“The devil made me do it!” Just think about it….if the Devil made you gay, and he made Jerry Falwell have all those affairs…oh and Jimmy Swaggard…and the rest of them- and all they have to do is go up there and cry and claim that God forgives them for their sins and Satan made them do it- well, why can’t you!
The United States Conference of Catholic Theocrats…sorry, Bishops….is strongly opposed to same-sex marriage and homosexuality. Of course, one of these guys over there, one Daniel Avila, is adamant that homosexuality is not genetic, and therefore it has to be the work of the devil.
Avila is a lobbyist and spokesman for the USCCB. Avila wrote in The Boston Pilot that “God does not cause same-sex attraction.”
He went on to write that:
No one has found a “gay gene.” Identical twins are always, of course, the same sex, providing further proof of male and female genes. If there was a gay gene, then when one twin exhibits same-sex attraction, his or her identical sibling should too. But that is not the case. The incidence of finding identical twins with identical same-sex attraction is relatively rare and certainly not anywhere near one hundred percent. Something other than the hardwiring found in the genetic code must explain the variance.
Avila has not spent any time actually researching the theories, so his explanation, of course, is Satan. Science has shown there to be an innate cause for homosexuality, but that has not necessarily been considered to be genetic. Basically, you are born gay, but why is still a mystery. A recent study out of Sweden showed that the factors that make one gay or straight are incredibly complex. What makes a person gay or straight may be a combination of genetics, home environment and social environment. That was a twin study, incidentally.
Avila also wrote
In other words, the scientific evidence of how same-sex attraction most likely may be created provides a credible basis for a spiritual explanation that indicts the devil. Any time natural disasters occur, we as people of faith look back to Scripture’s account of those angels who rebelled and fell from grace. In their anger against God, these malcontents prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. They continue to do all they can to mar, distort and destroy God’s handiwork.
Therefore, whenever natural causes disturb otherwise typical biological development, leading to the personally unchosen beginnings of same-sex attraction, the ultimate responsibility, on a theological level, is and should be imputed to the evil one, not God. Applying this aspect of Catholic belief to interpret the scientific data makes more sense because it does not place God in the awkward position of blessing two mutually incompatible realities — sexual difference and same-sex attraction.
Ok, here are a few things to consider. As TNCRM notes, Avila’s statement regarding twin studies is pretty much false. In one study, researchers“identified homosexual males who had identical twin brothers and found that 52% of the brothers were also homosexual. Among fraternal twins, they found the ratio to be 22%. They concluded that since identical twins had a higher incidence of mutual homosexuality than fraternal twins, there must be a genetic component in the development of homosexuality.”
They also noted that identical twins are not 100% identical.
Ah, but the invocation of Satan…there in lies the crux. Well, Peter Montgomery at RightWingWatch noted that:
Avila gave no hint of his satanic origin theory of homosexuality when he spoke at the Values Voter Summit in October, though it (and the reference to natural disasters) does sound like the kind of thing one would hear from anti-gay conservative evangelicals. At the Values Voter Summit, Avila urged people not to accept that marriage equality is inevitable. He claimed that anti-equality forces in Massachusetts are building political strength toward repeal of marriage equality, a notion rejected out of hand by equality advocates familiar with the state.
Avila is, as usual, outside of reality through most of his arguments. Avila actually believes that Massachusetts is heading towards repeal of marriage equality even when there is not a scrap of proof of that. The man is a crusader.
The invocation of Satan, though, is something that no one seems to grasp here. Let us assume, for a moment, that homosexuality is a choice. Let us just say that we chose to be gay. Well, Avila chooses to be Catholic, does he not? Oh, sure, he may never want to leave the Catholic Church, but he has chosen to be Catholic. This is something that people never seem to argue with this issue. Just because these people claim that being gay is a choice does not mean that it should be made illegal.
Being Catholic is a choice. Being Mormon is a choice. Belonging to any religion is, straight up, a choice. One is not born Catholic. One is born into a Catholic family, but there are no genes that say that Avila is a Catholic. By the logic of the Roman Catholic Church and given the disruption that religions- including their own- have made to society time and time again, it would be a simple thing to ban religion.
That is only if one follows the idea that because it is a choice it is wrong. Do you remember Pastor Robert Jefress? This is a man who believes that Catholics follow a Satanic religion.
Choice or not, genetic or not, homosexuality does not and has not destroyed society. In fact, religious groups have done more damage to society than homosexuality has.