Bisexual Logic and Gay Determinism: Does the rhetoric match the reality?

bi.jpgThe release of the movie Kinsey and the continuing growth of bisexuality as a visible and publicized aspect of culture presents a very interesting dilemma for the gay rights movement. Are they sure they want us to listen to the bisexual community?

For years, I have done a unit on homosexuality and Christianity in my Bible classes. I’ve done a lot to show the logic of the argument that gays are “born that way.” The resort to determinism is the avenue to victim status and the resulting sympathetic rush to establish rights based on sexual preference.

But this is not always helpful logic. Clearly, all homosexuals are not born that way. Significant numbers of lesbians particularly attest to their intentional or temporary choice to be lesbian or bisexual. (Think Anne Hache’s “straight, gay, straight” journey.) My years of working at a boarding school reinforce my belief that when put into a same-sex environment, same-sex experimentation will result with both genders, and this has nothing to do with being “born that way.” It is more the case that “necessity is the mother of invention.” The same behavior is produced by trauma or persuasion to experiment, or other causes that are not determined by genetics.

Surely gay rights advocates know that all that homosexuality in prison is hardly about being “born that way?”

Which means that as revolted as we might be by Kinsey’s research methods, he wasn’t entirely wrong. Kinsey said that human sexual attraction and behavior exist on a line with homesexuality on one extreme and heterosexuality on the other. (We could draw the same line with other factors as well.) Kinsey said that throughout human life, our sexual behavior varies along this line in response to a number of factors. I completely agree. I find that curious teenagers or liberated types or those who have been molested or people with particular circumtances are quite likely to engage in homosexual behavior at some time or another.

And it doesn’t make them “homosexuals” who were “born that way.”

Just for the record, I absolutely accept the possibility of being born with a strong attraction toward the same sex. While I believe the case hasn’t been flawlessly made, I can say that such an assertion is consistent with the Christian view of a post-fall world. I believe we are all born with a potentially “movable” sexual orientation, but we all start out somewhere along the line. How does this effect behavior….and the morality of that behavior? Well, behavior is a mixture of rational and irrational factors, determinism and freedom. Morality isn’t a question of predesposition, but of God, creation and revelation. When homosexual advocates say it is all about biological determinism, they are not considering all the facts….or all those who engage in homosexual behavior at some time.

It is interesting that “Being” a homosexual is one of the more deterministic social quests in our culture. What is the logic of telling a 14 year old boy who has experimented with homosexuality that he “must” be “born that way?” We’ve known for years that same sex experimentation is common, but gay advocates will have that young person in a support group, a special school and whatever else will reenforce the message that any same sex act means the person is a homosexual. Does this really make sense? I see a number of young people who identify themselves as gay simply because they immediately enter a victim group and receive attention for themselves. Do gay advocates have the honesty to admit that human beings aren’t quite as predetermined as they want us to believe?

11 thoughts on “Bisexual Logic and Gay Determinism: Does the rhetoric match the reality?

  1. for what it’s worth, i don’t think your comment about prison rape helps your case at all. rape is about power, not the sexual inclination. so, barring that example, you’re left with the same sex attraction that really can’t be explained except in terms of what is or is not part of their being. i for one find sexuality to be idolotrously placed in the center of this discussion, gay or straight. but as a straight male, it presents a challenge to me to see how my vision of being hetero is incipiently in my vision of my God-created identity.


  2. Was the apology aimed at me? I was coming online to apologize to you for my slight snarkiness. Dang, what a pathetic flame war this was. (Which is fine by me–flame wars are boring tedious things.)

    I used to be pretty conservative on this issue, but when I got to know the gay people previously mentioned, it gradually turned me into a liberal, for better or worse. I’d say more about what I think about the conservative evangelical stance on this issue, but am not sure what your position is and anyway, I don’t have much to say beyond what everyone has heard ten million times anyway.

    To the extent that I post around here at all (only a handful of times), I usually post with my name attached, but have to be paranoid since I’m using half-closeted friends as examples.


  3. “don’t do it” seems like a pretty decent and scriptural method to avoid sinning. Celibacy for a sexual act that cannot be carried out in a righteous and correct manner is a good thing and I think God is pleased when His children abstain from immoral acts. As far as deliverance is concered, God will deliver us all eventually one day.


  4. Good post. I have two observations.

    First, I changed my belief about being born gay after reading over a period of years about both non-Christian gays and ex-gay Christians and how they felt this attraction to the same sex when they were 5,6,7 years old. This isn’t all gays. But for the former, did they “choose” to be that way at that age as most churches teach us?

    Second, in the passage in Romans 1, the words men and women as in God gave men and women over to their homosexual passions are adult men and women in the Greek as contrasted to more generic words for any age male and female that Paul could have used.

    Third, when people are in Christ, there is deliverance. There is no excuse for this behavior or EVEN the feelings. IMO we have way too many celibate homosexuals and lesbians running around the church because the church hasn’t a clue as to how to deliver these people (yes I know you hate this topic..LOL). So their answer is to just “don’t do it.” I don’t think God is real impressed since He looks on the heart.


  5. I apologize for taking your comment as implying I was saying gays should change. It was an over reaction on my part. Sorry.


  6. It’s not an outburst, anonymous. (Gee…do some of you people have a soundtrack on your computer?) I just know that I am going to get nuked anyway for what I’ve said, and I prefer to be clear about what I did not say.

    So you forestalled “another” outburst.


  7. A little defensive, are we? Probably some people can go both ways. Hell, I’m straight, but I’ve had a few homosexual erotic dreams–rare, but they’ve happened. I’m sure it would have been sinful for me to have had gay sex, in part because for me it couldn’t have been more than a meaningless experience. But the theological problem if homosexual acts are inherently sinful is what to say about those people we both know who have tried extremely hard to change and have failed and who want to commit themselves to one person for life. I know someone like that too–she got married to her partner and is one of the most decent people I’ve ever known.

    To forestall another outburst, I know you’re not denying that gay people can be incredibly decent human beings.


  8. OK anonymous…..where did I address that issue in this? I didn’t address it. Not at all. I know those people too. And I know people who have gotten involved in homosexual behavior then and quit doing it. What can I say? It happens. Gays who say all gays are born that way have to decide where these people fit in and how it affects their case.

    I am not trying to bad mouth gays with the usual line that all they need to do is repent.


  9. Well, this is anecdotal, but a good friend of mine has spent literally decades trying not to be gay, and nothing worked. He’s given up. My guess is that this is probably fairly common.


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