Friday, December 3, 2010

Response to a Comment on "Homosexuality is NOT a Moral Issue!" -- Part One

What a gift!

The gift I refer to is a recent comment I received to a post I published in April of this year titled "Homosexuality is NOT a Moral Issue!"  The comment arrived in five parts--three containing the text and two containing extensive footnote documentation and elaboration on the points made.

The initial comment was received from someone named "Vanessa," who later changed her ID to "Anonymous."  I'm disappointed Vanessa or Anonymous set up her comments in such a way that I am not able to access her Blogger profile or contact her via email.  Note for the future, Anonymous:  If you leave a comment, positive or negative, you should have the courage to take ownership of it.  Otherwise, as far as I'm concerned, you shouldn't leave it.  

The gift also has to do with the enormous opportunity Anonymous gave me to include such a meaty treatise in rebuttal to my little post on my little blog, not visited by enough people or garnering enough attention to devote such inordinate time and energy to.  Given the extensive footnotes provided to accompany the comment, I suspect Anonymous may have used my post as the basis of an academic writing, which I take as a compliment.  All I have to say to Anonymous is, thanks.  I appreciate your interest and the time you took to share with me and my readers what you think about homosexuality as it relates to morality.  You've spiced up my blog considerably.

How I'd like to address Anonymous's comments is throughout the post itself, following each piece I wish to address, in red, so you, dear readers, know the difference.  No doubt, Anonymous speaks for many people, and she deserves full credit for her enthusiasm and her passion on this subject.  My only hope in affixing my own comments is to add some much needed balanced and perspective to what Anonymous has to say.  Everything has two sides, especially this issue.

(I hasten to add I could have deleted the comments from Anonymous and dismissed them outright; however, I know from what she wrote she feels strongly about this subject--what she's written is obviously considered, thought-provoking, and not at all a rant.  How could I possibly ignore this opportunity to add clarity to this matter.)


PART 1:

To a certain degree, you're correct in stating your mutually consenting gay relationship is nobody else’s business. I agree that the Catholic church is being hypocritical with its stance on homosexuality. The lesbian in question is likely being used as a martyr in an attempt to restore faith in a failing religion.

Though I consider myself a Christian, I believe for the most part that organized man-made religion is a sham. Jesus never had a church of his own, nor did he expect people to bow down to him or offer payment. He never asked what religious denomination someone was, or if they believed in the Holy Spirit. Jesus said "Those that worship me shall do so not in a building built with hands but in spirit and in truth". It's curious that the centre of Christianity is the Vatican in Rome, yet Jesus never set foot there.

I'm not biblically savvy but I know that Jesus often spoke in parables so at times scripture cannot be taken literally. “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits”. As you eluded to, God gives man free will and the choices we make largely determine our fate.[1]



True enough, my consenting gay relationship is nobody's business.  But I believe, to some degree anyway, I've made it other people's business by using aspects of it as the basis of more than a few blog posts.  So, as long as people who wish to comment on it are respectful of me and my relationship, I'm open to what they have to say.


On the subject of religion, you and I take much the same position:  I consider myself to be a Christian, too, but I don't think much of formalized religion, and, even though I was raised a Catholic, I have little respect for the Catholic church.  I think formalized religion is largely the construct of human beings, and, for that reason, I'm not certain God appreciates it.  I'm not biblically savvy either, and I have no plan to quote verses from the bible in any of my comments here.  I couldn't agree more that "scripture cannot be taken literally." 

When you state homosexuality is not a moral issue, I would have to disagree. If you consider that the lifestyle of a typical homosexual shortens a lifespan by 20 years[2], greatly increases the risk of STD's[3][4], and is responsible for an epidemic of AIDS[5] and other sexually transmitted diseases disproportionately, there should be no question about whether homosexuality is good or bad, righteous or unholy.



Of course, you already know how I feel about whether or not homosexuality is a moral issue (my original post was titled "Homosexuality is NOT a Moral Issue."  I'm pretty clear on that one).  


I'm not sure about homosexuality itself shortening the lifespan of the typical gay person by 20 years.  Perhaps that's been the case over the past two decades, considering the disproportionately high number of gay men who died of AIDS since the early 1980s. But, historically, I suspect the lifespan of most homosexuals has mirrored that of most straight people.  


I also don't believe for a moment gay men have been responsible for the AIDS epidemic, or that HIV/AIDS is a gay disease.  Many, many straight people the world over have died from AIDS (take a look at current statistics for the African continent), so, for that matter, if we want to say AIDS is God's revenge on gay promiscuity (which has been said), then, given some straight people are just as, if not more, promiscuous, God may have it in for straight people as well.  AIDS does not discriminate.           

As with any monogamous relationship like yours, the odds for a long and healthy live [sic] greatly increase. What I think you’d admit though is that the average gay relationship is anything but monogamous. At least all the studies would concur.

Although gay activists often argue that legalizing homosexual marriage would help make such relationships more permanent, the reality is that most gays desire variety in their sex partners, not the monogamy of traditional marriage. Numerous studies throughout North America and Europe show that the plea for legal homosexual marriage is less about marriage than the push for legitimacy. Most gays and lesbians are not in monogamous relationships, and in fact often live alone by preference.[6]



Yes, sadly, I have to admit many gay men have open relationships, where both partners are able to have sex with other people for the sport of it.  Anyone who's read my blog knows I deplore this conduct; it is the single aspect about being gay I have the most difficulty with.  A little secret:  Back in my early twenties, when I was the most conflicted about being gay, the biggest reason was because I couldn't imagine living that lifestyle. Don't ask me where I got the idea, but I was certain most gay men preferred promiscuity to monogamy.  In fact, I believed gay men lived for sex and had no interest whatsoever in settling down with one person and building a life together.  For these reasons, I thought if I admitted to myself and to others I was gay, my fate would be one of loneliness and promiscuity, and that was unacceptable to me.  


Not until I realized I could set my own course--that is, I could choose to be monogamous within the framework of a gay relationship--did I ultimately decide to accept who I was, come out of the closet, and pursue the true happiness I believed could only come from a loving, committed, and monogamous relationship.  (For the record, every sexual encounter I had always came from a place of believing I'd found the right person for me, and that what we had, flimsy as it was, would develop into so much more.  I don't remember ever having sex for the sake of having sex or engaging in one-night stands.  Several men took me home when I was much younger; however, if I had the least inkling nothing would ever develop between me and them, which I usually did, I didn't put out.  Instead, the man who took me home became frustrated and went to sleep, and I laid in bed awake all night, listening to them snore, wondered what the hell I'd gotten myself into and hoping it would soon end.)       


Here's my thought on gay marriage:  Chris and I have talked about getting married many times over the eighteen-plus years we've been together.  For all intents and purposes, we already believe we are married, in all the ways that are important.  Any gay man or lesbian woman who thinks his or her relationship will be more permanent just because he or she gets married is delusional.  Take a look at the number of straight marriages that don't make it.  I have no reason to believe gay marriages would fare any better.  


I don't think the push for gay marriage is as much about legitimacy as it is to be seen as equal under the law.  Chris and I have taken appropriate legal measures to ensure if one of us dies, the other is fully protected: that is, our relationship is seen as valid insofar as our last wishes are carried out, whether one or the other of us pulls the plug or inherits everything.  At the last minute, we don't want one of our relatives or the government to step in and claim our final wishes are null and void simply because we were a gay couple and not legally married.  Gratefully, neither one of us has died.  We can't be sure we've accounted for everything without having a valid marriage certificate, but we're hopeful. That, to me, is the real reason why gay people want to be legally married.    


And a word on the subject "most gays and lesbians are not in monogamous relationships, and in fact often live alone by preference."  Despite what any study might suggest (one in Denmark doesn't speak for the entire world), I know of many gay couples who are in long-term, monogamous relationships.  This comment is the very thing that upsets me, because gay men in general don't do a great PR job for themselves.  The most visible part of our community, that of the overly-sexual, promiscuous tramp, misrepresents a diverse community, comprised, oddly enough, by many, many people in long-term, loving, and monogamous relationships.  These are the gays and lesbians who live their lives quietly, with no fanfare, and that the straight world knows little about.  But, believe me, they are out there.  Chris and I are among them (although, through my blog, I hope to create a better understanding of just how diverse the gay community really is).                  

Homosexuality becomes a personal issue to me, as it should with the general public when it’s presented to young children as something normal and virtuous[7], or when it’s taken to the streets and displayed in a lewd and licentious manner.[8]



I wouldn't necessarily say homosexuality is virtuous (that is, "having or showing high moral standards").  I can't say I've ever seen it that way.  What I do believe is homosexuality should be presented as normal, because it is normal for many millions and millions of people in the world who are gay.  It's normal for me, as an example, because it's all I've ever known.  I don't consider myself to be abnormal just because I'm gay.  


If we fail to show children homosexuality is normal, just as heterosexuality is normal, then, and if any of those children are gay, as they inevitably will be, we send them down the long and difficult road of believing who and what they are is abnormal.  From my own experience, and that of many gay people, the consequences of that are far worse than if our society stopped being so judgmental and accepted that homosexuality has been, is, and always will be normal for a good many human beings.  For thousands of years, society or our cultures have tried making homosexuality wrong, and we've succeeded in making gay people hate themselves as a result, with negative consequences too numerous to discuss here.  Why don't we try the alternative and see what happens.  We might be surprised by the beneficial results.  


Yes, I agree our Pride parades are often lewd and licentious.  I've written about that in at least one past blog post.  That's why I don't attend them anymore and have no interest in them.  It's one thing to be proud of who you are; it's another to present yourself as filthy and disgusting to the public at large.  Pride parades don't represent me, and many people like me, and that's why I've chosen to dissociate myself from them.    
            
Recently, a Toronto school board backed off from a planned sex-ed course due to opposition from many of the parents who felt that subjects regarding masturbation, oral and anal sex were not appropriate for their children. I don’t think anyone could convince these parents that morality and ethics weren’t a major issue here.



Despite my position on promiscuity and public lewdness, I'm not a prude, and I believe children of an appropriate age should receive education on matters of sexuality.  Should the schools do what the parents think they should do?  That's a matter for debate.  I'm certain many parents don't fulfill their responsibility to teach their children on all aspects of human sexuality.  Somebody has to.  If the schools must, then so be it.  There are plenty of studies to suggest, just because the schools teach children about sex, the children don't go ahead and have sex.  I'm all for education to give people, in this case, children, the information they need to make informed decisions about their bodies and their sexuality.    


There is absolutely nothing wrong with masturbation, and oral or anal sex.  In fact, most people enjoy masturbation, and many people, straight or gay, engage in oral and/or anal sex.  As long as the people in question are of legal age and consent, no one should be restricted to the type of sex they have.  In this case, no sexual act is right or wrong, good or bad, moral or immoral, ethical or unethical.  I've made my position clear on this in the past:  Sex is just sex.  So what.  Let's get over it already.     


In some Boston high schools, known sex-offenders have been giving classes to students not only in oral and anal sex, but in rimming and fisting.[9]


Okay.  All I have to say here is the public school system didn't do their due diligence if in fact sex offenders were hired to teach classes in Boston high schools on any subject, let alone sex.  On rimming and fisting, I can't say these are two of my favorite sexual practices, but they exist, and people--I suspect gay and straight--engage in them.  For that reason, yes, I think children--again, of an appropriate age--should be made aware of them.  If parents are prepared to do that, great.  If not, then I believe someone has to, but obviously not sex offenders.  Just because people have the information doesn't mean they'll go ahead and do it.  (I hasten to add, whoever provides this education should also discuss the inherent risks of these sex acts so young people are completely informed and make right decisions for them.) 

You don't need a PhD to see that indoctrination of this nature is unconscionable and has no place in the school system. Anyone who thinks otherwise would clearly be suffering from something far worse than a mere “phobia”.[10]



I think my comment above speaks to this matter.  I don't believe students taught about some of the more out-there sexual practices are likely to be indoctrinated to engage in them.  People still have the ability to choose what's right and wrong for them and must use their discretion accordingly.  The last line of this paragraph confuses me.  I'm not sure what it means.   

Again, I don’t hold the entire homosexual community responsible for extremist behaviour like this, but it casts a dark shadow over everyone involved in "gay liberation". As John McKellar states, the actions of “gay activists” is what’s responsible for the push for homosexual marriage.[11]



Agreed.  But let's not forget extremist behavior exists in the heterosexual community, too.  The homosexual community doesn't have a monopoly on this.  It's important to know the gay community is made up of a majority of decent, hard-working, law-abiding, generous, and (insert whatever positive adjective you want to here), just like the straight community.  There is a fringe of the gay community you, as a straight person, may or may not agree with.  There are many gay people who don't agree with it either, but it's there, and it's not going away any time soon.    

While writing this, I've realized I won't be able to address all three parts of this reader's comments in one post--it would be far too long.  Please look for parts 2 and 3 in upcoming posts.




References:

[1] “I have set before you life and death… therefore choose life.” - Deuteronomy 30:19
[2] "The median age of death is less than 50 years for those involved in homosexuality." - National Institute of Health.
[3] The San Francisco Public Health Department reports that syphilis among the city's gay and bisexual men was at epidemic levels. Men having sex with other men leads to greater health risks than men having sex with women not only because of promiscuity but also because of the nature of sex among men.
[4] A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that homosexuals and bisexuals contracted potentially fatal ailments such as AIDS, anal cancer, tuberculosis and hepatitis disproportionately.
[5] An epidemiological study from Canada of data for AIDS-related deaths reveals that male homosexual or bisexual practitioners lost up to 20 years of life expectancy.
[6] In Denmark, a form of homosexual marriage has been legal since 1989. Through 1995, less than 5% of Danish homosexuals had gotten married, and 28% of these marriages had already ended in divorce or death. The Danish experience provides no evidence that gay 'marriage' is beneficial. Men who married men were three times more apt to be widowers before the age of 55 than men who married women. Similarly, a woman who married a woman was three times more apt to be a widow than a woman who married a man. In 1990, only 12% of gays in Toronto, Canada said that they were in monogamous relationships.
[7] Horror stories in the schools
[8] Pride parade
[9] Fistgate
[10] It is alarming, disheartening, and medically unethical that this information (“The Little Black Book - Queer in the 21st Century”) be distributed to anyone. That it is distributed at taxpayer expense to vulnerable and confused youth should awaken every citizen and legislator to immediately de-fund this organization, and the attorney general to pursue prosecution for endangering minors on a grand scale. - John R. Diggs, Jr., MD, South Hadley, Mass.
[11] John McKeller, President of Homosexuals Opposed to Pride Extremism (HOPE) publicly states he staunchly opposes gay activism and the "marriage" of two men to be lawfully considered the same as the union of man and woman. Besides demonstrating that not all homosexuals want to abolish the sanctity of “marriage”, it also clearly indicates the term "homophobe" is erroneous, and that the gay rights movement is largely controlled by a minority of radical activists intent on subverting morality and sexuality.

4 comments:

  1. Bravo Rick!

    While I could debate some of these points, I'll let you post your parts. I do have to say a couple things though.

    Homosexuality does equal not Pedophilia.

    There are public Pride celebrations that DO NOT display the lewd behavior spoke of. I'm fortunate to be a part of such annual celebrations.

    Not all men who have sex with other men are homosexual. REGARDLESS of your personal belief.

    Normalizing something that has existed since the birth of man does not make it a recruitment opportunity.

    Again, I anxiously await to read more Rick. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, chaoticGRRL, for having the stamina to get through most or all of this long post. I sincerely appreciate your interest.

    By "debate some of these points," I'm not sure if you mean the points my reader made in her comments or my own. At any rate, feel free to challenge me if you disagree with anything I write. I respect you and your opinion, based on the comments you've left here over time, and I don't mind when someone tells me he or she doesn't agree with what I said.

    I don't believe all men who have sex with other men are homosexual, and, if that's how what I wrote came across, then that's incorrect.

    Thank you for confirming some of the points I made. I don't presume to speak for all gay men at all, so I never know if my opinion, based on my own limited experience, misrepresents us or not. I hope it doesn't.

    All I can ever write about is what's true for me at this point in time. That's not to say my future experiences won't change how I feel about something. I try to be as open and as honest as I can be in my blog. If I'm not comfortable with that, in light of what I hope to accomplish here, then I have no business expressing thoughts and opinions on these subjects.

    Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, I do agree for the most part Rick, in fact, this post, and your responses to the comments are much of what I'd say, or hope to express.

    In debating I indeed meant the learned lady commenter.

    I have never read that you've considered men who have sex with other men to be homosexual, or "gay" but the commenter at the very least infered as much.

    I can't speak with absolute knowledge for homosexual men, as I am not one, I'm a homosexual woman, but I'm very involved in my community and have many many homosexual men in my life.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the clarification, chaoticGRRL, and for the support. The series of these three posts were so long, I'm surprised someone actually read them. They were a lot of work to write, and they really got me thinking about how I felt. Ultimately, I think they helped me understand myself better, and they certainly provided insight to my readers regarding how I look at certain things. That could be both good and bad. Hopefully, I haven't lost any readers along the way.

    ReplyDelete