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My Take: Bible condemns a lot, so why focus on homosexuality?
June 21st, 2011
10:10 AM ET

My Take: Bible condemns a lot, so why focus on homosexuality?

Editor's Note: Jonathan Dudley is the author of Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics.

By Jonathan Dudley, Special to CNN

Growing up in the evangelical community, I learned the Bible’s stance on homosexuality is clear-cut. God condemns it, I was taught, and those who disagree just haven’t read their Bibles closely enough.

Having recently graduated from Yale Divinity School, I can say that my childhood community’s approach to gay rights—though well intentioned—is riddled with self-serving double standards.

I don’t doubt that the one New Testament author who wrote on the subject of male-male intercourse thought it a sin. In Romans 1, the only passage in the Bible where a reason is explicitly given for opposing same-sex relations, the Apostle Paul calls them “unnatural.”

Problem is, Paul’s only other moral argument from nature is the following: “Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair, it is degrading to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory?” (1 Corinthians 11:14-15).

Few Christians would answer that question with a “yes.”

In short, Paul objects to two things as unnatural: one is male-male sex and the other is long hair on men and short hair on women. The community opposed to gay marriage takes one condemnation as timeless and universal and the other as culturally relative.

I also don’t doubt that those who advocate gay marriage are advocating a revision of the Christian tradition.

But the community opposed to gay marriage has itself revised the Christian tradition in a host of ways. For the first 1500 years of Christianity, for example, marriage was deemed morally inferior to celibacy. When a theologian named Jovinian challenged that hierarchy in 390 A.D. — merely by suggesting that marriage and celibacy might be equally worthwhile endeavors — he was deemed a heretic and excommunicated from the church.

How does that sit with “family values” activism today?

Yale New Testament professor Dale B. Martin has noted that today’s "pro-family" activism, despite its pretense to be representing traditional Christian values, would have been considered “heresy” for most of the church’s history.

The community opposed to gay marriage has also departed from the Christian tradition on another issue at the heart of its social agenda: abortion.

Unbeknownst to most lay Christians, the vast majority of Christian theologians and saints throughout history have not believed life begins at conception.

Although he admitted some uncertainty on the matter, the hugely influential 4th and 5th century Christian thinker Saint Augustine wrote, “it could not be said that there was a living soul in [a] body” if it is “not yet endowed with senses.”

Thomas Aquinas, a Catholic saint and a giant of mediaeval theology, argued: “before the body has organs in any way whatever, it cannot be receptive of the soul.”

American evangelicals, meanwhile, widely opposed the idea that life begins at conception until the 1970s, with some even advocating looser abortion laws based on their reading of the Bible before then.

It won’t do to oppose gay marriage because it’s not traditional while advocating other positions that are not traditional.

And then there’s the topic of divorce. Although there is only one uncontested reference to same-sex relations in the New Testament, divorce is condemned throughout, both by Jesus and Paul. To quote Jesus from the Gospel of Mark: “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.”

A possible exception is made only for unfaithfulness.

The community most opposed to gay marriage usually reads these condemnations very leniently. A 2007 issue of Christianity Today, for example, featured a story on its cover about divorce that concluded that Christians should permit divorce for “adultery,” “emotional and physical neglect” and “abandonment and abuse.”

The author emphasizes how impractical it would be to apply a strict interpretation of Jesus on this matter: “It is difficult to believe the Bible can be as impractical as this interpretation implies.”

Indeed it is.

On the other hand, it’s not at all difficult for a community of Christian leaders, who are almost exclusively white, heterosexual men, to advocate interpretations that can be very impractical for a historically oppressed minority to which they do not belong – homosexuals.

Whether the topic is hair length, celibacy, when life begins, or divorce, time and again, the leaders most opposed to gay marriage have demonstrated an incredible willingness to consider nuances and complicating considerations when their own interests are at stake.

Since graduating from seminary, I no longer identify with the evangelical community of my youth. The community gave me many fond memories and sound values but it also taught me to take the very human perspectives of its leaders and attribute them to God.

So let’s stop the charade and be honest.

Opponents of gay marriage aren’t defending the Bible’s values. They’re using the Bible to defend their own.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jonathan Dudley.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Homosexuality • Opinion

soundoff (6,474 Responses)
  1. lena

    If anyone wants to read a book by an Author who gets this right, I strongly recommend: "Beyond Gay" by David Morrison. Warning -chances are, people from both ends of the spectrum will disagree...that's why it's worth reading!

    August 24, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • Conservative Christians Need Jesus

      Beyond Gay? No thanks, we've had enough of bigotry and hatred masquerading as spiritual piety

      August 24, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • Achref

      Great thoughtful piece. Having been iasred Catholic and not returning to faith for many decades, I relate well to the damage of religion. However, a caution, not all conservative evangelicals are hateful toward the poor, the unemployed, minorities, gays or even democrats . There are many who love the Lord, offer that love and hope to all, demonstrate their faith in the world though acts of unbelieable kindness and compassion, and I believe are making Jesus pleased. Just as I caution my conservative brethren to be loving, forgiving, and looking beyond the surface of fallen mankind, please be careful to not allow your experiences with some to taint all Keep provoking thoughts, you do it well.

      March 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  2. Conservative Christians Need Jesus

    Please pray for conservative Christians that Jesus will touch their hearts and show them their deep seated fear and hatred of gay people.

    August 24, 2011 at 6:44 am |
  3. doug

    all these great comments... almost makes me want to become gay

    August 24, 2011 at 4:01 am |
    • LOL

      Being gay is not a choice so you wouldn't be able to just choose to be gay.

      August 24, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  4. R. Stavale

    I'm not a religious person but I often see the following phrase posted which should be quite meaningful to you.
    "What would Jesus do?"
    My understanding is that Jesus was peaceful, understanding had a forgiving nature and led by his good examples. For those of you that hate, criticize & categorize, you should should think of these words before you open your mouth and close your mind.

    August 24, 2011 at 1:07 am |
  5. R. Stavale

    Well said Jonathan, the world would be a much better place with less religious hypocrits

    August 24, 2011 at 12:49 am |
  6. JasonB

    What sort of filth is coming out of Yale? Because they know nothing of the Bible, and certainly nothing of the Lord; this is what happens when you try to think instead of follow your heart in spiritual matters. That school has shown a repeated desire to destroy the Church and the Word of God. The so-called teachers are antichrists.

    As for the author's mention of a NT reference – he doesn't even have that right. Try 1 Cor 6:9, not Romans. Figures, leave it to a catholic antichrist, having never been called to preach the word, and using a known corrupted translation, to further corrupt the written word. The same so-called church (of Satan) that persecuted and slaughtered the true Church and its members for 1500 years. Oh people, come out of that church, the Lord is waiting for you, and you don't need a priest or pope or other intercessor, just talk to the Lord personally.

    August 23, 2011 at 10:41 pm |
    • Observer

      JasonB,

      If talking about what the Bible says is filth, that's your call. You have totally missed the point of this article. It's all about HYPOCRISY and you have certainly demonstrated Dudley's points by pulling what you WANT from the Bible. If you are all that concerned about sins, why aren't you addressing the FAR FAR LARGER number of Christians who sin by committing adultery by remarrying?

      August 23, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • LOL

      1 Cor 6:9 you do know they added the word homosexual later to that particular scripture.

      August 24, 2011 at 10:43 am |
  7. Bad Behavior

    Very well said. I'm gonna print this article and show it to other people.
    Congratulations do Jonathan Dudley for a great text.

    August 23, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
  8. Conservative Christians Need Jesus

    Please pray for "conservative Christians." They need Jesus more than anyone else and almost certainly will spend eternity in hell for their hatred, ignorance, and bigotry without our prayers for them.

    August 23, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Shelley

      What sin did Jesus die on the cross for?

      August 23, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
  9. Conservative Christians Need Jesus

    Jesus Christ wants to saved all the conservative Christians in America that commit the worst sin of all in taking the LORD's name in vain by using it to justify their own deeply seated hatred of gay and lesbian people. We need to pray for conservative Christians that God's love will touch their hearts and minds and melt away their fear and hatred.

    August 23, 2011 at 9:11 am |
  10. Not

    You gays try to be so shocking as if calling Jesus something nasty proves a point. It's not shocking to people who believe in the Christ. It's more childish talk. "Well Jesus this... and people get divorced and..". Sounds like a child saying "but mommy johnny did this". Sodomy is not cool, no. But Christ died for that too – embrace that : -)

    August 23, 2011 at 8:00 am |
    • Not really

      Christ died for your bigotry. Embrace it.

      August 23, 2011 at 8:33 am |
    • myweightinwords

      What nasty names have "gays" been calling Jesus?

      Do you mean when someone here says that Jesus was gay? You do realize the majority of those who use or see the word "gay" as an insult aren't gay, yes? I'd venture that most who have said that here are straight.

      Also? You think is the word nasty? In it's original context it means happy. In the modern vernacular it means a person who is attracted to and loves someone of the same gender. I fail to see what is "nasty" there.

      August 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  11. Observer

    Ja,
    "I was born this way can be applied to anything you want, can't it?"

    Nope. People aren't born as bigots, although their capacity for intelligence might be hereditary.

    August 22, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • highspeedCU

      Actually there have been plenty of studies showing the very young distrust/fear those who look different.

      August 23, 2011 at 9:33 am |
    • Observer

      highspeedCU,

      "Actually there have been plenty of studies showing the very young distrust/fear those who look different."

      So we can identify gays when they are infants because they "look different"?

      August 23, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • You idiot

      He's saying people are born bigots.

      August 24, 2011 at 2:27 am |
  12. Dave

    You raise some good points, but I think you may be off on the abortion issue. At least in the very early church, I have read in many places that Christians set them apart very radically from the Greco-Roman culture around them by not having abortions. This actually helped lead to Christianity's growth simply due to greater numbers. Perhaps later Christian theologians were more tolerant of abortion, but at the beginning Christianity was staunchly pro-life.

    August 22, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • Observer

      Dave,

      The Bible is more supportive of abortion than against it. Actions speak louder than words and there weren't any words.

      August 22, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Not really

      The idea that the early Church was "staunchly pro-life" comes more from pro-life propaganda than serious scholarship. While they did oppose abortion, a better way of putting it was that they were "staunchly anti-contraception." They thought it was horribly evil to use any form of contraception, and that included abortion as well as "poisons of sterility" and other forms of birth control (ex. "pulling out"). Those who had se.x without the possibility of procreation proved they were doing it solely for the purpose of lust, in the minds of early christians.

      August 22, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  13. BIGfalconlover1

    The fact that sinful human beings refuse to accept the gender God assigned to them in creation and at birth is simply a sign of rebellion.

    Schizophrenic and confused thinking is just that: delusional

    August 22, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • LOL

      Now you're getting it gays are born gay and are accepting themselves for what God created them. That's why they don't sin before God and why they get married before God. They are God's creation.

      August 22, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • LOL

      "Schizophrenic and confused thinking is just that: delusional"

      If you are implying gays with this statement you do realize that the experts disagree with you. Psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals agree that homosexuality is not an illness, a mental disorder, or an emotional problem. More than 35 years of objective, well-designed scientific research has shown that homosexuality, in and itself, is not associated with mental disorders or emotional or social problems. Homosexuality was once thought to be a mental illness because mental health professionals and society had biased information

      August 22, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Observer

      BIGfalconlover1,

      Speaking of delusional, sometimes God creates people with physical characteristics of both s-xes. Since he is perfect, this too must be nornal.

      August 22, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Well, Falcon. You seem to be an expert on delusional behavior.

      August 22, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
  14. Erik

    Being gay is not a choice. I hate to burst any bubbles, but science, in fact, is actually not in dispute on this matter.

    All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.

    Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.

    In my home country, Norway, reparative therapy is officially considered to be ethical malpractice. But there are many countries that do not regulate the practice, and many others that remain largely silent and even passively supportive of it (such as the Philippines). Groups that operate such "therapy" in the Philippines are the Evangelical Bagong Pag-asa, and the Catholic Courage Philippines.

    The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation - and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality - as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.

    On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"

    Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website:
    "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" - meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"

    But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.

    This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality - whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual - is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.

    The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.

    Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).

    Furthermore, there are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.

    Having said that, in the realm of legal rights, partnership rights, and anti-discrimination protections, the gay gene vs. choice debate is actually quite irrelevant. Whether or not something is a choice is not a suitable criterion for whether someone should have equal rights and protections. Religion is indisputably a choice, but that fact is a not a valid argument for discriminating against a particular religion.

    This is not an issue in dispute. According to modern science: baby, you were born this way.

    August 22, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • Terrance W.

      Remarkably-well put.......

      August 22, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • Ja

      Is there a gene for pedophiles, alcoholics, thieves, murderers and the list goes on and on?
      I was born this way can be applied to anything you want, can't it?

      August 22, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • LOL

      "I was born this way can be applied to anything you want, can't it?"

      No, and that's the point but the one thing people can't say is being gay is a choice, because it's not and there is a heap of evidence to prove it. If you can get the scientific and pshycolocial community to agree that one of things you listed then by all means go for it. Science has proven being gay is NOT a choice it's time to stop the hatred and bigotry towards this minority group.

      August 22, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • Not

      Doesn't matter if you were born that way. I like a lot of women and I was born that way, but i'm faithful to one, nor none if not one. I'm sure you wouldn't make this argument for bestiality or pedophilia. Even though some are trying even today to say these people don't have an issue either, it's just frowned upon. You're right in that we don't choose...our demons but a man faces his demons.

      August 23, 2011 at 7:46 am |
    • LOL

      "I'm sure you wouldn't make this argument for bestiality or pedophilia. "

      It just shows you're clueless about the gay issue. The problem with your argument is consent, they can't consent so it would be illegal.

      August 23, 2011 at 8:29 am |
    • JasonB

      IT IS A CHOICE. And the word you're looking for is not "gay". Try SODOMITE instead.

      August 23, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
    • Observer

      JasonB,

      Do you know what the word "sodomite" means? It can apply to gays or straights. Oops!

      S-xual preference is NOT a choice. Ask the millions of gays who know. Don't claim you are a mind-reader.

      August 23, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
    • LOL

      "IT IS A CHOICE. And the word you're looking for is not "gay". Try SODOMITE instead."

      The experts have proven you wrong and that it is NOT a choice. You also might want to look up the full definition of sodomy, it's anal or oral copulation with a member of the opposite sex. Did you ever get a blow job or go down on a woman they you are engaging in sodomy.

      August 24, 2011 at 10:54 am |
  15. Monbois

    All prophets were bipolar schizophrenics and the bible was written by many many seeking political power, just like the garbage propaganda politicians publish today. Christianity, like all religions, is a self-serving, man-made construct created to oppress and conquer. In the end you'll find out that after death there is nothing but oblivion.

    But of course you won't know this because you'll be dead and will no longer exist. As your brain dies you will begin to slowly forget everything you ever knew until you know and are nothing once again. This is why death is so terrifying for most people, because they know deep down in their hearts that nothing comes after.

    This is why zealots should be so deeply ashamed of their actions, ruining and despoiling – and often literally destroying – the once precious gift we all possess only fleetingly, no matter how long we live – LIFE.

    August 22, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • interested

      Wow...a lot of facts stated here... I find it extremely ironic that you use the word precious for life when we are here for no reason at all. What could be precious about that? I also don't see how nothing could be terrifying. What's terrifying about nothing at all? Very interesting view point with absolutely no foundation.

      August 23, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
  16. Gary Kinder

    May God bless and keep all of you. Good luck explaining your beliefs to God come Judgement day.

    August 22, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • LOL

      And when God looks at you as says I gave you science to show you that people are born gay yet you continued to fuel the hatred and prejudice against them even though my son sacrificed himself to show you the true meaning of love. You will be the one lost on judgment day.

      August 22, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • Monbois

      I'm going to call you "Gary Goofy" from now on! 😛

      August 22, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • GodPot

      Good luck explaining YOUR beliefs to Zeus come Judgement day.

      August 22, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Annatala Wolf

      Thanks for the backhanded blessing, Gary.

      It's funny how many people believe that anyone who disagrees with their exact collection of beliefs will be convicted by God of "thoughtcrime" and tortured for all eternity...mainly because each of these people are convinced that only those who agree with them will be saved, yet each believes something slightly different.

      I have no difficulty explaining my beliefs. If God gave us a brain, I presume it was intended we make use of it. Reliance on factual information rather than opinion suggests very strongly that gays and lesbians contribute just as much to society and humanity as everyone else.

      August 22, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  17. Gary Kinder

    May God bless and keep you all. I will follow God. You all are following man. In the end, we will see who is right and who is wrong. Hippypoet you are no authority that much is for certain. The romans did have records on Christ. Read about Josephus. He actually questions if he was truely just a man and not a God. So get your facts straight before polluting all the others with your hatred of all things religious.

    August 22, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • LOL

      "polluting all the others with your hatred of all things religious."

      Yet it's OK for Christians to keep fueling the hatred and bigotry towards this minority group even though it's be shown gays are born this way and are a creation from God.

      August 22, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • hippypoet

      GARY KINDER- lol, nice avoidence on my statement about the gosbles being wirtten hundreds of years after the supposed death...thats a fact, oh and your Josephus statement, well thats just wrong, mr. jose asked not about jesus but about Herod, the king of the jews... who apparently also fit perfectly into the myth of a chosen one who would come and save HIS people... by the way, jesus , if he was real, was a jew... and the jews didn't much like him... Herod even rose up against the Romans becuase he and a great many of his followers believed he was the dude... the only thing that makes the two different is this, one was already well known and therefore is hard to create a false history around, while jesus, becuase he most likely didn't exists was a much easier target of liers and falsehoods. plus when you add the thought patterns of those people back in the day, much like today, where the belief of the world ending is nearing was a greatly wide held belief making again much easier to keep the story going. then when you say i will die and you do, yea thats a real whoa moment there... i bet if i was back in the roman days and i said anything against the ruling body i would be put to death as well, but i am no son of god...nor was he! OH and i missed the very easy point that if the romans didn't write it down, they didn't kill it! the idea that jose asked about jesus being god or fake is a misleading statence in a book about god...you need to do real historic studing to find out what i KNOW! and before i go away, answer me how the hell WE are here if there was only ADAM, EVE, AND CAIN... WHO GETS KICKED OUT OF EDEN AND NOW LIVES IN THE LAND OF NOD EAST OF EDEN – WHERE HE MET HIS WIFE... yup, the bible skipped over the creation of another human, why, because its written like crap and is a fake made-up story! if not, then we are all products of incest, yay!!! moron!

      August 22, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Monbois

      You're a loony bird!!! 😛

      August 22, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  18. *c*

    Leviticus 18:22 – "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable." (NIV)

    Leviticus 20:13 – "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads." (NIV)

    Romans 1:26-27 – "Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion." (NIV)

    August 22, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • LOL

      Hey, you just proved this author correct you are using the scriptures to back up your personal prejudices. The scriptures you are trying to use to debunk what we now know about gays is actually about male prostitution, rape and idolatry. It's time you pick up a history book to get the true meaning of those scriptures by putting it into historical context, that's reading comprehension 101.

      August 22, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • Observer

      *c*,
      You apparently intentionally omitted this verse, helping to prove the author's point:

      Ezekiel 16:49 “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”

      August 22, 2011 at 11:15 am |
  19. Cheryl

    Sexual orientation is neurobiological and is set at birth, according to a report delivered by Jerome Goldstein, M.D., a board-certified medical neurologist and Director of the San Francisco Clinical Research Center. “Sexual orientation is not a matter of choice, it is primarily neurobiological at birth,” Goldstein told the 21st Meeting of the European Neurological Society (ENS), in Lisbon, Portugal, adding, “Clearly the basis of sexual orientation is in the brain and differences in brain structure and function and the province of neurology.”

    We now have even more evidence that being gay or bisexual is not a choice, despite the fact that 42% of Americans still believe being homosexual is “due to factors such as upbringing and environment.” Only 40% of Americans currently believe that people are born gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.

    “There are undeniable links. We want to make them visible to the eye,” Goldstein, who is President of the Headache and Facial Pain Section of the American Academy of Neurology, told ENS members, showing how brains of people of different sexual orientations — gay, straight, and bisexual — work in different ways.

    “Using volumetric studies, there have been findings of significant cerebral amygdala size differences between homosexual and heterosexual subjects. Sex dimorphic connections were found among homosexual participants in these studies,” Dr. Goldstein noted, according to a report in Medical News Today, which adds that Goldstein, “provided current data regarding homosexuality showing differences and/or similarities, between the brains of homosexuals and heterosexuals.”

    Today, however, anti-gay organizations, like the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), and anti-gay hate groups, like the American Family Association, continue to push the false narrative that homosexuality is a choice, and support the work of discredited anti-gay “ex-gay” ministries. Increasingly, we see NOM moving toward the so-called religious side of the argument, where they had previously attempted — or so it seemed — to be perceived as secular. Also, this false “choice” concept has been exported to extremely homophobic countries like Uganda, thanks in large part to American Evangelicals.

    August 22, 2011 at 10:44 am |
  20. Gary Kinder

    If Jesus was gay then all religion is irrelevant. Jesus said marriage is between a man and woman. All scripture is given is inspired through the Holy Spirit. Those inidivduals who advocate that there is nothing wrong with gay marriage haven't read the bible or only read what they wanted to read. It won't be I that will be on the wrong side come Judgement Day. I wish you all the best but this discussion is nothing more than a moot point at best. May God bless each and every one of you.

    August 22, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • hippypoet

      Gary Kinder...um, no jesus didn't say anything. he never existed... the romans kept very good records and if he was excuted by them, we'd know by the records. And on your idiot statement of jesus said marriage is between – oh shut up, in the book you so love and qoute from, he never said that. he does not play any speaking parts in the bible, everything you read in the new testament is about jesus, not from jesus. We modern man have nothing from the mouth of jesus. We instead have put way too much stock in what others have written about some dude they only heard about. THATS RIGHT, ALL THE GOSBLES ARE NOTHING BUT STORIES PASSED DOWN. the eariest gosble is still over 100 years after the supposed jesus lived and died. One more thing, why the hell do all you catholics wear the cross, that is a simbol of death and pain, nothing else. And if jesus is so special becuase he was nailed to the big wooden x then why do we not worship all the slaves that got put to death during the revolt of sparticus, they all were crucified...yet no one seems to care. In todays world if some dude walked around saying he was the son of god we would have his @ss put away.

      August 22, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • Observer

      Gary,

      Jesus said "What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate." So why aren't Christians making a big deal about opposition to divorce, which is a MUCH BIGGER problem. Answer: the author was right – – it's all pick and choose.

      August 22, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Meg1105

      Hey hippypoet, how about you learn how to spell "GOSPELS" before you try and talk about stuff you clearly have no idea about... your ranting, and obvious hatred, just proves even more what we believe... why are you so passionate about something that you believe is not even true?

      August 22, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.