Homosexuality: Blueprint or Recipe?

a-mans-jobWhile reading Richard Dawkins’ collection of essays in “The Devil’s Chaplain” I chanced on his essay about the potential for genes to determine homosexuality in humans and what implications that might have.

Since we had discussed this point before in The Challenge of Homosexuality, Dawkins take on things was rather surprising:

Imagine the following newspaper headline: ‘Scientists discover that homosexuality is caused.’ Obviously this is not news at all; it is trivial. Everything is caused. To say that homosexuality is caused by genes is more interesting, and it has the aesthetic merit of discomforting politically-inspired bores, but it doesn’t say more than my trivial headline does about the irrevocability of homosexuality.

You can read the whole essay here (it is only 3 pages).

  • Andrew

    “Everything is caused.” Indeed. Does it matter whether it is caused or even whether it is chosen? Not a wit. It is fine as it is.

    Typical Baha’i responses will come and could well be written by software programs rather than human beings since the responses will contain no content of insight other than the usual blather. The assertion by at least one Baha’i apologist that homosexuality is a disease that will one day be cured through genetic intervention is just the logical development of a truly monstrous world-view. Adherents make religion what it is, not God, and internalized authoritarianism and reflexive reactionism deliver the rewards expected. Humans do not live in hermetically sealed universes of discourse, but automatons do.

    As Adrian Worsfold notes on his Pluralist blog: “The UHJ … is full of contradictions that come from its obsessive control of membership in an Administrative Order, and its failures regarding its own adopted prophetic projections … losing a philosophical connection with advancing religious ideas elsewhere … The UHJ as it is will most likely produce a rather tiny, failing religion.”

    http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2008/10/more-bahai.html

    The smaller the organization, the easier it is to exert control. And the smaller the party membership, the easier it is to control the nomination process. The worst elements of patriarchal religion and dictatorial rule attempt to control the sexual lives of those they despise. So what else is new? Hardly a revelation, progressive or otherwise.

    As Dawkins himself states:

    “As for your particular desire not to stigmatise homosexuality as unnatural, why bother? Let people do what they feel like doing (so long as it doesn’t hurt others).”

    Amen to that.

  • Andrew

    “Everything is caused.” Indeed. Does it matter whether it is caused or even whether it is chosen? Not a wit. It is fine as it is.

    Typical Baha’i responses will come and could well be written by software programs rather than human beings since the responses will contain no content of insight other than the usual blather. The assertion by at least one Baha’i apologist that homosexuality is a disease that will one day be cured through genetic intervention is just the logical development of a truly monstrous world-view. Adherents make religion what it is, not God, and internalized authoritarianism and reflexive reactionism deliver the rewards expected. Humans do not live in hermetically sealed universes of discourse, but automatons do.

    As Adrian Worsfold notes on his Pluralist blog: “The UHJ … is full of contradictions that come from its obsessive control of membership in an Administrative Order, and its failures regarding its own adopted prophetic projections … losing a philosophical connection with advancing religious ideas elsewhere … The UHJ as it is will most likely produce a rather tiny, failing religion.”

    http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2008/10/more-bahai.html

    The smaller the organization, the easier it is to exert control. And the smaller the party membership, the easier it is to control the nomination process. The worst elements of patriarchal religion and dictatorial rule attempt to control the sexual lives of those they despise. So what else is new? Hardly a revelation, progressive or otherwise.

    As Dawkins himself states:

    “As for your particular desire not to stigmatise homosexuality as unnatural, why bother? Let people do what they feel like doing (so long as it doesn’t hurt others).”

    Amen to that.

  • p

    I don’t think it would make any difference to fundamentalist if they knew that genetics caused it and not choice. Conservative Bahais would still say, as does the president of Iran, “the law, is the law, and it’s the law”. As long as the UHJ continues its present stance that this is an unchanging law from Bahaullah Himself vs. something that falls outside of the “Book”. Then nothing we say will make a difference.
    What bothers me how ordinary Bahais fight tooth and nail at any thought of accepting gays (especiall openly gay couples and their kids) inside the Bahai community. They will not make any room for that. I have heard these same Bahais say that its ok to break Bahai law (for example have sex with someone of the opposite sex) if it means it will help the person overcome being gay. That to them is perfectly fine. But never the scenario of accepting honest gay families into the fold.

  • p

    I don’t think it would make any difference to fundamentalist if they knew that genetics caused it and not choice. Conservative Bahais would still say, as does the president of Iran, “the law, is the law, and it’s the law”. As long as the UHJ continues its present stance that this is an unchanging law from Bahaullah Himself vs. something that falls outside of the “Book”. Then nothing we say will make a difference.
    What bothers me how ordinary Bahais fight tooth and nail at any thought of accepting gays (especiall openly gay couples and their kids) inside the Bahai community. They will not make any room for that. I have heard these same Bahais say that its ok to break Bahai law (for example have sex with someone of the opposite sex) if it means it will help the person overcome being gay. That to them is perfectly fine. But never the scenario of accepting honest gay families into the fold.

  • David

    Since the Bahai Faith is completely absent on the major civil rights issue of the day, I’ll leave it up to individuals’ consciences if they feel the urge to support the protests this Saturday:

    http://jointheimpact.wetpaint.com/?t=anon

  • David

    Since the Bahai Faith is completely absent on the major civil rights issue of the day, I’ll leave it up to individuals’ consciences if they feel the urge to support the protests this Saturday:

    http://jointheimpact.wetpaint.com/?t=anon

  • Andrew

    From the late Mrs. Coretta Scott King, the First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement:

    ?I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice… But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King, Jr., said, ?Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’ … I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream to make room at the table of brotherhood and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people.?

    ?…Gays and lesbians stood up for civil rights in Montgomery, Selma, in Albany, Georgia, and St. Augustine, Florida, and many other campaigns of the Civil Rights Movement. Many of these courageous men and women were fighting for my freedom at a time when they could find few voices for their own, and I salute their contributions.

    …Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing, and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages.?

    See for example:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/irene-monroe/proposition-8-is-not-abou_b_142994.html

    On a different note:

    http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gH_DfDQmV1L6LtGF_IMqnBj1RsAQ

    Happy Birthday, Baha’u’llah!

  • Andrew

    From the late Mrs. Coretta Scott King, the First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement:

    ?I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice… But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King, Jr., said, ?Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’ … I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream to make room at the table of brotherhood and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people.?

    ?…Gays and lesbians stood up for civil rights in Montgomery, Selma, in Albany, Georgia, and St. Augustine, Florida, and many other campaigns of the Civil Rights Movement. Many of these courageous men and women were fighting for my freedom at a time when they could find few voices for their own, and I salute their contributions.

    …Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing, and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages.?

    See for example:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/irene-monroe/proposition-8-is-not-abou_b_142994.html

    On a different note:

    http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gH_DfDQmV1L6LtGF_IMqnBj1RsAQ

    Happy Birthday, Baha’u’llah!

  • Andrew

    George Clooney on marriage equality:

    “At some point in our lifetime, gay marriage won’t be an issue, and everyone who stood against this civil right will look as outdated as George Wallace standing on the school steps keeping James Hood from entering the University of Alabama because he was black.”

    Connecticut on Wednesday became the second state to legalize gay marriage after a judge ruled that same-sex couples may pick up marriage license forms at town and city clerks’ offices statewide. Many gay and lesbian couples were planning ceremonies later Wednesday. According to the state public health department, there have been 2,032 civil union licenses issued in Connecticut between Oct. 2005 and July 2008. The ruling Wednesday by New Haven Superior Court Judge Jonathan Silbert followed a historic decision by the Connecticut Supreme Court. The court ruled 4-3 on Oct. 10 that same-sex couples have the right to wed rather than accept a civil union law designed to give them the same rights as married couples.

    See also:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/11/10/ED45141P46.DTL

    Barack Obama, who previously said the issue of gay marriage should be left up to each state, registered his opposition to Proposition 8.

    In a letter to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, Obama said he supports extending “fully equal rights and benefits to same-sex couples under both state and federal law.”

    “And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states,” Obama wrote.

    Mormons Resigning Despite Strong Heritage, Citing ‘Hatred’ by LDS Church:

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/11/12/104649/90/284/659767

    http://www.pamshouseblend.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=8179

    It’s good to know that many BahMormons are people of conscience.

    Baha’u’llah would be 191 years old today. Baha’u’llah is old. The Biff is just tired.

    Happy Birthday, Baha’u’llah!

  • Andrew

    George Clooney on marriage equality:

    “At some point in our lifetime, gay marriage won’t be an issue, and everyone who stood against this civil right will look as outdated as George Wallace standing on the school steps keeping James Hood from entering the University of Alabama because he was black.”

    Connecticut on Wednesday became the second state to legalize gay marriage after a judge ruled that same-sex couples may pick up marriage license forms at town and city clerks’ offices statewide. Many gay and lesbian couples were planning ceremonies later Wednesday. According to the state public health department, there have been 2,032 civil union licenses issued in Connecticut between Oct. 2005 and July 2008. The ruling Wednesday by New Haven Superior Court Judge Jonathan Silbert followed a historic decision by the Connecticut Supreme Court. The court ruled 4-3 on Oct. 10 that same-sex couples have the right to wed rather than accept a civil union law designed to give them the same rights as married couples.

    See also:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/11/10/ED45141P46.DTL

    Barack Obama, who previously said the issue of gay marriage should be left up to each state, registered his opposition to Proposition 8.

    In a letter to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, Obama said he supports extending “fully equal rights and benefits to same-sex couples under both state and federal law.”

    “And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states,” Obama wrote.

    Mormons Resigning Despite Strong Heritage, Citing ‘Hatred’ by LDS Church:

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/11/12/104649/90/284/659767

    http://www.pamshouseblend.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=8179

    It’s good to know that many BahMormons are people of conscience.

    Baha’u’llah would be 191 years old today. Baha’u’llah is old. The Biff is just tired.

    Happy Birthday, Baha’u’llah!