Young People Ask . . .
Homosexuality—Is It Really So Bad?
“Ever since I was a child, I have had homosexual desires. Because I did not understand them, I did not take precautions. This led me into doing something very bad with a friend. I had a deep feeling of guilt, and I thought Jehovah would never forgive me.”
“TV’S Trying to Sell Our Kids on Homosexuality.” This was the title of an article by a syndicated newspaper columnist. Observed the writer: “Television audiences are subjected to a plethora [excess] of shows that positively portray the gay lifestyle.” TV, however, is just one of many means being used these days to promote homosexuality among youths. Prohomosexual propaganda is also being promoted by teachers, peers, movies, books, and magazines.
The medical profession has also jumped on the bandwagon. Traditionally, doctors viewed homosexuality as an illness. But in 1973, the American Psychiatric Association declared that homosexuality would no longer be considered a psychiatric disorder. Since then, many in the medical profession have all but placed their seal of approval upon the homosexual life-style. Psychotherapist Albert Ellis, for example, declared that homosexual relations “are not in the least perverse but consist of healthy human sex behavior. . . . Enjoy them if you choose, and do not permit anyone to propagandize you into believing them to be ‘wrong’ or ‘disturbed.’”
Such views are so pervasive that Newsweek magazine reports: “Spurred by media images and a new climate of acceptance, teenagers are experimenting more openly with gay and bi-sexuality.” Whereas in times past teenagers overwhelmingly disapproved of same-sex liaisons, it is no exaggeration to say that growing numbers of youths now view it as “fashionable.” Even youths who do not engage in homosexual acts are often quite tolerant of others who do. “I guess if a friend of mine told me he was gay, I’d still be his friend,” says a youth named Darren. One young college student even expressed concern that he might not really be normal since he “only liked girls”!
Today’s liberal atmosphere can thus be confusing to Christian youths—especially to those who for some reason feel an attraction to the same sex.* They know that homosexuality displeases God, and they sincerely want to avoid it. At times, though, the battle to control their feelings can be so exhausting that they may begin to wonder if the Bible’s stand is fair or reasonable. ‘Is homosexuality really that bad?’ they may wonder.
What God’s Word Says
In answer, read for yourself what the apostle Paul said at 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10: “What! Do you not know that unrighteous persons will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be misled. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men kept for unnatural purposes [“male prostitutes,” New International Version; “effeminate,” King James Version], nor men who lie with men [“sodomites,” Jerusalem Bible; “homosexual perverts,” Today’s English Version], nor thieves, nor greedy persons, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit God’s kingdom.” Note that Paul specifically mentioned those who evidently take on a passive sexual role and those who assume a more active “male” role in their immoral relations. Thus he made it plain that God disapproves of all homosexual acts.
This is also evident from Paul’s words at Romans 1:18-27: “God’s wrath is being revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who are suppressing the truth in an unrighteous way . . . God, in keeping with the desires of their hearts, gave them up to uncleanness, that their bodies might be dishonored among them . . . That is why God gave them up to disgraceful sexual appetites, for both their females changed the natural use of themselves into one contrary to nature; and likewise even the males left the natural use of the female and became violently inflamed in their lust toward one another, males with males, working what is obscene.” Here Paul specifically condemned both male and female homosexuality. He condemned homosexual practices as unnatural and “obscene.”
Sick or Healthy?
Many would perhaps respond to this by saying that the Bible’s viewpoint is simply archaic, outmoded. But when you think about it, who knows our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual makeup better than our Creator? God made man and woman, and he put within them the great attraction they have for each other. (Genesis 1:27, 28) He did not make them to have a sexual attraction for someone of the same sex. Furthermore, God has determined that sexual relations between a man and a woman should take place only within the marriage arrangement.—Hebrews 13:4.
This does not work a hardship on us. At Isaiah 48:17, Jehovah God says that he is “the One teaching you to benefit yourself.” Yes, he knows what helps us and what harms us. Although to some the Bible’s teachings may seem hard to follow, they are always ‘healthful teachings,’ that is, beneficial to the mind and the body. (Titus 2:1) Homosexuality, on the other hand, can only be detrimental to one’s physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
The AIDS crisis is an example of how unhealthy the homosexual life-style is. In North America, homosexual men are by far the most likely to contract the illness. But AIDS is just one of an array of ailments—hepatitis, liver infections, gonorrhea, syphilis, and gastrointestinal parasites—that commonly afflict homosexuals. What fuels this spread of disease? Explains Dr. Joseph Nicolosi: “The compulsive, addictive elements of the gay life-style have been documented by many writers.” One extensive study revealed that “28 percent of homosexual males [have] had sexual encounters with one thousand or more partners. . . . Almost half of the white homosexual males . . . said that they had had at least 500 different sexual partners.”
The book Homosexual Behavior explains that among many homosexuals “there are fears of interpersonal commitment, intimacy, or responsibility . . . The drive for impersonal sex sometimes has an enormously compulsive quality. Some of these individuals may be involved in a dozen or more sexual transactions in the course of a single day or evening.” Could such out-of-control behavior possibly be healthy? Is it not, rather, sick and degrading? Those who indulge in such raging promiscuity clearly are “slaves of corruption.”—2 Peter 2:19.
Besides, much homosexual sex is gruesome, violent, and downright sadistic. The apostle Paul said: “The things that take place in secret by them it is shameful even to relate.” (Ephesians 5:12) Such violence betrays the anger and the pain that lurk beneath the surface of the supposedly “gay” life-style. True, some homosexuals claim that they are not promiscuous. But “monogamous” homosexuals are in the minority—and their relationships are generally short-lived. Even when same-sex unions last, they could hardly be a result of the love described in the Bible. Such love “does not behave indecently.”—1 Corinthians 13:4, 5.
Paul says at Romans 1:27: “Men with men performed these shameful horrors, receiving, of course, in their own personalities the consequences of sexual perversity.” (The New Testament in Modern English, by J. B. Phillips) In what ways? For one thing the book Homosexual Behavior reports: “Homosexual women suffer significantly more from excessive alcohol use and abuse than heterosexual women.” Some researchers also claim that suicide attempts are unusually common among young homosexual men.
Most damaging of all are the consequences to one’s spirituality. Homosexuals find themselves “in darkness mentally, and alienated from the life that belongs to God.” (Ephesians 4:18) But what about God-fearing youths who, in spite of their knowledge of Bible principles, find themselves attracted to the same sex? Clearly, they have a real fight on their hands. Of course, knowing how God views homosexuality helps such ones to “abhor what is wicked.” (Romans 12:9) There are also a number of practical steps they can take to avoid giving in to wrong desires. This will be the subject of a future article.
See “Young People Ask . . . Why Do I Have These Feelings?” in our preceding issue.
[Picture on page 13]
The homosexual life-style is marked by promiscuity, emotional distress, and disease