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Could Bible be wrong on homosexuality?

January 03, 2009

To the editor:

Jessica Simpson. Right there she was on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine. I am old enough to be her grandfather but the sight of her caused my heart stents to spring out to their full extension.

To secure my life, I moved to the next section of magazines. Here was a cover picture of Hugh Jackman. The heading said: The Sexiest Man Alive. I had great fear that some of my latent homosexuality might spring into action. So for safety I moved on to the woodworking section.

With the thought of homosexuality, my thoughts went to a letter to the editor by Raymond Hull. It was published on Nov. 23 in The Herald-Mail. I have a different point of view and would like to present it now.

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Miss Simpson and Mr. Jackman are neither 100 percent female or male. They are some of each. On the average we are a ratio of 80 percent/20 percent. When a baby is born the doctor looks at the primary sex characteristics and declares the baby either male or female.

The total story is very different than that. The main female hormone is estrogen and the main male hormone is testosterone. A combination of these gives us our secondary sex characteristics.

The big picture is regulated by the chromosomes. Females have XX chromosomes while the male has an X and Y chromosome. On the chromosomes are genes which direct the production of proteins. There is one gene called the SPY gene that is common in nearly all males. Years ago there were Russian women who could lift a small car. The Olympic Committee established a test for the SPY gene. Some of these women had that gene.

There are many chemicals that mimic the female hormone estrogen. These chemicals have gotten into our environment. We do not know the effect that they have on human beings but there is a great deal of research on other organisms.

For example, we find that some fish in the Potomac River have changed their sex from male to female. There are some swamps in Florida where alligators have reversed their sex. Temperature usually determines the sex of alligators.

Given a human skull forensic scientists can usually determine the sex of the person. There are at least 21 features on a skull that illustrate the maleness or femaleness.

It has always interested me that seldom does a skull show 100 percent male or female characteristics. There is usually a mixture. Again, few of us demonstrate total male or female features.

Some babies are born with both male and female sex organs. These individuals are called hermaphrodites. I was born in a small town in which two "girls" were hermaphrodites. I mention this because the good people of my hometown expressed their "hate the sin, but love the sinner" to such an extent that these two "girls" were spirited away in the middle of the night and sent to an area where their sexuality was unknown.

The above paragraphs show that anatomy and physiology can influence the sexual orientation of a person. There are many more examples I could quote. But I doubt that I will change anyone's mind. Tradition seldom sits well with cutting-edge science.

I am now going to skate on very thin ice. From his letter, I am sure that Mr. Hull is very knowledgeable of the Bible. I am sure that he could quote me chapter and verse where I am wrong. Although my knowledge of the Bible is very scant, I am going to broach this subject too. The Christian right sees the Bible as a list of rules and regulations to be followed without question. I see the Bible as more as a guideline for living one's life.

One of the very big guidelines was issued by God in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve had misbehaved. God sent them packing but he gave them one tremendous gift, the ability to think for themselves (free will).

By using my God-given ability to think, I can not condemn homosexuality. I do not feel that homosexuality has hurt my 54-year marriage or my relationship with my wife. To the contrary, I think it is important to love another person deeply.

God apparently made some mistakes. He seems to acknowledge one such mistake in the story of Noah and the flood. Except for Noah and his family, he declared all of the rest of his creation beyond repair. He brought on the flood and everyone except those in the ark perished.

Could he have made a mistake by declaring homosexuality an abomination?

To improve mankind, God sent his son, Jesus. Throughout the life of Jesus, He went around the countryside preaching love. He says that love trumps everything else. As far as I know, Jesus never mentioned, let alone condemned, homosexuality. It was not one of his high priority items.

Therefore, I conclude that homosexuality was not a major concern of Jesus. I also conclude that I have probably not convinced any people who are to the far right in their religion.

One final thought. There are too many things to dislike in this world. I do not think that the private relationship of two individuals, be they heterosexual or homosexual, should be the problem that Raymond Hull makes them.

I suggest that every Christian read The Sermon on the Mount if they want to set some priorities for their life. In the meantime, read the homosexual's prayer: "Oh, Lord protect me from your followers."

James C. Haught
Hagerstown

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