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Passions in Poetry

Getting sick of the homophobes

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Falling rain
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0 posted 07-07-2009 11:33 PM       View Profile for Falling rain   Email Falling rain   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Falling rain's Home Page   View IP for Falling rain

UGH!

Okay so before for I start my story, let me give you a little bit of a background story.

   I'm bisexual. I'm not embarrassed about it and I'm open about it. But I don't rub it in peoples faces. Ya know? My friends and family know and they're fine about it. (Lucky me, right?)
   I live in a small town where everyone knows everything. There's a good side to that and a bad side to it. Too bad I got the short end of the stick.

So tonight I went on a walk. It was nice, warm, with a light breeze. And I had the energy to get my butt out of the house for a while.
Near the end of my walk, I walked by a group of kids on the street. Now, I'm not the type of person who likes walking by strangers in the dark. Sorta freaks me out to be blunt.

Side note: Well people know about my sexuality and they haven't really done anything in a negative way about it (like harassment or threats).. yet.

When I was walking by this group, I get insults and slurs. (I think that's the right word.)  I don't know these people personally, so I can't judge, but on what right do they have to insult someone they don't know?
  
Somehow they found it funny to follow me and make fun of me while I was on my walk. They were on bikes so no matter how fast I walked they'd catch up. I was out numbered by quite a bit and I ask politely for them to leave me alone. Hah! What good that did! They'd just insult me more and make fun of me.

   Side note: For those of you who don't know, I have a low self esteem. And I take things to heart most of the time. Its not new to me to be insulted like they did and I try to shrug it off as much as I can. But all those insults sorta build up over time.

Back to the story. Thank god I didn't walk far from my house because I had to run home to get away from them. I was really scared that they were going to try and hurt me or do something. Because I'm a pacifist, they wouldn't have to worry about being hit back.

~~Sigh~~ I'm just getting sick and tired of people. We're all different in our own ways. Can't we just celebrate our differences instead of treating others badly? Is there a chance for peace, love, and understanding? But to be honest I think that might never happen..  

***This is just me venting and fuming out hot steam . Thanks for reading if you did. ***
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1 posted 07-07-2009 11:56 PM       View Profile for SEA   Email SEA   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for SEA

Zach,

it's a shame they don't know you, I think you are a great guy! I think you are funny, and quick witted, sweet and just all around nice. they are missing out. Some day the bad things they said and did, will haunt them. Really. You did the right thing by removing yourself from the situation.
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2 posted 07-08-2009 03:00 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Zach,

          I don't like Homophobes very much, either.  Whatever else you can say about them or hope about them now or in the future, they're dangerous.  I don't think they're likely to feel sorry later, though it would certainly be nice.  One of the things I especially don't like about them is how they seem to swell from the fear of others, like ticks.  That's just disgusting.

     Being a pacifist doesn't mean that you have to emulate jello.  It simply means that you've made a decision not to hurt other people.  It can also mean that you've made a decision not to get hurt yourself in the process.  This is often a good idea.  All martial arts are not about beating up other people.  Some are simply about learning how to manage the way other people (and you yourself) deal with your aggression.

     This is not a bad thing either.

     As far as practical solutions are concerned, a cell phone with 911 on speed dial is a useful thing for a lot of people to have these days.  Probably more big city folks than small town folk,. you'd think, but this is around the age when a lot of folks are confused about their orientation, and I suspect that the notion of S & M flits across their mind, though not that openly, and without actually thinking to call it that.  They can get bisexual mixed up with the M part because none of it's very much at the formally verbal level in their heads.  And in groups, all thinking seems to go out the window anyway.  People turn into ill mannered and aggressive chimps.

     As you were unfortunate enough to see.

     The thinking part of the human brain is a thickly spray-painted coating over the outside of the thing, only a few millimeters thick, and everything underneath is not very rational at all, and very much more well practiced and familiar.

     When you get older, you'd be better in a place where bisexual folk are accepted as normal folk, for the most part, and it's the idiots with the dragging IQ's and knuckles who are generally understood to need the compassion for their handicaps.  Love is hard enough to come by for anybody in its genuine forms, between consenting adults.

Best wishes, Bob Kaven
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3 posted 07-08-2009 03:51 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Funny you should post this now Zach.  The issue has just hit the headlines again here because of some idiot bishop who seems determined to prove that the Church is composed of right wing bigots:

"People who depart from this [heterosexuality] donít share the same faith. They are acting in a way that is not normative according to what God has revealed in the Bible.

The Bibleís teaching shows that marriage is between a man and a woman. That is the way to express our sexual nature.

We welcome homosexuals, we donít want to exclude people, but we want them to repent and be changed."

Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali

You feel like repenting Zach?

The full article is here:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/5744559/Change-and-repent-bishop-tells-gays.html
Falling rain
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4 posted 07-08-2009 11:41 AM       View Profile for Falling rain   Email Falling rain   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Falling rain's Home Page   View IP for Falling rain

Hey Bob.K,

First off, whats S&M? I never heard of that before. lol. And I had my cell phone with me just in case. Good thing I didn't have to use it.

And I know what you mean about the pacifist thing. It's mostly controlling my anger for me. Its also like a meditation. I want the world to refrain from using violence to solve problems. And I want to start that movement by not using violence. I never got into a fight before. So I think I'm doing pretty good so far.


Rob,

Lol. How did you know that I wanted to repent for who I am?   Pfft.. As if! Its because of those religious people is why I don't like religion too much. I know where the Bishop is coming from but really? Do you really to conform people? I don't think so. God created us the way he wanted us. Gay, straight, white, black, tall, short, etc.. etc.. Its how things were made to be and are natural IMO. So yes, Rob, I do want to repent. *rolls eyes*     
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5 posted 07-08-2009 01:44 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Zach,

       S&M is folks who graft pain, whether expressed toward self or others, onto sexual expression.  That's a very short and over-simplified answer that many would find fault with.  The S is short for sadism; the M is short for masochism.  The practice is somewhat confusing for those who don't play, and especially for those who are unsure of their attraction to it in the beginning or along the way.

     Hence the sort of roaming gangs of folks you ran into, who confuse other people with folks who want to be beaten up, and feel themselves justified in doing so.  I think.  They get a free pass on an exploration of sadistic impulses, have a chance to get some release, and can tell themselves that the other folks were asking for it.  All without a single moment of honesty anywhere along the track.  They may also tell themselves that the feeling of satisfaction that they're enjoying is pleasure that they protected society.  It's all very roundabout and unconscious and unbearably self-righteous.

     Have I helped clear my earlier posting up while staying within bounds of clarity and and social acceptability?

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
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6 posted 07-08-2009 01:55 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     And, actually, if I remember my bible correctly, marriage is between, a man, several wives, a couple of concubines, and his flocks and belongings.  Sometime, should one of his brothers happen to die, the wife and the flocks of his brother as well.

     But biblical readings have varied tremendously through time.  The business back before the civil war about "The Sons of Ham" being black, and being given as slaves was widely quoted as justification for slavery throughout the south.  Has this reading changed?  Are the folks down there still saying that God demands that we have slaves and the Bible is the reason for it,  or might the thinking have somehow altered.  Personally, I doubt that the text has changed all that much, only that mankind has been forced to admit that ó in one of the kinder explanations ó that our understanding of The Word has been flawed.

     Wouldn't be the first time.  Doubt it's the last.
Falling rain
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7 posted 07-08-2009 02:22 PM       View Profile for Falling rain   Email Falling rain   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Falling rain's Home Page   View IP for Falling rain

Bob,

Yeah that makes much more sense. I mean the S&M part.

But the Bible hasn't changed much text-wise. The way people interpret the words change frequently. But if I remember right. Men can't not be married and are frowned upon on having a intimate relationship. Same goes for women.

People here have Southern idealistic thoughts (I think that's the right word) on this topic, so they are very religious and stay close to what the Bible says. What the Bibles says no to. They'll follow closely and stay by it.
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8 posted 07-08-2009 03:01 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Hi Zach

I think Bob gave you good concise replies on both the violence (mental and physical) and the religion thing.

On S&M and BDSM you can read more widely here,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadomasochism

because as Bob hinted it is a complex, and often misunderstood, issue.  (Ron, I hope I'm not overstepping the site guidelines.)  But if you read all that you might begin to see why I kinda disagree with Bob about S&M having anything much to do with what you experienced on your walk.  In my view (and I am somewhat qualified to talk because it used to happen to me), such behaviour is little more than straightforward bullying - picking on someone who is weaker or different.  The fact that they might have known you were bi was probably only significant in the sense that it made you different from them (or so they would like to make out, see later); I don't think they would be thinking anything so complex as "hey, all bisexuals like S&M lets give him some" - that sounds a bit far fetched to me.

In any event I wouldn't worry too much, things will change, you may change.  I know I did.  When I was your age I was firmly convinced I was gay.  After all, I had the physical relationship to prove it, didn't I?  Nothing is simple Zach.  These labels we attach to ourselves, or have attached by others, mean very little.  At a purely animal level I suspect we are all pretty much bisexual to one degree or another; do you know about the Kinsey scale?  It's a simple attempt at articulating what is a very complex issue:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinsey_scale

But at least it's a move away from these very simplistic labels, and recognises shifts over time.

So some of those idiots in that group who harassed you were probably not as different from you as they might have liked to pretend, and in a few years some might well be your friends.

As for the established churches I frankly despair.  You would have thought that in this day and age we would have progressed beyond the stage of wasting our time squabbling like school kids (sorry that's an insult to school kids - I should have said hyenas) over the interpretation of ancient texts that can obviously be twisted round to mean whatever one wants them to mean.  Mainstream religion really does sometimes give extra depth to the modern slant on the word "pathetic".  Worthy of pity indeed.
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9 posted 07-08-2009 05:56 PM       View Profile for Falling rain   Email Falling rain   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Falling rain's Home Page   View IP for Falling rain

Hey Rob,

I didn't know S&M was that complex. But I see your point. Would I be in some form masochistic? Being a pacifist I didn't do anything to stop them. Well except ask politely. But you see my point, right?

I didn't think they were thinking in the way of S&M. They're too simple minded to think or understand such a thing to be frank. I just think they'd think it would be fun to do such a thing to selected people. No I didn't know who those people were considering that it was night time and I couldn't see them that well.

Lol I know right? Religion is just falling in my standards. Doesn't seem like they're doing much to raise them anytime soon really.  
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10 posted 07-08-2009 07:12 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

Could be worst.
Be thankful youíre not a Republican . . .

.
Falling rain
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11 posted 07-08-2009 08:04 PM       View Profile for Falling rain   Email Falling rain   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Falling rain's Home Page   View IP for Falling rain

Hah! Good point Huan Yi.
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12 posted 07-09-2009 02:41 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

A bisexual Republican is an oxymoron Huan.
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13 posted 07-09-2009 02:06 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

quote:
~Sigh~~ I'm just getting sick and tired of people. We're all different in our own ways. Can't we just celebrate our differences instead of treating others badly? Is there a chance for peace, love, and understanding? But to be honest I think that might never happen.
Don't let this one experience with people take away your faith in the human race, as there is always one great, understanding person out there for every jerk.  It is never going to change I don't think Zach, people are always afraid of things they don't understand.  Fear being the one single emotion that can hold anyone back from accomplishing great things.  My entire family goes by this old saying, "Feel the fear and do it anyway." Fear can create some really good adrenalin.

I am sure in your lifetime you are going to see the laws change, and that will increase understanding and acceptance.  There will always be those that do not accept change, and that is just life I guess.  I believe there is a chance for hope, peace, and understanding, and I also believe it begins with me.  

I am sorry that incident happened to you, but you handled yourself well.  I hope you discussed it with your parents?
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14 posted 07-09-2009 09:32 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Moonbeam,

Suffice it to say that if we are speaking of ill-will toward homosexuals, whether in action or thought, then I find it as despicable as you do.  But believing that a behavior is morally wrong, or even non-normative, is not the same thing.  

Bob,

The religious interpretation of the "sons of Ham" in Genesis as being the black race, and thus justifying racism, is eisegesis in the extreme, and morally unjustified.  It is set over and against all the mandates to love your neighbor, welcome the stranger, etc ... etc ...  Likewise, we have no biblical statement whatsoever of polygamy being okay.  At best we have what seems a permissive forbearance, while all the polygamists of the OT tended to reap a whole lot of trouble because of it.  (I know how difficult marriage is, with ONE person)  The presence of polygamy in the Bible, therefore, cannot reasonably be said to be prescriptive, only descriptive.  This is verified both by the foundation of Creation as recorded in Genesis (one man and one woman), and the reinstatement of that same standard by Jesus in the New Testament, when questioned about divorce ... "But from the beginning it was not so".

At any rate, these examples of yours (regardless of how you feel about homosexuality), are a far cry different from the biblical texts that speak about homosex, for the simple reason that the prohibition of homosexuality is consistent with the Biblical account of Creation and marital union.  Racism and polygamy, as untoward departures, are quite inconsistent with the whole.  The Biblical texts still have enough objectivity about them (as does most any text), to dismiss the suggestion that all interpretations are equally valid and elastic.  (though I would concede that many fundmentalists create a rigidity that is no better an extreme)

I really didn't (and still don't) want to make this thread into a debate about the Bible and homosexuality.  However, putting the mentioned bishop in the same ilk as the sidewalk mockers and potentially violent, is not just in my estimate.  I still believe it is possible to deeply care for, and even love, someone whose behavior you don't assent to.

Falling Rain,

I hope you are not offended at my making this distinction.  I understand how someone in your circumstances (especially in light of much that has been said and done) might find such a distinction difficult.  I am sorry this has happened to you, as it would be unnerving for anyone who is mistreated, regardless of the perpetrators "excuse" to do so.  


Stephen

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (07-09-2009 10:07 PM).]

Bob K
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15 posted 07-09-2009 11:09 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Stephanos,

          I agree that the "Sons of Ham" business is morally unjustified.  I would also suggest that this is an interpretation that is a modern interpretation, and that slavery was accepted and justified not only throughout the world but specifically throughout the Christian world for at least 1500 years.  It would be nice if this were not so.

     While many folks in the United States followed the English anti-slavery model, there was still a large number of pro-slavery folks in the United States, even in the North.  Because so much of society was ordered around religion, religion was a strong contender in this debate as well.  "Sons of Ham" was part of the rhetoric of the era.  Whether you believe that God said there should be Slavery or not, many of the people of the era would be willing to kill you for suggesting that this was not the case, as would many of the religious leaders.

     I can't tell you what God said.  But a large number of honest and believing Christian men and women believed and had been taught that this was the way that things were.  If you spoke to them now, odds are that they'd give you a fight on what they'd believe to be an honest basis.
I happen to think they'd be wrong.  So what?

     What it is set against is generally not much of a problem.  Saint Bernard said that there was such a thing as a just and holy war against another religion, and the fact that religious folk were expected to take life was gotten around by giving them maces instead of swords, if I recall correctly.  He thought it was fine to kill Jews as well.  If I remember correctly.  The fact that such policies conflict with Love thy neighbor and Thou Shalt not Kill seem to have gotten lost in the shuffle.  Religions absorb contradictions like Bounty Brand Paper Towels are supposed to absorb Water.

     There are statements in the bible that actually state that you are supposed to marry your brother's wife if he dies.  This doesn't mean "if you are single."  This means, "You are supposed to marry your Brother's wife" because to do so keeps property in the family and takes care of the wife and the children and preserves the notion of honor.  Even if you are already married, this is what you are supposed to do.  You project the mores of the current world back onto the culture of a nomadic tribe where this sort of family structure may well have been adaptive.  Then was not now.  The notion of marriage at that time, indeed the notion of love between people, may well have been considerably different.  

     Much of what we consider about love today is very much a result of the formal notion of "Romance" that grew up in Provence around the year 1000.  See Denis de Rougement Love in The Western World.  The notions of Marianism, The Great Mother, and the idealization of the beloved are only a few of the these that contribute to this very rich theme of both religious and cultural development.  The notion of The One seems in many ways to come out of this cultural development.

     We may see some of the themes that comes out of this period as being biblical in their development.  An examination of the data is probably well worth the effort before going along with this assumption which may, at least in part, be open to question.

     As always, Stephen, your comments about the nature of love itself seem both lucid and generous.

     If honest, I find love hard to dishonor between equals.  It seems to generate its own warm yet shadowless light.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
          


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16 posted 07-10-2009 05:08 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Sorry Stephen, I certainly didn't mean to imply that Rochester's comments were in the same vein as the abuse suffered by Zach on his walk.  He raised the subject in his title of homophobic behaviour generally, and that item just happened to be in the news that morning.

However in a sense the bishop's attitude was imv considerably more disturbing than the comments directed at Zach.  On the one hand we have a group of fairly ignorant adolescents simply verbally bullying someone different to themselves.  On the other we have a learned and erudite senior member of the Church of England who presumably knows full well what he is doing, trying to make the point that you made again in your post, viz, that while he holds no ill-will towards homosexuals and welcomes them into the Anglican communion he condemns their behaviour as morally wrong, as against the will of God and as likely to sent them straight to hell.  They should moreover repent and be saved.

There is something deeply distasteful about that stance to me.  I disagree with you that the interpretation of the Bible is not infinitely flexible, I think it is just exactly that, except to all those who want it to say what they want to believe.  When a bishop stands up and effectively says: "I condemn your behaviour and what you are because this little book I am holding says it is wrong", I feel rather depressed.

[This message has been edited by moonbeam (07-10-2009 10:59 AM).]

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17 posted 07-10-2009 12:21 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Who should condemn anyone for sincerely having "homophobic", even racist, even sexist beliefs?  All people deserve tolerance regardless of their beleifs.   It is the manners in which they treat people that don't deserve what the people deserve.  I have patience and tolerance for both "homosexuality" and tolerance for varying degrees of fear or disagreement.  What is the continuing problem though is that people confuse a way of doing something with the people themselves, and which is the most dangerous confusion for it results in people treating people and manners as one and the same and when they condemn and attack someone's manners they therefore condemn and attack the people that bear those manners they are condemning.  As long as people don't make the distinction between people from what people believe in or do, they continue to treat them as one and the same, and as much as they hate something people do they hate the people and treat them according to their hate as well. That is what converts disagreeing beliefs into dangerous behaviours.

The only way we may overcome that is by having as much patience and sympathy for the people behind the beliefs and manners despite our impatience and dislike of their beliefs or manners.  Respect and sympathy for people themselves must transcend whatever disrespect or disagreement we have with their beliefs or actions.

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18 posted 07-10-2009 03:37 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam



quote:
Respect and sympathy for people themselves must transcend whatever disrespect or disagreement we have with their beliefs or actions.

Long on ideals, short on practicality Ess.  

"Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."  Matt 7-20

Separation of the act and thought from the "real" man is an enticing path to follow, and I can think of at least one religion that uses it as a central tenet.  I think the problem with an all-embracing approach like that is twofold:

Firstly, it doesn't really stand up to the test of experience.  How can you reasonably be expected to "respect and agree" with the murderer of your daughter?  Separating the act of murder from the hand that wielded the knife is not really a progressive thought.  It may be a different matter to sympathise with the abused childhood that created the murderer and then use that understanding to create a platform to begin the process of forgiveness, but to trying and separate the act from the man is imv unhelpful.  

That isn't to say that narrowed down your postulate doesn't have some merit.  If you, for instance, say that you should have respect and sympathy for a person with whose  ideas and actions you disagree provided those ideas and actions do not harm another creature, then I am more in accord with you.  This is very simplistic of course.

Secondly, have you ever been on the receiving end of someone who says to you as a bisexual person: "I respect and sympathise with you as a person, but you should know that your actions and views are evil and you will go straight to hell"?  Well I have, and it doesn't feel nice I can tell you.  It certainly doesn't make one feel like the person really respects or likes you at all.  It feels like you are being told you are bad.  It feels like the person is imposing their values on you and judging your behaviour, which despite your idealistic postulate, makes one feel like they are judging you.
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19 posted 07-10-2009 05:02 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Moonbeam

Please take a look at this thread for now.  It will show you more of the context in which I am speaking.
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20 posted 07-10-2009 05:17 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Essorant,

          It doesn't show me unless you care to be specific about the point you wish your readers to draw.  If you want to have a private chat with moonbeam, of course, email is always available.  Otherwise, I'd appreciate your keeping the assumption of my ability to read your mind down to a minimum.  I really don't know unless you actually say it, most of the time.  I got very poor grades in ESP all through college and grad school.

     Maybe others who did better can translate for me.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven

Grumble, grumble, grumble.
Essorant
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21 posted 07-10-2009 10:44 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Bob,

What part of the discussion don't you understand?

If those people that Zach met directed their comments to bisexuality itself and why they may think it wrong, it probably would still be innappropriate at the time, but it would be a LOT less wrongful than insults and attacks directed at him personally, in which his own personal safety was threatened.  I don't think the difference and distinction is small at all.  

Even in smaller examples, it may make a great difference. I was out the other night at my aunt's birthday and a girl was going out to smoke and my grandmother asked her outright "are you so stupid"?  I could tell by the softened tone in her voice at the end of saying that she already realized she mispoke.  I smoothed it over a bit by saying she meant to say that smoking was stupid, not the girl that was going out to smoke.  My grandmother is very respectful even though she strongly disagrees with somethings such as smoking, but a little confusion like that can lead to a very disrespectful manner.

Stephanos
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22 posted 07-10-2009 11:47 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Moonbeam,

By the way, good to chat with you.  It's been a little while.          

quote:
... in a sense the bishop's attitude was imv considerably more disturbing than the comments directed at Zach.  On the one hand we have a group of fairly ignorant adolescents simply verbally bullying someone different to themselves.  On the other we have a learned and erudite senior member of the Church of England who presumably knows full well what he is doing, trying to make the point that you made again in your post, viz, that while he holds no ill-will towards homosexuals and welcomes them into the Anglican communion he condemns their behaviour as morally wrong, as against the will of God and as likely to sent them straight to hell.  They should moreover repent and be saved.


I think there may be a misunderstanding as to what, according to sound Christian Theology, may send someone "straight to hell".  We are all sinners.  So any particular sin is not (or should not be) singled out as especially damning.  We all have the "disease" of sin, if you will, and are called to repentance in various ways.  It is our personal spiritual estrangement from God that will, if unremedied, send us to hell.  Which is why there was that thing at Calvary, that didn't make distinction between sins as far as redemption goes.

But let me pose it to you this way, would you think the Bishop equally intolerant for welcoming adulterers, or pedophiles, or extortioners, while demanding repentance?  I would think that of one or more of these examples, or of something else I could put there, you would expect, nay demand that kind of demand.

You have your moral lines drawn as well, in your own thoughts.  And a community, in your eyes, is certainly not "anything and everything goes" ... if I may ascertain from things you've written on this forum.

I think the crux here, is in the basic disagreement about whether homosexuality is sinful, versus something more like race or eye-color, that is genetically determined and simply a part of natural variation in human beings.  While I certainly recognize that no one simply wakes up one day and says "I think I'll be homosexual" (this is also true of a host of behaviors that even you do not accept as moral), I also find little or no persuasive evidence for the latter view.

You simply disagree with the Bishop and myself, about whether this particular behavior/ orientation has a moral dimension.  You don't disagree with the Bishop and myself about whether firm lines should be drawn when it comes to community and public approval.  You don't disagree with drawing lines, you just draw yours at a different longitude.

quote:
I disagree with you that the interpretation of the Bible is not infinitely flexible, I think it is just exactly that, except to all those who want it to say what they want to believe.


As I mentioned before, this sounds reasonable until real texts, written by real people are examined with the thought of determining what they were saying.  Some ambiguity, but if texts were as obscure as many pretend, there wouldn't be enough transmission of thought to even enjoy a good classic novel.

For example, would you care to make an exegetical case that adultery is acceptable in either the Old Testament or the New?  The infinite elasticity you speak of is only gotten by saying "I have freedom to disagree with and depart from the text to any degree".  And if that's what you mean, I agree with you.  But for those who take scripture as revelatory, and as the way in which God has spoken objectively to some degree, not just as a moppet of our own feelings, then texts cannot be so easily dispensed with.

On the Theological side of things, as Tim Keller asked; Would it be reasonable to expect a God to never have anything to say to challenge or critique us or our own cultural trends?  It would more reasonable to think that a God who is not just our own imaginitive fiction, would probably say things that deeply resonate with us as truth, and at the same time offer some other things that would challenge our views, thoughts, assumptions.  Things that would be difficult.  Such is the nature of three things people have trouble with, but have never abandoned ... authority, relationship, and love.  

quote:
When a bishop stands up and effectively says: "I condemn your behaviour and what you are because this little book I am holding says it is wrong", I feel rather depressed.

... and

It feels like the person is imposing their values on you and judging your behaviour, which despite your idealistic postulate, makes one feel like they are judging you.


How is the Bishop's stance any different than your own with the Bishop?  Aren't you openly telling us that, though you would wish him no harm, that you think his attitude and words contemnible?  Aren't you offering him real moral censure?  From your own perspective, why should it matter whether it is from a written revelation, or from what you might call a self-evident-ethic.  

I'm not saying its wrong for you to do so.  (Obviously I've never felt or communicated that it is wrong to say something is wrong).  But I am trying to show you that your arguments need to address the subject (if that's what you wish), rather than castigate the castigators, which is self-refuting.

I have to agree with you that though I appreciate Essorants desire to "respect" all parties ... I cannot go so far as to divorce person completely from action and thought.    


Bob,

I appreciate your thoughtful reply.  No time just yet.  Gotta go to sleep now.  Try to get back sometime early next week.


Stephen

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (07-11-2009 12:05 AM).]

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23 posted 07-11-2009 01:15 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Essorant,  

        
quote:
Essorant to Bob:
What part of the discussion don't you understand?



"Moonbeam

"Please take a look at [underline]this thread[/underline] for now.  It will show you more of the context in which I am speaking."


     Those would be the parts after the salutation to this posting and before the beginning of this paragraph.  Neither the context nor the points are clear to me for having been unspecified.  Woody Allen reports having been once failed on a metaphysics final in college for having been discovered looking into the soul of the student next to him.  I have tried and tried, I confess, but people keep telling me that I don't understand.  Reluctantly, I confess that I cannot read minds.  I can make interpretations, but they require evidence and a therapeutic contract at a minimum.  Skill and insight are also helpful.

     This is merely a discussion that I don't understand and which for some reason you feel I should.

     I should point out that we have had this confusion before on this topic, the extent that a person and his actions are the same or different, and to which a person may be taken to task for his actions or blamed for them.

     I can't say that I have a concrete answer to that question, by the way, at least in the more moderate ranges in which the question might be asked.  I have only a large degree of confusion about it that I find gets clarified on a case by case basis.

     But I still do not understand the issue or the context that you believe I should understand so readily.  Perhaps there are others who do, and who might be willing to explain this to me is simple, understandable language, so I can follow the discussion.  This would be a good thing for me.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
moonbeam
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24 posted 07-15-2009 09:51 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Hi Stephen, the feeling is reciprocal  

I think "sound Christian theology" is as flexible as it needs to be to retain a sustainable number of faithful from century to century.  Opinions as to what is "sound" also, I think vary with cultural and social variations too.  For instance a Catholic convent school in Cheltenham will have a different view to York Minster (that won't mean a great deal to you I know, sorry).

Forgive me for not answering your directly posed questions.  There's not much point because you know what my answers will be, you picked up the general drift of my beliefs correctly from earlier exchanges.  

So let's just cut to the chase.  You are of course heading in the right direction when you say:

"the crux here, is in the basic disagreement about whether homosexuality is sinful, versus something more like race or eye-color, that is genetically determined and simply a part of natural variation in human beings.  While I certainly recognize that no one simply wakes up one day and says "I think I'll be homosexual" (this is also true of a host of behaviors that even you do not accept as moral), I also find little or no persuasive evidence for the latter view."

At this point I wrote a long passage about the nature of homosexuality, and then I suddenly realised that we may not be talking about the same thing at all.  I've rarely discussed homosexuality with members of the C of E clergy but I have read their public comment and on the two occasions I have been drawn into conversations I received very conflicting views of what the Church's stance was.

The first time was about 33 years ago with a friend who was at Durham Uni and was intent upon being ordained.  He was on the evangelical wing of the Church, and held the view that any desire whatsoever mental or physical to love a person of the same sex in any other way than an absolutely platonic one was a sin punishable by eternal damnation.  My other conversation was about 10 years later with the then Bishop of Dover, Tony Tremlett, who was at the time a strong contender for a future Archbishop of Canterbury.  He was also a borderline alcoholic, probably gay himself, and my godfather.  Over a night of endless tumblers of whisky he told me, amongst many other "sex tips for boys", that the Church regarded only those actually currently indulging in active and promiscuous homosexual acts as sinners.

There seems to be a similar confusion in the published information I've read.  So before going any further and wasting time arguing points we didn't need to argue, do you mind clarifying for me what exactly "sound Christian theology" means by homosexuality worthy of condemnation and in need of repentance?

(I'm trying to respond to your point about addressing the subject, but later I will also try and explain why I, as you put it "castigated the castigators")
 
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