EDITOR, The Tribune.
Isn’t it awful how often gay people just flat-out lie?
Hundreds of thousands of them say they didn’t choose to be gay. Didn’t choose to risk being beaten by some passing yahoo. Didn’t choose to risk being cut off from their families. Didn’t choose to be in a society where strangers decide what rights they have, what jobs they can keep, where they can live, whether they can marry, whether they can adopt the children they raise or be at the bedside of a dying loved one.
What a bunch of frauds. In fact, why should anyone trust homosexuals to explain their personal realities when there are heterosexuals readily available to educate the world on the choice of being gay? I often wonder what it was like when former GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum confronted his temptation to be in a passionate relationship with a man and then rejected it. Same with Republican presidential candidate Dr Ben Carson, conservative darling and another “it’s all a choice” advocate—imagine the time he pondered whether to be sexually aroused by the caress of a man or by the touch of a woman. Decisions, decisions.
Setting sarcasm aside, who can still believe being gay is a choice? You can’t choose the reactions of your autonomic nervous system—which governs involuntary bodily functions like heart rate and sexual arousal. For the religious, that is how God made things function. And who are you to question his handiwork?
Unfortunately, bias has long been allowed to deny the brain’s role in determining who we are. When my grandfather was a boy, his teachers slapped his hand whenever he wrote lefty. Being left-handed, they told him, was obviously a choice since the Bible made it clear that left was the side of Satan. The right hand of God was glorious in power, reads Exodus; God sends the blessed to his right and the damned to his left. So deciding to use his left hand meant my grandfather had aligned himself with Beelzebub, and needed to feel the pain of a loving God through the smack of a ruler. When that didn’t work, his left hand was tied down. As a result, my grandfather was forced to use his right hand, which our family believes led to neurological problems later in life.
We now look back at those times with pity. If only those teachers had known that left-handedness is almost always determined before birth. How would they feel confronting the fact that the God whom they thought hated the left had, by their own beliefs, created left-handedness? That they beat and bound children for being the way nature made them?
In that case, science overcame superstition and forced an acceptance that left-handers have no choice. We still don’t know how it happens—scientists are only now finding a link between gene PCSK6 and handedness, but no educated person of any Western nation denies anymore that being a lefty is the consequence of biology.
So, as wilfully ignorant Americans blather on about the unnatural choice of being left-handed—I mean, homosexual—let’s look at what the science says. Hundreds of species engage in homosexual behaviour—swans, elephants, bison, apes. For example, about eight per cent of rams exhibit sexual preference for males; researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University discovered a cell group called the ovine sexually dimorphic nucleus is twice as large in rams that prefer ewes compared with those that prefer other rams.
There are genetic differences between gay and straight people as well. The May 2015 issue of Psychological Medicine found significant linkage between gay sexual orientation and genes on the pericentromeric chromosome eight and chromosome Xq28. Plenty of studies that have found other correlations.
Still—biology, neurochemicals, chromosomes—throw it all aside. Here are the facts that matter most: The vast majority of homosexuals know they were born gay. Large numbers report they had same-sex attractions when in middle school, some before they even knew homosexuality was a thing. Go to YouTube and search “my coming out story” and listen to a few of the people who agonised over their sexuality, told friends and family and were greeted either with love or scorn.
Many of the heterosexuals who insist homosexuality is a choice are basing that judgment on a few sentences in the Bible, a 2,000-year-old book that most of them never bother to read. I’ve already written about cafeteria Christians who pick and choose which parts of the Bible they consider worthy of their rage—for example, homosexuality is referenced as a sin in the same chapter that condemns gossips, the haughty, the foolish, and so on. (And all of those types deserve to die, it says—check out Romans 1:29-32.) Contrary to what biblical frauds claim, homosexuality is not given highlighted significance over other sins. In fact, all you women who attend church in your Sunday best, bedizened in jewels and pearls while listening to sermons vomiting hellfire about homosexuals? You’re sinners condemned to hell (1 Timothy 2:9), and I won’t bake you a cake.
Which brings us to gay marriage, a topic that has generated some of history’s most ridiculous legal arguments by those fighting it. Opponents who can’t argue religion in the courtroom claim that, once gay marriage is legal, people like Santorum and Carson—you know, straight guys—will abandon their families, become drug addicts, and stop doing hobbies.
Exposing the silliness of these legal arguments misses the real point: It is obscene that our society thinks it has the right to dictate whether consenting adults can lawfully marry. The question should not be how the Supreme Court will rule on whether gays have the right to wed; the true issue, the true measure of our hard-heartedness and hypocrisy, is that this has been placed before a court at all. Politicians, judges, voters, you, me—none of us has the moral right to decide which adult should love whom when there is no true societal interest. Most living Americans—including me—owe a collective apology that it took us decades to recognise the indecency of blithely ignoring the desire of loving gay couples to marry and our continuing belief that we should have any input into this.
Gay marriage opponents must argue that being gay is a choice—against all evidence, science and logic—because otherwise they have to confront this: Either God is a monster, condemning people to eternal torture for being what he made them, or the Bible—with its endless contradictions, its magicians turning sticks into snakes, its celebration of slavery and genocide—was not handed down by a deity. Or, most likely, they avoid reading the Bible and proclaim themselves righteous. Too many pick option three, then whine about how they are religiously oppressed because they might have to cater a gay wedding (Imagine how these crybabies would have handled real Christian persecution in the early fourth century, when the faithful were burned alive rather than just required to put a dessert in the oven?)
There is a simple solution for Christians and other religious sects who feel oppressed by gay marriage: If they want to refuse to provide services for a gay wedding—or for gays at all—let them. Except first, they have to take a quiz about their religion and then deny services to every sinner identified in their Holy Scriptures—otherwise, they are using faith as a front for bigotry.
Don’t want to bake a cake for a gay wedding? Then no cakes for second marriages of divorced women (Matthew 5:32); or for weddings where people get drunk (1 Peter 4:3); or banquets where the hosts failed to invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind (Luke 14:13); or for women who prayed at a religious ceremony without their heads covered (1 Corinthians 11:6).
In other words, these bakers have to close their businesses since, by their own scriptures, everyone is a sinner. Or they can admit their hypocrisy—which the Bible says repeatedly is a huge sin.
And they don’t get any cake either.
August 20, 2016.