Monday, September 17, 2007

Star Tribune, Unavoidable Truth, and Homosexuality: What do they have in common?

Prominently featured on the front page of the Star Tribune's Sunday opinion page was an opinion piece entitled, "An unavoidable truth". It's a lengthy piece by a woman, Charlotte Sullivan, on her embracing lesbianism after 36 years of marriage to a man. After surveying the title and subtitle, which says people don't choose and can't change their sexual orientation, I expected a story on the latest research on homosexuality or an attempt at a well reasoned defense of homosexuality. Instead it was an emotive, angry rant against those awful religious conservatives, who in their defense of traditional marriage are destroying people.

She goes on to say, "I love homophobes, but I hate, hate, hate their lies."

What are the lies of this "cruel, discriminatory movement" and what is the basis for calling them lies? She merely asserts; there's no evidence to support her charges.

This type of story is part and parcel of much of what one hears from the pro-homosexual movement. It's how I feel. It's what I want. The facts can be cruel things but they can't be denied. Homosexuality is not the pathway to happiness and people can change.

First, there is evidence that people who engage in one vice are more likely to engage in others. This was suggested by a massive research study of 12,283 people by the federal government on people's drug use and sexual activity. Homosexual behavior generally accompanies higher use of illegal drugs, smoking and prostitution. Do all people who identify themselves as homosexual engage in these vices? Certainly not. But there's enough of an association to suggest that if a person engages in one vice, they're more likely to engage in others.

Second, people have changed their sexual orientation. Can all people change their sexual desires and attractions? No, but many do. A recent study points to evidence that people can change.

Ultimately, the issue here is behavior not desire. Whatever one believes about the chosen-ness of certain desires that's a separate issue from whether one has a choice on whether or not to act on and embrace those desires. Married men are tempted to lust after other women. Should they act on those desires? How about pornography use? Or what about individuals sexually attracted to minors, whether male or female? Should they act on those desires? Certainly not. Do they have a choice? I would argue, ultimately yes. Yet that's where the pro-homosexual argument breaks down. They suggest there is no choice. A person must act on those desires.

In fact, there's a movement afoot to deny people who want to leave homosexuality, even the opportunity to pursue change.

While the Star Tribune editorial board embraces homosexuality that doesn't mean the facts do.


Anonymous said...

For clarification, Ms. Sullivan states that she was married for six years, not thirty-six as stated in your response.

Anonymous said...

I really appreciated this article. As a former student of Charlotte, her article was upsetting, mostly because of her pride in insulting the Christian movement. She is doing exactly what she is so angry at Christians for doing: being a bigot against Christians.

Anonymous said...

Choice is the true gift of our free will. Yet, there is a difference between choosing to harm oneself and others (adultery, abuse, prostitution) and choosing to love one consenting adult in the privacy of one's life. We have every right to oppose this lifestyle, but not to be cruel to homosexuals through rants and legislation.

You appealed to Ms. Sullivan's lack of facts. But this article suffers from the same deficit. Many do choose to leave gay behavior through ex-gay ministries. THIS DOES NOT CHANGE THEIR ORIENTATION, ONLY THEIR BEHAVIOR. In fact, we know that many ex-gay ministry leaders have since rejected the movement. You might consider the bulk of psychological research that suggests that drug abuse, physical abuse, and psychological problems and an equal occurrence in heterosexual as well as homosexual populations. Early research on this was misleading because the samples were often taken from those already being treated for problems.

Last, Ms. Sullivan's response seems to be rooted more in her pain than in anger. This article forces us to realize that this is not just a war about an ISSUE. This is about people in our lives. People we love, or should. (I have witnessed this pain in my own extended family.) I do wish that in our attempt to fight for righteousness we could remember to love people as Christ does.

Did you notice that her "I love homophobes" line was a reversal of a line we so often use against people like her?

"Love the sinner, hate the sin"

Doesn't feel so good when turned against us, does it.

I plead for Christian love and accurate information as we fight for healthy families.