For the first time in the better part of 25 years I am listening to The Celtic Soul Brothers. It was the second single from Too-Rye-Ay. Everyone knows the first track, Come on Eileen, which is probably the only reason most people have ever heard of Dexys Midnight Runners. But for us – at least Carol, Marion, me, maybe Saebra – this song left an indelible imprint on our speech. I still say excuse me please, you’re standing in my space, although generally only the first three words are spoken audibly. Not bad for an obscure song that made only the smallest of impacts two decades ago.
The Christian right has chosen to ignore decades of science, especially on the issues of homosexuality and evolutionary biology. Homosexuality, they say, is a choice, or a consequence of bad parenting (and evolution is bad science, or simply a lie). It was an interesting development when earlier this year Albert Mohler of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary admitted that there was probably a genetic basis to homosexuality. While, sadly, his reaction was to discuss the idea of a prenatal “vaccination” to counteract the gene, it was a major admission. It’s even more encouraging to read that Alan Chambers, the leader of “the nation’s largest ex-gay ministry” has admitted that there’s no such thing as an “ex-gay”.
With years of therapy, Chambers says, he has mostly conquered his own attraction to men; he’s a husband and a father, and he identifies as straight. But lately, he’s come to resent the term “ex-gay”: It’s too neat, implying a clean break with the past, when he still struggles at times with homosexual temptation. “By no means would we ever say change can be sudden or complete,” Chambers said.
While all of this is encouraging, it’s still too little. While there are some on the religious right who are willing to admit that homosexuality is natural, they still see it as a sin. As long as they define homosexuality as a sin a large swath of the population remains second class citizens. In addition, Mohler’s desire for gene therapy to “cure” homosexuality prenatally is deeply disturbing. Any idea that tries to eliminate a group of “undesirables” is scary. And as disturbing as it is to see efforts to root out some subculture in society, it’s even more disturbing when people try to prevent the “other” from ever being born. (It’s also interesting that such a vaccine or gene therapy would probably increase the number of “gay genes” in the population.)
H/T Carlos at Talk to Action.