Friday, May 12, 2006

Being God, being gay and the right to live...

as you see fit.
The other day, over on A Tangled Web-a site I read daily but rarely comment in- I entered into an interesting conversation about whether or not homosexuality is a sin and so on. It was interesting debate and in comparison with some other sites, it was thoughtful and everybody retained good manners, considering the very differing view points.
But there is no bridge, or meeting of minds. I'm still trying to make make some sense of it all.
A theory about homosexuality a lot of Christians seem to have is that-apart from being a sin- homosexuality is a choice and as such, a dangerous influence on the world.
One commenter said it was 'an attack of traditional Christian family values.'
Naturally I queried the word 'attack', and wondered how this could be? I don't see how a hetrosexual man and woman in a couple can be influenced by a couple in a gay relationship. Do people really think that the straight couple is suddenly going to 'turn gay'.
Apparently it can happen, because another commenter worried about the effect 'witnessing homosexuality' would have on children he was trying to educate. he said,

"For example, if the children I'm talking about don't see people with their hair dyed purple, they're automatically conditioned to think that purple hair is weird. In the same way they can quite easily learn to think homosexuality is weird."

Mind you he also said,
"The majority of homosexuals have enough heterosexuality in them for a heterosexual marriage to work out for them, I think. They can deal with their tensions etc. in much the same way as a man in a heterosexual marriage who feels more attracted to his secretary than to his wife."

I found that line of thinking staggering, was it better to live a false life and in the long run hurt a wife and whatever children you might produce just to satisfy another person's beliefs?

I suggested that children should be taught that there are all walks of life and that it might be best to let children find their own place in the world. I said I thought pretending homosexuality didn't exist seemed a fearful way of thinking, that somehow being gay is contagious. I said being gay in this country can be difficult, so it was hardly a whim or lifestyle choice.
As most of you know I have a lot of gay friends, and I have seen some of them struggle terribly with being gay over the years, coming out to parents, to family, telling childhood friends, in some cases being rejected or sneered at, I see them trying to find love, trying to live as all of us live. Putting up with discrimination, being called 'poofter, fudge packer, bender, queer' Oh I've heard it all. So it struck me as very odd that people would think it an easy choice.
And then there is the chap who suggested that being gay is not too dissimilar to being a paedophile, that being gay was merely a proclivity, like a fetish.
This is where I got mildly annoyed. I've seen this one raise it's ugly head before. So I said...

"I am not criticising Chrisitanity, nor shall I. But let me say one thing that I have said here before, the casual lumping of paedophiles and gay peole together, no matter how casual, annoys me to the nth degree. Whether you like it or not, homosexuality is the legal sexual act between two consenting adults. Paedophilia is the base carnal knowledge of a child and is- rightly so- illegal and to be abhored. To conflate the two very separate issues is a typical tactic of people who do not approve of homosexuality. Discuss one if you will, but do not try to muddy the waters."

And then the gentle backpeddle when I asked who are we to judge another's lifestyle. I was thinking about a couple I know, both gay men who have been together almost a decade and are in a very committed happy relationship. I wondered what right had I or anyone else to condemn them for their happiness and love.
In reply I got,

"Christians believe God does the "judging". Homosexuals will certainly be "judged" on more than just their sexuality. The point about sin as that it leads people away from God and towards spiritual death. That really is their own business (though it's a cause for sadness, and as such, will often be discouraged). But it's not a case of "hating" anyone, as is sometimes portrayed."

For someone claiming not to judge that was a very loaded sentence.

Well it's two days later I'm still scratching my head over this. I had naively assumed that people had moved away from frowning on homosexuality, but a quick scan through the web shows the opposite, a rise in Christian based organisations, and uglier tone, more discriminatory words and the much ballyhooed ' gay agenda' whatever that might be.
I don't know much about God, having never met him, but I know plenty about my friends, and a nicer bunch of individuals you would be hard pressed to meet. What they choose to do in the privacy of their own bedrooms is none of my business, any more that it is my business what my straight friends do ( except Tara, and that's only because it's hilarious and she likes telling me).
I think I shall let compassion and understanding of my fellow man as my guiding light, not the bible, which may or may not be the word of a God that may or may not exist.

25 Comments:

Blogger finn said...

best thing about gays? -they render the abortion argument moot. :)

enjoy your weekend, FMC.

12:15 p.m.  
Anonymous Sinéad said...

I can never figure out why people can (and do) justify their ignorance and judgementalism about gay people. It's so unfathomable to judge someone on ONE aspect of who they are.

I often wonder how homophobic bigots would react if they received a good deed from someone gay, became friends (unknowingly) with a gay person or received a life-saving operation - by a gay surgeon.
Would they still be so intransigent in their views?

I suppose it's something deeply ingrained and it always makes me think of that Little Britain character. You know the elderly, posh, church-going lady (played by David Walliams) who attends garden fetes. Each sketch involves her sampling gorgeous food/jam/cakes at such a day out - but vomits it up *only* when she discovers it's made by an ethnic minority. Prior to knowing that fact, it was tasty, much-lauded fare.

12:42 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FMC, there are far worse things in this world than be homosexual. I have great admiration for those who have the courage to out themselves. And that would be far less admiration for those who feel obliged to hide behind a masked untruth with regards to their "perceived" effects on society. Like you, I am also puzzled and appalled by anyone who feels/thinks/decides/tells the whole world that homosexuality and paedophilia are one and the same.
This perception, is of course as old as Methuselah and is part of a cycle that is far greater in size than our generation. Persuction by narrow minded bigots is just part of the total fabric.

1:02 p.m.  
Blogger 34quinn said...

I beleive, being homosexual is certainly not chosen. I believe you are born either heterosexual or homosexual. I also do not believe in it being sin. You are who you are meant to be.

I would much rather people would spend less time trying to find "the cause" for homosexuality...and spend it trying to find "the cause" for devient, criminal behaviour.

I have two sons, as long as they grow to be caring, compassionate, honest, men. I will die a very happy woman. I would have no problems whatsoever should one of my children /or both for that matter every tell me they were gay.
So what if they are?? I would be sad only of the fact that others would make their life alot harder because of critisism. But I would not love them one bit less I know this in my heart.
If one of my sons/or both for that matter were to ever commit a crime, or deliberately cause pain and suffering to someone, THAT... would be so hard to deal with.

1:17 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

In some cases I think it's just plain ignorance. In other cases sheer hatred. If you've ever heard rightwing Christians like Pat Buchanan spewing hs particular brand of bile your head would spin, his quote that AIDS is nature’s “retribution against homosexuals' is not just something he says to stoke up fires, he really believes it. And yet this man is supposedly a spiritual leader of the Christian faith.

2:07 p.m.  
Blogger LindyK said...

Pat Buchanan is a moron... I agree with you, FMC -- I have no idea why people get so hung up on sexual orientation. Life is difficult enough without people judging one another based on things that don't personally affect them (like someone's sexual orientation). Love is hard enough to find without people putting arbitrary limitations on it (I'm talking about love between 2 adults here). People can be so awful to one another; to what purpose?! I'll never understand...

2:34 p.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

The second religion rears its ugly head, logical thought goe down the toilet. There isn't even THAT much in the 'bible' condemning homosexuality. Even that story of Sodom and Gamorah is up for interpretation. And it's, at best, an old collection of contradictory writing, of dubious authorship. How people are still buying into all that dogma is beyond logic.

I find it hard to believe that "GOD" would create a person and then condemn him for being how he HE made him.

Two of my four brothers are gay, and I believe one of my sisters is, though she probably will never admit the possibility to herself, and she's therefore miserable in her life. The idea that I could condemn any of them, or love them any less because of their orientation is repugnant. They're kind, intelligent, compassionate people and deserve better.

Why is it that the people who are most "against" homosexuality and especially gay marriage are the people it does not affect in the LEAST TINY BIT?

3:34 p.m.  
Blogger Kim Ayres said...

Is it really surprising that Christians can't figure out what to do about gays? The problem is expecting them to do otherwise.

Christianity does condemn homosexuality. It also says that unless you accept Jesus Christ as your saviour then you will not get into heaven. You can be the nicest, kindest most generous person in the universe, but if you don't acknowledge Christ as your only saviour then you will go to Hell.

I am not a Christian and do not subscribe to their tenets and belief system. And I don't see why we should expect them to change. That is what their religion says, so that is what they must abide by.

5:31 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I'm a cradle Catholic Kim, that means- for better or worse- I come under the umbrella of Christian, not born again but still Christian. But my version of God is not one that picks and chooses what person he likes by the look of them, nor is my God a bigot, he does not judge people on their sexual preferences or thoughts, but rather on their actions and how they treat their fellow man.
I know a lot of people don't believe in God and I'm totally fine with that, but I've been through all sorts of crap in my 33 years and for me the belief that there is more to life than what we see is a comfort. If the shit hits the fan, I like to pray to someone. And so, I feel, if I can call on him when things are going badly, I can give him the time of day when things are going well. But that is just me, I don't try force my view on anyone else.
This is my main problem with organised religion. All religions have rules and regulations and they all vary, so who is to say who is correct and who is not?
Can anything man-made and man written be the word of God? Is there no room for error, for times that change?
I don't thing so.
And yet most of us have a conscience, and I like to think that little inner voice we hear, that soft stabbing prickle that says 'ooh you shouldn't do that' is our soul. If we didn't have that voice we'd just do whatever we liked, there would be anarchy. I think that is why we don't accept people who never show remorse, we don't understand them, they are alien to us, they are soul-less, and who knows why.
So-to close my rather rambling comment- I don't expect Christians to respect what I think and I don't expect them to change, but neither do I think they have the almighty right to frown upon any one of us who challange their view of morality. Because at the end of the day, faith is just that, faith, and the faith I hold dear is as good and as devout as anybody else.

7:39 p.m.  
Blogger Binty McShae said...

I posted on religious homophobia last december and as I am busy putting all my old posts back up at the mo I thought I'd throw that one straight in for your perusal...

http://averagetosser.blogspot.com/2005/12/bonny-and-blithe-and-good.html

6:36 a.m.  
Anonymous emma kaufmann said...

Good for you for arguing with these bigots and trying to make them see sense. I've never understood what exactly they find 'wrong' about homosexuality, and frankly, I don't care. But good on you for trying to be understanding.

12:50 a.m.  
Anonymous emma kaufmann said...

FMC, I take my hat off to you that you actually try to understand where these Far Righters are coming from. As far as I've always been concerned, they're unhinged. How can homosexuality be wrong? It's like saying blue eyes are wrong. Still, I admire you for trying to argue reasonably with them.

12:57 a.m.  
Blogger Face said...

The one Christian ethic that I most agree with is to love everyone.

7:50 a.m.  
Blogger Face said...

So I will try to love bigotted homophobic arseholes who contribute to the bad name of their religions.

7:54 a.m.  
Blogger Face said...

Although I do get scared sometimes that if I am exposed too much to fundamentalist christians, I might become one. Can't they just keep it in their own homes?

8:11 a.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

Gay people are gay.

9:13 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Morning Emma, Face, thanks for the comments, I do try and see things from as many angles as possible, I find it gives me a better understanding of how people are thinking, even if I don't agree with what they are thinking.
Binty I read that, very good. Now what happened to the rest of your blog?
Twenty- yes dear, gay people are gay, most astute of you.

10:17 a.m.  
Blogger Binty McShae said...

Jeez, give me a chance... I'm putting it back together piece by piece but it's taking a while. My own fault, I know...

11:55 a.m.  
Blogger DV said...

Fatmammycat,

Just wanted to thank you for your pleasant visits to ATW - I know you don't comment often but when you do I often find myself in agreement. Civility costs nothing and I'm glad you found the discussion of interest.

10:58 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Just saved your feed in my reader, have a nice day :)

7:08 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is one reason why religion is so confusing....
everyone believe everything that is in this bible,
but that book was written just like any other fiction or not fiction book.
But there are no good gay anal sex tips" in the bible

4:17 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Members of the Presbyterian Church USA’s Theological Task Force on Peace,
Unity and Purity (TTF), the group assigned with the challenging task of
studying sexuality issues in the church, reconvened for yet another
session behind closed doors, Thursday, August 5, 2004.

Prior to the closed-door deliberations, the Task Force members
commented on their views of the ‘six-model’ theory of christian sexuality –
specifically homosexuality. This six model theory, which was introduced
on Wednesday by Princeton theologian William Stacy Johnson, explains
the varying viewpoints on homosexuality that christian asian twinks generally hold.

In his three hour presentation, which was open to the press, Johnson
said there were six prevailing views about homosexuality that vary from
a direct literal biblical standpoint that condemns the act of twink anal sex
to one that ‘celebrates’ it as a gift from God.

"The purpose of this session," he said on Wednesday, "is for us to have
a clear grasp of the issues regarding the place of homosexual
people in the church."

The first view, which he entitled “Categorical prohibition,” takes
literally the Biblical condemnation of homosexual behavior.

"This view is not the view of russian twinks," Johnson said,
referring to the General Assembly's 1978 (Northern denomination)
and 1979 (Southern denomination) declarations.

1:20 p.m.  
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