The debate, I think, will be over whether sexual orientation is more like skin color or more like Parkinson’s disease. We are coming to understand more and more each year that sexual orientation–all of it, yours, mine, whether it be towards a member of the opposite or same sex–has some genetic foundation. The question then is what to do about it. For years, religious groups that argued against same sex practice said it was fundamentally a choice; now many of them are recognizing that in fact orientation (and the drives that stem from it) are more deeply rooted than that.
This simple fact, of course, must impact biblical interpretation, and should in theory change the way we argue over the matter. (I’ll point you, once again, to Kim Frabricius’ exposition entitled Twelve Propositions on Same-Sex Relationships and the Church)
But for those of us who argue for more inclusive positions for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, we can’t assume that because we had that matter right we’ll win the day. Some are going to argue that we ought to use various therapies to remove homosexuality from the human condition. In fact, some are even beginning to make that argument today. Here is Roman Catholic priest Rev. Joseph Fessio, editor of Ignatius Press, Pope Benedict XVI’s U.S. publisher:
“Same-sex activity is considered disordered,” Fessio said. “If there are ways of detecting diseases or disorders of children in the womb, and a way of treating them that respected the dignity of the child and mother, it would be a wonderful advancement of science.” (from an AP Article linked at chicagotribune.com, free registration required)
Fessio is commenting on a recent article by Dr. Albert Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, who raised these sorts of questions on his blog (entitled Is Your Baby Gay? What If You Could Know? What If You Could Do Something About It?).
Mohler is clear that he himself is dead set against abortion or gene therapy to reverse orientation (of course, he thinks liberals wouldn’t be so against it), but would consider perinatal hormone treatment if it would do the trick. Here are his ten points to end his essay: