What you don’t know will hurt them

I have been on this planet for more than seven decades, and there are times when I learn something that I wonder how I could have possibly never known it before. When the heavens open and sprinkle enlightenment on my small brain, I experience that elusive concept known as an epiphany.

I was sipping some coffee and watching one of my favorite TV shows, CBS Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley when this segment about “intersex” caught my attention. In a sudden rush I had a sense of clarity and mind opening. Click the link to the video segment above. I encourage you to watch it.

So, what exactly is intersex? The Planned Parenthood website gives us this definition, “Intersex is a general term used for a variety of situations in which a person is born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit the boxes of ‘female’ or ’male.’ Sometimes doctors do surgeries on intersex babies and children to make their bodies fit binary ideas of ‘male’ or ‘female.’”

I once had a part time job at a community theater in college and was exposed to many gay men and women. Although I couldn’t imagine myself being attracted to a man, I understood these were just people. My church teachings led me to believe their sexual orientations were sinful and taboo. After pushing back on some sexual advances, I learned how to handle myself. It would be impossible for anyone to “change” this straight guy, because sexual orientation isn’t a choice.

I live in Florida, whose governor has declared a war against homosexuality. Oh, he will deny it, but straight up, he’s against anything he believes will “turn” the children of his state gay, which brought about the “Don’t say gay” law. I think there’s a belief if we just don’t talk about it, we can get rid of all this gayness around us. Not only is Ron DeSantis naïve, but more hateful than we ever knew.

But this is not about Florida; it’s about God. I love the concept of God but have a major question for this sole proprietor of morality. Does God make mistakes? I can see most hard-core, born-again evangelicals jumping out of their skin at that question, but hey, only snakes jump out of their own skin. So, listen up.

In my quest to find answers about faith, religion and the dogmas of the world, I read the Christopher Hitchens book God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. He gave a healthy argument about why circumcision is “mutilation” and “primitive amputation.” There are many proponents of this procedure, and my friends at CenterForInquiry.org say it is medically justified but not necessary. This is probably the best argument for the procedure, according to the BetterHealth.vic.gov site in Australia, “possibly a lower risk of men getting sexually transmissible infections (STIs) than men who are not circumcised.

The late Hitchens was more interested in exposing the practices of the Jewish traditions and some so-called “trained” mohels, who were spreading diseases because of the ways they executed their technique. Now, think about this. All men are born with a foreskin, but most religions and cultures have adopted circumcision as normal. The myth that a circumcision lowers a man’s sexual pleasure is hardly provable.

How does this relate to intersex? Well, when a baby is found to have attributes and or organs of both sexes, the medical world moves quickly to fix the problem. Here’s an Atlanta case cited in the Chicago Tribune, “Northside Hospital will pay $22.8 million to a boy severely injured in a circumcision accident… The child had his penis severely burned in the mishap in August 1985.” His attorneys demanded extensive reconstructive surgery and psychological counseling. Allegedly, this was a case of a surgeon not properly trained on a new laser-cutting technology.

Just as if God had made a mistake, the doctors quickly suggested to fix the situation by turning a healthy baby boy into a girl. So, let’s get back to intersex. You might be shocked to learn that, according to ABC News, “An estimated 1 in 2,000 children born each year (in America) are neither boy nor girl.”

The 37-year-old Chicago woman featured in the CBS News segment mentioned at the top of this post is Pidgeon Pagonis, and her new book, Nobody Needs to Know: A Memoir tells her story about the many operations and pain she suffered to be made into the gender and sex the medical profession wanted her to be rather than the way God made her. The hospital involved has since publicly apologized for their mistakes; they played God and lost. They used fear to get the parents to approve of these unnecessary and dangerous procedures. Just being non-binary was safer.

Now we have Mike Johnson, the new Speaker of the House from Louisiana, who has written that homosexuality is an “inherently unnatural” and a “dangerous lifestyle” that would lead to legalized pedophilia and possibly even destroy “the entire democratic system.” According to MotherEarth.com, Johnson adheres to what he and his wife call a “Biblical worldview.” I would assume this involves the Old Testament passage of Leviticus 20-13, “If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense.” Mike Johnson surely knows that killing someone because of their homosexuality would be a sin, but not so fast.

The pain and suffering many men and women have gone through because of the repulsive and unsuccessful “conversion therapy” faux treatment forced on them by parents and religious leaders is just another abuse of children and young adults by people who don’t understand how someone becomes gay. They don’t “become;” God made them gay.

Steven Pinker, a cognitive psychologist and psycholinguist, wrote a 2005 New York Times op-ed titled Sniffing Out the Gay Gene. Pinker points out this research was based on that used to analyze perfumes, “A team of Swedish neuroscientists scanned people’s brains as they smelled a testosterone derivative found in men’s sweat and an estrogen-like compound found in women’s urine. In heterosexual men, a part of the hypothalamus (the seat of physical drives) responded to the female compound but not the male one; in heterosexual women and homosexual men, it was the other way around.” Does this prove that being gay is baked into our brains?

Science magazine was more definitive in 2019, “After studying the DNA of nearly half a million people with varying sexual experiences, the researchers found no evidence of a single “gay gene.” So, whose fingerprint is really on this homosexuality thing?

In his book The Blank Slate, Pinker writes that when a fetus is developing in utero, the changes, growth and activities of development are based on a timing blueprint, which is a part of our species. The amount of a given chemical at a certain time, and how the fetus absorbs it, will determine the next change. Any deviation from the timeline will have powerful effects. Pinker points out, “The biology of homosexuality is a politicized minefield that scares away scientists (and the universities and agencies that pay for their research).” Religious zealots will never pay for a study that proves them wrong.

I’m led to this question. What if medical science could analyze the creation and placement of sexual organs to determine when a fetus is more susceptible to a future sexual orientation of homosexuality? Would we let the Mike Johnsons of the world declare such fetuses must be aborted? You know, we’ve got to nip this homo thing right in the bud.

A two-thousand old document, written by men of little scientific knowledge, tells us that God has nothing to do with everything they found repulsive. But if you believe in God, then you believe all that he/she/it creates is holy. And again, If God is all powerful, how could anything he allows be created be wrong?


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One thought on “GOD’S ARGUMENT FOR GAY

  1. As a person who believes in God, I struggle with the concept that “God never makes a mistake.” Because all around me I see evidence that Nature certainly does. Which, of course, brings us to the question, What is a MISTAKE? Conflating homosexuality and intersexuality may be a bit more than one article should address, but your fundamental point is very well taken. IT IS NOT FOR US TO JUDGE. And it certainly is not for state and federal legislatures to judge — and legislate to regulate. It’s not their field. There is a touch of what many women in general feel about abortion rights in this discussion. And if I may digress, because it applies here, there are many women who believe even if abortion is not something they would choose, those who find themselves with this need SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO CHOOSE IT without fear of punishment, without resorting to butchers. In my humble opinion, most of those who would regulate our bodies are ignorant about human physiology and sexuality, and the human heart, and would like to stay that way. But squeamishness is NOT next to Godliness. If you are in a place, spiritually, where God informs your opinions of your fellow man, a.) Great — let that be YOUR guiding light about how you conduct YOURSELF toward them. and b.) God will sort out their sin. It is not your job to make their earthly existence as miserable as you can make it. He didn’t ask us to do that. He has asked us to Love.

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