Commentary

Response to Merton Strommen, Part 4

An essay by Carl Jech

“Traditional” or “Out of Date”?

At least Merton Strommen admits that the methodology he relies upon is questionable. His piece reminds me of the old adage about “figures lie and liars figure.” According to his own (mistaken) assumptions, 100% of gay people are actually straight people who have been successfully recruited
into homosexuality. That’s a remarkable statistical success rate — far above the success-rates he claims for recruiting them back!

Human sexuality is extremely complex. It is not only about genes or “born that way.” So many factors such as genetics, hormones, environment, brain function, etc. are involved that it generally feels like “born that way.”
The main “research” he quote sets up the straw man of a “genetics only” understanding. The Truth here is about complexity and diversity. Too many religious people equate believing in God with believing that life is simple
and uniform. Perhaps they should re-read J. B. Phillips book “Your God Is Too Small.”

The dialogue in Metro Lutheran on this topic can easily go on for a long time because there are enough issues involved to fill large books. Most of the books in this genre disagree with Strommen’s point of view. He is far out of the mainstream of thinking about homosexuality and “reparative
therapy.” For one thing, most if not all of the reasons why some people “don’t want to be gay” are the result of societal prejudice against sexual minorities.

How can Strommen argue with a straight face in favor of modifying homosexuality while totally ignoring the implication that heterosexuality is also “flexible”? I know it sounds extreme to say so, but his type of
crusade against human sexual diversity has what can only be called genocidal implications; he would welcome a “final solution” to the problem of homosexuality. Do he and his “reparative” friends ever read any of the books that easily make his traditional views look more like bigotry?

Carl Jech
San Francisco, California