The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

Penguins, Dog Vomit, and Human Sexuality

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Homosexuals have been able to convince many Americans that homosexual behavior is normal by the use of some bad logic. Since most public schools do not teach students how to think, it’s no wonder they fall for fallacious arguments. Homosexuals have also been adept at using pop culture to their advantage, placing homosexual characters in non-stereotypical roles. Then there is the normalization of homosexuality for children. For example, And Tango Makes Three[1] is an illustrated children’s book about two male penguins that raise a baby penguin. It’s based on a true story of two male penguins in New York City’s Central Park Zoo that “adopt” a fertilized egg and raise the chick as their own. Some concerned parents see the book as a homosexual propaganda piece and want it removed from the library’s regular shelves. A parent would have to consent before his or her child could check out the book. There’s no doubt that the book is being pushed as a homosexual primer to soften up young minds for the more scholarly propaganda that will come later.

In Biological Exuberance the author Bruce Bagemihl claims “The world is, indeed, teeming with homosexual, bisexual and transgendered creatures of every stripe and feather. . . . From the Southeastern Blueberry Bee of the United States to more than 130 different bird species worldwide, the ‘birds and the bees,’ literally, are queer.”

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” can do naturally without any moral judgments attached. But the lower animal/higher animal model breaks down when other so-called natural behaviors in animals are considered. For example, the Bible states, “It has happened to them according to the true proverb, ‘A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT’ [Prov. 26:11] and, ‘A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire'” (2 Pet. 2:22). I would like to see the homosexual propagandists explain how these behaviors might explain the normality of animal behavior and its human parallels.

Consider the case of Timothy Treadwell depicted in the movie Grizzly Man. He lived among bears for 13 years and thought of them as his “family.” In 2003, Treadwell and his companion, Amie Huguenard, were mauled and mostly eaten by one of the Alaskan grizzly bears he considered to be “All in the Family.” While he thought of the bears as his brothers and sisters, the bears thought of him as lunch. Then there’s the case of Armin Meiwes who killed and ate 43-year-old Bernd-Jurgen Brandes.[2] What did Mr. Meiwes do that was wrong given the premise that animal behavior is a normative model for human behavior?[3] If the bears that ate Treadwell were only doing what came naturally, then how can the cannibal nature of Meiwes be judged as abnormal given evolutionary assumptions?

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?

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 among humans? 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] (also see here) 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, eating our young, and eating our neighbors decriminalize these behaviors as well.

My Genes Made Me Do It!

Pastor Oliver “Buzz” Thomas, writing in USA Today (November 20, 2006), makes the following argument: “homosexuality is . . . determined at birth and is not to be condemned by God’s followers.” Later in the article, he writes that there is “mounting scientific evidence that sexual orientation has little or nothing to do with choice.” Actually, the “mounting scientific evidence” is inconclusive at best and fraudulent at worst.[5]

The Elusive “Gay Gene”

For the sake of argument, let’s assume that Thomas’ assessment of the “mounting scientific evidence” for a “gay gene” is correct. How does a genetic cause support the claim that homosexuality is a behavior that should be supported by the church and turned into a civil rights issue? The behavior is irrational in terms of the sexual “equipment” used, self-inhibiting (no progeny except by artificial means), unsanitary, and disease causing (AIDS). Surely science has something to say about these issues. Then there is the problem of other behaviors that claim to have a genetic cause. Consider the following:

  • “Some of us, it seems, were just born to be bad. Scientists say they are on the verge of pinning down genetic and biochemical abnormalities that predispose their bearers to violence. An article in the journal Science . . . carried the headline EVIDENCE FOUND FOR POSSIBLE ‘AGGRESSION’ GENE.”[6]
  • “Children with conduct problems may behave that way because their parents pass along genes [nature] for disruptive behavior. . . The findings show that children’s conduct wasn’t affected by the level of marital conflict [nurture]. But researchers say findings suggest that the parents’ genes did influence how often they argued, and when those genes were passed along to their children, they caused more behavioral problems.”[7]
  • “Why do gamblers often bet more after a losing hand? Or investors throw good money after bad? The answer may lie in the science of the brain.”[8]
  • “Is racism simply human nature or something learned from society? Neither, says a team of psychologists who, despite criticism, argue that racism represents an accidental side effect of evolution.”[9]
  • A recent article published in The Sciences, a New York Academy of Science magazine, stated that “rape is a ‘natural, biological’ phenomenon, springing from men’s evolutionary urge to reproduce.”[10]

Why is it that only homosexuality gets a genetic pass? If we follow Pastor Thomas’ logic, should we decriminalize violent acts, racism, disruptive behavior, and rape? Will he ask the question, “What if Christian leaders are wrong about violence, race, and rape given new scientific information based on genetic studies?” Of course he won’t.

Rising above Nature

Thomas’ line of argument reminds me of a scene from the movie The African Queen (1951) (see trailer here). Charlie Allnut (Humphrey Bogart) and Rose Sayer (Katherine Hepburn) are traveling down the very dangerous Ulanga River in German-occupied East Africa during World War I in an attempt to avoid capture by the Germans. Rose is a conservative Christian missionary and Charlie makes his living operating a mail boat hauling supplies. In contrast to Rose’s character, Charlie is what we might describe as a “social liberal” who likes his gin a bit too much. After passing out after one of his regular bouts with the bottle, Charlie wakes up to see Rose pouring out the contents of one of his precious gin bottles into the river. Charlie is visibly upset as he appeals to her with a less than convincing argument: “Oh, Miss. Oh, have pity, Miss. You don’t know what you’re doing Miss. I’ll perish without a hair of the dog. Oh, Miss, it ain’t your property.”

Seeing that he’s getting nowhere with his take-pity-on-me pleading, he appeals to the Bible:

Uh, how’s the Book, Miss? [referring to the Bible]. Well, not that I ain’t read it, that is to say, my poor old Mum used to read me stories out of it. How’s about reading it out loud? I could sure do with a little spiritual comfort myself.

After getting the cold shoulder, Charlie lets his emotions fly and yells at her: “And you call yourself a Christian! Do you hear me? Don’t ya? Don’t ya? Huh?” She shows only a slight reaction but doesn’t say a word. He backs up and goes about cleaning the relief valve on the boiler that’s shaped like a cross-symbolic of the impact Rose is having on him and his circumstances. He asks for mercy: “What ya being so mean for, Miss? A man takes a drop too much once and a while; it’s only human nature.” Without looking up, she says the following: “Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.

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Endnotes:
[1]Cristina Cardoze, “They’re in love. They’re gay. They’re penguins…. And they’re not alone” (June 6, 2006).
[2]German cannibal tells of fantasy,” BBC News (December 3, 2003).
[3]Theodore Dalrymple, “The Case for Cannibalism” (January 5, 2005). For a more detail telling of the story, see Nathan Constantine, “A German Revival,” A History of Cannibalism: From Ancient Cultures to Survival Stories and Modern Psychopaths (Edison, New Jersey: Chartwell Books, 2006), 186-191.
[4]Randy Thornhill, and Craig T. Palmer, A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2000).
[5]For example, “Is There a ‘Gay Gene,’?” (National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality): http://www.narth.com/docs/istheregene.html
[6]Dennis Overbye, “Born to Raise Hell?,” Time (February 21, 1994), 76.
[7] The study appears in the January/February issue of the journal Child Development. The story was reported by Michelle Healy in USA Today (February 7, 2007), 7D.
[8]Faye Flam, “Study: Reckless gambler, blame your brain,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (March 22, 2002), A18.
[9]Dan Vergano, “Racism may have evolutionary link,” USA Today (December 11, 2001), 11.
[10]Dan Vergano, “‘Natural, biological’ theory of rape creates instant storm,” USA Today (January 28, 2000), 8D.
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