Friday, July 27, 2012

The following letter to the editor appeared in our local newspaper (The Northwest Daily Herald). I was compelled to reply.

Article posted: 7/25/2012 5:00 AM
Follow science, Bible on homosexuality

I do not begrudge homosexuals, but when it comes to believing the behavior is a “new normal,” or gay marriage is a civil right, I am a nonconformist. I do not believe these edicts because they are not based on reason or science and are apostate from the Bible.

In school I learned from sources written by medical professionals that homosexuality is psychological. No one has proved differently, so the medical explanations make more sense to me than what Cher or Barney Frank say. In the Army I observed homosexuals who seemed to prove exactly the clinical understanding. While no one maligned them, what I saw were extremely conflicted people, unable to adapt a warrior ethos, and become effective leaders taken seriously. I believe that the Bible says the same, and that Leviticus describes intrinsically disordered behavior. Consider:

The public has been fed emotional PR that touts homosexuality is normal, not science.

Homosexual activists use litigation and insults to silence opposing viewpoints, not science.
Some homosexuals seek psychiatric treatment and some always will.The media never question the popular view or presents any science on homosexuality.

The Bible is clear and unambiguous that homosexuality is behavioral.

No court decisions, and no wave of anti-Christianism, will convince me ignoring 2,000-plus years of wisdom is anything less than absurd. Equally absurd is to suppose calling someone a “homophobe” means anything more than an insult and inability to reason. I will not be bullied into believing something untrue or go against the scriptures because someone does not like them. I don’t tell homosexuals what to think, so homosexual activists should not tell me to stop thinking critically or ignore God.

Harold Knudsen
Arlington Heights

My reply:

Harold Knudsen's letter to the editor “Fence Post: Follow science, Bible on homosexuality,” was long on opinion and short on facts. The American Psychological Association says:

There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.

Mr. Knudsen writes that “In school I learned from sources written by medical professionals that homosexuality is psychological.” Homosexuality was included in Volume I of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric and Personality Disorders, but no longer is, despite the number of listed disorders increasing from about 150 to over 450 in the current DSM IV. Our knowledge and understanding has changed greatly over the last 60 years; science marches on.

Mr. Knudsen wrties that his army experiences “proved” his beliefs on homosexuality, and furthermore that (while in the army) “no one maligned them” which I assume means that none of his army associates maligned (army) homosexuals within his ear shot. This is laughable. He would have observed soldiers whom he assumed to be homosexual, with their behavior conforming to his predetermined beliefs. There are really only two ways for him to have known they were homosexual: either they confided in him (in a don't ask, don't tell environment), or something else. He undeoubtedly served with homosexual soldiers who kept their sexual preferences to themselves (to avoid discharge) and who were fierce combat warriors. I met a married gay couple who had both served in the military, in Vietnam, one in the air force, the other in the army, who were not shy about talking about their gay marriage, in a tavern, in Richmond, Illinois. This was an uplifting day.

As far as using the Bible for a factual referendum on homosexuality, let's follow the words of Micah 6:8, “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God,” and remember to live these words Jesus: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and Love your neighbor as yourself.”

The human heart is a mystery. Why we love the ones we love, why we are attracted to the ones we are attracted to, are quite complicated. We do well when we live our lives by some ethical moral code and when we not waste our energies condemning others (judging not, lest we be judged). We do best when we embrace those who are different from us, taking the time to learn about and better understand them: the great irony – the dreams, hopes, and aspirations for all peoples in all times and in all places are remarkably similar.

Mark Ganzer

Barrington, Illinois