The Christian right and pornographers: brothers in arms

lingeriemannequinsWe’ve all heard the anti-gay vitriol spouted by Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, and all the other right-wing Christian leaders who make their fortunes persecuting LGBT people.

What, really, makes such Christians tick? What defines their ethos? What is the true taproot of anti-gay Christianity? Underneath all of their posturing and hyperbole—even underneath their belief that they are only being true to the Bible—what core conviction is really informing the Christian right’s condemnation of homosexuality?

It is that human sexuality can exist separate from the human spirit.

In the mindset of the anti-gay Christian right, same-sex relationships are about nothing but soulless bodies engaged in animal acts. Such relationships must have everything to do with sex, and nothing to do with love.

When’s the last time you heard any anti-gay Christian so much as mention love between two gay people? You never have, because they cannot afford to go there. Doing so would be like flipping on the light switch in a darkroom. Everything would be ruined.

Foundational to the Christian condemnation of homosexuality (and, indeed, of all sexuality) is the conviction that it is possible for a person to divorce their sexuality from their soul—from their heart, from their emotional core, from the very locus of their awareness of who they are.

You know who also bases everything they do and are upon that same assumption? Pornographers. Without the belief that a person’s sexuality can exist separately from their heart and mind, pornographers would also be out of business.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter. If you shop at Amazon, help support John by entering the site through this link right here--Amazon will then send John 3-4% of the cost of anything you buy before exiting the site again.

 

  • mike moore

    Incredibly insightful. Exceptionally well-said. I believe most of the Christian Right falls precisely within your analysis.

    You are exactly correct. And exactly wrong. I think most of the leaders of the Christian Right are in it for the money.

    Certainly, with his African diamond and gold scams, Robertson is a money freak. Perkins, Brian Brown, etc., are typically earning $500k-$1m annually, once speaking fees, board of directors’ fees, etc. are added on.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Mike Moore! It’s so good to hear from you!

      • mike moore

        thanks! been following the NALT project … truly amazing, I think it’s already radically changing the dialog … plus you made Porno-Pete’s head explode, a 3-pointer in my book!!!

        Really proud of you and to know you (digitally, anyway) … “I knew him when … “

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

          This is obnoxious-seeming, I suppose, but if you’re rich (or have, you know, four dollars to spare) DONATE TO US. To say anything would help is an understatement. (But I’ll love ya’ even if your wallet does suddenly develop lockjaw, ya’ big lug, ya.)

    • http://rindle.blogspot.com/ Lyn

      I’m with Mike. I think average anti-gay conservative Christians don’t really get that sexuality is about your soul and not about what your genitalia is doing. On the other hand, the leaders just strike me as money grubbing slimeballs fear-mongering to bring in the almighty buck. They don’t care what the Bible says, so long as “In God we trust” is accepted at all financial institutions.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

    I read the title and thought “what the holy f—–!” Then I read what you wrote and thought, “but, of course!”

  • Richard W. Fitch

    Just one question: What are your criteria for defining “pornographer” and/or “pornography”? There’s lots of stuff I know the kristianists label as ‘porn’ that I would challenge. There are even some who consider David and other great art as ‘porn’. Is it all simply in the eye of the beholder or do have a few concrete points that can serve as a guide?

    • mike moore

      I’ve always liked SCOTUS Justice Stewart’s comment about how to define porn – “I know it when I see it.” (Paraphrase)

      Worth noting, that came from decision in which he protected a porn film.

    • Clayton Frazier

      Pornography main point and industry standard is, content which is created to aroused and creates the desire to have sexual activity. When breaking down the word porno/graph/ic = pertaining to prostitute image. But Christians tend to reject this and mark all nudity as porn. This drives me crazy. Art is different, it is meant to be beautiful and make you feel better, not aroused.

      • Richard W. Fitch

        …. Of course then there was the debut of Ravel’s “Bolero” ….

  • Aggie

    Nice post, John. Rules without reference to interpersonal relationships seem rather absurd to me. To borrow from Augustine (in a way that he probably wouldn’t have fully been on board with), “love, and do what you will.”

  • Scott

    John. I love ya so very much. So it is with great regret that I must say that you have posted your first ever post that I substantially disagree with. I think your analysis of what anti-gay, bigoted, fundy christians think and say about sex is spot-on.

    Before I make my main point, I want to emphasize that I do understand that pornography is 1) entirely a commercial endeavor and 2) sometimes contributes to the oppression of women and encouragement of rape culture, though by no means is this true of all porn.

    Now that my provisos are out of the way, I want to say that your last couple of paragraphs bug me, because they are overly broad statements about pornographers and what they think and believe. I also think that there are implicit assumptions about consumers of pornography that are not true . Now, let me confess up front that I am no longer a christian. No longer religious , in fact. And that means that my views of sexuality are completely informed by non-religious ideas and worl-views. I must confess that I really like a lot of pornography. Your statements make a lot of assumptions about the producers of pornography that, by necessity, have to be assumed about the consumers of pornography.

    Most people consume pornography for 1 reason and 1 reason only. It’s so that they can become aroused and masturbate. What I am wondering is this… Do you believe that the consumers of pornography have “divorce(d) their sexuality from their soul—from their heart, from their emotional core, from the very locus of their awareness of who they are?”

    Personally, I don’t think so. I think most porn consumers are either 1) un-partnered or 2) partnered but in sexual situations in which their sexual needs are not getting met. As an aside, I think sexual incompatibility is a very serious problem, whether its unmatched libidos or partners with deeply different sexual desires. (For the record, I do recognize there are other groups of porn consumers, such as couples who watch porn together and use it as an aid to their sexuality).

    Yes, pornographers are driven by money, but I don’t think it necessarily follows that their view of sexuality is warped or soulless. The better among them also make porn because they like it. Because its fun. Because they themselves are deeply sex-positive and understand that they have a legitimate role to play in people’s sexuality. And there’s the rub (one off, snigger). I have come to believe that pornography actually plays a good role in helping people fulfill their sexual needs when they have no other outlet. I think usually their need is driven by a need that is greater than just to “get-off” but also for love and intimacy. Ultimately, porn won’t give them that, but it might help keep them sane until they do have it. So all that is to say that I think you’re spot on about the christian bigots, but kind of wrong about porn producers and consumers.

    • Elizabeth

      Nope. Most people patronize the porn industry because they are insecure and want a safe place to watch women get naked. Women are prettier naked. Totally down with that. If it makes you want to rape, what you need is a shrink, not a stripper.

      • Perry

        Just to clarify for myself, when I watch porn, it is definitely NOT women I’m seeing naked. And while I’m the first to admit that I’m by no means the paragon of sane-ness and “normality,” I sure as H-E-double-sticks don’t watch/patronize porn because of any sexual insecurities. Far, far from it. And I’m totally not down with the misogynist rape culture that’s pervading our society right now, either. So yeah, just sayin’.

        • Elizabeth

          Mea culpa. I’m all about men. But, seriously, women: much prettier naked. A universal truth. Y’all have stuff hanging out. And, um, you are the one who introduced the topic of porn on a Christian website.

    • Susan in NY

      I agree with Scott.

      I think that most people watch porn to become aroused and masturbate. And that would mostly be men.

      In general, I think that Scott is spot on about the role of porn in our society.

      I am certain you can have sex with your significant other without there being any sort of spiritual or emotional connection, either good or bad. The human mind has an amazing capacity to compartmentalize – placing sex in one box and love in an entirely separate box. And unless one partner decides to do something about the sexual and love relationship, it will simply go on that way, year after year.

      Not a good way to live, but it could be much worse. Just sayin’

      Susan in NY

      • Elizabeth

        Wow. I am non-CIS. I can watch porn, appreciate the human form, and not cheat on anyone. And I can’t compartmentalize for H-E-double hockey sticks. :)

  • http://Www.buzzdixon.com Buzz

    It has been my personal experience that pornographers pay what they promise to pay when they promise to pay it but far too many professional Christians don’t.

    Jes’ say in’…

  • Donald Rappe

    Good insight!

  • Tammy Lubbers

    Oh, SNAP! Right on target, John!

  • Steven Waling

    As I’ve always thought. Basically it’s like they’re still teenagers in their heads. They haven’t got over discovering that their parents must have done the deed to make them and that thought is so disgusting and traumatic it’s made them crazy.

  • Brian Erickson

    “It is that human sexuality can exist separate from the human spirit.” YES YES YES! THANK YOU JOHN!!!! xoxo

  • Auri Fox

    The soul, just like God, is supposed to be unclassified by gender. So If two souls fall in love, why such an uproar if they are not ‘conventional’ in our flawed human perception of physicality? I guess if we were just pure souls walking down the street, how would you know what we are? Souls have no gender…

  • Sharon Smith

    IMHO, pornography is all about the victimization of someone else. Exactly like the anti gay Christians’ stance on LBGT people. I hate to see them called the Christian right, because they are neither.

  • Sheila Hamilton

    John, I so agree with this.

  • Cheryl Martin

    ”Without the belief that a person’s sexuality can exist separately from their heart and mind, pornographers would also be out of business.” Good point.

  • Steve Armstrong

    I’ve known my fair share of Porn actors and they do believe you can have sex without it affecting your heart. I find that very sad.

    • Lymis

      Did you find that they had damaged hearts for some reason, or were you simply choosing not to believe their own evaluation of their own experience?

      Why, exactly, did it make you sad?

  • Rachael St

    If you want to get the point of this, understand something very basic. The way sex is taught today is responsible for porn existing to the point it does. We have turned physical relationships into something to hide and giggle about behind closed doors. This alows the pron indastry to thrive. No one talks about it, but everyone does it is the mentality of most people.

    That same thought process gives lie to the spirituality of same sex couples. It makes what they do all about the sex. The main thought process behind ever pastor I have personal spoken to on same sex couples is the ‘dirtiness’ of it as the only ‘clean’ sex is for procreation. Since they can not produce children, what they do must be dirty. Take away that dirty and what you have left is love between two people.

    In this both pornagray and fundaminatlist need sex to be dirty, with out that anti gay falls apart, and the porn industry losses its power.

    • Lissy

      “The main thought process behind ever pastor I have personal spoken to on same sex couples is the ‘dirtiness’ of it as the only ‘clean’ sex is for procreation. Since they can not produce children, what they do must be dirty. Take away that dirty and what you have left is love between two people.”

      They are so focused on homosexuality that they don’t see that thinking makes all people who do not marry to reproduce “dirty.”

  • Daisy Blom

    John, I totally agree with the point you made. That is one of the main reasons why sexual promiscuity results in countless problems on a spiritual level. Another point I want to raise is, that I sometimes think that the “fight” against homosexuality is the Trojan horse of the modern church. While all efforts are focussed on homosexuality, so many other more destructive spirits and sins creeps into the “church” unnoticed. Problems like pornography, incest, abuse, human trafficking and slavery, pride, arogance, judgement, lack of love and hospitality, lack of empathy and concern for the orphaned, poor and widows, etc.

    • LEH

      Very well said – I am no longer a Christian but for me, your words reflect a true understanding of both the Christian path and true divine spiritual law. You made my day.

  • Kristin Rowles

    Sexuality is about wiring. Homosexuals are literally WIRED to be attracted to the same sex, just as heteros are and attracted to the opposite sex. Last time I checked, my insatiable lust for men was not a choice and neither is it a choice of those of the LBGT persuasion.

    Now, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t choice involved. You can choose to follow God by trusting in your heart that his word was written down by MEN (who are fallible) and knowing you aren’t a mistake for being gay…or you can listen to hateful people who call themselves Christians and try to deny who you truly are wired to be. I just hate that anyone has ever believed that God has made a mistake with them. He hasn’t. Only people make mistakes by believing other hateful people.

  • bryan

    John, your thoughts on homosexuality, and those of many of your affirming fans down here in the comments section, sound wonderful and inclusive and reasonable and even convincing… if it just weren’t for the clarity of God’s Word on the matter. I guess it’s an easy sell to those who don’t believe God’s Word is accurate or authoritative, but if that’s the case, why bother with Christianity at all?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore
    • http://aucourant.ws Line Merrette

      Do you wear polyester and cotton?

      Do you eat rabbit? And shellfish?

      Do you sleep with your wife when she has her period?

      Then you should be stoned.

    • Ben Thomas

      Bryan – your argument can be word-for-word replicated as the argument used by Christians against inter-racial marriages, and in favour of slavery.

      “Clobber-texting” – or taking tiny bits of the Bible totally out of context (both out of context in terms of the text and in terms of their historical place) and using them to justify something completely opposed to the main message of Christianity – has been the practice of those who claim to be reading the bible “literally” (which is in fact not reading it literally at all) for centuries.

    • Mindy

      Bryan, if you really believe that clarity exists in those passages, you have been taught badly. Not your fault, it’s common in too many churches. My suggestion would be to read the link John posted and then do your OWN research from academic sources regarding the real meanings of those passages. Then, when you are done with that, read John’s book that is linked in the middle of the article and think about all of those whose stories you’ll have just ingested. Think about your God, the one of love Jesus portrays, and whether or not that God would truly condemn those people. After that, re-read the New Testament, the one in which Jesus, Son of God, God Incarnate, never once mentions anything about homosexuality at all.

      Why bother with Christianity? Because of faith. Faith in the message that God sent Jesus to deliver. Above all, LOVE.

    • Lymis

      “if that’s the case, why bother with Christianity at all?”

      I don’t have a relationship with a book. I have a relationship with a living God who sends his Spirit into my life, and looks back at me from behind the eyes of my brothers and sisters. Loving your neighbor is the highest commandment, no word about a book that hadn’t even been written when Jesus walked the earth. If you claim that you can’t be Christian without the Bible, you’re saying that there were no Christians, including the apostles, until nearly 300 years after Jesus died and rose.

      And if something in the Bible conflicts with that experience of the Eternal God of Love, then I’ll go with God.

      I mean, seriously, God cares whether you touch a pig or eat a shrimp?

      If you’re not going to believe in the risen Christ or the Holy Spirit, why bother with the Bible or Christianity at all?

      • Lissy

        Wonderfully said, Lymis, as always! I, too, do not have a relationship with the Bible. I have a relationship with the Triune God. The Holy Spirit was sent to guide us and guide me, he does. What would happen to some Christians if ALL the Bibles in the world were destroyed? They would panic! But Christianity existed before the Bible was written and it would endure long after all Bibles were destroyed. The Bible is not a book of rules but a book about God’s relationship with humanity.

        • Anakin McFly

          Someone should write a Christian book about what would happen if all the Bibles were destroyed.

          • Jill

            I’m with you, Anakin.

            (Don’t worry Elizab, I’m taking the Bib Crit class as we speak. Loving every minute. My prof may be my new role model: former Catholic, went to Lutheran seminary, quit 3 churches to find her way into the UCC where I’m at.)

          • Elizabeth

            Don’t get me started, Jill. Take notes. (;

          • Jill

            Class #3 tonight. Don’t be jealous… HA!

          • Lissy

            That’s actually a good idea! Would be an awesome subject!

          • Logicomix

            Sounds awesome! And I can think of a few thing that might happen.

          • DR

            That would be awful :(. I’m devoted to the Word of God and we don’t need to dismiss Scripture as such in order to reject someone’s interpretation of it. That to me, is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    • Todd Erickson

      If you approach existence with a biblical hermeneutic of sin instead of love, you get this.

    • http://Www.BuzzDixon.com Buzz

      Bryan, the only time in the Old Testament when God spoke out loud to a large group of people who could compare notes on what he said was when He offered the original covenant (a.k.a. The Decalogue) to the children of Israel. He didn’t say anything about same suez relations at that time.

      Later, Moses said God told him privately that same sex relations were worthy of death (even tho He ranked killing people as the #1 thing human beings shouldn’t do to each other). Interestingly enough, the Bible documents Moses adding or changing stuff God told him not once but twice (the last time costing him entry into the Promised Land), so I don’t think same sex relations are necessarily a deal breaker for Him.

      http://buzzdixon.com/christianity/the-mt-sinai-timetable/

    • Alan

      “John, your thoughts on homosexuality, and those of many of your affirming fans down here in the comments section, sound wonderful and inclusive and reasonable and even convincing… if it just weren’t for the clarity of God’s Word on the matter. ”

      The point has already been made, but Bryan must have missed it: If you think God’s word is not wonderful and inclusive and reasonable and convincing, then you’re doing it wrong. If for you the choice is between love and what you think “God’s Word” is saying, then you’re doing it wrong.

      It occurs to me that there is another way that folks like Bryan and other anti-gay christians are also like pornographers: Their spammy comments on blogs that no one wants to see.

      • Lymis

        This can’t be said enough. God is love, and Jesus was all about the triumph of love over rules for rules sake – if a rule or a book or a tradition or a taboo conflicted with love then people came first.

    • robert

      bryan… the bible is very clear on a great number of things… such as the sabbath being on saturday… not to wear blended cloth… how to sacrifice a bull… not to eat shell fish… how women are property of their husbands… how to stone people for adultery… how to beat your slave… how to kill the tribe down the road… (only the men, women, old people, boys… virgin girls can usually be taken as slaves)… how to have concubines… how not to eat crickets… so until you are actually following all of then tenets in the bible… (or at least know them)… then your opinion about homosexuality… is simply only your opinion… supported by cherry picking a couple of passages… as you disregard the rest… and as you miss the entire point… which is… that Jesus himself… said absolutely nothing about gay people or homosexuality…

      I hope you will being to read the tags on your cloths and stop eating gumbo… the salvation of your soul seems to be depend on it.

      • Jill

        I kinda just love this stream of consciousness brilliance here. Thank you robert!

    • Aggie

      Remembering my former self, I believe I understand your perspective. But if something is “wonderful and inclusive and reasonable and even convincing” maybe it should be accepted. Isn’t that the criteria you use to establish the good of anything else in life?

      If you can’t trust your conscience or your reason, how do you know your theory of canon is correct anyway? (And how does a fallible person differentiate between the Bible being infallible and a personal assessment of it being infallible?) IMO this is one of the supreme problems with dogma– “Truth” clouds efforts to be honest and moral rules trump the golden rule.

    • DR

      Wow, talk about a passive aggressive comment. In other words.

      John, you and your readers put reasoned, thoughtful responses together, too bad you’re just completely wrong because your interpretation of what God’s Word says is different from my interpretation. Why even bother loving Jesus and serving Him if you aren’t aligned with my thoughts (which are God’s thoughts. FYI, even though I like you am relying upon human interpretation). Thanks and God Bless.”

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        *SNERK!!*

        awesome

    • Nathaniel

      And if you and your ilk honestly thought you knew God’s word then why do none of you cowards ever come back to defend your perspective when someone calls you on it? Why do you always capitulate like Pharisees before the feet of Christ?

      Anyone with eyes can see who has more grace and who walks more in the footsteps of Christ. Those willfully blind, like you, allow the human wisdom of your pastors and priests to find the path of God for you. Enjoy watching your church hemorrhage membership and lose generation after generation, little by little, chum.

  • Todd Erickson

    When Mars Hill (GR, not Washington) was doing their series on the Sermon on the Mount, they had Dan Allender on, and he made a great statement about porn being about control.

    If I watch porn, I get to control what the people doing it look like, the kind of sounds they make, who comes, what they come on, what actions they take, etc. I can keep hunting until my precise kink is fulfilled, and in precise volume, and get off to it.

    Which is an abject denial of things like intimacy, and sharing, and love.

    I think that a lot of people, when they react to statements on porn, do so in terms of “I’m doing this thing because it pleases me, and my life would be emptier and more stressful without it, and you’re looking to bind it with your Judeo-Christian conservative ethos that says fun is bad”.

    But I believe that John and others (like myself) would argue that things we engage in which lead us to deny intimacy and humanity (agency) in ourselves and others are deleterious to our growth and development as humans, and our ability to enjoy and appreciate other human beings as fully human.

    People who are engaging in objectification aren’t any more aware of what they’re doing to themselves than people who have privilege are aware of how their actions affect those around them. It’s simply the reality they live in.

    Far more dangerous, and perhaps essential, then porn, is all of the ways that our society does not practice things like social intimacy, mutual submission, and unconditional love in any kind of practical, manifested, regular way, even (and perhaps especially) within churches, which leaves us very little context for talking about sex. Sex is, after all, the outgrowth, not the objective.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Terrific, Todd. Very well said.

    • Anakin McFly

      “If I watch porn, I get to control what the people doing it look like, the kind of sounds they make, who comes, what they come on, what actions they take, etc”

      Porn-specific terms aside, I’d think this applies to most entertainment media, though – like books and movies. I search out the genres I enjoy, with the authors/actors/directors I like, the length I like, with a certain amount of favourable reviews, and so on. So I’m not sure that you can condemn porn on that criteria without condemning all other entertainment media.

    • Anakin McFly

      To add: I don’t watch porn, though only because I have an excellent imagination that is more than good enough; but I’m bothered by the assumption in your post that we should instead seem out human intimacy and love and sharing etc. I’m gay in a country where being gay is illegal, and trust me, I’d love to have that alternative. But in the meantime, I don’t, and neither do I have the gift of celibacy.

  • Jesus Himself

    Brethren, I’ve heard it said that I am to be a human sacrifice for your sins. May I asketh, who in the Goddamn hell came up with that Neanderthal bullshit!!!!????

    What are we, a bunch of fucking lunatics!!!!????

    Jesus fucking Christ!!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you all a bunch of goddamn retards!!!!!!!!!!!!!????????

    ——Jesus Christ, the lost Gospel of Sanity

    • Lymis

      Gosh, thanks for sharing.

    • Natalie

      Man,Jesus,what happened? You sure have changed.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        Best two responses ever.

        • Lymis

          I was thinking of adding, “Call your mother, she worries” but I thought that might have been a bit too far.

          • Soulmentor

            Always a joy to read you, Lymis!

    • Soulmentor

      Ummm….now tell us how you REALLY feel!!

  • Soulmentor

    I watch gay “porn” often. Certainly there is a lot of cheap crap out there but I try to find something that looks like seriously fine quality and I have found a LOT of that. There is some truly beautiful work out there that has made me weep with its spiritual and physical beauty. There is also a lot of film that simply celebrates the sheer honest consensual pleasure and JOY of sex. As to why I do this? I’m “older” and gay which, sadly, pretty much means alone. I currently have no lover or partner in my life but I’m human and not dead, so no apologies or guilt. And no one will hear from me a word of condemnation of the porn industry except toward something that is blatantly exploitive and non-consensual and therefore arguably harmful to all parties. One of the most beautiful gay films I’ve ever seen has been in my mind during this entire comment, along with the Berninni sculpture of The Ecstasy of St Theresa. To my mind, there are few things more beautiful or more powerful than a full on combination of spiritually and physically naked love no matter who’s doing it. For me sex is an expression of Love. I can’t separate them and when I have sex, I am Loving. (I grant that may not be the case with everyone.) To those who may suggest I am deceiving myself, I say that they have apparently not had the experience of touching God while having sex as I have, with loving male partners… and not just once. The power of it is simply inexpressible.

    There is “porn” ….and then there is Love, or simply Joy and Pleasure, filmed. It is as much Art as classical erotic painting and sculpture. Too many people don’t make the distinction and can’t even feel Joy in sex. For them, its’ just something necessary to do while the Fun of it is considered perverted and even sinful. How sad is their loss. Jesus with a hard on would be too horrifyingly scandalous to contemplate.

    Christianity has taken the Joy (which includes pleasure and fun and spirituality) out of sex. For that, and the human relations problems that result, it deserves a just contempt.

    More than 20 years ago I coined a phrase that captures how I’ve lived toward sex and Love. “Sex is a spiritual experience, and Love gives me a hard on.”

  • Nathaniel

    Pornographers are misogynists and conservative Christians are misogynists. Their alliances aren’t a surprise. Watch the wholesome Fox News network and you see conservative, “family oriented” women in the shortest skirts they can fit into talking about how the over sexualized Liberal Media is harming kids. The irony is thicker than the liters of adulterous sperm they inspire the wholesome, Godly watchers of their programs to ejaculate into their wives (because fantasizing about another woman while being with your wife counts as adultery, last I checked) and an ignorance of said irony as powerful as the the gravity created by an entire alternate dimension full of four dimensional neutron stars all collapsing into themselves, simultaneously, across every space and time, forever.

    I have come to believe that “Christians” like this don’t hate me because I am romantically attracted to other men. They hate me because, for me to consummate that relationship (hypothetically, as I haven’t met Mr Right yet) one of us has to “debase” ourselves by playing the role of “lowly” woman in the relationship. It is a direct attack on my sovereignty as a man, and because basing your sense of identity of gender construct is such a flimsy thing, an attack on all others in turn. One of us has to be bottom,* after all, right? As I get older, I am beginning to think much of this transcends Christianity, Judaism, and Islam finding it’s roots back in Mesopotamia when the price of a rape was a few goats and a marriage.

    * Well aware that most gay relationship dynamics are more complex then the top/bottom nonsense presented by the media, but they aren’t.

    • Jill

      Wonder why they’re so mad at all us women, anyway? I know I didn’t do anything specific to them… well, other than be an uppity feminist. But that just comes naturally.

      One day I would love to hear some guy finally admit the base-bottom, actual reason why he hates women. I don’t want to hear the psychological profile of his mother, or his oedipal complex, or anything like that. From his lips, I want to hear why it seems easy to dismiss an entire grouping of humanity.

      • Logicomix

        How are women being dismissed?

        • Nathaniel

          When a woman complains about creepy guys and you complain, in turn, that it is unfair to label guys creepy without knowing them first you are dismissing women. When a woman complains about being oversexualized in the media and your response is something along the lines of “But there are ads/movies/etc where the man has his shirt off too!” you are dismissing the concerns of women. Whenever you don’t recognize that you and I, as men, live very priviliged lives where we never have to worry about how we will react to having our hair sniffed or our ass grabbed on the subway or the bus (and that is, really, just a fringe benefit of being a man, when you break it all down) you are dismissing all women. Bear in mind, I am not referring to you, Logicomix, but men who can be problematic in general. Misogyny wears many masks, from the obvious religious and crass pornographic faces to the more self satisfied, evolutionary psychology spewing atheist faces.

          Dismiss me, if you wish. Call me a white knight, if you like; considering I have admitted to being into guys though, I fear you will have a hard sell on that.

          • Anakin McFly

            This!

            Going from first hand experience as a trans guy, there’s a world of difference in how society treats men and women; and men do, for the most part, have it way better. (Although for some things it’s not as great as some feminists make out.) it’s especially the case with respect and being listened to; in my first term back in college as a guy I remember being surprised multiple times when people actually paid attention to and was interested in stuff I said, vs the usual apathy and/or outright dismissal I used to get and had considered normal. Then I noticed that people were still reacting that way to my female peers – so many times I caught guys interrupting or trying to speak over them. It was a bit depressing.

  • Tim Northrup

    I haven’t yet read all the comments on this one, but I have a few issues with this post: First, the assumption that the two can’t be divorced. The thing is that they can be, at least at some level. The issue is whether 1) they should be and 2) what exactly that means.

    I know from experience that most fundy christians see sex as an essentially dirty thing on all sides–necessary but inherently evil. from that perspective, you’d have a problem not being misogynistic, anti-gay, and all that. No wonder porn use is highest in the bible belt. Then again, there is empowering/affirming porn out there that assumes better of people, but one has to really search for it and it is a very two-edged blade.

    So, 6 of one half dozen of the other, maybe.


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