Have you encountered tough questions on homosexuality beginning with the question who are you to judge other people’s behavior? Ajoy Varghese answers six such tough questions.
1. Who are you to judge other people’s behavior?
Answer: You are correct. No human being has the full right or the full ability to judge another since we are all finite and to add to that limitation, severely prejudiced. However, all of us judge between right and wrong, in our limited ways. We also appoint judges to help us in courts, the police to judge in societal matters etc. Parents make judgments about what is good or bad for their children. The key then is to make the right judgments. (Jesus himself said, "Do not judge by mere appearances, make a right judgment – John 7). But if all of us are finite and prejudiced, we have to find out if we can find a source which will give us the right standards for life. Christians believe that they find it in the person of Christ, his life, his words, character, deeds and in his interpretation of the Scriptures.
2. No one except the parties involved are affected, if any, by this behavior. So, why are you bothered?
Answer: To think in this manner is to deny that all human beings are part of the same family. Our actions, whether right or wrong, affect other people. Sometimes, in ways that we cannot imagine. A pregnant mother's decision to smoke is a personal decision – but it affects the baby in the womb. The decision to drop the atom bomb in Hiroshima was a strategic decision of a nation – but babies living in Hiroshima and Nagasaki are still born with birth defects because of the long term after effects of the atom bomb. So, it is critical to determine whether our actions are intrinsically right or wrong – whether personal or national. The question is how do we know if an action is intrinsically right? Right actions will ultimately have ultimate benefits, whether we are aware of them or not. So, Christians think it is appropriate for all people to be bothered/concerned about each other without interfering in each other's life or taking away a person's right to make choices, unless a threat to human life and society.
3. What is wrong with two people of the same gender making love?
Answer: What's wrong with a human being making love to an animal? What's wrong with a human being love to a pole? What's wrong in a pedophile making caring love to a minor (while the minor may actually physically enjoy it since sex can be pleasurable)? How do we answer these questions without referring to a standard? And how do we justify such a standard? Its impossible to have a consistent standard to decide on all these matters unless we take recourse to God – the unchanging standard. Christians believe that the way to behave responsibly is to live as per the order, design and laws of the Creator. We also believe that all behavior is not just between two individuals but between two representatives of the human race accountable to the Creator and who are expected to behave responsibly with due regard to the implications of their behavior – some of which may be psychological, physical, social and economic.
4. I have read of same sex couples committing suicide because they could not marry. Should not this discrimination from marriage also go?
Answer: This is most unfortunate and sad. Sometimes, same sex couples do not have access to information about other positive and more satisfying alternatives. A teenager, because of heightened hormonal activity, may think that sex is an absolute necessity immediately and might be tempted to commit suicide out of sexual frustration or rejection. However, if he/she only waits for a few more years, he would realize that his sexual impulses have become weaker and other priorities and impulses have become predominant. We all know of people who have remained celibate for life. A single parent, for the sake of his child, may choose to remain unmarried of his own volition and to give up sexual activity till the child grows up and is independent. Sex, unlike hunger, apparently is not a basic human need.
5. Some of the same sex couples are far better than heterosexuals. If homosexuality is banned, then heterosexual marriages also should be banned.
Answer: Some pedophiles might be more caring in some aspects that some parents are. Does that qualify for banning parenthood and legitimizing pedophilia?
6. Some are genetically predetermined to behave this way. Why are you imposing a law which is impossible for them to practice? Is it compassionate to do so?
Answer: There i
s no evidence to suggest that there is a genetic pre-determination as far as homosexual orientation is concerned. But even if there is, should we take that as the norm? How have we decided that biology is the determiner of moral choices? If a child is born with a congenital defect, don’t we medically intervene? First we have to decide whether a particular physical attribute, activity or sexual orientation is right or wrong. For that we need a wholesome frame of reference which guides all aspects of human life, which Christians think can be provided only by God, the Creator.
I don’t not agree that it is correct to impose a legal ban on all homosexual activity, especially between consenting adults. But this is a more complex issue which can be discussed in another forum, perhaps.