Letters, week of March 19

Cause of sexual orientation debatable

Sir: On March 12th you published a Letter to the Editor entitled “Personal opinions or facts?”

I am a bit surprised that you published the letter, as it seemed to me to be a thinly disguised discussion of the writer’s bias. He falls victim to his own accusation of an onslaught of personal opinions frequently impersonating facts. Three paragraphs below he states, “Science is very clear that nobody is born a homosexual….”

Science, in fact, is not very clear on the subject and a vigorous debate continues.

There are many complex factors leading to specific sexual orientation and they may involve such things as pre-natal hormone exposures, the magnitude of X chromosome inactivation by the mother, genetic influences, the presence of certain maternal anti-bodies, variations in brain structures, and environmental influences.

While researchers have not yet nailed down a definitive theory for the determinants of sexual orientation they favour biological causes.

Accordingly, they believe that sexual orientation is not a choice as the writer of the letter states to the contrary.

The writer then gives away his real intent in expressing his opinion that homosexuality is a choice.  He goes on to state that the Bible makes it very clear that homosexuality is not normal (meaning wrong?)

If homosexuality is a choice and homosexuality is biblically wrong then, ergo, the homosexual is living in sin. That would appear to be the view of the writer.

If, on the other hand, sexual orientation is not a choice then the rationale for the writer’s bias falls apart and he has a conundrum…what to do with his feelings towards gays?

Fraser Williams

Sarnia

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Ignorance masquerading as opinion

Sir: Does anyone else get tired of the constant onslaught of ignorance masquerading as opinion?

I feel obliged to correct some aspects of Keith Patrick’s letter to the editor from last Thursday. Webster’s dictionary defines normal as, “usual or ordinary.” As homosexuality is found amongst 10% of society, it is thus a normal state of being. However, it would not be considered normative.

According to Keith, “Science is very clear that nobody is born homosexual.” Unless he is referring to the academic Journal Science, which I highly doubt Keith has read or heard of, Science is not, in FACT, very clear on the cause of homosexuality. Anyone is entitled to an opinion, so long as it is backed up by peer-reviewed, respected scholarship.

My generation, born in the 1990’s, is privileged to be the most educated in history. We have been given tools to discern between fact and opinion. I feel it my duty to inform Keith that an opinion based upon the scribbling’s of semi-literate shepherds from first century Palestine does not have much weight behind it. The Bible is not “very clear that homosexuality is not normal,” as Keith would have us believe; rather, it clearly instructs for homosexuals, “to be put to death” (Leviticus 20:18).

Early Christian theologians viewed both heterosexual and homosexual sex as sinful. St. Paul believed that, ideally, everyone should be celibate (1 Corinthians 7:9). In the City of God St Augustine viewed same sex attraction as completely “normal,” yet he believed acting on such desire was sinful.

I was unfortunate enough to attend a Catholic high school in Sarnia, where, in accordance with Biblical teaching, I was cautioned against the use of birth control, because, according to my religion teacher, they did not prevent the contraction of an STD.

Homosexuality has been a historic constant in the West since Homer. Famous homosexuals range from warriors like Achilles, Alexander the Great, and Richard the Lionheart to artists like Oscar Wilde and Arthur Rimbaud.

It has fallen to my generation to continue the social reforms started by my parent’s generation. As a white heterosexual man, it is my responsibility to educate myself of my racial and sexual privileges. When crafting opinions on minority groups, I rely on them to inform me about their experiences. I doubt people like Keith have ever bothered asking a homosexual individual whether or not they chose their sexual orientation.

Jack Mallon

Sarnia

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People don’t ‘choose’ to be gay

Sir: In this day and age, it’s unfortunate to see people still not accepting homosexuality, let alone calling it “abnormal.”

In the March 12th edition, Keith Patrick cites the Bible as a reason why homosexuality is wrong. Just like most books that contain facts, they are updated every once in a while to accommodate new knowledge and new fact. Using the Bible as a reason for homosexuality being wrong is completely ridiculous.

Sure, the Bible clearly says, in the Old Testament mind you (written thousands of years ago), that homosexuality is wrong. It also says we should not wear clothing of different fabric, nor get tattoos or piercings. So while you’re slamming homosexuals, you may as well slam anyone you know and love that has tattoos and/or piercings.

The Bible does not mention homosexuality more than piercings, so clearly it is on the same level.

Friends of mine who are gay, bisexual, lesbian, etc. have known from the day they are able to think for themselves what sex they were attracted to.

They may not have known there was a word for it, but they knew what they were attracted to.

It’s unfortunate that people like Keith Patrick cannot accept that people are, in fact, born that way and do not make the choice.

Speaking as a straight person, I can’t see how I could ever just “choose” to be sexually attracted to another man, so I find it hard to believe that someone could just “choose” to be gay.

Perhaps it’s time you got with the times.

Brandon Edwards

Sarnia

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Questions raised by rise of non-profits

Sir: I enjoy reading your publication. The stories are interesting because they relate to the community of Sarnia and surrounding area.

Over the past several years, I have noticed the “landscape” of Sarnia has changed. Sarnia has become a city of non-profits, registered charities and churches.

Of note is the fact that many of these organizations are housed in brand new buildings on prime real estate, some with several locations. This has piqued my curiosity.

Do they pay property taxes?  Why do they need brand new buildings when there are so many vacant commercial properties available?

Are donations really going to their services or are they being used for “empire building?” How can the for-profit retail sector compete with these organizations (the ones with thrift stores) and survive in Sarnia?

These are all questions that I would like answered and maybe other people would like to know too. Perhaps this could be a subject for The Sarnia Journal to investigate.

Lori Cadieux

Corunna

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Handicapped parking offenders

Sir: My wife and I have handicapped parking cards due to difficulty with our mobility when walking.

But often, lately, we are not able to find a handicapped parking spot because people without a card are using the spaces.

I don’t understand why the city does not monitor these areas more closely, and fine the people who are using them illegally.

If they were fined, it might be a deterrent so they won’t keep doing it.

We have particularly noticed it happening at local restaurants and at the Point Edward Casino.  The Casino employees claim they have nothing to do with the parking lot and do not monitor it.

But there must be someone who is supposed to look after these things.

Yours truly,

Allan Mitchell

Sarnia