The following is an email exchange between a student at the University of California Santa Cruz and me, Jason Dulle. The exchange followed on the heels of my response to his professor's attack on Christianity's Biblically-based opposition to homosexuality. . I have received no reply to date.
Sinners and Jesus · Who is Homosexuality a Sin Against? · Judging · Do All Christians Treat Gays Badly? · The Roots of Gay Bashing · Are Christians to Blame for All Opposition to Homosexuality? · Law and Discrimination · Where Do Rights Come From? · A Time Without Religion? · Religious Pigs · Bedtime Story · Immanuel Kant's Categorical Imperative · The Divine Authority of Scripture · Homosexuality as Population Control · Homosexuals Cannot Produce Children · Homosexuals and Evolution · God Wants Me to be Gay · Adam Was Not Lonely, But Incomplete · Love as the Basis for Morality · Male, Female, and Hybridmale · Natural vs. Moral: Genetic Disposition and Morality · Is Homosexuality Natural? · The Real Issue · Conclusion
Dear Mr. Dulle,
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Michael. I am a homosexual. I recently read your e-mail about homosexuality and the bible (See "Arguing Against Homosexuality: A Response to Challenges From a University of California Professor"). To be quite honest I found it to be a very thought out and stimulating analysis of your viewpoints. I wish to continue the discussion, offering some thoughts of my own, and I would greatly appreciate continued feedback on the matter. It is rare that you find someone in this day and age who can discuss these matters in such a thorough and rash manner without sticking to impenetrable one line logic, so I welcome the opportunity for further discussion. Unfortunately most Christians I know who view the matter as strongly as you seem to are never willing to discuss the matter at length.
You started with response to my professor's comments on the bible. Let me get into the bible and your comments a little. First of all, I am not a Christian. The closest I've ever come has been the Boy Scouts, and funeral, some weddings, and Christmas Eve. That was about as close as I'd ever gotten to anything religious until the professor's class.
The bible is really a curious thing, and I'm going to look at it from a couple of perspectives. First, assuming faith in the bible, I did read the part in Leviticus about man shall not lie with man. I honestly was always confused about the Old Testament, because all the Christians I talk to say the Old Testament isn't followed anymore. It's more like a history, or background or something. This confused me because that passage in Leviticus is one of the most quoted anti-gay sentiments I hear (and please don't take offense by anti-gay, but I mean "Anti" simply as in opposition to). I was always confused why they made such a big fuss about what was in the old testament if the old testament was no longer followed. You cleared a lot of that up, and I thank you. What I got from your e-mail was that while homosexuality is still a sin, there is no verse to put your finger on anymore that says what you're supposed to do about it.
So let me grapple with this concept for a moment. Let us agree that homosexuals are sinners, as stated in the bible. Didn't Jesus keep company with sinners? In Chapter 2 of Mark he sits down to eat with sinners and tax collectors, and he says "They that are well have no need of a physician, but they that are sick. For I came not to call the just, but sinners." (2:17) Here it seems to me that Jesus, the son, incarnation, whatever he may be, of God does not himself condemn these sinners. He doesn't strike down justice upon them, but sits beside them, and breaks bread with them. This is important; I'll come back to this.
Moving along...Jesus speaks again, to the notion of sins: "Amen I say to you, that all sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and the blasphemies wherewith they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, shall never have forgiveness, but shall be guilty of an everlasting sin." (3:29) Homosexuality is a sin of man, unto himself, and the man he sins with. It is not evidenced however to be a sin against God. For a sinner can still accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, and honor God in their heart. I believe that is what Jesus understood when he sat down to eat with the sinners.
What I understand from my readings is that the sinners are to answer to the Lord during the Day of Judgment, but until that time that the rest of us are not to pass Judgment on them, for isn't that the right of the Lord alone?
You said "While Christians respect homosexuals as human beings, we do not condone or accept their behavior as morally benign. In summary, there is a difference between our position as to the moral nature of homosexuality, and our personal feelings towards homosexuals. Personally I have several friends who are homosexual. While they know I do not approve of their lifestyle, they also know that I accept their person with love, treating them the same as I treat heterosexuals."
This is quite admirable of you. The problem is a good many Christians don't view homosexuals as equal human beings. They don't believe that they are deserving of the same rights and respects that any other human being is deserving of. I don't know if you've ever been there, but there is a website entitled "godhatesfags.com". It is run by Fred Phelps, who as we all know, holds a very strong opinion of homosexuality.
Very few heterosexuals understand what it is to be gay today. I don't assume to speak on behalf of all gay people, as we are all as different as all straight people, though I can tell you a little about my own experience. When I was still a teenager, in the closet as the term goes, (though I knew myself to be gay at this point) the infamous Matthew Shepard murder occurred. I watched on the news as Fred Phelps and his followers picketed the funeral, with signs such as "Fags Burn in Hell", "God Hates Fags", "AIDS cures Fags", and other (as Fred calls them) biblical sentiments.
I understand that this is not the viewpoint of all Christians, but it is rooted in Christianity, harking back to the passage in Leviticus. While murder is illegal these days, there are some who think it wouldn't be that bad to get rid of all the gays. This terrified me. This image of this man on the news, parading the front of Christianity, celebrating the death of this boy, terrified me. And do you know why? Because I knew nothing about Christianity, aside from what I was seeing at that moment, that and the aforementioned Christmas celebration. Christianity, it felt to me, wanted me dead, and was going to then parade at my funeral.
Maybe this isn't true, but when I watch the news today, I still see these echoes of hate. Hate is a strong word, but I think I'm just in using it, if you'll allow me to explain. Gay people are vilified in this day and age, and there are laws passed that specifically target them, pardon, target us, and they are all passed under the mantra of Christian moral obligation. You here those words from men like Pat Buchanan, Jerry Falwell, and company, people who think that because of their different view points, they should impose special laws on gay people, and treat them differently, treat them as less than human.
I'm sorry if this is sounding preachy, but stay with me please, this is all going to tie back to the Bible.
Just recently the Supreme Court decided that Texas' decision to criminalize gay men for the physical expression of their sinful affection was unconstitutional. As well they should have. Do you realize however that the year is 2003? Do you know how long it took for that decision to come about?
Gay rights are always frowned upon by the right wing as being the desire to have "special rights". The funny this is, Gay people have never been given their own special rights. They have been fighting for a sort of equality to get rid of all these "special" laws and prohibitions that moral superiority imposed on them.
This brings me back to the bible. The Old Testament said homosexuality was a sin. The New Testament came along, and it was decided that while we can't just go around killing people anymore, homosexuality is still a sin. Granted they continued to kill homosexual for a good long while. Where though did this notion originally come from? Homosexuality pre-dates the bible, and while it isn't the same exact notion of the "gay lifestyle" defined today, it was there nonetheless. Here goes my theory...
Back in the day when religion was new to the world, it was a cult, a cult with a handful of followers. What it needed to thrive was influence, and members, so it spread, recruited, and grew across the world. Society, like religion, both need people to survive, society and religion are both growing, evolving systems that rely on the evolution, and procreation of their people.
If you will recall, and I may err here, if so forgive me, Jewish people were told that the pig was a defiled creature, and they should not eat it. The Hindus were told that the Cow was a sacred creature, and they should not eat it. These are two important points. The Jews were told not to eat pigs because at the time they carried diseases, and truly they should not be eaten. So if it was made a sin to eat them, society would be kept safe. For the Hindus, raising cows would have been an economic disaster. They didn't have the land or the resources to raise the cows the nobles desired, so out of necessity to maintain their culture, the put a religious Off Limits on the cow. Nowadays we know that we can either both pigs and cows without the world coming to an earth shattering kaboom of an ending. Jesus himself ended up taking the pig law of the books when he said that nothing going into a man can defile him, just the things that come from a man. So you see, once society progressed, they realized that this doctrine was no longer in the now, so they updated it.
This brings me back to homosexuality. The reason homosexuality had a history of being outlawed and persecuted, is because homosexuals do not reproduce. As I explained, the most important thing for a society in the past was reproduction. Plagues swept the globe, wars raged on, people were dying, and in order to grow and expand, lots and lots of babies were needed. Homosexuals were a hindrance to that very process, so in order that they hindrance be eliminated, homosexuality was outlawed. Perhaps that was a good idea.
Hitler launched a bloody crusade against homosexuals. This is something that a lot of people aren't familiar with, in fact a number of the aforementioned radical rights, say that Hitler and the Nazi's were homosexuals, which couldn't be more wrong. Quick history lesson, the homosexual associated with the Nazis was Ernst Rohem, Hitler's personal advisor. Hitler killed Ernst upon learning that he was a homosexual. Meanwhile the gays were rounded up by the S.S. and the notorious pink lists, and given the pink triangles to wear, and became the lowest of the low in the concentration camps. Hitler's reasoning was not religious in nature, but it had to do entirely with reproduction. Hitler wanted to create his perfect race, and gay people certainly weren't going to help him do it, so they had to be eliminated. For those who don't know, when the Allies came to save the day, they rearrested most of the homosexuals because when they abolished all of Hitler's laws, they left paragraph 175a on the books, which outlawed homosexuality. It wasn't repealed until many years later.
Coming again to the Bible...the Bible was written by man, sure maybe inspired by God, but no one can deny that it was not written by man. Man, at the time the Bible was written, knew full well that homosexuals were a danger to the needs of a growing and expanding society. Perhaps God, if he was narrating this part, would have said so, and he would have been right I guess.
Skip ahead a bit. Here we are, years later, and homosexuality is still outlawed. Though in this day and age it is slowly gaining "acceptance," laws are being removed and gay people are being allowed to live their sinful lives until they are judged. In effect, what is happening is the pig bit, it's okay to eat pork, it's okay to be gay.
In fact it's more than okay. Homosexuality has been oppressed for centuries, and heterosexuality has flourished. In fact, it has flourished so much, that today we live in a world that is suffering from overpopulation. War, famine, poverty, homelessness, joblessness, all of our social ills, can be traced back to this root of overpopulation. Heterosexuality seems to have run amuck. God said, go forth and multiply, and that they did, and now look what's happened.
It seems strange doesn't it? I mean if you think about it from this perspective with me, God is supposed to be all knowing and all powerful. If there is a God, then I agree that he is. So what always plagued me is: Why would God encourage heterosexuals to breed themselves into extinction?
I don't think he would. This is what it comes down to. I think the Bible could be a work inspired by God, but I don't think he wrote every word, or edited it. I think that the men who wrote it took into account the factors of his era, and wrote with his own biases in hand. It is similar to the concept of the muse, in a way, that they inspire the creativity, but don't necessarily take over full authorship control. With this understanding, when the Bible was written it seemed like a good idea to go out and multiply quickly, and spread the Word, and start fighting the good fight with as many people as we could.
The problem is, this has gone unchecked, and now, like I mentioned, overpopulation. I think God would have had the foresight to add a footnote along the way to stop the production at a point.
Which bring me to my next point. You yourself said, "The theory of evolution/natural selection argues against homosexuality as well. In a world where only the fit survive to pass on their genotypes to the next generation, homosexuals are doomed to die. While I do not personally believe this to be so, from the evolutionary perspective I fail to see how one could not view the homosexual community as evolutionary inferior to the heterosexual community. Because homosexuals cannot produce offspring they cannot continue in the fight for survival, and thus are inferior to the 'species' of heterosexuals. There is no denying that the homosexual lifestyle contradicts the natural order of things, and is not conducive to the process of natural selection of their kind."
This has actually been an issue that has plagued scientists, doctors, and intellectuals of all sorts. Evolution vs. homosexuality. The thing is it goes far deeper than that. It's more than the simple matter that gay people don't produce. (All though this isn't entirely true, but that's another discussion) Gay people not only don't produce, but for centuries they have been persecuted, they have been murdered, they have been hunted, they have been stomped on time and again, and why then are there still more and more homosexuals coming out each day?
The logical answer of course is that they recruit. Children, early. Right? Well I can tell you honestly, I was the first out gay person I ever knew. Which makes NO sense to me whatsoever. I mean, I honestly have had trouble understanding this myself. I grew up with two parents, and a heterosexual older brother. I've had a good, easy life, no traumas, no incidents, nothing that would "make me gay". Yet for whatever reason, I'm gay. My brother on the other hand, perfectly straight. Isn't that weird?
Why is it then that I became one of those affronts to the nature of evolution? When I thought about it long and hard, I finally came up with an acceptable answer. I am gay because God willed it.
Now that I know is going to take some more explanation. God created Adam and Eve. He made man and woman, and meant for them to be united, to them he gave the gift of life, half in man and half in woman. (Okay so the woman does most the work, but again...another discussion) God created Eve, because Adam was lonely. He created Eve, so Adam could love, and be loved. It was in this expression of heterosexual love, that procreation was created.
With homosexuals, there are two men, or two women who share the same love, but don't have the ability to procreate. They have the companionship, but do not further populate the earth. Naturally we think that this isn't the picture of Adam and Eve, so this must be wrong.
Adam and Eve were meant to procreate and give birth to humanity. Thankfully they did this, and here we are. If ever man and every woman paired up, and procreated we would continue towards overpopulation, so God made a loophole, homosexuals.
There's another bit of information that most people aren't privy to when it comes to the nature of sex. By sex I mean male and female. We are defined by a pair of chromosomes XY and XX, boys being the former and girls the latter. Did you know, however, that there are more types of chromosomes in the world? For instance some of us may instead be an XXY, or and XXX, or even an XYY. Does that make us something other than male or female? Boys and girls only assume they know what their chromosomes are, but the only way anyone can be sure is to be tested.
Never fear, a simple look in the trousers can settle that dispute right? Did you also know that in the nature of hermaphrodites, that often those individuals born with both sex organs are never aware of it? In fact, often the parents are never aware either. Doctors have a ruler to measure the male gentiles by, and depending on its length they decide if the child was meant to be a boy or a girl, and make the appropriate adjustments, and only in very rare cases, a certain metrical range, is it left unaltered.
With this new knowledge it is obvious that our human race is more sexually complex than a simple arrangement of boy and girl. Beyond the matter of chromosomes and genitals is spirit, that essence within each clay house that makes up our true definition that science cannot put a letter label on.
I believe the important point in God's design was the two halves of the unison. According to nature, it is only natural that these two halves reproduce. Did you know as well that there are animals on this earth, in nature, who also engage in homosexual sex? That's even more perverse right? Why would nature ever work that way? Why do humans work that way? Why do homosexuals exist?
They exist, because even in a homosexual union there are the two halves, connected by love one for the other-the love that God intended. The loophole I mentioned is that the love can exist without procreation. Homosexuality was meant to be the fail-safe mechanism for overpopulation. The creator understood that all couples should be like Adam and Eve, but He knew that doing so would lead to overpopulation and all the perils that go with it, so he made a species of mankind that was never meant to procreate. This species was meant to be a large enough percent that it would curb the population growth.
Does this sound far-fetched? Look at this evidence. Homosexuality was long been oppressed, because those aforementioned men wanted to expand their societies, so they oppressed homosexuality and society flourished. I believe that if homosexuality had never been oppressed, then all those people who for whatever reason were inclined towards homosexuality would be open homosexuals. Most likely they would not be reproducing, and population would be curbed. Instead what happened is that so many of them were afraid to be a part of something that was seen as such a horrible affliction that they embraced a front of heterosexuality, by taking partners of the opposite sex and reproducing just to fit in.
It's obvious that this has long been the case, because the more society moves towards acceptance of homosexuals, the more people are comfortable with admitting their sexuality. If that process had never been hindered by the need to expand so quickly, it would have been the norm for centuries now.
The only other answer to this problem of overpopulation would be, if all people were heterosexual, the absence of the expression of the original love. I could hardly bring myself to believe that the absence of love would be the solution, instead of a different variety of love.
So where does that leave us? I think the problem we're still facing is that homosexuality naturally would have to be a minority since it is meant to curb the population, not prevent the growth of population. As a minority it is inevitably going to be alienized by the majority, as is the unfortunate nature of our society to have problems with anything that is different.
We're at a point though where we need to move beyond that. I think people have been clinging to this idea that homosexuality is a perversion for so long, that it is nearly impossible for them to see a different perspective no matter how clear it is. I think the painful irony is that in adhering to God's will (the Bible) they may be working against God's design. Though I think the time for understanding is at hand. We are all God's children; we are all of his making; we are all of the flesh and blood of Christ are we not? We are all a part of the Kingdom, but a Kingdom divided cannot stand.
I'm going to leave you with this note, but I hope there can be more. What if, instead of spending their time deciding whether or not two men could share intimate moments with each other, our government was addressing issues with the lack of funding for our children's schools? What if instead of spending millions of dollars to stop the legalized union of two individuals of the same sex we were spending those millions to feed and shelter the homeless? What if, instead of creating rifts in families with gay children by making them targets of harassment and discrimination, we held those families together with a message of love and acceptance? What if tomorrow we all woke up and realized that we are all brothers and sisters on this Earth, stopped our fighting, and just loved one another? What if that was the plan all along?
Response by Jason Dulle
It is a pleasure to "meet" you. I appreciate the amount of time and thought you put into your response. It shows me that you took my response seriously and have engaged with the issue. Obviously this issue is very relevant to you considering the fact that you are a homosexual. This is not just a topic for discussion for you, but pertains to the very core of your life. It is common in situations like this for one to be very defensive or even mean-spirited, but you were very cordial in your response. I appreciate that. It speaks volumes concerning your character.
Let me attempt to offer a response to your thoughts.
Sinners and Jesus
Yes, it is true that Jesus ate and kept company with sinners. So do I. I have several homosexual friends/acquaintances. But Jesus' company with sinners does not argue for the notion that Jesus was accepting of sin. What we must ask is What did Jesus do when He was in the company of sinners? You quoted Mark 2:17 where Jesus said, "They that are well have no need of a physician, but they that are sick. For I came not to call the just but sinners [to repentance]." This verse reinforces my point. The context of this passage is that the Jews had a problem with Jesus fellowshipping with sinners. The point of Jesus' reply was that He was the doctor and the sinners are those who needed Him. He was right. Those who are already living moral lives do not need help out of their sin, just like sick people do not need the services of a physician. Only sick people need physicians. Why? So they can be healed of their physical ailments. Why did Jesus say the sinners needed a physician? So they can be healed of their spiritual sickness. What is that sickness? Sin. The sinners needed someone to guide them out of their sin, and Jesus was there to help them. Just as a good doctor does not tell a cancer patient their cancer is no big deal, neither did Jesus tell sinners that their sin was no big deal. What we find Jesus telling sinners is to repent from their sin. He did not tell them that they were OK to continue in their sin. He did not condemn them and shun them as persons, but He did condemn the sin they participated in. It is the "love the sinner, hate the sin" phenomenon I mentioned before.
Also See The Inclusiveness of Jesus
It seems to be a common belief that Jesus ‘hung out’ with sinners and this is often used as an excuse for doing the same thing. Because the notion of inclusiveness is central to the current crisis in the church.. that of including practicing gay and lesbian people.. it deserves careful analysis. Is it true that Jesus was inclusive? And if so, in what sense was Jesus inclusive? Were there limits to Jesus’ inclusiveness? How does the teaching of Jesus help us to understand his inclusive practice?
Yes, it is true that all sin can be forgiven except for blasphemy (Mark 3:29). But the Biblical notion of repentance is not that we willingly and purposely keep doing that which God commands against, and then say a magical abracadabra prayer that makes it all better. The word "repent" in the original languages means to "change one's mind." It is the same term used in some armies when they want the marching troops to make a 180-degree turn. Repentance is not just a confession of sin, but a turning away from sin and a turning toward righteousness. Salvation is deliverance from our sin, not deliverance in our sin. Paul dealt with this in Romans 5:20-6:2, 6-7, 10-18. [See Section on Sin, Repentance and Salvation]
5:20 The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 6:1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
While Paul acknowledged that God's grace is present to forgive sin, he made it clear that this does not mean we are to continue in sin. Christians are dead to sin through Christ, and have become servants of righteousness. Paul went on to show how it is grace that compels us to live righteously, not unrighteously. The Biblical notions of grace and forgiveness do not encourage sin, but discourage it, because Biblical salvation and grace provides the power to overcome it.
Who is Homosexuality a Sin Against?
You said, "Homosexuality is a sin of man, unto himself, and the man he sins with. It is not evidenced however to be a sin against God." I would contend that the Bible paints a different picture. It was God, after all, who declared in Leviticus (18:22; 20:13) that homosexuality was an abomination. That was His stated opinion on the matter. He took issue with it personally. Paul echoed God's sentiments concerning homosexuality in the NT as well:
Romans 1:21 For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened. 1:22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles. 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonor their bodies among themselves. 1:25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 1:26 For this reason God gave them over to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones, 1:27 and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed in their passions for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. 1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done. (emphasis mine)
The passage is clear that homosexual behavior is a form of rebellion against God in general, but particularly against God's natural order (design) of things.
Sin is by definition something against God, not man. Sin is not a violation of other people's opinions, but God's "opinion." So it would not make sense to say that homosexuality is a sin against man, not God. Let's assume for the sake of argument that there is no God. In such a case there cannot be any such thing as sin, only human disagreement. The issue of homosexuality, then, would be a matter of the temporal world, not the eternal. Even from the non-religious, temporal perspective homosexuality is not to be applauded because it is a social hazard, a leading transmitter of sexually transmitted diseases (such as AIDS), and is prone to child molestation. Homosexual activity is not advantageous for society.
As it pertains to judging, if you are referring to judging the eternal destiny of an individual, yes, God and God alone is the sole judge. Even then, however, God has given us guidelines to know what it takes to receive salvation, and what kind of behavior will bring someone to judgment. We know that one must believe on Christ, accepting His sacrifice for their sin. If one does not believe in Christ, then according to God's own testimony as to how He will judge on that last day, that they will not be saved. We also know that one must live according to righteousness. Paul made it clear in I Corinthians 6 that those who practice certain types of behavior will not inherit the kingdom of God. If one habitually participate in those behaviors we can be fairly certain that they will be judged by God on that last day. While judgment is ultimately God's, we are not left in the dark concerning what is judgeable and what is not.
If you are talking about judging sinful behavior in this life, then no, God is not the only judge. According to Genesis 9 and Romans 13 God has instituted human government for the purpose of judging unrighteousness and rewarding righteousness. The church is told to preach against immoral behavior, telling people to turn toward righteousness.
Depending on what you mean by "judging," it is not a bad word. Our courts do it all the time. If you saw a man trying to kill a woman on the street you would judge him too. If a man raped your sister (if you have one) you would judge him for his evil. Why? Because you intuitively understand that such behaviors are immoral and deserving of judgment.
Also See JUDGE NOT
The Bible gives very specific instruction about our behaviour towards heretics and teachers of false doctrine.
Do All Christians Treat Gays Badly?
You are right, there are Christians who treat homosexuals as sub-humans. That is regrettable. There is a difference between the teachings of a particular religion as found in its sourcebook (Bible, Koran, etc.), and the way particular members understand (or should I say "misunderstand" or even "ignore") and apply those teachings. Christians morons such as Fred Phelps who hate homosexuals and preach hate in the name of Christ are horrible examples of Christians, in the same way that the Muslim morons who planned and participated in 09-11 are a horrible example of Islam. It is regrettable that some who name the name of Christ respond to homosexuality in the way they do, but it is not representative of Christianity as a whole, and neither does it reflect the teachings of Scripture.
You may find it interesting that recent statistics from the Barna Research Group reveal that a very large group of Christians are not opposed to homosexuality. Among those who consider themselves Christians, 34% believe the homosexual lifestyle should be accepted (http://www.barna.org/cgi-bin/PagePressRelease.asp?PressReleaseID=94&Reference=B). That is one in three Christians! While I am appalled by such statistics because they demonstrate just how far the American church has strayed from a Biblical worldview, I point them out to you as evidence that American Christians are not homosexual haters. And that 34% figure does not mean that the other 66% hate homosexuals. I'm sure some of them do, but I would venture to say that all but a few percent of that 66% treat homosexual persons with respect even though they believe their homosexual practices are immoral.
The Roots of Gay-Bashing
Referring to Christians who bash gays you said, "I understand that this is not the viewpoint of all Christians, but it is rooted in Christianity, harking back to the passage in Leviticus." You could mean one of two things by this statement, so I will address both possibilities. You could mean gay-bashing is taught by Scripture, making it inherent to Christian doctrine. This would mean Christians who treat homosexuals with respect are actually being disobedient to their own Scriptures. I don't think this is what you are referring to though.
I think you are pointing out the fact that Christian gay-bashers derive their ideas from Scripture, even though they are misunderstanding or misapplying the Scripture. If the latter, remember that the only place where we see any negative action being prescribed against homosexuals is in the OT. Christians do not believe that the Mosaic Covenant applies to the church. If anything, the religion that justifies gay-bashing (even the murder of homosexuals) is not Christianity, but Judaism. Biblically speaking, gay-bashing would be a Jewish idea, not a Christian idea.
Are Christians to Blame for All Opposition to Homosexuality?
You mentioned Christian moralists who "think that because of their different view points, they should impose special laws on gay people, and treat them differently, treat them less as human." There are several separate issues in your statement. First, you seem to pinpoint Christians as the sole cause of sanctions against the homosexual lifestyle. Such is not the case. It is not just Christians who are opposed to homosexuality. Barna Research Group found that 34% of non-Christians are morally opposed to homosexual behavior as well. While 2 out of 3 Christians oppose homosexuality, 1 out of 3 non-Christians do as well; therefore, Christians cannot be pinpointed as the sole cause of America's negative view of homosexuality, or the reason for any feeling of moral superiority. Any laws passed opposing homosexuality are not driven by Christians, but by Christians and non-Christians alike.
Law and Discrimination
You seem to be arguing that the laws governing homosexual freedom make a statement concerning the value of homosexual persons. Such is not the case. Take homosexual marriage for example. In all but one state same-sex marriage if prohibited. It is prohibited based on the natural purpose of marriage (to perpetuate and strengthen society through the creation and nurturing of children). Americans have evaluated homosexual behavior and concluded that it does not fit within the natural purpose of a marriage. Do we allow homosexuals to continue in their lifestyle? Yes. Is there any segment of our society saying homosexuals have no worth as human persons, and should be killed? Is there any segment of our society even saying that homosexuals cannot practice their homosexuality? No. Are they saying two homosexuals cannot make a life-commitment to one another? No. They are simply declaring that the state will not recognize that commitment so as it to give it social approval.
Is this discrimination? Yes, but all laws discriminate against some group of people by the very nature of what a law is. To cry "discrimination!" is to make a self-evident and non-controversial point. Laws are intended to discriminate. A law says you cannot do A. The law discriminates against those who do A, or want to do A. By their very nature laws positively sanction one state of affairs, and exclude its opposite. It is the simple law of non-contradiction at work.
The discriminatory nature of law does not demean the value of people. California has a bicycle helmet law. It discriminates against all of those who don't want to wear a bicycle helmet. Does this law make an ontological declaration concerning the value of those who wish to ride their bike without a helmet? Does the presence of the law make them subhuman? No. Likewise, laws limiting the social acceptance of homosexuality do not in and of themselves demean homosexual persons. These laws do discriminate, but that is the nature of law. It does no good for homosexuals to simply point out the fact that their behavior is discriminated against. They must demonstrate that the way in which the current laws discriminate is unjust. To do so requires an appeal to some higher moral law. Are homosexuals treated differently in some respects of the law? Yes. Is there justification for it? Yes. Could the laws change in the future? Yes. And at that time the laws would discriminate against those opposed to societal approval of homosexual behavior. No matter how you slice it, someone is always being discriminated against by the law.
Where do Rights Come From?
You said homosexuals are not fighting for special rights, just equal rights, and trying to "get rid of all these 'special' laws and prohibitions that moral superiority imposed on them." This issue of "rights" and "law" brings up an issue that needs to be explored further.
From your comments I gather that you are either an atheist or an agnostic. I could be wrong about this because at times you speak of God as though He exists, but it is difficult to tell whether you are doing so for the sake of argument or as an expression of your personal position. If I am right, and you are an atheist or an agnostic, this is very intriguing to me considering your talk of gay rights. Atheists cannot believe in the concept of rights, whether we are talking about gay rights, abortion rights, or civil rights. At best you can believe in gay privileges. Let me explain this somewhat shocking and bold statement.
Atheists may believe in rights, but given their presuppositions about God's non-existence they cannot make much sense of the concept, and cannot justify their claim to them as rights. Let me ask you three critical questions: 1) What is a right? 2) Where do rights come from? 3) What authority does one have for laying claim to something as a right?
What is a right? A right is a claim to something. What kind of a claim is it? Is it a personal claim, or a transcendent/universal claim? It is the latter. Someone who says "I have a right to an abortion!" is not saying "It's just my personal opinion that I should be able to have an abortion, but if you say 'No' then I guess I won't." No, they are saying that it would be wrong to deny them an abortion if they so choose to have one. The claim to a right is a claim to the way something ought to be. This business of "ought" implies conformity to a transcendent standard that man has no right to violate.
Those who advocate homosexual rights believe the government is wrong for denying those rights, because they are "rightfully" theirs. I would ask Why do you think they are your rights rather than an undeserved privilege the government may or may not decide to afford your interest group? Why do you think the government is wrong for currently denying you the privilege of same-sex marriage? I would argue that you think they are innate rights rather than an undeserved privilege because you intuitively recognize the existence of a transcendent moral law, which includes the concept of justice and equality. While you recognize the existence of rights, you deny their very Source.
Where do rights come from? Rights can only come from one of two sources. Either they have a transcendent source in something higher than man, or they are afforded to us by man (government). If the former, they cannot be taken away or altered by man because they do not originate with him. Man is subject to rights; rights are not subject to man. If the latter, rights can be given or taken away by man. To determine which source rights come from we must remember what a right is and is not. A right is not a claim to a personal opinion or desire, but to a transcendent ought. If we recognize that a right is a transcendent ought, and believe it would be morally wrong for anyone to deny us those rights, then we must conclude that rights originate from a source transcendent to man (to which man is subject), not human law. Without a transcendent source rights have no authority sufficient to compel the government to align its laws with what is right. Homosexuals atheists must admit that their desire for equal rights is empty talk, carrying no moral force. What is right is reduced to power or majority rule.
If there is no God where does a transcendent right such to an abortion or homosexual marriage come from? It's not there. It's all just personal opinion, peculiar to the people who hold it. Homosexuals have no more claim to homosexual marriage than I have to run red lights. Why? Because rights are merely afforded or taken away by those in power or by the majority. It's like the privilege to drive a car if you are properly licensed. That privilege could be suspended or completely abolished. When the law changes, the privilege disappears. That's the nature of rights that find their foundation merely in human law.
When rights originate with man rather than with a transcendent source such as a holy, personal God, rights become descriptive, not prescriptive; i.e. rights are not things that ought to be a certain way, but merely a description of the way things are. And if rights are only a description of the way man has determined things will be, atheistic homosexuals have no authority to claim that the government should change the laws to afford them a right that should be theirs. Such language betrays the atheistic view.
This is not to say that homosexual atheists cannot lobby to have the laws changed, but they cannot lobby for such a change under the banner of "rights." The government cannot be wrong in the privileges they grant or revoke if there is no transcendent standard for them to conform to. If there is no God, human law is supreme. If there is no transcendent moral law given by a transcendent moral law-giver the government can issue or revoke privileges at will, and there is nothing immoral about any decision they make, and no basis upon which to argue that they ought to do, or ought to have done otherwise. The only way the government ought to give someone a right is if there is a transcendent moral standard to which they are subject to.
Let me try to bring this all together and apply it to your initial point. If there is no God there is no transcendent source of rights. All claims to rights are personal opinions with no moral force to command conformity. Only a holy, personal, and transcendent God can explain the authority of rights, and explain our intuitive recognition of universal oughts. If there is no God there cannot be any human rights, only human privileges. These privileges can be given or taken at will.
You objected to the current laws, arguing that they deny homosexuals what rightfully belongs to them. You even went so far as to say that homosexual rights are not special rights, implying that they are deserved. But if we start with the presupposition of God's non-existence our rights are defined by the government, and whatever privileges they decide to grant us are right and need not be any other way than what they are (descriptive). Seeing that rights are rooted in the will of the people, and the majority of Americans are opposed to certain homosexual privileges, any request for homosexual privileges is a request for special privileges. The only way they are not special is if they are rooted in a transcendent source, or if the majority of public opinion favors them. That's the conclusion one is left with in an atheistic world. If you recognize that there is something inherently wrong with this idea (which you do), then you are relying on theism to do so. Since you assume theism to argue for homosexual rights, you have the burden of proof to demonstrate how you know the divine source of our transcendent rights approves of homosexuality. If your divine source is the Christian God, the case simply cannot be made. As a matter of fact it would be a difficult case to make with any of the world's major religions.
A Time Without Religion?
When you introduced your opinion as to why homosexuality began to be suppressed you said, "Back in the day when religion was new to the world, it was a cult, a cult with a handful of followers." This was the start of your theory. In all of my studies of human history I have never read of a time when religion was new to the world. To my knowledge there is no evidence of a secular state prior to the modern age wherein religion has been separated from civil affairs. Religion and culture/society have always been inseparable. What evidence do you have in support of the idea that society was once secular, with religion being an afterthought? What ancient societies were there who did not believe in God, and religion was not central to their society? If you cannot supply any evidence your whole theory collapses because your whole theory rests on it. For if religion was never new to the world it never needed influence and converts.
Assuming for the sake of argument that there was a point in time when religion was new to the world and preached against homosexuality to secure members and influence, it does not follow that homosexuality is morally benign, yet alone morally good. It only shows that there were practical reasons for its condemnation. To argue that homosexuality is morally benign because it was first condemned for practical reasons is to commit the genetic fallacy. The genetic fallacy dismisses a conclusion based upon its origin. Even if the origin of the prohibition against homosexuality was for personal or practical reasons, it remains to be proven that homosexuality is morally benign. For it could be that while man prohibited homosexuality for personal or practical reasons that they were actually prohibiting something that is morally wrong.
It is true that Jews were forbidden to eat pork. Whether or not the pigs in Israel carried disease or not I do not know, and neither do I know whether or not the Israelites knew they carried disease, or how they knew it. But I don't think this analogy demonstrates the argument you were making. Your argument was that religious teachings are implemented for practical, societal reasons. When society changes, and our practical needs change, so should religious beliefs. Let me explain why I do not think your analogy demonstrates your argument.
First, it assumes that all religious teachings are just inventions of men. While I believe that many religious teachings are the invention of men, others are not. Secondly, if Israelites realized that pigs carried disease and could kill them, they don't need a religious law to tell them not to eat it. All they need is for someone to say "If you eat pigs you might die." It requires common-sense to explain why people would not want to eat diseased pigs, not religious law. Thirdly, in the case of the Israelites many of their laws were ceremonial in nature, and were recognized as such. It is understood that the "no pig" law was not a moral command, nor a moral issue. It was an issue of religious ceremony. And yet in both the Old and New Testaments the prohibition against homosexuality is presented as a moral command, not a ceremonial command.
You asserted that homosexuality was outlawed by religion because homosexuals could not reproduce. Notice I said "asserted," not "argued." You yourself pointed out that this was just your theory. You never supported your theory with any evidence. In the absence of evidence why should I, or anybody else, take your theory seriously? I don't say this in a derogatory way. I am simply pointing out the difference between and assertion and an argument. I can critically evaluate an argument because an argument comes equipped with reasons that can be critiqued. Assertions do nott. I could say homosexuality was outlawed by society because little green martians came to earth and told people to outlaw it. That is an assertion, not an argument. You would be hard pressed to prove me wrong because I supplied you with nothing to evaluate. Theories are based on some sort of evidence. If there is no evidence, it is not a valid theory. At best it is a hypothesis, and the burden of proof is on the creator of the hypothesis to supply reasons for anyone to take it seriously (as a hypothesis). What makes your theory different from a bed time story?
You did mention the historical evidence that Hitler was opposed to homosexuals for reproductive reasons, but that does not demonstrate that religious groups, or even society in general, have been opposed to homosexuality for that reason from ancient times.
Immanuel Kant's Categorical Imperative
Speaking of being against homosexuality for reproductive reasons, have you ever heard of Kant's "categorical imperative" as a moral guide? Kant said that what is morally good should be determined by the following litmus test: "Act only on that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law." Kant's position was based on reason, not religion. Applying the issue of homosexuality to Kant's categorical imperative we would have to conclude that homosexuality is reasonably immoral because if everyone practiced homosexuality, it would be the last generation of humans to do so!
The Divine Authority of Scripture
You gave me your view of how man and God might have collaborated together in the production of the Bible. Your definition of "inspired" is quite different from the Bible's definition. You portray it more as motivation, or creative thinking, whereas the word in Scripture means "God breathed." The Biblical view of inspiration is that the words are the very words of God, given to man through human agency. You are placing a view of inspiration on the Bible that the Bible does not endorse itself. Even if you are right, and the authors of Scripture lied about God's involvement with their writings to bolster authority for their own ideas, you must admit that it would not be fair to place a view of inspiration on the Bible that the Bible itself does not accept. You would need to interact with the Biblical view, showing why it is in error, and why your view of inspiration should be preferred over the Biblical view. You have merely proposed another theory. You did not supply any evidence as to why I should take your theory seriously, or why the Biblical view cannot be right.
Why is there a need for another theory? I do not think it's because the Biblical view of inspiration is indefensible. I think it's because the ideas of Scripture differ from your own ideas. You have a bias towards wanting to redefine Biblical inspiration so that you can say the Bible's view on homosexuality is not the timeless view of God, but the temporary view of man, able to be disposed of with the changing times.
Homosexuality as Population Control
You said, "When the Bible was written, it seemed like a good idea to go out and multiply quickly, and spread the Word, and start fighting the good fight with as many people as we could. The problem is, this has gone unchecked, and now, like I mentioned, overpopulation. I think God would have had the foresight to add a footnote along the way to stop the production at a point." This follows on your previous assertion that homosexuality was outlawed because it was not conducive to a world that needed to reproduce themselves in light of famines, pestilence, wars, etc. Your argument here, then, is that since we no longer are concerned with underpopulation, but rather overpopulation, homosexuality is good for our world. This is definitely a utilitarian approach to morality, which is debatable enough in itself, but there is something deeper here.
Based on your line of reasoning (homosexuality is morally good because it controls population) things that control population are morally good. But is every method of population control good? Is killing Grandma when she gets Alzheimers disease morally good because we have too many people on the earth anyway? Should we start wars for no good reason simply to bump off some more people? Is Red China doing good when they force people to have mandatory abortions? You would probably say no, arguing that those methods are morally wrong. You recognize that we should not use immoral methods to reach a good end. So the real question here is Is homosexuality moral? Population control does not answer that question. The problem with your argument is that you presented overpopulation as an argument for the morality of homosexuality, when in all reality it begged the question. For anyone reading this who may not know what "begging the question" means, it means that one assumes the conclusion they are trying to prove, using it as justification for their conclusion. Your argument assumed that homosexuality was a moral means to a good end, rather than demonstrating it to be so. If population control is a good end, it does not automatically justify using homosexuality as a means to that end. We would still have to determine whether or not homosexuality as a practice is moral or immoral. If it is moral, then sure, we should use it. If it is immoral, then we cannot use it. Your line of reasoning does not deal with the moral issue, but approaches the issue from the perspective of utilitarianism.
Homosexuals Cannot Produce Children
You said, "It's more than the simple matter that gay people don't produce. (All though this isn't entirely true, but that's another discussion)." In what way do they produce? I have yet to see a pregnant man.
Homosexuals and Evolution
I was a little confused by your response to my argument from evolution. You changed the issue from my point that homosexuals are not fit to survive by evolutionary standards because they cannot reproduce, to the issue that homosexuals have been persecuted. I am not sure what one has to do with the other. Are you conceding that based on evolutionary philosophy homosexuals are inferior to heterosexuals, or are you denying such? If the latter, on what basis?
God Wants Me to be Gay
You speculated that you are gay because God willed it that way. If that were the case, I would argue that the God who willed it was not the Christian God. It must be another sort of God. I am arguing this based on the teaching of Scripture wherein men who claim to be writing what God told them, and writing some things in the third person as God's direct words through them, God says He is morally opposed to homosexuality. Obviously this view depends on a particular view of Biblical inspiration, a view that differs from your own. But it is the Biblical view, and I believe it is defensible. I do defend this view in an article I wrote entitled "The Nature of Inspiration." In order to argue that the Christian God is not opposed to homosexuality you would have to demonstrate why the Bible's view of itself cannot be true, invalidating the Bible as a source for discovering divine morality.
Adam Was Not Lonely, but Incomplete
You mentioned that God created Eve because Adam was lonely. Actually the Bible does not say that. It is a common misconception. The text says that God said "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him" (Genesis 2:18). Adam was not lonely without a woman (being alone and being lonely are two entirely different things), but rather incomplete. He needed a helper. The Hebrew word translated "helper" is azar. It means a helper who is a compliment to another. God could have created another man for Adam if Adam was just lonely, but that was not the problem. The problem was that man was not complete. He needed a compliment, someone who could pick up for what he lacked in his constitutional make-up.
Those in the social sciences are very aware of the fact that men and women differ in their constitution. They are wired different, not just reared different. There are things that women can do that men cannot do as well, and vice-versa. Let me give some general examples. Women are much better at rearing children than are men. That does not mean that men cannot raise children, but that women naturally do it better than men. Men are not as inclined towards building solid relationships as women are either. Men are more work-minded than relationship-minded. Men tend to think more logically, whereas women tend to think more emotionally/relationally. Both are good, and both are needed for the complete picture. So the creation of Adam and Eve, rather than Adam and Steve, or a bunch of Adams has to do with complementation. Two men or two women do not compliment each other constitutionally. God created a man and a woman to compliment one another constitutionally, not just for initial procreation. Based on the Hebrew text, then, there is a precise reason/function for making life companions of the opposite sex, a reason/function that homosexual relationships cannot fulfill.
Love as the Basis for Morality
You said, "He created Eve, so Adam could love, and be loved. … With homosexuals, there are two men, or two women, who share the same love, but don't have the ability to procreate. They have the companionship, but do not further populate the earth." This statement implies that you believe a sexual relationship is moral if it is based on love. Homosexual sex is morally acceptable because it is between two people who love one another. Using that line of argumentation leads us to a couple of conclusions. Since love is different than lust/infatuation, the former being a commitment to another person for their growth and benefit, using love as the litmus test of moral relationships rules out having homosexual relations with those to whom one has not yet willed to establish a life-commitment with. This may not apply to you, but the homosexual community at large openly confesses their own sexual promiscuity. That kind of sexual activity would be immoral according to your definition of moral sexual relationships.
The second conclusion that follows your argument is that any and all sexual relationships based on love are moral. This would allow fathers to have sex with their daughters if they love each other in a romantic way. It allows grandpas to have sex with their grandsons. It allows us to have sex with animals if we love that animal. If love is all that matters then every kind of disgusting, immoral sexual act can be justified. The fact that we intuitively understand that there is something immoral about fathers who have sex with their daughters makes it clear that what makes sexual relationships moral is not the fact that two people love each another. There is something more to it. Part of that something is natural function. Men are not designed to function sexually with other men, and women are not designed to function sexually with other women.
Male, Female, and Hybridmale
You noted that not everyone has the cut and dry XX or XY chromosomes. Some have XXX, or XYY, or XXY, etc. I have heard something about this before, but have not personally studied the matter so that I could verify your claim. I will take you at your word for the sake of argument. Ok, so some people (and I think "some" should be emphasized) don't have the cut and dry boy or girl set of chromosomes. How significant is this? Even if their chemical make-up causes them to be more like the opposite sex than someone with normal chromosomes, they are still not the opposite sex. If I have an extra X chromosome, causing me to act or feel more feminine than most guys, the fact remains that I am still male. How do I know this? The proof is in the pants! If someone had the genetic make-up of a female, they would have come out with a different set of plumbing. The genitals one is born with determines their sexual function. Even if we want to argue that their sexual orientation is a little confused, the fact remains that they are not designed to function with the same sex.
What about hermaphrodites, you may ask? They are an enigma of nature, no doubt. They have the ability to function as either male or female (to some limited degree). Which are they? I think in these cases we would have to look at their genes to determine if they are more male or more female and then cut off or sow up the part that is in the minority.
And let us remember how rare hermaphrodites are. We are talking about exceptions rather than rule/norm. Homosexuals' parts are not confused. We know what their sexual function is based on their plumbing, and we know that their plumbing is the way it is because their primary genetic info is the same as that plumbing.
Natural vs. Moral: Genetic Disposition and Morality
This brings up another issue that you implied, but did not make explicit. Your implicit argument is that if one has a genetic disposition toward homosexuality, then homosexual behavior is justified. Let me first say that the jury is still out on a genetic link to homosexuality. To date there is no conclusive evidence for such a link. All the available evidence points to nurture, rather than nature as the clear cause of homosexuality. Without any scientific evidence to the contrary, we must conclude that homosexual desires are caused by one's environment, not one's genetics. [Also See The Gay Gene?]
For the sake of argument, however, let us assume that tomorrow scientists find a positive genetic link that explains all homosexual behavior. What follows from this, morally speaking? Nothing. What is natural is not necessarily moral. Genetics do not determine morality. Genetics are descriptive, describing the way things are. Morality is prescriptive, describing the way things should be. Morality has to do with what we ought to do, not what comes naturally. Having a genetic disposition toward a particular behavior does not mean that one has to exercise that disposition, nor does it mean that it makes the behavior morally good.
For example, there seems to be a genetic link for alcoholism. Does that mean that somebody has to become an alcoholic, or do they have a choice to refrain from alcohol? Are they justified in drinking themselves into oblivion? What about sexual predators? If researchers find that a genetic link gives people a disposition to molest little children, does that make it morally acceptable for them to do so, or is it morally wrong for them to act on their genetic disposition? The same argument could be given for people who may have a genetic disposition for rage and murder. I think you get my point. Having a disposition toward something, whether it be caused genetically or socially, does not mean one must act on that disposition (they have free will to do otherwise), and does not mean that if they choose to act on that disposition that their act is or becomes moral. So if homosexuality can be shown to be genetic it does not make homosexual behavior moral. The difference between doing what comes naturally and principled self-restraint is what we call civilization.
Is Homosexuality Natural?
You mentioned that some animals engage in homosexual behavior. Yes, dogs are an example of this. But the same dogs will also engage in heterosexual behavior. In fact, they will have sex with you or your guest's leg as well. The simple fact of the matter is that they hump everything in sight! Your argument seems to be that since we see homosexual behavior in nature, it must be natural, and therefore must be morally ok. Your definition of "natural" here is "that which occurs in nature." The problem with using what occurs in nature for determining what is moral is that arguing from nature is a descriptive argument, whereas morality is prescriptive. Nature shows us what happens. But describing or observing what happens does not determine whether or not it should happen. This is another form of the genetic fallacy: you can't get an ought out of an is. This is what I was talking about above. The only other definition of "natural" is that of function, which does not support homosexuality either. No matter which way you look at it, you cannot argue for the morality of homosexual behavior based on what is natural.
The Real Issue
Your conclusion was emotionally appealing, but I think it sidesteps the real issue. The issue is not about "just loving one another." That's not the attitude we take towards drug dealers, child molesters, etc. We take a moral stand to say that those things are wrong and destructive for society. The real issue is the answer to the question, Is homosexuality a moral practice? and Is homosexuality beneficial or detrimental to society? Treating homosexuals as persons deserving love does not answer these questions. If homosexuality is truly immoral, then spending tax dollars to outlaw open homosexuality (or at least certain homosexual privileges such as same-sex marriage) is justified, just like we are justified in spending tax dollars to prevent the spread of violent crimes, murder, theft, rape, and molestation. We do, and should spend money on making laws against immoral activities. It all goes back to the question Is homosexual behavior moral?
In conclusion, I remain unconvinced that there any compelling reasons to accept homosexuality as an alternative, moral lifestyle on par with heterosexuality. Most of your arguments for the morality of homosexuality were descriptive, not prescriptive. Descriptive arguments are not moral arguments. You proposed a theory that would explain why homosexual behavior has been suppressed throughout history, but did not base this on any real evidence. Neither did you rebut my original points. I argued that homosexuality should be rejected for the good of society (not for religious reasons), because homosexuality spreads disease, has a high number of child molesters, etc. Even if you want to argue that homosexuality is morally benign, you would still have demonstrate why society should be accepting of a lifestyle that is a hindrance, not a benefit to society. That has not be done, and I have reason to doubt that it can be done. Homosexual behavior is not good for society; it's only good for the homosexual.