(Rebuttal I to Todd Morris' Pitt News column: "My sexuality is not something I can choose or change")
Ramesh C. Reddy
Editor in Chief
I feel bad for Todd Morris because of his Tue, Sept 17, 2002 edition of the Pitt News column, ďMy sexuality is not something I can choose or changeĒ
It seems like Mr. Morris uses the classic arguments I hear when it comes to the homosexuality debate. It starts out always with ĎWhy?í. Practicing homosexuals want people to know that since they are living a lifestyle where they are a minority always, hated and harmed at times, this is not something they would deliberately choose because it would make them face abuse and not be part of the majority.
Since they donít choose it, they want people to accept their lifestyle because it is part of them and there is nothing they can do to change it.
Letís have a reality check here. For argument sake, letís assume the premises that Mr. Morris did not make the choice for himself but it was made for him. Let us go further and say that he was born with it.
Is that an excuse to live that way? I think not because if this reasoning holds do you know how many things fall apart. People wonít even try to change or get help. Letís look at examples.
I met a student whose mother tried to have an abortion with her in the womb share a story with me and others. She was supposed to die but amazingly lived. But because of the botched abortion, she has cerebral palsy. She did not choose to have her mother try to abort her, yet she lived. The student could have used the cerebral palsy as a crutch because this is not something she chose. But she was determined to make it and got all the help she could without giving up. It took effort on her part and she still has cerebral palsy but she has excelled in life.
Letís take a classic example of babies born as addicts because the mother was pregnant as an addict and gave birth to the child. Do you know what the outcome is? The baby is born an addict. The baby did not choose to be an addict did he? Of course not, it was chosen for him because of the motherís actions.
Does that become an excuse for the baby to grow up being a practicing addict to drugs because it was chosen for him?
Of course not! On the contrary, people try to help the baby to change from being an addict. Doctors could put the baby possibly through detoxification and others could try to help the baby deal with withdrawal symptoms as the child grows up. It is very possible that child may never be healed of his addiction but that does not give him the excuse to take drugs and abuse his body. Rather, addicts are asked to go through Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous and other help/detox groups to help deal with the withdrawals and stay away from those substances. The help groups are for support against practicing substance abuse and not as a support group to endorse substance abuse.
The group does not have a philosophy that says, ĎYou did not choose it when you were born with tendencies to be an addict so letís support each other as we drink, drink, inhale, inhale, inject, inject, etcí.
In my opinion, Rainbow Alliance exists to give support to practicing homosexuals making them know it is totally ok if they want to live that way because it is not something they chose but it was chosen for them.
Hopefully, you get the point that choices that are made for us does not give an excuse to practice those choices that are detrimental to health and society and also wrong.
There are personality traits that can be inherited too from parents to children. What if a child has an anger or temperament problem and it is something that was inherited?
Would you say it is ok for that child or grown adult to always be angry and lose her temper and then say, ĎI could not help it because that is who I am for I was born with a temper problem and you have to accept me as I am?
Of course not, for a temper can be detrimental to jobs, etc and there are anger management and temper classes to help that individual to change. The person should be accepted but not his action.
Thinking why should I change and why cannot people let me be as I am does not help anyone in the long run including that person.
Trying to change is not easy and it takes a lot of effort. Healing may not be in sight but that area can be held in check even if it maybe painful. An alcoholic can be sober as he stays away from the bottle even if he has alcoholic urges. A person can be abstinent if he stays away from engaging in same-sex or sensual activity and not labeled homosexual even if he has homosexual tendencies.
AA and NA work for a lot of people and I know true story cases of organizations especially Exodus International helping those who have homosexual urges to live a HAPPY heterosexual life being married. There are those who are able to live an abstinent life too if they are single and still be happy. I met one of them who is a counselor helping a lot of people.
Life is not just about hedonistic pleasures and what gives pleasure do it. Our actions have ramifications in other peopleís lives too. AIDS has affected more homosexuals and it is spreading in the heterosexual population too because some are bisexuals and transgendered. I know AIDS is not just a homosexual disease and am well informed about the epidemic as I did my research.
It will help to be open minded and read 'Straight and Narrow", Compassion and Clarity in the Homosexual Debate. It approaches homosexuality from all angles including medical.
Having no choice is not an excuse to do wrong. There are tons of cases of drug addicts arrested and drug pushers convicted. Even if dealers say that I did not have a choice in the matter because I was threatened if the goods were not delivered, my family or I would be hurt, does not excuse the wrong. There might be leniency in sentencing but it is still wrong. It is the same thing with people who reveal secrets under torture.
There are areas we all have to deal with and live it. Many times it can be hard to live that way and easier to just engage in a particular action but that is not what life is about. It is about dealing with hardship and not giving up. There is help if it is looked for but some just are not willing to go 100% for the help.
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With the doctor, homosexuality can be cured! (John Miller, Oct 13, 02)