A couple of weeks ago I posted this: Evidence homosexuality is not genetic | Cranach: The Blog of Veith. It was a link to a discussion of how identical twins (who share the exact same genes) are not particularly likely to both be gay (something that happens in only 10% of the cases). That would indicate that homosexuality is not genetic, or, if there is some kind of genetic component, it isn’t causative or determinative. That post attracted more than ten times the usual traffic on this blog! But there is more to say on the matter:
(1) Homosexuality cannot be genetically transmitted. Or if it is, that would strike a mortal blow against Darwinism. You don’t have to believe that natural selection gives rise to different species to believe that natural selection is a real phenomenon. That simply means that genes that aid survival and (more importantly) reproduction will be passed on to the next generations. Same-sex attraction does NOT promote reproduction. Rather, it prevents reproduction. So that trait, if it is genetic and inheritable, would tend to die out. And yet it hasn’t. So it’s hard to imagine how it could be genetically determined and handed down.
(2) Just because homosexuality isn’t genetic, that does not mean it is just a “choice.” It might have causes that are psychological, physiological, medical, cultural, environmental, or some combination of these or other factors. It’s too bad that the politically-correct conviction “not that there’s anything wrong with it” is inhibiting research into the causes of homosexuality.
(3) The Lady Gaga diagnosis–“I was born this way”–has indeed helped homosexuality become broadly accepted today. This, however, may not be true.(4) There would seem to be no moral issue if a person can’t help his or her sexual orientation. And yet having a desire is not the same as acting on that desire (which is certainly evident in heterosexual attractions), so moral agency remains. To be sure, our inner desires to do what is forbidden–our “concupiscence”–are sinful and testimony to our fallen condition. Nevertheless, the will is operative.
(5) And yet, Christianity teaches that the will is in bondage to sin. As a result, we cannot simply choose to stop sinning. This applies to all sins and not just to homosexuality. Sin inheres in our “flesh.” Sin is part of our fallen condition. In that sense, sin–including but not limited to homosexual desires– is inherited (even though, contrary to Darwin, it has no survival value).
(5) All have sinned, including homosexuals, whose sin goes far beyond sexual transgressions, just as heterosexuals sin in more ways than in their sexuality. And what all sinners need is grace, forgiveness, redemption, all of which is freely available from Christ, who covers their sins with His blood. Self-righteousness, though–the conviction that “I am good as I am” and “I don’t need forgiveness”–is what keeps sinners away from Christ and all His free gifts.
Can you think of any other corollaries?
And I’m curious about this, from you Lutheran theologians. It seems that Lutheranism has a view of sin and of human anthropology that is very realistic, though different from that of other theologies with a higher view of the will and a lower view of sin. Does Lutheran theology throw any distinct light on this issue?