Wouldn’t you know! It turns out Pastor Ted Haggard isn’t gay after all — he was just dealing with a particularly stressful period in his life by going down the old dirt road with a gay hooker while tweaked out on crank. Hasn’t this guy heard of Valium? Much easier on the hiney. And then, of course, there’s prayer as a way to relieve stress. Or golf. Oh well, to each his own.
Comic aspects aside (and who doesn’t notice the biologically determined resemblance to Paul Lynde..?) the absurd announcement that after 3 weeks of “counseling” Haggard is now “completely heterosexual” is only the most recent example of the tragic ignorance of sexuality that afflicts this society. Granted, in his case there are extenuating circumstances that require a rapid conversion: this joker was spiritual leader of 30 million evangelicals. The ministry had to do something dramatic to staunch the risk of defection by a disillusioned flock, hence the 3 week miracle. Not too much to ask of people who fiercely believe in miracles. Especially when they want to believe. Poof! (no pun intended), the problem disappears. But the real problem is ignorance.
While this was going on, some researchers into sexuality — this time animal husbandry — announced work on finding the biological causes of apparently homosexual behavior in rams. Looks like some of those animal husbands have been taking a page from Pastor Ted’s hymnal… William Saletan at Slate has written a couple of articles ([here] and [here]), addressing the implications. PETA, in particular, have been virulent in opposing the research because they believe it could be used someday to eradicate gay sheep and some gay people have called for pulling funding for the study because they fear that it’s only a short step from “fixing” sheep to fixing people. Saletan, while defending the scientific intentions of the researchers notes — correctly — that it doesn’t matter much what their intent is, the implications on eugenic social policies at some point in the future cannot be predicted. He lays out the risks:
But killing is the horror scenario. The more likely path is gentler. Science will gradually convince us that sexual orientation is innate, more like the color of your skin than like the content of your character. Condemnation of homosexuality as a sin will subside. Freed from the culture wars, we’ll turn to the biological differences between race and sexual orientation: Homosexuality defies the aspiration to procreate with your mate, and it’s easier to isolate and alter in embryonic development. Resentment will give way to pity. We’ll come to view homosexuality as a kind of infertility—a disability, like deafness. The rhetoric of “acceptance” will shift from liberals to conservatives. We’ll inoculate our offspring against homosexuality out of love, not hate.
I have news for him, homosexuality is already seen as a disability — that’s why people are so obsessed with finding its cause. Saletan, though living far to the left of the Haggards of the world on the political spectrum, displays as much ignorance of sexuality as they do and operates within the same limited paradigm. In a previous post I detailed why a finite [biological cause of human sexual preference] will never be found, hence cannot be eradicated. What is disturbing is that people continue to hunt it down.