Friday, December 01, 2006

Christianity's Credibility - Part 2

Thomas goes on to argue about why Christianity ought to accept homosexuality:
This time, Christianity is in danger of squandering its moral authority by continuing its pattern of discrimination against gays and lesbians in the face of mounting scientific evidence that sexual orientation has little or nothing to do with choice. To the contrary, whether sexual orientation arises as a result of the mother's hormones or the child's brain structure or DNA, it is almost certainly an accident of birth. The point is this: Without choice, there can be no moral culpability.
This illustrates one of the reasons I dislike non-scientists writing about scientific issues. Thomas calls it a settled issue. I'm unaware of any scientific research that puts an ironclad, no-doubt-about -it seal on the issue.

It's been a while, but I seem to recall that most of the research doesn't effectively deal with the cause and effect relationship for biological traits that have been linked to homosexuality. Did the trait cause the homosexuality, or did the homosexuality cause the trait? Was it something that was set at birth, or did it occur during development? Again, it's been a while, but it's pretty bold to declare it an open-and-shut case.

Still, that's really beside the point he's arguing. "Without choice, there can be no moral culpability." This argument, I believe, is the achilles heel of his position.

"Without choice," Thomas says. What choice would that be? In general, it would be the choice to sin or not to sin. Thomas intends it be applied to homosexuality, but the general argument should be considered.

I tend not to argue with people when they say that being homosexual isn't a choice. I know that if someone told me not to be attracted to women, it'd take a good deal of brainwashing to make it stick, and even then I can't say relapse would be beyond possibility.

But the Bible never states that being homosexual is a sin. No, it says homosexual acts are sinful. This is a significant difference. I can't help my heterosexual inclinations, yet the Bible also condemns pre-marital sex, adultery, incest, and lust. Yes, I can lust after my wife (should I ever have one), but that's only one woman in the entire world. Is that significantly more restrictive than telling the homosexual that he cannot lust after men?

This is my conclusion, then: If Christianity holds me accountable for heterosexual lust, why shouldn't homosexual lust be made accountable, too? You could argue that no lust should be held as sin, but that is not the argument Thomas makes.

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