Thursday, March 29, 2007

Science and Homosexuality: Not a Barrier to Objection

Harold Meyerson is a writer for the uber-leftist LA Weekly, and last week he had a jolly good thrashing Al Mohler in his column. In part, he wrote (and believe me, I edited out the most rantish sections):

Science is stealing up on America's religious fundamentalists, causing much alarm.
Consider the dilemma of the Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville and a leading figure in the Southern Baptist firmament. Writing in his blog this month, Mohler acknowledged that "the direction of the research" increasingly points to the possibility that a "biological basis for sexual orientation exists." Should sexuality be determined in utero, Mohler continued, that still wouldn't justify abortion or genetic engineering...

But once you recognize homosexuality as a genetic reality, it does create a theological dilemma for the Mohlers among us, for it means that God is making people who, in the midst of what may otherwise be morally exemplary lives, have a special and inherent predisposition to sin. Mohler's response is that since Adam's fall, sin is the condition of all humankind.

...Mohler's deity, in short, is the God of Double Standards: a God who enforces the norms and fears of a world before science, a God profoundly ignorant of or resistant to the arc of American history, which is the struggle to expand the scope of the word "men" in our founding declaration that "all men are created equal." This is a God who in earlier times was invoked to defend segregation and, before that, slavery.

...By effectively insisting that God is a spiteful homo-hater, his followers saddle him with ancient phobias and condemn him to the backwaters of American moral life.


Let's be clear here: the issue for Meyerson is that "fundamentalists" are anti-scientific dimbulbs. They need to be marginalized, and he's the man, er, person, for the job. The issue is not really homosexuality. That being said, what about the evidence that "God" is "making gays"? This is such a stereotypical example of flawed logic that only blind ideology got it past his editor. By this logic, genetic predisposition, no matter how dangerous, is a positive act of God. For example, we have plenty of evidence that alcoholism is partly determined by genetics. So are certain cancers. So is that fact that I have glasses sitting on my nose. In a fallen world, DNA is not excluded.

Personally, I remain a skeptic about the scientific evidence for the simple reason that there's a lot of pressure to cook the data if you want to be in the favor (attitudinally and monetarily) of academia.

No comments: