04 January 2011

RANT: Not a Choice?

So this is the third post today... but I can't sleep and my mind is going. Bare with me.

The Church no longer claims that homosexuality is a choice. It no longer claims that change is possible or even recommenced. So here is my question: if it isn't a choice, and the church is beginning to recognize that, why does it continue to condemn it.

If we teach that God says it is evil to be born without legs, and then someone is born without legs, what is that person to think?

Now, the Christian heterosexual might then say, "well, it isn't evil to have homosexual feelings, it is only evil to act on those feelings." Okay. Lets switch that around then. Pretend that churches taught that acting on heterosexuality was wrong. I know... it is hard to imagine, but please try. Don't worry, it is okay for you to feel those emotions... but it is evil to act on them. The churches recognize that you didn't choose to have those heterosexual tendencies and feelings, but that doesn't excuse you from not acting on them.

Really put yourself in a gay person's place. If you are married, there must have been some burning desire within you to date and find "the one." There must have been something powerful driving you to do that because, let's face it, marriage is hard. Now take that burning desire and stop it short. You are not allowed to do anything about it. DO NOT date. DO NOT hold hands. DO NOT kiss. DO NOT flirt. DO NOT even associate with anyone else who shares these heterosexual desires. That is what you are asking of me and of every gay member of the church. Yet you expect them to feel welcomed and accepted and supported and loved. Would you stick around if the church asked this of you?


Steven Lester said...

Well, then, ask yourself if you have ever been bigoted yourself, against anything at all. Bigotry is defined, for the purpose of this evolving argument, as intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself, of 16th century French origin, from the word bigot, meaning somebody who is a superstitious religious hypocrite.

Perhaps you never have been this way. Perhaps your own heart has always been too pure, but if not, remember how you felt when you were bigoted. Were you as well educated on the subject as you are now? Perhaps not. So, ignorance is a factor of the persona. Did it create a pleasant feeling of moral superiority within your life, wherein you either felt hate (anger) or pity for the cretin? That pleasant feeling is another factor of the persona. Did it bring you closer to others who together formed a community of like-minded people? So social connection is another factor of the persona. Did it free you from fear or the fear of fear by allowing your anger to give you strength against the fear-inducer? Perhaps desiring security is another factor of the persona.

I'll admit that I've felt bigotry and feel it even today and as I analyze my feelings as I think about the people that are the subject of my bigotry I can see clearly that in my life, a deeply-seated fear is the source of it. Fear is all of it.

Social mores provide the sense of stability and security that comes from community belonging and doing what one "ought to do". They exclude far more than they include and they are transmitted from generation to generation, from parents to children. Those things that with logic and intrinsic rightness (using the very values that the community holds dear) threaten to shake the stability and and security that the mores set provide is, of course, fiercely resisted.

My fear has to do with the violence that this set of people have been shown to have a high incidence of inducing upon the helpless often blindly. I'm scared of them and so I, inside of myself, feel superior to them and am always friendly to them because I fear what they will do to me if they ever get angry towards me. Perhaps people feel afraid of gays, too, because, by allowing them the freedom to be themselves the very fabric of the set of social mores couldl be torn apart and the security of belonging to a community could be removed.

I'm not sure what I trying to get at here. I'm just trying to speak from the heart. Fear seems to be the base of the bigotry. All the rest of the verbiage is just smoke to justify the feeling of the fear. I know, somewhat, what techniques have been used to effect the changing of the fear into support in the past, historically, and I seem to see most of them used today for the gay rights community, but little seems clear to me right now, otherwise.

Basically, you're listening to an idiot.

Steven Lester said...

That last sentence/question sounds a bit ominous.

Anonymous said...

Heterosexuals are victims too. They've grown up hearing all the myths, slurs and BS about gays...just like gays have. Thus self-loathing gays, I guess.

The majority of people are straight and for many the image of two guys 'going at it' is fairly unpleasant. They don't relate to it or understand how it could be pleasurable. Of course they never think of the emotional aspects that may be involved. They often think it's just about the physical attraction.

Remember watching movies or reading books that were about heterosexual romance and wishing they'd replace the guys' love interests with a man? Then you'd be able to relate to the story and actually enjoy it.

I suppose it's the same for straight folk. They just don't get it and probably shouldn't be expected to...at least not completely.

jen said...

I think this is a very powerful post.
I hope people can just UNDERSTAND what they are really asking, and think about what they are saying.

Gay Mormon said...

@Steven- I think you make some valid points. Ignorance, positive reinforcement, community, and fear are all enemies in this sense. I think the biggest of these is ignorance of course. I think that the other factors can sometimes promote ignorance. It is better to be ignorant together than knowledgeable alone.

Of course I have been bigoted. As children we learn from our parents and adopt their views which were learned from their parents. However, I feel that as I have grown and met people of different cultures, statuses, and situations, and finally through overcoming my own self-hate, I am much less judgmental and more aware that different does not equal bad. However, I am not perfect.

Also, I don't think you are an idiot.

@Anonymous- It is true that many people are misinformed and that the real bad guys are the ones that profess to speak truth about a matter they know little about. However, people can choose to shut their ears to what people are trying to tell them, or they can choose to investigate it themselves. If they choose to simply not listen or seek greater knowledge or understanding, "gain their own testimony," if you will, then I'm not prepared to call them victims.

Eric said...

I like what steven said about fear being all of it, because from my experience it is. It was the fear that coming out would ruin my life, it is fear that expanding the definition of marraige would have whatever negative consequences, it is the fear of losing people that were close to you, it is the fear that you could be wron, and the list just goes on and it is in every community and I find it to be very rampant and not limited to the heterosexual white male community but in everyone.

For example a gay might be bigoted to a former gay that claims to have changed straight. Why would they be bigoted toward one another? I find it is nothing more than the fear that one of them could be wrong in there choice.

So they don't even speak which causes people to be ignorant about other people. SO I find ignorance to be a symptum because if that was the main thing they would have been happpy to learn but they won't out of fear that it would threaten their perspectives on life.

I found this fear was the constant stopper in silencing my voice and preventing my interactions whith others. So I did my best to rid myself of it and I found friends in the most unlikely areas.

It is a struggle to be knowledgeable, less people tend to understand you, but your life becomes much more enriched and you tend to find friends with similar experiences and when you make friends with those people it is most certainly worth more than whatever community you constantly have to strive to be acepted by. SO my opinion, knowledgeable and alone >>>>>>>> than not growing in a community that only gives you your voice so long they like waht you hear.

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