Change Me
November 26, 2004 3:32 PM   Subscribe

Research may espouse that change is real but most think that ex-gay ministries are something that need watched. That sill hasn't stopped one 22-year old blogger in DC from trying to blog his way out of homosexuality, though.
posted by nospecialfx (312 comments total)

 
I fought teh gay and teh gay won? I doubt there will be a decrease in these unnatural attempts to cloack one's own identity until homosexuality is accepted by the mainstream population (and not simply as a caricature, ie: queer eye for the straight guy, will and grace, etc.).
posted by The God Complex at 3:39 PM on November 26, 2004


(err, cloak).
posted by The God Complex at 3:40 PM on November 26, 2004


Hey God Complex, what's your root?

Seriously though, there's no way to know if this sort of behaviour reprogramming is or isn't truly effective until we know exactly what causes homosexuality. We're all well aware that it isn't a choice, but the question remains as to whether it can truly be "overcome".
posted by mek at 3:47 PM on November 26, 2004


I followed this guy's blog for a while when he first started writing. The only problem he has is that his homosexuality doesn't seem to fit with his 'version' of Christianity. Despite plenty of people pointing him to more reliable translations - and pointing out the fact that Jesus said nothing whatsoever about homosexuality, he is very determined.

I don't agree with his opinions, or his reason for wanting to change himself, but I wish him luck anyway. Gotta give the guy points for his bloody-mindedness alone.
posted by lemonpillows at 3:54 PM on November 26, 2004


We're all well aware that it isn't a choice, but the question remains as to whether it can truly be "overcome"

I'm sure its overcome-able in the same way heterosexuality is.
Old argument, but it always helps me when I start thinking in those terms. I mean, no one is out there (I'll probably end up being wrong on this) trying to find out "exactly what causes" heterosexuality. That's because the very question implies an already-made value judgement: (the gay is wrong!).

Also, the kid in the last link links to "Gay Watch" which, despite its porn-title-sounding-name, is "a blog news forum that alerts the community about violence and hate coming from the homosexual community."

That's scerry!
posted by Boydrop at 4:04 PM on November 26, 2004


Seriously though, there's no way to know if this sort of behaviour reprogramming is or isn't truly effective until we know exactly what causes homosexuality.

That presumes that there is a "cause" and that its just not a natural state.
posted by pixelgeek at 4:04 PM on November 26, 2004


Seriously though, there's no way to know if this sort of behaviour reprogramming is or isn't truly effective until we know exactly what causes homosexuality. We're all well aware that it isn't a choice, but the question remains as to whether it can truly be "overcome".

Actually, we do know that it isn't effective in the slightest. All this behaviour reprogramming bullshit never, ever takes away the desire, only the actual having sex with your own gender bit.

To make it simpler: do you think it's possible to take a fully heterosexual man and make him gay? Obviously not. So how does it logically follow that you can make a gay man straight?

It's utter bullshit. Even asking the question 'can it be overcome?' just adds fuel to the fire of these thrice-damned fucking fundamentalist Christian wackos perpetuating the belief that homosexuality can be 'cured.'

On preview: what boydrop said. Nobody investigates what 'causes' heterosexuality. The subtext of investigating what 'causes' homosexuality is 'how can we make it stop?'
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:06 PM on November 26, 2004


That presumes that there is a "cause" and that its just not a natural state.

Er, natural states have causes. Everything has a cause. There is a cause for homosexuality, for heterosexuality, for asexuality, for the sky being blue, for emo kids wearing white socks. The difficulty is in determining what the cause is, and determining whether determining the cause is a worthwhile endeavor.

To make it simpler: do you think it's possible to take a fully heterosexual man and make him gay?

The problem is that folks like most of us here at Mefi don't think you can, but many of the "convert gays into straights" people think you can take a fully heterosexual man and make him gay.
posted by Bugbread at 4:16 PM on November 26, 2004


Oh and:

I feel so very, very sorry for this kid. And angry. This fucking world (read: the fucking fundamentalists) has made this poor boy feel like he can't be who he was born to be, who Deity Of Your Choice made him to be.

I'm going to go see my boyfriend soon, and thank God that I didn't have any of these poisonous fuckers around when I was coming to terms with my sexuality.

On preview:

The problem is that folks like most of us here at Mefi don't think you can, but many of the "convert gays into straights" people think you can take a fully heterosexual man and make him gay.

What's that line, by their fruits shall ye know them? These people are dangerous, poisonous, irrational people who should be marginalized to the edges of society, where they will hopefully die out.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:19 PM on November 26, 2004


The problem is that folks like most of us here at Mefi don't think you can, but many of the "convert gays into straights" people think you can take a fully heterosexual man and make him gay.

Which goes back to my point about needing mainstream culture to embrace homosexuality in order to reduce the effectiveness (if you want to call it that) of these fringe groups who believe "teh gay" is a virus their kids are going to catch. I think it's a shame that perhaps the greatest civil rights movement of our time is shunned by mainstream politicians in order to appear "electable" as they play to the fears of the sexual xenophobes.
posted by The God Complex at 4:23 PM on November 26, 2004


Er, natural states have causes.

Yes but no-one appears to be investigating what makes a Thompson's Gazelle a Gazelle or Pemprose Welsh Corgi an annoying yappy dog. Certainly there is a process that 'creates" the Gazelle.

But when you compare two things (say gay and straight folks) and then ask what "creates" gay people you appear to be presuming that the "state" of being gay is some change from the state of being straight (also known as the red state...sorry couldn't resist).
posted by pixelgeek at 4:24 PM on November 26, 2004


Hey God Complex, what's your root?

Seriously though, there's no way to know if this sort of behaviour reprogramming is or isn't truly effective until we know exactly what causes homosexuality. We're all well aware that it isn't a choice, but the question remains as to whether it can truly be "overcome".


The point is that I don't care if it can be overcome through "re-training". I don't care if it's a possibility because I don't think we need to cure gay people. Most of them seem perfectly happy living out the lives with the men and women of their choice; and I would suggest that a lot of those who aren't happy might be happier if they weren't marginalized by so many others in their countries.
posted by The God Complex at 4:27 PM on November 26, 2004


Yes but no-one appears to be investigating what makes a Thompson's Gazelle a Gazelle or Pemprose Welsh Corgi an annoying yappy dog.

True, hence my caveat about determining whether determining the cause is a worthwhile endeavor in the first place.

In a sense, I hope that someone does find the cause, because then we can say, "Look, it's genetic, now shut up". On the other hand, if it's post-natal, though, all hell is gonna break loose with the fundies, so I'm a bit ambivalent.
posted by Bugbread at 4:32 PM on November 26, 2004


I like the Mr. Show skit where one guy keeps relapsing back and forth between homosexuality and Christianity.
posted by bryce at 4:37 PM on November 26, 2004


If he wants to change, it is his RIGHT. As to overcoming, hello, when I got saved I had to overcome a lot of things which I won't get into here. ANY kind of change requires God's help.

It isn't "natural" to be celibate before marriage, either. It can be done.


If you are gay, and you don't want to change, don't. But if someone does, ain't your business.

And let me add that I hope none of you advocating he "accept being gay" are the same people who say that "all those fat butts out there need to lay down the Cheetos and lose some blubber. "
posted by konolia at 4:38 PM on November 26, 2004


In a sense, I hope that someone does find the cause, because then we can say, "Look, it's genetic, now shut up". On the other hand, if it's post-natal, though, all hell is gonna break loose with the fundies, so I'm a bit ambivalent.

No. Because then it's going to be something people can look for on an amnioscentesis, for example. Or some motherfuckers will try and find a way to change it. It's not post-natal. It simply is not.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:38 PM on November 26, 2004


No research does not support that 'change is real' in this case. What you have there in your first link is a rag bag of discredited older studies, NARTH who base their reparative therapy on a brand of neo-Freudianism which is even disowned by the American Psychoanalytic Association, and Conservative Christians who want to prove that being gay is a choice so they can try to claim that they're doing something different from misogynists and racists with this brand of discrimination.

You can get a quick summary of some of what's wrong with this sort of stuff here

But one of the most noticeable things about the first site linked to is that it carefully fails to mention recent studies which contradict Spitzer et al, such as Shidlo and Schroeder's work. If you're coming to this from a religious angle you might find this talk A Critique of Sexual Conversion Therapy by a psychologist to a Christian group to be useful - it's a helpful read on the topic whether you're religious or not.
posted by Flitcraft at 4:39 PM on November 26, 2004


what dirtynumbangelboy said--this is a crime, and i only hope to God that he gets over it and can be who he is sooner rather than later--why should he have to hate who he is? Someday hopefully he'll learn that who he is is not a sin, or against God, or anything bad--it just is. This guy has it right: I read with shock, as a young man of 22 had indeed developed a site entirely devoted to his own self hatred based upon week and delusional interpretations of the scriptures by both himself and the poisonous hands of narrow minded Christian “teachings” that appear to have captured his mind. He also unfortunately has linked himself into a network of sites that only continue to feed his poor self image. Organizations such as Ex-gay and The Promise Tree who hide behind Christianity in order to promote ignorant ideas based on biblical misinterpretations. ...
posted by amberglow at 4:43 PM on November 26, 2004


Well actually, it kind of is our business, because he's blogging about it.
posted by PrinceValium at 4:43 PM on November 26, 2004


And let me add that I hope none of you advocating he "accept being gay" are the same people who say that "all those fat butts out there need to lay down the Cheetos and lose some blubber. "

That has to be the single most fatuous comparison I have ever heard, konolia, even from you. He should accept being gay because that is who he is, for God's sake. Being fat is a health issue.

And yes it absolutely is my business when you people, konolia, you fundamentalists who have no grasp on reality, create a poisonous environment where people like me aren't free to love who they choose, and feel they have to change because people like you, konolia have forced them to believe that what they are is sick, against God's will, and they will go to Hell for it.

Take your bigotry elsewhere.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:45 PM on November 26, 2004


The first link was about a guy who was honest and open about his sexuality. For example:-

Some skeptics erroneously assume that by change we always mean (or should mean) a 180 degree shift from 100% homosexual to 100% heterosexual in all behaviors, interests, attractions and thoughts, forever after. Anything less than that, some skeptics like to argue, isn't real change. Some look for evidence of "only" a 170 degree shift or "only" a 100 degree shift, and cry "failure!"

The truth is that any degree of change toward greater peace, satisfaction and fulfillment, and less shame, depression and darkness, is change well worth pursuing. For most people who seek change, heterosexuality is not actually the ultimate goal; happiness is. For them, happiness is not contingent on sexuality alone, but on living a life congruent with their values, beliefs and life goals.


Enough said.
posted by SpaceCadet at 4:46 PM on November 26, 2004


konolia, the only reason he doesn't want to be gay is because of people like you.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:50 PM on November 26, 2004


Geez, I so can't wait for the rapture. We'll finally get some peace and quiet.
posted by Jimbob at 4:52 PM on November 26, 2004


Space, when you teach people that who they are is a dirty, shameful, dark, sinful thing and then they believe what you taught them, we're not talking at all about happiness, peace or satisfaction--we're talking about indoctrination and brainwashing. If people are teaching others to hate themselves, then there's nothing even close to happiness possible until they unlearn that to begin with.
posted by amberglow at 4:55 PM on November 26, 2004


Imagine a "journey out of blackness" blog.
posted by digaman at 5:00 PM on November 26, 2004


As to overcoming, hello, when I got saved I had to overcome a lot of things which I won't get into here.

Let me guess: logic, compassion, realistic self-awareness, respect for other people, sanity?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:02 PM on November 26, 2004


I've always been fascinated by how similar the conservative Christian communities and glbt communities are. Obviously, there are no universal stereotypes for either group (considerate, open-minded conservative Christians exist, as well as devout, faithful homosexual believers).

But for the most part, each group spends its time preaching to the choir about how The Other is tremendously powerful and influential, is trying to marginalize and destroy "us," wants to prey on children, and consists entirely of fringey activists willing to kill, maim, and destroy for an extreme ideology.

Both communities have co-opted epithets and made them ironic inside-jokes (Jesus Freak/Fag/Holly Roller/Queer). Both communities tends to jump on any public figure who converts/comes out of the closet as "proof" of the community's worth to the greater society.

Not sure it has much relation, but golly, does it tend to piss off some of the Christians I point it out to...
posted by verb at 5:02 PM on November 26, 2004


Space, when you teach people that who they are is a dirty, shameful, dark, sinful thing and then they believe what you taught them, we're not talking at all about happiness, peace or satisfaction--we're talking about indoctrination and brainwashing. If people are teaching others to hate themselves, then there's nothing even close to happiness possible until they unlearn that to begin with.

That's what I was getting at, as well. As I said, it's deplorable how this cause has been treated by everyone, including the non-combative progressives who have allowed themselves to be shamed into submission.


If he wants to change, it is his RIGHT. As to overcoming, hello, when I got saved I had to overcome a lot of things which I won't get into here. ANY kind of change requires God's help.

It isn't "natural" to be celibate before marriage, either. It can be done.


Did you have to get over your natural hair colour? Skin colour? Anything genetic? Because if you did, my guess is you have thus far failed, allowing, of course, some small chance that you belong to a top secret scientific community that has allowed you to change your genetic code midstream.

There is an inherent supposition that you think homosexuality is a choice, which is just scientifically unacceptable at this moment in time.

Of course, I'm coming from a place where I feel even if it was a choice that could be re-trained (what an awful though), it shouldn't be pursued. The idea is physically repulsive, in fact, and I can never quite get over the way jesus love has been co-opted into something so brutish and hateful.
posted by The God Complex at 5:03 PM on November 26, 2004


There's a fundamental disconnect in the language used by both "sides" of this discussion. On the one hand, Christians consider "orientation" to be a question of temptation, or lust, or desire-to-sin. This isn't inherently bad, in Christian doctrine. It's the action that follows a desire for something prohibited by God that's troublesome.

Thus, the sin of "homosexuality" in Christian circles is the actual act. The problem is that few acknowledge the difficulty faced by someone attracted to members of the same sex. Whether it's inherently genetic, purely choice, or anything in between, heterosexual desires *can* be acted upon in a marriage context with the full blessing of Christian tradition. There's no way for someone attracted to members of the same sex to "righteously" find a romantic connection.

it's a bit obvious, when you step back and look at it, but it shows where both sides are missing a bit of the point. Christians aren't suggesting that any "inherent state" is sinful, only certain actions. But they often refuse to acknowledge the fundamental difference between, say "premarital heterosexual abstinence" and "lifelong homosexual abstinence."
posted by verb at 5:44 PM on November 26, 2004


Space, when you teach people that who they are is a dirty, shameful, dark, sinful thing and then they believe what you taught them, we're not talking at all about happiness, peace or satisfaction--we're talking about indoctrination and brainwashing. If people are teaching others to hate themselves, then there's nothing even close to happiness possible until they unlearn that to begin with.

Hey amberglow, direct those words to him, not me. It's his words. He wasn't saying he's 100% anything, he was saying that his sexuality wasn't the most important thing in his life. Whether you agree with that or not is irrelevant to him.
posted by SpaceCadet at 5:49 PM on November 26, 2004


He's not here, Space--you presented them as something "open and honest." I disagree--very strongly. You have to be carefully taught, indeed. (and your "enough said" really wasn't.)
posted by amberglow at 5:59 PM on November 26, 2004


Does anyone think about gay sex as much as fundy Christians? Do gay people even think about gay sex as much as fundy Christians?

If I were a fundy Christian, I'd spend all my time asking God to help me stop thinking about gay sex. Well, all the time that isn't already taken up thinking about gay sex, that is.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 5:59 PM on November 26, 2004


konolia, the only reason he doesn't want to be gay is because of people like you

No, he doesn't want to be gay because he loves God and wants to please Him. I believe God is blessed by the effort.

How many people are going to go to hell because other people worked so hard to make them comfortable in their sin instead of encouraging them to be free from it? When people's own consciences are lulled to sleep by the politically correct lies of "tolerance"?

I do not want ANYONE to go to hell. But I am not going to lie to them and say that homosexuality is okay with God and call THAT love. What that is is cowardice, being more afraid /more concerned with the opinions of people than the opinion of God.

All of us are going to appear before Him to give an account. Whether one believes it or not. I want that to be a happy occasion for as many people as possible. To call that hate is a perversion.
posted by konolia at 6:00 PM on November 26, 2004


If tolerance is a "lie," konolia, i don't think it's God that you're listening to. God put all of us different people here on Earth together--think about that a little.

And if we are going to appear before God to give an account, then your judgements, and opinions of others won't be looked on too kindly, as you say yourself.
posted by amberglow at 6:13 PM on November 26, 2004


Konolia: the only hell that exists is what we do to ourselves and eachother on this planet.
posted by cheaily at 6:20 PM on November 26, 2004


If you are gay, and you don't want to change, don't. But if someone does, ain't your business.

By the same token, if you don't believe that God approves of homosexuality, don't. But if someone else does, ain't your business.
posted by adampsyche at 6:24 PM on November 26, 2004


First of all, it's not fair at all to compare gay people to fat people. Fat people are just gross.

Human beings have a natural tendancy to want to eat food. This can be overcome. Human beings have a natural tendancy to avoid death. This can be overcome.

Homosexuality is a set of behaviors, and behaviors can be changed. If a person can be convinced to blow themselves up for their religion, then certanly they can be convinced not to be homosexual.

"But they would be happier if they accepted their sexuality", you say, and that's true. But if a persons world view is set on certan foundation, the destruction of that foundation would be much more painful, if not imposible.

This gay blogger, I guess. belives in god and all that, and belives gayness is a sin. Obviously, it seems easier to him, on some level, to stop taking it up the butt then to re-factor his faith, warped as it is.

---

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for gay butfucking, and I definetly support lesbians, especialy hot ones. That said the gay community seems to be about as anti-science as the christian right. They keep screeming "IT MUST BE GENETIC" because they want it to be that way, in fact all of the scientific stuff I've seen seems to indicate that while there is a genetic disposition (meaning your geens make you more or less likely to be gay) homosexuality is mostly congenital (meaning it's caused by conditions in the woomb) and probably caused by maternal stress.
posted by delmoi at 6:31 PM on November 26, 2004


"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another" (John 13:34)

Didn't Jesus hang out with hookers and other non-believers? I'm sure there were probably a few homosexuals at the wedding in Canaan.
posted by cheaily at 6:35 PM on November 26, 2004


I believe God is blessed by the effort.

Random digression, but how can God be blessed?
posted by Bugbread at 6:36 PM on November 26, 2004


I could never really understand this "converting gays" thing. I mean, the more gay men are out there, the more choice that leaves for us straight guys, doesn't it? Let them be gay is what I say.
Talking men out of their gayness just reduces your own chances of finding a mate and spreading your genes.
So in evolutionary terms, there should even be a disadvantage for those who try to talk their peers out of being gay and thus compete with them in the gene pool, which means that they should be gone in a couple of thousand years.

Now lesbianism, that is something that needs to be severely punished.
posted by sour cream at 6:36 PM on November 26, 2004


There is a hell, konolia, but it exists only in the here-and-now, and you have chosen to put yourself into it.

And that's your choice and I defend your right to so choose, even as I shake my head in amazement and sadness.
posted by rushmc at 6:37 PM on November 26, 2004


"Fat people are just gross."

Yeah? Fuck you and your horse, you dick.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:37 PM on November 26, 2004


the only reason he doesn't want to be gay is because of people like you

No, he doesn't want to be gay because he loves God and wants to please Him.

No, he doesn't want to be gay because of people who have convinced him that there is a God and that there is some value in trying to please Him. People... like you. Not you specifically, of course, unless you know him. But the people who are causing his self-loathing are indeed very much like you in every important way.
posted by kindall at 6:38 PM on November 26, 2004


The Bible on family values:

Exodus 32:27-29 "[Moses' orders to his army] he said to them, "The Lord God of Israel commands every one of you to put on his sword and go through the camp from this gate to the other and kill his brothers, his friends and his neighbours. The Levites obeyed and killed about 3000 Men that day. Moses said to the Levites, "Today you have consecrated yourselves as priests in the service of the Lord by killing your sons and brothers, so the Lord has given you his blessing."

Luke 14:26 Jesus speaking, "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."

Matthew 23:9 "And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven."

Matthew 10:34-36 "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law (sic) against her mother in law(sic). And a man's foes shall be they of his own household."

konolia, your Bible is good in parts. In other parts it is evil. It is also internally inconsistant and thus cannot be the truth.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:42 PM on November 26, 2004


amberglow, do you have a problem with somebody who puts his [insert belief] before his sexuality? I found his words forthright and open (in the first link - I admit I haven't read every link posted). Or perhaps he is genuinely confused as to what his sexual orientation is. Maybe he's (actually) completely aware of his desires but he has greater priorities in his life.
posted by SpaceCadet at 6:42 PM on November 26, 2004


Space, could you deny your sexuality? That's your answer.
posted by amberglow at 6:48 PM on November 26, 2004


Amberglow:

That's no answer. "Do people like broccolli?" "Do you like broccolli? That's your answer." See, doesn't work.

I'm not saying you're wrong, but it was a stunning non-sequitor.
posted by Bugbread at 6:52 PM on November 26, 2004


Comparing broccolli to sexuality is like comparing my left heel to the british house of commons.
posted by cheaily at 6:53 PM on November 26, 2004


amberglow, I'm sure that if it was important enough to me, I could quit masturbating to Animal Planet

It'd have to be DAMN important.
posted by graventy at 6:54 PM on November 26, 2004


When I look at gay and lesbian people, I see them, I see faces and smiles and eyes and clothes and cheekbones and hands. I think when Christians and other right wing Republicans look at gay men they see penises entering anuses. That's the long and short of it.

Lesbians are rarely treated with such contempt-- and I think it is because the sexual act they practice is not so threatening.

But we constantly hear how "disgusting" homosexuals are. What about them other than the sex act is disgusting? And why are they perceived as disgusting when heterosexual couples engage in all sorts of strange acts including putting penises in anuses. Is it just that they have the possibility of procreating? What about old people? Are they disgusting too?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:56 PM on November 26, 2004


But I am not going to lie to them and say that homosexuality is okay with God and call THAT love.

What I think you need to do, konolia, is remember that you absolutely can not speak for God. Mankind will invariably fuck it up when he tries. Further, considering that the textual evidence that homosexuality is a sin is extremely thin, and that modern Christianity ignores things that are a lot more clearly stated in the Bible as sins, the best course of action is to not pretend you know one way or the other whether God thinks homosexuality is a sin.

Because you don't have any frickin' clue if He (should He even exist) disapproves. All you have is the (extremely scant) word of men saying he does. A word which is, almost certainly, based on human bigotry, not the word of God.
posted by teece at 6:56 PM on November 26, 2004


It's not a non-sequitor at all--most straight people can't even conceive of denying their sexuality--they never are asked to, nor have any occasion to--it's only a problem if they become priests or nuns, i guess. Yet--they think it's ok when people of differing sexuality are denying it, and making excuses about it.

graventy--you're a filthy filthy boy! ; >
posted by amberglow at 7:04 PM on November 26, 2004


Amberglow:

Like I said, I'm not saying you're wrong. It just doesn't match the question. So, "do you have a problem with somebody who puts his [insert belief] before his sexuality?"
posted by Bugbread at 7:09 PM on November 26, 2004


Some side thoughts:

The nature/nurture debate is pretty much moot in both biology and psychology where the question has been redefined as "how much of each?" But of course, that does not prevent misleading versions of it from popping up here.

It also is worth mentioning that most religions seem to have some version of "Pascal's Wager." I think my odds are more likely to become a hungry ghost though.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:11 PM on November 26, 2004


What's that line, by their fruits shall ye know them?

Did anyone else read that with teh thaucy Thcott Thompthon lithp?

Did you have to get over your natural hair colour? Skin colour? Anything genetic? Because if you did, my guess is you have thus far failed

My wife shaves her armpits. OH NOE! Is she doing something wrong by changing something that is genetic?

Miss July got a boob-job. OH NOE! Is she doing something wrong by changing something that is genetic?

The Pope has taken a vow of celibacy, and so has this gay dude. OH NOE!

But I am not going to lie to them and say that homosexuality is okay with God and call THAT love.

[Mr. Burns voice] Excellent.

The more Christians shit all over everyone, the fewer people will tend toward religious beliefs. The fewer people with religious beliefs, the more sane this world can become.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:18 PM on November 26, 2004


Putting a belief before his/her sexuality is not what any straight person ever does, nor something that's even asked, bugbread--I don't see how it doesn't match. This guy is denying his sexuality because the beliefs demand it, and that's ok with Space. Straight people are not put in that position, nor are they torn that way. Thinking about it the other way points out the hypocrisy, impossibility, and unacceptability of it, let alone the unhappiness it would cause.
posted by amberglow at 7:22 PM on November 26, 2004


Humans, by the nature of their electrochemical neurological functioning, are programmable. Any human can be manipulated to perform any task, remember any "memory", or adhere to any belief. The complexity of the human, is what invites this critical flaw.

Great strides have been made in the field of human programmability, but you will find little recognition in medical journals. Agencies with unlimited budgets, and lesser known acronyms have done most of this "innovative" work. Fear of losing power and influence are powerful means of motivation. Even powerful enough to perform such taboo
work.

Can I, a non practicing heterosexual, be programmed to become a homosexual. Yes. I can be. But I can also be programmed to enter a nuclear reactors containment vessel to manually insert cadmium/boron control rods into place, or to believe that when I was six I did not hit a mailbox while learning to ride a bicycle.

The output of any human thought or action is directly linked to the desired outcome of the party performing the programming.

Mostly, we perform of our own programming. Sometimes, other parties interfere. The interference is what I find deplorable.

We make ourselves. We are all instruments of our own design.

We are all tools.... to perform the tasks that bring us joy.


And in conclusion:

To any of you who prefer to house your mailboxes within a brick enclosure......may you one day know the pain of slamming into it headlong.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 7:24 PM on November 26, 2004


No one is going to hell. No one is going to heaven. We have reached the point where we can scientifically show that death is the end. Anyone who doubts that, just ask and I'll explain it to you.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:25 PM on November 26, 2004


We have reached the point where we can scientifically show that death is the end. Anyone who doubts that, just ask and I'll explain it to you.

Go for it.
posted by Krrrlson at 7:29 PM on November 26, 2004


Stop being gay. Stop being caucasian. Stop being Jewish. Stop being African. Stop being female. Stop being all these things because someone once said it was wrong.

See the logic? The lack thereof?

Believe me, I went through a phase where I fought teh gay, I dated women, and even tried feebly to denounce teh gay. Once, by the grace of Whodat, my spirituality expanded radically, and I realized that my narrow perceptions were choices, only then could I not only accept my nature, but affirm it. I never once woke up and thought 'having this in my mouth is better than having that in my mouth,' I always knew not matter how I tried to deny it what seemed right for me (blush), and fighting it only made me more neurotic and further removed from the world. Perhaps we feel so strongly about our sexuality because homo-, bi-, and heterosexualities are an essential part of natural balance, as biologists have suggested, thus substantiating the 'hard wired' behavior.

I have to thank fate for the intervention of psychedelics at 18 for helping me to 'see the light' or rainbow or whatever. Anyway, I won't knock these folks for their choice of God, but such selective interpretations have caused a lot of misery for people struggling not only with their sexuality, but their class, race, and gender.
posted by moonbird at 7:32 PM on November 26, 2004


Oh, hell, let me try to provide an answer that fits the question, then.

do you have a problem with somebody who puts his [insert belief] before his sexuality?

Overall, no. I do believe that in a fight between a belief and sexuality, sexuality will win. As such, and assuming that we're limiting ourselves to what happens in this world, doing so will most likely cause a tremendous amount of anguish for a smaller reward (the knowledge that they're consistent with their beliefs). However, I am not opposed to them putting themselves through that anguish, provided they realize the extent of it beforehand. I also acknowledge that there is a possibility that the enjoyment of being consistent with beliefs may exceed the torment of fighting against their innate sexual drive. I don't know how big that possibility is, but I imagine it's small, and overall that the torment will exceed any reward.

However, I believe that the societal pressures to cause someone to face this conundrum (an unwinnable situation: live in despair because you think you're going to hell, or live in despair from denying your own sexual orientation) are a bad and unnecessary thing, and I think a better position would be one in which people didn't feel the need to make such choices, allowing them to live contently.

See, it answers the question while providing an explanation of your opinion on the subject. Very different from the apparent Mefi norm of ignoring the question and just stating your opinion.
posted by Bugbread at 7:40 PM on November 26, 2004


Amberglow, lots of straight people put their faith before their sexuality. There's nothing more common in an observant religious community than long-married couples who, out of religious obligation, remain married and faithful despite any passion having withered away years, or decades, before.

That said, I think it is pure folly for "ex-gay" ministries to push their success stories into straight marriages. Obtaining tools to maintain celibacy is one thing -- more power to them, if the gay lifestyle's not making them happy -- but getting into false-pretenses marriages, just doesn't make any sense.
posted by MattD at 7:44 PM on November 26, 2004


amberglow Putting a belief before his/her sexuality is not what any straight person ever does, nor something that's even asked, bugbread.

I disagree. Any married (or equivalently attached) person, straight or gay, who has the opportunity and desire to have an affair, and doesn't, has put a belief before their sexuality. Anyone who has a position of power over another person, and could have had a sexual relationship with them and didn't, has put a belief before their sexuality. A person who is vegetarian for moral reasons puts a belief before their desire for food, which is equal or greater than sexuality in many people. A person who loses weight to become more attractive puts a sexual desire before a desire for food.

Sexuality is a desire. Maintaining a religious belief is a desire. Being attractive is a desire. Anything can be seen as the balancing of incentives and disincentives, and delmoi hit the nail on the head when s/he said that a person's worldview is often more important to them than anything else. Self-image is a powerful part of world-view; it is possibly even the same thing spelt differently.

I disapprove of gay-to-straight would-be converts, anorexics, drug addicts and transgenders: all inflict serious physical and emotional damage on themselves in pursuit of self-image. I recognize their sovereign right to do it, but I have a definite problem with the cheerleaders for people doing stuff like this, like konolia. I'm unclear as to what to do about them, other than to debate the issue publicly enough so that their victims get a chance to make their minds up with full information.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 7:49 PM on November 26, 2004


First of all, it's not fair at all to compare gay people to fat people. Fat people are just gross.
---
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for gay butfucking, and I definetly support lesbians, especialy hot ones.


Oh, piss off. Both for the fat comment and so your leering 'hot lesbian' comment. Lesbians don't have sex for your delectation. I hate to break it to you, but it doesn't have anything to do with you or any man's pleasure. You're irrelevant to lesbian sex-- the real thing, not that stuff you see on porn tapes and somehow believe is the truth.

Hang in there, amberglow. My patience evaporated within the first 20 seconds of entering this thread.
posted by jokeefe at 7:55 PM on November 26, 2004


But none of those examples require elimination of their sexuality entirely, as this guy is trying to do. More than half of all married couples cheat, and even if they don't love their partners, can still express their sexuality with them, and usually do. Many powerful people have a spouse or other at home or can purchase what they desire, so are not faced with a choice of an underling or nothing. Even a vegetarian doesn't give up food entirely, which is what this guy is doing with his sexuality. There's a giant difference here between not acting on every impulse and not having any expressable sexuality at all.
posted by amberglow at 7:56 PM on November 26, 2004


and thanks jokeefe--jump in and help me explain that what they're describing and what this guy is doing is not at all the same : >
posted by amberglow at 7:58 PM on November 26, 2004


To throw some medical knowledge here: the pediatricians have no problem with gays adopting, and the psychiatrists deny any scientific evidence that "conversion therapy" actually works.

You're completely wrong about transgender(ed) people, aeschenkarnos. There are very few medical treatments that provide an almost 100% cure rate like hormone or gender reassignment therapy. If you were born phenotypically/sexually male, but feel that your gender is female, I think you might want to make the two match as well.
posted by gramcracker at 8:10 PM on November 26, 2004


I disapprove of gay-to-straight would-be converts, anorexics, drug addicts and transgenders: all inflict serious physical and emotional damage on themselves in pursuit of self-image.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Do not include transgendered people in that lineup. Being transgendered is a serious disease in which the body, and the chemicals produced by it, do not match the person's identity as determined by his or her brain. For most transgendered people, hormone therapy and surgery are the cure to this disease. "Pursuit of self-image" has nothing to do with it. A very dear friend of mine is transgendered, and suffering greatly as an indirect result of it (discrimination and inability to afford SRS, if you must know the specifics of her suffering), and she would tear your spine out through the soles of your feet if she heard you say that it was her own fault.

(On preview, what gramcracker said more nicely than I did.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:17 PM on November 26, 2004


Equal time from some people who have given up on their previous abhorrent, unnatural lifestyle choice.
posted by gimonca at 8:20 PM on November 26, 2004


Historically, there was every reason to believe in an afterlife, because people had no idea what our human behavior and intelligence was caused by. It seemed quite possible that there was an ethereal object which allowed for life to exist, which we called a soul. Although that soul was temporarily assigned to a human body, there seemed no need for soul and body to be tied inextricably, and for both to die at the same time. God could choose to do whatever he wanted with the soul when it left the body, punishing or rewarding it depending on its past behavior, since it existed based on the same mysterious unknowable ruleset that he did and was not bound by any laws of science.

The study of psychology has destroyed this myth. There is no place for it any more except in fiction and history books.

The reason is that we now know our behavior is dependent on our chemical makeup. I'm not just talking about DNA here. Every new memory you make is recorded chemically. Every changing aspect of your personality is recorded chemically. The world is chemical, and you interact with it chemically. Many MANY people appear not to realise this, or choose to ignore it as an inconvenient or depressing concept, and it stuns me.

When you break down the chemical system in part of the brain, that part ceases to function, and the person's personality changes. Let's say someone is involved in a car crash that destroys the part of their brain that deals with a sense of smell. It previously allowed the person to smell odours because of an amazingly complex and fragile chemical pathway. Now it is destroyed by the collision, it can't do it's job. It's that simple. It's that obvious.

This fact, that you are your molecular configuration, applies to every aspect of you. Your memories, your personality, your consciousness. For a soul to "be" us, allowing us to live after death, it would have to be an exact encoded copy of our molecular configuration at the point of death.

When a person dies, is his mind encoded in soul form at the point of death? If you think that's the case, bear in mind that the destruction of the mind is not an instantaneous thing. If you have a momentary brain process, a thought, after part of your brain is destroyed, is that included in your soul? Or is your soul just the brain in its perfect state, before any damage occurs to it? You're going to have to go for the latter option, otherwise you're going to end up in heaven braindead. Of course, by that logic, going back to the person without a sense of smell, their soul would have to be encoded before they damaged that part of their brain. On the other hand, maybe the sense of smell part is encoded in soul form when it's destroyed, and bums around in heaven sniffing things and waiting for the rest of the brain to arrive. That can't be true of course; it's not like you can mix and match these mystical brain-blueprints from different points in time, because the brain grows and changes and really isn't LEGO-brick simple.

The human body isn't a binary on/off machine, and death is gradual, and so a soul would have to be encoded gradually, each part of the brain and spinal cord being recorded just prior to destruction. The resulting "time-lapse" image of the brain would not function. The soul-encoding event gives off no heat or light or any evidence of its existence at all, and by all the laws of physics is impossible. Quite simply, you are your chemical configuration, and when that is destroyed, the memories and personality that you consist of are destroyed, and so you are destroyed.

In this post I'm being very patronising, and I'm stating the obvious. I apologise, but these facts are so very, very self-evident to me, that I don't quite know how to express them otherwise, to people who can't see them. If you can think in any serious depth about the scientific mechanics that would be necessary for an afterlife, and still believe in one, you need psychiatric help (in the case of konolia, extra sessions).

Please, I beg you, point out any flaws in my argument, because all I'm interested in is finding the truth.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 8:22 PM on November 26, 2004


The problem with "ex-gay" ministries (well, the biggest problem) is that they're not just trying to get people to be celibate. They share with many gay people (and few progressive heterosexuals) the view that sexuality and gender perception are tied together: as a mechanism to get people to stop having gay sex, they ask them to renounce the other attributes of their personality that are stereotypically gay: stop liking musicals, start playing football.

It's so mind-bogglingly stupid and frustrating, so clichéd, that it's hard to wrap your mind around the fact that that is, in fact, what these ministries teach. But it is.
posted by Tlogmer at 8:22 PM on November 26, 2004


An ex-ex-gay testimony
posted by gimonca at 8:23 PM on November 26, 2004


P_G, I'm not a Christian, nor do I ascribe to any major belief system, nor am I convinced that there's any place where a soul "goes" after the body has died. But nevertheless, I do believe that somehow there exists an element of consciousness that is divorcible from the body and the brain. Is it detectable by modern scientific means? Probably not. Might it be detectable by future scientific means? Maybe. Frankly, I don't think you're giving science enough credit. We will know far more about the workings of the universe a hundred years from now (assuming the Bush administration lets us live that long) than we do today. You say the concept of a soul doesn't obey the laws of physics; I say it doesn't obey the laws of physics as we know them.

"There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:31 PM on November 26, 2004


I'm a bit unclear on my bible history, but something has always confused me. Aren't there a variety of things that are declared by the bible to be a mortal sin? How do homosexual acts compare to say, not honoring the sabbath? I mean, one is even a commandment. So, my question has always been why christians get so much more disgusted/offended by homosexual acts than the other sins that everyone commits every day. Why does homosexuality get this special, exalted position, and should it? How do christians compare the sinliness of something, anyway?

In reference to the spat above over putting beliefs ahead of natural inclinations, that's a debate we won't end here. At least to me it seems clear that it is pretty much our natural state to rebel against our natural state. We're inquistive, stubborn, people and trying to change aspects about ourselves that are "natural" is pretty much the goal of most of humanity. I think it's unfair to automatically claim that submitting to natural inclinations is automatically the best choice. Besides, heterosexuals (well, except they were often homosexual, historically) have been totally giving up sexuality for religions reasons for millenia. There's nothing new about the influences that result in people doing this, and I think it may be possible to say they "naturally" want to give up their sexuality for beliefs. It totally depends on the individual person.
posted by JZig at 8:33 PM on November 26, 2004


ANY kind of change requires God's help.

For you maybe. A great many people have changed and grown and done great things for themselves and others without any help from the Christian God or any god at all, myself included.

How many people are going to go to hell because other people worked so hard to make them comfortable in their sin instead of encouraging them to be free from it?

How about respecting the fact that not everyone is going to be going to your hell, because many people don't happen to believe in the same god or the same heaven/hell scenario that you do. I know you are convinced that you are right and your way is the only way to live, but forcing everyone to conform to your god's plan is wrong. The last time I checked there were a multitude of other religions and philosophies out there with a great many believers. My Jewish relatives, for example, believe it is wrong to eat pork, but they have never made me or anyone else feel like less of a good person because I/they happen to like bacon, and I haven't seen them out on any crusades to make the consumption of pork illegal.

You and any other person are free to believe that homosexuality is a sin and that homosexuals are going to hell. What you aren't free to do is demand that they stop doing what your god says is a sin. Your god just might not be their god or they may have no god at all. I'm glad you have a personal relationship with your god and that it brings you pleasure and joy and balance in your life, but it's just that ... your own personal relationship with your own god. It shouldn't extend to insisting that everyone behave as you and he wish in order to save them from going to hell.

Now if someone wants to change themselves in some way, more power to them. If they want to get the help of a god, a therapist, a support group ... great, fine and dandy. But someone else saying a person should change something about themselves, be it their sexuality, their weight, the way they dress, whatever, because it offends them or their god is just not acceptable, and it won't be until everyone on the planet worships the same god and all believe the exact same things (heaven forbid because I can't see that happening without war involved) ... and it imposes on that person's free will to do as they please with their own life and be who they please ... and to believe or not believe in a religious-based omniscient being.

Geez, I so can't wait for the rapture. - Jimbob

On the drive to my Mom's on Thanksgiving, my husband quipped that the rapture has already happened and that all these folks waiting for the big day haven't yet realized that they were left behind. Just something to think about.

On preview: A person who loses weight to become more attractive puts a sexual desire before a desire for food.

Or maybe they thought it might be nice to be healthy enough to stick around a few more years. Most of the overweight individuals I have known who put major effort into losing weight didn't do it in the hopes that they'd get laid more often. They wanted to have a longer and more healthy life.
posted by Orb at 8:33 PM on November 26, 2004


Another religious group chimes in...
posted by gimonca at 8:33 PM on November 26, 2004


P-G, I think you're leaving out the possibility of a soul being something totally different than what is normally considered, but still being immortal. It is very obvious from the study of neuroscience that various bits of encoded behaviors, memories, and abilities are distributed in specific aspects of the brain. What is totally unclear is the exact functioning of conciousness. As a general comparison, my Neuroscience text has 300 pages on visual processes and 2 on conciousness. There are a variety of people who make fairly decent (although not personally convincing) arguments that conciousness cannot in fact be chemical in nature. Jon Searle has several excellent papers on the subject.

Anyway, if we hypothesize that conciousness is not chemical, it becomes possible that this bit can be immortal. What is vitally important is that this soul is in no way identical to our concious experiences today. What would survive is pretty much the unexplainable bits that make those decisions that we think may not be predesignated. So, my response to you is if you believe in free will, and believe that conciousness is not chemical in nature, there may be a soul. However, it will be nothing like us as people. Thus, the conclusion to be made from this is that it's best to live life as if there is no immortality to begin with, because if you do live forever, it will be an entirely different you.
posted by JZig at 8:41 PM on November 26, 2004


P_G: I agree there's little room in this world for dualism. However, science struggles with explanations for conscious experience, as far as I know, though some very fascinating papers have been written as of late. Anyway, threadjack! Everybody to the limit!

JZig: The primary anti-homosexual passage of the bible - "Thou shalt not lie with man as with woman. It is abomination" - lies smack in the middle of the book of Leviticus, most of which is ignored by those who are not strictly kosher, and some of which is, even by them. (Apparently if you get a foot fungus, you have to burn your house down! Neato.)

The other passage interpreted as being anti-homosexual is the infamous burning of Sodom, which is done by God because a bunch of guys rape an angel. Well, yes, it is a gay act, but I think he may have been angrier about the raping an angel aspect of it. The residents of Sodom had a bad reputation for mistreating strangers in a variety of ways, and thus this passage can also be interpreted as a warning against a lack of hospitality (indeed very unchristian).
posted by mek at 8:50 PM on November 26, 2004


Well, yes, it is a gay act, but I think he may have been angrier about the raping an angel aspect of it.

But angels have no gender, so it can't be called a homosexual act to begin with.

(And as an aside, we know what sodomy is. What's gomorrahy?)
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:56 PM on November 26, 2004


"because if you do live forever, it will be an entirely different you."

That's right. I don't need to know the exact workings of the human mind to say these things. All I need to show is that SOME parts of the human mind, for example memories, elements of your character, and your sense abilities, are dependent on a chemical system which is destroyed at death. What might remain, these as-yet unknown aspects of conciousness which science cannot yet rule out being immortal, do not encode information allowing YOU as a person to live. Something without my character or memories is not me, and if that thing continues after my death, it is not my afterlife.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 8:58 PM on November 26, 2004


And as for God punishing or rewarding something for actions it cannot remember and does not have the character to perform... not terrible sensible, is it?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:00 PM on November 26, 2004


Hi.

I'm just piping up down here to say that I haven't RTFT at all, but I think that I really liked JimBob's line "Geez, I so can't wait for the rapture. We'll finally get some peace and quiet."

That's it.
posted by yhbc at 9:05 PM on November 26, 2004


If you are gay, and you don't want to change, don't. But if someone does, ain't your business.

The problem with this line of thought is that there are too many people these days who think that making me (or others who are gay/lesbian) change is their business — indeed, their God-given duty. For exactly the reasons that konolia mentions.

It may well be none of my business if a person thinks that he or she can change his or her sexual orientation.

By the same token it's not as simple as saying "If you are gay, and you don't want to change, don't." The legislative and ideological direction of the country I live in (I have no idea where konolia lives) is predominantly toward "If you are gay, and you don't want to change, we'll eventually make life so unlivable for you that you'll have no choice but to change."
posted by blucevalo at 9:06 PM on November 26, 2004


Someone's suggested to me that the brain isn't the cause of the mind, but merely reflects it, like a TV isn't the cause of a TV signal but merely displays it.

The reason that can't be the case, is that when you wreck part of your TV, the signal sent out by the transmitter doesn't change. That's because the TV is the effect, not the cause. When you wreck part of the brain, you'll usually know about it, and the rest of your brain alters to reflect the change. This shows that the brain is the cause, not the effect.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:08 PM on November 26, 2004


Your analogy is, uh, false. As an observer you know nothing of the "signal" so all you see is your broken brain/TV.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:09 PM on November 26, 2004


I'm proud of most of you new kids, except PROD_TPSL, who sounds like he/she is either 14 or an Extropian or both.

I just got back from watching "Kinsey." Great flick, you'd enjoy it. Sad, though - we really are no further along, as a society, than we were in the mid-50s.

Not so long as there are the likes of konolia and this poor, misguided bastard about, anyway.
posted by adamgreenfield at 9:17 PM on November 26, 2004


Krrrlson - of course we know something of the "signal", if the brain reflects the signal. We know the signal in the parts of the brain that are undamaged. In the same way as, if some pixels in your tv are destroyed, you can still see the rest of the signal.

In someone who suffers brain damage, this theory would lead to the "signal" consisting of the undamaged parts of the brain all behaving as if part of the brain has been destroyed, and continually changing to reflect new experiences, shackled together with the "damaged" part of the brain, never changing, at the point just before it was destroyed. That's one seriously fucked up Frankenstein's-monster of a brain. Wouldn't work.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:23 PM on November 26, 2004


But none of those examples require elimination of their sexuality entirely

You're not helping your case by making obviously false claims (many heterosexual people do, in fact, choose to mute or abandon their sexuality for various reasons). Fortunately, your case does not require this argument—I'd abandon it and return to what is more relevant, i.e., the inappropriateness of OTHERS demanding that someone change their sexuality.
posted by rushmc at 9:27 PM on November 26, 2004


he may have been angrier about the raping an angel aspect of it

Isn't the Qur'anic version of the Lot/Lut story quite a bit more explicit about the wickedness being teh gay? This would argue against the "rules of hospitality" or "don't rape angels, for crying out loud" interpretations of the story. Although, on the other hand, I believe that all other times the example of Sodom's mentioned in the Bible, they're talking about how inhospitable they were, so maybe it was an angel-raping thing after all.

(Not that it matters, of course. It is, after all, a made up story about people living a long time ago in which the only unambiguous moral message is strongly in favour of giving your daughters up to be raped. So, um, possibly not with the ethical guidance.)

Still no idea what Gomorrah did wrong. Telephone marketing, perhaps.
posted by flashboy at 9:33 PM on November 26, 2004


Reading Krrrlson's suggestion again, that we can't know anything at all about the "signal" if the brain is damaged... well then, you're basically saying that the brain does not perfectly reflect the signal if it is at all damaged. But yet we know that a person's character and memories change if their brain is damaged. And how do you define damage anyway? Is a traumatic experience damage, and if so, will you have no memory of it in the afterlife? How do you scientifically define a traumatic memory? Can someone without your memories be said to be you? No, clearly not.

So this theoretical signal thing, which does not change dependent on parts of the brain being damaged, is shown to not contain a person's character or memories, since those things are shown to be dependent on the brain (which the signal is not), and so cannot provide them with an afterlife.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:40 PM on November 26, 2004


P_G - Maybe if I could make sense of that second paragraph I'd have more, but it seems you're stretching the metaphor beyond reason (not to mention grammar). I could keep speculating and present you with *my* version of the analogy that is internally consistent... which is, of course, irrelevant since I will not be able to prove it or you disprove it, because we simply do not know enough about the brain to settle the question as to whether it is influenced by some non-physical force.

On preview: What if the only thing that changes is how you perceive the "damaged" person? What if your "signal" is merely not being transmitted properly and you're interpreting that as personality change? Clearly we will not arrive at a definite conclusion here.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:44 PM on November 26, 2004


You're suggesting that the signal might not change based on your personality changes. Your personality alters throughout your existance. The signal is therefore not you, at any point in your life. The reason I'm stretching the metaphor so horribly is because I'm trying to find a situation in which it could make sense, and failing, cause it don't, mofo.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:52 PM on November 26, 2004


I think what P_G's saying is that, if your personality is dependant on the physical makeup of your brain, it's difficult to decide at what point the theoretical soul is formed. Most people assume that the soul is somewhat like "you". However, if you are born retarded, is your soul also retarded (no, I'm not being flippant). If your brain is damaged as a small child, does your soul stay at the child stage? If you do a lot of methamphetamines, does your soul become irritable and alienated? Does it retain the form you had before your first hit? Your 10th? And what if it isn't something as clear as meth? If you work in a paint plant that uses lead, does the soul stop changing when you first go in for the job?

And, regarding Christianity in particular (and I know this is a tangent from the soul discussion, which is not necessarily tied to Christianity), if you're a good person, and then suffer some sort of brain damage that causes you to become violent or a pathological liar, do you go to Heaven? Presumably, if your soul isn't tied to your brain, you could still be a good person who kills other people because your brain is damaged. How would that work?

On preview: Ok, that's pretty much what I was getting at.
posted by Bugbread at 9:54 PM on November 26, 2004


It is an interesting disconnect. In religious terms (in this instance, Christianity) all events are pre-defined as part of God's divine plan (read: justification).

So, to use bugbread's example, the accident causing brain damage that leads to violence etc. is part of God's plan. The disconnect comes as part of the resulting aftermath in which the violent tendencies could lead to other deaths, and the taint of the perpetrators' soul. However, it could mean that the victims deaths were also part of the divine plan, thereby the perpetrator was the instrument of God. In this instance, the soul would be, conceivably, clear.
posted by purephase at 10:08 PM on November 26, 2004


In retrospect, I guess this might be where Satan comes into play. Damn, I thought I had a loophole. ;)
posted by purephase at 10:11 PM on November 26, 2004


aes.: A person who is vegetarian for moral reasons puts a belief before their desire for food...

Um, not always. I found that once I made the moral "click" that led me to vegetarianism, the idea of eating meat became quite repulsive. Quite thankfully, there is lots of very good food out there that does not involve animal ingredients.

Faint of Butt: (And as an aside, we know what sodomy is. What's gomorrahy?)

Probably something I tried, but wrote off as overrated.

blucevalo: The problem with this line of thought is that there are too many people these days who think that making me (or others who are gay/lesbian) change is their business — indeed, their God-given duty. For exactly the reasons that konolia mentions.

This is good. In addition, I don't feel the need to cheerlead the peddling of snake oil either.

rushmc: You're not helping your case by making obviously false claims (many heterosexual people do, in fact, choose to mute or abandon their sexuality for various reasons).

I think a lot of the content of the whole ex-gay ministries reveals how religious heterosexists and gays see the world radically differently. For religious heterosexists, its all about the sex, specifically buggery. For quite a few lesbigays, the sex is just one part of how we see and experience the world.

So for example, the ex-gay ministries seem to say that you can love your fellow man, as long as you don't love (engage in sodomy with) your fellow man. However, gays and lesbians are more likely to focus on the emotions of what is going on, whether that relationship is explicitly consumated or not. Some of the most important relationships in my life never went beyond some pretty wild and passionate kissing. Most of the ex-gays wouldn't recognize G. H. Hardy's unreturned and unconsumated love for Ramanujan as a "gay" relationship, most gays I know do.

The reason I identify as bisexual and queer is not because I ever expect to have sex with another man again. I identify as bisexual and queer because I jumped into love with both feet, and loved with every nerve, tendon, muscle and breath in my body. My feelings for those men were not a phase, a fling, an experiment or a mistake. They form the core of who I am today.

I sat down last week with a guy I fell for, HARD back about 12 years ago. 12 years ago, I was all about wanting to be with him for the rest of my life. He was not interested in more than friendship, a good thing in retrospect, but I still loved him. As we were talking last week, a long time after he pulled a lot of shit that broke my friendship and my heart at the same time, I suddenly realized, "damn, I'm still attracted to him." That's part of what it is all about.

So while I think that you can mute or abandon sexual behavior, I think sexuality goes beyond sexual activity, and includes how you see yourself in relationship to other people. As the saying goes, "just because I'm on a diet, does not mean that I don't look at the menu." Monogamy or even celibacy does not mean that your sexuality just goes away, even if you make a choice that engaging in rumpus pumpus would be an open invitation to a Big Ugly Mess than you wish to avoid.

Interestingly enough, this thread has been responded to on Ben's blog.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:19 PM on November 26, 2004


You're trying to get into the specifics of an arbitrary, vague, easily tunable analogy and, just as in your previous argument, attempting to disprove it by making assumptions then stating that they do not make sense. All the analogy does (in my view) is suggest there is a non-physical component to your being that may interact with the physical. Everything else you've introduced to try and flesh out this relationship is your own speculation. If it's inconsistent, feel free to alter your assumptions. The basic claim in its bare form, however, is impossible to prove or disprove at our current level of knowledge.

Anyway, I don't care to keep this up. If you can't see my point now I doubt I can explain it better.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:22 PM on November 26, 2004


there is a non-physical component to your being that may interact with the physical

Sure, maybe. But it has been shown that crucial aspects of your being are based on the physical. Without those, the thing which may or may not exist after your death, cannot be said to be you.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 10:42 PM on November 26, 2004


Still no idea what Gomorrah did wrong. Telephone marketing, perhaps.

We could do to Gomorrah what an English quack doctor did to Onan and link Gomorrahy to some sexual act that is practiced in large numbers by gay and straight people. Meanwhile, we also need to invent a large number of symptoms for it in order to raise panic about its effects and sell cures.

But then again, look at how much trouble that caused.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:43 PM on November 26, 2004


You mean like Santorum?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 10:51 PM on November 26, 2004


Faint of Butt Being transgendered is a serious disease in which the body, and the chemicals produced by it, do not match the person's identity as determined by his or her brain.
As far as we know at the moment, the actual physical state of a transgendered person is caused by a genetic condition, where the fetus is masculinized or feminized during pregnancy. This isn't necessarily due to the genetic makeup of the fetus itself, it could be due to the mother's genetic makeup, or the interaction between the two. There are indications that homosexuality has a similar cause. I expect we agree on this issue.

For most transgendered people, hormone therapy and surgery are the cure to this disease. "Pursuit of self-image" has nothing to do with it.
Here is where we diverge, Faint of Butt. Hormone therapy and surgery are alteration of self, and why else would a person do that, other than to conform their body to their mental self-image? Calling it "curing a disease" stretches the definition of disease past recognition. Transgenderism a condition that the person may choose to address by having surgery to make their body look more like (but not often actually pass for) the gender of their self-image.

As far as individual transgender people in the present day are concerned they have every right to be treated as their presented gender. It would be grossly rude not to. But I suggest that the problem is not with the transgender's body, or his/her self-image which is divergent from it; I don't believe having a body different from your mental self-image is a "disease" which needs to be "cured". The problem is with strict construction of sex roles and minimal understanding for the intersexed in our culture, which exacerbates the transgendered person's mental conflict, and drives him/her to seek out major physical surgery and drug treatment. That is, the choice to have sexual reassignment surgery or not also becomes the choice to conform to social expectations or not, and it's social expectations that cause the problem, not being born transgendered. The transgender is being pushed and pushed hard, and not just by people like konolia, to have that surgery so that people will accept them as per their self-image.

Which of course raises the question of how a person can be accepted as per a self-image they don't physically conform to, which is a deeper issue that I don't have an opinion on.

A very dear friend of mine is transgendered, and suffering greatly as an indirect result of it (discrimination and inability to afford SRS, if you must know the specifics of her suffering), and she would tear your spine out through the soles of your feet if she heard you say that it was her own fault.
I don't mean to be snippy about this, but strength of belief in an idea has nothing to do with its correctness. What would your friend have thought and done, before the idea of physically altering a person's body to resemble that of the other gender, became physically possible?

For what it's worth, I do not think that being transgendered is anybody's "fault". The idea of imposing fault on genetic conditions is irrational, the kind of error a religious thinker would fall into. Your friend's choices are to have surgery to conform to social expectations, or not to.

To summarize, I'm saying that not meeting social expectations is not a disease. What I mean by "I disapprove" is "I don't think this is good for that person". I absolutely recognize a person's right to change their body however they want to, within the limits of not actually being dangerous to other people.

A question for you, Faint of Butt: where would you draw the line between what is and isn't reasonable for a person to do, to make themselves conform to their self-image? I'm not asking "what would you make illegal", I'm asking what you think is good for people to do.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 10:57 PM on November 26, 2004


Well, I can certainly sympathize with these ex-gays. I was born straight but for many years I envied gay men, their witty conversation, their knowledge of show tunes, their urbanity, their tendency to look good in a tank top, and I simply wanted to be gay. But no matter how often I tried, it just didn't work for me. I would get into bed with my "boyfriend" and nothing would happen -- my unit would just lie there limp no matter how much he tried to arouse me. I found that I could perform if I got really drunk and thought about breasts. Well, one thing led to another, and I found myself hitting the bars and picking up women. I didn't mean to hook up with them but somehow they had a straightdar that told me I was part of their tribe. After these one night stands, I felt guilty and terrible afterward, that I could not control my desires. I was gay and proud but nothing beat sex with a woman. The worst part was riding the subway with my boyfriend in the summer. I couldn't keep my eyes off women's breasts and asses. I know he caught me looking.
I would see a really cute woman and her eyes would meet mine, and I could practically see her pupils dilate. I finally came to realize who I truly was during lunch with a few of the girls at work. "Well, as a gay man," I began, when they all burst out laughing. "What?" I asked them. "What is it?"

A hot little number named Cindy said: "You are so not gay. When you are going to stop living a lie? Have you ever looked at yourself in a tank top? My God, you even have a mullet! No gay man has worn a mullet since 1978!"

And I knew she was right, I had been living a lie. I leaned over and stuck my tongue down her throat. We were married within a year.
posted by Slagman at 11:04 PM on November 26, 2004


Gosh, the impact of metafilter threads on the subject always tickles me the right way. It's so downright quantum.

Slagman: do you write for SA?
posted by mek at 11:33 PM on November 26, 2004


You're not quite getting it, aeschenkarnos. For one thing, transgenderism and intersexuality are two different things. An intersexed person possesses physical characteristics of both genders, whereas most transgendered people are born as fully functional and anatomically normal members of one gender or the other. Now, to address your main argument, while the outward physical body is a major problem for most transgendered people, both for social interaction and personal self-image (I don't deny that self-image is an issue; I'm saying that it's only part of the transgendered condition), the much bigger problem is endocrinology. I see by your profile that you're male, so imagine what it would feel like to receive regular injections of estrogen. You wouldn't feel right. Your emotions would behave in ways you didn't want them to. You might feel sad at times when you intellectually thought you should feel angry. In other words, you would sense a disconnect between your thoughts and feelings and the way you knew you were supposed to be. This is what many transgendered people deal with every single day. It's not just a matter of "I want to look like a woman and have people treat me as one," it's a much deeper conflict. While social pressures have significant influence, they are not the cause of the problem.

What would my friend have done before the invention of SRS? Criminy, I don't know. I'll ask her if I get the chance. I imagine she would have done the same sorts of things that the millions of other transgendered people throughout history have done. I'm no historian.

And as for your final question, I don't draw the line anywhere. When it comes to people's own bodies, I'm a strict libertarian. If it doesn't bother me and interfere with my way of life, and I can't imagine anything that someone could do to him- or herself that would, then do whatever blows your hair back.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:36 PM on November 26, 2004


The scatteredwords blog is worth reading. I don't agree with much of it, but then again, I also lost my religion before figuring out the whole bisexuality thing.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:37 PM on November 26, 2004


Pretty_Generic: Sure, maybe. But it has been shown that crucial aspects of your being are based on the physical. Without those, the thing which may or may not exist after your death, cannot be said to be you.

It's wholly a matter of how you define the self. You seem to have defined it as largely memories and personality. If you define personality as a (mostly) consistent response to similar stimuli and memory as information about past states you could easily conceive of self as being portable. A crude analogy would be to a computer program which contains both memories, as data, and personality, as algorithm. Now one could take a given program and port it to any number of platforms wherein the code is not identical but the functioning and information contained therein are the same. One could make a chemical computer or a electronic one or even a mechanical binary one a la Leibniz that all perform identically when exposed to a stimulus. The question then becomes whether we judge them by their fruits or by their essence, in this case code.

This fact, that you are your molecular configuration, applies to every aspect of you. Your memories, your personality, your consciousness. For a soul to "be" us, allowing us to live after death, it would have to be an exact encoded copy of our molecular configuration at the point of death.

Your argument seems to be a version of the Sorites Paradox which would apply equally well to your life as well as your death. If you assume that your self changes throughout your life and you take progressively smaller time slices you could just as easily show that you are not you because you are not the same as the you of five minutes ago. Furthermore you assume the soul has to inhabit the body right up until the final moment of death which as you point out is a gradual process. Perhaps, it the souls flight from the body that begins the process of death.
"Body am I, and soul" -- so says the child. And why should one not speak like children?
But the awakened one, the knowing one, says: "Body am I entirely, and nothing more; and soul is only the name of something about the body."
--Thus Spoke Zarathustra
To digress from my digression and return to the topic at hand I fail to see the point of caviling about the root cause of homosexuality as if that would dissolve the argument. If homosexuality is genetic in origin that does not make it any less a sin in the eyes of fundamentalists. In fact it would mesh nicely with the concept of original sin. If all people have a natural inclination to temptation what is the difference between those with an inclination to sexual sins and those with an inclination to avarice. The fact that homosexually may be "natural" does that impose a moral valuation. What is interesting is that homosexuality is viewed as a much more serious sin by fundamentalists than seemingly similar sins like adultery. I think this is most likely a result of the unrepentance of practicing gays which is taken to be an attack on their entire moral value system because it seeks to redefine certain actions as acceptable. Fundamentalists can't relent on this issue because if they concede a change in morality they become the same as the relativists they despise. They rely on the bible; whose age they have somehow mistaken for an eternal foundation. Without infinities they have no ground to stand on.

But I think it is important to point out the internal consistency of the fundamentalist position. If you indulge the assumptions of the fundamentalist position, ie the bible as the word of God, its conclusions become quite plausible. Furthermore, this persons struggle becomes quite admirable and the radical excision of desire the only moral possibility. For as JC said "If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell." What is not consistent with the bible is the attempts of biblical literalists to forcibly eradicate homosexuality for others instead of themselves.
Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
"The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?'
" 'An enemy did this,' he replied.
"The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'
" 'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.' "
In other words mind your own fucking business jerkass. It's a poor God indeed who is not capable of judging man for himself and to usurp his position speaks either to a distrust in his power or an arrogance in one's own.
posted by Endymion at 1:02 AM on November 27, 2004


If you can think in any serious depth about the scientific mechanics that would be necessary for an afterlife, and still believe in one, you need psychiatric help

Okay, I'll bite.

Just for starters: Without math there's no science, and without a zero there's no math as we know it. And the "proven" "fact" of the existence of zero is about as solid as the more science-friendly conceptions of an afterlife (Buddhist ones, in particular - any wonder that the Indian subcontinent gave birth to both that school of philosophy and the concept of zero?). The metaphysical mechanics of an afterlife begin, then, from the acknowledgement that there are limits to the scientific mechanics of everything.

In other words, P_G, your irrefutable scientific proof for the nonexistence of an afterlife (and, by extension, a god of some sort) falls apart under Thomas Aquinas' centuries-old proofs for its existence. By which I mean, to paraphrase old St. Tom just a bit, that if you accept that there are limits to human knowledge, then you must then accept the possibility that there are forces in this universe beyond your understanding (more in heaven and earth, Horatio, than is dreamt of in your philosophy). And the name some of us give to those forces is god, and for some of us that god offers the possibility of a great beyond.

Call me nuttier'n a fruitcake if you must, but I've built myself a worldview - one that I'm happy to rejig in the face of new evidence - that can contain both quantum physics and the possibility of the existence of Nirvana.

Oh, and speaking of fruitcakes, if you think homosexuality's a choice, then you might need some of P_G's psychiatric help. And at the very least, your willingness to be honest with yourself about the nature of human sexuality is spectacularly underdeveloped. Acting on a homosexual urge - or a lifetime of them? That's a choice. But not the urge itself.
posted by gompa at 1:07 AM on November 27, 2004


String theory says there is much we don't know (12 or more dimensions and vibrating strings) and cannot validate either. I'll try to be humble in the face of all that I cannot see or test, but also avoid mean-spirited and selective bashing of other humans. Science and spirituality can co-exist, like in gompa's cool worldview.
posted by faux ami at 1:30 AM on November 27, 2004


you could just as easily show that you are not you because you are not the same as the you of five minutes ago.

The problem is that I believe this, also, to be true.

science-friendly conceptions of an afterlife (Buddhist ones, in particular

As far as I am aware, there is no concept of an afterlife in Buddhism proper, though one was assigned to Buddhism some several hundred years after Buddha died.
posted by Bugbread at 1:42 AM on November 27, 2004


bugbread: The problem is that I believe this, also, to be true.

Who is it that does the believing.

posted by Endymion at 1:54 AM on November 27, 2004


The guy who was sitting in this chair about 20 minutes ago. The guy sitting in the chair now also believes it.
posted by Bugbread at 2:11 AM on November 27, 2004


It was a joke.
Yamaoka Tesshu, as a young student of Zen, visited one master after another. He called upon Dokuon of Shokoku.
Desiring to show his attainment, he said: "The mind, Buddha, and sentient beings, after all, do not exist. The true nature of phenomena is emptiness. There is no relaization, no delusion, no sage, no mediocrity. There is no giving and nothing to be received."
Dokuon, who was smoking quietly, said nothing. Suddenly he whacked Yamaoka with his bamboo pipe. This made the youth quite angry.
"If nothing exists," inquired Dokuon, "where did this anger come from?"
posted by Endymion at 2:30 AM on November 27, 2004


So was the answer.

Two pounds of flax!
posted by Bugbread at 3:01 AM on November 27, 2004


Putting a belief before his/her sexuality is not what any straight person ever does, nor something that's even asked

A vow of celibacy only applies to homosexuals?
posted by SpaceCadet at 3:10 AM on November 27, 2004


i mentioned that above, Space.

From HRC: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE:WHY REPARATIVE THERAPY AND EX-GAY MINISTRIES FAIL... "It's disturbing to realize that these groups know that the best they can do is suppress a person's sexual orientation, and yet they hold out an entire industry catered to ‘curing’ homosexuality.” ...
posted by amberglow at 5:19 AM on November 27, 2004


Hey everybody, it's just sex... relax.

No body that matters to you cares if you boinking a man or a woman ny one that cares shouldn't matter. It's your own conscious that tells you how to feel comfortable. The best part is realizing you don't always have to listen to that sack of chemicals... It's JUST an organ.


Sorry to put it so bluntly and inarticulately. It's something that fascinates me.
posted by joelf at 5:42 AM on November 27, 2004


Faint of Butt: word. You nailed it.

I'm TS and the simple fact of the matter is before: messed-up; after: happy. It would be very difficult for someone, having seen both the isolated, suicidal, wrecked boy of my early twenties and the successful, happy, well-adjusted woman I am now, to say that the boy was more aesthetically pleasing, more godly, more psychologically consistent, more natural (maybe it was the natural body I was born with, but watching every movement and vetting every word to make sure you don't give yourself away is not natural), or better in any way.

aeschenkarnos: The problem is with strict construction of sex roles and minimal understanding for the intersexed in our culture, which exacerbates the transgendered person's mental conflict, and drives him/her to seek out major physical surgery and drug treatment.

The key word there is exacerbates. Seeing the 50/50 world made me miserable because it made it slap-in-the-face obvious that I was on the wrong side of the divide, but I would have done it anyway. Emotional torment and physical/psychological issues (I was a good-looking boy, but back then I used to look in a mirror and see a face so ugly I wanted to cut it) played far bigger parts in my decision to start treatment. As far as I've always been concerned, the world can go stuff itself.

Apologies for the overshare.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:07 AM on November 27, 2004


I just got home from work, and boy has this thread blown up.

I will respond properly later, but for now I have one, just one, question:

Why is it that me fucking my boyfriend in the ass is more important to you people (by which I mean fundamentalists) than the rapes that happen every day, the people who are starving all over the world, war, murder, or even just the lonely person living on your street who never seems to have any friends come over to say hi?

Why is it that my love life is so important to you? Moreover, why is a physical act such a major issue for you?

God is love. When you love someone, whether that person is your mother, father, sister, brother, niece, nephew, boyfriend, girlfriend, or seventh cousin twice removed on your father's side,-- that is God.

When you look up at the sky and realize you are both a unique and singular being, and a tiny mote in an unimaginable cosmos, and you really think about all that-- that is God.

When you hold someone in your arms, and you cradle them, and you say "I love you," God doesn't care if you're a boy or a girl, and God doesn't care if the person you're holding is a boy or a girl. Love is what matters. Caring. Treating your fellow human beings with an ounce of decency-- that's God.

God is not some heavenly referee who has memorised all the rules, and is jotting down in His scorebook whether you obeyed them or not. God is love. God wants you to look at your fellow human beings and think "Hey, you're a person too. You're just like me. You live, you love, you laugh, you cry. We're the same. Let's get through this together."

It was explained to me some years ago that for Jews, heaven and hell are the same thing: you gaze upon the face of God for eternity. For some, this is a glorious thing; you get to bask in the divine radiance for eternity. For the 'sinners,' though, this is painful, because they are forced to realize how good good can be, and how far they fell short.

My boyfriend and I were discussing this tonight, and I suggested to him my idea of hell: a place where everyone who has done wrong to another person has to truly learn and understand how their actions harmed another. With that in mind, konolia (and your ilk), I sincerely hope that you go to hell. I hope that when you die, you are forced to understand the pain and misery and heartache that your cruelty has inflicted on the world.

God is love. There simply is no way that God could frown on love, on caring, on putting someone else's needs before one's own. Gender is irrelevant, love is all.

Sister Sledge got it right, kids: we are family. Every human being is inextricably linked to every other human being. Let's start acting like it.

God is love.

On preview: ArmyOfKittens, all I can say is that I'm glad you're where you needed to be now.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:30 AM on November 27, 2004 [1 favorite]


I hope that when you die, you are forced to understand the pain and misery and heartache that your cruelty has inflicted on the world.

I hope she gets that a good long time before she dies, when it might actually do her and everyone else some good.
posted by adamgreenfield at 6:49 AM on November 27, 2004


God is love. There simply is no way that God could frown on love, on caring, on putting someone else's needs before one's own. Gender is irrelevant, love is all.

God is Love. He is also Holy.

You cannot flagrantly disobey Him and call the disobedience "love". The same Bible that said "Love your neighbor as yourself" also says love the Lord with all your heart, mind and strength. The Bible says, "If you love Me you will obey My commandments."

Sex sin is sin. What's love got to do with it?

You are free to be homosexual. But God is free to reject you since in your choice you reject Him. If for whatever reason that is not okay with you, time for some soul searching. If on the other hand you are just fine with it, carry on, I won't bother you.
posted by konolia at 6:52 AM on November 27, 2004


Fine.

Do you wear mixed fabrics?

Do you consult weather forecasters?

Do you eat pork?

Oh, what's that? Those don't matter?

Then why the fuck does it matter who I have sex with?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:03 AM on November 27, 2004


Moreover:

1) You entirely missed the point, which is entirely understandable: you're a deluded little fundamentalist Christian without a shred of original thought in your head. Try thinking for a day. It should be a refreshing change for you.

2) When I meet someone who follows all the laws set down in Leviticus, then--and only then--will I give anything they say on the subject of homosexuality being an abomination any kind of thought.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:08 AM on November 27, 2004


Thanks, ArmyOfKittens. I was hoping someone who was actually TS would step into the discussion (and I knew there had to be at least one TS MeFi member out there, in a population of nineteen thousand), since I didn't feel entirely comfortable arguing over such a private issue which I have not personally experienced. I'm just glad I was able to argue it well.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:10 AM on November 27, 2004


Konolia

You can not flagrantly disobey Zeus and call it a religion. Zeus will turn into a bull and impregnate you. Then lounge around and eat grapes. As it says in the Iliad, "Smite thine enemies. Then lay with boys that are really hot."

What's that you say, Homer was just an ancient poet and those are myths?

Huh.

Then perhaps you might consider the words of the Buddha:

"Believe not because some old manuscripts are produced, believe not because it is your national belief, believe not because you have been made to believe from your childhood, but reason truth out, and after you have analyzed it, then if you find it will do good to one and all, believe it, live up to it and help others live up to it."

You're not helping. If you want to bring people to your God, you are not helping with your posts. You are a poor witness for your lord. You are turning people away from him and causing them to close their hearts. You might want to work on that, if you really want to promote your God's message. Look to the beam in your own eye, drop the stone, and stop hurting the least of your brothers -- stop thinking of anyone as "least." We call that hubris here on the Greek islands.

Most of all, stop pretending that you are simply spreading "good news" when in fact your take on the news is causing hurt. You may scoff, but a person of compassion simply has to believe other people when they say your words are hurting them.

Gassho
posted by Slagman at 8:45 AM on November 27, 2004


However, gays and lesbians are more likely to focus on the emotions of what is going on, whether that relationship is explicitly consumated or not.

I hear what you're saying, but let's not overgeneralize. There are also those gays who troll the bushes/bars/internet for serial sex partners. It takes all kinds.

So while I think that you can mute or abandon sexual behavior, I think sexuality goes beyond sexual activity, and includes how you see yourself in relationship to other people.

I agree.
posted by rushmc at 8:45 AM on November 27, 2004


My sister, Keri, is blind and mentally disabled. Well, not disabled, because we think she's brilliant. But she can't get any of it out. She is 25, but wasn't supposed to see her 25th month, nevermind year. She is funny, has her own way, and is surviving in ways no one should have.

Or did. In 1980, she was born 14 1/2 weeks premature. This was almost unheard-of at that point. Her brith cost the state of Massachusetts over $250,000 in 1980 dollars.

She was "supposed" to die. What was done was truly a miracle, though I thought for 15 years that it was a cruel joke from a cruel God. My mom was in hell as a result of it, her only daughter in such a horrific state. It was the straw that ended my parent's marriage as my father couldn't handle it.

I asked many religious people -- Protestant ministers, Catholic priests and others -- why had God done this to us? To her? And their response was variations of "God works in mysterious ways." Well, thanks.

In college, I got a better response. "Maybe she is happier this way, AND that it serves a larger purpose?" And it did, I guess: I had to become much more of a "father figure" and pick up a ton of responsibility... which helped me to learn self-reliance... which led me to learning how to create structures... which led to games... which led to Acrophobia (my first online game)... which led to at least a dozen confirmed marriages and two divorces.

After begging God to take my eyes and give them to Keri, if only that would work, I have come to a sort of peace with it. Then, my gender stuff becomes an issue.

And after 8 years of active dealing with the fact that I am transgendered, I have come to the place that if God can make a miracle baby, people who walked on the moon, the Internet, flowers, the Music City Miracle, Joydrop, Magic The Gathering, turkey, and the island nation of New Zealand, then surely a transgendered person can't be out of "his plan."

Or the fact that I like girls, too. But don't tell anyone about that last part, ok?
posted by andreaazure at 8:45 AM on November 27, 2004


Entirely off-topic: You're one of the people who created Acrophobia? I loved that game.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:54 AM on November 27, 2004


if you're a good person, and then suffer some sort of brain damage that causes you to become violent or a pathological liar, do you go to Heaven?

Actually, this isn't a rhetorical question for my family. My maternal grandfather was a Methodist minister greatly beloved by his family and congregation. Then he got a brain tumor.

He turned into a monster who whipped his kids with a belt, beat his wife and spewed vile language from the pulpit. The church sent him to an inner city congregation after his initial diagnosis where the parishioners were treated to bizarre and lengthy exhortations. Finally he became incapacitated, was put in an asylum and died of starvation. His children are all completely convinced that he is in heaven awaiting them.

They blithely assume that a few years of abhorrent behavior brought on by physiological changes does not negate a lifetime of goodness.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:58 AM on November 27, 2004


ACROPHOBIA THANK YOU THANK YOU SO MUCH
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:01 AM on November 27, 2004


I shouldn't go away for so long. BTW, that scenario is irrelevant to most Chrisitans. "Goodness" doesn't affect salvation -- you should read up on justification / salvation.
posted by nospecialfx at 9:14 AM on November 27, 2004


Yet another Acrophobia fan over here. Thanks, andreaazure!
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:35 AM on November 27, 2004


You are free to be homosexual. But God is free to reject you since in your choice you reject Him. If for whatever reason that is not okay with you, time for some soul searching. If on the other hand you are just fine with it, carry on, I won't bother you.

konolia, I notice that you did not respond to my point above.

My point, to repeat, is that it's great that you say you won't "bother" me if I reject God by indulging in my homosexuality (which means expressing it in any way, basically).

On the other hand, many people and many organizations in positions of power who share your view that I am rejecting God by acting homosexually (they claim that they love the sinner, but hate the sin, which is also the essence of your argument) want to do more than "bother" me.

They want to make sure I can't visit my partner in the hospital if he's run over by a car or is taken seriously ill. They want to deny us the right to share insurance benefits. They want to define our relationship into non-existence, because in their view (and apparently in your view as well) our relationship just by existing is an insult to God. It's not just gay marriage they want outlawed. They also think civil unions and domestic partnershipa are an insult to God. They think anything I do as a homosexual is an insult to God.

They won't stop there. They won't stop until something else intervenes: either outrage from people who think that it's wrong to scapegoat gay people in this way, or if that doesn't occur, then they won't stop until we're outlawed, jailed, or worse.

I'll add that this kind of climate makes an increase in hate-related violence and crime against gays and lesbians not only more likely, but predictable. That violence isn't limited to the States, either. It has happened recently in London, Amsterdam, and cities in Canada.

konolia, you sound like a reasonable person, which is more than I can say for many who share your beliefs. But this is how views like yours affect me. It's not just an intellectual exercise.
posted by blucevalo at 9:36 AM on November 27, 2004


I am not Jewish, therefore Leviticus' ceremonial laws do not apply. (They were fulfilled in Christ,btw) The behavioral ones, altho they do express the will of God, do not save anyone-Christ fulfilled the law on our behalf.

That whole problem was settled in a meeting recorded in the book of Acts, if you care to look it up.

Jesus himself had a lot to say about Hell and who would go there. Sexual immorality includes a lot of acts, and there was no need for Him to go down the line with it, as everyone He was talking to knew what it was. And He made it plain that the sexually immoral do not inherit the Kingdom of God. Adulterers, fornicators, homosexuals, etc etc....

People can be delivered of these sins. People can be reconciled to God. But not if they love their sin more than they love their Savior.
posted by konolia at 9:46 AM on November 27, 2004


konolia, you're obviously a good Christian, and inevitably going to Heaven after the Rapture. You're on the Good list. Your fate is sealed. So why do you care what happens to all these fornicating, sodomitical heathens? They've damned themselves, not you. Any abomination they care to commit in no way affects the seat you'll have at the right hand of God. Why does what they do matter to you?
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:00 AM on November 27, 2004


Wow, you really don't get it, do you? Do you have the mental capacity of a turnip?

Your saviour doesn't, according to you, want me. I'm a sinner, apparently. I'm a terrible human being, apparently. Loving my boyfriend with all my heart, and generally trying as hard as I can to be a decent person, well, that doesn't matter. Why? Because of where I put my penis.

That's not the Jesus I know. The Jesus I grew up learning about was this really amazing guy who had all sorts of great ideas about loving everyone. Everyone.

Your particular brand of poison is what leads to gay kids being at some (no, I don't have the statistics to hand; Google them yourself, though I doubt you'll be interested in anything that will shake your comfortable little worldview, konolia) unimaginably higher risk of suicide than heterosexual kids.

Your bigotry and hatred is what kills those children.

Your bigotry and hatred is what makes sure that when my boyfriend and I get married, it will not be recognized in the USA.

Your bigotry and hatred is what landed a very close friend of mine in the ICU after being beaten up just because he's gay.

Your bigotry and hatred is what sends people to jail for having the temerity to express their love physically.

Your bigotry and hatred causes all these things to happen. As blucevalo pointed out above, konolia, this is not an intellectual exercise. Your views are what marginalize us, deny us visitation rights in hospitals, and force us into an insular existence because you people are so single-mindedly intent on making sure that whether or not we go to hell when we die, we certainly are living it on this planet.

How's this for an idea? Go out and do good works. All you Bible-thumping homo-hating fundies. Go out and get your pristine fingers dirty helping the poor, the sick, the needy. Leave us the fuck alone. My soul is my concern, not yours.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:06 AM on November 27, 2004


Konolia: funny; my mother is a very good Christian. And she's talked to God, and hey, apparently God's okay with me. Lesbian, tranny me. So unless you want to start a "My God's bigger than your mum's God," willy-wave, you'll have to accept it: God loves me, and he loves all the other gays and lesbians and crazy gender people, and we can all get into heaven just the same as you can.

Please, wait for a minute. Talk to God. Not your fellow Christians. What does God say to you? Does he say he's going to damn most of the population of the planet to eternal torment?
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:08 AM on November 27, 2004


Yes but no-one appears to be investigating what makes a Thompson's Gazelle a Gazelle or Pemprose Welsh Corgi an annoying yappy dog. Certainly there is a process that 'creates" the Gazelle.

What, nobody studies evolutionary science?

konolia, you're obviously a good Christian, and inevitably going to Heaven after the Rapture. You're on the Good list. Your fate is sealed. So why do you care what happens to all these fornicating, sodomitical heathens?

I think it's because she's conflicted. As a decent person, she knows that condemning so many people is not a good thing, but she's also tied to her church, which has probably been an important force in her life.

Well, I probably shouldn't profess to know what's in her mind, but it's a theory I've had about a lot of otherwise good people who believe these things.
posted by jonmc at 10:19 AM on November 27, 2004


Uhm...the Bible doesn't say homosexuals are going to Hell -- and I haven't heard a Christian worth their weight say God doesn't love homosexuals. That's not really the issue.

God does accept us, all of as we are -- it doesn't mean he's content to leave us as we are. 1 Corinthians 6 talks about the issue of sexual sin and why the issue is of utmost concern. It's why Christians tend to go all hyper about these particular issues -- sexuality is still pretty taboo in the church.

I think you guys are talking in circles because you're not willing to give each other enough grace to talk from the same page.

And I'm going to say again, you all really need to understand what sanctification and justification are. You're behavior doesn't dictate your eternal condition.
posted by nospecialfx at 10:20 AM on November 27, 2004


dirtynumbangelboy: I don't think that any of the Christians who are "Making a big deal" out of homosexuality consider it more important than rape, for example. Note that rape is illegal and almost universally condemned in every modern society. (Select frat houses may serve as an exception.)

For better or worse, the problem that most Christians have is not, in fact, that people have homosexual relationships. Rather, it's an attempt to fight the *normalization* of it. What the glbt community sees as an awakening in society, a greater acceptance, the Christian community sees as an ongoing assault on their core moral beliefs.

The only good comparison I've ever found that *doesn't* have a lot of negative connotations already attached to it is veganism. I've known some very mellow and cool vegans who have no problems with a friend chowing down on a burger, and I've had friends who take every opportunity to tell me I'm a *MURDERER* for eating scrambled eggs. Both of them have the same core beliefs, but I'd only call one of them a mean-spirited obsessive.
posted by verb at 10:21 AM on November 27, 2004


I've always been fascinated by how similar the conservative Christian communities and glbt communities are.

You should read lesbian author Donna Minkowitz's Ferocious Romance. You'd expect it to be one long fundie bash, but it's actually extremely compassionate and almost embracing.
posted by jonmc at 10:24 AM on November 27, 2004


"For better or worse, the problem that most Christians have is not, in fact, that people have homosexual relationships. Rather, it's an attempt to fight the *normalization* of it. What the glbt community sees as an awakening in society, a greater acceptance, the Christian community sees as an ongoing assault on their core moral beliefs."


I think that's an excellent assessment. We're talking about major worldview conflicts here. It's unfortunate, though, what both sides do to each other. The audience here, I'm gathering from this thread, is largely not of a theistic, evangelical paradigm -- and the same bigotry and hatred they're complaining about, they're spewing back.

That's a problem. Some one needs to take the higher road.
posted by nospecialfx at 10:26 AM on November 27, 2004


Talking in circles, nospecialfx? Don't be so disingenuous.

It's pretty simple:

1) Fundie Christians (and others) don't like gay people. Apparently we're all sick, broken, sinning people who are going to hell unless we get 'cured' and 'saved.'

2) They're wrong.

That's not really talking in circles. It's the Bible-thumpers not understanting 1) their own religion, 2) logic, 3) compassion, 4) that their poisonous filth causes deaths, every fucking day.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:39 AM on November 27, 2004


1 Corinthians 6

Oh no. Anything but Paul.

It's been a while since I read the Bible seriously, but what does Jesus say about sex? I'm fed up with being beaten round the head with suspiciously Old-Testament things said by a guy who fell off a donkey and hit his head. I'd check myself, but the only Bible I have here is a KJV, which hurts my head with all the witches and all.

Was Paul the one who nipped into a cave to "go to the bathroom" in one of the US translations? I always loved that one.

I don't understand why so many American Christians are so het up about this subject. When I go back to my family at Christmas I attend my childhood church, and hang out with the same Christian family friends. I have yet to be informed that my lesbianism (etc.) will send me to hell unless I reform. In fact, the message I get from church -- and even from the evangelical churches I've attended over here -- is that the sacrifice required to get us into heaven has already been made. All that is required of us is repentance for the trouble we might have caused one another, and belief. I only recall teh gay being brought up once: at a Christian holiday by a rather disconcertingly zealous young man who purported to be a youth leader but spent his time telling the teens that their Christianity levels weren't up to scratch. The rest of the time, belief, good works, and a willingness to own up to and face our own problems were what I was taught.

Of course, it was all woolly Church of England stuff. We don't even believe in the rapture.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:40 AM on November 27, 2004


nospecialfx says "Uhm...the Bible doesn't say homosexuals are going to Hell -- and I haven't heard a Christian worth their weight say God doesn't love homosexuals."

The Bible says:

"You shall not lie with a male as with a woman: it is an abomination" (Lev 18:22).

"If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall be put to death: their blood is upon them" (Lev 20:13).

"God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error" (Rom 1:26-27).

"Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers - none of these will inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor 6:9-10).

The condemnation of the law applies for those "who kill their father or mother, for murderers, fornicators, sodomites, slave traders, liars, perjurers" ( 1 Tim 1:9-10).

GIVE IT UP ALREADY.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 10:40 AM on November 27, 2004


That's a problem. Some one needs to take the higher road.

From an interview with Donna Minkowitz, about her experiences going undercover in the Religious Right:

N- Have your experiences changed you in any way and if so how?

D- Yes, they have changed me. They've made me a lot more introspective. I'll never be able to decide again that somebody deserves pain just because they're my political enemy. It was very easy for me in the past, when I was fighting on one issue or another, to decide that my political enemy was just a despicable human being who did not deserve any compassion. I think that's the way, for the most part, in american politics that we're taught to believe and act. One thing that my experiences spending so much time with the Religious Right taught me was that, a lot of people who believe terrible things, including terrible things about people like me, and a lot of people who do terrible actions, like trying to take away civil rights from gay people, are not in fact, completely despicable human beings. Sometimes, it's hard to face that. It would be easier if they were just monstrous and there was nothing good about them, but there are some good things about them. There are some admirable things about them. I was surprised that some of them were very smart. I was certainly surprised when I liked some of them. So it was very instructive.

posted by jonmc at 10:42 AM on November 27, 2004


I think that's an excellent assessment. We're talking about major worldview conflicts here. It's unfortunate, though, what both sides do to each other. The audience here, I'm gathering from this thread, is largely not of a theistic, evangelical paradigm -- and the same bigotry and hatred they're complaining about, they're spewing back.


Excuse me? What both sides do to each other?

Fundies:

- Want gay sex to be illegal
- Want to deny me things like marriage, adoption rights, etc.


Us silly homos

- Just want to live our lives, with the same rights as everyone else. Including the right to walk down the street and not be afraid.


Explain to me please, O Wise One, what we're doing to them? Please?

Yes I've got some hate. You would too, if this was your life.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:44 AM on November 27, 2004


"1) Fundie Christians (and others) don't like gay people. Apparently we're all sick, broken, sinning people who are going to hell unless we get 'cured' and 'saved.'

2) They're wrong."

And that's the exact same thing they're doing to you. But you do it to them. Most Christians I know would find the term "fundie christian" derogatory. You don't like them -- you think they're intolerant, bigots, sheep who can't think for themselves.

Circles, circles, circles. Both sides spew more contempt and hate than is necessary. And both sides exagerate the wounding they receive -- and the importance of this single issue.

And I've got news for you -- Jesus told a lot of people they were sinners. The Christian faith really hasn't changed, has it?

I'm curious, though, as to why you think you can interpret their belief and practice better than they can.

And I'll say again, the Bible does not say that homosexuals are going to hell. You have to take the book as a whole and understand the Christian tradition. BEHAVIOR DOES NOT DICATE A PERSON'S ETERNAL DESTINATION. It has nothing to do with being good or bad or whom you have sex with -- that's dealt with in sanctification -- the process of bringing you into right behavior before God. But that ocurrs only after JUSTIFICATION -- the declaration that sinner is now, and forever -- righteous -- with a seal destination of the presence of God in heaven.

Ben explains it better than I do.
posted by nospecialfx at 10:53 AM on November 27, 2004


For better or worse, the problem that most Christians have is not, in fact, that people have homosexual relationships. Rather, it's an attempt to fight the *normalization* of it. What the glbt community sees as an awakening in society, a greater acceptance, the Christian community sees as an ongoing assault on their core moral beliefs.

What "most" Christians have as a problem is that gays have relationships, period, because as konolia indicates, they are an insult to God, whether they are "normalized" or not. I'm not sure what the distinction is between "normalizing" relationships and "having" relationships. Sound like splitting hairs to me. I don't see that there's a way in which I can have a relationship without it being an assault on someone else's "core beliefs."

If that is the case, I may as well not have relationships at all; I may as well live a lie.

To me, living a lie is worse than death. That's an assault on my core beliefs.

If someone can explain to me how I (as a homosexual) can "have" a relationship without "normalizing" it, in a way that would not be an assault on Christians' "core beliefs," I'm all ears. I don't think it's possible.
posted by blucevalo at 10:54 AM on November 27, 2004


Jesus himself had a lot to say about Hell and who would go there. Sexual immorality includes a lot of acts, and there was no need for Him to go down the line with it, as everyone He was talking to knew what it was. And He made it plain that the sexually immoral do not inherit the Kingdom of God. Adulterers, fornicators, homosexuals, etc etc....

Konolia, I wouldn't call myself a theologian, but even a hellbound sinner like myself knows that Jesus never gave relationship advice. Stop putting words in the mouth of thy Lord.
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:02 AM on November 27, 2004


nospecialfx, "justification" and the other various bits strike me as a very simple thing made unnecessarily complicated. As I was taught, the timeline goes:

Lots of sin on Earth.
Jesus comes and teaches by proverb and example.
Jesus takes into himself all the sin on Earth and dies.
Jesus rises again and after a short period of teaching people about what he'd just done, returns to Heaven.

All the sin on Earth has been taken into one man, and that man has died, taking those sins with him. Believe in that man, try to follow the teachings of that man (be nice, don't be a hypocrite, love God), and put your trust in him and you will go to Heaven just as he did.

Absolution and justification and rapture and everything are part of the religion wrapped around the man, but they don't seem to be anything to do with the man himself. Worship the man, and be nice to people; believe, and we're all going to Heaven.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 11:03 AM on November 27, 2004


Both sides spew more contempt and hate than is necessary. And both sides exagerate the wounding they receive -- and the importance of this single issue.

I agree about the hate and contempt part.

But on the point about exaggeration, this issue has been made important by those who have defined it as important.

In the view of some Christians, "activist judges" in Massachusetts and a certain heterosexual mayor in San Francisco have defined it as important. In response, some Christians have defined it as just as important for them. I don't think that these people would agree that the importance of the issue is exaggerated.

When you have important issues being argued about, some hate and contempt is going to be generated on both sides. That's (unfortunately) part of American life these days. It's not limited to this issue.
posted by blucevalo at 11:04 AM on November 27, 2004


I don't know about you, but I missed Health Class that day in High School where they explained the choice we had to make and gave us all those forms to fill out. As a result, my pecker has been dowsing for pussy ever since. I like men, some of my best friends are men, but I can't seem to want to have sex with them. I'm tidy, I don't like sports, I have a great fashion sense, and it has long been my dream to find some nice fella to settle down with and raise a nice family of Shi-Tzus, but NO! I seemed to have missed the opportunity to make that choice....

Oh, and gomorrahy?

That's Canadian for fisting.

I looked it up.
posted by Floydd at 11:05 AM on November 27, 2004


And both sides exagerate the wounding they receive -- and the importance of this single issue.

Thank you, you have just conclusively proven yourself to be an idiot.

Exaggerate? Tell that to my friend while he was laying in the ICU, while his lover (of seventeen years, now) held his hand until he came out of the coma. Tell that to the untold thousands of people who have died from HIV/AIDS because Reagan wouldn't provide any funding, because it was a 'gay disease.' Tell that to the kid who gets beaten up in high school for being a fag. Tell that to Brandon Teena, a TG boy who was raped and murdered. Tell that to the boys and girls who get kicked out of their houses every day because the fundamentalist parents 'don't want that sin in MY home!'

Go away. Go make some gay friends. Go hold someone's hand while they're in hospital after being beaten up just for being gay. Go talk to some queer teenagers. Go and actually understand what it's like to live in a society that has enormous groups of people whose only purpose, it seems, is to tell us we're sick and wrong and we aren't allowed to get married because that somehow makes their marriages invalid.

Go learn some more about the real world. This isn't, as blucevalo said, an intellectual exercise. This is my life, and the life of millions of people around the world, who are at constant risk from the filth and bile and hatred and bigotry spewed forth by people claiming to follow the Son of God.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:06 AM on November 27, 2004


Jesus himself had a lot to say about Hell and who would go there. Sexual immorality includes a lot of acts, and there was no need for Him to go down the line with it, as everyone He was talking to knew what it was. And He made it plain that the sexually immoral do not inherit the Kingdom of God. Adulterers, fornicators, homosexuals, etc etc....

konolia, there is no record that Christ ever uttered the word "homosexual." I ask you to point me to one passage in the Gospels where he says it.

It is Paul of Tarsus who abhorred and condemned homosexuality in the name of Christ. Christ never said a word about it.
posted by blucevalo at 11:09 AM on November 27, 2004


Circles, circles, circles. Both sides spew more contempt and hate than is necessary. And both sides exagerate the wounding they receive -- and the importance of this single issue.

Nospecialfx, show me specific examples where gay people are emotionally and physically killing straight, fundamentalist Christians for being "that way" or shut the fuck up. Seriously, this comment lacks some serious fucking perspective.
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:12 AM on November 27, 2004


blucevalo: Bingo, ultimately it comes down to the fact that these Christians see gay relationships as a bad thing, and many others see any form of healthy relationship as a good thing worthy of full support. Anti-gay Christians seem to also have a problem with the fact that we live in a multicultural society where people disagree on which relationships should be celebrated.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:14 AM on November 27, 2004


You want an example?

http://scatteredwords.com
posted by nospecialfx at 11:18 AM on November 27, 2004


You are either insane or mentally impaired. It was a complete waste of my time to even ask you to qualify yourself with such a ridiculous "example".
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:21 AM on November 27, 2004


I'm amazed that you don't see how your behavior and words in this thread, and even toward me for just pointing it out -- is no better than the people you hate, mock and ridicule for doing the same to you.

You need to read some of the things people say to Ben, people just like you, before you ride off on some self-righteous , victim mentality. There are a lot of victims in this world. The people that live their lives to the fullest are the ones able to show compassion and love to the ones who've vitcimized them -- otherwise, you remain a victim. And you remain defeated.

ON PREVIEW: Of course, marginalize. If it makes you feel better. But I'm right.
posted by nospecialfx at 11:22 AM on November 27, 2004


KirkJobSluder, thank you. But my point is an even broader one than which relationships should be worthy of full support or celebrated.

I don't care if my relationship is celebrated or not. I don't even care if my relationship is given full support. I just want to have a relationship, period, and to be left the hell alone, without fear that someday my relationship will be declared illegal under state and federal law. That fear was perhaps an irrational one a few years ago. It isn't irrational now.

That's what it comes down to. And obviously, whatever they may say, some of the posters here would prefer (in their ideal world) that my relationship be illegal, and that I be punished for having it. That's what the New Testament mandates, in their view.
posted by blucevalo at 11:23 AM on November 27, 2004


I'm speechless that you came up with that as an example; with the violence perpetrated on gay people, you come up with that stinking piece of excrement. Wow... just, wow. And you wonder why you're being "marginalized" and "mocked". I was willing to give you a little benefit of the doubt, but you really deserve a little verbal abuse, the way that you behave. Wow! I'm just stunned.
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:27 AM on November 27, 2004


What on Earth is wrong with you, nospecialfx?

Seriously.

You don't actually understand this issue in the slightest, do you? To equate what the right-wing fundamentalists think of me and my relationships, and the heartache and trauma that causes on a daily basis with my disagreement with their whole position... it's breathtaking that you can make that leap. Unfortunately, you have, again, proven yourself to be either insane or mentally impaired.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:32 AM on November 27, 2004


the FBI recorded what, around 10 percent of hate crimes last year in the U.S. were possibly involved sexual orientation as a "inciting" factor ...

Christians all across the world are beaten, killed and persecuted en masse for their beliefs. In some parts of the world, what they believe and feel in their hearts is actually illegal. Men, women and children and have been tortured and killed. Do you know what happens to a Muslim convert of christianity in Arab lands?

Some of you are fairly self-centered, and way ethnocentric. Take a trip a broad for once in your lives. There's more than the U.S.

I'm going to agree with the people who say the two worlds are very much the same in terms of suffering. And it's a shame that they can't find compassion for each other. Some of you are examples of why. And now, I'm done.

You're just as intolerand and small-minded as those "fundie Christians" who are out to kill you.
posted by nospecialfx at 11:34 AM on November 27, 2004


konolia: Stop damning people to hell. It's not your place to judge, that's someone else's business.

I know I'd be pretty pissy is some upstart lower management started making decisions like that without consulting me.
posted by joelf at 11:36 AM on November 27, 2004


No, you brainless fucktard. Listen. For one minute.

Fundamentalist Christians are going out of their way to make sure that my life cannot be lived the way they can live theirs.

All I want is for them to shut the fuck up and leave us the fuck alone.

How is that intolerant? Explain to me, please, O Fount Of All Knowledge, how it's intolerant of me to not want to be discriminated against?

Of course, you won't. You're just another ignorant fuckwit who thinks them durn gays is gettin' uppity again.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:39 AM on November 27, 2004


Nospecialfx, when I asked for an example, I want specific, clearcut examples that are equivalent to this tiny sampling of the following acts of violence against gay people:

• Reagan ignores AIDS epidemic, which decimates gay community
9/11 blamed on homosexuals
• Egypt beheads and tortures gays
Matthew Shepard strung up on barbed wire by gay bashers
• Texas police break into house where two men are sleeping and charge them with sodomy
• Brandon Teena murdered when discovered she was female

I dare you to come up with counterexamples on the same level.

Otherwise, don't fucking DARE compare the ribbing fundy nuts get for their beliefs with the way we get treated on a daily basis. Christians are NOT marginalized or mistreated anywhere in this country, to any equivalent degree.
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:45 AM on November 27, 2004


He won't, AlexReynolds. Because he can't. Even trying to would upset his smug little worldview.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:48 AM on November 27, 2004


Do you know what happens to a Muslim convert of christianity in Arab lands?

I don't care. I asked you directly about what gay people do to Christians and you're evading the question. So either put up or shut the fuck up. Your perspective is severely lacking. Don't play poor Christian with me because I'm not buying it. Put up or shut up.
posted by AlexReynolds at 11:48 AM on November 27, 2004


nospecialfx:

Christians are persecuted in various parts of the world. But not by gay people, notably. If you can find me a single example of a homosexual agency or government torturing and killing christians for their beliefs, i shall aquire and devour somebody else's hat.

Gay people are -surprise, surprise- also persecuted in various parts of the world. Often the same parts of the world, as the christians, but also pretty frequently in supposedly civilised places such as the US. And hey, look, in the US, it's the Christians perpetuating said behaviour! well, gee, i can certainly see how the two groups are precisely equal, can't you?

As for homosexuals and Christians uniting against prejudice, violence and oppression, i see a barrier in the way of that. The christians own the US. They are its government, through and through. And yet marriage is still illegal, beatings and murders still occur and open prejudice is given little more than legal lip-service. They certainly aren't using all that power to help us, so I fail to see where we're obliged to stand up in their defence. We had nothing against them until they decided their god had something against us. The vocal fundamentalists seem to suffer from some sort of persecution complex that prevents them from seeing how much power they wield.
posted by terpsichoria at 11:54 AM on November 27, 2004


Pretty_Generic, I think the issue with some Christians about the passages you quoted is that they're either from the Old Testament or from Paul. Jesus Himself did not actually say anything about homosexuality--so if Christians are to be followers of Christ, then the reasoning is they follow His words. Jesus actually condemned the Old Testament rules a number of times.

As for this business of judging, let's not forget what Jesus thought of the Pharisees. Sticklers for rules, condemning those who didn't follow them to the letter, making a big deal out of their piety and demanding others follow the holy books as closely as they did--there was no group Jesus spent more time reprimanding than this one.

He wanted Christians to spread the word, but not force it. He asked His followers to be the light of the world, not the sword, not the judges. If a gay man should want to marry his partner, it is your right to express your opinion and try to change his mind and your right to counsel him if he should ask for it, but not your place to keep him from doing so if he should ultimately make that choice. That is God's path and no other's.

If someone should believe that homosexuality is incompatible with their religious beliefs, let them do so. If someone should not believe it, let them do so. Give them the facts and tools necessary to make an informed decision, but in the end a journey of faith be a personal one. In the same vein, don't let others tell you what your faith should be (whether it be your religious leader or your "opposition"). Keep your mind open to new facts and interpretations so that the truth you find is always your own.
posted by schroedinger at 11:55 AM on November 27, 2004


You're just as intolerand and small-minded as those "fundie Christians" who are out to kill you.
posted by nospecialfx at 2:34 PM EST on November 27

No, you brainless fucktard. Listen. For one minute... You're just another ignorant fuckwit who thinks them durn gays is gettin' uppity again.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:39 PM EST on November 27


scramble the roflcopters!

Anyway I first thought that nospecialfx was referring to the quality of this discussion rather than the relative persecution of Christians vs. homosexuals... and, whether or not that was his original point, it holds pretty well.
posted by Krrrlson at 12:01 PM on November 27, 2004


Anyway I first thought that nospecialfx was referring to the quality of this discussion rather than the relative persecution of Christians vs. homosexuals... and, whether or not that was his original point, it holds pretty well.

That's right Krrrlson, because you can't expect people to follow through with actual facts.

We can't hold people to account for what they say and do, that would be "mocking" and "marginalizing", and we certainly shouldn't do that.

That would be impolite. Especially when religious people are asked to reconcile their halfassed comments with the real world.
posted by AlexReynolds at 12:10 PM on November 27, 2004


nospecialfx is a perfect example of the person so ill-equipped for critical thinking and reasonable discourse that it is a pointless waste of time to even engage in attempts at same.

Krrlson, as usual, and like your brother in this tactic dhoyt, you don't even have the integrity to advance your own beliefs but instead hide in the shallow mockery of others' expressions.

If you hate fags and want them all to die, say so.
If you think homosexuality is an abomination, by all means say so.
If you think gay people disgust you and the thought of men kissing and caressing each other makes you want to kill, I'd like to know it.
If, on the other hand, you do not believe any of these things, i wonder why you have such a need to challenge others who find such thoughts despicable.

I'm tired of your cowardice. This is a life or death issue for many. You do not get to snipe comfortably from the sidelines and mock others' commitment. Take a stand or keep your mouth shut.
posted by adamgreenfield at 12:17 PM on November 27, 2004


adamgreenfield: I can't speak for Krrlson, but from what I've seen here over the years, dhoyt dosen't seem to espouse any of those positions, and putting (incredibly ugly and inflammatory) words in his mouth does both him and the dialog here a disservice.

Devils advocacy, or merely trying to understand (note, I said understand, not condone, support, or prostleytize) a point of view contrary to one's immediate majority or consensus, is a part of critical analysis, I thought.
posted by jonmc at 12:24 PM on November 27, 2004


schroedinger is exactly right
the Christians getting all the press these days for telling people who to marry and what to do with their bodies are the modern day pharisees
Jesus had it right: take the side of love, and respect, and helping the downtrodden. Judge not, lest ye be judged. Don't cast a stone unless you are without sin. We are all sinners, and before you worry about the mote in your neighbor's eye, consider the beam in your own. Meek is a good way to go.
The people with the "God hates fags" signs are not meek.
Nor are they peacemakers. And while I am not of their religion and would not in case judge them, they may want to consider if they are truly on their faith's road to heaven. I have a feeling they're a little too proud of their righteousness. I'd be wary of speaking for God, generally. He doesn't seem to care for that.
posted by Slagman at 12:31 PM on November 27, 2004


Devils advocacy, or merely trying to understand (note, I said understand, not condone, support, or prostleytize) a point of view contrary to one's immediate majority or consensus, is a part of critical analysis, I thought.

Half of devil's advocacy is stating a contrary viewpoint and the other half is actually debating it with facts. I'll leave you to figure out which half has been left out of the equation.
posted by AlexReynolds at 12:37 PM on November 27, 2004


Can I just point out a couple of things, please?

1. Not ALL Christians are 'fundys'

2. Not ALL so-called 'fundys' believe that homosexuals are destined to go straight to hell.

3.Christians with such strong views represent a very small percent of the whole Christian population of the world.

Ok, that said, I have to agree that their voices do seem to be the loudest at times.

Hatred of homosexuality doesn't seem to have anything to do with the Christian religion in its origin. People where I live are (the vast majority) atheist and proud of it, working class and DESPISE gay people. Fundys don't even come into it. I have tried to understand why they hate me, without even knowing me, but I just can't get my head round it.

I struggled with this whole question myself when I 'came out'. May I add my own conclusions?

1. Jesus himself never mentioned homosexuality. The only mention in the NEW TESTAMENT is in Paul's letters. I am not a follower of St. Paul. I am a follower of Christ.

2. God made us all with free will. I am free to choose the right path for me, as long as I am harming nobody else.

3. Nobody on this earth has the right to judge anyone else for their moral choices ( as long as those moral choices do no harm to anyone else). The Judgement is up to God and God alone. (or whatever higher power you believe in)

This spitting back and forth with hateful and angry statements is just perpetuating the antagonism. How can we expect the other side to respect us and listen to our views if we are not willing to do the same?

It's just my opinion. From someone who has been in both camps.
posted by lemonpillows at 12:39 PM on November 27, 2004


You know what? I vehemently disagree with the views of some of the posters on this thread. But I'm never going to call them "insane," "fucktards," etc.

Not even if they were to call me a "faggot." Or worse.

I totally understand the frustration of those who engage in that discourse. And I'm not saying it's wrong. More power to you if it helps you. But it doesn't work for me, and I don't see that it accomplishes much. You may feel good venting in the moment, but after that, what's the point?

I have to say that most of the folks on the "opposing gay relationships" side of the fence in this thread have been pretty thoughtful in the sense that they haven't started spewing spittle and chunks and throwing out epithets like "mentally impaired" (or "faggot," for that matter). They've tried to carefully specify what their points of view are. And they've been fairly calm, considering what they see as being at stake, and considering the flak they've gotten in this thread.

They may be lacking in "facts," but facts are not the point. Their faith tells them that their belief is right.

I'd like to know what calling them "brainless" achieves. In my view, it doesn't achieve anything worthwhile. It makes them more set in their beliefs and confirms for them that those on the other side are unwilling to talk and are intolerant of differing views. That's how I'd feel were I in their position.

I acknowledge the emotion behind these posts. In fact, I feel that emotion myself. But I don't think that ad hominem attacks qualify as "debate" in any commonly understood meaning of that word. I don't think that venting that emotion in this way does anything other than alienate.

If that's your goal, well, I must say you've accomplished it perfectly.
posted by blucevalo at 12:55 PM on November 27, 2004


are not in fact, completely despicable human beings

Very few people ever manage to be completely despicable.

Somewhat despicable is quite adequate for me to know them and to know that I want naught to do with them.
posted by rushmc at 12:58 PM on November 27, 2004


If it wasn't so disappointing, it would be rather amusing to watch Konolia ignore every reasonable argument put towards in favour of quoting the bible over and over, even when the human translation of jesus's words (if you believe in it) is a major point of contention. Her position is logically untenable, but it doesn't matter; I have this conversation with someone I work with and anything that contradicts the teaching of the bible is "false evidence planted by god to test the faith of believers." You simply cannot argue with a blind belief in illogic. You just can't
posted by The God Complex at 1:01 PM on November 27, 2004


Also, I'd like to add "waaaaaaa, you guys are just like the christians because you don't accept ignorant bigotry!!!!"

Because clearly in the last ten years being progressive has come to include accepting everything as valid. Except that it hasn't. There has to be some point where common sense kicks in and you stop having a dialogue with people who are not interested in logic: I find a disintered in logic adversely effects logical discourse (which is the only legitimate set of groundrules for a discussion). Now we have to culture jam, or create a new culture (thanks amberglow!) and hope we can bestow salvation from Their kids and improve this place in the next fifty years or so.
posted by The God Complex at 1:05 PM on November 27, 2004


Gee.....I wish there were more tolerant and considerate people in this world like Donna Minkowitz and less people so quick to shoot their mouths of like AlexReynolds. Alex, take a tip from Donna.
posted by SpaceCadet at 1:06 PM on November 27, 2004


Very few people ever manage to be completely despicable.

Semantics. He's killing me with semantics.

What I, and I believe Minkowitz, were getting at is the fact that there are plenty of people who are fundamentally decent and even active good in many ways, who nonetheless may hold some rather repugnant or destructive beliefs. But the deceny can be a pressure point to press to maybe effect change in them and thus the world, where ad hominem attacks and rage do nothing and may more probably have the opposite effect.

And it's also good to never let righteous anger curdle into hatred, which ultimately just poisons and curdles your view of the world.
posted by jonmc at 1:06 PM on November 27, 2004


They may be lacking in "facts," but facts are not the point. Their faith tells them that their belief is right.

When they say that they are being persecuted by gay people, then they are crossing the faith line and entering fact territory, and they need to be held to account. Sorry that bothers you.

I only called this nut insane after he showed he was incapable of defending his bigoted statement.

It doesn't make me feel good, and I'm not doing it to convince him or fundies to change their minds — their ilk are a lost cause, it has to be said — but it is necessary sometimes to help it be clear to people on the sidelines, in the middle ground, about the seriousness of the stakes in the conversation, about violence against GLBT people — and most importantly, using facts to show why fundies are insane, based on the incredible, unjustifiable shit that somehow comes out of their mouths.

The time for polity is over. Let's cut out the nonsense. If you call yourself a "Christian" and you wish death and misery upon gay people, just say so and cut the bullshit. Stop with the mealy-mouthed "we must be polite and respect differences" garbage.

People are literally being locked up, mentally and physically tortured and killed over this stuff. If you live in the US and enjoy your freedoms, do you want America to be like this? If you live in another country, are you lucky enough to live somewhere, where your culture is mature and old enough to deal with a diverse group of people as equal human beings?
posted by AlexReynolds at 1:12 PM on November 27, 2004


I agree with blucevalo. Don't be weak-willed or let someone attack you again and again without getting a response. But it's possible to take a strong, principled stand on an issue and address the opponent's hypocrises, illogic, and ignorance without resorting to employing the very language you get angry at the other person for using.

Your anger isn't unjustified or stupid, it's just there are better ways to use it rather than confirming the stereotypes the other side makes of you.
posted by schroedinger at 1:15 PM on November 27, 2004


AlexReynolds: For the record, I find anti-gay violence, discrimination and hatred utterly disgusting and repugnant. I agree with you that the hardcore fundamentalist gay-haters are probably a lost cause (to say nothing of non-religious homophobes, who are legion as well).

But those vast swaths of "people on the sidelines, in the middle ground," can be convinced and changed, I believe. And the way to do that is to appeal to their better natures, aand that begins with respect; ie not assuming from the get-go that they are closet queer-bashers. You can pass all the laws you want and that's great, but true change in society comes when hearts and minds change.

Malcolm X said thatthe best thing non-racist whites could do was to fight prejudice in their own communities. And that begins with assuming that positive change in people is possible. If believing that makes me mealy-mothed then so be it.
posted by jonmc at 1:21 PM on November 27, 2004


I wish there were more tolerant and considerate people in this world like Donna Minkowitz and less people so quick to shoot their mouths of like AlexReynolds. Alex, take a tip from Donna.

Consider if demonstrably intolerant people deserve equal consideration of their viewpoint, if they can't defend it with fact. I choose to no longer give fundamentalists the benefit of the doubt on their bigoted views, as it is clearly a waste of my time.
posted by AlexReynolds at 1:23 PM on November 27, 2004


the bible is false evidence planted by the devil to turn us away from the true god.
posted by exlotuseater at 1:25 PM on November 27, 2004


I think part of the reason for the name-calling is how incredibly frustrating this conversation is getting. One side is saying, "We are being ostracized, beaten, legally persecuted, and sometimes outright murdered by people claiming to follow your religion." And the other side keeps replying, "Yes, but you say bad things about us. And there are also countries where a different group of people hates us almost as much as they hate you. Therefore, the intolerance on both sides is equal." To me, that's head-banging-against-the-wall annoying.

I used to work as a slush-pile reader for a publishing company that, among other things, published a line of religious-oriented works. A number of them were wonderful, spiritual, profound, and well-written, and I passed them up the line without a second thought no matter how much my religious beliefs differed from theirs.

There was also a very significant chunk of them, mostly written by fundamentalist Christians, which showed evidence of a sense of persecution by society which seemed completely at odds with reality. These people were convinced that, at any moment, the US government was likely to ban Christianity, round up anyone who refused to renounce Jesus, and either send them to re-education camps or simpy execute them outright. They thought this was about to happen in the US, where a non-Christian president currently has about as much chance of being elected as a pony. Right.

I've never been able to understand where it comes from. Is it leftover fear from the days when they actually being were thrown to the lions? Is it a belief that not being allowed to impose their views on others is the same as being persecuted? Is it an inability to see that a refusal to elevate one religion over others is not the same as unjustly keeping that religion down?

Whatever it is, I hope at some point it stops, if only so we don't have to be subjected to the argument, "Sure, your child will probably be taken away from you if anything happens to your nonlegal spouse, but you guys HURT MY FEELINGS."
posted by kyrademon at 1:51 PM on November 27, 2004


Consider if demonstrably intolerant people deserve equal consideration of their viewpoint, if they can't defend it with fact. I choose to no longer give fundamentalists the benefit of the doubt on their bigoted views, as it is clearly a waste of my time.

Exactly. If they're not even willing to make the effort to defend their beliefs, what benefit is afforded from continued pointless debate?

I agree with jon, however, that a great many religious folks are good people. It seems many of them have been hoodwinked by the more fringe elements of the church, and reasoned discourse and an appeal to their compassion are the necessary ways to get these people on board. It is endlessly frustrating, however, to have someone ignore all logical argument in favour of quoting scripture at you ;)
posted by The God Complex at 1:58 PM on November 27, 2004


I can't speak for Krrlson, but from what I've seen here over the years, dhoyt dosen't seem to espouse any of those positions, and putting (incredibly ugly and inflammatory) words in his mouth does both him and the dialog here a disservice.

jonmc, as you well know, I was pointing out that Krrlson uses precisely the same worthless tactic as the equally cowardly dhoyt, not suggesting that every belief adopted by the one is necessarily held by the other.

Though, when you come right down to it, I've never seen them in the same room at the same time. (Draw such conclusions as you will.)
posted by adamgreenfield at 2:31 PM on November 27, 2004


AlexReynolds: Consider if demonstrably intolerant people deserve equal consideration of their viewpoint, if they can't defend it with fact.

I'm not sure what kind of fact you are looking for but as a cursury glance at this thread attests it is a fact that the bible refers to homosexual activity several times with varing consequences for the sodomites vis-a-vis the lake of fire. What is not a demonstrated fact is whether anyone will be held to these proscriptions but those at whom you are spewing your vitriol have already decided that they are binding.

What I find most sad about this thread though is not the quantity of vituperation but, rather, that the discussion has almost completely ignored the fate of those who struggle to live as gay christians. The tragedy of that epic and intesely personal struggle with temptation and sin is something that I think all people can relate to; even those for whom sin has no meaning. To some degree or another all people have to fight the current of the world to carve out some small identity and then reconcile their conscience with that identity. In the interests of presenting some small balm to the conscience of those so afflicted I would propose simply that such people determine for themselves what they should do. There is no reason that they can not face temptation as Jesus did, through introspection and solitude and by speaking directly to their father. If such people come to the conclusion that a gay lifestyle does any harm, even to themselves then I think that they should abandon it. If that means a life of celibacy then they should to be willing to make such sacrifices; for the kingdom of heaven is not bought with a pittance. However if they discover that there is no more sin in homosexuality than in heterosexuality they should pursue their relationships in the same manner as devoute heteros. They also much be careful to not assume any exemptions to the restrictions on relationships placed on the majority heteros. If divorce and adultery are sins for heterosexuals they are so equally for homosexuals. If they pursue this questioning and reach no answer then they cannot fail by following the advice of Jesus:
"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. "
posted by Endymion at 2:39 PM on November 27, 2004


wow...so much happens in such a short time. I'm not a Christian and never said I was, but I will defend, to the death, their right to believe what they do -- just like I don't agree with everything they say, I'll still defend it.

I'm just pointing out there's a lot of hypocrisy in viewpoints that complain about persecution while heaping that persecution on others at the same time. The name calling here is only one example.

I have a divergent view and look at what you've done to me for simply expressing it. My opinion is, both sides, are in a lot of instances -- very wrong in their behavior toward each other. And I won't tell you what side I normally see, even here in this thread, take the higher road. I might get called another name, if Ido.
posted by nospecialfx at 2:49 PM on November 27, 2004


Lots of people ignoring what the other side thinks to state and restate their side, on both sides. That's not a discussion, that's a shouting match.

Some random comments:

They want to make sure I can't visit my partner in the hospital if he's run over by a car or is taken seriously ill.


I don't live in America, so we don't hear anything about the gay community except that they're pretty good cooks. What's the background on this hospital visit thing?

The behavioral ones, altho they do express the will of God, do not save anyone-Christ fulfilled the law on our behalf.

He made it plain that the sexually immoral do not inherit the Kingdom of God. Adulterers, fornicators, homosexuals, etc etc....


Konolia (or any other theologian), how do these reconcile?

So why do you care what happens to all these fornicating, sodomitical heathens?

Presumably (and it's just my guess), for the same reason I care about child abuse, even though I have no child, or about rape, even though I haven't been raped. If you think something hurts people, unless you're a total bastard, you generally care about it. And, from a fundie perspective, the pains experienced in life by a homosexual who is being oppressed (getting beaten up, getting murdered) are not as bad as the alternative, spending eternity in hell.

For better or worse, the problem that most Christians have is not, in fact, that people have homosexual relationships. Rather, it's an attempt to fight the *normalization* of it. What the glbt community sees as an awakening in society, a greater acceptance, the Christian community sees as an ongoing assault on their core moral beliefs.

The only good comparison I've ever found that *doesn't* have a lot of negative connotations already attached to it is veganism. I've known some very mellow and cool vegans who have no problems with a friend chowing down on a burger, and I've had friends who take every opportunity to tell me I'm a *MURDERER* for eating scrambled eggs. Both of them have the same core beliefs, but I'd only call one of them a mean-spirited obsessive.


Very good comparison, in my opinion.

Talking in circles, nospecialfx? Don't be so disingenuous.
It's pretty simple:

1) Fundie Christians (and others) don't like gay people. Apparently we're all sick, broken, sinning people who are going to hell unless we get 'cured' and 'saved.'
2) They're wrong.


Pretty much the definition of talking in circles, actually. From their point of view:

1) We Fundie Christians (and others) don't like gay people. They're all sick, broken, sinning people who are going to hell unless they get 'cured' and 'saved.'
2) We're right.

And the discussion keeps going around and around.

Excuse me? What both sides do to each other?

Fundies:

- Want gay sex to be illegal
- Want to deny me things like marriage, adoption rights, etc.

Us silly homos

- Just want to live our lives, with the same rights as everyone else. Including the right to walk down the street and not be afraid.


And, seen from their perspective:

Fundies
- Want gay sex to be illegal
- Want to deny gays things like marriage, adoption rights, etc.

Gays
- Want to make being homosexual socially accepted, leading more people into eternal damnation.


For the record, so that people don't misunderstand, I am most avowedly not a fundie. I'm strongly in favor of gay equality. However, this discussion just teems with people not even trying to consider the internal logic of their opponents. That's not a good recipe for discussion. Perhaps (probably), even if you look at things from the opponent's viewpoint, and avoid misrepresenting their argument, there will be no conclusion or middle ground. But at least then, you can say "We looked at the issue from eachother's viewpoints, and found no purchase", instead of just "We ignored the opposition's viewpoint, but stated our beliefs and expected the opposition to pay attention to our viewpoint.

On preview: Is it a belief that not being allowed to impose their views on others is the same as being persecuted?

Probably, but the phrasing is not what they'd choose. I'd say that the more extreme elements consider the lack of Christian beliefs to be an antithesis of Christianity. Which means every belief that is not allowed to be given purchase in society is the equivalent of giving purchase to the enemy.

Think of it like light. The absence of light is dark. There is no "neutral" when it comes to light. So if light is not allowed in a certain place, that is, de facto, promoting darkness.

Uh...note that above my example about "light" and "dark" had jack shit to do with spirituality, and everything to do with photons and electromagnetic radiation. My physics background just popped it up as the first example of something which, by its absence, indicates its opposite. The fact that they often used spiritual words was just a bad coincidence, and should be ignored.
posted by Bugbread at 2:51 PM on November 27, 2004


When they say that they are being persecuted by gay people, then they are crossing the faith line and entering fact territory, and they need to be held to account. Sorry that bothers you.

It doesn't bother me. I just don't think it's constructive. There's a difference.

I see your point of view, and in fact I agree with it, as I've already made abundantly clear. I just don't think that the weapons you are using will achieve what you wish them to achieve.

Consider if demonstrably intolerant people deserve equal consideration of their viewpoint, if they can't defend it with fact.

They may or may not deserve it, but that doesn't change the simple fact — and this is a tangible fact, like it or not — of the ascendancy of their point of view in current political discourse (at least in the US), and if those who choose to fight that viewpoint can't speak to the other side in a way that goes beyond screaming and shouting and turning red in the face and hurling epithets, then nowhere is exactly where we'll wind up.

If you live in the US and enjoy your freedoms, do you want America to be like this?

No, I don't. I don't think, however, that labeling someone's views as "shit" is going to make those views vanish into thin air.

The viewpoint that gays are somehow living in a state of "brokeness" (to use the term that the blogger cited at the start of this thread employs) is gaining ascendancy in the US. It's also being written into law as we speak, across the land. If 2004 was scary, think of what 2006 will be like with, oh, say, 20 more anti-same-sex-marriage constitutional amendments on the ballot. And a federal amendment in the wings.

We have to figure out a way to counter the view that is behind that legislation if we disagree.

Facts are a start. Epithets are not. Epithets do not change minds. If you think those minds are already lost, the cause is fairly hopeless, I would say.
posted by blucevalo at 2:52 PM on November 27, 2004


I don't live in America, so we don't hear anything about the gay community except that they're pretty good cooks. What's the background on this hospital visit thing?

bugbread, in at least two states (Michigan and Ohio), amendments to state constitutions were passed on November 2 that say that marriage is between a man and a woman.

In addition, the language in the amendments states that "marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose."

This is weasel language to ensure that not only is same-sex marriage banned, but also that publicly funded institututions in these states (including hospitals, universities, etc.) cannot extend benefits that resemble heterosexual marriage (including spousal visitation, joint insurance, domestic partnerships, civil unions, etc.) to any non-marriage arrangements. This includes presumably heterosexual partners who aren't married (though presumably there would be huge lawsuits in store if an institution dared to discriminate on that basis).
posted by blucevalo at 3:00 PM on November 27, 2004


"The behavioral ones, altho they do express the will of God, do not save anyone-Christ fulfilled the law on our behalf.

He made it plain that the sexually immoral do not inherit the Kingdom of God. Adulterers, fornicators, homosexuals, etc etc....

Konolia (or any other theologian), how do these reconcile?"


My understanding is that inheriting the kingdom of God is not "salvation" per se, it's not going to heaven. It refers to more meanial blessings God bestows on us. But I could be wrong. It's one reason that I read scattered words so much, because that kid, above all else, knows what he's talking about when it comes to this crap. I find religion fascitinating, and he has the best grasp of his own beliefs that I've found in a long time.

The verse may also be referring to people who have never been justified before God, too -- people that reject him, maybe?

maybe we should ask Ben.
posted by nospecialfx at 3:00 PM on November 27, 2004


To some degree or another all people have to fight the current of the world to carve out some small identity and then reconcile their conscience with that identity. In the interests of presenting some small balm to the conscience of those so afflicted I would propose simply that such people determine for themselves what they should do.

How do you carve out some small identity and determine for yourself what you should do when the law of the land states that whatever you do (whether you are a gay Christian or just gay period), you are screwed unless you disavow your identity?
posted by blucevalo at 3:04 PM on November 27, 2004


Whatever it is, I hope at some point it stops, if only so we don't have to be subjected to the argument, "Sure, your child will probably be taken away from you if anything happens to your nonlegal spouse, but you guys HURT MY FEELINGS."

kyrademon: Amen.
posted by blucevalo at 3:07 PM on November 27, 2004


"How do you carve out some small identity and determine for yourself what you should do when the law of the land states that whatever you do (whether you are a gay Christian or just gay period), you are screwed unless you disavow your identity?"

I'm just gonna say again, I don't condone persecution placed on any one -- but Christians across the world have faced this for a long time. A really long time.

Maybe we can learn from their response?
posted by nospecialfx at 3:10 PM on November 27, 2004


Y'all go read the last chapter of the book of Revelation. I'll be here when you come back.

Also I do have to correct one thing I saw upthread-our salvation truly is by grace and grace alone, but if we are saved we will produce the fruit of it-sooner or later. If salvation is real, it WILL produce change. It cannot help but do so.
posted by konolia at 3:15 PM on November 27, 2004


Maybe we can learn from their response?

You mean we can learn to turn on another disenfranchised group and screw them as much as Christians were originally screwed for millennia?

Or maybe I should turn the other cheek?

I'm not sure what you wish me to learn from their example, nospecialfx. I'm sorry.
posted by blucevalo at 3:18 PM on November 27, 2004


Y'all go read the last chapter of the book of Revelation. I'll be here when you come back.

konolia, I'm sorry, but ordering me (or anyone else) to go read a book of a Bible that you assume I should believe in isn't an adequate response.

If you think it is, I'm afraid nothing I've said has had any impact on you. And that's sad.
posted by blucevalo at 3:21 PM on November 27, 2004


What I find most sad about this thread though is not the quantity of vituperation but, rather, that the discussion has almost completely ignored the fate of those who struggle to live as gay christians. The tragedy of that epic and intesely personal struggle with temptation and sin is something that I think all people can relate to; even those for whom sin has no meaning.

They needlessly choose to struggle. The irony is not that their "struggle" is pointless, drama-filled suffering, but that they give ample fodder to the fundies who make the rest of us who have accepted ourselves suffer violent consequences, whether those effects are physical, economic or social. Before feeling sorry for people who chose oppression, consider the "feelings" of those of us who should not be.
posted by AlexReynolds at 3:22 PM on November 27, 2004


There's that intolerance rearing it's ugly head again. Why don't you read some of the site I linked before throwing that stuff out. You'll find, Christians everywhere are still being screwed. Religious persecution hasn't gone away -- even in this country.

Some of them have died for their beliefs. Most of them love the ones who hurt them. A lot of them literally "turn the other cheek" -- I rarely see anything like that from the homosexual community.

What gay people experience at the hand of Christians in this country is not representative of the faith-- it's a perversion, and there are a lot of people who'll do anything to make us all believe it's the mainstream, majority attitude.

The victims seem to just want to stay victims -- but in reality, they only empower their abusers. I think the persecuted church, from what I've read, has learned how to combat that and not be victims any longer. There's a lot we can all learn from that.
posted by nospecialfx at 3:22 PM on November 27, 2004


that was addressed to blucevalo
posted by nospecialfx at 3:23 PM on November 27, 2004


Cry me a river, nospecialfx. Please.
posted by adamgreenfield at 3:24 PM on November 27, 2004


nospecialfx, I now see your point (after you chose to explain it). But I resent you calling me intolerant after what I've written above. But then maybe you've not read anything I've written in this post, which wouldn't surprise me.
posted by blucevalo at 3:26 PM on November 27, 2004


A lot of irrestible forces meeting immovable objects round here today.

*washes hands of the whole affair*
posted by jonmc at 3:26 PM on November 27, 2004


There it is again -- unwillingness to consider another's view, but instead try to disarm with smartass remarks that further no discussion and only serve to diminish others.
posted by nospecialfx at 3:27 PM on November 27, 2004


I have a divergent view and look at what you've done to me for simply expressing it. My opinion is, both sides, are in a lot of instances -- very wrong in their behavior toward each other. And I won't tell you what side I normally see, even here in this thread, take the higher road. I might get called another name, if Ido.

I'm not apologizing to you or letting you off the hook. I offered you the chance to give evidence that gay people are oppressing Christians and you could not do so. Regardless of your personal beliefs, you defended a bigoted, hateful opinion without justification. Here's a tip: meet actual, real, live honest-to-goodness gay people. Then consider what you've said, and really think seriously about its logical consequences.
posted by AlexReynolds at 3:28 PM on November 27, 2004


"You mean we can learn to turn on another disenfranchised group and screw them as much as Christians were originally screwed for millennia?"

I find that statement intolerant of a religious system that tries to defend its core beliefs. The assertion that a group of people "turn on another disenfrachised group and screw them" makes it look like the system only has outward concerns and is bent on revenge -- when I gather it's an attempt to stop what they see as an erosion of their core beliefs.

I'm missing the tolerance for divergance there...
posted by nospecialfx at 3:29 PM on November 27, 2004


nospecialfx, they have considered your view. The problem with you is you make any other dissenting views look ridiculous by default.

and

Alexreynolds, being right is no excuse for being sanctimonious. Show a small smidgen of class and quit pounding your point into the ground.
posted by jonmc at 3:31 PM on November 27, 2004


I live in Dupont Circle in Washington DC -- aren't there a few gay people there?

And I defend them because it's their right to hold their beliefs. I would defend you if you needed it here, but you don't.
posted by nospecialfx at 3:31 PM on November 27, 2004


No, hypocrisy always looks rediculous, because it is...
posted by nospecialfx at 3:31 PM on November 27, 2004


Having just read the last, oh, 1/3rd of this thread, I note that there is a lot of very violent language. Ironically, it's coming from those who know how violent language can lead to physical violence.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:33 PM on November 27, 2004


In what way is it "not considering another's view" to face up to the reality that hate-Christianity is a hegemonic force on this planet *and getting more so*?

I mean, you wanna look at what's happening in the Anglican bishops' conference?

Deal with it: Christians are the oppressors, far more often than not, and not the victims of oppression. If you are going to speak on their behalf, at least know what you are talking about.
posted by adamgreenfield at 3:35 PM on November 27, 2004


I phrased my question to you in an intemperate way, nospecialfx, and I apologize.

I guess my emotions are getting the better of me too and I'd best shut up before I offend anyone else.
posted by blucevalo at 3:37 PM on November 27, 2004


I do know what I'm talking about. I'm going to stop pointing out everything, like that last sentence, that seeks only to diminish another person rather than foster any legitimate discussion. My opinions, my views, are just as valid as yours as are everyone else's. But it's stuff like that that just makes this all a big waste of time.
posted by nospecialfx at 3:38 PM on November 27, 2004


It's all good ... no offense taken, really. It's just the internet after all :-)
posted by nospecialfx at 3:39 PM on November 27, 2004


Also, I'd like to present a mentally challenging exercise for Christians:

For the sake of argument, pretend that St. Paul was a tool of Satan used to stop the newly-formed Christian movement from succeeding.

I think you'll find that it's worth trusting Christ's actions as a guide to good living, than to trust Paul's writings.

(And then you can study how the early church formed, and the politics within it, and... well, you just might come to the same conclusion as I have: what we call "Christianity" is actually Paulism, and it has little in common with actual Christ-like behaviours.)
posted by five fresh fish at 3:39 PM on November 27, 2004


my 3:38 comment was addressed to Adam...I'm just not quick enough...
posted by nospecialfx at 3:39 PM on November 27, 2004


It's all good ... no offense taken, really. It's just the internet after all :-)

Okay, nospecialfx. Thanks. I appreciate that.
posted by blucevalo at 3:41 PM on November 27, 2004


My opinions, my views, are just as valid as yours as are everyone else's.

I'm sorry, but I'm not a relativist. Not everyone's views are equally valid or worthy of respect. Some points of view are not even worth being taken seriously.

I sense that you are sincere but very, very young, and it's your attempt to equate two phenomena of distinctly different magnitudes as being similarly "unfair" that I find so distasteful. When you insist that the anti-gay violence and discrimination-at-law currently embedded in American culture should somehow be no more worrisome or offensive to contemporary Americans than the historical wrongs suffered by Christian believers elsewhere, then I have no further obligation to take anything you say seriously. That's just a silly, juvenile equivalence to draw.
posted by adamgreenfield at 3:44 PM on November 27, 2004


Part of the problem with trying to have a meaningful, logical argument with a fundamentalist or fundamentalists is the fact that they base their argument on one criterion and one only. A book. A book that can be interpreted in as many ways as there are blades of grass. Written by a bunch of different people, translated back and forth into several different languages, selectively edited.... you get the idea. When one tries to argue "X" vs. "Y" logically, it's one thing. But when the value of "X" is arbitrary, one really is up shit crick.

I mean, I could state that eggs are green. And then say, "Read the third page of "Green Eggs and Ham", and then talk to me. Because then you would understand. And you could say back "I read G.E.a.H, and the author was being metaphorical, and the word that they used for "eggs" really meant "couch" in ancient blahblah."
What I'm saying is that one really can't have an intelligent, logical argument with a fundamentalist.

This is not to say that all fundamentalists are bad; indeed I believe that many are intelligent and well-meaning. But really, they are part of a larger construct that is beginning to infringe upon my rights to pursue happiness.

I like "sinning". I engage in whatever behaviors make me happy, as long as I'm engaging in them with healthy, consenting adults, and no one is harmed. And I honestly don't think it's anyones' business. I believe that lack of love is the closest thing to actual "sin". I don't base any of my beliefs on either the Bible or Green Eggs and Ham, because I think it's silly. Both are a good read, but ultimately, it has no more meaning to me than the O.E.D, or TV Guide.

Oh, and fundies- STOP. stop trying to poke your well-meaning heads into my life. There is no Hell. Sorry.

And what adamgreenfield and countless others said above me.
posted by exlotuseater at 3:48 PM on November 27, 2004


"For the sake of argument, pretend that St. Paul was a tool of Satan used to stop the newly-formed Christian movement from succeeding."

That's an interesting proposition. I think it fails, though when you look at the act of canonization -- Scripture, even Paul's words, are by faith considered to be God's words. There's a verse somewhere that says that.

It also doesn't fit with Pauls' conversion. The man was blinded, after all. But it would be an interesting plan, to you know, go from stoning Christians to teaching their church leaders - even being tortured, beatent and put in jail, and eventually, to death for what you believed.

I wonder though, why is it assumed such a strong argument that Christ is not recorded as saying anything about homosexuality? Christ's actions, and his words, are a dispropotionately small part of the Bible to be considered the sole guide for Christian life and practice. And besides, the man lived for some 30 years -- do we just assume the Bible is the exhaustive source of everything he said in those 30 years? Maybe he did say stuff, and it just wasn't recorded...

And on one end, most other religious texts, as I'm familiar with them, devote much larger space to their central figures. Does that seem strange?

ON PREVIEW: Adam, the persecution of Christians, especially in other countries, is ongoing and current. Christians are dying in other countries, like Sudan, right now, today -- simply because they are Christians. Somehow, that sounds worse than me than a gay person not being allowed to married. I just respect life a whole lot.

And the fact that you choose to not respect another person's opinons as being valid as yours and openly admitt it says a lot -- so we're done, if you're not going to afford the same respect to others as you want for yourself.
posted by nospecialfx at 3:48 PM on November 27, 2004


Y'all go read the last chapter of the book of Revelation. I'll be here when you come back.

Ok, I read it. What's up?

What gay people experience at the hand of Christians in this country is not representative of the faith-- it's a perversion, and there are a lot of people who'll do anything to make us all believe it's the mainstream, majority attitude.

True. And I think that a good proportion of the people here understand that, hence the frequent use of the terms "fundie" or "extreme" instead of just plain jane "Christian".

"You mean we can learn to turn on another disenfranchised group and screw them as much as Christians were originally screwed for millennia?"

I find that statement intolerant of a religious system that tries to defend its core beliefs.


Well, it may be "intolerant", but you were the one who said we should learn from what Christians have experienced throughout their persecution. The only thing that popped to mind, for me, is that gays should therefore infiltrate the government, use the fear of heresy to keep people in line, and try to take control of multiple countries through an overarching organization. The sorry story is, the reason that Christianity is as big as it is now is not a very good one, and telling people to learn from it is just going to get your snark, as there is no non-snarky answer. What Christianity did, which resulted in it getting big, was not a good thing, so if you tell people to learn from it, don't be surprised if you get answered accordingly.
posted by Bugbread at 3:49 PM on November 27, 2004


What's going on in the Sudan, as you presumably know, is more an ethnic conflict as anything else. When the janjaweed descend on a village, their violence is aimed at policing ethnic difference, not belief per se.

And, I'm sorry, but even if Sudanese were being murdered for their belief, I'm not sure that would or should be as urgent to me as an American as the inequity and discrimination that happens in my own back yard. Since it's a counterfactual I haven't thought about it very deeply, as I tend not to in such cases, but I generally hold to the belief that it's more important to invest my concern in matters which affect me directly, and which I can directly affect through political, economic and social action.

And this - your little homily about the Sudan - is why I don't have to take you seriously, because you're only parroting what you've seen at third hand elsewhere, and haven't bothered to think about what you're saying.
posted by adamgreenfield at 3:56 PM on November 27, 2004


I'm going to have to ask for clarification on that -- because again, there are a lot of people out there who are willilng to open their eyes and ignore the "fundies" as you all call them -- and find a deep respect and admiration for a group of people who are devout to a spiritual system.

But instead, you've shown that somehow, you've let yourself be impressed by a minority -- and probably worse, people trying to make the minority look like it's the majority.

You have to be willing to consider that what you think you know about Christians, what impressions you hold, aren't what it's really all about. And it's probably not what most believe or do. I mean, do you really think Christianity is an evil that needs to be abolished? Or along the lines of your post, some kind of massive conspiracy? That smacks of fear and loathing instead of tolerance and understanding.

Apply the same thing to Islam -- even President Bush was smart enough to realize a few whackos in planes don't represent a whole faith.

But Christians don't get even that respect. They're viewed as govenrment inflatrators bent on world domination -- and the same people who cry foul of stereotypes are the same ones perpetrating stereotypes on others.
posted by nospecialfx at 3:56 PM on November 27, 2004


Fine, as long as you can rationalize it. goodbye.
posted by nospecialfx at 3:57 PM on November 27, 2004


Okay, I just have to say, I went to school with a Sudanese man for four years, his name was Kenneth. He was a Chrisitan, and so is his family -- four brothers, 2 sisters and his mom and dad. He was the only one at first to escape the country -- we worked hard with the government to get them out -- very hard. His father and his brothers never have, and never will. They were killed when their prayer meeting was raided, two days after the mom and sisters fled to Egypt. They were to follow in a couple months.

I know what I'm talking about.
posted by nospecialfx at 4:00 PM on November 27, 2004


nospecialfx, that doesn't begin to address the point. It's an appeal to sentimentality, but it proves nothing.

What I know about professed Christians is that they're monotheists. And I hold them in *precisely* as much respect as I do any other monotheist: no more and no less.

Aside from the fact that people would assuredly find other reasons to hate and kill each other, and overlooking the not-inconsiderable inroads made by Hinduist radicals in their treatment of Muslims in India, the world would be better off without all monotheisms.
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:02 PM on November 27, 2004


Y'all go read the last chapter of the book of Revelation. I'll be here when you come back.

I've read it, and I enjoyed it immensely. I thought the story and universe were excellently constructed, and that the psychedelic aspects were fascinating. The author was very skilled at committing his visions to paper in a vivid and engrossing style. For other quality fantasy literature, I recommend Terry Pratchett's Discworld series (the most recent of which, Going Postal, was just recently published) and, yes, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels. Don't let the latter's mass popularity turn you off; they're very well written.

Now, konolia, would you please answer the question I addressed to you in this comment? The thread has been moving fast, so I won't blame you for having missed it accidentally.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:03 PM on November 27, 2004


[T]he persecution of Christians, especially in other countries, is ongoing and current. Christians are dying in other countries, like Sudan, right now, today -- simply because they are Christians. Somehow, that sounds worse than me than a gay person not being allowed to married.

I gave you six examples of violence against gays that were motivated by religious hatred. Now you're invoking marriage as a strawman. Standard fundy tactic. Poor you.
posted by AlexReynolds at 4:04 PM on November 27, 2004


"For the sake of argument, pretend that St. Paul was a tool of Satan used to stop the newly-formed Christian movement from succeeding."

That's an interesting proposition. I think it fails, though when you look at the act of canonization -- Scripture, even Paul's words, are by faith considered to be God's words.


You're not taking it to it's logical end. You're assuming that Paul's part is the work of Satan, but that the decisions made afterwards were all correct. If you take it chronologically, then, because Paul's part was the work of Satan, the canonization was therefore incorrect, and taking the Scripture, including Paul, as the word of God is incorrect.

Christ's actions, and his words, are a disproportionately small part of the Bible to be considered the sole guide for Christian life and practice.

Why?

And besides, the man lived for some 30 years -- do we just assume the Bible is the exhaustive source of everything he said in those 30 years? Maybe he did say stuff, and it just wasn't recorded...

Yes. And what's happening is that some people are speculating that he said nice things about gays, and others are speculating that he said bad things. And that's all speculation.

ON PREVIEW: Adam, the persecution of Christians, especially in other countries, is ongoing and current. Christians are dying in other countries, like Sudan, right now, today -- simply because they are Christians. Somehow, that sounds worse than me than a gay person not being allowed to married.

I'm going to invoke the wrath of many, here, and say that you may be right. But that doesn't really affect this discussion. It's the equivalent of saying that punching someone is OK, because the guy who threw the punch got stabbed by some other guy last year. The better way to think of it, to understand the opposition, is that, if Christians have suffered so much persecution, and are suffering so much persecution, perhaps they should be less prone to persecuting others, not more prone.

And the fact that you choose to not respect another person's opinions as being valid as yours and openly admit it says a lot -- so we're done, if you're not going to afford the same respect to others as you want for yourself.

And that's the problem with moral relativism. It can't stand up under scrutiny in certain situations. If person A's opinion is that he can kill person B, and person B's opinion is that he has a right not to be killed, both cannot be equally valid, and there is no middle ground. Person A cannot give the same respect to B as they want for themselves. They are inherently contradictory.
posted by Bugbread at 4:05 PM on November 27, 2004


Yes, well I'm sorry that you can't marry -- and that you view having that privilege as more important than someone's life. You of all people should be able to grasp what it's like to be killed for something like that -- but, I sense you're unwilling to admitt it. It's a horrible wrong when it happens to a gay person. It's inconsequential when it happens to a "monotheist" -- I'm perplexed by that. I guess they get what they diserve, right? Do we need to start at the beginning and define hypocrisy.

And if you're fine with it being a hyprocisy -- then so be it. But at least admitt it is what it is.

Peace, to you. I'm going out now -- to talk with people who won't marginalize others.
posted by nospecialfx at 4:07 PM on November 27, 2004


Paul had nothing to do with canonization -- he was long dead by then.
posted by nospecialfx at 4:09 PM on November 27, 2004


[T]he persecution of Christians, especially in other countries, is ongoing and current. Christians are dying in other countries, like Sudan, right now, today -- simply because they are Christians. Somehow, that sounds worse than me than a gay person not being allowed to married.

In other news, people are dying in other parts of the world, so there's no need to look after poor people in North America.

In an unrelated story, hundreds of thousands of people are dying of aids in africa, which is much worse than anything that's happening to those gays.

And finally, automobiles kill more people than guns, proving once and for all that people who support gun restrictions don't know anything. WHY AREN'T THEY BANNING CARS?!
posted by The God Complex at 4:10 PM on November 27, 2004


I call bullshit on you, dude, from beginning to end. Do you even have a glimmer of understanding of what it is to be marginalized?
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:10 PM on November 27, 2004


Konolia, I took your advice and dusted off my translation of the bible and read the last chapter of Revelations. I assume you wanted us to read this part particularly:

"He said to me: These words are trustworthy and true, and the Lord God of the spirits of the prophet sent his angel to show his slaves what must happen soon. Behold, I shall come back soon. Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophesy of this book," and "And He said to me: do not seal up the words of the prophesy of this book, for the time is near."

Now, the issue I have with your use of this as an argument is that Christians have been editing the bible since. Pick up a good book on all of the apocryphal texts that were removed from the bible and the reasons why each were taken out. The Christians have been ignoring this when it suits them for centuries and centuries.

My favorite example is the Acts of St. Thecla - she was a woman who dressed as a man and teaches Christianity. She even comes across Paul at some point. These texts were not consistent with Paul's teachings on women in I Corinthians, where he says that women are to be silent in church meetings, and if they speak, let them speak to their husbands at home, and they were removed from the bible.

I think that your beliefs have allowed the progress of ideas in some instances (I'm sure you are allowed to speak in church) but not other instances.

I sincerely hope that you and your church will eventually accept that Paul's view on homosexuality is dated and bigoted. I know lots of Christian divinity students, Catholics, etc. who recognize such a progression of ideas, and not just when it suits them.
posted by sophie at 4:11 PM on November 27, 2004


(hint: you can oppose violence against christians in the sudan and still oppose bigotry by illogical fundies in america.)

the book of revelation is christian porn.
posted by The God Complex at 4:12 PM on November 27, 2004


Nospecialfx, a little advice when you're having a conversation: don't change the subject.
posted by AlexReynolds at 4:12 PM on November 27, 2004


This isn't a conversation, this is pointless. I'm really gone now.
posted by nospecialfx at 4:13 PM on November 27, 2004


The Christians have been ignoring this when it suits them for centuries and centuries.
Uh, I meant that they have been editing the bible when it suits them for centuries.
posted by sophie at 4:14 PM on November 27, 2004


ps - i didn't realize it was a band of gay marauders killing the christians in the sudan.
posted by The God Complex at 4:15 PM on November 27, 2004


But instead, you've shown that somehow, you've let yourself be impressed by a minority -- and probably worse, people trying to make the minority look like it's the majority.

I'm not sure what you mean, nospecialfx. Nobody (that I'm aware of, I could be wrong) is trying to make anyone "look" like it's the majority.

This "minority" that you speak of has power and influence beyond its numbers. There are many men and women in this "minority" who are Senators, Representatives, judges, cabinet members, agency heads, CEOs of corporations, and heads of think tanks. John Ashcroft springs to mind, as does Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Ralph Reed, Gary Bauer, and the list goes on.

If that's not power, I don't know what is.

Peace to you as well, nospecialfx.
posted by blucevalo at 4:15 PM on November 27, 2004


Oh, and your hypocrisy has always been my point. Now, seriously. I'm gone. Computer's off.
posted by nospecialfx at 4:15 PM on November 27, 2004


I didn't realize it was a band of gay marauders killing the christians in the sudan.

Its been kept on the down low, until nospecialfx let out the big secret.
posted by AlexReynolds at 4:17 PM on November 27, 2004


Yes, well I'm sorry that you can't marry -- and that you view having that privilege as more important than someone's life. You of all people should be able to grasp what it's like to be killed for something like that -- but, I sense you're unwilling to admitt it. It's a horrible wrong when it happens to a gay person. It's inconsequential when it happens to a "monotheist" -- I'm perplexed by that.

I can't speak for anyone else here, but:

It's a horrible wrong when it happens to Christians.
It's a horrible wrong when it happens to gays.

So we should avoid situations which make it likely that Christians will be killed for being Christian, and that gays will be killed for being gay.

In the United States, the problem is with gays being killed. So the United States should tackle that problem. Part of that problem is the invective issued at gays. So that should be tackled.

In other parts of the world, there are other reasons why Christians are killed. So those problems should also be tackled.

I dunno, it seems like y'all are agreeing, and just not realizing it.

(Uh, totally non-snarky, but something I notice when I spellcheck posts that have your quotes in them - "admit" has one "t", not two. Random digression over)
posted by Bugbread at 4:20 PM on November 27, 2004


I do not think that "hypocrisy" means what you think it does.
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:20 PM on November 27, 2004


I went to go make a cup of tea, and I missed the part where anyone compared being killed to gay-marriage rights. Ohhhh, wait. Now I see it. Somebody made a straw-man argument about Christians being persecuted and.... gotcha. Yeah, I still don't think anyone made that argument. A lot of people, including Gays and Christians get persecuted and murdered either for being whom they are or believing what they believe, respectively. Two totally different arguments.
posted by exlotuseater at 4:20 PM on November 27, 2004


Ok, very specific question. Please answer very carefully and specifically, if you're not gone yet.

What hypocrisy are you speaking of?

I'm not implying that there's no hypocrisy. It's just that the thread is long and convoluted, and I'm not sure specifically what hypocrisy is being dealt with.
posted by Bugbread at 4:22 PM on November 27, 2004


Revelations is the best when interpreted this way.

click on "The Seven Seals"

the lamb is the best.
posted by exlotuseater at 4:25 PM on November 27, 2004


konolia, you're obviously a good Christian, and inevitably going to Heaven after the Rapture. You're on the Good list. Your fate is sealed. So why do you care what happens to all these fornicating, sodomitical heathens? They've damned themselves, not you. Any abomination they care to commit in no way affects the seat you'll have at the right hand of God. Why does what they do matter to you

Why does someone else's eternal fate concern me? Because it concerns my Lord. He loves them just as much as He loves me. He died for them just like He died for me. He longs for them to be reconciled to Him, just as He longed for me back in my partying, drinking, drugging etc. days.

As a matter of fact, guess where I was just days before I turned my life over to Him? In a gay bar with my other straight friends, watching a drag show and buying Perrier from a gay friend of ours who worked there. There I was as one of the lip synchers was besieged with requests from all over the room-"Sing Operator, sing Operator" I didn't recognise the song till "she" started to sing "Operator, get me Jeeeeeeeeesssssusssss on the liiiiiiineeee......."

I am standing in a room full of people mocking and enjoying themselves muchly. At that precise moment I had an encounter with God. In a gay bar. In which He told me I had to choose my path right then.

Shaken to the core, I rounded up my friends (I was the one that drove that night) and left as quick as I could get out of there. The rest was history.
posted by konolia at 4:40 PM on November 27, 2004


konolia: my advice was to talk to God, and your advice was to read a book? I think I see the problem here. When you talk to God, you should also listen. Please.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:40 PM on November 27, 2004


Odd timing. It looks like Konolia did talk to God.
posted by Bugbread at 4:44 PM on November 27, 2004


To those with the Acro props, wow, thanks. =)

And, as a small music interlude, I sing the following in G-minor: Mooooooooooooooooooooooo.

Seriously, woah, I have never seen a thread gone so haywire.
posted by andreaazure at 4:46 PM on November 27, 2004


After preview: konolia, it's funny you should say that. My first encounter with God -- and I mean real, throw me onto the floor and start me shaking and crying -- was what prompted me to start to explore exactly what was wrong with my life. It was the straw that broke the camel's back and I finally realised that trying to be male was stupid and a waste of time and energy. Now here I am, a lesbian, perfectly happy and spiritually confident.

Why did we receive such different messages from God? Yours was to decry everything queer; mine was to embrace it.

He died for them just like He died for me. He longs for them to be reconciled to Him, just as He longed for me back in my partying, drinking, drugging etc. days.

My interpretation -- basic CofE -- suggests that we are all already reconciled to God because he died for us. If we're not, then what did Jesus die for?

On preview: yes, bugbread, and that's why I'm confused. Why did God say such mean things to her?
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:48 PM on November 27, 2004


I'm just pointing out there's a lot of hypocrisy in viewpoints that complain about persecution while heaping that persecution on others at the same time. The name calling here is only one example.

For the last time, you turnip:

SHOW US ONE, JUST ONE PIECE OF EVIDENCE OF HOMOSEXUALS PERSECUTING CHRISTIANS.

One. ONE.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:56 PM on November 27, 2004


My interpretation -- basic CofE -- suggests that we are all already reconciled to God because he died for us. If we're not, then what did Jesus die for?

Well, it's kinda like a contract. God has extended it, but we have to accept it, and there are terms.
posted by konolia at 4:57 PM on November 27, 2004


Posted by nospecialfx
But I'm right.
There it is again -- unwillingness to consider another's view,
I do know what I'm talking about.
the fact that you choose to not respect another person's opinons as being valid as yours and openly admitt it says a lot -- so we're done,
And now, I'm done.

Christ, I sure hope so.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:03 PM on November 27, 2004


Oh, sophie, that wasn't the part of the chapter I meant. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
posted by konolia at 5:11 PM on November 27, 2004


But at least then, you can say "We looked at the issue from eachother's viewpoints, and found no purchase", instead of just "We ignored the opposition's viewpoint, but stated our beliefs and expected the opposition to pay attention to our viewpoint."

Oh, I've considered the other side's viewpoint. Seriously considered it. And it's a steaming pile of turd. That is manifestly true.

By their fruits shall ye know them. Well these peo--

You know what? i give up. konolia is a fucking bible-thumping fundamentalist wackjob, and nospecialfx is obviously mentally deficient or cowardly--he has been unable to respond to specific questions pointed at him. Instead, knowing the hollow nature of his argument, he has instead elected to change the subject every time.

This is what we, as gays and lesbians and trannies and everything in between, have to deal with. We're trying here. We're trying to take the high road, and use logic, and all the rest of it. But it just doesn't work. You can't use logic with someone for whom logic is a dirty word.

I can't understand their version of God: some referee sitting on a throne in heaven, carefully making sure thta no one ever thinks for themselves.

On preview:

(i'd missed this particlar turd gem)

the fact that you choose to not respect another person's opinons as being valid as yours and openly admitt it says a lot -- so we're done,

That's because their viewpoint simply is not valid.

spreading hate and discrimination and directly causing deaths day after day: invalid

wanting to be left the fuck alone by these fundie nutcases: valid.

It's not difficult.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:12 PM on November 27, 2004


Why does someone else's eternal fate concern me? Because it concerns my Lord. He loves them just as much as He loves me. He died for them just like He died for me.

Thank you, konolia. That's a considered and valid answer. You have every right to be concerned for the sake of others, and I hope you are-- in fact, I hope that everyone is concerned for the sake of others; otherwise, where would we be? That said, though, concern is hardly a validation for persecution and abuse. Jesus did his work already, and made the right path very clear. It's all written down, after all. So, since you received the call of God, which told you what you must do, why not trust others to hear the same message? Or, to put it another way, why does an omniscient, omnibenevolent and omnipotent God need your help?
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:13 PM on November 27, 2004


Whoops! Missed these in preview:
goodbye.
I'm going out now
I'm really gone now.
Now, seriously. I'm gone.

And this has to be one of the strangest arguments I have ever seen on Metafilter:

Yes, well I'm sorry that you can't marry -- and that you view having that privilege as more important than someone's life.

In other words, if anyone, anywhere is getting murdered for being Christian, than gays are not allowed to desire the privilege of getting married here in the USA.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:27 PM on November 27, 2004


Well, it's kinda like a contract. God has extended it, but we have to accept it, and there are terms.

Thanks, konolia. That's not my interpretation of the Gospels, but that's a denominational thing, I guess. I almost understand where you're coming from now. If you want to understand my slice of CofE, think of it as an extremely reductionist view that only pays attention to Jesus and totally ignores Paul, Revelations, and the Old Testament, all of which I consider of historical and allegorical interest only.

Stepping out now. Said my piece.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 5:48 PM on November 27, 2004


I have no problem with Christians believing whatever they want to believe.

I have lots of problems with Christians attempting to impose their beliefs on me by passing laws (de jure or de facto) against things I or others do for "crimes" which harm no one except in some abstract, metaphysical conception of harming oneself or society in a way that only even exists if you happen to believe what Christians do, which I don't.

The degree to which I'm incensed by this depends on the how big a deal the law is, ranging from mild annoyance at not being able to buy liquor on a Sunday to severe irritation at laws against owning more than six dildos to outright rage at laws which could result in a child of mine being taken away because of who I happen to be in love with, or which could result in jail time for adult, consensual sex (and yes, such laws still exist, although at least the sodomy laws took a major hit a few years ago from which they will hopefully never recover.)

I am baffled as to how this could be considered intolerance.

And in my second paragraph, "Christians" could be replaced with whatever group happens to be applicable depending on the particular society, be it capitalists, Muslims, the Roman Empire, atheists, game show hosts, or even my fellow queers should society take such a radical turn that they actually do begin passing laws persecuting anyone.
posted by kyrademon at 5:53 PM on November 27, 2004


It's so much better when there are more of us here--i welcome you new folks with all my heart. : >

(we're like a big LGBT gang now or something!)
posted by amberglow at 5:56 PM on November 27, 2004


I have lots of problems with Christians attempting to impose their beliefs on me by passing laws (de jure or de facto) against things I or others do for "crimes" which harm no one except in some abstract, metaphysical conception of harming oneself or society in a way that only even exists if you happen to believe what Christians do, which I don't.

I think this, finally, sums up things on the homosexual side very well, without calling anyone an idiot.

Law should exist in order to protect people on this earth. Protection of people in the afterlife should not be an aspect of worldly law. That's the domain of religious proscriptions.

On preview:

It's so much better when there are more of us here--i welcome you new folks with all my heart. : >

(we're like a big LGBT gang now or something!)


I don't know if you're welcoming me or not. I'm new, but not gay.
posted by Bugbread at 6:06 PM on November 27, 2004


That's an interesting proposition. I think it fails, though when you look at the act of canonization -- Scripture, even Paul's words, are by faith considered to be God's words.

If you were Satan and you saw where the whole Christ thing was heading ("love one another" -- ie. the instantiation of heaven on earth), you would pull out all the stops: help a false apostle overthrow the real apostles, who were direct apostles of Christ or taught by his direct apostles; then ratify that false apostle's writings by canonizing them and declaring him a god-blessed saint; then help that false apostle's church become the dominant "Christian" church to the point of persecuting to the death all who dare challenge it; and, finally, when that church shows signs of falling into disregard, create a new breed of evangelist fundamentalists who will engage in wholesale persecution of people's personal freedoms.

All told, I find it a very plausible explanation for what has happened. Plausible in the same sort of way one discusses the plausibility of Superman versus Kryptonite, of course: in reality, it's just that many Christians are right bastards who love to use their religion to harm others.
It's so much better when there are more of us here--i welcome you new folks with all my heart

How is this any better? This thread hasn't been productive, it has been downright abusive.

Last thing this world needs is more hate, but that's pretty much all I've seen in the latter half of this discussion.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:25 PM on November 27, 2004


back in my partying, drinking, drugging etc. days.

I now know everything about konolia I needed to. Now it's all clear - clichéd, even, the hackneyed Augustinian transit from debauched libertinism to thou-shalt-nots. You see so much sin in the world because you project your own desires onto everyone else, because you assume everyone else is wired the way you are and that's what good for you must be right for all.

Well, I never needed your old addictions, and I certainly don't need the One Big Addiction you replaced them with.

If possible, I have less respect for you than ever before. More pity, but less respect.

(we're like a big LGBT gang now or something!)
One needn't be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered to know right from wrong, amber. I'm a Kinsey zero point zero and I'm right there with you.
posted by adamgreenfield at 6:30 PM on November 27, 2004


Well, all the namecalling was certainly worth it.

konolia, thanks for putting up with us. I disagree with you on just about everything, but your gentility is admirable. The rest of you, put a sock in it and go outside or something.
posted by PrinceValium at 6:39 PM on November 27, 2004


Krrlson, as usual, and like your brother in this tactic dhoyt, you don't even have the integrity to advance your own beliefs but instead hide in the shallow mockery of others' expressions.

I sincerely hope you have something to back up all that colourful invective. I'm waiting.
posted by Krrrlson at 6:39 PM on November 27, 2004


For what, punkin'?
posted by adamgreenfield at 6:42 PM on November 27, 2004


Links to my comments that support your claim, you lying fuck.
posted by Krrrlson at 6:43 PM on November 27, 2004


All of your comments support my claim, dear. You indict yourself.
posted by adamgreenfield at 6:45 PM on November 27, 2004


Oh, all right. Here you go.
posted by adamgreenfield at 6:46 PM on November 27, 2004


adam, you do realize that Fundamentalist's somewhat erroneous* perception of themselves as persecuted outsiders only gathers strength from verbal beatdowns like the ones administered here. It's possible to counter error without being gratuitously mean-spirited as your last comment.

*I say "somewhat" since while they are not persecuted, fundies are by no means a majority or even a plurality of americans, thus placing them outside the strict mainstream.
posted by jonmc at 6:48 PM on November 27, 2004


Ah - full of shit and yet blathering something about integrity. Jolly good work.
posted by Krrrlson at 6:48 PM on November 27, 2004


Hey, jonmc, I'm a tired man.

I'm tired of these retrograde bozos who run most of the world between 'em and want it all.

I'm tired of people who didn't have the self-awareness and self-control to just say no when they were kids now writing "no" into law. (About as tired as I am of them whoring around and daring to talk about abstinence, or sodomy, or both.)

I'm tired of them preaching murder and calling it love.

I'm tired of them trying to write prejudice and discrimination into my Constitution.

I'm tired of them looking up at me with big sad eyes and saying, ooohh, you're soooo mean to us, don't you know we're trying to make sure you know life everlasting?

They're afraid of their own bodies and they want to tell me what I can and can't do with mine? Uh-uh, I don't think so. Not on my goddamn watch.

I am sick to death of people praising konolia and her allies for their "gentility" and "restraint" and "class." konolia is a megalomaniacal, genocidal, delusional bully who likes to hide behind a mild persona and dispense the most vile sort of hatred, and I'm going to call that exactly as I see it while I still can and for as long as I can.

And, incidentally, I expect that the day will come when you will see where all that "gentility" and "restraint" was leading, and you'll see pretty clearly where you fit into their picture, and you won't like it even one tiny little bit.

And Krrlson, as for you, you're not even worth the eight seconds it took me to write this sentence. You don't even have the courage of your own vile beliefs.
posted by adamgreenfield at 7:01 PM on November 27, 2004


Vile beliefs, eh? I wish I knew what you were talking about. I've challenged you to provide a single shred of proof for your outlandish accusations and we've all seen the results. Here's your label of lying fuck again. Wear it with pride.
posted by Krrrlson at 7:11 PM on November 27, 2004


And that begins with assuming that positive change in people is possible.

It's so vanishingly rare that only the insane would rely upon it as the dominant tool for social change.
posted by rushmc at 7:20 PM on November 27, 2004


konolia is a megalomaniacal, genocidal, delusional bully

There's a Gilbert and Sullivan lyric in there somewhere.
posted by konolia at 7:20 PM on November 27, 2004


Adam, Krrrlson, please, stop shitting on the thread. If you have a big personal issue, take it to email. No need to air out dirty laundry in the discussion.

Konolia, a question for you:

Do you support legislation regarding issues whose only negative effects are spiritual / afterlifey?
posted by Bugbread at 7:53 PM on November 27, 2004


I am the very model of a modern fun-da-ment-al-ist,
I've information born-again, salvational, and mystical,
I know the apostles of Christ, and I quote the bible literal
From Leviticus to Revelations, in order categorical;
I'm very well acquainted, too, with matters liturgical,
I understand all the sins, both the venial and damnable,
About Christ's ressurection I'm teeming with a lot o' news,
With many cheerful facts about the salvation of the soul.

[apologies, Gilbert!]

Alternate version:

I am the very model of a modern fun-da-ment-al-ist,
I am a megalomaniacal, genocidal, delusional bully,
I know the apostles of Christ, and I quote the bible literal
From Leviticus to Revelations, in order categorical;
I'm very well acquainted, too, with matters liturgical,
I understand all the sins, both the venial and damnable,
About Christ's ressurection I'm teeming with a lot o' news,
With many cheerful facts about the salvation of the soul.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:59 PM on November 27, 2004


ON PREVIEW: Adam, the persecution of Christians, especially in other countries, is ongoing and current. Christians are dying in other countries, like Sudan, right now, today -- simply because they are Christians. Somehow, that sounds worse than me than a gay person not being allowed to married. I just respect life a whole lot.

Isn't this the old, "clean your plate, there are children starving in China" fallacy?

I don't think that there is some sort of limit on justice that says we can't take care of injustice in our back yard until we take care of worse injustices elsewhere.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:03 PM on November 27, 2004


I don't know if you're welcoming me or not. I'm new, but not gay.
I'm actually happy that all of you are here--even you straight (but cool) ones.


And that's a very good question. konolia?
posted by amberglow at 8:10 PM on November 27, 2004


konolia is a megalomaniacal, genocidal, delusional bully who likes to hide behind a mild persona and dispense the most vile sort of hatred, and I'm going to call that exactly as I see it while I still can and for as long as I can.

That's a fairly quick diagnosis, doctor.

I've known konolia in the cybersense outside this site, and I can tell you that she's never given any indication of having that type of personality, even though we've butted heads on issues occasionaly. She's even on record on MeFi as unequivocally condemning anti-gay violence and verbal abuse.

Sounds to me more like she's misguided than actually malicious. And that's somebody that just maybe I can communicate with and persuade.

you'll see pretty clearly where you fit into their picture, and you won't like it even one tiny little bit.

Actually, here and elsewehere, I've described plenty of my own personal beliefs and behaviors past and present that I'm sure she probably disapproves of, but she's never condemned me to hell or anything like that. So I couldn't tell you where I fit into her picture.

Adam, you're obviously on the side of the angels here, but let me float a theory. This is a fairly strongly anti-fundamentalist site (and correctly so, IMO, I might add). Konolia is one of very few outspoken christians here. So people have turned her into a dumping ground for all their pent up (and righteous, I might add) rage at fundamentalists, instead of dealing with her as an individual. And sometimes it's just too much to watch.

I may be naive or just plain stupid on this subject, or I may be not be communicating what I'm trying to say effectively. I recommend reading that Minkowitz book I mentioned upthread for a clearer picture of what I'm getting at. You're a smart guy, you probably understand what I'm trying to say better than I do. I just refuse to give up on reconciling these seemingly antagonistic factions.
posted by jonmc at 8:21 PM on November 27, 2004


Hmm. Mind if I take a shot at making it rhyme? (Note - all in good fun. Not intended to refer to anyone here.):

I am the very model of a modern Fundamentalist
I shun the whole Enlightenment as too experimentalist
I know the ten commandments and I think the Bible literal
So long as it refers to functions penial or clitoral.
I’m well acquainted with your sins, original or cardinal,
But if you think just like me, I may be inclined to pardon all,
Since after all, we must agree that all things are forgivable -
Unless your sin is sodomy or voting for a liberal

(Unless your sin is sodomy or voting for a liberal
Unless your sin is sodomy or voting for a liberal
Unless your sin is sodomy or voting for a liber- , liberalllllllllllllll!)

Some people think me bullying, maniacal, delusional,
So let me take this stanza to clear up all the confusion – all
I want is for the people with a differing morality
To perish promptly after they admit their criminality.
posted by kyrademon at 8:44 PM on November 27, 2004


It's so vanishingly rare that only the insane would rely upon it as the dominant tool for social change.

Fine, go get the straitjacket, your eminence.
posted by jonmc at 8:46 PM on November 27, 2004


So people have turned her into a dumping ground for all their pent up (and righteous, I might add) rage at fundamentalists, instead of dealing with her as an individual.

Jonmc, I asked her here to document precisely where in the many versions of the holy book her savior Jesus Christ gave us all relationship advice, specifically as it relates to this fellow not liking men kissing men and such.

Not words as quoted through his many disciples but actual first-person accounts. But she has said nothing.

So while I respect how "polite" she is, the fact of the matter is that she, like all other fundies here, can't line up her own deep-seated hatreds with what is in the many inconsistent versions of the bible.

If you're in the shoes of someone trying to understand this incongruity, and the other person sits tight and says nothing, how much credulity can you give that other person's viewpoint?

Or all Christians' viewpoints, for that matter, when they do things like eat shellfish but don't follow it up with a dessert of stoning women.

At some point, you step back, take a deep breath, and see these loonies for what they are.

Maybe you just can't reconcile with insane people, and in the meantime hope they don't hurt you and your loved ones.
posted by AlexReynolds at 8:47 PM on November 27, 2004


That was beautiful, kyrademon.

::wipes tear from eye::
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:52 PM on November 27, 2004


like all other fundies here, can't line up her own deep-seated hatreds with what is in the many inconsistent versions of the bible.

"all the other fundies here," yeah, all three of them.

I didn't say don't argue with 'em. God knows I have. But there comes a point where it just becomes bullying and mean spirited and this thread passed that a long time ago. I think we should rise above if for no other reason than to be the better person, so to speak.
posted by jonmc at 8:53 PM on November 27, 2004


To be fair, I'll take aim at myself, here, too:

I am the very model of a lib’ral homosexual
I’m vaguely neo-pagan and my gender’s re/con(text)ual
I hate the use of labels and know soon they will be shunned, I hope,
Except on my opponents, who are clearly crazy Fundie dopes.
I won’t live in a red state with the rednecks, losers, moonies, hicks,
And morons (never been there, but I’m sure they must be lunatics)
For, since my own opinions are completely right and sensible,
I find all those without them to be just incomprehensible.
posted by kyrademon at 9:11 PM on November 27, 2004


Kyrademon, that was sweet.

So while I respect how "polite" she is, the fact of the matter is that she, like all other fundies here, can't line up her own deep-seated hatreds with what is in the many inconsistent versions of the bible.

See, I'm not just seeing this bit where what she says indicates a "deep-seated hatred". It seems that just because she shares with the fundies a view of homosexuality as a sin, you're automatically ascribing fundie hate to her as well.

By the same token, you could say I used to be a rabid antisemite, because, just like Hitler, I didn't offer good reasons for being a vegetarian.

Of course, I'm exaggerating to make the example more clear. Konolia may have a deep-seated hatred of homosexuals. But I certainly haven't seen it. If you can point some links out to me, I would appreciate it. Without it, it just sounds like guilt by association.

Note, I'm no expert on Konolia. Her posting history may have some "homofags must die" comments. I just want (as you do, come to think of it) some evidence before signing her death writ.

Jonmc: Besides Konolia, who are the other two fundies? Nospecialfx seems to divert issues so much I really can't tell where he/she stands on homosexuality (except that the murder of people is worse than the harassment of people, which doesn't say much). Assuming he/she is number two, who is number three?
posted by Bugbread at 9:29 PM on November 27, 2004


Kyrademon: Ok, both of those were sweet. You are the resident poet laureate of my living room for the day.
posted by Bugbread at 9:31 PM on November 27, 2004


To those who ignore the anti-gay parts of the Bible because they are the words of St. Paul, not of Christ...

I put it to you that the ONLY reason to put the word of the Gospel above the words of Muhammad, Buddha or L. Ron Hubbard is if you believe it actually the WORD OF GOD, the ultimate truth. Otherwise it all begins to seem very, very unlikely. Saying that some of it is in fact not the perfect word of God, but the work of St. Paul, a flawed man with an agenda and the inaccuracies that his agenda entails, does not lend me to believe in the parts about walking on water, or feeding the 5000.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:41 PM on November 27, 2004


*lurks in the corner, awaits an opportunity to expose himself*
posted by quonsar at 9:44 PM on November 27, 2004


I knew Fundamentalists of Penzance would summon the q.
posted by exlotuseater at 11:20 PM on November 27, 2004


I hate the use of labels and know soon they will be shunned, I hope,
Except on my opponents, who are clearly crazy Fundie dopes.
I won’t live in a red state with the rednecks, losers, moonies, hicks,
And morons (never been there, but I’m sure they must be lunatics)


Stunning hypocrisy....admitting to it doesn't make it less hypocritical.
posted by SpaceCadet at 2:24 AM on November 28, 2004


SpaceCadet - You totally, totally, totally missed the point of that. It was a satire of that stance.
posted by Bugbread at 7:06 AM on November 28, 2004


Whoops! Indeed I did....my only defence is that with all the shouting on this thread, I took it literally. Sorry kyrademon.
posted by SpaceCadet at 8:03 AM on November 28, 2004


Well, I never needed your old addictions, and I certainly don't need the One Big Addiction you replaced them with.

Adam Greenfield is my new muse.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:05 AM on November 28, 2004


Y'all go read the last chapter of the book of Revelation. I'll be here when you come back.

Oh, sophie, that wasn't the part of the chapter I meant. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Konolia, I was trying to engage you in the way you asked and that's all I get from reading that fuckin' chapter in Revelations?

Oh yeah, and what Adam Greenfield said.
posted by sophie at 9:16 AM on November 28, 2004


'S all right, SpaceCadet. The shouting was one reason I wrote that, after all, and it won't be the first or the last time someone takes satire literally. Even Swift got accused of being a baby-eater.

Mmm. Babies.
posted by kyrademon at 9:38 AM on November 28, 2004


I think Konolia was stalling for time with that "Read the last chapter of Revelations" gambit. In a similar spirit: Konolia, go read the third chapter in 2001: A Space Odyssey. I'll be here when you get back.
posted by Bugbread at 10:13 AM on November 28, 2004


Applaudes kyrademon. Masterful!
posted by five fresh fish at 10:25 AM on November 28, 2004


The family is a kind of organization that must colonize its members, repress their desires, and give them complexes if it is to function as an organizing principle of contemporary society.

I don't know what the hell this has to do with the thread - but all the anger, the fast pace and hatred (by the way, for me, this issue is a no-brainer: gay rights all the way) reminded me of this interesting book (discussed in the link).

Please ignore if this comment is as stupid as I fear it might be.
posted by faux ami at 1:12 PM on November 28, 2004


it may be just the opposite of too stupid, faux ami : >

and you rock, kyra.
posted by amberglow at 1:49 PM on November 28, 2004


The sober guys at Ex-Gay Watch have a different take on this: they suspect that this blog is probably a fake published by one of the various ex-gay ministries currently enjoying a wealth of funding thanks to the current homophobic hysteria we're seeing at the moment.

We should not forget that the ex-gay movement, like all evangelical movements, is highly motivated and will stoop to any tactics, including the publication of blogs to push their own agenda - a typical PR stunt if ever there was one. It's certainly got everyone here talking about the fringe subject of reparative therapy when they would not normally do so. Let's not do these vile people's work for them.
posted by axon at 2:21 AM on November 29, 2004


good point, axon. I bet it is fake.

related: the Supremes today declined to hear a challenge to the Mass. wedding decision. (the 2nd time they stayed out of the fight)
posted by amberglow at 8:50 AM on November 29, 2004


Ah. So it's moneychangers in the temple all over again.

Goodness, I'm starting to sound like a broken record: that Christ was all about love; that Christ said himself to render unto Caesar; that he'd go apeshit on the churches today; that Paul was a successful Satan...
posted by five fresh fish at 10:43 AM on November 29, 2004


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