Sep
22

The Gay/Lesbian Delusion: Part 2

By

I want to thank everyone who weighed-in on Part 1 of the Gay/Lesbian Delusion post. What a great (and important) debate! This is simply too big to stop at one post! So here’s my response to many of the comments offered in Part 1. Watch this short video I shot in London and I’ll look forward to your comments. Special thanks to Mike Michelozzi and the many others who helped kick off this discussion. Steve Siebold (5:00)

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Comments

  1. Michael says:

    Even if the Christian God appears before you right now and proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Christianity is the only acceptable way to live your life, YOU CANNOT IMPOSE YOUR BELIEFS ON A NATION OF PEOPLE. Live your life the best way you know how, and leave everyone else out of it. It isn’t your business what happens to me. It’s my fate, not yours. Religion has no place in our government. It is absolutely insane to debate about religion. No one knows the ultimate truth. But here’s what we do know: we’re all human, we all have the same emotions. We all struggle, and try as best as we can to stay afloat. Please stop trying to push people down for being different. It only indicates that you’re unhappy with your own life. Has anyone ever stopped to consider that maybe-just maybe- homosexuality is nature’s way of slowing the human population? Of course you didn’t. Because it takes work to look outside your own perspectives. Maybe we should work on stopping teen pregnancy and overpopulation. We’re here, we’re queer, and and we aren’t going anywhere. So get the f**k out of my bedroom.

  2. Linda Moore says:

    “Mark Goodson says:

    November 4, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    By the way, the homosexuality in animals hypothesis is a myth: http://www.conservapedia.com/Homosexuality_in_animals_myth

    Mark,

    I can give you a list of studies done of hundreds of animals, including birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, fish etc., which prove that homosexuality is a natural occurrence in the animal kingdom, and is not merely a choice made by human beings.

    “Gay Penguins Resist ‘Aversion Therapy'”. 365Gay.com. 11 February 2005. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
    Bagemihl, Bruce (1999). Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity. St. Martin’s Press ISBN 0-312-19239-8
    Caramagno, Thomas C (2002). Irreconcilable Differences? Intellectual Stalemate in the Gay Rights Debate; Praeger/Greenwood, ISBN 0275977218.
    Cooper, J.B. “An Exploratory Study on African Lions” in Comparative Psychology Monographs 17:1-48.
    Cziko, Gary (2000) The Things We Do: Using the Lessons of Bernard and Darwin to Understand the What, How, and Why of Our Behavior; MIT Press, ISBN 0262032775.
    de Waal, Frans B. M. (2001) The Ape and The Sushi Master: Cultural Reflections by a Primatologist; Basic Books (chapter Bonobos and Fig Leaves).
    Dunkle, S.W. (1991), “Head damage from mating attempts in dragonflies (Odonata:Anisoptera)”. Entomological News 102, pp. 37-41. Retrieved on 16 June 2010.
    Eaton, R. L. (1974). “The Biology and Social Behavior of Reproduction in the Lion” in Eaton, ed. The World’s Cats, vol. II; pp.3-58; Seattle.
    Forger, Nancy G., Laurence G. Frank, S. Marc Breedlove, Stephen E. Glickman (6 December 1998). “Sexual Dimorphism of Perineal Muscles and Motoneurons in Spotted Hyenas”; The Journal of Comparative Neurology, Volume 375, Issue 2 , Pages 333 – 343. Retrieved 11 September 2007.
    Goudarzi, Sara (16 November 2006). “Gay Animals Out of the Closet?: First-ever Museum Display Shows 51 Species Exhibiting Homosexuality”. MSNBC. Retrieved on 12 September 2007.
    Harrold, Max (16 February 1999). “Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity” The Advocate, reprinted in Highbeam Encyclopedia. Retrieved on 10 September 2007.
    Holekamp, Kay E. (2003). Research: Spotted Hyena – Introduction and Overview. Michigan State University, Department of Zoology]. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
    Imaginova (2007). “Gay Animals: Alternate Lifestyles in the Wild – Japanese macaques”; LiveScience. Retrieved 20 November 2007.
    Imaginova (2007b). “Gay Animals: Alternate Lifestyles in the Wild – American Bison”; LiveScience. Retrieved 20 November 2007.
    Imaginova (2007c). “Gay Animals: Alternate Lifestyles in the Wild – Bottlenose Dolphins”; LiveScience. Retrieved 20 November 2007.
    Imaginova (2007d). “Gay Animals: Alternate Lifestyles in the Wild – Giraffes”; LiveScience. Retrieved 20 November 2007.
    Imaginova (2007e). “Gay Animals: Alternate Lifestyles in the Wild – Kob”; LiveScience. Retrieved 20 November 2007.
    Imaginova (2007f). “Gay Animals: Alternate Lifestyles in the Wild – Black Swan”; LiveScience. Retrieved 20 November 2007.
    Imaginova (2007g). “Gay Animals: Alternate Lifestyles in the Wild – Walrus”; LiveScience. Retrieved 20 November 2007.
    Imaginova (2007h). “Gay Animals: Alternate Lifestyles in the Wild – Gray Whale”; LiveScience. Retrieved 20 November 2007.
    Imaginova (2007i). “Gay Animals: Alternate Lifestyles in the Wild – Guianan-Cock-of-the-Rock”; LiveScience. Retrieved 20 November 2007.
    Imaginova (2007j). “Gay Animals: Alternate Lifestyles in the Wild – Bonobo Chimpanzees”; LiveScience. Retrieved 20 November 2007.
    Kick, Russ (2001). You Are Being Lied to: The Disinformation Guide to Media Distortion, Historical Whitewashes and Cultural Myths. The Disinformation Company, ISBN 0966410076. Retrieved on 18 November 2007.
    “The Science of Sex”. 19 September 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-11-08. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
    Liggett, Dave; Columbus Zoo and Aquarium staff. “African Forest: Bonobo”. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Archived from the original on June 2, 2002. Retrieved November 14, 2011. “…frequent sex (including male-to-male and female-to-female) characterize bonobo society.”
    News-medical.net (23 October 2006). “1,500 Animal Species Practice Homosexuality” Retrieved on 10 September 2007.
    Roselli, Charles E., Kay Larkin, John A. Resko, John N. Stellflug and Fred Stormshak (2004). “The Volume of a Sexually Dimorphic Nucleus in the Ovine Medial Preoptic Area/Anterior Hypothalamus Varies with Sexual Partner Preference”. Endocrinology, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Oregon Health & Science University (C.E.R., K.L., J.A.R.), Portland, Oregon; Department of Animal Sciences, Oregon State University (F.S.), Corvallis, Oregon; and Agricultural Research Service, United States Sheep Experiment Station (J.N.S.), Dubois, Idaho, Vol. 145, No. 2. Retrieved on 10 September 2007.
    Roughgarden, Joan (2004). Evolutions Rainbow: Diversity, Gender and Sexuality in Nature and People; University of California Press, Berkeley, pages p.13-183.
    Schaller, G. B. (1972). The Serengeti Lion; University of Chicago Press.
    Smith, Dinitia (7 February 2004). “Love That Dare Not Squeak Its Name” New York Times. Retrieved on 10 September 2007. Reprinted as “Central Park Zoo’s Gay Penguins Ignite Debate”, San Francisco Chronicle.
    Solimeo, Luiz Sérgio (21 September 2004). “The Animal Homosexuality Myth” National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). Retrieved on 10 September 2007.
    Solimeo, Luiz Sérgio (2004). Defending A Higher Law: Why We Must Resist Same-Sex “Marriage” and the Homosexual Movement Spring Grove, Pennsylvania: The American TFP, ISBN 187790533X. Retrieved on 10 September 2007.
    Sommer, Volker & Paul L. Vasey (2006). Homosexual Behaviour in Animals, An Evolutionary Perspective. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge; ISBN-10: 0521864461.
    Srivastav, Suvira (15 December-31 December 2001). “Lion, Without Lioness”[dead link] Terragreen, News to Save the Earth. Retrieved on 2 September 2007.
    Stein, Edward (1999) The Mismeasure of Desire: The Science, Theory, and Ethics of Sexual Orientation; Oxford University Press, US; ISBN 0195142446.
    Tatarnic, Nikolai J., Gerasimos Cassis, Dieter F. Hochuli; 22 March 2006 “Traumatic insemination in the plant bug genus Coridromius Signoret (Heteroptera: Miridae)” Biology Letters Journal Volume 2, Number 1, pg 58-61: Royal Society Publishing; Retrieved 16 June 2010.
    Terry, Jennifer (2000) “‘Unnatural Acts’ In Nature: The Scientific Fascination with Queer Animals”; GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies (6(2):151-193; OI:10.1215/10642684-6-2-151); Duke University Press.
    Utzeri, C. & C. Belfiore (1990): “Anomalous tandems in Odonata”. Fragmenta Entomologica 22(2), pp. 271-288. Retrieved 11 September 2007.
    Vasey, Paul L. (1995), “Homosexual Behaviour in Primates: A Review of Evidence and Theory”; International Journal of Primatology 16: p 173-204.
    Wilson, Sexing the Hyena: “The males mount each other” University of Chicago Press. Retrieved 11 September 2007.
    Zimmer, Carl (2000); Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature’s Most Dangerous Creatures; Simon and Schuster, ISBN 0743213718. Retrieved 18 November 2007.

  3. Linda Moore says:

    “Mohammad says:

    September 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    “You can’t prove morals with a God, that is what I am trying to say.”

    LOL…I meant you can’t prove morals WITHOUT a GOD…”

    Mohammad,

    With all due respect, your Freudian slip was a more accurate statement than anything else you have said so far.

  4. Linda Moore says:

    Scott,

    Regarding your question, “The question is: Is this behavior disordered or isn’t it. Choice (or lack thereof) doesn’t help us answer that question.”

    Why do you assume that just because someone is different from the norm that it means that there is something wrong (disordered) about him/her? In other words, by your definition, left-handedness is a disorder, since the majority of people are right-handed. Also, being blond and blue-eyed must be a disorder, since most people are not.

    On the contrary, left-handedness and eye/hair colors are traits, just as sexual orientation is. Comparing a trait (homosexuality) to a birth defect (club foot) is like comparing apples to oranges, which is illogical.

  5. Linda Moore says:

    Re: Mike’s statement “Scott, same for gays who condemn Christians as if one size fits all. Hetero phobia is as real as homo phobia and there’s not one group of people free of bias free of putting people into discriminatory little boxes.”

    Please back up your statement with at least one example of someone who was bullied, harassed, beaten, murdered, denied equal rights, etc., by a homosexual just for being heterosexual.

  6. Mark Goodson says:

    By the way, the homosexuality in animals hypothesis is a myth: http://www.conservapedia.com/Homosexuality_in_animals_myth

    Second, mixing politics and religion is generally a bad practice especially today when many countries are so politically polarized. I used to work for a sales/management training company that sold a lot of merchandise from a lot of the peak performance authors and speakers. None of them mixed liberal politics with their business because there are so many conservatives in business.

    I like your material and I think you would reach a much larger audience if you didn’t mix your liberal ideology with your business. Again, 40% of Americans are conservatives.

    Sincerely,

    Mark

  7. Mark Goodson says:

    Steve,

    Conservatives make up about 40% of the U.S. population. Plus, there are a lot of conservative businessmen. You are putting an unnecessary damper on your business.

    Given that science has not discovered a gay gene, I don’t see why you are going out on a limb here.

    What is more important – your liberalism or your pocketbook? What is more important – your being able to help conservatives during these tough time or your liberalism?

    Sincerely,

    Mark

  8. Bryan says:

    Steve,

    I have learned much from your “Mental Toughness..” book and is treated by many in my office as being close to gospel. I have found some areas were I personally disagree with you, but this is one, in my opinion, where you really venture away from “world class” thinking.

    1st, not all inclinations or susceptibilities are choices; however, ALL actions are choices.

    2nd, Our ability to choose and all our rights are given to us by our Creator, but we don’t chose the consequences of our choices. This has already been set thru “natural” law.

    To claim that an individuals rights are being violated or that others are being intolerant by not allowing them to marry a tree or an animal is equally ridiculous. Everyone can “marry” whatever and whomever they wish in their own heart, but for any union to be recognized by the “State” it must have a benefit to the “State”, who’s “good” laws only protect those rights given by our Creator.

    Now lets look at the “tolerance” issue. It may be considered good to be tolerant of people, but there’s always actions which are intolerable. Wouldn’t you agree? It may also be explained this way: When constructing a house, the post that holds up the front porch (tolerance) is important, but if it’s at the expense of the a large portion of the foundation (chastity), it undermines the whole structure (all natural laws) including tolerance. That’s much like saying, “The only way to be tolerant is to speak against the law of chastity”. Simply not true.

    For you to be so blatantly wrong on this core issue truly causes me to question the accuracy of your other statements.

    Bryan

  9. keith says:

    Great disscussion Steve. I think your slip might be showing. Liberal schools of thought will say sacred scriptures are not historical and the conservative schools will tell you they are. Though I agree with your conclusion ” discrimination is wrong “, your argument is a fallacious syllogism. I’ve studied informal and formal logic. Oh, and theology as well, my bent is not important. The seperation of critical and emotional thinking a much needed skill in todays world!!! Thanks Steve.

    • Steve says:

      Keith,
      Thanks for your comment. The fact that the Bible is a work of symbolic literature has nothing to do with being a liberal or conservative. None of the men who penned the Bible ever knew or saw Jesus. The stories they tell were passed down through generations. Jesus never wrote down a word, and neither did anyone who actually witnessed his life. Stories passed down through 2-3 generations before being reinterpreted can hardly be classified as history. I know how badly many people would love to believe the Bible is a history book, but it doesn’t pass the criteria of any actual work of history. You wouldn’t call any of the great works of mythology, history, would you? Of course not. If you’ve studied logic and reasoning you know this. That’s why they call it faith. It still may be 100% true. I don’t know and either does anyone else. But to call it a history book is a major stretch based on the necessary criteria. Your claim that my argument is a fallacious syllogism is also false. The vast majority of gays/lesbians are born with that predisposition. Argument # 1. It’s wrong to discriminate against them. Argument # 2. Can you tell me how you arrrived at the conclusion that this a fallacious syllogism? Now I’m thinking that YOUR slip is showing, my friend? 🙂 Thanks again for weighing in, Keith. I’ll give you the last word.

  10. Andrew says:

    I didn’t take the time to read every post on this thread, so sorry if I repeat things that have already been stated. Moving on!

    1) Much of the religious and moral chest beating I’ve seen while skimming through both posts are completely irrelevant in the gay rights issue. Should two consenting adults be allowed to engage in the sexual activity of their choice? Yes. Should they be discriminated against because their actions do not conform with the “majority’s” line of thinking? No. If Americans are true champions of personal liberty, then they will allow everyone to engage in any personal activity as long as it is not infringing on the rights of others. Whether or not people who are gay choose it or are “born with it” should be irrelevant in deciding whether they should be given equal rights. That being said:

    2)The debate on whether or not someone has any choice in whether they are gay is much more complex than either side is generally willing to admit. Do people have choice in their sexual tendencies? Yes and no. Do people have the ability to choose whether or not to have gay sex? Yes. The crux of the issue, however, is in the answer to the 1st question, not the 2nd. As far as science is concerned, there are pre-birth factors that have varying correlations with the outcome of a person being gay in adulthood, such as hormone levels and stress during pregnancy. However, there is NOT a “gay gene.” There are also environmental/psychological factors at play, some more benign than others.

    3) While there are still places/communities in America in which homosexuality is taboo, tolerance is already so pervasive that the argument that choice is a delusion because “why would they choose to put themselves in a position to be ostracized by society?” is wrong. People are so hypersensitive to homosexuality in America that it has become taboo to have any opinion other than being unequivocally “pro-gay” in every sense of the term.

    4) To build off point #2, the psychological influences of homosexuality are, in my opinion, hugely underestimated. I know plenty of “effeminate” guys and “masculine” girls that are very much heterosexual. I also know relatively masculine guys and feminine girls that are homosexual. Chemical makeup, while it does play a some kind of role, is grossly overestimated. Stating that homosexuality isn’t a choice whatsoever is an attempt to make the issue as black and white as those who say someone’s sexual orientation is a choice akin to choosing where to live or go to school.

    In conclusion:
    -Is homosexuality a choice? Yes, however there are many factors at play that are not necessarily up to the choice of the individual.
    -Should homosexuals have the same rights in a free society as heterosexuals? Of course. Any other question in the realm of homosexuality has no bearing as to whether or not homosexuals should be treated equally in society. We must remember however, that equality should not become a “tyranny of the minority.” Remember, tolerance does not mean full fledged support (i.e. I can tolerate people’s decisions without becoming a personal champion of the merits of those decisions).
    -Is homosexuality “moral”? That, of course, depends on the definition of one’s morals. I believe in God and I believe that, based on the moral compass He has given me, that homosexual sex is wrong. There are many who agree with me and many who don’t that all feel like they are doing right by God. I can only speak for myself. My views and beliefs are based on a lifetime of personal experience. No two people have the exact same life experiences and so I cannot judge a person’s personal decisions (especially concerning sex). The question everyone needs to ask themselves is whether their actions are based off of what they believe to be a correct moral code or do they manipulate their moral code to justify doing whatever it is they want to do? (This applies to anything in the realm of morality, not just sex.)

    Hopefully this post is coherent enough that it is understandable. Ultimately, my three main points are:
    1) that homosexuals should have the same rights as heterosexuals
    2) that the issue of choice regarding homosexuality is oversimplified by both sides and needs to be discussed more openly in order to gain more knowledge (rather than rhetoric) on the subject, and
    3) that the issue of whether homosexuality is immoral has no bearing beyond a person’s personal choice and is not an argument as to whether or not homosexuals should be granted the same public rights as heterosexuals in society.

  11. Brian Suber says:

    Hello Steve,
    I don’t listen to your blogs often enought, but I was intrigued by this one so I did listen to some of it. The part that stopped me in my tracks was when you stated that theologians and historian do not consider the Bible as a history book. Well, my critical thinking skilll makes me as the question, “where’s your proof”?Where is the proof of the “experts” you refer to? There are many, many “experts” that acknowledge that he Bible is indeed, a history book. I don’t know if you’ve ever read it, and quite honesly, it doesn’t matter if you have or not, but to state as fact something that no person can attest to the veracity of (this side of death), is not critcal thinkging at all, it is opinion. Clear and simple.
    The fact of Jesus Christ’s pilgrimage on this earth is a fact. It happened. He did walk this earth, just as surely as you’re walking it now. There are far too many proofs of that fact then to even try to argue against it. No one has disproved the veracity of the Bible. Show me who has; submit your proof, “irrefutably”, and being the realist that I am…..I’ll accept it. I have two of your books, and for the most part, they are very good. The parts that I know are wrong, or based on your bias against the Bible…I take with the obligatory grain of salt. I will not throw out the meat, with the bone. But please, if you (a person of your means that can do emprical research and present proof to your audience), cannot deliver proof of what you state as a fact (the Bible is not a history book), then you shouldn’t do it. One thing I can say with the utmost conifidence is, “one day, we shall all know what the truth is”. Are you willing to bet your soul (if you believe you have one) on you being right. If I’m wrong, then it realy doesn’t matter anyway.

    One thing I must say. Just because you present valid and insightful information on the subject matter that you have studied and master, does not make you an expert on subjects that you know very little of. I can guarantee you that as many “experts” that you can find that will back up what you say concerning the “un-historicity” of the Bible, I can find just as many, if not more “experts” with same degree, if not a higher degree of education that will substantiate the historicity of scripture. No one can prove their point fully. God (dare I say), obviously wants us to think critically about His being.
    And I He “IS” then believers are the most realistic thinkers on the planet; but if not, then….as the Bible says…”eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die”.

    • Steve says:

      Brian,
      I appreciate your passionate thoughts, but they are clouded in emotional thinking. I’ve actually studied the bible for 25 years and worked with many of the biggest religious leaders in the country. Your assumption that I possess no expertise is an emotional judgement, since you have no knowledge of my experience. I have no bias against the Bible. It’s an ancient book of symbolic literature. Jesus Christ’s pilgrimage is not a fact, but a story that was passed down through time. Wishing it was a fact doesn’t make it a fact, thats why they call it faith. Wishful thinking is not critical thinking. That being said, it may be absolutely true. I don’t know, and either does anyone else. I’ll give you the last word, Brian. Thanks again for weighing in.

  12. Even the most logical, pragmatic, criticals thinkers with mental toughness rely on emotions, beliefs, and the power of their deceptions – imagination – using faith to create a reality.

    Thoughts?

    Mike

  13. Boy we just keep chatting! But I’m loving the learning experience! I like being intellectually challenged. But…that could be taken two ways, LOL! I meant, challenged, by intellectual discussion. Perspective is the focus of my platform, and I love learning from other perspectives.

    Steve I couldn’t agree with you more on your views about abuse of religion, i.e. the televangelist issue–everything you said is absolutely true. I think some so-called religions have abused people–since the dawn of Christianity. I also think well-meaning people in some religions skew their own doctrines and drive people away. I’ve seen that in my own faith. I attended the Baptist Church as a boy before my parents later embraced Mormonism on an active basis so I got a taste of both. Took organ lessons in Catholic cathedrals in Europe so I got some more there. I study the history of the early so-called Christian church from the apostacy after the apostles down through the dark ages and the Holy Roman church with popes murdering other popes and burning members at the stake makes Hitler look like Mr. Rogers. But you have me wondering: What is it that makes people want to believe….so badly? What have you found with your experience? Is it cultural conditioning or something inherent? I’m totally with you in that people are definitely malnourished mentally when it comes to being able to think for themselves. Napoleon Hill was big on that too. Good topic! I told my wife I think I took a step up on this one.

    By the way: Dawn said you’re using a Kodak Zi8 camera for these blogs–I want one–but hear they’re discontinued. Any other recommendations that have external mic capabilities? Yours seems pretty good.

    Also, I’m a mainstage speaker; Brenda & I are looking forward to seeing you & Dawn in Atlanta–very excited for it. Dawn had a good conference call last night and I thought it went well.

    Ken

  14. Mohammad says:

    Hey Steve,

    Just wanted to add something about being SINCERE in finding the Truth.

    Why Do I say that?

    The Holy Qur’an has one miracle where people who are insincere can never understand the Holy Qur’an, no matter how intelligent they might be. It is the only book that can do that. Another proof it is divine.

    You may want to read this, it is interesting to think about…

    God Obscures the Comprehension of Disbelievers

    That some people cannot understand the Qur’an is one of the most important secrets revealed in the Qur’an. This is indeed an important secret, because the Qur’an is a very clear, easy and straightforward book. Anyone who wishes can read the Qur’an and learn about God’s commands, the good morals that He is pleased with, the attributes of paradise and hell, and about many secrets some of which are presented in this book. However, as an immutable law of God, some people cannot understand the Qur’an despite all its clarity. Furthermore, these people can be atomic engineers or professors of biology, can understand very complicated branches of science such as physics, chemistry or mathematics, can grasp Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, materialism or communism, and yet fail to understand the Qur’an. These people who adopt the complicated structures of non-Qur’anic systems somehow cannot grasp God’s clear and easy religion, and fail to understand even the most evident subjects therein.

    Their being unable to grasp even the most evident facts is a miracle in itself. By showing that they have such a serious deficiency in understanding, God explains that some people possess a different nature. On the other hand, this provides evidence to the fact that all hearts, reason and comprehension is in God’s hands. God declares that He will cover the hearts and comprehension of those who are seized by feelings of grandeur, that is who do not submit to God. The fact that they understand anything but the Qur’an reveals that God has diverted them from His signs, and they are debarred from the Qur’an because of their insincerity. Some of the verses pertaining to this are:

    When you recite the Qur’an, We place an obscuring veil between you and those who do not believe in the hereafter. We have placed covers on their hearts, preventing them from understanding it, and heaviness in their ears. When you mention your Lord alone in the Qur’an, they turn their backs and run away. (Holy Qur’an – Surat al-Isra’: 45-46)

    Some of them listen to you but We have placed covers on their hearts, preventing them from understanding it, and heaviness in their ears. Though they see every Sign, they still have no faith, so that when they come to you, disputing with you, those who are disbelievers say, ‘This is nothing but the myths of previous peoples!’ (Holy Qur’an – Surat al-An’am: 25)

    Who could do greater wrong than someone who is reminded of the Signs of his Lord and then turns away from them, forgetting all that he has done before? We have placed covers on their hearts, preventing them from understanding it, and heaviness in their ears. Though you call them to guidance, they will nonetheless never be guided. (Holy Qur’an – Surat al-Kahf: 57)

    As revealed in the verses, the secret why disbelievers cannot understand the Qur’an is that God has placed a barrier to their comprehension and set a seal upon their hearts because of their denial. This is a great miracle displaying the grandeur of God and that He is the possessor of hearts and thoughts of every man.

    Some Secrets of the Holy Qur’an

    http://www.harunyahya.com/some_secrets_of_the_quran.php

  15. Mohammad says:

    Hey Steve,

    I see a lot of emotions in your thinking. I am not sure if you’re really doing critical thinking. If you were doing critical thinking, you would look at all views, but you don’t. You keep saying the same thing without much proof or anything. I responded to many things you have to say, and you didn’t respond and you keep talking about them in your posts (e.g. gays in the animal kingdom).

    I don’t care about having the last word. I care more about what is RIGHT instead of who is RIGHT.

    Now you might say I might have a lot of emotions in my thinking since i am bringing religion into it, but i back everything up with critical reasoning. I can also prove why Islam is the Truth.

    I just hope you look at all my posts, and think deeply about what i have said, and hopefully check out the links I have given you as well.

    If you are sincere in finding the truth, you will find it Inshallah (God-Willing).

    Deep down in my heart, I believe homosexuality is wrong.

    I read a post here someone talking about listening to your inner voice. The funny thing is many times that inner voice tells people to do wrong things, so should you do them? That is not the way to find the ACTUAL TRUTH.

    Take Care My Friend,

  16. Steve, I don’t know if it’s too late to weigh in again, but you got me thinking and I had an epiphany after reading an article in the weekend paper. After reading it, I connected some dots with what you said and I have a new perspective and I think “I see” what it is you’re trying to bring to the surface. On some specifics, I applaud you, but I still think there’s a pervasive danger in too much said in superlatives by way of saying “all people,” inferences to “all religions,” etc, because it’s not accurate. That said, I think this forum provided me an opportunity to see other perspectives and after seeing yet another view point in the paper, the culmination gave me a more accurate perspective on this topic and I think “I get it” now.

    In Sunday’s paper there was an article about the LDS (Mormon) based “Evergreen International,” which is basically a refuge/resource for LDS members with same sex attraction. The LDS Church does not condemn or hold those in contempt with same sex attraction, the choice of actual physical activity is where it draws the line. After reading some of the viewpoints of the gay members in the forum, something “clicked.”

    Years ago when I held an ecclesiastical position in my church I remember working with a young married couple wherein the husband was grappling with same sex attraction toward men. His wife was a gem, very patient and understanding with him and did not hold him in contempt, unless he chose to cross the line and engage in homosexual activity with someone–and for the same understandable reason she would have opposed him having a “straight” extra-marital affair. I was sensitive to the situation and tried my best to understand the man, but at the time I didn’t. I knew church policy regarding homosexuality, but I knew even then there was a component I didn’t understand.

    Since then I’ve had my “baptism by fire” in the medical field as I have been on “ground zero” with issues of suicide, clinical depression, and closely associated with marriages that went up in smoke due to infidelity. I can speak with some considerable authority on some of these topics, based on more than I care to say, although not in the professional sense. But I can readily tell if a physician “gets it” or not. All these situations I speak of had one component in common: Some of the initial tendencies these people all had were of a biological component–I should have stated that on my first response to you. They did not want to feel the way they did–but they did. They couldn’t help it. Some of the homosexual men I knew way back when told me that as well, just as you said your audience members reported that they did not choose their feelings. In fact, I remember one man pouring his heart out, telling me how badly he wished he could feel attraction to women, but he couldn’t. A couple of lesbian women I worked with cried and cried, saying they knew they were never appealing to men, couldn’t get dates and were so desperate to have a relationship they turned to being lesbian after years of male rejection and gave up hope they would ever be married–their choice was not from biological origins, but emotional upheaval, and had hoped they could at least have some type of couple relationship and reached out for what they could get. Reasons vary depending on the person, but I wanted to restate my position on how I feel about the biological aspect. I doubt there really is any proof that says someone had the biological homosexual tendencies at birth because sexual urges are developed long after that. On average kids really don’t make the male/female distinction until about the second grade. What happens when, and why with homosexuality—may not really be the issue anyway.

    After this weekend, I have a renewed sense of compassion toward people in the gay community, when I read one of our church’s leaders comments when he spoke to gays at their forum; I had a wake up call. I can’t say that all gays feel this way, because it’s not a fact that I would know, but I hear it more and more often that they didn’t CHOOSE to FEEL the way they did–anymore than a suicidal person chose to feel suicidal–the feelings emerged on their own with no apparent reason at first. I’ve had more experience with medically based issues than I care to share, but I have a keen and accurate understanding of how depression and other related issues work with the mind–although thoughts originate in the mind, the brain has to synthesize the physical senses of the emotional thought chemically, and sometimes that chemical process gets messed up through absolutely no fault of the person. A lot of the time, it is through environmental chemistry intrusions from hybridization of food, contaminates and industrial pollution in the air, water, and soil just as a few concrete examples. Our biology is affected from external sources more than we realize.

    I know women who withdrew into a hole of hell and misery because they couldn’t explain the hell they were going through with (the misnamed) clinical depression and everyone around them told them to “snap out of it.” Despite how desperately they wished they could, they couldn’t. I’ve come to respect people with those invisible handicaps because it takes a strong person to be able to live, function, and pretend to be normal while interacting with everyday life. It’s a hidden hell for some. When you talked about gays committing suicide, clinical depression is often the factor involved and that is a heartbreaking event that needs to change.

    I’ve come to understand and accept that same sex attraction, the FEELINGS, in an of themselves, are not wrong. Anymore than a heterosexual man or woman can feel feelings pop up for someone of the opposite sex outside their marriage is wrong, or the suicidal thoughts of someone in agony. The feelings, the thoughts that first emerge, happen on their own sometimes or as a result from just a glance. Sometimes the feelings come back relentlessly on their own, sometimes the feelings are entertained by choice and allowed to develop further. I’ve known of and worked with married people where the attraction to someone else outside the marriage became almost clinical, to the state of a relentless fever, it got so bad. They didn’t want to cheat on their spouse, but the feelings were there and powerful. Sometimes those feelings are benign, sometimes they require professional intervention. When a person with depression feels suicidal–that feeling in an of itself, is not wrong. THAT issue, of just feelings, I think, is outside the bounds of the “right vs. wrong” arena. Things happen to the mind that many of us can’t explain or justify through opinion, medical diagnoses, doctrine, or scripture.

    What is the issue, is what is ACTED upon that is a matter of conscious choice. When someone acts upon the thoughts of suicidal sentiments and pulls the trigger, they’ve crossed the line but I would never brand them a sinner. I don’t think God would judge them that way because no one knows what drove them to the point to actually hurt themselves. People who “attempt” suicide usually don’t intend to die nor do they want to, it’s usually a physical expression as a cry for help. I know what it’s like to hold a woman in my arms, her body shaking uncontrollably, covered in blood and who pulled the trigger, but missed and blew off the insides of her hand and grazed her chest with the bullet. But those people do feel condemned by those who have mistaken religious doctrines that brand all suicides as murder. Christ is the judge of that and we have no bestowed right to judge anyone. As one leader in my religion put it, “The final judgment is not going to be as cut and dried as we all like to think.” The writings of the prominent psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen address the point of judging others from an interesting clinical psychiatric point as well that may be unsettling to some.

    If a heterosexual person commits adultery by acting upon emerged feelings and thoughts and cheats on their spouse, there’s a point where free agency was exercised from the entertainment of ongoing thoughts that culminated in the final act. At some point there was a free, conscious choice that took place beyond the “normal” emergence of a thought or feelings.

    With gays, I now see that there are multiple components to the equation, not just simply the choice to be gay. I see the component that someone who has felt same sex attraction develop within themselves, probably went through hell and guilt because of it, probably came down with depression and felt their life spin out of control internally because they dared not tell anyone what they were feeling and couldn’t make it go away. Some of these people do not know why themselves, but often self condemn more than any outside person or religious organization would. Fear would drive them for help. So where will they turn? Where can they go? To others who feel the same and to organizations that promote it. There they will find sanctuary from the blistering heat of persecution or perceived discrimination. Gay pride parades and all the public agendas probably aren’t so much about the agenda themselves, as much as they are a loud united voice to fight back against the persecution from something they feel they didn’t create. I believe some of those united voices do go too far however in trying to push for rights to have gay lifestyle taught as indoctrination in public schools. I feel that’s wrong, just as I feel that a religion shouldn’t push it’s doctrine in public school–the door swings both ways whether one is a religion or not.

    I draw a distinction between two things with homosexuality, but I think a lot of us–not all–may be lumping everything there is about homosexuality into one sack and I think THAT is the core of the conflict or perhaps where delusion can come into play. It’s not all necessarily about what’s going on between the sheets, although it is a likely consequence of the lifestyle that gays are likely branded with the scarlet letter from religious realms. It’s probably more about the mental aspect, more than the physical activity. Societal reaction, I estimate, probably does more to paradoxically drive it more than straights would be willing to admit.

    I am committed to the belief that the family unit is the core of saving society–we’re not in a good place right now. I don’t think homosexuality is a healthy or stable “norm” of a family unit nor would I ever endorse it. That said, I would not hold a person who is grappling with what to do with the feelings of same sex attraction in contempt, but try to reach out to them. But I would oppose a perverse orgy of emancipated anti-moral standards from gay groups that attack other family based teachings by walking in the streets in near-naked demonstrations and condemning/mocking those who are endeavoring to live a standard of, shall we say, common decency.

    As far as religion goes, Steve, you throw it all in the same sack, and often unfairly. Some of the claims you make about religions are not accurate. They don’t ALL do some of the things you accuse them of. While some may do, there are those that differ. I think of worship of God and religion in much the same way I do about body building. We all generally believe in a well toned body, but some of us go to Gold’s Gym to achieve that, while others run laps on a track around the football field. Some join and align themselves with Body for Life or Weight Watchers. Others play tennis, but we all know where tennis players go after this life–it’s a shame because they are good people… 🙂

    I honestly tried to sincerely look into this for the exercise of critical thinking and to be open, and I hope I’ve shown that. I have a better understanding of the situation, I think, as far as how those involved with this topic feel, and I feel a renewed sense of prudence about judgment of same sex attraction and feel more compassion in place of it.

    Thanks for the opportunity to opine.

    Your friend–

    Ken

    • Steve says:

      Ken,
      Thanks for your comments. We don’t agree on everything, but like you, I’ve learned a lot more about how people feel through the comments on this post. Thats the reason I love doing this blog.
      As far as religion is concerned, I guess I’ve just seen too much abuse over the years, especially working with televangelists. The manipulation is criminal. The things people will believe will no serious evidence astounds me. These are smart people who don’t act on blind faith in any other area of their lives, but when it comes to religion they are willing to believe outrageous fables and abandon all aspects of critical thinking. The need to believe is so powerful some people will believe anything. I think thats sad. On the other hand, the church has done a lot of good. Either way, I will take your advice and try to go easier on organized religion in the blog. I will continue to encourage people to think for themselves and stop relying on outside forces to run their lives. It’s about taking responsibility. Thanks again, Ken.

  17. Scott says:

    Steve & Victoria,

    I don’t see the hate in Barbara’s comment. The “I didn’t choose this pain, so it must be perfectly normal” statement is a non-argument.

    No one chooses to be born with a club foot. We call that a disorder and help them with medical treatment.

    I’m nearsighted. I didn’t choose that. But it’s a disorder that I have treated so that I can see “normally.”

    I wish I were taller. I’m not. I can’t dunk like Shaq. But that’s not a disorder. That’s perfectly normal.

    In the same way, someone doesn’t choose to be attracted to someone of the same sex. That person will have struggles that others don’t. Is that normal or disordered?

    How do we decide what is disordered and what isn’t? Saying I didn’t choose it doesn’t add anything to the discussion.

    Saying it’s biological is an argument. It can be debated. It can be measured and tested.

    Saying it’s against someone’s religion is an argument. It can be debated, discussed, interpreted, compared and contrasted.

    Saying they didn’t choose their particular state is meaningless. It can be said about everyone and every limitation they have to deal with. Sometimes it’s a disorder, sometimes it’s not.

    The question is: Is this behavior disordered or isn’t it. Choice (or lack thereof) doesn’t help us answer that question.

  18. Mohammad says:

    Hey Jaroslav,

    It is nice talking to you too,

    First of all let me say its good to see we agree on something, we agree that there is a God, we agree that if he created the world he could obviously send a divine book.

    You said: “An objective truth, or that which is true no matter what anyone else says, would be something like gravity. The dictionary definition which I pasted from Webster (above) makes no mention of God; only ‘standards of behavior’.”

    I agree that objective truths are also things like the law of gravity. (Which humans didn’t create, it already existed). You see you got your definition from the dictionary about morals, but it is a human made dictionary. We humans could have different definitions of morals.

    I believe in objective morals just like gravity. We all should, otherwise no one could say what is Truly Right and what is Truly Wrong. If morals was just based on person’s beliefs, that means some of the things he does could be wrong.

    Example: If a criminal such as a Hitman says killing is right and that is how I earn my money. Say he considered it moral, he believed it is right as long as it is in his self-interest (making lots of money), is his act really moral? If he says it is, and if morals were defined by a person’s beliefs, then it should be RIGHT. He shouldn’t be put behind bars.

    If morals were always defined by a person’s beliefs, then why do some people who support homosexuality calling people who don’t, delusional? Then everyone should be right and there should be no argument, could you see the problem?

    Morals are suppose to be objective, they can’t be subjective, otherwise no one can PROVE what is Right and what is Wrong. All the criminals should come out of their cages, because morals can’t be proven.

    Then to go further on, there will be some that will say, these people are LYING, but that is an assumption that you can’t prove also because you are not in the criminal’s mind. If he wants to believe he is RIGHT then who are you to say he is WRONG?

    He is a human just like us, and it is word for word, so no one can prove morals.

    To take this even further, some people will say majority wins. This is a flaw concept as well.

    Example: If a person is in a group of a 100 people, and 70 people say that they want to do an unethical/illegal act, that means majority wins, so therefore they should be right. (Look at companies that went down for unethical/illegal practices)

    So the point I am making is that morals can’t be based on a person’s beliefs, because they are subjective views, could be biased and based on self-interest etc.

    I believe this is also a reply to your answer about there being 4 possibilities of cheating. I believe there is one objective moral truth in it. I am not talking about choices that are based on self-interest situations. You could choose all 4 different possibilities of cheating and try your best to justify it, but only one moral truth stands out. Morals could also be things that go against you (the concept of true justice).

    Example: You did a crime, the moral thing for you to do is to tell the truth. But lets say you know that lying can save you from being punished. Would you lie and save yourself (Self-interest Situation) or tell the truth and pay for your crime (Moral thing to do)? Most people will choose the first one and try to keep justifying it like a criminal tries to justify his behavior. But after all that, you know that the person is wrong, and the action cannot be justified.

    You said “But I think if you had a video of GOD speaking to you about objective reality, it would be hard for anyone, including an athiest to dispute. (assuming all were convinced it was actually GOD speaking)”

    First thing you should know is that a part of the belief is to believe in the UNSEEN. Why? Because this life is a TEST. And you are not blindly believing. There are proofs all around you pointing to a power greater than you (human).

    Second is that God has even said that if he wanted to, he could send a sign from the skies, where every person will bow down, but he didn’t want to do that. He has given us free will, intellect and many other mental faculties to use in order to know their Lord and worship him.

    Third, here is an interesting thing in some of the major Scriptures. Satan knows God exists, how come he doesn’t worship God? The simple answer Pride/Arrogance. Many people today (believers in God) don’t follow his rules, could it be pride/arrogance? (Maybe)

    Fourth, say if there was a video, you can just say it is fake.

    Fifth, some people who were physically shown miracles by Prophets (by the will of God), some people still refused. Why? And it was proven to them that it was not an illusion. (It could be they wanted to follow their own selfish desires instead of what God wanted)

    If God wanted, everyone would have believed. He is Almighty. But he has given us a choice, you can either follow the right path or the wrong path and you will be responsible for your actions. If you do good (follow him), you will be rewarded, if you do wrong things (disobey him), then you will be punished.

    Sixth, If God decided to send a book instead of a video, doesn’t affect the TRUTH. In this world you can see most of your knowledge comes from books anyways, not videos. You study and learn much more from books. God decided to send a book.

    You said that you believe in a God, but not the God mentioned in the scriptures. So I would like to know what kind of God do you believe in? (You have to remember some scriptures have a totally different definition of God)…so how do you define God?

    Take Care, Friend.

  19. Scott, same for gays who condemn Christians as if one size fits all. Hetero phobia is as real as homo phobia and there’s not one group of people free of bias free of putting people into discriminatory little boxes.

    That’as my one critical judgment for the day. Thoughts?

    Mike

  20. Scott Richardson says:

    Christians who condemn gays miss the point preached by their own spiritual mentor. Religion is a tool to socialize folks to behave in in a way to reinforce the society that spawned the religion. Naturally, the society wants more people to think they way it does so heterosexual behavior leading to children is reinforced, homosexuality is not. Gays deserve all the rights anyone else has. We need to encourage people to explore their own spirituality, their own beliefs on life’s questions.

  21. Brian says:

    Steve-

    Well said! It’s hard for many people to not follow the masses when it comes to scripture or dogma. When people are willing to dig deep and listen to that still small voice within which is pure LOVE and in it’s true essence is unconditional, they know discriminating against anyone is wrong.

  22. Aj says:

    Joe Colosimo stated “I don’t discriminate against the people, but I absolutely discriminate against the lifestyle. Here are the FACTS: The depression rate is higher; the suicide rate is higher; and the lifespan is shorter.”

    This is true…. could it be that this is due to the incredible discrimination, bullying and judgement experienced by them from those who “hate the sin, not the sinner”?

    Joe again…” I just spoke to a gay friend of mine recently. He was 100% hetrosexual in high school and was crazy about a few girls, however, he had many heartbreaks. One night he got in a bad situation, and a few guys forced themselves upon him. He told me how awful he felt; then he felt guilty; then those guys started coming around more, and soon he began to accept them. I asked him if he feels like he actually might have been born that way…. ”

    Joe…are you really that naive? IF these men forced themselves on your friend…then the crime was rape – not homosexuality. Just as is the case with pedophilia. A man desiring to exercise sexual power over a male child – the crime is pedophilia and it would be equally bad whether it was male to male or male to female, female to male or female to female. Acts that harm others…. should not be tolerated. And that includes discriminating against others on the basis of color of skin, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation in my opinion.

    There is no intellectual integrity in arguing that tolerating homosexuality is the same as tolerating pedophilia, or beastiality. So please don’t go there. There is inherent harm in those acts of violence against children and animals that simply is not the case between consenting adults.

    To Steve’s earlier question about whether or not someone would choose to be gay given all the discrimination they will experience? Peer pressure is a powerful thing – given that the majority have a heterosexual orientation – it seems illogical that someone would feel pressured to be homosexual.

  23. Aj says:

    Raised in a Christian belief system, I always felt extremely privileged to have had that foundation. But I had questions that could not be answered satisfactorily to my analytical mind. I have an intellectual problem with attributing everything good that happens to “God” and everything bad that happens to have been “Allowed” by “God” (or attributing to”Satan” or the result of tolerating GLBT people). If “God” is in control…Here are my questions:

    1. Why would a loving God provide for some children, while others starve to death? Does God only love white children? Does God only love children born to Christian families or rich people? Or people born in Western Europe or North America?

    When I hear Christians tell children that “God has blessed them” I have to wonder what an awful testimonial of God’s supposed love that is to children who are not so “blessed”.
    The same thought occurs to me related to all religions that have an “exclusive club” theme. If you are not fortunate enough to be born in a Christian or a Muslim (insert other religion) family and taught these principles from birth…say you were born in a remote island and you recognized a power greater than yourself at work…and looked to the sun and worshiped the sun as God – are you damned for not calling on the name of Jesus or Allah?

    2. Does a being (God) capable of creating the universe and all that is in it REALLY have less compassion than me…a mere human?

    If God is love… and love means all the things I Corinthians 13 says it does. A being capable of creating the universe and all that is in it SURELY has more compassion than I do. Being human I am filled with compassion for my children. I cannot imagine anything they could do that would make me not love them. So why would a loving creator want Christians, Muslims and Mormons to turn their faces against their GLBT children?

    3. Should we believe in the accuracy of a document written down after being passed down for 80 years by oral tradition?

    I have played the game “telephone” where you whisper a statement into someone’s ear at one end of a line of people and then watch it transform into a completely different message by the time it reaches the end of the line. That is human nature. I don’t doubt the value of allegory…but is it intellectually sound to promote the idea that these stories passed on for generations by word of mouth are the “inerant Word of God”?