Is homosexuality inherited or acquired? This New Scientist article is among the most honest I’ve seen.
WARNING: 1.) This blog post is not suitable for children. 2.) I’d love to say I outlined this and stayed on topic, but this post covers two or three topics at least.
I am not posting this because I want to comment on the new anti-homosexual law in Uganda. I am not posting this because of any political stance. I am posting this for the same reason I usually post things: I crusade for honesty.
I believe that King Jesus, Lord of the universe, is the Truth. I believe that honest seekers of truth will find it, and when they find it, it will be HIM.
Here’s something I read on Facebook today, concerning the creationism/evolution debate, from an unbeliever:
“It is thus that they intend to prove that ‘the truth shall set us free’…
It is not just in evolution that we present such a face to the world.
Do you believe that homosexuality has no genetic source? Do you believe that all homosexuals choose to be same-sex oriented?
If you do, it is almost certainly because you want to believe that, not for any other reason. You wish it was so, so you believe it is so.
And you use it to justify smugness, sneering, and haughtiness.
I’m not talking about namby-pamby “do whatever you want because Jesus died for you” Christianity. Jesus was very clear about sin. He was loving and filled with compassion, but he was not sweet. If you think he was sweet, you need to pay more attention the next time you read the Gospels.
Jesus was straightforward, bold, and a preacher of righteousness. In fact, he was such a preacher of righteousness that generations of people have wondered if it is even possible to live out just his Sermon on the Mount.
But sinners flocked to him!
He was bold, even blunt. He didn’t let people off the hook. He was straight about God and about judgment.
Sinners flocked to him, anyway … because he never sneered.
He did not trust men because he knew their hearts.
He did not sneer at men because he knew their hearts. He knew what they were up against.
Think about that a bit.
Then, let’s get back to the point of this post.
Is a Tendency to Homosexuality Inherited or Acquired?
Here’s why I think the New Scientist article is a good resource on the topic.
- The author not only references studies, but the article provides links to them.
- The author deals honestly with the results of those studies, despite the fact that he reveals his own views in the article.
- The author acknowledges the limitations of his knowledge, and is careful to limit what conclusions he draws from the studies he references.
You don’t have to wonder why this scientist wrote the article, nor why he gives the answers he gives. You can look at his sources. You can think through the conclusions with him. That is good research writing.
In the article, he gives evidence for a genetic origin for homosexual tendencies. He also lets us know that if one identical twin is homosexual, the other usually is not. That is evidence against a genetic origin for homosexuality, but he does not dodge it. As a person who is ill-informed for a scientist, but very well-informed as a layman, I know that the explanation he gives for that bit of evidence is accurate. Just because a trait is not in the DNA does not mean it was not inherited or that it did not arise apart from choice.
What If Homosexuality Is Inherited?
The question we Christians are faced with is why God condemns homosexuality if it is inherited?
I was glad to see this scientist point out the answer to that question:
Should we make decisions on the acceptability of homosexuality based on the science of sexual orientation causation?
No. The acceptability of human acts should depend on their consequences rather than their causes. (bold in original)
I would go one step further. At the moment, we have only been talking about tendency or desire. Tendency or desire does not equate to action, and God does not judge us on our temptations, but on our actions.
I was born heterosexual. As a teenager, I was the same as most other teenage boys I knew. We had an extremely overactive sex drive. Jesus teaches us to overcome it. He does not only forbid heterosexual activities before marriage, he forbids entertaining them in our minds.
Homosexuality is not the only sinful trait that is inherited. There are many. We are all born selfish, and a great many of us are born with a hot temper. Most of us are born greedy, and the love of the world and its goods is at least as bad a temptation as sexual lust.
Jesus did not come here to make the world nice. He came here to save us from our bodies and the bodies of everyone around us.
Sorry for the strange terminology, but let me justify it. Peter talks about escaping “the corruption that is in the world through desire.” James said, “You ask and you don’t receive, because you ask amiss, wanting to fulfill your own desires.”
Jesus came here to bring the kingdom of God. The benefit of the kingdom is fellowship with God and immortality in his presence. The cost is the fulfillment of your desires, no matter what your desires are. The kingdom of God means obeying God, the King.
Jesus came to give us a new life, not of this earth, so that in rejecting and overcoming the life of this earth, with its passions and desires, we could enter into that new life and never die. The body is now our enemy on that path. Like Paul we have to discipline and subdue it. In fact, he puts it this way, “If you put to death the deeds of the body by the Spirit, then you will live.”
The Church and the World
I’ll keep this part short.
What have I to do with judging those who are outside? (1 Cor. 5:12)
If you want the government to ban homosexuality, then why aren’t you asking the government to ban sex outside of marriage? Why aren’t you demanding that we go back to prosecuting adulterers? Many states in the US used to do that, you know. Adultery is certainly as much an attack on “the institution of marriage” as homosexuality is.
So is divorce? Why aren’t you demanding that divorce be outlawed?
Oh. ‘Cause you’re divorced.
The church is the fellowship of those who have crucified their own body with its passions and desires. We, the family of God, are responsible to give ourselves to purging God’s church and our bodies of sin. Sometimes that means loving, patient, forgiving counsel; sometimes that is help by watching, teaching, and staying close to someone; and sometimes it means harsh rebuke, or even banishment, for the hard-hearted.
Let’s not confuse the church and the United States government.