Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has both the religious right and cultural left in an uproar. In a recent commentary Mohler ceded that sexual orientation could be partly caused by biological factors, upsetting religious conservatives who consider it solely a matter of choice. Mohler went on to say that “[t]he biblical condemnation of all homosexual behaviors would not be compromised or mitigated in the least by such a discovery,” which angered gay activists.
On the surface it would appear that Dr. Mohler is holding a conflicting viewpoint; namely, that something that is biologically-determined, is a sin. But look closely at what he said. He indicated that the behaviors, not the inclinations are sinful. This is key; especially for those holding a biblical worldview.
Because of the Fall, it would not be surprising, if some day researchers discovered genetic links to proclivities like anger, violence, alcoholism, and even same-sex orientation. At the same time, a genetic proclivity does not justify behavior. We should no more condone homosexual behavior for those with an inherited predisposition, than we should condone spousal abuse for those genetically inclined toward violence.
What further angered gay advocates was Mohler’s suggestion that if gayness could be “fixed” effectively in utero, he would be all for it. One activist saw an opportunity to wield the mighty “H” word. “What bothers me is the hypocrisy," Jennifer Chrisler said. "In one breath, they say the sanctity of an unborn life is unconditional, and in the next breath, it's OK to perform medical treatments on them because of their own moral convictions, not because there's anything wrong with the child."
Hypocrisy? C’mon Jennifer. If there is a mismatch between one’s physiology and inclinations, there is something wrong, or as Rev. Joseph Fessio of Ave Maria University says, “disordered.” And because the unborn, like all life, is sacred, it would be wrong not to consider any safe, effective treatment for aligning the software with the hardware, as it were.
Rev. Fessio agrees, “If there are ways of detecting diseases or disorders of children in the womb, and a way of treating them that respected the dignity of the child and mother, it would be a wonderful advancement of science."
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About Regis Nicoll
Regis Nicoll is a Centurion of The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. After a 30-year career as a nuclear specialist, Regis became a freelance writer who writes on current cultural issues from a Christian perspective. His work regularly appears on BreakPoint online and SALVO magazine among other places. Regis also teaches and speaks on a variety of worldview topics, covering everything from Sharing the Gospel in a Postmodern Generation to String Theory. As a men's ministry leader in his community, Regis also conducts seminars for the spiritual development of men.
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