Alex Blaze

Why Does God Keep On Making Gays If He Doesn't Like Us?

Filed By Alex Blaze | May 03, 2011 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: God, homophobic behavior, LGBT people, Minnesota, religion

A Minnesota representative Steven Simon in a house debate on an amendment to ban same-sex marriage in that state asks, "How many more gay people does God have to create before we ask ourselves whether or not God actually wants them around?"

I find his argument with the pastor particularly interesting, where the pastor said that sexuality was a gift from god and therefore we must do what his authoritative god says to do with it, and Simon responds that the best way to honor it is to listen to it and to decide for oneself how to use it.

I'm not particularly religious and I'm definitely not Christian, but his argument is fundamentally philosophical and represents the difference between two different views on sexuality in the West. One values individualism, challenging authority, and self-reflection, the other values order, simplicity, and group-think.

I already know which side I come down on, although most people probably fall somewhere in between. While there are lots of gay people who think that the orientation is up to them, there are plenty who think that there should still be some sort of rules, something that's forbidden for no reason at all, because being without rules leads to insecurity. There are straight people who think the former view applies to them and the latter to others. There are people who are fine with some aspects of sexuality existing (not participating in them, but just knowing they go on), but not with others.

It depends on what god we're talking about at a given moment - a god that has prescribed a life to you that looks suspiciously like what contemporary, conservative Americans want it to look like or one who thinks that each person is an individual - and what a person thinks about sexuality - an unimportant, controllable force that's a necessary evil for producing life or an uncontrollable force that asks us to connect with one another.

We shouldn't be fooled into thinking that, when god is brought up in these debates, that people do that as anything besides a proxy for a more abstract philosophical discussion.

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Brad Bailey | May 3, 2011 5:10 PM

Non-religious conservative arguments against gay marriage hinge on the concept of "natural law," i.e. the use of reason to analyze human nature and deduce binding rules of moral behavior.

This concept is in itself unnatural when applied to something as irrational as human sexuality.

Christian scholars have for 1500 years performed prodigious feats of convoluted thinking in an attempt to put sexuality into a black and white box of moralism. But Nature always defies their attempts.

If, according to Christian theology, Reason is what sets man apart from beast, then Representative Simon is proving himself to be more Christian than his religious opponents.

Gina9223 | May 3, 2011 6:02 PM

Mr. Simon... I love you!

Regan DuCasse | May 3, 2011 8:48 PM

Well said Brad!
It's not just sexuality, but GENDER and how people have tried to fit it into narrow and artificial definitions and expectations.
To the obvious detriment that would occur when you try to fit a round peg into a square hole, AND a octagonal one.

Unless they want to admit they consider the female side the inferior one, so that what they consider deviation is actionable by discrimination, punishment, threat and repression.
They don't SAY it, but it's the tacit, or maybe not so tacit rationale behind what they are always saying.
One's gender, or which gender you're attracted to isn't a sign of morality. Morality is how well you treat another human being, by assuming that their needs, feelings and participation mirror your own.
Morality isn't exacting every reason to do just the opposite.
Which in fact is what those who invoke 'natural law' actually WANT to do.

The most UNNATURAL behavior is this distrust and hostility towards gay people. If not for being trained early in feeling and being that way, there is no reason to and it doesn't happen on it's own.
Whereas how to react to theft, or assault or abuse or betrayal doesn't require training, except for empathy for those it happens to.
Which is why Christians DO contradict themselves on this.
Why DON'T those who aren't gay listen and believe what gay people say about being gay?
Why do so many straight people dictate TO gay people what it is?

I never liked that attitude and love to challenge on that basis from the start.

I tend to use this analogy: our hands have fingers and thumbs. The thumb is in opposition and there are less of them compared to fingers. It's different, and seemingly stands alone, but without it, our hands are less strong and skilled.

I wish for ONCE those who oppose gay equality would think unselfishly for a second and consider that gay people compliment the human race like thumbs do the fingers.

Brad Bailey | May 4, 2011 12:46 AM

Thank you, Regan. I couldn't agree with you more.

Paul Neuwirth | May 4, 2011 5:30 AM

I love your analogy, Regan. May I steal it? I think it was Kinsey who said, "The only unnatural sex act is the one that cannot be performed." As is always the case, it is religious fools who come up with antigay arguments, even though science (as usual) has proven them wrong (again, as usual). Google "same sex behavior in animals," or read Bruce Bagemihl's 1999 book Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity, to find out that same sex behavior has ALWAYS been with us, in just about every species on earth, and is just as natural as breathing. Naturally, I don't expect any idiot who thinks the earth is only 6000 years old to even open a book of any sort.

Ted Hayes Ted Hayes | May 4, 2011 8:15 AM

Just a thought or two.

One major difference between English and the Greek is that the latter has words that have particular meaning in context where a single English word may have several totally different contextual definitions. Take, for example, the English word, “love.” We say without differentiation that we “love” God, siblings, pets, hotdogs, and sex.

In the Greek there are different words for the type of love they wish to express whether it be God (agape), familial (philia) or sexual (eros). So one knows the type of love by the choice of “love” words in context. The Catholic theologian, Daniel Helminiak, has demonstrated this very clearly in his book “What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality.” Could “unnatural law” mean something entirely different from “against nature?” (In his book, he makes distinctions with biblical Hebrew words and their definitions as well. Book is a good read.) In essence, he says something akin to the following as he takes literalists to task.

Many "proofers" will surrender, albeit reluctantly, Old Testament references to condemnation of homosexuality if they believe equal or greater "proof" is in the New. Since many now hold to the possibility that almost all of Leviticus is archaic because of Jesus' teachings about the Law (see Mark 7:18-23), they will rely primarily on Romans 1:18-32, with verses 26-27 being the focal point, where both men and women are charged with "unnatural" behavior. Conveniently, verses 23-25 are seldom included because they tell the author's real concern -- idolatry. Behaviors were the result of that sin, not the sin itself.

Literalists give "unnatural" (para physin in Greek) an inaccurate interpretation akin to "against the laws of nature." Helminiak explains that for the author of Romans, the "nature" of something is its character or what is usual. He would not expect conservatives to think like liberals, nor would he expect a Gentile to behave like a Jew. That is not their nature. That would be something very unexpected. That is the biblical author's usage here.

If condemnation for immorality were intended by para physin, then "Houston, we have a problem!"

In Romans 11:24, the author spoke of God's doing the "unnatural" when discussing the new relationship of Jews and Gentiles. Symbolically, the Jews were the "olive tree" and God "grafted" the Gentiles "contrary to nature" (para physin) into this tree. God did something unnatural, something unexpected. If to act para physin is a sin in Romans 1:26-27, then is God a sinner in this context of grafting?

How would you respond?

I at least have a write in for 2012 now.