Monday, July 1, 2013

It's Not Religion... It's Not Politics... It's Personal!

Peter and me
“Was it difficult to adjust to it?”  That’s what she asked me.  “Was it difficult to adjust to what?” I replied.  “To your son being gay.”

I am not sure anyone had ever asked me that question before.  I have become accustomed to answering the standard questions about family.  How many kids?  How old? etc.  We were at a weekend retreat for Vistage chairs.  So, even though we have only known each other for a few months, we knew each other well.  It’s an experience that really opens you up.  So, the question didn’t really throw me.  It just surprised me a bit.

Her question forced me to dredge up those long ago memories.  Yes, it was difficult.  And, it was difficult for years.

We have such extraordinary expectations of our children and, even if we can curb our tendency to impose them too harshly, they know what those expectations are.  Very few parents expect their children to be gay or envision their prospective spouse to be of the same sex.  I never expressed that to my son.  I didn’t have to.

The woman who asked the question is the mother of three teenagers (two boys and a girl).  So, I asked her two simple questions.

“Do you love your children?”  Yes, of course she does.

“Do you want them to be happy?”  The question answers itself. 

She went on a bit about her eldest son and the girl he had brought home.  I gather she hopes for someone better or maybe different.  I understand where she’s at.  I’ve been there.  There was a time when my greatest worry was that my son would marry the young girl he dated in college.  His mother and I married too young and I didn’t want him to make the same mistake. 

Little did I know at the time …

Robert Holden, Ph.D. has done extensive work on happiness in children and adults.  He has surveyed mothers in 67 countries about their wishes for their children.  By far, the number one response no matter the culture, race or religion is that their children be happy.  Not wealthy or wise…  happy! 

Dr. Holden would suggest that our challenge as parents is to learn from our children as much as we teach them.   … it's important to understand that you cannot make your children happy,”  he counsels.  “That said, there is plenty you can do to encourage them to be happy. The distinction between making and encouraging is a vital one. Parents who believe they can make their children happy are prone to making other mistakes like trying too hard to be a good parent, intervening too much, being over controlling and believing they always know what's best for their children.”

That the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and allowed the states to call the shots was foreseeable.  For the Justices, the issue is not a family matter but rather a
legal one.  A conservative court that hews closely to the Constitution as it was written was bound to abide by the 10thAmendment and the Equal Protection clause.  Preventing gays from marrying penalizes them in the whole host of matters from adoption/custody to health decisions to taxes. 

Following the announcement last week, the person-on-the-street interviews conducted by NPR ran the gamut from those who are elated like my son to those who think homosexuality is an abomination.  One that stood out for me was a young mother who expressed her views – not in religious or political terms – but in personal terms, saying that it was a “moral issue”.  She doesn’t want her children to be influenced by a society that condones gay marriage. 

I wish I could have asked her, “Do you love your children?”  “Do you want them to be happy?”  “And, what if one of them turns out to be gay?”

In the end, every parent learns that our children’s happiness is more important than our own aspirations for them.  What’s best for them is to support their dreams not our dreams for them.

I love my son.  I want him to be happy.



  1. We used to talk about "coming out" for gay people. There is a coming out of sorts for their parents too. We say that ALL we want for our children is for them to be happy. Accepting them for who they are is the way we truly show our love. John, thank you for "coming out" and showing us what a great family we have.

  2. Michael Carron • John...Your discourse is why we all like you so much. You are a thoughtful man and, obviously, a wonderful father and I would be very happy to be your friend.

  3. Jason G. Ramage, MS, MBA, RBP • Times have changed. Perhaps the day will come when people wouldn't even think to ask how you react to news that a child is gay because it's no different than finding out your child is bad at sports, good at math or has a peculiar affinity for awful pop music like Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga.

    Not that I have any children, but personally, I'd be more put off finding out my offspring wanted to attend Florida State. ;)

  4. Jason, I am sorry to inform you that my son, Peter, went to Florida State. :))

  5. John, I loved this article. You've got it right and your summary say's it all " In the end, every parent learns that our children's happiness is more important than our own aspirations for them. What's best for them is to support their dreams not our dreams for them." I learned this lesson from my parents behavior towards me and over a lifetime by observation. Hopefully I've passed it on to my children. Thanks for sharing. UV

  6. Jason G. Ramage, MS, MBA, RBP • My condolences. :)

    (I had no idea; I only wrote that because I'm a Gator)

  7. Well, his twin brother is a Gator. Does that help?

  8. Kate Close Goldman Wonderful, touching and extremely well written - I would expect nothing less from you John! You are an example for us all.

  9. Great piece John, I was moved to tears. You and your son are very lucky.


    Ed B.

  10. Beautifully expressed, your son is lucky to have you as his father!

  11. Hi John,

    I try to read your blogs as often as possible because I find them so interesting, informative and thought provoking. I just want to tell you that I found this one particularly touching.

    Give my best to Suzanne, and good luck with your move.


  12. joseph padula • The tenth amendment? I do not see Obamacare in the Constitution, but we have it.
    Wait it is a tax now. Not when it was proposed of course but became one when it way clear the law was not legal.
    All tax bills have to be originated in the house, this one came in the Senate. Of course they played a shell game with a bill that had nothing to do with Health care . I think it was a House bill on Military Housing, emptied it out and it was tolerated by Roberts.
    The tenth amendment is no longer in effect for us but can still be used by them.
    Of course California, and a bunch of the other usual suspect states. do not accept an out of state gun permit ( an Explicit Civil right ). They will be the first to cry about the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution when some state uses their tenth amendment power not to recognize a just made up "right" of gays marrying.
    Of course I personally support gays to marry if the state they are in votes for it( why should they not be as miserable as we are!) Also watching Divorce Court will be worth it again. However I do not like it when people do not vote for it. or explicitly vote against it, or it is imposed by a court.
    Didn't anyone learn from Roe V Wade? You can not force people to accept things, you can persuade them.

  13. Ray Wach • Well said, John.

  14. John,
    I love this piece, amazing thoughts! We should all wish happiness for those we know and love.
    Have a great 4th,

    Joan Sills

  15. Michael Mullikin • Considering that illigetimate births in this countryare now running at over sixty percent, over eighty perscent in the black community, don;t you think government might have a responsibility to promote traditional marriage? Who do you suppose supports all those children? Support that once was provided by fathers.

    Could it be that the Supreme Court decision permitting gay marriage still allows discrimination against those committed to inter-generational or inter=species love. Do you think the federal government owes the Mormons at least an apology and probably reparations since the US Army went to war against them, at least in part, because of their marriage custom?.

  16. Robert Spencer • The US government owes an apology to everyone!

    That the welfare system is ridiculous doesn't mean we should double down and become totalitarian in another area also.

    By defining marriage they are violating the 1st amendment by weighing in on a religious decisions.

    Lets not forget that the welfare system helped destroy marriage. Now you want the US government to fix what they broke. It is beyond the capacity of a bureaucrat to do so!

  17. As the son referenced in this article, I will say I'm proud to be my father's son. His words are truthful and honest.

    In my 20's when I fully came out to my family, it was quite a liberating moment, at least for me. However, I had years of thought and preparation building up to that day. I honestly don't remember if there was an exact moment where I woke up thinking this, as it was just a part of me, who I was. There were times my father asked me the question, "are you gay?", giving me the opportunity to spill the beans and be honest. I just wasn't ready, at least not then. In his own way, I think he understood that. Truthfully, those who are gay typically share a similar emotional journey; it often starts with the question of acceptance, and the fear of being alone. Many questions circled in my mind for years . . . What would I do to my family? Should I deny my feelings? Are my feelings selfish? Why am I different? I eventually gathered the courage to simply be honest, realizing that there was nothing truly changing about me at least from the inside. It was more about self acceptance and discovery of who I really was. There was a time I needed to complete that journey alone. I circled myself around others like me and found a newfound family. Little did I realize how much stronger I would become.

    Why did I share that? Well I just want to remind everyone that a journey of self acceptance is personal. So is marriage--it is personal. It means something different for every one of us.

    "In the end, every parent learns that our children's happiness is more important than our own aspirations for them. What's best for them is to support their dreams not our dreams for them." This statement is so powerful, and so true.

    I leave all of us with a final quote, and what I feel to be quite powerful words:

    "Marriage is not about religion. Atheists marry. Marriage is not about procreation. The infertile marry. Marriage is not about finance. It can weave poverty. Marriage is about love. That's it. And that's beautiful." ~ Anonymous

    Thank you Dad, the day you wrote this blog made me feel like you put on the armor I often put on every day I leave my house. You "came out" in your own way. I will end this comment similarly to how I started it.

    I'm proud to be your son.

    I love you.

  18. James Byers • Remember Jason Collins, the NBA player, of whome Prez Obama was so proud that Jason announced he was gay? Well, surprise. He has an identical twin who is not "gay", not asexual, but is straight: . Two guys share the exact same DNA: one chooses hetersexual acts, the other homosexual acts. Being gay is not a state of being, it is a choice, an act, sometimes confused with being effeminate. It's not genetics and not something you are born as.

    There are many reasons for a society to promote heterosexual relationships and many reasons not to promote homosexual relationships. We don't have to make homosexual acts illegal nor start a war on sex, but that does not mean we have to hold both up as something to which our children should aspire.

    Finally, every homosexual has the same rights as a heterosexual: they can marry a person of the opposite sex the same as any other person. Nor is anyone disadvantaged in this country due to their sexual choices.

  19. @James. Your logical argument is faulty because your premise is faulty. Homosexuality is not determined by DNA. My son Peter's twin brother can attest to that. There are a number of theories about the root cause of homosexuality in men ranging from maternal genetic predisposition to fetal brain development or the combination of the two.

    But, if you think it's a conscious choice, you really don't have clue. That would suggest that each of us men could choose to be sexually attracted to other men. Try it and see how well it works.

  20. James Byers • John, funny that you say homosexuality, heterosexuality, asexuality, polygamy and all other forms of sexual behaviors is not determined by genetics, then you try to explain it with genetics. There is no genetic switch, which is proven in the case of identical twins.

    Since it is not genetics, the only factor remaining is choice. I like my coffee with cream no sugar. Could I learn to like it with sugar. Sure, I used to like it with sugar. But then I decided that I did not need the sugar in my diet, so I adapted and started drinking coffee with only cream. Over time, I came to prefer coffee with cream no sugar.

    Can preferences for sexual behavior change? Of course. How can you deny that? We can be influenced by what we have done, but we are what we do.

    Othewise, a person of your mindset has no understaning of those individuals who had homosexual relationships then changed and entered a heterosexual relationship, remaining there; vice versa of course. Are those persons sometimes tempted by their former behavior? Certainly. Are they irrestably drawn back? In most cases, no. If the reasons for leaving one sexual behavior for another remain, then usually the commitment remains.

    The reasons for preference (not preordained disposition) are as varied as are people and our experiences and choices.

    That is why recent determinations that sexual behavior is out of our personal control are utterly false and self serving.

    No one is prohibiting homosexuals from marrying. There are any number of churches willing to perform such a ceremony. You don't need state approval to marry as a religious ceremony. What remains is the civil contract of marriage. And to change that, forget the lie that it is a civil rights matter. As I said before, homosexuals and all other behavior variants have the same right to marry an opposite gender as does anyone else. Nor is it a matter of equal protection. Redefining marriage to allow other variants, same sex, multiple, transgendered, cross species, is in fact a redefinition - an attempt to claim a new right that has never existed in our nation. Admit it as such instead of dishonestly shrouding same sex sexual relations as something they are not.

  21. James, the article to which I provided a link explains the possible cause as the combination of a gene passed down from mothers and fetal development.

    I am not sure where you get your arguments from. It sounds like an intellectual version of something from Rush Limbaugh.

    If you had walked a mile in my shoes, you would have a different view. I know that my son did not make a choice to be homosexual. I know what he went through emotionally before he came out. I know how difficult it was for him. I know how it challenged my family.

    You do not.

  22. BTW, James. When exactly did you choose to be a heterosexual? Puberty? Or, later in college? Did you look at those guys in the locker room and say... "they're really cute but I think I'll try to date a cheerleader instead?

    Do you even remember making the choice?

  23. Yes, it becomes a personal issue when a straight person learns that their son, daughter, friend, co-worker, favorite actor, etc. is gay. it's often enough to push them over the fence into the pro gay marriage side. That's fine, that's understandable, and that shift should be congratulated.

    But at the same time, it's somehow sad that it takes the personal awareness of the sexual orientation of a friend or family member to change someone's mind. In my view, gay marriage should be legal simply on, as you cited, the legal issue.

    Fundamental to the legal issue is this: Sexual orientation is not a choice. People are born straight and people are born gay. A 13-year-old boy doesn't wake up one morning, decide to eat Cheerios instead of Wheaties, decide to go out for football instead of soccer, and decide to be gay rather than straight. The only choice the 13-year-old faces is when and how he'll admit and accept his orientation, and then get on with his life. That life, incidentally, can be as rich, rewarding, fulfiling, and happy as any other person's on earth.

    Ask any straight person when he or she "decided" to be straight and you won't get an answer because there never was such a decision. Ask them when they "realized" they were straight and you'll get all sorts of colorful coming-of-age stories. The same goes for gays.

    The religious right, of course, will have none of this. It pulls the rug right out from under their belief that one chooses (or is influenced by the media, another gay, song lyrics, or by some satanic force) to be homosexual. As long as they can push the agenda that homosexuality is a choice, a "wandering from the flock," they can continue to push its sinfulness. Remove choice from the equation, and they have nothing.

    So again, the legal issue has at its roots, the fundamental belief that all men are created equal. Underlying that belief is that we were created (born) male, female, black, white, gay, and straight, etc. etc. We didn't become black; we didn't become female, we didn't become straight. And therein lies the core reason to legalize gay marriage.

  24. James Byers • I'm sorry you feel the need to resort to insults.

    For you to decide that your son was born with any particular sexual orientation lacks medical evidence and defies the experiences of many who have gone from one sexual orientation to another. I have not heard you provide any explanation for how someone changes orientation. I guess because that fact, that many have changed sexual orientation, denies the credibility of your convenient and unfounded explanation for your own personal experiences.

    Your arguments are the old "the Devil made me do it". I find that as a parent, my children do much better when I help them accept responsiblity for their actions, rather than make excuses for them.

  25. @James. I apologize if you found my response to be insulting. It was not my intent. I was simply following your line of thinking. If sexuality is a choice, then it follows that we have all made a choice. I would guess that you made the choice to be a heterosexual. So, can you tell me about that? When and how did you make it?

    No, insult intended. I am just trying to understand how that works to your way of thinking.

    "The Devil made me do it" doesn't enter into my thinking. I think that metaphor presumes that homosexuality is wrong.

    I can assure you that, as a parent, my children accept responsibility for their actions. I am not, in any way, making excuses. My son accepts his homosexuality just as you accept your heterosexuality. It's not accurate to call it an "action" for which he should accept responsibility. Again, your characterization assumes there is something wrong with homosexuality.

    I am not sure what scientific evidence you are looking for. I have provided a link to an article from Psychology Today which I think provides a concise summary of what I have read at greater length.

    I must confess, James, I almost guffawed at your assertion that many people have gone from one sexual orientation to another. Are you referring to the religious organizations that endeavor to convince homosexuals that their behavior is sinful and they CAN change? If so, please don't bother to continue this dialog. You're wasting your time.

  26. James Byers • Poor, John. I'll share with you something I learned in varsity debate at Annapolis. Hurl an insult and you bow to the superior reasoning.

    I know you don't really want to know about my personal sexual awareness, looking only for another opportunity to insult. But I'll share it, for the other readers. My first awareness of my attraction to the opposite gender was at age 12 when I first realized that not all girls were gross like my sisters. I was hooked. It was years later though that I realized that girls were interested in sexual relations, too, but for different reasons.

    When I was at U.S. Steel years ago, someone I hired moved to our city, she said, because her fiance lived there. After hiring her, at lunch, I asked when we would meet her fiance, meet him. She said, "Well, he's a she." She was a mother and former wife of a man. She later chose relations with a woman, instead. But that does not fit your paradigm.

    What I will share is I asked her, "I know what girls want in an intimate relationship - emotional intimacy. For a man to grow to be emotionally intimate with a woman, physical intimacy is needed. Now, for girls, you all get emotionally intimate all the time with no physical component, other than hugging. So, what does sex do for your relationship?" She responded, "Nothing. It's just fun."

    It is sad that you have to deny real experiences others have had in changing their sexual orientation. That should be your first clue that what you are trying to believe is a lie. But I have not written these responses for you, anyway. You're committed no matter what the truth is. I know this because you have not acknowledged a single one of the simple points I have made.

    John asked for evidence others have changed their sexual behavior: . Check the "Who are ex-gays".

    Interestingly, not much is said for those that go from hetero to homo. They are just glibly called bi, or "they were closet gays". How trite and convenient.

    Sex is a choice. After a while, the choice becomes a preference. But this is truth that is lost on a liberal. Liberals find things like free will, self determination, and personal responsibility to be an inconvenience.

    As for our civilization, moral arguments aside (Discuss morals with a liberal?), promoting heterosexuality is a no-brainer. For any civilization, homosexuality is literally a dead end.

    Oddly enough, it is because of our country's Biblical basis in law that we no longer prohibit homosexual relationships. "Let every man work out his own salvation." But that does not mean we need to promote nor encourage homosexual relationships (sex ed in kindergarten?).

    Some muslims I work with absolutely deny that there is any homosexuality in their muslim home countries. Which is ironic. It's the same blind denial like John's denial that ex-gays exist in our country.

  27. @James. When I publish my blog, I make a choice about what I want to share with many people, most of whom I do not know. More often than not, my blog addresses history, economics and geopolitics as those are my main interests.

    I made a conscious choice to share a part of my personal experience with my limited audience (about 2700 people each month) because I felt it was important. I know that most of my audience is conservative, particularly the USNA alumni. So, I knew I was taking a risk by putting some deeply personal information out there.

    I enjoy engaging in most discussions in this group because they are, for the most part, respectful, intelligent and articulate. You are certainly intelligent and articulate.

    As for respectful, I think not. I find your comments beyond insulting. They are pious and condescending.

    Organizations like PFOX are instruments of bigotry. Your social attitudes, which you express with such certainty that you are right and those who disagree are immoral, are simply more bigotry.

    Not satisfied to stop there, you have extended the argument to imply that I am a "liberal" and things like "free will, self determination and personal responsibility" are somehow lost on me.

    I cannot imagine how, as an American, you could be so sure you are right and anyone who disagrees is wrong.

  28. James Byers • John, I would encourage you not to be offended by my certainty. Reminds me of a theologian who, in response to my question, said that the Trinity was a mystery and beyond our comprehension. If effect, he was saying that he had no requirement to understand it, much less explain it.

    My participation in this discussion started with the fact that identical twins, having the exact same genetic material (according to medical science) have had totally different sexual behaviors. The most recent examples are Jason Collins and his brother. What clearer and more undeniable proof can there be that sexual preference is not hard wired.

    Your Psychology Today article was a case in point. "Studies suggest there is a genetic basis for homosexuality in only 50 percent of gay men." Notice the STUDIES SUGGEST. And 50%? It then goes on to say that "No one has identified a particular gay gene." Well, now, there is no science to support that sexual preference is innate. In fact, all the proven evidence says it is not innate.

    To state the facts and then ignore them to posit theories that it is genetics is self defeating.

    How can I not be certain? Sexual preference is not genetic, not hard wired. It is therefore not innate.

  29. Ron Rives • John, I agree I want my children to happy. I would also add I would like them to responsible citizens of this great nation.

    But to your question I will ask you this, Where do we draw the line? What will become politically correct in the future? Polygamy? May we should give in to those who favor marriage between adults and children. They want their happiness. What we consider today as vile will probably become commonplace in the future, right? So, John where do we draw the line?

  30. John W. Stevens, Jr. • John C -- Excellent and insightful article. We love our children. We create hopes and expectations for them that may not be based in any reality. But no matter what, it is our responsibility as parents to love them, support them, and give them both our advice and our empathy.

    Not that it is exactly the same, but my youngest son suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Growing up I have emphasized to my children the importance of getting a college education. It was a revelation to me when I realized that was not to be for my youngest, no matter how hard he tried. It was then up to me to convince him that I had been wrong and that he should focus on his happiness and life-success. I then home schooled him and helped him choose a career in a field he would enjoy and in which he could prosper. I am very proud to say that today he is General Manager of a large Sprts Bar and Restaurant and has been told that he will soon be advanced to District Manager.

    You should be commended for giving your son the support and love he deserves.

    John B -- I understand that your point of view is heartfelt and based upon your personal convictions. However, I find your argument here, against the realilty of John C's life, family, and experience is to me offensive. This thread was not and is not the appropriate place to make your argument against the loving parent of a gay son. I also would say that while you may deeply believe in your position on the issue, it is not supported by scientific fact. As John C stated, genetics almost certainly provide a trigger gene that enables a "switch," that must subsequently be armed by a second trigger, most probably a hormonal one that occurs in the womb during gestation.

    While I certainly understand the "Slippery Slope argument" against gay marriage and acceptance, my response is this -- Please show me in the US Constitution where it gives the Federal Government the power to regulate personal behavior between consenting adults, regardless of your or my opinion of morality. What is the Federal Government's compelling interest in preventing gay marriage or for that matter in sanctioning or not sanctioning any marriage, including polygamy involving consenting adults. It may be morally or religiously repugnant to you or to me, but there is no constitutional basis for its ban at a federal level. Furthermore, there is strong protection of individual rights written into the Bill of Rights, and especially that of Equal Protection under the law.

    Ron R -- Obviously children need and have greater protection in our society and our culture. That is why all of my statements above are dependent upon the phrase "between consenting adults." The line to which you refer must be drawn exactly where the US Constitution has set it. If our society disagrees with where that line now resides, it is incumbent upon those who wish to change it to support, advocate, and initiate legislation to amend the US Constitution accordingly.

    For the record, I do not advocate Polygamy, but neither do I find it repugnant -- the same position I have on gay marriage. What I do support with all my heart is a strict interpretation of the US Constitution -- as the law is written, interpreted as it was intended at the time the law was ratified or duly amended and ratified.

  31. @Ron. By "we" I assume you mean society. It's a great question. I think it's fair to say that the line moves all the time. 50 years ago, divorce was uncommon and frowned upon. It was also challenging to get a court to approve one. Now it is commonplace, socially accepted and easy to do. Good people can disagree as to whether society is degraded by the trend; however, it's not likely to change in the near future.

    @James. I believe that the word innate relates to birth not gestation. So, to be clear, most of the scientific articles I have read suggest that sexual orientation develops in the uterus. Here's just one link:

    Like Jason Collins, my gay son has a twin brother. And, his twin, like you and me, never thought about a choice. From the time of puberty, we were attracted to the opposite sex. My gay son's "choice" was whether to ignore society's (and, his family's) bias against homosexuality and "come out". It was something he struggled with for 13 or 14 years before he told the truth.

    I don't expect you to change your belief. People like you are hard wired too.

  32. Glenn Schatz • Great article John. Sorry that it drew bigots out of the woodwork. Yes, I said it - bigots. From Merriam-Webster: "a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group with hatred and intolerance.

    Maybe they don't hate gays, but they sure as hell are intolerant.

  33. John W. Stevens, Jr. • John C -- another good and respectful response. In as much as my mother was in show business, I grew up knowing many homosexuals, mostly men. When I was young, I did not know the term or what it meant, I only knew that many of them were "different." Some were openly gay, a difficult thing in the 1960s and before. Many were in the closet.

    As a teen, I knew a few gay guys in addition to those I knew through my mother's work. Being the really curious type, I asked some of them about their lives. Almost universally the story I got back was that they knew from an extremely young age, three or younger, that they were in some way different. They did not want to be different. They did not enjoy being different. And if they had had a choice, they would not have chosen homosexuality -- the choice was made for them before they were old enough to even know there was a "choice." Their gender identity was forced upon them unwanted.

    Even today, for many the choice is a very difficult one that is resisted and self-denied, sometimes for years. While the climate has changed and acceptance is greater, it is still a struggle to many, especially those who have religious beliefs like those of James, that homosexuality is a sin, while their minds and bodies betray their faith.

    Those who adamantly oppose "Gay Marriage," are myopic. Gay marriage will not destroy the family, it will do much to restore the family. While promiscuity is a problem in the gay community, largely as an expression of rebellion against family and society disapproval, gay marriage drastically reduced promiscuity. Gay families are at least as likely as straight families to seek a monogamous lifestyle. Personally, I see this as a significant societal benefit, even if we choose to ignore individual life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness according to the Declaration of Independence.

  34. James Byers • I suppose you also believe we have no choice over who we love. It just happens, you think; it was fate, it was "meant to be."

    To be so convinced that you have no control over who you are, what you will do, what you will be. To even have no control over something as simple and common as sexual behavior. It must be a miserable existence to feel you have so little control over your person.

    Someone like myself must be beyond all comprehension to you.

  35. John W. Stevens, Jr. • James B -- You have gotten exactly one thing correct in everything you have said James, you clearly are beyond all comprehension to me.

    Did you choose your race? Were you able to choose your hair color or lack of hair? How about your eye color? What about your basic personality, IQ, etc. that are influenced by both your genetics or other factors over which you had no control?

    I envy your god-like powers if you answer yes to any of these questions. If you are that powerful, would you please snap your fingers and end world hunger?