Christians often argue that homosexuality is unnatural. That is, the purpose of man/woman sex is clear—it’s what propagates the species. Any other kind of sex simply isn’t using human anatomy for what it was meant for. There’s only one way to properly fit the jigsaw puzzle pieces together.
The Catholic Church is a vocal proponent of this idea that homosexuality is unnatural. Let’s pause to savor this for a moment—that’s a community of celibate men, if you can imagine such a thing, calling another lifestyle unnatural.
But the fact is that homosexuality is natural. It’s widespread in nature and has been observed in 500 animal species, including all the great apes, of which humans are a part.
The science that explains homosexuality is immature—homosexuality might be the consolation prize, for example—but why isn’t the point. It’s clearly natural, and that’s been recognized within society. We’re decades past the time when homosexuality was categorized as a mental disorder.
But natural doesn’t mean good, the Christian will say. Rape, violence, and cyanide are natural, and they’re harmful.
True enough. Then let’s move the conversation from natural/unnatural to good/harmful. Rape, violence, and cyanide are inherently harmful, but homosexuality isn’t.
Saying “I have homosexual inclinations, so I should act on them” is like saying, “I have alcoholic inclinations, so I should act on them.”
Once again, the issue is harm. Alcoholic inclinations cause harm, and homosexual inclinations don’t. What’s the problem caused by consensual homosexual sex (besides offending the Old Testament god)?
Homosexuals can be treated. They can become un-gay.
Here’s an interesting data point from the More Musings blog:
[Alan] Chambers is the president of Exodus International, the largest ex-gay organization in the United States. … The most significant statement Chambers made that evening was this:
“The majority of people that I have met–and I would say ‘the majority’ meaning 99.9% of them–have not experienced a change in their orientation, or have gotten to a place where they could say they could never be tempted, or are not tempted in some way, or experience some level of same sex attraction.”
Quoth the President of the Largest Ex-gay Ministry in America.
But if everyone were homosexual, the population would die out!
Yes, and if everyone were female, the population would also die out. So what? No one’s saying that being female is bad or immoral or unnatural. It’s not the case that everyone is female, and it’s not the case that everyone is homosexual. No problem then! Anyway, animals have apparently been gay since forever, and evolution stumbles along just fine.
I’ll close with something I recently found that’s currently at the top of my I Wish I’d Said That list:
Homosexuality exists in 500 species.
Homophobia exists in only one.
Which seems unnatural now?
Photo credit: Gabludlow
- The first post in this series is here: Homosexuality v. Christianity