Christian Medical Dental Associations’ Response to Homosexuality

“Other men's sins are before our eyes; our own are behind our backs”   Seneca

 

windblown sand in the desert- freefoto.com

 

My husband and I are long time members of Christian Medical Dental Associations. Link  “Christian Medical and Dental Associations exist to glorify God–by motivating, educating and equipping Christian doctors and students:
 

  • to serve with professional excellence as witnesses of Christ's love and compassion, and
  • by advancing biblical principles of healthcare within the Church and to our culture.”
     

This group is nationally recognized for its research and positions on medical ethics and is routinely called to testify before Congress on issues as far reaching as stem cell research, abortion, right of conscience, and end of life decisions. Please visit their website for thoughtful analysis on a myriad of issues.
 

A few years ago, we received a tape from CMDA of a testimony by Sy Rogers. His words so moved me that I passed this tape on to many friends. Sy, a male homosexual, had decided to undergo a sex change operation at John Hopkins Hospital. He prepared for it by taking the usual does of female hormones which began to transform his body. However, he had met some Christians along the way who began to pray with, and for, him. If I remember correctly, the day before his operation was scheduled, Hopkins shut down their program. Thus began Sy’s journey into the faith.

 

 

Sy is dedicated to helping those who struggle with same sex attraction. He also reaches out to many Christian parents who have children who are gay. Here is a LINK to his website. 
 

However, there is one thing he said on this particular recording that has stuck with me through the years. He claims that many Christians seem to be bent on converting the homosexual to heterosexuality when they should be focused on converting the non-Christian to Christianity. He believes that the Holy Spirit then works in the individual to transform him/her into a person who is pursuing the faith in all aspects of his/her life.
 

In other words, there are Christians who seem more concerned about changing one particular aspect of behavior instead of transforming the entire person by the renewing of the Holy Spirit. Without the power of the Holy Spirit in the life of a person, there is little hope for any change in behavior.
 

Such a change takes place over time and can be fraught with difficulties. Think about the overweight person who goes on a diet. How many persons do you know who lose weight only to gain it back again? We all sympathize with the struggle when it’s a sin that we share but are disgusted when it’s a sin that we personally find revolting.

 

A man, whom I will call Mark, who said he had been a member of a Sovereign Grace Ministries church in England wrote one of the saddest comments I have ever read here at TWW. He had been a celibate homosexual for a number of years. Although it had been difficult, he was maintaining the course.
 

However, a church member claimed that he saw Mark at a gay bar. (Why said member was at a gay bar did not appear to concern the pastor). The pastor told Mark he that he was being turned over to Satan and would not be allowed to come back to church. Mark protested and said that was not true and proceeded to provide evidence as to why it wasn’t true. Then, said pastor asked him if he had ever had any homosexual thoughts. Mark honestly said he had some struggles in that area. So, the pastor said he was guilty of the act since he had thought about it and threw him out. Far be it for a SGM pastor to admit his course of action is unwise!
 

I have one thing to say to said pastor. “I wish I could broadcast all of your thoughts to the members of your church. Bet you would need to be turned over to Satan as well.”
 

Pete Briscoe defines a Christian as one who sins, repents, brushes himself off and continues towards the goal only to stumble and fall and repeat the process over and over again until she goes to be with the Lord. A true Christian cares about the sin in his life. Mark cared and was honest and so exhibited his faith. I am not so sure that the pastor was honest about his own sin and may be deceiving himself about his own sin life.
 

Today I want to take a look at the potential causes of homosexuality and the Christian response to this particular issue. Here is a partial statement from CMDA. Go to the link for the entire statement. CMDA is not, in any way, associated with this blog.LINK
 

  • “The causes of same-sex attraction appear to be multi-factorial and may include developmental, psychosocial, environmental and biological factors. There is no credible evidence at this time that same-sex attraction is genetically determined.
  • Acting on homosexual attraction is voluntary. Claims of genetic or environmental determinism do not relieve individuals of moral responsibility for their sexual behavior.
  • Homosexual behavior can be changed. There is valid evidence that many individuals who desired to abstain from homosexual acts have been able to do so.”

 

CMDA explores some of the research being done in this area. Their statement reflect these findings. Please refer to the actual article for the footnotes on the studies.   LINK

 

 

The Genetic/Biologic Theories
 

A. CLAIM: There is a causal link between brain structure and sexual preference. In 1991, Simon LeVay, a former Salk Institute researcher, examined the brains in cadavers from over 30 people, 18 of whom were reportedly homosexual. He found the following:
 

"INAH 3 was more than twice as large in the heterosexual men as in the women. It was also, however, more than twice as large in the heterosexual men as in the homosexual men. This finding indicates that INAH is dimorphic with sexual orientation [i.e. shows a difference in structure between homosexuals and heterosexuals], at least in men, and suggests that sexual orientation has a biological substrate."2
 

Inconsistencies with LeVay's study include:3
 

  • Six out of ten of the "heterosexual" cadavers had died from AIDS, which is far more common in homosexual men than heterosexual men. "There is the possibility," said LeVay, "that the small size of INAH3 in the homosexual men is the result of AIDS or its complications and is not related to the men's sexual orientation." Brain size of both homosexual and heterosexual men varied, forcing LeVay to admit, "sexual orientation, although an important variable, may not be the sole determinant of INAH 3 size."
  • Brain size may have been affected by sexual behavior. Repetitive activity (concert piano player, professional tennis player) can affect areas of the brain making some areas smaller or other areas larger.
  • "It is important to stress what I didn't find. I did not prove that homosexuality is genetic, or find a genetic cause for being gay. I didn't show that gay men are born that way, the most common mistake people make in interpreting my work. Nor did I locate a gay center in the brain. INAH 3 is less likely to be the sole gay nucleus of the brain than a part of a chain of nuclei engaged in men and women's sexual behavior…. Since I looked at adult brains, we don't know if the differences I found were there at birth, or if they appeared later."4

 

B. CLAIM: There is a genetic link, as demonstrated in twins that causes homosexuality. The Archives of General Psychiatry published in 1991 a study by J. Michael Bailey and Richard C. Pillard that postulated the following:
 

"The pattern of rates of homosexuality by type of relative was generally consistent with substantial genetic influence."5

 

Inconsistencies of the Bailey and Pillard study include:6
 

  • "Subjects…were recruited through advertisements placed in homosexual-oriented periodicals and, therefore, may not be typical of the homosexual population at large."7 
  •  "Although identical twins have the same genetic code, non-identical twins and regular siblings share the same proportion of genetic material. Therefore, the genetic theories should show a similar amount of homosexual concordance between non-identical twins and regular siblings… There was no way to separate the intermingling of environmental and genetic effects, since all sets of twins in the study had been raised together and presumably subject to most, if not all, of the same environmental effects…If there is something in the genetic code that makes a person homosexual, why did not all of the identical twins become homosexual, since they have the exact same genetic code?"8 Only 50 percent of homosexual twins are homosexual.

 

 

C. CLAIM: Homosexuals have a "gay gene". Dean Hamer, a geneticist with the National Cancer Institute, incited a media frenzy in 1993, when he concluded the following:
 

"We have now produced evidence that one form of male homosexuality is preferentially transmitted through the maternal side and is genetically linked to chromosomal region Xq28…It appears that Xq28 contains a gene that contributes to homosexual orientation in males."9
 

Inconsistencies with Hamer's study include:10
 

  • "(Dean) Hamer's genetic sequences have been calculated to affect about five percent of the homosexual population, so even if he is correct, there must be some other explanation for what causes the vast majority of homosexuality."11
  •  No other study has been able to duplicate Hamer's findings. A team of researchers reported in Science in 1999 that, "because our study was larger than that of Hamer et al., we certainly had adequate power to detect a genetic effect as large as was reported in that study. Nonetheless, our data do not support the presence of a gene of large effect influencing sexual orientation at position Xq28."12

 

 

2. The Hormone Theory: Hormones in the womb cause a person to be homosexual.
 

Researchers Byne and Parsons describe it as follows:
 

"The prenatal hormonal hypothesis of human sexual orientation holds that male heterosexuality and female homosexuality result from prenatal exposure to high levels of testicular hormones, while homosexual males and heterosexual females are exposed to lower levels and thus retain a female pattern of brain organization."13
 

Inconsistencies with this theory include:

 

  •  "If a hormonal imbalance was responsible for homosexuality, then perhaps a simple dose of hormones to an adult would cure homosexuality. This is not the case, as has been demonstrated several times."14 
  • "If the prenatal hormonal hypothesis is correct, then one might expect to find homosexuality in a large proportion of males with syndromes involving prenatal androgen deficiency or insensitivity, and also in females with syndromes involving androgen excess. However, extensive reviews of the literature suggest that this is not the case…Currently, data pertaining to possible neurochemical differences between homosexual and heterosexual individuals are lacking."15

 

 

3. The Developmental Theories: Homosexuality is caused by instances from early childhood. Many studies from the last century have asserted that parental influence can make a difference in the sexuality of children.

 

"Freud (1916) described the mothers of homosexuals as excessively loving and their fathers as retiring or absent. Stekel (1930) noted strong, dominant mothers and weak fathers. In 1936, Terman and Miles found the mothers of homosexuals to be especially demonstrative, affectionate, and emotional, while the fathers were typically unsympathetic, autocratic, or frequently away from home."16

 

"The 'classical' homosexual triangular pattern is one where the mother is CBI [close-binding-intimate] with the son and is dominant and minimizing toward a husband who is a detached father, particularly a hostile-detached one. From our statistical analysis, the chances appear to be high that any son exposed to this parental combination will become homosexual or develop severe homosexual problems."17
 

Other researchers have confirmed this theory:
 

  • "The results strongly suggested poor parental relationships during childhood for the homosexual men, at least in retrospect."18
  • "The homosexuals, in contrast to the heterosexuals, reported their fathers to be more rejecting and less loving. The homosexuals also described their mothers as less rejecting and more loving…the homosexuals indicated less closeness to their fathers than the heterosexuals."19
  • Byne and Parson, 30 years later, confirmed the research on parental influence, when they said, "The literature suggests that many, perhaps a majority, of homosexual men report family constellations similar to those suggested by Bieber et al. to be causally associated with the development of homosexuality (e.g., overly involved, anxiously over-controlling mothers, poor father-son relationship). This association has been observed in nonclinical as well as clinical samples."20

 

 

4. The Child Abuse Theory: Children who are homosexually molested are more likely to be homosexual as adults.
 

Homosexually assaulted males identified themselves as subsequently becoming practicing homosexuals almost seven times as often as bisexuals and almost six times as often as the non-assaulted control group. Fifty-eight percent of adolescents reporting sexual abuse by a man prior to puberty revealed either homosexual or bisexual orientation (control group 90 percent heterosexual).

 

“Nearly half of men who have reported a childhood experience with an older man were currently involved in homosexual activity.” A disproportionately high number of male homosexuals were incestuously molested by a homosexual parent. Conclusion was that the experience led the boy to perceive himself as homosexual based on his having been found sexually attractive by an older man.21
 

Other researchers have also validated this theory:

  •  "This evidence may suggest that abuse and early sexual experiences can contribute to homosexuality, perhaps because of familiarity with sexual acts, and in some cases because of an initial sexual experience with someone of the same gender."22 
  • Fifty-nine percent of male child sex offenders had been “victim of contact sexual abuse as a child.”23
  • Nine hundred forty-two nonclinical adult participants, gay men and lesbian women reported a significantly higher rate of childhood molestation that did heterosexual men and women. Forty-six percent of the homosexual men in contrast to seven percent of the heterosexual men reported homosexual molestation. Twenty-two percent of lesbian women in contrast to one percent of heterosexual women reported homosexual molestation. 24
  •  Boys who were sexually molested have subsequently “a higher incidence of homosexuality.”25”

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

What are the implications of some of these studies? Frankly, the issue is not fully resolved and appears to be complex with multiple variables. On Friday, I want to deal with a better Christian response to the possibility that there is some biological determinant. I addressed this issue in a question that was answered by SoulForce a few years ago at Wheaton College. I would also like to address the pain that families experience when a child enters the gay lifestyle. The Christian community, in some instances, has not been supportive, causing pain by blaming the parents for the sexual orientation of their child.
 

Finally, in addressing the comment by Al Mohler, I want to say that I agree with many that not ALL Christians have lied or exhibited homophobia. In my own limited experience, however, I have found that many Christians have overemphasized the sin of the act of homosexuality and turned a blind eye toward divorce, domestic abuse, and sexual abuse. The majority of those who comment on this blog show a deep understanding of many of the issues involved and I only wish that Al Mohler could talk to some of you on this matter.

 

Lydia's Corner: 1 Samuel 24:1-25:44 John 10:22-42 Psalm 116:1-19 Proverbs 15:20-21

Comments

Christian Medical Dental Associations’ Response to Homosexuality — 59 Comments

  1. Lydia, thank you for providing this superb analysis which is supported by numerous researchers, several of whom I quoted in an earlier thread and who have written for the National Association for the Research & Therapy of Homosexuals (NARTH). This is extremely well done!

    Quote: “The Christian community, in some instances, has not been supportive, causing pain by blaming the parents for the sexual orientation of their child.”

    I’m glad you used the phrase “in some instances” because I know of several churches where the leadership and members see the homosexual lifestyle as sinful, yet they have been highly supportive of such parents. It’s important not to use a broad stroke with this and I appreciate your wording.

  2. Alison

    It is me, Dee, who wrote this. I named our daily Bible reading after our guest, Lydia, who always challenges us to be like Bereans.

  3. Just a comment…

    This is typical rhetoric, we want to use “science” and “evidence” so as to appear reasonable and logical, in order to defend an archaic concept such as sin which has zero basis in science. Does anyone else see the irony?

    Statements like the following, ”

    The causes of same-sex attraction appear to be multi-factorial and may include developmental, psychosocial, environmental and biological factors. There is no credible evidence at this time that same-sex attraction is genetically determined.”

    Let me ask all the biology students out there how something can be the result (in part) of “biological factors” and at the same time not be related to “genetics”. Did I miss something in my last biology class?

    The other concern is that this is one of those cases where the conflict between religious belief and scientific inquiry is problematic. A Christian researcher who believes that homosexuality is a “sin”…how likely are they to look towards genetics as a cause? The reasonable answer is, they aren’t…they will dismiss the possibility out of hand, because, even to “entertain” the possibility acknowledges that the Bible could be wrong or that the concept of the “sin” of homosexuality is unfounded. What we get are “researchers” spending their time and energy trying to poke holes in other people’s theories in order to protect their ideology, instead of actually conducting unbiased research in an effort to understand.

  4. Karl

    I will have to disagree with you. i know many Christian researchers who would be happy to consider genetic factors as a cause for homosexual tendencies. Are you telling me that all atheistic researchers would never, ever research, with bias, the claims of a miracle? I think some of them would be happy to as well. And, on Friday, i will give a reason why I, as a Christian, have not trouble, whatsoever, if homosexuality is found to be genetic.

  5. Dee,

    The primary difference between an atheist researching a miracle and a Christian researching a genetic basis for homosexuality is clear, at least to me. An atheist, in general, has no preconceived belief system to protect. They are an atheist simply because there is insufficient objective evidence for the supernatural. A Christian on the other hand is committed to an ideological system which, among other things, posits that the Bible and God are infallible. It is faith based, not evidence based has we have discussed many times, so while an atheist is free to change their beliefs in the light of new knowledge a Christian is bound to defend what he or she already believes to be the ultimate truth.

    If a Christian researcher were to find that genetics was the sole underlying cause for homosexuality, then I’d be very interested indeed in seeing how they would reconcile that with something the Bible considers to be an abomination, a sin, an offense worthy of punishment.

  6. Neither homosexuality nor heterosexuality is, per se, sinful or not sinful. Sin arises from acting inappropriately to the attractions that are inherent in both. I.e., having heterosexual sex with someone not one’s spouse is sin, not being attracted to those of the opposite gender. Similarly, whether one is attracted to someone of the same gender is not the question of sin, it is rather, what does one do about that attraction.

    I have great trouble with the term “gay lifestyle”. What is that life-style? Do you mean two men who have been together for 30 years and have never had sex with anyone outside of their relationship, who live quietly and are responsible citizens? Is the straight life-style the player who has sex with someone new (of the opposite gender) several times a month or more?

  7. Karl

    There is no problem with a genetic predisposition to homosexuality and the Bible’s stance on the issue. I actually addressed that with SoulForce and I think you will find their answer interesting. I will address that on Friday.

    One other thing I forgot to mention, something can be biological without being genetic. That cold you caught last winter was biological in origin and most likely had nothing to do with your genetics. However, this is not meant to be an argument against the possibility of genetic origins of homosexuality.

  8. Arce

    Your answer is excellent. Many in the church would be far more amenable to the straight player than to the gay couple. That shows how some in the church have a human perspective on the situation. Let me get myself into more hot water. I would rather live next to the gay couple leading a monogamous lifestyle than a couple of middle aged frat boys having a good old time-ala pick whatever reality shows pertains.

  9. Arce,

    So, would you then take a group of people who are attracted only to the same sex, let’s assume for the moment, that this attraction has a biological (genetic) basis and coerce them into heterosexual relationships for the sake of “righteousness”, even though it would seem their preference and desire is for a same sex relationship?

    Dee,

    Yes a “cold” virus is not genetic, but that is not what was implied in the above article. I do not believe they were implying a viral or bacterial agent is partly responsible for our sexual inclinations.

  10. Karl

    Look at the hormone theory above. Once again, I repeat, I have no trouble if a genetic basis for homosexuality is discovered.

  11. Karlton,

    No, I do not believe in coercion. That is not the role of the church. However, we have people running around saying that homosexuality is a sin, when all homosexuality is is a preference or proclivity, not an act of will. But having sex is, whether homo- or hetero-, and the context matters.

    I personally believe that the state functions of marriage and the church functions of marriage should be separated, one being a civil and contractual relationship and the other a religious oath and vow. The problem is what you call each given the long and complex legal and legislative intermingling of the two, which, quite frankly, should be considered a violation of the first amendment.

  12. Arce,

    I agree with you. Marriage should be a civil matter, if a church wants to recognize or reject certain types of unions, they are welcome to do that, but for all legal purposes a marriage should be a civil union.

  13. Dee said,

    “It is me, Dee, who wrote this. I named our daily Bible reading after our guest, Lydia, who always challenges us to be like Bereans.”

    Well then, bravo Dee on a job well done! I’ve also read some of Lydia’s work elsewhere and it is indeed good.

  14. Karlton:

    You are not suggesting that existing research has determined homosexual attraction to be genetically determined, are you?

    From what I have read, neither Christian nor non-Christian researchers have found any such thing. There are theories, but nothing proven.

    I believe that I am fairly well read, but I would be interested in any research that you could direct me to.

    Thanks.

  15. The religious affiliation of any person performing research is irrelevant.

    Otherwise, every peer reviewed study would start out with a footnote stating the religious affiliation of the author.

    I know dozens of scientists at the nationally known research institution (a major university) in our town. Some are Christian. Some are not.

    To my knowledge, none of them has been hired and none of their work has been praised or criticized on the basis of their religion.

    I can’t tell for sure, but it appears that some commenting would want to use religion as a basis to judge scientific research because of the probability of a bias.

    I think that the current system is better.

    Scientific research should be evaluated on the basis of how good the science is.

    We should not inject a witch hunt mentality into scientific research.

    Let the science stand on its own.

  16. Anonymous

    I agree. My husband published in some well known journals which, of course, are peer reviewed. Such review decreases the possibility of researcher based bias.

    On the other hand, Ken Ham, well known of Answers in Genesis YEC site, refuses to allow any studies on his site to be peer reviewed. He claims the reviewers are biased. Unfortunately, this allows Ham to pass off shoddy research that are laughed at by any serious scientist-Christian or otherwise.

  17. Anonymous

    Even if a genetic basis for homosexuality is found, it does not change things for the faithful one jot. i plan to address this tomorrow.

  18. Dee… OK.

    I wonder how it might feel to you if you were a person who was told by the church that the way you are made – your natural inclinations toward the same sex in terms of romantic and sexual desire – is somehow “wrong.”

    And further, that in order to please a slightly difficult God (who made you in his image and likeness – except, apparently, for that sexual orientation part) demands that you live alone, without any emotionally and physically close relationships (i.e., without a partnership</I.) for the entirety of your life.

    All because you *naturally* feel drawn to boys instead of girls, or vice versa.

    Doesn't that sound like a prison sentence to you? Something in which there is essentially no hope given for this earthly life?

    What are you to do? How are you to live, since you are cut off from one of the single most important kinds of normal human relationships?

    Should you try to see if you can function in a marriage to a heterosexual partner?

    Should you try to get yourself “cured” of your natural but unwanted attractions to people of the same gender?

    Should you go live on an island in the North Pacific – you know, somewhere far from any other people and very close to Siberia?

    Should you conclude that there might be something slightly off in the church’s interpretation of certain passages of Scripture?

    Should you believe that God made you as you are and that he has something better for you than a perpetually empty house/apartment?

    Or should you just [shiver] do away with yourself, because you are deeply flawed and not fit for human company?

    (Sadly, there are people who take that last option all too often.)

  19. Numo

    Your questions are excellent and valid. I will try to address them today. I also wish that it was an easy answer but it’s not. I wish God had given us an easy out, as well and I wish I didn’t have to talk about this but I feel compelled. When I post on Friday, I have a feeling that people on all sides of the fence will be irritated with me.

  20. Dear Numo,

    I have experienced homosexual thoughts and desires in the past. By God’s grace, and by the power of the holy spirit, I have been cleansed and made brand new. I am now enjoying a wonderful relationship with my wife, including regular and fulfilling sexual intercourse.

    I hope these comments will be helpful:

    You were born with sexual desires. You choose how and when you satisfy those desires.

    If you are lusting in your heart towards someone, real or imaginary, you are sinning.

    God designed and demands that all sexual activity and experience be confined only to a man and a woman who are married.

    What are we to do? Repent of all sexual lust. Saturate your mind and soul with God’s word. Think only good and pure thoughts. Focus and think on the work God has for you. Enjoy deep, rich, meaningful, relationships with friends of both genders. Employ the fruits of the spirit, especially self-control, at all times. Cry out to God when tempted. Ask forgiveness when you fall. Get regular help, accountability, and counsel from a trusted friend.

    Pray for your future wife. Seek the Lord as to whom you are to marry. Enjoy a wonderful, God-glorifying marriage in his perfect timing.

    I am praying for you. May you be filled with God’s love and grace.

  21. ” I would also like to address the pain that families experience when a child enters the gay lifestyle.”

    You lost me there – the term gay lifestyle is a cultural one, and I was a bit surprised to see it in what is an intelligent and careful post.

    Wade Burleson has a post up on how he ministered to ‘militant’ homosexuals from SoulForce.
    What a sad and disheartening read. I know he is a minister with a pastors heart, I’d like to believe he didn’t mean portray them as needy others; there is no way he can reach the folk SoulForce have, nor can I ever see any way he could.

    You may want to browse Wendy Gritter’s blog – Bridging The Gap. Her ministry chose to leave Exodus because of the melding of politics, faith and militancy; and she and her ministry were flamed by Alan Chambers in a US magazine for the decision. I’d call what he wrote and his attitude ‘militant.’ You might want to read her response.

    Back to the topic at hand.

    What does gay lifestyle mean?

  22. Numo:

    You did not address your question to me, but I will try to answer it.

    First, I am answering in what I believe to be a logical way. I am not trying to answer with empathy or without empathy. So please don’t take anything that I say as “bashing” or “heartless.” It’s just hard to have a heartfelt conversation on line.

    From a Christian perspective I would say that all humans are born or “made” with imperfections. I believe that is what sin entering the human race did to all of us. None of use are born perfectly – either physically, mentally or psychologically.

    I know people who are born with physical handicaps. I know others who, while not handicapped, are not physically as good at some things as others. They are prone toward obesity. They will never run a marathon, or if they do, not at a very good pace. Or they are weak and frail. Or they lack flexibility.

    I know others who have psychological or social shortcomings. They are painfully shy. They are weird. They don’t relate well to people etc.

    I know others who knock the top off the ACT and the SAT, while others struggle to get through school.

    Is it possible that the attraction to the same sex is just one of those random physical or psychological deficits that a person does not choose but enters life with? I don’t say that to be offensive, but why is that not a possibility? That some small percentage of people is going to have that issue.

    It appears to be clear that homosexual relationships are not reflected in the design of our bodies, so it is not normal in that sense. And it is exceedingly low in terms of population – 1% to 2%. But it may exist in some level in certain people.

    So, I assume that no person is born physically, psychologically or mentally perfect. Each person has their own difficulties.

    I also believe that sexual relations are acts of the will. I am heterosexual. I am not granted license to choose what I want to do with my body. I have tried, and try, to obey God in that area. When I don’t , I have sinned. I am called to harness my desires and to express them only in a way that pleases God.

    Some Christians take this to the point where they choose to live celebate lives. This has been the case since the first century. Some join orders (the Catholic Church). Others just live as faithful believers, but they are celibate.

    I have found in many of these people that they have very fulfilled lives, and that surrendering their will in the area of sexual expression has been a blessing, not a curse, even though they may have gone their entire lives without sexual relations.

    I can say that I have experienced that, to a much lesser degree in my own life. I came to Christ as a teenager. To be faithful and obedient to Jesus, I gave him my sex life. I have had to deny myself from that day until now. Not to the extent of celibacy (I am married), but it’s still denial at a pretty high level. Given my natural inclinations and instincts (which I did not choose), I would be having sex with a lot of people and doing other things as welll. But I don’t do those things because Jesus would not have me do those things.

    At any rate, that’s the best I can do in describing it.

    So, whatever our desires and inclinations, even if they have been with us since birth, if we are Christians, we must submit them to Jesus’ Lordship.

    I appreciate your honesty and hope that we can continue to dialogue.

  23. BeneD

    Thank you for your accurate analysis of my flub. You are correct. I had no intent to paint those who are homosexual as adhering to one particular life pattern. It was a flippant and an easy out.

    Let’s see if I can say it any better. Within the evangelical community, there are some who would demonize parents when their children begin to act on or live out their sexuality in the context of a homosexual relationship. Some Christians believe that it is the parent’s “fault.” This is wrong and a sad commentary on judgementalism by certain folks.

    I actually loved Wade Burleson’s response to SoulForce. I don’t know if you have experienced the Christian community’s response to this group but in some situations it has been downright dismissive and ugly. Liberty University, for example, closed their campus when this group came a number of years ago.

    I know that it is difficult for many to accept the Biblical admonitions against the sexual expression of homosexuality. However, for many within the faith, this is a given. If this is so, then how do we relate to those who would say that this is wrong, unfair, stupid, backwards, unloving, discriminatory, etc?

    Burleson had the guts to meet with these folks. He offered to house them and feed them during their intended protest at his church. He prayed for them and took time to get to know them. I know this is not full acceptance but for many of us who hold to the Scriptures, we cannot condone certain acts.

    This is not unlike the abortion argument. For some of us, we cannot cross that line. However, in the midst of such a stand, we can offer help to those caught in such a dilemma-pregnancy support via medical, financial and psychosocial support. I know that to those who believe in the validity of abortion choice this is not enough. But, it never will be. In some respects, we must learn to disagree while treating one another with respect. And that respect thing is what some Christians have failed on.

    I will now read the blog you suggested and get back to you after I write my post today.

  24. @ Concerned 2: I’m not gay. πŸ˜‰

    *Love* Wendy Gritter’s blog and meant to link to it earlier!

    Also, what is the context of that Romans passage? What is Paul actually talking about? We usually take those 2-3 sentences out of the whole, and (imo) that’s highly problematic. There is an overall point he is building toward, and sexual lust is not it, though it certainly is mentioned.

  25. P.S. – I supported ex-gay ministries (and one in particular) for many, many years, so the content of the pro-ex-gay comments here is very familiar to me.

    I used to preach it myself, quite passionately at times.

  26. Thanks Dee:

    Last trip to the US I picked up Mel Whites book, and have watched the react to SoulForce by many evangelicals for years. I respect SoulForce leadership, their clarity, intelligence and love for their constituency.
    I hadn’t considered Wade Burlesons willingness to meet, feed or house gays, lesbians and supporters would be unique for a SBC leader. But, yeah, you make sense.
    I’ll read Burleson whether I agree or not, he’s interesting, and I learn things.:^)

    If a label is need, I’m an evangelical straight ally for GLBT who have not yet been given the legal rights and protections Canada has granted. I am one of many within the faith who supports SSM.

    To blame parents is toxic and abusive, unhelpful, incorrect and the polarizing language carelessly accepted by the faith community adds to out of control imaginations, isolation ignorance and grief, and I hate seeing Christians manipulate each other in such a destructive way. You are correct it is a sad commentary. Gay lifestyle is a term out of the industry and politics of the US religious right.

    I appreciate your respect and clarification. You don’t have the market cornered on flubs, I do more than my share.;^)

  27. BeneD

    Like your name, btw!

    Thank you for giving me your background. Sometimes I do not know if I am dealing with someone who is a Christian or elsewise It helps me to ask appropriate questions.

    I am always interested in hearing people express how they came to their point of view. You are both an evangelical and a supporter of SSM. You also say that there are many in your shoes. I live in the South and know very few people who take that point of view. I note you live in Canada. Do you think there is a cultural/geographical difference? Also, could you explain how you as an evangelical, came to your point of view.

    I promise you, cross my heart, I am not trying to start a debate. I am merely curious, a problem I have had since childhood and a trait that has gotten me into all sorts of hot water.

    I am taking my time going through Wendy’s site. I am still trying to see how she transitioned in her pov. Numo, one of our regular commenters also encouraged me to read her site.

  28. @ Dee: you are so polite – I think I kind of kept pushing links at you, but whatever… πŸ˜‰

  29. I don’t want to debate or argue either.:^)
    I jump into conversations on blogs I really like (like yours!) oblivious to borders, it does help to at least geographically identify myself sometimes.

    I was raised inThe United Church of Canada, and was exposed to every denomination going because I was involved in music. The family moved over to Christian and Missionary Alliance when I was a teen, and as an adult I went to whatever denomination could fit my schedule as a broadcast journalist. So, I’m an evangelical mutt.

    I accepted Christ when I was 13, and decided to get baptized when I was 19, even though I believe the baptism I went through when I was adopted as a kid (age 7) was valid.

    I have always had GLBT friends, in school, church, in church camps, work…and began to get interested in the SSM debate when Canada went through it. GLBT issues came to the forefront for me personally when AIDS was perceived as a gay disease, I covered it, and I was appalled at some of the conservative evangelical positions. But I also saw Christians who stepped in, stepped up and ministered, so I’m didn’t come to my decision as polarized as the wider public debate has been, both in the AIDs epidemic and SSM debates.

    I’ve traveled the Southern US and know better than to open my mouth about religion or politics. There is lots of other things to talk about and enjoy as a tourist and as a guest.

    There are six basic viewpoints about SSM ranging from abomination to liberation. I used to think GLBT Christians should be celebate. I’ve changed my pov to equality.
    This viewpoints are explained in What Christians Think About Homosexuality by L.R. Holben.

    In Canada the word marriage is under federal jurisdiction. The provinces and territories handle the mechanics of marriage. Under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms religion and freedom of conscience are equal human rights.

    The discussion from where I come from is just not about religious freedom, child benefits or education, it is also about dignity, respect, equal rights and financial security. These are all biblical concepts. Should an openly committed gay or lesbian couple be denied the same 1500 privileges, benefits and obligations you enjoy?
    I am a strong opponent of reparative therapy, as I would be against any quasi-medical quackery being promoted by an industry using God’s name. (It is an industry, promoted by para-religious groups for political and financial gain)

    Canada went through a different political/social battle than in the US.
    http://www.mapleleafweb.com/features/same-sex-marriage-canada
    Gays have served openly in the Canadian military since 1989 for example, our culture is different and since the passage of C-38, the fears currently being expressed as the US changes it’s laws have not come to pass. Christians, Christianity, churches, charities and parachurch organizations have not been marginalized have not suffered, the country is not in legal mayhem or any more of a moral decline than it was prior to C-38.

    I am not going into the 6-8 key verses in the bible, simply because I understand attraction, orientation and identity are not accepted by some, any more than the granting of civil rights are. In inerrant interpretation, (abomination) the discussion usually doesn’t get past behavior. To circle back is reductionist and defeating when terminology isn’t understood the same way.
    The Holy Spirit is the one who convicts and guides and given cultural influence, I don’t think there will ever be common ground on some things.
    I respect someones right to believe GLBT should not have the same protections and rights as you do, and I am going to disagree. The Mosaic Code is in conflict with some of my beliefs. I don’t think non virgin brides should be killed. I don’t believe prostitutes should be burned alive. I don’t believe same sex attracted people should be executed, women declared unclean during menstruation etc.

    I guess I came to my beliefs because of extremism in conservative evangelicalism. I came to my beliefs because I know gay and lesbians, Christian and none-believers. I came to my beliefs because I wasn’t isolated in my job to the larger picture. I came to my beliefs carefully and prayerfully.

    I appreciate the fact you were willing to use your medical understanding in your terminology, thanks, it makes it easier for me to communicate.
    I see nothing in my walk with Jesus Christ which does not permit me to also use legal understanding and knowledge afforded me in the democracy I am lucky to live in. I do not find these understandings to be in conflict with my faith or with scripture.

    I mentioned straight allies.
    This is a start.:^)
    http://encouragementforliving.blogspot.com/2010/01/glbt-faith-advocacy.html
    Beyond ex-gay has some good resources and links also.

    This discussion beats the recent email I got from an evangelical in the US who flamed me into the middle of next week. I didn’t get to pass go, I get to go straight to hell. If I get those kinds of emails, what do GLBT Christians get? Sad sorry stuff. There has been enough damage and I will stand with those who are working to stop it.

    Thanks Dee, enough about me. I can identify with curiousity, it makes The Wartburg Watch a must read. Blog on!

  30. Anon,

    I was not implying that each religious credo brings with it the impossibility of honest research, what I was trying to get at was that if a person holds to a strict, verbal plenary, literal interpretation of the Bible (and there are plenty of people who fit that cetegory), then it would seem there is a very strong conflict of interest between their beliefs and the idea of researching to “learn” the truth as opposed to researching to “confirm” what they already believe is true.

    Imagine, if you will, that Ken Hamm or one of his ilk, should discover that homosexuality has a biological basis in genetics and that it is not simply a matter of choice or environment. How do you think they would handle this knowledge? I’m sorry, but I think they have way too much invested in defense of their position, to honestly publish what they found and as a result modify they belief system.

    I think this is obvious when you look at their positions on geology, archaeology, age of the earth and universe, etc. They simply twist or ignore the evidence and continue on with the beliefs, because obviously God must be correct.

  31. “Imagine, if you will, that Ken Hamm or one of his ilk, should discover that homosexuality has a biological basis in genetics and that it is not simply a matter of choice or environment.”

    Let’s imagine that it is proven some people are born with a fat gene. That means they have no choice what they eat and how often they eat. :o)

  32. Lydia,

    If those fat gene people carefully controlled what went into their mouth but still spent all day thinking about and desiring to eat more food (assuming such a thing were sinful) wouldn’t they still be sinning regardless of what they did on the outside. As the Bible points out, isn’t lusting after something just as much a sin as the actual act?

    If there is a genetic basis for homosexuality then regardless of how they might “control” their appetites on the outside, they would still have to be considered sinners because of their internal attraction toward the same sex .. in other words Christianity would have to condemn them either way.

  33. “If there is a genetic basis for homosexuality then regardless of how they might β€œcontrol” their appetites on the outside, they would still have to be considered sinners because of their internal attraction toward the same sex .. in other words Christianity would have to condemn them either way.”

    Not at all.

    14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4

  34. BeneD
    BeneD

    Thank you for your kind words. I hope I can live up to such a nice endorsement. I fear I make people mad at me each time I write!

    Thank you, even more, for taking the time to express your journey that brought you to this place. I love a good conversation and do not understand why so many shoot bullets instead of knowledge tempered with love. I see way too much of that on all sides of the debate and it irritates me. I know people who believe that I am a heretic for believing in an old earth and universe.

    Here is question for you and I promise I am not trying to start a disagreement. I do know some people who practiced gay behavior, believed they were gay, and then, through some form of therapy are now living life, married, as heterosexuals for over 20 years. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that reparative therapy has not been successful for many. Do you think it is ever possible to change one’s orientation, even for just a small number of people?

  35. Lydia

    I wish that the SGM pastor who through that poor man out of the church in England had actually known this Scripture. What DO they teach those folks?

  36. @ Bene D: Thanks for the lead on Shore – have checked out his blog and really like what he has to say. (Although I could wish that his language was, at times, a shade more temperate, if only because i think he sometimes uses words in a way that tends to either shut down conversation or else get people hopping made *before* they’ve read all that he says in X post[s].) But he is a very gifted writer, and his sense of humor helps tremendously in making many issues approachable.

    Dee & Deb, you ought to check out Shore’s posts on domestic violence + how many “pastors” let abusers off the hook…

  37. It is definitely not manly to abuse a woman or child, anyone of less physical strength or the emotional and psychological ability to use their strength in their self-defense. In fact, it should be considered anti-manly, as in “what kind of a wuss picks on a woman or child?” Pardon the pejorative language.

  38. Lydia,

    I’d have to disagree

    Mat 5:28 “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

    The same would surely apply to a man lusting after another man wouldn’t it?

  39. Anonymous

    Let me be the first to say that I would not want anyone to broadcast my thoughts on a minutes by minute basis and I would bet you wouldn’t want it as well. All of us struggle each day with our thoughts, trying to bring them captive to Christ. However, we cannot and we fail constantly. That is why we need the grace of God in our lives. The moment you think, even for a split second, that the guy who cut you off is a jerk, you are guilty.

    The verse you quoted was to show us just how deep we have violated God’s laws. It shows us our utter helplessness over sin. This was prior to the Cross. Jesus was pointing us to what He was about to do and how much we needed Him to do it. We cannot, no matter how hard we try, overcome our sin issues on our own. And that is why our Jesus came. To provide us a way out.

    For those who struggle with addictions, such as alcoholism, it is very difficult to never think of a drink again. And for most men, never having a stray thought about another woman is darn near impossible. We need to be very cautious that we do not put demands on others that we cannot keep ourselves. I do not think that was the intent of Jesus in this instance.

  40. Hi Dee:

    Good question.

    “Do you think it is ever possible to change one’s orientation, even for just a small number of people?”

    We have to know and define terms clearly.

    Medical science has documented situational homosexuality and lesbianism well. We also know that bi-sexuality (a topic religions don’t want to go near) exists.

    I had a female friend in the Canadian Armed Forces who was a situational lesbian because of the ongoing sexual harassment. While laws codes and punishment are in place, they are not perfect or always enforceable because of the workplace climate. When she left the forces she remarried. If men and women are not safe coming forward with these issues, situational sexuality will continue.

    Medical science also acknowledges that other underlying physical and psychological disorders can contribute to sexual identity confusion.
    Aging and environment can contribute to asexuality and loss of attraction.

    Reparative therapy has been proven time after time to be harmful and I don’t know what it will take to get that through to people. Warren Throckmorton developed SIT therapy (which at least has received some peer review) that you might want to read up on.

    This is why I believe it is critical to listen.

    Alan Chambers, head of Exodus is still gay, he acknowledges his ongoing same sex attraction, and remains in his marriage to his wife and honours his commitment to his children. Repression of behavior does not equal elimination of attraction, identity and orientation. His recently departed VP Randy Thomas is gay and celibate. Despite working in the field or reparative therapy and ministry, there is no change in these men’s orientation.

    George Rekers, John Paulk, Michael Bussee… men (and women) who were/ are people of faith who despite intervention, were not only unable to change, publicly crashed and burned. That list is long and only getting longer.

    Can orientation change?

    The American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation released it’s report in 2009.

    “Thus, the results of scientifically valid research indicate that it is unlikely that individuals will be able to reduce same-sex attractions or increase other-sex sexual attractions through SOCE (sexual orientation change efforts).
    “[E]nduring change to an individual’s sexual orientation is uncommon.”

    The Task Force findings are here.
    http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/therapeutic-response.pdf

    If the APA is not an acceptable standard for Christians then there is similar findings published in The Lancet
    The American Psychiatric Association released it’s position statement on the harm of reparative therapy in 1998 and yet conservative Christian churches and parachurch organizations in the US expanded their relationships with NARTH, Exodus etc.

    Fortunately (and sadly) the fruit of this foolishness is now evident, with GLBT who have undergone reparative therapy going public and qualified researchers publishing. The up side is NARTH and Exodus are rightfully losing followers and I hope to see the day they close down for lack of credibility and finances.

    Until churches and parachurch organizations stop pushing reparative therapy, acknowledge valid research and evidence, and adjust approach and treatment models accordingl;, Christians are going to be harmed and Christians are going to die. How many have lost faith because of the harm of reparative therapy?
    We have to stop cherry picking beliefs because they have been peddled or they fit our comfortable ideology.

    We have to decide to stop being lazy, get educated, stop lying, spiritualizing, and letting questionable leaders offer misguided hope.
    We need to listen.

    Paul Cameron has been sanctioned, discredited and yet is still a hero to religious reparative therapy groups such as NARTH and Exodus. The head of the Jewish reparative therapy group JONAH is a convicted criminal with no training. But heterosexual Christians applaud and promote these men and women.

    Can orientation change?

    The American Psychiatric Association

    “The concept of sexual orientation refers to more than sexual behavior. It includes feelings as well as identity. Some individuals may identify themselves as gay lesbian or bisexual without engaging in any sexual activity. Some people believe that sexual orientation is innate and fixed; however, sexual orientation develops across a person’s lifetime.”

    Can orientation change?

    “The SIT framework is not about the pursuit of sexual reorientation but rather the pursuit of chosen values. The APA report describes the SIT framework as one of several approaches in the professional literature which meet the APA model.”

    Here is an article on SIT (Sexual Identity Therapy) – developed by evangelicals Throckmorton and Yarhouse
    http://sitframework.com/tag/throckmorton/

    I hope I have presented my answer with a nod to your medical expertise and intelligence and splendid curiousity. I bet you made a good diagnostician.

    Hi numo:

    Glad you got to read Shore.:^)

  41. Bene D,

    Very nice comment, thanks. In addition from a strictly biological perspective there are many species where a change from heterosexual to homosexual attractions seem to be triggered by overpopulation. Nature’s response for limiting growth and staving off starvation and other problems associated with too many animals competing for the same resources.

    Suppose that might have anything to do with it? There was a study released recently which states that currently the human population of the earth is using 1.5 earth’s worth of resources per year…that being unsustainable into the future.

    Makes you wonder if we aren’t trying to grab the wrong end of the snake. We put time and resources into trying to change homosexual behavior, we invest an equal amount of energy in trying to make sure pedophiles are locked up for life…maybe we should be more focused on making sure every single child that goes through a traumatic event gets sufficient long term counseling and therapy, that parents are educated in how to have a family, how to raise children, how to cope with stress, maybe we should focus more on living within our means as a society, eliminating conspicuous consumption, both of food and materials…maybe focusing on the root causes might have a much better effect then chasing after the visible “sins” of people around us.

  42. BeneD

    Thanks for answering my question. I have to admit, I still have some doubts about research in this area on all side of the issue but I will continue to read.

    Now, here is what I think will be the most difficult question. I promise you that I am not trying to bait you. I don’t believe in such tactics. You seem to be willing to discuss this in a kind manner which is a difficult to find on both sides of the fence.

    Let’s supposed a gay gene is discovered. Take it one step further. Suppose it is found to be a rather simple chromosomal issue that can be easily modified by genetic therapy- a field that is taking off. I have heard some GLBT say they wouldn’t change for anything. Now, I do understand if they are in a long term relationship. So, to make it easier, let’s look at this prospectively-prior to birth. Why would a parent not want to “cure” this issue?

  43. Karl

    Being a nurse, I agree that me must do more prospectively. However, as you know, I believe in the reality of a sin nature. I do not think that we can eradicate all of the horrible issues such a pedophilia, even with the best of interventions. I think the war must be fought on two fronts. We must do everything we can to provide teaching, protection, etc for all of our citizens. But, we must also punish those who would harm others.

    Now, here is a question for you. It is my understanding that there is a way to drastically decrease offenders from repeating and that is through chemical castration. However, it is my understanding that many groups do not want this to be employed, even when an offender is amenable to such a treatment. It has nothing to do with the medical process and everything to do with the “right” to sexual expression.

    So, what’s the problem if we offer such a treatment, along with incentives to utilize it-such as lessened time of incarceration?

  44. Dee,

    I know that there are studies saying that even with physical castration, offenders tend to simply use another tool, if you will…usually something more violent. If chemical castration actually changes the mindset of the person, then I think it is a viable alternative and should be used. If it is simply a chemical alternative to physical castration, an anti-viagra if you will, then I am not sure how helpful it would be.

    As you know, I think the concept of “sin” is no more than a means to control behavior through guilt, so I do not think incarceration should be punitive, but rather restorative, in so far as that is feasible. I also think that prisons, in addition to providing a place to rehabilitate criminals serve as a place to contain them and thus protect society at large until rehabilitation can be completed. So the punitive nature of incarceration is only a secondary effect of protecting others.

    To your question, I think the goal is twofold, protecting society (first) and rehabilitating secondly. If chemical castration is reversible, I think it is a good tool to use while a person is in an outside (trial period) rehab after incarceration (and rehabilitation) as a safety net, in case the rehab was not as successful as hoped for. If it is NOT reversible, then I think it should be considered as a last resort, and some other means needs to be found to ensure safety of outside rehab, until we are sure (as sure as we can be) about the success of initial rehab efforts.

  45. The issue with so-called chemical castration is that it is effective only so long as the pills are taken regularly, and the courts cannot condition parole/probation on its use, nor enforce a plea agreement based on its use.

    Secondly, it is medical treatment that contains at least some measure of coercion on the individual being treated, with some question as to whether it is in that patient’s best interest.

    It becomes an ethical and moral sticky wicket.

  46. Thanks Karl. It was windy and obtuse, but when I get an opportunity to provide information in a Christian comment thread most people might not seek out, I get a little crazy.:^)

    Dee:

    I’m an adult – if I think I’m being baited I make my own decisions.:^)

    You are asking a hypothetical.
    We know parents abort females.
    Or practice female infanticide.
    Or make decision based on gender-linked genetic abnormalities
    The useful female embryo can then be discarded.

    Female abortion is called sex selective decision.

    Girls are not practical.
    90 million of them weren’t practical according to a 2005 study.
    8 million between 2001 -2010.

    We know parents screen for Downs Syndrome and chose whether or not to abort.

    If it’s chromosomal you’d have to tell me.
    Would this manipulation be possible in a consenting adult?

    Is the tragic story of David Reimer a pre-cursor to your hypothesis?
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/reimer/

    Is the tragic story of Kirk Murphy about sincere parental decisions based on a disease model?
    http://tinyurl.com/5vj2rgt

    ” Why would a parent not want to β€œcure” this issue?”

    A parent that sees homosexuality as a disease would probably do everything possible to cure the preborn child.
    The operative word is diseased.

    A parent living in a society which does not grant GLBT equal rights might order chromosome manipulation because of the fear their kid would not have a safe and happy life.
    Or that a gay kid wasn’t practical.
    The operative word is fear.

  47. PS.

    Theological hypothesis.

    If these hypothetical parents are Christians, the parents had an eternal salvation decision to make.
    Their child is born sinful or born into sin – the potential kid (feotus) is a known sinner because of a gene – so keep the potential kid from sin and hell?

  48. @ Bene D: well said! (though we could also add links to info. about Rekers’ further career and outing…)

    I *knew* I’d seen you around somewhere – maybe on Peterson’s blog?

  49. BeneD

    I find it very difficult communicating my emotions, feeling via a blog. I remember one time someone commented that they didn’t “like my tone.” Problem was, I was in a good mood writing my response and felt it was lighthearted and friendly. Obviously, something got lost in the translation.

    I sometimes try too hard to make sure that people understand I am asking my questions from good intentions.

    You said
    “Their child is born sinful or born into sin – the potential kid (feotus) is a known sinner because of a gene – so keep the potential kid from sin and hell?”

    The child is not a sinner due to the hypothetical gay gene. The child is a sinner because the child is human.Being born with a propensity to homosexuality does not condemn a child to hell anymore than being born with a propensity for Tay Sachs.

  50. @ Dee, about tone: are you referring to the Alaska/”longstockings” thing? imo, that was absolutely ridiculous.

    but man, text-only communication can be so tough sometimes, since there are no facial expressions, no gestures, and no tone of voice. That makes all the difference in the world, I think, especially when talking about difficult issues.

    As an aside, there were a few deaf people back in the 80s and 90s who were deliberately planning to have the deaf children. (yes, you read that right.) There was an excellent piece about this – and about the deaf rights/pride movement – published in the Washington Post magazine somewhere around 1990-91 or so. (D.C. is home to Gallaudet University – check the link – which was/is a major center for deaf rights movement.)

    At any rate, I remember feeling appalled that people would plan for a child to have a disability – and I still feel that way.

  51. Bene,

    If I am hearing you right, it sounds like an argument I tried to make ehre once before … namely, if an innocent child always go to heaven and experiences eternal bliss, while the vast majority of adults fail to make the grade. Then it seems logically that love would demand that we kill off innocent babies as soon as possible, better to sacrifice this short life then risk the high probability of an eternity in hell.

    I was told that it “wasn’t our job to make that determination” I think that’s a weak excuse, and even if it isn’t our decision to make, it’s pretty obvious that God isn’t doing anything to help the situation as it is from Jesus’ own mouth that we learn that the vast majority will not enter heaven…if I can do a better job and save millions what kind of person would I be for not even trying?

  52. Hi Dee:

    Text is difficult isn’t it?
    I was trying to be the hypothetical parent.
    Thanks for correcting my theology.

    If your hypothetical parent sees homosexuality as a disease to cure inutero, hypothetically they could believe anything.
    What you and I believe isn’t hypothetical.

    Hi Numo:

    Could have been at Petersens, I’ve been reading him for years. What a gifted guy he is. :^)

  53. @ BeneD: Peterson is pretty amazing, and very welcoming to those who might not agree with him. I really appreciate his generosity of spirit… and his honesty.

    I 1st ran across his older blog (back on Blogger) right around the time Ray Boltz came out. Carol had written to him, seeking help (for straight women married to gay men and/or formerly married to gay men). Their exchanges, plus the comments of others, did much to change my thinking on a number of key points. (Ditto for bloggers like Disputed Mutability and the crew at Ex-Gay Watch.)