The Family Research Council and Request Foods’ flamboyant ad in Friday’s Sentinel invites special disparagement. It claims that homosexuals are being offered “special protections” by new discrimination laws. This is deceptive, as they’re simply being offered those available to everybody else. Other groups protected by such laws (pregnant women, for example) are curiously omitted from the FRC’s list, no doubt to prop up the claim that all protected groups are based on involuntary and immutable characteristics.
As a biologist, I think it’s safe to say that no one has a clue what “causes” homosexuality (or, if your prefer, heterosexuality). What harm would come from saying so? We understand developmental aspects of biology as well as we understand the rest of the discipline — that is, not at all. Claims about the basis of homosexuality should be held in equal contempt with claims that progressive Darwinian evolution is a fact. The issues are unresolved, and are irrelevant to the pressing moral questions.
Unfortunately, scripture’s stance on gay people is equally ambiguous. Three good books on the subject are sufficient to gain an understanding of the issues. Strong opinions on scripture’s stance thus result from laziness, unmindful adherence to tradition and a measure of credulity. Thankfully, attitudes toward women and racial minorities have changed, despite such obstacles (for example, see 1 Corinthians 14:33-37 and 1 Timothy 2:8-15 on women). That homosexuals are more depressed warrants no surprise. Virtually every day (in Holland, anyway) they are vilified in ignorant letters to the editor. They live with the perpetual fear that they may never be able to marry the person they love. The church has contributed to their isolation, in stark contrast to Jesus’ message: that there is neither slave nor free, male nor female, Jew nor Greek. (”Gay nor straight” might have followed, had the disciples been able to “bear it”; John 16:12-13.)
The FRC’s oblivious ad proves the point it denies: that gay people are seriously affected by unabated animosity, in print and otherwise. This anti-gay propaganda is striking for its mendacity. Unfortunately, the rest of us can’t afford a full-page ad deflating these claims. Instead, we hope for careful, honest thinking — a welcome alternative.
Originally published in The Holland Sentinel.