The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

Homosexual Penguins and Human Sexuality

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A German zoo was planning to introduce male penguins into a group of female penguins because the female penguins seem to be attracted to one another. Homosexual rights groups are angry with the plan because theybelieve the zoo’s actions are trying to turn the penguins straight. Here’s the premise: Whatever animals do in nature is natural. What’s natural is normal. What’s normal is moral. So if penguins engage in homosexual behavior, then that behavior must be natural, normal, and moral. How can we mere mortals impose our rules of sexual behavior on what’s natural in the animal kingdom? Homosexuals extrapolate that what animals do naturally in nature applies to what higher animals—homo[1] sapiens—can do naturally. But the lower animal/higher animal model breaks down when other so-called natural behaviors in animals are considered.

A few years ago, I saw an advertisement for a television special on Turner Network Television—“The Trials of Life.” The full-page advertisement showed a composite picture of six animals, one of which was the bald eagle, with the following caption: “Discover how similar the face of nature is to yours. The way you love, the way you fight, the way you grow, all have their roots in the kingdom we all live in: the animal kingdom.” The implication here is obvious: Humans are only an evolutionary step away from other animals. In biblical terms, men and women are not animals. God did not create Adam out of another pre-existing animal.

While channel surfing, I came across the second installment of the six-part series of “The Trials of Life.” I soon learned what Benjamin Franklin meant when he described the eagle as a bird of “bad moral character.” With two eaglets in the nest and not enough food to go around, mamma allows the weakest eaglet to die. She then cannibalizes the dead eaglet and feeds it to the survivor. Was this natural or unnatural? Is this moral animal behavior that we should emulate? How do we know? Should we follow the example of the eagles or just the homosexual penguins?

Soon after seeing the “Trials of Life” segment, I read the introductory chapter in a book on mammals distributed by Time/Life Books. On the left-hand page was a 15-month-old baby with his arm outstretched facing a chimpanzee on the right-hand page with its arm outstretched, a not too subtle image of Michelangelo’s depiction of the creation of man that adorns the Sistine Chapel. The following bit of nonsense appeared next to the picture of the human “animal”:

To the untrained eye, this 15-month-old baby human and 2-year-old chimp look quite different. Yet chimps are probably our closest living relatives. They share 99 percent of our genes. Their body structure is startlingly similar to ours. Their behavior, too, is full of “human” traits. A chimp can solve problems, talk in sign language, and make and use tools. As our knowledge widens, it seems that in many ways humans are not as distinctive among mammals as we once thought.[2]

While chimps may be able to communicate in some form of sign language, taught to them by humans, this does not make them human or their behavior morally natural.

But there continues to be a dark side to the "natural" way of things. Tori Spelling, daughter of TV producer Aaron Spelling and one-time star of 90210, keeps sea monkeys as pets. “They’re really kind of gross,” she says. How gross? She came in one day and found that they had eaten their babies![3] How ironic then that we, the "civilized" humans, kill our young by the millions every year through the legal procedure of abortion; and instead of describing this as "gross," we call it a right.

We mustn’t forget other “natural” animal behaviors. Animals rape on a regular basis. Should we make the leap the homosexuals want to make regarding penguins? If homosexual behavior in penguins is a template for human sexuality, then why can’t a similar case be made for rape? As hard as it might be to believe, the connection has been made. Randy Thornhill, a biologist, and Craig T. Palmer, an anthropologist, attempt to demonstrate in their book A Natural History of Rape[4] that evolutionary principles explain rape as a “genetically developed strategy sustained over generations of human life because it is a kind of sexual selection—a successful reproductive strategy.” They go on to claim, however, that even though rape can be explained genetically in evolutionary terms, this does not make the behavior morally right. Of course, given Darwinian assumptions, there is no way to condemn rape on moral grounds. The same could be said for homosexual behavior, and everything else. If we are truly the products of evolution, then there can be no moral judgments about anything. So then, if the homosexuals want to use penguins as their moral model, then they need to take all animal behavior into consideration when they build their moral worldview. If we should follow the animal world regarding homosexual penguins and thereby regard human homosexual behavior as normal, then we must be consistent and follow the animal world regarding rape and eating our young and decriminalize these behaviors as well.

Endnotes:

[1] Latin homo (man) + Latin sapiens (wise, rational)=The wise man or the knowing man. In Greek, homo means “same,” as in “homogenized” and “homosexual.”
[2] Steve Parker, Eyewitness Books: Mammal (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1989), 6.
[3] Bruce Handy, “Not Just Daddy’s Girl,” Time (October 20, 1997), 100.
[4] Randy Thornhill, and Craig T. Palmer, A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000).

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