“God made me gay” is a common justification for engaging in gay sex. After all, if God didn’t approve of gay sex, “it would be like creating a bird with wings and telling it not to fly.” It’s a variation of the “The devil made me do it” argument. Both arguments assume that we cannot choose our behavior.
Let’s take this argument apart just a little and examine the first premise — “God made me gay.” 1
Causes of Homosexuality
As a matter of fact, we still don’t know all the contributing factors to a homosexual orientation. We do know that most gay people didn’t choose to be homosexually oriented, contrary to what many conservative Christians seem to think. There also seems to be significant evidence for a biological link to homosexuality, even though it’s almost sure that a “gay gene” will never be found. (Sexuality is a far too complex human behavior cluster to be determined by one gene. It is likely that when all the results are in, it will be found that, as in all other behaviors and habits, biology accounts for roughly 50% and environmental factors for roughly another 50% of sexual orientation.) The very studies that are cited in favor of the gay gene theory actually disprove the theory, because only 52% of identical twins of gay men also had a homosexual orientation. (Since identical twins have the same chromosomes and genes, a genetically determined trait should show 100% concordance.) However, the studies do indicate some kind of biological link.
Evidently factors in the womb also affect the developing fetus. One of these is a hormonal wash that masculinizes the male brain and occurs between the 16th and 24th weeks of pregnancy. When, because of trauma in the mother’s life, this hormonal wash does not occur or is of insufficient quantity to fully masculinize the brain of the developing fetus, the male baby is born with a brain that essentially functions like a female brain. (That’s probably why women find gay men so understanding and attractive.) While this will not make a person gay, it can be a contributing factor for a child who does not emotionally bond with his father but does bond closely with his mother. And that is probably why orientation change ministries under the Exodus umbrella often teach that homosexuality is caused by a poor father bond and over-mothering. (There is some truth to every fallacy.) Perhaps, for some, these two factors are all that’s needed to develop a homosexual orientation. I know of enough gay people with stories of both sexual and other abuse in their backgrounds to surmise that that is probably another contributing factor for some, and if it comes on top of a couple of other factors, a homosexual orientation is almost a given.
So did God ordain that mothers be traumatized so that their male children would not have a fully masculinized brain? Did God ordain conditions that would prevent emotional bonding with fathers? Did God ordain sexual and other abuse?
I think not!
If Jesus were here today
While God walked this earth in human flesh as Jesus Christ, He made clear that He identifies with those who suffer because of the ravages of sin in this world. He healed the sick, the lame, the blind, the lepers. He taught that their conditions were not necessarily the result of their personal choices. And if Jesus walked this earth today, He would identify with the gay people of the world, not condemning them, but drawing them to Himself, just like He drew the outcasts of society two thousand years ago.
We live on a planet that demonstrates the effects of sin – not necessarily particular sins, but sin in general. The Apostle Paul tells us that the “whole creation groans together” under the curse of sin, waiting for the deliverance that comes when Christ returns to this planet again. And a homosexual orientation is just one of the many and varied effects of sin on this planet. That does not mean that homosexually oriented persons are any more sinful than heterosexually oriented persons. It just means that their road in life is more difficult in some respects than that of a heterosexually oriented person in otherwise similar circumstances. And with more difficulty comes more grace. As the old song says,
He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater.
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase.
To added affliction He addeth His mercy;
To multiplied trials, His multiplies peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
His love has no limit; His grace has no measure
His power has no boundary known unto man.
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again!
– by Annie Johnson Flint
(in Love Songs for all God’s Children. Kansas City: Lillenas Publishing Co., 1975)
A logical fallacy
To see the fallacy in the God-made-me-gay argument, let’s try inserting some other variables into the argument: The person predisposed to alcoholism could, with the same logic, say, “God made me an alcoholic; therefore He wants me to get drunk.” The person predisposed to gain weight could just as logically say, “God made me to be fat; therefore I should eat as much as I can – especially cake.” The person predisposed towards infidelity in marriage could say, “God made me promiscuous, and He wants me to have as much sex as I can get.”
You get the picture …
Now let’s examine the argument of the bird’s wings – that if God didn’t expect a bird to fly, He wouldn’t have given it wings, and if He didn’t expect a gay person to indulge His sexual desires, He wouldn’t have given Him the desire and ability to have sex.
Does “nature” make it right?
On other subjects, most people see fairly clearly that having the ability to do something is not equivalent to a moral right to do it. Just because I’m stronger than my neighbor, does not mean that I have the right to take from him the things that I want. God expects me to discipline my thoughts and desires to harmonize with His will.
If I’m a diabetic with a craving for sweets, I’m asking for certain disaster to indulge my craving. I may argue that God wouldn’t have given me a craving for sweets if he didn’t expect me to indulge it, but the natural law of my body would soon expose the fallacy of the argument.
Most societies recognize that sexual maturity, which comes at puberty, does not automatically come with the right to engage in sexual acts. Societies with moral values have recognized the necessity to discipline the sex drive in order to channel it in the right direction, which is recognized as the marriage relationship between husband and wife.
Christians who accept the Bible as the Word of God understand that God invented sex, and He gave it to humanity made in His image for the specific purpose of participating in the creative process through the act of sexual intercourse. And He said that through this act, man and woman would become “one flesh” – a statement that medical science has demonstrated to be more than a figure of speech.
God loves gay people
No, God does not hate homosexuals. He loves gay people, and I believe He identifies with them particularly in the same manner as He identifies with children, widows, and orphans – those who have a more difficult time than others on this planet. He freely offers His grace to all gay people who seek it in order to submit their lives to His will. He will guide them into the right choices, and those choices are much more varied and broad than either the conservative Christian world or the gay world would have us believe. (See “I’m a Gay Christian — So What Are My Options?”)
- First published on the GLOW site in 2000, revised 2010. You may copy this essay, providing you give credit to the author and a link back to this blog entry. ↩