During much of the last century, it was common practice in the school systems, both parochial and public, to try to “train” children who were left-handed into becoming right-handed. (Fortunately, I never had to undergo this training as I’m one of the ninety percent of us who naturally writes with their right hand).
This view that someone who is “different” is somehow less of a person or is doing something wrong is rooted not in fact but in superstition. It is not unlike the medieval belief that people who were red-headed were the spawn of the devil – or at least in frequent contact with him.
But the prejudice against left-handed people far precedes the advent of Christianity. While I never expected my tutoring in Latin would have much of a role in my life, let’s go back to that ancient language for a moment.
The Latin word for left is “sinister.” If you look that word up in a thesaurus, you will find the following synonyms – menacing, villainous, base, dark, black, ominous, criminal, corrupt.
The Latin word for right is “dexter.” If you look up dexterous the given synonyms are adroit, able, expert, professional, skillful, talented, masterly.
Co-incidentally, not only are approximately ten percent of our citizens left-handed, it has been estimated that about the same percent are homosexual. I have read a number of studies on this subject that suggest people who are left-handed are ten times more likely to be homosexual than those of us who are right-handed.
This post came about for two reasons.
The first was an outing to the dog park yesterday. The second was an article that I read on Yahoo this morning.
As Gracie, (now cured of the kennel cough she picked up) was romping with some of her friends, I happened to pass two guys whom I had not seen before. As I walked by them one of these fellows made the statement, “Well – what do you expect? After all, he’s a faggot.”
Had I known these two men I would have stopped and made a comment. As it was, I simply turned to them and gave them a look. I consider that statement as offensive as if they had substituted any sort of racial or ethnic epithet in the place of “faggot.”
The second reason for this post is because of a new Turkish movie entitled, “ZENNE Dancer.” It is a story based on a real life “honor killing,” supposedly committed by a religiously conservative father against his only son who was involved in a homosexual relationship.
There are people of good conscience who have radically different views on the subject of homosexuality – some considering it a “learned behavior”, others believing that it is the inevitable outcome of the way that our Creator has made some of us. Both sides are impassioned in their views.
When dealing with emotional issues, I try to remove myself from the emotion and look at things in a logical manner. I seldom find that emotion leads me to finding good answers to life’s questions.
So I thought about the first theory on homosexuality – that it is a “learned behavior.”
My first question was, “Why would anyone want to learn this behavior? What advantages would the pupil achieve by learning how to be a gay man or lesbian woman?”
Frankly, I couldn’t think of any – though I would invite any readers of this post to offer their suggestions. Quite to the contrary, being a member of the LGBT community has significant disadvantages. Those include lack of property rights, spousal benefits, and of course the most obvious, the general scorn from the ninety percent of us who are uncomfortable with these “different” people.
Taking the second view, that people who are homosexual are that way because God has created them so may pose challenges to those who are strict biblical constructionists. But, if that is the case, then they are no more or less “guilty” than is a person who is born black, or white or Hispanic or left-handed.
Human consciousness and understanding is a work in progress. Five hundred years ago, Galileo was forced to recant his discovery and belief that the earth revolved around the sun. And at that time, the “correct” understanding of the world was that it was flat.
Perhaps one day, we will have evolved sufficiently to extend our hand in friendship not only to those who are of a different color or faith but of a different sexual orientation than our own.
Not to do so is to engage in behavior that I can only describe as sinister.