Christianity and Homosexuality

I have a Christian friend wrestling with the fact that his son is gay. He reached out to me on Facebook, remembering two posts of mine that dealt with this topic in the past, a topic I’m very passionate about. In speaking with him, another thought occurred, a frame of reference for those trying to square their faith with the fact that not all people are born the same. Before I got to that frame of reference, I recapped my earlier posts.

First, I pointed out that some people are born with both sets of genitalia. Not only is gender on a continuum (gender being whether we feel male or female), our physical sex is not even black and white (sex being a measure of our plumbing). People are also born incapable of having children, both men and women. Those of us who see the world through the lens of evolution and genetics have little trouble with nature’s grand menagerie. Those who see the world through a religious lens have a bit more mental calisthenics to perform.

The first of my earlier posts looked at homosexuality from a religious historical perspective. The gist is this: The Bible has different sets of rules in it. There are the rules of ethics, and the rules of survival. The rules of ethics deal with not killing, stealing, and lying. The rules of survival are there because life was tenuous in the past, and populations wavered on viability. This is why Leviticus is full of advice on how to care for dung shovels, what foods to not mix, and other questions of hygiene. And yes, violating these rules was punishable by damnation and death. Little distinction was made regarding punishment.

Whether you believe in god or not, you have to believe in gays. They’ve been around longer than the Bible has (Greek mythology is laced with homosexual relationships, as was Greek society). The fact that the Bible had to contend with homosexuality lets us know that humans were being their grand and diverse selves even back then. Either we evolved homosexuality or God makes a percentage of us gay. I find it interesting that roughly the same percentage of all studied human populations are gay (about 3% – 5%). This diminishes the possibility that being gay is a random choice or is culturally derived. A certain number are simply born (or created) that way.

My second post on homosexuality and Christianity posited evolutionary hypotheses on why a portion of the population might be gay. The assumption that we’re only here to procreate is not backed up by the fact that a good number of people can’t. Or the fact that other species have non-procreating members who are just as vital to the health and survival of the community. The more children a mother has, the more likely her later born sons are to be gay. One theory as to why this is has to do with how mothers’ bodies cope with having this foreign invasion in their bellies. In response to the presence of foreign DNA (the child is only half hers), the mother combats the fetus similar to how we combat transplanted organs. Over subsequent pregnancies, this warfare is ramped up, resulting in hormonal and epigenetic changes in the fetus. Youngest siblings are fighting their first skirmish against a battle-hardened foe.

This is one possibility. It’s also possible that the more kids we have, the less we need those kids to have kids of their own. Not only is nature full of cases of quite natural and God-made homosexuality (over 1,500 species engage in homosexual behavior), it’s also full of non-mating members of populations that are just as crucial to the survival of the species. We don’t rail against the confusion of drone bees. But of course, there’s a reason we care more about our own kids being gay than we care what bees do or need. It’s a selfish reason. My friend doesn’t just want kids of his own, he wants grandchildren too.

Which brings me to the frame of reference that I offered him, one that looks not at the historical religious perspective or any scientifically plausible reasons for homosexuality to persist in all cultures at roughly the same percentage, but a frame of reference for those with a deep and powerful faith in one true God while wrestling with their child’s sexual orientation.

What if being gay is not God’s challenge presented to your child? What if your child is blessed, and God is instead challenging you?

Whose feet did Jesus wash? What was his repeated example throughout the New Testament? The answers to coping with the wide menagerie of the human experience is right there in the Bible, and it doesn’t come from the rules of damnation, but the guidance for salvation.

Homosexuality is not our sin; our sin is the fact that we often react horribly to those who are not like us.

We happen to be winning this long struggle. The country is becoming more tolerant. It’s happening more rapidly than many of us hoped. And as the world gets safer for gays to come out, more parents from a much more religious generation are going to have to cope somehow. They could very well have a harder time coming to terms with their child’s homosexuality than their children did.

If these parents are Christians, perhaps they can see that their child is not in the deepest part of their struggle when they choose to come out. For their child to have come out, to have mustered this courage, they are past the worst of their challenge. They have begun to accept themselves just as nature and/or God blessed them to be. Now they are scared what you will think. Now they are worried how you will handle the news.

When your child comes out, it’s long after they have wrestled with this internally, or with their closest friends, or partners, or in prayer, or in their private journals. Now it’s your turn. Now it’s our challenge. Do we look around for stones to cast? Or do we throw our arms around those we love?

What’s awesome is that we don’t even have to ask what Jesus would do. We know. Our challenge is to be brave enough, Christian enough, to do it.



57 responses to “Christianity and Homosexuality”

  1. Great post. I’m thinking of all the things with which one might “wrestle” regarding his or her children. Whether they love men or women or both seems like it should be at the bottom of the list if it’s even included at all.

    I remember many years ago, actually attending the Palm Sunday church service where Kurt Vonnegut gave the sermon which later was included as the title piece in a collection of his essays and non-fiction. Vonnegut said at the time that there were two ways children could break their parents’ hearts — tell them you were homosexual or tell them you were going into the arts. Perhaps we’re past that now — at least as far as the latter goes.

  2. Been a while since you made me cry. (And if you ever give me another Indian burn like that again, I’m having you arrested.)

    Beautiful, Hugh. Beautiful Hugh.

    High five and hug.

  3. Hugh,
    This is one of the most beautiful pieces I have ever read on homosexuality.
    It really touched my heart and soul.
    You are a good person, Hugh Howey. :)

    1. +1 to what Barbara said. I love you man and am proud of you, this really is beautiful and brilliant.

      1. Thanks, Scott. Love you too.

        On topic: Remember when my mom was convinced your girlfriend was someone we made up and that you and I were a couple?

        I guess doing ballet leaps on the beach together will do that…

        1. Oh, so Amber is a fictional construct! ;-)

        2. Oh right, we did that. I guess your Mom had every right to think that when you put it in that context. I always thought she was just prejudging ballet dancers.

  4. This is absolutely beautiful & powerful. I know so many people that have not ‘evolved’ to this level of understanding yet that should take the time to read this. Hope you don’t mind if I share :)

  5. Elaine Carrier Avatar
    Elaine Carrier

    In a world riddled with hatred and intolerance these are such calming and intelligent and comforting words. I feel all you said is quite true and if more people read this and really thought it through the world would be a gentler place.

  6. I live in a place where homosexuality is still seen as the “ultimate” sin. Some people celebrate murderers finishing their prison sentence will grand parties. Some people rejoice when their children court cases for aggravated robbery are thrown out. Some people harbour rapists. Of course, these actions are frowned upon by the general public but after the perpetrators are freed, families welcome them with open arms. But these same people will castigate, ostracize and disavow a gay son or daughter. Strange thing is that I have now realized that it takes an awful amount of energy to hate instead of love, it’s almost as if you’re going against yourself.

    I have a son, who is undoubtedly… flamboyant. I can’t tell because he is too young but I wouldn’t be surprised. So yes, my son may be vibrant, vivacious, lively, animated and he may be gay but there is certainly nothing wrong with him.

    I would tell your friend that this is the same child that made him laugh with his silly toddler antics. The same child that looked up to him with unabashed adoration as the best superhero Dad ever. The same child that shared their fears with him, seeking his protection. The same child he celebrated with. And this is the same child that he has always loved and has, I’m sure, promised to always love. Nothing has changed.

    1. Flamboyance/non-flamboyance has no connection to sexual orientation.

      1. Geez… Maybe I did not want to go into more details? It was meant to be succinct rather than wholly descriptive. My thoughts are based on a whole lot more than that.

        On the other hand, you can’t tell me not to include this into the whole picture. Because, professionals (at least the ones I’ve spoken to) do too but it is definitely a pixel, not the whole picture. And why am I so concerned at such an early age? Because unless the world comes to it senses, I will have to do a whole lot extra to ensure that he lives a full life as possible especially in this place.

        1. It’s a common misunderstanding, so I wanted to make sure you understood. Especially if your son is gay.

  7. I am a Christian of the evangelical sort (though my evangelizing is sub-par). I struggled with this issue for a long time. I have friends who are gay and am often at a loss as to how to talk to them about Christ and the Bible. I have no simple answer, but I do offer them this: the journey of faith is a thousand miles. Don’t let this one stone in your path stop you. Paul makes it clear that all sin is equal, none better or worse than the other in God’s sight. So, to put it bluntly, we’re all screwed. Even the most devout Christian sins daily. The entire point of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is that none of us has to suffer the penalty for sin. Not one. So let’s not cast the stones or trip over the one in our path. Look to Him for perfection, because you won’t find it here.

    1. You are saying homosexuality is a sin so you’ve missed the point of Hughes post.

      1. When Hugh misses the point that homosexuality is addressed in the New Testament as one of the sins that Christians are set free from when they come to Christ (along with a long list of others), it is reasonable for Ron to point it out. Pride and rebellion against God are the ultimate root sins. From there, we all tend to have some sins that we favor. The more we lend ourselves to sin, the more ingrained out sinful patterns become and the more we identify ourselves with those sins. Much of the western Church has not well with rooting out its own sin (greed, gluttony, adultery, hardness of heart [cause of divorce] are good starting examples). When the Church winks at the sin inside, it loses its authority for the sin outside. However, that weakness on the part of the Church doesn’t change what the Bible says about homosexuality.

  8. I also think a lot of parents feel homosexuality is really a reflection on them. My mom was once talking about a friend whose daughter was a lesbian, and said, “I’d just wonder what I did wrong.” My friend’s mom tried to commit suicide when he told her he was gay. It’s not about YOU; it’s about your child, who you should love for their real self.

  9. Such a warm and thoughtful post, Hugh.

    It seems like our society, certainly our politics, have become so delineated. Red, Blue, black, white, gay, straight, liberal, conservative…there’s a label for all of it. The problem with trying to maintain such strict distinctions is that humans, as a whole, are messy beings. We don’t all fit neatly inside a box.

    What we really need are more people able to empathize and look at it from another person’s point of view. I’m glad to hear that your friend came to you for your thoughts and advice. The fact that he was even willing to ask is a good first step towards understanding.

  10. This is another excellent article. I live in the neighborhood of Chelsea, Manhattan. It’s expensive to live here but it’s a gift to our two young boys, five and seven. The gift isn’t tolerance and acceptance, the gift is opportunity. Opportunity to grow up in this bubble of the world where the couple in the apartment next door is same sex, same sex couples hold hands on the street, and where a child at their local public school who was born a boy attends as a girl. The diversity of course, is the same with race and nationality as well, and in all of those areas, race, nationalism, and homosexuality, my boys surpass me and their ancestors. My family has always been socially liberal yet my grandparents were nationalists to the point that Scottish people were one way and Irish another, my parents scoffed at that but still acknowledged race and gender differences. I like to think that my wife and I have come the farthest in our philosophical development, but then I see my children, they don’t give these things labels, where I do. Shielding them gender prejudice and from the Abrahamic religious mythos allows them to grow untainted, hate is taught. Hate crimes still happen in our neighborhood, outsiders travel here to harass homosexuals and at night attack them, fortunately my sons are too young to see that and only experience the sunny days in our neighborhood.

  11. Thank you for this amazing insight. Several months ago our youngest child (6 yr old) told us he was really a girl. We sought a specialist, drive almost an hour each week for appointments and support our daughter as 100% as she leads us down this unexpected path. We never once considered forcing her to live a lie. Sadly, to many people just don’t get it. They throw their bible like a stone. I’ve loved your art for several years and love you even more now! Thank you!

    1. Wow. You are awesome parents. And sounds like you’ve got a sharp kid there. I’m 39, and I still don’t know what I am or want to be.

  12. For people who think being gay is a choice, consider that your religious beliefs are also a choice.

  13. The only thing I would take issue with, Hugh, is about gender. I’m a female and I would not presume to know how you or any other male feels. Even if I were to think that my true gender was that of a male, I would have no point of reference to know if that feeling indicated that I was a male.

    The feeling of not belonging to the gender we were born into does not presuppose that we belong to the opposite gender. Bruce Jenner seems to be struggling with his own inner sense of gender. He says that he’s heterosexual, not homosexual, and does not want sex with a man, which suggests that he still sees himself as a man. I think the problems he faces are connected to chemical imbalances that are causing confusion about his gender identity. Long term use of anabolic steroids, which he may have started using at the end of his athletic career to maintain his physique, have a feminising effect on males in late middle age.

    Unfortunately, Jenner is surrounded by people who want to make money out of him. He needs to understand why the changes in his body are happening so that he can adjust to those changes without undergoing surgery.

    There is a lot of misinformation circulating about gender that is detrimental, especially for young people who are unsure about themselves and how they fit into the scheme of things. Your friend’s son will find his own way; at least I hope he does, and whatever life he chooses for himself, I hope his dad will still be proud of him and be glad to call him son.

    1. You should certainly take your advice and stop spreading misinformation yourself.

      1. kathy czarnecki Avatar
        kathy czarnecki

        Who you are and what makes you comfortable is what is in your heart and soul. Who you are is not who you are performing the act of sex with. People who are against homosexuality or any kind of gender identity issues skip right to who and how a person is having sex. I find that disturbing.

        1. I didn’t say that people are defined by those with whom they have sex. Bruce Jenner is asexual, apparently:

          He admitted that he is “asexual” after Sawyer asked if he was a lesbian, and pulling on his hair defiantly he said: “I’m me, I’m a person. I’m not stuck in anybody’s body. Bruce Jenner has always been confused with my gender identity”

          1. Well, no. I saw the interview in full. Jenner says that gender and sexuality are two completely different things that don’t always go together as we might expect. He says he’s heterosexual, always has been, isn’t attracted to men, has been very attracted to women, and that’s not going to change. But he’s also said he’s always felt like a female, even as a child, before his sexuality developed. That’s why Sawyer asked him if that made him a lesbian. That’s the only category she could imagine him fitting into. Jenner just laughed at her lack of comprehension, and it’s understandable. Categories don’t work for people like him. He’s not asexual, he’s quite sexual, always has been – though the female hormones he takes might dampen that a bit now. But he’s not suffering from any chemical imbalances in the body. He’s felt this way his whole life. It’s normal to him, not abnormal. It’s only abnormal to other people, and that’s what’s kept him in the closet until now.

    2. *sigh* Being transgender has nothing to do with who you desire as a partner or want to have sex with. I suggest that you stop spreading such vicious misinformation.

      1. I thought I said that Bruce Jenner did not want to have sex with another man.


  14. Heidi Corcoran Avatar
    Heidi Corcoran

    Great post.

  15. Wonderful article, Hugh. I try not to judge all Christians the same. Just like all individuals, each Christian is on his or her own journey to enlightenment. Some journeys take longer than others. But ALL Christians would do well to remember that Jesus said to love one another. How you love will define you. Teach your children to “love your neighbours as yourself”. He even said to “Love your enemies and those that spitefully use you…” Surely then, that would include people made different than us. Not every Christian is a Westboro Baptist Church type…many Christians actually follow the teachings of Christ.
    Good job, Hugh. You are a good man.

    1. Good point and we’ll said Debra

    2. While im not going into what I believe, many Christians believe that homosexuality is a sin. However, no matter what you believe, one of Christianity’s main doctrines is to love your neighbor no matter what good or bad he does in your eyes, for God is the one and only final judge of your actions. I dont think it is our job to treat homosexuals and heterosexuals differently. Our only job as a Christian (one who follows the doctrines of the bible and believes that Jesus was the son of God and died on the cross for our sins – just to clarify) is to honor our God by loving our neighbors as ourselves. Christians who hate on anyone at all really are not practicing Christianity by its definition.

      Long post aside, yes Debra, I agree with what you said in your post.

    3. Spot on Deb.. You stole my comment. Great outlook, and I am a Bible believing Christian.

  16. I’ve always believed that God doesn’t make junk: if you are the way you are, it is good.

    What you do with it – and changing your sexual orientation isn’t one of the things you can do – it how you make your individuality your own.

    Look to the animal world: non-survival traits don’t stay with us. Duh.

    Some people choose not to have children – only my problem if I’m one of three people left on the world, and I want someone to take care of me, so the other two have to provide that person (extremely unlikely). And I’d rather die alone myself, as the last of the species, than leave someone else to do that job, if it ever came to that (unlikely).

    The preoccupation with what other people should do takes energy away from me discovering what I am and what I want to do with it, given the realities I live in.

    All those young men who choose to fight for ISIS take all their energy away from a decent life for themselves – to spend the rest of their lives, if they win, forcing other people to do what THEY want. I don’t get it. It is unsustainable.

    Good posts all, Hugh.

  17. A good article, Hugh.

    It has always fascinated me that so many denominations teach that ‘the sin of Sodom’ was desiring sex with their own gender when it is clearly stated in the Bible that the sin was attacking the ‘stranger among us’. Very often the person who is or who is made that stranger is the LGBTI person, hence repeating the sin which is in fact harshly condemned. Perhaps your friend might want to look more closely into his own understanding of what Christianity really would be without the wrong teaching of so many.

  18. Hugh,
    If only more people took the time to think through their opinions rather than depend on having organizations (churches, political parties, friends) think for them, we might all get along. I cringe when a Christian starts quoting the bible damning homosexuals, while ignoring the other parts of their Bible that talk about loving your neighbor. I am not a member of any organized religion by choice. The hypocrisy of religions drives me away. Instead I live my life as a good person, helping others. and accepting people’s choices.

    Cheers to you for speaking out eloquently.

    1. Please read Debra’s and my post a few posts above yours. There is no hypocrisy in Christianity. Some of its members may do so but wind up not practicing Christianity as a product.

  19. Thank you for this article Hugh. Being a gay male and a christian I appreciate your thoughts, compassion and absolute clarity. I recently married my partner of 18 years. Our love for each other is no different than anyone else. I believe Love is a human necessity and the essence of God. I don’t believe we can survive as a race without it.

    A word for your Christian friend. Jesus loves you and your gay son. Your job is to love your child with the unconditional love of Jesus. Believe your child is perfect and whole. Treat your child as the gift from God that he is and, defend him with your life. Teach him to Walk in Love. Peace be with you.

    What if your child is blessed, and God is instead challenging you? Brilliant, and AMEN brother!

    Thank you Hugh, for a Beautiful article.

  20. This made me cry.
    Wise and wonderful.
    I am without words.
    My heart is full.
    Thank you.

  21. of note I am watching last nights bring of the HBO journalism show Vice. There is a story on what happened when American fundamentalist brought Christianity to Uganda and taught the citizens to kill homosexual. My friend made a documentary on the same top called God Loves Uganda. I encourage everyone to watch these to see what happens when Christianity goes unchecked and the damage that can occur.

  22. I really want to thank you for posting this, Hugh. As an aspiring writer, fan of your work, and a gay man who grew up struggling with these very issues, I am truly touched by your thoughtfulness and your drive to share this. My partner and I often discuss the social roles of LGBTQ people, and another thought we’ve had is that there seems to be a a positive social function gay people provide: that of cultural and community builders. There seems to be a high correlation between artists, counselors, and teachers and those who identify as LGBTQ. I don’t think that’s an accident – I think it’s evolution’s way of making human communities more meaningful.

    1. I really think there’s something to this. All I know is that I’m not handsome, talented, and sophisticated enough to be mistaken for gay, and that hurts my pride.

      1. I used to be cute enough, but I still ocassionally get mistaken for being gay and even hit on, so I must be doing something right. ;)

      2. I found you to be quite attractive Hugh. ;)

        And when we met I asked you if you wanted a hug and you jumped to a resounding yes.

        And no, I’m not attracted to men, and I am a Bible believing Christian. I despise all this divisiveness that society is pushing through the media and government approved churches. (go read the do’s and dont’s of being a 501-c-3 church and you will understand.)

  23. Thank you for posting. Very thoughtful and lovely.

  24. Yes, homosexuality is not limited to the human species. My ducks are definitely bisexual!

    I don’t think your friend has a ‘right’ to worry over being not being a grandfather. No one can control another’s choice to have kids, and their sexuality is irrelevant there. Many homosexual couples are now having children (via adoption or other means), and many heterosexual couples are choosing not to have children. The fact that his son is gay doesn’t mean he cant’ have children if he wants to; but maybe he doesn’t want to. Your friend might just have to suck it up.

  25. Liliuokalani (Gail) Avatar
    Liliuokalani (Gail)

    Hello old friend, wow how things have changed. My oldest son is gay (he came out this year). You make a very good point and your theory’s are sound. I enjoyed reading this, however I would like to address something someone else said in response. Christians are well aware of the fact it is not about them! It is our belief system and all that we have been thought to believe and respect. Understand that I love my son and would do anything for him. However my faith tells me that homosexuality is a sin at least in my faction. So the heart breaking part for myself is to believe that your child has been in church his entire life, gone to the same Christian school since he was 4 and graduated from it this year would think that his teachings would except this lifestyle for which you can not repent, because it is just that, a lifestyle. I mean no disrespect to others that make these choices, but for my child it is a heart break. For when you have a child of your own it is as if your heart is walking around outside of your body choiceing to live a hard and difficult life where they will most like be discriminated against and suffer from a harsher acceptance then those of us who are heterosexual. This is why so many parents including myself react poorly. The love of your child can make you react in ways you never would have thought possible. Ask your self this if you felt like people were going to target/harass/belittle/challenge their self worth because of who they choice to have sex with would you truly tell them “ok go ahead” or would you caution them to the reality of their decision and try to protect them? What would you do to protect them? I have worked/employed many homosexuals in my career and seen the suffering first hand. I will not apologize for speaking up and giving my son the honesty of what this life will bring to his door. Do I want him to be happy yes and if I truly thought that were it possible being homosexual, pansexual, bisexual, A-sexual, etc… I would kiss him on the cheek and so ok. However in the world of social, financial, and status driven judgement as a majority anything outside of the norm is almost always doomed to fail including this lifestyle. I am not looking for a debate, I am merely stating my right to free speech. Thank you again for the read dear friend. I am very proud of all that you have accomplished and think of you often. Take much care Hugh. ~G

  26. Liliuokalani (Gail) Avatar
    Liliuokalani (Gail)

    By the way my auto correct sucks!!! Sorry! You get the jest!

  27. Thank you, Hugh, and I am in complete agreement.

    (And apologies if this comes across as proselytizing or unnecessarily argumentative, please feel free to edit or delete if you feel the need to do so, I have no desire to derail or unduly “controversialize” a sincere, good hearted and very just post.)

    As a Unitarian Universalist, I believe it is simple — God knows what is in our hearts and loves us. He wants us to express that same level of love in our lives. Period.

    Did you live a live filled with love, compassion, forgiveness, empathy … good job, My Child.

    Are you full of anger, discontent, fear, hatred and dislike for your fellow man … well, we might need to have a chat.

    Simple as that.

    Gay, straight, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, etc. — none of that matters. What is in your heart? That is what matters.

    (Notice how one of Jesus’s most praised parables is about the Good Samaritan. The Samaritan was not Jewish, his sect was scorned by the leaders of the Jewish faith. He was not Christian (Christianity didn’t exist yet.) And yet this person, who was clearly not in line with the faith we are taught Christians must believe in to achieve salvation is held up as a model of the kind of person that is pleasing to God.)

    God chose to make us who we are. We should embrace and celebrate the fact that God chose not to make us all plumbers, but to make us plumbers and teachers and lawyers and truck drivers and all of the other types of people that are necessary to make our society whole.

    If there is one thing the universe teaches ME personally — by looking at all of the species on this world, and all of the multitude of stars and galaxies out there, and as we learn more through science, it seems apparent that there are a multitude of worlds out there as well — this all reminds me that God finds diversity and variety pleasing.

    I have also never understood the particular fixation on condemning homosexuality in certain Christian sects. Obviously, homosexuality is “natural” as noted by how often homosexual activity has been observed in thousands of different species. And as for condemning being gay on moral/religious grounds, I find it curious that being gay is singled as out such a big deal and yet Leviticus also forbids tattoos, eating shellfish (and also cloven-hoofed animals, not sure if this is in Leviticus or another book), wearing clothing of mixed fabrics … and yet these prohibitions are regularly ignored because they are inconvenient.

    I eagerly look forward to pickets around Red Lobster and the neighborhood BBQ joint warning that patrons are going to hell. Sigh.

  28. You brought tears to my eyes, Hugh. Thank you for this post. Yes, too often Christians act un-Christian and should stop and ask what Jesus would do and whether he would be having dinner with a televangelist or on the street spending time with homeless youth, gay, lesbian, straight, cis or transgender. I’m pretty sure I know where he’d be if he were with us today. As someone who vacillates between agnosticism and atheism, I appreciated your evolutionary musings on homosexuality. I am not sure if it has a purpose but I am pretty sure it is entirely a natural part of human variation. It is that variation that makes us more adaptable in the long run and so our differences should not be seen as things that separate us but make us strong — if we let them.

  29. […] really writerly, but you need to read this post by Hugh Howey on Christianity and Homosexuality. Nobody could have said it better than he did. And there are great comments as well. And it goes […]

  30. Great post, Hugh. You’ve put into words what’s been in my heart for years.

  31. I had to cut back on blog reading and popped over to scan through your blog.

    I’m going to try to quickly tell a little story- it’s Friday at 5:00 and I’m ready to leave work after all! This might be a different perspective that could help.

    I hope things go well between this person and his son. After I came out to my parents in ~2001, I didn’t speak to or see my father for 10 years. Things did not go well. It became heated, it became religious- and they weren’t even very religious at the time!- , it became denial, and it became a great many things in very, very short period of time. Loudly.

    Skipping ahead over several ‘secrete meetings’ with my mom, years of no contact, trying to get me into religious counseling, on and on and on. You name it.

    It’s been about 3-4 years since we reconnected. They’ve even taken in my partner of ~15 years. I’ve mostly gotten over it, but things as profound as this do not heal quickly and sometimes you think they have, but wham!- it sneaks up on you while you’re not looking.

    Oddly enough, the trip to see you in Charleston for the signing in West Ashley was the first time we had ever been alone together along since reconnecting. My dad was the one who asked you why he should read your book. I’m sure you’ll remember that stellar moment. hah! *embarrassed*

    It’s only just set in over the last year that I have really lost 10 years with them. I was forced to be resolute and cut ties. I could not continue dealing with that situation. I do feel the loss of those ten years. My parents can’t do the things they could have done 10 years ago. I can’t take them hiking or on long walks to places- forget walking out to see Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse! It makes me feel guilty. I shouldn’t be feeling that, but there it is nonetheless.

    I hope this helps in some way, because take it from me- time once lost can never be reclaimed.

    (pardon typing and grammar- Steven is waiting! I had to type this while it was flowing. )

    1. Minor edit with the above post. I can’t believe I said Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse. It’s Morris Island Lighthouse! Duh!

  32. Homosexuality is not our sin; our sin is the fact that we often react horribly to those who are not like us.

    Amen to that.

    If you believe in God, it’s clear that God has designed a world where our genetics are affected by the variations we get with sexual reproduction. And they are affected by things in our environment. A pregnant mother drinks too much alcohol, and that affects the baby’s genes. A grandmothers switches on or off various genes (epigenetics), and that’s passed down multiple generations. Dad smokes a lot of tobacco, and it affects baby’s DNA.

    What does it mean that God has created this type of world?

    Either God has some design in it, and/or it just might be that God is not above natural laws. Matter, energy, biology etc. work as they work. And maybe God must simply work with those laws. So a miracle isn’t really a miracle–it’s just sufficiently advanced technology that is, for us, indistinguishable from magic.

    At the same time, it’s a fallacy to think every trait we find in our species has been selected for. Many traits are NOT adaptations:

    So while homosexuality may be an adaptation, it is equally likely to be no kind of adaptation at all.

    Finally, I find the argument by species analogy problematic. For example, infanticide occurs in many species. Alpha male gorillas, lions, baboons, hamsters and others kill the young offspring of competing males. A certain % of female pigs and rabbits sometimes kill their own young. We would never say, oh, yeah, that’s proof it’s all good and natural for us to kill the offspring of competing males.

    Using the behavior of other species to support this or that human behavior is a non sequitur. Besides, we don’t know if homosexual activity in these other species is similar to ours. For example, we don’t know if the animals exhibiting it have different DNA than the animals that exhibit heterosexual behavior. On the other hand, we would expect similar variations, wouldn’t we, for species with common ancestors. However that still has nothing to do with what we do or done condone.

    Much better to make an argument on some other basis, I think.

    Finally, regardless or whether we do or don’t support acting on homosexual attractions, I think none of us benefit from hate. And I think those of us who are Christian are severely misguided when we refuse to love someone because of their DNA.

    Jesus said: I want you to love everyone, even your enemies. How much more should we love those who simply have genetic variations that are different from ours?

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