JC, do you realize that I will NEVER consider slavery, interracial, and gender matters to be in the same category as the LGBT issue?Why? Well, the writer is unwilling to provide explanation or evidence for her views. However, I don't want to focus on this individual, but rather, on the frequent opinion she represents and where it comes from (so please don't charge over to the Lead to engage her….there's no point). And what she represents is the intransigent opposition to facts, lives, and humanity of LGBT people.
Of course, many conservatives feel free to ignore the science they don't like , whether it's gays, evolution, or global warming (see for example here and here). "LA LA LA I can't hear you" becomes "I don't care what you say or what your evidence is, because I don't believe it."
One possibility is that this writer doesn't believe that gay people exist. She may believe that for some reason, people choose to be gay, consciously stepping away from heterosexuality. Or, she may believe that gay people are created by bad parenting, or child abuse. Of course, these explanations have been shown to be invalid for the majority of LGBT people, not only by the testimony of gay people themselves, but by science. (See here and here.)
A second possibility is that this writer considers being gay a pathology. That is, we exist, but we're abnormal, or sick, like alcoholics, or epileptics. I discussed this with you some time ago: the idea that we are a variant that needs to be "cured". In vain do we point out that science agrees that being gay is like being left-handed, a normal variant in the human spectrum. In vain, do we cite evidence that shows "curing" doesn't work (indeed, even those who try to "cure" gays admit that they really can't do it.) Instead, they compare us to pedophiles and kleptomaniacs.
Using the comparison I used before, we would all agree that a child with cleft palate has a condition that can and should be "cured". As a hearing person, I would consider being deaf a "pathology" but to members of the Deaf community, it's not a defect. Our views of "defects" are not always fixed: they are opinions, but they also must be susceptible to medicine and science. Eventually, the culture moves-- for example, my parents' generation considered that left-handed people should be "fixed" but we now know that was not only unnecessary, but actively harmful. Lefties are just normal variants. And science and medicine now tell us overwhelmingly that being gay is a normal human variant that harms neither us, nor anyone else.
But using the language of pathology and defect against gay people leads to extreme reactions, like this story from The Advocate
….a Cleveland morning DJ made a horrifying comment that suggested a man allow his gay daughter to be raped. … "You should get one of your friends to screw your daughter straight," Dieter said, according to viewers.Sure, because nothing will "straighten me out" like being raped by a man? One doesn't know where to begin.
Of course, most people who dislike homosexuality don't advocate rape. I do believe most of them are decent, if misguided. But how many of them repudiate the demonizing hate from the most fervent opponents that provides fertile ground for such thoughts?
And where does that kind of hate come from?
"If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us." - Hermann HesseIn the NY Times two writers highlight further evidence from recent meta-analysis that some of the most vehemently anti-gay people have homosexual tendencies themselves. We've discussed evidence of this before (the finding dates back to the late 90s), but here there's a particularly interesting correlation (my emphases):
Using this methodology we identified a subgroup of participants who, despite self-identifying as highly straight, indicated some level of same-sex attraction ...You see, what we say as adults and parents matters to the kids. Bullying isn't just driving gay kids to suicide. It's also creating the gay bashers. The writers conclude with a very important thought:
Notably, these “discrepant” individuals were also significantly more likely than other participants to favor anti-gay policies...Thus our research suggests that some who oppose homosexuality do tacitly harbor same-sex attraction.
What leads to this repression? We found that participants who reported having supportive and accepting parents were more in touch with their implicit sexual orientation and less susceptible to homophobia. Individuals whose sexual identity was at odds with their implicit sexual attraction were much more frequently raised by parents perceived to be controlling, less accepting and more prejudiced against homosexuals.
It’s important to stress the obvious: Not all those who campaign against gay men and lesbians secretly feel same-sex attractions. But at least some who oppose homosexuality are likely to be individuals struggling against parts of themselves, having themselves been victims of oppression and lack of acceptance. The costs are great, not only for the targets of anti-gay efforts but also often for the perpetrators. We would do well to remember that all involved deserve our compassion.So, perhaps the best Christian response to someone expressing anti-gay sentiment is "I'm sorry you feel that way. I'll pray for you!"