God Created Gay People too – Correspondence in the Courier

The following is a letter that appeared in The Courier.  How would you respond?  Would you respond?  My response was published – it follows beneath the letter…

Letter: God created gay people too

The Courier & Advertiser 24 Apr 2015

Sir, – Churches today face a major problem, in that they have not modernised their attitudes to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) relationships, continuing to hold these to be against their Biblical beliefs. As a senior member of the General Register Office team which developed the Civil Partnership Act in 2003, I well recollect the number of objections we received from religious groups who believed people “chose” to be gay.

However, it has been very well established that people do not choose their sexuality as they grow up.That is the way they were born. Most of those who are forced into marriage against their will, end up with broken relationships and divorce after a difficult period. That was a major factor in the introduction of the act.

One common denominator among Christian believers is that God created all mankind. So, a very simple question. If He created all mankind, by definition, He also created people of the LGBT nature as well.

So why would He punish them for being what He created? I never met any believer who could properly give a truly convincing answer to that question.

Howard Evans,

Letter: We seek best for mankind

The Courier & Advertiser 28 Apr 2015

Sir, – Howard Evans (April 24) asks what he calls a ‘very simple question’: why did God create lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people? The answer is the same as he created any one of us: to live full and fulfilled lives loving and serving him.

However, the accusation behind the question is a little simplistic. Mr Evans seems to assume that sexuality is totally determined by genes and that whatever is genetic must be right. As regards the former, while there are clearly genetic factors, it is by no means clear that all sexuality is just genetic. As regards the latter, we have evidence that factors such as violence, alcoholism and anger have genetic components.

It is also generally recognised that genetically it does not seem that humans are wired to be monogamous. In Mr Evans’ eyes this means that anger, violence, adultery and sexual promiscuity are just part of human nature and should be indulged.

The Christian churches’ perspective is not anti-gay. It is prohuman.

We just believe that the maker knows best and that ultimately it is for the good of us all if we follow his instructions.

We seek what is best for all human beings. What is wrong with that?

Rev David A Robertson. St Peter’s Free Church, 4 St Peter Street, Dundee.

34 thoughts on “God Created Gay People too – Correspondence in the Courier

  1. Politically correct orthodoxy seems to be that everything about the individual is a matter of choice except whether or not one is gay….

  2. ‘I never met any believer who could properly give a truly convincing answer to that question.’- Either he’s not spoken to too many believers or he refuses to listen to many answers.

    The question he poses is a common one and is actually very easy to respond to. In a live TV debate before the Australian election a few years back, ex PM Kevin Rudd made the same point in response to a pastor’s point which condemned gay marriage (if I remember correctly). The clearly ill-prepared pastor had no response, the crowd cheered and I was left thinking that he’d be thrown a softball and blew it.

    The ‘If it feels natural, I should be allowed to do it’ argument falls apart when applied to nearly any other sin. Every Christian should be extremely familiar with having to fight desires and urges of all kinds from lust to anger to gossip to pride – the list is endless because we are thoroughly broken. For this reason we should both sympathise with homosexuals but also seek to point them to the One who came to bear the punishment for our brokenness and empower us to live a better way.

  3. Hi David.

    I think your reply is fair and reasonable. Indeed it may almost understate the case – I believe that more than one piece of new research has recently been published which demonstrates that there is no convincing causal relationship between genes and same-sex attraction. There was quite a bit of evidence from studies of twins.

    I do wonder if the proponents of SSM are actually now even interested in considering the data. They have what they want in terms of legislation, and also the ongoing agenda aimed at muzzling any kind of Christian voice in the marketplace of ideas. They do not see their position as requiring evidential support as it appears to rest entirely upon their own ideology.

    Keep up the good work!

  4. David, we already knew you were part of a homophobic hate group. Are you trying to make sure everyone knows it?
    Who cares what you and your diminishing book club thinks about a few hateful passages in the silly book of yours?
    You’re making a fool of yourself. I bet your mother is ashamed of you.

    1. Dear Brent Arnesen, Let me take one guess that you believe that you have the right to believe what you like ? Is that correct ?
      Yet when someone disagrees with you – You then will not allow them the same luxury that you wish for yourself and that is the right to believe what they want. If they disagree with you then all of a sudden they are homophobic.
      If you wish to be autonomous my dear friend would you at the very least allow others the same luxury instead of being what is called a hypocrite.
      I would also suggest you go online and perhaps listen to someone such as Dr Rosaria Butterfield, former gay lesbian activist. Butterfield, Ph.D in English Literature, served in the English Department and Women Studies Program at Syracuse University from 1992 to 2002. Butterfield a former lesbian and supporter of the GLT society has published a book, as well as scholarly articles, in feminist theory, queer theory and 19th century British literature. Butterfield received tenure in 1999, and is author of the book, “The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey into Christian Faith.”

      Everyone seems right in their own eyes until they are cross examined.

      1. We all have a right to voice our opinions. I am voicing mine. We are engaged in a culture war in which “your” side wishes to continue the association of “gay = evil”. My opinion is “your” side is not only wrong, but abjectly wrong and harmful.
        David, and “your” side like to ask “but where do you get your sense of right and wrong” – and the answer is always the same no matter how many times it’s asked: From the same place we all do, our culture and personal feelings.
        We are creating morality every day.
        My fight in this ‘war’ is that “your” camp – like racists and misogynists before you – are effectively silenced such that your view of gay people is considered by all of society as “evil”.
        “Your” goal is that we continue to consider homosexuality as evil.
        This is the fight. This is the war.
        You want homosexuality to be eradicated, I want you to accept it because there will always be gay people who deserve to live without constant badgering.

        Finally, perhaps, David and “your” side finally see what gay people have felt for millenia: loathed and shunned.

        I hope David prays or meditates on how he would have felt if he had to hear 80% of the public call him a bigot and idiot from the time he was first aware of his sexuality and aversion to gay people, and wonder if that would have been good?

        Because this is what “your” side unleashes on the world. “You” force children, as they grow up and realize they have different sexual feelings than others, to live each day of their lives what David has only had to endured for a few weekends.

        If you think it’s Good to subject someone to such anger and hatred for their entire – and one and only – life, than you too are evil.

        P.S., I don’t care about one woman’s opinion. It’s anecdotal. What is it about Christians and their hero worship?

      2. Brent – your whole post is negated by your claim that we say ‘gay=evil. That is not my position. My position is that evil is in every human being, as well as good. And the horror is that you think your own self-created morality is sufficient for governing the world!

      3. Regarding morality: Let me see if you can understand it this way:

        If there is no God, what should humans do about morality? Wouldn’t they have a reason to think about it and develop reasonable theories?

        What about our moral theories, today, are impossible under atheism?

        I wonder if you’ll try to answer these as a shill for the Church, or if you will exercise intellectual honesty?

        To restate:

        1. If atheism is true (there is no God), how would we need to develop moral theories?

        2. What about our morality today is impossible if there is no God?

      4. To quote Dawkins – absolute morals are almost impossible without God. The trouble with your view is that morals by definition will always be subjective adn changeable, depending on the whims of those in power. If the universe is just chemicals there is no good and evil…just human social constructs.

      5. Brent, you say morality comes from
        “….our culture and personal feelings.
        We are creating morality every day….”

        I’m sure you can see the difficulty with that.
        It doesn’t give me any particular reason to take YOUR current version of morality seriously, does it?
        I may as well see how it changes down the line before committing, and meanwhile check what other people are coming up with – Buddhists, Muslims, the African and Arab countries, Russia….

    2. Brent, I’m not sure your comment and its tone is worthy of a response but let me point one thing out to you. By “diminishing book club”, I assume that you mean the church and especially those who take the Bible seriously. While it has to be agreed that ‘it appears’ that the numbers of such in Scotland and in UK is diminishing, you need to be aware that globally the church is the fastest growing faith group and that it is overwhelmingly comprised of those who take the Bible seriously. You can ridicule and scoff all you like, but that doesn’t alter the truths David has articulated. The only hatred I sense is coming from your words and not his.

      1. John I do agree with your comment in reply to Brent that “The only hatred I sense is coming from your words and not his.”
        I do believe that the reverend David has shown great Christian charity to Brent over a long period of time. Great tolerance.
        People like Brent cannot (or wont) see the difference between sexuality and adultery; committing sin and living in sin. Brent really does need to tone it down.
        It is such a pity that no other Church leader appears to be answering back. It is wrong that only The Wee Flea is defending Scriptures.

      2. How many gay people do you know or are in your family? Are you aware of the psychological damage David, and people like him, inflict on people who had no choice of how they were born?
        Why not mock children with Down’s while you’re at it?
        Just because it is growing in some places doesn’t make it right or good. You know what else is growing? Reality TV.
        (For gods sake, you’ve got apologists explaining how genocide in the OT was a good thing! You think that’s a good track for humanity to take? That if someone says “God told me to kill”, it’s OK?)
        When you “lot” are ready to have sensible conversations without preaching from a holier-than-though position in which you know what God thinks, I’ll stop the ridicule and and scoffing.
        Until then, thank you, I will ridicule and scoff all I like.

      3. I listen and think just fine. I have been a long time member of the Reasonable Faith forum in which we have discussed every issue related to Christianity.
        I’d be wary of underestimating an opponent simply because they scoff and ridicule.
        I may actually have good reasons.

        Let me give you some advice from someone you might respect.

        “Take the beam out of your own eye.”

        Then, when you are done clearing out your eyes, please come to Reasonable Faith forum and discuss things in an irenic manner.

        What you are seeing is a beef between me and David because he has been overly rude, and he continues to be so. I decided not to back down.

        How about you read over what David has said about gay people and atheists in the past?

        Would you agree one reaps what they sow?

      4. Brent, I confess that I allow you to post on here because you provide plenty evidence of the kind of irrationality, arrogance and hatred we have to face from some atheists. I also have some hope that you might come to see how dark and sad your views are. Your post above is a great example of that ignorance and arrogance. So to answer your questions.

        1) I know many gay people – in fact yesterday I spent a very pleasant hour discussing with a gay friend (who incidentally thinks you are completely wrong – and patronising).

        2) You assert as a fact that all gay people were born that way. Yet many gay activists like Peter Tatchell will say that for many being gay is a choice. I find the issue a whole lot more complex than your simplistic black and white view.

        3) My gay friends would also be horrified that you classify being gay with Down’s – as though it were some kind of disease or handicap. Do you not think that is a bit homophobic?

        4) Speaking of psychological damage – I suspect your knowledge of psychology is as limited as your knowledge of theology but let me simply ask are you aware of the psychological damage caused to those who are told that their unhappiness is caused by their being gay, or that sexual promiscuity is ‘natural’ and the way to go….? Again life if far more complex than in your black and white world.

        5) I believe you keep bringing up the issues of numbers and how the church is in decline…so what is your point?

        6) You again bring up the issue of good and yet you still seem unable to define what is good. Why for example is it good to kill 42 million babies in the womb each year, yet other genocide is wrong?

        7) The funny thing is that you preach your fundamentalist atheist doctrines, without any apparent knowledge of, or thought about, any other position – and then you warn about ‘holier-than-thou’. The irony!

        Of course you will continue to ridicule and scoff, and in general I will continue to allow your posts (at least for a while) because they are so obviously self-refuting it really helps our cause….although I thank you for them I would honestly prefer if you actually came to a more enlightened position….we will pray for you!

      5. This is proof you have reading comprehension problems, or take very careful pains to mischaracterize your opponents views.

        The problem is that people can read my original post, and your attacks on homosexuality – and your agreement with the Bible that homosexuality is a sin like murder, stealing, etc.

        1. I don’t believe you. I think you made that up. Have him post here.
        2. To accuse me of B&W thinking is rich, as you consider it a sin, full stop. Sexuality is a spectrum, something you don’t understand, or your god. Our behavior is dictate by our environment and our biological reaction to it. You can’t separate the two, as you think.
        3. This is hilarious. If you read with comprehension I was making the point that this is what you are doing. Read it again, David. You are looking foolish. (And, BTW, you don’t have any gay friends and you know it. I’ll retract it when you prove it.)
        4. Again, it is you with the B&W world in which Sexual Promiscuity = unhappiness. Do you even think before you write?
        How you think calling people “abominations” is good for them is beyond me. It’s sick.
        5. Because I like making you realize how unpopular your views are becoming. The “Gay Agenda” or whatever you characterize it as, has won. Gay marriage, openly gay ministers… etc. The world is a better place because of this – despite your dire warnings.
        6. Ask James White: “Abortion is the greatest Heaven Filling devices devised by Man”.

        But you miss the point. If you claim God is Good, then genocide is Good. If atheism is true, we do the best we can to come up with morals, which, if you poll people, would believe that genocide is almost universally bad.
        By your own measure, you are incoherent. Under atheism, there is no pretense to know what is “Universally, Perfectly, Objectively, Eternally” Good or Bad. It becomes a conversation, and it’s hard work.
        You don’t like conversations, or hard work.
        You like to do the lazy thing: tell people what you think they should do.
        7. A stupid comment. It’s hard to have a reasonable conversation in this format. I have offered to debate you openly, but you have refused.

        Thank you, I will continue to scoff at your ancient mythology, as long as you continue to use it to negatively affect people’s lives other than your own.

  5. I agree with the approach you have taken to the presupposition in Evans statement when he alleges that “it has been very well established that people do not choose their sexuality.” Has not the human rights campaigner mentioned that a lot of the issues around any identity with LGBT has been to do with historic ill treatment, concluding that one;s sexual orientation is a combination of biological and cultural influences?

    Therefore, surely a right approach is twofold, combating prejudice and promoting what is best for all human beings. In a tolerant society,isn’t this where we can work together, churches with the LGBT community and LGBT within the church and where there are differences, (sometimes passionate held differences) that we can accept that reality without forcing one opinion on another?

    Of course there is another assumption made by Evans, that churches are not modernised in attitudes. I suspect that if he were to investigate thoroughly, he would find that there are a range of views in churches as in the rest of society. A reasonable question to ask in return surely is about the attitude in LGBT communities to the church.

    I realise this last sentence coming as it has from a heterosexual might illicit condemnation from some as coming from someone who has not known prejudice and inequality. To anyone who perceives such, I can promise you that being heterosexual doesn’t make on immune from prejudice, perhaps not so much as regards sexuality but certainly in other matters of equality as a fellow human being.

  6. Shortest answer to original point:
    some people appear wired towards paedophilia – does that prove paedophilia should be encouraged?
    – but of course this will be called “equating homosexuals with paedophiles”, and in the resulting furore, logic will vanish without trace.

    Without the Author of reason and logic, we’re doomed to be irremediable fools.

  7. Good reply. I would say the LGBTQ movement have played a blinder in manipulating the debate by determining the language used. It’s now commonplace for journalists, politicians and people on the street to use these labels unthinkingly. Transgender, bi-sexual, gay,queer etc… are ultimately labels and can’t be compared to race or ethnicity. The effect of sexual behaviour on the brain is becoming more understood,especially with the porn epidemic. Are we suggesting that a young man or woman who develops an addiction to pornography is traversing the sexual spectrum and thus experiencing a changing sexual orientation? The LGBTQ ideology is conveniently vague and contradictory. Hence,hate speech laws,safe spaces etc… to avoid questioning and criticism. There are many great resources from Christians,( including same-sex attracted Christians) who have defended orthodox Biblical teaching on sex and have articulated the clear message that all people are made in the image of God. The wisdom of this teaching will become more apparent in the coming years. An ideology built on sexuality and gender confusion is not the answer.

  8. Indeed. Matty’s comment is right. The ‘it’s how we were born’ argument is forwarded as if it silenced all argument but it’s really a softball; we were all born flawed, sinners. The argument is facile. Presumably paedophilia also claims a predisposition. I had a similar discussion with an MP some years ago in a meeting he arranged to discuss civil partnerships. His argument initially was based on what was ‘natural’ to the individual. I pointed out it was ‘natural’ for many of us to get angry, lie, be selfish, be sexually promiscuous etc but this didn’t make it right. He conceded the point by simply saying he didn’t think homosexuality was intrinsically wrong… another argument altogether.

    The other argument usually considered a slam dunk is ‘what’s the problem, it’s doing no harm to anyone else’. How do we respond to this?

    1. John, it is an interesting question you as as to how we respond to not doing any harm. I think firstly we have to determine who the “we” represents then what is in keeping with what David talks of with being prohuman.

      It is interesting that homosexuality has been discussed in the same light as pedophilia, anger, selfishness, sexual promiscuity, violence and adultery. Perhaps it is comments such as this that are what Evans is responding to with his view about churches with attitudes to LGBT.

      Again, surely the issues are twofold, of combating prejudice and promoting what is best for humanity, wherever the source of either is coming from.

      1. Ducatihero

        Regarding the examples of other human flaws, I concur with Matty’s that the list could be endless. I doubt if comparing homosexual behaviour to any human sin is acceptable to someone who does not regard it as sin in the first place.

        The samples I cited were, in the case of flaring anger, to show that a common and commonly acknowledged human failing is recognised to be a genetic predisposition, yet given this, all agree it is not to be excused or indulged. Why not the same for homosexual tendencies? The other examples are sexual behaviour and so obviously linked to homosexuality. Though at the harm level homosexuality is not on a par with paedophilia it is a sexual act and those involved will claim a predisposition. If predisposition legitimises behaviour why do we demonise paedophilia? I cited this to underline the inherent contradiction in the argument of predisposition. I believe it is valid despite protests of guilt by association.

        Re harm, I would say that all we do impinges on society and others one way or another. It impinges by example and consequence. All our behaviour is either for harm or good. Society decides how harmful a behaviour is by the freedom it allows it. Of course, society can and often does get this wrong.

        For Christians of course the first question is not is it harmful but is it wholesome? Is it edifying? Is it pleasing to God? Questions that rise above the more basic question; is it right?

  9. John,

    Thank you for replying. I think it is safe to say that there are different views about homosexuality both in the church as in the wider society. Whether it is considered “sin” as with flaring anger is not is of course where opinions differ and where there is a danger for polemical adversity with how differing opinions exist. Of course the other view is that homosexuality is as natural as heterosexuality and is a matter of equality for ti to be enjoyed in keeping with what is best for humanity.Clearly these differing views have been expressed here.

    You mentioned a number of important questions for Christians. As for whether it is right, then every Christian knows that conviction about that comes from God. When addressing false teaching, the apostle Paul had something to say when he was mentoring Timothy. “The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth”, 2 Tim 2:24-25.

    So then with teaching others the imperative being for it be done with kindness, not being quarrelsome. As David rightly mentioned about so called street preachers in Perth, speaking in today’s context publicly, saying anyone practicing homosexuality is guilty of sin and heading for eternal torment, taking a similar approach to “preaching” in other aspects of life is leaving a train wreck for others to clear up.

    “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.” 2 Tim 2:23

  10. Mmmmm….so many ways to go with this….

    Ok. Lets try this – In the words of the Westminster Confession of Faith, God “freely and unchangeably ordained whatsoever comes to pass.” and “By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death.”

    I am assume that last part is referring to heaven and hell. So, according to this, God chose some people to be unconditionally elected and others to suffer reprobation. God chose.

    Therefore, theologically speaking, the original letter is correct in that God chose who would be LGBT. Also, theologically speaking, you are wrong when you say God created people to live full and fulfilled lives loving and serving him.

    As for being prohuman and wanting the best for all human beings, I will leave that well alone.

    1. Douglas _ I dont’ agree with either your understanding of predestination or your view that whatever people do – it is because God created them that way….but sorry I don’t have time to go into any more detail.

      1. Pity because these statements and catechisms are fascinating and form the theological hoops each believer has to jump through. I did like TULIP though.

  11. Important discussion, thank you David. English is my 2nd language and I just want to make sure if I understand the following paragraph correctly:
    “Mr Evans seems to assume that sexuality is totally determined by genes and that whatever is genetic must be right. As regards the former, while there are clearly genetic factors, it is by no means clear that all sexuality is just genetic. As regards the latter, we have evidence that factors such as violence, alcoholism and anger have genetic components”.

    When you say “As regards to the former …” I take it that by “the former” you refer to your phrase “that all sexuality is totally determined by genes” and thereby referring to Evans’ phrase? And if so I then understand (as you say “there are clearly genetic factors”) that our human sexuality (male and female) is determined by our genes (which is of course a scientific fact as we all know).

    But then the next piece is somewhat puzzling to me and I would like clarification: “it is by no means clear that all sexuality is just genetic.” I will be very glad if you can explain this a bit more please. Why do you use the term “all sexuality”? And why is it not just genetic? What else is it then? Or are you referring here to other factors which also play a role in sexual development such as environmental, domestic, sociological, traumatic, etc. factors?

    For a moment, when first reading the paragraph I thought you might have the same idea as one pro-gay church minister has here in South Africa i.e. that because there are various kinds of hair types, many skin colors, various lengths and sizes of people and various eye colors so there sure are many types of sexualities also. But I cannot imagine that you would have such a view.

    I will be glad for your answers on my questions and remarks above.

    1. J – Yes I do think there are genetic factors in sexuality. It is more complex than just it is all genes, or all choice. I also think there can be genetic factors in alcholism or bad temper….that does not excuse drunkenness or violence. I do not agree with the pro-gay minister you cite at all.

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