Gay Child Quiz
August 10, 2005 7:26 AM   Subscribe

Is My Child Becoming Homosexual? A helpful guide from the kind people at Focus on the Family. "Don’t wait until your daughter’s masculinized behavior or your son’s effeminate preferences get any worse!"
posted by adrober (309 comments total)
 

Coz its over fixation Barbie and interior design vs. obesity and vapid materiualism that are destroying this nation's youth!
posted by Mr Bluesky at 7:32 AM on August 10, 2005


Website of Organization of Idiots posts Idiocy. You were expecting erudition from this bunch perhaps?

Or did we post this so we can all work ourselves into a froth, and yell and rant, and pretend we're making a difference?
posted by jonmc at 7:32 AM on August 10, 2005


Guess who didn't spell check..sigh..reached for coffee
posted by Mr Bluesky at 7:33 AM on August 10, 2005


Oh God, I unthinkingly let my 5-year-old watch the whole season of Wickedly Perfect! Is there no hope?
posted by LarryC at 7:33 AM on August 10, 2005




I'm trying really hard to muster some sort of outrage but all I can do is stare at the screen in awe. Focus on the Family and their ilk have passed clean through self-parody and entered the realm of outright lunacy.

I especially like the part where they advise unconditional love before shipping your 'prehomosexual' child off to the happy funtime reeducation camp.
posted by cedar at 7:34 AM on August 10, 2005


Boy, you have to wonder what might make the teen feel “great waves of guilt accompanied by secret fears of divine retribution.” Surely not the parents, right?
posted by bitmage at 7:35 AM on August 10, 2005


Staggering to me that this:

A susceptibility to be bullied by other boys, who may tease them unmercifully and call them “queer,” “fag” and “gay.”

is supposed to be a sign that something is wrong with your child. Disgusting. As is usual, these guys side with the scum in picking on the weak.

(And just imagine what they'd make of long-hair Jesus, kissing Judas in the garden and talking in favor of the "meek." Toughen up, sport.)
posted by argybarg at 7:36 AM on August 10, 2005


sigh.
posted by glenwood at 7:41 AM on August 10, 2005


I like this part:

Remember that for many prehomosexual boys and girls, some of the characteristics may be more subtle:

* inability to bond with same-sex peers


Because gay men and women never bond or spend time with members of the same sex.
posted by jb at 7:42 AM on August 10, 2005


Literally at a loss for words. I'd like to mess up whoever wrote this list.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:42 AM on August 10, 2005


jonmc nailed it.

I read the FPP, instantly knew what I would see if I clicked the link (precognition is a wonderful talent!), and refused to give them the benefit of adding MY click to the "millions served" that they are going to advertise at some point.
Don't click the link!!!!
posted by HuronBob at 7:44 AM on August 10, 2005


(And just imagine what they'd make of long-hair Jesus, kissing Judas in the garden and talking in favor of the "meek." Toughen up, sport.)

This and John- the one whom Jesus "loved" resting on Jesus's breast, at the last supper.
posted by Jikido at 7:44 AM on August 10, 2005


is supposed to be a sign that something is wrong with your child. Disgusting. As is usual, these guys side with the scum in picking on the weak

For serious.
posted by Emperor Yamamoto's Eggs at 7:45 AM on August 10, 2005


This is so you can beat them to death, yes?
posted by Artw at 7:49 AM on August 10, 2005


This is so you can beat them to death, yes?

...In His Mercy.
posted by LordSludge at 7:51 AM on August 10, 2005


You know, it's easy for us to mock this and laugh at the loonie fundies with their nutty ideas. But these ideas and the group Focus on the Family are actively harmful. For many parents, loving well meaning parents, worrying that their child may be gay is a crisis. Not because they necessarily hate gay people, but because it's something new, strange, different. At that crisis moment parents reach out for some help. Hopefully they find something reasonable like PFLAG, but some of them are going to find this anti-gay message first. "Your child can be fixed". And some of them are going to clutch at that hope, pursue it.

It's the kids who suffer.
posted by Nelson at 7:54 AM on August 10, 2005


Do what now?
posted by kuperman at 7:55 AM on August 10, 2005


jonmc nailed it.

Only partially. Someone else needs to complain that this kind of elitism is why liberals keep losing elections.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:56 AM on August 10, 2005


Or did we post this so we can all work ourselves into a froth, and yell and rant, and pretend we're making a difference?
posted by jonmc at 7:32 AM PST on August 10


Well, this IS Metafilter, jon. Do we really need to ask that question?
posted by dios at 7:56 AM on August 10, 2005


Hmmmm. How many warning signs=gayitude?

In my wonder years I had 3 of the 7 signs (especially the one about getting picked on and called names). I guess I need to discuss this with my wife & kids...Thanks, Dr. Dobson!
posted by beelzbubba at 7:56 AM on August 10, 2005


"bouyant gaymotrons" - loliotrope!
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:58 AM on August 10, 2005


I must admit, I find the term "prehomosexual" to be accountably funny for some reason.
posted by jonmc at 7:58 AM on August 10, 2005


Won't this just result in more repressed homosexuality and Republicans being outed while in office? Okay, that works. It makes for amusing headlines.

I'm trying to muster outrage too but I think its been trumped by shock at how blatantly ugly and intolerant these people are. And how sadly misguided they are too.
posted by fenriq at 8:00 AM on August 10, 2005


"A tendency to cry easily,"... I sometimes wonder if people like Bush, Cheney et al. had been able to express their emotions as children (and be heard and nurtured!) they might have not turned into the heartless psychopaths, they are today.
posted by threehundredandsixty at 8:01 AM on August 10, 2005


Hmmm - have they not seen the film "But I'm a Cheerleader"?
posted by Chunder at 8:03 AM on August 10, 2005


Only partially. Someone else needs to complain that this kind of elitism is why liberals keep losing elections.

Okay, that was really funny.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:05 AM on August 10, 2005


Time to dispatch little Timmy the sissy to B.A.S.H.!
posted by MaxVonCretin at 8:06 AM on August 10, 2005


Oh, right. Sexual orientation as curable dysfunction...I think about a month ago we had an FPP on a kid who'd been sent to a reeducation camp to be "rescued" -- I wonder how that turned out.
posted by alumshubby at 8:07 AM on August 10, 2005


jonmc, I thought that was a funny term as well but have to say I prefer pre-ejaculate instead.
posted by fenriq at 8:07 AM on August 10, 2005


It actually made me think of "preschooler," or "pre-med."

"What's your major?"
"Pre-Homosexual."
"Lotta required courses for that, I hear"
posted by jonmc at 8:10 AM on August 10, 2005


My paradox sense is tingling. If a small child's behavior can mark him or her as a "prehomosexual," doesn't that go against the party line that claims homosexuality is a choice?
posted by aaronetc at 8:11 AM on August 10, 2005


"Call to make an appointment with a professional therapist who believes change is possible. Work patiently with that therapist in redirecting your child’s prehomosexual behaviors. To find a qualified therapist, contact one of these organizations:"


These people reeeeeeally go a long way defining their own reality.

posted by mr.curmudgeon at 8:11 AM on August 10, 2005


XQUZYPHYR, my point still stands. FOF are a bunch of boneheaded bigots, but we could righteously rage about them all day and accomplish nothing except making myself feel better that I'm not like them. I prefer to a)examine my own behavior regarding this subject, and direct my verbiage on it towards people who can be reached.
posted by jonmc at 8:12 AM on August 10, 2005


Jesus wants you to know that it's never too late to change your major.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:12 AM on August 10, 2005


I think about a month ago we had an FPP on a kid who'd been sent to a reeducation camp to be "rescued" -- I wonder how that turned out.

Teenage blogger released from "ex-gay" camp

"Zach now says that "homosexuality is still a factor in my life—it's not who I am, it never has been." He also claims that Love in Action, the group that runs Refuge, has been misrepresented. But he stood behind his original posts, which questioned the program and its methods. Zach deleted the original Web log entries that received national media attention."

Advocate
posted by Jikido at 8:17 AM on August 10, 2005


I assume pre-bisexuals are double majors. Sheesh, whatta buncha grinds.
posted by jonmc at 8:17 AM on August 10, 2005



I am disgusted, but I appreciate the posting so I am aware of this attitude. I struggle with the attitude this website portrays being acceptable, somehow it comes across as a reasonable way of thinking and is a credit to their marketing and presentation, which is so so sad. Many people will be swayed by this drivel.

Personally I would like a digital-jihad on their electronic resources.
posted by fluffycreature at 8:18 AM on August 10, 2005


Many people will be swayed by this drivel.

Perhaps. But less and less all the time, due to increased visibility of gays both in the media and IRL. The old chant was "we're here, we're queer, get used to it!" and people are, more than ever before. That's not to say that we should lay back on these issues, just that I'm optimistic that we'll ultimately prevail.
posted by jonmc at 8:21 AM on August 10, 2005


Main Entry: ver·biage

Etymology: French, from Middle French verbier to chatter, from verbe speech, from Latin verbum word

1 : a profusion of words usually of little or obscure content
posted by gorgor_balabala at 8:26 AM on August 10, 2005


Jonmc, it may look that way from NYC, and I hope you are right. But here in flyover country this stuff is mainstream.
posted by LarryC at 8:28 AM on August 10, 2005


I'm lived other places, LarryC, and there's parts of NYC as provincial as any Oklahoma hamlet. And I've got realtives in rural New England and Southern Illinois. The worm is turning. Not as fast as I'd like, but it's happening.
posted by jonmc at 8:30 AM on August 10, 2005


Marchers: We're here! We're queer! Get used to it!
Lisa: You do this every year! We are used to it.
Marcher: Spoilsport!
-- "Jaws Wired Shut"
posted by grahamwell at 8:32 AM on August 10, 2005


aaronetc, good point. How can it be a choice if a child can exhibit symptoms? Not like they'd let a little thing like a logical paradox stop their crusade against Teh Gay. But its always nice to have a bazooka to fire back at them.
posted by fenriq at 8:33 AM on August 10, 2005


Hell this kind of thing is why I love freedom of speech. With a free exchange of ideas, assholes become self identifying. Self-labeled psychos are a wonderful benefit of our system.

I'm not at all worried about people being "swayed" by this. If you are worried about them winning supporters, vote pro-education spending. This type of obvious blather melts under the slightest critical overview.
posted by BeerGrin at 8:36 AM on August 10, 2005


Personally I would like a digital-jihad on their electronic resources

It's important to remember that our valued freedom of speech applies to everyone. DOS-attacks are for script-kiddies. Instead of blocking their speech, why not counter it with your own speech? Open dialog and debate is better than trying to shut someone up.
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 8:37 AM on August 10, 2005


Man, I gotta set myself up as a psychologist that turns kids straight. Then I can say "Hey, look, so long as you live in your parents' house, keep this on the down-low. They're fundamentalist lunatics and the rest of the world isn't like them. Bide your time, then go to college and suck cock like it's your job. In the meantime, I'll split the money your folks are paying me with you, so that you can save up to get the hell out of here."
At $100 a session, I guarantee results.
posted by klangklangston at 8:37 AM on August 10, 2005 [1 favorite]


So, essentially, they are going after smaller kids than Zach now. Aren't there laws against this sort of thing?

So if someone calls your kid 'faggot', it means your kid needs help! Clearly, nothing wrong with the bully. Bullies are okay, as, apparently, they are exclusively straight.

Reminds me of that guy in Florida that beat his toddler to death because the kid acted gay. Saved THAT one from being queer, he did!
posted by Goofyy at 8:42 AM on August 10, 2005


For what it's worth, I would have only exhibited the first two "warning signs." It seems like these are really signs that your son is going to be a wimp or stylish or transgender or an alienated poet or something -- not necessarily that he's going to want to have sex with or fall in love with men.
posted by digaman at 8:44 AM on August 10, 2005


"You got your mind right, Luke?"

"Yes, Boss. I got it right."

"Supposin' you was to backslide on us, Luke? Supposin' you was to backsass or try to run again..."

"No, Boss! I won't. I won't. I got my mind right. I got it right, Boss. Please don't hit me no more."
posted by caddis at 8:46 AM on August 10, 2005


What a gay website.
posted by wakko at 8:49 AM on August 10, 2005


Focus on the Family are so clueless... how is anyone going to identify a pre-homosexual with this list?

1. A strong feeling that they are “different” from other boys.

1. A strong feeling that they, you know, like other boys.

2. A tendency to cry easily, be less athletic, and dislike the roughhousing that other boys enjoy.

2. Having a strong interest in body building, liking a little too much roughhousing with other boys.

3. A persistent preference to play female roles in make-believe play.

3. A persistent preference for Broadway musicals... and gladiator films.

4. A strong preference to spend time in the company of girls and participate in their games and other pastimes.

4. A strong preference to spend time in the company of other boys. (A dead giveaway.)

5. A susceptibility to be bullied by other boys, who may tease them unmercifully and call them “queer,” “fag” and “gay.”

5. A susceptibility to bully other boys about how they dress.

6. A tendency to walk, talk, dress and even “think” effeminately.

6. A tendency to comb his hair, avoid denim, use hair mousse, and even "think" about his clothing.

7. A repeatedly stated desire to be — or insistence that he is — a girl.


7. A repeated desire to be - or insistence that he is - one of the village people. Or a cowboy.
posted by three blind mice at 8:50 AM on August 10, 2005


Oh, my god. I'm gay.

How will I break the news to my wife. All this time I thought I was just the class nerd, but no the feeling that I was "different," the tendency not to want to play "smear the queer" with the other boys, the games of house, the desire to be around girls, the other boys calling me "fag," the tendency to actually be sensitive to others' feelings, and all those times I said, "Jeez, how come the girls don't have to do [insert manual labor chore assigned by authority figure with double standard and supporting learned helplessness], I wish I was a friggin' girl."

It all makes sense now. How will I break the news to my wife?
posted by Pollomacho at 8:54 AM on August 10, 2005


"The truth is, Dad is more important than Mom. Mothers make boys. Fathers make men.… Girls can continue to grow in their identification with their mothers. On the other hand, a boy has an additional developmental task — to disidentify from his mother and identify with his father."

This saddens me.
posted by Otis at 8:58 AM on August 10, 2005


This saddens me.

Homo.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:01 AM on August 10, 2005


A repeatedly stated desire to be — or insistence that he is — a girl.

A repeated tendency to make things seem more important -- or to constantly be tripping on them -- than they are.
posted by nervousfritz at 9:03 AM on August 10, 2005


I love this thread...

...which is full of men...

...time for re-Nedification.
posted by thewittyname at 9:10 AM on August 10, 2005


On the side nav there's also this 'helpful' article: "How to Prevent Homosexuality"... oy! What they don't know they can't think about, yet somehow they think they know.

What a buncha dingleberries!!!
posted by mrhappysad at 9:16 AM on August 10, 2005


“Masculinity is an achievement.” In other words, “growing up straight isn’t something that happens. It requires good parenting. It requires societal support. And it takes time.”

Heh, heh, *sigh*.
posted by Floydd at 9:20 AM on August 10, 2005


I was at the store the other day and I overheard some women talking about a baby one of them had. The mother said loud enough so we could hear as we walked by "She better not be a tomboy!" and everyone nodded.

The way it was said, the way others agreed, it was almost as if she was saying "I hope to god she doesn't turn out gay."
posted by mathowie at 9:21 AM on August 10, 2005


> That's not to say that we should lay back on these issues.

Absolutely not. We should lay defiantly on our bellies,
pillows clenched firmly between our teeth and take it
like *real* men...
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:23 AM on August 10, 2005


jonmc...

"That's not to say that we should lay back on these issues,"

Uh, no, on second thought I am so not going to go there!
posted by Mike D at 9:25 AM on August 10, 2005


"The truth is, Dad is more important than Mom. Mothers make boys. Fathers make men.… Girls can continue to grow in their identification with their mothers. On the other hand, a boy has an additional developmental task — to disidentify from his mother and identify with his father."
My father divorced my mother when I was about ten. I must be turning into a homo as we speak!
posted by Citizen Premier at 9:26 AM on August 10, 2005


Question: Why is it wrong for someone to think that being homosexual is morally wrong?
posted by psychotic_venom at 9:26 AM on August 10, 2005


Question: Why is it wrong for someone to think that being homosexual is morally wrong?

The same reason it's wrong for someone to think that being born with a third nipple is morally wrong.
posted by glenwood at 9:28 AM on August 10, 2005


glenwood: what if it is your religious belief, and the morality defined by a given religion says that homosexuality is morally wrong?
posted by psychotic_venom at 9:31 AM on August 10, 2005


Question: Why is it wrong for someone to think that having blue eyes is morally wrong?
posted by spilon at 9:32 AM on August 10, 2005


2. The motto of the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) is: “Sex before eight or else it’s too late.” While most homosexual publications haven’t endorsed NAMBLA, they also haven’t condemned it.

Haha! Nice one. Can I get my choir robe back now?
posted by onanon at 9:35 AM on August 10, 2005


A: For the same reason that thinking a left-handed person is morally wrong.

Not that there's anything wrong with being a southpaw, mind you.

On preview: glenwood and spilon beat me to it

p_v: then it's up to each individual of that religion to question that belief and decide whether or not they agree.

However, that's not the issue that most of us are displaying righteous indignation over -- it's that this organization is spreading misinformation and claiming that homosexuality is a choice and that you can nip it in the bud if you'll just play more catch with your son. (As a friend of mine's father said to him when he came out.)
posted by papercake at 9:35 AM on August 10, 2005


heh, you could never afford me, Peter McDermott.
posted by jonmc at 9:36 AM on August 10, 2005


spilon: But let's say the religion (there is more than one) does teach homosexuality, murder, and lying are morally wrong, but that eye color, skin color, and social status are morality-neutral. Then what?
posted by psychotic_venom at 9:37 AM on August 10, 2005


Football is just around the corner. My oldest boy is now 13. Going to be watching him very carefully for the signs come noon these next Sundays. Will he sprawl out on the couch with one hand down his pants? Has he used the offseason to work on his vowel sounds when he belches? Will he (gasp) apologize when he farts? Worst case scenario: These therapy sessions aren't scheduled on Sundays, right?
posted by hal9k at 9:37 AM on August 10, 2005


psychotic_venom: Well, at some point, you're going to have to start critically considering your morality. God gave us free will for a reason; if you can see a real reason why homosexuality is morally wrong (and none of that "bad for society, we MUST reproduce" stuff), do tell. I've been to two churches for eight years and the best answer anyone gave was somewhere between "It's icky!" and "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!"
posted by 235w103 at 9:37 AM on August 10, 2005


Remember psychotic_venom, religion is pretend.
posted by MotherTucker at 9:40 AM on August 10, 2005


The term 'prehomosexual' is some wonderful Orwellian doublespeak. I look forward to seeing 'preliberal' eventually.
posted by nixerman at 9:41 AM on August 10, 2005


Psychologist Robert Stoller said, “Masculinity is an achievement.” In other words, “growing up straight isn’t something that happens. It requires good parenting. It requires societal support. And it takes time.”

Methinks Robert Stoller is really struggling with something here...
posted by maryh at 9:42 AM on August 10, 2005


if you can see a real reason why homosexuality is morally wrong (and none of that "bad for society, we MUST reproduce" stuff), do tell

So you want a group of people to defend their beliefs to you, but you have already unilaterally decided that a number of their reasons are insufficient based on your own personal belief. Sounds like a good way to partake in a dialogue.
posted by dios at 9:43 AM on August 10, 2005


jonmc: Website of Organization of Idiots posts Idiocy... did we post this so we can all work ourselves into a froth, and yell and rant, and pretend we're making a difference?

I can see this point, yet on the other hand, I found the guide sort of illuminating. I didn't expect to agree with its suggestions, but I didn't expect it to be a ludicrously broad checklist for the Witchfinder General, either. It's crazier than I expected, and that's educational, in a way. Know thy enemy, and all that.
posted by Western Infidels at 9:46 AM on August 10, 2005


No, dios, if you apply common sense you can see the difference (A) Homosexuality is morally wrong. and (B) Homosexuality is morally wrong because ... The challenge still stands, dios. Provide some sort of justification for the belief that homosexuality is morally wrong.
posted by nixerman at 9:46 AM on August 10, 2005


The term 'prehomosexual' is some wonderful Orwellian doublespeak.
posted by nixerman at 9:41 AM PST on August 10


Orwell never used a term called "doublespeak." If he did, the term probably would have meant saying one thing, but meaning the opposite. So, what would the opposite of "prehomosexual" be, if that is what is meant through "doublespeak."

I don't mean to nitpick, but the bastardization, overuse, and lazy cliche-ing of Orwell runs counter to everything he stood for.
posted by dios at 9:47 AM on August 10, 2005


psychotic_venom: Perhaps, then, we should burn all the homos at the stake. I mean, the Church said to do that, too. Or maybe we should drown the gays, like the witches. Because the Church said that that was a good idea. Or maybe we should enslave them. The Church didn't have any problem with that for a good while.
posted by papercake at 9:47 AM on August 10, 2005


Oh noes!!11! If what I just read is correct, Jesus Is Teh Gay!

I'm going to have to go give god a fag-bashing now. Back in an hour!
posted by five fresh fish at 9:48 AM on August 10, 2005


So, what would the opposite of "prehomosexual" be, if that is what is meant through "doublespeak."

posthomosexual? No, wait that's a man who likes to have sex with male poles. No, wait....
posted by jonmc at 9:48 AM on August 10, 2005


psychotic_venom: What if, instead, your religion teaches that left-handedness is morally wrong? Would you accept that?
posted by LordSludge at 9:49 AM on August 10, 2005


dios, please. You've really got to try harder. The term 'Orwellian' is widely understood to apply to a mode of speaking and not just direct quotations from Orwell's writing.
posted by nixerman at 9:50 AM on August 10, 2005


I wonder why they don't have a section on teaching your children how not to turn into this.
posted by WaterSprite at 9:51 AM on August 10, 2005


papercake : so you're saying we all get to decide our own relative morality?
posted by psychotic_venom at 9:51 AM on August 10, 2005




Hate is hate... hiding behind the Bible doesn't suddenly make it okay or beyond reproach.

You're just a racist, but replacing blacks with gays.
posted by BobFrapples at 9:52 AM on August 10, 2005


nixerman:

Your first comment to me appears to be a refutation of my first comment, but I don't see how it has to do at all with what I said to the guy with the Reporter name.

Your second comment to me didn't address my point regarding the misuse of "Orwellian" and "doublespeak." If you mean double speak, what the opposite of "pre-homosexual?"
posted by dios at 9:53 AM on August 10, 2005


dios, beliefs based on intolerance and ignorance aren't beliefs worth keeping. I know people who "hate" black people even though they've never met one in person. They hate from a position of ignorance, that's not a belief worth defending.

"It's icky" isn't a reason to condemn homosexuality. Its a tawdry little excuse to condemn those who don't live as others do. Without any real substantive argument against homosexuality there really isn't any need or room for debate.


jonmc, posthomosexual is a "successful" graduate of the sexual re-education camps. He thinks he likes girls, for now. Which, of course, gives rise to pre-post-prehomosexual warning signs, when the brainwashing isn't holding as well as it could and should. Or the fact that using guilty, repetition and threat of hell to suppress someone's natural sexual nature is bound to fail eventually.
posted by fenriq at 9:53 AM on August 10, 2005


fenriq said it better than I.
posted by BobFrapples at 9:54 AM on August 10, 2005


psychotic_venom: what if it is your religious belief, and the morality defined by a given religion says that homosexuality is morally wrong?

If your only justification for classifying something as moral or immoral is that some religion says it is so, where does that leave you? Anyone can make up a new religion, call its tenets "morality," and justify anything at all that way. That's not morality, that's just an elaborate disguise for moral relativism. It's an attitude that's demeaning to both morality and religion, frankly.
posted by Western Infidels at 9:55 AM on August 10, 2005


Ergh. Dios, the reason I don't accept that it's bad for society to have members who do not reproduce is simply because shit, man, have you seen India lately? China? The only place where I can see this being an issue is maybe Europe, where birth rates are declining- I'm not sure what the stats are here. And if someone is going to say, "God doesn't like homosexuality!", I want them to be able to explain why; also, saying that it goes against his divine plan is sort of a cop out, as who knows what that is.
So, seriously, what's the reason?
posted by 235w103 at 9:57 AM on August 10, 2005


...Am...am I the guy with the Reporter name?
posted by 235w103 at 9:58 AM on August 10, 2005


Well, Freud made a scientific argument about the definicency of homosexuality through his scientific and reasoning process. So, are you calling Freud ignorant?

Hell, you could say that Darwin made an argument against homosexuality, not a moral argument, but a scientific argument about how it is not optimal, and therefore inferior. I suppose Darwin would be ignorant, though.

My point is not to defend these people's beliefs, because I don't share them. My point is this: some people believe different from you and for different reasons. Disagree with them. Explain why your viewpoints are better. But don't argue that they are not allowed to hold a counterviewpoint based on your personal rejection of the acceptability of that viewpoint. And go back and look at what my original comment was directed towards before making the incorrect assumption that I am defending the beliefs of the people in the post.
posted by dios at 10:00 AM on August 10, 2005


dios:

Well, hmm. You said:

So you want a group of people to defend their beliefs to you, but you have already unilaterally decided that a number of their reasons are insufficient based on your own personal belief. Sounds like a good way to partake in a dialogue.

Well, this of course is complete nonsense. The fundies that wage war on homosexuality never defend their beliefs. They simply assert that homosexuality is wrong. They provide zero moral justification for such a position. So, no, it's not a matter of deciding that their reasons are insufficient it's more along the lines that they have no reasons. The entire complaint against homosexuality is completely based on a single Biblical interpretation. This is why people who say "homosexuality is wrong" aren't saying anything meaningful. Their definition of 'wrong' is just what happens to have made it into the bible.

As for the 'Orwellian doublespeak' nonsense, it's quite clear the word 'prehomosexual' is just propaganda. It implies that homosexuality is some sort of disease that can be prevented or manipulated out of kids. Nobody with any sort of common sense would hold this view. Much like 'partial-birth abortion' it's another attempt to conclude the argument before it's even begun.
posted by nixerman at 10:01 AM on August 10, 2005


Dios, about Orwell: I once tried to argue with a fellow on the myspace religion forums who kept insisting that the strongly religious should all be rounded up and killed, because they refuse to grow mentally. His moniker was "Thoughtcriminal." I found this pleasantly ironic.
posted by Citizen Premier at 10:01 AM on August 10, 2005


nixerman, a logic challenge: Explain why murder is wrong. I'm not anti-homosexual in any way, but I don't think "morality" is something concrete.
posted by Citizen Premier at 10:02 AM on August 10, 2005


...Am...am I the guy with the Reporter name?
posted by 235w103 at 9:58 AM PST on August 10


Yes, I was referring to you. I looked at your profile just now, and I see that I was wrong in the characterization of your name. I had wrongly assumed it was a citation to a case reporter. When I saw it, I saw 235 W. 103, and my mind immediately read that as a case site such as 345 S.W.2d 103 or 851 F. Supp.2d 111.

So yes, I was talking to you :)
posted by dios at 10:04 AM on August 10, 2005


Darwin made an argument against homosexuality? Sure, maybe if you completely misunderstand Darwin because he actually said no such thing. As for the argument that homosexuality is 'unnatural', it's a naturalistic fallacy and easily dismissed.

Freud is slightly more interesting but again, you're wrong. Freud does not condemn homosexuals, he does not believe it is morally wrong, and while he believes it to be a 'pathology' he does not believe it can be cured.

Any others?
posted by nixerman at 10:05 AM on August 10, 2005


Western Infidels: I see your point. And it's a good one. I would counter it with this: we're all born predisposed to lying and that doesn't mean we don't see it as wrong.

Sexuality is a little different, but in many ways--it's just not. We're still predisposed to doing things that are wrong--and just because we're predisposed doesn't make it "right".

I include myself in the set of people this applies to...
posted by psychotic_venom at 10:06 AM on August 10, 2005


psychotic_venom: But let's say the religion (there is more than one) does teach homosexuality, murder, and lying are morally wrong . . .

Uh, which of these things is not like the other?

psychotic_venom: so you're saying we all get to decide our own relative morality?

Not necessarily. But I would say that any faith that teaches intolerance towards something that is inborn is evil. Plenty of Christian Identity types claim that the Bible teaches them to disdain other races. That they base their racism on religion does not save them from the label "bigots."
posted by LarryC at 10:07 AM on August 10, 2005


Doublespeak - Deliberately ambiguous or evasive language; any language that pretends to communicate but actually does not.

Wasn't coined by Orwell (like Newspeak, Oldspeak, Duckspeak, and Doublethink were) but it also doesn't mean "the opposite of."

I think "Orwellian Newspeak" is what the poster meant to say.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:09 AM on August 10, 2005


I'm not sure how I'm supposed to engage in debate with those who will willingly send their children to what amount to re-education camps. My instincts tell me to fly into a bezerker rage and inflict +10 damage, but James Dobson has much higher charisma points.
I'm not arguing that these people should somehow be forced to change their minds; my entire point is, if you're objectively assessing your moral code, at some point, you're going to need to answer a few questions.
And, in any case, I've been firmly convinced that debate has never convinced anyone of anything. Jesus Christ, how long have you been on here, and how long has anyone else who is moderately politically talkative been on here, and how much have you been convinced by others arguments and how many have been convinced by yours?
posted by 235w103 at 10:10 AM on August 10, 2005


nixerman, you are just dismissing things out-of-hand. Which is my point. There are arguments that can be made, but you just dismiss them out of hand. One could easily point to Darwin's theory and make the sub-optimal argument. But you just dismiss it as not sufficient based on your personal beliefs and your understanding of Darwin.

Freud makes a very clear argument about the inferiority of homosexuality based on the Pleasure Principle and his knowledge of biology. It's the reason he saw it as a pathology. But again, you dismiss it out of hand.

So, to return to my point, you are demanding a defense of something, but you are dismissing any asserted defense out of hand and forestalling arguments based on your personal views. Not much of a way to have a dialogue.
posted by dios at 10:10 AM on August 10, 2005


Not all newspeak (which is obviously what nixerman meant) words meant their opposite conventional meaning. See "crimethink" or "bellyfeel." The point is that the language used controls the thoughts that are thinkable to a certain extent.

"prehomosexual" fits in just fine, as it is a neologism that intentionally connotes as implicit fact a lot of other ideas, like the pseudo-Freudian theories of sexual development, the idea that the process can be intentionally disrupted, and the idea that such interference is desirable. Now, these ideas are not directly implied by the word "prehomosexual," but are clearly part of the "frame" that the word evokes.

Incidentally, "doublethink" referred to holding two conflicting ideas simultaneously. (This is a necessary skill to have if you want to be both a conservative and Bush supporter.)
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:11 AM on August 10, 2005




Pollomacho: "doublespeak" isn't a word coined by Orwell. It is a bastardization of two ideas used by Orwell: Doublethink and Newspeak. If it is a bastardization of those two thoughts, then it must mean what those thoughts forced together would mean: that a term is used to mean the opposite of what it says.
posted by dios at 10:13 AM on August 10, 2005


Hell, you could say that Darwin made an argument against homosexuality, not a moral argument, but a scientific argument about how it is not optimal, and therefore inferior. I suppose Darwin would be ignorant, though.

Dios, do you know anything about biology or Darwinian theory? I mean, at all? Do you know how ignorant you sound with the comment above?
posted by Rothko at 10:13 AM on August 10, 2005


My point is not to defend these people's beliefs, because I don't share them. My point is this: some people believe different from you and for different reasons. Disagree with them. Explain why your viewpoints are better.

Perhaps you could provide some suggestions about how you "explain" to a fundamentalist that his literal interpretations of a magical book taken entirely on faith are incorrect? They aren't even going to accept a debate framed in "rational" terms, so what is the point exactly?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:16 AM on August 10, 2005


I dunno... I was a big sissy in school and I generally disliked games where the object was to inflict pain. Yet I turned out hetero - despite what FoF would predict.

However - *if* I were gay, I would much rather think that I had the choice, not that it was something biology foisted on me. I'm much prefer to say, "Hell YES I chose this and if you don't like it, you can go screw" than, "Yeah, I'm gay because I was born with it..." I'd rather pick it up and wear it proudly than carry it like a burden.

Easy for me to say. I'm "the man".
posted by ImJustRick at 10:17 AM on August 10, 2005




dios:

Um, no. The sub-optimal argument is not an "argument." Again, it is based on a natturalistic fallacy. You keep saying people are dismissing 'arguments' but arguments that are not philosophically sound are to be rejected. That's how the whole dialogue thing works.

And, no, you're still wrong about Freud. At best, Freud considered homosexuality more along the lines of a 'mutation' or 'perversion'. He did not think it was a pathology in the sense that we might cure it.

So, again, you're just spouting nonsense. Nobody here is dismissing anything here. When any of the fundies can provide a sound argument that homosexuality is morally wrong then we can in fact begin a dialogue.
posted by nixerman at 10:17 AM on August 10, 2005


Dios,
Jeesh - haven't seen Freud's scientific methodology waved about triumphantly in a good while. Are we talking Sigmund -"data" comes from freely associated thoughts - Freud?
And since it's taken me about 3 secs to manufacture a Darwinian defence of homosexuality as an optimal trait, surely it can't have taken you more than two?
posted by Jody Tresidder at 10:18 AM on August 10, 2005


Perhaps you could provide some suggestions about how you "explain" to a fundamentalist that his literal interpretations of a magical book taken entirely on faith are incorrect? They aren't even going to accept a debate framed in "rational" terms, so what is the point exactly?

You could tell him that his magic book also commands him to love thy neighbor, judge not lest ye be judged, remove the plank in one's eye..etc.

just sayin'...
posted by jonmc at 10:19 AM on August 10, 2005


From the above link...
"Dobson ... explains that if your boy is experiencing several of these signs, you must rush him off to seek professional help immediately. Dobson doesn't make it quite clear how professional help is going to change the child, since sexual orientation is, according to all reputable sources, immutable. But imagine the fun your four-year-old will have when he is rushed off to a psychiatrist because he plays with his sister, he's not as athletic as other boys, and the kid next door made fun of him.

Here's another idea: think back on your childhood. Were you ever a male between the ages of 4 and 11? Did you ever display any of these signs? Are you actually gay? Thanks to Dobson's Seven Steps, for the first time, you can tell.

After all, look at John Roberts. He wants to have a job where he dresses up in long robes. What could be gayer than that?"
posted by ericb at 10:19 AM on August 10, 2005


Darwin doesn't really make an argument for or against anything -- I mean, he makes an argument in favor of the truth of the origin of species by means of natural selection, but that's just that -- "this is how I think certain things came about", not how they should. It's not a theory to be a applied as right and wrong, merely as observation. It's not a theory you can apply and say what's right and wrong.

Science is nothing more than observation of what is out there. Homosexuality is right according to science -- people do, in fact, have intercourse with people of their own sex. Big freakin' deal.
posted by dagnyscott at 10:20 AM on August 10, 2005


Nothing is True; Everything is Permissible.
posted by exlotuseater at 10:21 AM on August 10, 2005




So you want a group of people to defend their beliefs to you, but you have already unilaterally decided that a number of their reasons are insufficient based on your own personal belief.

I'd be interested in a defense of why you think homosexuals should be discriminated against, dios. If you can provide a "it's bad for society" line of reasoning that makes any sense, I'll listen. And tell you what; for ease in response, you could defend the policy at issue, instead of just being forced into the position of "I hate gays." I define the basic question to be:

"Gay children should be identified early and psychologically treated to make them straight."
posted by norm at 10:23 AM on August 10, 2005


LarryC: We naturally lie, steal, mock, cheat, and generally act selfishly. I'd say each of those things are "inborn" but I'd also say each of them is wrong. There is also a difference in being born with blue eyes and having an in-born preference to only talk to blue-eyed people, wouldn't you agree?
posted by psychotic_venom at 10:24 AM on August 10, 2005


There are some interesting points here that are too far off the curriculum to be considered I guess.

1. It seems like these are really signs that your son is going to be a wimp or stylish or transgender or an alienated poet or something -- not necessarily that he's going to want to have sex with or fall in love with men.

This segues nicely to some interesting conversations had on the blue about whether homophobes (I hate the term, but it seems truer to form of late) hate the activities actually involved in homosexuality (ie: sex with same-sex partner) or the behaviours they think are associated -- ie: less-than-masculine behaviour from men, masculine behaviour from women. This from countless observations of "grudging acceptance" from homophobes of "those manly gays" who basically watch sports, hold many of the same views, and have the muscled, masculine body type, and the reverse, the denigration of feminine males regardless of actual sexual orientation. Is this entirely about sexual activity, or is it really about sexual typing? (note: I am not talking about the church but individual discomfort/fear/anger over homosexuals)

2. Not a particularly lucid argument happening with psychotic_venom. He asked a good question -- supposing that we start with no premises. Why is it wrong, believing what the chuch does, to condemn homosexuality? (my words, not his). Answers:
- well, I guess burning them should be alright, too (no -- he was talking about determination of morality, not the whole church canon; his question stands)
- would it be ok for the church to condemn blue eyes/left-handedness, etc, etc, etc. good answer provided that we take genetic determination as a given -- which was implied but not stated (and so not challenged).

Have I been completely asleep at the wheel? (admittedly, this is not my area of political activity, but I try to keep up) I remember genetic determination being argued against "choice", but though the whole of MeFi seems to agree that the former is true, is this the result of science or political convenience? Of course, the harder (but nobler, IMHO) argument to make would be that homosexuality might be a choice, but it would be no more wrong as any other sexual choice involving consenting adults -- but of course you don't have to face that at all if it isn't a choice because suddenly it isn't "curable". In the face of so much that humans want to deny genetic determination and scream "free will!" to the heavens, I find this interesting.

on preview: I see mention of Darwin. This would be an interesting offshoot if anyone would actually be willing to tackle the determination issue. Of course there has been pressure for homosexuals to marry and produce -- but this makes it seem like homophobia is the characteristic which keeps the "gay gene" alive. Across millions of years, one would think that even a slight genetic disinclination to reproduce would weed out that gene, no? Can we put aside politics for a minute to just discuss the issues?
posted by dreamsign at 10:27 AM on August 10, 2005


If you mean double speak, what the opposite of "pre-homosexual?"

The word "prehomosexual" implies that someone possesses some qualities that are likely to cause him or her to be homosexual. However, the people using this word also tell us that homosexuality is a choice. That is the doublespeak.

So you want a group of people to defend their beliefs to you, but you have already unilaterally decided that a number of their reasons are insufficient based on your own personal belief.

I have no personal belief in question. I simply have no evidence to indicate that homosexuality is immoral. I would think the burden of proof would fall upon those who say it is.

what if it is your religious belief, and the morality defined by a given religion says that homosexuality is morally wrong?

To me, that's roughly analogous to the Nuremberg Defense - "I was only following orders." I have a brain, and can reason, and should not accept what others tell me without subjecting their statements to reason. But then again, I'm an atheist who was brought up as Christian; I don't think that any religion withstands critical analysis sufficiently for me to accept it.

But let's say the religion (there is more than one) does teach homosexuality, murder, and lying are morally wrong, but that eye color, skin color, and social status are morality-neutral. Then what?

Then I would have to question the value judgments made by that religion. After all, without subscribing to any religious beliefs I can understand why murder and lying might be wrong. I can clearly perceive harm in those actions. I can't perceive any harm implicit to homosexuality.
posted by me & my monkey at 10:29 AM on August 10, 2005


psychotic_venom: we're all born predisposed to lying and that doesn't mean we don't see it as wrong.

I suspect that if you truly look at the world around you, you'll notice that the disapproval of something like lying isn't nearly as prevalent as you might think at first. Lies can make one rich, famous, powerful, and ultimately, respected. The world just wouldn't work that way if we really felt strongly about lies.

I think if you want to justify the belief that a behavior is immoral, you'll quickly find yourself wishing for a better-defined and more-solidly-grounded idea of what morality is, and where it comes from. That's a pretty tall order, frankly, something that generations of philosophers haven't settled.

I suspect that when you say we see lying as "wrong," you're projecting your own personal conviction onto the world around you. If your own convictions are all the moral foundation you need, well, good for you. Don't expect to convince anyone with that alone, though - even the most fundamental personal convictions differ, however shocking that may seem. Some see vengance as good; some think rape is a fair punishment; some find lies - some lies, anyway - as excusable or even admirable in the right circumstances.
posted by Western Infidels at 10:30 AM on August 10, 2005


jonmc: Too true--and excellent point, and they should be held to the highest of moral standards, including every dotted I and crossed T--because the moral standard of "righteousness" must be fullfilled by, and is the same for all people.

The only real righteousness is absolute perfection. Everything less than that is entirely unrighteous.
posted by psychotic_venom at 10:31 AM on August 10, 2005


Dios: Couple things. First off, Doublespeak refers to when a politician says one thing and means another. It's got nothing to do with Orwell, etymologically.
Second, Freud's theories on the causes of psychological disorders and his dream interpretations have been discredited by every reputable psychological association. So yes, Freud was ignorant. He's worth studying because he is the origin of psychoanalysis, not because his conclusions were particularly sound.
Third, the idea that all contentions must be discussed seriously is such a deeply flawed application of false equivalency that it lends itself to the absurd with alacrity. God said, if we go by the OT, that wearing two types of fabric was verboten, along with eating shellfish or mixing meat with milk. If you reject those views, you have to examine why you don't reject others from that same book (Leviticus). Or, if you're going from the NT, you have to admit that you're basing your argument on Paul, not on red-letter quotes.
Holding that every emotionally held argument cannot be dismissed out of hand even when it is contradicted by amble scientific, philosophical and ethical research is to relegate yourself to fending off every schizo's and California bird worshipper's own personal theological conception of the universe.
I dismiss these arguments the same way that I dismiss the positive assertion that God made the sun move backwards for one day: by demanding proof. Solid proof, not some "This translation of this book I read says something about it which I have interpreted to mean 'homos are bad.'"
posted by klangklangston at 10:31 AM on August 10, 2005


If gays can change then so can straights, which given our overcrowded and overpolluted world seems a moral necessity. Maybe we should start an organization to help people Queer themselves and/or their children (if they were already unwise enough to have children). The Earth could benefit from father+son flower-arranging classes, for example.
posted by davy at 10:31 AM on August 10, 2005


Ok. Obviously many of you are completely missing my point which I tried to make plain.

There is a difference between (1) disagreeing on a topic and (2) rejection of any possibility of a contravening view. The first is completely appropriate and acceptable. The second is contemptible. So, one can say "I disagree that there is anything wrong with homosexuality." Or, one can say, "I disagree with that interpretation of Freud." Or anything about disagreeing.

But what is wrong to do is to reject the other side's position as being without a basis and using one's own views as a the basis for that rejection. One cannot say "there is no moral argument for that position because anything you say is wrong because your morals are clearly messed up." One cannot say "there is no argument that one can make using Darwin/Freud/biology based on my understanding of those things." You can disagree, but don't reject the basis for disagreement. Because all that is accomplish is that dialogue is forestalled. Then you become two ships passing in the night. If you do behave that way, then you are engaging in the very dogmatism and sophistry you arguing against.

Now try to understand that point in connection to what I was originally referring to:

if you can see a real reason why homosexuality is morally wrong (and none of that "bad for society, we MUST reproduce" stuff), do tell
posted by dios at 10:33 AM on August 10, 2005


In shorter words: I'm not making the argument. What I am saying is, if you want to have the argument, don't forestall it by saying that the other side can't put forth any basis for their position.
posted by dios at 10:34 AM on August 10, 2005


Pollomacho: "doublespeak" isn't a word coined by Orwell.

No shit, I guess I shouldn't have written:

Wasn't coined by Orwell (like Newspeak, Oldspeak, Duckspeak, and Doublethink were)

Apparently in DioSpeak wasn't means something other than was not.

Again, Doublespeak was not coined by Orwell, however it has an established dictionary meaning. That established dictionary meaning, though the word was not one written or spoken about by George Orwell, the author, does not equate to "opposite."
posted by Pollomacho at 10:37 AM on August 10, 2005


Dios: Fine, I'll accept that there are arguments that you can make, if you accept that there are no VALID arguments.
posted by klangklangston at 10:37 AM on August 10, 2005


ImJustRick writes ""However - *if* I were gay, I would much rather think that I had the choice, not that it was something biology foisted on me. I'm much prefer to say, 'Hell YES I chose this and if you don't like it, you can go screw' than, 'Yeah, I'm gay because I was born with it...' I'd rather pick it up and wear it proudly than carry it like a burden."

I'm sure you would. Except that:

1) It's not a choice. It's possible that there are additional environmental, as opposed to purely genetic, influences, but who knows.

2) The very idea of it being a choice is what allows these alleged people to spew their vile hatred. If it's a choice, it can therefore be 'cured' (reams of scientific data to the contrary notwithstanding).

The idea of gay pride is a reaction to the foisting of shame by segments of the straight community. Frankly, I long for the day when gay pride doesn't exist, because it doesn't need to anymore. Reactionary politics can only go so far.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:38 AM on August 10, 2005


- what is/determines morality? also a good question -- but I somehow doubt that it will be taken to its logical conclusions rather than the most expedient stop

- if we can change gay-ness, then we can change the straights, too. good point. this seems to be what the church believes -- hence the fear.

- what about lying, etc -- other perhaps determined characteristics that are condemned as morally wrong? well at least some people are taking cryptic's question seriously. seems to me that the church condemns a hole host (no pun intended) of problems that they see as innate. face it: their worldview of humanity is a struggle against temptation -- to be lazy, greedy, etc, etc, etc. the whole seven deadly sins stuff.
posted by dreamsign at 10:39 AM on August 10, 2005


2. He asked a good question -- supposing that we start with no premises. Why is it wrong, believing what the chuch does, to condemn homosexuality? (my words, not his). Answers:
- well, I guess burning them should be alright, too (no -- he was talking about determination of morality, not the whole church canon; his question stands)


Well, my reponse was to the fact that he is using Religion as the basis for his premise -- pointing out that Religion has posited and approved of all kinds of behavior that, on sober reflection, might not be considered all that moral, and so might be worth questioning and reconsidering.

But if you want to actually take it down to dealing with it from "no premises" then why exactly would homosexuality be immoral? How does it damage society and the continuation of the human race? This question has been asked at least once in this thread and there has been no answer, let alone a reasonable answer given.
posted by papercake at 10:40 AM on August 10, 2005


dios, nobody is doing that. You're tilting at windmills. I'm perfectly willing to entertain a moral argument against homosexuality. I'd be quite interested in such an argument and so would many others. But neither you, nor anybody else in this thread, have provided even a remotely rigirous argument against homosexuality.
posted by nixerman at 10:42 AM on August 10, 2005


Dirtynumb: We've gone through this before.
Point 1) There are plenty of cultures where being gay was socially acceptable (even mandated), and where the normative behavior was predominantly homosexual. Do they simply have more gay genes? Doubtful.
Point 2) Arguing that because you disagree with the people who espouse a theory, the theory must be wrong is totally unscientific and rhetorically bankrupt. Argue from facts, not from what people might do with those facts.
posted by klangklangston at 10:42 AM on August 10, 2005


dirtynumbangelboy -- The very idea of it being a choice is what allows these alleged people to spew their vile hatred.

1. The end result doesn't determine the reality one way or the other.

2. NO, it doesn't. Suppose someone is born a psychotic murderer, a pedophile, or anything else which we want to morally condemn. Whoops - we can't? - because he/she was born that way?

3. Let's see the "reams" of data. Again, maybe I just missed it, but I thought that this was still a live issue. I won't accept that it's been determined because the issue makes the argument harder. It's hard for you to argue that sexual orientation is morally neutral if it's a choice?! Then your arguing skills need WORK. Leave reality alone.
posted by dreamsign at 10:43 AM on August 10, 2005


davy, that would be pretty funny. Especially if the Get Queer crowd started showing up at the same events as the Get Straight crowd. Until the Get Straight folks started shooting people because they're unable to articulate any argument against homosexuality that isn't based on prejudice.

And klangklangston, you made some excellent points in your comment above.

BobFrapples, thanks!
posted by fenriq at 10:44 AM on August 10, 2005


dios: ...you could say that Darwin made an argument against homosexuality... it is not optimal, and therefore inferior. I suppose Darwin would be ignorant, though.

If one were to appeal to the optimization of natural selection, the obvious conclusion would be that homosexuality, observed throughout the mammalian kingdom and known in humans for all of recorded history, is actually beneficial to the species in some way. Or perhaps that it's a side effect of some other adaptation, the advantages of which outweigh any drawbacks.
posted by Western Infidels at 10:45 AM on August 10, 2005


this is fucking sick; i whistle the tune of Brazil when i read shit like this -- or when im at the grocery store and I hear about some god bless our troops promotion
posted by Satapher at 10:45 AM on August 10, 2005


Dreamsign,
No, we can't discuss this and get very far because I suspect, though I'd be happy to be corrected, many of us will start getting bored at the "fitness" of an allele (alternative form of a gene) increasing in proportion to its lowered frequency in the population thingmy, and generally getting lost in apologetic quote marks in order to clarify what is perfectly obvious to some, and a painful classroom lecture with way too-much-information to others.

In any case, I'm becoming twitchy about psychotic_venom. Detecting a whiff of troll?
posted by Jody Tresidder at 10:46 AM on August 10, 2005


(off topic)

It's supposed to be psychic venom, ya nerd.


(/off topic)
posted by norm at 10:46 AM on August 10, 2005


I think jonmc is correct. The best way to argue morality to a fundamentalist is to point out how narrowly they have interpreted the Lord's teachings. How the actions they propose may be in contradiction to other parts of the teachings. They have chosen to define their morality based upon the teachings of the Bible, but the Bible was written by many different writers with differing subjects and differing emphasis on these subjects, many in conflict with one another. If your aim is to persuade, use the most powerful persuasion the fundamentalist will accept, the Bible itself.
posted by caddis at 10:52 AM on August 10, 2005


Having a homosexual/homosexuals in a family/community is beneficial to the group because homosexuals are another childless member of the group that can help with child rearing. Gayness certainly does not "rub off" on children; my mother teaches in a university English department where several of the other professors are gay males, and I certainly didn't feel malignant gay particles spreading through my body every time I went to hang out at the university after school as a child. The funny thing is, I was never told anyone was gay, and when I was old enough to realize or care about the distinction, the guy I pegged for gay because he was extremely effeminate turned out to be a raging heterosexual; he's married and has been impregnating his wife about once every 1.5 years for the past six years. He was also a state wrestling champion in high school. The guys who actually were gay acted more like your archetypical man's man, and there was none of that butch-bitch pairing bullshit in the gay relationships going on in the department. I've met effeminate gay people as well, but you just can't tell that easily. Genetics are not my field, but are we not more concerned with genes rather than individuals at this point? If one individual in a group sharing a gene or set of genes does not reproduce but helps the group to reproduce, then that individual is still a beneficial part of the reproductive process. So, that seems to settle the biological argument. Anyone thinking that homosexuals can be considered immoral because they supposedly damage society should make some homosexual friends. No harm is being done.
posted by Derive the Hamiltonian of... at 10:52 AM on August 10, 2005


You can disagree, but don't reject the basis for disagreement. Because all that is accomplish is that dialogue is forestalled.

Not necessarily. One can make an argument that attempting to marginalize them (in whatever ways will work) may produce a better result overall than patiently engaging them in debate for forever.

Let's say that by debating and arguing and playing nice, it only takes 50 years for full gay rights to be a reality. How many people will be abused and discriminated against and and assaulted and murdered in the meantime? How many victims of that virulently anti-gay culture are acceptable to ensure that we don't discount their views?

In that sense, I think there's a real parallel here to the civil rights movement. Instead of forced integration and civil rights laws, we could have decided to accept another few decades of legal discrimination and lynchings while we patiently waited for the racists to come around.

Fuck that. I'd rather have a culture war.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:53 AM on August 10, 2005


caddis, that won't go very far. Fundamentalists are fundamentalist because they believe the Bible is the literal word of God and is basically infallible. The idea that these people can be reasoned with is simply not realistic.
posted by nixerman at 10:54 AM on August 10, 2005


Jody Tresidder,

That's too bad as many posters here have made it *the* issue, instead of a few (papercake, grudgingly) willing to make the braver argument that homosexuality, choice or no choice, is morally neutral.

But those who want to argue "no choice" should do it at their peril, since evidence to the contrary will suddenly send them down a road they don't want to go. Besides, it's a fool who argues that an act isn't wrong because it was determined. But I suspect that the lobby won't let this one go because it's just too valuable in the fight against the church, whether the argument itself bears any resemblance to reality or not. And of course the church buys into it, insisting that "natural" = right and "unnatural" = wrong, but that's a weakness of argument on their side.
posted by dreamsign at 10:55 AM on August 10, 2005


Fuck that. I'd rather have a culture war.

The culture war was called on account of rain.

Seriously, though, how could we have a "culture war." It's not like there's only two "cultures," in this country. There's hundreds, if not more different cultures in this nation, and most of us have a foot in at least a few of them. So what we'd get is cultural Balkanization, ultimately.
posted by jonmc at 10:57 AM on August 10, 2005


In fact, caddis, you shouldn't assume that these people are sincere. They're not. Guides like this are more like propaganda than any deliberate attempt to help children.
posted by nixerman at 10:57 AM on August 10, 2005


nixerman -- there are more than a few fundies in this thread.

Armitage -- you're not interested in swaying the doubtful, conservative (and fearful) masses who are as yet undecided. Can't you join the other side? You'd do less damage there.
posted by dreamsign at 10:57 AM on August 10, 2005


Fundamentalists are fundamentalist because they believe the Bible is the literal word of God and is basically infallible. The idea that these people can be reasoned with is simply not realistic.

replace the word "fundamentalist" with "terrorist," in that sentence and you sound like George Bush. I say this not to bust your balls, but to make a point. We often implore eachother to look for "root causes," to terrorists (who are usually fundamentalists as well) behavior, why not with fundamentalists here at home. Things don't develop in vacuums.
posted by jonmc at 10:59 AM on August 10, 2005


The compulsion to legislate morality is the highest form of social deviance.
posted by basicchannel at 11:00 AM on August 10, 2005


there are more than a few fundies in this thread.

like who?
posted by jonmc at 11:00 AM on August 10, 2005


235w103: if you can see a real reason why homosexuality is morally wrong (and none of that "bad for society, we MUST reproduce" stuff), do tell.

dios: ...you are dismissing any asserted defense out of hand and forestalling arguments...

You're reading too much into this. 235w103's was asking for something novel, something supportable, rather than the tired, emotionally-based nonsense we've all heard, discussed, and seen demolished a million times over.

That's not the same as "dismissing any defense." It's not even close.
posted by Western Infidels at 11:01 AM on August 10, 2005


Armitage -- you're not interested in swaying the doubtful, conservative (and fearful) masses who are as yet undecided.

Doubtful, conservative masses can hopefully be swayed by what's going on in places like Massachusetts right now.

I'm not interested in swaying fundamentalists. I'm suggesting that we stop wrestling that particular greased pig.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:02 AM on August 10, 2005


like who?

not as in the above definition of literal truth in the Bible (a limited definition -- other religions don't have fundies? there are no secularist fundies?)

Psychotic venom posted an interesting question. People batted it down instead of dealing with it as an honest debate. Dios called it out and was shut down... for being Dios. It's sad.

But again, perhaps my knowledge is out of date and the whole genetic determination issue has been settled. However, even if we are only talking about genetic predisposition, the church would have something to hang their hat on. "Cancer has genetic precursors. So do many other disorders. Do we abandon attempts to change the outcome through environment? No!" Let's face it -- we never talk about "genetic determination of anything except eye colour, hair colour, etc. So that makes this a standout, and that makes Psychotic_Venom's question interesting. But no one wants to dig that deep.

And no one wants to be brave enough to argue the morality of sexual conduct head on. Again, it's sad.
posted by dreamsign at 11:06 AM on August 10, 2005


Also, we're getting off the topic somewhat in regards to the post. This list of "things to look out for" is horribly misguided and potentially harmful. According to this list I was a pre-homo. Had my parents subscribed to this belief system, I can't imagine the possible manipulation and abuse that could have been brought down on me.

The fear evidenced by this webpage and by Focus on Family (Fear of Fags?) is noxious and blinding. Their blinkered view of the world, imho, is much more damaging to a greater number of lives than the imagined disease version of homosexuality (transmitted by wussy dads and overbearing mothers) they've created.
posted by papercake at 11:07 AM on August 10, 2005


not as in the above definition of literal truth in the Bible (a limited definition -- other religions don't have fundies? there are no secularist fundies?)

Gotcha. And I've known tons of political fundamentalists who are as tiresome and blinkered as their religious counterparts, so carry on.
posted by jonmc at 11:10 AM on August 10, 2005


*in complete agreement with everything papercake just said*

And I've known tons of political fundamentalists who are as tiresome and blinkered as their religious counterparts

If you've spent time here, no doubt.
posted by dreamsign at 11:13 AM on August 10, 2005


dreamsign, this is an argument between people who believe homosexuality is morally wrong and others who just don't care. In a liberal society, for such a question, the burden of proof does not rest on those who are morally neutral to the act, it rests on those who wish to condemn the act. Psychotic venom's question is silly because, as several people pointed out, his original question:

Question: Why is it wrong for someone to think that being homosexual is morally wrong?

can be rewritten as:

Question: Why is it wrong for someone to think that pissing sitting down is morally wrong?

Substitute 'being homosexual' for any morally neutral act. psychotic venom first has to explain why being homosexual is not a morally neutral act and then we can decide what to do about it.

As for dios he was just spouting crap. When pressed, he somehow figured repetition might save him, but what he seems to be saying--that we must discuss all arguments against homosexuality no matter how absurd or unsound--is ridiculous.
posted by nixerman at 11:17 AM on August 10, 2005


I'm with jonmc regarding the use of scripture to hold the hater fundies accountable for their actions. Jesus makes it very plain for them.
posted by nofundy at 11:21 AM on August 10, 2005


psychotic_venom: We naturally lie, steal, mock, cheat, and generally act selfishly. I'd say each of those things are "inborn" but I'd also say each of them is wrong.

I'm still not buying the analogy. Impulses to lie, cheat, etc. are universal, but a sexual preference for the same sex is not.
Are you saying we all have homosexual impulses, but some of us resist them?

There is a strain of fundamentalist thought along these lines: "We all have homosexual desires, the righteous resist them." But we do not all have homosexual desires. Homosexuals have homosexual desires.

I really hate arguments that use facile psychology to reduce an opponents opinions to some kind of mental illness. And yet, there is something about the anti-gay activists that sets off my gaydar every time. There was a front page post some time ago (which I can't seem to locate) that linked to an article by a fundamentalist pastor who said that the great danger of accepting homosexuality as normal is that gay sex is so hot, no one would be straight anymore. In his case, at least, his politics are a desperate attempt to deny his own homosexuality.
posted by LarryC at 11:21 AM on August 10, 2005


nixerman,

No. The question was not "is the church's position that homosexuality is morally wrong" incorrect, but rather "is the church's position that homosexuality is morally wrong a valid position". That sequed into questions of what is morality.

I think you are dead on course about how Psychotic's question should have been answered. Pity it wasn't.

Sorry, but I just hate it when people on my side blather when perfectly good answers await. If this is how middle-America is met when they express their fears, no wonder they keep them safely locked away, impervious to argument.

The genetic "determination" argument is a red herring. The church couldn't have done better if it planted the idea themselves, which they practically did with their whole "natural" = good and "unnatural" = bad concept (which also shoots them in the foot when actual evidence comes in)

Determined or not, homosexuality is morally neutral. You go down the path of "determination" at your own peril. Unfortunately, you drag the rest of us along.
posted by dreamsign at 11:24 AM on August 10, 2005


LarryC -- it seems like there are only anti-gay zealots and pro-gay zealots arguing, like just about every other sphere of debate. (not to paint with too broadly a brush -- there have been a few in here willing to pick up the issues, but the signal to noise ratio is atrocious)
posted by dreamsign at 11:27 AM on August 10, 2005


"And no one wants to be brave enough to argue the morality of sexual conduct head on. "

"Morality" is an abused term meaning whatever the speaker means it to mean. It is hard to debate subjectivity. In My mind sexual morality starts and ends at there being knowledgeable consensual adults. Other people, disagree and I think they are nuts, thats the argument as I see it, now why are we arguing?

I think why people have a hard time with this aspect of social engineering in regards to sexual predisposition is the level of coercion coupled with the idea that non-straight sexual orientation is pathological. Cancer is demonstrably harmful, gay behavior is no more or less harmful them non-gay behavior from a non religious POV.

Why should parents send their children to a correctional institution if they fear the kid is gay? because they have a view that being gay is bad. Why would it be bad? Is there a reasonable non-religious argument why being gay is bad?
posted by edgeways at 11:28 AM on August 10, 2005


I'm with jonmc regarding the use of scripture to hold the hater fundies accountable for their actions. Jesus makes it very plain for them.

Have you ever read Ferocious Romance by Donna Minkowitz? You might find it interesting.
posted by jonmc at 11:29 AM on August 10, 2005


pro-gay zealots

"pro-Negro zealots"
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:29 AM on August 10, 2005


Why should parents send their children to a correctional institution if they fear the kid is gay? because they have a view that being gay is bad. Why would it be bad? Is there a reasonable non-religious argument why being gay is bad?

But isn't the real schism that the morality argument is being put forth by people who are fine with saying "my religion says homosexuality is immoral, therefore it IS -- end of discussion"? You can argue with such a person until you're blue in the face and it won't matter, as long as they have their Book to wave as "proof."

(Which goes a ways to saying that jonmc has a point in fighting Brimstone with Brimstone, if you know what I mean.)
posted by papercake at 11:33 AM on August 10, 2005


Wait - how is 'the roughhousing that other boys enjoy' LESS gay than NOT participating? Hot, sweaty boys rolling around on the ground?
posted by ORthey at 11:36 AM on August 10, 2005


Western Infidels, P-V, Is it really so complicated? Isn't "wrong" simply a voluntary act that intends harm? Lying, cheating, stealing, killing, harms someone, or intends to. Having sex with any consenting adult doesn't involve a victim, (insert s&m joke here).
posted by tula at 11:37 AM on August 10, 2005


"There is a strain of fundamentalist thought along these lines: "We all have homosexual desires, the righteous resist them." But we do not all have homosexual desires. Homosexuals have homosexual desires."

I would agree that not everyone has homosexual desires, but also disagree that all straight people have no homosexual desires. i tend to think that sexuality is not either / or but spread out over a broad spectrum, which definitely has opposite ends, but a hell of a lot in the middle as well.

People are just too hung up on what they are, and what other people are and judging it in terms or "morality" (i.e. what I think is wrong). It is no wonder humans are a screwy as we are... too much thinking sometimes.

imo, people use religion to bolster what they already believe, so saying and proving the religion is wrong won't change someone's mind, they will just switch justifications. If people hate shrimp they have the bible to justify not eating it, if they like it they will eat shrimp... (ok, perhaps a poor analogy, but I think the basis is sound)
posted by edgeways at 11:39 AM on August 10, 2005


I think you're on to it, edgeways.

The problem is when religious text is used to determine morality. If you look at what premises the church is working with (pretty crazy stuff, say I, but not most of the U.S. apparently), then you've got people going off to hell eternally for "giving in to weakness" here. If you or I accepted the premises we'd probably accept the conclusions. But we don't. So we're not even having the same conversation. I'm not sure I'd call the bulk of these people "fundies" -- they're willing to debate -- within the confines of their own premises, obviously -- and they're fearful, but they still know how to think, and how to argue. Genetic determination may be one step to cutting past that fear -- in that their kid can't "catch" homosexuality from their gay teacher, babysitter, or brother, but:

i) if the evidence goes the other way, your argument is screwed,
ii) we never speak of genetic determination for other human behavioural traits, so this brings unnecessary skepticism to the table, and
iii) genes have nothing to do with morality -- which a subset of our side is trying to argue, but being lost in the shuffle because the rest of "our side" is taking the easy way out and buying into the church's "natural = good" crap argument.

And of course it does nothing to weaken the pull of relgious fundies because it buys into their line of argument, instead of making people question their bases for morality. (most) people know enough to be skeptical of at least some church doctrines -- they know that the Bible isn't the literal truth. A genetic argument just muddies the water in what should be an argument about the basis of morality (in a free society, as you, papercake, and edgewise, note).

on preview:

Armitage Shanks: "pro-Negro zealots"

- gays should have equal rights because they are taller than other people.
- gays should have equal rights because they are smarter than other people
- gays should have equal rights because their sexual orientation is genetically determined

Don't stop! YOU TOO can be one of the great unconsidered!

Don't do us any favours, Armitage. Use your brain or join the haters.
posted by dreamsign at 11:41 AM on August 10, 2005


(Which goes a ways to saying that jonmc has a point in fighting Brimstone with Brimstone, if you know what I mean.)

I don't see how. It means you're at some level accepting the authority of the book, and just arguing about what exactly that authority says. Even if you do that, and even if you trap them in an inconsistency, the fundamentalist always has the "my faith tells me it is so" Get Out Of Jail Free card.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:42 AM on August 10, 2005


Don't stop! YOU TOO can be one of the great unconsidered!


Just out of curiosity, what on earth are you blathering about?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:42 AM on August 10, 2005


Psychotic_venom, there's been a lot of words thrown around here, but I have a straightforward answer to your original question, which was:

"Question: Why is it wrong for someone to think that being homosexual is morally wrong?"

Answer: You can think whatever you want, believe whatever you want. Thought is (still, thankfully) free.

Where it becomes wrong is when, based on your belief, you try to force others to believe as you do, or try to harm people in any way for acting against your belief.

Relegating gay people to sub-humanness or sub-citizenship because their very being offends your morals, that's wrong. Especially if their lives are not affecting yours.

Is that a bit clearer?

I think a lot of the fundies in the US are afraid that because gay people exist, God is going to destroy everyone in America for the nation's wickedness. Which really doesn't make sense, if the fundies are God's Chosen People and will are assured the blessings of Heaven. Pretty craven set of fears there, for folks who are supposedly under God's Divine Protection, eh?

In the case of their kids maybe being gay, the parents are afraid that God will judge them poorly for having a gay child. How ridiculous, if they themselves are Godly and pious!

Oh and by the way... I exhibited symptoms 1, 2, 4, and 5 on the quiz, and I'm straight. If I'd had fundie parents and they'd sent me to a re-education camp, I would have burned it down, and then gone home and burned that too. Aggressive enough to prove me manly? :D

On preview, dreamsign: "You go down the path of "determination" at your own peril. Unfortunately, you drag the rest of us along."

That's exactly what I'm talking about, that fear right there. Where are you being dragged by some people being gay? Seriously, where?
posted by zoogleplex at 11:45 AM on August 10, 2005


dreamsign: good comments, I agree that there is a lot of dancing around this issue.

LarryC: Are you saying we all have homosexual impulses, but some of us resist them?

I think there is a lot of evidence that sexual preference tends to run on a continuum, much like sexual tastes (turn-ons, fetishes etc.) and that might suggest that preference is somewhat flexible as well.

a fundamentalist pastor who said that the great danger of accepting homosexuality as normal is that gay sex is so hot, no one would be straight anymore. In his case, at least, his politics are a desperate attempt to deny his own homosexuality.

That wouldn't surprise me a bit. But if that's the case, then isn't it perfectly fair for these religious types to make their case? I find it strange that so many of us "liberals" seem able to spot closeted gays, but still trumpet the idea that gays can't help it. Apparently some religious gays can.
posted by jimmy76 at 11:45 AM on August 10, 2005


Here's one for you, Armitage:

African Americans should have equal rights -- because they can't help their skin colour, it's determined.

Boy, we should get on that bleaching program, shouldn't we. Let's not argue that skin colour is irrelevant. That might be a tougher battle.

zoogleplex: Where are you being dragged by some people being gay?

Dude. Read. You're going to hang an argument about morality on a scientific issue? Shall we wait till the evidence comes in? What if the evidence changes? This is all nonsense. It is an issue about morality. Homosexuality is not immoral, not "homosexuality is determined so they just can't bloody well help it". That's a piss poor way to usher in a new era of tolerance. You people are buying church rhetoric and you don't even know it. Don't forget to drop some pennies in the collection box.
posted by dreamsign at 11:51 AM on August 10, 2005


It means you're at some level accepting the authority of the book,

No, it means you're accepting that they accept the authority of the book. Selling them the rope to hang themselves with, as it were. I've actually used this to convince people to at least reconsider things a time or two.

(odd footnote: back in my bookstore daysI was discussing gay politics with a recently born-again co-worker-a girl fond of wearing Christian themed midriff tops, but she was an OK person, but I digress-and we were restocking magazines. She came up to me with an issue of 10 Percent. "What section does this go in?" she asked "Gay section, " I answered. "Why do they call it 10 Percent?" "That's the percentage of the population that's gay." "Really, I thought there were lots more." Odd that the homophobes think there are more gays than the gays do. I nonconfrontationally mentioned a few biblical inconsistencies. She seemed disconcerted, but thoughtful about it. I wonder what kinda propoganda they're coming up with at these churches.)
posted by jonmc at 11:51 AM on August 10, 2005


Odd that the homophobes think there are more gays than the gays do.

Joe McCarthy probably thought there were more communists in the government than the communists in the government did.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:54 AM on August 10, 2005


Armitage, I see your point in seeming to agree with the moral authority of a Book by using it to counteract an argument made with the same Book. I guess my idea is more along the lines of showing the Book to be fallible, or at least questionable.
posted by papercake at 11:54 AM on August 10, 2005


"You go down the path of "determination" at your own peril. Unfortunately, you drag the rest of us along."

I think what dreamsign is saying is whether gayness is innate doesn't matter. I'm not sure I agree, totally. It certainly matters to those who are anti-gay, so perhaps we should talk about it.

I'll go out on a limb and say: I believe it is a combination of nature and nuture (like everything else). Ok, now what?

If that's the case, then it suggests your environment may alter your sexuality. Is that really so scary for us to consider? It still says nothing about whether homosexuality is morally wrong, it just suggests that sexual preference is flexible, or at least partially learned behaviour.
posted by jimmy76 at 11:55 AM on August 10, 2005


Perhaps what is causing problems is while it may be socially ok to think being gay is wrong, anyone who has these thoughts in conjunction with strong religious feelings on the issue is compelled to take action. Wether from fear of a massive judgement a la zoogleplex's comments, from some misguided but genuine love of the person (save that soul, keep them from hell), or a desire to battle evil. I have heard each of the three as argument to take action.

So thought = action for the true believer. Which would be almost commendable if it wasn't so misdirected.
posted by edgeways at 11:59 AM on August 10, 2005


I guess my idea is more along the lines of showing the Book to be fallible, or at least questionable.

But you're asking people to reconsider the entire foundation of their faith based on an argument with you. Mostly I think that's an atheist's fantasy; the mythical Jehovah's Witness who shows up at the door only to be forever changed by a spirited debate around the kitchen table.

Dreamsign, if you're going to construct straw men, can't you at least make them comprehensible?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:03 PM on August 10, 2005


post-view (sorry):

Where it becomes wrong is when, based on your belief, you try to force others to believe as you do, or try to harm people in any way for acting against your belief.

That's not bad. That was the state of desegregation -- grudging obedience (sometimes) to the law, until enough people realized that the way it was was nonsense. But race relations is still a mess, and it's because people have buried their racist feelings intead of dealing with them. We have an opportunity to reach the moderates this time. The average Christian doesn't believe every word of the Bible. Keep throwing out outrageous examples from scripture. Keep throwing out hypotheticals (that make sense). But don't buy into an argument about genetics that the church is selling. That isn't about morality.

Placing matters of morality on science is like putting matters of morality on scripture. God says X is evil so it is. "But what if God said something else was evil -- that would make it so? Anything? Everything?" Science says X is determined. What if the facts, when they're in, say something different? That isn't morality. You're going to base human rights on that? (added to which, you're trying to convert religious folk on the basis of science... but let's not go there)

on preview: Odd that the homophobes think there are more gays than the gays do.

I keep catching arguments in the press from gay rights activists who argue that the 10 percent is a woeful attempt to marginalize an already marginalized people. Another example of arguing from political expedience rather than reality (if the 10% is accurate). It would be better for the movement if the numbers were higher, so that's what some argue -- that they are. jonmc -- have you not seen these challenges?

jimmy76 -- apparently this is so horrendous a notion that we shouldn't permit anyone to consider it. Forget that the church's argument works if homosexuality is anything short of determined (ie: 100% genetic). Anything less and they can argue that we do preventive work for other genetic predispositions -- why shouldn't we to save our brothers, sons, etc? Another reason why this argument is bunk (because we'll never prove 100%), aside from the main argument (that sexuality is morally neutral).
posted by dreamsign at 12:03 PM on August 10, 2005


jonmc -- have you not seen these challenges?

Sure. But that would've been a whole other discussion, that I wasn't in the mood to enter into.
posted by jonmc at 12:04 PM on August 10, 2005


Dreamsign, if you're going to construct straw men, can't you at least make them comprehensible?

Armitage, if you're going to cherry-pick quotes, care to ensure that they're actually from me???

Or care to respond to anything I actually did say?

Or are you just trolling here?

posted by dreamsign at 12:04 PM on August 10, 2005


Sorry! lost that end tag (my keyboard likes to convert to French, and those end brackets become accents!)
posted by dreamsign at 12:05 PM on August 10, 2005


Sure. But that would've been a whole other discussion, that I wasn't in the mood to enter into.

Um, fair enough, except you comment:

Odd that the homophobes think there are more gays than the gays do.

Well, I guess that's true, even if you forgot to mention that the other side feels the same way. Less "odd" though, since it makes political sense.
posted by dreamsign at 12:06 PM on August 10, 2005


Armitage, if you're going to cherry-pick quotes, care to ensure that they're actually from me???

My comment to you was an afterthought on preview. It wasn't meant to be connected to the paragraph above, although I can see how it might be read that way.

Or care to respond to anything I actually did say?

If I had the slightest idea what you were trying to say, I'd be happy to.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:08 PM on August 10, 2005


Sure jimmy76, but... big deal. If sexual preference is at least partially socially determined, how is that more or less moral? It still indicates there is some level, perhaps large, of genetic culpability, looks like god is at least partially to blame for this evil thing. I still think religion is just a reinforcer for what people already believe.



"There is no devil, only god when he is drunk" -T. Waits
posted by edgeways at 12:08 PM on August 10, 2005


dreamsign, I did read the entire thread, but perhaps I've missed something semantically. If you could please explain what you meant by saying "you drag the rest of us along with you," that would help me understand what you're trying to communicate.

Do you mean dragging in the context of dragging through an argument? Or do you mean that people being gay drags people into some moral quandary with religious dogma?

I apologize if I'm being dense and missing the point of your line of thought.

On preview, jimmy76, that doesn't really clear things up for me. How does gayness being innate not matter?
posted by zoogleplex at 12:08 PM on August 10, 2005


Well, I guess that's true, even if you forgot to mention that the other side feels the same way.

Well, everybody thinks their enemies are legion (and completely alien-that gets deconstructed in the Minkowitz book I mentioned earlier).I suppose that's human nature.
posted by jonmc at 12:09 PM on August 10, 2005


(and completely alien-that gets deconstructed in the Minkowitz book I mentioned earlier).

or as Walt Kelly put it: We has met the enemy, and they is us!
posted by jonmc at 12:10 PM on August 10, 2005


Psychologist Robert Stoller said, “Masculinity is an achievement.” In other words, “growing up straight isn’t something that happens. It requires good parenting. It requires societal support. And it takes time.”

So all people are, by default, gay? *mind is blown*
posted by raedyn at 12:12 PM on August 10, 2005


So...

still no moral arguments against ass-fucking, then?

Anyone?
posted by dash_slot- at 12:13 PM on August 10, 2005


Ok, Armi, let's break it down for you.

- the church is advocating "re-education" style "treatment" for those exhibiting "gay characteristics"
- we argue "genetic determination!"
- but that_doesn't_work. Why?
- because we would have to prove 100% genetic determination to refute their method of "treatment"
- in addition, it ignores the larger issue, which is that sexuality is morally neutral
- the church has been advocating a "nature = right" stance (you may have noticed ridiculous arguments over what animals do or do not do in the press) so genetic arguments just buy into this

Following me, Armitage?

Can you honestly argue that homosexuality is moral or morally neutral because it is genetically determined and look at yourself in the mirror?

Is there no better (or even rationally connected) reason to argue it is not immoral?

zoogleplex: "drag us along" meaning those who argue the genetic red herring are buying into the church line of argument and dragging those of us arguing for human rights on its own basis down. What's in the media? Arguments about what pandas do, for godsake. Give it up. This is not about a genetic argument you cannot win.
posted by dreamsign at 12:14 PM on August 10, 2005


still no moral arguments against ass-fucking, then?

Love the ass-fucker, hate the ass-fuck.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:16 PM on August 10, 2005


Wellll I could almost believe that people are by default bisexual (omnisexual?), but dunno, it would take a bit to convince me. i do think that growing up to be "masculine" is socially determined to a large part. but I tend to separate sexual orientation out from masculine and feminine.
posted by edgeways at 12:16 PM on August 10, 2005


Sexual orientation as curable dysfunction...

If it were, after two failed marriages, I might be interested.
posted by Carbolic at 12:16 PM on August 10, 2005


But you're asking people to reconsider the entire foundation of their faith based on an argument with you. Mostly I think that's an atheist's fantasy; the mythical Jehovah's Witness who shows up at the door only to be forever changed by a spirited debate around the kitchen table.

Well, that's the problem, isn't it? You can't have a genuine discussion with anyone who sees a Book as literal truth, because they're in a precarious position: they can't question any part of their Book without breaking their belief. It's a fantasy, sure, but I think you have to keep chipping away at that foundation.
posted by papercake at 12:17 PM on August 10, 2005


OK, thanks dreamsign. I understand now, and that makes a lot of sense. All people should have the same human rights, period - no matter what any source of opinion or information says. Good thought.
posted by zoogleplex at 12:18 PM on August 10, 2005


Lots of gay sex in nature, bad tact for the church to take
posted by edgeways at 12:19 PM on August 10, 2005


The majority of Christians do not see the Bible as literal truth.

But it's easier to just say agree that they're crazy and can't be reasoned with.

Or buy into arguments that provide scant comfort (oh good, now my gay teacher can't "infect" my son -- like their worries are even that rational)
posted by dreamsign at 12:19 PM on August 10, 2005


Love the ass-fucker, hate the ass-fuck.

Not possible. He didn't leave his name or phone number.
posted by ericb at 12:20 PM on August 10, 2005


- we argue "genetic determination!"

Actually, I haven't argued that at all. You've apparently been arguing it for me. Kindly stop doing that.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:21 PM on August 10, 2005


Lots of gay sex in nature, bad tact for the church to take

That's for sure.

I don't know if this was an entirely clever (look at this thread) attempt to force pro-gay activists to adopt the genetic argument thinking it would be the easy way out, or if they really believed that nature played by the Book. Either way, shortsighted of them if we can get past that nonsense.
posted by dreamsign at 12:21 PM on August 10, 2005


I also agree that someone who will turn their entire thought process about everything in life over to a book - any book - should be considered not rational by definition, and excluded from any debate or determination on what's best for large numbers of disparate people in a nation-state.

You're not going to change a crazy person's mind, because it's not working properly.
posted by zoogleplex at 12:23 PM on August 10, 2005


The majority of Christians do not see the Bible as literal truth.

But it's easier to just say agree that they're crazy and can't be reasoned with.


I agree. But the Chrristians who do take it literally are the ones creating this kind of propoganda.

If you're trying to say that there's a lot of fundamentally decent people who have very mixed emotions about homosexuality and gay rights (due to all kinds of factors, but that's a whole other discussion that's not pursued enough, IMHO), and who can reasoned with/swayed/courted, then you have a point, and it's the same one I've been trying to make for years. But FOF (it's leaders at least) are not part of that great unwashed. They've made their position clear.
posted by jonmc at 12:23 PM on August 10, 2005


THE WAR ON CUM!
posted by Satapher at 12:24 PM on August 10, 2005


Oh, and if homophobia is really about sex-typing and not sexual orientation, then the morality argument, even if it sinks in, won't do. (nor will the genetic one) Because then it will just be about ostracizing those who do not follow gender types, regardless of sexual conduct. There seems to be a fair bit of evidence for this, but I that's for some other thread, I think.

zoogle -- yeah, but the mainstream isn't crazy, just... if I may -- they're easily cowed. they're frightened of change. and they're worth converting. look at the state of my country -- Canada -- we're implementing gay marriage rights over the objections of what looks like a slim majority of Canadians. no respect for democracy there. but it's easier to ignore them than deal with them. if we actually tackled their concerns head on, we might be an entirely gay-friendly country (minus bits of Alberta, I suppose). But no. That's too difficult. We have heard the drumbeat of progress, and we'll be damned if we let actual people get in our way. Plus, they disagree with us, so they don't matter. Hmm, where have I heard that before?

I agree. But the Chrristians who do take it literally are the ones creating this kind of propoganda.

For sure. And here's a battle the fundies can relate to: us and them fighting for the "souls" of the people in between. And ok, I think we're the good guys, but the point is, the people in the middle are worth fighting for -- and CAN be convinced, but not by spurious arguments that skirt the morality issue.
posted by dreamsign at 12:27 PM on August 10, 2005


Here are some arguments to use on the fundy homophobes.
posted by caddis at 12:32 PM on August 10, 2005


of course, here's an admission:

if we give up the "genetic" argument, we fail to refute the kind of behaviour this thread concerned -- these "re-education" efforts, and we'd like those to stop NOW. not when we've convinced enough people that the Bible doesn't have the whole truth. NOW.

problem is, if we argue that homosexuality is partially determined (the only reasonable argument -- we can't prove 100% determination and to play with the word is simply to rely on ignorance), then the church's plans aren't refuted either, because we intervene in all kinds of situations involving pre-disposition.

And now, must go. Sorry to partly monopolize the thread. If some bad wording on my part was the cause, I apologize. I get more heated when I perceive weaknesses in our arguments than when the other side rails on about the Evil that is homosexuality (and yes, I'm falling into us-them thinking -- bad me). Have fun, kiddles.
posted by dreamsign at 12:34 PM on August 10, 2005


The majority of Christians do not see the Bible as literal truth.

Perhaps, but they do believe theres an invisible guy in the sky who watches over us, looks like us, loves us, and created us.

Concerning, to say the least.
posted by Satapher at 12:36 PM on August 10, 2005




Perhaps, but they do believe theres an invisible guy in the sky who watches over us, looks like us, loves us, and created us.

Rather than concerning, I find that comforting.
posted by caddis at 12:38 PM on August 10, 2005


Armitage, I don't think either me or dreamsign are arguing that court cases or legislation should slowed or watered down, but legalities are only part of creating a gay-freindly society.
posted by jonmc at 12:39 PM on August 10, 2005


Look.

People really, really want someone to hate. The enemy outside really and truly does bolster the friendships inside.

But nobody wants to accidentally find themselves on the outside. So they find things that they themselves might never be -- a different race, a different faith, or a different sexual orientation. In a very sad way it's an expression of appreciation for those who are similar...by hating difference, they're "loving" their peers.

Creepy? Definitely. But it's the mechanism at work. Kids are the problem, of course...their race will never change, but if no child ever changed religions, there'd be precious few out there. So noticable energies are expended demonizing other faiths, to keep the children "in tribe". Something similar happens against homosexuality -- note, that entire Focus On The Family tripe was focused on keeping kids "normal", as abnormality poses a real threat to the tribe.

When the tribe defines itself as what it is not -- it is imperative to keep the next generation of the tribe, not that.

I didn't say I liked it. But it's whats going on.
posted by effugas at 12:39 PM on August 10, 2005


Rather than concerning, I find that comforting.

You need to get over your death. Shit out your ego quick!
posted by Satapher at 12:42 PM on August 10, 2005


Armitage, you've offered nothing resembling an argument at all.

If you're not arguing determination then (those you seem to agree with) arguing pre-disposition, which does nothing to counter these "re-education" efforts at all.

On preview: THAT is what we call the race card, Arm.

We could convince the masses, now, with what arguments we have to hand. But no, we've been in a position before where it was unethical (and ineffective) to do other than legislate so this must be the same way. Let's just legislate everything and hope that individual opinion goes away.

To get back to present-day facts, I and every other human rights lawyer I know believe that gay marriage is enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. For some this would be enough. But we already have a population cynical about the connection of law to morality, and our Liberal party is hanging by a thread (not to mention our religious right is only just now learning how to organize). We can convince them, backed by law, or we can ignore them and face years of Conservative rule, notwithstanding clauses and court battles.

But you have righteousness on your side, don't you Armi, so what do these people's opinions matter? Forget that they're my countrymen (and many are simply scared and not truly hateful). And now, I am bowing out. Feel free to insist that this is exactly the same situation as race decades ago. I would expect nothing less. I don't suppose when I've returned in several hours you'll have deigned to respond to that genetic pre-disposition fatal flaw. Which provokes the question: if legislation is all that matters, why put forward the spurious genetic argument at all?
posted by dreamsign at 12:45 PM on August 10, 2005


...Suppose someone is born a psychotic murderer, a pedophile, or anything else which we want to morally condemn. Whoops - we can't? - because he/she was born that way?

Umm, don't these other things hurt people directly, as opposed to homosexuality, any specific harm from which must be inferred indirectly?
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:46 PM on August 10, 2005


suffer for the guilts and regrets of others!
posted by Satapher at 12:46 PM on August 10, 2005


Umm, don't these other things hurt people directly, as opposed to homosexuality, any specific harm from which must be inferred indirectly?

Yes, but that's why homosexuality is such a devious deviance -- it comes at you from the rear, if you get my meaning.
posted by papercake at 12:54 PM on August 10, 2005


dreamsign: Perhaps even more critically, the nature vs. nurture argument makes for great politics and philosophy, but lousy psychology and biology. When I was training in microbiology, one of the laments of my mentors was that while we can sequence the genes of most bacteria in a petri dish, we really don't have much clue about the complexities of gene expression for that same bacterium in a lump of soil. When we get into human beings, just about everyone agrees that environment and genetics both matter, the big puzzle is creating a systems view of those interactions.

There is a strand of theology that has no problem with claiming that some people are more predisposed to sin than others. Which is why we need blue laws against alcohol and harsh penalties against drug abuse for example.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:00 PM on August 10, 2005


I don't suppose when I've returned in several hours you'll have deigned to respond to that genetic pre-disposition fatal flaw. Which provokes the question: if legislation is all that matters, why put forward the spurious genetic argument at all

Jesus Christ. You're like some snot-nosed geek at the back of the class who keeps jumping up and down with his hand in the air shouting OH! OH! OH! and then answering the wrong fucking question.

To get back to present-day facts, I and every other human rights lawyer I know believe that gay marriage is enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Then why do you keep yammering on about "no respect for democracy"? If it's unconstitutional (or the Canadian equivalent) to discriminate against gay people, how is the opinion of a "slim majority" relevant? Constitutional issues aren't supposed to be a popularity contest.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 1:01 PM on August 10, 2005


You're like some snot-nosed geek at the back of the class who keeps jumping up and down with his hand in the air shouting OH! OH! OH!

He's Arnold Horshak? Dibs on Juan Epstien.
posted by jonmc at 1:04 PM on August 10, 2005


I never understood why Hispanics and Jews had to share a character when Italians got their own.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 1:07 PM on August 10, 2005


Especially since the Andalusian/Hebrew hybrid in question was played by Hungarian-American. Supposedly, he was based on a freind from Gabe Kaplans high school days. But I've met enough Hispanic Jews to vouch for the fact that the character is realistic. I spent the better part of an evening failing to get off with a chick named Rosita Levy, once.
posted by jonmc at 1:11 PM on August 10, 2005


Well, Freud made a scientific argument about the deficiency of homosexuality through his scientific and reasoning process. So, are you calling Freud ignorant?

Though very important in Western intellectual history, Freud has been thoroughly discredited in the modern era. Much of his "theory" is little more than conjecture, with no rigorous scientific basis.

Hell, you could say that Darwin made an argument against homosexuality, not a moral argument, but a scientific argument about how it is not optimal, and therefore inferior. I suppose Darwin would be ignorant, though.

I don't think Darwin ever did this. In fact, the persistence of homosexual behavior is and interesting puzzle for evolutionary theory. In the simple analysis, it would seem that behavior that does not increase one's chance of reproducing should be strongly selected against. The persistence of homosexuality among a segment of the population despite these selection pressures argues for a survival benefit for the members of a society in which some of the individuals engage in homosexual behavior.

As my dyke friend who lives near these kooks in Colorado says: Focus on your own damn family!
posted by bephillips at 1:14 PM on August 10, 2005


You know what would surprise everyone?

If the bleeding heart liberals all went out and bought guns, and then started executing one conservative nutjob each.

Then we could all find each other not guilty.

The best part is that the conservatives would have no choice but to admire the hard line action liberals had taken. That or be flip-flopping hypoctrites.

Who's with me?
posted by Yellowbeard at 1:20 PM on August 10, 2005


couldn't we just liquor them up, and convince them to vote Democrat as a goof?
posted by jonmc at 1:23 PM on August 10, 2005


No, because, unfortunately, they would still be around at the next election cycle.

The beauty of my plan is that, at the same time of ridding themselves of these idiots, liberals could take the opportunity to grow a pair.
posted by Yellowbeard at 1:25 PM on August 10, 2005


Anyone else notice who's missing?
Dios?
Psycho V...?
Perhaps we could sign an agreement absolving FoF and their ilk of any culpability in our sins, convince them to just leave us the fuck alone. No-one will stop you from praying and reading your fairy tales. Now I'll just go over here and be gay, hmmm?
"By the time I get to Colorado."
Straight but not narrow and all that.
I'm incoherent, I know...it's 4:24 PM and I am still hungover...?!?!
on preview yelllowbeard - comin' with to colorado...?
posted by zoinks at 1:26 PM on August 10, 2005


on preview yelllowbeard - comin' with to colorado...?

Please to explain?
posted by Yellowbeard at 1:32 PM on August 10, 2005


4. The father plays an essential role in a boy’s normal development as a man. “The truth is, Dad is more important than Mom. Mothers make boys. Fathers make men.… Girls can continue to grow in their identification with their mothers. On the other hand, a boy has an additional developmental task — to disidentify from his mother and identify with his father.”

This starts about 18 months of age. The father needs to be there physically and emotionally to affirm his son’s maleness for the remainder of the preschool years (and beyond, especially during puberty).

I can blame Dad? Really? My paren't divorce is the reason I have teh gay and teh genderqueer? YES! Time For A Lawsuit™ ... thank you, Focus on the Family!
posted by andreaazure at 1:32 PM on August 10, 2005


Just referencing your "plan" above and making an obtuse nod at a Public Enemy song from "Fear Of A Gay Planet."
No harm meant the nutjobs out there.
posted by zoinks at 1:39 PM on August 10, 2005


Ah. Not a Public Enemy afficionado.

Thanks for clearing that up.

Man, if any of my children turn out to be gay, I think I will tell them, "that's fine," and then teach them to carry a concealed weapon at all times.

/not meant to be a sexual reference
//man am I violent of thought today...
posted by Yellowbeard at 1:47 PM on August 10, 2005


dreamsign: "...we're implementing gay marriage rights over the objections of what looks like a slim majority of Canadians."

Well, good. In this case, and many others, I think legal codification of human rights should override the majority; sometimes democracy perpetuates abuses of them because the majority is wrong and stubborn. Sometimes you really have to shove it down people's throats, like we did here in America about slavery and segregation and birth control. The bloodiest war we've ever seen was part of that.

At this time and place, however, the people in power in the US agree with the people who believe that some people shouldn't have equal rights, as opposed to 1965 Alabama.
posted by zoogleplex at 1:56 PM on August 10, 2005


The majority of Christians do not see the Bible as literal truth.

In the US, unfortunately, this is untrue:

Sixty-three percent (63%) of Americans believe the Bible is literally true and the Word of God.

Trying to debate against the "Word of God" is worse that tilting at windmills.
posted by MikeKD at 1:57 PM on August 10, 2005




If this world really operates in the black and the white, with everything pinging "right" or "wrong" as outlined by God, then what do we do with that random rare person who is born with both male and female genitalia? Doesn't such rare happenstance, if nothing else, prove to us that we live in a world of physics and chance and biology colliding? That we are little more than lucky meatbags - and that our sexuality is a lucky happenstance of meatbags making more meatbags and that it gets awfully gray and random somewhere in the middle?

Are we EVER going to get the FUCK out of the Dark Ages?
posted by glenwood at 1:57 PM on August 10, 2005


glenwood, simple, a child born with both male and female genitalia is the work of the devil and the child should be sacrificed on top of an active volcano with a knife made from purest obsidian on the third full moon of the new year.

Isn't it obvious?
posted by fenriq at 2:04 PM on August 10, 2005


Fenriq you blasphemer!

It's on the fifth full moon of the new year.

You damn heretic.
posted by Yellowbeard at 2:08 PM on August 10, 2005


you all mock my pain!
posted by glenwood at 2:11 PM on August 10, 2005


bephillips: The persistence of homosexuality among a segment of the population despite these selection pressures argues for a survival benefit for the members of a society in which some of the individuals engage in homosexual behavior.

That is assuming a lot of things about homosexuality:
1: That it is fairly simply genetic.
2: That it is specifically homosexuality that is being selected for.

As an example, with sickle cell anemia, the heterozygous condition is favorable in areas with endemic malaia, but the homozygous condition is not favorable. It is quite possible that homosexuality arises from a combination of genes and environment that are individually adaptive, but not adaptive in combination.

I suspect that homosexuality is as likely to be a spandrel as something that has an evolutionary purpose. Human genetics appears to be supportive of some degree of same-sex affection. It is quite possible that you can't have Homo sapiens as a clannish social animal without some gene combinations resulting in homosexual behavior.

In reality, quantitative genetics is more of a driving force in evolution than qualitative genetics, but few people get quantitative genetics without specialized training. I suspect this ignorance radically overinflates the concept of a "gay gene."
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:18 PM on August 10, 2005


1. Accept your child and affirm his or her worth regardless of the characteristics you observe. Show unconditional love.


Awwww!!

2. Don’t wait until your daughter’s masculinized behavior or your son’s effeminate preferences get any worse. Remember that for many prehomosexual boys and girls, some of the characteristics may be more subtle.


Eh....


3. Call to make an appointment with a professional therapist who believes change is possible. Work patiently with that therapist in redirecting your child’s prehomosexual behaviors.


Ewwww!!
posted by ford and the prefects at 2:18 PM on August 10, 2005


no, glenwood, we mock you for being nothing more than a meatbag!
posted by ericb at 2:19 PM on August 10, 2005


I got your meatbag right here ericb!
posted by glenwood at 2:26 PM on August 10, 2005


glenwood ... you owe me a new keyboard!
posted by ericb at 2:28 PM on August 10, 2005


I think that most fundies would say that there is nothing morally wrong with being homosexual, but in engaging in homosexual sex acts. A fundy who is consistent would be EQUALLY opposed to heterosexual sex acts outside the bonds of marriage, but somehow they put homosexual act on a different level. This is the part that bothers me the most: Even if you take the Bible's standards literally, how can you (with a straight face) say that illicit heterosexual acts are "less bad" (or illicit heterosexual acts "more bad") because you can identify/relate to those feelings? 'Cause that's not what the Bible says, homey. In any event, Jesus said not to judge or throw stones, so the only person whose morality or behavior you can ultimately control is your own (and that includes your progeny).
posted by spock at 2:48 PM on August 10, 2005


One of the things that struck me about this link is that it was ALL focused on what to do if your SON may be gay. Nothing to do about if your Daughter may be gay. It's like they fear gays more than lesbians.

Second, Matt said "The way it was said, the way others agreed, it was almost as if she was saying "I hope to god she doesn't turn out gay." I can SINCERELY say that I really and truly hope my daughter won't be gay. But probably for different reasons than they do. I hope she isn't because her life will be so much easier if she's not. She won't be persecuted and hated for being who she is. I think that being gay in this world is pretty tough sometimes and I don't wish that for her.

I have a question: do gay parents say "I hope my child turns out gay?"
posted by aacheson at 3:02 PM on August 10, 2005


Aacheson: I always thought that gay parents said "I hope my child turns out FABULOUS!"
posted by klangklangston at 3:05 PM on August 10, 2005


It's like they fear gays more than lesbians.

That's because lesbians are hot!

/shallow heterosexual male

My daughter's father hopes she turns out gay. That way he won't have to deal with any young male suitors.

Me, I hope she turns out happy.
posted by beth at 3:13 PM on August 10, 2005


I thought the fifth full moon was reserved for stomping on kittens, mocking the handicapped and shooting animals in cages?

Damn it, did they do a scheduling reshuffle and I wasn't cc'ed?
posted by fenriq at 3:21 PM on August 10, 2005


what do we do with that random rare person who is born with both male and female genitalia?

Everything! *chicka chicka wow wow*
posted by me & my monkey at 3:25 PM on August 10, 2005


i dont have time to read thru all these posts. Has anyone made any real arguments as to how homosexuality harms other people or society in some way? Or has there just been squabbling over semantics and the nature vs. nuture thing?
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 3:50 PM on August 10, 2005


this thread is getting really funny...i'm glad i stuck around. (hat tip to me & and my monkey and klangklangston)
posted by jimmy76 at 3:59 PM on August 10, 2005


Has anyone made any real arguments as to how homosexuality harms other people or society in some way?

Brings to mind Barney Frank on "Real Time with Bill Maher" in March:
"I try very hard to be a responsible citizen, and as a gay man, I have tried very hard to keep track of the marriages I have destroyed, and there really aren't that many... I may have some secret admirers out there, and I may have wreaked more havoc than I realized. But they haven't called."
posted by ericb at 4:00 PM on August 10, 2005


That's because lesbians are hot!

/shallow heterosexual male


Shallow heterosexual males always have this cognitive disonance thing between their fantasy of lesbians and the actual reality......
posted by FieldingGoodney at 4:25 PM on August 10, 2005


*chicka chicka wow wow*

I've waited nearly a decade to see that typed out.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 4:33 PM on August 10, 2005


[Shudder...]
posted by Ricky_gr10 at 4:47 PM on August 10, 2005


I have a question: do gay parents say "I hope my child turns out gay?"
posted by aacheson at 11:02 PM GMT on August 10


Nope.

Me, I hope she turns out happy.
posted by beth at 11:13 PM GMT on August 10


That'll do me.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:56 PM on August 10, 2005


I have a question: do gay parents say "I hope my child turns out gay?"
posted by aacheson at 11:02 PM GMT on August 10

Nope.


Who can really know what all gay parents would say? Don't parents want to identify themselves in their children? I think your answer is inaccurate.
posted by FieldingGoodney at 5:26 PM on August 10, 2005


Alright. Name one person who chose to be heterosexual. Go on, do it. Name one person who chose whether men or women get them aroused. I dare you.

What's that? You can't? Thought so. Shall we dispense with all of this mealymouthed BS about it being a choice? Thank you.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:25 PM on August 10, 2005


"What's your major?"
"Pre-Homosexual."
"Lotta required courses for that, I hear"


Not to mention the oral exams!
the voices made me do it
posted by Aknaton at 6:41 PM on August 10, 2005


Dirtynumb: Name one person that chose to be heterosexual? Anne Heche.
(I'm going to leave aside the point that causitive environmental factors are unlikely to be conscious choices, something that you neglected in your poorly-constructed query).
posted by klangklangston at 6:59 PM on August 10, 2005


children are not clay to be molded; but people to be unfolded
posted by Satapher at 6:59 PM on August 10, 2005


or little people who can fetch you a beer without complaining.
posted by jonmc at 7:08 PM on August 10, 2005


Freud makes a very clear argument about the inferiority of homosexuality based on the Pleasure Principle and his knowledge of biology. It's the reason he saw it as a pathology. But again, you dismiss it out of hand.

Don't have to dismiss it out of hand; the APA doesn't consider it a pathology. Freud was ignorant and wrong.
posted by solid-one-love at 7:15 PM on August 10, 2005


If I could hack this page I would re-name it

How to ensure that your gay child is alienated from you and cuts you out of his or her emotional life. Just a little aside from someone who was unsucessfully straightened.

Freud was ignorant and wrong. BTW-- Freud is fascinating and all and the father of psycho analysis, but he really wasn't right about much. Sometimes an innovator and thinker is valuable for the questions he or she generates, rather than the theories.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 7:26 PM on August 10, 2005


Who can really know what all gay parents would say? Don't parents want to identify themselves in their children? I think your answer is inaccurate.
It's not. No parent--straight or gay--wants their child to have to struggle or be hurt or attacked. It's basic parenting 101. All us gay people were brought up to be straight, and all us realize that being gay is harder, especially for teens. No parent wishes any kind of hurt or harm for their children--at all. And gay parents know better than straight what that hurt entailed and what it felt like.
posted by amberglow at 7:34 PM on August 10, 2005


I posted fafblog's retort to it in MeCha, but it's really not funny--many parents will act on Dobson's horrendous words, and mess up their kids forever. Humor is the only thing we have tho, and hopefully can show the absurdity of it.
posted by amberglow at 7:36 PM on August 10, 2005


klangklangston writes "Dirtynumb: Name one person that chose to be heterosexual? Anne Heche.
"(I'm going to leave aside the point that causitive environmental factors are unlikely to be conscious choices, something that you neglected in your poorly-constructed query)."



Anne Heche is a lunatic to begin with. So... while I concede that her sexuality is more fluid than most, I cannot acept her as an example.

Plus, you missed the point of the question, so allow me to try again:

Everyone here who decided who it was they were aroused by, as opposed to simply realising "hey, that person over there makes me tingle in my underpants, please raise your hands.

*crickets*


Again, that's what I thought. I no more chose to be attracted to men than you did to women, or you to men, or you over there to both. Or, indeed, you all the way over there to neither. Nobody chooses what particular set of body parts arouses them.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:05 PM on August 10, 2005


delmoi wins!!!1 (that's totally bizarre)
posted by moonbird at 8:56 PM on August 10, 2005


dios: I had wrongly assumed it was a citation to a case reporter. When I saw it, I saw 235 W. 103, and my mind immediately read that as a case site such as 345 S.W.2d 103 or 851 F. Supp.2d 111.

Dude, you have got to get out more.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:04 PM on August 10, 2005


Nope, this one wins.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:12 PM on August 10, 2005


Dirtynumb: Way to reject examples based on personal preference. So... you want to use biological reductionism on sexuality. First off, you're going to have to explain the Yanamamo of Brazil if you want to argue that it's genetics (which you keep doing, even though you'd be better off by saying that whether it's environmental or genetic, there's no individual choice in the matter). Second off, you're going to have to explain all of the various paraphilias by genetic means, you know, if we're going to go by the "tingle in the pants" theory. Not only a gay gene, but a diaper play gene? An S&M gene? A crossdressing gene? A pre-op transexual preference gene? A post-op transexual preference gene? Do people who get off on being shit on have a different gene than those who enjoy being pissed on? It's your theory, I'd just like to get it straight (no pun intended).
And hey, those people with the dirty genes, shouldn't there be a test for them? Should parents be encouraged to abort children who test positive for that gene? I mean, if it's automatic that those kids are going to end up gay, it's kind of like aborting children that would otherwise be born with Down's Syndrome, or some other handicap that makes it hard for them to lead "normal" lives.
Or, as an alternative to your bullshit theories, maybe the gender of who you fuck should be as value-neutral as deciding who's on top (I mean, as long as we don't have a gene for that too). Maybe gay versus straight should be irrelevant, under the theory that whomever you fuck is your business and not mine (or the government's). Doesn't that seem better than making some specious argument that assumes more data than what you've got and comes out with some pretty gnarly moral entanglements by the time you get to the end?
I don't mean to be so dismissive and antagonistic about this, as I know that it's something that's part of your identity and because of that you feel very strongly about it, but you're arguing from what you would like to be true and with the goal of trying to make a strong defensive argument. You're not arguing from the truth or with an eye toward making an intelligent argument. You're appealing to emotion every bit as much as people who want to ban gay sex because they find it icky, and that's not a position that I think has enough merit to be advanced.
posted by klangklangston at 11:07 PM on August 10, 2005


I have a question: do gay parents say "I hope my child turns out gay?"
posted by aacheson at 11:02 PM GMT on August 10


Nope.

Who can really know what all gay parents would say?


Er, thats just 1 gay parent (me) speaking for themselves. I realise that it could be read as me answering for all the world's gay parents, but it takes 24 hours for our global organisation to get the word out, so the thousands of Mefi queer parents are only now about to comment...
posted by dash_slot- at 1:29 AM on August 11, 2005


klangklang: Here's a novel idea for you: try reading what I fucking wrote. i know this may be scary, but it does work.

At what point did I say it was purely genetic? oh, I didn't.

Bull-fucking-shit you don't mean to be dismissive and antagonistic. I'm not arguing from what I want to be true, I'm arguing from what I know to be true.

I repeat my question: did you choose to be aroused by the opposite gender? Or did you simply realise that you were? I notice you keep ducking what is a very simple question, dipshit.

Again: try actually reading what I wrote, instead of seeing what you choose to see. You'll find it's a much more sueful way of looking at the world.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:20 AM on August 11, 2005


Sorry, this one is the real winner.
posted by caddis at 4:20 AM on August 11, 2005


caddis, right on.
posted by moonbird at 6:24 AM on August 11, 2005


Dirtynumb: So, wait, even though there are cultures where people clearly do choose the gender of their partner, you want to make this about the sample size of me and you? Explain Schneebaum's research on the sexuality of the Yanamamo. Explain sexuality in Athens and Sparta. Further, think about it this way: Who chooses to be poor? No one. Under your rubric, they must all be victims of factors beyond their control.
You're still arguing from a position that's totally irrelevant. It doesn't matter if you chose to be gay or if you didn't. You deserve equal rights either way, just like it doesn't matter if you chose to have an abortion or if you have a genetic predisposition toward strawberry jam over raspberry.
(As for me, I can control what arouses me pretty well, thanks. You know how? I grew up in an artist's house, where there were images of a panopoly of nudes always around. I can seperate myself from what I see, and I can also decide to see things as arousing— from Mapplethorp to Sturges, with plenty else around. So you might want to stop trying to use my sexuality as your example as it doesn't quite fit your moronic paradigm, dipshit. That I'm heterosexual doesn't mean a purely heterosexual pattern of arousal).
posted by klangklangston at 10:04 AM on August 11, 2005


dios: I had wrongly assumed it was a citation to a case reporter. When I saw it, I saw 235 W. 103, and my mind immediately read that as a case site such as 345 S.W.2d 103 or 851 F. Supp.2d 111.

How did I miss this? Dios, there is no W. reporter! C'mon, man.

*shakes head ruefully*
posted by norm at 10:19 AM on August 11, 2005


klang, fine. Okay. You win, and your winning just makes it that much easier for the conservative right-wing fucks you're an apologist for to discriminate against me and those like me.

Heterosexual privilege must be nice. Fuck off.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:29 AM on August 11, 2005


Dirtynumb: Wow, now who's the illiterate one. When I say that you should have equal rights because it's not something that the government should be involved it, I'm a right-wing apologist? Damn, and if I said that gays should get married, I'm sure that'd put me right up there with Dobson in your eyes, wouldn't it?
I'm sorry that you're feeling whiny about being a homo, Dirtynumbangelboy. And I'm sorry that you can't see how your arguments shoot yourself in the foot. But keep blaming me for heterosexual priviledge. That'll make everything better!
posted by klangklangston at 11:29 AM on August 11, 2005


The suggestion that it's a choice is what I was referring to. Again, I urge you to read what was actually posted, you moron. I'm not feeling whiny about being a homo, you thin veneer of respectability over what is clearly a conservative and likely homophobic interior; I'm sick and fucking tired of straight people acting as if they know shit about what makes us tick. You never chose to be heterosexual. So implying--as you very clearly did--that those of us who are queer have chosen to be smacks of a certain something.

Get the fuck over yourself, and stop trying to tell me and mine why we are the way we are, when you don't have the first fucking clue what it's like to be us.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:24 PM on August 11, 2005


I'm with jonmc regarding the use of scripture to hold the hater fundies accountable for their actions. Jesus makes it very plain for them.

Except these people generally don't care. They cherry pick their holy book as much as anyone, and usually ignore anything that contradicts said carefully selected passages, despite many of them claiming the bible has to be taken in full, not in part.
posted by kalluxe at 1:39 PM on August 11, 2005


Dirtynumb: Thin veneer? Guess I should stop volunteering to help out at PFLAG events then, as apparently my manning their booth at Art Fair is only my insidious way of ensuring the eventual elimination of gays. God, I'm wickedly devious, to donate to the Aut Bar's anti-Phelps marathon! Obviously another cover for my deep-seated homophobia! And helping with door-to-door campaigns against the Michigan anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment? Part of my crypto-loathing for gays, obviously. It's amazing how covert I am, what with my open support of gay rights! Damn me!
Christ, do you even hear yourself, you gibbering retard? I say that the origin of homosexuality is irrelevant, and that gays should get equal rights. You say that because I don't subscribe to your subjective views of your experience that I'm anti-gay? Fuck you, you moron. What part of campaigning for gay rights is homophobic, you retard? What part of saying that since you're arguing from emotion, it's inherently a flawed argument is anti-gay, you apoplectic, illiterate shitstain? C'mon, I'd really like to know.
And you are whining about being gay. Oh no, it's so hard that it must be someone else's fault you're gay! That's the only explanation for all gay sex ever! Someone else's fault!
Don't you get it? I don't care who you fuck! Whether your environment, genes or personal preference makes you want to fuck men, that doesn't matter, you infantile sissy! As far as the law goes, it should matter as much as whether you prefer blondes or brunettes, you rectal polyp.
If you can't read that and understand it, you should just shut the fuck up, because you're not going to win yourself any allies in the straight world if all you want to do is bitch and moan about how we oppress you. Get over yourself indeed.
posted by klangklangston at 2:41 PM on August 11, 2005


Klang, I'm done with you. You clearly have zero fucking interest in actually reading and comprehending what I have to say. Fuck you, and the horse you rode in on.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:05 PM on August 11, 2005


klangklangston in a previous thread: One of the guys from the church proceeded to give us a lecture on how just because someone was a mincing "sissy," that didn't mean they were gay. We were willing to accept that, with the caveat that it was a pretty good signifier in general, but that it wasn't without flaws.

me: I know a few gay guys who would happily kick the shit out of you for calling them "mincing sissies."

I think you've exposed yourself as what you are, klangklangston, that is, an ignorant idiot.
posted by Astragalus at 8:35 PM on August 11, 2005


Astragalus: Those were the words of the gay guy I was talking to: "mincing sissy." He also said that "just because a guy is a little bitch, that doesn't make him gay." That the guy giving the lecture about this was gay and hyper-effeminent was the ironic part of his speech.
But hey, gimme some time and you won't have to manufacture something to be offended by.
posted by klangklangston at 10:44 PM on August 11, 2005


Dirtynumb: That's because you don't know what you're arguing, except that you're emotional about it.
posted by klangklangston at 10:50 PM on August 11, 2005


If I can intercede and provide an external view of that little tirade - klangklangston has read and understood your point dirtynumbangelboy, he just believes that the argument is a dangerous one. By stating that sexuality is genetic you are claiming it is natural (which is useful in some arguments). The danger in this argument is that should we then be able to abort preborntobecomehomo children if it is detected? You can bet FoF will happily wander down that route given the chance.

klangklangston (and several others on the thread and in the past) has stated the sexuality is morally neutral because it shouldn't matter if it's genetic or environmental, whether it's choice or "destiny" and that is a far better argument because it defuses this horrible possibility of zealots choosing to abort based on sexuality. He also states, amongst his charidy work which he doesn't like to talk about much ;), a much more libertarian attitude to sexuality in that it is not the government who should be legislating what happens behind closed doors.

I think tempers got a little frayed and words were exchanged which were unnecessary and I hope you two can make up. You are on the side fighting against ignorance and it would be great if you both realise it and work together.

/pours a big bottle of massage oil onto thread.
posted by longbaugh at 4:34 AM on August 12, 2005


Thanks a lot, this was a silk shirt.
posted by sonofsamiam at 5:10 AM on August 12, 2005


Don't tell Wolfdaddy, he luuuuuuuuuuurves the silk...
posted by longbaugh at 6:24 AM on August 12, 2005


The danger in this argument is that should we then be able to abort preborntobecomehomo children if it is detected?

Er, eh, what?

If there's going to be controversy over which abortions are allowed, I'm going to have to side with the anti-abortionists. Arbitrary lines are still arbitrary lines, and if we're gonna be arbitrary, we might as well fall to the 100% banned side.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:16 AM on August 12, 2005


Sorry FFF - was just trying to use the mangled English from the FoF website to describe a foetus that is going to turn gay. I honestly believe it's the only abortion that those on the right would happily support.
posted by longbaugh at 10:27 AM on August 12, 2005


fff, there already is controversy over which abortions are allowed, and different states have different restrictions. As soon as gay genes are identified, there'll either be tests for them, and abortions, or genetic therapy to "fix" them.
posted by amberglow at 10:30 AM on August 12, 2005


Thank you, Longbaugh.
I think regarding homosexuality as a matter of personal liberty and privacy is the only way to go, because if you start arguing from origins, you're both scientifically and ethically on shaky ground.
If it's genetic (and immutable), then the response will be eugenics. If it's enviromental, thus mutable, the response will be these stupid anti-gay camps.
Choice is a canard.
posted by klangklangston at 10:59 AM on August 12, 2005


amberglow: I'm anti-abortion and pro-choice. Not my cup of tea, but not about to interfere with others' decisions. And that also means that I'm not going to support any movement to define what is and is not allowable regarding that decision.

If that means "gay babies" are aborted, so be it. I think it would be a horrendously shallow reason for aborting, but it's not my decision to make.

It would, however, make me hate humanity just a little bit more. The human species is such a fuckup, through and through.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:14 PM on August 12, 2005


My husband says that anyone who says being gay is a choice must be bisexual. Because he knows he can't help being attracted to women, and not being attracted to men - I've told him that by being straight he had cut off half his dating potential, but he say he couldn't help it, he was just born that way. I have a another friend who has been asked out by some very cute men, during a rather dry spell in his life - if he could have, I'm sure he would have gone out with them.

The only ones of us who get to "choose" in anyway are bi. It may be, in your Brazilian and Greek examples, that more people are bi than realise. Sexuality is a spectrum. But for people at the ends of that spectrum, they are only attracted to one sex, and they are stuck with it.
posted by jb at 12:02 AM on August 14, 2005


Actually, jb, there are exceedingly few truly bisexual people out there. As in virtually none.

There was a study performed recently wherein people were wired to devices that measured arousal levels. Homosexual people were, indeed, aroused almost exclusively by images of homosexual sex; heterosexual people were, indeed, aroused by almost exclusively by images of heterosexual sex; those who called themselves bisexual were not aroused by both types of imagery.

Which rather strongly indicates that bisexuality is not a real sexual orientation: rather, it is an attempt to deny one's true sexuality.

Naturally, those who identify themselves as bisexual are going to go apeshit on my ass for presenting this information as fact. Sorry, guys, but I'm going to have to side on the scientific study, not personal and likely self-deluded claims to the contrary!
posted by five fresh fish at 9:32 AM on August 14, 2005


five fresh fish - that is an interesting study. To me, it opens up more questions, rather than providing simple defininative answers. Human sexuality, like most issues of human psychology, is a complex issue worthy of more study. Also, as someone who deeply respects social science, I also recgnise its limitations. It suggests causes and explanations, does not dictate reality on a limited sample size.

As a bisexual woman, I am not attracted by many images of women presented as sexual in our culture. But then again, neither am I attracted to many images of men presented as sexual in our culture. I have been aroused by images or descriptions of straight sex and gay sex (lesbian or gay men) - lesbian sex is usually the sexiest, but that's also because the images tend to be of a different style.

The reason I identify as bisexual is that I cannot otherwise explain why I am sometimes attracted to women, in a sexual way that straight women profess not to understand. It's not so much that I immediately felt bisexual, but that I knew I was not entirely straight. There was a time when I thought it might have been a teenage phase (which can happen), but soon after I had a rather strong attraction to a woman that made it clear to me that it was not a phase.

Perhaps you may think this is self-delusional - I don't know. I don't think I wished to delude myself into an uncomfortable attraction at a time when I was not free to act upon it. Some bisexual people claim that being straight or gay is just being narrow-minded, whereas my very open-minded husband tells me that he would like to have had more options, but he just is not attracted to men - their bodies actually turn him off a little. Whereas the thoughts of women's bodies turn me on.
posted by jb at 10:10 AM on August 14, 2005


Could be that you're one of the few true bisexuals, then.

I'm not sure it matters a whit whether one's unconscious body reactions (pupil dilation, heart rate, etc) are uni-sexual, so long as one's conscious mind has decided to frolic anyway.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:33 PM on August 14, 2005


What Makes People Gay? - The Boston Globe -- somewhat relevent.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:14 AM on August 15, 2005


Five Fresh Fish: That study has been debunked seven ways to Sunday. Limited sample size, misrepresentation of results (most people were aroused by all the porn, with a preference one way or another), and it was done by someone who's been open in their advocation of an absolutist view of sexuality (and has had more than a few studies debunked before).
Dan Savage took a swing at it about a month ago too, and there were more cites than I can find now with a casual googling.
posted by klangklangston at 9:23 AM on August 15, 2005


fff - Is the study you were talking about the one in the Boston Globe article? This paragraph stood out:

They found that while straight men were aroused by film clips of two women having sex, and gay men were aroused by clips of two men having sex, most of the men who identified themselves as bisexual showed gay arousal patterns. More surprising was just how different the story with women turned out to be. Most women, whether they identified as straight, lesbian, or bisexual, were significantly aroused by straight, gay, and lesbian sex. "I'm not suggesting that most women are bisexual," says Michael Bailey, the psychology professor whose lab conducted the studies. "I'm suggesting that whatever a woman's sexual arousal pattern is, it has little to do with her sexual orientation."

interesting result, should be followed up on.

klangklangston - I haven't heard of either the study or the debunking. How would one google it (if it isn't the one above)?
posted by jb at 7:26 PM on August 15, 2005


jb - It was actually the subject of a recent MeFi FPP which caused quite a bit of discussion and further linkage...
posted by longbaugh at 3:46 AM on August 16, 2005


thanks.
posted by jb at 11:09 AM on August 16, 2005


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