Re: Fly Gene

From: David Bradford <>
Date: Sun Jun 05 2005 - 17:05:01 EDT

I can't argue with that, as long as we do not open the floodgates to anarchy.


----- Original Message -----
From: Jim Armstrong
Sent: Sunday, June 05, 2005 4:35 PM
Subject: Re: Fly Gene

Interesting response. Though true, my sense is that strictly speaking this may not be consistent with what we teach in the Christian community. The general understanding is that we are being transformed, and that salvation is by grace and not via works. Is that not about being, rather than doing? That "doing" proceeds from "being"? As a human community, we may be judged by what proceeds from our mouth (or actions), but isn't what ultimately matters what lies in our hearts (or our being)?

If you are talking about strictly societal perspectives, then perhaps you are right. But to be sure there is a societal dimension in Christian life, and that is one of the places where we on occasion find ourselves crosswise with out "doings" not being coherent with the "being" that we aspire to (in this regard, check out the UCC's thought provoking "Bouncer" commercial at ).

I am not arguing about the instances you and others have cited where some genetic disposition results in unacceptable societal behavior such as violence. What I'm pondering here is whether we might need to think about being a little more tentative about where we position the cursor and why in this particular area, the understanding and judgment that surrounds sexual preference and behavior. It is too early to tell if the matter in the article will prove to be extensible beyond the fly and if so, in what ways (as George pointed out). But there is also no reason at this point to think that the discovery cannot not be extensible. It appears to me to be a caution flag for those who may have polar perspectives on these matters. And there is certainly discourse about whether preference and behavior are volitional or not, and that distinction significantly affects (in part) how and why people in the Christian communitiess respond to gender matters. JimA

David Bradford wrote:

  We are judged not by who or what we are, but by what we do. Everyone is different and experiences different temptations. A key role of scripture is to help us understand the difference between right behaviour and the wrong sort.


    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Jim Armstrong
    To: ASA
    Sent: Saturday, June 04, 2005 8:39 PM
    Subject: Fly Gene

    In case you missed it, here's a potentially explosive headline, from yesterday's Arizona Republic:

    Fly study points to master gene directing its sexual behavior

    It looks to me that this has the makings of real conflict for those who are certain that sexual preference and behavior are elective, particularly when based on some pretty explicit scripture references.
    There is some strong inference, some correlation evidence, and some pretty decent (coherent) working hypotheses that up 'til now just formed a tentative framework that anticipated this discovery. But this appears very likely to be the missing genetic piece of the puzzle - and unexpectedly focused on a single gene (at least in this case).

Received on Sun Jun 5 17:05:12 2005

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