Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Take On Homosexuality

Note: This article was written by a good friend, Greg Wendel.
I liked the way he argued his point. I agree with him.

My Take On Homosexuality

By Greg Wendel
November 24, 2008

It is a big issue these days, so I thought I'd organize my thoughts.

There has been evidence (at least I've heard there is some though I can't link to it) that the state of Homosexuality can be seen in the brain. When exposed to certain stimuli the brain reacts in certain ways, showing that there is a true biochemical reaction to go along with the name it has been given. What does it prove? That homosexuality exists, and that its existence can be verified scientifically.

Do I think that people are born with it? I think it is possible, but what I believe to be more probable is that the tendency is born into people. Given certain environments and stimuli the tendency can remain dormant. Given other environments and stimuli the brain will begin to react to those stimuli in what is now called a "homosexual" way.

I think that given these conditions homosexuality can be compared pretty fairly to say, depression. Are people born with it? I don't think so, but I do believe that their brains are wired in certain ways so that the tendency is there, and given certain stimuli, conditions, and stressors the brain will begin to react in certain ways so that a person's mental state can be defined as depressed. The existence of depression can be proved through the manifestation of its symptoms, and analysis of how the brain works. It can be verified scientifically.

That being said, we know that depression (as a manifestation of how the brain is working) is not an ideal or natural condition for a brain (or person) to be in. Constant fatigue, apathy, pain (all over), and suicidal thoughts are just a few ways in which depression effects every day life. It would be considered ridiculous inhumane to tell people that since depression exists (it can be identified scientifically) it is an ideal or acceptable way to live. Should we tell those with depression or other mental ailments that they should expect to be sad, and that is the way they were meant to be, and who they are? Should we encourage them to be depressed just because that is how their brain currently works? The answer, I believe is obvious. Yet, when confronted with the issue of homosexuality society employs a double standard much to the detriment of those who could be helped. We do a great disservice to either group when we tell them that what they are dealing with is normal, or even ideal.

Don't get me wrong. I do not believe that those who are born with the tendency for homosexuality are any more to blame (for that tendency) then those who are born with the tendency toward depression. It is how their brains came wired, and it not something that they could control. However, I do believe that each group can decide how to deal with it.

I do not believe that we should deny work to those who deal with homosexuality. I think they should have hospital visitation rights, and (if they are in a stable living arrangement with their partner) that they should be able to have insurance plans together. We should treat those who deal with homosexuality with as much kindness and respect as we would with any other person who deals with any other issue. Marriage has always been a union between man and woman. Marriage (given what it is) is as available to those who struggle with depression as those that struggle with homosexuality. That right is available to them as it is to any other man or woman. Any other union or binding agreement between partners is not marriage, and it should never be described as such.

What makes me think this way? I have known people who have lived the homosexual life and been a "homosexual," who have later married and found love and marriage with one of the opposite sex. I have friends who are "gay." I believe them to be generally good people (like I am a generally good person,) who are nonetheless deceived about the true nature of their condition. Perhaps most importantly I have the tendency toward depression. I know what it feels like to be different, and not to fit in. Sometimes even the simplest of relationships and activities are colored by this, but I will not let it rule me. There are steps I (and others like me) can and do take to overcome. A tendency toward depression does not mean that I cannot be happy, only that I must take care of myself.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An Entertaining Application Essay

Hey everybody, I read this again recently, and I still think it's pretty funny. It is my friend Grant's BYU college application essay. He's currently in the Missionary Training Center, and when he says he speaks spanish he's not lying - his skills cut his 11 week stay at the MTC to 4.

He tempered his final draft a bit, but here's the original version :-)

I have studied extensively in the arts. I have earned the Sterling Scholar Award for Brighton High School in the area of visual arts. I have studied in music for many years, and have learned to play the piano, guitar, and the Navajo Wood Flute. I can cry on queue. I have participated in community service, and have achieved the rank of Eagle in the Scouting program. I am a certified Black Belt in Tae Kwon Doe. I have two aunts who are 1/8th Navajo, a full Taos Pueblo Uncle, a full Goshute great aunt, and my sophomore crush is 1/8th Cherokee. I am Swedish. I have participated and lettered in Track and Field, served as a Cross Country Captain, finished first in JV Region Wrestling, and can cut my own hair without a mirror. And I never lie. I am an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and live its values. I don't drink, do drugs, or smoke, and as such, I am healthy, on track and on task. I love trains. I am a bright, capable, and hard working student, and am a good representative of the values that BYU is governed by. My palms do not sweat. I have an unusual ability to understand many things in many fields, and as such, I have cultivated my talents broadly, developing a wide range of skills. I speak a lot of Spanish, and am fluent in Pig Latin. I am spirited and friendly, and get along well with all types of people. I can count to three using only two fingers. I learn very quickly, and don’t forget what I’ve learned. I have a keen sense of smell, and thus, I realize that I have a pleasing aroma. BYU is my lover.