Sunday, November 30, 2008

Challenging the Conventional Wisdom, Part II

In the last post, I talked about the conventional wisdom about homosexuality and the obscure evidence that it needn’t be a lifelong orientation. Of course, there’s a list of mental health professional associations whose members strongly object to the idea that homosexuality can be “cured”—nay, that it even needs curing. Since many of these people are in positions to determine who gets research funding and who doesn’t, it’s safe to say that proposals to research alternative explanations will ordinarily find their way to the bottom of the priority lists … if they ever get added to such lists.

How can we be sure that homosexuality is dysfunctional? After all, the reparative therapists may simply be finding precisely what their Christianity tells them to find, to give their narrow-minded bigotry an electroplating of respectable science, just like the scientists who backed the racial theories of the Ku Klux Klan and Adolf Hitler in times past.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Challenging the Conventional Wisdom, Part I

I used to have a good friend who, among his other traits, was gay. My standards for fellowship were, and still are, fairly low: If you make me laugh, I’ll hang out with you. And Sean definitely had a sense of humor … most of the “fag” jokes I ever knew were ones he’d told me.

Which is not to say that he wasn’t capable of taking his sexual identity seriously. From him I first heard the word “Catholic” used to describe someone who pretends acceptance of homosexuality. When I asked him, quietly and non-threateningly, if he’d ever considered chastity as an alternative, he gave me what I take to be the rationale behind much dysfunctional sexuality: “I can’t live without love.”

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Slice of Humble Pie

Having waited a few weeks for the shame and humiliation to pass, I hereby take this opportunity to remove myself forever from the game of political forecasting. McCain beat Obama!? What was I drinking!?

At the time that I predicted the presidential contest was Sen. John McCain’s to lose, I was confident of a couple of things that, in retrospect, were little more than fantasies. Sure, Barack Obama’s choice of Sen. Joe Biden could have easily backfired because of the latter’s unpredictable tendency to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. And McCain’s choice of Gov. Sarah Palin gave us a national sweetheart for the balance of the contest; it would have been pure brilliance, had McCain been ten years younger and with a few less bouts with cancer under his belt.