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Gay Issue: Don't Ignore Humans' Spiritual Side

March 10, 2004

Speaking as an evangelical Christian, I appreciated Marlene Zuk's "Birds Do It, Bonobos Do It" (Opinion, March 7). It perfectly demonstrates the crux of the "culture war" debate: Are we merely animals or are we somehow created in the likeness of God?

If the naturalist, scientific community that has taught the majority of the population for the last 45 years is correct, then there is really no logical reason to exclude gays from marriage, prevent the abortion of the unborn or not enshrine evolution as the new creation story. If we are truly just animals, how can we say any of these things is wrong? In fact, if they are correct, it would be wrong to purposely discriminate against any sexual behavior (let your mind wander freely here), choose abortion as the preferred birth control method or teach evolution as our purpose in being.

However, if we are, as the writer C.S. Lewis says, "amphibians, half spirit and half animal ... as spirits, belonging to the eternal world, but as animals, inhabiting time," then we need to change the minds of those who are observing only the human half. This can't be done through legislation but only by the transformation of the hearts of the population.

There is precedent for this happening: 2,000 years ago a Jewish prophet was nailed to a cross, and his followers created what we know as Western civilization. The same God can do it again, but he's not going to do it through the courts or the elected officials. He's going to do it one heart at a time, through those who believe in him.

Charles Winning

West Hills

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Zuk argues that homosexuality may not be as unnatural as we think, citing the fact that there are over 450 animal species where homosexual behavior has been observed. Authoritative sources say there are anywhere from 2 million to 17 million animal species, but if we go with the most conservative estimate of 2 million species and assume that three-fourths of these are from the insect world (a very generous assumption), that leaves us with 500,000 animal species. If homosexual tendencies are found in 450 of the species, that means that the behavior occurs in a whopping 0.1% of the animal species.

That is, in 99.9% of the animal species, homosexual behavior has never been observed.

Larry Beckler

Pasadena

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