Saturday, January 23, 2010
Is Homosexuality a Choice
Is Homosexuality a Choice
California’s Proposition Eight gay marriage ban is being challenged in the California Courts. Gregory Herek, a social psychologist from the University of California was called on to the testify on Friday, January 22. Herek reminded the court that mental health associations stopped regarding homosexuality as a mental illness decades ago.
The central question the court is trying to decide is whether homosexuality is a choice or not. If it is not a choice then the whole movement can be categorized as a ‘rights movement’ alongside racial and ethnics civil rights movements in America’s past. The goal of the trial is to determine if state laws that ban homosexual marriage are unconstitutional.
Herek declared that gay, lesbian and bisexuals do not choose their sexuality. This is a topic I have a great interest in so I was alerted to the findings of an expert social psychologist. Upon what basis did he establish his findings? This is the whole basis for his conclusion: he did a survey and found that 88% of gay men said they had no choice regarding their sexual inclination and 68% of lesbians said they had no choice. So, the overwhelming evidence the court is suppose to accept is a study that says homosexuals have no choice in the matter because they said so!!
“The vast majority of lesbians and gay men and bisexuals as well, when asked how much choice they felt they have ... say they have experienced no choice or very little choice about that,” Herek said.
As a Christian I am very much aware that God’s love and justice will apply equally to all people regardless of their sexual orientation. One of God’s clear directives regarding homosexuality is found in Leviticus 18:22 - "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable." God never commands us to do something we are incapable of doing. The sin is recorded when the act is committed. It may very well be true that a man has no choice in the fact that he is born with certain feminine traits or even with a deposition toward homosexual behavior. This man has not sinned until he has yielded to his own fleshly desires.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 - "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." (NIV). If what Mr. Herek proposes is true would it not also be safe to say that those who are born with a predisposition to thievery cannot help but steal and those born with a predisposition to alcoholism can’t help becoming alcoholic? If so, then the justice of God is much compromised and it is quite unfair for him to command us to do things we are incapable of doing.
A man who desires alcohol doesn’t have to become an alcoholic. A man may be strongly tempted toward adultery in ways that other men are not but he doesn’t have to become an adulterer. A man may be strongly tempted toward homosexual behavior but he doesn’t have to participate in the sinful act.
Perhaps the missing element is the power of God in our lives. One might argue that because of our sinful nature we must sin. When we confess our sins and submit to God he gives us the power of his Spirit to resist sin. In ourselves, we cannot do it, but through the power of his Spirit he makes it possible to live lives of empowerment and purity.