Thursday, July 11, 2013


Having written several times in the past on reasons why same-sex marriage is a very bad idea, I thought I'd try the social equivalent of wandering back and forth across a busy freeway and share some thoughts on homosexuality itself.

Those who adopt the traditional view, myself included, believe that homosexuality is an abnormal predisposition, a gender or sexual disorder. Whether it's a consequence of nature or nurture is not particularly relevant since there are numerous disorders to which we are genetically or environmentally inclined but which are still regarded as derangements of the norm.

There are some, of course, who will immediately upon reading this, ask, perhaps with an excess of pique and asperity in their tone, if I'm asserting that there's something "wrong" with the homosexual person.

The frank answer is, yes, I am, but then I believe there's something or other wrong with all of us. We're all beset with flaws of some sort. Anger, lust, addiction, mean-spiritedness, selfishness, lack of compassion, a critical spirit, etc. are all disorders (I'm using the word "disorder" here to mean functioning in a way that's either harmful or in some way incompatible with the way humans are designed to function or should function).

Homosexuality is a disorder, in my opinion, in much the same way these others are disorders, but of those afflictions that visit themselves upon human beings, homosexuality may be far from the worst. It can be very harmful, of course, to the person who finds himself experiencing same-sex attraction, particularly if it's compounded with promiscuity, but each of the disorders mentioned above can also be harmful to ourselves and others and can often be much more detrimental than homosexuality.

A young man of my acquaintance has recently had a PFA issued to him on behalf of his wife and children. He's a good guy, but he can't control his anger and it has cost him his family. His disorder, I would suggest, is far worse than that of a homosexual who is no threat to anyone.

Another person I know had a womanizing problem that eventually cost him his family. Another had a problem with alcohol that nearly caused the death of his child in a car crash. I'd argue that these disorders are much worse than that of many non-promiscuous homosexuals.

Homosexuality, whether male or female, is not normal in any sense of the word - not statistically nor anatomically, nor psychologically - and it's a mistake, in my view, for society to seek to normalize it, just as it's a mistake to normalize any of the above-mentioned disorders. But neither should we treat the person who is struggling to reconcile himself with his or her homosexuality any less lovingly than we ourselves would want to be treated as we struggle with our own faults and flaws.

Nor should we think, just because someone can function normally in society, under most circumstances, that their disorder is not a disorder. People can function in society, as the young PFA recipient does, as many womanizers and alcoholics do, and still have a part of him that's not healthy.

So, in my view we have a moral duty to treat homosexuals with love while recognizing that there's an element of their being that's not functioning properly. If, however, homosexuals want more from us than that, if they want us to acknowledge that that element of their being which we find problematic is integral to who they are and should thus be affirmed and celebrated as in some sense normal, then they're asking more than that to which they are entitled.

Moreover, if it be demanded of us that we agree with them that homosexuality is not morally problematic or else shut up about it then those who make this demand are seeking to impose upon us their own moral beliefs and are demanding what no one has a right to demand. We are all entitled, to the extent we don't harm others, to be treated with dignity, respect and kindness as persons, but we are not entitled to have our predilections and behaviors given society's stamp of approval, even if only tacitly.

If a homosexual, or an advocate on behalf of homosexuals, wishes to argue, contra what I said above, that homosexuality is not a disorder, and that the claim that it is is therefore insulting, I am certainly open to their argument, but they will have to bring more to the table than just shibboleths and the "some of my best friends are gay" argument. I'm willing to be persuaded, but I think the challenge of demonstrating that homosexuality is indeed compatible with the way we are designed to function as human beings is a pretty daunting task.