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In undergraduate school, I took a class in advanced psychology. The professor remarked: "If you are a parent who has a child who, at an early age, is using his left hand you must force that child to use his right hand. We live in a right-handed world, and a left-handed child will grow-up to be a frustrated adult, and will not be normal."

I thought the professor was simply trying to keep students awake. Then I realized he was very serious.

A quick research of those who were or are left-handed reveals seven presidents, Mark Twain, Leonardo da Vinci, Alexander the Great, Helen Keller, Albert Schweitzer, Larry Bird, Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Barry Bonds, Phil Mickelson and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. This list goes on and on.

Recalling the professor's nonscientific statement, I believe for some people it is the type of "reasoning" voiced within their vicious comments toward humans who happen to be gay or lesbian.

As a retired clergyman, I am saddened that some individuals within the Christian faith have taught and preached that homosexual people choose their lifestyle because they are either mentally sick or morally depraved. At times the "word" from some pulpits is that homosexuality is "inherently evil."

Some religious people would cite a passage from Leviticus, from the Hebrew Bible, as the solution to the "problem." If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death. Death by stoning for both the man and the woman who commit adultery is proper. (Deuteronomy 22:22). A bride who is found not to be a virgin is to be stoned to death.

Yet male virginity at marriage is never mentioned. The Hebrew Bible allowed a man to have many wives; and did not disapprove of a woman living with a man to whom she was not married. You can select sections from both Testaments of the Bible where slavery is normal, and not categorically condemned.

Anyone can find a passage here and there that would support a point of view. However, my view as a Christian is that we apply the love ethic of Jesus to sexual mores in our society. This does not mean that anything goes; relationships are to be measured by the love commandment of Jesus.

Americans are obsessed about issues concerning human sexuality. My view toward the issue: What consenting adults choose to do is their business. Period. It is not the business of family, or neighbors, or employer, or faith community, or government. Period. Our energy is being sapped by our obsession over gay marriage.

A perspective on this lifestyle was offered by David Horsey, editorial cartoonist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He shows the man of the house spying through binoculars on the next-door neighbors. He says: "First they were gardening, then they cleaned house and now they're sitting at the kitchen table paying bills!" His distraught wife covers their son's eyes and shouts: "Lordy! Those hedonistic homo perverts are pretending to be married! Don't let the children see!"

Another point of view comes from one gay man, who, when asked about gay marriage, said: "Well, it's fine with me as long as they don't make it compulsory."

People no more choose their sexual orientation than they choose to be left-handed. So, what shall we do with those who are gay or left-handed? Shall we stone them, or force them to change; or shall we accept them as they are: humans, created in the image of God?

WILLIAM W. MCDERMET III, who is right-handed, has left-handed relatives and friends. He lives in Panama.