A month or so ago some Swedish research hit the news. It shows that there are measurable differences in the brains of gay men and women. Gay men tend to have brains that resemble straight women and gay women tend to have brains that resemble straight men.
This does not prove that sexual orientation is genetic, but this combined with a number of other physiological differences is starting to build a strong case.
So let’s assume, just for the purposes of discussion, that research does eventually prove that homosexuality is genetic rather than a lifestyle choice. The current research suggests that it may have something to do with the level of male hormones in the mother during gestation.
Where does that put those who feel that it is a sin?
Perhaps it finally relegates it to the same status as touching a menstruating women.
Doesn’t this start to feel similar to the situation two hundred years ago when the Bible was used to justify slavery?
Just to refresh your memory.
“When a slave owner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately the owner shall be punished. But if the slave survives a day or two there is no punishment; for the slave is the owner’s property” (Exodus 21:20-21).
The Southern Baptist Convention was founded for the purpose of preserving the Christian basis for slavery. To their credit Southern Baptists apologized in 1995.
It will be interesting to see how many apologies are given when homosexuality is proven genetic.
The Bible is a wonderful book that God gave us as a sufficient guide to working out our own salvation. It is most effective in that role when understood as a metaphor for modern life because it was written in a different time. It was this understanding of historical context which allowed clergy to see past the explicit Bible passages supporting slavery to the larger message of God’s love for all His children and our obligation to love our neighbor as ourselves. They used this understanding of the Bible’s real message to oppose and eventually abolish slavery. I predict that this same historical context and understanding of the Bible’s real message will be applied to homosexuality too, and the clergy will again lead the charge to reverse the legal and social discrimination currently imposed on gay men and women.