Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Nature vs. Nurture

A few years back we had a buck (male rabbit type buck) that just wasn't interested in breeding... the does. One of our friends had a ram ... not interested in ewes. One of my best friends from college... tried dating women. He tried being attracted to women. He went through Hell on Earth because his faith told him that it was morally wrong to be attracted to men... even though God himself designed the whole being that was my friend... even the part of him that could not find women attractive.

Think about this for a minute- if you're a woman imagine being attracted to another woman (if you're a man imagine being attracted to a man). I don't know about you but once I think about dating women I suddenly feel much closer to gay men. Really, would you want to date a woman? Ooh Ick!!! The hormones, the hair, the icky drippy female stuff... none of that is something I want to see going on with someone I date (and eventually marry).

What if society told me I had to date women? What if it was actually considered sinful for me to lust after (and act upon) an attraction to men? What if I found my soul mate (my husband) and couldn't marry him? What if all the wonder of having and cherishing a spouse was forbidden to me unless I married a woman? What if the only value society placed on me was whether or not I conformed to what was normal?

Heterosexuality is natural. It's also normal. Humans would eventually cease to exist (or become exceedingly rare) if heterosexuality was not the norm. Homosexuality is also natural. It occurs in many species in nature (hence the designation natural). It is not normal (or there would be a lot fewer of us).

Accepting homosexuality without placing a value judgement (either positive or negative) on it does not threaten hetero relationships and values. I grew up with more than a few gay role models in my life. Somehow, despite the horrid influence of these (wonderful) people I grew up to desire men (Shameful, I know). I also grew up surrounded by examples of many different types of relationships and values. It wasn't the gay couples that I knew who cheated on their spouses, broke apart their families, got divorced, or generally exhibited poor behaviour towards their partner.

God made me as I am. Thank God I like men. Life is so much easier for me because I found my wonderful husband, had three terrific (sometimes terrible) children, and am free to build my family based on the morals and values I believe in. It's a lot easier for me to do that since my morals and values tend to be (usually) what "normal" society approves of.

Only one biologic function of mine ever brings about debate regarding morals and values... my ability to procreate. Some are for it, some against it ("Oh my goodness, haven't you heard about population control? Three kids is one more than it takes to replace yourself and your husband. The Earth is going to blow up if people have more than 1.3 children per couple. Do you know what it costs to raise a child today? How will you ever pay for college for 3 children?" and the other side, "You thwart God's will by using contraception. Each child is a gift from God. It's a sin to interfere in God's plan by purposefully limiting the number of children you carry...").

Is marriage really about creating and raising children? My marriage certainly is. That doesn't mean that God's plan for marriage only includes people capable of having children together. If there are seven sacred covenants and marriage is one of them... did God purposely withhold that covenant from a large segment of the population by creating them either sterile or homosexual?

Most "Christians" who decry homosexuality use biblical references from the Old Testement to back up their beliefs. The Old Testement also tells us it is forbidden for women to go outside without hats and for men to pray while wearing hats. It tells us that eating the meat of cloven hoofed animals is verboten (mmm....bacon). One of the Ten Commandments (yep, the big 10) tells us it is forbidden to "covet your neighbor's house, wife, manservant, maidservant, ox, donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor" (Ex 20:17). No where in "The Giving of the Law" section do I see anything about falling in love with someone of the same sex. In Leviticus there is reference to (Lev. 18:22) to God's decree not to have sex with a man as you would a woman. The same chapter also tells you not to have sex with relatives, animals,... or during a woman's unclean time of the month (Drat! I'm going to hell!).

Leviticus 19:18 tells us, "Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. Do not mate different kinds of animals. Do not plant your field with two kinds of seeds. Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material." I am so going to hell. My favorite sweater- wool, silk blend. My favorite sheets- polyester, cotton blend. I am damned.


The New Testement, Mark 16:15

"He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved."

We can't earn our way into heaven or else Jesus wouldn't have come to die for our sins. The coming of Christ reset the parameters. If that's not true for all the laws of the Old Testement then we all are lost. Who among us can truthfully say they've followed all the mandates and strictures of Old Testement law? Please, if you're using the church and Bible as an arguement against same sex marriage read Exodus and Leviticus. Even if you've already read those chapters- return and read them again. Do you measure up? Can you condemn another person for falling away from Lev. 18:22 when you probably aren't in compliance with Lev. 19:18?

(Horrible heretic thought) Is it possible that portions of the Bible reflect the atmosphere of that historic time period at least as much as they convey God's wishes and demands? Could the document have survived this long without some "corrections" and "revisions" affecting (and effecting) the minutia of the message while preserving the overall truth of the message? Why would God create someoneone way and then damn them for that anomaly of being?


Amy said...

Wonderfully stated!!!

Mrs. B. Roth said...

Stop luring me over here with your brilliant analysis.

Right - none of us is capable of always abiding by all the rules all the time. At some point, we all succumb to individual "weaknesses" of the body (mmm, bacon).

God KNEW that would be the case, so the whole point of our existence must not be to be perfect. Since we are all sinners, try as we might not to, we will all sin. God can not tolerate any sin, yet he wants us imperfect beings to return to him ... all seems impossible and a little pointless.

You make a good point, that a document so old as the Holy Bible has likely been revised to reflect some purpose other than what it may have originally been intended. Before that even, it was filtered through a prophet's mortal (thus imperfect) mind.

If God prefers all things perfect, why bother with us? No. There is something besides running around, not sinning, that we are supposed to do here, isn't there? And our Savior, Jesus Christ, his Universal Atonement, wasn't that supposed to be like a big message from God, that the point is NOT "OBEY ME! Don't Sin" (Jesus' got that covered for ya), but Love God and Love one Another? Isn't that the true meaning and purpose and point of this existence? Learning how to Love?

I have more to say ( I always have more to say) about gay marriage and how it relates to love and God and all that, but I'll save it for my blog, if I ever get around to it.

Come visit me, lets stay up late and discuss philosophy over hot cocoa.

Janet said...

Mmmm... cocoa. We could do that sometime. Better yet, come camping with us again- although the philosophy will have to wait until the older members of the party have called it a night. They tend to be rather horrified at some of my beliefs (The day I mentioned my tongue ring was quite memorable).

Thank goodness we all love each other!

Mrs. B. Roth said...

I'm there. Gimme the whens and wheres, I'll pack my bags and pitch my tent. Can we bring along all our internet pals to round out the discussion?

Janet said...


Jake camping in the living room

Jake camping in the living room