Reasons to Believe

Genetic Basis for Sexual Orientation? (cont'd)

Based on comments in previous posts, many of you maintain that despite a genetic predisposition (which science has not yet demonstrated), the Bible adjures us to overcome our sinful desires. The argument is that we are more than the product of our genes. Adultery, fornication, and drunkenness are choices, not merely predispositions. After all, scientists can probably find a genetic basis for every kind of sinful behavior. As some of you noted, evidently the brain changes can occur after established (willful) behavior patterns.

Here are several points by way of a counterargument. Please note that this is not RTB’s nor Average Joe’s argument.

1. If a person has known only same-sex attraction for as long as he can remember, then either it’s genetic or the person had no control over environmental factors, or both. The choice to orient toward the same sex, then, is not theirs.

2. The categorization of homosexual desire with adultery, fornication, drunkenness, and the like seems ill-suited for the characteristic alone. Abuses of homosexuality (as in promiscuity, rape, pedophilia) should be condemned, not the orientation per se. That is, adultery and fornication find their legitimate expression in monogamous heterosexual marriage. Drunkenness finds its legitimate expression in moderate drinking (and science seems to indicate that a glass of red wine each day may prolong life). Could homosexuality find its legitimate expression in some way (though I’m not sure what that might be)?

3. Instead of seeing people as freaks for divulging a secret homosexual desire, why not come down harder on abuses of heterosexual behavior? As an example, how many not-yet-married Christian couples take vacations together?

4. Could it be that objective scientific investigation of the causes for homosexuality are relatively newperhaps a matter of decadesand therefore one should suspend judgment until solid data emerges?

Sorry if some of you are tired of this subject. We’ll move on to something else soon, but given the significance of the issue, it might be worth another round of discussion. Thanks.