Feelings and Facts: A Head–On Collision
No matter whether you are 13, or 16, or 29 or even 79, you have a concept about who you are. Where did those ideas come from?
“I’m too fat, and I’m not really great-looking,” one middle school girl says. “I’m not one of the popular girls boys hang out with very much.”
“I’m a jock,” a fifteen-year-old boy says. “And yeah, I have lots of friends. And there are lots of girls who would go out with me.” (Mr. Confident, right?)
And what about Megan over there? “I’m gay,” she says. “That’s just who I am.”
What is being “gay”? And where did Megan get the idea that this is a core part of who she is?
From the very earliest ages, every one of us has an idea of ourselves as male or female. How do these ideas form? Some say it’s genetics, that some people are naturally homosexual instead of heterosexual. Others believe they were born in the “wrong sex” body, and need a sex change.
But does believing this make it true? And how does a person know?
It’s your feelings, many people say. You just know. Current books about homosexuality say that most people realize by the time they are 12 or 13, or even earlier, that they want to be with someone of the same sex.
And because of that, more and more people now believe homosexuality is just the way some people are. There are those who are born heterosexual, and others are homosexual. It’s obvious, some say, because why else would certain individuals be attracted to the same sex? Since it’s often controversial and many people are still against it, a person wouldn’t feel this way by choice. It would be too hard a road to travel — so it must be determined by forces beyond a person’s control. This is one side of the argument.
Experts, celebrities, professors, government leaders, even some recognized Christian pastors— lots of important people in the right places— now think it’s a person’s right to be respected as “gay.” So, if people we look up to have decided being homosexual is just the way some people are, it must be okay – right?
Truth and Consequences
Before exploring the “gay” question, let’s talk about truth. Do you believe in truth?
I’m not joking. If you think about it, you’ll recall people who say, “How can anyone know if something’s true or not? I mean, things aren’t just black or white.” Maybe you’ve said this yourself.
How would those same people react to the following situation?
Police today in Suburbanville are questioning two teenagers in what is being called an incident of cyber-bullying. The two boys are accused of constructing a web site featuring a fifteen-year-old girl from their high school. On the site the girl makes very explicit sexual statements and even solicits males to pay for her sexual services. The web site is a complete fabrication, say the police, which the boys set up without the girl’s knowledge, possibly in revenge. The girl recently broke off a relationship with one of the boys. The parents of the girl say she is devastated by the damage to her reputation at her school.
Sounds mean, even crazy. Who would do such a thing? In real life, an incident similar to this just happened in my community. These boys, if found guilty, will face criminal penalties. Why?
Because truth is important, and what they did was a lie. It was a carefully-devised, clever lie, but one that was still very damaging to the reputation of this particular girl. Yes, truth does exist and it matters. And in some cases, truth is protected by law—it’s that critical. In fact, without truth, we would have no laws, which would lead to chaos.
Some things are true and other things are not. We all depend on this. You couldn’t start your day if you didn’t have faith that gravity would keep you on the ground when you got out of bed, instead of failing one day. “Here’s my body, floating in mid-air today. Oh, well!” It’s unlikely you question the black and white fact of gravity, or worry that it might have changed overnight as you slept.
You know that certain things will happen each day. The sun will come up, stars will come out at night, and your little brother will still be a pest. (Until you and he grow up, that is. And maybe even then! )
Caleb knows who his parents are, who his sisters are and who his grandma is. Someone can’t slip another family into his house overnight and get Caleb to say, “Sure, okay, this is my family.” He will know the facts, and that the substitute family is not related to him.
Sarah knows she lives in Pennsylvania, not in Transylvania. She lives on Oaklawn Road, not on Oakhill Drive. Peter got a math award at school, not because he makes up different answers at different times, but because he depends on equations and computations being predictably the same at all times.
Mitch got accepted at Indiana University, and didn’t get accepted at Yale. What if he shows up at Yale in the fall? Someone will be quick to correct his misperception.
You’ll get your driver’s license because you learn to stop at red lights, stay in your lane on your side of the road, and you’ll rely on other drivers doing the same. If everyone just made up individual rules on the highway, imagine the confusion and damage to people and vehicles.
So, truth does exist and it matters. It can literally mean life and death at times.
Linda Harvey is president of Mission America and hosts a talk show on Salem affiliate WRFD in Columbus, OH. • (1250 views)