Dr. Charles Roselli at Oregon State University caused quite a stir recently when his studies of gay sheep were reported in the NY Times as having broad, “...implications for understanding the development and control of sexual motivation and mate selection across mammalian species including humans.” In short, Roselli says he can spot a gay sheep in the herd and is wondering if, down the road, the sheep might be taught to become heterosexual.
Maybe Roselli ought to get in touch with Rev. Ted Haggard to see if they can collaborate. Haggard, you may recall, was expelled from the 14,000-member New Life Church he founded after he confessed to trysts with a gay hooker, perhaps with illegal drug involvement as well.
A few months ago, however, Haggard met with former church elders who gleefully announced they are convinced Haggard is “completely heterosexual” after only three weeks of counseling. .
I’m no geneticist, so I shall have to take the fifth on whether or not Mary’s little lamb with the pink bow and bell around his neck is just sweet or truly swish. I have no idea whether that sweet lamb will grow up to be a full-blown queen and, if/when that were to happen, whether Roselli and company might be able to scientifically change the sheep’s orientation. I do know that evangelicals have, for decades, told about “praying over” gay men and women and turning them around, so to speak.
Like most of you, I have plenty of gay and lesbian friends and acquaintances, but I have yet to meet a “former” or “ex” queer person. I have, however, met some allegedly “straight” people who, years later, turned out to be queerer than they thought. Like Haggard, however, these people may have been fighting the gay thing all along, being reluctant to admit to it for fear of being labeled a sinner, pervert, or worse in their circle. Being “out” is still no picnic in many parts of our society.
If Haggard were truly to have been “cured” in three weeks, this would be a scientific phenomenon with international implications. So far, I haven’t heard that Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine or any of the other prestigious scientific journals are reporting on this miracle. In fairness, I’m not sure Haggard’s “cure” is even getting any ink in secular magazines like Men’s Health, TIME or National Geographic.
Haggard’s religious elders stood behind his “complete” recovery from gayness and his “fully” heterosexual orientation du jour. My question for them is the same one I’ve asked of those who claim they have seen gay then later turned straight by the power of prayer.
Would they-- or you-- be happy to send your beloved child or grandchild down the aisle with such a person?
- ► 2008 (17)