Avoiding the Snare of Homosexuality
TO AVOID that which can bring tragic consequences, it is wise to know something about the possible causes. With regard to homosexuality, there is much uncertainty as to cause. It is now generally recognized that physical factors, such as body-build or hormones, are not primarily responsible for homosexuality. What, then, are believed to be the significant causes?
Some possible causes are discussed by Dr. Albert Ellis, in his book Homosexuality, Its Causes and Cure (1965). He believes that the condition is largely due to certain fears. He tells of curing ever so many homosexuals by helping them get rid of these underlying fears. Bearing this out is the recommendation of one of the leaders in America’s homosexual movement, Donald Webster Cory:
“The aim of therapy [should be] to relieve the hostility and fear of relationships, sexual and otherwise, with the other sex . . . The reasons for this are twofold: . . . to aid the homosexual to get at the root of the problem, and not to attack what is merely a symptom—his problem is not so much that he is attracted to males, but that he is in flight from females.”
Then again, a young boy may get started in homosexuality by being seduced by homosexual men. There was a glaring example of this in Vancouver, Canada, where some homosexuals seduced thirty-five young boys between the ages of ten and fourteen and then made traffic out of them.
In many cases the older men gave the young boys wine or liquor, knowing that the youths would then be more vulnerable to their immoral advances, even as God’s Word notes: “Fornication and wine and sweet wine are what take away good motive.” (Hos. 4:11) The prophet Habakkuk also warned against this practice of using alcoholic drink as a preliminary to seduction: “Woe to the one giving his companions something to drink . . . in order to make them drunk, for the purpose of looking upon their parts of shame.” (Hab. 2:15) Thus when older men, strangers, offer to buy a young boy an alcoholic drink, there may be an ulterior motive.
When a young man turns to homosexuality, the trend today is to implicate his father and mother as possibly having laid the basis for their son’s unnatural practice. Authorities believe that the parents may do this even before their child reaches the age of six. Thus, according to Dr. Irving Bieber, an international authority on the subject: ‘A disinterested father and an overbearing mother are the perfect combination to produce a son that is a homosexual.’ He further stated: “I do not believe it is possible to produce a male prostitute if a father is affectionate to his wife and son and supportive of the son’s masculinity.”
Also, according to this doctor, “fathers seem to have an absolute veto power over the homosexual development of their sons.” Properly reared boys do not fear womankind.
To homosexuality, then, as to so many other problems of life, the old adage applies: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Each father should take an active interest in his son and help him to develop a strong masculine personality. How can he do this? Most importantly, by setting a good example. As the apostle Paul put it: “Stay awake, stand firm in the faith, carry on as men, grow mighty.” (1 Cor. 16:13) Basic is exercising self-control. A strong masculine personality is not excitable, is poised, is reasonable instead of emotional and takes a protective attitude toward those of his family. Also each father should inculcate in his son honor and respect for womankind; this he can do by dealing lovingly with his wife.
Likewise each mother should respect her husband’s headship and guard against becoming too possessive or overbearing, for by doing so she may estrange her sons from womankind.
Also, both parents can explicitly warn their children against the evils of homosexuality. Such knowledge of homosexuality is a protection. Where fathers and mothers fail to instruct and warn their sons properly, they may fall prey to designing homosexuals.
Whereas there is a measure of parental responsibility, there is, primarily, individual responsibility. Each youth has to be alert to avoid the snare of homosexuality. One may not overlook the strength of the sex drive, of the sexual appetite, and the possible pitfalls to which this can lead. Without the fear of God or a natural love of goodness to act as a restraint, the heart of man may explore unnatural means for sensual satisfaction. The more one goes against what is normal and right, the more the sensualist appears to be drawn to it. (Gen. 8:21; Jer. 17:9, 10) While this strong tendency is not limited to the homosexual, it does seem to help to account for the hold the practice has on so many.
While doubtless for most youths homosexuality seems abhorrent, should a person note any inclination or curiosity along this line he must firmly resist it, heeding the advice of the apostle Paul: “Abhor what is wicked.”—Rom. 12:9.
Hence young persons do well to hate those practices that launch one on the frustrating life of homosexuality. On this aspect of the subject, Dr. D. J. West says: “Kissing, fondling, close bodily contact, and mutual masturbation are common forms of love-making with which both male and female homosexuals begin their sexual careers.”
Helpful in this regard, then, is appreciating the fact that autoeroticism or masturbation is no mere innocent pastime but rather a practice that can lead to homosexual acts. How so? In that self-induced masturbation may make it easier and more tempting for one to engage in mutual masturbation, which is a form of homosexuality. Sincerely striving against this practice will go far to protect a youth.
Likewise helpful in avoiding the snare of homosexuality is to bear in mind what has been said as to how frustrating and unnatural it is. That it is extremely selfish and hardening can be seen by the way homosexuals importune strangers, by their seduction of boys and by the prevalence of homosexual rape in prisons. The evidence indicates that abnormal sexual desire is far more difficult to control than is the normal desire.
FREEING ONESELF FROM ITS BONDAGE
Many homosexuals claim they cannot change. But the testimony of many in the medical profession is that they can change if they really want to. The book Homosexuality, by the Society of Medical Psychoanalysts, Research Committee, states that “every homosexual is a latent heterosexual.” The Bible further gives testimony that one can change from filthy and degrading practices. Thus the apostle Paul, after telling that homosexuals will not inherit God’s kingdom, adds: “Yet that is what some of you were. But you have been washed clean.”—1 Cor. 6:9-11.
The homosexual who wants to change must continually tell himself that, regardless of how easy and sensually pleasant the practice might be, it is bad. He must take to heart the counsel: “O you lovers of Jehovah, hate what is bad.” Yes, he must actually hate bad “pleasures.” Further, he must ‘keep considering virtuous, chaste and praiseworthy things.’ Filling his mind with God’s truth will help him, for as Jesus said: “The truth will set you free.”—Ps. 97:10; Phil. 4:8; John 8:32.
Of great importance is for the homosexual to realize that he cannot please God if he continues this detestable practice. So filthy is it in God’s eyes that in the Bible such morally unclean persons are called dogs. God’s law to Israel states: “You must not bring the hire of a harlot or the price of a dog [“male prostitute,” AT] into the house of Jehovah your God for any vow, because they are something detestable to Jehovah your God, even both of them.” (Deut. 23:18) All those who, like scavenger dogs of the streets, practice disgusting things such as sodomy and lesbianism are debarred from gaining everlasting life in God’s new system of things. (Rev. 22:15) How important it is, then, for one sincerely to strive to please God by having nothing to do with homosexual practices!
A person who is making progress in his desire to please God should not get discouraged if he cannot at once clear his mind and feelings from all wrong thoughts and emotions. He must keep on fighting, however, taking encouragement from the fact that even the apostle Paul confessed to not being able to do fully what he wanted to do. But he did not give up the fight. He did not yield to the flesh, but he ‘pummeled his body and led it as a slave,’ so that he could say: “For all things I have the strength by virtue of him who imparts power to me.”—1 Cor. 9:27; Phil. 4:13; Rom. 7:13-25.
Homosexuality is increasing in spite of its being a wrong, unnatural and frustrating way of life. Those in bondage to it can be freed from it if they really want to. Eternal life is at stake! So by all means, do your utmost to avoid the snare of homosexuality.