Puritan Gems

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Of Apes and Men

There is an increasingly popular defense of immoral behavior that is being pushed by certain groups. Studies have shown that certain bonobo chimps, in nature, participate in homosexual activity. Of course, this is set forth as evidence that homosexuality is natural. There are a multitude of directions that we can take with such a study, but the way that this study is presented raises serious questions concerning human ethics, especially in an atheistic worldview. Even if these apes are “genetically” homosexual (and that is doubtful at best), does that justify the same behavior in humans? The underlying assumption is, yes. Apes do it; therefore it must be a natural thing to do.

Michael Bronski, in his book The Pleasure Principle: Culture, Backlash, and the Struggle for Gay Freedom, writes, “Humans have created the myth that sexuality can be justified only by reproduction, which by definition limits it to hetero sex. But here is an animal society that uses homosexuality to improve its social life.” Clear enough? Atheists like Dawkins and Harris, in their struggle to justify the existence of morality, need to fret no longer. Bronski has solved the dilemma. Apparently man is to get his moral standards from bonobo apes.

First of all, it is clear from numerous studies that human homosexuality does NOT improve social life. Homosexuality destroys people. Homosexuals live shorter, less healthy lives. However, aside from these facts, we must deal with the question of ethics in general. Those who promote homosexuality based on the activities of bonobo chimps are quite selective in their ethical studies. Jane Goodall’s original studies of apes show that they participate in “warfare," "gang attacks," "killing and cannibalism". An article in Discovery Magazine shows that chimps exhibit “disturbingly high levels of battering, rape, sexual harassment, and murder”.

Now no sane person will pass a moral judgment on these apes for their horrendous behavior. After all, they are apes, and apes are going to do what apes are going to do. The quandary that non-believers face is when they wish to pass moral judgments on humans for similar offenses. How can this be? According to some in the world of Darwin, chimps share 98% of their DNA with us (though such claims really cannot be substantiated). If this be so, then where in the remaining 2% do we account for morality? To what biochemical process in the “evolution” of man can we attribute the rise of moral absolutes? Did these absolutes exist in our so-called “ancestors” (which we still haven’t found)? If so, when did our “closest relatives” lose them? In the end, an atheist cannot justifiably appeal to morality of any kind. At the very least, he must write off all behavior as the product of genetics, including atheistic pet peeves such as “homophobia” and “religion”.

So why is homosexuality morally wrong? The Christian worldview is clear regarding this issue.

“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination…” (Leviticus 20:13)

Clear, simple, and straightforward. It is wrong because God said so. He alone is the standard of righteousness. Despite the best efforts by liberal theologians and their would-be super-exegetes, there is no getting around the Bible’s commandments regarding homosexuality. Homosexuality is a rejection of God, changing the truth of God into a lie.

“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.” (Romans 1:26-28)

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

The good news is that there is forgiveness, even for the chief of sinners.

“And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11)

The moral choice is clear. Either we look to God’s Word as the final authority, or we live the life of apes, and simply do what apes do.