Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Simply a Choice"

I was loosely following a discussion over at Times & Seasons about homosexuality (great job, Alison!) when a phrase jumped out at me. The commenter, whom I have not seen before, said this in comment 18: "It is simplistic in the extreme to think that sexual orientation is simply a choice."

My first thought was "of course it's not SIMPLY a choice! Choice is never just a choice." Which sobered me.

In my search to serve the Lord, I have come to understand that sometimes decisions which are counterintuitive and extremely uncomfortable often need to be made in order to be a true disciple.*

True, it is not a hard decision for me to decide to be heterosexual. It comes naturally. Nor was it a hard decision for me to reject drug or alcohol usage. Nor, with my physique, has modesty been a huge issue. But I have other things which I have fought against. As a teen and young adult, my temper was a really tough one. I was born with a fiery temper. My dad had a temper, my grandfather had a temper and my great-grandfather had a temper (records are scarce before that.) It is a natural trait. Yet, it is not acceptable in society to allow one's temper to rage out of control. So, I have gradually, slowly, with painstaking effort, learned to control my temper. Now, I rarely get angry, and when I feel my emotions rising, I know enough to take a time out.

Learning to overcome my body's chemical response to such stimulus has been a complicated and uphill battle. I've only overcome it through extensive divine help. And, although it is overcome, much like an alcoholic, I will always struggle with it to some extent.

Granted, homosexuality is not the same thing, but physiologically speaking, sexual desire is analogous to the desire to fight or flight in intensity. So, yes, I believe that homosexual behavior is a choice . . . but not JUST a choice. Never that.

*This is not to countenance "God told me to do it" rationalization for things such as the Inquisition, but it is relatively easy to determine the line between the two. Using God as rationalization harms others and benefits self. Discipline in the Lord's service most often seems to harm the self and benefit others. I have reason to know for myself this is true.

1 comment :

  1. You are right. It is not JUST a choice, it is a challenging difficult choice. It may very well be a part of a person's "genes" that they are inclined to become homosexual, but that does not mean it is ok to just give in to those inclinations because it is so difficult. Your analogy is a good one - everyone is born with certain tendencies to behave in ways that they know they shouldn't. They are like inborn tests - if we look at the tests as blessings from God in order to perfect us and help us grow closer to Him, then maybe we would rise to the challenge more often.


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