Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thoughts on the "born gay" debate

My posted response on another blog from earlier today:

As a student of biochemistry and neurophysiology, I feel compelled to comment on the "born gay" controversy. Some people say that homosexuals were simply born that way. Others contend that it is a matter of environment only. Both of these views are inaccurate, incomplete. Genetic heritability is much more complex than people realize, and what is accurate is to say that, like most other biological traits, an INTERACTION of genetic expression and environmental influence is the source of our orientation. For example, you may have the genetic material of a tall person, but environmental factors can lead to you being short. You may be genetically predisposed to being fair-skinned, but if you remain in the sun long enough, you may get dark. On the contrary, if you are fair, and your parents notice this, they may teach you to wear sunblock. Or, if you are genetically predisposed to be tall, and nothing stands in the way, your genes will be fully expressed, and you will be tall.

In my personal experience, the influence of one aspect over the other also varies from person to person, just like any other biological trait... Many feel they were born that way, that they can remember these inclinations and a sense of feeling different since very early childhood. Others are empowered by the sense that their genetics may have triggered their orientation, but that their identities, experiences, and choices are their own. Homosexuals do sometimes have a history of being victims of abuse, but then so do heterosexuals, and much more frequently, so this doesn't prove much. Regardless, if one believes that the touch of an all-powerful Creator resides in our DNA, then it makes perfect sense to believe that we are as God intended us. I accept that logic, and, for the record, I am gay.

Incidentally, it is worth noting that no admonishment of homosexuality ever crossed the lips of the Savior. The Old Covenant was washed away with the blood of Christ; that's why Jews are kosher and Christians aren't, folks. In the New Testament, all admonishments against homosexuality are either in the writings of Paul or the writings of his followers, and many scholars who are not literalists agree that Paul's time in Greece may have infused his philosophy with a "cultural conservatism" never intended by Christ. For example, Christ never suggests that women should go unadorned and be silent in church, but, uh, Paul goes there.
All right, let me have it. I asked for it. :)

1 comment:

  1. I believe we are created to be in relationship with our Creator. What that looks like is going to as varied as each unique human being. People that say you have to do it this way or be this person or do these things is caught up in 'religion'. It really bothers me that people can so easily point fingers and say "you're in sin"... um hello? Plank in your own eye much?!
    It doesn't matter if someone is born gay, becomes gay or a combination of both. The point is - God created them and loves them. Yeah. My 2 cents worth.