Sunday, August 12, 2012

Probably Not The Final Word, But . . .

Lou Hough

The Chick-Fil-A incident not only demonstrated how freedom of speech, behavior and corporate participation can work for both sides, it also demonstrated a need for all Americans to reconsider the nature of sexual humans -- both hetero- and homosexual.

Some say sex has evolved into "much ado about nothing".  Compared with the need for food, water and shelter, such labeling seems appropriate.  Without all the tabus placed on it, it probably would not have so much appeal.

In the creation stories (Genesis 1-3) God created man and woman in his own image and He told them to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth . . ."  He left Adam to tend the Garden of Eden which had every tree that was beautiful or good for food, including a Tree of Life and a Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  In Genesis 2, He made eating from the latter a tabu.  God, then, left them to an innocent enjoyment of each other.  Once they ate forbidden fruit, they clothed themselves and the sex act there-in-after was labeled sin.  But the never asked question is did God forbid them sex or did He forbid them knowledge?  Read it again.

Though they were to enjoy each others bodies and procreate prior to eating the fruit, childbearing became Eve's punishment afterward.  Once sex was seen as evil, the die was cast.  What God had meant as a warm intimacy between individuals now became a dreaded sin.  As stated before, much ado about nothing.

As the world evolved, human interactions became so complex that rules, besides God's, were necessary.  Anthropologists and sociologists refer to the need for "mores" -- rules first spoken and then written to eliminate chaos in the clans.  These included marriage.  That's right, when God blessed his newly created couple  and told them to go and multiply, there seems not to have been a formal, licensed ceremony -- legal marriage.  The first union was between God and the couple, not the couple and other people.  It's the making of human laws that makes us think it's our business.

Laws against homosexuality began with the ancients, including the Jews.  However, some of the incidents used by moderns as proof homosexuality is sin do not clearly pertain to same sex behaviors.  The tribal war caused when some men wanted to have sex with a priest and ultimately raped a concubine unto death, as well as the incident when Lot's neighbors wanted to rape the Angels of God, were about rape, not homosexuality.  The tribal war in the first was caused by the death of the concubine.  Angels, who are said by many scholars never to have been human, may not even have sexual identities.  If they do, are there no female angels?

Neither the stories of Sodom and Gomorrah nor Canaan describe exactly what the sexual sins were.  It is just assumed by moderns that same sex relations were the problem.  Hence, sodomy from Sodom.

Some readers believe the story of Jonathan and King David -- the King who seems not to have experienced any drastic punishment from God for his sexual exploits -- was a story of homosexual love.

The Apostle Paul, after experiencing hysterical blindness out of guilt for crucifying Jesus, did caution not to engage in homosexual activity.  Even people who take his cautions not to marry with a grain of salt, accept his opinion about same sex love as the final word.  But a closer look shows his objection was based on women abandoning their God-given role in life and engaging in sex with other women.  That caused men to have to sleep with men.  (And the ancients thought it was Atlas that carried the burden on his shoulders).  Paul didn't like women dominating women and men being dominated by men.  (Everyone knows men should dominate women -- at least in the eyes of the ancient church.  Check out what else he said about a woman's place).

So now we have reached an impasse.  We have nature, on the one hand, causing people to want to engage in both natural and "allegedly" unnatural acts and men of the Bible and others of the ancient world seeing God-given physiology as perverse and sinful.  Saint Augustine said that to mix up whether a Biblical story is literal or figurative is wrong.  He said if it pertained to virtue and truth it was literal.  If not, it was figurative.  But whose truth and whose definition of virtue?

Ever since the likes of Augustine, Paul and others of their times, any sexual act except that for procreation has been deemed a sin.  Even sex for procreation, Augustine said was passing original sin from one generation to the next.  Per him, Mary, Mother of Jesus, had to be born of Immaculate Conception lest a man's seed would pass original sin to her and from her to Jesus.  Do you see the problem?  Man has taken physiological creations of God and turned them into evil.  But are they sin to God?  If so, why did He allow the body to experience such phenomena?

Many fundamentalistic Christians see the reason great civilizations lost their world status as caused by one common factor -- they began to engage in homosexual relations.  But are they ignoring other commonalities?  For instance, they all began as small communities and grew to great and highly peopled kingdoms.  Suppose homosexuality is a mechanism built within each organism and was meant by God as a means of controling for overcrowding?

Before you condemn me as a heretic, know this.  Scientific studies among fish, worms, mollusks and plants indicate they can change sex when needed. 

When reef fish have lost their single male, the largest female begins behaving like a male and can produce sperm in ten days.  Some species of  fish switch back and forth between producing sperm, then eggs.  This occurs in at least fourteen species, even though their original sex seems genetically determined (physiological).

Switching in fish depends on either the size of the reef or the density of population.  Sometimes entire harems convert to male.  Males becoming female is less common, but in one species of bass, schools seem programed to have a certain number of males.

.  Worms are born with no gender at all.  As they travel, if they find a female, they become male, etc.

.  Sex change is found in some frogs.

.  Environmental factors can alter sex and gender.

.  Some plants come with both male and female characteristics.

.  Women are not always born with xx (women) chromosomes and men with xy (male) ones.  If our gender physiology can vary among individuals, why do we find it so strange that our sexual orientation would vary?

Sometimes when in a fun-loving mood this author likes to visualize God as a right-brained, creative individual who was playing around in His heavenly laboratory.  Not being left-brained, He neglected to follow rigid scientific rules and laws, thus causing an explosion.  When He successfully recovered from His shock at the "big bang", He went to observe and clean up the mess.

Instead, He saw the earth, that it was good.  Because it was without form, He set about hanging out the sun, moon and stars.  He decorated it with the most beautiful trees, plants, colors and animal life available.  He made man and woman simultaneously as in Genesis one.  And he made them in His own image as androgynous individuals.  He leaned back and watched them grow until there were too many, and then his alter physiological mechanism kicked in to slow the growth rate down.

Of course, it will take a lot more scientific work before these ideas are refuted or set in stone.  But before that is completed, keep in mind that the ten rules that were set in stone did not include "thou shalt not enjoy sex with your significant other" or that "your significant other can't be of the same sex".  And these were the rules written by the finger of God, not those that evolved from Man's need to control his fellow man.  Also, don't forget, the great psychiatrist, Sigmund Freud, said all of us have latent homosexual tendencies. 

So you can see, though the C. E. O. of Chick-Fil-A had a right to express his opinion, his ideas were possibly based on an incorrect assumption.  Same sex love is probaly based on physiology, not sinful choice.

Probably not the final word, but . . . the final word is God's.  And God would no doubt want us not to flaunt or critique what He meant as an intimate act.

Lou Hough can be contacted at  See her other articles shown below.

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