I gotta admit, as much as all atheists are routinely bullied by the religious, still, nobody gets the abuse as badly as gays. And as some of the kindest and most good-hearted people I’ve known in my life have been either gay or lesbian (much moreso than any Christian I’ve ever known), I’m as offended by such attacks on people who are good friends as I am by garden-variety bigotry such as racism, and its effect on my nonwhite friends.
Albert Mohler is a Southern Baptist preacher who recently caused a bit of a furore when he posted an article to his blog suggesting that there may well be a biological origin for homosexuality, and if so, it might be possible to “cure” teh gayz while the fetus is still in utero.
Mohler caught flak from both sides — from fundie bigots who want to think that being gay is all a choice based on spectacular moral failing, thus justifying their continuing hatred and prejudice, and from gay activists, who think of the idea of being able to detect a “gay gene” in a fetus and give the mother some kind of patch to wear to correct the condition to be frankenscience.
Mohler backpedals like mad in his most recent blog entry, naturally catering to the bigots, and in so doing he makes a bizarre statement in which he unwittingly confirms the evil of the god he worships. Mohler states that in the eventuality science does confirm a genetic basis for homosexuality, this would simply be confirmation of the Fall (darn that stupid Eve!) and “God’s judgment upon sin,” and that…
Such a discovery, if it were to be accepted, would not change God’s condemnation of all forms of homosexual behavior, nor would it mean that this represents the inviolable “identity” of any individual. As I argued previously, moral responsibility does not require absolute moral choice. A soldier in battle may not have chosen to be in a situation of moral anguish, but he is still absolutely responsible for his decisions and actions. Those who commit homosexual acts, whoever they are and whatever their biological profile, are absolutely responsible for their sin. Regardless of any actual or hypothetical orientation, those who commit same-sex acts are responsible for the choice to commit the sinful act.
Mohler is breathtakingly full of it here. The soldier analogy is entirely inappropriate, because killing people in war is not based upon biological imperatives, or at least it hasn’t been since we lived in caves as hunter/gatherers. These days wars are fought for religious or political ideologies, and not to fulfill a genetic predisposition. And admitting people might have a biological imperative to do a thing, then claim they have a choice anyway and condemn them for choosing to do a thing that you’ve just stated they can’t help, is simply dealing from the bottom of the deck. You might as well come up with an arbitrary theological justification for calling the wearing of clothing or the eating of food a “sin,” and then say, “Regardless of whether or not people are biologically predisposed to wear clothing for warmth or eat food, they are still responsible for the choice to do so.”
But more amusing is what this implies for Mohler’s God. If homosexuality is genetically based, then according to Mohler, God has essentially created thousands of generations of people with a deliberate flaw that will inevitably lead to their condemnation. God has, in effect, made unsavable sinners, and their status as unsavable sinners is already locked down while they are still in the womb, presenting us with the — ahem — morally dubious spectacle of a smiling, giggling baby who is irretreivably doomed to eternal Hell. God is making millions of people simply to populate Hell with. This is another predistination argument, and if predestination is true, then the entire act of Christian evangelism is a sham even if God does exist, because God has intentionally made people with a condition that will prevent their ever being saved.
Again, Christian belief reveals its intellectual and moral bankruptcy. While there may be no way to cure homosexuality and lesbianism, there is a way to cure hate, and it’s in letting go of ancient superstitions that divide the human race into Us and Them.