Sexual preference or Sexual orientation?


Controlling the vocabulary is essential to controlling people. So watch closely when meanings of words change. 

Homosexuals once spoke of “sexual preference” regarding their lifestyle. They now reject the term “preference” and replace it with “orientation” to remove homosexuality from the category of choice. 

Homosexuals also repeatedly claimed that, “All we want is to be left alone to live the way we desire.” This was partly due to the wrongful ways gays were treated for choosing their sexual lifestyles.  Since same sex behavior between consenting adults is legal in every state, those who target gays for abuse or violence should expect to be punished for criminal behavior. 

Somewhere along the way, however, the effort moved from seeking protection to demanding normalization. A strategic change of terms from preference to orientation came as part of that move.  And the change has been largely based on an effort to promote the misleading and manipulative argument that equates race and gender with the kind of sex people want.

The change had noting to do with the emergence of any new scientific evidence but was solely based on a strategy to lead society to embrace the necessity and normalization of same-sex lifestyles. 

The entire agenda of gay marriage depends upon the comparison of same-sex behavior as an unalterable and necessary condition of a person’s nature equal with race and gender. The comparison, however, is false and manipulative. Ironically, this agenda has turned into a weapon to bully, intimidate and abuse anyone who dares to think or speak differently. Are homosexuals using the same behaviors toward others that were wrongly brought against them? 

As a matter of clarification, it should be understood that while a person can be born with many inclinations or desires — even a variety of sexual ones, it is foolish to elevate each person’s sexual desires to something intrinsically necessary to their nature.

While we can clearly argue that heterosexual behavior is necessary to the survival of humanity, this does not mean that we should validate all heterosexual choices as necessary and acceptable by claiming it to be part of one’s nature. Sexuality is inseparable from behavior — not a condition of birth like race or gender.

As with all sexuality, we should speak of homosexuality in a context of human choosing — not as a civil right. Two men could be caring friends with a deep affection for each other without being homosexual. Homosexuality is not part of their relationship unless they choose to engage in same-sex acts with one another.  

What do we say to the many people who have left a homosexual lifestyle on moral grounds? What do we say to people who willingly try to resist homosexual lust out of obedience to God? 

Even if I could prove that I was born genetically conditioned to be sexually attracted to women, it wouldn’t mean that acting on the attraction would always be the ethically right decision.

Sexuality is necessarily connected with volition. As long as we make laws that regulate sexual behaviors, we are implying that sexuality is not the same as race or gender (no matter how much one claims that the laws step on his rights by refusing him equality). 

Consider, as an example, an adulterous woman who complains that her act of adultery (i.e. her wrongful heterosexual behavior) was because of her distant and uncaring husband. Sympathy toward her for being in a troubled marriage is understandable but it doesn’t mean that her act of adultery was the morally right choice.

All law making involves impositions of morality to varying degrees — especially if someone can claim that the law excludes him or discriminates against him. Most laws also have religious connections. What do we mean when we talk about equality for all? The very nature of lawmaking easily conflicts with absolute options of equality.

Deceitful word games are not new. They’ve been used in similar ways when “fetus” was substituted for “baby” to push a pro-abortion agenda. The plan has been to use the terms often enough to change the way people think. Yet neither change (for same-sex preference or for abortion) was based on scientific evidence that required different terms. The changes are based on specific agendas to re-engineer culture around the morality of those using the new terms.

I realize that America is a free society where people are free to do this. But it doesn’t mean that everyone else must accept the deception and the agenda. This is where it gets ugly because a militant wave of hate has been directed from radical homosexuals toward anyone who dares to see things differently about same-sex behavior.

The more widely the false comparison is accepted, the more people fear being accused of racial or gender discrimination. Who wants to be label a bigot or a racist or a homophobe? 

Radical homosexuals are free to sell their agenda but when they get ugly, Americans need to stand up and say, “Enough is enough!” “We don’t buy the false comparison and we won’t let you use it to bully others with your sexual lifestyles any more than we would let Phil Robertson move from his beliefs to hateful treatment of homosexuals.”

So what’s the difference between Phil Robertson (from Duck Dynasty) and gay activists? True tolerance. 

Phil stated his beliefs but didn’t demand nationwide conformity to them. Gay activists state their beliefs and demand nationwide conformity. And then they quickly demonize anyone who disagrees — repeatedly accusing good people of being racists bigots for holding a different viewpoint. 

If homosexuals want a radical revision of historic marriage laws from the standard used for most of human history, American history and the only one validated by Jesus (Matthew 19), they should expect to have to make a very strong case and to hear why others disagree or do not accept their case. This is just the way it works. It’s not about discrimination, bias or intolerance. These accusations must be firmly rejected as tools of manipulation to coerce and silence others. 

Steve Cornell

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7 Responses to Sexual preference or Sexual orientation?

  1. Very well said Steve. There is great wisdom and moral clarity here.

    You said….”The change had noting to do with the emergence of any new scientific evidence but was solely based on a strategy to lead society to embrace the necessity and normalization of same-sex lifestyles.” This is very important, because the gay activists are prevalent in academia, and they are trying very hard to make their research results conform to their agenda. But, to date, nothing has panned out for them, despite misleading and downright fraudulent claims to the contrary.

    Evil always works by first changing the language, so common words take on new meanings that fit the agenda. Jacques Barzun, Jacques Ellul, and Neal Postman (amongst many others) have written abut this with insight and erudition. The gay agenda is following all the classic bully tactics that have been used by every totalitarian system through history. Next, it will not be only forced acceptance, but forced celebration.

    Re. the misuse and abuse of the word “equality”, books could be written. Progressive liberals and fascists have used the word to mean equality of outcomes to promote their universal vision of utopia (and we know how that ends). I always qualify the word when I use it and say that’s it’s equality of dignity as individuals created by God that we must seek. That certainly is the meaning that our Founders understood.

    Anyway, great writing Steve. There’s a lot of very crucial points here to chew on.


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  5. Chuck says:

    I don’t think that the two terms necessarily mean what you say. I do understand the difference in how they could be used, but I don’t think that this is necessarily a problem. In fact, I think that the term “orientation” is positive and not negative.

    I also don’t think that this is necessarily connected with the issue of genetics. I do understand that the gay movement would like to make sexual attraction genetic, but for the person who is attracted to the same sex, it’s just there. Whether it is genetic or caused by something in his childhood, it’s still there and he has no idea what to do about it. Maybe he’d like to know if there was something in his childhood that caused this, because that might help him deal with it, but he’s not likely going to be able to figure that out. What he feels is an “orientation” to guys.

    Consider the situation of a guy who is a devout evangelical Christian, but who is attracted to the same sex. He may not know if it is genetic or because of his family or because of something that happened as a child. He just knows that he is not attracted to females in the same way that he’s attracted to males. But, in his case, it is certainly not a preference. He may agonize over this particular temptation and wish he didn’t have to face it. But, he doesn’t prefer it. Think of it this way: We wouldn’t use “preference” for any other kind of temptation, so why this one? You wouldn’t say that one who is tempted to lie has a lying preference, even if he often fell for that temptation. There are some people who seem to not be tempted to lie (or at least seldom so) and others where that’s a real problem that they struggle with. We’d not say that another person has a pride preference. He just is proud or is tempted toward pride.

    And, that’s why I say that the term can be very positive because it makes the distinction between an orientation or temptation (the attraction) and the action. It tells us that one can have a gay orientation, but not act out on that. When a teenage guy sees a girl and is tempted to lust, we know that there is a huge difference between having the temptation and refusing to dwell on it, having the temptation and actively imagining doing it, and having the temptation and taking action. I think we should be making the same distinction with a person who doesn’t know why he is attracted to the same sex and probably wishes every day that he didn’t have this temptation, and the person who dwells on the temptation and makes it a preference and finally starts acting out.

    So, I do understand that the term may be used by some to just say, “this is the way I am, so accept me.” Of course, people make that excuse about a lot of other sins also. Sorry that I’m a glutton, but I just can’t help it. Sorry that I’m so ambitious and competitive that i can’t empathize and care about others, but that’s just the way God made me. It’s still wrong and I agree with that. Having an orientation toward the same sex doesn’t mean “God made me this way and therefore this can’t be wrong.” The problem there is not the term “orientation.” The problem is a wrong theology, a wrong view of the nature of man, sin, and God.

    I am therefore not concerned about the use of the word “orientation.” I think that the greater concern should be the acceptance of the word “identity.” That makes it much more of just something that others should accept, on the same plane as race, nationality, or gender.

    “Orientation” is a good word choice. It needs to be followed up on, but it’s a good start. I think it’s helpful to be able to say to one, “yes, that’s your orientation, but that doesn’t make it right any more than my orientation towards pride or gluttony, or whatever is my “big one” is right. It is a burden, but you still have a choice. You can choose not to act out on that temptation, and if you do, you can repent and be forgiven and try to make better choices in the future. You can look for support from others. You can be used of God and maybe in some unique ways.

  6. Steve, you said…..”but for the person who is attracted to the same sex, it’s just there. Whether it is genetic or caused by something in his childhood, it’s still there and he has no idea what to do about it. Maybe he’d like to know if there was something in his childhood that caused this, because that might help him deal with it, but he’s not likely going to be able to figure that out. What he feels is an “orientation” to guys.”

    I’d like to add that I do not think it’s really much of a mystery as to why, all of a sudden, so many people, especially adolescents, are questioning their sexual orientation. It’s the expected result of the cultural zeitgeist: Every mainstream institution that affects cultural beliefs and attitudes is propagandizing for tolerance and celebration of gay and lesbian relationships. It’s an overt proselytizing and evangelization and it’s everywhere 24/7: in the movies, on network TV (and getting more and more graphic), radio, music, government school, books, magazines, everywhere on the internet, etc., etc. So, of course, young folks who are trying to figure life out will interpret any remote thought or temptation as proof that they are gay. It’s now not only acceptable, but it’s “cool”, PC, “brave”, etc. The cultural pressure is overwhelming now.

    I believe that no one is born gay – that’s absurd and there’s no science behind that assertion. It’s all about the culture and choice. We are being brainwashed by folks with an agenda. And it’s part of a wider agenda that sees the family as the last defender of the truth of Christianity and defender of God, and thus will do anything to destroy it.

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