Homosexuality and the Need for Purpose

Roger Denson defended homosexuality recently in the Huffington Post by asserting that it’s a form of population control. Here’s a portion of his argument:

Population control… provides gays and lesbians, and in particular gay and lesbian youth, the purpose in life we seek. We’re concerned today about the rate of suicide among gay teens. It’s not enough for young people to be reassured that to be gay is good and beautiful. It’s important that young people have some justification for their lives in the larger scheme of life. This kind of purposeful world view has from time immemorial been supplied by religion. But the religions born of past millennia that can’t expand to encompass contemporary knowledge about the world don’t provide the kind of self-purpose that progressive minded gays and lesbians require.

Notice these fascinating aspects of Denson’s claim:

  • The need for purpose in life
  • The importance of an overarching world view – some greater whole, some telos – as key to providing that purpose
  • The classic modernist assertion that society has ‘moved past’ religion – that religion, because it’s ancient, just can’t keep up with the progressive insights of modern culture

The last bullet point brings to mind two quotes, one from the Bible and one from Chesterton:

That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)


As enunciated today, ‘progress’ is simply a comparative of which we have not settled the superlative… progress by its very name indicates a direction; and the moment we are in the least doubtful about the direction, we become in the same degree doubtful about the progress. (from Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton)

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