Thursday, November 17, 2011

How can that be a "choice"?

So a while back, Former Conservative found a bunch of "gotcha!" questions on the topic of homosexuality courtesy of an organization called CARM - which is all I know about them, and all I want to know about them. Former Conservative has a stronger stomach than I do: he waded through the entire list of questions and responded to all of them.

In the process, FC also made fun of them. This is an entirely understandable response - in fact, I think it's just about the only sensible response to a list like that. These are not questions in the traditional sense of "a request for more information." They're accusations that happen to be made in an interrogative format for rhetorical effect. Not only that, they're easy enough to pick apart if you can stand to expose yourself that much prolonged, concentrated idiocy: they're based on easily refuted (and in some cases mind-numbingly stupid) assumptions.

The fellow who originally posted the list of "questions", one Matt Slick, apparently noticed that someone had refuted him. So he wrote a response. And now Former Conservative has ripped apart his response as well.

All of which is a long (and possibly unnecessary) prologue for an observation that I'd like to make. Because one of the abjectly stupid ideas that Matt Slick is championing is that homosexuality is a "choice". Matt Slick isn't the only person who thinks so, of course; it's a common refrain in the anti-QUILTBAG rhetoric. And, well, I just don't see how sexual attraction can be described as a "choice" in any meaningful sense of the word.

Here's the thing: I'm a heterosexual male, and I can't even control what sort of women I find attractive. Either I find someone attractive, or I don't. It's a reaction, not a choice. I could no more choose to find men attractive than I could choose to be sexually aroused by abstract art. As far as I know, that's how attraction works for more or less everybody. So why in the hell would you think that people who happen to be attracted to members of their own sex have chosen to do so?

And even if that were possible, who would choose to have attractions that make you an automatic target for teasing, bullying, and possible persecution from every stray bigot who happens by? In what world would that possibly make sense?

So, yeah. Matt Slick and his view of homosexuality can bite me.

Edited to add: ...And then on Facebook, someone posted a link to this video detailing the top five reasons why you should choose to be gay. Warning: really, really not safe for work. Or small children. Or anyone with a particularly delicate constitution. Contains swearing and skimpy outfits.


  1. Here's the thing: I'm a heterosexual male, and I can't even control what sort of women I find attractive. Either I find someone attractive, or I don't.


    I often make this statement: I can look at a woman and tell you immediately whether I'd want to have sex with her and, in most cases, why. I look at a man and I'm all, "Hey, look, it's a dude." Men simply don't turn on the sexytime part of my brain.

    And I say that as someone who was once standing at a concert and sent a friend a text that said, "The lead guitarist of this band is a pretty man." He just was. I didn't want to have sex with him, I just realized, "Wow, that is a pretty man."

    One of the things I realized recently is that I know this because I've thought about it. If you come from the evangelical strain of Christianity you're not supposed to think about it. You're supposed to reject all lustful thoughts and pretend you're happily asexual until the night of your marriage. Basically, you're supposed to be able to choose to turn your sexuality on and off.

    So of course teh gays choose teh gay. And of course teh gays could choose to not be gay. It makes perfect sense if you live in a world where the only allowable thoughts about sexuality come after marriage.

  2. Do you think the haters will ever die out? We have a lot of educating to do!

  3. Religion is a giant cause of the idiocy and hatred directed toward gays. Intolerance is passed down from generations and from holy texts, so we must keep putting alternatives to straight out there. Stay in view, and don't ever let up.

  4. My hope is that the more... commonly visible... QUILTBAG folks become, the harder it will be for that sort of ignorant bigotry to persist. There's kind of a tipping point in both directions, I think: the more people stay in the closet, the easier it is for the majority to insist that they should stay there - but the more visible people are, the harder it is to hold to ignorant stereotypes about them.

    @ Cathy - The sad part is, it doesn't have to be. Even Christianity, for all its current focus on the topic... hell, being Gay didn't even make God's Top Ten list of Thou Shalt Nots.

  5. Wow, that whole exchange between Matt and TFC made my head want to explode. :/ The hypocrisy in most of the statements like, "the gays are trying to force their agenda on us" is utter nonsense. His rebuttals to TFC were so circular I got dizzy.

    I've done quite a bit of reading over at CARM myself. In my former fundamentalist days a lot of that was my thought process. Jeez I can't believe I ever thought like that. ::facepalm:: Thank the Universe I don't think that way anymore.


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