Our Godawful Objectification of Men With Same-Sex Attraction

If you think these are days in which women are objectified, well, you’d be right. The crown jewel of evolution is used to sell cars. But women have nothing – infinitesimally small potatoes, really — on the ridiculous amount of objectification and abstraction heaped upon men with same-sex attraction. Let’s break it down.

First, we’ve got the names we call these gentlemen. If the names come spewing forth from the homophobe, the objectification is obvious: Faggot, queer, fruit — all these terms are designed to make a total, negative definition, a non-existent and detestable class in which to place a human being: “You’re not a man, you’re a queer! And all queers hate Jesus and can be ignored.” Because as we all know,

 

Get it?

If the names come from the super-with-the-times gay rights activist, then they’re incredibly worse, though admittedly more subtle. The Activists are forever encouraging men with SSA to “accept your identity!”, “come out!”, and to otherwise claim the title of Gay Man. It’s just another brilliant form of objectification.

Because the last time I checked, the unique identity of man is not defined by where he wants to put his penis. Identity is not gained, nor will it ever fulfill, if it is no more than a great narrowing of the human person to a single characteristic — in this case his sexual characteristic. Gay Man? Really? No one demands heterosexuals to “accept their identity” and define themselves as Straight Men. Such a thing would be a grave insult to the fantastic complexity of their being. Yet this is the modus operandi of the Activist, and the end goal given to the high-school kid with same-sex attraction — to come out of the closet and love himself for Who He Is.

(And yes, of course I realize there is no stigma against being a heterosexual. That’s not the point here. The point is that our super-cool-culture, in its drive to be accepting, tolerant and all the rest, has decided to defend the Gay Man and largely ignore that beautiful, noble piece of work — the actual man.)

Which leads to the next insidious bit of patronizing objectification slapped on men with same-sex attraction: Media Portrayal. According to Hollywood, gay men are not allowed to be screw-ups. Gay men are, well, just fabulous. You can hardly turn on a sitcom or cartoon, read a novel, or watch a movie without seeing the Media running their fingers through the hair of the Gay Man Abstraction, telling the world that, “Oh my goodness, well (Gay Man) here is incredibly funny, cute, kooky, has great taste in clothes, and will always solve (straight female protagonist)’s problems by the end of the episode, like the fantastic little helper he is!” Pat, pat, pat. Here, have a dose of it:

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Sex lives ignored, the Media obliges their “Gay Men” to behave like Mormons on a Boy Scout trip, or — to ditch the hyperbole — like pets. The reality — and this might be a shock to some people — is that men with same-sex attraction are men. They are men who yearn for infinite satisfaction to the cry of their hearts. They are men who — quite often — dress like crap. They are men who make godawful decisions and regret them before going to sleep. All this ignores the fact that — if they are living an active homosexual lifestyle (another abstraction, I apologize) –  they have a much more difficult time than straight men, what with a higher risk of HIV, depression, and substance abuse, and a generally lower life expectancy.

And, please, correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t help but believe that the majority of these men don’t give a damn about that idiot female protagonist, who’s utter inability to be anything but a shallow whore is depressing, and — quite frankly — they’d rather not step into her room, give her a sassy, whimpering look, and spew out a tired cliche that will provide her with all the motivation she needs to get another STD.

But Hollywood drives on, holding on a kitschy, golden pedestal their “Gay Man!” that the world should and will — but for their bigotry — adore.

This Media Portrayal seems to influence the intensely creepy, “I wish I had a gay best friend,” mentality so many girls display. Again, it’s total objectification. The Gay Best Friend Abstraction isn’t just a false category in which to place a person — it is an amputation of the person. When girls want a “gay best friend” they certainly aren’t asking for a unique human being, with all aching, terrifying desires human beings contain, who will work for their ultimate good to the point of death. They want an accessory. The “Gay Best Friend” must — above all things — be safe. He must have all the emotional benefits of being a male, without the emotional threats. He must be supportive, without reminding her of the father-figures in her life. He must provide the emotional affirmation of male, physical touch, without touch ever meaning anything. He must be a girl, provide fashion advice, and — in general — have all the characteristics of a puppy on happy pills.

But he is made for more. He is made for infinite love.

So what’s the point?

The reason we so easily grow weary of the Culture War is this: It is a war of opposing abstractions. We bear witness to the great clash of The-Protect-The-Lord-Jesus-Christ’s-Plan-For-Perfect-Problem-Free-(Civil)-Marriage-From-The-Threat-Of-The-Evil-Pederasts-Horde vs. The-Gay-Men-Are-Superhumanly-Perfect-And-Conform-To-What-We-Want-Them-To-Be-And-If-You-Oppose-Their-Marriage-Then-You-Are-Filled-With-HATE-BURNING-HATE-Army. Any worthwhile dialogue is destroyed, for it is a battle of ghosts and whispers, with men on all sides running to the defense of shadows. It’s far easier than treating them as human beings, this objectification.

So let’s refuse. Let’s argue for the ultimate good of the human person, not for the minor good of a ghost. To be clear, and as you’ve probably guessed, I don’t think the ultimate good of a man with same-sex attraction can be achieved by the normalization of the actively homoerotic lifestyle via redefined civil marriage. But this is a view I can only defend if I defend the Man, and throw all abstractions to the wind.

Stay classy in the combox, party people.

  • http://twitter.com/PaigeKellerman Paige Kellerman

    Hey Marc, great post as usual. I don’t know if you saw this already, but I thought it was a fantastic post along similar if not exact lines. Have a good one! http://fathertalkstoofast.blogspot.com/2012/05/same-sex-marriage-debate-third-option.html?m=1

    • http://spiritualadvocate.wordpress.com/ Frater Bovious

      @ Alexandra – the part about “shallow whore” was in the section that began with: “Which leads to the next insidious bit of patronizing objectification slapped on men with same-sex attraction: Media Portrayal. ”

      Now you may object to the Media Portrayal of Female Protagonists as sexually promiscuous – but I’ve seen the TV shows and Movies where this seems to be the case – basically EVERYONE is promiscuous in these shows. So, I looked up the definition of whore. According to Dictionary.com:
      whore
         [hawr, hohr or, often, hoor] Show IPA noun, verb, whored, whor·ing.
      noun
      1.
      a woman who engages in promiscuous sexual intercourse, usually for money; prostitute; harlot; strumpet.

      The part “usually for money” would seem to be possibly a sticking point – but the word is “usually” not always or exclusively. You may dislike that the word “whore” is associated with promiscuity, but, simply, it is associated. It is in fact part of the definition of the term.

      Regardless – you have focused on something that apparently matters to you, but you are incorrect in calling out Marc on this subject because Marc is calling out the Media on this topic. That he used the term “whore” to describe what the Media seems to think all women are, i.e. sexually promiscuous, is a correct use of the term. However, I have seen nothing whatsoever in any of his writings that would suggest he thinks women should be called whores, even if they do have sex for money. IT would seem obvious from his writing that mostly he would feel sad because in his world that is not the highest good of the woman.

      FB

      • Alexandra

        No, I don’t object to the media portrayal of people as promiscuous. I object to referring to promiscuous women as whores.

        • http://www.scificatholic.com D. G. D. Davidson

          Why are you continuing to derail the conversation here with faux outrage? Marc should put an automatic ban on anybody who tries to politically correctify his writing; that would help keep conversations on-topic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1038494685 Laura J. Ricketts

    Right on! Way to see through the objectification and defend the Person – the man who is hurting behind it.

  • Anon_Gay_Christian

    As a guy attracted to other guys who believes in the Church’s purpose of marriage and sex all I can say is “Amen.”

    Sexuality is a part of who we are but it is not the whole. Telling gay people/ people attracted to the same sex to conform to that image, to come out, to act for a political cause, promises liberation but only binds me to another standard. We can’t avoid being bound. So I choose to be bound to the death and Resurrection of Christ and the transformation of the church.

    I hate both “abstractions” you speak of but feel powerless to object without “coming out.” If I try to object to either side an accusation faces me that “I don’t know what it’s like [if I suggest that, within the Church, same-sex marriage should not be blessed]” or that I am just “looking at things too emotionally [if I decry the bullying of LGBT persons].”

    Only my closest friends know of my attractions. I often feel caught between Christians who genuinely hate and “open and affirming” who think all gay people seeking a life of chastity are suppressing themselves or “trying to pray the gay away” and so hate my commitment.

    But it does not have to be this way.
    http://www.ransomfellowship.org/articledetail.asp?AID=506&B=Wesley%20Hill&TID=7

    I had a counselor I went to give me a sheet called “The Good of being LGBT and the LGBT community” it included “self-awareness,” “sense of community,” and “willingness to oppose cultural norms”. All of those things I find in the Church.

    The Church needs to be the place for homosexual persons. Contrary to popular belief, “Open & and Affirming” is not the way to do this– it’s not even the “most humble answer” (it’s quite an arrogant stance boldly saying Holy Scriptures, the Apostles, and Church history was not only wrong but wrong in an issue of deep consensus).

    Being the place for sinners saved and growing in Christ is the role of the Church. Hating those different than us OR conforming to zeitgeist-oriented notions of social acceptability are _both_ ways the Church can fall short of its role.

    • MF

      AMEN.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/EPGF6KUYAOPQ6GXVIL2KN7CTSA GlennS

      I’m absolutely inspired by people like you who struggle with same sex attractions, but are still trying to live out the Church’s call to chastity. I think we are all called to be “counter cultural” as Christians/ Catholics.

      I struggled to do this and ultimately found that God was calling me through trying to live as a faithful Catholic married husband and father (I spent many years discerning religious life, thinking this was the only “counter cultural” way to do it.

      I’ve reflected on my life as a young married man recently about my life.

    • Gail Finke

      I am also inspired by your post. People have such trials, and struggle so hard! I will pray for you. Marc did such a great job of showing how our supposedly tolerant culture supposedly wants to “affirm” men as gay, while at the same time insisting they behave like harmless puppies. In other words — “Pay no attention to gay men you actually know, watch Glee!” I’ve lived in several neighborhoods popular with homosexual men and women, and worked in two industries that employ many of them. They run the personality gamut like anyone else. Some of them are/were lovely people, some were big jerks. No one, ever, was like any “gay” character on tv or in the movies. Many of them were very, very sad people. Were they sad because they were gay? I don’t know! But I also know more than one very sad person from my college days who eventually said he or she was gay. I don’t think they all were, I think they were incredibly grateful to find a group of people who would take them in. I also know two women who said they were lesbians (including one who “married” another woman) but who later married men. People are much more complicated than activists would like them to be. I don’t see how encouraging people to do things that are morally wrong — any things — and encouraging them to identify those things with their very beings and identities, helps anyone.

    • Bob

      I have a genuine question. I’m not trying to make a point or counter an argument. I really would like to know: for the heterosexual Christians that take what Romans and other passages of the Bible says literally, that practicing homosexuality is wrong, what are we supposed to say and do about it regarding our gay friends? I have gay Christian friends who are offended when i say that I think marriage is defined as a man and a woman and they state that I shouldn’t focus on that if I want to reach that community for Christ. But now i’m torn because I don’t make exceptions when I talk to other people that have obvious sins like gluttony, racism, greed, etc. I can’t compromise on what the Bible says, but I don’t want to hurt the cause of Christ either. The Bible does say that homosexuality is wrong. It also defines marriage as between a man and a woman. But it never says that you can’t be a Christian if you’re gay.

      So I guess what I’m wondering is, how do I reach lost gay people for the cause of Christ if they’re already turned off because they think the church hates them, even though true Christians don’t hate them.

      • vpstartcrow66

        You pray for them. Most of them are struggling with honesty; they want validation from others because they cannot get it from their own consciences (this goes for gays & straights). You cannot validate their sinful desires as good; but you can add the experience of your love for the people, combined with your sorrow at their sin, to the mix. It will strike the more honest of them as paradoxical, and they can chew on that until God brings it to a decisive moment. Don’t stop speaking the truth in love!

        • Bob

          Definitely AMEN to praying and speaking the truth in love.

          • Susan

            “Truth in love?” Yeah, as someone who’s about to receive her MD and move into the field of psychiatry, it’s certainly loving to try to threaten and shame one into attempting to change an innate, immutable characteristic based upon your hermeneutically unsound ramblings. If you only knew the damage that attempting (and I say attempt because it’s impossible) to change one’s sexuality can cause, you would agree with me that there was nothing Christian about what you’re suggesting. Oh well–you’re clearly on the wrong side of history. We’ll look back on you people the same way we look back on people who argued to their graves that the Bible supports slavery or that witch burnings, inquisitions, etc. were totally justify.

          • Susan

            *justified

          • Bob

            I’m not saying they have to *change* their sexuality. If they’re born that way, they almost certainty CANNOT can’t change it, but they can refuse to act on it if they like. I know from your standpoint that’s probably almost equally egregious; however, it’s no more egregious than certain members of the Catholic church suppressing their heterosexual urges.

          • Susan

            I love how you make allowances for your own heterosexual behaviors but not for your gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. Celibacy is a special calling–at least that is what the Church decided when its heterosexual members couldn’t keep their hands to themselves and follow in the footsteps of Jesus and Paul. Bob, Christian theology is drawn from scripture, tradition and reason (and in some cases experience). Before you go about the business of condemning others, you clearly need to delve deeper into scriptural hermeneutics, Church history and modern science. Your argument needs a stronger foundation.

          • HG

            “It’s no more egregious than certain members of the Catholic Church suppressing their heterosexual urges.” Yeah, except a) they’re called to priesthood b) HA! and I believe with this child molestation scandal we’ve seen what happens when one tries to suppress natural human urges.

          • wineinthewater

            There should be a Godwin’s law for this. But let’s look at the reality.

            The rate of abusive priests is lower than the general population. It is much lower than the rates of biological fathers and teachers most notably, and those are two segments of society that I am pretty sure have access to marriage.

          • Bob

            Your point on molestation is a non sequitur, and have you ever heard the phrase “priesthood of the believer”? All believers are “priests” and saints in their own right in that they can come to God on their own. Jesus is their mediator and they need no other go-between. In addition, no where in the gospel is there a command to be celibate.

            Paul does encourage not getting married in order to be 100% focused on the work of Christ, but that’s different topic altogether.

            And as wineinthewater indicates in a different post, Jesus defines marriage as between a man and a woman and condemns extramarital sexual acts (fornication, adultery, etc), effectively condemning homosexual activity. If Romans chapter one doesn’t say that homosexual acts are displeasing to God in your opinion, then maybe Jesus can explain it better for you in Matthew 19 and Matthew 5.

            This is turning into a flame war (no pun intended) full of personal ad hominem attacks, and I’m going to stop posting. Unfortunately nothing productive or good will come from this debate.

          • Girl

            Really? So paedophilia is caused by not having enough sex? Come on.

          • Ja

            What is the Greek translation for the word Psych?? I to am studying this strong subject. Psych means soul. We were all created to love on this earth. Those who are confused about their sexuality are included in this. However, our main goal in this life is to bring as many people as we can to heaven to meet our Creator. Yes, this does require great sacrifice. Look at the crucifix. What greater sacrifice can ever be made.

        • Grey

          Funny how your “truth” is directly at odds with modern medical science, modern biblical hermeneutics and reality in general.

          • http://www.scificatholic.com D. G. D. Davidson

            No, it is not at odds with medical science. The political opinions of psychologists are not scientific; nor, in fact, is their field of study. The mind is not an empirical object.

        • Grey

          Funny how your “truth” is directly at odds with modern medical science, modern biblical hermeneutics and reality in general.

      • Anonymous

        I know this question was not asked of me, but the annonimity of internet gives me the boldness to interject my answer any way.

        I think it is important to remember that gluttonous, racist, and greedy people are not fighting oppression because of their sins. Whether or not you think LGBT people are oppressed, they feel that they are. You announcing your stance on the matter will probably feel oppressive to them.

        God accepts me with my sins, sins I haven’t noticed or haven’t got the strength to give up, or just don’t see as sinful, but nobody has ever told me I have to either give them up or burn in Hell; instead I am promised again and again the unconditional love of God.

        I think as Christians we are called to share God’s love, and leave lifestyle choices (aside from those choices which would victimize others) between the individual and the deity. God gave us free will. Christ never forced anyone to live as He prescribed. Why should I do less?

        To me, it seems that asking a person to give up their sexual identity and join my religion would be like having my neighbors come over and tell me I should be in their book club, but I would need to learn how to bake: I didn’t ask to be in the club; if they want me they can take me as a non baker or they can leave it up to me and if I choose not to bake I won’t join their club. If my neighbors kept bugging me to learn to bake and join their club, I would find their club very annoying. I wouldn’t want to join.

        In the same way I feel that we can either say that God wants all comers, or allow people to choose a secular life without throwing a fit. I’m not saying that I believe in turning a blind eye to sin; I just don’t believe in forcing my morality on anyone who doesn’t already claim adherance to it.

        I hope this was more helpful than impertinent. Best wishes.

        • Bob

          But, again, you’re pointing out where I am torn. Christ does indeed tell people to change their lifestyles. As one example, He told the rich young man to give up his riches and THEN follow Him (because the riches were more important to him than following Jesus. Something Zacchaeus could do but the rich young ruler could NOT do). And Paul made it one of his main express purposes when writing his letters to different churches to point out what they were doing that was wrong that needed to be corrected. The Bible is full of examples of defining what sin actually IS and then telling us HOW to respond to fix it, run away from it, fight it, etc. So, do I give unconditional love and hope that they will come to a saving knowledge of and relationship with Christ, and after they’re “in,” counsel/preach to them for the sake of edification and sanctification about what in their life God finds displeasing?

          • Howard

            Being gay or lesbian is not a “lifestyle.” Ascetic, seafaring, sedentary–those are lifestyles. Homosexuality is an orientation that–by judgment of all the major medical, psychological and psychiatric organizations–cannot be changed. In fact, you will find that the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the American Counseling Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the American Academy of Physician Assistants all oppose attempting to “convert” gay and lesbian people or trying to get them to change their orientation, saying that doing so can create lasting psychological trauma. If the Church’s job is to psychologically scar and damage gay and lesbian people, then I don’t want any part in it. You must admit that throughout the Church’s history, every persecution that has existed has lied in difference. The ideology has been “You are different from me; therefore conform or you shall be punished.” I would charge you, Bob, to consider the very way that you continue to perpetuate that ideology. Christ stood in solidarity with those who were society’s outcasts and he was an outcast himself. He reversed cultural expectations and always took the side of the oppressed. I think you should be less concerned about the ethics of gays and lesbians and more concerned about the ways in which you resemble a Pharisee more than a Christian.

          • Matt

            Reducing sin to mere “difference” is a classic tactic to diminish the reality of evil.

            To advocate active blindness to evil is not love at all. Your view of Christ seems horribly unbalanced and simplistic. Christ sympathized with the outcast and oppressed, but he never affirmed their evils when they had them. He never sought to abolish standards purely for the sake of abolishing standards. Just as often as he reversed cultural expectations, he *intensified* them. If he was a bit of an iconoclast, it was because he came to establish a kingdom even greater and more demanding, all-encompassing, authoritative and holy than the pale traditions of men, which merely foreshadowed it.

            His call to everyone, rich and poor, honored and outcast, was the same: repent and be saved. Neither Christ nor the Apostles nor the Church in all its history has ever been afraid to name sins and call sinners to repentance, call out heresies or condemn the encouragement of deviant practices.

            I find it appalling that you could call the mere fact of witness against evil “Pharisaical.” Sure, some people who do so do so out of a misplaced legalism. But more often, it comes from a strong conviction and love of God and the good that He prescribes for men, and a vigilance against false teachers and corruption that we are exhorted to maintain again and again. This latter motivation is the proper flowering of faith, and is not to be ashamed of, so why automatically presume that anyone who is willing to call out evil is motivated in the former way? The gross presumption, arrogance and error that goes into your own judgement should be good reason to heed the recommendation to remove the plank from your own eye.

          • Grey

            What’s simplistic? Your interpretation of scripture that rejects context, reason and modern science. There is no evidence that one’s sexual orientation can be changed but, as I’ve said before, there is a great deal to suggest that any attempts to do not only fail but cause lasting trauma. It’s interesting that in your response you neglect that quintessential part of my response. Why? Because there is no way around it. There is opinion and there is fact and the fact of the matter is that one’s sexual orientation is immutable.

            Furthermore, you find my comment about being like a Pharisee appalling? I’m not surprised. When the scribes and Pharisees sought to persecute or tried to corner Jesus, they believed all of their actions were in line with scriptural witness and the “law.” You are doing the exact same thing.

          • http://www.facebook.com/joeclark1977 Joe Clark

            You’re being obtuse. Homosexual “orientation” is not a sin. Nobody’s arguing that. Homosexual *behavior* is a sin. Sin must be opposed.

          • Susan

            And you’re being asinine and completely out of touch with modern science and biblical scholarship. Why would God create someone with a homosexual orientation if God does not want that person to be gay or lesbian? Furthermore, you’re being an enormous hypocrite. The normative sexuality of the New Testament is celibacy, not heterosexuality. Does it mean nothing to you that Jesus and Paul were both celibate? You call yourself a Christian, yet you make allowances for yourself while condemning others for experiencing the same natural, human biology you do. Find me a passage where Jesus condemns gays and lesbians. I can find you several where he holds hypocrites to accountability.

          • wineinthewater

            Susan,

            It’s quite the stretch to say that the normative view of the New Testament is celibacy. Paul certainly expressed a preference for it, but he was quite clear to state that it was *his* preference and not God’s. One of Jesus’ teachings that audience found the hardest was how he defined the true nature of marriage. In fact, He used marriage as the framework to describe his relationship to the Church. If He had intended celibacy to be the norm, these are rather odd teachings.

            You will find no place where Jesus condemns gays or lesbians. But He does offer a very precise definition of marriage, one that excludes any kind of gay marriage, and does condemn fornication. With these two teachings, He does effectively condemn homosexual sex.

          • Bob

            I have to recant on my earlier statement that “lifestyle” was a poor choice of words. Actually, it’s exactly what I meant. I am hetero by nature. I can’t help that. But if I look on a woman with lust, Jesus says I’ve committed adultery with her already. If I were to look in lust or actually act in lust, either way, that is a choice to sin. My orientation may not be a choice, but actions are. So, when I say that the Bible tells us to change our lifestyle, choices and behavior, I am in NO WAY saying that one needs to change their orientation. I need to abstain from lusting and acting on lust just like any other person needs to (homosexual or not).

          • Anonymous

            “Why would God create someone with a homosexual orientation if God does not want that person to be gay or lesbian? ”

            God isn’t the author of the fallen state of the world. Disordered sexuality is one aspect of the fall. The immediate cause — genetics, distorted family dynamics, early molestation, whatever — isn’t important in this context. Suffice to say that it’s ultimately a product of the fall.

            Also, the book of Romans clearly states, that homosexuality can be a direct result of rejecting God, that He gives people over to it as a judgement. It would be incorrect to conclude that this explains ALL cases of homosexuality (as Fred Phelps apparently assumes), but if the Scripture is true, it does explain at least some instances of it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christian-Gjernes/1400126950 Christian Gjernes

            Actually, it’s not genetic. If it were, all those with a homosexual identical twin would also have that trait; identical twins share teir entire genetic codes. It’s possible hormonal, brought on by environmental factors. But the fact that it is contrary to what the body is designed to do obviously demonstrates it as a disorder–I should know, I have it.

          • Steve

            Your understanding of the Church’s teachings on homosexuality is flawed. Please educate yourself (which can be done simply by reading other posts, citing the CCC) before you start calling anyone “asinine.”

          • Ajburris

            Do you think that nuns and priests do not have some sexual urges as well? They are called to celibacy just as well as homosexuals as stated in the catechism. Are you telling me that you think there is some huge difference? It is a challenge and a temptation that they all face and no one is perfect.
            We are getting away from the point that the judgement we are passing on those who oppose our view is the same type of judgement passed on those we are trying to defend. The bigger picture is to stop judging each other and do what we can to help those in need.

          • Anon Chaste Lesbian

            Nuns and priests have the luxury of having a built in “family” of brothers and sisters for support and for the human need for love in all its many forms outside of sexual. The homosexual in the world unless in a big city who is living a life of chastity/celibacy has to work hard to find other Catholics who will give that same level of unquestioning love.

            IN my own experience, religious orders do not want those who at sometime in their past may have lived out their gay life no matter how long they have been chaste.

            Too many Catholics sadly who after learning my background tend to either get freaked out thinking I am lusting after their bodies, says more about their sexual issues imo. Or worse they think I am turned on by the same things a hetero-man is, so they get paranoid about their cleavage etc. Which really shows they have no clue. Are all women attracted to all men or vice versa? No! Ditto for the gays/lesbians out there living celibate lives.

            I have been celibate for over 18 years now and still get the “she might infect my children” look from some parishioners. Or most will gladly do small talk or have me help out on projects, but as far as being allowed into a closer friendship? No does not happen. I learned to never mention to others my sexual past, or to offer opinions on things dealing with the current rights issues

            When I hear too many fellow catholics spew hatred for all things gay, using slurs and other unchristian things. I try to gently remind them of the CCC or that Christ would not respond with hate or anger but would reach out with love.

            FOr too many celibate and chaste homosexuals in smaller towns with no support networks we must fight real loneliness. We must constantly keep aware of our words on issues of gay rights, or revealing our past. We must embrace a cross we did not want but given our attractions we must carry. The male gay stereo-type is bad enough and the lesbian stereotype just as bad.

            Priests and sisters choose their path and are also chosen by a community. The rest of us carry our cross and just pray for a friend of two who we can be completely open and truthful with who won’t slowly disappear.

          • Susan

            The Church’s numbers are dwindling, possibly because when our younger generations think of the Church, they think of bigotry like this. We are already seeing where gay and lesbian rights are moving. We will look back on ideologies such as your own with the same distaste, disappointment and embarrassment as those Christians who supported slavery and women’s disenfranchisement. We already are.

          • wineinthewater

            Susan,

            The Church is growing. Vocations are rising, even in places like the US.

            Getting basic demographic facts wrong undermines your credibility when you make other claims about the “facts” of biblical scholarship and modern science.

          • Cal-J

            And then we all will die and the Church will live on.

            Like always.

          • Steve

            The Church is not telling homosexuals to conform. Check out the CCC (quoted above) on this issue. The Church recognizes the difference between heterosexuals and homosexuals, and then treats each according to what is best for them, according to this difference.

            As Marc clearly explains, the pressure to conform is coming from other homosexuals and those who claim to defend them.

          • SavonarolasAshes

            BS. The Church has fought every attempt to protect the civil rights of gays and lesbians so that the Church can enlist Christians as vigilantes and blackmailers against gays and lesbians.

          • Bob

            Christ loved and spent time with the lepers, tax collectors, and general outcasts, but Christ also called out sin when He saw it. When he reached the Samaritan woman at the well, he both reached out to her, and exposed her sin. I’m responding to your posts in reverse order, so I’ll have to say again that I’m not here to argue with you. We fundamentally disagree on this issue and we can point counter point until we are both dead and in God’s presence where final truth will be revealed. In the meantime, I will unapologetically call sin what it is as defined by the Bible while also speaking the truth in love.

          • http://www.scificatholic.com D. G. D. Davidson

            If you insist they absolutely can’t change, how do you account for those who do? The claim that they cannot is akin to the myth of the “Sassy Gay Friend”: it does not match real people’s experiences. People with homosexual attraction who are not active homosexuals have posted to this thread. I myself am familiar with some of them, and I also know a woman who identifies herself unrepentantly as an ex-lesbian, and is marrying a man. People who experience same-sex attraction in youth, but grow out of it later, are common, and the phenomenon used to be well-known and regarded as unremarkable. Psychologists who buck the politics of the APA treat people with unwanted homosexual attraction and report high success rates.

          • anon

            There is a difference between loving outcasts and accepting that they cannot move beyond their sin. Jesus loved sinners, but he certainly did not want them to stay in their sinfulness. The Church is in no way trying to get people with homosexual orientation to change this orientation. The Church encourages them not to act sexually in response to this orientation.

          • DavidAshutosh

            Not sure which Church you are talking about here. Catholic? LDS? Either/Or, Gay people will do what they do just like straight people do what they do. The question is how people will treat them. Focusing on what is sin or not sin, often takes the focus on what is love or not love.

            Gay people who are having sex, don’t tend to care what someone else’s understanding of God is. They care what their own understanding of God is. If people want religious freedom, they need to give others religious freedom. Pretty basic really.

          • Howard

            Being gay or lesbian is not a “lifestyle.” Ascetic, seafaring, sedentary–those are lifestyles. Homosexuality is an orientation that–by judgment of all the major medical, psychological and psychiatric organizations–cannot be changed. In fact, you will find that the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the American Counseling Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the American Academy of Physician Assistants all oppose attempting to “convert” gay and lesbian people or trying to get them to change their orientation, saying that doing so can create lasting psychological trauma. If the Church’s job is to psychologically scar and damage gay and lesbian people, then I don’t want any part in it. You must admit that throughout the Church’s history, every persecution that has existed has lied in difference. The ideology has been “You are different from me; therefore conform or you shall be punished.” I would charge you, Bob, to consider the very way that you continue to perpetuate that ideology. Christ stood in solidarity with those who were society’s outcasts and he was an outcast himself. He reversed cultural expectations and always took the side of the oppressed. I think you should be less concerned about the ethics of gays and lesbians and more concerned about the ways in which you resemble a Pharisee more than a Christian.

          • Heidi

            Bob, Homosexuality is not a “lifestyle” anymore than heterosexuality is. A lifestyle is chosen.
            Jesus tells us to turn from sin. Homosexuality is not a sin.

          • Richard

            All of you debating about the word usage of “lifestyle” are creating a straw man and splitting semantic hairs. You may not know exactly what he meant when he said lifestyle, as it seems you already have preconceived notions from others’ use of the word. His point from the beginning seems to be something more like it not mattering if it’s a lifestyle (the way you all have defined it) or if it’s an orientation. Both orientation and lifestyles result in BEHAVIORS, which is what he is addressing. I could be acting on an addiction to heterosexual porn, and that would be a behavior (a lifestyle choice resulting from my hetero orientation) that the Bible would also say is wrong. Just as wrong as someone ACTING on their homosexual orientation is a sin. Why should anywon here get caught up in a debate with people who’s logic and premises are opposed to his original question. There are probly just as many Bible scholars to say that homosexuality is a sin to match every one that Howard and Heidi can find to say it isn’t. All of that isn’t even the point anyway. The point was about how to reach homosexuals for Christ. Even if one accepts your claim that homosexual behavior is not a sin, homosexuals are still vile sinners like every other NON-homosexual vile sinner on the planet. So, instead of you defending what is already described as a sin, why don’t you focus with me on how to reach these people with this particular orientation? If you don’t agree with this interpretation of Romans 1, Leviticus, Genesis, Hebrews, etc., then don’t participate in this particular contribution to the conversation. I’m like Bob in that I’m only interested in finding how to reach a group of people who find their natural state and orientation at DIRECT odds with the Bible without compromising what the Bible actually says. Oh wait! That sounds exactly like the condition of EVERY PERSON ON THE PLANET.

          • Bob

            Richard, I appreciate your defense of my comments, but your aggressiveness, poor spelling, and (somewhat poor) use of logic are hurting my position and argument. I happen to believe that homosexuality is genetic and some can make the argument that it is “natural” in the sense that they were born that way and they can’t help feeling they way they do, but that doesn’t mean I think homosexuality is NOT a sin.

            I didn’t mean to start a fight on the comment section of this blog post, and using the word “lifestyle” was poor verbiage on my part. For that I apologize.

            I genuinely believe that acting on a homosexual orientation is wrong based on my interpretation of scripture, which I indeed have studied, Howard. Howard can disagree with me if he likes, but I’m not here to start a fight when I’m here asking about how to reach lost people.

            I may not agree with your entire post, Richard, but I do agree with your last statement. We are all indeed sinners, regardless of our sexual orientation.

          • DavidAshutosh

            Have you studied the Hebrew, Greek translations, cultural contexts and more liberal interpretations of the Bible on homosexuality?

          • Bob

            I apologize for my poor word choice. Orientation would have been a better choice, but I do have to disagree with you. I have read the Bible, and it appears to state that homosexual behavior is indeed a sin.

          • Susan

            “It appears to state…” We are in a worrisome place when the oppression of an entire human community hinges on how something “appears.”

          • Bob

            My word choice was one of politeness. If you’d like me to be more hardline, then I can be more “in your face” and state that it expressly and obviously states, but that is not how I like to do things.

          • JWenke

            Heidi
            How do you reconcile your belief with 1Cor 6, Romans 1:26-27, 1Tim 1:10, and Jude 7? And even if we are not under the Law, Jesus said ALL scripture is helpful. So you have to at least acknowledge Lev18 and Gen19.

            I can’t speak on the nature of if homosexuality is chosen or genetic, but God has clearly judged homosexuality as sin.

          • DavidAshutosh

            No, men have clearly judged it as a sin, not God. Many religious people do not judge it as a sin. Many non-religious people do.

            The rest is a lot more questionable. The Bible was written by men even if inspired at times. There is a lot in it that is disturbing and unethical and would be considered uncivilized at this point.

            The Bible has incest, rape and other things that occur in it which are not condemned as well as sex outside of marriage. It talks about slavery, stoning people, and while it may condemn incest somewhere in the mix, it also doesn’t condemn it when Adam and Eve’s kids come out (God surely could have made some extra humans so no incest would have to occur from the start).

            There is a lot that people assume and mix up with God and whether gay issues or eating shrimp, pork, wearing mixed fabrics, or any number of other things, people interpret the Bible where they want to fit their prejudices and have for generations, will continue to do so as long as there is a Bible.

          • wineinthewater

            Heidi,

            Homosexuality is not a lifestyle. But our society has created a lifestyle around it.

          • musiciangirl591

            SSA is not a sin, its fine to have SSA but if you act on it, thats when it becomes sinful

          • DavidAshutosh

            Yes, and depending on the religion you believe in, someone may go to hell or a lower kingdom of heaven (as in Mormonism). So who cares? Everyone sins. Jesus hung out with sinners. Of course he didn’t sleep with the prostitutes.

            The question for me is regardless of sin or not sin, are people to be running around controlling sinners? Did Jesus control sinners? Did Jesus treat sinners poorly? Did Jesus micromanage what was sin or what was not sin? Not really. That came from people like Paul. Many Christians seem to be more like Paulians than Christians.

          • DavidAshutosh

            Gay people have monogamous lifestyles in some cases, wild sex lifestyles in some cases (as do some heterosexuals such as swingers, open relationships, etc…) Gay people have family lifestyles in many cases with kids. Some religious people live double lives. Some gay people live double lives.

            People focus on gay lifestyles being something like an endless gay pride parade which would be like people thinking Mormons were their Pioneer Days Parades and Pioneer treks. A Mormon lifestyle is many things to many people and some Mormons drink, smoke, have affairs and cheat in business, lie to neighbors, etc…

            There are spiritual leaders who are gay – Priests in some religions are gay and Ministers, Pastors, etc… People are profoundly ignorant about the gay lifestyle and yes some have sex, but even sex is not their lifestyle even if they have some of it. They go to work, do their job, go shopping, play video games, watch movies, volunteer, and whatever else and that is all part of the ‘lifestyle’ for most gay people.

            As well as whatever kids may be in their lives whether their own or nieces and nephews, kids of friends, etc…

            And yes, some have fabulous brunches and decorate and have fancy cocktail parties. But there is more to Gays than sex and wild outfits like may be in parades along with other things that people often don’t focus on in parades as much. There is also more to the Irish than Alcohol and more to Mexicans than Day of the Dead.

            Gay people like straight people are often just trying to figure out how to live happy healthy lives, what to eat, how to afford their homes, where to travel, how to support aging parents and grandparents, etc…

        • NA

          “I think it is important to remember that gluttonous, racist, and greedy people are not fighting oppression because of their sins.” Really? think about that, at least when it comes to the gluttons of the world. They are abused and oppressed, and have been ridiculed longer than homosexuals have been. As for racists and the greedy…well you may be right.

          • Sammi

            Gluttons, abused and oppressed? well, I would have you know that gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins. There is a reason other humans are disgusted by gluttons — because they are rejecting the ugly embodiment of the ugly sin that gluttony often causes (physical fatness) or the selfish aspect of the glutton. And while that does not give others license to treat gluttons with disdain (instead, they should treat them with compassion: love the sinner, hate the sin), it is a reasonable, ordered, and natural response. If someone has paedophilic urges, like some have gluttonous urges, does that make it okay to act upon those urges? No, because they are INHERENTLY disordered.

      • Grey

        You say so authoritatively that “the Bible says homosexuality is wrong,” when that in fact could not be further from the truth. If you think the Bible is clear on this issue, you are not reading it with the studiousness a holy text deserves. And quite obviously you also haven’t cared to read what biblical scholars have to say about it. As someone who has studied at one of the country’s premier theological schools, I can honestly tell you that removing that Romans verse from context and applying it to homosexual orientation, a concept which didn’t even exist during that time, is shaky at best. You will find that throughout the Church’s history verses were similarly misunderstood, removed from context and applied to justify the oppression of Jews, black people, women, immigrants, aboriginal peoples, etc. My recommendation to you, Bob, is worry less about saving “lost” gay people (who are you to judge them as such?) and worry more about saving yourself from your own flawed hermeneutics and a facile theology that throws reason and experience out the window. After all, you won’t find Christ condemning gays or lesbians anywhere but you will find him chastising those who hone in on the motes in their brothers’ and sisters’ eyes while ignoring the beams in their own.

        • Bob

          I would have to disagree with you on a number of points, Howard, but I’d rather not get in an argument with you.

        • tro

          HG, what does the premier theological school has to say about the subject and give the school name please. In addition, if the Romans verse in chapter 1 is taken out of context, it would be nice to have a more “accurate” exposition of Romans 1 in light of the context as you understand it.

      • Heidi

        Bob, Please google and read “Clobbering Biblical Gay Bashing”

        • Bob

          I’d rather not, Heidi. I’m not at all being hateful. I came here with a heart to reach lost people who happen to be gay, not to argue with people about whether or not I’m gay bashing by believing the Bible calls homosexual behavior a sin.

          • Susan

            I’m trying to figure out how it’s not hateful to position yourself as someone who’s going about saving people by rejecting their immutable identities and trying to repress natural sexual desires that are hard-wired into them. You’ve already usurped God’s position as judge while neglecting your own flaws. Please tell me how you’re being loving right now.

          • Bob

            I know I said I was done posting, but I’ll make this one exception. Your post is bordering on libel.

            If you read all of my posts, you will find none where I say that I save anyone. God alone does saving: Ephesians 2:8 “New Living Translation (©2007)
            God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.”

            And as for rejecting immutable identities: I reject ALL immutable identities of ALL people everywhere in that ALL are unrighteous ALL are sinners, and there are NO exceptions. And no where do I neglect my own faults or sins while condemning others. At no point do I elevate myself above others or their struggles. You are making false claims and putting words in my mouth trying to assassinate my character when there is nothing to validate your claims.

            Of all my posts, you will find none as hateful and false like the one you posted.

          • J.

            Bob. Don’t let them get you down. From what I can see in the comments that you’ve posted, you are an incredibly loving and compassionate person, not hateful in the slightest.

            Your goal is to glorify God in your life and in your interactions with His other children, which is something we are all called to do. We have to be loving, and be resolute in the teachings of the Church.

            I know you said earlier you were done posting, but I do hope you get to read this and know that I understand where you’re coming from, and it’s the right place.

            Don’t let these other folks get you down! :-)

      • Timelady87

        Bob, this is a good question. What you have to remember is that an emotion can’t be a sin. Choices and actions are what make sins. So if someone has same-sex attraction, that doesn’t make them a sinner. As you have pointed out, there are many examples from the Bible where homosexual fornication is described as sinful. So yes, these actions are wrong, but being a homosexual isn’t. They deserve love and respect just like everyone else.

        A good way to explain your beliefs to gay friends is to tell them that you believe all forms of fornication are wrong, whether gay or straight. Tell them you believe the only place for sex is in marriage between a man and a woman. That’s all. So you are not picking on them. You believe everyone should be chaste. Because, think about it, gay fornication isn’t anymore of a sin than straight fornication. They are both unchaste.

        So love your friends with Christian charity, but you can still let them know your beliefs about this issue. Remember, being gay isn’t a sin and make sure they know you don’t think it is. You simply believe everyone would be better off practicing chastity.

      • Tony

        Hi Bob…I interviewed an inner-city youth minister a while back and asked him his method of evangelization. Though the context has nothing to do with homosexuality, his answer might be something to consider in your approach. Here’s the excerpt:
        Bob Lesnefsky [is] also known as the award-winning Christian rapper Righteous B. Though he enjoys making music, his real passion is a youth program he co-founded called Dirty Vagabond Ministries. Describing its approach as “incarnational ministry,” the program places missionaries in an urban area to live among the people and meet them wherever they are.

        Lesnefsky said, “We show up at a park with a grill and start grilling hot dogs and feeding people. The first time, we just see them and get to know their name. Over weeks or years, it eventually builds relationships and develops into a friendship. It’s much more effective for me to share Christ with someone who considers me their friend than someone who I knock on their door and try to give them a five-minute plug. These are people we have an authentic relationship with. There’s an element of trust that happens before we even tell them about God. They begin to see we care for them outside of whether or not they ever come to the Church.”

      • DavidAshutosh

        People often seem to think about gay issues like as if that was the only thing in the Bible. They throw out the Love thy Neighbor as thyself. They don’t look at how many things that Paul and others said conflict with what Jesus said. In such ways many Christians seem more like ‘Paulians’ than like Christians.

        Additionally, whether working with gay people or others, you can focus on the big thing that you think they need, or the smaller things that they can hear. You can remember the basic ‘Judge not, lest ye be judged’ and can remember ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone’, or you can focus on the statements that say what is right and what is wrong in a way you understand them.

        A lot of the statements in the Bible are arguable based on translations from the original languages which the Bible was written in. Some also debate the editing that occurred with the Bible and the political agendas behind it of the people who were having it produced. Verses that are viewed in simplistic terms by some are often not viewed so simply by many Christian scholars.

        When you are focusing on what the Bible says about gay people, remember that the Bible begins with the incest of Adam and Eve’s children and in no part says incest is wrong. Lott has sex with his daughters at one point and nothing says that is wrong.

        Also remember that the Bible says not to eat Pork, not to blend fabrics, and has slavery in it as well. The Bible allows for Polygamy as well, yet many Christians angrily fought Mormons who were polygamist and are furiously defending Marriage as one man and one woman which the Bible doesn’t even say.

        Additionally remember that the Bible spoke of stoning people for all sorts of things that people are not stoned for currently. The Bible does not distinguish the differences in sins. The Bible has many conflicting passages as well. So a lot of the Bible depends on what you focus on in the Bible.

        When you interact with gay people as well, it may be worthwhile to understand that gay people often are well aware of what the Bible says about gay people in more simplistic terms. Many have then thrown the baby out with the bathwater. Many have accepted that they would rather go to hell than live in heaven with judgmental Christians who don’t really know what it feels like to be gay. If you are selling anything to anyone, they have to want to buy it and it has to be healthy for them. Christianity often leads to suicide and self destruction for gay people.

        A famous Catholic Saint said years ago ‘Seek ye first to understand, then to be understood.’ If you want gay people to understand you, maybe you need to spend time working to understand them, not who you think they should be or what you think they should want, but who they in fact are and what they in fact want. Some do just truly want sex, at least for a while and they have to go through that process until they learn they want more in life. Some people have to learn the hard way. Some can learn through others’ experiences.

        Talking to a gay person about sexual fidelity may be progress for them. They may consider that more than they would consider marrying a woman that they are not attracted to (or a man if a lesbian).

        The Bible says “Stone” people for a variety of things. It also says “Thou shalt not Kill” as one of the 10 Commandments. The Bible says Love thy neighbor as thyself. Jesus said that, but then Paul said a lot of conflicting things with that idea. That conflict is throughout the Bible and throughout the human experience. People use the Bible to justify a lot of things. They used it to justify slavery. They used it to justify the crusades.

        People talk about how America is a Christian nation and often use that against gay people, but rarely talk about how it became America through killing Native Americans. People talk about freedom and choice in a country that was founded on some ugly foundations which were what most would consider the antithesis of Christianity. Then they are horrified that some Islamic people could even consider bombing just a few thousand people in a building in modern day America.

        Also if you look at the science of Noah’s Ark and the Bible it is quite suspect. Panda bears on the ark? Woodpeckers? Some Christians argue that it was probably just one area of the world, but then that alone would prove that the Bible wasn’t always right on what it perceived reality to be.

        Christianity has a lot of beauty to offer, but a lot of ugly has happened in the name and perceptions of Christians held as absolute. Gay people are rightly distrustful of Christians because while Christians may at times be well-intended, they often are not educated about a lot of nuances of the experience and the science of homosexuality and homorelationality. (people think of gay as just about the sex).

        Good luck in your efforts to find truth around the subjects you are seeking. Maybe spend time praying about it and listening to your inner guidance and opening to what may be true that is different than what you have been taught or think to be true. Maybe instead of just assuming you know, consider seeking and finding out things that others Christians and otherwise have sought and found.

        • http://www.scificatholic.com D. G. D. Davidson

          You’re pulling a switch-and-bait, trying to change the topic. “Judge not” does not mean, “Be unable to make moral judgements.” Also, you are incorrect about incest; it is condemned in both Old and New Testaments.

          Christians distinguish between moral and ceremonial law in the OT, which is why they follow the ethical proscriptions without following the dietary proscriptions.

    • Sfoley1989

      Thank you for your open and honest response. It is refreshing to see this type of attitude! I have many homosexual friends, who I love dearly- most are not Christian so they are more easily dragged into the culture’s desire to label them based on sexuality. They do not see how demeaning this is to the individual, and unique person that they are.

      I sincerely appreciate your post and am impressed and inspired by your outlook on the struggle you are dealing with. I hope that you will be able to be a witness to those around you, both struggling with heterosexual and homosexual desires.

    • CrossBearer

      The blog post was fantastic! The best and most encouraging thing I’ve read all week, since the NC vote and Pres. Obama’s subsequent announcement. Anon_Gay_Christian, I’m a kindred brother in the “cross” we bear, and found last week’s media frenzy to be rather emotionally draining! Thanks so much for your uplifting and encouraging words. I’m actually a convert to the Church, and I gotta say, the Church’s stance on homosexual orientation is a significant reason for my conversion.

      CCC 2358-2359: “The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition… Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”

      LOVE this stuff! A call to holiness and obedience, but compassionate, empathetic words of the grace and mercy that emanates from our Savior.

      Numerous times on my journey I’ve wanted to throw in the proverbial towel…then I’m confronted with the truth that God Himself in fact sacrificed Himself out of love – the infinite took on the finite and transformed it. Frailty was transfigured, and love took on flesh. It cuts me to the quick and I know I can’t ever turn my back on Him, in His perfect faithfulness despite myself. So I’m ever grateful for encounters with the Divine Son in the sacraments that clean and sanctify us and strengthen us as we bear this cross. I also have to remind myself that we all struggle with something – the Christian life is not about “repression” but discipleship towards bearing fruit – one of which is self-control. All are called to this chastity, and so all will have to grapple with a bent towards some kind of sin. When I consider this, I guess I prefer to stick with what I know, and pray for His grace to be sufficient for me – as it is for all of the Body of Christ.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=690133287 Jacob Cremer

        You know, just because you accept the status quo of Christianity – that gays are supposedly called to chastity – does not mean you are correct, nor does it mean that you truly relate to those of us who do not see our attractions as a sin to be overcome. Are you familiar with women who think all moms should stay at home to raise their children? Are you familiar with women who like being treated as sexual objects and think other women should go for it as well? These woman forgo the liberty of others. I think liberty is just as important in religion as it is in secular society.

        Same-sex attraction is not a cross I bare, nor is chastity self-control of a vice. Priests choose chastity instead of marriage. The bible suggests that it is more ideal for a Christian not to marry and have children – to remain celibate. These are instances of self-control that are sacrifices made before God. A prohibition against same-sex sexual behavior doesn’t give a person that same option.

        You know, there’s a lot of complaints out there about the philosophy of morality being “relative,” or people choosing what is right for themselves. However, I think in the instance of homosexuality, Romans 14:6 gives a good option for you. You can choose to remain celibate to honor God, or to live as a homosexual to honor God.

        I, as a gay man, understand my attractions as a gift akin to another man’s attraction to women. The journey of incorporating my attractions into my life has been met with adversity, and is certainly of spiritual merit and has led to understanding of humanity and self-edification. The burden has served a purpose, and yes, God loves me just the way I am.

        If you haven’t had positive experiences with same-sex relationships or have remained haunted by the world’s opposition to homosexuality (including the bible, which is arguably subject to scrutiny), I can see how you might think that is the case for everyone.

        However, it is not for me, and the Catholic church’s stance, and other churches stances on homosexuality are unwelcoming and unfair. I don’t need a minority halo from the media to justify who I am. As the author of this article states, I am a man like anyone else. The media is only attempting to compensate for the demonizing of homosexuality that has been done by Christianity and the rest of society. That’s why we are objectified. Portraying us as human won’t help our cause if being human isn’t good enough for other people to accept homosexuality.

        • Narutoninetails

          Now whats the Truth? -Pontius Pilot once asked this of Christ. There is only one God and father of us all and Christ Jesus our Lord. Objective Truth is at stake here buddy, you didn’t create yourself nor did you design yourself, God did. He gave us the Church, via his Christ, not scripture, to guide us as to know how to live and what we are. This is the stance and the only one that makes sense. The law of non-contradiction and reason certainly make the case for one God who created with intelligence from which we might see all things. Take it from a man who is giving up all sexual activity, this is not fair? I can love infinitely without the gratifying sexual pleasure and you know what, I don’t need it despite my bodies design to procreate. The design of the body of all animal bodies is to procreate and not to have pleasure. Pleasure is a side issue to get us to reproduce. Now Human nature is created for higher purposes then to strictly do this basic bodily function. We have reason and reason is where we connect with the divine, faith exercises the intellect as the place where we meet God.

          This is also where friendship comes to play. Our friends and family/spouses are primarily loved by choice- our intellect and will together. Everything has to ordered so that love is rightly ordered. We can be dragged along by our sexual/hunger/- or lower appetites destroying our relationships because we become like animals always seeking pleasure and not the common good. Now because God created everything and gave us Divine Revelation, whats in natural science actually shows what the Church teaches to be true. You have to look at the studies of our culture and the homosexual lifestyle have come up with. Man if anything is disordered its those who’ve let their sexual desires run amuck in their lives. Now Men have a much larger ability/capacity to do this. God wants goodness to reign in our hearts, and sex makes us selfish and proud if we are not careful.

          Now why is one homosexual act disordered? Simply because the act can only be about pleasure in a disordered sense and not about procreation.

          I hope you see its about whats True regardless of religion you claim. Christ came to bring about peace, not a kind of lets ignore whats disordered in peoples lives peace but a peace that brings people to God through redeeming us body and soul. Body and soul because we are both and what we do with our bodies effects our souls. Chastity is living pure without lust for sexual pleasure mentally or physically. I think you might just have come to know Christ as the one True God which He is and then come to know His Church which wrote the bible and continues to uphold his teaching to this day. The Lord brought me into his Church in 2005 and it was this objective truth that caught me. Keep searching and find that true love is not in pleasure for its own sake. I love many men and while I’m not same sex attracted I know the struggle with chastity towards women. God exists I know this to be true and sin exists don’t sluff it off as just so neuro guilt science which doesn’t make any sense. The universe and all in it doesn’t make any sense without a God who designs it and holds it all in being.

          In Christ,
          Michael

          • nate

            thats great and everything, but you’ll only equating gay men to one aspect of sexuality: sex. there is so much more to romantic relationships, gay or straight, then just sex. By only equating attraction in this animalistic, sex-driven way, you reduce love to a basic urge.

            Just like heterosexual relationships are deep and profound, so are same-sex/ transgendered. As long as this fallacy that gay people only have same-sex attraction vs. gay people have love for people of the same gender to the same extent that heterosexual people do, a deeper understanding and tolerance won’t exist.

          • Sammi

            This also needs to be addressed.
            Okay, so imagine a person who through upbringing and genetic dispostion develops a strong liking for processed and artificial foods. He also develops a strong emotional attraction to these foods…y’know, kraft mac n’cheese comforts him because he associates it with his childhood, oreos give him a feeling of bittersweet sadness because his first memory of eating them corresponds to the time he found out his grandmother died, etc.So his tendency towards gluttony is not just one of base appetite, but also of emotions.

            He knows those foods are not healthful or natural, and giving into his urges to eat them will destroy his body. He also knows that other foods are natural, healthful, and liking/craving/having emotional connotations with these healthy foods will work towards the good of his body. Yet he is emotionally and physically attracted to the “bad” unnatural foods, perhaps even by no fault of his own, by genetic predispostion. and to eat is a natural and well ordered desire. Considering this, should he just cave?

            Think about it.

            Love, in the most basic definiton of the word, is desiring the good of the beloved. In order for real love to be present in a relationship, one partner must desire the ULTIMATE good of the other. If one knows that homosexual acts are disordered and continues doing them with one’s partner, knowing it is to the detriment of his soul, are his actions directed towards the good of the partner? No.

            Therefore in homosexual relationships there may be legitimate friendship and strong emotion, but any illusion of real love is not true, because the two partners misunderstand what it entails to desire the ultimate good of the other

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=690133287 Jacob Cremer

            Michael,

            As I mentioned in regard to Paul’s comments that it is more ideal for an individual to remain celibate, procreation is indeed another venue for man to fulfill his desire to honor God. It too is an act of pleasure that Christians engage in as a way to show their love for God. Our bodies reproduce, but they also bring pleasure. I don’t see a conflict in design here. Just as how our gay relationships do not have to have a negative impact on society, they do not have to be disrespectful to God. The world clearly has real problems and real actions that hurt people. Being gay is not one of them.

            I see a tendency in Christianity to view things in the world and explain why God made them. For instance, that God gave us the church to guide us on how to live our lives implies that the church is accurate and endorsed by God himself. The church is not validated simply because it exists. For it to claim that it is, is no more self-serving than anyone else’s self-justification. Every politician spins his own greatness and points at another’s weakness. The church, or churches, and even the bible itself, are no different.

            You say that objective truth is at stake here. Explaining why things are the way they are without observing the actual cause is not objective. To say that God designed sex strictly for procreation is subjective. Sex reproduces. Sex also causes pleasure. Nowhere is it indicated that both are required.

            I’ve heard people say that religion is not important, but rather, a relationship with God is. Coming to an understanding with your own intent and acting out of love makes a lot more sense to me than following arbitrary rules. I think it is important for people to grow their own capacities of wisdom and responsibility in making choices in life. That is where we become something and learn to enrich our abilities for love.

            Love is what justifies our freedoms, and that love is for God and others. Is it for yourself? Yes, but in the sense that it is shared. The choice is to experience love, an appreciation and willingness to pursue happiness instead of destruction. Pleasure can go both ways.

          • Narutoninetails

            Design. By faith we see the world as designed by God and ordered by Him. Everything has purpose, this is how God works. He gave us a Church to be the bulwark of Truth to defend his teaching, his very person and design. Now just because some have sexual tendencies to try to procreate with the same sex doesn’t mean its in His design. All matter is corruptible and so we see that with birth defects and all manner of behaviors. Now its known since the fall and original sin mans tendencies to govern themselves has broken down. Now Faith we say is both certain and uncertain. Faith is certain in that it is based upon a God who neither deceives nor can be deceived. It is uncertain in the subjective person because of our lack of knowledge and our corruption and Gods invisibility. The truths of the faith are decided – the act of homosexual sex is immoral- no debate. Its in scripture which is inspired by God and is to be accepted with the divine gift of faith. Faith is a gift from which we must believe in God and his goodness towards us Heb 11:7. It is the connection that we also receive supernatural life -Charity, indwelling of the Trinity.

            Love is charity – divine indwelling now this cannot live in a soul that is living in mortal sin one who deliberately does a serious immoral act freely with full knowledge of its serious nature. Now we cannot know a person has met these only God but we know the act is intrinsically evil.- God has said so. His Church founded by Christ continued through the apostles cannot but say otherwise because it has always and everywhere been the case. Its Scripture and Tradition and natural law, by what we have recognized in nature to be true. Now natural law and divine law cannot and will not contradict, this is the faith. Not just one of many, but the divine mandate from the beginning of time. I know we live in a protestant world, but Truth is in these protestant faiths but only inso far as it corresponds to the Truth fully residing in the Roman Catholic faith. Its not bigotry but that which God has always handed on. Our sin drags us into self centered pleasure seeking lives. I for one am planning to be celibate Priest and to love intensely men and women not expressing my sexuality in a physical way or being repressive about it. I can channel that energy and I think people forget how to channel their sexuality. I think many women are beautiful, this is what I say; that woman is stunning, but I want to love her so much and bring her to God. Then I pray which works every time.

    • john

      Jesus said, “Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.” St Paul said, “Now to the unmarried and to widows, I say: it is a good thing for them to remain as they are, as I do.” It seems to me that embracing chastity for the sake of the kingdom in the face of such temptation is to walk closely in Jesus’s footsteps. That motive is independent of taking religious vows or being ordained and is perhaps as high a calling.

      • Aletajoy422

        Where is this said so,I can look it up?

        • em

          Matthew 19 and 1 Corinthians 7:8

      • em

        Matthew 19 and 1 Corinthians 7:8

    • Raul E Fernandez S

      Hear hear.

    • Plguilfoyle

      “Sexuality is a part of who we are but it is not the whole. Telling gay people/ people attracted to the same sex to conform to that image, to come out, to act for a political cause, promises liberation but only binds me to another standard. We can’t avoid being bound. So I choose to be bound to the death and Resurrection of Christ and the transformation of the church.”
      WOW — this has to be one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read! All of us Christians should wish to be bound to Christ on the Cross and to Holy Mother Church.

      • Erick

        check your privilege, read a book on queer theory.

        the LGBT is reduced to being defined only by their sexuality because they are othered by society. White, heterosexual people who identify as the same gender they were assigned at birth are priveledged with normalcy, so no one questions aspects of their identity, they are not victims of bigotry and violence, they have never felt wronged because of who they are, at least not to the same extend as racial minorities or gender/ Sex minorities. People of the LGBT community are bound to that identity because their identities have been othered.

    • Introibo

      Good for you , man. Hope you continue to live according to the truth, difficult as it may be. By the way, I don’t know if you are Catholic, but if you are, (or even if you’re not, I suppose) there is a group out there called Courage for those with SSA who are struggling to live in a chaste manner..

  • Lily

    I totally agree. The absolute worst, most sexist stereotypes in media are the ones put on gay men (who must never be portrayed as manly). Additionally, I feel sorry for straight guys who care about fashion and such, as they are automatically assumed to be gay.

    • Cal-J

      That’s why we have the word metrosexual.

      • http://www.scificatholic.com D. G. D. Davidson

        And that word shows part of what’s wrong here: we can’t seem to get away from taking people’s mannerisms as an excuse to stuff them into preconceived expectations of what they do in bed at night. People today cannot even see a rainbow-colored pony without leaping to the conclusion that she’s a lesbian. “Fop” or “dandy” have gone out of usage, replaced with the gibberish term “metrosexual” because we can’t wrap our heads around the idea of a heterosexual man who dresses smartly, so we use a nonsense term to define him as sort of gay but not really. This annoys me no end. I have inclinations to dandyism, but I’ll give a manly punch on the mouth to anyone who calls me a metrosexual.

        • Cal-J

          Point made and taken. I yield.

          • http://www.scificatholic.com D. G. D. Davidson

            I think the word most bothers me because it’s nonsense. What could “metrosexual” possibly mean? Someone who’s sexually attracted to cities?

            One of the biggest problems in the culture at present is the sexualization of absolutely everything. Ultimately, we can probably blame Freud for that. Recently, sexualizing everything became blase, so we started homosexualizing everything.

  • Joshua Gonnerman

    What about the gay women?

    • MF

      I am a woman with same-sex-attraction and couldn’t agree more with “Anon-Gay-Christian. I have never felt more ostracized and vilified than whenever I attended LGBT groups in college. I have never felt more welcome, accepted, and truly cared for than in the Church. That’s why She is my mother.

  • Catholic_LGBTActivist

    I tend to agree with you. Up until your stance on gay civil marriages. In the eyes of the law, everyone needs to be equal. It’s not about forcing any sort of lifestyle on anyone, it’s about giving everyone an equal chance, and letting them choose for themselves.

    • Cal-J

      Here we go again.

    • Chris or Buster

      If you are for traditional and gay marriage, are you for polygamous marriage?

      • Cal-J

        Let’s slow down, here. There’s absolutely no groundwork yet in this discussion. Throwing the words “polygamous” and “forcing” (Lookin@U, LGBTActivist) around right off the bat are going to start a fight.

        If you’re going to ask that question, you have to lead into it, because otherwise the only people who will understand are those who’ve already understood that question and made that leap. Those who haven’t won’t know what you’re getting at and will get riled and upset. Not a good start.

    • Valiant_andrew89

      “In the eyes of the law, everyone needs to be equal”

      Then unfortunately your law is wrong. Nobody is equal. We can have equal accesibility, equal rights, equal etc. The very nature of humanity is not to be EQUAL, if this were untrue then we will all be having simmilar life-spans no more no less; EVERY Tom, Dick, Sally, and Harry will live up to 45 years, 3 months and 6 days. But we don’t so thank God for that! If we were all meant to be equal then we will all have the same level of intelligence, the same number of freckles, the same colour, the same pre-dispositions, etc.

      Giving gay people an equal chance to the sacrament of marriage is like giving a dog the equal chance to turn into (in nature) a catl it is impossible. A civil union would work in my opinion and be completely alright, ONLY IF this union does not give them the RIGHT to adopt children.

      • Alexandra

        Did you just compare a gay person to a dog?

        • Cal-J

          See what I mean, Andrew? Don’t do that. The internet magnifies mistakes. By a LOT.

          • Valiant_andrew89

            Yes I understand, it was my first comment here anyways.

            So once again to Alexandra, and everyone I have offended; my intention was not to offend you, I apologise. Perhaps, the binary coding that connects all of us will not be able to show my sincerity, but I assure you I’m trying my best to be. I made a mistake, it was mine.

          • Alexandra

            I really appreciate that you’ve been so diplomatic at apologizing and recognizing the fact that it was a really poor choice of analogy.

            Word choice is relevant, and I’m really touched that you can acknowledge that instead of just dismissing the value of it.

          • Cal-J

            Welcome to Bad Catholic. :)

        • Marc Barnes

          heehee, on cue. ( :

          • Alexandra

            One cue? I said it before Cal told Andrew he shouldn’t do that.

          • musiciangirl591

            he said on cue, and he means i’m guessing that you’re here to pick fights :P

          • Alexandra

            Oh yeah, the e was a typo.

            I guess it’s picking fights if you don’t think that word choice matters. Considering that we only communicate via words, I think word choice is incredibly important.

          • Cal-J

            Let’s not start. No fighting would be nice.

          • musiciangirl591

            i’m not in the mood today, so i won’t :)

          • musiciangirl591

            i see you find her amusing too :)

          • Cal-J

            Maaaaaaarc. :(

            Bad dog.

          • A Nony Mouse

            Though I really like the point of your post, I have to say I agree with Alexandra on the question of word choice, and I think Chesterton would, too:

            “Well, we won’t quarrel about a word,” said the other, pleasantly.
            “Why on earth not?” said MacIan, with a sudden asperity. “Why shouldn’t we quarrel about a word? What is the good of words if they aren’t important enough to quarrel over? Why do we choose one word more than another if there
            isn’t any difference between them? If you called a woman a chimpanzee instead of an angel, wouldn’t there be a quarrel about a word? If you’re not going to argue about words, what are you going to argue about?”
            G.K. Chesterton, The Ball and the Cross

            If you’re trying to persuade people who disagree with you and might (reasonably) take offense at an offensive word, you should be particularly careful about what words you use. Still, good post on the whole. Love the blog.

          • CPE Gaebler

            As I’ve demonstrated, I do think a better word choice should have been used. However, Alexandra is not saying “you should choose your words better” to “you meant something bad about homosexuals by your choice of analogy, and I will defend my creative reinterpretation.” I’m fine with arguing about word choice, but the latter is just obstinate defense of a knee-jerk reaction.

        • CPE Gaebler

          And he compared a heterosexual person to a cat. Who cares?

          • Alexandra

            I guess I’m one of the few.

            On the atheist blogs, and just blogs about other interests, I frequent it would be something that people would shut down. Same with using whore to refer to female promiscuity. I’m not trying to shit stir. I guess I’m just learning the standards are different here.

          • CPE Gaebler

            For one thing, if you fail at reading comprehension and read a comparison into an analogy that wasn’t meant, people here will call you on it.

          • EmS

            The standards here are higher….he wants us to be BETTER than the fictional woman who offends our reputation by being endlessly shallow and unfeeling. Promiscuity is just one of these fictional character’s many flaws that do not do justice to the complexity of a woman’s make-up. He would not call a woman a whore if she were real. Nor would he define her by her actions. But since the characters are fictional, there is nothing to offend but an pretend and unrealistic and offensive idea of a woman. The pet comments are made to again, an insanely offensive idea of a man that ARE NOT REAL. He is trying to show you that a man is so much BETTER than a pet and a woman is so much MORE than a whore. Our identity is being stolen by fictional media concepts and it is OUTRAGEOUS. If men (African American) were continuously portrayed as an extremely stereotypical character with some offensive ties to being abusive and horrible, and a man offended by this proclaimed, “They are MEN, not wife beaters!”, you would say, ‘right on!’…not obsess over the term he categorized these characters as. With a lot more pointed language, Marc is saying that woman should feel the same about their portrayals in this role.

            (My particular stereotype is not likely a good one….as a rule, I try not to do come up with insanely offensive stereotyping….I just needed a sample for you.)

            This man respects woman and men more than our society does, and his writing should inspire us to expect more dignity.

          • Alexandra

            The standard is different, not higher.

          • Cal-J

            How is the standard different?

            Are you accusing Marc of saying female promiscuity is okay, while male promiscuity isn’t?

          • Alexandra

            No, not at all.

            I meant the standards of what kind of word choices and judgements are acceptable on this blog are different than on other blogs I comment on.

            She said that the standard was higher, I say it’s just different.

            The standards used here might consider the standards used elsewhere to be lower, but it goes both ways. By the standards elsewhere the standard here is low.

            They’re just different systems.

          • Cal-J

            Fair enough.

          • Cal-J

            Thank you so much for showing up. Thank you thank you thank you.

          • Cal-J

            I think that might be something we’ll all need to work on.

            Here, we strive to point out where and how a viewpoint may be incorrect. We try not to shut people down.

          • Alexandra

            Shutting it down doesn’t preclude explaining why it’s incorrect. It’s just not tolerated on the other blogs I comment on. Someone that said something that derogatory would be flamed out if they insisted that they were correct to use a derogatory word that way.

        • Valiant_andrew89

          Hey Alexandra,

          I was comparing the’ idea’ of homosexual marriage to a dog.
          Still as Cal said, my points could have been expressed better than how it was. I am sorry if what I said did hurt others, and yourself.

          Also, just thought I’d put it there; I have three dogs and I love them with all my heart. Perhaps I’m not as pre-disposed as some to think that the word ‘dog’ might be derogatory (for the same reason why most of you didn’t pick on the word ‘cat’), a little bit un-holistic of me.

          Still Cal’s comment after mine was perfect, so I will bow my head now and go sit down :)

      • Cal-J

        Andrew, hold on. You can express your points better than that.

        Activist is trying to establish that everyone should be equal before the law. This is true, insofar as it applies to inherent human standing and dignity. If you have murdered someone, being rich will protect you no more than being poor will (assuming the law is just).

        However, there is more to be considered here than the making of everything equal. Keeping in mind that different things are inherently unequal must likewise be important; Hammurabi’s Code is an excellent example of this: An Eye for an Eye was an attempt to improve on a situation where everyone was willing to take a Village for an Eye. Or, slightly less obscure example, stealing an apple from a local cart, while wrong, does not merit 25 to Life as murder would.

        Justice is both: Equal measures in response to equal things, and Unequal measures in response to unequal things.

        What many people have yet to establish is that a one-sex relationship is equal, and not just equal, but equivalent, to a two-sex relationship. Marriage, as has been understood back into the yawning dark of history and regardless of culture, is rooted in the fact that two-person heterosexual relationships are unique among all human interactions for theirs is the sole capacity to create life, which is an incredibly dangerous and destabilizing prospect.

        If you can establish that a homosexual relationship is equivalent to a heterosexual relationship, then you can begin to propose that the followings be applied in equal measure to both. But that has yet to be done.

        Bringing up cats and dogs is only going to upset people if they don’t accept your terms.

        (Also, we know it’s your opinion. It is almost assuredly your opinion. There is no need to share this with us; we got it).

        • Gail Finke

          Good answer. Gay and lesbian people ARE equal in the eyes of the law. Anyone is free to marry an eligible person of the opposite sex who consents to marry him or her, it doesn’t matter if either of them is gay or not. Two people who don’t love each other can marry, two people who don’t know each other can marry, two people who aren’t attracted to each other can marry. Love, sexual attraction, even knowing each other beforehand are not required for a marriage. All that’s required is that the people be of opposites sexes, not impeded from marriage for some reason, and consent to marry each other. A lesbian could even marry a gay man. Homosexuals are completely equal and have the exact same rights when it comes to marriage.

          • Cal-J

            Methinks your tap-dancing back and forth along the dangerous line of ambiguity. Somebody somewhere might pick a fight with you over your words. :P

      • CPE Gaebler

        As Alexandra demonstrated, if you’re not careful with your analogies people will fail at reading comprehension and creatively reinterpret them in ways that make you look bad. I recommend that in the future you say something like “giving gay people an equal chance to the sacrament of marriage is like giving them an equal chance at sprouting wings” or something.

        • Alexandra

          It’s not creatively interpreting them to make him look bad. The rest of his post did that, and the fact that he chose animals as his analogy is significant.

          But I guess I’m learning that people round these parts are cool with choosing derogatory analogies and names.

          • CPE Gaebler

            No, it is absolutely not significant. That is what I mean by creative reinterpretation.
            And I note that the “people round these parts” were quite quick to jump on him and say, you might wanna rephrase that. If the people you generally hang out with prefer to ostracize people for mistakes they didn’t actually make rather than criticize what the person actually said, then whatever, have fun with that.

          • CPE Gaebler

            For the sake of clarity: Your original post could have been just saying he should have chosen better words, but when you say “the fact that he chose animals as his analogy is significant” you have confirmed my original diagnosis of obvious misinterpretation.

  • Kelly

    I’ve gotta tell you, I work at a company that’s all for gay rights and thusly work with a lot of gay men. I think they would all appreciate this post. You’ve done it again, Marc.

  • guest

    I don’t know if you have seen this guy’s work before, but his name is Steve Gershom and he is has SSA and is a practicing Catholic. I think he serves as a WONDERFUL example of how a faithful Catholic is carrying his cross without denying how he feels about it or feeling sorry for himself and going into another religion that accepts gay marriage. Here’s the website: http://www.stevegershom.com

  • Alexandra

    I was with you until you said “shallow whore.”

    • CL

      If the shoe fits….

      • Cal-J

        Nononononono, if you two start a fight, I’m grounding you both.

        Marc was describing a stereotyped character as it was intended to be expressed by the people who made the show. Was Eve in the video shallow? There is no end to the Yes in the answer to that question. Was she being presented as a whore? Not particularly. However, the Gay Best Friend / Shallow Girl Protagonist is not uncommon in highly sexual situations. Marc was describing the latter.

        • Alexandra

          The word choice matters, Cal.

          Calling a woman a whore is unacceptable.

          • Elestethane

            It happens in the Bible.

          • Cal-J

            I, uh, don’t think Alexandra will care much, just sayin’.

          • Alexandra

            Actually the comment made me laugh. A lot of horrible stuff goes down in the Bible. Calling people whores is part of it.

          • Cal-J

            My point, exactly.

          • Cal-J

            The character stereotype exists almost entirely to make bad sexual choices and lots of them. This is not a good thing, and should not be encouraged.

            At this point, I feel I should ask what term you would prefer.

          • Biohazard Angel

            Calling any person a whore is unacceptable. But he was using a stereotype which very much exists in our culture and the media promotes. You can be angry with the truth all you like, just don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

          • musiciangirl591

            even though the woman doesn’t exist?

          • Alexandra

            Would it not bother you if he referred to a character that was a racial minority by the derogatory words that exist for them?

          • musiciangirl591

            if i got called a whore, would you care, even though you don’t know me? i might not even exist in your mindset :P

          • Cal-J

            Didn’t you tell me you weren’t going to pick fights today?

          • musiciangirl591

            oops sorry :P

          • Cal-J

            Not strictly the same case, Alex.

            To use a racial epithet is to demean someone according to a category that makes no sense, because they have no control over it.

            The word “whore” here refers to a person’s chosen action, which they do have control over. It implies a moral judgment of the action as negative, and, while often misapplied and unfortunately so, it is fitting in this case; because the character type exists to make lots of bad sexual choices.

            Saying we should not use bad terms for a bad stereotype sounds almost like you’re trying to justify the stereotype’s existence; I know you aren’t, but I question the choice of attacking the charge when the defendant is manifestly guilty.

          • Alexandra

            Yes, it is making a judgement and objectifying someone. It is highlighting their choice to have sex and defining them by that choice.

            Sure people don’t have control over their race, but using a derogatory word to refer to someone someone based on one part of who they are is objectifying them in a cruel way.

            Marc is choosing to use a derogatory word to refer to a character, he didn’t have to use that word.

            I get now that people here don’t really concern themselves greatly with whether or not it’s okay to call a promiscuous woman a whore.

            This isn’t a hill I feel like dying on, so I don’t really care to bicker about it anymore, but I definitely learned something today about just how serious the Christian condemnation of female sexuality is.

          • Cal-J

            “Yes, it is making a judgement and objectifying someone. It is highlighting their choice to have sex and defining them by that choice.”

            Alexandra, this would be a legitimate complaint if they were human beings who have lives beyond the scope of the sex they have. But the object of the word in this case isn’t one. The caricature itself isn’t human and has no inherent value, and deserves no protection.

            “I get now that people here don’t really concern themselves greatly with whether or not it’s okay to call a promiscuous woman a whore.”

            Alexandra, you’re defending a stereotype. You know that, right? No one here has called a woman a whore (the some have come a bit too close). The point has been that the stereotype is foul and deserves to be demolished. Calling a vulgar thing by the vulgar names that are proper to it highlight the actual vulgarity.

            “… but I definitely learned something today about just how serious the Christian condemnation of female sexuality is.”

            Ah, so that’s your problem? You think we’re being bad because we think promiscuity is a bad thing? Because we don’t particularly care to validate poor behavior?

          • Alexandra

            Yes, I think you take the use of the word whore way too lightly because of the ideas you have about what is acceptable and what can be judged without guilt.

          • wineinthewater

            Alexandra,

            He wasn’t applying the word based on one part of who the character is. He was applying the word based on the one defining characteristic of the character. He was applying the word to a media archetype that has little depth and development beyond promiscuity.

            He in no way condemned female sexuality. Considering the bulk of the post, I think it requires a disingenuous reading of the post to interpret it that way.

            In fact, the use of the word highlights the whole point of the post. “The whore” is a media archetype that is just as homogenized and dehumanizing as “the gay friend” archetype. It creates an entire identity (often with completely unrelated personality traits) around are person’s sexuality. The way that you find yourself reacting to the use of such a course word should find a mirror in the way that gay people are portrayed in media. Both are dehumanized. He was revealing that this archetype that so much of America has so little problem with is, at its heart, little different than “the whore” archetype.

          • Cal-J

            Not an archetype. That is most definitely not an archetype. :P

          • thoughtsandideas

            That’s literally like getting upset because someone was called a murderer after they murdered someone… The word is only offensive because of what it means.

            Do you understand stereotype? The whole point of a stereotype is to portray something in a particular light. He can use a derogatory stereotype specifically because it is NOT a comment towards all or any particular women. He can specifically pick out one action and expose the action for what it is without actually casting judgement upon individuals. Are you arguing that there is not a “whore” stereotype? Or maybe you are arguing that this stereotype is not being portrayed within the context in which he speaks. I’m pretty sure either of those arguments fall flat.

            If anything, he is calling attention to the fact that the media is not upholding women as persons either… they are simply reducing them to a stereotype to be portrayed.

          • http://babesinbabylon.wordpress.com/ Clare

            A whore is someone who sells sex for money. Not every promiscuous person is a whore. The term is usually associated with women, and among other things, it perpetuates the myth that women don’t really ever want sex for its own sake.

          • Longinus

            I’m just a humble reader of comments, but could you please explain to me how condemning promiscuity is the same thing as condemning sexuality?

          • Alexandra

            It’s not, but I think it’s at the root of it.

          • Cal-J

            *Replying to Alexandra’s “I think you take the use of the word whore way too lightly” post, because the lines are too thin*

            You seem to be telling us that promiscuity is a morally valid action. This is, frankly, quite the statement.

            At this point, you may want to justify that, because your position is the one we’re not used to.

          • vpstartcrow66

            Why? I lived through times when women were called much pleasanter things, and promiscuity was more rampant. Calling names is one of the milder ways society curbs ugly behavior.

          • Teresa

            I appreciate that we women have the freedom to behave as we wish.

            But, seriously? That freedom comes with the responsibility to deal with consequences of our actions. A few descriptive words ARE allowed.

          • Alexandra

            You can be descriptive without using derogatory terms.

        • Alexandra

          And the thing is it matters a lot. He’s talking about look how we objectify people, and he’s putting a name on the archetype of a shallow promiscuous woman. A derogatory name. He is objectifying a promiscuous women as whores. He is defining them by their sex life.

          • CPE Gaebler

            Or he’s defining a fiction character with nothing substantial BUT their sex life, by their sex life?

          • really?

            This was just too good to pass up…

            whore- n. a woman who engages in promiscuous sexual intercourse

            damn that judgmental Webster!

          • Alexandra

            Typically the dictionary will include the notation that it is considered a derogatory term. The fact that that’s the definition doesn’t mean that it’s the word you should chose to use.

          • really?

            unless you are showing that the action is derogatory by its very nature. That’s the beauty of a stereotype. You can condemn promiscuity without condemning a single person.

            O, and we should absolutely judge actions. Condemn the person… no; make a judgement about their actions… yes. Its the basis of our judicial system. In fact, its the basis for this very argument. You are judging his action, we are judging your responding action. Judgement is not evil, it is how we discern truth. So if we discern that sexual promiscuity is morally offensive and derogatory action, then by all means, we should use our proper judgement, not to condemn the person, but to fairly label the action.

            Besides, is there another word you feel would hit the nail on the head?

          • Alexandra

            Sure, promiscuous. That accurately labels the behavior without calling someone a derogatory name for what it is.

          • really?

            so don’t call the murderer a murderer, call them a bully because its not so derogatory…?

            And don’t think I didn’t notice that you ignored the majority of what I had to say.

            The use of whore over promiscuous is to emphasize the immorality of the action. It is an intentional escalation to make a point about the action.

            For example… in a previous post in which the discussion of Hell came up, you didn’t just say God was mean, you called Him abusive. Personal opinions and disagreement aside, what you did was use a derogatory term to emphasize the extent of action which you were striving to convey. God was not only cruel, He was abusive thus building upon a stereotype to describe a situation or action which you found morally offensive. For the opinion you held, you felt that was the optimum word. Same scenario. You insulted God’s love, Marc insulted the promiscuity promoted by the media and modern society.

            Now, if you could make an argument that the promiscuity does not make the stereotype “whorish” then maybe I’d listen to that. That would be a legitimate reason to not use that word.

            I’m not asserting that it was the most tactful or “nice” way to phrase things, but I would defend his right to use that word in a perfectly acceptable manner within the context in which he used it. Some things are truth, no matter how much it hurts to hear it. No one has a right to “not be offended”. I’m sure there are a number of things you could say about a number of people, myself not the least which would be both derogatory towards our actions/lifestyle and yet true. If that is the case, we must simply accept them. Only if the label is unfair or untrue are we really able to condemn it.

          • Alexandra

            You make a lot of points, some of which I’m not interested in addressing. If you want me to address points, pick a couple and stick to it. Long passages like this aren’t worth trying to tackle. It just gets into TL;DR territory.

          • really?

            Which would suggest that you are more interested in harping an agenda than dialoguing. If you are not trying to converse so that we can all come to a greater understanding of something, if you just want to yell at people, then just say that and I won’t write anything.

            Not here to pick fights… here to talk things out.

          • bearing

            The archetype already HAD a name.

          • Pontoofla12

            Alexandra, what is the virtue within female promiscuity? You seem to be defending it. As a woman, and as a member of modern society, “whore” and promiscuous are synonymous of each other. What is it about female promiscuity to defend?

          • Scottfishburn

            Alexandra, I’m with you! Whore is not something anyone would call their mother if their mother had happened to be promiscuous at any point. Don’t call anyone a name that you would not call your own mother (assuming your mother was not a prostitute.) If the author of this blog post had inserted the word “player” for any of the times he referred to a gay male, I think the sympathetic tone of the article would have been affected. And player is a much softer term, in my opinion, than whore.

      • Alexandra

        You’re saying that if the derogatory term applies, you should use it?

        • Cal-J

          Depends. Is Marc going after women in particular or is he lambasting a horrid character stereotype?

          If Marc called actual women whores, that might be cause for challenge, maybe even apology; but Marc is criticizing a presentation of women as shallow sexual creatures. It is the presentation he targets, and since the presentation technically exists to demean and diminish dignity, I say let him rip it apart.

          • Alexandra

            Some women are shallow sexual creatures. That doesn’t make it okay to refer to them as a whore.

          • Cal-J

            Nobody called women whores. We’ve been criticizing a stereotype that presents them as such.

            At this point, it’s really starting sound as though your defending female promiscuity.

          • Mizo

            I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading this blog and the comments. It has been so stimulating and much more enjoyable than studying for the CPA exams.

            I am not catholic in the least but I am a believer in Christ. I’m not going to comment on homosexuality because I’m still trying to understand it in my own mind, and both sides of my beliefs have already been expressed.

            I came here to comment on the usage of the word “whore” – I hate it. Promiscuity is completely objectionable behavior regardless of who is committing it but I agree with Alexandra (solely on this topic) . The word whore isolates female promiscuity and rather than address the behavior it attacks the person. More importantly, words of the like advance rape culture and robs a woman of her humanity and frankly her identity. She’s a whore thereby a person not deserving of respect or decency. She is “more unclean” and subconsciously becomes not-as-bad to mistreat. If a virgin is raped its awful, if a promiscuous “whore” is raped its bad but not soooooo bad (even if we don’t say it we think it), whereas rape is rape no matter how often the person engages in sexual behavior. Girls are more likely to accept abusive behavior because of words and terms like this, especially when used specifically against them; I am or have been promiscuous, I am already dirty, therefore I deserve ______.

            I’m not trying to change the subject to rape.

            Such behavior (promiscuity) shouldn’t be encouraged or excused in either sex but as Christ loving corrected, so must we. Using derogatory terms like that don’t accomplish this.

            With that said, I totally understand the position of the author of the blog and I don’t think he meant it the way Alexandra is taking it. However using euphemisms may be a better choice. :)

      • CPE Gaebler

        Sometimes you just have to call a spade a Soil-Realignment-American.

      • RobMcCune

        I love how an article supposedly opposing derogatory stereotypes uses them, and has defenders arguing their accuracy. I haven’t seen this much double talk since 1984.

        • Cal-J

          “Doublethink”, Rob. There’s no such thing as double talk in 1984.

          And Marc is consistent in his opposition to derogatory stereotypes. He’s mocking the situation using the language inherent to it. He doesn’t say there should be Shallow Girl Protagonists with Shallow Gay Best Friends, and in fact tells us that there should be no such thing, because no real person would stand for it.

          • RobMcCune

            Marc used a derogatory term to refer to a woman having pre-marital sex. Going off on a tangent about how characters are shallow whores because he doesn’t agree with their fictional choices is bizarre in a post about not judging people solely on their sexuality.

            …I can’t help but believe that the majority of these men don’t give a damn about that idiot female protagonist, who’s utter inability to be anything but a shallow whore is depressing, …

            I trimmed the quote for space, but if there is anything that adds context I’m missing feel free to let me know. But what really blew up my irony meter was reading things like this.

            If the shoe fits.
            -CL

            It happens in the Bible.
            -Elestethan

            Sometimes you just have to call a spade a Soil-Realignment-American.
            -CPE Gaebler

            All because Alexandra and BadWolf raised perfectly valid objections.

          • Cal-J

            Well, now we’re going to have to establish the morality of premarital/promiscuous sex, then.

            We’re Catholic. We hold both things to be bad, and in fact find both things to be rather vulgar.

            You are entirely welcome to demonstrate how they are not, but otherwise your criticism amounts to how you’re upset that we’re using vulgar terms for a vulgar thing.

          • Alexandra

            Really?

            You think because you disapprove of the behavior it’s okay to use a derogatory word to refer to them? Would you also call a gay person a fag?

          • Cal-J

            What would you prefer? That I validate poor behavior?

            I don’t use the word “fag” for the same reason I don’t use the word “nigger”, which I have expressed elsewhere. The words are derogatory allegations about what a person is. The word we’re discussing reflects behavior.

          • Cal-J

            That, and we’re not even talking about actual people. We’re talking about a miserable stereotype.

          • Alexandra

            You don’t have to validate the behavior, but you can refrain from being cruel.

          • Cal-J

            Cruelty requires a receptive subject. The object of Marc’s statement was an entertainment-based phenomenon.

            You can be cruel to people, but Marc wasn’t actually talking about a person at all. You can’t be cruel to an abstraction.

          • Scottfishburn

            Yes, you can. In fact, the first creation narrative establishes the man and the woman. There is always a person behind these terms, and personhood by a negative term is reduced to sexuality, ironically, just as the author of this blog post has argued against. He has used “the gay man” as an abstract and has tried to turn our hearts toward an abstraction, however he would be offended if we called this abstraction a “fag” or any of the other derogatory terms for his sexuality–which is not who he is, which was the main establishment of this entire piece.

          • RobMcCune

            I’m objecting to the use of the judgmental word “whore” to describe a woman engages in a behavior Catholics call a sin in a piece about accepting homosexuals as human beings. Catholics also call homosexual activity sinful, why does one sin warrant a derogatory and insulting label since they are both outside of God’s intended use of sex? Its inconsistent.

          • Cal-J

            “…homosexuals as human beings. Catholics also [hold] homosexual activity [to be] sinful….”

            Major distinction. Marc was defending people as human beings.

            Sinner vs. Sin.

            When we use the word “whore”, we refer particularly to an individual who has committed a particular sin, much like we would call someone who engages in the killing of innocents a “murderer”. That the former word smacks of vulgarity refers to the nature of the act, not of the person.

          • RobMcCune

            The word is being used to define who the woman is a person. It’s implicit in its use. The first two paragraphs of Marc’s post decry the same thing.

          • Scottfishburn

            Thank you.

        • wineinthewater

          It’s hardly a double. The stereotype of the “gay best friend” is little different than the stereotype of “the whore.” Marc just put it in its proper context.

    • MCG

      Agreed that that was a poor choice of words.

  • BadWolf

    Gotta call a party foul on you for using such scathing terms on the women mentioned in this article. I realize it’s cool now to insult promiscuous women these days, that’s why it’s not totally appalling, except I have to question your motivations for doing so. Is it just because you’re following a fad or is that what you really think is appropriate to say when talking about women’s sexual history?

    • Cal-J

      Not what he was saying.

      “And, please, correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t help but believe that the majority of these men don’t give a damn about that idiot female protagonist, who’s utter inability to be anything but a shallow whore is depressing, and — quite frankly — they’d rather not step into her room, give her a sassy, whimpering look, and spew out a tired cliche that will provide her with all the motivation she needs to get another STD.”

      He was associating oft-paired stereotypes; as in the given example, the lady being helped by the Gay Best Friend is, uh, not the brightest star in the sky. Now, having taken those stereotypes, he compared them unfavorably to actual people.

      He wasn’t implicating actual people as much as stereotypical characters.

      • Alexandra

        I think you’re missing the point Cal. Is the character’s name “Shallow Whore” or is it just a shallow female protagonist who is sexual promiscuous? Marc chose the word whore. I understand that Marc doesn’t approve of sexual promiscuity but calling a promiscuous person a whore is quite a statement.

        • Cal-J

          Referring to BadWolf? No, I don’t think I missed the point being made. If we were talking about actual people, then Marc’s words could probably have been better chosen.

          But Marc wasn’t talking about actual people who have lives and dignity (which he strives very hard to uphold), but about shallow characters — shallow, insulting caricatures, actually, that deserve nothing of the sort beyond a summary dismissal, which is what Marc gave them.

          Now, if you can establish that Marc was talking about actual people, then maybe you’re onto something, and we’ll make him apologize.

          • Alexandra

            I don’t want his apology, but I do wish he understood why it’s unacceptable to refer to female promiscuity as whoring.

          • Cal-J

            Because of the implicit negative judgment?

          • http://twitter.com/maryhoerr Mary Hoerr

            “Whore” is a derogatory term to refer to female promiscuity. In American English, at least, it has no male counterpart. By using that term, Marc implies (whether he means to or not) that female promiscuity is worse than male promiscuity, when in fact I’m pretty sure he believes they are both equally bad.

            Possibly, the use of the word is understood somewhat differently now, but I believe that usage is still common enough that many (most?) people would understand it. I cringed myself when he used that word.

          • musiciangirl591

            he was stereotyping he wasn’t calling anyone a whore

          • RobMcCune

            And all while writing about not objectifying people. Treat them as human beings, don’t judge based on one trait, etc.

          • Teresa

            I know I am going out on a limb, here, but I like sexual perjoratives. Whore, slut, hussy, and trophy-wench are terms I grew up with, used freely and appropriately aboutboth tv caricatures and family members who copied them.

            As a woman, I appreciate that females have equality and the freedom to behave as we choose. I find it to be very disingenuous to pretend that all of those behaviors are good, harmless or respectful.

          • Alexandra

            I don’t care what you think about those behaviors, it doesn’t make it okay to call someone a derogatory word to refer to someone who engages in them.

          • musiciangirl591

            even if the person doesn’t exist?

          • Tom Rosen

            How about I refer to the fictional character of the self-righteous biblical nutbag Christians who fight so hard against homosexuality?

            Wouldn’t that offend you? O bet it would. And to be honest – it should.

          • musiciangirl591

            doesn’t really offend me, because you said fictional

          • Cal-J

            Heteronormative Crusader? Sure, you could call it what it is.

            We’re objecting to the fact of the miserable stereotype of a whore. Mainly by calling it what it is.

          • Alexandra

            And that right there is my issue. Referring to promiscuous women as whores. Whether they are real or not, it’s the archetype you’re talking about.

            I find that abhorrent. I’m really very surprised that Catholics would specifically use the derogatory term. It’s alienating and cruel.

            I can drop it, it’s just I learned something. I had no idea that Catholics would chose, and defend the choice of, the word whore in reference to a woman (fictional or not) who is promiscuous.

          • Cal-J

            That “(fictional or not)” is very important. Several times now I’ve made the point that we strive not to go after real people with vulgar epithets, but the stereotype, the presentation of these people has no inherent dignity that the word “whore” abuses.

          • Ajburris

            You mean like the “crazy Catholic lady who hates everyone because they are just not pious enough or living up to her idea of Christian”? Oddly enough, I’m a young, Catholic woman and I’m scared of “her” too. There is a more complex story behind everyone than we are giving credit for. But tell me again how “she” sacrifices goats to appease God. I always love those stories.

          • Korou

            Reading this part of the thread has been very interesting and has given me a lot to think about. I’d like to add to it. Alexandra, what do you think of this?

            On one side, I see what the people disagreeing with you are saying, and it seems like they’ve got a point. It would be wrong of Marc to point to a real person and call her a shallow whore, because that would be insulting to the real person. It would also be wrong of Marc to point to a fictional character and call her a shallow whore, because he would be disrespecting real people who might identify with her. But he should be allowed to say “shallow whore” as he did, because he was referring to an abstract person, a concept rather than an individual.

            But it still sounds bad to me, the way he said it, and I think he was wrong to do that. And I think the reason he was wrong was this: calling someone a whore has a dismissive connotation, a derogatory or contemptuous feel to it. It feels like Marc, if he were to meet such a woman, would be disgusted by her, and see her as something to be despised rather than someone to be helped. And that’s not a good thing, and it is really an insult to women who are like her.

            If you accept Marc’s conclusions at all, of course – I’m not really sure what kind of characters he’s talking about, these aren’t the kind of shows I watch, and I can’t view the video in his post, it doesn’t work in my country. Is he talking about women like Grace, of Will and Grace?

            In fact, what was Marc thinking when he used the term “shallow whore?” If I wouldn’t even call a whore that – I’d call her a prostitute, or a sex worker. If Marc was thinking of women with meaningless lives who have sex indiscriminately and lovelessly, is that such a terrible thing? Aren’t they more to be pitied than insulted?

            Or was Marc thinking of women who enjoy having sex without attachments? Which doesn’t seem to be such a bad thing at all. Morally neutral, I’d say. If you’re enjoying yourself and not hurting anybody, where’s the harm?

            This post seems to have gone on a bit longer than I meant it to. Sorry to have rambled.

          • vpstartcrow66

            Can’t agree. Non-persons cannot be insulted–there is no limit to the ugliness of language you can use in describing an abstract concept. If you don’t like the concept of female promiscuity being described as “whoring”–why not? I think the salient connections should be obvious.

        • Gail Finke

          Even a fictional one? And let’s face it, a lot of young women characters in movies and on television are shallow and promiscuous.

          • musiciangirl591

            its encouraged actually, music videos, songs, movies, tv shows, etc.

  • Becca

    I think one of the nice thing is that my friends were and always will be that first, my friends, so four of them are attracted to the same sex, big deal. I was friends with them before they told me they liked their own gender first. Three are first and foremost guys, a hocky player, a grammar freak and a tuba player with a nice singing voice. The grammar freak isn’t helping the whole “fashion sense and practically a girl” stereotype with his love of high heals and skirts and helping me pick out a totally awesome dress for my cousin’s wedding, though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001107231809 Gwen Filipski

    Thanks for the link, AGC. What a beautiful article. I think it is important to remember a really tragic element to SSA is that the human need for intimacy and unity cannot be fulfilled in the traditional way.
    “If it weren’t for these few—how few…” Auden is right that there are so few who are able to convey to homosexuals the love and compassion that we all as human beings crave. The world (and more importantly the Christian world) needs more people like Charlie who are naturally filled with an understanding that the dignity of the human being, the personality of a male or female, is not dependent upon “where he wants to put his penis.”
    The above article demonstrates the extreme and absurd view of the way in which gay men are depicted in the entertainment industry, but I think that that objectification (maybe not to that absurd extreme) is a temptation for all straight people, even Christians. Homosexuality remains a huge taboo in the modern world. And we as Christians not only have the responsibility, but the tools, to combat this objectification through compassion, prayer, and friendship.
    I would also bring up Joshua’s comment about gay women, who I think are just as objectified and placed into two absurd categories: the porn star and the ugly woman. They’re either freakie-deakie sex addicts, or frumpish butches who don’t take care of their physical appearance.
    Male or Female, homosexuality is still the elephant in the room (chapel). I am glad blog posts like this one are becoming more and more prevalent. Being able to discuss this issue in an open forum brings us one step closer to working through it.

  • Flo_over

    Drove me up a wall when I had to take a class called “Lesbian Literature.” I couldn’t fathom why, by virtue of the authors liking other women, their literary works were somehow magically BETTER than their counterparts. They really weren’t and they had terrible flaws that showed up when compared to other authors who were struggling for their concept/theme/story rather than getting their personal life style choice enshrined on paper. Needless to say, when I brought up the idea that we should judge the author as a whole person rather than a sexual person I got boo’d right out of class.

    Neither man nor woman are the sum of their sexual organs. And if they are, they are boring and dull and not really and truly LIVING.

    • eliz27

      “I had to take a class called Lesbian Literature.” ?????? What school and major requires that? (I have been out of college for some time, so this comes as quite a surprise to me.)

      • Flo_over

        It was VCU and about… 10 years ago. I was double majoring in Music Ed. and English Literature. You can guess which major required the class… it had authors like Virginia Woolf. I would pitch a fit if someone qualified/quantified my work solely based upon my sexual proclivities. Not to mention I snidely wondered aloud in the Dean’s office where was the “Straight Person’s Literature” class while browsing my class requirements. I got really dirty looks.

        • eliz27

          You learn something new every day. I wish what I learned today was something different. I am amazed that this was a required class class for a degree in English Literature. I don’t know what VCU stands for. Is it co-ed? Men and women both had to take this class?

        • Alexandra

          Just curious, do you also not see the merit in classes like Asian American Lit? Are all minority literature classes offensive to you? Or just ones that have to do with sexuality?

          • Cal-J

            I can find several problems with such classes.

            Many of them focus more, not on validating the literature as good in and of itself, but because of the author’s status as the member of a minority. That much of the chosen literature is politically-charged with undertones of Us vs. Them.

            Forgive me if I seem glib, but I don’t particularly care for efforts that re-establish racial differences, and especially not for literature the validates the enmity therein.

          • Alexandra

            The issue is that there really are issues in these minority groups, and literature examines the unique issues that those groups have. You can pretend that they don’t exist in the name of breaking down racial differences, but there are very specific issues that occur in ethnic groups because of cultural differences.

            Talking about these issues is important to being able to address them properly. Literature is just one of those ways to start the conversation.

          • Cal-J

            If the issues are valid, they deserve consideration.

            Perhaps my view of the courses are skewed: my experience with culturally-based literature has largely amounted to “White People Suck and White Religious People Suck A Lot.”

            Public School, what can you do?

          • Alexandra

            Some of the classes are like that, and they do suck. It depends on the instructor and curriculum.

            A lesbian literature course sounds like a really valid course to me. Lesbians have common experiences. The literature selected for a class like that isn’t just going to be random stories that just happen to have been written by lesbians. If that was the case, that would be stupid, but that’s not what these courses are about.

          • Flo_over

            Instead of breaking it down into “Lesbian Literature” focus on the time frame. You can have discussions about the social, political, religious, economical, and science of the time and INCLUDE the aspect of the author’s sexuality. Like this post… make the author a whole person. NOT just an author defined by their sexuality. So you’d have “1890-1930s Western Lit.” or “1880-1990s Brit Lit.” instead of such a specific focus. That laser focus takes away from the TRUE impact an author can have.

          • Alexandra

            You’re right, that’s another useful way to look at the issues, but that doesn’t invalidate the usefulness of having a class to talk about the experiences of lesbians and the literature they produce.

          • musiciangirl591

            one of my priest friends went to Gannon (Catholic college/seminary in Erie), they had to read a book with assorted essays in it, one of the essays was called “the time i brought my girlfriend home to meet my dad”, it was written by a woman, is it inappropriate to read that in a CATHOLIC school or should we read them to understand their “common experiences”

          • wineinthewater

            I think it’s very appropriate .. as long as it is in the right context. The better we understand our brothers and sisters, the easier it is to be compassionate.

            Learning about something doesn’t mean we condone it. And that is the context part. Is the context to learn? or to celebrate?

          • musiciangirl591

            he was in the seminary when they made them read this book, he actually burned the book because he didn’t want to sell it, but thats a different story

          • wineinthewater

            That worries me a bit. Catholic teaching on homosexuality is solid, but you cannot deny the fact that we as a Church have done a poor job ministering to homosexuals. It seems we tend to either condemn the sinner or condone the sin. If we aren’t willing to take an honest look at what it means to be gay, how are we supposed to treat homosexuals as whole persons instead of just stereotypes or a political issue?

          • musiciangirl591

            the fact he burned the book worries you? fr. james is a little out there lol, but we should love the sinner, hate the sin, i agree that we need to be better ministers to those with SSA, but sometimes love can be confused with tolerance…

          • Alexandra

            Yes, we read stuff like that at my Catholic girls’ high school too.

            I have no idea what your point is.

          • musiciangirl591

            well, i think its inappropriate that in a seminary they should read stuff like that, fr. james thought so too, he burned the book because he didn’t want to sell it back or sell it to another student

          • Worldcit

            Unless we want our Catholic children to make the mistaken assumption that “girl friend” or “boy friend” has the same meaning as the perfectly good word “lover,” I see nothing inappropriate about it at all. “Lover” indicates someone with whom for a sexual relationship outside of marriage exists. The words “boy friend” and “girl friend” were coined so that there would be words for the sorts of relationships that involve dating and courtship, or possibly even non-romantic friendship. We can either go along with the trend to use these words as euphemisms for something sexual, or we can work to preserve an awareness and a positive view of innocent friendships.

          • musiciangirl591

            no he said it was girlfriend, one word, meaning lover

          • Flo_over

            It was the ones based on sexuality. While Asian American Lit holds interest because of differences in culture, Lesbian Lit. didn’t really have a “culture” shock behind it. There wasn’t different formats of literature created by the lesbian culture. Not to mention the class was really really focused on the sexuality, not on the actual literature or even the impact on the literature that their sexuality had. It was frustrating to take.

  • Christina Grace

    I’m a high school theology teacher and I’m TOTALLY sharing this with my class the next time homosexuality comes up. Thanks for being so faithful to the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it makes, well, everyone. :)

    • Korou

      Do you think your students deserve to be given biased and derogatory materials like this blog to read?

      • Cal-J

        You certainly keep finding reasons to keep coming back. We’re your drug.

        • musiciangirl591

          can’t break the habit ;)

          • Korou

            Haven’t had such fun since Christian Forums.

          • musiciangirl591

            well thats good :)

    • Worldcit

      Great idea, Christina Grace! A good teacher who knows that development of a critical mind depends on being given the opportunity to examine as many sides as possible of any given topic–and certainly some several aspects of the topic at hand are presented in this blog.

  • musiciangirl591

    i liked the cigarette joke :) i never thought about men with SSA having objectification problems before, good article, keep it up!

  • gustav

    Marc, this is an excellent secular piece on a realization that will have certain good fruits. However, this is not a Catholic piece coming from the Church’s position. Sexuality IS essential to man. Indeed “Gay Man” and “accepting your identity” (as you have spoken of at length) have certain weight to them and are half-truths in that they do recognize this essentialness of sexuality. The discussion should thus be which conception is adequate and proper to man — NOT that neither are. If sexuality is not essential to man — if the “True Person” transcends this accidental or unsubstantial characteristic — than you have no philosophical basis for arguing that the homosexual life is not adequate or proper to man. Indeed, “True Person” would be, in the ultimate view, dis-attached from sexuality and homosexual relationships would be RIGHTFULLY (I think) be the exact same heterosexual: One Person falls in love with Another Person — sometimes that person “happens” to be the same sex, and other times a different sex; but neither mattering.

    • Cal-J

      Hold on a second.

      Marc isn’t saying homosexual men should be separate from their sexuality, he’s saying that their sexuality shouldn’t be reduced to a number of shallow, and, upon inspection rather insulting, stereotypes.

      • Joshua Gonnerman

        Actually, it sounds to me like he’s saying both. The “same-sex attraction” terminology and “identity” arguments both arise from a strong trend in conservative Christianity to PRECISELY say that homosexuals should be separate from their sexuality (historically arising from the exgay movement). Which is precisely why, as a Catholic committed to chastityin the context of Catholic teachings on sexual ethics but who identifies as gay, I cannot really endorse this post.

        That, and the complaints about stereotypes sound juuuuuust a bit too much like “its okay to be gay as long as you act straight.” I’m sure that’ s not what Marc means, but he doesn’t do anything to separate himself from this relatively common attitude.

        • wineinthewater

          I don’t think he’s saying both. You do see a trend in the use of “same-sex attraction” and “identity” arguments to try to separate homosexuals from their homosexuality. But I think that *this* post is really focusing on trying to make identity *more* than just sexuality.

          I think it’s also attempting to disabuse the notion that sexual orientation is really linked to all these other character traits that really should have little to do with what gender attracts you.

          The stereotype being lambasted here says that if you are a guy who likes guys then you also: are very fashionable, are sassy, are non-threatening, are dramatic, aren’t a screw-up, aren’t masculine, like “girly” things, have a lisp, like event coordination, etc. And you make a good accessory, an *object* that every woman should have. What do these things have to do with sexual orientation? If a gay man doesn’t have these traits, does that mean he is “acting straight”? If a gay man is chaste, does that mean he is “acting straight”? I think that is part of the problem with the stereotype, what does it mean to “act gay” once we deny this irrational stereotype? How does a gay man struggling with sexual temptation act any different from a heterosexual man struggling with sexual temptation?

    • wineinthewater

      Sexuality is essential to man. But the Church’s teaching on sexuality has a much broader view of sexuality than society does. Society restricts it to our sexual impulses, while the Church teaches about sexual actions. Society thinks only of genital sexuality, the Church thinks of all acts rooted in gender.

      We cannot properly order our actions unless we are honest about our impulses, properly expressing the ordered ones and acting chastely on the disordered ones. This goes the same for people with homosexual impulses as those with heterosexual impulses.

      • Cal-J

        Nitpick: “…all acts rooted in” *sex*.

        Words have gender. People have sex. (Nice, simple, easy to remember).

        • wineinthewater

          I was trying to avoid a topic, and just ended up being confusing. In catholic teaching, our sexuality affects *every* act, not just the genital ones. The Catechism doesn’t go deeply into this, but it addresses the topic:

          2332 Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul. It especially concerns affectivity, the capacity to love and to procreate, and in a more general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others.

          I wanted to avoid it because it has so much potential to derail the conversation. In one sense, every interpersonal act is a sexual act, because every interpersonal act is affected by our sexuality, and our sexuality should be rooted in our gender. I switched to gender to try to capture this without getting into a “all acts are sexual acts” tangent.

          But your nitpick is warranted.

          • Cal-J

            I wasn’t trying to engage you in a topic; I was trying to be silly.

            Sorry. I’ll go sit in the corner, now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.s.wise Joseph Wise

    This speaks of extremist groups, just like you can’t lump in all Christians with the WBBC, you can’t lump all pro-gay activists like this. I have known quite a few gay people in my life, some stereotypical gay some pretty butch gay men and one rather nasty gay man. Homosexual people are just like regular people in the sense that they can be nice, nasty, or just normal. The only difference is who they are attracted to. When I support someone for coming out, it’s not cause I think they will all of a sudden turn into that stereotypical perfect gay guy, it’s cause I support them for having the courage to open up in a world where many people will try to persecute them for who they are. While I get your point in this article, I think you are only catering to a minority of pro-gay activists.

    • CPE Gaebler

      Do you really think the other extreme ISN’T a minority?

    • RobMcCune

      Your being a bit generous there, the female protagonist’s gay best friend is a stereotype promoted by sitcom writers, not LGBTQ rights activists. (For those who are unaware, those are two different groups.) Marc’s argument seems to be that if non-negative stereotypes exist, then those who support LGBTQ rights are just as wrong as religiously justified bigotry. It’s false equivalency, as well as a strawman and tu quoque. The level of caricature is sitcom worthy.

      • CPE Gaebler

        Actually, if you’d actually paid attention, you might have noticed the bit about where Marc argues that language about “coming out” is also objectifying.

        • RobMcCune

          Yes, I read the part where he tries to cast coming out of the closet as objectification. He’s wrong on that one as well, and again mischaracterizing what people are saying. The point of urging people to come out is not to have their sexual orientation define who they are, but to not be ashamed or fearful because of it. Marc also ignores that the social stigmas toward LGBTQ people have been defining them long before people began advocating for their rights. But now society is becoming more accepting, suddenly “both sides are just as bad, move along nothing to see here”.

          • wineinthewater

            That may be what you think “coming out” means. But there is a different view that is often portrayed in contemporary media. In that portrayal, it is not just about being honest about how you are, coming out means conforming to the stereotype. It means unlocking the lisp, and the flamboyance, and the randiness, and the bitchiness, and the sashay, and the diva, the love of fashion and musical theater and Babs. It means that deviations from the stereotype must be nothing more than repression. It means to stop being a person with identity and depth and to become this dehumanized stereotype.

            You may not see it that way, and it may not be that way in the “real” world. But that stereotype of “coming out” exists. And it is a strong one. I’ve had gay friends tell me about the struggle that they’ve had resisting the societal pressure (from both gay and straight society) to conform to that stereotype, the criticism that they haven’t *really* come out because they have not yet conformed themselves.

            So yes, this particular, and not uncommon, notion of “coming out” is objectifying as well.

          • RobMcCune

            That’s not just my definition that’s the definition most people use. Your definition is made up to argue that people who support LGBTQ rights and acceptance are just as bad as those who oppose it. That way Marc’s position can look like the most caring and compassionate one.

          • wineinthewater

            My argument is neither made up, nor is that the purpose. My argument is that there exists a stereotype of coming out that is dehumanizing. My argument is that this view of coming out is dehumanizing because it creates the expectation that a person has only really “come out” – an event that is given a lot of importance, especially in the gay community – if that person conforms to the stereotype.

            Of course it isn’t the “real” definition of coming out. Its a stereotype, and it’s a damaging stereotype. And I think that anyone who cares about gay people as people and not rhetorical devices or political pawns should oppose it.

      • Rico

        “Your being a bit generous there, the female protagonist’s gay best friend is a stereotype promoted by sitcom writers, not LGBTQ rights activists. (For those who are unaware, those are two different groups.)”

        In theory, anyway…

  • finishstrongdoc

    From the day we learn how to form full sentences, we learn about lies; we lie, and we know it. We learn that day about something we have called “conscience.” We know we didn’t make ourselves, and we know we didn’t make our conscience. It was just “there.” We have learned that the world is a deceptive place, and we learn that we can deceive others with words. The only place to escape from this deceptive world is into another world, which we were all made for. God cannot lie, nor can He be lied to. Thanks be to God.

    • Cal-J

      Didn’t somebody post this one/two posts ago?

  • Alexandra

    Cal, I’ve realized that that is the issue we’re having here. It’s weird to me that it’s only just now becoming obvious. I guess that’s the nature of bickering in a comment section.

    I find it abhorrent to refer to a promiscuous woman as a whore. You agree it’s not okay to call someone a whore, but you still think that being a promiscuous woman is bad while I don’t.

    I think what we can agree on is that judging someone and calling them a derogatory name is not okay. But you’re (you being like an average of the reactions I’ve seen here) less sensitive to calling a promiscuous woman a whore, because you think “Well, she kind of is a whore.”

    That’s my issue. I don’t care what you think of someone who makes those choices, calling them a derogatory name, like whore, is a horrible thing to do.

    • CPE Gaebler

      See, this is odd to me, given your apparent comfort with derogatory names like “homophobe.”

      • Alexandra

        Oh see that’s the difference. I don’t think homophobe is a derogatory word. I think it’s just a description of what it is. Perhaps that’s the way people here feel about whore?

        • musiciangirl591

          he was describing a woman who doesn’t exist, if we describe a man who’s a “homophobe”, would you be ok with that one?

          • Alexandra

            Yes of course. I don’t think homophobe is a derogatory term. It’s like calling someone a Democrat or a creationist. It is a description of what they believe.

            Whore on the other hand is a derogatory term to refer to a promiscuous woman. Using whore to refer to a promiscuous woman is both descriptive and cruel, while calling someone a homophobe is just descriptive.

          • musiciangirl591

            i think homophobe is a derogatory term, it hurts people’s feelings too, just as much as whore, i’ve been called a whore, homophobe and a bigot, they all hurt the same

          • Alexandra

            Well sometimes it hurts to face the fact that your views are bigoted. That doesn’t make the word bigot a derogatory term that shouldn’t be used in civil conversation.

            I can find words to use that more gently point out bigotry, but that doesn’t mean that the word bigoted doesn’t fit.

          • musiciangirl591

            what if i called you a bigot? i consider that a derogatory term the same way i consider retarded a derogatory term (if one is not mentally challenged i mean), derogatory terms are in my book, any term that hurts the feelings of those being called by it, i’ve been called a whore, bigot, homophobe, asshole, stupid, retarded, tramp, a waste of life, and many other derogatory terms, all hurt, all inflict pain on one’s feelings and hurts the self esteem, so do you think that whore and stupid are on the same level of derogatory terms?

          • Alexandra

            If I say something bigoted, please do call me out on it. It’s important to help each other identify our shortcomings.

            The goal of calling someone bigoted isn’t to hurt them, it’s to show them that they are espousing bigoted views and that they should challenge themselves to re-frame things and be more loving.

          • musiciangirl591

            so if you thought i was stupid, would you tell me that i was and re phrase it to be more loving?

          • Alexandra

            Calling someone stupid isn’t productive. It’s just an insult.

            Telling someone they’re stupid isn’t going to help them address their problem.

            Telling someone they’re behaving stupidly might, but anyway I was just talking about bigotry.

          • Rico

            Sometimes it hurts to face the fact that your actions are whorish.

        • CPE Gaebler

          Actually, it just might be.
          I admit, I’m a touch surprised by your post. I’m used to seeing the word “homophobe” used as a hammer by angry people. That’s the reason I’ve earlier objected to its broad use, i.e., anyone who isn’t accepting of homosexuality.

          • Alexandra

            No not at all. I definitely don’t consider it to be an insult. It’s like calling me an atheist or you a Catholic. It’s just a description of what it is.

            If people here simply consider whore to be a description of a promiscuous woman without malice intended I can understand how blase they are about using it. That doesn’t mean it’s okay, because the generally accepted definition of whore is that it is a derogatory term for a prostitute or a woman who is promiscuous.

            So do you consider homophobe to be a derogatory term? I never hand it out that way, but if it really is something on par with whore for some people I will absolutely stop using it.

          • CPE Gaebler

            That’d be appreciated. Perhaps you’re used to using the word with clinical detachment, but I’m used to people using it with all the hammerblow force of the word “bigot” or “racist,” i.e., it’s always followed with an implied “And That’s Terrible, You’re Terrible.”

          • Alexandra

            Well homophobia is terrible. And it is bigotry and similar to racism.

            I mean, I’m not going to stop calling people out for homophobic attitudes, but I’ll refrain from calling people homophobes if people really find it to be offensive.

            I mean it isn’t comfortable to face the fact that your views are bigoted. But sometimes it’s important to face that. I’ve said and done bigoted things in my life and people called me out on it, and that was a good thing.

            But I’ll stop using the word “homophobe” if people think it’s a derogatory term for someone who is prejudiced against homosexuals. I’ll just use words that aren’t perceived as derogatory to point out the fact that some people are prejudiced against homosexuals.

          • wineinthewater

            I think a better way to think about it is that it isn’t that “homophobe” is derogatory, it’s that it is usually used derogatorily. If someone is acting our of irrational fear or hatred of homosexuals, they’re acting in a homophobic way. Call it what it is.

            The problem is that not everyone who falls on “the other side of gay issues” is acting out of fear, hatred or prejudice. There are valid and rational reasons to oppose things like gay marriage, gay adoption, the normalization of homosexual activity, the promotion of a gay lifestyle; reasons that have nothing to do with fear, hatred or prejudice. Yet those people are *very* frequently painted with the “homophobe* brush. People with those reasons, but just because their worldview precludes them doesn’t automatically make them prejudiced.

        • Teresa

          I totally feel ‘whore’ is just a statement of what is. If you think promiscuity is fine, wear it as an honor.

          But, ‘homophobe’, when said about someone else, IS a slur. It labels them with irrational and uncontrollable mental impairment and the superior, healthy and right-thinking person can then dismiss any thought the dissenter may have on the subject.

          • Alexandra

            Maybe that’s the way that you perceive homophobe, but that’s not what it means. It just means someone who is prejudiced against members of the LQBTQ community. You can be a homophobe without being insane. If I meant that someone was an insane homophobe, that’s what I’d say.

            I didn’t realize that people were so offended by the term. I’m glad people have let me know. I will stop using it.

          • wineinthewater

            That is the problem with words. You’ve said that whore is a derogatory term for a promiscuous woman. But for a very long time, promiscuous wasn’t a moral-neutral word, it had derogatory connotations as well.

            But I think the fact that you think “homophobe” means someone who is prejudiced against members of the LGBTQ says a lot. There are two layers of problems with it.

            First homophobe has a real etymology. It means the irrational fear of homosexuals. To apply it to a person means to accuse them of acting out of irrational fear. It is to dismiss all of their reasoned opinions. It is dehumanizing because it means to stop relating to the actual person and to begin relating to a perceived stereotype.

            The other is that you’ve made prejudice an inherent aspect of it. Now, I don’t know about you personally, but a lot of people apply homophobe to anyone who opposes any aspect of the “homosexual agenda,” whether that agenda is protecting the human rights of homosexuals, mainstreaming homosexuality, or redefining institutions to accommodate homosexuality. It’s dismissive in a different way, because it paints everyone on one “side” of the disagreement as acting out of prejudice. It denies and invalidates all of their arguments out of an unjustly assumed motivation.

            “Whore” is derogatory. But except for those who really are acting out of irrational fear of homosexuals, homophobe is simply inaccurate.

          • Alexandra

            That’s simply not true. Homophobe is not a medical phobia. It doesn’t literally mean irrational fear of a homosexuals. A social phobia is more of a prejudice than it is a fear.

          • wineinthewater

            ho·mo·pho·bi·a
               [hoh-muh-foh-bee-uh]
            noun
            unreasoning fear of or antipathy toward homosexuals and homosexuality.

            Like I said, it has an etymology. It’s a term that was coined around the ’50s with this meaning.

          • Alexandra

            Do you miss the “or antipathy” part? It’s not just fear about fear.

          • wineinthewater

            I didn’t miss the antipathy part. But when you use the word, you are accusing someone of acting out of fear or antipathy. You are saying that their position is rooted in fear or antipathy. If that is true, if their position is truly rooted in fear or antipathy, then go ahead and use the word.

            But if their position is not rooted in fear or antipathy, then to use the term for them is derogatory because it attempts to attach the prejudicial nature of homophobia to them whether or not they are a homophobe.

            And to claim that all opposition on any gay issue is rooted in homophobia is also derogatory because it seeks to condemn a position by condemning the person.

          • Alexandra

            I use the word as it means.

            When I call someone a homophobe I am saying that I believe that their views fit the dictionary description of homophobia.

          • Alexandra

            Also, just took a look at the etymology. It was originally used to describe the fear that homosexuals have that people will dislike them for being homosexual. That’s not the way that it is used today, so your point about etymology is moot.

          • Alexandra

            Ugh, reading comprehension fail. I just reread the wiki bit. It was heterosexuals men’s fear that people would think they’re gay.

            It still doesn’t matter, it’s not JUST about fear. Antipathy is a part of it.

          • wineinthewater

            I’m willing to be corrected on the etymology. But I’ve looked it up in a couple of different dictionaries now and *none* of them have the meaning you claim for the word, now or historically. On what do you base your assertion?

          • musiciangirl591

            so if i don’t approve of gay lifestyles (even though i have gay, lesbian, bi sexual friends and relatives who i love), does that make me homophobic?

    • Brbrkent

      I think you should stop thinking of it as “bickering.” Or, stop bickering. Either way it means nothing to you if you think of it that way.

      It’s hard to take complaints seriously if you treat the whole combox as your personal venting space but have no desire to learn from other people.

  • catholicboyrichard

    Marc, all I can say is THANK you for this…I was told by someone who read your last post on athiests and gays (and my comments which followed) that I should not even call my blog site “Catholicboyrichard,” (which is more of a commmentary on my return to a childlike faith in the Church at age 50 than a denial of my “manhood” in any way), but he saw it through the lenses you speak of above and thought I was in some way “glorifying” my SSA background.

    I was also called an “abomination” by another personon FB this week even though I have been celibate since the last century, literally, and that I am fully committed to the ideals of Christ and the Church, just as you are. I also had a”spirited discussion” with someone else who I respect deeply about using the word “queer” and trying to help him understand it is genuinely hurtful to see such words on a Catholic website in any context–and that not all from my background think its a redeemable word, whether active in the life or not.

    In short, the more I speak up, the more I am smacked down when least expected lately. And that is not a complaint, just a fact of life. And, just as a newsflash, I do not plan to allow it to shut me up either.

    And then the other Mark (Shea) was attacked on his blog for defending a friend of his, Catholic and SSA, who recently passed away, because he was actually living with another man at the time of his death. WHO THE HELL ARE WE SUPPOSED TO LIVE WITH ANYWAY??? The Church rightly does not consider it particularly appropriate for men, SSA or otherwise, to have single women as room mates, do they? Going by the reasoning or lack thereof of some of the commentators on his post I suspect living alone and shutting up is really the only option some people think is allowable for “people like me.” And then they wonder why a young, actively LGBT youth is not interested in Catholicism or Christianity. Who in their right mind would be if that is all they see in people of Faith?

    Both the world and the Church have a LONG, long road ahead to learn how to actually “love the sinner while yet hating the sin.” Your post today is one step in that direction. Blessings to you for it.

    Your brother in Christ and the Church, Richard (and yes I am a man last I checked)

    http://catholicboyrichard.wordpress.com

    • Corita

      Hi Richard, I just wanted to chime in and say that those “abomination” namecalling types are either miserable jerks or just horribly ignorant, but no matter what you have no obligation to pay attention or give time to them. It is completely NONChristian to refer to people in that manner.

      I loved that Marc Shea piece.

      I am so glad you are so determined to keep speaking up. I will, too. Don’t lose hope.

  • Jay E.

    It’s all ridiculously egotistical. Like those advocating “women’s health” (i.e. pumping women full of drugs so they can’t get pregnant and her ‘right’ to kill her baby) praising themselves as God’s gift to women! “Gay men must conform to our idea of what a gay man is!” All the while calling out everyone who contradicts them as a pure bigot. Seriously.

  • Michelle Thuldanin

    I like how everyone is ignoring the whole blog post to focus on what you meant by “whore”.

    • musiciangirl591

      it was stereotyping a person who doesn’t exist :P, nuff said

    • eliz27

      I agree with you. I googled ‘whore.’ Definition #2 was “a person considered sexually promiscuous.”

    • Tom

      Forest for the trees, etc….

    • Cal-J

      Welcome to the internet.

  • http://twitter.com/sandy_louise sandylouise

    I cannot tell if Alexandra is sincere or just one of Screwtape’s employees, but I do know that she exhausts me. I love reading Marc’s articles – the comments, not so much.

    • eliz27

      Honestly, I now just skip her comments. I don’t know about a Screwtape employee, but she annoys me.

      • Alexandra

        You absolutely should skip my comments if they annoy you.

        But if you want to say that I annoy you, it is indeed classier to direct it towards me.

        • musiciangirl591

          well its kinda hard to skip your comments, they are everywhere :P

      • Scottfishburn

        That’s funny, I read only for her comments!

    • Cal-J

      Alexandra is sincere. She has a different way of thinking, but she’s sincere in what she believes.

      • Korou

        And she’s polite, respectful and thorough. I’m not just saying that because I agree with most of what she says. I’d say the same about several other posters here too.

  • Jess

    Thank you for this post, Marc. You have a way of taking things I have noticed and putting them into words that are blunt and entertaining. I do not experience same-sex attraction, and I am totally on board with the Catholic Church, but I feel for “gay” people. They are either made fun of, hated, or lied to, and it is so sad.

    I’ll never forget when a young man wrote into Catholic Answers forum and said something like “I am gay, why won’t the Church just accept me?” and the priest answered, “You are not ‘gay’. You are a PERSON with same-sex attraction.”

    Like you said, we’re not defined by our feelings or choices, and both the haters and false-friends are making the same mistake.

  • Michael

    When did it become common to refer to gay men as “men with same sex attraction (SSA)?” That makes it seem like some kind of disorder. I understand the need to feel ‘politically correct,’ but I think it would be fine to just say “gay men.”

    • Anon

      Because it is a disorder. As someone with a same sex attraction, I prefer the honesty of it. “Gay man” has baggage in the culture; it implies someone who supports “gay rights” and lives a “gay lifestyle.” That isn’t who I am. I am a person with a disorder, who, by the grace of God, is trying to live according to the teachings His Church.

    • Tom

      In addition to what Anon said, to refer to someone as “a man with Same Sex Attraction (SSA)” as opposed to “a gay man” is a better representation of the person. Calling a man strictly “a gay man” tends to reduce that person to one trait: their sexuality, whereas saying they are “a man with Same Sex Attraction” establishes their personhood and humanity.

      It goes all the way down to the language of it. Look at the syntax (way in which the words are formed) and diction (choice of words) of the two terms “gay man” and “man with same sex attraction”. The adjective “gay” precedes “man”, implying that the only descriptor of the “man” is that he is “gay”. The emphasis is placed on the “gay” rather than on the “man”. You automatically think “Hey, they’re gay.” Now, contrast this with “man with same sex attraction”. “Man” comes first, clearly emphasizing it. In addition, the word “with” establishes a connection relationship, but not an identity. “Man” and “same sex attraction” are not the same thing in this phrase. Thus, you tend to think “Hey, they’re a man, but they also have same sex attraction”. It’s similar to the different between “cancer patient” and “patient with cancer”.

      It all goes back to what Marc is saying. Using the term “Gay Man” completely identifies a man, a complex human person, wholly with their sexuality, whereas saying “man with Same Sex Attraction” acknowledges that they are a man, a vast, complex person, and then they ALSO have attractions towards the same sex.

      • guest

        While I agree that the concept “sexual identity” has abused the term “identity”, I think you’ve turned down a logical blind alley here (though it is a tempting one). After all, logically speaking, a red stone is the same as a stone that is red. The latter is in the passive voice and the former in the active voice, which matters really for sake of brevity and deliberateness in writing style, not in terms of changing the definition of the thing.
        I think this whole “sexual identity” issue is interesting in other ways because it shows the need to objectify same sex attraction in a way that makes it look God Given. After all, it is up to their side to make their dirty business seem natural and healthy, and what better way than to subtly attach it to the notion of Creation (without, of course, necessarily invoking God).
        The subtlety of “sexual identity” serves this purpose for them: it draws metaphysical notions into their cause. Words like “identity”, “essence”, “being” – and I wouldn’t be surprised to see “ontological” – are thrown out their in order to give the gravity of nature and necessity to their issues. With that unspoken premise, who can argue that what they are doing is wrong? Well, only the Bible believin’ Christians – those bigots!
        It should be pointed out to anyone who argues in this (i.e.”sexual identity”) way for homosexual unions that nature itself proves their act disordered: after all how can a species survive if sexual activity is practiced in non-reproductive ways? Looking at the order of things shows that their is only one clear “sexual identity”.

        • Tom

          You’re right, it is logically blind. However, I wasn’t trying to say that “gay man” and “man with same sex attraction” are two different things. Clearly they aren’t, logically speaking. I was speaking more about how the words are perceived, and the connotations attached to each phrase, and how they differ.

          You make a very good point with the “sexual identity” thing. They go so far in their argument from nature as to say “Look, animals do it (homosexual copulation), therefore it must be ok!” yet fail to realize that animals also do alot of things that humans find abhorrent (murdering infant young (lions), slinging feces (primates), among other things).

          And thus follows what Marc says: a person’s identity is completely defined by their sexuality.

  • JWenke

    Thanks for your

  • Susan

    You know what bothers me? Some “Christians” freely condemn gay and lesbian people, but they offer no solution to their “sin.” They use shame and fear to encourage gay and lesbian people to “turn from their sin,” as if homosexuality were simply a switch they can flick on or off–when modern science shows it to be a perfectly natural orientation that can in *no way* be changed. Tell me, conservative Christians, what are the steps to turning from homosexuality? And don’t give me abstracts like “prayer” or “finding Jesus.” Give me cold, hard step-by-step directions. You can’t. You know why? Because it’s impossible. And it’s not just impossible. All the major medical, psychological and psychiatric organizations REJECT gay and lesbian people trying to become straight outright because all evidence shows a) it cannot be done b) attempting to do so can cause psychological trauma and leave one scarred for life, even so far as afflicting individuals with post traumatic stress disorder. Is that what you “Christians” desire of your brothers and sisters? You take a facile and lazy approach to biblical hermeneutics, interpreting scripture literally and leaving no room for error or mystery. This is pure, unadulterated bibliolatry and it lifts human beings’ (imperfect–no matter how inspired) words above divine mystery. History is against you and the liberating power of God–which is always at work in human history–is ensuring that God’s gay and lesbian children know freedom. It disgusts me that the Church keeps repeating its mistakes.

    • guest

      Hi Susan,
      I don’t understand what this “freedom” is. Is it freedom from guilt for sinfulness? I am a married man with no attraction to males, but plenty to females. This never stops no matter how much I work at it: I cannot help but find females attractive. Now, is the Church’s teaching that my desiring other women is a sin something from which I am to be liberated? By your logic all sexual desire is to be “liberated” (if that is your point) to the degree that we all no longer apply informed conscience to our actions.
      I do not want, nor does my wife want, this type of liberation.
      Further, I would suggest that it is not so much the Church which argues against the homosexual act, but nature itself. The purpose in nature of human sexuality is reproductive, sexual desire is an agent in survival of humans as a species, and homosexual acts are thus disordered.

      • Susan

        It is freedom from bodily oppression by people such as yourself. Gays and lesbians have been exploited and persecuted by the Church. As long as this “they are less than us” ideology exist, people will find justifications to continue abusing physically and verbally gay and lesbian people. To suggest that the resurrection of Christ held only implications for the spiritual and not the body is to reject that Christ was physically resurrected.

        • guest

          Just a question for you: is it “bodily oppression” that makes me faithful to my wife?

    • wineinthewater

      Susan,

      Very few Christians expect homosexuals to turn away from their homosexuality. “Praying the gay away” and conversion therapy are not that mainstream, certainly not in Catholicism. For some people, their sexuality is more fluid or “multifaceted” and they can find happiness in a heterosexual marriage. But for many others, their sexuality – whether you believe it is due to nature, nurture or choice – is more rigid and any attempt to change it will only cause them harm.

      The liberation of Jesus is a liberation from sin. The freedom *to* sin is just a gilded cage. You may disagree with the Catholic interpretation of the Bible (which is usually criticized for not being literal enough), but if homosexual acts are indeed sinful, then encouraging them and condoning them is significantly uncharitable to our homosexual brothers and sisters, it is to usher them into the cage of sin.

  • Veritas_Liberavit_Vos

    Thank you; thank you; a thousand times, thank you. Along with other posters who both have a same-sex attraction and believe what the Church teaches, I have experienced the objectification you are talking about. I have also experienced the beauty of the the Truth. Thank you for saying what I have wanted to so many times, but, as the first poster pointed out, cannot without the risk of “coming out.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/joeclark1977 Joe Clark

    The purpose of “coming out” is to turn a sinful behavior that a person may have done once, or never have done, into an “identity”. It is saying, “I *am* this sin” instead of oops, I did this sin. The purpose is to objectify and define the person by the sexual act.

  • Korou

    Sorry – I had trouble making sense of this article. Could someone please summarise what point Marc was making?

    • musiciangirl591

      that men with SSA are being objectified by the media into a stereotype they don’t deserve

      • Korou

        Thank you.

        • musiciangirl591

          you are quite welcome :)

  • Raul E Fernandez S

    Another good entry. Thanks.
    I have one teensie tiny objection, and that is the use of the term “fag” or “faggot.”
    Historically the term has been ascribed different meanings and while in recent past it has been used as a derogatory term for a homosexual man, the meaning has never quite been limited to that (as you had pointed out with the cigarette reference). For many the term is used pejoratively for a “repellant male,” and this is the most common use in English-speaking countries…I understand the descriptivism mindset that would argue that point, but aligning myself with the prescriptivisic way of thinking, I would allow my argument to stand.

    That little thing aside though, thanks for the post. I look forward to reading the comments.

    • Raul E Fernandez S

      (similar to how “nigger” is more broadly directed as a way to describe someone as unsophisticated…meaning you can have “niggers” of all sorts, regardless of color, race, ethnicity, etc.)

  • Alexandra

    Cal, there are people that represent that abstraction. It’s not based on nothingness. Trying to pretend it doesn’t carry a whole lot of weight because you’re not talking about a specific person, just an idea is ridiculous. That idea is based on people. You are saying this character archetype is a whore. And there are real people who fit that archetype.

    Are you trying to say that those real people aren’t whores, just the archetype is? That you don’t mean it like that? Because it doesn’t matter. This is my point and problem with the use. You can’t pretend that it’s not hurtful to women who are promiscuous to call the archetype “promiscuous woman” whore.

    Do you see my point? You don’t have to agree with it, but I’d like it if you understood what it is that I’m saying.

    Like I’ve said, I can drop it. I’m ready to stop talking about it. I have been for quite a while, but you keep trying to defend the use of the word whore to refer to an archetype of a promiscuous woman.

    • Alexandra

      And I’ll elaborate a touch on why the word whore is so abhorrent. There is no male equivalent. No derogatory word for a man who has a lot of sex. Using whore particularly shames women and female sexuality. It is a cruel and crushing word.

      Choosing to use that word perpetuates a hatefulness that women in particular are bad for having sex. Catholics are in general very good about condemning all extramarital sex equally, but choosing to use the word whore starts to invalidate that.

      Word choice is very important.

      • musiciangirl591

        there is a derogatory term for a man who has lots of sex, my ex-boyfriend is one, man-whore

  • http://babesinbabylon.wordpress.com/ Clare

    Right, so any man who sleeps around is called a whore. Except not. When men are called whores, it’s with qualifier “man-whore” as if being a whore were a specifically female trait. Prostitution is a distinct thing from sexual promiscuity–it implies a calculation and a desperation and lack of agency never assigned to promiscuous men. Semantically implying that every woman who sleeps around does so as part of a commercial exchange is in fact degrading to ALL women, no matter how you dress it up as concern for how women are portrayed in the media.

  • schmenz

    Mr Barnes:

    If we are going to have a healthy discussion on such an unpleasant topic as unnatural vice then it is important for us to speak clearly and in terms permissible by Holy Church. If we refrain from calling sodomy the mortal sin it is, one that cries to Heaven for vengeance, and try to redefine it as some kind of clinical disorder (using such obscure terms as “same sex attraction”) then we have already lost the battle as well as the debate. The correct words are the ones to be used.

    The homosexuals, and their protectors in media and government, have done a marvelous job bamboozling the public with a plethora of words that distract one from the truth. “Sexual orientation” is a great one, because it cleverly obscures the reality of what is actually going on. And the fact that they’ve tried to hijack the perfectly innocent word “gay” to describe an unnameable perversion shows to what lengths they will go to obscure, confuse and conquer. That is why no one should ever use that word to describe sodomy.

    We are in a war of words; we must always keep that in mind. Those who are committing this grave mortal sin can only be helped by straight talk. They will not be helped out of this life by telling them that they are OK, or merely suffering from some illness. They must be told the truth.

    • Cal-J

      Schmenz, you need to slow down, here. Your post has managed to commit a major philosophical and theological no-no, the blending of act and being.

      Homosexual acts are distinct from individuals with homosexual attraction, which is a psychological issue. Regardless of your views on the morality of anything above, bear in mind the distinction.

      You insist that the truth must be told. I insist that the truth be told in mind of the other two Godly attributes with which it is held: goodness and beauty; in telling the truth, we must be mindful of doing so charitably.

      1) You attribute willful malice where you don’t know it exists.
      2) You’re speaking the wrong language; we don’t live in the Old Testament.
      3) As far as I can tell, you’re not actually concerned with the people you’re talking about so much as with ending their behavior.

      None of these are helping your case, good intentions (such as they are) aside.

  • Jeromeleo

    I wish the Sassy gay guy vidoe hadn’t used the name YHWH, I don’t think I would post such a thing.

  • http://twitter.com/sandy_louise sandylouise

    Alexandra says:

    “You absolutely should skip my comments if they annoy you.

    But if you want to say that I annoy you, it is indeed classier to direct it towards me.”

    How wonderful of you to grant us permission to skip your comments.

    You are a control freak, and it seems that you will not rest until everyone agrees with you. That is NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Now can we end this discussion of the word whore? This might help: Say to yourself – Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me. Repeat.

    • Alexandra

      Words can do incredibly serious harm.

      And I guess if finding it funny that people start talking about me like I’m not around and responding to it makes me a control freak, so be it. Or were you just talking about the fact that I was talking to people about the use of the word whore? I don’t get how that’s control freaky, but I’m not really worried about it.

      I didn’t expect anyone to agree with me, but I did want them to see my point. If they didn’t want to, they could stop engaging with me. It really is that simple.

      • Iona

        “Nobody can hurt me without my permission.” – Mahatma Gandhi
        “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

        • Korou

          It’s unfortunate to see these wise and comforting words being twisted.

          It’s fine to say things like this to someone who is being bullied, if you’re a friend who wants to help them to develop inner strength.

          But it’s not at all good when the person telling the victim this is a bully. “Oh, why are you making such a fuss when I’m just calling you names and making you a social outcast? Remember what Ghandi said – it’s not as if I could hurt you if you didn’t let me!”

        • Alexandra

          The point of those quotes is that you can be strong and have self confidence and not allow other people’s words to hurt you. It’s an ideal to work towards.

          In reality, not everyone is able to have that kind of strength and self confidence and is very hurt and damaged by cruel words. It’s important to recognize that words are powerful and all people contain brokenness that makes them vulnerable to being hurt by the words that you chose to use.

          A kind person seeks to use words that will prevent people from having to fight the power they have.

    • Korou

      Perhaps Alexandra doesn’t want to stop disagreeing with you because she thinks you’re wrong?
      If you want to end the discussion, stop talking to her about it.

      When you were at school, did names never hurt you?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MFI2DBY4KKKEWREWWMF5Z73RGI Mary

    Aw, this was good. People seriously do not understand same-sex attraction. And shame on the media for their stereotyping and untruthful portrayals.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=14817919 Joe Reilly

    This article makes a splash among like minds. Keep praying and maybe one day someone will wake up and realize they were wrong.

  • Andiron

    If your formative years are characterized by ostracism, contempt, abuse, repeated assaults and constant name-calling (faggot, queer, cock -sucker, ass-bandit, fudge-packer) it is going to become ingrained in your being that the factor people use to excuse their behavior toward you is UNDOUBTEDLY the most important thing about you. It is, after all, the one thing about you that is so contemptible, so worthy of death, that all other factors of who you are fall by the wayside. Virtually everyone, or at least every male, of a certain age or older has engaged in this behavior. And it is formative: it doesn’t make insecure boys go gay, but it DOES guarantee that boys who ARE gay will understand that rejection is on every side, and NO ONE can be trusted. You grow up believing without question that if your friends/family knew what you really were, they would hate you. How would they not? It’s obvious! Listen to how they speak of people like you. Even chaste, I would much rather be a part of a community that acknowledges the truth with a laugh, rather than lying with a smile. “May the peace of Christ be with you.” Yeah, right.

    • wineinthewater

      I think that’s a very valid point. But it’s worth noting that all the things that you’ve identified that create a “gay identity” are negatives.

  • The concurr-inator.

    Thank you SO much for putting into words things that have been nebulously festering in my mind for a long time.

    • The concur-inator

      oops. that’s concur-inator. my fingers got excited as I typed my reply

  • steven

    ok well right off the bat, i want to just point something out. the call to “come out” and assume the label “gay man” was not meant to define the entire person, but rather link him to a community of similarly inclined individuals and to point out to the broader heterosexual world at large, that “gay men” exists, and “gay” was something substantial enough to create a label. Men who were homosexual were no longer going to be ignored, or suppressed, or forced into marriages by a society that was ignorant of their existence, because of fearful silence. The labeling was not meant to diminish the individual, but rather give him strength, the opposite of what “fag” and “queer” were meant to do, dehumanize and revile.

    So don’t go into a gay panic over the fact that people label themselves gay. Coming out is not “shoving our lifestyle in your face.” It is one person’s affirmation to be true to themselves, even if it means being different than most people.

  • Korou

    This seems to be a good time and place to ask. In a previous thread, I asked why it was that homosexual behaviour was immoral (the thread about how atheists can have a moral foundation); but I didn’t get a satisfactory answer. Some people did reply, politely and fairly, but I don’t think their arguments held water. As far as I can remember they were:

    1. Homosexual behaviour is immoral because homosexuality is a disorder, an aberration. Answer: that was disproved over fifty years ago. Psychologists now agree that homosexuality is not a disorder.

    2. Homosexuality is immoral because it is unnatural; men were made to have sex with women, and women were made to have sex with men.
    Answer: plenty of things we do are “unnatural” – cooking meat, using computers and living in small communities rather than the tribal ones we evolved to live in. And even if that were true, two men loving each other or two women loving each other is an act between two consenting adults; it hurts nobody.

    So in all sincerity: how is homosexual behaviour immoral?

    • Bookgirl

      Neither of those are a anywhere close. You’re also trying to understand the reasoning of the Church through society’s eyes instead of through the Church’s itself. It has to do with the act of sex. The Church teaches that sex, in it’s correct context, must be simultaneously procreative and unitive within the confines of a sacramental marriage. The immorality comes in when the two are seperated or one is placed in importance over the other. This happens when artificial birth control is used, in the process of trying to get pregnant via IVF, when one engages in masturbation, etc. etc. Homosexual “sex” eliminates any chance of procreation (notice that I said chance, as the act does not HAVE to end in procreation but the chance of it cannot be impeded, thus infertile or even clinically diagnosed sterile couples still retain the possibility, as opposed to the truly impotent, who are not eligible for marriage as they are incapable of having sex). Just as IVF eliminates any chance of a unitive experience between a married couple. You might disagree with the fact that sex must include both these, the unitive and procreative aspects, and therefore see no problem with homosexual acts. But if you, for argument’s sake, look through it through the eyes of the Church, which does believe this, then at the very least you can follow the logic of the belief even if you don’t agree with it. You will also see the very clear distinction between orientation and activity.

      • Korou

        Bookgirl (nice name!), thank you for answering. Would you say that your answer is representative of Catholic thinking?

        You said that neither of those are anywhere close. I think that I did fairly summarise what I had been told. Did you mean that my objections to them were off-target?

        Perhaps it would be best not to see it either through the Church’s eyes, or through society’s eyes. Let’s just try to see what really is, and work from there. How about that? Let’s just try to examine the facts and draw reasonable conclusions from them.

        You said: “The Church teaches that sex, in it’s correct context, must be simultaneously procreative and unitive within the confines of a sacramental marriage. The immorality comes in when the two are separated or one is placed in importance over the other.”

        Now I’d like to try to pin you down here. Why is this immoral?
        It sounds like you’re saying that heterosexual married intercourse is moral because that is what we were made to do. We were made to produce children, and so any sexual activity that does not produce children is immoral; which, as you’ve listed, includes masturbation, homosexuality, heterosexual intercourse within marriage while using contraception and impotence.

        But this leads on to another question, which is the one I really want to ask: why is it that sexual activity that does not have the chance of resulting in the creation of children is immoral?

        Are we using the word “immoral” to mean the same thing here? Basically, when we say something is immoral, do we mean that it is wrong, bad, wicked, evil? Because if we are, you would have to show me that non-procreative sexual activity hurts or harms people. If you can do that, then of course I will come to consider it immoral. Can you do that?

        Or, when you say it’s immoral, do you mean that it is against a rule of the church which, even though it has no particular reason for existing, it would be evil to break?

  • Alexandra

    Kouru, I was talking to my husband about the reaction I got here about trying to make the point that it isn’t okay to call an abstraction a whore. He made a very good point that I hadn’t thought of before, that actually Marc made in his post “Why I Don’t Care.”

    He was saying that he thinks the Christian Right tends to think in abstractions, and that is why they are able to be so dismissive of real people and their real plights when they push for laws that are unjust. Like the way that the way that these laws will affect irreligious homosexuals who want to get married to their partner, or a woman who has been raped who wants to take the morning after pill. These are people, and I would bet that most people who are anti-abortion and anti-marriage equality would probably would have a hard time looking them in the face and saying no, I don’t believe you have the right to make that choice. Most people who do change their minds on these positions do it because they’ve looked these people in the face and realized that there is no logic rooted in the real world to their positions.

    It’s easy to dismiss the use of the word whore in reference to an archetype or an abstraction because they are able to separate the abstraction from the person that it represents. To me, that’s unacceptable specifically because of that separation. It’s what allows people to push for things that violate the separation of Church and State and harm individual people because who cares about the abstraction of “shallow whore”? No one.

    I can’t separate the archetype from the person, and that’s why it bothers me. Or at least, I feel like separating the archetype from the person is what leads to being cruel to other people, and it hurts and surprises me to see people defending that.

    • Korou

      Good point, Alexandra,
      Do you think your husband would be able to join us on here? I’m sure he’d make lots of valuable contributions.

      I think maybe in addition to right-wingers, anti-gays and pro-lifers often seeing people as abstractions instead of as people (something anyone can do to an extent) they often construct strawmen; the image that they’re attacking in their arguments doesn’t actually exist. And so we see Christians all the time saying, “But you’re an atheist, how can you have any understanding of what good and evil is?” for example.

    • Rico

      You mean abstracts like a homogeous “Christian Right”?

    • wineinthewater

      The Christian Right tends to think in abstractions, but so does the Left. I mean, consider what you’re written, you’ve made an abstraction of the “Christian Right” to make your point.

      • Alexandra

        It’s true, I’m not saying that the Christian Right are the only people that thinks in terms of abstractions.

        I’m saying that there is a type of person that exists that thinks like that, there’s a lot of them who are conservative Christians. I’ve met many of them. There is a large group of conservative Christians who are very discriminatory and if you talk to them, you realize that they are discriminating against an abstraction that has no relation to reality. That a lot of these people who are so discriminatory are thinking about ideas, not people.

        To talk about anything you have to make generalizations and talk in abstractions. It just gets too cumbersome to have to qualify everything, and you can’t talk about culture without making generalizations. What I’m saying is that many of these people who appear really callus aren’t thinking about people, they’re thinking about ideas. This is based on my personal experience.

        I’m not saying having the abstraction is bad, I’m saying the abstraction isn’t informed by reality and that is what is bad.

    • Bethot

      Sorry A. You are wrong here. “…he thinks the Christian Right tends to think in abstractions, and that is why they are able to be so dismissive of real people and their real plights when they push for laws that are unjust” What they are pushing for is simple. A standard. A healthy, happy standard. Not a person and his or her individual situation. Religion is about achieving a standard that is above human selfish needs and selfish desires. It is a standard that one tries to achieve throughout life BTW, it’s not a standard that we as humans wrote for ourselves. It’s from God.

  • http://www.arsvivendiblog.com/ Inge

    I knew from early age that I looked different at women than other girls did. I found out I am bisexual. My parents are Atheist, I was raised Atheist. I didn’t want to adopt a LGBT lifestyle because it felt ‘wrong’. It’s exactly this: when you have a different sexual orientation and have a ‘coming out’, everybody expects of you to live it out. In my case people were ‘encouraging’ me to do it. The more they encouraged me, the worse I felt about it.

    Becoming a Catholic, and the Church’s stance on sexuality was a major help, made my life so much easier. Catholic people accept you the way you are, they don’t push. At least not in my experience. I haven’t been feeling this liberated before. I am a happy celibate now and wouldn’t want to trade this with anything in the world. As a someone with a bisexual orientation I could marry a man, because in my case it goes both ways. But I don’t want to, celibacy is perfect.

    I LOVE being Catholic!

  • Steve Gershom

    You tell ‘em, Marc. Well done.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1348400093 James Bullock

    The government should enact law’s that enforce freedom of the people, granted freedom that doesn’t enslave the next guy. Gays will be gay and straights will be straight.

    If anyone says the Bible is okay with homosexuality as a lifestyle, seriously? Go read it again…

    Though, the people in American institutionalized churches generally don’t live like Christ gave a command for us to keep. If you want to know what it means to be a Christian don’t look at Christians(There are verses about this). At the same time the church is without excuse, they are to be the salt and the light of this world.

  • Scottfishburn

    I’ve been reading through the comments, but I haven’t heard anyone address this yet, so here goes: I don’t think that you can really say that “women have nothing – infinitesimally small potatoes, really — on the ridiculous amount of objectification and abstraction heaped upon men with same-sex attraction”. Media portrayal of gay men as fabulous are rather new; those of women are very old, and exist even in ancient literature. I think this particular use of hyperbole is exaggerated. I was directed to this post by my priest. He likes it.

  • Scottfishburn

    He made some interesting points, and it does ring true that our culture and media have turned the gay man into a caricature of his supposedly ever-fabulous self. Where the author lost me (and lost me for good, I’m afraid) was when he began talking about women. Which was close to the beginning…

    The author states that “women have nothing – infinitesimally small potatoes, really — on the ridiculous amount of objectification and abstraction heaped upon men with same-sex attraction.” This bears some scrutiny, in light of the conclusion drawn at the end of the article regarding gay marriage. Firstly, this has to be hyperbole; women have been less objectified than gay men since when? How is this measured? This should not be a competition, and the media objectification of the gay man is fairly recent, and is on the rise, but not, I wouldn’t say, infinitesimally greater or even greater at all. Secondly, real traditional marriage is the literal objectification of women as property, in the literal meaning of the word. To this day, fathers “give away the bride.” Men may still acquire “mail order brides.” There is a vibrant, world-wide sex trafficking trade of women used for reproductive slavery and commercial sexual exploitation. It is true that more women than gay men are subject to sex trafficking worldwide. I think it is a serious and misleading statement that the author has made.

    Next, while complaining of how patronizing the media is of the gay man, he creates an example of the “gay best friend” of “that idiot female protagonist, whose utter inability to be anything but a shallow whore is depressing.”

    Now who is doing the objectifying?

    Here the author has given a hand up to the gay man who would “rather not step into her room, give her a sassy, whimpering look, and spew out a tired cliche that will provide her with all the motivation she needs to get another STD” and given the back of his hand to the woman. Compassion for the “patronized” gay man, patronization for the “whore.”

    Next the author says,
    “This Media Portrayal seems to influence the intensely creepy, “I wish I had a gay best friend,” mentality so many girls display. Again, it’s total objectification. The Gay Best Friend Abstraction isn’t just a false category in which to place a person — it is an amputation of the person. When girls want a “gay best friend” they certainly aren’t asking for a unique human being, with all aching, terrifying desires human beings contain, who will work for their ultimate good to the point of death. They want an accessory.”

    Now we are laying the objectification of the gay man on “so many girls.” Even the language of “man” countered with the language of “girls” is belittling. The gay man has aching, terrifying desires, and the “girl” wants a living fashion magazine. I just don’t think that’s true. Perhaps there are women who feel this way, but women want depth from friendship, emotional openness, trust, and reliability. Once again, the author has made the case for his protagonist at the expense of women, further objectifying them. It’s insidious and persistent in the whole of the piece.

    The conclusion comes out of nowhere. When in the piece were we discussing marriage? Gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry because all we will be doing is allowing this objectification to continue? It has gotten to where it is outside of gay marriage. What the gays (and lesbians!) would like out of marriage are civil (not religious) rights and protections under the civil (not religious) law; civil rights that are denied them because of their “SSA.” The conclusion objectifies them further by the term “homoerotic lifestyle” which assumes all that frivolty and glitz the author tried so hard to downplay. Not all gay men (or women) have the same lifestyle. You would never say “heteroerotic lifestyle” because that takes so many different shapes. I would think that the practicing homosexual’s does, too…

  • DavidAshutosh

    As a gay man who have lived within the pressures of Mormonism and within the pressures of the gay community, and faced the religious stereotypes and general blatant ignorance and bigotry (as well as more subtle forms), I agree that there is objectification all the way around. There are pressures to define oneself as a sexual heathen, a flamboyant poof, or as a celibate essentially castrated depressed wounded tormented soul who is fighting themselves endlessly, ashamed of attractions, etc…

    Likewise there are pressures some gay men face to be particularly masculine, fit in, and I have discussed the physical and emotional issues of such approaches with people such as a health issue with a guy who had throat problems from attempting to altar his natural voice from a young age to sound more masculine.

    I agree that putting gay men into boxes and saying they should come out and be politically active can be confining and can be problematic for some in more conservative areas who may do best to finish their school, build something of a life prior to coming out whether inside of a church that is more welcoming, or within the gay community in whatever capacity may make sense.

    There is an issue though I have with hearing about gay men being ‘men’ in the context you mention for a variety of reasons. First, it suddenly objectifies people as a group in a narrow definition. Some cultures have viewed gay men as having a different gender altogether. some cultures have five or more genders. Some have viewed people as a third gender.

    I have seen gay men do things like teach a partner’s daughters how to cook because their mother (from a prior Mormon marriage that ultimately collapsed) didn’t cook.

    The LDS church and other religions can tend to have very narrow definitions of men as providers and protectors and there is often a sense of frustration with that even from active Mormon straight men. Some straight men feel deeply violated by the objectification and expectations of them which begin so young. Some feel trapped in marriages that they believed would make them happy based on what they were told. Some wish they had taken the time to travel and explore prior to starting a family. I have heard that on multiple occasions.

    Likewise I have heard multiple women talk about being confined in expectations and cultural identities of women as nurturers and feeling like they had no real identity outside of their kids which they felt confined by and struggled to find even part time work to have some sense of reference point and just healthy adult roles. The point is, Mormonism’s strength and weakness can be the

    A lot of women do very much love their gay friends and gay friends often are about what is promised. Gay men also often do connect with women more. Not always, but plenty do. Some gay men connect with straight men more and some straight men connect with gay men. Gay men can have stereotypical things to offer or less stereotypical things to offer like depth, wisdom and compassion to those who may not fit in or may feel different and be different than the general socially accepted norms and may hide and pretend to fit in and live in other forms of closets/secret lives.

    It sounds to me like you may well not be exposed to a lot of gay men, which writers of shows often are, and while there are stereotypes and those can be confining, those stereotypes exist sometimes for a reason. Women often do want a safe relationship and find that in a gay man and vice versa, but that gay man is often not a ‘guy’ friend, but another kind of girlfriend. Straight men tend not to appreciate jewelry and clothing and all that. Gay men don’t always, but often do.

    Also, you offer some simplistic and highly debated statements about life expectancy and other things. Additionally, in regards to that idea, a shorter life is not necessarily a lesser life. Heavier people live shorter lives. Military people have shorter lives, deal with depression, anxiety, ptsd, etc… Does that mean there is no value to the military and people should not join? Living with the stress of prejudice does tend to lead to shorter lives. There are also studies of how families that accept their gay kids and family members tend to have healthier, happier gay family members. So putting the blame on the gay men is a narrow view of a systemic issue.

    This response is long enough, so I will leave it at that.

  • SavonarolasAshes

    Your use of the term “Same Sex Attraction” is the ultimate in dehumanizing objectification. Gay men can and do experience an attraction to other men that can become selfless, divine love.

  • SavonarolasAshes

    All in all, I’d prefer to be seen as some woman’s safe, sexless best friend, than as any of the things the Christian tradition objecties me as,”worse than a murderer” according to St. John Chrysostom, a sodomite, a threat to children, or someone living with SSA. If gays are meant for infinite love, then the Church is the worst place to find that destiny because the Church is the primary enabler of our persecution in the Western World.

  • Brian Crowley

    I wish there was a way to take the entirety of this article and compress it into a 10 second sound byte, which I would then store on a portable device equipped with bose speakers and simply play on repeat as I walk through the city on my way to class.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000992061270 Thor Pugh

    Chastity is like a shackle that keeps us from love. It is a binding cage of stress and depression. A revocation of one of the greatest facets of the human experience: love. As a gay man, why should I be denied to marry and consecrate said marriage to the love of my life, which happens to be another man?

    See, people who think in such ways, those who would have gay men essentially castrated if they got their way, are unable to see the true love of the divine. Love is within us all, male or female, and if that love leads us to romantic attraction to another of our same gender, is that not a god-given gift?

    I have loved the same man for over two years now, and despite our rough patches and differences we have pulled through and made it thus far. In fact, we’ve only become stronger and more united as a couple because of the trials we have made it through. Honestly, I would ‘take a bullet’ for him. And, I plan on spending many more years with the love of my life.

    Words in a holy book and the mistranslated misconstutions that spring from them over centuries do not dictate my life. My life is lead by what is right and just. There is no rightfulness or justice in the oppression of love and its fruits. Do not let the cover of human err and the blindfold of misconception prevent you from understanding what is deep within us all, a divine light that will lead you in life if you open your heart to its voice and let love fill and guide you.

  • Rivka

    I think most of the commentators here missed the point of the article. Anon_Gay_Christian got it.

  • Rivka

    I thought the “I wish I had a gay best friend” part is funny because my best friend is male, (with “straight” orientation).
    (The attraction/sexual tension thing made our story more interesting.)


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