People make excuses.
Nobody likes to be blamed or accused of doing something bad or wrong. We don’t like to be punished or embarrassed. We don’t like to be made to feel guilty — even if we are guilty of wrongdoing. We usually realize that what we were caught doing (or habitually do) is illegal and/or immoral — and maybe dangerous, too. But, we wanna do what we wanna do. So, we make excuses. “They made me.” “I had no choice!” “I don’t/didn’t think it was that big of a deal.” “Everybody’s doing it!”
Another favorite reason/excuse given for one’s behavior is that it is “only natural”. Homosexuals and their supporters often use this as part of their arsenal, saying that gays & lesbians should not be prohibited from or “judged” for doing what comes naturally. I believe there is, in many cases, a “natural” factor to homosexuality. But, there has never been proof of a “gay gene” or any other physico-chemical cause for homosexuality. However, let’s concede that there is such a thing for the sake of argument. Let me respond to the “we should be allowed to do what comes naturally and is normal for us” argument with a few questions:
Should kleptomaniacs (i.e., those with a psychological compulsion to steal) be allowed to take the property of others without reproach? Should pedophiles be allowed to molest children unhindered? Should sociopaths be permitted to murder and commit other acts of violence with impunity? These people all suffer from “conditions” that can and have been argued to be “natural”. Yet, very few people would say that they are “normal” and their behaviors should be not only tolerated but accepted. We don’t permit the argument of “natural disposition” in these cases to get the perpetrators off the hook. (Though, sometimes the insanity plea works.) This is because it is generally understood & accepted that such behaviors are morally corrupt and harmful to those directly involved and to society at large. (Note that it is the behavior that is punished and not merely the proclivities.) I believe it can be demonstrated that the same is true of homosexual behavior.
Not convinced? Let me try another (though hypothetical) one. What if it could be reasonably argued that there is a gene, or combination thereof, that causes some people to have a nigh-uncontrollable urge to “bash” any gays that they come across. To be clear, by “bash” I mean violent physical assault, not merely expressing disagreement or even being verbally abusive. I seriously doubt that anyone with any sense of morality would allow the “gaybashing gene” defense to let anyone who acts on such natural impulses be excused without punishment for their behavior. I trust you get my point.
Of course, this doesn’t even address matters of biological & psychological complementarity of man and woman, or various other arguments for and against homosexuality, homosexual behavior, same-sex marriage, etc. I realize that. I do plan to blog on all of that eventually, but I’m going to try to stay focused here….
Part of the homosexuality-is-natural argument is the observation that hyenas, bonobos, penguins, and other animals are known to perform “homosexual” acts on occasion. (Mere same-sex companionship is even less of an argument, imho.) My response to this has always been, “Do you really what to appeal to bestial behavior as an excuse for giving in to your baser instincts — for this or anything else?” (Of course, many of these advocates refuse to recognize that humans are anything more than “just another animal.”) Last year, during the whole Chick-Fil-A brouhaha, I read an article by Michael Minkoff at Political Outcast, in which he brought up the failure of this “reasoning”:
“[W]hy are homosexuals so obsessed with the fact that animals intermittently commit homosexual acts? The fact is that animals really don’t practice homosexuality, per se. It’s not like any of them are exclusively attracted to the same sex. They just have no self-control. They will hump pretty much anything around if they get the notion. My dog used to hump male and female dogs, plush toys, the legs of guests, sectional sofas… you know -— anything. He was a dog, after all. He ate our underwear and pooped in the hallway, too. I fail to see why that matters. Animals variously engage in incest, genocide, cannibalism, pedophilia, and other socially unacceptable behaviors. If homosexuals want to legitimize their behavior by claiming that it is “only natural,” what leg do they have to stand on to condemn anything -— including the so-called ‘intolerance’ of Chick-Fil-A?”
Now, we may ask why God — assuming we believe in God — would make us a certain way. “Why do I have these feelings?” “Why would God give me these desires and then tell me I can’t act on them?” Well, that’s a discussion for another time. But, the short answer is that we all struggle with desires, passions, tendencies, and habits that we know are wrong for one or more reasons. Our own issue may not be homosexual urges but heterosexual lust or a penchant for substance abuse or a violent temper or envy or whatever. It is our responsibility to deal with it/them appropriately, curbing those behaviors that are immoral, illegal, and/or dangerous to ourselves and others.
A moral conscience, the intellectual ability to reason and reflect on choices, and the capacity for self-discipline are three aspects of human nature that separate us from every other creature on Earth. Everyone has free will; we make our own choices about how to behave. We will be held accountable (and reap the consequences) for those choices in this life and/or in the afterlife.