“Yesterday in the bathroom (in front of the mirror), I wiggled my body very rapidly, making my genitals bounce up and down. I get a little bit of that feeling mentioned above as I write this. After I did this, I immediately asked forgiveness of God, went in the shower but did it again there.”
According to that guru of purity and bastion of right-wing morality, James Dobson, the teenage “prehomosexual” who wrote the above words is “representative of many other preteens and teens around the world who have awakened to something terrifying within—something they don’t understand—something that creates enormous confusion and doubt. These kids often recognize very early in life that they are ‘different’ from other boys.”
I learned all this in Dobson’s book, Bringing Up Boys (Tyndale House Publishers, 2001), in Chapter 9, “The Origins of Homosexuality.” I’d heard much over the years about James Dobson, and the wonderful advice he gives to parents about how to raise kids. And given that as a parent and as a professional educator, I disagreed with everything I read or heard from him, I had long contemplated buying one of his books, in an attempt to see where this revered author was coming from, and maybe in the process get a handle on some of my own faulty thinking. After all, I suspect that he and I might actually agree that raising kids is the most important single thing we can do for the future of the human race.
As it turned out, this one chapter, which I flipped to for a preview, got me up to speed pretty quick. In an attempt to spare you from buying the whole book like I did (or possibly send you to it, if like millions of others you inherited the Dobson Worship Gene), I herein share some Dobsonian wisdom on the topic of homosexuality.
Not only are confused boys, such as the one above, different, but, if they are Christian, Mr. Dobson tells us, “Their sexual thoughts and feelings produce great waves of guilt accompanied by secret fears of divine retribution… There is no greater internal turmoil for a Christian boy or girl than this.”
This was a revelation to me. As someone who suffered through twelve years of Catholic school, with Dominican nuns beating me on a regular basis—mentally, if not physically—this sounded remarkably familiar. In fact, it seemed inconceivable that the internal turmoil I experienced could possibly be any greater for a “prehomosexual” than for a “preheterosexual,” such as I evidently was. I mean, if one is going to roast in the hot place for all eternity for the sin of sexual abuse, it would hardly seem to matter if the offense were done for homosexual or heterosexual motives.
However, I was pleased to learn that, according to Dobson, my miserable condition and suffering would not have been classified as a “disorder,” as such would be for prehomosexuals.
I also learned that the homosexual disorder is not typically chosen by suffering youths. And how do we know this? Notes James,“Who among us would knowingly choose a path that would result in alienation from family, rejection by friends, disdain from the heterosexual world, exposure to sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS and tuberculosis, and even a shorter lifespan? No, homosexuality is not chosen, except in rare circumstances.” (Let us kindly overlook the fact that it is folks like Dobson who have done their best to create and perpetuate these joyful Christian conditions.)
Well, phew! I really would hate to think that such a fate was chosen, since in that case you’d obviously have to be an imbecile as well. On the other hand, this serious mental disorder called homosexuality is not genetic. Dobson offers several irrefutable proofs to ponder, such as this: “There are no respected geneticists in the world today who claim to have found a so-called ‘gay gene’ or other indicators of genetic transmission.”
One might surmise, based on similar lack of evidence, that there is no gene for heterosexuality either. From which one might logically conclude that there are no genes for sexuality. I realize this appears to fly in the face of various noted biologists, who claim that we are reproduction machines, tools of selfish genes who like nothing more than to reproduce themselves.
No matter. If absence of evidence doesn’t cut it for you, try this: “… if homosexuality were specifically inherited by a dominant gene pattern, it would tend to be eliminated from the human gene pool because those who have it tend not to reproduce.” Never mind that many debilitating inherited conditions preclude reproduction, for we are talking here about that most evil and sinful disorder, homosexuality.
I was also pleased to learn that homosexuality is not only not predetermined, but those afflicted with it actually can do something about it! How do we know this? Easy: “There are eight hundred known former gay and lesbian individuals today who have escaped from the homosexual lifestyle and found wholeness in their newfound heterosexuality.”Forget the fact that these lucky eight hundred are some infinitesimal fraction of the gay and lesbian community, or that there may be something like eight million gays or lesbians suffering because they are afraid to reveal themselves: Indeed, James knows one of the lucky ones himself!
A friend of his, whose name I’ll spare, was once caught up in the gay community, participated in gay-pride parades, and was a cross-dresser. But this fortunate fellow “found forgiveness and healing in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” Ok, he had a momentary setback when “he entered and was discovered in a homosexual bar,” but overall he is happily married to a former lesbian and has two beautiful children. Which clearly proves that other gays can find Jesus and straighten up! Joy to the world! (Sing it.)
But on to our larger topic, nipping ‘em in the bud. There are at least five things to look for, although just learning two should be enough to give you the idea (James cites and draws heavily on a book by Joseph Nicolosi, Ph.D., Preventing Homosexuality: A Parent’s Guide, which he hails as “the most insightful material available on the subject”):
1) Does your kid repeatedly state a desire to be, or insist that he is, the other sex? That is to say, does your son tell you he’s gay? If so, that is one good indicator that he is—or rather, wants to be, according to these fonts of wisdom on child-rearing (no pun intended).
2) Does your young boy have a preference for cross-dressing, or simulating female attire? If so, you should seek counseling. But only from one of the two recommended agencies on James’ list, or someone who shares your “Christian belief that homosexuality is sinful and can be undone.”