Saturday, April 26, 2008


In the article, entitled, "The Science of Sexuality," by Greta Christina, she states the following, after expressing her faith that science one day will come to understand the origins of sexual orientation, and that mere conjectures do a disservice to the question:

"So why don't we try a different angle for a while. Maybe something like this:

"'We don't really know what causes sexual orientation. And we don't think it matters. It's probably a combination of genetics and environment, but until more research is done, we don't really know for sure. And we don't think it matters. It's an interesting question, one many people are curious about -- but it doesn't really matter. Homosexuality doesn't harm anybody, and it doesn't harm society, and our relationships are as healthy and stable and valid as anybody else's ... and it isn't anybody's business but our own.

"'We deserve rights and recognition because we are human beings and citizens: as much as racial minorities, whose skin color is inborn, and as much as religious minorities, whose religion or lack thereof is learned. The 'born versus learned' question is a fascinating one, with many possible implications about human consciousness generally. But it has absolutely no bearing on questions like job discrimination, or adoption of children by same-sex couples, or whether we should be able to marry. We don't yet know the answer to this question ... but for any practical, political, social, or moral purposes, it absolutely does not matter.'"

I fully agree with her conclusions! It really doesn't matter why a person is Gay or Straight or Bisexual or Asexual; it doesn't matter why a person manifests gender in ways not considered "appropriate" by many in a given culture at a given time! What matters is how we treat each other!

Regardless of the causes of our sexual orientations or preferences; regardless of the causes of our gender performances and identities, each and every human being must be accepted and embraced for the precious person he/she is!

In addition to the scientific dimension, where Christina is right on the money, there is also the spiritual dimension which is much harder for most people to get a handle on, and from which many people distance themselves, falsely thinking that the "spiritual" is less real, and indeed less valid, than is the "scientific."

However, even given a little thought, we can see that most of our decisions throughout life are based, not on "scientific" considerations, but on "spiritual," visceral, inclinations, such as our feelings determining those with whom we become friends, whether we like dogs or cats, with whom we choose to spend the rest of our lives or whether we choose to remain without a permanent relationship.

"Scientific" criteria rarely, if ever, play a major part in our day to day decisions! Indeed, even the criteria that form the basis of our day to day decisions may even be elusive to us, yet it must be admitted that scientific rationality, the scientific method, is usually very far from our minds and consciousness when we make most of the crucial choices and decisions as to how we live our lives!

Although I'm not particularly "religious," I am "spiritual," to the degree that God has graced me to be, and I'm convinced that sexual orientation and gender identity, our sexual and/or emotional fixations and their degree of fluidity, our "objects" of desire and our sense of intactness in living out those (and so many other) aspects of our lives as created beings, are spiritual in causation and nature, and should be directly contingent upon our faith or trust in God and in His sovereignty.

Therefore, especially for the Christian, it should be far easier to deal with a status or statuses that is or are stigmatized and even vilified by mere fallible, often hateful, human beings, whether they be professing Christians or not; whether they be clergy or not.

As Christians, we look to God to define our reality, and we know deep down in our very beings that God made us as we are, and that we owe no one any apologies for being who God created us to be; we don't allow any other fallible human being to tell us what God wants for our lives; we are to live out every aspect of our lives authentically before God and before human beings, without apology, without fear, without shame, without guilt!

Unfortunately the scientific method, as valuable as it is, is not likely to affirm (or be able to refute) these contentions, these truths!

Although the spiritual and the secular meet in the "thin places" in our lives and in the world, they are viewed as being so far apart in the consciousness of most people that the technologies and techniques available to scientists to study such questions as orientations, identities, comportment, and preferences can't even remotely approach the meanings that God has placed in His creation of His LGBT children.

My strong distaste for vegetables, for example, might be a mere curiosity, but is in the secular sense of the same order as anyone's sexual orientation or preference or gender identity or gender performance. We'll never know why I hate vegetables, even if we were foolish enough to spend an inordinate amount of time studying the question, and it's neither less nor more important for us to exhaustively study our food preferences than to study our emotional/sexual preferences and gender identities.

Indeed, I think we'd get far more bang for the buck by studying why so many people feel the need to do studies to find out why some people are LGBT!

Just as one shouldn't be discriminated against because of food preference, one shouldn't be discriminated against because of sexual orientation or preference or gender identity or gender performance. Even if such preferences, performances, and identities were freely chosen (which they most definitely are not), it wouldn't change the fact that oppression and discrimination would be unjust and no less egregious than if these preferences, performances, and identities were solely biologically determined and not within the person's control.

The reasons for our differences in these, and all other aspects of our lives are completely irrelevant when it comes to how we treat each other; completely irrelevant regarding each of us deserving to have equal rights under the law!

Just as no two snowflakes are alike, no two people are alike! God specializes in diversity, and He made each one of us according to His sovereign will for us and for our lives and for our relationships, and how dare anyone, professing Christian or not; politician or not; clergy or not, dare condemn what God in His sovereignty has made!

So, the scientist in me would be intrigued if we could find out the roots of our emotional/sexual orientations, for example, but those roots, if found, would only be secular in nature. And regardless of those secular roots, discrimination, unequal treatment, and oppression would still be uncalled for and, indeed, obscene!

The far more important root cause of who we are, who we love, who we sexually desire, our gender identities and gender performances, come from the One Who created each and every one of us! And no one, particularly a Christian, should ever forget that fact!

We are children of God! And no scientific study, regardless of how sophisticated it is, can trump that reality!
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