Friday, November 10, 2006

An acquired taste

INTERLOCUTOR SAID:

"I'm curious about your parenthetical. I can understand an act being considered a sin (even if I disagree about this specific act), but I don't understand this about an attraction."

Evan and Calvindude have already drawn some basic distinctions, so I'll make a different point.

Not every sin is a damnable sin, and not every sinful desire is a damnable desire.

The struggle with sin is a basic feature of the Christian life.

The dividing line is regeneration (with its attendant sanctification).

"If a gay person is in the same boat but as me about attraction, but it is reversed so that they are only attracted to males and cannot even 'acquire a taste' for females, how is that attraction considered sin for them?"

This statement conceals a number of assumptions:

1. Homosexuality represents an unnatural union of two natural impulses.

On the one hand, there is a natural, normal desire for asexual affection (and approval) from members of the same sex, viz. fathers and sons, brothers, friends.

On the other hand, there is a natural, normal desire for sexual affection from members of the opposite sex.

In homosexuality, these two impulses are selectively merged.

2. According to one sociological model of homosexuality, men are predisposed to homosexuality through lack of an emotionally satisfying, father/son bonding.

So they look for male affection and approval from another men. That, of itself, would be innocent.

But their need for sexual affection can be diverted to the same source.

3. This is a predisposition, not a predeterminate.

Homosexuality is an overdetermined condition, and the predisposition can be overcome by contrary influences.

Many sons have suffered the effects of an aloof or abusive or absentee dad, yet they grow up to be unambiguously heterosexual.

Sin can take many different forms.

4. I agree with you that homosexual attraction is involuntary in the sense that it's not a direct choice.

5. But I disagree with you that it's impossible for a homosexual to cultivate an attraction for women.

6. On the one hand, certain aspects of the homosexual lifestyle, like fisting or scat, are naturally repellent. It's not as if homosexuals are automatically drawn to these particular forms of sexual expression. That's an acquired tasted.

7. On the other hand, it's also possible, at least some of the time, to take various steps which indirectly wean us away from one compulsive-addictive behavior and redirect us to something more constructive to take it's place.

8. On the one hand, even if we have a predisposition to do something we can feed that appetite to the point where it becomes insatiable. There are degrees of desire.

9. On the other hand, there are ways of starving a certain appetite and replacing it with something else.

10. It's possible to fortify a predisposition, and it's possible to atrophy a predisposition.

You can cultivate an urge, or you can suppress it and cultivate an opposing urge.

So, to some extent, it does lie within our power to foster an appetite in either direction.

And I'd add that saving grace can do what fallen nature cannot.

11. I won't say that all homosexuals can be reclaimed.

But I also won't say that no homosexuals can be reclaimed.

Really, it's no different than alcoholism or drug addition or compulsive gambling.

Some people are out of reach, but others are not.

12. To take a concrete example, Alec Guinness had the kind of family background that predisposed him to homosexuality. And, indeed, he was tempted to go in that direction.

He could have gone the same route at his colleague, John Gielgud.

And in the subculture of the English stage, he could have gotten away with that lifestyle.

But he chose, instead, to resist that impulse.

He became a devout Anglican, and then became a devout Roman Catholic.

He become a devoted husband to the woman he married.

He was able to cultivate an emotionally satisfying family life and social life.

http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0501/reviews/short.htm

Conversely, the Bloomsbury circle, which was rife with sodomy, was characterized by a number of men who led wretched lives because they gave in to their homosexual impulses.

5 comments:

  1. Steve,

    I know that your very detailed answers are probably less for me and more for your Christian readers, but I appreciate the time you put into them none-the-less.

    Right now, I only have time for one comment.

    You wrote:

    5. But I disagree with you that it's impossible for a homosexual to cultivate an attraction for women.

    and

    So, to some extent, it does lie within our power to foster an appetite in either direction.

    I was wondering if you think you could work this in reverse. Do you think you could make yourself sexually attracted to males?

    I don't think I could. Without getting graphic, male parts don't do it for me and I don't think I could make them do it for me.

    [Perhaps, Kinsey is right and there is a sliding scale at work. Perhaps, I'm very strongly on the heterosexual side, and a change in attraction is impossible for me, but possible for you or someone else who might lie more in the middle of the scale.]

    But if I'm the norm, and not the exception, in that I could not change my sexual attraction, why can it be assumed that others can?

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  2. "But if I'm the norm, and not the exception, in that I could not change my sexual attraction, why can it be assumed that others can?"

    Because heterosexual attraction is the natural default setting whereas homosexual attraction is probably due to social malformation.

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  3. Steve, what is your take on all the homosexuality observed within the animal kingdom?

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  4. Anonymous said...
    "Steve, what is your take on all the homosexuality observed within the animal kingdom?"

    Here's my take:

    http://www.narth.com/docs/animalmyth.html

    ReplyDelete