The Gay Issue
I thank Jim Maynard for having the courage to acknowledge the obvious lack of scientific evidence for the biological causation of homosexuality (Viewpoint, March 22nd issue), and I respect his call for a deeper look at the issue of sexuality in modern America.
His statement that the gay rights movement created a modern gay identity has been foundational to the Love in Action philosophy since its inception: People are not born "gay." If a person decides it is a role they no longer choose to live out, there are healthy ways to engage a new one.
We don't turn gay people straight. We help those who choose to come to us examine and release identities and behaviors they never felt fully comfortable with. We explore the emotional and sociological factors of their self-identification, and we help them rediscover themselves simply as men and women created by God, free of the labels and accompanying behaviors that have been attached to them by themselves and others.
I share Maynard's view that the right to make our own choices concerning our sexuality is paramount, but I do not agree that the nature/nurture debate is a smokescreen of the "ex-gay movement." In my experience, it is gay advocacy groups that have had the loudest voice in declaring sexuality fixed and immutable.
Maynard closed his piece with the statement that to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or straight involves making a series of choices. This is the viewpoint we have always held. It is my hope that we learn to honor and respect the choice to release a gay identity as much as we're asked to respect those who announce finding it.
John J. Smid
President/CEO, Love in Action International, Inc.
Maynard's premise is that all of us have an absolute right to choose sexual orientation. His argument also assumes any choice whatsoever, since he decries any religious or political sanctions against his view.
His absoluteness to not have absolutes against his view is a bit of a contradiction. This free-choice mindset logically leads to the freedom of "consenting" persons, animals, etc., to engage in almost any act in private.
Where does one draw the line if there are no absolute ethics? Why not have freedoms of consenting individuals to make suicide pacts in the privacy of their home? What about the freedom of humans and animals to engage in bestiality in the privacy of their home? His error is to not recognize that all legislation is a reflection of someone's moral code.
There is no neutrality in social ethical sanctions. While Maynard rejects scientific findings regarding homosexual patterns, the empirical evidence shows otherwise. If we adopt his view that there are no moral absolutes, then what standard keeps a sexual partner faithful in a relationship?
Thanks to Bruce VanWyngarden for his editor's commentary [about his gay uncle] (March 22nd issue). I am sick and tired of the hypocrites in this country who think it is okay for a person to fight and die for this country in a moral (or immoral) war but not okay to say who they truly are.
The U.S. Attorneys
The firing of a U.S. attorney (Viewpoint, March 15th issue) is the president's right. No question. Presidents, when they take office, usually accept the resignations of U.S. attorneys. The firing of so many in the middle of a second term is a very different matter.
It appears that the firings were done at the behest of long-standing aides of the president. Karl Rove and Tim Griffin started their careers as political operatives and destroyers of opponents' good names back in Texas.
Since we will have a presidential election in 2008, and Senator Hillary Clinton is running, one can only come to the conclusion that Griffin was named to replace a stellar U.S. attorney (Bud Cummins) to dig up dirt on Clinton. It appears Rove and those around him had only politics in mind, not the enforcement of the law for the citizens of Arkansas.
Editor's note: In last week's Flyer, we erroneously wrote that Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know radio program was affiliated with National Public Radio. Feldman's show is a Wisconsin Public Radio show distributed by Public Radio International.
Which leads me to put on my Dr. Phil face and say what has to be said: It's time for Memphis and Shelby County to start seeing other people. We've tried for years to patch things up, to come to some sort of mutual understanding, but we need to admit that we have irreconcilable differences. We don't even know each other any more ...