A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Not a Monolith

"To penalise someone because of their sexual orientation is like what used to happen to us; to be penalised for something which we could do nothing [about] -- our ethnicity, our race. I would find it quite unacceptable to condemn, persecute a minority that has already been persecuted."

Desmond Tutu, who presented a different view of the Anglican Communion debate recently in Kenya. The Church in the "South" is not a monolith anymore than the church "North" is.

15 Comments:

At 6:34 PM , Blogger Bill Baar said...

Bishop Robinson said his homosexuality was an orientation for which he could do nothing about.

Bishop Robinson told us he first thought his alcholism a bad behavoior but he now understood it a disease to be treated.

Orientation, disease, what happened to ethics?

 
At 6:52 PM , Anonymous LG- said...

Wow, I continue to be impressed by Tutu.

 
At 5:39 PM , Blogger Jonathan said...

You have to be kidding...when people begin to compare racism and homosexuality, a slippery slope is quick created.

Don't believe me? Answer this: there are recovering gay and lesbian people all around the world every day. Yet there is no similar documentation or proof in relation to recovering from one's race. Have you ever heard of a recovering "Hispanic" or a recovering "African American" or a recovering "Caucasian?"

Let's get real : lifestyles are actions, succintly caused by personal decision to engage in such actions. We can chose to live a ceratain way, and the includes sexual activity.

 
At 8:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, there are no "recovering" gay people. There are those who manage to change their behaviour but they never change their orientation. A left handed person can force himself to write right handed but that doesn't mean he's comfortable with it. Hope this helps

 
At 4:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"there are recovering gay and lesbian people all around the world".

That comment demonstrates ignorance at it's best..

 
At 6:41 PM , Blogger Jonathan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 6:42 PM , Blogger Jonathan said...

Pardon my ignorance again, if perhaps only for a moment of your time.

The weak logic associated with a "right hand left hand" switcheroo is obviously apparent. Comfort has no relation to right and wrong, and should not be the final motivation in any situation.

Despite my supposed lack of knowledge in the situation, I happen to know someone that has done a complete 180 on how that person lives in accordance to a sexual lifestyle. Despite his homosexual preference previously, the person has now 'recovered' as a heterosexual citizen.

Many times, the root of the issue is a search for something missing in an individal's life: acceptance, love, an identitiy, etc...many gay people have found fullfillment in these areas in a heterosexual lifestyle.

This person is an example of people all around the world. If you still don't believe me, perhaps you would be interested in a couple of websites:

[[http://www.citizenlink.org/FOSI/homosexuality/overcoming/A000001532.cfm]]
[[http://www.leaderu.com/stonewall/issues/paulk.html]]

In truth, the real ignorance on this issue is stonewalling one's self to the fact that people can change, and that homosexuality is a lifestyle.

 
At 12:19 PM , Anonymous Chad said...

In my opinion, some people here are confusing bisexuality with homosexuality. A bisexual may be able to lead a "straight' lifestyle and repress their homosexual aspect of themselves. For someone who is born either homo or heterosexual, change is not an option. I cannot change my attraction to the opposite sex, as my homosexual friends cannot change their attraction to the same sex.

If someone has an attraction to both sexes, they can attempt to program themselves to only acknowledge one aspect of their sexuality. In my opinion, this is violating and disrespecting how they were created.

As a people, we must be more accepting of others and their differences. I also feel that the people who purport to be ethical are the first to engage in unethical behavior. Since when did someone's sexual orientation have anything to do with who they were attracted to? It does, however, have a great deal to do with how we treat each other. In the end, hate will never win.

 
At 12:23 PM , Anonymous Chad said...

In the last post, I meant to say ethics instead of sexual orientation.

I apologize. I should have previewed it before I posted. I've been having a head cold for a little over a week.

 
At 12:51 PM , Blogger Jonathan said...

If that were true, and people are simply born hetero or homo, then where is the proof?

Are there any specific genes associated with such sexualities? Of course not: simply you cannot pass down homosexual genes because it is impossible to procreate between two homosexuals.

The real confusion, then, is trying to fit beliefs around what we see around us, instead of building up from our foundations. There is no logic whatsoever behind a natural homosexual lifestyle. But we continue to try and mold such ideals over logic and truth.

Hate is not acknowledging something that is wrong...true hate is ignoring and accepting the problem.

 
At 9:44 AM , Anonymous Chad said...

Jonathan,

Thank you for your response. The science behind whether there is a genetic relationship between sexual orientation is nowhere near to being resolved. We just don't know enough yet. I feel there is a physical cause in the brain, but of course cannot state that with any confidence since the scientific evidence doesn't exist. I don't believe that 7-10% of the population would choose to be gay. Part of the problem may lie with focusing on why the difference occurs. Who cares why the difference exists, lets just acknowledge that it does and move on from there.

People learn from a young age who they are attracted to. This is before they understand that stating an attraction to the same sex can cause them familial, social, religious, and political persecution.

I disagree with you completely that "there is no logic whatsoever behind a natural homosexual lifestyle." When we allow people to define lifestyles around the person they fall in love with instead of forcing them to change an aspect of themselves, society wins. When did we stop associating relationships with our feelings? In my opinion, it is unnatural to force a person into a relationship they are not dedicted in the hopes they will feel accepted by society. It is equally unnatural to force a heterosexual to be in a gay relationship. We need to allow love to be the motivating factor in why we form intimate relationships.

What do you consider to be unnatural about gay relationships? It must be natural if we can look through time and see it occuring throughout.

I agree with you that hate is not acknowledging that something is wrong. Because it is obvious that homosexuals are discriminated against, we are bound to not just ignore and accept the problem. We cannot turn to most churches for assistance. They are usually part of the problem. Where do we go from here, but to live your life as an example of acceptance and tolerance?

 
At 10:35 AM , Anonymous Chad said...

Jonathan,

Thanks for all of these great discussions. To comment on an earlier posting, you state that a slippery slope is created when we compare racism and homosexuality. There is no slippery slope here, unless you are stating that if we end discrimination for race, we may have to end it for sexual preferences. I think you are actually stating that it is comparing unlike entities, such as apples and oranges. There is discrimination regarding one's race, as well as regarding one's sexual preference. When working with both groups, acceptance for one's uniqueness should be promoted. For instance, a brunette can die her hair all they want, their roots will not change when they grow out.

There exists some organizations, such as the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuals and the Family Resarch Council (FRC), that are faith-based and begin with a premise that gay people should supress their natural feelings and become heterosexual. These organizations pass themselves off as Christian, as if Christ ever encouraged insecurity and self-loathing. Suppressing your natural feelings has never been a good method for optimal mental health. Yet these people receive a great deal of funding to continue their crusade of hate. The FRC has in fact, worked to limit marriages. They came out against gay marriage. How can a pro-marriage organization be against people getting married? We should be supporting people who desire to get married, not trying to destroy them and their families.

It is your mentality, and frighteningly, you have a lot of company, in feeling that homoesexuals are in need of recovery. I contend that it is bigots that are in need of recovery.

I am also leery of the professional organizations for not taking a strong enough stand against conversion therapy. They can agree that homosexuality is not a mental disorder, but fall short of ensuring people aren't hurt due to what I see as a criminal use of therapy. Having a Masters and working on my doctorate in Clinical Psychology, I do not know of any professional that defines these people as ethical or constructive to a healthy mentalality. You seem overly confident that heterosexuals, as well as homosexuals, can choose to live a way that is unnatural to them. I guess I could be forced to perform a gay act if either me or my family's life or health was at stake, but its nothing I would ever choose. I also think I would rather die than allowing myself to keep being forced to live in an unnatural lifestyle. I never did understand why the zealots believe their sexuality can be changed so easily. Anytime someone states that sexuality can be changed, ask them what they would change their sexual preference for.

Peace

 
At 2:04 PM , Blogger Jonathan said...

To Chad-

I understand your reasoning, and that there it isn't easy to supress our feelings, but isn't that same struggle laid out before us as Christians in all aspects? When struggle with lust, or pride, or anger, we struggle the natural reaction to our feelings.

Do we not supress these feelings? Why? Because our natural tendencies are caused by the sin nature of man, and these tendencies drive us towards direct disobedience of God. As Christians, we learn to suppress our actions ever day through the help of Christ.

Homosexuality is no different. I may be attracted to every girl I lay eyes on, but that does not give me the right, as a Christian or an ethical person, to become intimate in such ways. Just because one feels a certain way does not soley give them the right to act on those feelings.

 
At 3:12 PM , Blogger Dwight said...

Jonathan
What you're proposing is a life of celibacy and the question is whether the good is best served in that way or is it served in providing moral contexts that gay and lesbians can live out their lives in relationship with one another. So far you haven't given reasons why the first should always be the case. I would think the response should be on a case by case basis as the individual responds to what they believe God's call is for them and their lives.

 
At 12:19 PM , Anonymous OneOfMany said...

DT is a man, no more and no less. But that is all. In this matter he is welcome to his own point of view. He has the right to be wrong and those who follow him have the right to choose to be like the blind following the blind. But DT and company do not constitute the "Church of the South." Others is the Church of the South see this matter far differently. If anything their voice is in this matter is worthy of greater consideration for they speak not from social experience but the clear teachings of Scripture. They are to be commended for refusing to trash the truth of Scripture so that accomidation might be afforded to those who walk contrary to the clearly revealed teachings of Christ.

 

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