513 thoughts on “Fatherhood group features Fathers, Sons and Homosexuality article”

  1. Timothy????????

    If that leads you to think that evolutionary biologists find the existence of same-sex attraction to be contrary to natural selection, you go for it. I’ve wearied of arguing this with you.

    ?????????? I simply supplied links because we WERE talking about the subject recently. It was a gesture of, gulp, friendship–you know, like people sharing something because they had been talking about it? Like all the studies before it, no one claims to KNOW the answer. I don’t have a reason to want you to change your opinion; however, way back, you challenged how I could entertain an explanation that wasn’t w/in the framework of your view, so I have explained how/why —because scientists of all stripes are confused and are willing to look at where they have been again but also willing to look elsewher . Thus, their studies have influenced my view.

    When I saw this, I thought it was something that a person like you, who obviously reads about the subject, would want to read, period. I didn’t expect a response, just offered the links with no “argument” sought. I can see that this subject will always lead to what is in your mind an argument rather than an exchange of ideas culled from readings so….an end of discussion is appropriate, it seems.

  2. carole,

    Yes. Linked to an article about two evolutionary biologists who disagree with you is a reference to an earlier biologist who neither agrees nor disagrees with you but cannot at present verify one hypothesis.

    If that leads you to think that evolutionary biologists find the existence of same-sex attraction to be contrary to natural selection, you go for it. I’ve wearied of arguing this with you.

  3. Katie–

    I WILL find that thread…turns out I was subscribed to three not two. And just tonight I was musing about the prospect of not subscribing at all. I do believe that the search process would take much less time than the delete process in my inbox. Especially when you get the “oh and just one more thing’ rejoinder comments where one bloggers lands in your inbox 3 or 4 times in less than a half hour.

  4. Yikes– II’d forgotten that I’d been commenting on several different threads. I read all my notice emails in a row and then commented but this one really belongs on the couple with the 8 kids. ROFL, though. Who would have known since we NEVER stay on topic for longer than a heartbeat?

    My only real problem now is to repost this comment where it belongs without the dreaded ‘You’ve already said that’ prompt. Well, here’s tryin’.

  5. Katie–

    Let’s not overlook the obvious. Please consult the banner at the top of the page. First you will see the name of our host: Warren Throckmorton. Next you will see a byline describing the topics our host is most interested in. I’m not saying that Warren is not interested in or concerned about genocide…but it’s a HUGE world wide web. This is HIS website. He’s a Christian Psychologist and has even launched a program of Sexual Identity Therapy. While genocide is a worthy topic and surely has consequences and ramifications (at least while on earth) that far exceed homosexuality, do his ‘issues of concern’ really have to be put on hold until genocide is resolved? Or can we trust that genocide will be discussed and perhaps addressed on one or more of the gazillion other websites? (You’ve been around awhile. I meant no disrespect although I know my comment may have come across direct and curt. However, sometimes, the more direct route communicates most effectively. I wasn’t putting you down or putting you off…simply explaining why we do what we do here.)

  6. Timothy,

    This is Time Mag’s take on the UCRiverside (Zuk) study, the one we were discussing:

    http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1905237,00.html

    In the article is a link to Evolution and Human Behavior in which are the results of a study that tested E. Miller’s hypothesis of balanced polymorphisms. http://www.ehbonline.org/article/S1090-5138(08)00085-8/abstract

    Volume 30, Issue 1, Pages 58-65 (January 2009)

    ABSTRACT:

    The genetic background of male homosexuality presents an evolutionary paradox, since homosexuality could be considered a reproductive disadvantage. We tested E.M. Miller’s (2000) balanced polymorphism explanation, which states that alleles partially preventing androgenization in male fetuses during pregnancy would be associated with a homosexual orientation. Having all the alleles produces homosexuality, while heterosexual carriers with only a few of these alleles instead have a reproductive advantage; that is, they have more traits, which, by controlling for excessive aggressiveness and psychopathy, make them more attractive mates. Pairs of brothers were used to test these assumptions. If homosexuality is due to having all the androgenization-preventing alleles, then heterosexual men with homosexual brothers are more likely to also have some of the these alleles compared to heterosexual men with heterosexual brothers. These two categories were compared on variables related both directly and indirectly to reproductive success, with heterosexual men with a homosexual brother hypothesized to have an advantage on the variables. However, no statistically significant findings in support of the theory were detected. The results were discussed together with alternative explanations.

  7. Shame on you–after all our “trysts,” you call me by another woman’s name?!?! Ahh, the pain of it —to be so treated . Only a callous player or a gay man would do that to a woman. LOL.

    Gosh, you found me out. I’ve been cheating on you.

    The words we take away from the synopis, the most relevant to our discussion, are:

    Researchers have begun to make headway unraveling possible evolutionary origins of these behaviors and reasons for their maintenance in populations, and we advocate expanding these approaches to examine their role as agents of evolutionary change.

    Ah, unraveling possible evolutionary origins… as you said, this stuff is great!!

    (But what do i know… I always go back to divine intent)

  8. @Timothy,

    Shame on you–after all our “trysts,” you call me by another woman’s name?!?! Ahh, the pain of it —to be so treated . Only a callous player or a gay man would do that to a woman. LOL.

    I did read the very article to which you refer. It was linked by another blog I sometimes read. However, I have not read their actual paper. I’d like to and will look for it. If the writer is correct the Zuk/Bailey piece is a survey of other’s research. Still, it should be interesting reading.

    The piece began with prose typical of those who write as if they are about to tell someone something new, when they aren’t (but it makes for a good opening, nonetheless) –Darwin would not be shocked as the writer claims.

    The article tells us some things we already knew–that all kinds of animals engage in same-sex behaviors. We know that animals engage in all kinds of sexual behaviors and that often their behaviors in the wild differ from their behaviors in captivity and that their behavior in the wild is influenced by environmental pressures.

    Most of us who have had animals like dogs or have spent any time on a farm have seen such behavior. As a child I had a small mixed-breed dog that kept trying to hump our cat. One day, the cat, normally a non-chalant, mellow guy got ticked off and scratched him so badly he never tried that again. However, when the female lab down the street came into heat, my little guy dug out under the fence and tried his best to get to her, competing against dogs five times his size-we had him fixed. In most cases, these animals that engage in homosexual behaviors are also interested in opposite sex mating.

    Still, the point is that, yes, these behaviors and pair bonding do exist in animals of the same sex. Zuk/Bailey evidently cover the variety of circumstances which they think lead to this.

    From the article:

    Dr Bailey argues that homosexual activity could act as a selective pressure. “Same-sex behaviour can have evolutionary consequences that are beginning to be considered. For example, male-male copulations in locusts can be costly for the mounted male, and this cost may increase selection pressure for males’ tendency to release a chemical which dissuades other males from mounting them,” he said.

    Dr. Bailey, like a good scientist, says, “could.” Certainly this example above however, if the insect behavior is being interpreted correctly, is one which suggests the same-sex behavior is being selected against. Why? No offspring production, perhaps, if the little buggers are so busy mounting one another they don’t reproduce? I don’t know. It suggests the same sex behavior is deleterious to the male which is mounted (is it offended? physically harmed?) and that natural selection is arming such males with a chemical weapon to stave off the aggressive male mounter.

    Perhaps they offer examples of selection for same-sex behaviors too? I will be interested to read if they deal with selection against OSA, another matter from same-sex behavior.

    I am on record as saying that same-sex behaviors are not hard to explain–living things get horny. Looking at human behavior as well as animal behavior tells us that. Our eyes don’t deceive us on this point. Evo biologists point out that the failure to mate and reproduce is not hard to explain. Lots of animals, including people, have little or no success in competing for a mate. What is hard to explain is the lack of trying or the lack of wanting to try.

    Pair-bonding is an interesting subject. The behavior is often related to the environment, a Darwinian priniciple for sure.

    This is from the intro to the article.

    the authors caution that it is tricky to apply human categories of sexual orientation to animals. “It is impossible to know what animals ‘desire’; we can only observe what they do,” they write.

    Do animals have attractions? Or, is it all about sex, mating, bonding? Animals do imprint. I have read people on blogs, non-scientists, say that people do too, but I have not found a biologist that thinks people “imprint” the way a duck or other animals do.

    I googled the biologist. Marlene Zuk, Professor of Biology

    Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 1986

    On her website, she says:

    I am interested in behavioral ecology, the study of the evolution of behavior. My research centers on sexual selection and the effects of parasites on mate choice and the evolution of secondary sex characters. I am also interested more generally in the influence of parasites on host ecology and behavior. Currently, I have two major projects underway. First, I am examining the effects of conflicting selection pressures on song structure in a Pacific field cricket subject to an acoustically-orienting parasitoid fly. Second, I am beginning work on the evolution of disease resistance in the context of sexual selection using a variety of cricket species which differ in male mating effort.

    Seems that even in her own words she speaks of the environment’s effects on animals when she speaks of the parasite’s effect on mate choice and ecology.

    This stuff is great!

  9. Debbie

    Thus, while scientists, researchers, experts in their field, are skeptical, you find it “suspicious” that I am too? They are confounded, but you are not?

    Yesterday after hearing you claim about just how evolutionary biologists think that sexual orientation is not part of the evolutionary process, I ran across this new article in the latest issue of Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Their synopsis:

    Same-sex sexual behavior has been extensively documented in non-human animals. Here we review the contexts in which it has been studied, focusing on case studies that have tested both adaptive and non-adaptive explanations for the persistence of same-sex sexual behavior. Researchers have begun to make headway unraveling possible evolutionary origins of these behaviors and reasons for their maintenance in populations, and we advocate expanding these approaches to examine their role as agents of evolutionary change. Future research employing theoretical, comparative and experimental approaches could provide a greater understanding not only of how selection might have driven the evolution of same-sex sexual behaviors but also ways in which such behaviors act as selective forces that shape social, morphological and behavioral evolution.

    The authors are Two evolutionary biologists from University of California, Riverside.

  10. @ Timothy and others:

    Just watched Lonesome Dove last night.

    compare with Gilgamesh…LD is about two men who love each other deeply and loyally, over a lifetime. Both are heros….

    Any reason to compare the efficacy of the Illiad, the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Torah for their effect on Western Civilization?

    I would argue that it is no contest. Torah…hands down.

  11. Carole,

    I worked in the teaching profession when the information on the gay gene came out and I saw education policy put into place to reflect this position. I also saw teachers who knew very little about these issues and in many cases knew very little of how science actually worked embrace these new views without question. Most of the reports on the research that was being presented came from popular magazines and was obviously agenda driven, ie. the alternative position was rarely presented in a fair way. I later went back to some of the actual research from the scientific journals and found that the authors of these studies were also showing a bias or in some cases actually contradicted to some degree what what the magazines were presenting.

    The reason for me bringing this up is that it was important at the time interms of how teachers may have approached the issue of SSA with their students. I know it definitely affected the way I looked at my own struggle with SSA.

  12. @ Timothy,

    “Marriages as defined in America 40 years ago are not found in scripture. They are not found really anywhere outside of America 40 years ago.”

    South Africa may have had similar laws…you seem to be saying that America uniquely corrupted marriage in the way Jayhuck and I describe…

    I am all for American exceptionalism…but tribalism has long been at the root of such laws. That doesn’t seem unique to America.

  13. @ Timothy,

    Sounds like we are getting closer to agreement all the time.

    Gilgamesh and a quadratic equation…what a thread.

  14. @Timothy,

    You said,

    You are, frankly, unwilling to consider anything outside of your predetermined conclusion: that homosexuality is a defect which has an environmental causation. Your comments on twin studies confirmed my growing suspicion.

    Hardly. A person who has “predetermined conclusion[s]” doesn’t bother to read, read a variety of hypotheses. Until a few years ago, I would have bet a whole lotta money on a gay gene. Even told my students that there was one. As a teacher, I should have been a bit more careful about that since it turns out things were not nearly that simple. I gave them inaccurate, unsubstantiated information simply because it had been reported. On second thought, it’s possible that I did tell them ,”They believe that there is a gay gene,” but still….I shouldn’t have given info which turned out to be inaccurate. Nevertheless, my bias was to believe that homosexuality was surely inherited, even though I’d not actually read much of anything about it, just what might have made the front or second page of the paper. I guess it was probably Hamer’s claim I must have read. Probably saw it reported on television too. I wasn’t surprised at the “find” since I had always just assumed it was the result of genes. My leaning toward another explanation has come about over the last two years, after reading.

    I said in an earlier post to you,

    You seem to have picked one [a hypothesis] you like as if you haven’t seen any problems with it. I haven’t totally discounted some, but see the likelihood of an environmental trigger.

    Notice the “I haven’t totally discounted some….”.

    I asked you if you had doubts about the hypotheses, any doubts as to the

    strength of evolutionary explanations, if you saw any weaknesses in them. You didn’t answer. To me that suggests you don’t have any doubts, which surprises me since many researchers offer models which, they point out, could offer an explanation, but most are not dogmatic about these. They understand they’ve made some presumptions that must be “right on’ for their models to work. Nothing new there–that’s science: start with a hypothesis, test it, realizing beforehand that it’s likely imperfect, a bit off mark, or way off the mark. We don’t want or need another Nicolosi, one on the hard science side. That these scientists/researchers remain skeptics themselves is their job as scientists–skepticism is a virtue in science. That you lack that skepticism surprises me.

    Defect? Your word. I think I initially used “disorder” as a word I said was imperfect, but which suggested non-attraction to the opposite sex was not the normative or expected outcome for a male fetus. Back to words, again.

    There are all kinds of things that impact upon all of us. I am left thinking that, based on what you have said, you would choose to call any environmentally triggered result in a human being a “defect.” It is a charged word, I notice; yet, you are educated and know that environmental influences impact all of us. Thus, it would seem it is you who think all people are “defective.”

    The twin studies, as well as all the studies, have scientists from a wide range of fields confounded on this subject. That is why so many have sought to build a model that makes sense, but they get one model built, and it requires support from other data and then that data negates this or that. Thus, while scientists, researchers, experts in their field, are skeptical, you find it “suspicious” that I am too? They are confounded, but you are not?

    You said,

    Thank you for the dialogue, but I see that I erred in giving this discourse so much effort.

    I don’t see discourse as a waste of effort. If your purpose was only in persuasion, not in the exchange of ideas, then I do see why you feel you erred. I thought it was a highly fruitful dialogue, not a waste of time at all from my pt. of view.

  15. David,

    Any elaboration on Gilgamesh?

    I mention this text only to indicate to Carole that yes, as long as there has been recorded history, there has been same sex attraction. Even, some think, in the oldest written text. Beyond that, I have no interest in discussing Gilgamesh.

    “Christian Marriage” was enjoyed/controlled by racists and people who thought women were property. They used Natural Law arguments to support a corruption of Christian Marriage.

    Yes, “Christian Marriage” has been defined in all sorts of rather non-christian ways. In fact, I think it is probably true that when folks appeal to scripture to justify a civil contract – especially when that appeal to scripture is not really found in scripture but must be extrapolated from assumptions about attitudes held by Biblical writers – that it most likely is being corrupted.

    Marriages as defined in America 40 years ago are not found in scripture. They are not found really anywhere outside of America 40 years ago.

    You may think they are just super, but putting the word “Christian” in front of them is a rather foolish attempt to coopt history. Only those who know nothing about history, or Christianity, or scripture would agree that there is anything particularly “Christian” (or non-Christian, for that matter) about such laws.

  16. David,

    Actually, Christians were some of the first people who treated women as something more than property 🙂

  17. @ Timothy:

    “I was merely pointing out that “Christian marriage” is that which Christians enjoy….”

    Isn’t this definition of Christian Marriage tautological?

    “Christian Marriage” was enjoyed/controlled by racists and people who thought women were property. They used Natural Law arguments to support a corruption of Christian Marriage.

  18. @ Timothy,

    I don’t recognize the flow of my comments in your quote.

    Christian marriage…it is all a matter of opinion, really.

    Any elaboration on Gilgamesh?

  19. Truthfully, I’m kind of jealous that so many of you seem to have so much time on your hands to devote to this blog…

    Can’t speak for everybody else, but writing is my day job.

  20. David

    Some have the doctrinal flexibility of the UCC others are guided by the whole of scripture as authoritative…the latter group is larger and includes groups in Africa.

    With due respect, I laughed out loud when I read this.

    I think that you and I would see “the whole of the scripture” is a VASTLY different light.

    None of which has anything to do with the point at hand. You were speaking of “Chistian marriage” and equating it with the marriage laws in the United States fourty years ago.

    I was merely pointing out that “Christian marriage” is that which Christians enjoy, and that for a non-insigificant portion of Christianity that definition includes same-sex marriage.

    You seem to think, however, that “Christian marriage” is that which is enjoyed by Christians with whom you agree (others being guilty, perhaps, of a truckload of heresy).

  21. carole,

    We have not come to a semantical divergence. We have come to an ideological divergence.

    You are, frankly, unwilling to consider anything outside of your predetermined conclusion: that homosexuality is a defect which has an environmental causation. Your comments on twin studies confirmed my growing suspicion.

    Thank you for the dialogue, but I see that I erred in giving this discourse so much effort.

  22. I am a bit disappointed that Eddy didn’t answer my question about his ex-gay experience — but clearly I have stepped into a room that has its own long standing participants with an occasional “look up” to see who else is in the room. And I asked the question in sincerity and desiring more understanding.

    Truthfully, I’m kind of jealous that so many of you seem to have so much time on your hands to devote to this blog…

    Wishing all of you the best.

  23. @ Timothy and others,

    Should we include the Iliad? When was it first written?

  24. @ Timothy and others,

    Is it reasonable to compare the Torah with the Epic of Gilgamesh?

    If so…what do we conclude?

  25. @ Timothy

    The epic of Gilgamesh!?!?

    My understanding of this early novel is that a complete copy has never been found or translated.

    What is your precise point in including this reference?

  26. @ Timothy,

    Regarding the UCC doctrinal statement…you could drive a truck of heresy through that kind of flexibility…

    on the other hand; Jesus condemned the pharisees for straining at knats and swallowing camels.

    Episcopalians are split…along the lines of “verbal, plenary inspiration of the Scriptures.” Some have the doctrinal flexibility of the UCC others are guided by the whole of scripture as authoritative…the latter group is larger and includes groups in Africa.

  27. Timothy said,

    And yet here it is. In every race. In every culture. In the very earliest of recorded storytelling – (perhaps even the Epic of Gilgamesh, the oldest written text on Earth).

    Yes! I thought for sure you understood that we agree on “here it is” and that it has been here a long time! That has nothing to do with any disagreement we may have about likely, possible, or probable etiology.

    You added,

    And you suspect some consequence purely of environment similar to “blows over the head”.

    Don’t know why you concluded this. Evan, I believe, offered that there were anecdotal reports of a change in sexual preference after brain trauma. That doesn’t sound hard to believe–some part of the brain contributing to attraction had been affected. I too have read of purported reports from neurosurgeons who have treated patients with such traumas, but to suggest that I suspect “environmental” influences=”blows over the head” is an inaccurate characterization. While not unheard of, they must be fairly unusual, and I have never read if the shift in attraction was temporary or lasting.

    You want a direct working model for WHY homosexaulity was selected and if you don’t see it in front of you, you reject its existent. Yet while you dismiss several notions – you post a possiblity.

    All the evolution models are fraught with inconsistencies and huge suppostions, and many defy outright the priniciples/examples we know and assume those we don’t know. So, are any of them right? Partly right? Who knows? You seem to have picked one you like as if you haven’t seen any problems with it. I haven’t totally discounted some, but see the likelihood of an environmental trigger. That said, I don’t “know.” No one yet knows or at least no one has yet “proved.”

    Thus, can we look elsewhere? Could it be something else is a simpler answer?

    And you are quite wrong about how I would define the pancreas of Southwestern Indians. Because under an evolutionary model, non-adaptive genetic traits die out – even if it’s un-PC to say it.

    Un-pc? I don’t think what you said is un-pc at all. Non-adaptive traits die out eventually. Big deal. It’s life, literally. I couldn’t agree with you more on this point.

    My point was that it’s not diabetes that has been selected for–it’s genes which code for an endocrine system and pancreas that are efficient with a certain diet . If most SW Indians and, for that matter, most Americans and Britons in general were to stop carb-loading, their pancreases would be just fine since their genes gave them a pancreas able to handle a balanced, sensible, low-carb diet. Failure to do this will, yes, lead to the genes of those people being pruned from the system. My point was that there aren’t “diabetes” genes as geneticists, medical researchers expected to find. I think on this point you and I have been caught up in a semantic disagreement.

    On discordant twins—there are biological proclivities in families that are not the direct result of genes that code for a trait. Environmental effects often cause similar reactions among some members of families because they share similar protein reactions to environmental triggers/effects. Is this a semantic problem again maybe?

    We have exhausted the subject it appears. Thanks for the discourse

  28. David,

    The Quakers pride themselves (humbly, of course) on being far in front of the pack on social issues. If I read them correctly, they’re pretty supportive of gay rights.

    For example, here in California they released the following:

    Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) supports marriage equality as a basic human right for all adult couples whether same or opposite gender. This is based on our historic testimonies on equality, community and integrity. We, therefore, oppose any and all efforts to undermine marriage equality in California, specifically the so-called California Marriage Protection Act (Proposition 8).

    That’s probably more typical of unprogrammed meeting quakers rather than those with programmed meetings. Outside of the US, Quakers are almost universally supportive.

  29. @ Timothy,

    My mom is a Quaker (from Pennsylvania no less).

    Many good Quakers have stood up against horrible applications of scripture to support morally wrong social ills.

    They are non-hierarchical and abhor a legalistic religious practice…having been persecuted mercilessly, they have long had compassion for all sorts of minorities.

    We’ll see what they do.

  30. @ Timothy,

    Regarding: UCC

    The United Church of Christ embraces a theological heritage that affirms the Bible as the authoritative witness to the Word of God, the creeds of the ecumenical councils, and the confessions of the Reformation. The UCC has roots in the “covenantal” tradition—meaning there is no centralized authority or hierarchy that can impose any doctrine or form of worship on its members. Christ alone is Head of the church. We seek a balance between freedom of conscience and accountability to the apostolic faith. The UCC therefore receives the historic creeds and confessions of our ancestors as testimonies, but not tests of the faith.

    That view of scripture and accountability to apostolic faith allows for a lot of “flexibility.”

  31. David,

    Yes, those of the covenantal tradition of Christianity are indeed more flexible than those of more highly structured or hierarchal institutions. They would likely view it as being open to the moving of the Spirit. Others would consider it heretical. But they speak no less for “Christian marriage” than, say, the Armenian Orthodox Church.

    Here are better stats on UCC:

    90% of UCC clergy supports gays and lesbians as lay leaders

    88% of UCC clergy supports employee non-discrimination

    84% of UCC clergy supports the ordination of gay and lesbian people with no special requirements

    84% of UCC clergy supports hate crime laws

    83% of UCC clergy supports gay adoption

    81% of UCC clergy believe that the church should not work to oppose making homosexuality acceptable

    67% of UCC clergy supports same sex marriage and 24% of UCC clergy support civil unions (91% total). However, when religious protections are assured, many of the civil union responses move into the marriage column.

  32. Warren,

    Don’t kill the thread on my account. I’m outta here. Michael and Jayhuck have had the last word.

  33. Debbie Thurman ~ Jun 16, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    There are some other evangelical denominations Timothy left out, such as the Evangelical Free Church and Calvary Chapels. And some of the other mainline denominations are seeing evangelical branches breaking off, such as the PCUSA.

    Yes, there are a great many denominations I didn’t include, many of whom are still trying to figure things out.

    For example, the Reformed Church in America (Dutch) just voted last week to “continue discussions on gay issues” for three more years before making any decisions.

    The Evangelical Free Church has about 1500 congregations but I can’t find whether they have any expressed opinion at all.

    Calvary Chapels are not a denomination but a loose affiliation of about the same size; I believe they are generally highly opposed to homosexuality on both a theological and social basis. Unless I’m mistaken, I believe that many of them have dominionist theology.

  34. carole,

    Reproductive success is what defines “fitness” in the natural world, either reproducing by having offspring or in the case of some in the natural world, contributing to the reproductive fitness of another as do worker bees to the queen.

    And yet here it is. In every race. In every culture. In the very earliest of recorded storytelling – (perhaps even the Epic of Gilgamesh, the oldest written text on Earth).

    So I suspect a contribution to the reproductive fitness of another (or more likely the survival of the tribe). And you suspect some consequence purely of environment similar to “blows over the head”.

    2) The discordance of identical twins still poses a problem for any of the genetic explanations

    No, exactly wrong.

    Actually what we know from twins studies is that genes contribute between 20 and 50% to homosexuality. The rest may be hormones, environment (before or after birth) or, for all we know, Gerber’s strained peas.

    You want a direct working model for WHY homosexaulity was selected and if you don’t see it in front of you, you reject its existent. Yet while you dismiss several notions – you post a possiblity.

    I really don’t care. I don’t need to “know” what the exact model was, only that genetics – or even biology – plays a role in order to say that homosexuality fits the natural selection process. Because genes are almost certainly a player, there’s your natural selection.

    And you are quite wrong about how I would define the pancreas of Southwestern Indians. Because under an evolutionary model, non-adaptive genetic traits die out – even if it’s un-PC to say it. Because I don’t equate “what I’d like to be true” or “that which should be” with the evolutionary process. Nor do I define natural selection as over.

    Diabetes is as selected (as a trait that is likely to decimate a people to allow for their replacement by other genetic strains) for these people as is superior intellect or physical prowess in some other group. Nature doesn’t care. They were “selected” for their time and place and that time is over. Harsh? Yes. But that is what Natural Selection is. Evolution is a slow, uncaring, unintentional eugenics project.

    If it currently exists genetically and has been passed on genetically, then it is part of the grand mindless random machine that throws out permutations both good and bad and eventually winnows some away. (And if we don’t get our impulses under control, nature may “select” cockroaches.)

    But, then again, I see divine intent.

  35. Jayhuck,

    It is all find and good to say judge not, but I hope you realize that goes both ways. I have seen so much sarcasm and ridicule on the part of some who wish to claim that their rights are being ignored. This is carried over with people who in my own experience could care less about the rights of homosexuals but who realize there is power in towing the politically correct line. This sarcasm is as much of a judgement as you continue to accuse so many Christians of.

  36. There are some other evangelical denominations Timothy left out, such as the Evangelical Free Church and Calvary Chapels. And some of the other mainline denominations are seeing evangelical branches breaking off, such as the PCUSA.

  37. I’ve fallen behind over the weekend. I’ll try and respond to what has been addrssed to me.

    @ Timothy,

    I think that is where this all has to head…don’t you?

    No David, it could head anywhere.

    But where I think it will head is that within 20 years same-sex marriage will be legal in every state (and nearly every western nation) and that most churches will celebrate and sanctify such relationships.

    If Reformed Jews and some Episcopalians (Unitarians….anyone else?) decide to marry same sex couples, that doesn’t make it morally good; or broaden the definition of Christian marriage.

    David, the list is quite a bit longer than that. Most mainline denominations are debating the issue and some ban their members from performing same-sex marriages, but there is still stron support from within:

    United Church of Christ. The church is in support of civil marriage and something like 90% of UCC clergy support marriage equality though not all perform marriages themself. Yet many do. As the heirs of the Pilgrims, this is perhaps the most American of all churches.

    Quakers. Depending on the region, the Friends have for a very long time supported civil equality for gay individuals and couples. Some perform blessings of couples.

    United Methodists. The UMC clergy are not allowed to perform same-sex marriages. However, both the Northern and the Southern California conferences voted to oppose Proposition 8. Then they went one huge step further: they voted that retired clergy were not bound by such restrictions and encouraged them to perform same-sex marriages.

    PCUSA and ELCA: The Presbyterians and the Lutherans are in heated debate over the place of gay parishoners, including marriage. This debate will go on for probably another 10 years before the more liberal factions win.

    In fact, the only segments of Christianity in which there is unity seem to be the heirarchal denominations: Mormon and Catholic (though half of lay Catholics support gay marriage), and the “fundamentalists”: Southern Baptist, Pentecostal/Charismatic, and the unaffiliated mega-churches.

    I think this issue is less about Christian v. non-Christian marriage or even denomination. It’s more based on geographic region. In the South even the liberal denominations are not supportive. In the West and Northeast, even the most conservative of ministers will say they support “some” rights.

    And if we look outside the United States, Christianity seems to be rapidly moving in the direction of marriage and full inclusion.

  38. Eddy,

    OR –

    “For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord/Every knee shall bow to Me/And every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. “For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or cause to fall in our brother’s way”

    Romans 14: 9-13

  39. Eddy,

    “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned, forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.”

    Luke 6:37

    My Orthodox study Bible goes on to say regarding this verse: “The Kingdom of God calls us to a way of life in which mercy abounds. We must; Refrain from judging. By definition, human judgment precludes mercy. Do not condemn. Condemnation causes us to depart from mercy. Forgive. Forgiveness can only come out of a heart of mercy….”

  40. I would like to ask one thing before the thread is pronounced DOA. I’m not that regular of a contributor, but have noted this ongoing historical dialogue between Michael and Eddy.

    This is what I would like to ask: Eddy, what is your story with Outpost — why you left, why you may want to not be part of the ex-gay scene anymore (if that is accurate — IOW your history. I think that would give a balanced view for the rest of us.

    Thanks

  41. Oh, and please be aware that I know I have been guilty of those sinful emotions and actions, even in the earlier parts of this discussion. Somewhere in the middle of it, I woke up.

  42. Have mercy on us all, Dr. T. End this thread.

    Yes, I second that request. I have not felt compelled to read all of these comments, but much of what I have read falls into the category of an unscriptural, argumentative spirit. The “brethren” are to make every effort to be at peace with one another, certainly refraining from “bitterness … wrath … anger … and slander.” Read Ephesians 4:25-32.

  43. @ Michael,

    Sorry to hear about the intensity of your marital dilemma…not many scriptures speak directly to the decision you and Ann had to make.

  44. Before the advent of no-fault divorce, which Ann filed — not me — we could have requested and been granted an annulment since the marriage was based on a false foundation.

    She was straight and I was not. What was she supposed to do? Live in a sexless marriage, knowing that I did not desire her the way she deserved to be desired by a man?

    I have told my story in truth. I am not trying to justify divorce — or establish a rational for it based on a “feeling” of being (or not being) “in love”. Ann and I had to face the facts. It was terribly painful, and frankly Eddy — it is none of your business. Lay off.

  45. Speck and beam, Eddy. Speck and beam.

    I wonder how many folks on this blog (and lesewhere) percieve you the way you preceive Jayhuck — or me. Are you somehow above being “stubborn, dogmatic, childish and unreasonable”? Am I the only one who sees you as ” pronouncing his blessing on those who agree with you” and “picking away at those who don’t?” I admit that I sometimes (OK often) fit the bill — LOL.

    I asked about your personal life, because I guessed, based on your question, that you probably had not had a relationship that was fully spiritual, emotional, and sexual. Perhaps I am wrong…

    “…about forgiveness or the lack thereof” I was referring to you hammering away at my divorce of Ann — as though by speaking of my love for Gary, I was glossing over or minimizing the pain I caused to others.. For that, I have asked, and recieved Ann’s forgiveness, my daughter’s and Gods. I was asking for yours. Oh, well.

    The marriage and the divorce were both very painful. I take full responsibility for the pain I caused by believing I was straight and could maintain a straight marrige.

  46. I asked a legitimate question based on something you said in rebuttal to me and in the process of refusing to answer you made insinuations about my personal life…now you sling more all under the guise of asking me to lay off.

    Pots and kettles, sir.

  47. Now, could you please lay off? LIke Debbie, Let’s agree to disagree, as brothers in Christ — deal? We wouldn’t want anyone on this blog to get the impression that you are ““stubborn, dogmatic, childish and unreasonable” — or one who ” pronounces his blessing on those who agree with him and picks away at those who don’t” , would we? I readlily admit I fit the description perfectly at itmes! How about you, Eddy? — LOL

  48. Michael–

    Please stop with the insinuations about what goes on in my mind. My questioning the reasoning behind ‘soul mate’ DOES NOT say anything at all about forgiveness or the lack thereof.

    I regard both the concepts of ‘in love’ and ‘soul mate’ as socialized forms of sexuality. We believe we are entitled to be ‘in love’ and to have that perfect ‘soul mate’…and, I believe that that belief is one of the principle motivators of our astonishing divorce rate. People expect that magic feeling. If they had it and it dies, they divorce. If they had ‘in love’ but now found a ‘true soul mate’, it justifies divorce. Nearly gone is the concept of two people ‘growing’ to love and understand each other…of two ‘becoming’ one. Rather, they assume that they are already one to begin with and are devastated when they discover signifcant differences.

  49. Eddy: As I said, I am not going to debate or define what I mean by “soul-mate”. He was my match, my life partner, the love of my life, the one person that I felt truly bonded to on all levels — emotionally, spiritually, intellectually — and sexually. The whole enchilada.

    You asked, “why does our soul mate have to become our sex mate?” He/she doesn’t “have to”, but it sure is wonderful when it is all there! You kinda have to live it to get it.

    Have you ever lived in a relationship like that? It is an incredible experience — a mystery, a gift, something that cannot really be dissected. Maybe some day, the right man or woman will come along for you too…

    That being said, I agree with you on marriage,– that it should not be tossed away on a purely emotional whim — or because I got the hots for someone new. Divorce is extremely traumatic — especially for the children. Like you, I also believe “strongly that marriage ought to be a lifetime committment.”.

    But I don’t believe that gay men like men should marry straight women to begin with. That was a sincere but painful mistake — and it hurt many people. Ann and God have forgiven me. Too bad you can’t seem to. In any event, God did bless both us us with a wonderful daughter and grandson — inspite of my foolishness

  50. Michael–

    You brought up ‘soul mate’ in your reply addressed to me. My brother divorced his first wife based on the fact that he had found his ‘soul mate’ and needed to be with her instead.

    LOL. But instead of answering where the concept of ‘soul mate’ comes from or what it means, you go off on a personal rant speculating about whether I’ve ever really been in love. Sorry, but I’ve known people who were ‘in love’ who later abandoned that love because they found their ‘soul mate’. Since it is the reasoning that many people use for abandoning a life-time committment, I believe we ought to understand it more completely. It doesn’t seem to have Biblical or psychological origins and, if memory serves, is a concept born out of the hippie/free love movement of the 60’s and 70’s.

    Or to go in another direction, why does our soul mate have to become our sex mate? My bias is that I believe very strongly that marriage ought to be a lifetime committment. I have conceded over the years that there are some things that are sufficient cause to break those bonds (physical and emotional abuse and spousal infidelity high on the list) but ‘soul mate’??

  51. Debbie, Of course I don’t mind if you pray for me. Please do! That means a lot. Maybe you could also pray for Eddy as well that he would come to feel as you feel: “He knows I don’t agree with them, but there has to be an agreeing to disagree on it. There is a time for leaving it in God’s hands.” He, alone, is Lord of our lives, our hearts and our conscience…

  52. Thanks, Debbie. Once again, you have been very gracious. As to Eddy’s question, “What the hell is a ’soul mate’? …please use either a Bible or psychological definition. (Hey, I’m giving you the second option as a freebie.) Man can justify just about anything by giving it a nice sounding label.”

    I won’t even go there. It sounds to me as if he has never really been in love, never really experienced the joy of sharing life with that one special person with whom he could share love spritually, emotionally and sexually. If not, how sad. I am not going to humor him by trying to define it. It has to be experienced.

    I was not sharing my story to “justify” anything. Debbie had asked earlier what happened with me that changed my mind — and I was simply telling my story. That’s all. I wasn’t trying to establish a BIblical or psychological justification. And anyone who really knows me is well aware of the deep remorse I felt (and still feel) for hurting Ann. Ann knows. God knows. And they have both forgiven me.

  53. There seems to be an obsession here with deconstructing Michael’s theology and logic. I am pretty certain Michael is not going to change the views he came by with much travail. He knows I don’t agree with them, but there has to be an agreeing to disagree on it. There is a time for leaving it in God’s hands. I’m sure Michael won’t mind my praying for him. I’d be delighted if he prayed for me. He’s a Christian brother who’s had a considerable struggle. I see nothing as beyond God’s ability to heal. We all have blind spots. We all are in a state of depravity apart from God. I trust God to know us intimately and what we need. It’s up to each of us to seek Him and His best for us.

  54. Jayhuck–

    1) The life of a sincere Christian can have a little danger. You err, mon frere. We have NOT been told not to judge. It’s a little bit like ‘Money is the root of all evil”…the Bible doesn’t say that. It says “The love of money is the root of all evil.” So, please provide the verse or verses that support your believe that we are never to judge.

    2) I’m making no assumptions about ‘which is better’…simply saying that two Christian marriages ended because the husbands found ‘soul mates’.

    3) I said what I said. No need to ask ‘are you saying’. My words were in english. Really!!!!

    Michael brought his life and the finding of his ‘soul mate’ into the discussion as a support for his particular viewpoint, why then is it unfair for me to question the other circumstances from the time of that ‘finding’ that are a part of the public record?

    Oh, and once again, I’ve asked a question: what is a soul mate? But instead of an answer, I’m getting analysis and questions. I’m not saying I’m above analysis and questions; I’m saying I deserve an answer to my question too.

  55. The first “that” should have been “like” in above post. Ugh, what am I doing up at this hour????? Going back to bed!

  56. Eddy,

    It sounds a great deal that you care more about marriage for marriage’s sake than you do about the quality of those relationships and what that might mean for the child involved.

  57. Eddy,

    My point was that its dangerous to speculate who might be the wolf in sheep’s clothing, because, BELIEVE me, both sides see it in the other – regardless, when you do begin to make those kinds of speculations, you begin to judge others and we’ve been told in no uncertain terms NOT to do that.

    It goes to bias…all you spoke of was finding your soul mate, you failed to mention the breakup of two marriages among other things. Gee, if the ever vigilant and likewise unbiased Jayhuck were here, he’d be noticing that you failed to balance this picture by presenting the ‘other side’.

    LOL – If I had a “snark alarm” I’m sure it would have been going off when you wrote this. I do not know enough about Michael’s past to say anything of the kind but I will jump in with….

    Whatever the drawbacks, it did work well enough to produce your daughter. (

    Are you saying that because a child was produced through a romantic coupling that somehow that relationship was “good” – or I suppose, “good enough”? Really????

  58. Michael–

    You found your soul mate’. One of my brothers left his first wife for his ‘soul mate’…his marriage to her didn’t last either. What the hell is a ‘soul mate’? …please use either a Bible or psychological definition. (Hey, I’m giving you the second option as a freebie.) Man can justify just about anything by giving it a nice sounding label.

    I commend a ’til death do us part’ relationship with Gary but I have to question the ’til Gary do us part’ with Annie, Whatever the drawbacks, it did work well enough to produce your daughter. (It goes to bias…all you spoke of was finding your soul mate, you failed to mention the breakup of two marriages among other things. Gee, if the ever vigilant and likewise unbiased Jayhuck were here, he’d be noticing that you failed to balance this picture by presenting the ‘other side’.)

    What are the grounds for divorce that God winks at? Besides “I’m gay”. .

  59. LOL. I forget what I was trying to bold but I must have forgotten to dismantle it. I was not intending to shout for a paragraph and a half.

  60. Michael–

    I was speaking globally not personally. I never considered you among those who were ‘led astray’. I do worry, though, about you as someone who might lead others astray. You aspire to fairness and to non-bias but even while I made my statements (based on what the Bible did or did not say) that you agreed with….you had to interject your comment that no one should ever say that someone is not a Christian. Based on what? –Your feelings.

    You shifted the base without even noticing yourself that you did. You appreciated my comments for their fairness but then you HAD to add that extra line…that we should NEVER say someone is ‘not a Christian’. I’m sorry but that’s quite a leap since I was talking from what the Bible does or doesn’t say. My gut tells me that statement of yours was directly related to F.W.’s comments to you a few years back. I will not weigh in with my sentiments–only God’s voice and opinion will count at our journey’s end. Not mine, not Frank’s, not yours.

    It’s why I find the word and semantics game here amusing (and bemusing) at times. It’s like we’ve forgotten that there is a real judgement coming with a real judge…fair and merciful…but probably not susceptible to word play. Public opinion, political correctness and who wrote the best zinger will be meaningless then.

    (And, yes Jayhuck, I do realize that my statements do apply to both sides.)

  61. Eddy: Perhaps I am wrong about this, but I get the impression that you still think that, deep down, I still know that homosexuality is sin — and that I am one of those you describe as: “honestly seeking with hearts open towards God, (but) got led astray.”

    You go on to speculate that “perhaps they got burned or disillusioned by an ex-gay group or leader or perhaps they got ensnared by one of the many watered down or revised versions of the complete Gospel message. “

    I don’t know about the other gay Christians, “ex-ex-gays”, but I do not believe I got led astray. I know you believe that I did. Perhaps I was, but it seemed like simply facing the truth — And here it is: I was still gay no matter what I called myself.

    Like every other male ex-gay I met, I was still homosexual — still SSA. Nothing changed that. I did not become straight. I never developed straight feelings towards my wife. I fell in love with a man — heart, soul, mind and body. I found my soul-mate.

    It wasn’t bathroom sex or any of the other unhealthy gay behaviors that both you and I agree are sin. It was the real deal. I loved him with my life — with everything I had and everything I was. And he loved me the same way. Sex was not the driving force in our life. It was one of the many ways we expressed our mutual caring. And we loved each other unto death.

    Now what? Why, in spite of everything, was I still gay? And why were all the other ex-gay men I met — and have met since then — still gay. Maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t always sin. Maybe it wasn’t even “temptation”. Maybe God made this love too.

    Maybe that is why he didn’t make us straight. Maybe He intended it that way — at least for us — His gay kids. Now, I know you don’t agree with this. I know this is a radical idea. I know it turns traditional thinking about what the Bible says about homosexuality on its head somewhat. But, maybe it was true.

    Maybe Scripture did not comdemn all forms of homosexual expression — maybe just the hurtful, violent, expoitive forms So, I did a lot of praying, agonizing, praying, reading, thinking, praying, questioning, studying. I met dedicated Christian gay people who loved the Lord — with their haerts and souls and minds — and who were trying their best to live a life pleasing to God — acknowledging that they were both gay and Christian.

    I studied Scripture and Scriptural commentaries on both wides of this debate — and I changed my mind. You will always believe that I was “misled”. I believe I woke up.

    When I accepted Christ as my Savior, in 1971, I believed the full Gospel message — and not “one of the many watered down or revised versions of the complete Gospel message. “ This is what I came to believe, and still believe: It is called the Nicene Creed: http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html?mainframe=http://www.reformed.org/documents/nicene.html

  62. Michael,

    I detect so much anger in your answer and yet I agree with what you are saying. Could it be that you have prejudged me and my own faith and decided that my understanding is not as complete as yours. I had moved away from my own religious background largely because I believed that it was wrong in what it taught on a number of these issues, however, once I returned and made a concerted effort to understand what it was teaching instead of relying on second and third opinions of that faith I came to realize that it is what Jesus taught and it is alive and loving and not so condemning as some would have had me believe.

    I have never felt that I have a complete understanding of the causes of my SSA, but in the same light I do not believe for a minute that the science that we have seen over the past decade reflects in anyway what is true for me or for everyone who deals with SSA. And yes I do see SSA as a disorder, but there is so much of our human existence that is disordered I do not see how this even needs to be considered in this discussion.

  63. Jayhuck-

    I appreciate your reminder that their can be ‘wolves’ on either side. I allowed for that when I stated that some may have been disillusioned by their exposure to ex-gay groups or leaders.

    I really do not intend with every comment that I write to speak for or accommodate the other side too. You don’t do it for my side with every comment that you write and you shouldn’t expect me to always include your sides POV in every comment. My posts are lengthy enough as it is. And, the more I say, the more chances there are that I’ll use some word or phrase that someone will pounce upon to detour from the point I was really trying to make. (Please believe that there was zero ‘attitude’ in the preceding…I’m just speaking matter of fact. I’ve got an awful lot going on in the real world and don’t have time for the extremes of correctness.)

    I, too, have trouble believing that some ‘most excellent’ people won’t be going to Heaven. It doesn’t sound right or fair. I actually have trouble conceiving of a literal Heaven and a literal Hell. (LOL. Talk to anyone and when they speak of Heaven, they clearly picture it somewhere in the immediate atmosphere…lol, with planes and space shuttles poking holes in it everyday. And Hell is somewhere in the core of the Earth. Everyone looks down…and the Earth is a circle…so the Hell they imagine is center Earth. I guess that could be true–if you ruled out life on other planets…or perhaps there’s a Heaven and Hell for each planet with sentient life.) LOL. It’s all too much for me to wrap my brain around. So, I’ve come back to: Is Christ real? Is there a God who sent His Son to redeem the people on my planet? If so, why? What was the need for redemption? If it meant that much to this God…to send a redeemer…what does that say about God’s personality, agenda, purpose, design? And, finally, reckoning with who I am, as a creation of this God, how can I best cooperate with this God who chose to get personal with the planet.

  64. Eddy,

    I know you were talking to Michael, but the “wolves in sheep’s clothing” indictment could be made about people on either side of this issue. We certainly see people on both sides behaving badly and causing people to behave that way themselves.

    The Bible – says a great deal of things. Many of which even conservative Christians seem to ignore in this day and age.

    I really don’t grasp all the ramifications of that but it’s enough for me to take exception to the statement that ‘we should never tell another that they are not a Christian.

    I appreciate your humility on this point – but I don’t think it can be over-emphasized enough that NONE of us can know the heart of another. We can never know what is truly going on in that heart and in that person’s relationship with God – only God can know that. That is why we are warned not to judge others.

    Having grown up in a small town dominated with an Evangelical mind set, I understand that way of thinking. I understand why people have a certain conservative view of the Bible. I understand why its appealing. My mother happens to be one of those and I love her, but I do not agree with her. I also understand why others have a different view.

    In my journey I’ve met too many good, kind, selfless non-Christians and gay people who have embraced their orientation (not the lost lambs you spoke of above). People who make sacrifices for others – who have a depth of caring I wish I saw in more Christians- liberal or conservative. So I can’t simply accept the Evangelical take on the Bible anymore – because such a view tends to consign certain people to Hades – people I could never believe a loving God would ever put there.

    I also appreciate the way you dealt with the clients at Outpost.

  65. Sorry – my bad – that quote above is obviously from Carole and directly Ed Miller. But I think my response deals with the part of his theory dealing with dangerously aggressive males.

    Carole – I do want you to know I read your entire post, and I understand you are simply putting forth one of the many theories that exist for how genes coding for homosexuality might be sustained. I do not have any idea how much worth you put into Ed’s theory, but it does seem fraught with problems, and I do not think its unimportant to question how overly aggressive or less aggressive males came to be the way they are.

    Most likely – as in all other behaviors, they developed as a results of nature working in concert with nurture.

    My point – and this has to do with Ed’s theory – when we talk about behavior being solely the work of genes – which is what it seems like Ed is doing – to some extent anyway – then I think we are making a mistake. To what extent were the empathetic or aggressive behaviors created by nurture and to what extent by nature? It almost seems like we would have to answer that question first.

  66. Ah, the real rub is always in the nitty-gritty details. Earlier, I spoke of the clients we had at Outpost…many were new Christians; some were older Christians conflicted about their homosexuality. So, I’d share what I believed…how I came to believe it…and how it was working out for me so far. I’d even make sure that they knew that there were others, who also bore the label “Christian” who believed otherwise.

    That sounds very generous of me but I would also tell them why, I, personally, did not agree with that point of view and what strong cautions I had. This was based on my strong sense that it was the Holy Spirit’s job to ‘convict of sin’…my job was simply to provide a safe and sane environment where they could explore this dilemma on their own.

    HOWEVER, I do believe that homosexual behavior is sin. I believe it may not be sin that will be judged for some because, while they were honestly seeking with hearts open towards God, they got led astray. Perhaps they got burned or disillusioned by an ex-gay group or leader or perhaps they got ensnared by one of the many watered down or revised versions of the complete Gospel message. Only God can truly judge the heart.

    But, I do believe it’s another story entirely when we aren’t dealing with a client, a babe in Christ. I certainly don’t think we should say it often or to many, but I concede that sometimes we do need to speak boldly to and about those ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’ who seek to devour the flock. They can’t simply be ignored for the sake of harmony and warm fuzzies. As for me, I’ve never felt called to pronounce those words of judgement on another but I know that the epistles occasionally addressed those ‘among you’ whose lives demonstrated that they were not repentent and that they still followed their own ways. The Bible also speaks of those who have ‘tasted’ and experienced the fullness of God’s grace and riches but have then turned their backs; they were given over to ‘a reprobate mind’ and were no longer capable of repenting. I really don’t grasp all the ramifications of that but it’s enough for me to take exception to the statement that ‘we should never tell another that they are not a Christian.

  67. David and Carole,

    Those do not seem to be the only flaws in that theory.

    One problem is that, at least in many modern societies, ours included, men at the far extreme of aggressiveness are reproducing. Most risk-taking men or men who are aggressively anti-social and wind up in prison (think of youth in gangs, for example ) have several children before they are locked up. In fact, it is such men/boys who have a high rate of paternity.

    My understanding is that most of the people who wind up in gangs or in prison because of gang or violent activity, usually come from poor, less-educated families and have grown up around such violence.

    The difficulty here would be in determining whether the violence expressed by men in gangs/prison is socialized, solely a result of genetics – or both. And if both, how much of each?

  68. And we never, never tell another person (who has accepted Christ as Lord and Savior and who looks to Scripture and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to discern the will of God) that that person is “not a real Christian” if they don’t agree with us

  69. Concerned: I totally agree that: “If it is clear that someone is doing themselves harm by their behavior we are called to point out that danger.”

    Yes. If it is clear — or if we are firmly convinced that their behavior or life direction is harmful to themselves or others. For example, if we know they are engaging in dangerous, impersonal, compulsive sexual behavior, abusing their bodies, exploiting others for their own gratification, etc. nit would be unloving not to warn them.

    So, if you believe that all homosexual behavior, even loving and committed gay relationships, are sinful, immoral or harmful, you have a responsibility to share that belief with me. I may disagree with your conviction that homosexual behavior is always sinful, but you still should share your conviction with me.

    But you see, I do not happen to believe that all homosexual behavior is sinful. I believe it can be, just as unloving and irresponsible straight sex can be. And I did not come to this position capriciously. I came to it, as you mostly came to yours, through serious prayer, study, reading and re-reading the Bible, discusssion, introspection, asking for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, life-experience, etc.

    What “you guys” see as blatantly obvious — from your understanding of Scripture or “nature” or “evolution” — may not be so obvious to others. After all, there are folks who deeply believe that it is sinful to accept blood transfusions, or to wear jewelry or to dance.

    Regarding your quesion, “where do we draw the line between being helpful by cautioning a friend and dictatiing or giving advice. I am not asking this as any form of judgement I would truly like to know how we are to discern this.”

    As I have already said numerous times, we discern it, to the best of our limited human ability, by applying our best understanding of God, Scripture and by appplying the prinicples of the Two Great Commandments. We say, “I am concerned for you. I believe that what you are doing is harmful to you and/or others. I think it would be wise if you would modify your actions or attitude.”

    What we don’t do is insist that our undestanding is complete or infallible — as too many dogmatic Chiristians are incliined to do. We “speak the truth (as we understand it) to one another” — with empathy — “in love”.

  70. Michael,

    I agree with you that we are called to help and not dictate, however, if it is clear that someone is doing themselves harm by their behaviour are we not also called to point out that danger. We are not our brothers keeper and it is important that each individual takes responsibility for their own actions and yet where do we draw the line between being helpful by cautioning a friend and dictatiing or giving advice. I am not asking this as any form of judgement I would truly like to know how we are to discern this.

  71. Eddy: you said it well — “…that the Bible did not speak specifically to the issue…from there we addressed issues of personal conscience. What did the individual believe? Did it interfere with their relationship to God? Did it abate or inflame their sexual desires? We felt called alongside to help not to dictate.”

    And that is precisely the way I approach the issue of homosexuality — since unlike you and David (and many other Christians), I do not believe that the Bible speaks to all homosexual behavior with indisputable clarity.

    That’s why I mentioned the importance of respecting each individual’s “conscience before God” — the Calvin quote. When in doubt, it’s between the person and his/her best understanding of God and Scripture…

    Guided by that empathetic respect and love for the other person, and humbled by the realization of our own limited understanding, you are called help, not dictate.

  72. Michael–

    What you are saying is true. At Outpost, we walked a middle line. Admitting to what I said in my earlier post…that the Bible did not speak specifically to the issue…from there we addressed issues of personal conscience. What did the individual believe? Did it interfere with their relationship to God? Did it abate or inflame their sexual desires? We felt called alongside to help not to dictate.

  73. I also agree with you here, Eddy: “the Bible speaks to homosexual behavior”. But what specific behavior is open to debate. And how to apply Old testament passages is open to debate. You may believe I am wrong in how I understand the Bible and perhaps I am.

    I ask the question about masturbation because this used to come up all the time with EXODUS — was it OK for a male “ex-gay” to masturbate since he either had no interest or very little heterosexual interest.?

    The male ex-gay was still — is still – primarly or exclusively “SSA”. What is the male ex-gay to do with his continuing SSA — never act on it? Not even when alone?

    Some suggested that it might be OK to soothe oneself or relieve sexual tension in this manner — as long as one did not think about anything while doing it — no fantasy, no lust, etc. Is that even possible?

    Some argued that masturbation was never OK because only sex between a heterosexually married couple was OK — according to the BIble.

  74. David: I really do not know what more I can say. Maybe I missed something. What is your question about Calvin? About empathy? About the Sermon on the mount? Can you ask each question as succinctly as possible — and I will do my very best to respond to each one. I am a little slow this morning. Could you ask each question in one simple sentence?

    And Eddy: If we disagree, as brothers (and sisters), on what the Bible says (i.e. homosexual behavior), then our response ought to be to have a clear and objective (seemingly an impossibility) discussion to determine, as best as we can, what was/is the Bible position and aspire to that>” You may want to sit down. I agree with you.

  75. The Bible speaks to sexual behaviors between a man and a woman other than his wife; the Bible speaks to homosexual behavior; the Bible speaks to lustful thoughts and lasciviousness…but it appears to be silent on masturbation.

    If we disagree, as brothers (and sisters), on what the Bible says (i.e. homosexual behavior), then our response ought to be to have a clear and objective (seemingly an impossibility) discussion to determine, as best as we can, what was/is the Bible position and aspire to that. If we disagree on a subject (i.e. masturbation) that is not specifically addressed, we can likewise discuss why we feel it may or may not be sin, but we ought to be more careful about persuading others to our way of thinking.

    A genuine question for discussion might be “Does masturbation qualify as ‘sex outside of marriage’?” But it’s a whole discussion in itself complete with all the potential for using a word in one sense and having it taken in another. In idiomatic speech ‘sex outside of marriage’ implies ‘sex with another person outside of marriage.

    Please look for my forthcoming book: Issues With Issues and Tissues 🙂

  76. Michael….

    Calvin…Empathy….Sermon on the Mount.

    I asked my questions first!

  77. I suspect you are right about this, David: “I don’t think you and I disagree much on what the Bible says.”

    But when we do, what are we to do? That’s the point I am trying to make. When we do disagree, we must give each other grace to live according to our own conscience before God. No one else’s conscience is sovereign over our own.

    So tell me, how did you decide that masturbation could be morally neautral when you had previously asserted that the only moral sexual behavior was in-marriage, straight sex? On what basis, Scripturally, did you come to this belief?

  78. Michael,

    No need to separate Empathy from Love….Love is the bigger sheet of paper in your metaphor.

    Your Calvin quote is clear…but difficult to apply under your personal model.

    I don’t think you and I disagree much on what the Bible says…I think there is a lot of consensus between you and I.

    A few details…at most. :).

  79. Michael,

    Overlapping various scriptures creates a fabric of right and wrong with many subtleties…

    Still waiting for your answers….many posts now.

    Empathy is too small a word.

    Calvin drives us to Scripture as sovereign.

    The Sermon on the Mount prescribes righteousness.

    You are a bright man, please tell me what you think.

  80. David: I don’t get what you are not getting about the Calvin quote. Each individual must walk according their conscience, their best understanding of God, His will, His word.

    What seems self-evident to you about the “morality” and homosexuality is not self-evdient to me. You and I disagree on what the Bible says. What are we, as brothers in Christ, to do in such a case?

    No, I would not use empathy as a “replacement word for love”. Synonyms maybe. I see the two concepts like two pieces of paper glued together. You cannot separate them without ripping both.

  81. David: DId you determine this using the authority of Scripture?: “Masturbation is a form of self-pleasure and self-soothing…of itself it is not wrong (anymore than a great meal, a good novel).”

    How did you come to the conclusion that it is not “immoral” since you had previously said only sex between a heterosexually married couple fit the bill for moral sexual behavior?. DId you use your conscience to decide this?

  82. To answer you question about Masturbation:

    Like money…it depends on what you are deriving from it.

    Jesus considered thoughts of sex with a woman not your wife to be equal to immorality.

    Hating your brother is the same as murder.

    Masturbation is a form of self-pleasure and self-soothing…of itself it is not wrong (anymore than a great meal, a good novel).

  83. Michael,

    Thanks for your elaboration…if you could respond a bit more completely it would be even more interesting…

    Regarding empathy…Is it the replacement word for Love…?

    I, again, assert it is too small a word.

    Can you find a definition of Empathy that includes both Action and Righteousness? I have looked at several locations and cannot find the implied definition of Empathy you describe.

    Empathy<Love (Me)

    Empathy=Love (You)

    Also, could you please respond to my question about the place of the Sermon on the Mount in your theology (especially hungering and thirsting after righteousness)?

    Regarding Calvin…I get your emphasis on the last part of the quote…but you seem to have missed the middle part of your quote…Could you please return to the part of the Scripture being sovereign over conduct?

    I also believe there is a place for judging others behavior…but it is high risk and must first be preceded by removing my Own Beam.

  84. Carole,

    Wow…nice posting.

    I think your narration of the theory, exposes what I see as the major flaws of the theory…

    Aggressive men, reproduce in their youth.

    Sensitive men are less likely to reproduce.

    Aggressive women are not likely to reproduce…

    Sensitive women are more likely to reproduce…

    Back to O=CS(BP[urfm])/M-pm :).

    In a related criticism of all theorists, including myself, Smart people who theorize outside their area of expertise usually come up with Intelligent theories that are Wrong.

  85. Carole,

    Your hypothesis may also be support by Robert Epstein. He has an article in the latest Science Mind Magazine. There is still the question of how much someone is able to change, as he has suggested this is also on a continuum. Ultimately, if the aggressive characteristics are being selected for who you not expect that the society would become increasingly aggressive and likely force the less aggressive individuals into isolation or hiding.

  86. @carole

    There is some support for the hypothesis you mentioned. See Sergeant et al (doi:10.1016/j.paid.2005.07.002) and Gladue & Bailey (doi:10.1016/0306-4530(94)00073-J).

  87. David, I suppose I could try to argue that this post is somewhat related to the actual thread, but I know it’s not. It does deal with homosexuality as a way to make for better fathers, however.

    I have been involved in a discussion with Timothy about difficulties with evolutionary explanations of non-OSA. I grew sleepy-eyed last night before I could add this.

    Ed Miller, an economics prof, has put forth an evolutionary hypothesis to how homosexuality could be sustained in a population in spite of the reproductive fitness costs. His theory is called the balanced polymorphism hypothesis. In this, homosexuality is the result of a polygenic trait which may have evolved because as humans grew more agricultural and stayed in one place, aggressive, bellicose males were now disadvantageous.

    The traits of kindness, sensitivity, and empathy , sociability were now more important for group survival, and the traits of aggressiveness and competitiveness were less important. Thus, he offers that many alleles are involved, with most genetic combinations resulting in heterosexual males who have varying degrees of the now advantageous traits of sensitivity, tenderness, kindness, empathy, etc. This would make for better fathers, he posits, so this would be selection for both social cooperation and for paternal success which would lead to offspring success.

    The genes would affect the brain development through hormonal events acting upon the fetus, with extreme feminization of some males and extreme masculinization of other men, while most men would fall into the middle of a bell-curve of sorts. He puts forth the same hypothesis for women.

    The result would be a small % of men with enough brain feminization that they would prefer mates of the same sex and a small % of women with enough brain masculinization that they would prefer mates of the same sex.

    So, most men at one extreme would have character traits of sensitivity, kindness, empathy, etc. An approximately equal percentage of men at the opposite end of the spectrum would be bellicose, dangerously aggressive, etc. Men at both extremes would not reproduce at rates that would sustain their genes since gay men at a one end would not wish to mate with women while overly masculine men at the other extreme would not be preferred by women, but both groups’ lack of reproduction wouldn’t matter–the gene pool containing traits at both extremes would be carried and passed on by the vast majority of heterosexuals who had benefitted from having some traits existing at the extremes, but not too many of them.

    Thus, for example, most heterosexual men would still remain competitive, but they’d also be kind so that the two traits would result in someone who was neither meek/ passive nor domineering/belligerent.

    What of the idea that gay men are more sensitive, empathetic, and kind , etc. than their heterosexual counterparts? Studies suggest that a large percentage of young boys who grow up to be gay are physically unaggressive. Beyond that, are there studies that can substantiate that gay men have indeed the traits this hypothesis says are offering group advantage? This is a weakness in the theory, but it seems it’s something that can be measured with the right study.

    There is also a problem with the female side of the equation. If greater sensitivity, tenderness, etc. are the advantageous traits that heterosexual males get from this balancing polymorphism, what are the advantageous traits selected for the heterosexual female? The balancing results in excessively feminine women (not defined) at one end and excessively masculine women at another. Miller, in trying to explain why , if a balancing mechanism is operating, lesbianism is much lower than the rate of homosexuality, suggests that women who are masculine might be selected by males as mates because they like male activities, like sports and men find them attractive for this reason. I have problems with this statement, as I don’t think heterosexual men are usually attracted to masculine women, but all these hypotheses have their problems, and just as gayness in females seems not to be addressed in a whole assortment of other hypotheses, Miller has problems addressing them as well even though his hypothesis covers both homosexuality and lesbianism.

    According to this hypothesis, excessively aggressive men would be a societal problem because of their anti-social behavior and would not reproduce at high rate because they’d be rejected by women. And, excessively feminine women would result in what? I don’t quite know. For what reason would they be rejected by men as mates? Dependency? Dependent women do often reproduce so I might be missing (not understanding) the traits at the extreme feminine end here.

    One problem is that, at least in many modern societies, ours included, men at the far extreme of aggressiveness are reproducing. Most risk-taking men or men who are aggressively anti-social and wind up in prison (think of youth in gangs, for example ) have several children before they are locked up. In fact, it is such men/boys who have a high rate of paternity. This may not have always been so, however. Were such men kicked out of the group or did they establish dominion over the tribe and thus manage to reproduce?

    If these aggressive men reproduced at a rate equal to those men in the vast middle of the curve, then the balancing hypothesis doesn’t work.

    And, we need to see if indeed the advantageous feminizing traits Miller lists really do exist more in gay men than in other males. It would be interesting too to look at a culture like that of Japan where less aggressiveness in straight males is more common than in males in Western cultures. Is the rate of non-OSA higher, lower, than it is in Western cultures?

  88. I have now done my best to respond to your questions. Please, kindly, respond to mine: solo masturbation outside of marriage — “moral” or not?

  89. @ David. I do not agree! In fact I strongly disagree that the concept of empathy “cannot be properly applied to God.”

    Here’s why: In the commandment Jesus quoted, we are told to love God with “all our heart and soul and mind.”

    How do we do this? How do we “love Him with all our heart”? We do it, in large part, by learning about and empathizing with Jesus. What did He feel? What caused HIm sorrow or joy or anger? What was HIs life on Earth like? What did He experience? What motivated Him to love? What was it like to suffer temptation?

    Hebrews 4:15 tells us “we do not have a high priest who is not able to be touched by the feelings of our feeble flesh; but we have one who has been tested in all points as we ourselves are tested, but without sin.”

    He can empathize with us in all our humanity, because He was fully human, yet fully God. And in turn, we can empathize with God — when we identify with Christ’s humanity — His love, His hope, His sorrow, HIs sffering, His trials, his self-sacrifice.

    He asks us to empathize with Him and emulate Him in HIs love for His Children. He said “Feed my sheep” — feel and act like Him. When we identify and empathize with Christ, we are feeling, experiencing, empathiziing with the very heart of God.

    Mother Theresa was once asked how she could bear with the terrible suffering she saw every day. She replied that she kept in mind that she was “ministering to God in all His distressing disguise”.

    She empathized with Him and with them. Jesus said, “when you do it unto the least of these, you do it unto me.” So, as a Christian, I believe that the capacity to empathize with God, through Christ, is the fuel that drives truly loving action. You cannot have one without the other.

    Regarding my Calvin quote, I was not looking primarily at the heirarchy — God of course would be first! I was referencing the strongly held Presbyterian belief that no man — no man — can sit in judgement of my heart.

    And no man — no man — has a full and complete knowledge of the Mind of God, His purposes or His design. No man has a full and inerrant grasp of Scripture. We are all limited.

    Therefore, in humility, we must grant each other the “sovereignty of own conscience.” We must idenitify with Christ, empathize with the other — and ultimately, each must live according to their own conscience before God.

  90. Michael–

    Is there even a remote possibility that your opinions about me are influenced by your bias?

  91. @ Jayhuck…

    Rest

    @ Michael,

    Please review your Calvin quote…it seems arrange hierarchically with a person’s conscience coming last…Scripture is in the middle and expressly refers to conduct.

    Regarding Empathy, please see my earlier comments…part of my criticism is it is too small a word for the Commandment you cite and cannot be properly applied to God (that we should empathize with Him). Love is the word…it means a lot more than Empathy.

    Also I asked if you believe the Sermon on the Mount is equally relevant.

  92. David,

    Not to mention I’m pretty tired and a discussion of that magnitude is just not one which I have the time or energy to engage in at the moment – but I would like to discuss it with you further.

  93. David,

    I thought about asking you what the so-called non-religious reasons were for denying a class of citizens equal rights then I realized that would take us back down a long road we’ve already been down on this blog and remove us even further away from the purpose of this thread. I’m sure we’ll have an opportunity to discuss the reasons on another thread so I’m ok with tabling this discussion for the time being.

  94. Sorry, I meant “brother’s” not “bothers”. Drat! I wish my eyesight were better! Oh, well, I am grateful to God for the sight I have…

  95. @ David who asked: “Why is anything “wrong?”…” It is wrong (immoral) if it violates the two great commandments referenced by Jesus. When an issue is not perfectly, indisputably clear from Scripure alone, we have to use these two commandments as a guide to moral or holy behavior.

    And, I didn’t say anything further about Empathy or my Calvin quote because I was not sure what you were asking. What would you like me to clarify?

    @ Eddy: It is interesting (and revealing) that you do not count yourself among those who have sometimes been “stubborn, dogmatic, childish and unreasonable” — or as one who ” pronounces his blessing on those who agree with you and picks away at those who don’t.”

    Eddy, with all due respect, I have been around this blog for some time now, and, at times, your description of Jayhuck fits you to a tee. We often despise in others what we fail to see in ourselves. Something about a speck in your bothers’ eye…

  96. @ Jayhuck,

    “David,

    Pleeeeeeease! They have made many reasoned arguments: historical, cultural, scientific and religious….

    Pleeeeese – Their arguments have been mainly religiously based and their others don’t stand up to any scrutiny whatsoever.

    I, to date, have heard no well reasoned arguments why gay couples shouldn’t have the same rights as straight couples – the wonderful thing is the rest of the world seems to be noticing this as well.”

    You chopped up my quote and then restated your polarized assessment. I don’t think this conversation has much more life in it under these limits.

  97. @ Michael,

    “This very clear now. The only “moral reason” is: that it is your personal belief, based on your personal understanding of the BIble — shared and nurtured by what you have not yet defined as “religious cultures”…

    I assume you mean the conservative Judeo-Christian one — because some religious cultures differ (and have differed) on just who could “morally” marry and who could not.”

    Why is anything “wrong?”…

    I cannot understand how your emphasis on subjectivity translates into creation of a moral code that others are also accountable to.

    Your question was not about marriage, anyway, it was about homosexuality…so I thing we are talking cross-wise against the initial question you posed.

    I have heard nothing further from you about Empathy or you Calvin quote…is this a conversation or …. I don’t know what.

  98. Eddy,

    and don’t see any reason to participate in this discussion any further. We’re a very very long way from the topic and anything remotely productive or constructive.

    On this we agree!

  99. Jayhuck–

    You suggested that my statement that I left in exasperation was a lie when you said you were curious about it. Why would you be curious if you clearly identify with my exasperation and how it could cause one to want to leave?

    Michael–

    I’m not even going to go there. I’ll let your accusations stand and only invite readers to actually read what we write…let them judge who has the tendency to get unreasonable and emotionally charged, let them judge who exaggerates and judges without substantiation.

    I have found some adult conversations to take part in and don’t see any reason to participate in this discussion any further. We’re a very very long way from the topic and anything remotely productive or constructive. (Please note: I said ‘this discussion’…not this blog, not even this topic, THIS discussion. Like in a meeting. There might be groups and subgroups, committees and subcommittees and agendas with mulitiple topics. To refer to one of those topics hashed over by one of those groups, you’d say ‘this discussion’…it’s called speaking precisely. I try to speak precisely. That way, even when I’ve spoken incorrectly, it can be properly addressed and challenged and then I can recant.)

    I am sorry that you don’t hear precisely and that you don’t seem to grasp nuance and context. Seems like that would be a tremendous handicap in conversations such as these. You’ve taken your shot(s); I’ve taken mine. I’m sure you’ll fire off a few more rounds but I’m going to go and have a productive day.

  100. Michael,

    LOL – I know – I’m not sure what the big difference is between the two statements but if Eddy does then I suppose that’s all that matters.

  101. Eddy,

    o, Jayhuck, I find you so stubborn, dogmatic, childish and unreasonable that, at times, it exasperates me…frustrates me to the point of giving up on this blog altogether.

    LOL – that is truly amusing Eddy, because I often feel the same way about you.

  102. Yeah Jayhuck, pay attention!!! Eddy did not say that he made those statements “out of exasperation’; He said he made them ‘in moments of exasperation’.

    There is a huge difference here! Word choice is very important. Get it right. We would not want to vex or provoke anyone, especially Eddy, by not being absolutely precise in the words we employ.

    Try to be less stubborn, dogmatic, childish and unreasonable. Be more like Eddy. He isn’t exasperating or frustrating to the point of wanting to give up on this blog altogether. Never.

    With Eddy, one is never temtped to just skip past him or not engage him. Unlike you, he does not inject himself into every conversation. And one could not say that Eddy pronounces his blessing on those who agree with him or picks away at those who don’t! Be a grown up! Be more like Eddy — and maybe I won’t feel like dumping the blog either.

  103. Jayhuck–

    I’m just curious at this point – you stated that your reasons for not reading or responding to my posts were made out of exasperation -does that mean you were lying?

    No, it doesn’t. Thanks for asking. Glad to satisfy your insatiable curiousity. That is why we all exist, isn’t it?

    I did not say that I made those statements ‘out of exasperation’; I said I made them ‘in moments of exasperation’. You’d like to paint a picture where I could think of nothing else to say and so said ‘I quit you’ just for something else to say. No, Jayhuck, I find you so stubborn, dogmatic, childish and unreasonable that, at times, it exasperates me…frustrates me to the point of giving up on this blog altogether. I thought that I could hang on to the blog and just skip past you or not engage you but, when you are available, you inject yourself into every conversation…pronouncing your blessing on those who agree with you and picking away at those who don’t. So, it wasn’t a dramatic ploy said for effect but an honest response, from both the heart and the spirit, at the time.

    I hope that satisfies your curiousity. I’m going to seek out some grown ups to talk to.

  104. Carole,

    There is no need for me to respond specifically to any of your posts. You never add anything that is informational.

    LOL – how incredibly dismissive if not evasive!!!

  105. Carole,

    Calling me histrionic and argumentative is a great way to distract from the valid points I made and from others to which I’ve posted a link. Forgive me for borrowing from your playbook, but you seem to be very good at missing the point that people on this blog are making when they refute your claims. Not only do you miss the point but you go on to repeat the claims that others, I’m thinking specifically of Timothy in this case, have already addressed – almost as if you never read them at all – it makes me question your motives.

  106. Carole,

    If you have a problem with objections to some hypotheses or with anything else in my posts that deal with natural selection, you should write the biologists and anthropologists and others whose ideas are out there.

    For goodness sake – I posted a link that details the various plausible explanations for how evolution might actually have selected for a trait like homosexuality.

    It is obvious to me you did what you often do–scan for what you disagree with, miss the context, then rush to writing a post w/out giving content or contest much, if any thought .

    It sounds as if you are doing the same thing Carole. You either ignored my post to very well thought out and reasoned explanations for how such a trait is passed on or you are doing the very thing you are accusing me of, which is being histrionic and reactionary before sufficiently reading a post – LOL

  107. Jayhuck, I am signing off for the night. I just checked the board to see that my last comment was posted as sometimes the “submit” doesn’t go through.

    I was surprised to see someone else up at this late hour.

    I read your posts and couldn’t believe my eyes. I have been trying to summarize what many in the field say. I myself didn’t come up with the evolutionary explanations of homosexuality or with the opposing hypotheses. I simply have been reading them and weighing them. If you have a problem with objections to some hypotheses or with anything else in my posts that deal with natural selection, you should write the biologists and anthropologists and others whose ideas are out there. You can blame them for what, brainwashing me? Most are still alive and believe it or not, one can often communicate in this age of the internet with such people if one tries.

    It is obvious to me you did what you often do–scan for what you disagree with, miss the context, then rush to writing a post w/out giving content or contest much, if any thought . You read a paragraph here and a paragraph there of just about everything, including these posts, mine and those of others as well.

    You are histrionic, argumentative, and seem to like to fight for its own sake. You make blanket statements that say nothing. You are incapable of separating people from their thoughts. You are incapable of believing that people who have thoughts that differ from your own on any subject related to homosexuality are not haters.

    There is no need for me to respond specifically to any of your posts. You never add anything that is informational.

    So, my lengthy posts say what I think. You don’t like it or some of it. (that which you scanned). Such is life.

  108. Carole,

    Surely you understand that just because certain people in a specific group did not exhibit any outword signs of homosexuality, this does not mean it did not exist in that group/people. We’ve had several discussions already on this blog detailing how gay men have felt societal pressures to marry and procreate – _ I would think these pressures would be even greater in less civilized tribes of people.

    I fail to see your own personal difficulty in accepting or realizing how homosexual genes might be passed on and how the fitness argument you throw out is at best outdated and at worst ignorant of more recent hypotheses.

  109. Carole,

    There are still hunter-gatherer groups in which anthropologists maintain it is unheard of

    Simply because some anthropologists claim it was unheard of does not mean it didnt’ exist – I hope you understand what I am saying here.

  110. Carole,

    In surveys a few years ago, the reproductive fitness of gay men in the US was low–.20.

    LOL – how can you make such a statement. There is a good chance that bisexuals carry the necessary genes for coding for such a trait – If that is indeed the case and the Kinsey scale (despite all of Kinsey’s own faults) is correct- not to mention the gay people who do have offspring by whichever means necessary – there seems to be PLENTY of opportunity to pass along said genes.

    Again – I recommend you read the post I left above

  111. @Timothy, con’t

    We read from people not in the sciences, “Well, gay men can and do reproduce. Some, yes. Some, no.

    So, here’s what I have read from a variety of sources–

    Regardless of their hypotheses, all in the hard sciences who study this agree that gay men reproduce at a rate much lower than that necessary to retain the trait if such a trait were maintained by common genetic inheritance. In surveys a few years ago, the reproductive fitness of gay men in the US was low–.20. If gay men were carrying genes which coded for the trait of non-OSA, those genes would, at this low reproductive rate, disappear to almost zero and with it, gay men.

    Some (again, not in the fields of science) say, “But in the past, decades ago, hundreds of years ago, millenia ago, gay men would have married and had kids so any gene or combo of genes resulting in non-OSA would have survived in their offspring.” It’s precisely at this point, if we wish to ascertain whether there is now or was then a fitness hit to the trait of SSA and non-OSA, that the math becomes important. (see #3, #5 below). If genes are responsible for gay men, and if gay men have not reproduced at a certain rate, then their gene pool would have died out.

    It’s obvious, however, that gay men have not died out. Therefore, if we are to believe homosexuality is the result of evolutionary selection, either they did reproduce at a sustainable rate and passed their genes to kids who passed them on to a sufficient number of offspring to preserve the genetic trait and maintain this approx. 2%-4% number we often see, or there must be another evolutionary explanation that explains how the reproductive costs could be paid for in some other way, offering some other benefits.

    So, yes, I am familiar with hypotheses that hold that the gene or genes that result in homosexuality have not resulted in the reproductive success of gay men themselves, but rather in the reproductive success of kin or the hypotheses that homosexuality confers other non-reproductive benefits to “pay its way.”

    There are the same serious problems with these scenarios as with other selection/genetic explanations: 1). Just as no simple Mendelian inheritance pattern to the trait has been found, no complex “other” inheritance patterns have been indentified in spite of genomic sequencing. That is not to say that down the road, as we understand more of gene relationships, that we won’t find an answer. 2) The discordance of identical twins still poses a problem for any of the genetic explanations 3) the math problems: evolutionary biologists and others in the scientific fields say that even if gay men eons past had families/children, the aversion of some to having sex with women would have had gene pool consequences that would make the trait eventually die out. If some SSA men had just one fewer child every so often, eventually over time that would be enough of a fitness hit to wipe out or nearly wipe out the gene–no homosexuality, or virtually none. The math doesn’t work out.

    Since I just mentioned the word rare, I will interject something that comes to mind here. You mentioned mutations. From an evolutionary standpoint, homosexuality is not rare at all, whether it’s at 1% or 4%. Mutations happen and most are bad, so harmful they have a huge fitness cost and are weeded out of the gene pool.

    Again–if we are after an evolutionary explanation, we have some difficulty since that which has a high reproductive cost gets weeded out eventually. Yes, true, there are dreadful mutations like Huntington’s, which manages to persist in the gene pool in spite of it all because for all the horror it causes, doesn’t cause a huge reproductive/fitness cost….debilitating and recognizable symptoms of Huntington’s don’t arise in almost all carriers until much after child-bearing age, and for most not until their children are grown and have kids of their own. Thus, the mutation has survived although gene testing now is pruning it out since many Huntington families are undergoing tests and people with the gene are not having children.

    4.) Regarding reproductive fitness: the evolutionary cost of homosexuality is almost as large as the total of all known mutation-driven genetic diseases. They know of no other phenomena with a) fitness costs this high b)occurring at such a high rate… that are genetically determined or that are explained by evolutionary principles.

    So, why would selection choose a trait with such a high reproductive cost?

    5) In trying to answer this, some have posited that perhaps the reproductive cost of homosexuality has been outweighed by reproductive benefits. They have suggested the hypothesis that the press has dubbed the “gay uncle” theory. This has become a pop culture explanation–junk science.

    The math doesn’t work. First, gay men don’t care for their nieces and nephews any more than straight uncles do. More importantly, neither gay nor straight uncles care for nieces and nephews the way mothers and fathers do.

    Since any nieces and nephews are only 1/2 as likely to carry one of your genes as your own kids would, just to break even in reproductive success, a gay person would have to care for and cause to survive 4 extra children. Why would evolution adopt that strategy over just having parents have kids? You only have to raise two of your own to maintain a break even level.

    6.) the female fecundity hypothesis–this posits that while homosexuality does indeed have a reproductive cost, the cost is offset by a reproductive benefit to female family members, sisters (maybe a mother too.) The hypothesis is that non-OSA pays its way in increased fertility of female family members. The mechanism that would cause this is not offered and the results of initial research have not been replicated. The hypotheses was promising–maybe more work on it will be done, but last I read, it was not supported by follow-up studies.

    Yet again, principles of natural selection would tend to take a simpler route–select for the man himself to pay for his reproductive way rather than taking a circuitous route of increasing female fertility.

    7) We often hear about sickle cell as a defense to the world’s greatest killer, malaria. The term they always use for sickle cell is “an expensive defense.” Biologists say that something this expensive only happens when the thing it protects against is huge and again, “huge” means huge in terms of a fitness hit and a fitness hit means lack of reproductive success.

    There are some other genetic defenses but most don’t result in the fitness hit that two sickle cell alleles cuase. Albinism, for instance, not uncommon in one Indian tribe doesn’t cause reproductive losses.

    So, SSA seems not to protect against any huge fitness killer the way one sickle cell allele protects against malaria. No one has ever been able to establish that it is a defense against a disease. Unlike sickle cell, which exists where malaria is common, SSA hasn’t clustered in specific geographic areas known for a killer disease.

    8) People often argue that homosexuality is known to have been in all places in all times. We really don’t know that. We know nothing of most of the world in prehistory. We do know it goes back a few thousand years, if indeed males having sex with males also meant some men were unattracted to women. (Some have wondered if modern non-OSA is really the same thing as male sex of eons ago).

    First, this is not really a good argument for those wanting to offer support for the evolutionary/natural selection notion because we know that races (or geographic niche gene pools) differ from one another on many counts. Because one group of closely related people share traits with one another doesn’t mean they share them with a more distant group of people.

    Nevertheless, to those who do say homosexuality is everywhere….there are still hunter-gatherer groups in which anthropologists maintain it is unheard of; in addition, anthropologists maintain it was not known in pre-explorer contact Polynesia; there are other places as well where it was unknown before floods of Europeans and others “invaded” the places, but quite frankly, I have forgotten. They are isolated places.

    Ah, it’s late, and I wanted to cover one more explanation, Miller’s genetic polymorphism explanation which hypothesizes that gayness and lesbianism result from an over feminization and over-masculinization which came from nature’s attempt to make men better fathers, in essence, to tone down men’s aggressiveness in order to make them better fathers. I’ll have to add that tomorrow.

  112. Eddy,

    I’m just curious at this point – you stated that your reasons for not reading or responding to my posts were made out of exasperation -does that mean you were lying?

  113. Carole,

    However, all along, I have been saying that the evidence is not convincing that homosexuality is likely to have resulted from selection pressures, and you asked at the end of one of your posts that if evolution, through NS, did not select for homosexuality, then why does it exist at all?

    That is the most grandiose of false statements –

    Why indeed? This is why many in several scientific fields, having turned their attention to it, having studied it, reject the idea that it is the result of an evolutionary strategy.

    Some may Carole, but many do not! That you suggest that somehow there is scientific consensus on this issue is false. There are plenty of ideas suggesting how homosexuality has arisen as a result of natural selection

    I find it amusing – and not just a little eye opening – that you do not see or acknowledge them though

  114. @Timothy, con’t

    I was thinking…. regarding your characterization of my portrayal of nature: the “deific powers” of nature, you term it. Well, natural selection is not a “deific power,” as one ordinarily understands the denotation and connotation of a “deity, ” but you have to admit that natural selection is pretty darned powerful and effective–so maybe you have coined a good synonym for NS.

    However, all along, I have been saying that the evidence is not convincing that homosexuality is likely to have resulted from selection pressures, and you asked at the end of one of your posts that if evolution, through NS, did not select for homosexuality, then why does it exist at all?

    Why indeed? This is why many in several scientific fields, having turned their attention to it, having studied it, reject the idea that it is the result of an evolutionary strategy. Of course there are different explanations of two kinds, evolutionary and non-evolutionary. One realizes that nothing is written in stone at this point, but surely people can weigh the pros and cons of each explanation.

    I will pause here also for a bit to address your criticism of my use of the word “template.” I think you are nit-picking, nit-picking words and nit-picking meanings. Yes, over eons, natural selection has resulted in models of systems or templates, as it were, which work, and which are then refined as they come under selective pressures, pressures determined by any number of factors at any given time. We’ve a template for a circulatory system that delivers oxygen and any number of other things we need to all parts of the body; a respiratory system that works hand- in- hand with it; a lymphatic system; an endocrine system; a nervous system; yes, a reproductive system. Most of the time they work well. Sometimes there are minor system problems, when only a part of a system misfires. Sometimes there are major problems and the whole system fails. Minor problems, major problems can be due to genetic errors, developmental errors, or attacks on the systems from outside agents. If the “template” for the circulatory system for some reason is not followed, and the aorta is malformed, an individual has big problems. If one lives in the Andes and the “template” or model for a respiratory system that has resulted in a barreled rib cage to accomodate huge lungs has not produced such a rib cage and lungs, the individual’s fitness at high altitudes is in jeopardy. Yes, I do understand the blind cave fish. They are fit for their environment.

    Natural selection eliminates that which doesn’t work. But, what does “doesn’t work” mean?

    It means that which does not survive to replicate, that which does not survive to get its genes into the next generation. Reproductive success, that’s it. That’s the prime evolutionary guiding priniciple. If the blind cave fish do not reproduce, if their offspring do not reproduce, they are not fit in biological terms. If we cannot agree to this, we have no common ground on which to discuss anything, not regarding evolution and natural selection, anyway. Reproductive success is what defines “fitness” in the natural world, either reproducing by having offspring or in the case of some in the natural world, contributing to the reproductive fitness of another as do worker bees to the queen.

  115. Carole,

    “This flies so much in the face of the evolutionary principles we know, the explanations are so “iffy” that perhaps we can at least consider something else? How in the world does something which has trouble sustaining itself in the gene pool because of decreased reproduction, stay in the gene pool?”

    LOL – I highly suggest you read up more on the ideas regarding homosexuality and natural selection.

    I know you are intelligent woman Carole – I believe that you will see that the jury is still out on this issue 🙂

  116. Carole,

    The world’s evolutionary biologists and other researchers haven’t yet “found” selective benefit.

    You are absolutely right that they haven’t found a benefit but they HAVE several working hypothesis to explain such a benefit, even if it isn’t proven yet.

    I’m not sure how you are able to compare an unecessary organ to how taking several blows to the head can lead to parkinson like disease.

    Carole – your big problem is that you continue to start from the assumption that homosexuality somehow causes a hit to fitness when the hypotheses I’ve read discussing the subject differ with you. Perhaps you should read the link I posted several posts above 🙂

  117. @Timothy, this will be a few posts long…

    You said,

    If you don’t assign Nature some deific powers, then let’s not disuss the “intent”or “plan” or “template” of nature. The “sarcasm” you read into my discussion of your anthropomophizing of Nature is simply a statement that I find it pointless to argue about others’ dieties.

    I don’t mind disagreements or that someone tells me he/she finds my points unpersuasive, insufficiently or poorly communicated or substantiated, etc. I can read such criticisms, weigh them, then decide if that person has made a valid criticism. I do object to the practice of adopting a tone that demeans. Sarcasm’s target is people, not ideas. I have to work hard to avoid lapsing into sarcasm. I think most people do. It’s so easy.

    You said,

    In a natural selection model, we cannot say that homosexuality will exist in ten million years.

    In ten million years we cannot say that heterosexuality will exist.

    *************************************

    You said to Evan,

    Yours (and Carole’s) argument boils down to this: “I see no benefit in same-sex attraction, therefore it could not be the result of natural selection”.

    Gee. That’s a real leap, and it sounds like an emotional response. It also tends to minimize our reading and efforts to research the literature from many sources. This is a subject often treated cavalierly by pop journalism. I don’t treat it that way, and having read Evan’s posts for several months, he certainly does not.

    However, forget us. The world’s evolutionary biologists and other researchers haven’t yet “found” selective benefit. It’s not that they haven’t tried or that some still aren’t trying. That’s why they offer hypotheses, but it takes time to test those. Some haven’t given up looking for an evolutionary answer. Others have decided it’s not the result of evolution. The person who would ever offer an evolutionary explanation that could be substantiated would win a Nobel–think they wouldn’t love to offer an explanation that fit the principles of evolution? Do you think that reasonable people, readers of a variety of hypotheses can’t find some explanations more persuasive than others?

    You said,

    Interestingly, it is exactly the same argument as “I see no benefit in having an appendix, therefore it could not be the result of natural selection.

    Your comparison is simplistic, and makes it sound as if you yourself believe that nothing about humans is the result of something other than natural selection. A boxer or football player who takes several blows to the head over the course of a career develops Parkinson-like symptoms years later, and you call his behavior the result of natural selection? That’s stretching the use of the term. An environmental agent is the cause of his behavior.

    You said,

    But evolution tells us that these, like a constant rate of homosexuality, are in existence at this point in time because mutations leading to just these characteristics were at some point an advantage over the alternatives and have, therefore, survived when tails, speechless communication, and the neanderthal brow did not.

    You wouldn’t want to modify this paragraph a bit? Maybe I am misunderstanding you. You are sure that all the traits and that all the behaviors that are exhibited by anyone at any time exist because at some time they were advantageous, thus selected for? That has to be news to scientists. There can be no causal agents other than natural selection that affect human behavior now or in the past? None? Not even behaviors triggered by toxins?

    Surely you wouldn’t say that at one time diabetes was advantageous, chosen by natural selection, passed down in gene form from parents to offspring? No, of course you wouldn’t. You’d say that at one time the pancreas of hunters and gatherers was perfectly suited to handle their protein-rich, low carb diet. You’d say that some groups like Southwestern Indians have not adapted to the high carb diets of the agricultural society introduced by the white man. Their pancreases are just fine –were they to eat the foods their ancestors did. It’s their high carb diets that suck.

    There is a tremendous fitness hit caused by diabetes. You wouldn’t say diabetes was selected for. No, I know you would say it correctly–that SW Indians have not adapted to a carbohydrate-rich diet. I would imagine they are in the process of a selection process, but it’s a race against the evolutionary clock since so many of them develop diabetes at such an early age.

    Now, before I get accused of comparing diabetes, a debilitating illness, to homosexuality, let me jump to my own defense. The pancreas of most people who get diabetes is not defective–it has been asked to do too much, that’s all. Different diet and exercise regimen– pancreas does its job.

    The comparison I wish to point out is that diabetes and homosexuality are similar in one big way–they result in large reproductive losses. The cause of most cases of diabetes is not an evolutionary puzzle. We understand that some people simply haven’t yet adapted to a sedentary lifestyle and a certain diet. The puzzle is in explaining homosexuality from an evolutionary standpoint. There are hypotheses and I will get to them.

    I gather you see no way at all that something in the environment or something in the environment acting in concert with perfectly healthy genes (like those of most of the Southerwestern Indians) could result in homosexuality at the 2-4% level? Nothing?? No way? It all has to come down to selection for you?

    Do you find any problems with the evolutionary hypotheses out there? That is, enough problems to make you at least think, “This flies so much in the face of the evolutionary principles we know, the explanations are so “iffy” that perhaps we can at least consider something else? How in the world does something which has trouble sustaining itself in the gene pool because of decreased reproduction, stay in the gene pool?” You are an intelligent man. I know you have to have done a lot of reading and considered many explanations. You have obviously considered a good many hypotheses. You harbor no doubt about there being an evolutionary cause?

  118. Eddy,

    If I haven’t made the false-accusation comment clear at this point – if you don’t understand it for whatever reason – perhaps we should just let it go 😉

  119. Eddy,

    You are so incredibly dramatic – I would never suspect you were ex-gay 😉

  120. Eddy,

    I answered why I “lied” as you put it about the credentials of Le Page – LOL 🙂

    I still held onto a belief that this blogsite could be productive and because I have zero tolerance for blathering fools, for bullies and for bull.

    I still hold onto that belief as well Eddy! Here’s to hoping that it actually happens.

    BTW – thanks for being so generous!

  121. Jayhuck–

    Disparage you? LOL – you seem to have a good track record of that yourself sir! And I still wonder why it is you keep going back on your word of not reading or responding to my posts. I don’t believe you ever answered that question.

    LOL. I already answered to the difference in the way we disparage. You make generalized personal attacks while I address your words with specifics.

    Beyond that, I ask direct questions that go to your comments and you don’t answer. Instead you bring up something from conversations long past…that I did answer in times past…and demand that I answer. I addressed that ego driven tactic of yours earlier in this discussion.

    You still have not answer edwhy you lied about the credentials of LePage or why it took you so long to admit that he wasn’t an ‘actual scientist’.. Oh you danced around it nicely…and even eventually admitted that you didn’t know his credentials as an ‘actual scientist’…but you didn’t answer why you called him an ‘actual scientist’ in the first place when you didn’t know his credentials or why it took you four or five posts from me (and one from Warren) before you’d even concede that you didn’t know. (I especially enjoyed the part where you thought you saw something of his credentials at the end of the article.)

    You still haven’t answered what the ‘false accusations’ (plural) were that should have set off Warren’s snark alarms. It’s a specific statement you made, followed by a specific challenge of mine that you back it up. I’m still waiting. The single accusation that you brought up was a factual error on my part; it WAS NOT a false accusation about you. And I admitted my error speedily. For those reasons, it would not qualify as something that ought to set off Warren’s alarms.

    You can admit that you really were simply hurling unfounded accusations at both myself and Warren. Going through the posts to cover your ass, you found my untrue statement and decided hastily to use it as the proof I demanded. You missed that it really wasn’t an accusation ‘against you’ and forgot that you had thrown in the ‘snark alarm’ remark to Warren.

    But, I’m feeling generous tonight. Although you misrepresented my earlier statements slightly, I’ll gladly answer. I did NOT say that I would no longer read your posts. What I did say, on more than one occasion, was that I would no longer respond to your posts. (Not long ago, was it this thread, I also said that I did not read a comment you posted to me because I was involved in a productive conversation and didn’t want to get sidetracked.)

    Now, why is it that I keep going back on my word of not responding to your posts? It’s simple really. I made those statements in moments of exasperation when I felt that conversation with you was counter to all things logical and productive. Why did I go back on my word? Because I still held onto a belief that this blogsite could be productive and because I have zero tolerance for blathering fools, for bullies and for bull.

    Your question went directly to my actions which were directly related to my feelings. You might not like my answer but it’s the honest answer to your question.

  122. Lisa,

    Yes – I am going to echo Debbie’s comments here. I did appreciate the sentiment expressed in your post. 🙂

  123. Lisa, thank you for this:

    Within my own self examination I had to ask , “don’t we have more productive and worthwhile things to do with the precious time we have left while we are here? The time and energy that has been spent on this subject alone is ( I believe) distracting many people from fulfilling their God given purposes and using their God given gifts. NO ONE WINS IN A SCRIPTURE BATTLE. How many people have we reached with the Gospel or God’s unconditional and wonderful Love today-? What have we done to increase the Kingdom ? I am concerned that one day we will all wake up and say what on earth have we been doing? We are accountable and time is short and it is frankly running out.

    I have things to do with my life and have decided to turn this subject back over to God. My job is to LOVE people right where they are in the same way God loved me. You cannot go wrong erring on the side of Love and Grace. Once God has been introduced or has drawn someone to Himself – HE is BIG enough to make any necessary changes and will see us all through to completion.. We are ONLY HUMAN and what Christ did for us was just the beginning. We are forgiven and we are free- why then do we continue to entangle each other in yokes of bondage?

    Somehow, I don’t think they are listening.

  124. David,

    The main concern I have with some of the arguments coming out of conservative Christian circles is that they are fear-based – as in the case of the NOM ad recently.

  125. Eddy,

    You accused me of using anecdotal evidence to challenge what you thought was factual data. That was wrong – yes I was using anecdotal evidence but your accusation that it was used to refute what you considered more worthwhile data was not – I’m not sure what you are having such a hard time understanding here.

  126. Eddy,

    Disparage you? LOL – you seem to have a good track record of that yourself sir! And I still wonder why it is you keep going back on your word of not reading or responding to my posts. I don’t believe you ever answered that question.

  127. David,

    Pleeeeeeease! They have made many reasoned arguments: historical, cultural, scientific and religious….

    Pleeeeese – Their arguments have been mainly religiously based and their others don’t stand up to any scrutiny whatsoever.

    I, to date, have heard no well reasoned arguments why gay couples shouldn’t have the same rights as straight couples – the wonderful thing is the rest of the world seems to be noticing this as well.

  128. So is solo masturbation outside of marriage immoral? Anyone? I ask because EXODUS members acutally suggested that it was “OK as long as you didn’t think of anything (no fantasy).

  129. Jayhuck–

    You are still grasping at straws and are twisting reality once again. You’ve just said:

    Eddy,

    The false accusation Eddy occurred when you said:

    Debbie’s results came from a link–so we can at least evaluate it for credibility. Your results that attempt to refute her findings in the link are anecdotal. In a fair discussion, you should back them up with something more than “jayhuck says:”. Is this a fair discussion? Can you provide back up for your statement?

    You stated that Debbie was making some kind of factual statements backed up with data and that I wasn’t somehow unfairly challenging them with anecdotal evidence – which wasn’t true. You apologized for that and I appreciate it.

    This was not a false allegation against you. I mistakenly thought Debbie had backed up her statement with a link; I never suspected that you did…I accused you of challenging with anecdotal evidence and I still believe that. It’s just that Debbie was also being anecdotal at the time. So, it was a mistaken statement for which I promptly apologized and admitted my bad.

    But here’s the new rub:

    You said:

    Warren,

    Its amusing that when Eddy was making false accusations against me your “snark alarm” for some reason wasn’t going off.

    Please note the peculiarities here. 1) You accused me of making ‘false accusations’–plural. 2) You snarked at Warren about these alleged ‘false accusations’ pondering why his ‘alarm’ didn’t go off.

    If I apologized for my misstatement, you would not be expecting Warren to jump in and chastise me.

    So, once again, what are the ‘false accusations’ against you that I made that should have tripped Warren’s ‘snark alarm’? It seems you go to great lengths to try to disparage me (and anyone else who disagrees with you)…and you accuse me of doing the same to you. The difference is that I explain in detail what it is that I find fault with and cite what I think are examples of the ‘crime’ while you make allegations that you cannot support. If I’m wrongly accusing you now, simply demonstrate my error by citing the ‘false accusations’ against you that should have tripped Warren’s snark alarm.

    LOL. Once again, a simple and direct challenge that you back up your words that were intended to disparage me.

  130. Thank you! “Why is homosexuality wrong…for the same reasons sex outside marriage is wrong for the Christian. There are scientific reasons and cultural reasons which add to biblical commands…but those aren’t moral reasons.”

    This very clear now. The only “moral reason” is: that it is your personal belief, based on your personal understanding of the BIble — shared and nurtured by what you have not yet defined as “religious cultures”…

    I assume you mean the conservative Judeo-Christian one — because some religious cultures differ (and have differed) on just who could “morally” marry and who could not.

    But you believe all of this it is very clear. One man, one woman. Period. End of sentence. Self-evident I get it.

    So, what about solo masturbation outside of marriage? Moral or not? And on what basis? Would you appply the same one you use to exclude all homosexual behavior? And if you do believe that masturbation is somehow not “moral”, can you back that up — historically, Scripturally, scientifically and culturally?

  131. @ Jayhuck,

    “Christians who oppose civil marriage for same sex individuals have made no good arguments to support their case.”

    Pleeeeeeease! They have made many reasoned arguments: historical, cultural, scientific and religious….

    No good arguments? c’mon; I would never categorize the limitations of your arguments so simplistically.

  132. @ Michael,

    “Moral good” is not self-evident…I don’t understand the lack of clarity…are there any “moral goods” which we can agree are self-evident (Human Rights)?

    “If you really want to heal marriage, I suggest you start with straight people. It’s their trainwreck, not ours.” I have already said this many times…have you not noticed?

    Why is homosexuality wrong…for the same reasons sex outside marriage is wrong for the Christian.

    There are scientific reasons and cultural reasons which add to biblical commands…but those aren’t moral reasons.

    There are scientific reasons why promiscuity is maladaptive or having children outside wedlock is harmful…but they are not absolute and there are many exceptions to the rule and qualifiers.

  133. Personally, I think the state should get OUT of the marriage business, gay or straight. Civil unions only. If you then want to get “married” for religious reasons, have at it.

  134. David,

    Christians who oppose civil marriage for same sex individuals have made no good arguments to support their case.

    The time for debating is over anyway in my opinion – gay marriage is already legal in 6 states – civil unions are supported in others and in time I’m certain those will turn to marriages as well. Churches bless same sex unions too. Christians have the right not to marry gay individuals in their respective churches – no one I know wants to deny them this right. The religious arguments some of them make though to oppose civil SSM are failing, and rightly so.

  135. @ David: If you really want to heal marriage, I suggest you start with straight people. It’s their trainwreck, not ours.

  136. David,

    “The arguments white supremacists used to justify for miscegenation laws–that interracial marriages were contrary to God’s will or somehow unnatural–are echoed today by the most conservative opponents of same-sex marriage. ”

    Christians can oppose gay marriage without being lumped with racists and bigots.

    Only David if they are arguing from the aspect of religious marriage – if they are using religious reasons to deny non-religious marriage it makes no sense, and they do this all too often.

  137. David: You asked: “What is a moral good?” I have been asking you the same question. What makes something “moral” or “good”?

    I think I have answered the question. “Moral good” is not self-evident. It is behavior that obeys the two greatest commandments. It requires that we look at the motivations for our actions and the effect they have on the other person.

    Tell me what makes homosexuality immoral. Your turn.

  138. @ Jayhuck,

    Opponents of SSM are arguing for a pure race?

    I don’t understand.

    Prop 8 = Prop Hate in some dialogues.

    I have been arguing that there are many non-bigoted reasons for opposing SSM. Some religious, some not.

    I can’t even spell antimysogination (eek), but it is not a Christian idea, neither is women as property.

    Christians can oppose gay marriage without being lumped with racists and bigots.

  139. Eddy,

    I am indeed sorry that I stated Michael was a scientist when I do not know that for certain.

  140. Eddy,

    The false accusation Eddy occurred when you said:

    Debbie’s results came from a link–so we can at least evaluate it for credibility. Your results that attempt to refute her findings in the link are anecdotal. In a fair discussion, you should back them up with something more than “jayhuck says:”. Is this a fair discussion? Can you provide back up for your statement?

    You stated that Debbie was making some kind of factual statements backed up with data and that I wasn’t somehow unfairly challenging them with anecdotal evidence – which wasn’t true. You apologized for that and I appreciate it.

  141. Eddy,

    It was not the “meat and potatoes” of my putdown – as you put it. The magazine is a legitimate science magazine – and the arguments made by Michael are valid and well thought out. That is why your dismissal of them as “gobbledygook” was laughable.

    I had honestly thought he was a scientist Eddy – I thought I had read that at the end of the article. We still do not know if he is or isn’t.

    My apologies throughout our history Eddy have never been good enough for you.

  142. Jayhuck–

    Its amusing that when Eddy was making false accusations against me your “snark alarm” for some reason wasn’t going off.

    This statement is, in itself, an accusation of me. Please cite the ‘false accusations against you’ that I made.

    What do I need to admit was wrong and why do I need to apologize? If it is that Michael is indeed a scientist then I am sorry. I do not know that for certain – only that he has been editor of a legitimate science magazine for several years. I AM sorry for this Eddy.

    Your only rebuttal to my comment that the link read like gobbledygook to me and inviting others to share their impressions was to declare that the writer had credibility as he was ‘an actual scientist’. The statement is untrue. It was pretty much the ‘meat and potatoes’ of your put down. But,when I, the one who was put down, challenged your untrue statement, you employed every tactic other than actually responding to my challenge. Responding truthfully to my challenge would have been playing fair; employing all the tactics that you did…”Oh, I must have missed reading it”, pulling in the bit about my previous threats never to dialogue with you again, accusing me of angry responses, accusing me of pettiness (“you’re upset because no one will engage at your level”), accusing me of making false accusations….employing all those tactics WHILE STILL REFUSING to acknowledge that your statement that the man is ‘an actual scientist’ was untrue.

    Even now, you admit that you do not know his credentials. You are trying to say that it doesn’t matter. BUT, if you do not know even now whether he is ‘an actual scientist’, that indicates that your rebuttal that I challenged was something you made up…you presented it as truth simply to defuse my comment (stated as opinion, btw) then when caught, simply refused to acknowledge it. That’s what you did that was wrong; that’s what you owe me and the blog an apology for. You violated the rules of fair play and, even when caught, refused my right to an honest response…while you continued to hound others re the truth or preciseness of their statements. (That’s the part where you owe the blog an apology…such a pretensious attitude…that you can challenge, hound and even nitpick freely but don’t have to answer truthfully when you, yourself, are challenged.) Clear enough for you yet?

    Please don’t say that you just apologized because you didn’t. I’ve quoted your ‘apology’. “If it is indeed that Michael is a scientist, I am sorry.” What??? Your sorry that he might be a scientist??? You then go on to list the little information that you do actually know and conclude “I AM sorry for this.” What is ‘this’? You’re sorry that he’s worked there for several years?

    I find it mind-boggling that you can demand preciseness of speech from all those whose opinions differ from yours and then not hold yourself to the same standard of preciseness.

  143. David,

    I want to be clear – I am NOT saying that you or anyone else on this blog is a white supremacist.

  144. David,

    I’m not purposefully trying to be insulting, what I said above is simply a fact of history. The miscegenation laws that were on the books for years were supported by white supremacists – and their arguments against such unions were similar to the arguments against gay marriage today.

  145. @ Lisa,

    Proverbs 27:17 (NIV) ~ As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

    I have found this process at this site both broadening my understanding of others and increasing my compassion.

    I let others speak for themselves…and I think your decision as described above is quite worthy and to be commended.

  146. David,

    What is interesting to me is that the arguments put forth against gay marriage today echo those that were made against interracial marriage years ago by white supremacists.

  147. Jayhuck,

    and that we agree that not all changes to marriage have been good.

  148. David,

    Thank you – I’m glad that we finally came to the agreement that not all changes to marriage have been bad.

  149. Jayhuck,

    Are you saying that because Southern Baptists used to only marry racially pure couples, it was a moral good?

    Are you saying that because the Church of England viewed women as property, that the marriages they performed were morally good?

    If Reformed Jews and some Episcopalians (Unitarians….anyone else?) decide to marry same sex couples, that doesn’t make it morally good; or broaden the definition of Christian marriage.

    It could mean that in an attempt to create a moral good, they are diluting a higher moral good and in time, their decision may be reversed, because the facts become more clear.

  150. I have the feeling 30 years from now you will all be discussing these same things over and over again as many have for the past 30 -40 years. I must ask this question? Isn’t anyone tired yet ? Good luck and God bless all of our efforts to convince each other that our opinion’s are the right one’s. I suppose we ALL get 5 stars for tenacity and THE SHEER WILL POWER and dedication to keep showing up year after year attempting to bring each other to our points of view.

    Perhaps agreeing to disagree REALLY IS the best approach. I need a nap after reading all of these posts. I took a long break from reading these kinds of blogs and came back to find folks basically rehashing THE SAME STUFF over again.

    GOOD LORD. I can pull blogs from last week, last month, last year and go back 40 years to hear the things I have heard repeated froom both sides of the divide over & over again- it brings to mind a picture of someone hitting their head against the wall continuously. It reminds me of the definition of Insanity- doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. . There REALLY is nothing new under the sun.

    Within my own self examination I had to ask , “don’t we have more productive and wothwhile things to do with the precious time we have left while we are here? The time and energy that has been spent on this subject alone is ( I believe) distracting many people from fullfilling their God given purposes and using their God given gifts. NO ONE WINS IN A SCRIPTURE BATTLE. How many people have we reached with the Gospel or God’s unconditional and wondereful Love today-? What have we done to increase the Kingdom ? I am concerned that one day we will all wake up and say what on earth have we been doing? We are acountable and time is short and it is frankly running out.

    I have things to do with my life and have decided to turn this subject back over to God. My job is to LOVE people right where they are in the same way God loved me. You cannot go wrong erring on the side of Love and Grace. Once God has been introduced or has drawn someone to Himself – HE is BIG enought to make any nessesary changes and will see us all through to completion.. We are ONLY HUMAN and what Christ did for us was just the beginning. We are forgiven and we are free- why then do we continue to entagle each other in yokes of bondage?

    Once we learn to LOVE- to LET GO and LET GOD finish the work HE HAS BEGUN that”s when we will truly be set free. RELAX PEOPLE- GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL. Love everyone- including your enemies and especially the gay community. They are your sons, your daughters, your friends, your famiiies and they are Children of the most high God. God uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.

    The movement of the Holy Spirit include straights, blacks, whites, gays, ex-gays and every human being on the planet. Our only job is to love and meet people where they- we can’t change them only God can..lets stop trying so hard and lets all get a life and may God Bless US.

  151. Jayhuck,

    I understand that you are for civil unions; I am arguing that broadening the definition of marriage is not innately a “moral good.” It might be good and it might be bad…there are examples of both in the recent and the remote past.

    Regarding “Christian and Jewish” denominations that already marry same sex couples…

    There were churches who supported women as property and racially pure marriages. That didn’t make the marriages they ordained Christian marriage or ordained by God.

    Is everything really subjective?

  152. David,

    Christian denominations are pretty narrow in their description of marriage.

    Which denomination are we speaking about? There are several that already bless same sex unions.

    My point again is NOT with the religious understanding of marriage – however it is defined within various faith traditions and denominations

  153. Jayhuck,

    Christian denominations are pretty narrow in their description of marriage.

    The application of “universal understanding” as a standard is a bit of a straw man…we can’t even get to that with SSA….or global warming.

  154. David,

    The idea of Christian marriage varies depending on which Christian group you speak with – there is no universal understanding of the institution even within the Christian faith – I do not see your point.

  155. David,

    When we are talking about gay marriage, we are talking about civil marriage, not necessarily a religious ceremony. Christians should be free to define marriage in the way they see fit – Christian churches can and should be free to marry whomever they wish. There are other Christian and Jewish churches that already DO marry same-sex individuals – but my issue is with civil marriage, and extending the rights of this contract to same-sex couples that deserve it.

  156. @ Jayhuck,

    “What in the world does Christian marriage – or any other religious view of marriage – have to do with CIVIL marriage????”

    What a great question.

    If Christians got marriage right 2000 years ago and it has since been corrupted many times for the benefit of dominant races and men; maybe we should be thoughtful and cautious before we consider modifying the original “moral good” of Christian marriage.

    Civil union is a contract without a moral code…it is not designed, in its essence, to have accountability to a religious value system, nor to a Divine being who asserts specific standards of conduct within marriage.

  157. @ Jayhuck,

    I can certainly agree with you that not all changes have been bad in marriage.

  158. David,

    What in the world does Christian marriage – or any other religious view of marriage – have to do with CIVIL marriage????

  159. David,

    It seems our discussion about changes in marriage does not include any feedback from you about how the institution of marriage can be corrupted, by racism, by sexism…

    The institution of marriage was indeed corrupted by racism and sexism – the long history of miscegenation laws and how women were treated in the institution are examples of that. And the institution was later “broadened” to correct some of these things.

    These are examples of positive changes in marriage – in my mind anyway. I’m not suggesting that there have not been negative changes in the institution as well – all I’m asking for is for you to acknowledge that not all changes have been bad – for society or for the institution itself

  160. @ Jayhuck,

    Maybe this will focus our discussion more precisely:

    Women as property and “racially pure marriages” are not Christian views of marriage…

    Those are examples of a corruption of Christian marriage by culture.

    For our society to abolish such corruptions of marriage and return to Christian marriage is an act of healing.

    Likewise, any rights gained within the institution of marriage by women is a similar healing of the original intent of marriage, not a “new” version of marriage.

    Poverty is highly correlated with a lower value on heterosexual coupling: children and women suffer disproportionately despite all sorts of legal “rights.”

  161. David,

    I asked you several posts ago whether you agreed that any of the changes in marriage have been positive – for some reason you refuse to address this. I will ask again though – Do you believe that ALL the changes in marriage have been bad? Perhaps it would be easiest to begin with this.

  162. @ Jayhuck,

    It seems our discussion about changes in marriage does not include any feedback from you about how the institution of marriage can be corrupted, by racism, by sexism and by hedonism.

    Are you arguing that women have an improved status in marriage that is more than hypothetical in the last 50 years? The social science data suggests otherwise.

    Are you going to engage about the deterioration of marriage as a civilizing institution in the last 50 years?

  163. @ Michael,

    Thanks for responding…would you consider my other questions as well regarding Empathy and Calvin?

    What is a moral good? I believe the terms overlap a great deal…moral and good.

    I believe anything other than Christian marriage puts the moral good of marriage in doubt…it is an extension of the Christian idea of marriage, but without certain essential components.

    The greatest commandment: To Love God and your neighbor as yourself…often gets split in half to only focus on loving our neighbor as yourself.

    Michael, what do you make of the Sermon on the Mount? Where is it’s place in Christian practice?

    Is, “hungering and thirsting after righteousness” legalism?

  164. Eddy,

    I appreciate Warren’s thoughtfulness and open-mindedness, but I don’t believe I was out of bounds in suggesting he wasn’t playing fair in this instance.

  165. David,

    How about the changes that have taken place in marriage to allow women more rights within the institution? Do you feel this is bad as well?

  166. Eddy,

    Rather than admit you were wrong and offer an apology, you have elected to go on the offensive attacking my character and Warren’s.

    What do I need to admit was wrong and why do I need to apologize? If it is that Michael is indeed a scientist then I am sorry. I do not know that for certain – only that he has been editor of a legitimate science magazine for several years. I AM sorry for this Eddy.

    None of Michael Le Page’s arguments have been negated – not a single one. But plenty of straw man arguments have been thrown out there.

    A trip to the woodshed? LOL

  167. David,

    You cannot seem to agree that marriage has also changed in positive ways for some reason. Please answer the following questions:

    1) Do you feel that allowing interracial marriage is a positive change/broadening of the institution of marriage?

    2) Do you feel that the broadening of the understanding of marriage so that women are considered more than property is good?

    We agree that marriage has not remain unchanged – that’s good – but it was acknowledged several posts ago – the reason you may not be making any traction is because you are not paying attention to what some of us are saying.

  168. @ David: “I have not argued that marriage has not changed…I am arguing whether the changes that have been made have been improvements…I can’t seem to get much traction with that conversation.”

    Here’s some traction: I think that most of the changes made to marriage have me made by straights, not gays, and no, they haven’t seemed to improve it any.

    I do wish you would define what you mean by “a moral good” — I guess you mean contrary to tradtional Christian teaching. To me, “moral behavior” is that which reflects the two “great commandments” of Christ,.

    Why is homosexuality “immoral”? I can see why rape, murder, stealing, bearing false witness, cheating, adultery, etc. fit the definition, but how does homosexuality?

  169. @ Evolution, Fatherhood and Homosexuality,

    I have completely neglected you.

    How about how Evolution and Fatherhood construct Morals about sexual behavior? That almost puts me on topic.

  170. @ Michael,

    I am not sure how “sidestepping” is characterizing my suggestion that marriage be returned “whole” to the religious institutions that nurtured it.

    To further clarify, may I suggest that you track the doctrines of various faiths with regard to marriage.

    As you suggested, Mormons have one view of this. As Mary suggested, Roman’s worshiping at the Pantheon had a different view of this.

    Christianity, when properly practiced, is only coercive when protecting the weak and the vulnerable…

    To live a Christian life requires divine intervention, it is wrong to demand such things in smaller matters from those who do not share our faith.

  171. @ Jayhuck,

    I have not argued that marriage has not changed…I am arguing whether the changes that have been made have been improvements…

    I can’t seem to get much traction with that conversation…especially in the last 50 years. It seems that the only discussion that advocates of gay marriage want to have about change in marriage is interracial marriage.

    That is a pretty tiny group…and as you say, 50% of states already allowed interracial marriage at the time.

    Can I get you to comment, not agree, on the redefinition of marriage and sex which has taken place both legally and socially the last 50 years…a broadening change in marriage which is

    harmful to children,

    harmful to women,

    creates poverty,

    requires additional social programs.

    As I said in an earlier post, when we deconstruct a Moral good, for another (hoped for) moral good we cannot be certain which essential parts of the Moral good are being either dilluted or erased altogether.

    Science, especially social science, cannot discover this for us after the fact, let alone, in advance.

  172. Jayhuck–

    Snarky attitudes are one thing and lies are another. I see you are now trying to dance around addressing LePage’s credentials. It doesn’t matter really whether he’s a scientist or not….his ideas should be worthy of discussion either way. What matters is that you refused to discuss his ideas when I challenged them…that you simply shouted me down with claims that he was’ an actual scientist’ and that I wasn’t. A number of things are wrong with that.

    1) Even if he was an ‘actual scientist’, that doesn’t deprive anyone, regardless of their expertise, from questioning.

    2) It simply skirted and bull-dosed around legitimate challenges of a fellow blogger…rendering my opinions as illegitimate.

    3) And it turns out that you inflated it…it seems pretty clear that you have no idea if he’s an ‘actual scientist’ as you claimed. If you had called him ‘a scientist’, your overstatement might be regarded as a simple mistake. But, for emphasis, you even added the word ‘actual’…to further elevate your position and to further devalue mine. It raised the level of your statement to a lie.

    4) I stopped short of calling it a lie in my earlier challenges…I believe I called it ‘a ploy’, but your biggest mistake and biggest offense, is that when you were caught in your misstatement, you showed no humility whatsoever. You admitted to nothing (and still don’t). And now, backed in a corner, you are barking furiously…hurling accusations and insinuations, blame shifting, back-pedaling, and still dodging the legitimate question.

    5) Rather than admit you were wrong and offer an apology, you have elected to go on the offensive attacking my character and Warren’s. In short, you are compounding your inappropriate blog behavior. It’s no longer just an overstatement. In a blog where a certain degree of mutual respect is expected, you have demonstrated quite clearly how little actual respect you have for opinions other than your own.

    6) A part of that disrespect goes beyond what’s obvious on the blog page. You have disrespected my time and energies as well. Not only did I read the link you provided the first time, but after your put down, I went back and reread it 3 more times trying to see if I was missing it’s coherence. Then I spent the time and energy to confront you about it. Ignoring my legitimate confrontation only meant that I had to go there yet again…and again… BECAUSE I know your technique for hurling insults and insinuations, my subsequent posts have needed to be intensive in detail…again, lots of time and energy spent–and for what? To possibly get the answer to a simple question that you don’t want to answer because it will show you with ‘egg on your face’.

    I believe you are clearly deserving of a trip to the woodshed.

  173. Warren,

    Regardless of his. Michael Le page, credentials- the fact remains that they do appear in an international scientific journal. What is lacking are ANY arguments to the contrary. Eddy wants his credentials, you doubt them – but NO ONE has negated his arguments 🙂

  174. Warren,

    Its amusing that when Eddy was making false accusations against me your “snark alarm” for some reason wasn’t going off.

  175. Warren,

    The article I posted discussed many plausible evolutionary reasons for homosexuality – you seem to care about legitimate discussion and valid reasons concerning this subject only when they ascribe to your beliefs.

    To say that actual scientists have provided some kind of received wisdom which we all must accept is not accurate.

    I never suggested anything of the kind – yet with a broad brush struck and without any logical arguments to the contrary you dismiss several well-formed arguments – that is more telling of you than it is of me.

    If you have a problem with Michael Le Page’s arguments, please debate them 🙂

  176. Warren,

    How homosexuality fits into an evolutionary framework is a puzzle that continues to occupy the field. To say that actual scientists have provided some kind of received wisdom which we all must accept is not accurate.

    Oh Warren – I never said anything of the kind 🙂

  177. Warren,

    Snark alarm? Really? And nothing Eddy has written sets off that alarm? I think you might want to get it tested 🙂

  178. David,

    That is coercive…people ought to be free to live and love as they choose…

    Am I to understand from the statement above that you feel gay couples and families merit the same benefits that the state and federal government confer on straight couples If so, that’s wonderful 🙂

  179. jayhuck – i ignore lots of snark on these exchanges but your remarks at times make my snark alarm go off.

    You called Le Page an actual scientist. Apparently he is not. Unless you have some information we do not have, I think it best that you simply admit that you advanced a journalism piece as a scientific paper and move on.

    How homosexuality fits into an evolutionary framework is a puzzle that continues to occupy the field. To say that actual scientists have provided some kind of received wisdom which we all must accept is not accurate.

  180. David,

    I find it humorous that you sidestep the fact that marriage has indeed been broadened and that is has changed – much to its benefit mind you 🙂 If we can’t agree on this, we probably have nothing to agree on 🙂

  181. David,

    I’m wondering now having ready many of your posts – it doesn’t sound like you think the state or federal governments should be supporting marriage – if that is the case, I completely agree with you, and i”m happy to hear your opinions. I’m amused that we’ve been able to narrow down your own personal definition of marriage to that which is understood under the auspices of Christianity 🙂

  182. Eddy,

    I find it incredibly delightful that you are putting so much energy into this – I am glad that you found it necessary to apologize for twisting my words and for going back on your own – LOL

  183. LOL – David –

    Christian marriage has been more static…there has been no prohibitions against interracial marriage. Christians were even encouraged to stay married to their secular spouses. Christian marriage did not view women as property.

    So, marriage has been corrupted at various times and when it has been re-elevated to its Christian morals, that is not an evolution…it is healing.

    Christian marriage has been more static? Are you serious? Regardless of the fact that that statement is wrong – I believe it was indeed Christians in the South that stifled interracial marriage –

    Funny though – you don’t seem to acknowledge the fact that marriage – even in this country – is not something that is static – and that your fear of broadening marriage is unfortunate considering the fact that broadening marriage has been wonderful for the institution 🙂

  184. Gee–

    I kept checking in tonight hoping that I’d heard back from Jayhuck about that ‘actual scientist’ whose opinions couldn’t be questioned by me due to the fact that he was an ‘actual scientist’ and I’m just me.

    Maybe tomorrow.

    Jayhuck–please take my challenge very seriously. My suspicions are that you lied to refute my comment. You claimed the man to be an ‘actual scientist’ and used that to justify the validity of his conclusions over mine. I come to this blog expecting testy but truthful conversations. It’s really very simple. Either you knew when you responded to me that the man was in fact ‘an actual scientist’ as you claimed when you put my opinion down or you didn’t. It’s really too late to try to google his credentials. My question goes to what you knew when you declared him to be an ‘actual scientist’ whose opinion I had no right to question.

    When crossed, I can be a real bitch…you really don’t want to go there. If you produce evidence that you knew this man to be an ‘actual scientist’ when you stated such in your rebuttal to me, you will have a concession from me. (Not really an apology, though. All I’ve been trying to do is ask you for your backup to your statement, and for two days now you’ve not come through. I’ve stated my suspicions as suspicions not accusations. So, I don’t think an apology from me is required. I think we’re still allowed to be questioning and suspicious.)

    However, if it turns out that you simply concluded that the man must be an ‘actual scientist’, at the least, you must admit to your total disregard for those you dialogue with. After all, I expressed an opinion–after reading the link–and you dismissed my opinion publicly based on a conclusion that you didn’t even research. (LOL. Jayhuck says it: it must be true.) Cant you feel the lack of respect that I feel? )

    I regret the need for the last two paragraphs. Here’s hoping that you’ve been unexpectedly ‘tied up with personal matters rather than with avoidance.

  185. How do you know what you know with such clarity that it seems to baffle you that someone else coudn’t see it so clearly?

  186. You were the one who said we should return marriage “whole” to the “religious cultures” that nurtured it. Quit sidestepping and say which.

  187. If you want. I just you would tell me which undeniable, self-evident, uiniversal standard you are referring to — and how you seem to know it so emphatically.

  188. @ Michael,

    “Religious cultures of all types have defined marriage differently.” as other than between a man and a woman?

    I thought there was some consensus among traditional religions and cultures that this was a core ingredient.

    Nevertheless, if it can be reasonably demonstrated otherwise we can define marriage as broadly as it has ever been defined throughout history…in every variation.

  189. @ Michael,

    Marriage is subjective then, isn’t it?

    If it walks like a racist and talks like a racist…it is probably racism. Christianity has nothing to do with barring interracial marriage.

    I think I have answered your question about “which religious cultures”…any and all.

  190. David: I was pointing out that different “religious cultures” define marriage differently. I was not “tarring” Christian marriage with racism. Many who called themselves “Christians” banned inter-racial marriage, pointing to Old Testament passages as their basis.

    They were not necessarily “racist” — they just believed that God did not want people to marry outside their race. Some religious cultures defended slavery on Biblical grounds. Women were not deemed worthy to vote — by religious men. The Mormons believed that God wanted good mormon to have plural wives.

    Different “religious cultures” have defined “moral” sexuality, sex roles and marriage differently over time. So, which religious culture should we return marriage to “whole”?

    You sidestepped the question implied in my examples. Which “Relious cultures”? There is no universal, moral, global definiton of marriage to return to “whole”. You keep appealing to some sort of unquestionable, obvious and immutable “moral” standard. Which one is it and who determines this? Do you?

    Religious cultures of all types have defined marriage differently. In some cultures you had to give the bride’s family a cermonial cow — or it wasn’t a real marriage.

  191. @ Michael,

    Is our conversation about Empathy concluded?

    Have you lost track of our comments about Calvin and his reliance on scripture to inform behavior?

  192. @ Timothy,

    Regarding what I would support…that is a leap. What I would tolerate…a lot…I already do.

    If the larger culture wishes to retreat from endorsing traditional Christian values (as it has already in many regards to marriage and sex), there is no reason why Christians should demand compliance of a secular culture. That is coercive…people ought to be free to live and love as they choose…

    Any religious group can define any arrangement any way they want.

  193. @ Michael,

    Why are you referring to racism as an example of Christian marriage? If you could find some scriptural support for the Georgia Supreme court that would be useful.

    But is seems you are “tarring” Christian marriage with the perversion of racists to imply that Christian marriage has evolved.

    That is just wrong…don’t you know that…are you being sincere?

  194. @ Mary,

    If a Roman pantheistic faith flourishes in America…they should be able to define marriage as they wish.

  195. Hahahaha – religious cultures that defined it. Okee dokee —- hmmm… let’s go with the Roman Pantheon and their religious culture.

  196. During the 1950’s, half of the states still had laws prohibiting interracial marriage.”In case after case, legislation prohibiting racial inter-marriage was justified as unbending tradition rooting in received natural law.” For example, in 1869, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that:

    “…moral or social equality between the different races…does not in fact exist, and never can. The God of nature made it otherwise, and no human law can produce it, and no human tribunal can enforce it. There are gradations and classes throughout the universe. From the tallest archangel in Heaven, down to the meanest reptile on earth, moral and social inequalities exist, and must continue to exist throughout all eternity.”

    “Eternity” came to a crashing halt 98 years later, in 1967.

  197. Question: Would David consider early Mormons to be a “regious culture”? If not, why not?

  198. Did Daviid actually say this? “Marriage should be delinked from the secular culture which seeks to redefine it. It should be returned, whole, to the religious cultures which nurtured it.”?

    If so, would he kindly inform us as to which “religious cultures” he has in mind? Kindly, define “religious” and name the cultures. Be careful here. Cultural Anthrology is my area of expertise.

  199. Timothy – My argument was to show that it’s possible to think of a scenario in which natural selection plays no role at all (or no significant role). Natural selection and other evolutionary mechanisms are only useful when they transmit genetic information. If there are no specific genes for sexual orientation that transmit particular orientations, then neither hetero nor homo sexual identities are influenced by evolution. It’s a neutral scenario, it doesn’t assume anything, like you pointed out. I haven’t said that natural selection should have logically only promoted genes that favour heterosexual attractions because they are reproductive – what carole said. THe argument was that evolution could be indifferent to outcomes in sexual identity (both hetero/homo), if attractions are the result of development, like the proponents of psychodynamic and developmental theories claim. Neither do I support their theories, but it is possible to make this argument, case in which the debate on evolution is unnecessary.

    It’s a conditional argument: if (no genes), then (no natural selection) for either orientation. The same argument could be applied to gender identity for which there is no known “natural selection benefit” explanation. If the presumed psychological events occur at a small rate in a random manner, then the replacement rate remains indifferent to these events. It might be argued that sex-atypical children are more vulnerable to stress, but it doesn’t mean that evolution “promotes” vulnerability to stress for a particular benefit.

  200. David,

    you ignored my comment:

    Marriage should be delinked from the secular culture which seeks to redefine it. It should be returned, whole, to the religious cultures which nurtured it.

    Secular culture, can create what it wants.

    That would have an immediate and interesting consequence. Were secular governments to provide civil unions for all and let churches decide who was or was not married, then same-sex marriage would immediately be legal in all 50 states.

    Let me please get a clarification.

    Would you support having civil government provide civil unions to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples?

    Would you support letting each church have its own authority over what sacraments of marriage they will grant?

  201. Evan

    If non-heterosexual orientations are the result of psychological events that disrupt one’s development or by the developmental path proposed by the “Exotic Becomes Erotic” theory, then evolutionary theory has little or nothing to do with particular outcomes in sexual identity.

    Nonsense.

    Like the other proponants of natural selection here, you are selecting (naturally) those characteristics of evolutionary theory that fit your conclusions and rejecting the overall principles.

    If one champions natural selection, and accepts the wild assumption that “non-heterosexual orientations are the result of psychological events that disrupt one’s development or by the developmental path proposed by the “Exotic Becomes Erotic” theory“, then natural selection is the means by which the human animal came to translate psychological events as a trigger to create same-sex attraction.

    Yours (and Carole’s) argument boils down to this: “I see no benefit in same-sex attraction, therefore it could not be the result of natural selection”.

    Interestingly, it is exactly the same argument as “I see no benefit in having an appendix, therefore it could not be the result of natural selection”.

    However, the answer to both is the same: these exist. Appendices exist. Homosexuality exists. Neither is a rarity. Both are constants. If you believe that humans came to exist through the process of evolution, then the appendix in your body came by this process and so did the same-sex attraction of a not-insignificant percentage of humans.

    One must be consistent: chemical reactions that we recognize as the smell of a rose; physical responses known as murderous rage; the experiences of love and hate and the taste of toothpaste. If we presuppose that any one is the consequence of millions of years of chance mutations that ultimately led to species dispursement, then all of them are consequences.

    I can only speculate on why such consequences exist. We know that some genes are both beneficial and detrimental. They may protect from malaria in some while they cause sickle-cell anemia in others, for example.

    I can’t provide the exact model by which natural selection led to populations in which some members were same-sex attracted. I won’t even try. But if one accepts the premise that all that is resulted from such selection, then I don’t really need to know what it is to know that it’s there.

    And, of course, the belief in a God completely changes the equation. 🙂

  202. The greatest commandment begins with Love of God and moves to Love of Neighbor…

    Are you suggesting we substitute empathy for God and empathy for neighbor in order to avoid legalism?

    Your application of empathy (a new word in the human lexicon, late 19th century) to replace love is too small…

    You might be elevating your professional values to interpret your Christian values.

    or might not.

    I get what you are trying to say…but empathy, as you understand it, does not take in the entirety of the Command nor its implications.

  203. Empathy is a listening and feeling capacity.

    One can do the right thing by one’s neighbor without feeling a thing…(see duty, obedience).

    A therapeutic culture elevates Empathy over Love.

  204. Michael,

    “None of us, me included, should speak as though we know the mind of God, on marriage, sexuality”

    Wow…

    What do we know the mind of God about in terms of human behavior?

    Your humility seems to lead to nothingness.

    Review your Calvin quote…Scripture is emphasized in faith and conduct, prior to one’s own conscience. Do you think the Calvin quote is arranged hierarchically?

  205. Oh…I left out interracial marriage.

    It seems that there are many straw men injected into the Christian sacrament of marriage…

  206. I wish it were as simple as having an “absolute, global moral standard” which had remained constant acorss cultures and time — but even if there were such a thing, people would still disagree as to what it meant and how it ought to be applied.

    Instead, I guess we will have to do our best to live according to the truth — as we understand it. And pray that the Holy Spirit will correct us when we get off track.

    I think John Calvin’s thoughts are worth repeating here: I believe in “the sovereignty of God in His universe, the sovereignty of Christ in salvation, the sovereignty of the Scriptures in faith, and conduct, the sovereignty of the individual conscience in the interpretation of the will and Word of God.”

    None of us, me included, should speak as though we know the mind of God, on marriage, sexuality — or the possible influence of Gerber’s strained peas in the devlopment of SSA.

  207. Michael,

    I am not sure your point…are you deliberately picking select Old Testament references and overlooking all others?

    I don’t know why this happens, but it seems when moral and heterosexual marriage and sex are discussed, Christian marriage is conflated with Vegas Marriage, with Old Testament polygamy, with easy divorce and so on.

    I don’t think the issue of morals, sex and Christian marriage is as subjective as you assert.

  208. Michael–

    I hope you’re sitting down….because….I thought your last post was excellent.

  209. I am not sure who said: “Marriage should be delinked from the secular culture which seeks to redefine it. It should be returned, whole, to the religious cultures which nurtured it.”

    Some religious cultures, including Old Testament cultures, thought that plural marriage was OK. or that the only legitimate form of marriage was that which was arranged by the parents or matchmaker, or that a man must married his deceased brother’s wife if she had no offspring, or that you could somehow atone for rape by marrying the victim and paying her father the bride price:

    “If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.” Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NIV

  210. Timothy Kincaid:

    Natural selection…

    I think that psychodynamic theorists would argue that the sexual identity of individuals has little to do with evolutionary processes. To keep in line with Jayhuck’s use of an article based on a few studies that speculate on the evolutionary benefits of homosexuality without any empirical genetic finding in humans (Vasey’s study, Camperio-Ciani’s study and observations of non-human animal behaviour). These speculations, however educated, cancel each other out on account of lack of any replicated empirical support. Actually, Camperio-Ciani’s small sample study has been refuted by the recent Schwartz et al large sample study, which found no increase in the maternal line of gay men due to a theorised fertility benefit.

    If non-heterosexual orientations are the result of psychological events that disrupt one’s development or by the developmental path proposed by the “Exotic Becomes Erotic” theory, then evolutionary theory has little or nothing to do with particular outcomes in sexual identity.

  211. Marriage should be delinked from the secular culture which seeks to redefine it. It should be returned, whole, to the religious cultures which nurtured it.

    Secular culture, can create what it wants.

    That would have an immediate and interesting consequence. Were secular governments to provide civil unions for all and let churches decide who was or was not married, then same-sex marriage would immediately be legal in all 50 states.

    Assuming, of course, that the return of marriage to religious cultures also included the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, the Quakers, Reformed Judaism, and the Unitarian Universalists.

    I think that most gay couples would be quite happy with that consequence.

  212. Debbie,

    Timothy, that is understandable. May I ask if there is any criticism of gay people or their practices that is fair or justified to your thinking?

    Absolutely.

    When criticism is relevant, factual, and not intended to demean then it is fair and justified.

    Let me suggest a way of thinking – if you would hesitate to make a similar comment about, say, African Americans or Lutherans, then it might be a good time to reconsider.

    Just as one does extrapolate one’s limited experience with black folk to make broad declarations about the nature of all black folk, then it is wise not to make the same sort of sweeping declarations about Lutherans. Or red-headed people. Or Californians. Or evangelical Christians. Or gay folk.

  213. David: I did not expand the definition of empathy. It seems to me that Jesus did. He gave the moral basis for the action. The action flows from the empathy — and really cannot be separated from it. He said: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

    How do we decide what to do? What action to take? By the self-discipline of empathy. By putting ourselves in the shoes of the other person — and doing what that empathetic identification with the other person directs us to do.

    Jesus not only said to do as we would have done to us. He said go the extra miule, give the shirt we are wearing, pray for those who mistreat us, even love our enemies. “Morality” that is not firmly based on that sort of empathy is legalism, not morality.

  214. Carole,

    If you don’t assign Nature some deific powers, then let’s not disuss the “intent”or “plan” or “template” of nature. The “sarcasm” you read into my discussion of your anthropomophizing of Nature is simply a statement that I find it pointless to argue about others’ dieties.

    Just as I have no response to Shiva’s views on SSA or those of Baal, I cannot make intelligent conversation about the plan of Nature or Nature’s intent. Once Nature has sentience and is assigned a wisdom to which one should defer, then we are in the territory of religion and debates about others’ religion are seldom fruitful.

    My point was that not having a family is considered a disadvantage from an evolutionary standpoint, and was intended to support my contention that SSA is not the result of natural selection.

    At the risk of pointing out the obvious:

    Supposing that the world and all within it was the result of natural selection, and knowing that same-sex attraction exists as a detectable and reported constant over the course of the recorded history of the human animal, then where did it come from if not from natural selection?

    Natural selection is not a linear and uniform progression towards an ideal goal which is the current human animal. Rather it is the presentation of variables, mutations, each warring with that from which it mutated and with all other possible mutations.

    That sightless fish exist in deep caves is not some indication that they are either outside natural selection or the ideal species; rather, they are the result of the necessities in their environment.

    You see no biological advantage to same-sex attraction and therefore declare that it thus cannot be the result of natural selection over millenia. But if one believes in natural selection, it is obviously the result of just such selection. Otherwise it would have not come to be.

    Your assumptions rely on a very immediate sense of completion, that man stands at the pinacle of all he ever could be. But that isn’t how natural selection works. We are physically different than we were just a few hundred years ago.

    In a natural selection model, we cannot say that homosexuality will exist in ten million years. Nor can we make assumptions about five-fingered hands or hair. But evolution tells us that these, like a constant rate of homosexuality, are in existence at this point in time because mutations leading to just these characteristics were at some point an advantage over the alternatives and have, therefore, survived when tails, speechless communication, and the neanderthal brow did not.

  215. OK, David. I give. Who has the final word and infallible understanding of the morality or marriage and sex? Do you? You certainly speak as though you do… How did you obtain it with such indisputable clarity?

    And I am not expanding the definition of empathy — I am saying that the kind of empathy Jesus taught (and lived) included the action. It wasn’t just a fuzzy “feeling or “sloppy agape”. The fulfillment of all the Law and the Prophets was summed up by that kind of “empathy”.

  216. I don’t think the one’s who walked by were self-righteous…I think they were racists.

  217. Michael,

    I think you are expanding the definition of Empathy.

    Specifically, we are talking about the morality of marriage and the morality of sex.

  218. David: The Story of the Good Samaritan is a great example of what I mean by “morality”. The empathy demonstrated in the story, the true “morality” portrayed here went beyond a senimental feeling of empathy.

    It took action — even though the common “morality” of the day would say it was right to pass the man by. And, that is precisely what the self-righteous “moral” ones did.

  219. David you said, “Empathy is not the highest moral good. Empathy does not require anything but feeling…no action; no judgment; only deep attunement to the other.”

    I could not disagree more!. True empahty for the other person, true morality always requires action. Jesus said so.

    Maybe you can define what you mean by the word “moral”. Are we talking about the same thing? By “moral” I mean action which is consistent with the Golden Rule. What do you mean by the word?

    Again, you seem to think that moral absolutes are self-evident and not linked to culture, situation or time in history — obvious, indisputable. What is it like to be that certain of your own infalliblity in this area?

    The Old Testament says a woman’s hand should be “cut off without mercy” if her husband is in a fight and she tries to help out by grabbing the other guy’s testicles. It used to be considered “moral”, a commandment of God, to stone disobedient children. How do you decide which moral standards do and do not apply today?

  220. David, would you please reveal the source of these global moral absolutes wou seem so sure of? Are you certain your understanding of them is correct?

  221. Science is not objective, but it analyzable and flaws are able to be seen in scientific inquiry if we remain curious…

    About Fatherhood and evolution.

    Although it is useful to partition morality out of the equation using morally relativistic arguments; or by attacking the morality of heterosexuals; or by misattributing to Christian marriage cultural characteristics of a racist society; …

    Those are not instances of what Marriage was design to be for the Christian.

    Marriage is irretrievably linked to morals.

    Marriage should be delinked from the secular culture which seeks to redefine it. It should be returned, whole, to the religious cultures which nurtured it.

    Secular culture, can create what it wants.

  222. @ Michael:

    Empathy is not the highest moral good. Empathy does not require anything but feeling…no action; no judgment; only deep attunement to the other.

    The scripture you cite is related to empathy, but empathy is too small a word for what Jesus aspires for us.

    Love is the word he picks. It makes judgments, requires action, breeds humility and so on.

    Love as a sensation is popular…but even the Greeks knew that there could be Love without sensation…even love without empathy, if you will (doing the right thing even though I viscerally despise my enemy).

  223. @ Michael:

    “To me, empathy is the bedrock and only true foundation of what is moral and what is not. How should we treat others? What would life be like in the other fellow’s shoes? How can I treat others the way I want to be treated?”

    Your comments prior to this quote seem to be more standard moral relativism than enlightening (to me, at least). To decide that their are no absolutes is just as bold as to decide there are….each position has its problems.

    Moral relativism cannot build a culture…but it can dismantle one.

  224. @ Jayhuck 2:

    I do not mean to limit the change in marriage to divorce law…although it is an important point.

    Sexuality confined to marriage was a culturally accepted value. Sex outside marriage (either premarital or extramarital) was taboo. This was culturally ingrained application of Christian morals and Christian marriage.

    Absolutes…if you will.

  225. @ Jayhuck:

    Thanks for responding.

    Christian marriage has been more static…there has been no prohibitions against interracial marriage. Christians were even encouraged to stay married to their secular spouses. Christian marriage did not view women as property.

    So, marriage has been corrupted at various times and when it has been re-elevated to its Christian morals, that is not an evolution…it is healing.

  226. Jayhuck-

    Here is the essence of your rebuttal to my questioning the merits of the link.

    The discussion that several people were having here had to do with evolution, homosexuality and natural selection. The arguments made in the article are sound and valid, and unlike your responses, were written by an actual scientist in an international science “magazine” – LOL. Am I to understand you are a teacher of Evolution now? C+???

    I later posted citing the specifics from the link and how they did not adequately support the conclusion of the article’s opening premise. (i.e. questioning how the reasoning was ‘sound and valid’) My question re his role as a scientist was part of that post…here it is:

    June 11, 8:24AM

    You mentioned in your first challenge to me that the article was written by a scientist. On revisiting the article, I didn’t immediately note his credentials. At the page bottom, it indicates that they welcome submissions…much like wikipedia…so that anyone could write in. To my mind, this one was clearly ‘phoned in’ but you continue to defend it. My problem is that you defend it with sarcasm and attacks rather than with logical defenses. So, you called the author a scientist in your first rebuttal to me. In fact, you suggested that it was foolish of me, a non-scientist, to challenge the statements of this scientist. Please provide your basis for your conclusion that the author is a scientist.

    I’ve googled him and find that he’s the biology editor…so my ‘phoned in’ allegation may be a bit over the top. (may be….sometimes even the knowledgeable guys can be tempted to ‘phone one in’.) Can’t find his credentials though. But, you are the one who declared him, in a rebuttal, to be “an actual scientist”, so I’m sure you checked that out before you used it to diminish the validity of my opinion. I’ll look forward to your response later today.

  227. I understand this is your experience Debbie, but what you describe is something that is easily found in heterosexual relationships as well – I mentioned I have two straight friends suffering from the emotional captivity you describe – that’s why I said you seem eager to lay at the feet of gay relationships what can be so easily found in straight relationships – because of this, I still don’t see your point unless it is the universal experience of low self-esteem and co-dependency.

    Jayhuck, let me put it like this: It is true that there are plenty of emotionally unhealthy male-female relationships. There are women who are excessively needy, men who need their egos stroked all the time, jealousy, control issues, etc. But the type of emotional dependency I am referring to is unique to lesbian relationships. Men and women are uniquely different creatures, with considerable differences in their emotional wiring. Same-sex friendships were never meant to replicate the kind of gender complementarity that male-female love provides. You just can’t make that equation work. You may get close, but both sides will not zero out. It’s like adding two negatives or two pluses.

    Now, you are free to disagree with that all you want. I will not have a meltdown if you do. But it would not be fruitful to try to discuss it further. Let’s just agree to disagree on that one.

  228. Eddy,

    I did not read your post where you asked for Michael Le Page’s credentials – I’ll get back to you this evening or this weekend on that – I have to run now.

  229. Debbie,

    The emotional captivity that comes with female same-sex relationships can stifling. I never in my life longed for any man — certain that I would not be able to even breathe unless I could be with him — as I did when I was in pursuit of women.

    I understand this is your experience Debbie, but what you describe is something that is easily found in heterosexual relationships as well – I mentioned I have two straight friends suffering from the emotional captivity you describe – that’s why I said you seem eager to lay at the feet of gay relationships what can be so easily found in straight relationships – because of this, I still don’t see your point unless it is the universal experience of low self-esteem and co-dependency.

  230. Jayhuck–

    My bad (partially). It had been a very long and draining day yesterday and I mistakenly referred to the link that Debbie provided re the abuse rather than any on the length of relationship.

    That being said. Please don’t assume emotions on my part. You accuse me of

    angry comments. Sorry, dude, frustration and exasperation but not anger. And I’d be careful judging motivations…the fact that you cited my slip up in 4 back to back posts seems to indicate strong emotional underpinnings on your part.

    Now, I’ve admitted my bad…will you please step up for yours? Your comment about few heterosexual relationships lasting more than two years stood out because it was a paragraph in itself…lots of white space around it. And it does seem to be a tremendous exaggeration.

    But, if it’s true in your world, it could certainly explain a lot of the intensity of your defense and support for gay marriage.

    Big humor here, BTW. They say ‘the best defense is a good offense.’ When I called you on the ‘science’ reference and asked for the scientific credentials of the article’s writer, you fell silent. Then, when I made my blunder, you not only pounced but you pounced four times. You accuse me of angry attacks when, in reality, I’m just trying to expose bull. The tone of your post when you said the article was ‘science’ and demeaned my lack of science expertise to question seems to convey more anger than my inquiries have. So, I’ll ask again. You only defense of the link was that the writer was a scientist and that I wasn’t…please provide what you know of the writer’s credentials or admit to the ploy that you played.

  231. Jayhuck, I know you are really bothered by my anecdotal observation about the average longevity of lesbian relationships. Let’s just throw that one out, shall we? It really doesn’t matter to me. I have no need to prove anything, and I am not going on a hunt for some half-baked statistics that everyone will reject anyway. Let it be whatever it is to you or anyone else. Our personal observations have not been the same.

    This I do know from my own experience, however. The emotional captivity that comes with female same-sex relationships can stifling. I never in my life longed for any man — certain that I would not be able to even breathe unless I could be with him — as I did when I was in pursuit of women. There is an all-consuming emotional element that I submit you cannot understand if you are a man. Scary.

  232. If I read something that tends to cast a negative light on gay people will get my attention. And then if it is something that is just speculation or opinion but which is presented as though it is accepted fact, that gets me annoyed. But if it is something that is a completely false anti-gay talking point that seeks to demonize gays, I get angry.

    Timothy, that is understandable. May I ask if there is any criticism of gay people or their practices that is fair or justified to your thinking? None of us likes to be part of a family that is being put down on a regular basis. It bothers me when people say all manner of knee-jerk things about evangelicals, too. But I also know that judgment begins with the house of the Lord. And we deserve some of that criticism as a group, even if it is directed mostly at only a minority of us.

    If I have been guilty of making snap judgments or speaking half-truths — and surely I must have done so — please forgive me. But also realize that no group of people is above criticism from time to time. Rebuke is a tricky thing because it suggests that we have the moral high ground when we do it. That’s why Jesus told us we would be judged by the same standard with which we judged others. It’s hard to pry that log out of our eye before we go to remove the splinter from our brother’s.

  233. David: You speak of “morals” as though there were some sort of self-evident standard, unambiguous, as clear as the nose on anyone’s face, black and white, indisputable…

    So, I guess the answer to your question, “Morals and whose morals…hmmm”?, would be yours. You seem to know the standard. I am curious: What is it like to be that self-confident?

    What “global moral value?” How does one determine such a thing — with the absolute certainty and clairty you think you possess — about what is “moral” and what is not? For which culture? At what time in history?

    To me, empathy is the bedrock and only true foundation of what is moral and what is not. How should we treat others? What would life be like in the other fellow’s shoes? How can I treat others the way I want to be treated?

    These things require prayer, introspection, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the capacity and imagination to step outside one’s own experience and to ask, “what does this person need?”? How does God regard this person? These things are often not set in cement and self-evident, but require the abilty ( and flexibility) to respond to each situation in as Christlike as way as possible…

    To my way of thinking, “moral” behavior is that behavior which flows from practicing the two most important moral laws: to love God with all our heart, soul and mind and to love our neighbor as ourself.”

  234. Eddy,

    In fact – in the paragraph where Debbie is talking to Timothy and makes the statement I responded to, she says she does not have statistics at her fingertips – but I’ll wait for you to show me that missing link! 😉

  235. Eddy,

    By all accounts, the comment Debbie made that I addressed was anecdotal as well – she said, and I quote:

    I do know that many lesbian relationships tend to fizzle out at about the two-year mark, although there are exceptions to that as in everything. So, stability is not a hallmark of such pairings.

    I could find no link to figures showing that lesbian relationships end at about the two year mark – just her saying that she knows of some

    Please enlighten me Eddy!

  236. Eddy,

    Please guide me to the link that says that lesbian relationships last only two years. I must have missed that article. Thanks

  237. Eddy,

    It would help things along SO much if you actually took the time to read the posts you feel you must leave angry comments about. I didn’t say that MOST heterosexual relationships don’t even last two years – I said, if only the heterosexual relationships I knew lasted two years. You either enjoy twisting people’s words or you just don’t take the time to read before you respond – something I myself have some experience with.

  238. Jayhuck to Debbie:

    Ah Debbie – if only the heterosexual relationships I knew lasted at least two years!

    Jayhuck,

    I find that you are being argumentative to the point of insanity. Please explain this statement that you used in a rebuttal to Debbie.

    Specificallly: 1) Are you saying that all the heterosexual relationships you know last less than two years? 2) If so, would general statistics bear you out? Or is this simply some very weird twist in your world?

    I admit (like many) that heterosexuality seriously misses the mark. BUT I have NEVER heard the suggestion that most don’t even last two years! Such an earth shattering comment merits some documentation. Can you provide? (I realize you are speaking ‘from your personal experience so I will accept an honest breakdown from you of how many heterosexual couples you know, how many didn’t last two years, how many went longer.) Debbie’s results came from a link–so we can at least evaluate it for credibility. Your results that attempt to refute her findings in the link are anecdotal. In a fair discussion, you should back them up with something more than “jayhuck says:”. Is this a fair discussion? Can you provide back up for your statement?

  239. David,

    Can we agree that marriage was also “broadened” when women were no longer considered property – something to be owned?

  240. And if we can agree that it is not static, I wonder why we should be having a discussion about keeping it so?

  241. I am arguing for elevating marriage to its proper place for heterosexuals…that morally broadening the definition of marriage 40 years ago has been culturally bad…even though some of the reasons were for a theoretical moral good.

    David,

    Perhaps it would be better if you start out by defining how marriage in your view was “broadened” 40 years ago, and how that broadening has any impact on the issue of gay marriage. Perhaps we might even need to go back further and define what we mean by morality – “Morals are created and defined by society, philosophy, religion, or individual conscience.” – I quote I grabbed from Wikipedia.

    If by broadened you are talking about divorce law, I don’t see how that applies to the topic of gay marriage. Marriage laws were also broadened when interracial marriage was allowed – so at the very least David, we have to agree that not all “broadening” is necessarily bad.

    It is also my understanding that marriage as an institution has existed differently in different places across different times and cultures. Marriage is not a static thing.

  242. Timothy,

    What gets me going is when I hear generalizations about religous people that are used to degrade and stifle them as not knowing what they are talking about. The reason is that so often this is simply a ploy to close off any intelligent discussion that may go counter to what the other person believes. It reminds me so much of the fundamentalist atheist views of the Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris’ of the world. Once again one extreme painting anyone who opposes their views by focusing only on the other extreme. Tell me in all honesty that this is not being used by those who want so much to convince us there is nothing harmful about homosexual behaviour, even if they recognize that there are aspects of this behaviour that are extremely harmful. (Note: I do not believe that all aspects of SSA are harmful and in fact some are natural and healthy).

  243. Another whoops–I have chosen to not be offended by the sarcasm at the end of your post, but I feel I should point out that I feel it occurred because of one of two things:

    1) it might be your way of cutting off future communication. If that it your intent, just tell me you would rather not read my posts or respond to them or that you would rather not I respond to yours. If that’s your feeling, I can accept that and move on and not waste time, yours or mine. Such a direct approach would make the sarcasm unnecessary. 2) it might mean that when people do not accept your point of view or when you find their point of view objectionable you turn to such words.

    There may be other reasons but in the end, sarcasm is a conversation killer.

  244. At anyone who is interested,

    Morals and whose morals…hmmm.

    We can be relativistic…but then we want certain morals applied to all of us regardless of age, sex, religion and so on. So lets bag on the moral relativism stuff.

    Part of the limitations of this debate is how we have arrived at morals and who has the right to amend them.

    Jayhuck suggests it is moral to allow gays and lesbians the protections associated with marriage.

    I am arguing for elevating marriage to its proper place for heterosexuals…that morally broadening the definition of marriage 40 years ago has been culturally bad…even though some of the reasons were for a theoretical moral good.

    When we amend a moral standard for another moral good, we cannot anticipate the costs of that modification.

    Morals are an unquantifiable good, when we modify them, we don’t know which essential part of the moral good we are changing.

    You cannot fragment a global moral value into essential and non-essential parts.

    That has certainly been the case with heterosexual marriage.

  245. Whoops, forget that last line–it was a leftover that was never finished and which I meant to delete.

  246. Timothy,

    With respect to you too–I laugh at the Goddess of Nature reference. Perhaps it’s the word intent that so disturbs you because you believe I wish it to suggest a godly design. I added a post to clarify, but I guess it did no such thing.

    Your offerings about nature and evolution have not persuaded me nor have mine peruaded you. You are wrong when you state my starting point, but it would take a half an hour to share my starting point.

    While I am straight, I know gay men. One in particular was a really close friend and colleague, his partner to a lesser extent. He couldn’t perform with women nor could his partner. I can’t believe, in fact I know, that they were/are not alone. My point was that not having a family is considered a disadvantage from an evolutionary standpoint, and was intended to support my contention that SSA is not the result of natural selection.

    I can accept that you disagree and appreciate we’ve been able to talk.

    I must admit to being lost in the way you define

  247. Sometimes, I only have to open my mouth, apparently, to be “baselessly offensive.” Oh dear.

    That’s a fair complaint.

    So I’ll let you know what sets me off.

    If I read something that tends to cast a negative light on gay people will get my attention. And then if it is something that is just speculation or opinion but which is presented as though it is accepted fact, that gets me annoyed. But if it is something that is a completely false anti-gay talking point that seeks to demonize gays, I get angry.

  248. David,

    Here’s a question for you. Knowing that gay relationships will most likely always be around – knowing that there are gay families – is it MORAL to deny them the benefits of marriage?

    The discussion would be interesting if it were to be purely philosophical – if we could leave religion out of the discussion for its duration – I don’t see that happening though

  249. As for my statement about most lesbian relationships ending at around the two-year mark, my experience is different from yours. You might want to consider how many relationships those women you know have been in in the past. Some will likely have confirmed that statistic. Emotional dependency is an easy killer of lesbian relationships.. Each partner can suck the other dry. But there are always exceptions.

    Ah Debbie – if only the heterosexual relationships I knew lasted at least two years!

    Any relationship – gay or straight – will have examples of emotional dependency! There are probably more in both instances than we know. I have several straight friends suffering from that very thing right now. You seem awful eager to lay at the feet of gay relationships what can be so easily found in straight relationships. Because of this, I’m not sure what your point is.

  250. David,

    Morality as a good is not subject to definition by psychology as a science. Science is reductionistic and utilitatarian….once morality allows to be limited by such inquiry the conclusion is forgone.

    Ah yes – the old morality discussion – but who get to defines morality?

  251. I have confidence that you are capable of not being baselessly offensive if you really try.

    Gee, thanks. Sometimes, I only have to open my mouth, apparently, to be “baselessly offensive.” Oh dear.

    You know what’s interesting, Timothy? That statement you made as satire about evangelical fathers? If you replace the words “very often” with something like “to a surprising degree,” you’d be about right. Sad but true. It happens way more than we want to believe. And codependent mothers make it worse. I know of too many cases firsthand.

    I’m trying to remember what term I searched on at Amazon for that reference. You can’t copy and paste exact quotes, unless you want to retype them because of copyright issues. I think I just typed in “lesbian domestic violence statistics.”

  252. Timothy, I said when I went off to find some “statistics” on lesbian domestic violence that I did not know how helpful they would be. But I was asked to make the attempt, so I did. You cannot shoot the messenger. If you have problems with the message, you’ll have to take it up with the sources.

    Fair enough. But cherry picking isn’t effective communication.

    If you could not access the book I cited via Amazon’s Search Inside feature, I can’t help you with that. It’s linked to each person’s individual account and is a feature anyone who has ordered a new title through Amazon can access

    I could only access a few pages and not those you listed.

    Emotional dependency is an easy killer of lesbian relationships.. Each partner can suck the other dry. But there are always exceptions.

    Sigh.

    Evangelical Chistian men very often molest their children. The patriarchal model in which the husband is the leader of the family creates a dynamic in which wives are either submissive or complicit in the father having sexual ownership and domination of the children. That’s why so many children of evangelical Christians have poor relationships and severe depression. But there are always exceptions.

    Do I believe what I just wrote? No.

    But I thought as long as we were just going to make slurs and qualify them with an appeal to “always exceptions” than I’d do some smearing of my own. And gee it sounded good and it was my ‘opinion” based on my ‘experience’ so I guess I can just be as offensive as I want. Right?

    My point, Debbie, is that throwing smears, slurs, and accusations about each other is not helpful. Especially is it’s nothing more than your opinion. Even if you really really think it might be true.

    I have confidence that you are capable of not being baselessly offensive if you really try.

  253. Carole,

    With respect: I think that you have started with the conclusion that homosexuality is a deformity of sorts and are working backward to justify that presumption.

    As a gay man who knows other gay men, it’s a bit amusing to find that we are “disadvantaged” in that we are incapable of producing offspring. I’ll not get into specifics, other than to say that you are mistaken.

    I thought we were discussing whether homosexuality could be an anomoly under the principles of natural selection. I offered some possible evolutionary advantages to the gene pool continuing to produce this anomoly.

    I was mistaken.

    Instead it seems we were discussing the intentions of Nature. And it seems clear that for you “natural” has ceased to be simply that which occurs and is observable as resulting from the usual or ordinary course of nature – which would certainly include an anomoly that occurs fairly regularly in at least 4% of all races and cultures of the human animal. Instead it has taken on overtones of intention and purpose and intellect. It does seem to me that your appeals to Nature and her plans, intentions, and designs suggests a form of Deism, or alternately a subconsious reversion to Earth Goddess thinking.

    I strongly support your right to believe as you wish. And I will not waste time arguing over the merits of your particular theology. So I’ll not question your appeals to Nature’s Design other than to say that I don’t worship the Goddess Nature.

  254. I forgot to answer your quesiotns: “Would you say that Exodus has matured in some ways since the early days? Do you think they have been able to make amends to any degree for the past mistakes?”

    No. I think they have gotten worse.

    Really? Wow. I don’t want to press you, but if you ever want to discuss it further — even privately — let me know. I really do care about this.

  255. I forgot to answer your quesiotns: “Would you say that Exodus has matured in some ways since the early days? Do you think they have been able to make amends to any degree for the past mistakes?”

    No. I think they have gotten worse.

  256. Wow, Debbie, thanks for all the above. Very gracious. I agree that “we’re all going to find some surprises when we get to heaven.

    it reminds me of the old joke:

    A new soul arrives in Heaven and St. Peter is showing off the place. The soul sees a cloud full of people and asks, “Who are they?” St. Peter answers, “Those are the Lutherans…”

    Soul sees a second cloud and inquires, “And who are they? St. Peter says, “Those are the Catholics”.

    Souls sees a third cloud and asks, “And who are those?” St. Peter replies, “Shhh!!! Those are the fundamentalists. They think they are the only ones here…”

  257. I just reread your statement of apology at BXG, Michael. There is no doubt that some unfortunate and painful things contributed to your decision. Would you say that Exodus has matured in some ways since the early days? Do you think they have been able to make amends to any degree for the past mistakes?

    It’s understandable that you would strike out way back then to launch a ministry perceived as desperately needed. But you and most others were woefully unprepared. Kind of like being thrown to the wolves. I admire your courage, and am sorry for the pain you suffered. It took me quite a few years to be made ready for this ministry.

    Perhaps God used/is using you in ways you will not know in this life.

    My SSA women’s group is loosely affiliated with Exodus, i.e., they can refer to us if they so choose. But I am under the auspices of my church. I have found that patience, on the part of both the leader and the led, is the hallmark of any such ministry. I do believe some will find the change they seek and others will find peace, as you have. If we all are drawn closer to God in the process, that’s a good thing.

    I truly hope any satellite group out there that may be doing harm will disappear, whether Exodus-affiliated or not. I also long to see our churches become discipling churches in the true sense of the word. The needs are great, and the hypocrisy in denying our many problems, like failed marriages and excessive materialism, disturbs me.

  258. My point is, none of can say, with absolute certainty, that we know what each Scritpural passage means or that we know what God’s will is– especially for someone else — to assert that we know now. We can only say that we believe it strongly. We may all get to Heaven and say, :Woops! I guess I got a few things wrong…”

    I appreciate what you are saying, Michael. In some ways, we are saying the same things. No, we cannot know all Scriptural truth in this life. About that, we agree. And we certainly are not to be seeking God’s will for someone else’s life beyond the most obvious things common to all believers. We have enough trouble discerning His will for ourselves.

    I like what Oswald Chambers said about seeking and knowing God’s will. If we act on something not in accordance with His will, He will check us and we need to stop immediately. By staying in the Word and seeking His wisdom in prayer, we gradually find our common sense aligned with His will. The Holy Spirit convicts and I am very glad He does. I have had to change courses many times, or suffer the consequences.

    Yes, I think we’re all going to find some surprises when we get to heaven. 🙂

  259. David: “Morality is irreducible and beyond utilitarian analysis…from acting on heterosexual promiscuous urges to acting on homosexual urges.”

    OK. So whose understanding of “morality” must we live by?

  260. Debbie: “Michael, I know you have given your revised testimony before, but could you give us some insight into what it was that caused you to move from your original position to where you are now?”

    It’s a long story. Many things led me to reconsider my position. I will spare everyone the retelling, but you can read about it here: http://www.beyondexgay.com/article/busseeapology and watch it here: http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2007/06/27/482

  261. David: ” For some, it means that homosexuality should be affirmed and Scripture reframed.”

    I, for one, am not suggesting that we “reframe” Scripture, only that we grant that each of us may have a different understanding of it.

    I am also not saying that homosexuality should be “affirmed” — only that some dismiss it as broken, sinful and/or disordered up front, based on their own understanding of God and/or nature, and some do not.

    Not all homosexuality ought to be affirmed, in my opinion. Some of it is very shallow, promiscuous, unsafe and unhealthy. Of course, the same could be said of heterosexuality.

    Debbie: I have to disagree here when you say: “But we’ll have no need of knowing His will for our lives then. Such knowledge is for the here and now.”

    My point is, none of can say, with absolute certainty, that we know what each Scritpural passage means or that we know what God’s will is– especially for someone else — to assert that we know now. We can only say that we believe it strongly. We may all get to Heaven and say, :Woops! I guess I got a few things wrong…”

  262. Sexual behavior has long been regulated by the state. The question at hand is which sexual behavior….

    Revisiting the worthiness of regulating the sexual behavior of homosexuals in light of the indulgences afforded heterosexuals is quite worthy.

    Revisiting the worthiness of regulating legal relationships of homosexuals in light of the indulgences afforded heterosexuals is quite worthy.

    The tacit immoralization of heterosexual unions over the last 50 years, which has been strongly “normalized” by a strongly liberal social science (see evolutionary models, animal models, the prescence of something in a population tacitly implying it is normal or adaptive) is worth revisiting.

    Once cannot be against gay marriage without seeking to reestablish “prescientific” values about morality and heterosexual sex…in essence being against the current construction of heterosexuality by science, consumerism and subjectivism.

  263. It seems to me that some folks here (especially Debbie and Eddy) think that, in order to hold the opinion I do, I must not: (1) Trust God, (2) Believe the Bible, (3) Believe that God can do anything. Let me make it clear that I do all of those things, of as they both seem to.

    I have neither said nor think that, Michael. In fact, I said I believe you love God. I think it would have to be difficult to love Him and not trust Him, believe His Word and believe in His sovereignty.

    You guys view all SSA as “temptation” and all gay sexual behavior as “sin”. I used to believe and preach the same thing.> I do not believe this now. The way I see it, both homosexuality and heterosexuality can be used sinfully, but they don’t have to be.

    Michael, I know you have given your revised testimony before, but could you give us some insight into what it was that caused you to move from your original position to where you are now?

    That being said, NO, I do not think that we can absolutely know “God’s “good and perfect will” for us.” “What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; Then we shall see face to face. What I know now is only partial; Then it will be complete – as complete as God’s knowledge of me.”

    Until this life’s journey is over, we are called to love the brethren and be at peace. We do it imperfectly.

    We cannot absolutely know God until we see Him face to face. Until then, we can only know Him in part. But we’ll have no need of knowing His will for our lives then. Such knowledge is for the here and now. Then, we will be like Him. knowing everything, with no need of direction.

    For David:

    What to lesbians and evolution have to do with Fatherhood and homosexuality?

    LOL. Score three out of four. Lesbians (homosexual) have fathers, too. We have both men and women commenting here.

  264. Attempt 2:

    “In fact, sexual orientation is quite complex. Most likely, multiple pre-and post-natal factors are involved in different ways for different people. One size does not fit all. What this means for Christian groups, however, is the stuff of controversy. For some, it means that homosexuality should be affirmed and Scripture reframed.”

    The same can be said of heterosexual behavior…yet there are these rigid rules, to include no premarital sex, no sex outside marriage.

    We have expended similar energy in psychology to justify promiscuity and infidelity as “adaptive,” an evolutionary necessity, part if the diversity of human experience and so on….

    Morality as a good is not subject to definition by psychology as a science. Science is reductionistic and utilitatarian….once morality allows to be limited by such inquiry the conclusion is forgone.

    Morality is irreducible and beyond utilitarian analysis…from acting on heterosexual promiscuous urges to acting on homosexual urges.

  265. Carole: The lack of proper attribution was not intentional. I am sorry if I did not present your position or query accurately. I will try to be more careful.

    It seems to me that some folks here (especially Debbie and Eddy) think that, in order to hold the opinion I do, I must not: (1) Trust God, (2) Believe the Bible, (3) Believe that God can do anything. Let me make it clear that I do all of those things, of as they both seem to.

    It is possible to do #1 – #3 and still arrive at very different conclusions. I am an Ordained Presbyterian elder, well-respected in my Church. We presbyterians tend to be an opinonated and contentious lot but we grant each other the right to disagree and still be Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Near the end of every service we cunclude with a “let us say what we believe…” Here is an example:

    “We believe in the sovereignty of God in His universe, the sovereignty of Christ in salvation, the sovereignty of the Scriptures in faith, and conduct and the sovereignty of the individual conscience in the interpretation of the will and Word of God.” John Calvin

  266. @Michael,

    I think it’s always important to quote people words and thoughts accurately. Not doing so can lead to miscommunication, misunderstanding, and a break down of dialogue. I appreciate it when people strive to avoid that.

    This are my original words, the second half of a response to your pt. about masturbation:

    (I suppose that if over-population of a group was a problem, nature might have managed through adaptation to provide for a pleasurable sexual experience that did not produce more hungry mouths to feed, but from what I’ve read of evolution, that is not at all likely so never quote me on that!)

    Three things served to tell the reader this “I suppose” was NOT what I really believed or that it reflected sound evolutionary thinking: 1) the remarks were parenthetical; 2) I used italics for one clause for emphasis; 3) I specify the idea is not in accordance with evolutionary thought and said, “never quote me” to suggest I didn’t believe it. Thus, joking, silliness….

    When you quoted me later, you placed a period in my sentence where there was none, and you omitted the follow-up sentence. Leaving out some sentences in an attibution is common practice if that can be done w/out misrepresenting the content or idea or theme of someone else’s words, but it should not be done when the omission changes meaning.

    This is how you introduced my words and quoted them:

    Carole: You said: “I suppose that if over-population of a group was a problem, nature might have managed through adaptation to provide for a pleasurable sexual experience that did not produce more hungry mouths to feed.”

    A third party coming into the discussion and reading your quote of my words would have thought I believed the opposite of what I wrote and what I believe.

    At least we agree on the following which you wrote as a follow-up:

    BINGO! Could explain gayness, too, couldn’t it? But I realy don’t think either masturbation or gayness was designed as a form of population control…

    It’s good to agree on a point!

    It’s been enjoyable talking with you, and I’d like to make sure that can continue which is why the lack of proper attribution is important to me.

  267. Debbie: I must respond to this:

    “Yes, Michael, our beliefs do differ. Any knowledge or wisdom I draw from is attributable to the Holy Spirit’s illumination. It sounds arrogant, but it is not intended to be. I am a fallible human just as you are. But God’s regeneration is an amazing thing. Do you believe Romans 12:1-2? If you do, then you accept that we can be transformed by the renewing of our minds and that we can know God’s “good and perfect will” for us.”

    I also believe that what I believe has come to me through the Holy Spirit’s illumination. Guided by Scripture, the Holy Spirit and our own God-given powers or reasonging, each of us must walk according to our best understanding of God’s will and purposes for us — limited as that may be because we are all human. I am relieved that you acknowledge that you are fallible — as I am.

    Jesus said the Spirit would guide us to all truth. We don’t have “all truth” yet. So we have to pray, study and do our best to live according to what we understand — asking HIm to correct any misunderstanding — and try to be patient with each other in the meantime — giving each other a little grace….

    YES! I do believe Romans 12:1-2! I do accept that we can be transformed by the renewing of our minds!> Having Jesus as Lord and Savior has certainly transformed my life! He is still transforming it. What it has not done is make me heterosexual. And I still have not found an ex-gay male who is not SSA. It’s not that I think God can’tdo it. He can do anything! I think he doesn’t want to…

    You guys view all SSA as “temptation” and all gay sexual behavior as “sin”. I used to believe and preach the same thing.> I do not believe this now. The way I see it, both homosexuality and heterosexuality can be used sinfully, but they don’t have to be.

    I believe that both gays and straights are called to use and view their sexuality as a gift — presenting their bodies as living sacrifices. You think this cannot be done within a homosexual context. I think it can.

    That being said, NO, I do not think that we can absolutely know “God’s “good and perfect will” for us.” “What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; Then we shall see face to face. What I know now is only partial; Then it will be complete – as complete as God’s knowledge of me.”

    Not until then, Debbie. not until then.

  268. David–

    LOL!!!! I’ll take that chuckle to work with me. Seems we detoured long long ago with all the statistical banter and then found a half dozen more serious detours since then.

  269. Michael–

    We’ve discussed the kinds of things that evolution designs but, regarding the Creator, we seem to have given lip-service to the fact that He designed His creation but then avoid the actual discussion of the intents and purposes of His design. LOL. I know we disagree on some of the specifics of the design but wondered what standard, if any, we have for discussing the Creators plans and purposes. In the absence of that discussion, our only recourse is to discuss evolution only and that simply isn’t the full picture.

  270. What to lesbians and evolution have to do with Fatherhood and homosexuality?

  271. Carole: You said: “I suppose that if over-population of a group was a problem, nature might have managed through adaptation to provide for a pleasurable sexual experience that did not produce more hungry mouths to feed.”

    BINGO! Could explain gayness, too, couldn’t it? But I realy don’t think either masturbation or gayness was designed as a form of population control…

  272. Eddy: You commented that you ” keep seeing that evolution explains most everything…where does God’s design and purpose fit in? Where does it have any validity?”

    I am not sure what you are asking. I think I already answered this question. I believe that evolution is how God creates. I don’t see these two things as contradcitory or mutally exclusive.

    If there seems to be a conflict between evolution designs and what God designs, I think that is because we have limited understanding of both.

    Ultimately, God’s design is what matters.

  273. Okay, so your answer is that you found the lead premise statement to your liking. “There are numerous mechanisms….” Now, just WHAT are those mechanisms? Are you aware that only one of them, with the exception of the vague health one, is exclusively homosexual. Please go back and read them for yourself…

    The first example is represented as bisexual; the second suggests that two males might bond as the rise through the heirarchy with the purpose of reproductive success; in the third, there is a shortage of males so the females borrow a male for reproduction and then raise the offspring together; and the fourth is the one discussed here months back…where there might be family benefit from a gay uncle nurturing.

    And then, when you get to the health reasons, it seems that the evolutionary justification is that the ‘bad gene’ needs to survive to prevent the resurgence of particular diseases or conditions. So, there’s a scientific hinting that the gene is a surviving ‘fallen’ gene. LOL. I guess we should learn from those scientists how to say ‘fallen’ without tripping the outrage alarms.

    You mentioned in your first challenge to me that the article was written by a scientist. On revisiting the article, I didn’t immediately note his credentials. At the page bottom, it indicates that they welcome submissions…much like wikipedia…so that anyone could write in. To my mind, this one was clearly ‘phoned in’ but you continue to defend it. My problem is that you defend it with sarcasm and attacks rather than with logical defenses. So, you called the author a scientist in your first rebuttal to me. In fact, you suggested that it was foolish of me, a non-scientist, to challenge the statements of this scientist. Please provide your basis for your conclusion that the author is a scientist.

    Since you’ve opened the door about ‘having hunches’, I’ll share mine. I think you did a quick google to have something that ‘appeared to fit’ with this blog conversation. I think between the title and the opening sentence, you thought you had a real barn-burner. I think you are ‘blowing smoke’ now instead of answering my question about what you found significant…And, I think you introduced the link in the first place to appear to give a weight of credibility to the arguments of ‘your side’. LOL. Debbie still had that good one about the lesbian abuse rate.

  274. Eddy,

    Please provide your evidence or backing for this attack. I challenged a link that reads as gobbledygook to me and which you won’t articulate why you found it significant.

    Its just a hunch Eddy. Several times over several years on several threads you keep stating you no longer want to talk to me or that considering our history you will not read my posts or you will no longer respond to what I post – yet you go back on your word every time. I’m just struggling to figure out why. If I’m wrong with my assumption above please enlighten me as to why you keep doing this.

  275. Eddy,

    I never suggested that you said these things in this thread – but you’ve stated several times on other threads that you will stop reading my posts or stop responding to me or both – LOL. Why in the world would it matter which thread it was on??

    Now, will you be so kind and generous as to inform stupid, bigoted, stubborn and pretentious me what YOU found to be particularly significant or enlightening from that link?

    What I found “significant” in the article Eddy can be summed up in the first paragraph – it is that “There are numerous evolutionary mechanisms that might explain homosexual behaviour, which is common in many species of animals” – the author goes on to expound upon these. I’m not sure why the article or its significance to some of the discussions that have taken place on this thread is so difficult for you to grasp.

  276. Debbie: You said, “I don’t write the laws.” Thank God for that! But it seems to me that, like Eddy, that only you have the correct understanding of them. Isn’t that a tad arrogant?”

    What is missing here as those important words, “I BELIEVE”. Neither of you know God’s law, intent, design. Like me, you have your own understading of it. We may all be wrong.

    PS: So far, none of my gay relationships has required any “fittings”. We did just fine just being us. And who made you the expert on “proper gender roles”? Look back. Wasn’t too long ago that most churches wouldn’t let a woman preach. Some still don’t.

    Yes, Michael, our beliefs do differ. Any knowledge or wisdom I draw from is attributable to the Holy Spirit’s illumination. It sounds arrogant, but it is not intended to be. I am a fallible human just as you are. But God’s regeneration is an amazing thing. Do you believe Romans 12:1-2? If you do, then you accept that we can be transformed by the renewing of our minds and that we can know God’s “good and perfect will” for us.

    I’m sorry, but I don’t get your last statement about proper gender roles and women being excluded from preaching. All I was saying is that it takes a mother and father to model the essential differences between men and women as well as gender complementarity for children. Something will always be lacking otherwise.

    I am not THE author. I just follow the guidelines to the best of my ability. We’d be in a pretty wretched state — whether we were aware of it or not — if we didn’t believe we could know God’s purpose for our lives. At best, we’d be agnostics, not entirely convinced that there is no God, but seeing no proof. At the worst, we’d be atheists, cutting ourselves off from Him.

    I believe you Love Him, Michael. And in that, there is hope.

  277. Timothy, I said when I went off to find some “statistics” on lesbian domestic violence that I did not know how helpful they would be. But I was asked to make the attempt, so I did. You cannot shoot the messenger. If you have problems with the message, you’ll have to take it up with the sources.

    If you could not access the book I cited via Amazon’s Search Inside feature, I can’t help you with that. It’s linked to each person’s individual account and is a feature anyone who has ordered a new title through Amazon can access.

    An average of 17-45% is 31%, which is about where heterosexual domestic violence is said to be. But, as you can see, reporting of lesbian abuse is all over the map, and goes as high as 90% in some instances.

    So, we’re back at square one. It is getting nowhere.

    As for my statement about most lesbian relationships ending at around the two-year mark, my experience is different from yours. You might want to consider how many relationships those women you know have been in in the past. Some will likely have confirmed that statistic. Emotional dependency is an easy killer of lesbian relationships.. Each partner can suck the other dry. But there are always exceptions.

  278. Oh, and I left this out–you asked about masturbation . Well, yes, it is something humans do, and humans are the product of evolutionary selective pressures, but that doesn’t mean an action, masturbation, has been a product of selective pressures. (I suppose that if over-population of a group was a problem, nature might have managed through adaptation to provide for a pleasurable sexual experience that did not produce more hungry mouths to feed, but from what I’ve read of evolution, that is not at all likely so never quote me on that!)

    The genitalia of men and women were designed to produce kids. A powerful drive to seek sexual release resulted in a pleasurable experience. The act was so pleasurable and the drive so powerful, the act, using the genitalia, was repeated again and again, and more kids were produced. It’s not rocket science.

    Male and female alike discovered that the equipment could be used at any time to provide pleasure when self-operated, a handy side benefit. (ah, the pun was accidental).

  279. No, Jayhuck, I’m not a scientist…I’m a blogger who is reasonably intelligent and capable of grasping most common english and I admitted when I questioned you re what you found significant that it made no sense to me. See, I admitted what a dummy I am. Then, I asked you to interpret for me what I could not see. Instead of answering, you attacked me. I’ll take your answer instead.

    I did not say in this thread that I would no longer speak to you. You appear to have problems with comprehension. I said that I was engaged in a conversation with two people (Michael and Timothy) and (since your comment was obviously going to be your two cents about what was going on in at least one of those conversations) I elected not to go on the inevitable detour that you and I always seem to go on so I did not even read that comment that you directed to me. However, I did NOT say that I wasn’t going to read any of your comments. I did try to restrain myself from responding; I do find you tedious. But I found that link to fall short of even wikipedia standards. I may not be a scientist but I got an A+ in group dynamics and I still excel there. But, in any case, the tackiness of your jibe is noted. Are you inferring that only scientists may judge or comment on scientific reports or findings?

    Now, will you be so kind and generous as to inform stupid, bigoted, stubborn and pretentious me what YOU found to be particularly significant or enlightening from that link?

    I think perhaps the problem here is that you are upset that people are not engaging you at the level you wish they were so you decide that somehow attacking a legitimate article is going to get you attention – well its your luck day Eddy – because it did

    Jayhuck–what a lovely opinion and delightful and very personal attack…rife with sarcasm but avoiding answering my legitimate question. Please provide your evidence or backing for this attack. I challenged a link that reads as gobbledygook to me and which you won’t articulate why you found it significant. Does my challenge warrant your personal attack? Who the hell do you think you are?

    Michael–Instead of a dissertation on the nature of challenges, would you actually respond to my challenge. You’ve all been talking about the designs and purposes of evolution. Great. But you said you simultaneously believe in creationism. So can you elaborate on the designs and purposes of creation? I keep seeing that evolution explains most everything…where does God’s design and purpose fit in? Where does it have any validity? Does it always coincide with evolution or are their ambiguous areas? I’m guessing (but don’t know for certain) that you’ve been one of that rare breed for years (both creationist and evolutionist) so I want to learn from some of the things you’ve learned.

  280. Michael,

    I just now saw your point about male masturbation/sperm in answer to my question asking why, if SSA was selected for, would exclusively gay men have sperm. I gather you mean that perhaps nature gave gay men sperm for masturbatory purposes. First, I think that’s a real stretch in describing the function of sperm. Gay men don’t just have semen, they have sperm.

    Second, nature has managed to provide women with the clitoris for easy self-gratification, a mini-penis, actually, and it requires no fluid.

    Lesbians have eggs, menstrual cycles, damn PMS…..

  281. Darn, forgot—-

    @Tmothy

    I have a problem believing the process of evolution has produced gay men

    .

    You are absolutely right in that this sentence makes no sense. I should have proofread. It was intended to summarize my major point :

    I have a problem believing the process of evolution has selected for homosexuality.

  282. @Timothy,

    Thanks for addressing my questions. Like you say, there really isn’t a way to know the answers (ie, are gays more creative or do they tend to cluster in creative fields because those fields tend to be more accepting environments?… if they are more this or that, is it because of a combo of cultural, social reasons or because of biological reasons? etc.), but it’s interesting to ponder. Thanks for your input.

    Timothy said,

    Myopia is a disadvantage to the person afflicted. It is a maladaption, a defect, a disorder because of this. Not because it is “other” but because it disadvantages the individual.

    I differ with you here. I am not telling you anything you don’t know

    when I say that a whole lot of SSA people want to reproduce, not just have children, but reproduce–have their own eggs or sperm wind up in their biological progeny. It’s a natural desire. Only very recently in human history has it been scientifically possible to produce children w/out man/woman intercourse, and it is only possible now for the tiny percentage of SSA people who are affluent enough to afford extensive and expensive scientific aid. (One of my best friend’s husbands is a pioneer in the field of infertility and AI–just threw that in because it’s so interesting.)

    Ask anyone who wants kids and can’t have them if they are disadvantaged. We in this country might take for granted that we can adopt or that many of us can work to save money for expensive medical procedures to have our own kids–but most in the world, even huge numbers in this country, have no such access and even if they did, they haven’t the money to afford all that is required. Kids and grandkids mean an extended family that cares for parents in old age. On many levels it’s disadvantgeous to not have offspring.

    So Michael and Timothy,

    As I said, I am not wedded to a word. I used a word to express that whatever biological/physiological/chemical/psychological (HA, let’s see, what word have I left out?) mechanism(s) results in exclusive ,preferential SSA is, I believe, has not been selected for. We differ here, I realize, and that is why agreeing to a word is difficult. However, even though I know our ideas about natural selection as regards SSA differ, I don’t feel the use of the words which offend you are so necessary that I absolutely have to use any of them when I discuss things on this blog. Now that I have communicated my idea, I can simply say “orientation.” No other word will be necessary since you know my thoughts.

    One last point. I guess I forgot that neither Timothy nor Michael might have read previous posts from me. I am an agnostic. IIRC I found this blog while researching panic attacks and migraine headaches which led to my reading about PANDAS and voila–Warren’s blog. I found it interesting and stuck around.

  283. Eddy, so you are… “asking plainly, since you claim to believe in both creationism and evolution, how you weigh the designs and purposes of evolution against the designs and purposes of creation.”

    Like Jayhuck, I don’t see these as mutually exclusive. I believe that evolution is God’s paintbrush — it’s how He expresses life in all its amazing diversity. The Bible says God created. It doesn’t say how.

    I have been studying Catholicism recently. Here’s an interesting quote from the “Encyclopedia of Catholic Doctrine” edited by Russell Shaw, 1997: “The Catholic Church has never had a problem with evolution as opposed to philosophical Darwinism…unlike Luther and Calvin and modern fundamentalists, the Church has never taught that the first chapter of Genesis is meant to teach science”.

    In the same article, John Paul the Second states: “Indeed, the theory of natural evolution, understood in a sense that does not exlcude divine causality, is not in principle opposed to the truth about the creation of the visible world, as presented in the book of Genesis…”

    I am not “blind to my bias”. I am VERY biased!!! Here it as again: I do not start with the assumption that there is something wrong with gayness — as you do. I have stated this over and over and over…. You may have noticed. I posted it, plainly, earlier.

    You asked why I “challenge Carole about the possible designs and purposes of the Creator.” I am not chalending His “possible designs and purposes” — I am challenging her.

    She seems to think these things are undeniable, clear and self-evident and not a matter of her understanding — limited as all human understanding is limited — including my own. I put her bias up against mine to shake things up a bit. Would be boring if we all agreed, wouldn’t it?

    I challenge her for the same reason you challenge me — it’s an invitation to consider things from a perspective other than the one each of us seem so sure of. Isn’t that what this blog is for??

  284. Eddy,

    I think perhaps the problem here is that you are upset that people are not engaging you at the level you wish they were so you decide that somehow attacking a legitimate article is going to get you attention – well its your luck day Eddy – because it did 🙂

  285. Eddy,

    The discussion that several people were having here had to do with evolution, homosexuality and natural selection. The arguments made in the article are sound and valid, and unlike your responses, were written by an actual scientist in an international science “magazine” – LOL. Am I to understand you are a teacher of Evolution now? C+???

    BTW – I think any “objective” reader on this blog is going to notice the number of times you claim you will not respond to me anymore or read my posts anymore and then go back on your word.

  286. LOL! That link was the most laughable read I’ve had in a long long time. Seriously, can anyone here read it and tell me if it actually made any scientific point. It alluded to science a few times but never went anywhere. It dismissed an idea or two but without any credible refutation. If this were a junior high science paper, I’d grade it a C or a C+.

    Jayhuck.–

    Surely you read this before you linked it for us and you must have seen some significance to it. Can you summarize what it is that struck you that adds to or addresses the current discussion? I’ve read it three times and I get nothing but opinion with a few disconnected anecdotal references tossed in to appear scholarly.

  287. Michael asked:

    By the way Eddy, are you willing to admit that you have now met at least few gay Christians (at least here) who admit that they do not believe that bathroom sex (and the other things you mentioned) are OK with God?

    LOL. Michael evidently isn’t paying attention. I admitted on June 9 at 6:34 AM calling his the first admission. But I don’t think his question was an honest or true one anyway, just a personal dig disguised as an honest query.

    And gee, no one has responded to how heterosexual sexual and psychological abuse compares to the 51% and higher incidence among lesbians. Oh, I get it. One side only gets to make challenges and allegations while the other side has to dance to their barking. So glad these discussions are bias free.

  288. Michael–

    A more correct response to my challenge about trusting in the designs and purposes of evolution as opposed to the designs and purposes of the Creator would be for you to elaborate on what designs and purposes an intelligent, compassionate Creator would possibly have. Instead you make assumptions and challenges about what I believe and assertions that I’ve been heavy handed in pushing my point of view.

    LOL. I’ve been pretty much out of this trainwreck of a discussion for a day or two…and prior to that I was NOT being heavy-handed with my beliefs…so I feel you are way out of line. There’s been a lot of that going on…’your side’ feeling that it has the right to challenge and nitpick at every word and every nuance and then never feeling the responsibility to answer for your own words or attitudes.

    So, here it is. You claim to believe in both creationism (it has a definition that includes an intelligent Creator–and you also profess a belief in the same Creator that I do and in His Son–for the Creator to dispatch His Son to earth to redeem His creation…wow, there were certainly designs and purposes that needed redemption!!!!!)…I simply wonder why you can acknowledge designs and purproses in evolution but then challenge Carole about the possible designs and purposes of the Creator. It didn’t seem that you were arguing about a difference of opinion on what that Creator’s designs were but rather that the designs and purposes of evolution held more merit. Instead of an honest responsive comment, I got an unfounded attack. That dodge won’t work here. I’m asking plainly, since you claim to believe in both creationism and evolution, how you weigh the designs and purposes of evolution against the designs and purposes of creation.

    Your apology from a post or two later is essentially meaningless to me since I haven’t stated anything in a dogmatic way…whether it was something I believed or knew. I have clearly shared opinions only and none went to pronouncement of points of faith or belief. In fact, my major involvement in this discussion was only in the discussion of bias and how it plays into and detracts from our discussions. After that, I tossed in a one liner or two about the direction of the conversation…NOTHING shouting my beliefs…only the expression that ‘searching for cause’ (yes, which comes from my bias) can’t yet be ruled out and that I think you have a strong bias that you are very blind to. BUT I was NOT pushing my POV over yours; I was very clearly just fighting for equal time and respect in the discussion. I think that’s very obvious to any objective reader…lol, unfortunately, objective readers are in short supply here.

  289. But it sounds like there’s more faith in the designs and purposes of evolution than in the designs and purposes of the Creator.

    I don’t see that faith in God and evolution are two mutually exclusive concepts – I think a good many Christians would agree with me.

  290. Debbie,

    Imagine two lesbians PMSing at the same time. Not pretty. Heck, even my daughters and I have had some crazy moments living under the same roof as menstrual cycles tend to become synchronized.

    I’ll do you one better. Imagine a sorority house full of PMSing women.

    Yet I’ve no evidence that there are greater instances of violence in either sorority houses or in lesbian relationships. So lets please avoid making statements that just assume the worst about lesbians (or sorority girls, for that matter).

    I do know that many lesbian relationships tend to fizzle out at about the two-year mark, although there are exceptions to that as in everything. So, stability is not a hallmark of such pairings.

    I am amazed that you “know” such a thing. I certainly don’t “know” this to be true. In fact, I can’t think of a single lesbian relationship that has ended around the two-year mark. Based on my experiences, I “know” that lesbian relationships last for decade after decade, often until death. I also “know” this to be true of heterosexual relationships even though any statistic on divorce would prove me wrong.

    But neither my “knowing” or your “knowing” is useful in this conversation. We should turn to objective sources.

    Debbie, please consider the “facts” you declare. They appear to be wrong more often than not. If you are unsure, just google.

    But googling doesn’t give you right to mislead or deceive. Consider, for example, the quote you used here:

    Sexual abuse by a woman partner has been reported by up to 50% of lesbians (12).

    Psychological abuse has been reported as occurring at least one time by 24% to 90% of lesbians (1,5,6,11,14).

    That is selective cut and paste. And sadly, it does not appear to have been intended to provide understanding but rather to try and make a point.

    This same sheet also tells us “About 17-45% of lesbians report having been the victim of a least one act of physical violence perpetrated by a lesbian partner.” I don’t know about you, but I find quite a bit of space between 17%, 24%, 45%, 50%, and 90%.

    And you left out the most important sentence on that sheet.

    Violence appears to be about as common among lesbian couples as among heterosexual couples

    Cherry-picking is not the way in which we engage in conversation. Responsible people who are trying to engage look at the totality of the article. Otherwise we end up like Scott Lively.

    I was unable to read the source of your claim of 51 and 30 percents. Can you please provide a link?

    Eddy is assuming that the your statistics are correct. He laughs and want to discuss. I’ll avoid the laughing and instead ask you to provide substantiation.

    I find it distasteful when those who participate here assume, without any provocation or support, the absolute worst about gay people. Someone said it somewhere so it must be true. This is, folks, a bias. And negative biases are – well – a word that will just rile folks up if I use it.

    If it’s true then I accept it. But not without support.

    Fair enough?

  291. Carole,

    I certainly would agree with you that SSA persons have contributed to the world. The “condition” or “disorder” (I admit I don’t like the word) causes no problems in health or cognition. It is not an illness but neither is my myopia an “illness.”

    Myopia is a disadvantage to the person afflicted. It is a maladaption, a defect, a disorder because of this. Not because it is “other” but because it disadvantages the individual. And adaptation that increased visual accuity would similarly be unakin to the template of Nature, but it would not be seen as an abnormality or an “illness”.

    Homosexuality is not by necessity a disadvantage to the person who experiences it. The maladaption or disorder is observed only by those who define homosexuality, de facto, as a negative. It could as easily, for the individual, be an advantage in the way that increased visual ability might be.

    Each must be measured by their advantages or disadvantages, not by external assuptions based on non-conformity.

    For example, I could determined that left-handedness is peculiar and therefore a deformity. But if of itself it did not result in physical disadvantages, it would only be an anomoly rather than a defect.

    On the other hand, an attribute like albinism does come with a host of physical disadvantages that define the condition as a maladaption. However, it is not the appearance that so makes it a defect – or my reaction or rejection – but eye diseases brought on by a lack of melanin. Were there no measurable disadvantages, then albinism would be peculiar, other, unique, and odd but not a defect.

    Unless we can also identify specific disadvantages that result directly from the attribute of homosexuality then we are discussing an anomoly like left-handedness or green eyes, not a defect like albinism.

    I do have three questions, however: 1) Do you think they would not have been contributors of equal quality had they been heterosexual?

    Because there is such a strong correlation, because so many of the significant contributors to society were what we would call gay today, it’s hard to discount.

    Would Di Vinci, Tesla, Turing, or Newton have contributed in such measure if they were happily married men? I doubt it.

    I know that I would be a very different person were I heterosexual.

    2) Why do you say, in essense, their contribution or ability to “improve” the world of others is of a magnitude you categorize as “disproportionate?”

    Because SSA folk are only in the single digits of population percentage. Yet when compiling a list of remarkable contributors to the advancement of thought, the number of non-heterosexuals is astonishing. And the specific contributions are not insignificant or marginal.

    It’s only partly a joke to say that if you got rid of all the gays and Jews in history, you’d be cooking your dinner over a campfire.

    3) What traits or characteristics or qualities do you think people with SSA possess that make them able to contribute in the way you describe?

    I don’t think we’ve yet figured that out.

    Perhaps it was nontraditional family goals and structure, perhaps it was nonconformity to standard thought, perhaps it was redirection of urges. I’ve heard the argument that the “father” of various sciences and schools of thought tend to be men without children; they are creating their own progeny.

    But I don’t know. I do know, however, that if you erased from history all persons who were predominantly same-sex attracted that the world would be a very different place.

    I guess the simplest way to ask is, “What would be lost if fifty or a hundred years from now, homosexuality was non-existent or almost so?” Are we talking culture here or something else?

    Personally, I am not one of those who is horrified at the idea that there might be a future in which orientation was preidentified and all persons were heterosexual. I don’t think there’s a moral necessity for homosexuality that would be violated by such a society.

    But I do suspect (it’s a guess) that there is some side effect (at it were) of homosexuality that so benefits society as a whole that it is biologically advantageous to those genetic pools in which it is retained. I think that perhaps there would be stagnation and a overall reduction to creativity.

    I think on some level this is recognized in industry.

    I used to live in San Jose, the heart of the Silicon Valley. And long before there were corporate or state-wide non-discrimination policies, the Silicon Valley created a culture that was welcoming – even enticing – to gay people. They were among the first companies to offer partner benefits.

    It wasn’t accidental. It was because they recognized that there seemed to be a creative spark that was more evident in SSA people.

    Now this all is observation and speculation. I can’t substantiate that gay people are “more creative” or that a future without them would be stagnant. But I think it is true.

    Finally,

    I have a problem believing the process of evolution has produced gay men.

    This is, of itself, an impossible sentence. It’s much like saying that the process of evolution has not created Polynesians or Polar Bears. There may not be much evolutionary advantage to being either of these things, but if one believes that all that is was created by an evolutionary process, then by definition evolution has produced Polynesians, polar bears, and gay men.

    Evolutionary process is not limited to the replication of strings of DNA. Were that the case, it would have stopped at ameobae.

  292. Debbie and Eddy: Rereading your posts, I see that you do both admit that these things are only what you believe and NOT what you know. Sorry to accuse you of speaking for God.

  293. Debbie: You said, “Michael, I think those (bonding, attachment, affection, pleasure,) are designed serendipities of sex.?”

    See this is major split in our thinking. I think of sex as secondary to those things and not the other way around.

  294. Debbie: You said, “I don’t write the laws.” Thank God for that! But it seems to me that, like Eddy, that only you have the correct understanding of them. Isn’t that a tad arrogant?”

    What is missing here as those important words, “I BELIEVE”. Neither of you know God’s law, intent, design. Like me, you have your own understading of it. We may all be wrong.

    PS: So far, none of my gay relationships has required any “fittings”. We did just fine just being us. And who made you the expert on “proper gender roles”? Look back. Wasn’t too long ago that most churches wouldn’t let a woman preach. Some still don’t.

  295. By the way Eddy, are you willing to admit that you have now met at least few gay Christians (at least here) who admit that they do not believe that bathroom sex (and the other things you mentioned) are OK with God?

  296. Not at all Eddy: “But it sounds like there’s more faith in the designs and purposes of evolution than in the designs and purposes of the Creator.”

    I trust the Creator. I just don’t happen to agree with your opinions of what those “designs and purposes”, based on your human undersdtanding, are. You seem so certain that only your interpreation of the Bible is the correct one. Do you have a hotline to God?

  297. Carole: You seem to be asserting that the only sexual behavior that is not disordered, maladaptive or anomalous is heterosexual behavior that leads to offspring. I simply don’t buy this. Attachment, bonding, affection, pleasure — all of these are legitimate and “adaptive” functions of sex.

    Michael, I think those are designed serendipities of sex, and that its primary designed function is procreation. But, that’s just the way I see it. I don’t write the laws. Many good things are perverted and distorted by the Enemy of our souls.

    I believe He cares HOW we love (in terms of the quality of that love) and not WHO.

    I am quite certain God meant for us to have deeply meaningful same-sex friendships. He calls these one form of love. I also feel certain He meant for the family structure to be based on male-female marriage. Anything else is a counterfeit, requiring adaptive “fittings,” if you will, and ill-suited to model proper gender roles.

    I accept that we have to agree to disagree about these things.

  298. But it sounds like there’s more faith in the designs and purposes of evolution than in the designs and purposes of the Creator.

  299. By the way, I believe in BOTH creationism and evolution. Just like I believe it is possible to be both Christian and gay.

  300. Carole: You seem to be asserting that the only sexual behavior that is not disordered, maladaptive or anomalous is heterosexual behavior that leads to offspring. I simply don’t buy this. Attachment, bonding, affection, pleasure — all of these are legitimate and “adaptive” functions of sex.

    Consider this: “Sexual behavior has developed other functions besides reproduction. Bonobos offer a striking example: In this species, much sex takes place when the female is incapable of becoming pregnant, or between individuals of the same sex. Bonobo sex is directed not only toward reproduction, but also toward the avoidance or resolution of conflicts and the establishment of social bonds.” — Human Sexuality, 3rd eddtion, Levay and Bladwin.

    I suspect your attitude is not based on evolutionary biology alone. It sounds more like a religious prejudice to me, since I have pointed out other forms of sexual expression that are very common and do serve an adaptive purpose. Even heterosexual sex does not always lead to offspring — by choice or not. Is all non-reproductive sex somehow broken or maladaptive?

    Debbie wants top call it a “handicap”, but is it the homosexuality that is “handicapping”– or is it the social and relious pressures brought against gay people for decades???

    So Debbie, NO. I cannot “place SSA on the same plane as we do various handicaps people are born with“. It is not a “deformity, infirmity or condition”. That is your bias based on your belief that only your interpretation of the BIble is the correct one.

    You have every right to believe that only straight sex is OK with God and to question “why God would design this (homosexuality) when it is so contrary to His stated plans for mankind. “Male and female He made them. … and the two shall become one flesh.”

    The way I see it, those are indeed his stated plans for reproduction. Those may not be the only things he had in mind when he gave gays and straights their sexual parts and desires. I believe He cares HOW we love (in terms of the quality of that love) and not WHO. I also believe that the Golden Rule provides real guidance as to how both heterosexuality and homosexuality should be used.

    The discussion of the etiology of homosexuality is offensive to many gay folk, like myself, because it seems to very frequently stem from a pre-supposition that heterosexuality ir psychologically and morally superior to homosexuality. I know you guys believe that. As a Christian gay man, I do not. I have reconciled my spirituality and sexuality. We will just have to agree to disagree.

  301. @Michael,

    I respect your religious beliefs even if I do not share them. It’s hard for both you and I to talk about etiology when I am talking evolution and you are talking God’s choice/will.

    If we do talk evolution and exclusively gay men (and by “gay men” I mean men who have to jump through emotional/mental hoops to achieve intercourse with a woman and even then some cannot) then I have a problem believing the process of evolution has produced gay men. However, I concede there is indeed much we do not yet know. One never knows when new information and a new explanation will be offered that might make sense.

    Would there be a particular reason that some gays prefer to believe that evolution itself has not produced exclusive preferential homosexuality? Why are other possible etiologies considered taboo to some?

  302. You asked: “What do you think is being selected for by homosexuality if indeed you believe it to be a product of evolution?” I actually think God created a lot of these difference for His own pleasure. He is the God of variety.

    Well, I can see why some would feel that way about homosexuality, Michael. But then we’d have to question why God would design this when it is so contrary to His stated plans for mankind. “Male and female He made them. … and the two shall become one flesh.” Try as I may, I can’t reconcile designed gayness with the Scriptures.

    I can accept the SSA condition in the manner in which you described it earlier: an anomaly (I’d add an unexplained one) without value judgments. Can we place SSA on the same plane as we do various handicaps people are born with? For the sake of discussion, at least? Some people do not see certain deformities, infirmities or conditions (inborn or acquired) as handicaps. I don’t think of SSA as a “disorder,” in the DSM school because not all gays have hindered functioning because of their gayness. But some do (I did), which means they may see it as an “infirmity.” I think of that as more of a spiritual term, don’t you?

    I’d be more inclined to say God allows for homosexuality just as He does for other conditions we’d call anomalies outside the observable norm. There is also the “thorn in the flesh” concept that some believe applies here. Is SSA something meant to draw us closer to God and His mercy? I think that is possible. That’s the net effect it had in my life.

    It’s hard to nail down the proper terminology here.

  303. And consider this. Male masturbation is ubiquitous. For most, it involves a fuilly functioning sperm delivery system. Many other animals do it too. http://news.softpedia.com/news/Do-Animals-Masturbate-44324.shtml

    Such behavior does not produce children, but we would not consider it a “disorder” or “malaptation” — would we? It is certainly not an “anomaly”.

    So maybe we should ask: “What do you think is being selected for by masturbation if indeed you believe it to be a product of evolution?”

  304. One more point. You asked: “Why has that process of evolution given men with no interest in women healthy sperm and the anatomical apparatus to deliver that sperm?”

    Who knows? Maybe so we could have kids if we wanted them. We were given the capacity to have children. Not everyone wants to.

  305. Carole: My point is that not all “anomalies” are “disorders”. Some are, some aren’t. Not all “anomalies” are detrimental to reproduction. Some are, some aren’t. Nature is loaded with differences — actually more diferrences than sameness. Look around. Snowflakes, fingerprints, galaxies, people…

    You asked: “What do you think is being selected for by homosexuality if indeed you believe it to be a product of evolution?” I actually think God created a lot of these difference for His own pleasure. He is the God of variety.

    As to “What is being selected?” I think it’s just another example of human bonding, affection and caring — alll of which enhance our survival. We make too much of those attributes that to do with reproduction only and tend to think of anything that does not lead to offspring as broke, disordered or bad.

  306. Michael,

    What do you think is being selected for by homosexuality if indeed you believe it to be a product of evolution? (The female fecundity hypothesis is out there and offered an interesting possibility until recently when it has been scrutinized more carefully.) And, if female fecundity was the evolutionary trade-off for men who did not reproduce in high enough numbers to “pay their way” then why hasn’t evolution worked to get rid of sperm in gay men or at least make their sperm ineffective which is what one would expect from an evolutionary strategy that worked to produce gay men in a trade-off for more fecundity in females.

    Attachment and bonding are what keep groups, families, friends and cultures together — increasing survival chances for the group through mutual connections and cooperation. Nature designed way more heterosexuals than we need to keep the race going

    .

    For a time, the hypothesis about gay uncles paying their evolutionary way by taking care of the nieces and nephews, the tribe, etc. got great press, but was discounted as absurd by evolutionary biologists who did the math (not even higher math is required). It’s not even close to being possible. It’s the kind of thing a pop journalist writes in a science puff piece.

    And not wanting to mate with a woman does not necessarily mean impairment of functioning — unless one wants to and can’t.

    You are talking about personal motivation and goals and satisfaction and such. I am talking about evolutionary strategy–apples and oranges. The basic question arising from your statement that “not wanting to mate with a woman does not necessarily mean impairment of function” is this: “If homosexuality is a result of evolutionary selection, then why has that process of evolution given men with no interest in women healthy sperm and the anatomical apparatus to deliver that sperm?” Why have gay men not developed anatomically differently, in other words? (The penis might still be of use for sexual gratification, but what of the sperm?)

    Have you considered that non-OSA could be the result of something other than evolution? Is that at all in the realm of possibility for you?

  307. @Jayhuck

    Carole,

    In the way you use the word disorder, almost any minority might fit your definition: African American, Asian, etc..

    I am unclear about what you mean here. Clarify and I’ll try to respond.

  308. The whole blackmail (threats to out one’s partner) thing does make LGBT domestic abuse different from straight violence in one significant way. There are also reasons why lesbians or gays would be reluctant to report the abuse as it would be, essentially, outing themselves. Also, the level of DV community care is not the same as for straights because of the stigma. I think you will find slightly higher figures for LGBT domestic violence, which may be skewed low because of the lack of reporting.

  309. Do we need to get into the volatility of straight relationships where BOTH men and women can be the cause of the violence?

    Yes, let’s do that and compare it to the statistics Debbie provided re lesbian sexual and psychological abuse.

    LOL. The implied intent of the quote is to suggest, as always, that ‘it’s just the same’ among the heteros. Let’s discuss whether that’s true or not.

  310. Gayness may actually be an adaptation – just another form of human bonding and attachment

    I can conditionally accept the word “anomaly” because it only denotes a difference from the norm, something unique and not easily classified, and is clearer of value judgments.

    I think most of us can accept both of these statements.

  311. Carole:

    ” I did say that I felt that a male disinterested, unwilling, or unable to mate with the opposite sex did indeed have something not working as designed.”

    Not necessarily. Maybe homosexuals are working as they were designed. Maybe we are not all intended, by God or nature, to be straight.

    You suggested “maladaptation” as a substitute for “disorder” which does carry the sense of “illness”. No. Maladaptation doesn’t work either. Gayness may actually be an adaptation — just another form of human bonding and attachment — and as John Bowlby suggested, these drives may actually supercede procreation.

    Attachment and bonding are what keep groups, families, friends and cultures together — increasing survival chances for the group through mutual connections and cooperation. Nature designed way more heterosexuals than we need to keep the race going.

    And not wanting to mate with a woman does not necessarily mean impairment of functioning — unless one wants to and can’t.

    I can conditionally accept the word “anomaly” because it only denotes a difference from the norm, something unique and not easily classified, and is clearer of value judgements.

  312. After about two years – all couples in a romantic relationship will begin to change . The brain chemicals change. And the stary eyed lovers begin to regain their senses.

  313. Debbie,

    I do know that many lesbian relationships tend to fizzle out at about the two-year mark, although there are exceptions to that as in everything. So, stability is not a hallmark of such pairings.

    If you’re going to throw around things like this, please back them up with data!

    And surely you know that not all women experience PMS in the same way – there is a spectrum for that experience as there is in so many other things. Not all women experience it to the extent it seems you do.

    Do we need to get into the volatility of straight relationships where BOTH men and women can be the cause of the violence?

  314. Carole,

    In the way you use the word disorder, almost any minority might fit your definition: African American, Asian, etc..

    There does seem to be a design, no?

    Oh yes, I agree Carole – and gay sexual expression is part of that design 😉

  315. This is why domestic violence in lesbian relationships can be so ugly.

    Now now, Debbie, we agreed to play nice. 🙂

    I quickly googled the stats on lesbian domestic violence and it does not appear to be more or less common or more or less “ugly” than heterosexual relationships.

    There is a difference. Generally in hetero relationships it is a man doing the violence and in lesbian relationships its a woman. But I can’t find anything that shows that a lesbian is more abusive or severe in her abuse than a man.

    Do you have a source for that position?

    I truly wasn’t trying to be naughty with that statement, but rather I was pointing out that emotional volatility in women can lead to some horrific confrontations between them when you also throw in the romantic element. Men are more physical in nature, but women can be set off more easily. Both can have fits of jealousy, of course. Imagine two lesbians PMSing at the same time. Not pretty. Heck, even my daughters and I have had some crazy moments living under the same roof as menstrual cycles tend to become synchronized. Don’t know if that happens with all cohabiting women, but it does with mothers and daughters.

    I don’t have statistics at my fingertips, but I will check. They may or not be meaningful. I have seen isolated reports. Such violence isn’t always reported.

    I do know that many lesbian relationships tend to fizzle out at about the two-year mark, although there are exceptions to that as in everything. So, stability is not a hallmark of such pairings.

  316. FYI, as requested …

    The National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center at the University of Missouri, St. Louis

    (http://www.musc.edu/vawprevention/lesbianrx/factsheet.shtml) reports:

    Sexual abuse by a woman partner has been reported by up to 50% of lesbians (12).

    Psychological abuse has been reported as occurring at least one time by 24% to 90% of lesbians (1,5,6,11,14).

    In addition, a unique element for lesbians is the homophobic environment that surrounds them (4,10,14). This enables the abusive partner to exert “heterosexist control” over the victim by threatening to “out” the victim to friends, family, or employer or threatening to make reports to authorities that would jeopardize child custody, immigration, or legal status. The homophobic environment also makes it difficult for the victim to seek help from the police, victim service agencies, and battered women’s shelters.

    The numbers represent footnotes for their sources.

    Also, Intimate Betrayal: Domestic Violence in Lesbian Relationships

    by Ellyn Kaschak (2002) says on pages 109-110 (from an Amazon.com search) that up to 51 percent of lesbians report some form of abuse (verbal, physical, emotional, sexual) from a partner. The average for heterosexuals is about 30 percent.

  317. @ Michael,

    I am not wedded to the word disorder.I did say that I felt that a male disinterested, unwilling, or unable to mate with the opposite sex did indeed have something not working as designed. As that is a very long phrase to keep repeating, I reached for a single word–disorder.

    However, unlike you, I guess I didn’t think of the baggage that comes with that word. Thinking about it now, I realize that those of the gay community would tie the word to the old days when homosexuality was called a mental illness. I was thinking of the word strictly in the sense of its root and its prefix. For example, I don’t think of my myopia as an illness but rather as the negation of what nature coded or tried to code for me.

    So, another word is fine. Someone before suggested maladaptation, which works for the evolutionary biologists (for most or at least many of them) but not for some on this blog. Another suggested anomaly. I am not insistent on a word except that when I express my thoughts, I’d like to choose a word that suggests what I think–that homosexuality is not the result of evolutionary adaptation.

    As for suffering–no, I don’t think that in an unbiased world, the grown gay man or woman must necessarily suffer. I tend to think that children (most of them) probably will IF they appear effeminate or IF they feel different inside (as many say they do.) That can be a subject for another time.

    However, I didn’t use disorder to suggest suffering. I have a friend who has only one kidney. It’s a birth defect, a disorder of formation. She didn’t even know it until she had a hysterectomy and the doctor told her what they saw. She has never “suffered” from this, yet she was told it was a disorder. I have the disorder of mal-alignment of some discs, yet have been lucky to have no pain, no suffering. It’s called a disorder. I don’t think all disorders suggest suffering.

    I suppose one day when the root of heterosexuality and homosexuality are understood, our language will be precise.

    Yes, I know you have children. You have also pointed out that it was difficult for you to be a husband to your wife especially when you and she were intimate, that it took a huge toll on you and her. Like millions of gay men before you, you tried to live the straight life, and I am sure you are a proud, loving father to your kids. There are other gay men who can’t or couldn’t get as far as you did, from what I understand, and really, all I was trying to point out was that if someone has to coerce himself, trick himself by using fantasy in order to perform, then function is really not working well, considering the emotional toll.

  318. Carole: The way I understand it, in order for something to rightly be considered a “disorder”, it (1) must cause sufferingfor the one “afflicted” and/or (2) must cause loss of an important area (or areas) of functioning.

    Not all gays suffer as a result of being gay, and those who do are most likely experiencing the suffering that comes from being in the minority — the target anti-gay sentiments and actions– people telling them they are “disordered”, or being rejected for being gay, for example.

    And not all gays experience a lost of functioning — socially, occupationally, interpersonally, biologically, etc. Biologically, most can and many do produce children, as I have. In the other realms of functioning I mentioned, the loss may again be largely attributed to social prejudice against gay people, not by something “disordered” about being gay itself

    That ffact that something (such as gayness) is different, or occours less frequently in nature does not, in and of itself, mean that something is “disordered”. That’s a value judgement, a reflection of your own beliefs, and not a fact.

  319. Jayhuck said,

    You do seem to imply a design, which in turn seems to suggest a designer

    HAHA. Yes, forgive me, but I do see a design–a vagina, a penis (which let’s face it fits pretty darned well into that vagina), all the “natural” lubrication that intercourse requires for a certain pleasure and ease, lots of sperm (for what, if not for impregnation? ) and —well, you get the picture. There does seem to be a design, no?

  320. Some points…

    It hasn’t been until the last few decades that researchers have gone about searching for the physical key(s) to sexual attraction. Years ago, the search for explanations were confined to the field of psychology and from that field’s interest in homosexuality.

    Evan, I think that the answer will not be as complicated as you think. A lot of hormonal research has been done, but as for looking for a crucial population of neurons and neurotransmitters– no one has actually gone about methodically looking for such cells and the neurochemicals they produce. There are practical reasons, of course. One can hardly say to a parent, “Hey, can I borrow your kid, put him/her in the hospital, and do a little probing of his brain? And, can I do it again and again as he or she grows up?” New technologies have made the brain the next frontier. Every day there is a new discovery. We are embarking on a new age, and sexual attraction is but one thing out of hundreds that will be explored in new ways.

    Timothy said to my post,

    The problem I see with your position is that it anthropomorphizes nature. It assumes sentience and intent and planning – a form of intelligent design, if you will – that has little practical difference from a diety.

    If one assume that Nature intends, or designs, or plans, then it is logical to assume that something is not according to Natures Plan. Just as one might assume that it is not according to God’s Plan. It is just an appeal to a theology of sorts.

    However, if we assume that by “design” you mean a naturally occuring phenominon that is not guided by some sentient direction but occurs as the consequence of reproductive selection, then I think your idea of homosexuality as a “disorder” doesn’t stand to inspection.

    I think it’s accurate and fair to say in layman’s terms, Timothy, that for each species, nature has a “template” it has followed since the organism has survived. Selection tweaks the template and the selection pressures are modified depending on the environment.

    My explanation may have given you the idea I have given nature human or godly abilities in choice-making, but I don’t think I have at all. Badly adapted organisms die and don’t reproduce. Well-adapted organisms survive and pass on their genes. That is what nature does–if that’s anthropomorphizing, then…okay–it’s just a word.

    As for variations–well, there are indeed all kinds of variations, yes. And, of course, anything that happens in nature can be loosely termed “natural, ” simply because it does indeed occur, but that hardly gets us anywhere in understanding something, does it? Being tall is a function of “nature” and is thus, “natural,” but it tells us nothing about why that person is tall and those around him are less so. An intolerance to gluten or milk tells us about a natural occurrence, natural in that it exists, but saying it’s “natural” tells us nothing about why it occurs in some –and it doesn’t mean that because it occurs it is ” intended” or that it is “natural.” Same for an inability to use carbs efficiently–we cannot say that because such a thing exists for so many, it must be “natural” and have that mean anything of substance.

    As for homosexuality in the world of nature, I have read conflicting things here. Some argue that homosexuality abounds in the animal kingdom while others argue that while same-sex pair bonding is not uncommon, these animals which often seem to be “pals” and sometimes appear to be trying to mate with each other also attempt to mate with members of the opposite sex. In the world of mammals, I have read it’s not common that healthy males do not attempt to mate with females in their natural environments –except sheep.

    To Michael and Timothy– yes, nature often produces beautiful flowers of certain hues and sometimes those rare and beautiful hues exist only on sterile flowers. Often the hue is produced by lack of potassium, but the flower is beautiful, a delight. That flower never has offspring for it lacks the equipment and attracts no pollinators–it can never ensure the existence of flowers like itself. For that, it must rely upon the survival of the other male and female flowers that produced it, and for the serendipidous lack of potassium that gave it that color. Is this natural? In that it occurs, of course. Did nature’s template work? Depends on how you look at it. A beautiful flower —but an infertile one. An infertile one—but a beautiful one.

    I look to form and function. The hummingbird’s bill is shaped as it is for a reason; the scrubjay’s as well. As far as I know gay men have not only a penis in working order, but healthy sperm as well. It would be a rare evolutionary occurrence/strategy that gave human males a penis with healthy sperm if the sperm were of no use. It’s one of many reasons I don’t think homosexuality is the result of an evolutionary strategy.

    Timothy said,

    I think that even the most casual of glances at the contributions to society by persons who were same-sex attracted suggests that such evidence on its own could support the idea that SSA persons disproportionately improve the world of their non-SSA neighbors. I can’t think of a field of human contribution in which at least one of the giants was not heterosexual.

    I certainly would agree with you that SSA persons have contributed to the world. The “condition” or “disorder” (I admit I don’t like the word) causes no problems in health or cognition. It is not an illness but neither is my myopia an “illness.”

    I do have three questions, however: 1) Do you think they would not have been contributors of equal quality had they been heterosexual? I do understand that with some, say someone like Oscar Wilde–his writings may have been entirely different had he not been gay, but would he have still been talented had he been hetero, or do you think there is a relationship between homosexuality and cognition/artistry? 2) Why do you say, in essense, their contribution or ability to “improve” the world of others is of a magnitude you categorize as “disproportionate?” 3) What traits or characteristics or qualities do you think people with SSA possess that make them able to contribute in the way you describe? ( I asked this of someone before on this blog and got no response. I’d be very interested in your answer. In the 1970s we heard from the emerging gay movement that it was really “just about sex–about what went on in the privacy of one’s bedroom.” It’s clear decades later that it is not just about sex.)

    I guess the simplest way to ask is, “What would be lost if fifty or a hundred years from now, homosexuality was non-existent or almost so?” Are we talking culture here or something else?

    Thanks for the discussion.

  321. @carole

    I’m sure there never will be one good enough… But then, it’s mostly women who studied women.

    So that’d be the closest to expertise-level. 😀

  322. Carole,

    I too see in your talk about nature, something that borders on the theological. You do seem to imply a design, which in turn seems to suggest a designer – and it seems as if you’ve simply replaced the word sinful (which means to miss the mark) with disordered. It is just an interesting observation.

    You say that you don’t believe nature to have designed you to be myopic, but it in fact did do that very thing. I’m beginning to understand how and why you view homosexuality as a disorder, but , at least in the way you describe your position, it doesn’t sound all that different from the conservative Christian viewpoint.

  323. About women…

    Perhaps they’ve not yet designed an instrument that can measure our sexual arousal in complete terms. Was it supposed to be news that we are not as simple as men in that area?????? Duh. LOL.

  324. TImothy Kincaid,

    On the stress-aggression-sex connection… It’s present all throughout nature, from lizzards to mammals.

    Many folks refer to bonobos as examples of primate homosexuality. But humans’ closest evolutionary relatives are the chimpanzees, which are not bi/homosexual, actually they’re not so interested in sex.

    Bonobos are weird. When they approach a source of food, apparently they know that they are going to get into a fight for the resources so they first have sex and then calmly proceed to eat. This type of behaviour has been, though, observed in other species too, in which individuals use sex to defuse possible aggressive displays before they actually start. We don’t see that in humans, which doesn’t make bonobos’ behaviours more intelligible, doesn’t it?

  325. Debbie Thurman said:

    All the SSA women I have known say the same thing. This is why domestic violence in lesbian relationships can be so ugly. Women are emotional creatures.

    I thought lesbian relationships are more stable than gay men’s ones. From what you’re saying there’s a lot of rock’n’roll involved to keep the boat afloat.

  326. Timothy Kincaid,

    I usually start the reasoning from the available research. This is what debate is for: starting from known facts and proceeding to connect the dots by developing new ideas. It’s what I like about research on the brain: getting to know the hardware like knowing how a car works. So I’m going to do some speculation, inasmuch as it’s practical to do it. Feel free to bring counter-arguments to a certain point, like “most gay men do not prefer passive sex roles.” There is some research that says they do. The same with stress susceptibility, patterns of arousal, aggression and competitiveness. I don’t want to bore anyone again with “the studies”, but there are empirical studies for each. If anyone is in dire need of these studies… I can trace them again or refer to the topics where they’ve been debated before.

    Well now there’s a leap.

    It’s not the only one. I have many ideas and they compete for who gets first into writing so arguments may sometimes jump from women’s stress response to them being more impressed by or feel more secure around larger men.

    The brain feminization theory… -Gay men’s female-like brain patterns in areas that manage stress make that idea tenable. There’s no evidence that parenting or peer relations specifically disrupt amygdala development, but there is evidence that trauma can.

    Or Gerber strained peas.

    I’d seriously consider the bogeyman from under the bed. Don’t look…

  327. This is why domestic violence in lesbian relationships can be so ugly.

    Now now, Debbie, we agreed to play nice. 🙂

    I quickly googled the stats on lesbian domestic violence and it does not appear to be more or less common or more or less “ugly” than heterosexual relationships.

    There is a difference. Generally in hetero relationships it is a man doing the violence and in lesbian relationships its a woman. But I can’t find anything that shows that a lesbian is more abusive or severe in her abuse than a man.

    Do you have a source for that position?

  328. The pieces don’t seem to fit together according to the brain hormonisation theory, otherwise gay men would be just aroused by women as straight women are.

    Well now there’s a leap.

    It looks like sex in the brain is filtered by other stuff, maybe something to do with gender identity or something shaped by parenting, peer relations, the stress-aggression nexus.

    Or Gerber strained peas.

    As for the rest of it, with due respect it seems based more on gender stereotypes than on study or evidence. I’m not saying you are wrong, but it appears to be a lot of guessing.

  329. Orientation in women might have more to do with emotional connection than sexual arousa

    Oh, I believe it absolutely does. I had several strong emotional “affairs” with women that were not sexual, but could have been. All the SSA women I have known say the same thing. This is why domestic violence in lesbian relationships can be so ugly. Women are emotional creatures.

    It’s likely that the new school exaggerates in order to make a point and assert itself, and there still is some relevance to the mostly-female state of the neutral foetus, ie nature needs a lot more biological pull to create a man than a woman,

    Very interesting.

  330. Deebie; I believe you. You are the one and only one so far. Maybe you will have some in the future. Maybe not. Who knows? Maybe a woman’s sexual attractions are more fluid… Now I will have to say that I have never met a male ex-gay who is not SSA.

    And by the way, like you, I think God can do anything. I just think that, for some reason, he chooses not to make male ex-gays without SSA. Some find that their SSA is less intense and less frequent. Some continue to have SSA just as before, but choose not to act on it.

    Some develop some feelings towards women, Some develop OSA for just one woman. Some have only SSA and some were bisexual to begin with.

  331. Timothy Kincaid wrote:

    I’m not sure that sexual attraction works the same way in women as in men.

    Debbie Thurman wrote:

    I think that is an interesting jumping off place for research into biological roots and why some are more bisexual than others.

    carole would be probably interested too:

    THat’s a great topic to study. The dogma until now was that straight men’s and lesbian women’s orientation has to do with brain masculinisation. However, one study on arousal found that all women are aroused, in different degrees, by homo- and hetero- sex images. Kind of weird, but it seems women are aroused by some sort of empathy with people/animals having sex (which might explain why women moan during sex even when they’re not very aroused, it’s a way of encouraging themselves to get in the mood), while men are aroused in a directed way, mostly towards sexual objects they could interact with according to their orientation. Then, again, many gay men report passive sexual roles preference.

    The pieces don’t seem to fit together according to the brain hormonisation theory, otherwise gay men would be just aroused by women as straight women are. It looks like sex in the brain is filtered by other stuff, maybe something to do with gender identity or something shaped by parenting, peer relations, the stress-aggression nexus. In my thinking, I imagine that this is why women react to sexual images almost indiscriminately, because all the stimuli go unfiltered in their minds. Orientation in women might have more to do with emotional connection than sexual arousal. Men seem to filter the sexual stimuli just as they do with stress, less emotionally. And gay men are vulnerable to stress, but are not aroused by women. So, similar to women – gay men don’t filter the stimuli, but compared to women – they would need stronger arousal for women to get to an erection and thus realise they’re aroused by women. It probably works in their brains mostly in a passive-inward pattern of arousal, which is partly similar to women and partly different. Again: similar stress susceptibility, lower aggressiveness, but no reported indiscriminate arousal because of gender-specific ways to build arousal and become aware of it.

    It’s a matter of each understanding their arousal and emotional connection, both of which are differently reported/processed to the brain, even if the differences may not be so wide apart in terms of arousal alone (men might repress some reactions and let others develop where possible). Except for the stress-aggression difference, which separates men and women more than overlaps them. Too bad researchers don’t study attractions in terms of physical size, because in real life most women are not attracted to men who are smaller/shorter than they are, unless we’re talking about men of great resources…

    Frankly, I think there’s a lot of energy invested in homosexuality alone, but the larger picture, that includes both genders and orientations is more interesting to develop, for many reasons (mental health, sexual health, epidemiologic concerns). Probably homosexuality is an extreme of a same brain system that also produces the other extreme, heterosexuality. The old school of thought was that it appeared because the male foetus is developed from a female foundation, which made lower masculinisation of the brain a risk for a man’s sexual reproductive success. More recently, the new school of gender genetics says that’s inaccurate, because the gender determination pathways are very complex and don’t involve only sex chromosomes, but many other genes that act as downstream switches for gender development. It’s likely that the new school exaggerates in order to make a point and assert itself, and there still is some relevance to the mostly-female state of the neutral foetus, ie nature needs a lot more biological pull to create a man than a woman, therefore the distribution in orientation, health risks, crime rate, etc. Men seem to be fighting more with nature than women.

    BTW:

    carole brought up the subject of nature promoting reproductively succesful traits. There have been two schools of thought until now: Darwinists arguing that succesful traits are naturally selected and creationists and inteliigent design supporters arguing that there is an inherent order to be found in nature. More recently, a psychology professor from New York argued that the brain is a collection of haphazard solutions to evolutionary problems. He calls these clumsy solutions Kluges, evolutionary answers to some basic problems, that are good enough to get the job done, but far from perfect. There isn’t much empirical support in the realm of sexual orientation for any evolutionary perspective, but this new idea might shape the debate in other ways than others did until now.

  332. Perhaps we can both “work on it” and maybe find a more peaceful way to approach each other.

    You know, I have found myself becoming more and more averse to arguing. I just don’t feel like it . It doesn’t mean any of my core beliefs have changed or that I am any less passionate about helping people find the truth. But why should I attempt to do what can only be done by the Holy Spirit? I guess you can call that an epiphany. It goes hand-in-hand with why I rarely listen to the talking heads anymore.

    I find discipling those who truly want my help to be the most worthy use of my time.

  333. Debbie,

    Perhaps we can both “work on it” and maybe find a more peaceful way to approach each other.

    As for the differences between men and women, it does complicate the conversation. I tend to speak mostly about men for two reasons: it’s what I know, and the distinctions seem more sharp.

    Evidence seems to suggest that men are more likely to identify as either gay or straight with fewer bisexuals. And some studies I’ve seen show that in men the “bisexual” identity is probably comprised mostly of gay men and is a matter of label rather than attraction (though I certainly don’t know the extent to which this is true).

    Women, on the other hand, are more likely to be bisexual in identity, attraction, and behavior. Additionally, female sexuality does seem to be more fluid.

    There have been some well known instances in which left-wing non-religious devoutly lesbian women have found themselves attracted to a man. Amusingly, some were embarassed and kept it quiet for a while in case it was a phase. I don’t know offhand of any men who have experienced similar spontaneious attractions to women after identifying as gay (though, of course, they may exist).

    So you are quite right in noting that sexuality is not the same for men and women.

  334. Surely you must be aware that you are not known for your words of peace. Ratchet down the rhetoric and I can get along with you nicely. Start up again with the stuff about “peculiarities of gay sex” or “inconvenient truth” or nonsense about some book no one read and peace just flys out the window.

    But if you play nice, I can too.

    (Incidentally, I accept your testimony that you have no same-sex attractions. I’m not quite as surprised as Michael because while women “count”, I’m not sure that sexual attraction works the same way in women as in men. However, as a previously bisexual woman, I’m hesitant to agree that you are the example Michael was looking for. I know it seems awfully nit-picky, but he is talking about persons who had exclusively same-sex attractions and now have exclusively opposite-sex attractions. I’ve not met one either. But I’m not saying that they don’t exist – just that if they do, they are very rare.)

    Thank you for that latter sentiment, Timothy. It does confirm that there are some biases, however. FWIW, I do believe it is harder for SSA men to change than it is for women, though I can’t explain why. I think that is an interesting jumping off place for research into biological roots and why some are more bisexual than others. And I assure you same-sex attractions are just as strong in folks like I was than in those who are exclusively SSA.

    And, also to be fair, I can’t deny that I have been guilty of some non-peaceful rhetoric in the past. But I hope you can see I am working on it.

  335. Debbie said, in response to by saying that I had never met an ex-gay who is no longer SSA: “Jackpot! I can remedy that for you right now, Michael. Nice to “meet” you.”

    Nice to meet you, too! No more SSA? Are you hetersexual now? Are you emotionally, spiritual and sexually attracted to men only now — like a regular straight woman?

    If so, you would be the first – a very rare find indeed. I feel like a person who finally found proof of Bigfoot. And of course, women count. Don’t be silly.

    Wow, Michael. If you really believe this, then how can I give credence to anything else you say? I have no attractions to other women. None.

    God is, indeed, that powerful. Believe it or not. You cannot get inside my head, so you’ll have to take it on faith.

  336. Carole,

    The problem I see with your position is that it anthropomorphizes nature. It assumes sentience and intent and planning – a form of intelligent design, if you will – that has little practical difference from a diety.

    If one assume that Nature intends, or designs, or plans, then it is logical to assume that something is not according to Natures Plan. Just as one might assume that it is not according to God’s Plan. It is just an appeal to a theology of sorts.

    However, if we assume that by “design” you mean a naturally occuring phenominon that is not guided by some sentient direction but occurs as the consequence of reproductive selection, then I think your idea of homosexuality as a “disorder” doesn’t stand to inspection.

    The fact that homosexuality exists across species and has been expressed in the human species for all of recorded time suggests that at least for this epoch, it is a naturally selected occurance that provides some value. Even if we assume this value is temporary and will be at some point deselected by the procreation process, it exists at this point. Natural selection has said “yes” to this variant in a measure that appears (as best we can tell) to be consistent across culture, time, and environment. It appears in descendants of Africans, Swedes, Tartars, Inuit, and Arabs and is recorded in the very earliest of human writings.

    So the determination of whether homosexuality is a disorder cannot be assumed from pure “they can’t multiply” types of presumptions. It can only be determined by its outcome.

    I think that even the most casual of glances at the contributions to society by persons who were same-sex attracted suggests that such evidence on its own could support the idea that SSA persons disproportionately improve the world of their non-SSA neighbors. I can’t think of a field of human contribution in which at least one of the giants was not heterosexual.

    So we can’t assume a disorder in the sense of social outcome.

    So such a disorder would need to be proven on the individual level. Unlike myopia, this is a much more difficult task. Undoubtedly there are statistical disadvantages (along with some statistical advantages) to health, happiness, and accomplishment. But, nonsense aside, there are not adequate differences to say that for any given person being SSA is disadvantaged in the same way that myopia is always a disadvantage.

    So I think your assessment as “a disorder” is not convincing.

  337. I’m just going to add, since I had a discussion with a friend of mine about this the other day and it is fresh on my mind, that the easiest way to resolve this issue would be for the state and federal governments to stop “sponsoring” marriage and instead issue civil unions to both straight and gay couples – conferring the benefits of these unions on them then. This would allow churches to MARRY whoever they want to marry. This seems the easiest thing to do given that it is the word Marriage that seems to cause so many problems with religious conservatives. I don’t, however, ever see this happening.

    Jayhuck,

    That is a proposal that appeals to the libertarian minded and also to some religious persons who feel that “marriage” is a religious sacrament. But it would be heartily and heavily opposed by anti-gay culture warriors.

    Because if churches were to be in charge of who gets married, every gay couple in the country could marry tomorrow. The local United Church of Christ would have a line out the door. If states just gave civil unions and churches granted marriages then there would be exact legal and social parity.

    And many Culture Warriors don’t oppose marriage for reasons of protecting sacraments at all; rather, they seek to keep a hierarchy, a distinction, that rewards heterosexuality over homosexuality. They would not be content that their church was free to do as it wished. They would insist that culture, society, honor and respect their choices and rites but dishonor and grant lower respect (if any) to the rites of gay couples.

    I believe that this probably has little to do with sexuality at all. I believe that the war over gay marriage is a but a battle in a greater religious war between the mainline Christians and the new coalition of Catholics, Mormons, and Charismatics over who will be the nation’s moral authority.

    When given the chance, conservatives have in 30 states banned the state from allowing more liberal churches the recognition of their sacraments. And having tasted power, they want more.

    Or so I see it.

  338. Most significantly, you ignored my last statement. But then, Scripture does tell us to be at peace with others so far as it is possible. That means both sides must be willing.

    Ah, Debbie.

    Surely you must be aware that you are not known for your words of peace. Ratchet down the rhetoric and I can get along with you nicely. Start up again with the stuff about “peculiarities of gay sex” or “inconvenient truth” or nonsense about some book no one read and peace just flys out the window.

    But if you play nice, I can too.

    (Incidentally, I accept your testimony that you have no same-sex attractions. I’m not quite as surprised as Michael because while women “count”, I’m not sure that sexual attraction works the same way in women as in men. However, as a previously bisexual woman, I’m hesitant to agree that you are the example Michael was looking for. I know it seems awfully nit-picky, but he is talking about persons who had exclusively same-sex attractions and now have exclusively opposite-sex attractions. I’ve not met one either. But I’m not saying that they don’t exist – just that if they do, they are very rare.)

  339. Carole: You said, “Nature tries to create organisms that reproduce, and nature’s way of seeing to it that we reproduce…” I agree. But I think nature also designed bonding and attachment as primary drives that acutally supercede the drive to reproduce.

    About this: ” To my way of thinking, something that was intended by nature to work, isn’t working when a male is not attracted to a female or when he is repulsed by a female for purposes of mating.” Not to worry. Nature designed enough heterosexuals to keep the species going.

    About this: “So, my point? I do not think non-OSA is what nature had in mind any more than it had myopia planned for me. I do realize we differ on this point.” Yes we do. You use an illness metaphor and I compare thinkk of SSA as just another example of God’s creative variety — not disordered.

    And finally, about this: “The greatest fear is that as long as repressive countries like Uganda still exist, there will be coersion. Like you, I hope that such a thing as coersion never comes to pass.” Sadly, that attitude exists in other places than Uganda — you can still find it in the USA. Let’s pray.

  340. I met Darlene Bogle some years back when she told me she was no longer SSA. But as you know, she later apologized. She thought she really had become ex-gay too.

  341. Debbie said, in response to by saying that I had never met an ex-gay who is no longer SSA: “Jackpot! I can remedy that for you right now, Michael. Nice to “meet” you.”

    Nice to meet you, too! No more SSA? Are you hetersexual now? Are you emotionally, spiritual and sexually attracted to men only now — like a regular straight woman?

    If so, you would be the first — a very rare find indeed. I feel like a person who finally found proof of Bigfoot. And of course, women count. Don’t be silly.

  342. Michael Bussee said,

    Carole: I love this! Thanks!

    “…the search for the biological underpinings of sexual attraction is downright interesting,..”

    Now that’s an attitude I can respect! it is, indeed, fascinating! Why are some flowers yellor and some blue? What makes stars shine at night? How does plate tectonics work?

    I can respect that kind of intellectual curiousity, that sense of wonder — because it doesn’t begin with the assumption that these things are wrong, bad, sick, sinful, immoral, disordered. etc.

    Michael,

    Sorry I haven’t gotten back sooner to clarify. I am glad you appreciate that many, including me, have a natural curiosity about this subject of sexual attraction, the same way we have an interest in so many biological phenomena.

    I realized, however, that down the road, when the thread turns to other subjects, like the etiology of attractions, you might notice that I don’t begin with your same assumptions. I surely don’t begin with the “assumption that [it’s] wrong, bad, sick, sinful, immoral” but while “disordered” is not the word I would choose, I guess it’s a word close to what I would use–so I didn’t want to leave you with the wrong impression when another thread pops up down the road and perhaps we discuss etiology and such. You might then think, “Hey, she’s changed her tune.” So, I’d like to clarify for that purpose.

    Let me explain “disordered.” I don’t think homosexuality is what nature had in mind in creating each and every homo sapien. Nature tries to create organisms that reproduce, and nature’s way of seeing to it that we reproduce, its way to make sure this occurs or is likely to occur is to make the desire to mate with one who can reproduce and to make that desire a powerful, irrepressible drive. It’s nature’s way of ensuring survival of the species, and it applies on the individual level as much as on a species level. I see it as possible that absent negative or positive cultural influences , humans might seek sexual gratification from others regardless of gender, but and it’s a huge but I haven’t as yet found evidence that nature/biology has “planned” or “designed” humans so that the gender with the most powerful or insistent sex drive isn’t powerfully driven to mate with the gender that can get his genes into the next generation.

    That he cannot do this or does not want to do this or that he has to force himself, trick himself, manipulate himself, or acquiesce because of social mores to do this suggests to me that something is, for lack of a better word, “disordered.” To my way of thinking, something that was intended by nature to work, isn’t working when a male is not attracted to a female or when he is repulsed by a female for purposes of mating.

    However, we are all “disordered,” in that we all have parts of ourselves that don’t work as nature had intended. We all do. If not, we’d all live forever. The process of aging is proof of our imperfection. I had a prof once who said the shark and the cockroach were nature’s most perfectly designed animals–the shark hasn’t needed to evolve much, so great was its “design” (at least its design as far back as we can trace it), and the cockroach is the organism most adept at evolving quickly and efficiently, so well the pesticide companies have to reformulate their poisons constantly as the eggs/offspring of the cockroach survive the very pesticide that kills their parents. Humans are not as well-designed as either the shark or the cockroach but I am happy I am not a shark or a cockroach.

    So, let’s take my myopia. It’s a “disorder,” one I have managed to survive which shouldn’t be too hard to do in a place and time that offers even those of us with 20/200 vision the means of correction. However, when I was a teen, my poor vision almost cost me my life in a water skiing accident when I didn’t see a large tree limb floating in front of me and so hit it head on. I’ve had a few other close calls because of bad vision coupled with carelessness. We all have things “disordered” in the biological sense, a real threat to our fitness, which is simply a threat real to getting our genes into the next generation.

    My myopia isn’t a moral problem. I don’t think less of people who are near-sighted. I don’t think of them as crazy or ill. I don’t think nature planned or designed me to be myopic, however. Were I myopic in a different time and place, in a natural world full of danger at every turn, I’d be dead before I had a chance to reproduce. On the other hand, most eye experts believe myopia is likely due to constant up-close work at a young age (reading, for example) so it’s quite probable that had I lived a thousand years ago, I would not have developed myopia, at least not early enough in life to have interred with my reproducing. So, why am I myopic? Because–nature’s design is not perfect–and because our environment changes and we don’t always change with it from a fitness standpoint.

    That’s how I view non-OSA–like myopia or like any other condition that affects fitness. A man or woman who is not attracted to the opposite sex can either force himself or herself to have sex to reproduce (and some can’t do that) ; or, the very affluent can pay to have high tech procedures to produce biological children, but that’s not a viable financial option for most in the world.

    So, my point? I do not think non-OSA is what nature had in mind any more than it had myopia planned for me. I do realize we differ on this point.

    Now, to your point about “curing” or “correcting.” I choose to correct my myopia. It makes my life easier, less dangerous, and the visual world much richer–for me. I remember when I first was referred to an eye doctor after being tested in the 5th grade. I was perplexed. I didn’t feel that my vision was unusual, that I couldn’t “see.” Not until he placed those ugly things on my nose, and I walked outside his office, and exclaimed to my mother, “I can see leaves on the trees–individual leaves!” did I value the richness of vision. However, I realize that there are many who are unsighted who feel that their world is rich and full as it is, and I realize they have heightened other senses because of their blindness. They hear what I don’t or can’t, and in that way , may have a richness of experience that I don’t have.

    On a similar note, I had an uncle who contracted a childhood illness around the age of 10, a bad case of measles as I recall, and he lost his hearing. His world changed, of course. He was sent to a special school, married a deaf and dumb woman, learned sign language, lived in the deaf community. My aunt told me my uncle Tony wanted his hearing back badly but his wife did not. Of course, their experiences were different, with my aunt having lost her hearing in infancy. Were they alive today, and were they able to have their hearing restored a bit or totally, I think they’d face a tremendous decision as a couple since they disagreed even before such technology was available.

    You say you hope they never find the cause of attractions. I think I can understand your feeling that way. However, realistically, I don’t think that will happen. At some point, who knows when–tomorrow, 10 years, or 20 years from now, I do think science will find answers and then, as is the case whenever new information becomes available, individuals will make choices.

    The greatest fear is that as long as repressive countries like Uganda still exist, there will be coersion. Like you, I hope that such a thing as coersion never comes to pass.

    That’s it. I just wanted to clarify. Down the road, as topics change, I am sure we will address this again.

  343. You have said that both sides cannot be right. I put out to you that neither side is right. Both extremes in this debate have been so fixed on justifying the choices and views they made for themselves that they are unable to see what is really right. What neither side realizes is that they are being manipulated into believing something that will never bring them to a place of true peace.

    That is an excellent point, and after I’d made my last comment, I thought about that.

    The devilish problem with the gay rights/SSA debate is that the extreme positions tend to be viewed as the legitimate ones, best representing both ideologies. And that is not the case on any number of points. Is there even a reliable consensus on what points define both sides? Unless or until there is, we are often shooting in the dark.

    Both sides have legitimate grievances as well as nit-picky or irrelevant ones.

    We might say that the authoritative source is God’s Word, for example. But it is not for those who don’t accept it as absolute truth or believe it to be fluid in interpretation. We seem to be consigned to rolling Sisyphus’ stone up the eternal hill. There is no end point.

  344. Debbie,

    You have said that both sides cannot be right. I put out to you that neither side is right. Both extremes in this debate have been so fixed on justifying the choices and views they made for themselves that they are unable to see what is really right. What neither side realizes is that they are being manipulated into believing something that will never bring them to a place of true peace.

  345. In order that those who believe homosexuality is fallen are not demeaned or diminished, you would deny gay people legitimacy. This seems to me to be an appeal to superiority and privilege. It demands the right not to be criticized and is willing to deny others in order to get it.

    THIS – is worth repeating – all conservatives who hold those views should read this.

    Jayhuck, how could one know whether or not they held “that” view? Certainly not from that passage, which is poorly written. Could you translate it into English, please?

    Just so I do not appear to be making a snarky, knee-jerk comment, here’s what I think it says:

    People who believe homosexuality/same-sex attraction is a symptom of mankind’s fallen state ought not to be seeing themselves as above criticism from gays who believe they are being cast as less human or illegitimate (marginalized) by that view.

    Am I close?

    FWIW, no one is above criticism. There is usually some element of truth in it. But in this debate, both sides cannot be right. And if “legitimacy” in the statement above means a worthy creation of God, we must admit that no one can be denied that by another human being. If it means according gays legal recognition as a protected minority class (over and above the rights conferred by citizenship to all) or legitimizing same-sex marriage, that’s a matter that is legitimately debatable. And in debate, one generally is critical of the points with which he disagrees and backs his views with compelling evidence. This can and should be done without demonizing or being condescending to your opponent.

  346. Michael–

    I recall several times where I tried to address the issue of gay sin or gays who are in need of redemption…and others where I questioned serial monogamy or open relationships as falling short of the mark and I was either given a snarky response about heterosexual sinners or ignored completely. Your admission in this post is the first I can recall.

    That wasn’t a typo in my later post. I found your “I guess Eddy won’t….” and “I wonder how Eddy would…” comments to be tacky.

  347. Uh, that’s

    woman

    . There’s only one of me that I know of. LOL. Unlike my friend, the incest victim, who wrote Dollbaby. There were about five of her until she reintegrated the personas into one.

  348. After more than 30 years, I am still hoping to meet an ex-gay who is no longer “SSA”.

    Jackpot! I can remedy that for you right now, Michael. Nice to “meet” you.

    But then, I AM a women, and we don’t count, apparently.

  349. In order that those who believe homosexuality is fallen are not demeaned or diminished, you would deny gay people legitimacy. This seems to me to be an appeal to superiority and privilege. It demands the right not to be criticized and is willing to deny others in order to get it.

    THIS – is worth repeating – all conservatives who hold those views should read this.

  350. Also, did you really mean to post: “Michael – I’m sorry I hadn’t read your latest post before I posted mine. I apologize for any respect I extended to you”? Hope it was a typo, like me capitlizing “godly”…

  351. Eddy: , I have real trouble with this satement: “…the place where I’ve encountered the no admission of sin is right here”. I don’t think I have ever endorsed these things or dismissed the sinfulness of them — here or elsewhere. I also having been posting here for some time now, and I cannot recall any person who identified as a gay Christian who has.

    In any event, now you have met a couple of us and had a couple admit it. Would you like to hear some more admit it? It would be easy to do…

  352. I will say this about my father: he was not comfortable even discussing who I felt attractions toward or not, but he loved me and never loved me any more or less because of who I was; because I was and am his son. He did feel shame about “it” though, I could tell that without him saying a word. It was obvious. Anyway, after all he did for me, paying my way through college, etc and him paying for 15 years of piano lessons, I now find it odd that I did not feel more loved by him than I did. Especially since I seem to have the same love language as him, “gifts of service”. (But what the heck WERE they thinking when they took me to the Nugget to see Liberace in concert?). As an adult I have grieved that staying away from blood and guts and hunting guns was more important to me than spending time deer hunting with dad; I’m not surprised he did not insist I come along, for he would definitely not enjoyed my whining and complaining and I would have ruined the trip for him, without trying to. I also was very good at making him feel nervous, like when I would watch him while he was working on one of his projects in the garage or in the yard, and he would tell me to go away because he was afraid I might cause an injury or an accident. But I know for a fact know that whether I felt love or not then, I know I was loved. He was thrilled when I found a woman I felt safe with. I am still with her. She is something else, because she is still with me even though I have done most of my growing up after we wed instead of before. During his last month of life while he was dying in bed and could no longer walk, he permitted me to hold his hand. I kept thinking to myself, “no one should have to die alone”; while my mother kept on being ‘Martha’ fretting around the house about this that and the other. He would of course rather have had her sitting next to him holding his hand, and I take no offense at that. July 9 will be the tenth anniversary of his passing.

  353. I’m just going to add, since I had a discussion with a friend of mine about this the other day and it is fresh on my mind, that the easiest way to resolve this issue would be for the state and federal governments to stop “sponsoring” marriage and instead issue civil unions to both straight and gay couples – conferring the benefits of these unions on them then. This would allow churches to MARRY whoever they want to marry. This seems the easiest thing to do given that it is the word Marriage that seems to cause so many problems with religious conservatives. I don’t, however, ever see this happening.

  354. Michael–

    I’m sorry I hadn’t read your latest post before I posted mine. I apologize for any respect I extended to you.

  355. Timothy–

    Thanks for humoring me with the background of the walkout. Loved it!

    Timothy (and Michael)–

    You are a bit too quick to presume but I understand why. Michael said that “I never met”…when actually I said “I can’t get any gay-Christian to admit…” I’ve told you all before that I rarely speak of any of these issues outside of this blog. (You might not believe this, but if I address homosexuality at all out in the physical word, it’s only to challenge anti-gay bigotry and oppression.) Anyway, the place where I’ve encountered the no admission of sin is right here. It occurred to me today, though, that due to the testiness of our blog relations, when I’ve tried to go there, you all might have felt that I was on the attack and so hedged on your responses. The most distinct memories I have are when I’ve tried to approach the topic of ‘serial monogamy’ and/or ‘open relationships’.

    Timothy–

    It’s okay with me if you brand my cautions as ‘fear’. I’ve been in far too many discussions here where, instead of an honest rebuttal, I’ve gotten ‘but the APA this’ or “more and more mainstream churches are…”. So, I’ll stand with my opinion (stated as such, by the way) that the desire for legal marriage, not just all the rights and benefits of marriage, but legal marriage is energized by a deeper motivation. Whatever, my opinions are simply not up for debate. I openly shared my current feelings about the issue with the blog at Michael’s request. They are my current feelings; I answered truthfully. I was in favor of gay marriage for most of my life, even when I was with Exodus but I don’t believe in mixing politics with ministry and therefore didn’t speak my opinions publicly. I still don’t. Only when asked. Michael asked…I told. And my position has changed for the reason I stated. My opinions are not the topic. You can judge them all you want but I owe you nothing further. If they change again, I’ll be sure to let you know.

    I’m also very much aware of who I am and how I feel so I KNOW when I’m being branded wrongly because I simply happen to hold to a conservative viewpoint on this issue.

    Jayhuck–

    Sorry. I’ve been having conversations with Michael and Timothy that have actually gone somewhere even if we’ve disagreed and, at times, veered off course; given the history you and I have and the fact that you weren’t a part of the conversations, I’ve elected not to read your comment to me. I will assume though that, if whatever you had to say has merit, somehow it will be or has been echoed in the comments of Michael or Timothy.

  356. I guess Eddy won’t be able to say this anymore: “I can’t get any gay Christian admit that these are sin”. Finally, after all these years, he has met some! Well, two at least. After more than 30 years, I am still hoping to meet an ex-gay who is no longer “SSA”.

    I wonder how Eddy would respond if I get could hundreds of Christian gays to sign an afidavit that they also believe these behaviors are not appropriate or healthy for Christians — or anyone for that matter. It might help with some of his (admiteed) bias…

  357. You spoke of heterosexuality as many might speak of homosexuality… That’s what I objected to.

    Yep.

    You sure do.

    You conveniently left out something, Timothy. The ellipsis doesn’t cut it. Shame, shame. Most significantly, you ignored my last statement. But then, Scripture does tell us to be at peace with others so far as it is possible. That means both sides must be willing.

  358. Jayhuck – it was not a copmparison just a remark. I agree that many christians gay and straight say one thing and do quite another. Stop looking for fights.

  359. Mary,

    How many televangelists “fell from grace” for openly preaching one thing and doing another? – heck, we don’t even need to limit that to televangelists – just conservative religious leaders in general.

  360. Mary,

    How many straight people say these things publicly then do otherwise privately as well?? C’mon!

  361. Yeah, I too have a difficult time getting a Christian gay man to admit that these things go on and that they are sinful. Might say it publicly. But privately he’s doing some of these things as well.

  362. Eddy,

    And, finally, I don’t want to deprive homosexuals of basic civil rights. In fact, I want a number of their rights either expanded or more clearly protected. But, as a result of my exposure to blogging here, I have changed my mind re gay marriage and am no longer in favor of it. (I have seen how you and others want more than rights; you want the sense of legitimacy that legal marital status would convey. I know you would take that sense of legitimacy and use it to further your efforts to demean, diminish or silence those who believe that homosexuality is ‘fallen’. It’s a personal point of view. I share it when asked. Thanks for asking.)

    So you’ve decided that its ok for gay people to receive some civil rights but not others? That “I’ve seen how you and other want more than rights” sort of rhetoric has been around a LONG time and has been used by conservative Christians to deny rights to GLBT people. What you are saying isn’t new, but I’m somewhat shocked that YOU Eddy would tow such a line. Fear mongering – really? I agree with Tim – that some might try to “demean religious objectors” but he’s also right that this will happen either way and that is a terrible reason to deny a group of people a civil right. I firmly believe there are ways to allow those who object to gay marriage to continue to hold onto those beliefs, to have those beliefs protected, without denying a class of citizens their rights. I see some states taking steps to protect both groups as they adopt same sex marriage rights, and this makes me happy.

    Bathroom sex, reststop cruising, multiple partners, one-night stands, open relationships…any heterosexual forms of these would be regarded as sinful…but I can’t get any gay Christian to admit that these are sin

    I do see these things as sinful behavior Eddy.

  363. Bathroom sex, reststop cruising, multiple partners, one-night stands, open relationships…any heterosexual forms of these would be regarded as sinful…but I can’t get any gay Christian to admit that these are sin

    Eddy,

    Surely you are mistaken.

    If anyone can be thought to speak for so diverse a crowd as “gay Christians”, surely it is the folks at the Gay Christian Network. I’d refer you to the site http://www.gaychristian.net. There the participants break into two camps: Side A and Side B.

    Side A believes in same-sex marriage and Side B believes in celibacy for gay Christians (they choose to be an inclusive family that includes people of both opinions).

    What they do not include, however, is “Bathroom sex, reststop cruising, multiple partners, one-night stands, open relationships”.

    As Justin, writing for Side A, says:

    I believe that the Bible is morally authoritative, that sex is for marriage, and that promiscuity is harmful to everyone involved. For many years of my life, I also believed that all homosexual behavior was wrong – whether it consisted of anonymous hookups or committed relationships. I believed, based on what I had read in the Bible, that even the most loving and monogamous of same-sex relationships was evil in God’s eyes. But as I studied the Bible, my view on that subject changed. I now believe that homosexual behavior is appropriate within the confines of a committed, loving, monogamous, lifelong, Christ-centered relationship.

    Perhaps that is in line with the “more godly homosexuality” that you are discussing.

  364. Hey Timothy: Eddy says he has never met a gay Christian who believes that the things he listed are sin. Have you met any? Or am I the only one? Can you maybe come up with a list of Gay Christian orrgnizations to help him meet more?

  365. The numbers are an indication that God’s intentions are embodied in heterosexual sexuality.

    I guess God also wants us to all be right handed and brown eyed and not to be part of a set of identical twins.

    God may design us with individual differences, but not so far as sexual orientation goes.

    Different colors, different heights, different eye shapes, different intellects, different skill sets, different challenges, different sexes, different fingerprints, and a distinct set of genes for each person; these are all part of God’s design. But different sexual orientation, well that’s just too far.

    The “one flesh” concept of marriage God emphasized in the beginning can only pertain to one man and one woman. All natural law confirms it.

    Except, of course, for all those hundred of species in nature who confirm same sex coupling, often for life. (Unless of course you mean the Catholic theology that goes by the name of “natural law”).

    And I also agree that we will never know what causes same-sex attraction outside of attributing it to a fallen world.

    Ah, but we don’t “agree” on attributing sexual orientation to “a fallen world”. Nor do I think of homosexuality as “Man-designed sexuality”.

    But I do think that you accurately expressed your position when you said:

    You spoke of heterosexuality as many might speak of homosexuality… That’s what I objected to.

    Yep.

    You sure do.

  366. I have changed my mind re gay marriage and am no longer in favor of it. (I have seen how you and others want more than rights; you want the sense of legitimacy that legal marital status would convey. I know you would take that sense of legitimacy and use it to further your efforts to demean, diminish or silence those who believe that homosexuality is ‘fallen’. It’s a personal point of view. I share it when asked. Thanks for asking.)

    You are quite right that gay couples want exactly the same sense of legitimacy before the law as their heterosexual brothers and sisters. We want to experience the same treatment from our government both in the granting of rights and in the granting of privelege, honor, legitimacy, or any other thing the government it granting.

    However, you do not know that anyone would “demean, diminish or silence those who believe that homosexuality is ‘fallen’.” Rather, that is something you fear.

    Undoubtedly some folks will seek to demean religious objecters (for want of a better term), but that will occur either way. Just as there are many many MANY individuals and organizations that make their living by using marriage to daily demean, diminish and silence gay folk, as I’m sure you know. (incidentally, I don’t propose denying them equality before the law because of their position)

    And I find your reasoning interesting. And, um, perhaps less admirable than one might hope.

    In order that those who believe homosexuality is fallen are not demeaned or diminished, you would deny gay people legitimacy. This seems to me to be an appeal to superiority and privelege. It demands the right not to be criticized and is willing to deny others in order to get it.

    I hope in time us folk who have convinced you to oppose marriage equality will seem less frightening and you will return to your original position.

  367. Timothy==

    LOL. What was the reason/justification/motivation for the school desertion or ‘walkout’? How many were involved in the ‘desertion’?

    OK… full story

    For three years I attended private Christian schools. In 8th I went to a very academically sound school affiliated with the Reformed Church (of Dutch heritage). Had I stuck with that school I would have learned Greek, Hebrew, and Latin.

    But, sadly, in 9th and 10th, my parents encouraged a school that was run by a more conservative pastor and worked with the Accellerated Christian Education curriculum . This was geared towards a less intelletual approach to education. In hindsight I suspect that the primary purpose was to make sure that good Christian kids were never exposed to anything that might challenge their beliefs.

    The process was self-study with (minimally educated) adult mentors that could use course materials to assist. It was the most basic of basic educations. And as one worked at your own pace, I whipped through the booklet pretty quickly.

    By spring of 9th grade (I think i said 8th above, but it was 9th), I was thoroughly bored. And as the principal was going to be away for a few days, I and a fellow student decided to make it interesting. We organized a whole day of pretty much terrorizing the assistants. It started by setting off a Laughing It (remember those?) for the Pledge and went downhill from there.

    The biggest prank was at one of the recess breaks (or perhaps lunch, I’m not sure). The school was small with only a hundred kids or so ranging from kindergarten through 12th.

    There was a process of blowing a whistle which was the cue to end your game and line up. A minute or two later the “teacher” would come out and bring everyone back in to class. (Thinking back, why on earth wasn’t an adult out with the kids??!!)

    On this particular day, they blew the whistle and went inside. Claudette and I had spread the word for every kid to then run and get in the school busses and duck below the windows. They all did. And there was about 10 minutes of panic until they found us.

    I really am surprised we pulled it off.

  368. Debbie you said:

    That kind of set-up is what led me to infer that you were trying to put the two on the same plane, equally “morally neutral”.

    You are right. I DO put them on the same plane, equally morally neutral. Neither is more broken than the other, or less broken. We break them.

    You said: “The analogy doesn’t work”. On the contrary, it is the only one that does. One is not a disease and the other healthy, One is not moral and the other immoral. We make them that way.

    You said : “The numbers are an indication that God’s intentions are embodied in heterosexual sexuality.” To my way of thinking, how many people do (or don’t do) a particular behavior is a very dangerous way tro determine God’s intentions. Heck, we are all sinners, but that is certainly not God’s intention.

    You said: “God may design us with individual differences, but not so far as sexual orientation goes.” Debbie, how do you know such a thing? How can you say it so emphatically? Do you have some sort of special hotline to God where He tells you His intentions and His design?

    You are so certain that only your understanding of the Bible is correct, leaving no room for the possibility that you may be wrong. The Bible may be infallible, but we are not. Part of being “peacemakers” is walking in the humilithy that only God knows God’s heart — and that until we see Him face-to-face, our knowledge — yours and mine — are only partial.

  369. Michael, I want to respond to several of your statements:

    In response to Debbie’s comment: “I just think trying to reason that heterosexuality could be a form of brokenness is taking it a tad far”, Debbie, I have never made that assertion!

    Indeed, you did state that you do not believe heterosexuality to be innately sinful or broken. However, you also said this:

    I don’t assume that something must have gone haywire for them turn out heterosexual. I don’t think it needs to be prevented or treated.

    I don’t think heterosexuals go to Hell if they keep it up. I don’t want to fix or cure them of their heterosexuality — and I have no desire to stamp out heterosexuality or deprive heterosexuals of basic civil rights. Can you say them same of gayness?

    That kind of set-up is what led me to infer that you were trying to put the two on the same plane, equally “morally neutral” or having the same qualities of either normalcy or brokenness. You spoke of heterosexuality as many might speak of homosexuality, implying the same biases or “heterophobia.” That’s what I objected to. The analogy doesn’t work:

    And then, there’s this:

    To Debbie: Sheer numbers — the fact that there are more heterosexuals, doesn’t really prove anything about the moral superiority of straightness. God also designs diifferences.

    The numbers are an indication that God’s intentions are embodied in heterosexual sexuality. Straight individuals are not morally superior to gay folks, as I tried to point out. God may design us with individual differences, but not so far as sexual orientation goes. The “one flesh” concept of marriage God emphasized in the beginning can only pertain to one man and one woman. All natural law confirms it. Anything else is designed by man. Which brings me to the next point.

    You also said this:

    I believe that “sin” is a matter of disobeying (intentionally or unintentionally) Jesus’s two great commandments: (1) To not put anything or anyone in place of God and (2) to not treat anyone as anything less than a co-equal child of God. (Matthew 22:40 “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”)

    I believe that homosexuality is morally neutral, designed by God, and that the sinfulness of it, or of any of God’s gifts, depends on how we use it. I believe that we will never know what “causes” it — or heterosexuality for that matter, and that anyone who insists that they know what causes it is over-stating the facts.

    Man-designed sexuality does require putting something — an idolatrous desire — “ahead of God.”

    Heterosexuals and homosexuals are absolutely co-equal children of God. There is no love in believing anything less. And I also agree that we will never know what causes same-sex attraction outside of attributing it to a fallen world. There is a difference in saying God designed something and in acknowledging He gave us the free will to make our own choices.

    I would like to see us — gays, ex-gays and ex-ex-gays — all be at peace with one another, insofar as that is possible. But I also know our personal experiences have led to strong emotions. You and I have some important things in common. I know how difficult it is to walk this road. We’re not likely to change each other’s viewpoints, but we can work together to show the world what love and tolerance are supposed to look like. That’s my hope.

    “Blessed are the peacemakers. …:”

  370. Tnanks Piano Man!

    Bottom line for me is also “whether or not a person is in Christ”. When all this wrangling is over, that will have been all that really mattered.

    You sense that I am His. Thanks. I believe I am. I believe I am in Him, that I have been “grafted in”, “sealed with a promise” — even though I might not have the same understanding of Scripture that most Christians have. Christians have always disagreed about the Bible. They always will. You are my brother in Christ. It’s a famliy quarrel.

    Yes, I do have a heart for those who have been rejected. That was why I wanted to help[ start EXODUS in the first place — to communicate God’s love to those who felt it didn’t reach as far as them..

    Granted, I may be wrong about the Bible. Maybe I am in error. He knows my heart and He has promised that His Spirit will guide us into all truth. We don’t have “all truth” yet. That will only happen when we see Him face-to-face..

  371. Michael: If I had to choose between what is of higher importance/value: being for monogamy, fidelity, till death do us part, faithfulness/perseverance etc on the one hand, and a belief that all homosexual sex is sin by definition on the other hand, and if I’d like to continue to hold to both values, not finding one to be exclusive of the other, I find the former to be even more crucial and carrying a greater weight than the latter because I see the former to be more about what I believe God is FOR, and the latter is more about what God is against; and while I remain convinced (for the time being anyway, as I have held the view for many years) that God is concerned about HOW His singular compound image of male/authority/respect and female/power/love is reflected by His creation, your point about His attributes of constancy, hanging-in-there-faithfulness, and non-casual sex (just as God is never casual in His relationships) is well taken. After all, the nine-fold fruit of the spirit is spiritual fruit first of all, not physical fruit (please pardon this unintended pun). Which leaves me wondering exactly what Paul meant when he wrote “The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” I like to think I know what He meant, that among other things He doesn’t approve of, that neither does God approve of same sex sexual expression because it’s an image of God being intimate with himself rather than with his Bride (us); but you’ve got me thinking, and I realize that although God is always true, I in my finite wisdom cannot claim the same for myself. How God might judge between a gay 30 year monogamous relationship vs. a particular promiscuous straight person’s ongoing casual short-term non-life-long relationships is definitely something to wonder about, I think. Bottom line for me is whether or not a person is or is not In Christ. From all you write, it appears to me that you are In Christ. Therefore I too am not ashamed to be called your brother (Hebrews 2:11). It would be hypocritical for me to be otherwise. You acknowledge your need for Him. That’s a far far far cry from those who currently believe they don’t need The Savior, or don’t acknowledge that they’re His possession because He purchased them with his blood. And I sense that you have a heart for those who have been led to believe that God has rejected them because some of His people have rejected them. I feel sad for both the rejectors and for the rejected. And when I say rejection, I don’t mean a disapproval of their sexual expressions; I mean being caused (by language, usually) to feel rejected at the core, ad hominem etc. as people not worthy of salvation; which of course is a hypocrisy (wish the rejectors would realize that) because No One is worthy of salvation. And the point about Christ holding his harshest words for the self-righteous religious types is also very very well taken. Thanks for continuing in the conversation. Iron does indeed sharpen iron. Whether God created sex in a way that the creation itself is in opposition to long term monogamous same sex reationships being “successful” is another question entirely, of course. And the water is muddied further by verses such as “With God, all things are possible”.

  372. Neither are all forms of heterosexuality good. But they do come “naturally” to some.

  373. Eddy, in response to this: ” I regard the fact that you slipped in the phrase ‘more Godly’ and even capitalized ‘Godly’ as your bias at work again”,

    Capitalizing “godly” was an accident. I always try to caplilize the word “God” when referring to Him — and I hit the “shift” by force of habit.

    By “godly”, I only meant more holy, more spiritual — less focussed on the purely animal and physical — and more on the higher, more praise-worthy faculties of the human being — like love, devotion, fidelity, tenderness, self-sacrifice, etc. Please, don’t read too much into my keystrokes. The capital “G” was not “slipped in intentionally” and I was not “baiting you”.

    I did take exception with the word “natural” because some argue that the only true and “natural” expression of sexuality is between one man and one woman — something I do not agree with.

    Some also argue that homosexuality can in no way be considered “natural” because it does not produce children or because male and female sex organs “naturally” fit together — or because “God did not create Adam and Steve…”.

    So, like I said, the question of whether or not there can be a more “natural” expression on homosexuality depends entirely on what you mean by “natural”. In the same way that “ex-gay” depends entirely on what you mean by “ex” and what you mean by “gay” — and neither of us want to go there again, do we?

    That being said, I do believe that homosexualithy is “natural” in that it occurs as part of “nature” and is “natural” for me. Of course, the fact that something is “natural” does not necessarily mean that it is “good”, healthy or “moral”. That is a different question.

    You said: “What has disturbed me most is that there is very little acknowledgement that anything gay is sinful. This is what has convinced me of the delusion. Bathroom sex, reststop cruising, multiple partners, one-night stands, open relationships…any heterosexual forms of these would be regarded as sinful…but I can’t get any gay Christian to admit that these are sin; that those who engage in these behaviors are in danger of judgement and in need of redemption.”

    Really? That’s sad. Then, I submit, you might want to attend some gay Christian conferences or support groups — like Evangelicals concerned — and many other gay Christian organizations that try to promote a more “natural”, more “godly” expression of gay sexuality.

    I, for one, regard ALL of the things you mentioned as sin and in need of redemption. I never suggested that ALL forms of homosexuaityl are “natural” or good.

  374. If you removed ‘more Godly’ from your question, I’d be inclined to answer ‘yes’.

    I have made it clear from the start what my personal beliefs are. I’ve used the word ‘fallen’ numerous times. I regard the fact that you slipped in the phrase ‘more Godly’ and even capitalized ‘Godly’ as your bias at work again. You know that we have a major difference of opinion on whether homosexuality is God-inspired for some yet you purposely inject the notion of ‘Godly’ into the question as opposed to my more neutral word choice of ‘natural’. Knowing my position as you do, I feel your rephrasing of the question moved beyond bias into baiting.

    I would love to have that discussion someday, though, but I’d prefer to have it with someone who is openminded.

    Yeah, I can hear you already countercharging that I’m not openminded either but what you may not be aware of is that somewhere after my first six months of blogging here, I prayed that God would show me if I’ve been wrong all along. I’ve got a number of close friends who have shifted their point of view. I keep searching for something credible to support their shift in beliefs but all I seem to find is a response to political correctness and the new social norms. I don’t find honest searching or exploration; I don’t find new Biblical insight—and what has disturbed me most is that there is very little acknowledgement that anything gay is sinful. This is what has convinced me of the delusion.

    Bathroom sex, reststop cruising, multiple partners, one-night stands, open relationships…any heterosexual forms of these would be regarded as sinful…but I can’t get any gay Christian to admit that these are sin; that those who engage in these behaviors are in danger of judgement and in need of redemption. . It seems the ‘sin’ word is so politically incorrect that it’s next to impossible to hear it from a gay Christian–unless, of course, the sin in question is religious hypocrisy, bigotry, or false witness.

  375. Eddy: I know it is not the topic of this particular thread, but your question would be a terrific topic for a new discussion: “Is there or isn’t there a more natural homosexuality to aspire to?”

    It depends on what you mean by “natural”, I guess. I would ask: “Is there or isn’t there a more reasonable, more self-disciplined, more loving, more Godly and, overall, more healthy homosexuality to aspire to?”

    I think there is. Do you?

  376. In response to Debbie’s comment: “I just think trying to reason that heterosexuality could be a form of brokenness is taking it a tad far”, Debbie, I have never made that assertion!

    As I have said, I believe that homosexuality and heterosexuality are bothmorally neutral — and I have presented fire as a metaphor. It can either warm or destroy. The “sinfulness” or “brokeness” of either homosexuality or heterosexuality depend entirely on how you use them.

    It was Eddy who pointed out earlier (and I strongly agree with him here) that: “…man tends to judge by behavior alone while God knows and judges the heart.”

    I believe that “sin” is a matter of disobeying (intentionally or unintentionally) Jesus’s two great commandments: (1) To not put anything or anyone in place of God and (2) to not treat anyone as anything less than a co-equal child of God. (Matthew 22:40 “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”)

  377. Eddy: You said,

    “Every time you present homosexuality as a normal variation, I will point out all of the abnormal examples I have known.”

    That will be very easy to do. You could do the same with heterosexuality. I have never suggested that all homosexual drives or behavior are healthy or Christlike.

    Regarding the fact that ex-gays do not lose their “SSA” and become truly heterosexual, you call it “temptation” and you are convinced that acting on the “SSA” is “Sin” — because that is what you understand the Bible to say.

    I call it “orientation” (meaning the prevailing direction of one’s attractions) and I do not believe that the Bible condemns all homosexual behavior, just certain kinds.

  378. I have never met a Christian who is no longer, at times, tempted by a sinful behavior they once engaged in. It is my sincere belief that the moment they think they ‘have that one licked’, it comes back to ‘bite them in the ass’. How does the Bible verse go: “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”

  379. Michael–

    Fair enough. And surely ‘turnabout is fair play’. Every time you present homosexuality as a normal variation, I will point out all of the abnormal examples I have known. Like you, I’ll admit my bias and then choke every conversation, related or not, with it.

    Ironically, because the conversations get choked, we never get around to discussing that much of heterosexuality is fallen (David Carradine’s apparent ‘death by auto-erotic asphyxiation as one example) or those aspects of homosexuality that are clearly disordered whether there is or isn’t a more natural homosexuality to aspire to.

    So, while we profess that we want to discuss the intricacies of sexual identity development, we merely seek the ‘stamp of approval’ for our way of thinking.

  380. And just in cse anyone missed it, here is my BIAS:

    I approach this subject from the perspective of a born-again, Bible believing Christian, gay man. I approach it as one who used to believe as Eddy and Debbie believe — but no longer. I am an ex-ex-gay.

    I have intimate, first-hand knowledge of EXODUS as one of its founders, and have come to believe that the ex-gay movement does more harm than good. I don’t think it harms everyone — and I support people’s right to live in accordance with their beliefs — as long as they don’t try to deprive others of that same right..

    I believe the ex-gay movement helps some people, but that no one has actually become “ex-gay” in the sense that they no longer have “SSA”, but are now truly heterosexual in orientation. There may be such folks, but I have never met one.

    I believe that homosexuality is morally neutral, designed by God, and that the sinfulness of it, or of any of God’s gifts, depends on how we use it. I believe that we will never know what “causes” it — or heterosexuality for that matter, and that anyone who insists that they know what causes it is over-stating the facts.

  381. To Eddy: Like I said, I admit my bias. I am very biased about this topic and have never tried to hide that. I point out the excesses because they casue great harm to gay people, not because I believe that all Christians are guilty of them.

    To Debbie: Sheer numbers — the fact that there are more heterosexuals, doesn’t really prove anything about the moral superiority of straightness. God also designs diifferences.

    As far as being “broken” — we all are. That is why we need a Savior.

  382. Michael, I know you’ve had a very interesting and painful journey. I am sorry for the losses you have suffered.

    I am wondering, what justifies the line of reasoning you take in writing this:

    And here is one big difference: I only care what “causes” heterosexuality as a matter of intellectual curiousity. I do not think that heterosexuality is sick, sinful or broken.

    I don’t think they are straight because they had bad parents — or were abused — or were ridiculed by their peers for being straight . I don’t believe that heterosexuality is psycholically, morally or spiritually inferior to homosexuality.

    I don’t assume that something must have gone haywire for them to turn out heterosexual. I don’t think it needs to be prevented or treated.

    I don’t think heterosexuals go to Hell if they keep it up. I don’t want to fix or cure them of their heterosexuality — and I have no desire to stamp out heterosexuality or deprive heterosexuals of basic civil rights. Can you say them same of gayness?

    I know many gays feel the need to equate heterosexuality and homosexuality, one being as normal as the other, but the sheer numbers alone would speak against that rationale. If we accept God as creator, then don’t we reasonably believe He had a design for human sexuality? It is we who sinned and brought the variables into the world. Christ was God’s plan for redemption and wholeness. We all are broken in some form in this life. Many self-righteous straight people are crooked in significant ways. We all stand equal before the cross. Many “formers” of all stripes walk with a limp, but stand wholly justified before God.

    I just think trying to reason that heterosexuality could be a form of brokenness is taking it a tad far.

  383. Michael–

    I didn’t say that I pronounced the eternal fates of those who had hardened their hearts…only that I worried about them; of course I’m aware of Christian self-righteousness, bigotry and hypocrisy as popular ‘hardening agents’. My point was, though, that man tends to judge by behavior alone while God knows and judges the heart. For this reason, it’s simply not correct to assume that all straights go to heaven and all gays go to hell.

    Once again, though, in our conversation re admitting our bias, you’ve gone to great lengths to ‘expound on’ my simple sentence that I purposely wrote as ‘open’ as I could so that you could ‘flavor it’ distinctly against those who believe that homosexuality is fallen. My opinion is that your own bias is so strong and pervasive that it won’t even tolerate someone from my point of view making a statement free of bias. In short, you couldn’t find anything in what I said to challenge or dismiss so you needed to ‘expound’ on one of my sentences…telling me things I am obviously very aware of…just to make sure that the bias flavor saturates every comment.

    What if every time you made a statement from your point of view I brought up the flamboyance of some in Pride Parades (or Mardi Gras), or the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence who mock Christianity? What if I continually brought up gay individuals who speak distinctly anti-religious rhetoric? Or continually brought NAMBLA into the conversation? Yes, they all exist. Yes, they all contribute to the escalated negativity that some Christians have towards homosexuals. Heck, most, if not all of them, are pretty vivid examples of ‘fallen’… But they aren’t central to every single conversation that we have. I don’t make you answer for them repeatedly…in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever called on you to answer for them once. Yet, you and I cannot have a conversation on any h-related topic where you don’t bring up the bigots and/or the hypocrites. LOL. And you don’t just bring them into the conversation once…but over and over again. Step back and look at our current dialogue and see it for yourself. It’s BIAS–all caps BIAS.

  384. Thank you to all of you who have shared, I have just read through all 100 or so comments….loved the formula stuff, I haven’t laughed loud and long like that for quite some time. It appears to me that everyone in the current discussion (so far) here agrees that we need God; I think that sharing that humility is a wonderful thing to have in common. That we don’t have all the answers. And maybe we don’t need them! I am glad we do not know the causes; and it also seems to be evident that SSA can’t necessarily be “prevented” either. How absolutely dreadful it would be if anyone chose not to let a child be born because they knew it would at some time in its life be dealing with SSA, and choose to deny the child a life of experiences simply because of that! So I am VERY glad we don’t know. And I pray that we never will in this life. Some answers can wait until we see Him face to face.

  385. Eddy: I re-read your posts, and this line hit me: I worry about the eternal fate of those who have hardened their hearts.”

    So do I. But, what do you think hardened them? Their own innate “sin nature”? Sure. Their all-too-human tendency to rebel against the righteousness and love of God? Yes.

    But maybe they got hardened because they were hurt. Can you think of examples of such hurt? Perhaps, sadly, even from those who claimed to “love” them? Maybe they got the feeling that Christians didn’t care — or worse.

    Maybe they get the wrong impression — even from this blog. Maybe, yes, they should read deeper, But step away from this blog for a few months and come back. What hits you?

    Talk of Nazis and “manifestos”. Bad Dads, gays be “broken”. Searches for “causes” of this damaged “condition”. EXODUS sending a rep to the Uganda conference. Some folks who want to criminilize gays. Talk of compulsory “treatment”.

    It may not be the fact, but what is the impression? Love? Compassion? Justice? Mercy ? Or something else? Maybe we need to pray that Christians will stop “hardening” them…

  386. Thanks, Eddy for this: “But on rereading your last post, I see that today is the anniversary of that tragedy. I’ll allow that you will likely be especially sensitive today and that your perception filters won’t be as sharp as usual.”

    Emotion clouded my judgement today. I should know better than to try to debate you when I am in pain, but your last comment was kind and gracious — and I do appreciate it.

    That being said, I do see a connection between (1) religious teachings against gayness, (2) prejudice/bias, (3) bigotry and eventually,(4) violence. They exist and a continuum — and those already prone toward fear and hatred may take it all the way. Some use # 1 to excuse #4. I know that you do not condone this. Most people stop at #1.

  387. Michael–

    My post was rather lengthy and very reasoned especially in contrast to the sarcastic tone of yours that I was responding to. The “LOL” that opened it was meant to be friendly. Beyond that, we must define words differently. I didn’t employ sarcasm once. My only comments that were at all ‘personal’ were ‘Rave on, dude’, my sentiments that your final paragraph read like a tantrum, and my ‘Thanks for asking’.

    You keep telling me that I’m getting you wrong. Yet, now you say that I’m trying to minimize ‘anti gay bias’. Michael, that NEVER came up at all. I think you are confusing bias and bigotry. We’ve been talking about people admitting to the bias that may be influencing their search for answers, their search for causes. We HAVE NOT been discussing bigotry or bullying. So, yeah, there’s a very good reason why you and never seem to be able to communicate…I communicate in English and try to stay reasonably close to the point(s) made by the person I’m talking to while you dismiss most of what I’ve said (which is way different than the attitudes expressed by many of the religious oppressors) and hit me with the assault that took your friends life and seriously injured you.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t minimize the importance or significance of that terrible occurrence…BUT our conversation was about admitting when bias may be behind our research or conclusion and my point was simply that you only seemed interested in my side admitting our bias while failing to acknowledge your own while actively demonstrating it! –There is NO connection between that horrific event and our current conversation.

    A word of apology. I’m going to let what I’ve written stand simply because I don’t like to see my name so closely linked to anti-gay bigotry or violence and I want to make it incredibly clear that I do not condone violence or bullying in any form (although I do have one brother I dream of thrashing)…But on rereading your last post, I see that today is the anniversary of that tragedy. I’ll allow that you will likely be especially sensitive today and that your perception filters won’t be as sharp as usual.

  388. One last note, and I will let this drop. I think I am (today) particularly senisitive to what seem (repeat, “seem”) to me to be Eddy’s attempts to negate or minmize anti-gay bias.

    7 years ago today, an attempt was made on my life and my best friend was murdered for beng gay. Eddy will probably point out that folks on his side have been the victims of hatred and violence too, and, of course, he will be right.

  389. Sorry. That was out-of-line. Believe it or not, I am trying to behave myself in a more adult manner, but when it comes to you, Eddy, there is something about the way we interact with each other that gets my goat every time. You put out the bait, and I bite. I should know better.

  390. Never mind, Eddy. You and I have been around this rose bush many. many times before. You think I am close-minded and I feel the same way about you. Your “LOL’s” and saracstic jabs are on no higher level than mine.

    And it gets us nowhere. You, as a gay mjan, know exactly what I mean when I point out anti-gay bias. Is there anti-religious bias? You bet! And, much of it well-deserved. I have no desire to “silence those who believe that homosexuality is ‘fallen’”. Rave on, dude.

  391. LOL. Read the Exodus position statements, statement of belief, whatever…Read the preprinted blurb re ‘what we believe’ that accompanies most Exodus related ministry newsletters or teaching sheets. They state ‘where they’re coming from’…their bias, as it were, right up front. Those of us who blog here also don’t make a secret of our particular bent or bias. Yet you continue to seem to want more…and only from those who share my point of view.

    Re your second post. Rave on, dude! You only continue to prove my point. You embrace openmindedness as long as openmindedness does not consider the possibility that homosexuality is ‘broken’ or ‘fallen’ after all.

    And you close with a ‘tantrum’ paragraph that I’d expect from a grade school student not an adult. But here we go: I do believe in hell and I believe that many heterosexuals go there; I further believe that not all homosexuals go to hell but I worry about the eternal fate of those who have hardened their hearts. No, I don’t have clear guidance on who’s in and who’s out as far as hell is concerned.

    I don’t want to ‘fix’ or ‘cure’ anybody but I do want to help them find the grace and strength to live in accordance with their beliefs. (Yes, their beliefs…I can share what I believe and explore what I believe without cramming it down someone’s throat…’to convict of sin’ is simply not my job.)

    I don’t have a particular desire to stamp out sin, whether it be homosexual or any other kind. As long as we are here on this earth, sin will be here with us. Beyond that, I also think it’s hypocritical of religious folks to be intolerant of one sin while others run rampant all around them.

    And, finally, I don’t want to deprive homosexuals of basic civil rights. In fact, I want a number of their rights either expanded or more clearly protected. But, as a result of my exposure to blogging here, I have changed my mind re gay marriage and am no longer in favor of it. (I have seen how you and others want more than rights; you want the sense of legitimacy that legal marital status would convey. I know you would take that sense of legitimacy and use it to further your efforts to demean, diminish or silence those who believe that homosexuality is ‘fallen’. It’s a personal point of view. I share it when asked. Thanks for asking.)

  392. And here is one big difference: I only care what “causes” heterosexuality as a matter of intellectual curiousity. I do not think that heterosexuality is sick, sinful or broken.

    I don’t think they are straight because they had bad parents — or were abused — or were ridiculed by their peers for being straight . I don’t believe that heterosexuality is psycholically, morally or spiritually inferior to homosexuality.

    I don’t assume that something must have gone haywire for them to turn out heterosexual. I don’t think it needs to be prevented or treated.

    I don’t think heterosexuals go to Hell if they keep it up. I don’t want to fix or cure them of their heterosexuality — and I have no desire to stamp out heterosexuality or deprive heterosexuals of basic civil rights. Can you say them same of gayness?

  393. Eddy: I am only asking that people who see their bias admit it up front. I admit mine.

  394. Timothy==

    LOL. What was the reason/justification/motivation for the school desertion or ‘walkout’? How many were involved in the ‘desertion’?

  395. Michael-

    What they really seem to be interested is “curing” or “fixing” homosexuality — or stamping it out altogether. I don’t trust them — the ones who have already made up their minds that gayness is sick, evil, etc.. I don’t think of them as scientists and, no, I don’t trust them. Why should I?

    You seem to be able to clearly see the bias beam in the eyes of the religious cause seekers yet remain blind to your own beam. Please consider this parallel statement:

    What they really seem to be interested in is ‘rationalizing’ or ‘legitimizing’ homosexuality–or making it mainstream. I don’t trust them–the ones who have already made up their minds that gayness is natural, healthy, etc. I don’t think of them as scientists and, no, I don’t trust them. Why should I?

    I am fine with your lack of trust. I understand it completely. I would think that you could also be fine with my lack of trust and also understand it completely. I agree with the openmindedness that you aspire to; my issue is only with the bias statements that you couple so freely with your professed openmindedness. I understand you have a bias against religious folks who believe homosexuality is ‘fallen’ or ‘broken’; I also understand you have a bias for viewing homosexuality as a completely normal counterpart to heterosexuality. What I don’t understand is how you can appeal to openmindedness but then couple that appeal with statements that clearly speak to your bias.

  396. But I do care whether your book is truthful, accurate, and honest. Or whether you have instead opted for lies, smears, insinuations, wild extrapolations, and repeating of ridiculousness all in the cause of demonizing and demeaning gay people and their lives.

    I guess you’ll just have to sit on the edge of your seat, dear boy.

  397. Evan: Like Eddy, you have me wrong. I do not believe that “researchers are (not) interested in sexual orientation as a matter of basic research,” Some surely are! Heck, it’s natural to be curious, to ask…

    But in my experience at least, many (particularly those with a strong religious bias) are not really interested in how and why sexual orientation and gender idenity emerge — as a matter of normal wonder and intellectual curtiousity.

    What they really seem to be interested is “curing” or “fixing” homosexuality — or stamping it out altogether. I don’t trust them — the ones who have already made up their minds that gayness is sick, evil, etc.. I don’t think of them as scientists and, no, I don’t trust them. Why should I?

  398. @Michael Bussee

    Actually, I expect “the cause” of homosexuality to be something good, and “the cause” of heterosexuality to be something bad. Which doesn’t mean that homosexuality is good and heterosexuality is bad.

    Homosexuality may be good for some and bad for others, depending on what they decide. This is where bias usually stems from.

    It’s not a good way to deal with the subject by making generalisations about why commenters are interested in this; it breeds mistrust and vociferation, IMO. There are many reasons, cultural, scientific, religious, moral, among many. I think it’s a subject that stirs emotion in anyone, more or less. Personally, I’m also interested in the biological underpinnings of personality and the evolution of self-awareness and, more generally, in the interplay between biology and culture, but these are not the subject matters of this blog.

    It’s too bad that you don’t believe that researchers are interested in sexual orientation as a matter of basic research, because, as I told Debbie before, at a deeper level, this is a question of understanding gender. We have a monolithic understanding of gender that is to a great degree the result of cultural sedimentation and taboos. Some things are so taboo that researchers can only approach them from the distance, by studying extremes. Homosexuality would be one of them, in my opinion. Studying sexual orientation is similar to making society go through a slow therapy of its own convictions, because science is officially considered the reference paradigm today (by governments and law-makers, for instance). So, it will have a big say in the public debate.

    The more interesting questions of tomorrow would be what is a “woman” and what is a “man” and how do they reflect/differentiate each other and their parents’ genetic and behavioural contributions (everyone has genes for both a man and a woman, because gender genes are not only on X and Y…) (how much of a “man” would be in “women” and how much of a “woman” would be in “men”, same with “mothers’ fathers” in “sons” and “fathers’ mothers” in “daughters”, etc). I think we are going to find things are not so static and pre-defined as the current dogmas on hormones and genes want us to have them, but a lot more dynamic and liable to adapt, depending on development and all sorts of choices. It will take time, because people are afraid of the outcome. (Some people are so lazy that they want science to find out who they are, to confirm who they are.) This is another point I wanted to make, about the fear of meaninglessness, by current frames of reference, and how people cope with it. I’ll do it on a different topic, maybe.

  399. You’re not going to like much of the book. Deal with it.

    I’m don’t really care in the slightest whether I “like” the book. Knowing your opinions and your writing style, I find it unlikely that it would be an enjoyable read.

    But I do care whether your book is truthful, accurate, and honest. Or whether you have instead opted for lies, smears, insinuations, wild extrapolations, and repeating of ridiculousness all in the cause of demonizing and demeaning gay people and their lives.

    If I had to make a wild guess in advace… I think it will probably be the latter. But I’d love to be proven wrong.

  400. See, I already know judgment is going to begin with the household of God. I am in that family.

    Me too.

    Leave the judgment of poor little me to God.

    Will do.

    Now can you kindly return the compliment?

    If I sow badly, I will reap accordingly.

    I don’t doubt it at all.

  401. Eddy: This was a good question: “Isn’t that the nature of bias…that those with a bias rarely see it as a bias?…”

    Yes, I suspect that is often true. But I’ll bet that (at least when it comes to the question of homosexuality) you know your bias and I know mine. Warren and David surely know theirs. Nicolosi knows his. These biases are guesses, constructs, prejudices, beliefs — not facts.

    What I am asking is that those who are smart enough to realize that they are biased at least be honest about it.

  402. Eddy: Once again, you are wrong about me. I am only speaking for myself, not “my side”. Truth is, no one knows what “causes” homosexuality. I have a theory, but it is only that — a theory — a guess. That’s all any theory really is.

    Asserting theory as fact is known a “reification of the contsruct” — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reification_%28fallacy%29. It a fallcy of reasoning that both sides of the debate on the “causes” of homosexuality make all too frequently.

    Nicolosi “knows”. NARTH “knows”. EXODUS “knows”. Gay Activists “know”. But that’s arrogance and folly!. Furthermore, I am not asking that we “abandon the search for ’cause’ even though that has not yet been disproven.”

    What I am asking for is for both sides to ask the larger question that Carole suggested: “What are the underpinings of sexuality?” and to admit, up front, if we are starting from a bias that homosexcuality is either evil or good. Otherwise, the “facts” we find to support our “thoeries” are largely determined by what we expect or want to find.

  403. Knowing that you are going to commit this sin in advance, i wonder about your beliefs regarding redemption.

    Oh, brother. Give the adolescent sermonizing rant a rest, Timothy. Preaching doesn’t work coming from your lips.

    You’re not going to like much of the book. Deal with it. Leave the judgment of poor little me to God. You are obsessed with the ninth commandment. Why don’t you go preach to your own advocacy groups? Do you know all the sins they are going to commit in advance, too? Or did God not really die and appoint you His successor?

    See, I already know judgment is going to begin with the household of God. I am in that family. If I sow badly, I will reap accordingly. So be it. End of story. If you are that worried about me, pray for me. I’ll take all the help I can get.

  404. Michael Bussee said:

    Let’s be frank. This has always been, at root, not really a scientific debate — but a quarrel over Scripture and morals. And those who look for “the cause” rarely admit their religious bias…

    I’m afraid I need some clarification. First, what is ‘this’ referring to? This blog, this particular topic? Please explain.

    I agree wholeheartedly that it isn’t really a scientific debate but I see both sides coming up way short on the science. Michael’s side is wanting us to treat theory as established fact and to abandon the search for ’cause’ even though that has not yet been disproven. That doesn’t sound like science to me.

    LOL. And those who continually bash ‘the cause seekers’ rarely admit their bias…. Isn’t that the nature of bias…that those with a bias rarely see it as a bias?…they simply know they are right and attempt to shout the other side down.

    Lastly, I’m not quite sure of the intent of that last sentence…I mean, I do get the bashing part…but just what are you saying? The words ‘those who look’ and ‘rarely admit’. Just who are you referring to? I admit a religious bias; Debbie admits a religious bias; Exodus admits a religious bias. Is it only NARTH you are referring to?

  405. @ Timothy,

    “Annoying” is a compliment…especially given the task at hand.

  406. Carole: I love this! Thanks!

    “…the search for the biological underpinings of sexual attraction is downright interesting,..”

    Now that’s an attitude I can respect! it is, indeed, fascinating! Why are some flowers yellor and some blue? What makes stars shine at night? How does plate tectonics work?

    I can respect that kind of intellectual curiousity, that sense of wonder — because it doesn’t begin with the assumption that these things are wrong, bad, sick, sinful, immoral, disordered. etc.

    What bothers me are the folks who are hell-bent on trying to find the “cause” so they can “fix” it. They rarely, if ever ask: “What causes heterosexuality?” Instead, they begin with the assumption that straightness is “good” — and don’t even bother asking the broader question about the “undeprinings of sexuality”.

    And they seem reluctant to admit that they are starting with this unscientific prejudice against the thing they are “studying”.

    Furthermore, it scares me that some of these same folks want to go a step further and would make “treatment” compulsory once they figure out out to fix it. Some already think they know how…

  407. I’m not in the slightest interested in the intentions of Kirk or Madsen. I’m certain that they had plenty of intensions. Some of them I agree with.

    But what you are doing is extrapolating the intentions of these two men and assigning them to ten million people. It isn’t honest.

    Frankly, Debbie, this has as much integrity as if I went to the writing of Fred Phelps and then declared that his ‘God Hates Fags’ rants are a manifesto of Christianity.

    I’ve seen that done as well. I’ve heard gay people say, “Christians all are haters. They may not all say ‘God hates fags’ but they believe it”. And it is not true either.

    But I do think you have answered my question as to why you hold so dearly to the notion that there was a manifesto and that quotes from this book are evidence of something. You wrote a book.

    And it appears that you did so in the vacuum of your own beliefs. You didn’t contact Madsen (Kirk is deceased) or any of the leaders of any groups to see if there was any truth to your assumptions. Did you?

    Did you look to see if there was even the slightest direct evidence that this book was treated as a manifesto by anyone? Did you look at all the groups already taking the steps that it laid out? Or did you just say, “well this happened so it must have been due to a secret implementation of the book”?

    When your book comes out, if you’d like to send me a copy I’ll happily review it. But I will do so from the perspective that any claims made in your book be evidenced by fact.

    And if you carry a message out to conservative Christians that After the Ball was a manifesto of the gay community and that quotes within it are evidence of something, you will be guilty of bring a false witness to conservative Christians. You will be presenting yourself as an authority on a subject and witnessing to an event that did not occur. You will be breaking the ninth commandment.

    You will be flagrantly defying God.

    Knowing that you are going to commit this sin in advance, i wonder about your beliefs regarding redemption.

    Do you believe that bringing false witness is acceptable? Or can one simply claim “I chose to ignore evidence to the contrary and instead decided to believe it” and therefore not be held accountable for speading a false witness?

    And once one comes to know that your witness is not true, what then? Can one simply say, “I’m sorry God” and have the slate wiped clean. Or does the fact that one is warned in advance require some greater effort. In other words, does God just forgive those sins that one knowingly commits with intent to repent after the action is done without any consideration of the results of the sin?

    Or will you have to put as much effort into healing the results of your sin as you did in committing it? Will you have to make a public retraction? Will you have to repent not only to God but to the community you maligned?

    Let me put this in terms you may better understand: if you go forward with printing a book that contains information that you have reason to know is likely not true – or even which you know is refuted but which you declare to be true without any evidence or first hand knowledge – I would not want to be you when it comes time to face God.

  408. With all due respect, quoting Paul Rondeau, the Director for Development at Pat Robertson’s school, isn’t likely to impress me. And, try as you might, scare quotes from the book simply isn’t evidence of some nefarious scheme.

    Let me ask you a direct question, Debbie.

    Do you have some need for the change in attitude toward gay people to be the result of duplicity? Would it make any difference to you if I could conclusively prove to you that there was no secret hidden behind-the-scenes master plan?

    Having been told that this book was not a manifesto, why do you demand that it was? Why the “extensive notes”? Why the urgent insistence?

    What is this all about for you?

    For me, Timothy, it’s all in a day’s work. It is part of an ongoing conversation here. Why do you interpret what I say as “urgent insistence”? That’s more descriptive of your feelings, apparently.

    I am not even saying that the Kirk/Madsen manifesto (look up the definition) is “nefarious.” It just is.

    Maybe this will help you to understand my interest. You know that old expression, “What’s it to you — are you writing a book”? Well, I am. Have written it already, in fact. And it, too, can be defined as a manifesto according to the dictionary definition. I won’t be the least bit offended if that’s what you want to call it. Only it would be nice if you don’t call it nefarious. But I really don’t care.

    And any “proof” you could offer about the intentions (or lack thereof) of Kirk and Madsen would impress me about as much as Paul Rondeau impresses you, to answer your snarky question.

    I’ll be interested in seeing how well you remember this discussion when my book comes out and you feel compelled to review it.

    By the way, what are the quotes from “After the Ball” evidence of?

  409. Debbie,

    With all due respect, quoting Paul Rondeau, the Director for Development at Pat Robertson’s school, isn’t likely to impress me. And, try as you might, scare quotes from the book simply isn’t evidence of some nefarious scheme.

    Let me ask you a direct question, Debbie.

    Do you have some need for the change in attitude toward gay people to be the result of duplicity? Would it make any difference to you if I could conclusively prove to you that there was no secret hidden behind-the-scenes master plan?

    Having been told that this book was not a manifesto, why do you demand that it was? Why the “extensive notes”? Why the urgent insistence?

    What is this all about for you?

  410. although he described you as a bit annoying also (certainly my experience).

    Ah gee, you say the sweetest things.

    The story I told occurred when I was attending a private Christian school and while the principal was annoyed (I deliberate picked a day when he was out of town), I was a favorite so he was also amused.

  411. The biggest issue, however, is buying into the entire ‘condition’ mindset. I have an immutable sin condition…always have…seems I was born with it…sin just comes naturally to me. When we define something as a ‘condition’, it leads us to seek causes and explanations for the condition and bypasses the simple notion that we have a natural tendency towards self-gratification. Any behavior that provides any gratification or reward leaves its hook.

    I tend to try and use the word “attribute” rather than “condition”.

    As to whether we all are conditioned towards sin, I think that’s a given. Greed, arrogance, selfishness, self-righteousness, various bigotries (valuing those like us and disgarding those unlike us), deceit. All of those are attributes that are absolutely necessary to some extent in order to survive. So our instincts drive us that way. But they are also all falling short of the mark, not reaching the potential of the way God would wish us to live.

  412. I have to add one thing — I didn’t mean to suggest that those who discuss theology do not also discuss biology or that they don’t see a connectedness between the two. I just meant that I was not involved in theological discussions or discussions about sin.

  413. @Michael Bussee,

    Besides which, doesn’t it make more sense, on the surface, that peer ridicule would push someone away from homosexuality, not toward it?”

    Yes and no. Teasing, ridicule–they lead different people to different responses. The overweight child who is teased about her/his weight might seek to become thin by eating less, but is just as likely, probably even more likely to seek comfort in doing what gives comfort–eating. The child who is very shy and is teased for his/her bashfulness, is actually more likely to turn further inward because of the teasing. At a different age, the child who sought comfort in eating might then turn to a different behavior-dieting. So, it’s hard to say.

    Let’s be frank. This has always been, at root, not really a scientific debate — but a quarrel over Scripture and morals. And those who look for “the cause” rarely admit their religious bias…

    If by “this has always been…” you are referring only to your conversations on this blog with people who discuss theology, then disregard my comment below.

    However, if by “those who look for ‘the cause’ rarely admit their religious bias…” you are referring to anyone who looks for the cause or is interested in the cause, then I’d have to offer that I am not religious, I know lots of folks who aren’t religious. Neither they nor I see homosexuality as a moral failing. We lean heavily toward a biological explanation (being careful not to ascribe 100% of anything to one cause, I might add.) So to me, and I have to add, to many others, from a biological perspective, the search for the biological underpinings of sexual attraction is downright interesting, interesting just like anything else in the study of biology and physiology when how something develops, how something works hasn’t yet been explained.

  414. Besides which, doesn’t it make more sense, on the surface, that peer ridicule would push someone away from homosexuality, not toward it? One of NARTH’s “experts” (Berger) even suggests that we allow teasing and ridicule to prevent boys from going gay!

    Eddy (and I would assume, David) think of homosexuality as an expression of “an immutable sin condition”. Something gone haywire. I think of it as just another example of God’s incredible variety. How many different kinds of flowers? How many different galaxies?

    Like Eddy, I believe we all have such a “sin condition”. He and I love the same Lord and believe the same Bible, but we have come (through study, prayer and our own life experience) to very different conclusions. I think of sexuality (gay or straight) as morally neutral — like fire. It can be used to warm or to destroy. Sin is how you use it.

    Let’s be frank. This has always been, at root, not really a scientific debate — but a quarrel over Scripture and morals. And those who look for “the cause” rarely admit their religious bias…

    !

  415. @ Timothy,

    I have contacted your former school principal and in fact verified your above average, perhaps superior, peer relationship skills…although he described you as a bit annoying also (certainly my experience).

    So…the equation must be modified:

    o=((42c[bp[ur^fm}])/M-h)g-+TKfactor

    There! (sigh).

    Oh crap…I forgot to factor in gerber peas!

    this is endless.

    Much simpler to blame Genes or Sin.

    Aha!

    Genes + Sin = SSA.

    What a relief…I may not be right, but I am comforted (see movie, Doubt)

  416. As for the causation of orientation, I’m sticking with my hypothesis. And as no one has ever been able to refute it, I’m considering upgrading it to a theory.

    Homosexuality is caused by Gerber’s strained peas.

    LOL. Sorry to mess that one up, but my earliest memory is of sitting in my mother’s lap and spitting out strained peas (I presume they were Gerber’s). I absolutely hated them. I was such a stubborn little kid, I also remember holding scrambled eggs inside my cheek like a hamster until I was dressed and went outside to play, where I would promptly spit them out.

    On a more serious note, and in response to Timothy’s comments about my comments on Kirk and Madsen, etc.:

    Yes, I have read the book. I made extensive notes on it, in fact.

    I am not saying that these two invented the entire strategy by which gays would help the rest of us “conquer … fear and hatred.” What they were suggesting ought to have been pretty obvious to anyone with even rudimentary knowledge of public relations and media manipulation. They just managed to affix it in more permanent form in a book, which is why we can call it a manifesto. Events occurring simultaneously — the moral laxity of the Church and the social justice movement taking root in government schools — gave the movement added impetus.

    Kirk and Madsen did include some memorable and quotable lines in their book, like:

    Thus propagandistic advertising can depict all opponents of the gay movement as homophobic bigots who are ‘not Christian’ and the propaganda can further show them as being criticized, hated, and shunned. …. Our effect is achieved without reference to facts, logic or proof. … The person’s beliefs can be altered whether he is conscious of the attack or not (pp. 151-153).

    Their suggestions were based on the same socio-psychological principles that had proven effective in earlier mass communications manipulation attempts. This sort of thing was institutionalized at Columbia University through the work of Marxist-influenced social scientists — Paul Lazarsfeld and Leo Lowenthal being chief among them. Columbia Teacher’s College sent a number of influential educators out to sow these seeds.

    Paul Rondeau, who wrote an article in 2002 for the Regent University Law Review called, “Selling Homosexuality,” noted:

    If history repeats itself, the point of view that holds sway in America’s courts will first hold sway in the minds and hearts of individual citizens, judges, and lawmakers. And the heart and mind of society is the target market that the gay rights campaign means to capture in order to win the courts.

    Look at his statement in light of what is happening today. Also consider that President Obama’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court lines up with his view that justice should be based on empathy rather than being “blind” and dispassionate. Empathy is what the gay movement has generated so well.

  417. All this talk about peas but I find myself hankering for pie…hmmm.

    LOL. I think it was Michael who so eloquently stated that our thinking is steered by our basic premise. My premise clearly leads me to these observations and I simply want to add them to the mix.

    My apologies in advance for mixing metaphors but I think sometimes we can’t see the forest for the tree. (the ‘s’ left off intentionally) One big issue I have with reparative therapy is not that they are barking up the wrong tree but rather that they tend to regard it as the only tree.

    The biggest issue, however, is buying into the entire ‘condition’ mindset. I have an immutable sin condition…always have…seems I was born with it…sin just comes naturally to me. When we define something as a ‘condition’, it leads us to seek causes and explanations for the condition and bypasses the simple notion that we have a natural tendency towards self-gratification. Any behavior that provides any gratification or reward leaves its hook.

  418. P.S. Just leave out the darned peas (and thus any soy that might have infiltrated those peas) as a variable. No one will ever know better.

  419. BT Carolus,

    This is similar to, but clearly quite different and distinct from, the question of whether if there is a ‘gay gene’ there is a ’straight gene’ too?

    Ohhh, I think I get it now. It’s kinda like (but still somewhat a bit different from) if there is a gay person in the forest, but no one is around to hear him, he is straight, Right?

    And yes, the parabolas makes sense too. See, stay at something long enough, and it all starts to make perfect sense.

  420. Timothy

    That sounds like an epic prank. The gay guy whom I grew up with (if that makes any sense) was ridiculously popular, attractive, smart and athletic (good genes?). So apparently “peer ridicule” is not universal. Alas I suspect that you and he are the exceptions, though.

    Also, how do we incorporate Gerber’s strained peas into the equation? If this is not possible, then either it or the peas will have to go.

  421. Carole,

    Quadratic equations are for parabolas. Obviously sexual orientation is way too complicated to be expressed as a parabola (however, if you’d like we could use a parabola to express something minor, like gender for example). The actual equation, in the completed form which David and I have just settled, calculates both OSA and SSA. It aims to solve that vexing question of “if there’s a gay equation then shouldn’t we expect to find a straight equation too?” by combining both into one. This is similar to, but clearly quite different and distinct from, the question of whether if there is a ‘gay gene’ there is a ‘straight gene’ too?

  422. Peer ridicule/alienation is a later occurring event that factors heavily in the development of SSA.

    Sigh. I seem to miss out on ALL of the good gay stereotypes.

    I was, ahem, pretty popular.

    Recollections… I just remembered a time in 8th grade when I organized a mass desertion from school. When the morning break time was over, teachers went outside to find not one single student in sight. Pure panic. Ah, good times.

    As for the causation of orientation, I’m sticking with my hypothesis. And as no one has ever been able to refute it, I’m considering upgrading it to a theory.

    Homosexuality is caused by Gerber’s strained peas.

  423. It’s my field of study, too. It’s just that we begin from a very different set of assumptions…

    They assume that there is something psycholgically, spirituallly and morally wrong with homosexuality — and I do not. Where you end up depends on where you start.

  424. Then again…. why should one’s sexual orientation have anything at all to do with Blakeslee’s and Throckmorton’s field of study – psychology.

  425. David: Are you acknowledging that you may have it backwards? It’s like the old belief that a troubled relationship with Dad = gay son, instead of gay son = troubled relationship with Dad. (And even that doesn’t hold true!)

    We seem get into trouble when we begin with the assumption that something must have gone wrong for a kid to turn out gay…

  426. Oh, and after you get the equations all good and everything..we want a geometry proof showing that one can switch orientations at will.

  427. But guys,

    Doesn’t it have to be a quadratic equation? I mean, aren’t those crucial… for some reason?

    Oh and….we have to have one for OSA, and it has to be as good as the one for SSA. Yes, so in the end, whatever quadratic equation you come up for SSA, the the imperative must be that OSA=SSA (wow, that’s weird) because the person who likes the smiley faces (yes, I am joshing with you, Jayhuck but I don’t have smiley faces on me right now to convey that to you) says that we have to be as concerned with OSA… and we do.

    Thanks for the laugh, guys. It was good.

  428. @ Bussee

    Biology + Gender Atypical Interests + Peer Ridicule = SSA

    or

    Biology + GAI + SSA = Peer Ridicule

    I was short…I just out-competed those who ridiculed me. It helped until puberty hit…then I was hopeless lost.

  429. Excellent. We now have our equation. When we submit this for publication do you want the first or the last name in the author list? We of course should put Timothy somewhere in the middle, and perhaps pad it with a few grad students or post-docs so that it looks more impressive. 😉

  430. A CONSTANT!?!?!

    In the area of Sexual Attraction?!?!

    42 seems about right.

  431. While I accept that cultural stereotype (which I believe should =c) should be included in the equation, I find Pi to be necessary, because it is a constant. One ought to have a constant in one’s equations. I’m not sure why, exactly, I just know that one should. I suppose, however, as the average homosexual has not been proved to be circular, that Pi could be replaced by something more appropriate. 42, for example, is said to be a very important number. Also, perceived masculinity should probably be represented as h, as both p and m are already in use. Therefore:

    O=(42c[bp[ur^fm}])/M-h

    It also occurs to me that the entire equation should be modified by gender (g) such that if a particular subject’s gender is male then g=1, but if the subject’s gender is female then g=0 such that:

    o=((42c[bp[ur^fm}])/M-h)g

    From this we can conclude likelihood of any male child’s becoming homosexual is o, but the likelihood of any female child’s becoming homosexual is 0. We already know this to be an accurate result because, as Drowssap demonstrated above, lesbians do not, in fact, exist.

  432. Oops

    O=Pi(BP[urfm])/M-pm

    There.

    Wait a minute…if we substitute Cultural Stereotype for Pi we get…

    O=CS(BP[urfm])/M-pm

  433. NOW! …we are getting somewhere.

    Close…

    O=Pi(BP[urfm])M-pm

    Where M is actual masculinity and pm is percieved masculinity.

    I think Gottman is trying to come up with a mathematically measurable model to assess marriage by interactions.

    Maybe there is a way for SSA.

  434. Re David’s comment:

    It also implies BIOLOGY + PEER RIDICULE = development of SSA

    Couldn’t your equation be just another example of the old “post hoc, ergo propter hoc” fallacy? Short people are often ridiculed for their small stature, but that certainly does not make them short.

    I think you have it mixed up; Biology + SSA = peer ridicule.

  435. David

    So essentially what you’re saying is that o=Pi(bp[ur^fm]) where o=orientation, b=biology, p=peer ridicule, u=in utero complications, r=birth order, f=father/son estrangement, and m=mother son enmeshment.

    Clearly we now need to determine a series of questionnaires attached to sliding scales in order to determine each variable. Also, I would propose that the effects of the above factors can be modified by perceived masculinity (M) such that the new equation should be o=(Pi[bp{ur^fm}])/M

    I will have to see if I can get funding to carry out a study examining the comparative accuracy of each proposed model in predicting orientation.

  436. How does it work?

    Great question…and it doesn’t work because currently, you cannot define the parameters adequately to create the equation.

    But all of psychology is Biology+Environment.

    Breaking it down further Biology (genes+temperment) + Environment (inutero nutrition+quality of delivery+mother/infant bond+father/child bond+peer relationships+nutrition, peer relationships).

    Father/Son bonding is a small fraction of the environment and according to developmental theorists like Nicolosi, there has to be co-occuring conditions of biology, maybe birth order, and mother/infant enmeshment.

    I don’t know how research studies could factor out the father/son bond while controlling for the other variables.

    Peer ridicule/alienation is a later occurring event that factors heavily in the development of SSA. It is easier to objectively and independently measure and occurs closer to the emergence of SSA.

    BIOLOGY + In Utero + Birth Order + father/son estrangement +mother/son enmeshment + PEER RIDICULE = Development of SSA in Men.

    Using Caps attempts to show that some factors weigh more heavily than others.

    It also implies BIOLOGY + PEER RIDICULE = development of SSA

    It also implies Birth Order +father/son estrangement +mother/son enmeshment = Development of OSA and SSA in men.

    Now that that is perfectly clear.

  437. David

    How is your proposed formula supposed to work? I understand interest calculations, but I’m not sure what they have to do with sexual attraction.

  438. I just helped my son with understanding compound interest.

    I think there is a similar formula in sexual attraction, regardless of orientation.

    Gender X Biology X Years X 0.1.

    I don’t think factor analysis is refined enough to find what developmental theorists assert.

    There is plenty of work to do around what factor analysis does find.

    And the values of religious practice and mental health in filtering sexual attractions.

  439. Josh

    The short answer is that, as it stands now, paternal relationship has no demonstrable affect on the development of SSA, and very few researchers outside of reparative therapy circles expect that to change. Further reading with an open mind (of this blog’s content, for example) will probably convince you that no origin theory has been proven. You will also find that nearly everyone who takes an interest in the debate is biased toward their pet theory; some people are absolutely convinced that their theory is correct, others merely favor one but are willing to consider multiple alternate explanations.

    My broader opinion on paternal relationship and developing SSA is that, although it is not a root-cause of homosexuality, a homosexual man’s personal mix of what he finds attractive in men and what he wants out of relationships will probably be heavily affected by his relationship with his father (as would a heterosexual woman’s). This offers a rather nice mechanism for how the ideas behind reparative therapy first came about, as well as why many men have found them convincing.

  440. As someone with no experience or expertise in the field, my question might not sound as eloquent as some of the other posts on here.

    However I still want to ask- If Nicolosi’s position on the influence of paternal relationship on SSA development is wrong, what is the right position on it?

    Would anyone say that the nature of one’s relationship with his father has no effect on whether he develops SSA? How would you categorize the role of paternal relationship in developing same sex attraction?

  441. And the Band Played On…

    When I was in early college I was stunned when my good friend came to me in a homosexual panic. During a long conversation he revealed that he had been struggling for years and asked for my direct help.

    I remember looking persistently for help in the Christian community…there was none that I found (1978 in LA).

    His father was aloof and distant…looking back, I remember him being ridiculed cruelly at work and at high school. He was a great kid who loved fast cars and hanging around all of us.

  442. You have misread what I wrote.

    What you said was: “Go read Kirk and Madsen, who crafted the gay PR campaign in 1988-89. It is they who used the word “peculiarities.” Please don’t pretend you don’t know what that means.” and when I asked if you really believed in such a manifesto you said “Yes, I do.”

    I think I didn’t misread at all.

    What I said, Timothy, is an environment that ushered in the changes you speak of was created, somehow. I also said the Church helped in that process. Does that sound like a vast conspiracy? If so, it was generated by Satan.

    I’m rather inclined to think that it was the moving of the Holy Spirit opening hearts, minds, and eyes towards God’s grace and love and away from legalism and hidebound dogmatism. But I certainly am not surprised that you see Satan there.

    What Kirk and Madsen wanted to happen is clearly laid out in their book. Somehow, it has happened,. So you deduce how it came about. Was it a spontaneous “big bang”? Or was there a force behind it? Were Kirk, Madsen and others just prophets?

    Did you read what I wrote? I explained in great detail how the image of the gay community changed. It truly is offensive, Debbie, to act as though I wrote nothing at all. Please do me the courtesy of at least acknowledging that I already addressed your question.

    And have you personally read After the Ball? Or are you only repeating what others have said?

    It’s not like anything that Madsen and Kirk said was new. Or not being discussed already in the community.

    ATB said to work with the media to change image. But GLAAD (the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) formed in 1985, four years before the book was published.

    ATB said to work in both parties and not be just tied to one political ideology. But Log Cabin Republicans was founded in 1975, fourteen years before. Democratic organizations already existed.

    Just what, exactly, was in After the Ball that isn’t just plain ol’ common sense that wasn’t happening on its own anyway?

    Please, Debbie, name one thing.

    One thing.

  443. When you go about claiming that gay activists laid out goals 20 years ago and stuck to some PR project, when you imply there has been some grand conspiracy, when you suggest that gay people took marching orders from Kirk and Madson, you do so dishonestly.

    You can’t bear witness to that, Debbie. It didn’t happen.

    You have misread what I wrote.

    What I said, Timothy, is an environment that ushered in the changes you speak of was created, somehow. I also said the Church helped in that process. Does that sound like a vast conspiracy? If so, it was generated by Satan. What Kirk and Madsen wanted to happen is clearly laid out in their book. Somehow, it has happened,. So you deduce how it came about. Was it a spontaneous “big bang”? Or was there a force behind it? Were Kirk, Madsen and others just prophets?

    I’ll ask you the same question, Warren.

    We don’t say “no one ever ever ever has ‘left homosexuality’ and married”. That would be foolish.

    We don’t say that some folks find more meaning in a marriage to a person that perhaps originally engendered less phyisical attraction than to a person that did. We don’t say that there are not valid reasons to find a life that conforms to ones religious faith. We don’t even say that there are not some people who were same-sex attracted that now have found themselves opposite-sex attracted.

    Who is saying you are saying that stuff? The Straw Man? Have I said that? That’s a non-issue.

  444. As I have dug into the Scott Lively material, I am having my eyes opened wider to how deceived many evangelicals are.

    It makes sense to me.

    In a confusing world you can’t possibly know everything. And because dishonest people abound, you look for those you can trust. Naturally, evangelicals look to “their side” for their sources of information.

    “Christian news sources” and “family organizations” look like good sources. They speak the same lingo, they share the same values, they have the same concerns, and they even have the same enemies. And besides, they’re Christian, they wouldn’t lie.

    Unfortunately, it leaves them victim to unscrupulous cads and the well-intentioned but misinformed.

  445. On balance, I go with Timothy’s points regarding immutability. I still am agnostic about any given male as far as change goes, but as a group, men appear to be less flexible than women. The studies seem to come together around that observation. Of the 191 males I surveyed last summer, only 2 said they had changed from gay to straight completely. The others reported SSA that persisted and in most cases was a regular aspect of experience.

    So it would be a great thing on the blog if we could observe that principle. When discussing sexual orientation aspects, men should be compared with men and women with women. What that means for public policy is a completely separate matter.

    RE: the After the Ball stuff, I sincerely doubt Debbie is knowingly promoting a falsehood. As I have dug into the Scott Lively material, I am having my eyes opened wider to how deceived many evangelicals are. So when they talk about these things, it really seems like the pieces fit in such a way as to confirm the attributions offered in books and sermons they have heard about gays. I think however, that lying is knowing the truth and deliberately promoting something else.

  446. — that homosexuality is an immutable condition. Folks like me make up an inconvenient truth for folks like you, Timothy. So, what do we do with that?

    I don’t do anything with it.

    Look, Debbie, you can be whoever you want to be. No one is saying that you shouldn’t live your life the way you choose (wouldn’t it be nice if you reciprocated?).

    We don’t say “no one ever ever ever has ‘left homosexuality’ and married”. That would be foolish.

    We don’t say that some folks find more meaning in a marriage to a person that perhaps originally engendered less phyisical attraction than to a person that did. We don’t say that there are not valid reasons to find a life that conforms to ones religious faith. We don’t even say that there are not some people who were same-sex attracted that now have found themselves opposite-sex attracted.

    But we know – as do you – that the vast overwhelming percentage of people who try and change the direction of their attractions fail miserably. So we don’t object to “I changed” but rather to what you and so many others add to that: “and so can you”. Because it isn’t true.

    The fact is, Debbie, that for most gay men (I’m not going to try and speak for women), the direction of their affection, attraction, emotional draw, and sexual desire will ALWAYS be towards other men. That simply can’t be refuted.

    For the overwhelming majority of gay men, the orientation of their attraction is immutable.

    Fact.

    Although that may be, as you say, an inconvenient truth, it is nonetheless the truth.

  447. Debbie,

    You are sinning.

    One of the Big Ten, in fact.

    You are bearing false witness. It’s a sin, Debbie. God so hates bearing false witness that he wrote it with His own finger on a tablet of stone. It rates right up there with murder and theft.

    When you go about claiming that gay activists laid out goals 20 years ago and stuck to some PR project, when you imply there has been some grand conspiracy, when you suggest that gay people took marching orders from Kirk and Madson, you do so dishonestly.

    You can’t bear witness to that, Debbie. It didn’t happen.

    OK, now that I’ve caught your attention, let’s talk about what did happen. I’ll be glad to discuss it with you. Because gay folk have absolutely made efforts over the years to dispell the myths, refute the imagery, and break the shame.

    And yes, we did change the imagery of gay people in this country. Groups like GLAAD fought hard against stereotypes and bigotries and smears and slurs and comedy in movies that was nothing but homophobia and cruelty. Media changed.

    And yes, we did change the perception of gay people in this country. Through 40 years of coming out – especially in the last decade or so – of meeting with corporations and legislators and chuches and neighbors and family and grandma at thanksgiving and the PTA and the homeowners association and on and on. Attitudes changed.

    And we grew up some as well. Some was just maturity of a young community, and some was the consequence of a plague that decimated a generation of gay men. We collectively realized that the values of fidelity and monogamy were not simply outdated oppressions but gave meaning to relationships and was physically safer. We changed.

    And as more folks came out, it wasn’t just the radical who was willing to talk to the press; business people and theologians and community pillars stopped fearing for their jobs and position and were confident to speak on our behalf. Our leadership changed.

    And yes we did put ourselves out there. We opened our lives to the spotlight, we took the time to object to offenses, we marched and talked and voted. And after exposing our community to the glare of constant public scrutiny, guess what happened: America wasn’t revolted by what they saw. America changed.

    But we didn’t do so from some master plan, some nefarious manifesto. That’s just a fiction created to demonize gay people and portray them as sneaky and underhanded.

    So, yeah, I get it that you’re angry. You want America to disapprove of us. You think we aren’t a suspect class and that we don’t deserve rights. And you’re losing that argument.

    But that anger does not justify falsehoods. Or baseless accusations. Or imaginary plots.

    So go on ahead and think that it is just terrible – terrible!! – that gay people have changed America’s image of them. But if you insist on claiming that it’s due to some master plan in After the Ball, you are making a fool of yourself.

  448. Oh Debbie. You don’t actually believe all that nonsense about After the Ball being some sort of manifesto, do you?

    Yeah, Timothy, I do. I also believe the devil is real, but then, I’m just a wacko conspiracy theorist.

    No one really needs to read “After the Ball” any more except for the historical edification it may provide. Regardless of how organized the “campaign” may have been, the goals gay activists laid out 20 years ago have largely been achieved. It’s history now, and younger gays don’t need a book to tell them what they can see perfectly well with their own eyes.

    Take Kinsey, the guy who made up the 10 percent (of the population is gay) figure — I’m away from home, so I don’t have my files to get his name — Judith Levine, Columbia Teacher’s College, Kevin Jennings and his ilk and throw in the mainstream/gay media and you have a social movement that was primed to capitalize on the lukewarm attitude of the Church and fill the void.

    When conservative folks, particularly evangelicals, woke up and saw what was going on, they struck back. But each successive generation has become more lazy and removed from the values that once defined the bedrock of our society. The momentum has been with the deconstructionists for decades. They defined the debate and recast those in opposition as homophobic, hateful, yada, yada, to great success.

    Gay “rights” implies that something has been wrongfully denied gays. That belief has seeped into our consciousness over time and now the movement is the next civil rights movement, despite there being no evidence that gays are a “suspect class” minority — that homosexuality is an immutable condition. Folks like me make up an inconvenient truth for folks like you, Timothy. So, what do we do with that?

    We have a great need for compassion toward those who have been harmed on both ends. There are a lot of self-serving lies floating around because too many don’t want to play by the rules.

  449. Timothy,

    That’s too pick and choose for me. But you are not correct about my thinking on the issue.

    I don’t think homosexuality is inborn as an unchangeable or unmalleable trait. And I do believe that it can be a handicap to a person’s life.

    As to number two – I don’t agree with that either.

  450. What, in the world, does this mean?

    Go read Kirk and Madsen, who crafted the gay PR campaign in 1988-89. It is they who used the word “peculiarities.” Please don’t pretend you don’t know what that means.

    Oh Debbie. You don’t actually believe all that nonsense about After the Ball being some sort of manifesto, do you?

    If Jayhuck doesn’t recognize some term from that book, it’s because he – like 99.9% of gay America – has never read it. I am one of the few gay people out there who have actually read the book back in the 80’s. I thought they made some very good points but – as someone who actually was involved in activism at the time and who knew all the movers and shakers in the community – I can assure you that no one tried to craft some PR campaign based on the book.

    It isn’t in print now and if you look on Amazon it says “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” and then lists a bunch of anti-gay writings.

    There was no “gay PR campaign” nor any nefarious attempt to fool America.

    Yes, it is true that as the gay community matured it chose to remove wacky firebrands with more credible speakers and took some responsibility for self-policing some of the less responsible parts of the community. But if you think that gay organizations or leaders took their directions from some book then you are sadly mistaken.

  451. Mary,

    Still oversimplified. Way over simplified. If this is what gays and conservative christians really think – then what about those who are in the middle definition somewhere.

    Yes, it is way over simplified.

    But if I had to guess, I’d place you closer to the first category. I think that you see sexual orientation as more of an attribute than, say, a habit.

    Am I that far off base?

  452. My point is that there are few, if any, sexual practices found solely in the gay community – the straight community practices them as well.

    Not exclusively like gays must do. And their sex procreates. Those on the outside of the gay community looking in focus on the natural and the unnatural. The unnatural tends to set them off and lead them to conclusions that are not necessarily right but are predictable. Among lesbians, you see the natural male-female sex act roughly simulated. I wonder why.

  453. Debbie,

    My point is that there are few, if any, sexual practices found solely in the gay community – the straight community practices them as well.

  454. Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen – the psychologists – OK, I’ve heard of them, although I know little to nothing about their campaign. I still want to know what you meant by saying that: “It is difficult to explain away the peculiarities of gay sex, even with the best PR campaign on earth.”

  455. Debbie,

    I’m a Christian – most of my friends are too – I hang around a great many of them on a regular basis.

    Kirk and Madsen? I have no idea who they are. I wondered what YOU meant by saying that.

  456. What, in the world, does this mean?

    Go read Kirk and Madsen, who crafted the gay PR campaign in 1988-89. It is they who used the word “peculiarities.” Please don’t pretend you don’t know what that means.

    This is a pretty common view among some Christian groups – it boils down to hate the sin love the sinner that we’ve all heard many many times.

    That’s a cop-out. How many Christians do you hang around on a regular basis?

  457. You’re a bit closer in the first category. The “evil, abhorrent, vile sin” camp is on the extreme end. I believe most — at least that’s the way it is in my experience — who see SSA as a fallen-nature temptation not unlike other temptations realize all sin is abhorrent in God’s holy eyes. His children, on the other hand, are beloved, whether or not they are in rebellion. The “haters” are very much in the minority.

    This is a pretty common view among some Christian groups – it boils down to hate the sin love the sinner that we’ve all heard many many times.

  458. It is difficult to explain away the peculiarities of gay sex, even with the best PR campaign on earth.

    What, in the world, does this mean?

  459. The second category rejects the notion of orientation, sees homosexuality solely as behavior and therefore inherently sinful and often believe that identifying as gay is an evil sin, abhorent, vile, and worthy of the greatest condemnation and social retribution regardless of whether or not any sexual behavior occurs.

    You’re a bit closer in the first category. The “evil, abhorrent, vile sin” camp is on the extreme end. I believe most — at least that’s the way it is in my experience — who see SSA as a fallen-nature temptation not unlike other temptations realize all sin is abhorrent in God’s holy eyes. His children, on the other hand, are beloved, whether or not they are in rebellion. The “haters” are very much in the minority.

    Does homosexual sex gross a lot of people out? Yeah, it does. That’s a different matter. Lying, cheating, stealing, gossiping and other garden-variety sins are common to us all. Being angry enough to be called a murderer of our brother by Jesus is also common, as is committing adultery in our hearts. Gay sex is not viewed as common, so a lot of folks tend to rank it with the uncommon sins, especially those of a sexual nature. It is difficult to explain away the peculiarities of gay sex, even with the best PR campaign on earth.

  460. Still oversimplified. Way over simplified. If this is what gays and conservative christians really think – then what about those who are in the middle definition somewhere. Seems the two activist sides want as much division as possibel.

  461. I think that the camps might better be divided into:

    1. Homosexuality is a naturally occuring attribute – whether neurologically, genetically, by means of early environmental factors, or some combination thereof. It is likely to be life-long and is not a significant handicap to a person’s life.

    2. Homosexuality is not an attribute of a person but rather it is a temptation, or a habit, or a choice, or a disorder, or a demon, or a rebellion against God, or some other non-natural sourced behavior and it can and should be remedied / cured / repented of / punished.

    The first category accepts that same-sex attractions (what we call orientation) are generally fixed in most cases, are not an overlay on top of heterosexual attractions, and are not in and of themselves “sinful” or disordered. This group may vary widely on the issue of behavior, ranging from “always sinful” or “detrimental to the body / soul / psyche” to “God given” or “to be shared in a committed relationship” with lots of variations in between.

    The second category rejects the notion of orientation, sees homosexuality solely as behavior and therefore inherently sinful and often believe that identifying as gay is an evil sin, abhorent, vile, and worthy of the greatest condemnation and social retribution regardless of whether or not any sexual behavior occurs.

    I’m sure this is an over simplification, but I think it at least is somewhat close.

  462. I have noticed that Dean Byrd lately has been making an effort to specify a range of causes. However, if NARTH does not want to be identified with reparative therapy, the organization should stop misusing data and they should issue a public statement about causation such as the APA has issued.

    They can’t not be identified with reparative therapy as it’s too ingrained, but I absolutely agree they should issue a statement. They let some articles speak to the various causes, as I pointed out above, but they could benefit from an “official” statement.

  463. @Drowssap:

    RE: Choice – Generally, NARTH nor Nicolosi does not believe the experience of SSA is chosen but rather the behavior is chosen based on the reparative drive.

    I have noticed that Dean Byrd lately has been making an effort to specify a range of causes. However, if NARTH does not want to be identified with reparative therapy, the organization should stop misusing data and they should issue a public statement about causation such as the APA has issued.