I saw the following post on Facebook: “Why would anybody CHOOSE to be gay, with all the stigma that goes along with it?” The assumption being made by this person is that there are so many negative things attached to “coming out” as a homosexual, that only a person who was actually born a homosexual would admit that he was a homosexual. Here was my response: “Why do people smoke when they know it shortens their life, causes cancer, and contributes to heart disease? Why do people continue to eat huge amounts of food when they know it’s making them fat and harming their health? Why do alcoholics continue to drink even though they know it’s destroying their health, ruining their family, and jeopardizing their career? Why do people harm themselves with substances that damage major organs, rot teeth, and lead to life-long addiction?”
The answer is simple: People like doing harmful things even if the behavior has negative consequences attached to them and people look down on the behavior. In fact, some people engage in certain behaviors so they can be different and set themselves against the status quo. How many kids who wanted to tick off their parents brought the wrong kind of boyfriend home, starting smoking, got something pierced, dressed in an odd way, dabbled in drugs, or engaged in promiscuous sex? Some people get trapped in these behaviors. They become an addiction. In other cases, group solidarity is important where acceptance is the greater desire.
There are many behaviors people want to change. That’s why there ere are anti-smoking products, dozens of diet programs, Alcoholics Anonymous, and drug rehab centers found from coast to coast. Dieting alone is a multi-billion dollar business. Hardly anyone would argue that it is prejudicial, bordering on bullying, to help people change their behavior even for people who don’t want help. Planned group intervention is a popular therapy technique.
Those pushing the homosexual and broader sexual agenda argue that their sexual behavior is innate. That is, they were born with the desire and inclination to engage in a variety of sexual practices – everything from homosexuality and bisexuality to transgenderism and pedophilia.
It seems, however, that only homosexuals and their sexual affiliates get to claim that their type of innate behavior is normal and to offer reparative help borders on being a hate crime.
If they were born that way, that is, if their genes determine their behavior, the claim is that there can’t be a law or public aversion to what they do sexually. Maybe people are born with a genetic predisposition to alcoholism or nicotine addiction. Should health insurers be sued for increasing their rates for drinkers and smokers? Why should anyone have to get a physical before getting an insurance policy? There are companies that won’t hire smokers. Smoking has been banned in restaurants and city parks. Second hand smoke is a dirty word that some are seeking to legislate against. But maybe people are born with a propensity toward addiction. In fact, there’s a study that says exactly that:
Scientists say they have pinpointed a genetic link that makes people more likely to get hooked on tobacco, causing them to smoke more cigarettes, making it harder to quit, and leading more often to deadly lung cancer.
What about the tyrants of history? Maybe they were genetically predisposed to be bad. Sure enough, there’s a study that suggests this very thing:
Could a gene be partly responsible for the behaviour of some of the world’s most infamous dictators? Selfish dictators may owe their behaviour partly to their genes, according to a study that claims to have found a genetic link to ruthlessness. The study might help to explain the money-grabbing tendencies of those with a Machiavellian streak — from national dictators down to ‘little Hitlers’ found in workplaces the world over.
Researchers at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem found a link between a gene called AVPR1a and ruthless behaviour in an economic exercise called the ‘Dictator Game’. The exercise allows players to behave selflessly, or like money-grabbing dictators such as former Zaire President Mobutu, who plundered the mineral wealth of his country to become one of the world’s richest men while its citizens suffered in poverty.
Mussolini, Hitler, Saddam, and Gaddafi couldn’t help what they did. Their genes made them do it.
Let’s assume that there are genetic explanations for homosexual behavior. Once this claim is made for one behavior, it can be made for other behaviors. Does a genetic cause make the behavior normal and moral so that should be legislatively and legally protected? Why must we write new curricula to show how some historical figures were homosexuals? Do we do this with the overweight, drug addicts, adulterers, smokers, alcoholics, or the sexually provocative?
For years I have been collecting articles on genetic explanations for various abnormalities. Some are behavior related (eating too much), and some are disease related (prostate and breast cancer). In each case, the genetic cause is viewed as undesirable. Extraordinary measures and funding are recommended to fix the flaws.
When scientists say they had discovered a “fat gene,” “the finding was hailed by other researchers as pointing to a day when drugs might correct imbalances that cause some people to be hounded by food cravings and extra pounds while others remain lean.” If the cause of fatness is genetic, as homosexuals claim is true of their “orientation,” then why the elation over the fat-gene discovery? If you’re fat, it’s not your fault. Anyone who proposes that a fat person should get thin, considering “my-genes-made-me-what-I-am” logic, is “fatophobic.” Here are some other examples of gene-related conditions:
- “A genetic double-whammy rarely found in whites dramatically increases the risk of congestive heart failures in blacks.”
- “Scientists say they have found a gene that predicts whether prostate cancer will develop into its most lethal form.”
- “Researchers at McGill University in Montreal have discovered the gene that causes a devastating neurological disorder that is found almost exclusively among families along Quebec’s North Shore.”
- “A research team at two Mideast universities has developed a new way to genetically alter cells in living mice; offering new possibilities in the war against cancer and other diseases.”
- “Some of us, it seems, were just born to be bad. Scientists say they are on the verge of pinning down genetic and biochemical abnormalities that predispose their bearers to violence. An article in the journal Science . . . carried the headline EVIDENCE FOUND FOR POSSIBLE ‘AGGRESSION’ GENE.”
- “Apparently healthy men with normal weight and cholesterol levels are at three times higher risk of a heart attack if they have a common variation of a particular gene, researchers say.”
- “Salk Institute scientists say they have uncovered a gene that triggers certain forms of Leukemia, a discovery that may lead to the development of a screening test within the next few months.”
- “Researchers have found a brain chemical that boosts the craving for fat—and a way to block it without affecting the appetite for healthier foods.”
- “Why do gamblers often bet more after a losing hand? Or investors throw good money after bad? The answer may lie in the science of the brain.”
- “Is racism simply human nature or something learned from society? Neither, says a team of psychologists who, despite criticism, argue that racism represents an accidental side effect of evolution.”
The “I-was-made-like-this” argument has a long history. It reminds me of a scene from the movie The African Queen (1951). Charlie Allnut (Humphrey Bogart) and Rose Sayer (Katherine Hepburn) are traveling down the very dangerous Ulanga River in Africa during World War I in an attempt to avoid capture by the Germans. Rose is a conservative Christian missionary and Charlie makes his living operating a small, dilapidated mail boat hauling supplies. In contrast to Rose’s character, Charlie is a bit more liberal who likes his gin a bit too much.
After binging and passing out after one of his regular bouts with the bottle, Charlie wakes to see Rose pouring the contents of one of his precious gin bottles into the river. Charlie is visibly upset as he pleads with her: “Oh, Miss. Oh, have pity, Miss. You don’t know what you’re doing Miss. I’ll perish without a hair of the dog. Oh, Miss, it ain’t your property.”
Seeing that he’s getting nowhere with this line of argument, he tries a kinder more subtle approach:
Uh, how’s the Book, Miss? [referring to the Bible]. Well, not that I ain’t read it, that is to say, my poor old Mum used to read me stories out of it. How’s about reading it out loud? I could sure do with a little spiritual comfort myself.
After getting the cold shoulder, Charlie lets his emotions fly and yells at her: “And you call yourself a Christian! Do you hear me? Don’t ya? Don’t ya? Huh?” She shows only a slight reaction but doesn’t say a word. He backs up and goes about cleaning the relief valve on the boiler that’s shaped like a cross — symbolic of the impact Rose is having on him and his circumstances. He asks for mercy: “What ya being so mean for, Miss? A man takes a drop too much once and a while; it’s only human nature.” Without looking up, she says, “Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.”