I suggest that homosexuality is neither inborn nor chosen. Looking at the incidence of such behavior in the animal kingdoom, homosexual behavior is freqently associated with being on the losing end of dominance struggles.
In other words, instead of people being bullied because they “are gay”, they become that way because they are bullied.
The solution? Find ways to help kids discover and maintain self-respect and dignity during their formative years, and help them re-discover it if they later lose it.
It’s certainly worth a try.
Twin studies on humans show clearly that there is a genetic component to homosexuality, though it also is clear that environment makes a big difference.
Jim’s solution is worth doing for other reasons, of course. But the transference from animals to humans should be viewed with suspicion, because most animals are not monogamous. A male horse or a monkey may be almost completely prevented from mating with females by the dominant male, and so may turn to any conspecifics he can mate with, whereas a human male can usually find a wife one way or another, if he wants one, no matter how big a loser he is, and so has less cause to give up on women.
“There was a very sharp generational divide at the convention. In a separate, non-binding vote by seminary students and young adults, 82 to 18 voted for the contentious change. This reflects the general finding of greater tolerance of homosexuality among younger Americans.”
I’d venture that the cause for this divide is that at this point, very few conservatives would choose to join the Presbyterians.
As one of those “more bloody minded Calvinists” who has been a member of the OPC and PCA, I have to say that what you quote from Chambers is spot on. There is no more a “cure” to homosexuality than there is any other sin. We all work daily on our own sanctification. We are all born sinners (no matter what WigWag says) and those born with homosexual proclivities are no more or less sinful than those who are sleeping with women outside of marriage or stealing a pack of gum or telling a lie. I sin everyday and someone who practices homosexuality should have no less a claim to eternity with God than I do, provided he trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ for his salvation as the scriptures stipulate. Will someone who lives the gay lifestyle but also believes in Christ re-evaluate his life? Probably. I’d hope so. But gay or straight, no one can earn his way into heaven through good deeds or not committing sins.
As an aside: Kris is right, if there are any conservatives left in the PC USA they haven’t been paying attention for the past 100 years. Machen was right when he said modern Liberal “Christianity” is a separate religion from Biblical Christianity. A recent post on Via Meadia re: the downfall of the Episcopal Church in the U.S. is further proof.
I should say, “not committing certain sins”. If one could live a perfect life, I suppose it’s possible, but it’s only been done once in all of human history.
I am struck by your attempts not to be misunderstood in this piece and I suppose it is good to be a clear and effective communicator as you are. And yet, that very attempt in this context and this piece speaks oceans to me of the war that is going on here, the war of attrition against certain viewpoints whatever the integrity of the articulation of a particular position so that every word in certain subject areas has to be watched and dwelt on for fear of offence, a war certainly and a very unpleasant one at that.
The question though of course arises, if there is an in-between position between these views where is it coming from. If not from some higher authority that commands our worship and obedience, where is it coming from? If reason, whose reason, and how come such a position exists if there is no such thing as absolutes, so that in between maybe there is only power, the “he who dares wins”, and mostly that has been a disaster in history.
In the final reckoning, we shall anyway one day know and for most of us that will be soon enough. But as to the theology of all this there is for those who have ears to listen a passage in 2 Timothy 2 verse 19 which you will no doubt know and which has sorted me out for years, on this subject.
” But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: ” The Lord knows those who are his,” and, ” Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity”.
In that context it is completely out of my hands and anyone else’s for that matter.
Jbird – salvation depends on at least making an honest effort at avoiding sin. If I were to act on my impulses, I’d be stealing, lying, drunk and fondling female passersby. I can’t help it; I was born that way! Someone who practices homosexuality first has to repent and change his life away from the sin (especially if he’s clergy in the Presb Church!). I don’t understand why this basic fact is a mystery to the PCUSA.
The tension component (Theological orthodoxy and Political orthodoxy) provides dual perspective as one examines votes taken by Presbyterian General Assembly. It suggests the contemplative reconciling of religious beliefs with cannons framing a Democratic Republic – paralleling the secular tension involved in “freedom of choice to respect for destiny.” Resolution as Peter Berger infers will continue to defy purported duality.
You won’t see the disinvestment crowd boycotting Arab countries because it holds the Israelis to a higher standard.
“Put in place a conversion program which is not at all mysterious (I could describe it in minute detail), you can convert anyone to anything”
Not Safe For Work
Mr. Berger’s observation is exactly right: “If homosexuality is destined not chosen, it is analogous to race—and thus the movement for homosexual rights can wrap itself in the mantle of the Civil Rights movement.” Gays and lesbians push their agenda with a pride since they conclude that they are ‘just like the blacks in the olden days’. Such conclusion is invalid and weak, since race and gender are two different things. A little logic goes a long way and understanding the difference between race (a physical feature based on the general form of human person) and gender (a physical feature based on a specific form of a person, that is, sensation) shows the emptiness of gay-pride parades: we can name the race of dead person but not is sexual orientation. Thus, logic shows that the motive of the gay agenda is weak while the force of racial justice is strong and open to God’s grace which heals people from prejudice and same sex attractions every day.
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Presbyterians (and others) who might to seem to “selectively” focus on Israel’s misdeeds are probably influenced by extreme deference America shows Israel in the Congress, the aid it showers on the place (more than all of Africa!) and the fact it is regularly touted as our super duper best ally ever. America is implicated in Palestinian dispossession, in ways in which it is not in Tibet–and far more than it was in South African apartheid.
Mr. Berger- Provocative as usual. However your comments about Mossad’s view of Pres. Obama are pretty silly. They know well that the US has continued close cooperation on intelligence with Israel during his Presidency – and will do so if he is re-elected. The US-Israel relationship bears little resemblance to US-Mubarak. (When Obama tried to apply some public pressure on the issue of settlements – he was decisively SLAPPED DOWN by Netanyahu – and the US Congress.) . . . Presbyterians? There is a perfectly respectable case for boycotting companies such as Caterpillar which actively assist Israel’s actions against the Palestinians.
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Scott, a bit of a nitpick: the U. S. gives Africa $11 billion a year, while giving Israel $3 billion.
The Palestinians are officially at war with the Israelis. They should be glad of Israel’s forbearance.
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