To the Editor:
James Russell's column on the gay rights bill (Who is John Galt?, Imprint, May 17, 1996) was one-sided, narrow-minded, and chock full of illogical arguments. I want to share my thoughts on a number of issues that were discussed in the column.
First, James states that homosexuality, "...is obviously not unnatural or we wouldn't have very many homosexuals at all." This is a very weak argument to support the assertion that homosexuality is a natural lifestyle. But I do not have a problem with this statement so long as James will also agree that murder, rape, and incest are also obviously not unnatural or we wouldn't have very many murderers, rapists or perpetrators of incest. Furthermore, if it is not unnatural, then we should not condemn or punish these people for their chosen lifestyles because it is just natural for a population to have a certain percentage of homosexuals. Of course this is absurd, but it illustrates the point that just because a large number of people in society choose to live out a particular lifestyle, it does not mean that that particular lifestyle is either natural or good. Besides, the last survey I read (a couple of years ago when Bill Clinton was stumbling through the issue of gays in the military) indicated that the actual percentage of people in society that were exclusively homosexual was less than two per cent, not very much at all.
On a different track, everyone knows that one of the main purposes of heterosexual intercourse is the reproduction of the species. This is true for any type of animal. Reproduction is a natural process and if the organs of reproduction are used for this purpose, then they are fulfilling their natural purpose. When one compares sexual intercourse between same sex partners with sexual intercourse where reproduction is a less likely result, there seems to be no natural purpose for the act beyond the immediate pleasure it brings. This being the case, sexual intercourse between same sex partners must be regarded as a deviance from the natural process of sexual reproduction.
No one can consider homosexuality as natural. At best, it can only be a "natural" deviance from "natural" sex. As far as how harmful this deviation is, I am not entirely certain. But take fisting for example, can this be good for anyone?
James goes on to question the argument that homosexuality is immoral, "And immoral? According to who? Just because someone doesn't like something doesn't mean it is immoral. And please, please, please, don't cite the Bible, try and find something a little more relevant." James should stop and listen to himself. First, he condemns someone for illogically declaring homosexuality immoral just because they don't like it. And in the next breath, he uses the same breach of logic to discard the Bible just because he doesn't like it. If a person is as absolutely convinced of the Bible's irrelevance as James is, he/she had better be able to support that conviction with solid arguments.
Near the end of the article, James challenges his readers to find any evidence to back up the assertion that homosexuality is harmful to self and others. I wonder if he, himself, has ever looked for evidence supporting this assertion or if he just considers the notion so ludicrous that he didn't even bother to check.
In his column, James does not present himself as a person who is eager to listen, learn, and understand the ideas and thoughts of those around him. Instead, he seems intent on stating his views and then defending them no matter what the cost to reason or anything else. I challenge James to read the Bible and to read studies on the physiology, psychology, sociology, and spirituality of homosexuality and then, in his column, discuss what he finds. It would make for some interesting material. But a word of advice, James, before you embark on such a study -- open your mind.
I am not advocating that we discriminate against people according to their sexual orientation but I do want us all to be sure that we are adequately informed about the issues we are discussing before we dig ourselves in and start duking it out.-Ken Miller
Send comments to: kovu at lionking point org