Even though some of my friends admit that same-sex attraction is probably not a choice, they still insist that God frowns upon homosexual relations. In a similar way to how some have an in-born tendency towards aggression - they say - gay people feel a biological attraction to the same gender; both of these drives do not damage the moral condition of their holders unless those holders choose to act on them. Through this logic, the distinction between choice and non-choice becomes irrelevant, a conclusion that I myself accept - through a different formulation, however.
The argument above does not contribute towards determining whether same-sex relations count as sins or not. It merely facilitates their immorality in the case that they come from an attraction of biological nature. The question still stands: why is the act of one man shagging another man wrong?
Kant might apply his universal maxim and assert that if everyone committed to a life-style of homosexual relations, the human race would die out. This logic, however, wrongly applies Kant’s method. The issue at hand is not over whether every person should commit homosexual relations, but rather over whether people who feel the urge should; we would never command a straight-man through moral obligation to fuck another man.
The Catholic Church has cherry-picked a certain passage out of the Bible’s context many times - all in order to justify its prejudice. This single sentence apparently condemns homosexuality as an “abomination”, something that God has and will always disapprove of. If a follower takes the leap towards in-dependency and actually picks up the Holy Book, he might notice only a few paces before a clause condemning craw-fish. Actually, the whole surrounding area is a list of sins, most of which seem bizarrely random. To explain this, we must consider the Bible as not 100% divine authority but a story. I do not mean this as an attack on Christianity; one may use the bible to derive morality, just not through a step-by step prescription.
These mandates all share the word “abomination”. While Christians might see this as evidence that supports their interpretation, most biblical scholars think that the word - long before its many translations - actually was used to signify cultural law, not ethical truth. Back then, the Jewish community was dwindling in numbers. To assure its continuation and dominance, it therefore had to preserve the seed of its males. This accounts for why a man could face execution for pulling-out or using contraception. Today though, these cultural conditions do not apply; wrong interpretation has meant the proliferation of AIDS in Africa and the endless momentum of world population.
Nor does homosexuality defy some common purpose. Many straight couples engage in relations despite a genetic birthing disorder, and we do not require lovers to have children in their marriages. Sex has more meaning that just procreation - it unifies, connects, and sanctifies.
Some Christians think that homosexuality is wrong merely because God says so. To them, the many temptations we encounter exist as tests, events meant by God to lessen our frailties and in some way maybe “prove” our worthiness. First of all, God forbids acts not only because this tests us but because - quite frankly - the acts are also wrong. It might be said that since God decides morality, He doesn’t need to conform His condemnations to some external list. In that case, if God commanded us to hate each other - if he announced this as being ethically correct - would you murder your family? No, the will of God exists independently from what is right. Goodness applies to him like an adjective, something separate; God is good, but good is not God.
If God should condemn homosexuality despite it’s moral acceptability, then I refuse to believe in that God’s perfection and would not desire to associate with it. Giving such a spiteful Being love, something He does not deserve, surely could only come from fear of his wrath.
I find the whole of idea of God instating temptation as a test quite unsettling. Homosexuality is not a solid term but a spectrum. It would be extremely hard for some homosexuals to marry a women because they lay far left on the spectrum. If you are heterosexual, imagine that you live in a world where God commands you to marry the same sex; the confusion and unwillingness created by this consideration are exactly those experienced by this type of homosexual. Some gays experience less of an attraction and could perhaps, without too much work, swing the other way. And of course, those right in the middle - we call them bisexuals.
The point here is to realize that even though some gays can live with a wife, this doesn’t necessarily infer that all gays can. For some, attempts at converting life styles, even if this means adopting chastity, end in suicide.
On a more fundamental level, why would God test some more than others? At the University of Texas, after killing his wife one man climbed to the top of a tower and shot innocent citizens. Strangely, he left a note behind requesting a biopsy. The urges that evoked these actions, in accordance with his own prediction, were caused by a brain tumor. While the murderer was lucid enough to logically consider his actions, the emotions created were simply too strong, and the few grams of cancer killed more that its usual one.
This man experienced an urge much greater than those of anger or homosexuality. Should we blame him for the subsequent atrocities? You might say no since the tumor and blood-lust were not of his choosing, but neither are anger and yelling the choice of the short tempered. This case is - yes - an anomaly, but for an example more close at heart, consider this. Scientists have identified one bundle of genes which almost 90% of prisoners exhibit. You might know it as the Y chromosome. If God does judge you upon your success in His tests, then with this piece of knowledge we could easily realize something critical - He is sexist. Why else would men by nature be more susceptible to temptation? Clearly, God does not dish-out resilience equally, and evaluating everyone on the same standard in the afterlife would be entirely unjust.
The whole idea of life being a test seems cruel. God can create perfect beings, as he did with the angels. Also, between death and entrance into heaven those worthy seem to become perfect - and not of their own doing. So why then cause so much unnecessary suffering? I don’t think one could quote Free Will in this situation, because a perfect mind has the same freedom as an imperfect one (maybe none); in a perfect world, our strengths would shape us in the same way that our frailties do today.
If life were truly a test, then why not kill children before they reach an age of responsibility? Although it would condemn you, this act of pure unselfishness would save countless children.
The main point here is that homosexuality causes no suffering. Even if Freud’s prediction proves correct and men like other men because of an abnormal childhood, this makes homosexuality no more a disease than heterosexuality. I believe both, in part, have psychological origins, and that one origin is in no way preferential to to the other. Freud himself thought that homosexuality is not a neurosis, but a healthy expression of a side within us all.
Freud’s psychoanalysis also lead us to an understanding of homophobia. Homosexuality represents a threat to male dominance, one unconsciously fostered; when a man allows himself to be treated like a woman (both through sexuality and personality), it shatters the control and activism males feel the penis entitles them to. It therefore follows that men, although they might rationalize the reasons differently, should want to suppress homosexuality and defend their position. Like many psychoanalytic theories, this one’s subconscious nature makes it hard to accept - a painful truth. It nonetheless is the only answer fathomable for such an irrational hate.
To solve the debate, I propose that we abolish the legal institution of marriage and instead establish a religiously neutral “union” of sorts. This provides equal tax benefits and other forms of equality, gives the religious free domain over marriage (as separation of religion and state necessitates), and successfully bypasses all the bickering. Marriage is a worry not for the political arena but for the faithful. The only meaningful change will come when of their own free will churches choose to include same sex couples in marriage, a decision I believe that is their right to make or not to make. This development will happen not as the impetus for change but as a direct reflection of it.
I hope this article has shed some new light on the homosexuality. This issue consumes so much of my time because I constantly see its affects - the guilt and self-hatred it inspires. Please do not become like the many others who look at these people and walk away. The greatest hindrance to progress is indifference, to stare at the face of suffering without it staring back into you.