One of the most frequent tenants regurgitated by those against gay equality is that homosexuality is “against nature and thousands of years of tradition.” I, and many others, have addressed the nearly infinite errors in this line of reasoning.
For one, it begs the question that nature is separate from mankind and also that being against “nature” (whatever they are defining it as) is inherently immoral. It ignores the fact that homosexuality occurs widely in nature and actually predates mankind by millions of years.
As for “tradition,” the proponents of this argument fail to acknowledge the countless customs and social norms that have been eviscerated throughout our history. Indeed, tradition has been in a constant state of change since the inception of civilization.However, I am not here to address these arguments individually. The thing that interests me about such rhetoric is their underlying fusion of the concepts “nature” and “tradition.”
The common view held by Christian conservatives is that nature has an established status quo, comparable to our “established” social norms (both, apparently, dictated by God).
In their view, nature is young, conventionally unchanging, and largely stagnant. That is, of course, until the “end days” which, curiously, have been “right around the corner” for almost 2000 years, now.
They seem to view the natural world in terms of rigid cyclical traditions and that nature has a preset disposition (conveniently) in perfect alignment with their societal values. To them, nature itself has a status quo that we should never seek to deviate from.
However, it is obvious anyone with a remote grasp of biology or cosmology, that this view of the natural world is antithetical to what we actually witness in nature.
Here are a few interesting facts regarding the supposed “norms” of life. Evolutionary biologists speculate that the species that exist today on earth represent less than .01% of those that have existed through our planet’s history. The rest are, as you can guess, extinct.
With this knowledge how can anyone assert that nature favors the lasting continuity of any particular species and their instinctive dogmas, much less those of a species as young as mankind?
If the complete history of planet earth were condensed into a single day, Homosapiens would not come into existence until the last minute of the entire 24 hour period, and all of our recorded history would be encapsulated in a few dozen seconds. Yet, some people assert that the traditions established in our fleeting, minuscule occupation of this planet are somehow etched in stone and endowed by nature itself.
Is this not the height of hubris?
Our universe itself, since its inception, has been in a constant state of change. It is estimated that around 100 billion stars die and are born every single year, in the observable universe.
Right now, as you read this article, there are stars collapsing in on themselves or exploding with such magnitude that the effects can be felt hundreds of trillions of miles away. These stars are nothing more than infinitesimal embers in the eye of the universe, yet, to us, they are of a scale beyond comprehension.
So, where do we stand in this ballet of cosmic chaos?
Consider this. Every accomplishment of man, every human life that has been lived, every idea, every work of art, every war, and every aspect of the human experience is currently confined to an unnoticeable fleck of dust. As such, there are incalculable ways that the universe could proverbially flick us off of its shoulder.
So, perhaps it would be prudent to keep all of this in mind, before you invoke the voice of nature as if it is your own, as if it indulges your petty social dictates and traditions. A little bit of cosmic humility goes a long way.
It has the ability to deter someone from making such embarrassing claims that the use of one’s genitals is pertinent to the interests of universal agents.
Filed under: Views & Voices