Wednesday, August 04, 2010

On Denying Who You Are

It's not that confusing. Or is it? Generally we would say that a person who is exclusively physically aroused by members of their own sex or romantically attracted to members of their own sex is homosexual. It is not clear what causes this sexual orientation but it is fairly common in humans and throughout the animal kingdom. Sexual orientation is a fact of nature and an innate quality of a person.

When you hear anti-gay speakers say you can "choose" not to be gay, they don't mean you can choose your sexual orientation. No, that's just part of the package nature put together, that's part of you. The most they can mean is that you can choose not to act on your feelings. So while other people are interacting and enjoying romance and falling in love and learning about the pleasure of sexuality, the "moral" person who finds himself or herself with a homosexual orientation can choose celibacy, or they can choose to pretend to enjoy romance and fall in love and learn about sex with someone who does not really appeal to them that much.

For people who accept their orientation it's not an issue. There isn't any pressure on straight people to pretend they are homosexual, and gay people who accept themselves as they are do just fine, they can date and fall in love and have sex. But it is an issue for those people who find they are homosexual and also believe that there's something wrong with that (here I am trying to use the word "homosexual" to refer to an innate sexual orientation and "gay" for a personal sense of identity). A Minnesota newspaper had a fascinating interview with an individual who believes that because he is celibate he is not gay.

Truth Wins Out had a link to this one, an article in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press about an anti-gay preacher up there in Minnesota.
A Lutheran pastor in Minneapolis who opposes homosexuals being allowed to lead congregations said Monday he is attracted to men, but that he's not a hypocrite because he never acted on his urges.

The Rev. Tom Brock told the Associated Press he has known for years he is sexually attracted to men, but doesn't consider himself gay because he never acted on it.

In June, the Minnesota gay magazine Lavender reported that Brock was a member of a support group for Christians who struggle with same-sex attraction. Brock's church, the Hope Lutheran Church, placed him on leave while a task force looked into the matter. The Rev. Tom Parrish, the church's executive pastor, said the investigation determined Brock's story checked out.

"I am a 57-year-old virgin," Brock told the Hope Lutheran congregation during services upon returning to the pulpit on Sunday. Controversial Minneapolis pastor: I'm attracted to men, but I'm not gay

Of course he is homosexual, if there's a Gay Gene he's got it. He is by nature attracted to men. But he remains celibate, and so he considers himself -- by his own unique and convoluted definition -- not gay.

Do you remember the movie The Jerk, where Steve Martin was raised by a black family and thought he was black? It's like that.

This preacher is, by any standard, gay, but in his own mind he is ... not-gay. He knows he is homosexual, that's why he attends these group meetings, so part of his self-identity includes that fact, but somehow he feels he is different from other people with those feelings -- they are gay and he's not. I don't see him saying he's straight, exactly, but he seems to think he has found a loophole -- to his mind, if you don't have sex you don't have a sexual orientation.

Some of this is kind of sad.
"You can have this struggle with same-sex attraction, say no to it, and still follow Christ."

Brock's broadcasts, in which he espoused conservative viewpoints on a number of scriptural issues, brought him some measure of prominence in Minnesota. He testified at the state Capitol about his opposition to same-sex marriage, and he was one of the most vocal opponents of the decision last summer by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to allow non-celibate gays in committed relationships to serve as clergy.

Somehow in this man's mind the Christian thing to do is to say no to love.

Here he explains his theory of sexual orientation.
Brock said he does not believe people are born gay. "I think we're all born heterosexual actually, and then stuff goes wrong," he said.

He said he can't conclusively identify the origin of his own attraction to men, but said he believes it's related to a distant relationship with his father, who is now deceased, as well as having an older brother who was more athletic and, Brock felt, got more affection from other family members.

Brock said even if scientists were to establish definitive proof that homosexuality is genetic, that wouldn't deter his views. He said he believes people who engage in homosexual acts will go to hell, but he doesn't believe that makes him a bigot.

"My message doesn't change at all. I still think homosexual behavior is a sin," Brock said. "Because I struggle with it doesn't make it right."

Any one of us could look at something strange or special about our upbringing and use it to explain something about our adult personalities. The science of psychology has not found any link between distant fathers, or athletic brothers, and homosexuality.

This preacher is what I would call "lost." His beliefs make it impossible for him to interpret and manage his own experience as a person. He can't accept that nature occasionally produces individuals who are romantically and sexually attracted to their own sex, he has to think of it as something gone wrong. His beliefs ensure that he never falls in love, never finds a partner, a mate, he is doomed by his religion to live in loneliness.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

get excited, kids

a judge in California has decided that Proposition 8, amending the California Constitution, violates the Federal Constitution

over to you, Justices Roberts and Alito

August 04, 2010 5:49 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

I don't buy anything this guy says.

August 05, 2010 7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


August 05, 2010 7:48 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Mr. Brock.

August 05, 2010 12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why does what he's saying sound so unbelievable, Robert?

everyone has an innate desire to eat

but what an individual likes to eat varies from person to person

and it changes over time

why can't the same apply to sexual preferences?

oh, yeah, there are studies but they are never replicated and it's clear the researchers had the conclusion they wanted to reach predetermined

wise up

August 05, 2010 12:35 PM  

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