Yesterday, Religious Right broadcaster Janet Parshall hosted ex-gay activists Joe Dallas and Nancy Heche, actress Anne Heche’s mom, to discuss their new book “The Complete Christian Guide to Understanding Homosexuality.”
A caller, John, said that based on his personal experiences with gays and lesbians he doesn’t consider homosexuality to be an “emotional or choice-oriented kind of decision” as they seem “compelled to be this way.”
Heche responded that gays and lesbians might seem different from straight people because they are trying to conform to the norms of the gay community, much like “when teenage girls start wearing makeup then they all want to wear makeup and if the in-group is wearing frilly skirts and ruffle t-shirts then everybody is going to wear a ruffle t-shirt.”
Caller: Their behavior doesn’t seem to be affected, it seems to be genuine and it seems that they are compelled to be this way. I don’t know if it’s hormonal differences or whatever chemical differences in the endocrine system in the body that affect the brain and the body but there is something going on that’s more than just emotional or choice-oriented kind of decisions that these people make.
Heche: What I think is that oftentimes once one associates herself or himself with a gay community or a gay fellowship group they settle in and want to make a distinction from others — others in the heterosexual world — they want to make a distinction and a statement about who they are. I’m just saying this might be 1 percent of the people you’re talking about or 99 percent, but sometimes I think people make a point to adapt and adopt to the community that they are associating with. It’s kind of like this when teenage girls start wearing makeup then they all want to wear makeup and if the in-group is wearing frilly skirts and ruffle t-shirts then everybody is going to wear a ruffle t-shirt. That might be very oversimplifying it but I think it is maybe a tiny explanation for a small group of people that you’re talking about. Does that make sense? Do you understand what I’m saying?
Dallas, meanwhile, said that even if it becomes scientifically proven that homosexuality is not a choice, gays and lesbians should suppress their sexuality in the same way that individuals who have predispositions to violence must suppress their violent urges.
Parshall: Let’s just say for discussion sake that we come out with a peer-reviewed, vetted, highly-scrutinized study that says: Tada! Definitively there is a gene, you are predisposed. God is not the author of confusion, He tells us in His word ‘don’t frustrate your children,’ so would God then say, ‘I’ve designed you that way and then I’m going to turn around and say that if you act on that behavior I’m going to call it a sin’? This is an argument all three of us have heard many a time, so how do we respond to that?
Dallas: First of all, even if we are born with something it does not mean that God designed that something. There are many external and internal inborn realities that God never intended. So I would not presume that if something is inborn that God ordained it, whether we are talking about something as serious as a birth defect or if we’re talking about, as you said Janet, a predisposition. I do think that for that individual who has a predisposition, whether it is to violence, or addictive behavior or homosexuality, that will be an area of weakness in their life and if they want to live an obedient life they’re going to be called to deal with that area of weakness in their life. But the fact that it may even be inborn would not be an excuse to indulge it.