In my first piece on this subject titled Homosexuality: Let's Reopen the Debate and published at Ezinearticles.com, I received readers' comments that have been pretty decent considering the inflammatory nature of the subject of the essay. I always appreciate readers' comments, even the loony ones, and I do try to think through them to see what I can learn as well as see if I've made some glaring error in my prose.
Let me assure you that if you plan to start writing on ANY subject and publish something, readers will write you and point out your flubs.
The purpose of this essay is to answer three of my readers' comments and to make some additional remarks on the subject of homosexuality.
I meant to write this piece more than a week ago, since this month, May 17 to be exact, marked the one-year anniversary of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, and I wanted to come out with this essay then. But I missed my self-imposed deadline. So here goes, ready or not.
Readers wrote the following:
1. "You say that "there is no reason homosexuals cannot change"(paraphrased). I'm assuming the reason you think homosexuality is unnatural is because of the entirely non-biblical teachings of the Catholic Church for the past several hundred years."
My Comments: Sometimes I don't know which it is that bothers me the most, the issue of homosexuality being accepted as perfectly wonderful and natural, or the apparent inability of Americans to reason correctly about most anything. I wonder if critical thinking skills are even taught in American schools anymore.
Two points: The first is that in my original essay, I was careful NOT to refer to or even hint at anything religious. I do possess a religious bias and it is NOT Catholic. But I was careful to discuss the scientific evidence in the first essay and not explore the theological or philosophical disciplines. I should add here there was a time when theology and philosophy would have been disciplines included in the argumentation of this issue. They are no longer, I believe, because the average American is INCAPABLE of using these disciplines due to mass ignorance of them. It isn't that they cannot but it is that they are willfully ignorant in the use of these disciplines.
The second point is that this reader's comment is a good example of distorting someone's position in order to make it easier to attack. This is the Straw Man Argument, is it not?
This always, in my experience, seems to be the fall back position of those who would try to defend the Gay platform. When anyone, no matter their bias, questions the gay premises, the almost immediate reaction is,
"Oh, no one but those with the most hateful religious prejudice could possibly doubt our position and views."
Gays do this, and it is really a pretense, in order to keep the argument framed within parameters they can attack. Gays and those who support them will do this because they know that they are in trouble if they try to argue the scientific evidence as I pointed out in my first essay. Therefore, they distort the position of anyone who attempts to offer a reasoned and well- argued opposition to their platform as, "no one but those with the most hateful religious prejudice could possibly doubt our position and views".
This is, in my view, not sound thinking.
2. "The problem I have with your opinion is there is every reason to believe homosexuality is genetic. And there is every reason to believe that heterosexuality is genetic. This would mean there is every reason to believe that bisexuality is genetic--and I think that's the truth. After all, if bisexuality weren't natural then ancient cultures like the Greeks wouldn't have had the highly prevalent rates of homosexual behaviors that they did. Which means homosexual behavior is entirely natural."
My Comments: This reader offered no arguments to contradict the ones I made in the first essay. Sadly, this is so typical. I run into this situation all the time in the various op-ed's and feature articles I write and publish. I will receive ranting and raving from readers who offer subjective opinions with absolutely no substance.
This reader seems to want to try to prove that homosexuality is natural since ancient cultures would not have had the "highly prevalent rates of homosexual behaviors that they did.", if homosexuality wasn't natural.
To this reader I would say the following:
There were plenty of practices that were "highly prevalent" in ancient cultures. One such was sacrificing babies to the fire-god Molech. By your reasoning, if the validity of a practice of something is determined by its prevelance in an ancient culture or civilization thus meaning the practice is natural, then would it be ok to rekindle Molech worship and start throwing babies into the fires of Molech?
This is, in my view, is still not sound thinking.
3. "There exists one glaring falsehood in your article. Citing a 50% concordance rate genetically, you therefore say it can't be genetic. However, that 50% in itself proves there is a significant genetic influence, simply because the chance of homosexuality is 50%, and not the normative chance for a regular random sample."
My Comments: This reader really offered some excellent commentary and I wish he or she would have included an e-mail address so we could chat a bit more. To this person's observation, I would like to make a few comments.
As I said in my first essay, the way in which this 50% concordant rate was arrived at is seriously flawed. It was not done in a lab looking at the DNA of a random sampling. It was achieved through verbal surveys. Here is what I originally said:
"In the study, A Genetic Study of Male Sexual Orientation, researchers Michael Bailey and Richard C. Pillard discovered in their sample group that half of the identical twins pairs were both gay while the other half had one gay member in the pair and the other was heterosexual. That means a 50% concordance rate. A concordant twin-pair would mean that both twins' members were gay while a disconcordant twin-pair would have one gay member and one straight member."
This was done by interviewing the subjects. As I mentioned in my first essay, it is notoriously difficult to try to obtain accurate results for the simple reason that you cannot rule out mitigating constructs such as "telling the truth". They may, in the survey, tell the truth and then again, they may not. Many of the twin pairs had only one member of the pair show up for the interview. If that one member, who identified himself as gay, claimed that his twin was also gay, how could you possibly guarantee the truthfulness of that statement? You cannot. The testability of that is impossible! Yet these were the results reported.
I also said this:
"The immediate and glaring problem here is that identical twins are genetic clones of each other. If one member of the twin pair is gay, and being gay is a genetically coded thing, then the other member of the twin pair must be gay also. It would be impossible to have anything other than a 100% concordance rate."
I still stand by this statement and I hope you get the importance of this.
In the identical twin studies, the concordance rate would have to be 100%--something researchers Michael Bailey and Richard C. Pillard most certainly knew but reported their flawed results nevertheless.
Let me restate that these rates were NOT discovered in a lab doing any genetic coding testing. These rates were arrived at through surveys. Be sure to read my original article for the full context (http://ezinearticles.com/?id=20558).
A question that no reader addressed, to which I would love to hear an answer, is this:
"I mean, isn't the whole gay premise that since being gay is an innate, genetic trait, and since they cannot help being gay, that they should, as any other ethnic group, marry and even raise children? And how many times have we read that homosexuality is like race? It is like someone being black.
That is a horrible analogy but it is what the gays say.
So, let me see if I am getting this. If being gay is like being black, and being gay works itself out in one's behavior as having sex with someone of the same sex, then how does being black work itself out in the behavior of a black person? Or, to carry this absurdity even further, how about a Chinese person? How does being Chinese work itself out in the behavior of a Chinese person? How does a Chinese person behave? What if the Chinese person is a Chinese-American, born and bred in the U.S.A.? How then would that work? Is it not someone's behavior and not a state of being that we are talking about?"
I would invite any reader, if you please, to answer this argument. I would love to engage you in a civilized discussion on this point.
But be careful. Don't resort to false appeals to authority, selective use of evidence, Ad Hominem arguments, Begging the Question arguments. Don't offer me something that cannot be tested, nor offer me vague terms or shifting definitions.
Think linearly. Write me!
Doug Bower is a freelance writer and book author. His most recent writing credits include The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Houston Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Transitions Abroad. He is a columnist with Cricketsoda.com and the Magic City Morning Star. He is also listed with Ezinearticles.com. He lives with his wife in Guanajuato, Mexico. His newest book Mexican Living: Blogging it from a Third World Country can now be seen at http://www.lulu.com/content/126241