HomoSex: Against Nature?by John Calendo
Even goldfish in the privacy of bowls, do it.”
— “Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall in Love,” Cole Porter
Newsflash to Focus on the Family: Homosexuality is widespread throughout the animal kingdom.
This should be old news to everyone else, and would only have been a flash circa 1973, but it’s causing havoc with the Left Behind crowd.
The Christian fundies, that is, their Norwegian counterparts, are raising a fuss in Oslo where a Natural History museum has opened an exhibit to illustrate the universality of animal homosexuality with dioramas and a wealth of photos.
“Homosexuality has been observed for more than 1,500 animal species,” says the exhibition’s project leader Geir Soeli, “and is well documented for 500 of them.”
From the U.K.’s Daily Mail:
The birds and the bees may be gay, according to the world’s first museum exhibition about homosexuality among animals.
With documentation of gay or lesbian behavior among giraffes, penguins, parrots, beetles, whales and dozens of other creatures, the Oslo Natural History Museum concludes human homosexuality cannot be viewed as “unnatural”.
“We may have opinions on a lot of things, but one thing is clear — homosexuality is found throughout the animal kingdom, it is not against nature,” an exhibit statement said…
The museum said the exhibition, opening on Thursday despite condemnation from some Christians, was the first in the world on the subject. Soeli said a Dutch zoo had once organized tours to view homosexual couples among the animals.
“The sexual urge is strong in all animals. … It’s a part of life, it’s fun to have sex,” Soeli said of the reasons for homosexuality or bisexuality among animals.
One exhibit shows two stuffed female swans on a nest — birds sometimes raise young in homosexual couples, either after a female has forsaken a male mate or donated an egg to a pair of males.
One photograph shows two giant erect penises flailing above the water as two male right whales rub together. Another shows a male giraffe mounting another for sex, another describes homosexuality among beetles.
One radical Christian said organizers of the exhibition — partly funded by the Norwegian government — should “burn in hell”, Soeli said. Laws describing homosexuality as a “crime against nature” are still on the statutes in some countries.
Greek philosopher Aristotle noted apparent homosexual behavior among hyenas 2,300 years ago but evidence of animal homosexuality has often been ignored by researchers, perhaps because of distaste, lack of interest or fear or ridicule.
Bonobos, a type of chimpanzee, are among extremes in having sex with either males or females, apparently as part of social bonding. “Bonobos are bisexuals, all of them,” Soeli said…
Still, it is unclear why homosexuality survives since it seems a genetic dead-end.
Among theories, males can sometimes win greater acceptance in a pack by having homosexual contact. That in turn can help their chances of later mating with females, he said.
Well, that settles that.
This should stop the evangelicals from waging their crazy war on …. but who are we kidding?
Evidence never stopped these people before. Science has been the enemy of religious conviction — the sort that insists the Bible is without error down to the last comma — ever since Galileo poked a telescope into the sky and proved that the universe did not spin around the earth, and that man might not be at the center of the center but way over on the periphery of the universe’s eye.
Didn’t stop them in 1632; isn’t stopping them in 2006.
In fact last Sunday the evangelicals held a rally in Boston (because that was where gay marriage was legal and still fragile) to urge the faithful to forget all about Foley and vote Republican anyway, as the Republicans were the last hope of civilization to staunch stealth homosexuality, that is civil unions and all those awful doe-eyed lesbians getting married and defying what the conservatives, including Judges Scalia and Thomas on the Supreme Court, are fond of calling “the natural law.”
Will the Born-Agains fall for it again? Will Foley and the Republican leadership that turned a blind eye to the Congressman’s shenanigans get a pass? Maybe, just maybe, this time not.
Tempting Faith, a book that came out today by a head staffer in the White House’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, should shake a few church rafters. Author David Kuo, says the Bush administration privately thought the evangelical base were out of their minds. Kuo was interviewed last night on the influential news program 60 Minutes. The CBS website summarizes:
In his book, Kuo wrote that White House staffers would roll their eyes at evangelicals, calling them “nuts” and “goofy.”…
Specifically, Kuo says people in the White House political affairs office referred to Pat Robertson as “insane,” Jerry Falwell as “ridiculous,” and that James Dobson “had to be controlled.” And President Bush, he writes, talked about his compassion agenda, but never really fought for it..
He took 60 Minutes to a convention of evangelical groups — his old stomping ground — and walked around the display booths, looking for any reference to the poor.
“Youâ€™ve got homosexuality in your kidâ€™s school, and youâ€™ve got human cloning, and partial birth abortion and divorce and stem cell,” Kuo remarked. “Not a mention of the poor.”
“This message that has been sent out to Christians for a long time now: that Jesus came primarily for a political agenda, and recently primarily a right-wing political agenda — as if this culture war is a war for God.
And itâ€™s not a war for God, itâ€™s a war for politics. And thatâ€™s a huge difference,” says Kuo. (Video here.)
Kuo left the Bush staff in 2003 and decided to blow the whistle on the manipulation of evangelical voters after he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. It will be doubly hard, therefore, for the White House to set their attacks dogs loose on talk radio and cable TV to demonize him, as is the usual Rovian strategy. Kuo has no reason to lie and no political advantage to gain. He was, as he writes in his book, brought up to tell the truth.
Still we have to say this is the best thing we’ve heard about the Republicans — not a phrase that is heard often in the echoing halls of Nightcharm — since … oh, since Lincoln freed the slaves.
Fact: Robertson is insane. Fact: Jerry Falwell, he of the beatific smile and honeyed voice dripping with Southern comfort, is ridiculous. And by all means put Dr. Dobson in a ball gag and dungeon restraints.