the state has nothing more to ask from them. 🙂

  31. Jayhuck,

    What in the world is a “genetic deficiency”? We have to define that as well to, don’t we? The main problem we seem to be having is in coming to an understanding that unlike certain diseases, behaviors are usually more complex – and yes, I’ll say it again will require more complex explanations for their existance – this isn’t as simple as turning on and off a gene or set of genes, as might be the case for real illnesses.

    Mutations or trinucleotide repeats could cause that. Since men only get one X from their mothers, they get no backup for whatever mutations might be on that maternal chromosome. That’s why men are more exposed to many X-linked illnesses.
    Yes. Behaviours are complex, but what motivates and sparks them may be simple, like something that determines gender perception (or social recognition of conspecifics, as scientists call it). The necessary though not sufficient precondition is to have something cause attractions. What could that be if not how one perceives both genders? Everything else – fantasies, stimulation, arousal patterns, behaviours, identity – can build on that precondition. You don’t necessarily need genes for arousal patterns or for fantasies. Behaviour is a final product that is also the result of some degree of decision. We’re not biological zombies…

  32. We’ve come full circle haven’t we? 🙂 I’m fairly certain we’ve already had these discussions.

  33. I guess I don’t understand the reason for the head scratching – to me it just is. I suppose I can see why it might be interesting to some, but that doesn’t make it a disorder – I’d really appreciate it if you refrained from making such connections to be quite honest.
    My question(s) regarding having fewer offspring still stand though: Is having fewer offspring always a bad thing? We talk about having less offspring as a blanket bad sort of thing, but I think there are instances in which it might actually be beneficial.

  34. jayhuck
    If SSA didn’t result in fewer offspring I wouldn’t find it remotely interesting. That’s the only thing that makes it stand out as a head scratcher. If for some strange reason gay men had on average MORE children than straight men it would be straight men who would be under the microscope.

  35. Is infertility, or should it always be, considered a disorder? And one doesn’t have to sleep with a woman anymore in order to pass on their genes, so I have a problem with your argument.

  36. Drowssap –
    Why do you feel the need to find a way to classify homosexuality as a disorder? Please forgive me if that is not what you are doing, but I get the sense sometimes you struggle with ways to accomplish this. I may be, and am often, wrong 🙂

  37. Evan

    But in reproductive terms, it may affect their chances to pass their genes on.

    Since we don’t know what SSA actually is I think that’s the only real way to categorize it as a disorder. The human mind is the largest sexual organ in the body and in the case of gay men it’s telling them to doom their genes. So people with exclusive SSA have a novel type of infertility.

  38. Evan,
    The pharmaceutical industry grabs a lot more money by selling 5 palliatives than trying to find a cure for an infection that can be caused by as many as 100 viruses and that can resolve itself in a week. It’s not so practical to develop a cure and it costs a great deal of money.
    I absolutely agree with you Evan – I am aware of this – but the fact remains!
    and
    What in the world is a “genetic deficiency”? We have to define that as well to, don’t we? The main problem we seem to be having is in coming to an understanding that unlike certain diseases, behaviors are usually more complex – and yes, I’ll say it again will require more complex explanations for their existance – this isn’t as simple as turning on and off a gene or set of genes, as might be the case for real illnesses.

  39. Forgot to say this:
    Colour-blindness in the mildest and most prevalent forms, like deuteranomaly (~6%), was never a serious problem for an individual, it must surely feel completely non-disruptive. Many people might have it and may not become aware of it until they have to get an examination for a driving licence or for working in some high-risk environments. In fact, most people with deuteranomaly probably live otherwise healthy lives.
    If a gene or combination of genes is found to create variations of gender blindness in humans, it may also not be a illness per se at all, because it would only affect choice of sexual partners. But in reproductive terms, it may affect their chances to pass their genes on.

  40. Jayhuck,

    we don’t even have a cure for the common cold for goodness sakes – don’t give the discipline more credit than it deserves

    The pharmaceutical industry grabs a lot more money by selling 5 palliatives than trying to find a cure for an infection that can be caused by as many as 100 viruses and that can resolve itself in a week. It’s not so practical to develop a cure and it costs a great deal of money.

    WE have to define what normal is – and we’ve already said that homosexuality is not a disease, and no scientific finding will ever be able to negate that – unless we want to change what we mean by normal.

    Well, it certainly is not a disease from a psychological or physiological point of view. But we don’t know yet whether it’s not caused by a genetic deficiency. Take X-linked recessive disorders that primarily affect males. You’ll find a host of conditions – like colour blindness, Hunter syndrome, fragile X mental retardation – that follow the same kinship inheritance pattern that Hamer tried to establish for his Xq28 marker. The same kinship pattern was observed in some families spanning across homosexuality, asexuality and some forms of transsexualism. But there is no genetic correlation as yet. It does suggest they must be related to some genes that regulate gender. Gender variance could be the result of a faulty copy on the maternal X chromosome that cannot be replaced by a better dominant of paternal origin (since most of the Y genes have migrated during evolution to the X chromosome), maybe a default gene for gender that may undergo a recombination with another gene and change the default setting for heterosexuality to many forms of genderblindness. Curious enough, that was the case with fruit flies and mice: they had genetic deficiencies that lead to problems in discriminating gender and changes in mating behaviour. We’ll just have to wait for the results from the Sanders et al. study and see whether there is any support for this hypothesis.
    PS. Besides the species that exhibited homosexual behaviour there also are species that have lost this behaviour during evolution (by inactivating some genes). I think I posted a link about that on the Biagra topic.

  41. Ah Drowssap – but we can decide that! – Besides, its a moot point – since complex behaviors are governed by much more than genes, all we will ever be able to do is possibly point the child in a certain direction – there will be no guarantees.

  42. jayhuck

    WE have to define what normal is

    I think that’s the whole thing. We can’t decide if parents should or shouldn’t silence the gay gene in their offspring any more than we can decide if a woman should get breast implants. It’s going to be up to the individual and parents. Even if this technology is stopped in America it can’t be stopped in South Africa or Norway or Thailand. People will ultimately have to decide for themselves.

  43. Drowssap –
    You seem to completely ignore the ethical implications of much of what you talk about – Do we really want an age of designer children? Is Eugenics something that will rear its ugly head again? Just because science may be able to do something, doesn’t mean it will be legal, ethical, or moral to do that thing – just because we can, doesn’t mean we will actually be allowed to.

  44. Drowssap –
    I don’t know any gay parent that would silence a gay gene or genes in their kids – and I know only a few straight parents that might – as homosexuality becomes more a part of the mainstream, as it becomes easier to live as a gay man or woman, as prejudices and stereotypes go away, less and less parents will feel the need to try and change that type of thing in their children. By the time we’re even close to being able to influence a behavior like that – which will be much more than a few decades away, there most likely will be few people who feel the need to do so. 🙂

  45. How do you define a “normal, healthy combination of genes and hormones”? I’d be interested to know. We have to define that somehow. As of right now, homosexuality is NOT a disease, and it most likely will never be labeled as such. Everyone will have a different idea of what a normal, healthy combination of genes and hormones is – a certain German dictator did. My point, WE have to define what normal is – and we’ve already said that homosexuality is not a disease, and no scientific finding will ever be able to negate that – unless we want to change what we mean by normal.

  46. Drowssap –
    How do you define a “normal, healthy combination of genes and hormones”? I’d be interested to know. We have to define that somehow. As of right now, homosexuality is NOT a disease, and it most likely will never be labeled as such. Everyone will have a different idea of what a normal, healthy combination of genes and hormones is – Hitler did. My point, WE have to define what normal is – and we’ve already said that homosexuality is not a disease, and no scientific finding will ever be able to negate that – unless we want to change what we mean by normal.

  47. Jayhuck

    It took the scientific community over twenty years to come up with a host of medicines that only somewhat control HIV – and this is an area that has had a great deal of money and man hours put into it

    You are right about that. Apparently HIV is one tough virus. We may never produce a vaccine to defeat HIV. But ultimately a completely different technology will arise (like the vibration thing) and it might wipe out all viruses and germs. So we could experience slooooooooooooow progress and then a quick burst of improvements. Or…. not. 😎

  48. Jayhuck

    there will still have to be an ethical discussion about what an illness or disease is.

    If homosexuality is due to a normal, healthy combination of genes and hormones it’s not a disorder at all unless it’s thought of as a unique type of infertility. But given the choice would parents prefer the experience of raising a straight kid or gay kid? That’s the thing. It’s a safe bet that nearly all parents would silence the gay gene given the choice. Forget straight parents, I’d bet money that most GAY parents would silence the gay gene in their offspring. Heck, a significant percent of gay men (particularly the young) would silence the gay gene in themselves if they had a choice. I don’t think that has anything to do with SSA. Most dwarves would probably silence the “short” gene in their offspring if they had a choice. I had acne as a teenager and you can bet I’d silence that gene in any offspring I have given the choice. That doesn’t mean I hate people with acne… I had it myself and it sucked!
    My general hypothesis is that nearly all parents will want an easy and “normal” life for their child. Plus they’ll greatly prefer the experience of raising “normal” children for themselves.
    When this will be possible I dunno, but my guess is a few more decades. But the volcanic debate will begin way before it’s a near term reality.

  49. Drowssap –
    It took the scientific community over twenty years to come up with a host of medicines that only somewhat control HIV – and this is an area that has had a great deal of money and man hours put into it – while change CAN happen quickly, it doesn’t always, and that doesn’t always mean that each problem we overcome is equal to another – I am amazed at what science can do at times, but we don’t even have a cure for the common cold for goodness sakes – don’t give the discipline more credit than it deserves

  50. Sickle cell actually confers protection from malaria if the person has only one or two alleles – you missed my point, which was what might be considered a disease in different situations, isn’t in others.
    Even if we somehow are able to untangle and decipher what must be an incredibly complex interplay of genes and the environment over time – when talking about complex behaviors like orientation – there will still have to be an ethical discussion about what an illness or disease is. Homosexuality is not a disease – and who are you, really, to say what all parents want – and what is normal? The issue isn’t, and has never been, as simple as having the means to do something – just because we can, doesn’t mean we should, right? There are parents today who given their kids steroids because they want them to be the best at sports – parents who let their teenagers get plastic surgery because they aren’t “pretty enough”. How far are we from creating a generation of “normal kids” and creating homogeneity and suppressing genetic diversity? You make this issue out to be something that is simple, when its not, and as if its around the corner, when it isn’t. I personally don’t think we will EVER be able to just flip a switch and make someone gay or straight – I will conceded that we may be able to increase the odds that a kid will be more gay or straight, but even that is too far off in the future for me to really be concerned with

  51. Jayhuck
    Sickle cell is genetic but it’s not a good trait to compare with male SSA. Sickle cell actually KILLS people, SSA doesn’t directly hurt anyone.
    Dwarfism might be one trait that compares well with homosexuality and in many cases it’s entirely genetic. I should say that Gary Coleman is a dwarf because of kidney disease so it can happen for other reasons too.
    Anyway, wouldn’t parents want the dwarf gene silenced so their child could develop like other children? It’s not that they wouldn’t love him, care for him and it really has nothing to do with wanting grandchildren. Parents want to raise “normal” children and they want an easy life for their child. I think that’s where SSA falls. Even if homosexuality is due entirely to a healthy combination of hormones and genes parents will still want straight children. Somebody sooner or later will figure out how to accomplish this. If gay activists squash this treatment in America will they be able to stop it in South Korea or Switzerland and everywhere else? Rich parents will flock to these places and take whatever treatment silences the gay gene. So we’ll end up with a two tiered system. Poor people will still have gay children, rich people won’t. Obviously that type of system isn’t going to last long.
    Side Note:
    In 1903 the Wright Brothers took their first flight, in 1957 the USSR launced a satelite into space… stuff happens quick, and the pace of change is accelerating. Huge change is coming much faster than many people might expect.

  52. Don’t forget that the sickle cell genes confer upon their “host” a greater defense against malaria – So is this an illness? Would it depend on the situation? So many questions that need answers, but I think we have the time

  53. Let’s not forget a possible result of this utopian idea – and that is that our bodies will become progressively weaker as a result. Should any of these pathogens manage to hide out somewhere and rear their ugly heads at some later point, they could prove to be far more lethal due to our decreased resistance – but this is all guess work and smacks a little too much of science fiction at this point 🙂
    Of course, we also can’t forget the ethical discussions that would have to occur regarding what is and what ISN’T an “illness”

  54. and very Star Trek-ian of you
    I must admit I always liked Star Trek. It was the first show I ever saw on a color TV. 😎

  55. Jayhuck
    Its a nice thought anyway
    If scientists ultimately defeat pathogens our lives will be about as close to perfect as we could ever hope. Virtually all illness is the direct or indirect result of pathogens. Hopefully the scientists involved will become richer than Oprah.

  56. That’s a very nice sentiment – and very Star Trek-ian of you – I hope that that is the case, but I highly doubt that that is going to happen in the next 100 years – but who knows 🙂

  57. Jayhuck
    Ann
    I should add one more thing about the activists who want to put a stop to research aimed at curing Autism.
    I read the other day about scientists who are working on a technology that will trigger the mind to heal itself. Apparently the brain knows when it’s been damaged but it can’t usually do much about it. This technology (can’t remember how it works but it has to do with genes) triggers the mind to heal all of the damage that it’s aware of.
    So technology that’s not even designed to be Autism specific will eventually arrive and cure Autism. No doubt similar technology will eventually cure blindness and deafness and everything else. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that those Autism or deaf activists are in a hopeless situation. I don’t know if the year is 2030 or 2050 or 2070, but at some point soon we are going to enter an era free of all the scratches and bumps that plague every human being.

  58. So possibly in another 20 or 30 years humans will be free of sickness caused by pathogens.
    Its a nice thought anyway 🙂
    Somebody might try it out in different animals or even humans and it will work the same way.
    Perhaps – but unlikely. The genomes of fruit flies and humans are not the same, and neither are susceptible to the same kinds of environmental influences.

  59. Jayhuck
    I read an article the other day and the initial, public prediction by the leader of the HHS department was only 2 years for an AIDS vaccine! What the heck? That’s crazy talk.
    As for my 30 year guesstimate I could be off by a wide mark but I don’t think it’s a terrible guess. Today scientists can reliably turn on/off some instincts in flies and mice. Who knows what other research is about to be released? Just a few months ago scientists accidentally stumbled across a compound that changed bisexual fruit flies to completely straight within minues. Somebody might try it out in different animals or even humans and it will work the same way. If humans, flies and everything inbetween share the same Insulin Pathways maybe we also share the same neurotransmitter that triggers M/F attraction? It’s at least a decent possibility.

    As for vaccines (AIDS or otherwise) a new approach to defeat pathogens is on the semi-distant horizon. Scientists are working on a new technology designed to shake germs/viruses to death. Your doctor will shoot a wave through your body that vibrates at the precise frequency that kills specific pathogens. Nothing else is damaged, but the virus explodes. It already works in a lab environment. So possibly in another 20 or 30 years humans will be free of sickness caused by pathogens. I’m in my 30s and I think of Polio as a last generation illness. Two generations from now maybe ALL sickness will be considered last generation. It’s going to be awesome.

  60. Drowssap –
    Don’t forget that the scientific community was certain it would have developed a vaccine to HIV within ten years.
    I don’t know of anyone who says that humans are “impossibly” more complex than other animals, but we are MORE complex.
    My point – be careful with timelines and projections

  61. Patrick
    I doubt scientists will be able to switch on/off the “attraction to men” or “attraction to women” instincts in men within the next 10 years. However it’s a possibility if we utilize the same hormones that other animals do, and we might. People who think humans are impossibly more complicated than other animals haven’t been reading up on evolution.
    Regarding a recent discovery that humans and fruit flies use the same Insulin pathways

    “Basic biological processes are remarkably well conserved through evolution. Although flies are less complicated than mammals, fasting triggers similar changes in behavior, physical activity, and metabolism,”

    The researchers who figured out that animals don’t have male/female brains but instead chemicals that trigger male/female instincts are going to be Nobel Prize winners. Everybody probably has a working set of male and female wiring it just depends which is activated. That’s a massive breakthrough in the understanding of how the brains work. You can bet that scientists from South Korea, Japan, Canada, America and everywhere inbetween are going to jump on that action. It’s the winning idea. Within a few years, maybe a decade they’ll know a lot of the chemicals involved that switch instinctual wiring on and off in animals. Everybody knows that humans are next and that’s when the debate about homosexuality will erupt like Krakatoa.
    Realistic timeline:
    10 years to figure out animals
    10 more years to figure out humans
    10 more years of testing to get a safe procedure or product approved by the FDA and off to market
    So 30 years? Yeah, probably. But just the fact that in 10 years or so people will know it’s coming will have a huge impact on the debate.

    Drowssap – do you work in the scientific field at all?

    No but I did stay in a Holliday Inn Express last night.

  62. In a decade 🙂
    yeah right.
    Drowssap – do you work in the scientific field at all?

  63. Ann
    Yep, I’ve read about activists whose goal is to sway public opinion and squash scientific research aimed at curing Autism.
    To put it mildly these people are on the losing side of history. Autistic activists won’t be able to stop parents from curing or preventing Autism any more than deaf activists were succesful at stopping Cochlear implants.
    When scientists learn how to flip on OSA in gay men (and they will shortly) why would anyone want that stopped? First of all it can’t be stopped. Second of all on what basis should individual choice be denied? And what about a vaccine to prevent SSA in the first place? Shouldn’t parents have that option? If not, why not?
    In another decade or so this is going to be a very serious debate and I only see one possible conclusion. Individual choice wins in a landslide.
    BTW, interesting about the blind now sighted man. Those second thoughts are one reason choice needs to be up to the individual.

  64. I can see a small number of people being upset, just like the deaf activists who want to stop Cochlear implants.

    Drowssap,
    I saw on one of the programs (60 minutes, 20/20, or dateline) where a man who had been blind since birth was given partial site through a medical procedure. While completely blind he learned how to ski following his wife’s voice, was raising three boys who he regularly rode bikes with, again following their voices, and lots of other normal day to day activities. After the procedure, he was thrilled to finally see the woman he loved and his children and other things. Then he went through a complete disorientation and almost regretted the procedure because he had to reconcile how he always saw things in his mind and now he sees them with his eyes. I cannot remember how long that lasted but he said every day he is getting accustomed to his new life and is grateful for the miracle of sight. I also read in, I think, Parade Magazine not too long ago where an autistic teenager was heading up a group of other autistic teens who said they did not want any research done on autism and the condition should be accepted as they did not want to change. I think it is so incredibly interesting how much individuals – not groups or organizations – have to say about how they want to live. Whatever science tells us, and I think everything you have written about it makes such good sense, will only matter if the person believes it will add value and quality to their life – I am thinking more people will be interested than not.

  65. Ann

    I hope you will love us anyway – intrigue and all

    That just makes the chase more exciting. 😎

  66. Warren

    Drowssap: What will bisexuals do?

    Bisexual men will be the wildcards as usual. 😎
    But honestly I can’t imagine that significant numbers of gay people are going to march in the street when somebody inevitably figures out how to turn on OSA in gay men. No way. Many will opt to switch to OSA, many others won’t. It’s always going to be up to the individual in the USA and Western Europe. I can see a small number of people being upset, just like the deaf activists who want to stop Cochlear implants. But they will be outnumbered even in the gay community. It will be up to the individual and parents.

  67. Drowssap,
    The better thing for me to have said is – “I hope you will love us anyway – intrigue and all”. 🙂

  68. Men are so straight forward, women… I don’t know whats going on

    Drowssap,
    Funny! 🙂 Excellent observation! You have to love us anyway – intrigue and all!

  69. Patrick
    I don’t think gay people are terribly worred about scientific advancement. In fact I know they aren’t. I mean GLBT groups and their leaders.
    We’ll be able to test my hypothesis soon enough.
    Somebody is going to take an animal like a mouse, sheep or monkey and turn it gay and then straight again. The average gay person will yawn. Various identity groups will go thermonuclear.
    That’s my hypothesis anyway.

  70. My personal guess is that GLBT groups will be horrified and demand an end to the research. They certainly freaked out about the gay sheep.

    Yes those silly gays – how petty of them 🙂

  71. Evan
    Ten years from now (or less) scientists are going to inject a “straight” gorilla with a hormone and turn him preferentially gay in seconds. I hope they film it and put it on Youtube like they did the gender bending mouse
    Youtube: Gender-bending mouse
    My personal guess is that GLBT groups will be horrified and demand an end to the research. They certainly freaked out about the gay sheep.

  72. Evan
    I love the monkey link!

    Curiously, the monkeys in the test hadn’t had any direct physical contact with the monkeys in the photos, so they didn’t have personal experience with who was hot and who was not.

    “At the moment, it’s only a tantalizing possibility, but we believe that similar processes are at work in these monkeys and in people,” Platt said.

    Yup.

  73. Ann

    = – O

    Agreed, hehe. Honestly I don’t know what that even means. I can’t believe that women are attracted to animals. Men are so straight forward, women… I don’t know whats going on. 😎

  74. Straight women are excited by watching straight sex, gay sex and [shudder] monkeys having sex.

    Drowssap
    = – O

  75. Evan

    we all have the same system that generates both types of attractions, but they are not activated/developed the same in all.

    I’ve known for a long time that there isn’t such thing as a male or female brain. There are some general differences, but a HUGE overlap exists for males and females. So what the heck makes males and females so different in every species? It’s not brain structure, it’s chemical structure. Your “When Minnie Turns Mickey” link changed my whole belief system. A complete set of male/female instincts is coded in EVERYONE. It just depends which instinct is turned on, and probably in some cases to what degree.
    To me at least this solves the mystery of transgenderism and SSA in a general sense. All we need are the specifics in humans.
    BTW, it makes perfect sense that animals would be built this way.
    Example:
    Typically the males of most species aren’t much more than sperm doners. However in some environments males show as much love towards their offspring as females do. When an environment like this pops up the males aren’t forced to evolve a new “care for young” instinct from scratch. One gene mutation that alters one neurotransmitter gives males a fully, functioning trait. It’s a great starting point and at least a million times faster than developing it from scratch.

  76. Evan

    I can think of another hypothesis: maybe the human brain has a potential to be excited by sex in general, but it gets channelled by one’s early development and its strong effects on psychological attraction.

    I think you are right. At least it appears that women work that way. Straight women are excited by watching straight sex, gay sex and [shudder] monkeys having sex. It appears that sex in general excites the female brain. Maybe men have a little bit of that as well.

  77. Evan,
    Once again you have explained this very clearly and I would say that much of the research in neurobiology and psychology would support what you have stated. For some there is more fluidity than others. That ability to change is very adaptive and should not come as any surprise to most people.

  78. Michael Bussee,
    I am not talking about bisexuals (unless you believe we are all bisexual or latently gay — I don’t) or those who learn to have gay sex (as in prison) because no other option is available.
    I thought about this problem and how it’s reflected in the media and in research. For instance, I cannot believe that someone can get aroused without the least degree of attraction (then what are attractions for? what is arousal for? what are fantasies for? how to define sexual orientation?…). If so, then people from the labs would be able to make volunteering ‘straight’ people become sexually aroused to same-sex imagery. They didn’t, until this day (maybe it’s cold in the lab…). So those who react sexually to a same-sex person must have some degree of attraction, whether they are prison inmates (and prefer actual sex with non-preferred partners than masturbation to images of preferred partners) or ‘straight’ porn actors playing parts in gay videos (for the money).
    Besides that, come a few documented facts:
    – the large study on Australian twins conducted by Bailey in 2000 (Archives of Sexual Behaviour, Vol. 29, No. 6) showed that 14.5% of all males reported having SSAs. Less than half of them preferred to see themselves as heterosexual. A 60.7% subset of the people with SSAs (8.8% of all people) also reported same-sex behaviour.
    – the Finnish study I quoted in a few messages here, conducted by Santtila et al., concluded that the potential for homosexual response (willingness to engage in same-sex behaviour) had genetic support that partly overlapped the genetic support for the people who actually engaged in same-sex behaviour (males PHR: 32.8%, male same-sex behaviour: 8.5% of the PHR males).
    There are other research papers that reported ‘straight’ college males having erections while seeing same-sex video material (the authors concluded it may have been the result of anxiety or arousal) and also a large number of college males having intrusive sexual thoughts (but we don’t know if they were intrusive because they were discordant with their sexual orientation; we can assume they were discordant, because we, as men, never complain about having spontaneous erotic thoughts about our preferred sex).
    These would be just a few hints on the reported dimension of the prevalence of SSAs in the population. But there are more reasons to believe that they may be underreported than the contrary (think about how many men can deny they have a problem before reporting it; CNN wrote about this today in this article: ‘Five symptoms men shouldn’t ignore’ – I can’t post the link or it gets filtered out).
    BUT there is no empirical evidence that bisexuality in males actually exists in significant numbers (bisexuality = stable equal attraction/arousal to both sexes). So, there must be something else that is either less stable or that depends on some very specific preferred partners outside a primary preferred gender category. In this light, maybe some gays can be aroused by some females, and some straights by some males. They could be ‘discordant for their sexual orientation’, as Daryl Bem calls them.
    I can think of another hypothesis: maybe the human brain has a potential to be excited by sex in general, but it gets channelled by one’s early development and its strong effects on psychological attraction. That could also explain a great variety of outcomes, some of them going beyond simple gender preference (we can see that by the existence and commercial viability of a great variety of internet sites on just about anything sexual).
    I am always connected to what is debated by people from my generation and I read on different message boards about cases as different as these:
    -young men who are primarily attracted to same-sex people but could not get into same-sex behaviour after trying a number of times and finding it unsatisfactory,
    -young men who are attracted to both sexes but after having both types of experiences they returned to opposite-sex relations based on physical preference,
    -young men who were only attracted to same-sex people but could not get aroused with any gender and thought they were asexual, etc.
    I have no idea how many people like that there could be in the new generation, I was just amazed by the variety of reported sexual attractions and experiences and the combinations that do not fit discrete and established identities. I don’t know whether it’s a new trend, whether it’s a greater degree of confusion and age-specific experimentation or just marginal occurences that come to the surface as the internet penetrates more and more areas. But it doesn’t look like the well-known alternative of someone simply being born and having developed homosexuality or being drawn in at some age. People report more fluidity, maybe because they now have anonymous means of transparent communication.
    I assume fluidity cannot be completely shutdown in some people and running wild in others. It must have a continuous distribution even if that makes some primarily same-sex attracted people have too low opposite-sex attraction thresholds to permit arousal (they can subjectively feel and report as no attraction). I may be wrong. I do hope brain research will get to the bottom of all orientations so we can have the entire picture of how stable and fluid they can be.
    Maybe I should have written all this long message plain and clear, like Drowssap: we all have the same system that generates both types of attractions, but they are not activated/developed the same in all. This broad picture includes Dave G’s claim that we can all experience gay feelings given some changes (he may be wrong about which ones…) and your claim, Michael, that you never experienced opposite-sex attractions. We’ll just have to wait and see what are those factors that can tilt the same brain system towards one gender or another. Until then, we can focus on bridging the gap… 8)

  79. The problem with Dave G.’s theory that we all gay — if we want it and practice it enough — is that this belief gets coupled with the religious notion that if you don’t un-want it, un-choose it and don’t stop practicing it then you are sick, sinful and broken and you are placing yourself in eternal peril. You will not get into Heaven. The Biible says so, doesn’t it?
    Such teaching is extremely damaging to people of strong faith who do not want it and do not practice it — but who despite all the prayer, celibacy, effort, therapy, etc. do not “change”, do not become heterosexual.
    Did they not want it enough? Try hard enough? Have enough faith? That is precisely what many EXODUS-type programs teach — and many suffer greatly due to this teaching. “You didn’t try hard enough, pray hard enough, believe hard enough, want it enough. YOU are not “enough”.
    If Dave is suggesting that we are all gay, does that mean we are also all straight? And that if we want straightness badly enough and practice it hard enough we can and would change? If so, this sure doesn’t seem to be supported by any good science. Even “ex-gays” admit that they are not heterosexual.

  80. Warren, Wendy or anybody else

    And flipping that, it does not seem to be accurate for many gay men who desperately would like to be straight.

    The answer is so obvious I don’t know why it took so long for this to crystalize in my mind.
    Orientation and attraction are very simple instincts.
    The Evidence
    A) Orientation is present in most men’s earliest memories, nobody remembers learning it
    B) Orientation is virtually impossible for most men to UNlearn
    C) Attraction happens instantenously, long before our higher mental faculties are pushed into action
    D) For virtually all men our attractions are identical. Young, healthy virile partners. Nobody agrees on everything and in this case virtually EVERYBODY agrees on everything. That’s biological programming.
    E) Last but not least orientation and attraction are instincts in every other animal. What evolutionary force would make us come up with a completely different system for something so simple and necessary as attraction?
    It’s An Instinct!
    What makes this so amazingly interesting is that the latest research suggests that all of our sex specific instincts including “attraction to men” and “attraction to women” are probably coded in every human brain. In straight men it’s likely that this instinct is being blocked by a specialized hormone, because it NEEDS to be. Why gay men aren’t blocking this instinct is up for debate but I have some strong suspicions.
    (sorry for no science links to the research, I’m trying to avoid the spam filter)
    As for bridging the gap between conservative Christians and gay people I only see one sticking point, gay marriage. I don’t see either side budging on that one.

  81. Dave: You stil haven’t explained the “wanting” to be gay part. Seriously, if it were a choice, why would someone choose it — especially given all the negative consequences that family, religion and culture can (and often do) inflict on gay persons? If were a matter of “practice”, what about those who do not practice it at all, but still only have emotional/erotic attractions to the same sex?
    I am not talking about bisexuals (unless you believe we are all bisexual or latently gay — I don’t) or those who learn to have gay sex (as in prison) because no other option is available. I am talking about the vast majority of gay men (and please don’t ask for for statistics, you only need to talk to gay men to find out this is true) who experience their emerging sexuality in the same way straights do.
    How do straights experience it? They notice it all araound them. It’s everywhere. They are surrounded by heterosexuality. As they grow, they notice they have “feelings” and attractions to the opposite sex. I believe these feelings are hardwired, part of their “soul”. (And no, I can’t prove that.)
    They do not “choose” their orientation or acquire it by “practice”. They become aware of it. It emerges on an involuntary level. It is who they are on a deep, automatic, intrinisic level. Ask straight people if they are straight because they “want” to be or because they “choose” it or because they “practice” it. They will find the suggestion preposterous.

  82. “The is the great divide. How can we “build bridges” over such a gap? Perhaps we can agree that God loves us all. Pehaps we can agree that only God makes the final judgement. Perhaps we can agree that gays should not be mistreated, beaten or killed. But that may be all”….
    In some corners of the Christian community this would be a huge leap forward don’t you think? It may be only a ’start’…. but if we bridged that gap just maybe hearts would be softened and much more open to the ongoing whisper of the Spirit as we engage in authentic friendships.

    Wendy and Michael,
    Yes, that would be huge leap forward – I was also thinking, what would happen if a personal relationship was formed first and then from that point, all the other things about each other could be entrusted to God? Wendy, you said this much better on your blog than I am articulating it now. It just makes such good sense and really transcends “things” so we can go about taking care of each other in a way that would bless God without limitations.

  83. Michael,
    Yes, these are all good points you make. I believe what Dave was saying, for example, had to do with some individuals who are incarcerated and have first time same gender sex and become conditioned by it as a way to have sex. The reason why I don’t think sexuality should be generalized is because while we all have an outward appearance, it can many times belie how we are feeling inside at various times in our lives. If we say things from a personal point of view, it then distinguishes our experience from how another could feel and allows the other person to share freely about their own experience without having prior assumptions made about them.

  84. Wendy; You asked: “In some corners of the Christian community this would be a huge leap forward don’t you think?” Yup, it would be.

  85. Ann: Sorry. Trying not to personalize it. I was just reacting to what I believe is a ridiculous notion — namely that we are all gay, that we are gay because we want to be and because we practice it. Would he say the same thing about being straight? Are straights straight because they want to be? Aren’t celibate straights still straight?
    I watched my daughter growing up. She started expressing interest in boys while still in elementary school. It had nothing to do with “wanting” to be straight and she sure hadn’t “practiced it” yet . It was just who she was inside, how she was naturally developing.
    Is Dave seriously suggesting that gays could be straight if they really wanted it badly enough and practiced hard enough? How would he explain the suicides of men who died trying?

  86. Michael,
    Thanks for stopping by….
    You said, “The is the great divide. How can we “build bridges” over such a gap? Perhaps we can agree that God loves us all. Pehaps we can agree that only God makes the final judgement. Perhaps we can agree that gays should not be mistreated, beaten or killed. But that may be all”….
    In some corners of the Christian community this would be a huge leap forward don’t you think? It may be only a ‘start’…. but if we bridged that gap just maybe hearts would be softened and much more open to the ongoing whisper of the Spirit as we engage in authentic friendships.
    That is my prayer.
    Ann – email addresses will be kept confidential
    Dave – hmmm…. what can I say. I really don’t agree with your statement that same-gender attraction is just a conditioned response. I also would challenge a number of assumptions you’ve made about Paul’s “such were some of you” statement….. we really don’t know in a detailed way what Paul is saying there ….. we really don’t know if he is referring to “identities being reformulated” nor do we know for sure that it is “addictive” behaviours that have been impacted. I think what we can safely say based on that passage is that some Christians at Corinth used to engage in same-sex sexual behaviour but after coming to Christ no longer engaged in such behaviour. Personally, I just don’t find it helpful to read assumptions into specific texts.
    I do hope that you are actually in relationship with some gay neighbours and that you have the humility to lay aside some of your assumptions, listen to their stories, and get to know them as real people.

  87. Dave, Patrick, and Michael,
    I think right now is a defining moment – before resentments and misunderstandings take hold – can we look at this moment and these comments as an opportunity to re-think and / or re-phrase what has been written?
    Patrick,
    I really did not see Dave saying this –

    Strike up another in a long string of ways to dehumanize glbt persons – afterall we are just a collection of (in your opinion) sinful behaviours.

    I understand your frustration and hope you can see that perhaps some of it is unwarranted – at least IMHO. No need to assume hurt and frustration that isn’t there – too many other things to worry about.
    Dave,
    I understand what you are saying but it must be put in a way that does not clump everyone together as having the same experience. Yes, some people very much fit your description, others do not. It hurts some to have it generalized in the way you did.
    Michael,
    I like how you personalized this instead of generalized it. We all have different experiences and they must never be diminished by assumptions or generalizations.

  88. Dave G,
    Think about the normal distribution of many traits in any population. 🙂 You may be right about some, but you may completely misunderstand others (according to where you are coming from). We don’t know what each has in his/her own ‘box’, but many people declare they only have one thing or another. I expect we will find out that most people are born with many differently pitched potentials they eventually develop pointing one way or another (but the critical period of development may lie outside each person’s will). That’s why I tried in a few messages on other topics from this blog, in the spirit that these new blogs and websites work, to press for developing a common ground beyond separated identities, regardless of behaviours we don’t agree with or values we don’t identify with. I don’t think people are so wide apart as they try to present it in separate identities, but neither are they the same. We’re related, but we’re different.

  89. Warren: Thanks for chiming in on this one. Dave G.’s comment shows a remarkable lack of understanding about this topic.

  90. Wanting, practicing? How about the fact that folks are still gay even if they desperately don’t want it and don’t practice it? .

  91. Dave – But then if you wanted to be gay, wouldn’t that mean something about your inner world? And flipping that, it does not seem to be accurate for many gay men who desperately would like to be straight. A little practice (a lot of practice) with women has not reduced the SSA or created OSA. Some men do shift some but I disagree that it is as easy as practicing.

  92. Dave G. I completely disagree with this statement: “We’re all gay if we want to be; a little practice with a same-sex partner and the feelings & desires can be nurtured.”
    I didn’t “want” to be gay. I was gay. The attractions towards males was there from my earliest awareness — and opposite sex attractions were not. I did not have to “practice” anything.

  93. Wendy,
    Are e-mail addresses ever displayed or are they kept confidential on the new blog?

  94. Gay is not what you are, it’s what you do, and this includes identity formation

    So is all people are – is a collection of behaviours?
    Or does this only apply to gay people – I mean if you want to be reductionist about it all hetrosexuality is – is a cluster of behaviours.
    You might find it disagreeable that some people identify as glbt – but that doesn’t make it anymore real.
    Strike up another in a long string of ways to dehumanize glbt persons – afterall we are just a collection of (in your opinion) sinful behaviours.

  95. Thanks for the clarification; I’m with you. Keep it up.

    Dave,
    I appreciated the clarification as well and also agree with how Wendy is using it.
    Wendy,
    Thank you for this new blog and your reasons behind doing it – I hope many are blessed by participating on it.

  96. Michael: We’re all gay if we want to be; a little practice with a same-sex partner and the feelings & desires can be nurtured, because they’re psychologically conditioned responses associated with relevant stimuli. There’s plenty of cases where mature fathers have gone gay, claiming they “always were.” Every one of us “always were” sinners; otherwise there’d be no need for a savior. Our human need to be loved and connected can lead to many wrong paths, including misuse of the sacred gift of human sexuality. Gay is not what you are, it’s what you do, and this includes identity formation. Where Paul writes “…such were some of you,” he’s acknowledging that change has occurred, identities reformulated, and persons set free from such addictive behavior through full acceptance of Christ and His Way of Truth and Love.
    The passages I cited are quite clear; only driven efforts at convoluted exegesis can make them say otherwise.

  97. Here’s my point. Although we may disgree on the science and endlessly debate other aspects of the “gay issue”, at the very heart of this entire discussion is the basic theological question — “will unrepentant gays inheriit the kingdom of God”? Some say yes and some say no.
    The is the great divide. How can we “build bridges” over such a gap? Perhaps we can agree that God loves us all. Pehaps we can agree that only God makes the final judgement. Perhaps we can agree that gays should not be mistreated, beaten or killed. But that may be all.

  98. I do not want to misrespresent you Dave. Why don’t you explain what you think this passage means. Will I not inherit the kingdom of God if I don’t repent of being gay? You can’t quote a passge and leave it vague.

  99. Wendy,
    Thanks for the clarification; I’m with you. Keep it up.
    Michael: Please don’t misrepresent me.

  100. I commend Wendy for wanting to bridge the gap. This will very hard to do since there are folks who believe she shouldn’t even eat with us. For them, like Dave G., this is a salvation issue and Scripture is perfectly clear about it.

  101. Thanks for stopping by Dave and Mary…. I’m still figuring out all the technical aspects – comments will be working soon 🙂
    Dave – please allow me to clarify a bit more …… the conversations I was referring to in that post were with Christ-followers who’s gay friends were not believers. My reference of the Ephesians text was meant to speak to the Christ-followers who are abundantly free in Christ. I would submit that we are abundantly free in our friendships with gay neighbours to love and enjoy them, entrusting them to God. This of course speaks to any friends we have that are not in relationship with Christ – we are free to be in relationship and to entrust them to God.

  102. Cool blog – but it did not pick up my comment. Am going to share this with friends.

  103. Warren,
    Like your GRP, Wendy reiterates the need for accepting and affirming relationships with persons, acknowledging that none of us are perfect. But I can’t help but wonder if her efforts will simply go the way of SoulForce, affirming GLBT behavior not as a human failing, but merely as a point along Kinsey’s spectrum of human sexuality.
    I guess I was particularly bothered by her Biblical quotation from Ephesians 1:7, skipping the fact that Paul is writing to “the saints who are in Ephesis.” (Eph 1:1b). Bible study shows that “saints” refers not to perfect people, but to redeemed people who have turned from following human fault-lines to a life-commitment for following the Way of Love and Righteousness revealed in Christ Jesus, (Cf. 1Corinthians 6:9-11)

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