baltimoresun.com

« Adventists to host Haiti fundraiser | Main | French consider veil ban »

January 25, 2010

Bishop: Homosexuality like anorexia

The Roman Catholic primate of Belgium has likened homosexuality to an eating disorder, Radio Netherlands Worldwide reports.

"Homosexuality is not the same as normal sex in the same way that anorexia is not a normal appetite," Monsignor André-Joseph Léonard, the archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, told a Belgian television station, according to RNW. He added that he would "never call anorexia patients abnormal."

As bishop of Namen in Belgium, RNW reports, Léonard provoked controversy when he called homosexuality abnormal. Pope Benedict XVI named him archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels last week, making him primate of Belgium.

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 5:00 AM | | Comments (154)
        

Comments

True enough... this is one way to look at it.

From my own experience (can't speak for the Monsignor's...), homosexuality is a whole lot more fun than anorexia.

People need to understand the distrinction between "normal" and "typical." Right-handedness is "typical." Left-handedness, like homosexuality, is not typical. Both are normal.

With what he said, he's sure a primate of something.

BankStreet - I respectfully disagree with your opinion of homosexuality being normal. I think normal is somewhat of a relative term. What's normal to one person or group of people may not be to another. Obviously I don’t see it as normal or typical.

That being said I think the bishop should stick to the church's moral position and hold off unqualified comparisons which medical disorders. I don't see where anything positive comes from making such comparisons.

ravensfan,

Just as respectfully, I submit that my homosexuality IS normal (for me), just as your (presumed) heterosexaulity is for you. If we agree that "normal" is relative, the term becomes meaningless in the context of sexual orientation ... and "typical" and "not typical" become much more useful characterizations ... without the hurt and judgement conveyed by "normal." After all, who among is is 100% "normal"?

BankStreet - You'll get no argument from me on that point. While we don’t share the same view on homosexuality I don’t see where anything beneficial comes from trying to hurt or pass judgment. Just as you said who among us is 100% normal, who among us, for those who believe, is without sin myself included. For me to pass judgment on you or anyone else for anything you or they have done or are doing isn’t in keeping with the teachings of Christ. We are called to spread the faith by proclaiming it to others not force it down anyone’s throat who doesn’t want it or to have the government do it for us.

But (forgive me) I will press the point.

If we agree that homosexuality is better described as "not typical" than as "abnormal," then ...where is the "moral position"? As you know, I am not a believer, but agree that church, when it wants to be, can be a force for good in the world. Why should the church, then, waste time and resources in a doomed effort to suppress an innocuous varient in human sexuality that has been part of hunankind from the beginning, harms no one, and -- many, many times -- manifests itself in profound love? That's what I don't understand.

Based on some TV shows I've seen [can't vouch for their veracity] hetrosexuality isn't just the universal way in the animal world. There are types of animals with a third gender, with just one gender, and some where environmental factors help determine the dominant gender. Other things I've run across about people who've studied human sexuality state that human sexuality is much more complicated that just male/female. There is a continuum of genital/sexual expressions within the human race. What is true scientifically isn't determined by philosophy or doctrine or beliefs of the person making the statement.

With anorexia, you keep yourself from food. Many homosexuals refuse to be fed by the word of God. In that sense, they are the same.

Eiolg,

Gender variants -- although certainly evident throughout the animal world -- are not the same as variants with regard to sexual orientation (that is, homosexuality vs. heterosexuality). That being said, your point is well taken: a rigid view of gender roles and of attraction between and among genders might have worked in a pre-scientific age in which a priesthood (and, by extension, scripture) could dictate rules of behavior and "normality," but a society that has honestly explored creation can no longer afford such a view.

Clay,

You are not a good advertisement for christianity. If I *were* a believer, I'd find you an embarrasment; as it is, I find you an annoyance.

BankStreet – There is no need to apologize for raising questions. Although we may not agree on things I respect you for being able to discuss things constructively. Now as to your question I don't think the church should work to suppress anything. However, the moral question is dealt win in the bible in Paul's letter to the Romans quite clearly. In the end what the church should do is present and advocate the moral positions of the bible. The decision to follow or not is with each person. Another problem is that too often when we talk of love we get caught up in the physical act of sex. Love is much more than just sex. The moral issue isn’t love, but immoral sex. I don’t mean to offend you or anyone else who might read this. I’m simply trying in my own humble way to explain the church’s position. I also realize you will disagree with me and that is your right.

ravensfan,

And, of course, I will disagree.

Putting aside, if you can, the relevance of Paul's communication to the Romans, given what we have talked about re: the variety of translation and the context of the times in which Paul lived -- to say nothing of the fact that Paul was a mortal (and not God) and that Paul had many things to say about marriage and women that cause many readers/scholars to question his bias and his perhaps skewed view of sexuality in general .... looking at homosexuality purely (that is, without scriptural authority), as a moral question [whew...that is one long opening phrase...] how can there be a moral issue if my sexuality is not a matter of choice? My sexuality causes no one any harm (my hiding it does and did). Yes, there is much more to love than sex. Too many straight folk assume that Gay folk are unbridled libertines, incapable of emotional attachment. That is so far from the truth as to be ludicrous. I know many long-term committed monogamous couples ... and many, many more who long for that. Yes, we (and I am speaking from the perspective of a Gay man here) are able to revel in sex, I guess for at least two reasons: 1) pregnancy is not a hazard and 2) men are, by nature, promiscuous. But, there is a third reason. As long as society denies us the option of a sanctioned relationship, we will exist as perpetual adolescents -- told by everyone in authority, if you will, that our sexuality (and the emotions that naturally accompany it) is not serious, not stable, not "real." Think for a moment, if you can, of the day when civil society and (yes!) the church grant same-sex couples the approval, support, and rigor it provides heterosexual unions. How will that be a bad thing for society?

It most certainly the duty of a bishop to judge whether something is morally wrong or not. This duty was specifically given to the Church by Christ Himself in several places in the gospels: "whatever you declare bound on earth is bound in heaven. Whatever you declare loosed on earth is loosed in heaven..." There seem to be a great many who believe we are not supposed to judge one another's acts to be moral or not. This is patently ridiculous. The Lord Himself told us: "if your brother sins, tell him. If he does not listen acuse him in front of witnesses. If he will not listen then bring him before the church. And if he does not even listen to the church, then cast him into the outer darkness, where there is gnashing of teeth and wailing." When people use the example of the woman caught in adultery and the qoute from Our Lord: "He who is without sim, let him cast the first stone." it must be remember the people were about to execute the woman not remonstrate her for her sin. Big difference. The Lord Himself told her to "go and sin no more."

No matter how many variations are proclaimed it is clearly stated in the Bible homosexuality man shall not lay with man, nor women with women. What is the harm one individual mentions - the furtherance of the human race. Of course men with men and women with women cannot begat children - the whole anatomaical structure of our bodies was blessed and put forth by a loving God to populate our planet not foolishly destroy it with sexual whims such as: pedophilia, Aids, and various
other diseases now running rampant on our World. What harm one says - what a joke. The Church ascribes there are homosexuals, but does not ascribe to the practicing of such values.

Mr Swartz,

In scanning previous postings on this topic, I see no one questioning the Bishop's right to make pronouncemnts on moral issues.

However, I'd invite your comment on two follow-up questions:

1. Why should I, a non-Catholic (indeed, non-believer) be bound by civil law that heeds the Bishop's pronouncement (in this case)?

2. The Bishop's pronouncement (and scripture) aside, where is the moral hazard in consensual same-sex attraction and affection? I ask you to put clerical and textual edicts aside, because I would like to think that such sanctions would have relevance beyond words. That is, how is larger society specifically harmed by consensual phiscal love between two men?

Mr Becker,

1. I don't think the human race is in danger of dying out, and I surely don't think ten percent of mankind being Gay increases that risk.

2. I hope you aren't so naieve as to think HIV/AIDS is unique to Gay people. Nor so cruel as to term it a "sexual whim." Also know that I am sexually active Gay man who has been HIV-negative for twenty years. Being Gay has nothing to do with the transmission of disease; the virus is transmitted by sexual contact and makes no distinction as to orientation. You are a dangerous fool if you believe otherwise.

3. Statistically, most pediophiles are heterosexual.

Mental health is the abolsute dedication to reality (truth), no matter the cost. And the realities of GLBT ACTIONS, not FEELINGS of same sex attractions include:

1)The global medical community totally rejects all donations of blood, tissues and organs from the GLBT community; yet hears no accusations of homophobia nor receives lawsuits about this just discrimation to protect the general population.

2)The CDC reports that homosexuals comprise the single largest exposure category of the more than 660,000 males with AIDS in the United States. 3) A paper delivered at the Fourth International AIDS Malignancy Conference at the National Institutes of Health reported that homosexual men with HIV have “a 37-fold increase in anal cancer, a 4-fold increase in Hodgkin’s disease (cancer of the lymph nodes), a 2.7-fold increase in cancer of the testicles, and a 2.5-fold increase in lip cancer.”

3) STDs are rampant in the homosexual community. The Centers for Disease Control reports: “Several recent reports have documented alarming increases in sexually transmitted infection rates among men who have sex with men (MSM), and a corresponding decline in safer sex practices. After years of successful prevention efforts, this trend may portend a resurgence of HIV infection in the MSM community.”

4)Hepatitisis is a potentially fatal disease that increases the risk of liver cancer. The CDC reports: “Outbreaks of hepatitis A among men who have sex with men are a recurring problem in many large cities in the industrialized world.”

5) The Journal of the American Medical Association refers to Gay Bowel Syndrome
problems such as proctitis, proctocolitis, and enteritis as “sexually transmitted
gastrointestinal syndromes.”

6) The Washington Blade notes: “Behavioral research also demonstrates
that a woman’s sexual identity is not an accurate predictor of behavior, with a large proportion of ‘lesbian’ women reporting sex with (often high risk) men.” The study found that “the median number of lifetime male sexual partners was significantly greater for WSW (women who have sex with women) than controls (twelve partners versus six). WSW were significantly more likely to report more than 50 lifetime male sexual partners.”

7) Alcohol abuse among homosexuals and lesbians is far greater than among heteros.

8) There is a high incidence of mental health problems among homosexuals and lesbians. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine found: “Gay, lesbian, bisexual, or not sure male students were 6.50 times more likely to report a suicide
attempt than heterosexual male students. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, or not sure female students were 2.02 times more likely to report a suicide attempt than their heterosexual female peers.”

9)Archives of General Psychiatry followed 1,007 individuals from birth. Those classified as “gay, lesbian, or bisexual young people were at increased risks of major depression…, generalized anxiety disorder…, conduct disorder…, nicotine dependence…, other substance abuse and/or dependence…, multiple disorders…, suicidal ideation…, and suicide attempts.”

10) A study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology on the mortality rates of homosexuals concluded that they have a significantly reduced life expectancy:
• “In a major Canadian centre, life expectancy at age twenty for gay and bisexual men is eight to twenty years less than for all men. If the same pattern of mortality were to continue, we estimate that nearly half of gay and bisexual men currently aged twenty years will not reach their sixty-fifth birthday.

Tragically, the GLBT community plays Russian roulette with their health and their very lives. Yet, God calls all of His children, no matter their sexual orientation, to follow His way, His truth and His light.

Francis S. Collins, one of the world's leading scientists who works at the cutting edge of DNA research, concluded that "there is an inescapable component of heritability to many human behavioral traits." However, he adds, "for virtually none of them, is heredity ever close to predictive."

In reviewing the heritability (i.e., influence of genetic factors) on personality traits, Dr. Collins referenced the research of Bochard and McGue for the estimated percentage of these traits that can be ascribed to heredity.

The heritability estimates for personality traits were varied: General Cognitive Ability (50%), Extroversion (54%), Agreeableness (42%), Conscientiousness (49%), Neuroticism (48%), Openness (57%), Aggression (38%) and Traditionalism (54%).

Such estimates of heritability are based upon unbiased, careful analyses of studies conducted with identical twins. The studies lead to the conclusion that heredity is important in many of these personality traits. It is important however, to note that even in such studies with identical twins, that heritability is not to be confused as inevitability.

As Dr. Collins would agree, environment can influence gene expression, and FREE WILL determines the response to whatever predispositions might be present.

Dr. Collins succinctly reviewed the research on homosexuality and offers the following:

"An area of particularly strong public interest is the genetic basis of homosexuality. Evidence from twin studies does in fact support the conclusion that heritable factors play a role in male homosexuality. However, the likelihood that the identical twin of a homosexual male will also be gay is about 20% (compared with 2-4 percent of males in the general population), indicating that sexual orientation is genetically influenced but not hardwired by DNA, and that whatever genes are involved represent predispositions, NOT PREDETERMINATIONS."

The heritability estimates for homosexuality is substantially lower than General Cognitive Ability, Extroversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, Openness, Aggression and Traditionalism!

Dr. Collins noted that environment--particularly childhood experiences--as well as the role of free will and choice affect us all in profound ways. As researchers discover increasing levels of molecular detail about inherited factors that underlie our personalities, it's critical that such data be used to illuminate the issues, not provide support to ideologues.

Citing such dangers, Dr. Collins referred to the book written by activist Dean Hamer, who declared the discovery of the "God gene" (this same author also is associated with "discovering the gay gene").

Dr. Collins noted that the "evidence" in Hamer's book "grabbed headlines," but was "wildly overstated."

A reviewer in Scientific American suggested that Hamer's book on the "God gene" should have been titled, "A Gene That Accounts for Less than One Percent of the Variance Found in Scores on Psychological Questionnaires Designed to Measure a Factor Called Self-Transcendence, Which Can Signify Everything from Belonging to the Green Party to Believing in ESP, According to One Unpublished, Unreplicated Study."

Unfortunately, much of the research in areas such as homosexuality has been misrepresented; not only in the media, but also by the scientists themselves through a tendency to overestimate the quantitative contribution of their findings.

Regarding the contributions of genetics to areas such as homosexuality, Dr. Collins concluded, "Yes, we have all been dealt a particular set of cards, and the cards will eventually be revealed. BUT HOW WE PLAY THE HAND IS UP TO US.

OC,

Imagine how different all those statistics would be (particularly the ones regarding suicide and depression) if GLBT folk were accorded full respect as fellow humans, rather than cast out as "abnormal" sinners. Be careful not to confuse symptom with cause.

Imagine what rates of STDs might do if Gay folk were actively encouraged by their churches, families, and larger communities to stay in committed, loving relationships.

Exactly how culpable is the church in all this?

So, rational, you would have me spend my life denying, hiding, supressing my inherent homosexuality? That is how you would have me "play the hand"? I tried that for the first forty years of my life. At least two other people were hurt very deeply by that misguided effort. My honest embracing of my homosexuality has hurt no one (except those to whom I lied for forty years).

And ... trust me on this ... my homosexuality is no more my decision than is your (presumed) heterosexuality. My life experience trumps any scientific evidence.

Wow, this guy just does not get it. It does not (in the spiritual life) matter how or why homosexual behavior is present. By the literature written during the course of hundreds of years cautioning those in monasteries, both men and women, to avoid certain friendships, we must conclude that there are saints who felt these impulses too. But they became saints despite these temptations because they did what we are all called to do: practice chastity as is proper to our state in life. God's prohibition against consented homosexual thoughts and actions is perfectly clear. One can say homosexual attraction is a gift from God, that, if properly managed, is the key to Heaven. We have become too hung up trying to figure out the cause; and we make a great mistake when we confuse moral and sociological and consider them as if there was no difference.

Mr Wafkowski,

I take it you are chaste? If so, my sympathies.

Or is chastity only something for others?

By the way, I never pretended to be living "in the spirtual life." I live in the real world ... I just don't care to have my world ruled by your other-worldly precepts and prejudices.

Yeah ... I don't get it.

BankStreet, if you choose to not live by the same moral code I do, fine. I believe things that you do not, and I feel the need to follow what I believe. Your insinuation that I'm a hypocrite is uncalled for as you know nothing about me.

I asked only if you followed your own prescription of chastity ("...we are all called to ... practice chastity..."). I felt safe in presuming you did not; if I am wrong, I do apologize. If I am right (and you do not follow the prescription you make for others), then the charge of hypocrisy sticks.

BankStreet – Wow there seems to be quite a few others wishing to engage you in this issue. I can’t speak for any of them nor am I attempting to. Since I view God as the author of scriptures working through the human authors, it is not possible for me to look at any moral issue without scriptural authority. It would be the same as discussing constitutional law without the looking at the constitution. While sexual preference may not be a choice, acting it or any other sexual activity in contradiction to God’s written word is immoral for Christians. That applies equally to heterosexual relationships as well as homosexual ones. Speaking as a heterosexual man I’ve made enough mistakes of my own to even consider making judgments on anyone else. Since faith and belief in God is something we also must choose of our own free will I don’t see it as the government’s role to define any religions morality. I did think on your point and I could accept the idea of civil unions for homosexual couples. By that I mean I won’t fight for or against the concept. In my humble opinion I don’t see where the church violating scripture is in its best interest or society as a whole.

BankStreet - The Anonymous post was mine.

Perhaps a point of clarification is called for. Wikipedia says of "chastity":

Chastity is sexual behavior of a man or woman acceptable to the ethical norms and guidelines of a culture, civilization, or religion.

In the western world, the term has become closely associated (and is often used interchangeably) with sexual abstinence, especially before marriage. However, the term remains applicable to persons in all states, single or married, clerical or lay, and has implications beyond sexual temperance.

In Catholic morality, chastity is placed opposite the deadly sin of lust, and is classified as one of seven virtues. The moderation of sexual desires is required to be virtuous. Reason, will and desire can harmoniously work together to do what is good.


I was assuming the "abstinence" definition.


Anonymous,

I thank you for your considered response. Although I am not a believer, I try to respect the faith of others ... and each faith's "take" on sexuality. I see my role in this conversation as attempting to do two things:

1) ask that the faithful examine their faith (question it, I guess), in so far as it works in the real/modern world, and 2) try to understand how (to what extent) religious folk can accommodate a man (myself) who is attempting (without faith as a tool) to function "morally" as a Gay man. Some might say that is impossible. I happen to think it is possible.

I think you would agree that each of us (even those of us who are not religious) are responsible for making our way in the world as best we can, causing as little pain to others as we can.

Thanks again for taking me seriously..and for seeming to respect my own perspective.

Anonymous,

To follow up on a point you (and others) have made: My sexual orientation (a much more appropriate word than "preference," since I don't "prefer" being Gay -- it's simply how I am wired) is my only option. To deny it (to not act on it) would be to condemn me to life of celibacy (or deceit). Is that what your god had in mind for me? If I had ever been religious (and I was raised in the church), this alone would have been enough to turn me away.

Ravensfan,

I must say I'm disappointed by your revelation. For a moment, I had hoped I had encountered a second blog correspondent with your distinctively graceful style!

In response to "Bank Street", Just one example among many- His Excellency also would teach that murder is morally wrong and it is cast so in civil law. A law with which most in civilized society agree. Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, the basis of positive civil law in Western civilization is a result of the overwhelming and undeniable influence of Christianity. As regards your second premise. It matters not to me if two men engage in sodomy excepting the normal concern that a Christian would have for anyone's immortal soul and their eternal destiny, no matter what their sin. The Lord knows we are all in need of the grace to avoid sin. Unfortunately it does not end with personal sin, but in the case of 21st century homosexual activism, it tries to teach the children that this "disorder" is morally neutral, and indeed even a good thing. I myself may have tendencies to be physically violent, but, with the grace of God, I control myself. And I certainly would not teach the young that it is morally neutral to engage in such behavior. Nor do I think that positive civil law would view it favourably. And since you are not a Christian it would do little to relate to you the words of Our Lord- "Woe to he who would lead one of these little ones astray, it would be better for him to be cast into the depth of the sea with a great millstone around his neck...it would be better for that man if he had never been born."

BankStreet - ravensfan/Anonymous,( he jumps back and forth so often that he forgets which persona he is using) , is every bit as clueless as Clay and pattycakes. He believes something to be true because it is the revealed word of a god he can produce no evidence exists, or ever has existed and thinks that his religious perceptions should hold the dominate position in society. He goes to great pains to declare any argument against his position as a manifestation of hate, on his opponents part, and despite the fact that he can offer nothing to back up his contensions, demands that you must. When I try to form a mental picture of him, his head is always inside-out and facing backwards.

KSwartz,

You have your view of the cosmos; I have mine. Mine is based on empiricism/science; yours is based on mythology (which, I agree has sustained men for eons). Fortunately, we (thusfar) live in a secular nation, governed by a Constitution that protects your rights to your mythology, just as it protects my right to be free of it. In that context, yes, I am an activist, arguing that same-sex love is no disorder, is morally neutral, and, unlike physical violence and murder, harms no one.


And ... before you join Orthodox Catholic in citing a litany of injuries "caused" by homosexuality, let me say that I do regard promiscuity as a "sin" -- a sin of which I have been guilty. Many of the ills cited by OC are the product of promiscuity, not of homosexuality per se. The high rates of depression and suicide (especially among Gay young people) are much more the result of the oppression suffered needlessly by Gay folk than of their merely being Gay.

Mr Lttel,

I have always found ravensfan to be a good citizen of this blog. Yes, he is strong in his faith, and -- yes -- he and I disagree on some fundamentals, but he is consitently reasonable and is never shrill or condescending -- traits we all should manifest in the blogosphere, especially when discussing issues of moment that tend to foster strong feelings.

BankStreet - Your assessment of ravensfan mirrors my early assessment of him, but he has an absolutist mindset that will, if sufficiently challenged, result in his classifying an unyielding opponent as hateful, and unable to counter with "facts', the arguments he makes that have never had any in the first place. I stand by my assessment of him and in time you may subscribe to it also.

Robert – I’ve always id any post of mine that ends up with as anonymous. As for being hateful all one has to do is look at just the last two posts you made here. You interject yourself in a discussion. Then you managed to call me and others clueless, made another insult at the end. I’ll leave the bold face lying you did alone. The sad part is everything you accuse me of doing is exactly what you do. No one has backed up contentions less than you and that includes Clay and Pattycakes. In the end you ramble on as if somehow you say things enough times others besides you might buy into it. Being against someone’s position isn’t a manifestation. What makes yours hate filled is the constant personal attacks you make on any and everyone who sees things differently than you. I don’t actually recall reading a post in which you disagreed with someone that didn’t contain at least one personal attack. Bankstreet and I will never completely agree but nothing he says is a manifestation of hate simply a different way of looking at things. Read his exchange with me and go back and read some of yours and the difference is fairly obvious.

BankStreet - Thanks for the kind words in response to Robert's post. Let me also apologize for the poor word choice in the earlier post where I used the word sexual preference. You are right orientation is a better way to say it. I didn't mean to imply preference or choice on your part. Robert is right about one thing I am a bit of an absolutist on issues of morals for those who have chosen to accept God. Where he is wrong is that I have never advocated that they should be forced on anyone or society as a whole.

Robert - I couldn't help but notice that when Pattycakes offered to have a rational discussion and go point to point with you on it your response was that of an absolutist. You responded with an insulting stating Pattycakes was delusional for even thinking suggesting it. You also said you didn’t need to prove anything. If your view is so obvious why not engage in the discussion? Bankstreet and I will probably never totally agree but we can still discuss things rationally. Pardon me for saying it but you have a tendency to classify unrelenting opponents as delusional and dismiss their views rather than mount a rational, logical rebuttal.

Homosexual acts are not normal. They go directly against nature. I'm a Catholic and abide by the teachings of the Church, but even an atheist could come to the logical conclusion that men and women were made for each other, whereas men and men/women and women were not. I sympathize and pray for those who battle the urge to engage in homosexual acts. But let's face it, the overwhelming evidence declares that these acts are deadly (e.g. extremely high rate of HIV among homosexually active men vs. others) and that there is a greater rate of promiscuity among those who practice these acts. If one disagrees with the notion that homosexuality is abnormal, all you need to do is show a three-year-old a puzzle and ask him if the square piece will fit into the triangle shaped part of the puzzle. He'll tell you it doesn't. Likewise, while men and women "fit" perfectly together and can produce children by their acts, men and men/women and women do not have a natural "fit". When they do fanagle a way to come together in sexual acts, it's unnatural and, thus, an affront against the way in which they were designed (or against nature, if one doesn't share my belief in a Creator). Sure, heterosexuals have plenty of problems in their relationships, but that is not cause for society to recognize homosexual acts as normal/valid.

When either you, or pattycakes, produces this god creature and shows that its nature (vain and vindictive from the way I read it) is as you state, I will give it and you the respect you seem to crave unearned, for making a case for the intrusion of religion into all our lives. Until that time, don't expect respect that religion has clearly not earned.

Looks like we have a Catholic Clay in the person of Bridgeport Guy. Aren't we blessed, NOT!

Hi There BankStreet,

Thank you for your outstanding ability to communicate articulately and honestly on these forums -- I skimmed over a few of yours and it was truly refreshing. As an individual who is heterosexual myself, I by no means claim to "know how it is" as per intrinsically evident challenges facing homosexuals first hand. Having established friendships with persons of differing sexual orientation, I would say that I have observed and communicated on a more frequent rate then say, persons who do not, or "cannot", have these casual relationships; I'm just an all around "nice-guy".

What I think is essential in being a person of faith, as you pointed out, is trying to objectively -- without letting emotions get the better of us -- try and question what we believe and why. Only then can we see the logic, if any, in what we are taught (Religious teachings only "brainwash" those who let it).
Being a Catholic, I always hear "hate the sin, not the sinner" and I'm sure you have heard this time-over- time, so much so that it is cliche. I have started to question myself on the "what,why and how?" of this "catch phrase", because it must have a deeper meaning then what is seemingly being missed by all parties. As it pertains to my "faith based in reason" I ask myself:

1. What is it exactly, that is so truly objectionable about homosexuality? is there a specific "thing"?
2. Is that "thing" about homosexuality what it is I object to? or is it subjectively broad?
3. Is it reasonable to object to the "thing" about homosexuality.
4. Am I being influenced by any biases from either side?

To now address these questions:

First, I believe it is key to term the objectionable "thing/part" -- unions. Homosexual union is the part about homosexuality which I do not agree with. Why? Because heterosexuality is promotive of the family unit upon which our species is dependent -- we would not even be here reveling in our sexuality if it were not for a male-female relationship. Homosexuality, while being a fascinating reality, is largely contrary to the family unit. What is the family unit? Within the context of this discussion -- one male, one female of the human species and the constituents of their unison -- "connected by blood". In serving to carry on the species, this is biologically made possible by the complementing nature of the genders. This fact -- not an ideology -- is what humans have come to understand, over centuries, as "the family". Therefore, homosexuality in a profound sense, is contrary to the "unit" by which we humans are designed to flourish in; to suggest that two members of the same gender can fully complete a family unit in this context is not logical. Note that I am not addressing any morality issues or whether this fact makes homosexuality "wrong" or "right". I am simply stating tangible facts upon which to work towards a constructive discussion.

Second, when I take the position that homosexual unions are objectionable, I stand firm in my resolve that I have, indeed, separated the "act" or union, from the person. It is the union between two same gender persons which is objectionable. The uniqueness of each being's personal composition is to be cherished and loved. This is separate from the issue we are talking about. Taking into account that all people are different, have been raised in different households, practice different beliefs and have differing sexual tendencies, again, I think it of pinnacle importance to keep objective observations apart from subjective rationale.

Thirdly, given that from my own experience, I have met some wonderful and not-so-wonderful couples, the couples which I know who have same-sex tendencies are sadly not in stable relationships. This is a very subjective statement to make I realize, so I don't expect you to give it any thought. What I do find interesting is when I take this subjective experience and apply objective reasoning, I find that there are fascinating elements which could be at play here -- OC has mentioned some stats vaguely, but what I think is the real hindrance to "full unity" between same-sex couples is their very nature. Think of, if you will, the ideal biological/psychological COMPLETENESS of a male-female marriage; whether secular or not, the most extraordinary point at which the love between a man and his woman is manifested is at the point of a new birth. Joining to create that which cannot be created any other way; you could say it is a "Godly act". The sexual act between same gender couples -- correct me if I am wrong -- is to fulfill the human desire for sexual satisfaction. Given procreation is not a motive, then as mammalian beings, our urges would be acted on if left unchecked. Therefore, since true union -- in the procreative sense -- is fulfilled with the bringing of a new life into the world, same-gender relations could tend to be based in underlying "self-seeking" paradigms; seeking pleasure for myself through my partner and vice-versa. This can lead to a multitude of issues within a relationship. Male/female relationships are not exempt from issues by no means, but by the nature of the complementing genders, it (male/female union) is "designed" so as to minimize such complications.

To conclude, I am aware this is a very broad subject, so i have tried to give you some "deeper" points to ponder. I hope I do not come off as heartless or brash. This is not my intention. Again, I feel it is necessary to look at points which can "separate the sin from the sinner". I try all the time to look at things from an "unbiased" angle; I have gay friends who do practice abstinence and are fully happy; I also have friends who are not. Some see my reasoning and some do not. It would be great if you, BankStreet, could let me know your thoughts on these points. Maybe I am "totally out to lunch" on this?

Bridgeport,

I know I have to ask you to "trust me on this," but ... for me, homosexual congress is infinitely more "natural" than heterosexual. I was married to a woman for 16 years, so I think I know whereof I speak. And ... without being excessively graphic, anatomy can be applied to great advantage. No, procreation is not possible, but, at my age, that is more a relief than a drawback. My larger point is: "natural" is entirely subjective. Your faith tells you homosexuality is not "normal." My experience tells me it is, for me.

As to your prayers, I appreciate your gesture, but I am not "battling" with homosexual urges. My mental health would undoubtedly suffer much more from that battle than any prayers could possibly help. If you want to be truly helpful, by prayer or with good works, you might consider seeking out a young man who fears society's hatred and rejection ... and telling him you love him, regardless. Guide him, not to deny and suppress his sexuality, but to exercise it responsibly and lovingly. Is that too much to ask?

I assume your faith (or perhaps your conscience) also tells you that sanctimony is a sin.

Response to "Bank Street" #3. Objection the 1st- Anyone who says that empiricism and science are the only way to arrive at the truths of the universe is abrogatting the very idea of science upon which his evidence is based. No real scientist would say that the only way to discover truth is through science or empiricism. This severely limits the human mind to sensory experience only. At any rate your first premise is gratuitus at best in that you say sodomy harms no one. 1. It is a scientific fact that the sexual means facilitated by such practioners is highly dangerous, both physiologicaly and psychologicaly traumatic. It is also borne out so empirically. 2. You say my view of the universe is based on 'mythology'. This is patently false. It is based upon the revelations and teachings of Jesus Christ and the Church which he established. Both are historical facts which are arguably beyond repute. And, if I may, have been shown to be true, even in an empirical fashion, throughout the ages since their first appearance upon the earth.

ravensfan,

You're very welcome. My words were heartfelt. If we can't have civil discourse (disagree though we will), we shouldn't be here. We ,may "parry and thrust," but we shouldn't draw blood, and we definitely shouldn't sink to schoolyard taunts.

I did want to press you on a point you made some time back. You said you could not speak to the morality of homosexuality without referencing scripture, making a parallel to an inability to discuss constitutional law without citing the Constitution. I would posit that you *could* describe good (and bad) governance with no reference to the Constitution. Perhaps you would cite the need for a representative assembly, an independent judiciary, and a responsible executive. You could certainly identify tyranny without making reference to the Constitution. So... what I am asking you, can you explain why you feel homosexuality is intrinsically immoral, without citing scripture?

BankSreet - Press away my friend I don’t mind discussing issue even when there is disagreement. The constitution example was meant only in the context of describing actions as constitutional or unconstitutional. I don’t believe you can frame good or bad governance around the constitution. good or bad governance can both be observe the constitution. Likewise the same can be said of bad governance. I’m not really sure I can divorce scripture or church teachings from morality. Forgive the bad example but it’s like trying to separate conjoined twins that share vital organs. If I didn’t base it on scripture it would be quoting from church teaching which wouldn’t really satisfy you I don’t believe. Keep in mind I speak only of the act. Having attractions or desires isn’t on its own immoral. It’s the acting on them that makes them immoral. That being said I do find the idea of sex between same genders unnatural. I believe the biological purpose of sexual activities as reproductive mechanism is it main purpose. Since two members of the same sex of any species can not reproduce there is no reason in nature for it to occur therefore it must be unnatural or disordered. I realize and respect not everyone sees it that way. I respect that and am not out to force that view on anyone else or have the law do it to them or deny them anything because of that view.

The inflexibility of absolutist moral certitudes leaves no room for the possibility that maybe homosexuality might just possibly be their god's way to tell them they have fulfilled the command to "be fruitful and multiply". Rigidity of dogma and doctrine, could just cause their misinterpretation of a message straight from their god to their eyes, that they are just missing because they refuse to see. It would fit the pattern of denial they carry over into all the arguments they lose by denying logic and reason in favor of myths and superstitions. I suspect that the puritanical mind-set that sex is in itself dirty, even within the bounds of heterosexual relationships, unless sanctified and for procreation, also has a lot to do with their clenched butt attitude about same sex relationships. Sex as an expression of love, feels good, no matter the orientation of the partners. These absolutists have been denying themselves that pleasure in their own relationships, and cannot tolerate it in others, hetero, or homosexual.

Robert – Try reading the Seven Fatal Flaws of Relativism at this website.

http://www.faithinterface.com.au/apologetics/seven-fatal-flaws-of-relativism

Try and keep it in mind when you criticize, place and when you toss around words like evil, unfair, injustice, tolerance. While you criticize dogma and doctrine you offer nothing superior to cause anyone to consider leaving for your view.

“I have freed Germany from the stupid and degrading fallacies of conscience and morality… We will train young people before whom the world will tremble.”
- Adolf Hitler

KSwartz,

I stand in living proof that sodomy (gotta love that word...) is both pleasurable and can be enjoyed without risk -- most especially psychologically. Moreover, some of the best sex I have experienced was entirety devoid of even the opportunity of risk to my health. A hug, a deep souful kiss, a loving stroke .... these are all physical expressions of love between two men. On the other hand, are you seriously saying that heterosex is never physiologically and psychologically traumatic? Life, in all its variations, is a matter of acknowledging risks and choosing to deal with them honestly and lovingly.


As to my use of the word, "mythology," I knew I was using a loaded term. As I frequently do, I refer you to Wikipedia: "The main characters in myths are usually gods or supernatural heroes. As sacred stories, myths are often endorsed by rulers and priests and closely linked to religion. In the society in which it is told, a myth is usually regarded as a true account of the remote past. In fact, many societies have two categories of traditional narrative—(1) "true stories", or myths, and (2) "false stories", or fables. Myths generally take place in a primordial age, when the world had not yet achieved its current form. They explain how the world gained its current form and how customs, institutions, and taboos were established." Put more succinctly, "a myth is a sacred narrative explaining how the world and humankind came to be in their present form." So...again...yours is one in a long series of myths. This is not to say those stories do not have value, nor even that they aren't based in some historical reality. It's just that they aren't *true* -- like the Evening News is true. And many of the Christian myths (the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, etc.) -- all beautiful stories -- occur in myths that long predate the historical time of Jesus. I don't begrudge you your myths -- just don't ask me to live my life according to words I regard as fables.

ravensfan - This is not a contest of who offers the biggest pile of goodies wins the prize, this is a discussion about what is real and what is not. You put forth a fairy-tale of light and love, steeped in a history of darkness and hate (see the Inquisition and the dark ages, as small examples) based on nothing but the desire to believe it. Reality is not always that pretty, but at least it is real.

PattyCakers,

Although I can't promise I will cover all the points you made in your *very* impressive note, I have printed it out so I can refer to it as I respond.

First, no, you are not "totally out to lunch" (nor do you come acrsoss as "heartless or brash"). As I have said, many times before, I repect the opinions and perspectives of religious folk, so long as they neither require my agreement nor expect me to conform to their rules. Although I will make argument to counter your opinion, I don't expect you to change -- but I would like at least to give you "food for thought."

First, a clarification: when you refer to "homossexual union," I assume you are referring to a same-sex couple (and not a "civil union"). (We'll get to that later....)

You object to same-sex coupling because you would reserve coupling to couples capable of creating new life. Would you preclude elderly or otherwise infertile man/woman couples from forming a family? Obviously, if you would, you allow for other purposes for "family" than procreation. Companionship (both platonic and physical/sexual) and financial benefits both come to mind as likely rationales for such "families." Moreover, I know several same-sex couples who include children in their family, either through adoption or because one of the partners fathered a child prior to coming out as a Gay man. Are these not "families"? Try telling them that. And try telling that child that h/she would be better off in foster care than with two loving parents.

I am truly sorry you know only unhappy same-sex couples. I wish I could interoduce you to the several very happy same-sex couples in my circle of friends -- all of them in long-standing, stable, monogamous (and, yes, "complete") relationships. Homosexuality does not foster instability and pathology (abuse and rejection can do that, though, particularly for a young kid; those wounds take a long time to heal).

I guess my larger point to you would be: if you will grant that homosexuality is here to stay, that it has always been a part of the human spectrum, and no amount of prayer or wishing will make it go away, then WHY NOT provide an institution in which same-sex couples can find stability? I have never understood the argument that CIVIL same-sex marriage does damage to the institution of marriage. How is any established marriage affected in any way by my (theroretical) marriage to anothe man? No marrriage will be destroyed. No child will be deprived of a home. No sacrament need by altered. No effect whatsoever. By the way, note that I am talking CIVIL marriage. Several times, I have said that I will fight long and hard for the right of any religious community NOT to marry me. A congregation is a community of like-minded believers. Several denominations are already happy to solemnize same-sex marriages. Were I religious, I would hardly want to "force" a celebration on a congregation where I am not welcome. As I am *not* religious, I merely seek equal access to the Courthouse. The religious community, under our Constitution, has no sway there.

Your thoughts?

Robert – No one except you ever said it was a contest. Before you jumped in the discussion was with someone else on the subject of morality as it applies to homosexuality. I’m well aware of Christianities history. Like most non-believers you highlight the bad and ignore the good. If you wanted to make a contest I’m quite sure I could come up with far more good things than you could bad ones. However, that would accomplish little and certainly wouldn’t change your vies as your own atheist dogma is too thick to penetrate. It also ignores the issue that messengers who don’t follow the message means the message itself is bad or wrong. At no time during my discussion on this particular blog have I even attempted to change anyone’s mind on the existence of God. I respect others right to disagree. Reality is real? No kidding of course you don’t offer any justification why your reality is THE reality. Unfortunately since you can’t your version of reality it remains your version of reality as seen through your eyes.

I agree that homosexual sex is not "normal" but it really doesn't matter. If you happen to be the person born with the condition and you are attracted to the same sex instead of the opposite sex then you have to deal with the condition you are in. If two like minded adults have the same condition then so be it let them go to the bedroom and do what they do. The truth is that most so-called heterosexual men attempt to engage in anal sex if the woman is stupid enough to allow it so thats not normal either. I imagine that if homosexuality is a sin then anal sex is a sin as well and all men engaging in anal sex whether with a man or a woman will end up in hell.

If everything that isn't "normal" sends us to hell, heaven's gonna be a very lonely, quiet, sad place.

Sheila,

Actually, what you say makes a lot of sense ... although I'm not sure my homosexuality is a "condition" (sounds like dandruff or athlete's foot, somehow), and it's not something I "deal with." Instead, I *embrace* it, just as a heterosexual person embraces his or her innate sexuality. Those word-choice quibbles aside, your comment is refreshing in its clarity and directness. Thanks.

I have heard that homosexuality is caused by a lack of an enzyme that allows normal testosterone usage. Testosterone is not utilized normally but gets shuttled off. Gay men are usually better than heterosexual men at cooking, waiting on tables, art, design, dance, fashion, drama and expressing their emotions. Of course not all gay men are like this and not all heterosexual men arent like this. Being more feminine allows for these skills to be more easily utilized. Straight men like to pound on their chests and try to be in charge of things. They dont want to wear something that looks too feminine. Most women like a masculine guy who they can tame or one who is in charge of them. It arouses them. They dont want a guy who dresses like Austin Powers. That is not to say that Austin will never marry. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon were able to dress up like women in Some Like it Hot and pull it off because they can be more sensitive and feminine, even though they arent gay. Some women dont mind a guy who is sensitive to feelings, especially after having a guy who was too rough with them. Perhaps gay women overutilize their testosterone, or for some reason want to be more masculine. Many gay women couples have one who is like the guy and one who is more feminine. Sexuality is always a choice however, and the bible tells us that the sexually immoral (more than just gays) and drunkards, etc will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. Everyone has the opportunity to repent though.

BankStreet - Thank you for your reply,

I shall try and meet your points without initially citing "what the catholic faith teaches", so as to set a foundation using empirical/tangible facts.

Would I preclude elderly or otherwise infertile man/woman couples from forming a family? No. They may have the intent to raise a family, but are unable to, at no fault of there own -- presumably, these are natural factors which are beyond the control of the consenting persons; It does not take away from the purposeful institution of the family in the context which I had earlier defined. If these people have no intention to bare young, or if they KNOWINGLY have been medically deemed infertile, why would they logically become a married couple? Being human -- rational, thinking, emotional, spiritual beings -- marriage as an institution has been (logically) designed to "continue the species" within a loving, supportive, intellectual and teaching environment. Financial and other beneficial advantages are by-products of the union, which are obviously necessary for the growth of the family unit. Having said this, if you arn't going to have kids, then why marry? They can, and do, (another point which I will address later) however, I'm reasoning for the traditional meaning of marriage (family) as it "makes more sense" through promoting a monogamous, nurturing and honest environment, strengthened by the absolute physical, mental, spiritual unity of husband/wife, and completed with an OPENNESS to new life. This "framework" from which within the human family may grow is natural; it is not objectively deniable, and is the best way by which to carry on the human species. This is why it has been the foundational "unit" through which people -- you and I included -- are here today.

In my last post, I might have used the term "family" loosely or interchangeably and I apologize for this. Two same-gender persons could have a foster child and be called a "family"; a group of close friends arguably be called a "family"; a mother /father/foster child could be called a family. These are all subjective. I would like to be clear: the FOUNDATIONAL "family" unit upon which all other definitions should be relative to, empirically, is the mother/father/child(children) family unit. Therefore, any factor or causal element which would intentionally impede or compromise such a foundational entity can logically be termed "contrary" or "objectionable."

Children brought into the equation are, indeed, very important to this discussion. You mentioned that homosexual unions could open up possibilities for foster care and abandoned children. This sounds like a viable solution but I will argue that a solution to one problem cannot be solved by another potential problem in and of itself. We need to again, go back to "is homosexuality a truly recognized scientific phenomena" or is it based in the "acting on the tendencies of a unique group of people". Studies on genes and mice brains, the hypothalamus, the x-chromosome, identical twins, hormonal research, finger length, eye blinking, neuroendocrine hypotheses, among a small amount of other research done to prove the "science of homosexuality", has failed to give objective, empirical evidence as to a cause.
Determining whether something has a biological cause is difficult, and locating a specifically genetic link is even more so. The handful of studies that purportedly add up to incontestable "proof" that homosexuals are "born that way" are inconclusive at best and, largely correlational in nature. In some cases, such as the twins studies, the evidence strongly indicates that early environment is more likely the dominant factor to have produced homosexual desires.
Correlation does not mean something is causative. Basketball players are tall, so height correlates with playing basketball. But there is no "basketball-playing gene." Efforts to turn some interesting correlations into causal factors have not been successful and yet have been misused to advance a political agenda.
Perhaps the best way to describe the situation is this: Some people may be predisposed because of genetic, prenatal hormonal influences or other physical or brain differences to have personalities that make them available to the environmental factors that can elicit homosexual desires. So is homosexuality biological? Not in the way that popular media and homosexual activists have presented it. Objectively, we can arrive at the realization that homosexuality is a complex blend of biological predispositions promoting the tendencies which are consciously acted upon by the individuals, relative to their life experiences, culture, environment and/or upbringing. So now what?

If I may ask a question: What is the benefit of teaching that homosexuality is "biologically normal" or that it is "just the way I was made"? Since the natural order of the human species is based in a male/female sexual complementary, why then push a "competing" sexual orentation to become "accepted"? Are you not already accepted if, in your mind, it is truly "how you were designed"? If it is about "justice" or "equality", certainly going about propagating and rationalizing away any true, natural reasoning is not the way for this to be obtained. Marital union or the "family unit" is an exclusively heterosexual establishment. Period. The statistics and science speak for themselves. Therefore, placing youth in a homosexual environment goes against better reasoning due to the following:
- It is contrary to basic order of human development
- It creates confusion of gender ID
- It promotes unnecessary intrinsic complications
- It promotes a sexually challenging future

Propaganda such as "homosexuality is NEVER a choice" is reaching children and youth before sexual identity has been developed and complications ensue. I am sure you are aware that in our society "anything goes?" and that any sense of "morality" has been lost? What then do we tell our youth -- whether homosexual or heterosexual -- when we need so desperately some sort of absolute? I say this with everyones well-being in mind: If what I say is relative to my "norms", I can ignore the facts all I want, it will never be a peaceful, integrated, cooperative society in which we all work towards a common understanding; we need to have a common absolute somewhere. I propose, as a natural foundation to life, that marriage (family unit), at the very least, be left to the heterosexual union for which it was intended.
What do I say as far as an alternative same-gender institution? Honestly, I believe I would say that faith would provide the best answers. Granting uniform civil unions across the globe would eventually open pandoras box. There is a reason that it hasn't happened yet in history and I believe just because unique groups are now being able to collectively "push" or "gain momentum" via technology (which is the only difference between now and yesteryear), it still, by no means justifies or legitimizes the vices pertinent to mass rationalization. This is just how I see it. It's my opinion. Everyone has a purpose here on earth. I stand in respect of your views BankStreet, I only wish to try and inform you of mine, so we could maybe be able to understand a little more about life and where we are going.
Any thoughts?


Clay,

Stereotypes are dangerous (but, I will admit, sometimes valid). I myself posses very few of the traits you attribute to Gay men. I am not especially effeminate, I have no fashion sense, I cannot dance, and my house looks like a decorator's nightmare. I do enjoy cooking, but, then again, my married brother-in-law is a chef. I think you'd be surprised how many Gay men are like me. It seems the only "gay gene" I have is the one that draws me to other men. No regrets. Oh..I also go the right-handed gene. Just part of the total package.

Pattycakers,

Before I respond more specificlly to you posting, I'd like to pose a question.

Why is the Church (and by that I mean the larger religious community, not just the RC church) so adamant about codifying anti-homosexual attitudes into civil law, when divorce, a MUCH larger "threat to marriage" is left alone? I have my theories.

1. With (for sake of argument; I don't want to get into disputing this statistic) ten percent of the population being Gay, we are a much easier target. We just don't have the numbers. Our relatively recent visibility and activism has surprised and activated our opponents.

2. The "ick" factor comes into play, meaning that since same-sex erotic/romantic connection is (almost by definition) repulsive to many straight folk, it is easy to label such connection as "abnormal" or "wrong." Divorce, on the other hand, even among so-called religious people is either ignored or explained away.

3. Proscriptions against divorce would inconvience and alienate too many people, even powerful people. (See #1)

I am certaily aware of the Church's teachings against divorce and the application of those teachings within the liturgical setting. As I have said many times before, I have no problem with the Church preaching and enforcing its rules from the pulpit... I do have a problem when those rules invade my secular space.

Is it any wonder we sense hypocricy?

BankStreet - The position of the Catholic Church on both divorce and homosexuality is far more simple and will be denied because it is a manipulation of the members of the religion, aimed at the one true goal of the church, out-numbering all other religions.

First,the teachings of the Church are that there is to be NO sex before marriage, making the strongest , most pleasurable and hormone driven urges, to be either suppressed in the individual (an almost impossible task), or lead them into early marriage where these urges can be addressed in a "sanctified manner.

Second, once married, at an early age, NO birth control is to be allowed, the message being that every act must have the potential of producing another Catholic, and because they start at an early age, the number of new "souls" for the Church will be maximized.

Third, because divorce empowers women and limits their role as a barefoot and pregnant spewer of new Catholics, it is NOT to be allowed.

Fourthly, because homosexuality does not produce more Catholics and is diametrically in opposition to the Churches accepted mechanisms to produce more Catholics (our Church ordained reason for existence), then it is in conflict with accepted Church dogma and CANNOT be allowed to exist, or accepted on any level that might contravene the goal of the Church, which is to produce more Catholics and reign supreme eventually.

To try to belabor the matter with people so co-opted by Church dogma is pointless, because they will never see the logic of any argument that will allow people to love each other in ways not consistent with the programed propaganda of their ignorant crutch. It is far better to identify them for what they are and to point out their intellectual shortcomings, in a blunt and in your face method, because subtle persuasion and reasonable logic does not work in the delusional mindset. You treat them with respect they do not deserve and will never appreciate. In their minds they will always be right and no matter what you say, they will always consider you anathema.

Robert - What logic? All you did was give your own personal opinion supported by nothing. To use your own tactic you provided no evidence that is now or has ever been the motives behind any of the Church's positions. If and when you can then you can call it a logical argument and then it will be deserving of a logical response. Until then all anyone can do is treat it as the ramblings of an misinformed or uninformed mind.

Robert,

Without responding directly to your points, I will say that I fully understand that both my homosexuality and my being a non-believer make me (at best) repellant to many religious folk. My purpose here is to present myself as a reasonable (albeit persistent) voice of skepticism and alternatitve sexuality. I don't expect to change minds. I would like to think I make people think and that I present the case for secular values in a secular society.

BankStreet - You have made good cases and raised valid points to be considered. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. As for you being a repellant to many religious folk all I can say is those fold don't understand or follow their faith that well. As Christians we are called to treat all human beings with dignity and respect not just those who share our beliefs.

ravensfan has done exactly what I said would be done by the "true believer" when I stated, "The position of the Catholic Church on both divorce and homosexuality is far more simple and will be denied because it is a manipulation of the members of the religion, aimed at the one true goal of the church, out-numbering all other religions". Thank you for confirming my opinion and the need by believers to silence anything that is said that contravenes mindless doctrine.

The policy regarding sex, by your church, is as I have stated, can be illustrated by the attempt in New York state to keep them from legalizing abortion in 1970 (three years ahead of Roe v. Wade). The Church fought it tooth and nail, but it became law. All at once the church went almost silent on the matter. The mood in the wake of their defeat was replaced by the idea that even though abortion was legal, Catholics would not participate because of the instilled support of dogma, they felt had been sufficiently indoctrinated into the minds of the faithful. For a time, all opposition seemed to disappear until enough information accrued that showed that Catholics were having abortions at the same rate as the rest of the population. Once these figures became public, you would think a damn had burst over the righteous indignation that the Church all of a sudden seemed to find. Evidently, although they opposed the abortion law, as long as Catholics were not involved, it was not deemed as dire an outcome, because it would only result in a diminished number of non-Catholics and a net percentage gain in their favor. At the time, this was the defense the clergy offered in justifying their initial non-action on the matter, so who am I to argue with them.

Pattycakers,

Now, on to your posting.

First, I have an easy answer to your question as to "the benefit of teaching that homosexuality is 'biologically normal' or that it is "'just the way I was made.' If kids were taught that in school, so much anguish and turmoil would be eliminated in kids who know they are Gay (I knew as early as eight years old). How much easier life would be for them if they knew they weren't monsters, sinners, filthy, and less than human ... merely for feeling what they feel (but did not ask for and are not allowed to express). I can speak only from my own experience: I was not molested as a child, I came from a stable home (although I had a somewhat distant father AND a somewhat distant mother ... so much for THAT stereotype), I have an older brother who is -- as far as I know -- 100% heterosexual, and -- as I said -- knew I was attracted to men even before I understood what sexuality was. I stayed closeted for forty years -- out of fear that I would be rejected by my family. Had I been told early on (this wasn't going to happen in the 60s and 70s...) that I was "OK," that what I was feeling was normal and, indeed, good, think for a moment how my youth and young manhood might have been made better. On the other hand, think for a moment, how destructive any attempt to "change" me would have been. I hope you will agree that the so-called "reparative" and ludicroulsy termed "ex-gay" "therapies" are little more than psychological torture camps. I was very fortunate that I did not come from a religious household; my fear was more that I would embarass my family than that I would be sent to hell. I had seen and heard enough faggot jokes to know that my "kind" would be an outcast. As it turned out, my family accepted my coming out completely, but I do think that the fact that I was forty years old when that happened helped a lot. Again, to summarize: let Gay kids know from the start that they are "normal," because ... they are. (Different, yes ... atypical, yes ... but definitely normal)

And I haven't even addressed the issue of the ostricization of kids who might come from a family headed by a same-sex couple. How easy to nip that in the bud with honest acceptance of reality!

Your other point centered on the purpose of marriage. I will agree that the survival of the species requires male/female coupling. I will even agree that marriage (with its assumptions of stability and protection of the female and of any children ... both dubious today ... provides the best setting for procreation. Where I differ with you is in thinking that there is anything wrong with non-procreative (yes, "recreational") sex. When procreation is either impossible nor not desired, sex is (at its best) an expression of love. Again, as I have said before (maybe it's time we retired this particular blog entry...I am repeating myself...), I am not arguing for casual or promiscuous sex (although I admit partaking in both). I am arguing that, outside the context of procreation, sex as an expression of love is a good thing ... and is equally valid regardless of the genders of the parties involved. And ... in a civil context, why not provide the protections accorded some couples (childless, as well as those with children) to all? Alternatively, if, as you say, those protections are intended to protect children, then let's deny them to to "families" who have no intention of procreating.

What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander....

Thanks, ravensfan

That's what it's all about in the end.

A case in point:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/ktvi-trooper-denied-benefits-012810,0,1597074.story

Can this be justified?

Robert – Your response was predictable. Instead of a logical rebuttal you resort to an appeal to ridicule. How is posting a rebuttal silencing you? I’d really like to hear you explain that. Seriously you sound like a child name calling who cries when someone responds. You make outlandish posts with no support then when questioned accuse the responding party of trying to silence you. You assign your own uninformed or misinformed motives to actions. You can not now or ever substantiate the intent. Instead of even trying you simple use the same old brain washed Catholic argument you always do. In the end we are still left with the REALITY that there is NOTHING that supports your claim except perhaps your own atheist dogma that you picked up somewhere. As you are so fond of saying since you are making the positive assertion it falls on you to prove the motives you claim. In fact you really didn’t even back the acts, but I’ll take your word on them since that doesn’t prove intent. I could give differing motives for those acts which have basis in the scriptures and church law both of which were around long before this issue. Regardless of how many times you hold it out as fact it remains your opinion and nothing more. To suggest it is delusional on your part.

Hi BankStreet,

Man! wouldn't it be great if we could meet up for a brew to really get a dialogue going? You sound like a fantastic lad BankStreet. I must first apologize for my lengthy reply as I am new to the whole "blog-sphere" thing, and tend to go on and on...

1. Why does the church want to reason with civil law makers as per homosexual agendas regarding "civil unions" instead of addressing a larger threat to marriage in divorce?

The church (I speak for the position of the RC as some denominations acknowledge divorce), is indeed apposed to civil divorce and technically does not even acknowledge divorce in the context of the faith; "what God has joined, men CANNOT separate"; it is technically impossible. That said, divorce being a real plague in western civilization, has roots in early church reformation -- Henry the 8th, the protestant reformation, separation of the RC from the Church of England. So the civil "right" of divorce in a secular sense, can be traced back to religious reformation, and the RC has always had strict doctrine against it. Today, the separation of church and state, has made it near impossible for any "outside religious" influence or lobbying to make divorce a legal (secular) transgression. It does not take away from the objectively damaging nature of civil divorce. The church teaching on the nature of homosexuality makes sense in faith and in reason. The civil movement apposing this is now more than ever "pushing" for homosexuality to be a universal norm. Obviously, when two sides meet, it will be up to the state to decide what becomes "civil law" and what does not. This has not been written in stone yet (divorce has), so with church teachings -- validated by natural law and reason -- the majestarium goes to present a case contrary to the homosexual "revolution" with the good of all human kind at heart -- even you Bankstreet, although you may not see it.

Is this what you meant by "hypocrisy"? (i.e. church apposed to the homosexual movement but not apposed to "annulments" or religious divorce?). Any thoughts?

2. I noticed you used the words "inconvenience", "alienate" and "powerful people" in the context of divorce being illegal. What I find interesting is, with the first two verbs, I see ironically, the subject (divorce ), being thought of as a "convenient" or even "friendly" means by which to get out of a very serious covenant/promise. With the phrase "powerful people", you are invoking a thought process which gives high regard to "power", "convenience", and "what's best for me at any cost...". Contrary to the secular paradigm of "power", "materialism", "relativism" and "every man for themselves", Christian faith teaches "every man for EACH OTHER", compassion, understanding, right vs. wrong, and in order to accomplish this, we need to have ABSOLUTES. This is why in or humanity, of course it's nice to have pleasurable experiences, make millions, have sex and live carelessly; it FEELS GREAT!(you bet it does! we have all fallen down this road in one way or another) We all know how this eventually ends when unbridled. So now, more than ever, I find it imperative to have a system by which to keep subjective feelings, actions, ideas in check for the betterment of ourselves and of society; the stock market does not function on a general level without precise regulatory guidelines, limits, restrictions and caps. Investors are still able to use judgment to use or abuse and "act freely" within the marketplace, however, this all takes place within the designed constructs of the organized system of buyers and sellers. (I hope this wasn't too bad of an example :)

Religious faith gives hope. Faith based in objective, verifiable reason is not blind faith. It is logical. Therefore, hope for understanding, compassion, cooperation and productivity all can be achieved thru this faith. On a deeper level, faith allows that which cannot be overcome or initiated through tangible, or "empirical" methods, (sexual desire, greed, forgiveness), to be profoundly possible for those who choose to search out the truth and goodness of it's teachings.

None of this comes easily all the time, we all have our demons.

ravensfan - You will have to forgive us poor heathens for not giving much weight to the long tradition of your Church in amending the truth, burying the truth, or when backed to the wall, just lying about the truth, and doing what seems to be your favorite tactic any time criticism of your religion is put forth, by going on a ranting attack, that is always the same and is nothing but a smoke screen to cover the fact that you cannot offer a rational defense of their actions, motives and purpose except to say that moribund accumulations of passed down myths and superstition somehow out-weigh logical analysis by people who refuse to believe fairy-tales are real.

Pattycakers,

The "hypocrisy" I see is that the Church seems able to accommodate civil divorce (i.e., is not combating it in the legislature) but is so vigorously going after those who want to marry (claiming somehow THAT as an attack on marriage!).

You seem to have missed my point about the Church choosing its targets: Gay folk, being small in number and vulnerable by their pariah status are easy pickings, while civil divorce is allowed to continue, because to fight it would be to alienate too large and powerful a population. I have no interest in how the Church regards divorce within its ranks (although I find the concept of annulment amusing, knowing far too many RC folk who were able to obtain annulments on the strangest of grounds and far too easily, if they cared to pursue one at all!) I do find it sad that folk who have left a painful and inappropriate marriage are turned away by their Church. Personally, I am of the opinion that marriage should be made much more difficult and divorce should be much easier than it is now. But they don't let me make those rules.

Also, you, like so any people, equate homosexual coupling with unbridled sensuality. We Gay folk are just like you. We have jobs, pay mortgages and taxes, work in our community, spend time with our families. We do not spend all our time in bed. It just so happens that, when we are in bed making love, it is with a person of the same gender. Our lives are not centered on our sexuality.

I find it sad that you think of sexual desire as something to be "overcome." Do you feel this way about sexuality between committed monogamous heterosexual couples or only about sexuality between committed monogamous homosexual couples?

I am fifty-seven years old; I hope very much to retain sexual desire until the day I die. I am not ashamed of my sexual desire, nor is it something i need to "overcome."

And finally, I counter your hope that the majestarium will prevail in its attack on on my civil rights with my own confidence that, in time, the Church will follow its flock toward justice and kindness, just as it eventually did on the issue of slavery and (to a much lesser extent) the role of women in society. This may not happen in our lifetime, but I know it will eventually happen. Someday, the Church will acknowledge "natural law" and admit homosexual love as being worthy of its blessing.

ravensfan - Evidently, if one forgets to type in their name the post goes through as "Anonymous". That post, was of course from me, which I'm sure you already knew.

I see your point BankStreet (as per the church "going after" the minority vs the "powerful majority").
As I mentioned earlier, is it not logical to be more proactive then reactive? As with divorce, I agree with you, and this is just the question: how does the church reason with law-makers on why divorce is so damaging, to thereby "target" the law? I then explained the world-view and paradigms BEHIND the "divorce is a good thing" mentality, so as to provide a outlay why this is an obstacle for the church. It is not at all about the numbers. It is about principle. Homosexuals could be the majority -- relative to the "divorce movement" -- and still have persons and advocates opposing just as vigilantly.

I notice that in all of this debate, one thing is being totally avoided or ignored -- either voluntarily or involuntarily -- and that is: the church is proactive vs REACTIVE whenever possible, so as to avoid the complications which ensue should the notion/law/ideology in question get accepted as "truth" or "the norm". How do we arrive at a grounds for the "preventative" opposition? Through all the FACTS and REASONING which I have already presented; it is all very logical in the context of a PREVENTATIVE solution to all the issues before they even arrive on the scene (i.e. divorce as a consequence of infidelity, which could be a consequence of a past history of promiscuity, which is a consequence of the current trends/profitability of propagating "sexual freedom" and relativism). I propose another question: what makes more sense?

1.Teaching kids objectively to not practice promiscuity to thereby PREVENT "unwanted babies", STD's, emotional harm, etc. (note, this does not infringe on freedom, personal beliefs, or the like... it's just logical)

2. Teaching kids subjectively that "if it feels right and you are ready... it is ok to be promiscuous because we have condoms and contraceptives for your safety..." Note that we tell them these methods are NOT 100% preventative. (this does not infringe of freedoms, beliefs, or the like... it is arguably logical)

Today, in our society, we have no doubt leaned towards the second choise. Why? Because, as I have stated before, we do not live in a vaccum and the profitability of "sex" makes a great business model. This includes markets for -- both homosexual and heterosexual -- contraceptives, media, travel/tourism, literature, the list could go on. Conversely, what benefit does the abstinence option offer? Well, not very many dollar signs that's for sure. This total shift in what we now value in society has even manifested itself by playing off the misfortune of people who are directly/indirectly involved in what has come to pass as a direct result of leaning towards absolute relativism. A perfect example is your link to the story about the same-sex couple. As unfortunate as it may be (excuse me if I sound "heartless" or un-Christian), but it happens all the time to heterosexual couples living out of wed-lock as well; I'm not only bringing to light homosexuality's bad judgment, but to heterosexual's maybe even more so. Objectively, they are both wrong to live out of wed-lock, it's simple really, for obvious reasons. Next, you will contest that it is illegal to be a married same-sex couple. Yes it is. For all the reasons I, and others have tried to reason for. What do I propose? I propose understanding that there is a "method to this madness" of same-sex marriage laws. Is it really "madness?" According to the side which chooses REALITIVISM over LOGICALLY SOUND principles, yes, it is madness. Is that an unfair compromise to not let same-gender couples marry? No. Because it makes no reasonable sense, other then for financial reasons perhaps, and in that case, you are setting yourself up for a multitude of other problems which are pertinent to marriage currently (divorce, death benefits, insurance, etc). Your advocates argue from an objectively unstable position, with no statistics or even their own empiricism supporting them; it's an "emotions play" and a scream for "unfairness". That doesn't hold water in logic, reason, or "ultimate truth". I still have yet to hear from someone, a "from the ground up" argument that homosexuality is a justified "movement" and would not have a negative foundational effect on family life as we know it today.

While we find discourse in the points which "divide", I can affirm that we both agree in as per our freedom of speech and free-will. This is perhaps, the most important and beautiful thing relating to the positions we take.

Your thoughts?

Pattycakers,

Some reference sources toward answering your questions:

http://www.equalitymaryland.org/pr_2007/pr2007.11.28.htm

http://www.equalitymaryland.org/pdfs/amendment_fact_sheet.pdf

http://www.equalitymaryland.org/pdfs/gao_doma.pdf

[This last one is an immense file, listing the1.049 advantages accorded married folk by Federal law, currently denied to Gay couples.]


Yes, the fight for marriage equality is an "emotions play" (and is that so wrong or so much a surprise?), but it's also a bread-and-butter issue, as the links I provide demonstrate. I would argue that those aspects of the battle, dealing as they do with very real and tangible needs, FAR outweigh the ineffable and dubious risks you describe.

Gay folk fully realize the price marriage would entail; marriage is after all a legally binding contract. (Although I don't understand why you lump death benefits and insurance among "problems which are pertinent to marriage." It is precisely these aspects of legal marriage that are at the core of its rationale.) For this reason, MANY Gay people eschew the fight altogether (even oppose it actively), rejecting what they see as a failed model. I, myself, would think long and hard before I entered into a marriage with another man. I am currently single; I fight the fight on principle.

As to how we teach fidelity and sexual restraint: I don't have the answer. I know it's facile, but I like the billboards I see around town counseling delaying sex till marriage, etc. I don't have kids in th school system, so I don't know how that message gets conveyed. I just wish my people felt included in the target audience. Instead, we are ignored and marginalized, because (again, as I have said earlier) our relationships don't count, aren't "real." Give us marriage as an object, a goal and see if we don't (at least a a large part of us) conform to the pattern it offers.

As to the potentially dual message conveyed by the ready dispensing of condoms, I'm afraid it's just a practical necessity as we combat the current epidemic. Gay folk didn't invent the sexualization of American (and probably world) culture and are certainly not alone in participating in it. Admittedly a lot of work needs to be done. Again, wouldn't it be good if the Church could participate in that work by beginning with an acknowledgment that homosex IS itself a valid expression of (potentially, anyway) committed monogamy?

By the way, I think the idea that the sexualization of culture reflects a conspiracy to increase the sales of condoms is as ludicrous as Mr Littel's suggestion that the RC church's prohibition of birth control has at its core an effort to increase ranks in the pews. Sex sells beer and cars ... and marketeers know this.

BankStreet - When the policy of a religion is to enforce a message that members must act in a way that requires that they marry young and have as many children as possible, it is impossible to deny that there is one goal in mind, to increase their numbers in society. To deny that conclusion is ludicrous in the face of the fact that every Church policy regarding sex leads to that end. Why else would an all powerful, all knowing, universe spanning entity, have such a deep and personal interest in our sex lives?

Mr Littel,

You might detect the faint aroma of kool-aid on my breath, but I do believe that the RC church's positions on birth control and abortion are -- at least primarily -- founded in genuine (if misguided) regard for "the sanctity of life." I have frequently used abortion as an example of a legitimate moral issue (as opposed to homosexuality), because it is a matter of choice. I don't agree with the Church's blanket prohibition of abortion, but I am of the opininon that the decsion to terminate a pregnancy is not to be made lightly. I do, by the way, believe this decision should be ENTIRELY between the woman and her physician (and secondarily the father). The Government should have no role to play (and should treat abortion as any other medical procedure in an insurance/entitlement context). The Church is certainly free to preach and teach whatever it wants, but it is over-reaching when it seeks to deny access to abortion to any woman. The Church's position on contraception is flat-out absurd and obcsene ... but I still don't buy the notion that it is (first and foremost) a membership-enchancing strategy.

Hi BankStreet,

Hope you had a great weekend. I enjoyed some much needed rest to fend off a cold.

So, I checked out your links you provided. It seems that you have indeed done your homework and are active in your cause. Thank you for that.

As we are both presenting our points form contrasting observations -- you being a person of same-gender attraction, I, a heterosexual -- we are, no doubt, inclined to miss some of the empirically necessary information which supports/refutes our positions by which to draw our conclusions. I realize this is an ongoing process. Having said this, if I may clarify some of what we have covered:

We agree:
- we must respect each others rights (freedom of speech, right to belief, non-belief)
- that life must be respected
- there is much work to be done educating on sexual responsibilities
- Marriage has definite advantages within itself
- that "sex" is now a commodity
- scientific evaluation is important to subjective issues
- homosexual advocacy has a strong "emotional" play
- homophobia is not a way forward and is counterproductive

Please correct me if I have not been accurate in my assertions.

Robert – I kind of figured the Anonymous post was you. Thank you for confirming it. People are free to believe what they wish. How exactly do you figure I’m backed in a corner? All I did was point out that your views were just that your views and nothing more. There is nothing ranting or irrational about it. Instead of providing rational defense of why what you said should be regarded as more than your personal opinion you did the very thing you accuse me of doing. Let me clarify it for you. I need not prove anything to you. If you want to deny God’s existence that is your right as we all have free choice. Nice try at attempting to reverse the burden of proof to me. Since the issue is the motives of the church, and it was you not me who claimed to know them using your own logic the burden of proof is on you. I need not prove anything on the subject of Church actions. That would infer that somehow you have made a valid logical and rational argument for what you claim and you have not now or ever done that. If you know the motives of the Church’s position on topics like abortion and contraception then prove it. Otherwise man up and admit is an opinion and not a fact or move on to another topic. Stick to what I questioned and forget the fallacy of relevance. Don’t retreat back to trying to make this a proof for God argument every time you get yourself in a corner.

Pattycakers,

I hope you are successful in combatting the cold, but it has beem my experience that colds eventually win that battle...

The one item in your list of "agreements" that causes me much difficulty is:

"homosexual advocacy has a strong 'emotional' play"

for two reasons:

1. It suggests that advocay for the rights of Gay people is ONLY emotional, despite the evidence shown by those lists of very real, tangible benefits being denied Gay couples (for example).

2. It suggests that our opponnents are cool and rational ... and therefore somehow more credibile and more deserving of success.

Emotions and rationality are as much in play on one side of these issues as they are on the other. It is a battle of hearts AND minds.

At the risk of seeming unduly contentious, I'd like to present an alternative list, of points on which we don't agree:

1. I would maintain that homosexuality is entirely "normal" (albeit atypical), analogous to left-handedness (which has had its own history of persecution by the Church). You would agree with Monsignor André-Joseph Léonard that I am "abnormal."

2. I would maintain that homosexual ardor is a good and proper manifestation of love, best (but not always) exercised in the context of a committed relationship (exactly as is the case with heterosexual ardor). You would prefer that such feelings be suppressed throughout one's lifetime.

3. I maintain that sexuality is pleasurable and can bring pleasure to people who have no intention (or even ability) to procreate. You would limit sexuality to procreation, with maybe a modicum of pleasure granted to fertile couples as a sort of "bonus" for their efforts.

4. I would posit that the opposite of "homophobia" is full acceptance of homosexuality as a valid and equal variation within human sexuality. You would come somewhat short of that.

Although neither of us has changed his/her mind on any of these points, I hope we have at least seen how folk can disagree respectfully.


I do wonder if we shouldn't bring this debate to a close soon. Surely Mr Hay Brown will present us with new ways to inflame our passions and engage our intellects (see??). But, at 80+ postings, this one is starting to look little like a dead horse....

A good assessment BankStreet, I agree. The status of "dead horse" would be very appropriate.

I leave you with some reading for a rainy day.


1. Comprehensive answers to questions on family:

http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/index/f.html

2. Catholic answers to productively moving forward in addressing homosexuality as Christians:

http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/homosexuality/ho0039.htm

All the best BankStreet! It was a pleasure. Till we "meet" again on these pages...

Pattycakers

ravensfan - I am in no corner at all. I stand for the high ideals of your religion, without having all the delusional baggage you seem to drag around and want us to respect . Equal rights, health care for all, Humanity coming into balance with the environment before we kill the planet, representative democracy instead of the plutocracy now gaining the upper hand, and an end to all the suffering and repression being carried out by one religion over others and especially over those who do not share these archaic delusional and long established assaults against reason and logic. If that makes me an evil person, then I wear the badge with pride.

Robert – I have never called you an evil person. I don’t believe you are an evil person. At worst you are what misguided or misinformed. That being said you don’t quite stand for all the ideals of my religion. If you did you wouldn’t try and justify not treating all people with respect regardless of how delusional you perceive their views. You still have never gotten back to actually responding to what I challenged you on. Your lengthy diatribe out the motives of the Catholic Church you posted on Jan 29th at 10:58am. Instead you have employed the Karen Hughes techniques you have referred to in other posting to keep from actually having to deal with my questioning of where was the evidence to support for your outlandish opinions. You also have nothing to support your claims of plutocracy gaining the upper hand. It’s your way of avoiding admitting the truth that more people disagree with your own extreme political views than agree with them. There is no assault on reason and logic except by those who see their views as the only solution to the world’s problems and see no room for compromise which is what the extremist on the far right and far left engage in. If you are guilty of anything it’s not questioning both sides with the same level of skepticism.

ravensfan - Always, you come back to the popularity, or lack thereof, of what I say. What I say has nothing to do with the popularity it generates in the political theater that our political system has become. The corporatist side has gone to great expense to control the flow of information, right down to the interpretation of how we perceive our history. How many out there know that the flowery painted picture of our founders ignores the flaws inherent in all of us. Samuel Adams (that great patriot!) was in fact a British tax collector, who was about to be outed for dipping into the funds he was collecting, when he became a "patriot". George Washington (our hallowed and beloved ultimate icon) was the largest producer of whiskey in the colonies and employed his slaves to produce a product subject to heavy taxation (as it is today) by the colonial government.

We are the product of our contrived, controlled and corrected history and the manipulation of how it is presented. That process is today, firmly in the hands of corporate interests who are in control of the text-book industry, from the top down, and using "concerned citizens groups" (usually fundy religious concerns, which they also control to a significant degree) from the bottom up. The increasing control of the media, occurring as corporate interests consolidate the outlets and concentrate them into larger units, are being used to maintain our societal myths and keep the masses "thinking correctly" so that anyone who points out how they are being manipulated can, be painted as being outside the realm of believability and unwilling to remain within a framework where their views can be compromised to death. It is just an expansion of the tactics being used by the corporatists in our government to create a stone wall against the current president and create the perception that they are willing to work with him as they do everything in their power to drag out the process and retake the symbols of power they threw away during the fiasco that was the poorly puppeted Bush regime. I suspect that is why they have decided to sent in someone more clever than you to do the job of silencing, or if that is not possible, marginalizing someone they know represents a threat to the entire con they (and you) are running against the American people, all for the benefit of the "Uber-Class" that cheaply owns your sorry butt.

Robert – As expected you avoided answering my original request for proof of your accusations on church motives. I didn’t really expect you to address them since it’s clear that you can’t. It was an opinion of someone who is biased against the church. I don’t recall making many if any references to the popularity of what you say. I know Adams is a controversial figure in American history that he has been at times both praised and attacked by historians. I can not comment much further since I don’t know the source of your revelations about him or Washington. Since you made the positive statement the burden of proof falls on you. That being said all human beings have their faults and flaws. If their life’s work is examined deeply enough they can be exposed.

Are you familiar with conspiracy theories? You are spinning a good one. One I’ve heard left wing nut jobs proclaim. They are not supported by any conclusive evidence. They contrast with institutional analysis, which focuses on people's collective behavior in publicly known institutions, as recorded in scholarly material and mainstream media reports, to explain historical or current events. Rather they than speculate on the motives and actions of secretive coalitions of individuals. Your little diatribe fits that description perfectly. For someone who claims to be a rational, logical thinker you seem to have a lot of faith in something never proven or even remotely supported. Something you accuse me and every other believer of doing. Maybe you should refrain from talking about delusional baggage until you put yours down.

ravensfan - I'm sorry, how stupid of me to think that a religion, that has always stated its goals as spreading its perception of reality over the totality of Humanity, could have motives that would serve that end. How absolutely crass could I be to suggest that an institution, built on superstition, myth, fear of the unknown and in an invisible and evidently vain and vindictive god creature, that you cannot produce, or even show exists, could possibly structure their belief patterns and requirements to fulfill goals that they have shown a willingness in the past to kill their fellow Humans to achieve?

You demand proof for allegations about an institution whose basis is totally dependent of blindly accepting the base foundations of that institution without the tiniest bit a proof at all. These mechanisms are present in any religion and the more organized and widespread that religion is, the more they behave in ways to insure their continuation and future expansion. Your religion's history of political manipulation and enforced methods of ensuring fealty among the masses, or else, have been well documented throughout history and to think they are not still carrying out the same form of coercion in a more subtle manner is patiently absurd.


As to what you are classifying a left-wing conspiracy theory in regard to the corporatization of our entire system, the proof is what we have slowly evolved into in the last 150 years that have allowed the accumulation of 1/2 of all wealth (power) into the pockets and under the control of about 4000 individuals, THIS IS FACT! This flow of wealth to the top cannot be accomplished without controlling the variables of wealth formation and distribution from the individual all the way up to those who write the laws that govern these variables, so that they can facilitate such a lopsided distribution. This control demands that the maximum control be exercised to serve the power base at the top and government is just a tool to be used to control the clueless masses below. It is a templet that has worked before for religion, being modified and using the same psychological weaknesses of Humans to achieve similar goals. The PROOF that the corporate interests are in full takeover mode is illustrated by the fact that the corporate owned Supreme Court all but handed total control of the political system over to the forces of extreme wealth that corporate interests serve. The PROOF is in how doggedly and openly the corporate owned Republican Party has stood in opposition to any effort to take back the right to abuse the economy, that was so easily granted to corporations during the corporate owned Reagan and the two Bush regimes. There is no question that we are under assault by corporations and there is no question that you are working toward their ends, either voluntarily or as a paid operative and the addition of another corporatist troll to form a tag team against anyone getting uppity was not only a possibility, but absolutely necessary because you alone are not up to the job alone.

I see Pattycakers--and why by the way are you Pattycakers now as opposed to mere Pattycakes--quite confounding that one--anyway I see that you are in the throes of one of your long winded theosophical expostulations against Bankstreet--who has been delivering his polite blows to one and all on this blog--with the religionists, as Littel would assert, firmly on the side of their dogmatic myths, demanding proof for logic as usual--one of Ravensfan's favorite pursuits.

Anyway--sodomy is not the singular domain of homosexuals. Several heterosexuals also engage in it and in poorer nations it is a form of birth control. I suppose when heterosexuals engage in it it is not as repulsive as when homosexuals do-- to the religious on this board.

Pattycakers, it is not true that the homosexual act must be unnatural because it does not advance the species in numbers. There are many heterosexuals who are married and either cannot reproduce or will not reproduce. They undergo vasectomies or tubal ligation because they choose not to have babies. Others are simply infertile or sterile. Also with plastics and other chemicals in the atmosphere human fertility is declining. Endocrinologists are noting a steady decline in sperm count from exposure to Bisphenol A a component of plastics. Does that mean sex itself should become passe or that heterosexuality that does not lead to more babies should be deemed unnatural?

Children cannot be indoctrinated in the gay lifestyle or recruited to become gay. Those who study hormones know that the brain is sexualized in utero. In fact when a pregnant woman is exposed to synthetic estrogens--and these are now high in the atmosphere and in the water due to environmental pollution-- the likelihood of a male fetus she is carrying turning out to be a homosexual is high because of an estrogenic imprint. There are definite differences in the way a lesbian or a gay brain react to hormone stimulants like LHRH or GnRH--as opposed to how the brains of heterosexuals react to the same stimuli. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology has several articles on the subject which the dogma spouters should read. Homosexuality is a natural state of being and endocrinologists have known this for a long time.

Finally Littel is right. The church does want numbers Bankstreet--not having enough numbers or enough practicing adherents is suicidal to any church and its hierarchy. Conversions are only partially based on the edicts of the prophets of yore. Conversions are also essential to bring new blood into the church and to have enough people genuflecting to church elders who without enough followers will become redundant and extinct.

Bankstreet, you have to understand that the church can espouse moral issues that can also ensure its survival. Survival and morality need not be mutually exclusive. Let's just say that you and Littel are both right--the church's policies one and all ensure survival and this too is a moral cause for the church for without survival there cannot be collective worship, conversion, spreading of the word of the lord and so on and so forth--without survival all of the edicts of the church, concepts like original sin, sodomy as sin and so will die out. So survival is a high moral cause for the church and it is not in any way oppositional to its other moral positions like "no abortion" "no contraception" etc.

Yes, Ravensfan is a polite deflector of your well reasoned arguments Bankstreet, but be not fooled. Without a bit of brashness or bravado he promotes a religious agenda. He will never give up his position that homosexuality is a sin--that it is an aberrancy because his Bible says so or some dead man called Saul--Paul says so or that Jesus himself said so-after announcing that piece of nonsense as his sole and intractable position on the matter he will demand proof for scientific studies and express his misgivings about the same.

Much praise as you heap on his holy head not all of it he deserves. Is he a well spoken man? Yes. Is he a well read man? Yes. Is he a reasonable man on subjects the Bible does not endorse? Sometimes but not always. Does he dare veer away from this book from whence he gets his sustenance? No--not from his interpretation of what this "holy book" says is right. Again he is not a literalist like Clay but he is dangerous all the same. Not that that should discombobulate you Bankstreet--you handle yourself with the aplomb of a consummate Socratic thinker.
Ravensfan Anon

Robert – First the goal is to spread the word not force it or outbreed other faiths. Your initial sentence is in essence has no factual basis. Your lengthy post on Jan 29th list many points all equally incorrect in assumed motives. Ever since I’ve challenged you to prove them you have done everything except provide the support. What you believe about the validity of the doctrine of religious beliefs does not support the claims you made on motives. Whatever was or was not done in the past is also irrelevant. For someone who claims to be knowledgeable of law you make a very illogical and poor attempt to change the subject from my question of proof for your allegations to me proving my beliefs. Isn’t that the very strategy you accuse others of employing. We both know you can’t provide proof because it was nothing more than your opinion based on your own biased views.

In any capitalist system wealth ends up distributed unevenly. It was that way 150 years ago and it’s that way now as well. In fact the laws today probably make more of an attempt to even the distribution then they did 150 years ago. I’m not saying they are successful. The fact that wealth isn’t distributed equally or possibly less evenly does not prove any of your claims of including the newest ones. The last time I checked we all get the same number of votes and corporations get none which is as it should be. You also ignore the pull of organizations like the trial lawyers and organized labor. You perceive motives for the actions of Republicans just as you do for religion and it’s all based on myth and fallacy that you’ve swallowed like some sort of hungry fish. The court ruling was the correct ruling under the law. What needs to happen now is the constitution needs to be amended to fix the problem. Keep in mind that corporations weren’t the only ones who benefited from the ruling. Organized labor is free to spend as well. In the end like any good conspiracy theorist you take all actions and speculate on the motives and actions of secretive coalitions of individuals in your case corporate interests. Like any conspiracy theorist when confronted you can’t prove your theory so accuse the person of being in with secretive coalitions of individuals. Tell you what provide some unbiased documented proof not proof by example and I’ll consider what you say. Otherwise I can only view it as delusional.

Anon - Let me ask you the same question I posed to Robert. How exactly do you know what the motives of the church are and where is your proof? I'm open to consider what you say provided you can support that it is more than a personal opinion. So far Robert has tried every trick and smokescreen to avoid actually doing that. Let's see if you can fare better. Remember that if we go with Robert's view of when proof is required its the person making the positive assertion that has the burden of proof. The church states it reasoning for its positions so why should anyone ignore that and accept yours and Roberts suggestion of motive? Try and avoid cherry picking isolated pieces of church history, writings or bible quotes.

Thanks for some of the compliments you paid me. What exactly is wrong with promoting what I believe? Is that something only reserved for atheists? I’ve never attempted to hide or deny my position on homosexuality. Why is it Robert or you simply can’t state you feel the bible is wrong or irrelevant without the need to mock it or those who value what it says? Bankstreet doesn’t accept all it says, but does not need to do that. How exactly would science ever be able to prove something not a sin? I’d really like to hear you explain that to me. It’s fairly obvious you have had some bad experience with the church and it’s tainted your objectivity. Since Bankstreet, Robert and you as well as everyone else is free to choose for yourself to believe or not believe I can’t see what you feel makes me dangerous except that I don’t fit the stereotype you have for Christians.

ravensfan - I stand by my previous post and recognized your attempt to tie it into a Gordian Knot, as just one more example that you are running a Karen Hughes type of obstruent argument that tries to lead the discussion away from the point and make your opponent the focus of the direction of attention, rather than what they are saying.

I have made charges that are completely within the purview of logic that are already considered givens by the historical records, that you also try to belittle. One did not have to prove the motives behind the actions of Hitler to condemn him for the atrocities that were more than evident when US. soldiers first walked through the gates of the death camps near the end of WWII., and the historical record on the actions (large and small) of your church, will not be dismissed out of hand either.

As to the impending, and already in motion, takeover of our country by the forces of great wealth (outlined above), IT IS HAPPENING. When 1/2 of all wealth in this country sits in the pockets of about 4000 individuals and the other half is maldistributed among the 318,000,000 of the rest of us, we are living in a highly corrupted society. You are a liar and a fraud by every measure of reasonableness that exists. Your function is to serve the coming Plutocracy and for that you have my deepest disrespect.

Ravensfan, science can prove something is not a sin by showing it is a natural way of being--by exposing the hormonal or the genetic milieu that have given rise to conditions deemed as sins, perversions or aberrations. What proof do you want Ravensfan--what I have said is common sense--would the church want to die Ravensfan? Is not the Church itself considered holy--a fountainhead of spirituality and God--is not one of the duties of the church elders the actual survival of this entity? Will not the church elders be remiss in their devotion and duties if they just laze around and let the church die for want of adherents? If they are complacent and do not add to the numbers of the church, if they allow Islam to convert what Catholics there are on Earth to Allah worship would the church elders attain salvation for that? Give me a break Ravensfan--for an intelligent man you exhibit patent stupidity by asking proof for the obvious. To save the church, to keep the fountainhead overflowing is nothing short of a moral cause for the church--so for Bankstreet to say that the Church's positions on contraception or abortion are purely moral, untainted by concerns for numbers--as though concern for numbers would be an immoral cause is neither believable nor right. Wanting high numbers for the church is not necessarily immoral--cannot be in the church's eyes--what helps the church survive, what keeps the church going are adherents--getting those adherents, why would that be an immoral thing in the eyes of the church Ravensfan--sure I made a positive statement and sure I must prove it--what do you want me to do--convert to Catholicism, wave an incense burner in your face, wear a cassock and declare beneath an altar--I want the church to survive and I think it is a moral cause to swell the number of adherents of the Catholic church? Be reasonable Ravensfan. Let's take the opposite--do you think Church elders want less adherents for the Catholic church--do you think they don't consider the survival of the church one of their moral missions? Again you ignore all my scientific points--you select out what you want, you challenge me on what is obvious, you ask the stupid question how science can prove something is not a sin--did not science prove the Earth is not flat, did not science prove that the universe is not geocentric? Has not science dispelled the notion that disease is caused by demons? You have a thing against science Ravensfan? What is a sin Ravensfan? Stealing is a sin, torturing someone is a sin--calling something a sin when it is not a sin is a sin Ravensfan. And you are doing precisely that Ravensfan. Do you read the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology? Are you a geneticist or an Endocrinologist working in the area of gender dysphoria, sexual ambiguity, and so on? What do you know as the latest in these fields--do you know as much about these as you do about your Bible? If you don't you should shut up Ravensfan about the power of science to show that something is not a sin--are you suggesting that homosexuality is a deliberate act of wrong committed by an individual like Bankstreet--a choice that can be avoided--if your brain is sexualized a certain way, if your hormonal responses are a certain way--then the choice is not yours Ravensfan and if you make choices that challenge your predetermined hormonal and your sexual milieu Ravensfan you won't come out ahead of the game--but stubbornly you insist that such a thing is possible and even as you use your blandishments on Bankstreet you are staunch in your aversion to this so called sin--based on nothing more than a few statements in a 5000 years old book which you did not witness being written. And you have the gall to condemn Littel--with Littel I know what is coming Ravensfan--he is not duplicitously sweet--he is what he is--rough hewn--but you Ravensfan are indeed dangerous--Clay less so-- no more than a ridiculous caricature-- beneath your intelligence lies an unreasonable religious fervor and that makes you a narrow one trick pony on the subjects of homosexuality, the church, abortion and so on...
Ravensfan Anon

Robert – Your response was what I expected more accusing me of doing what you have been doing since I questioned how you knew the church’s motives and the breeding nonsense. The only one trying to lead away is you. I’m still waiting for you to provide any logical support for that outlandish rant on the church’s motives which is where this whole dialogue started. So far you done just about everything accept address that. To even claim your claims to motives have are considered givens is a bold face lie on your part. Instead of addressing what I said you attempt to draw comparison to Hitler’s atrocities. You must not have studied history that well. Hitler’s motives were well documented. Motives were irrelevant anyway since torture and murder are considered atrocities by most civilized people anyway. It is also completely irrelevant to that four point diatribe of yours on Jan 29th. You can keep on throwing up smoke screens and making as many outlandish comparisons as you like and it still won’t hide the fact that nothing exists to support your claims of the church’s motives on that post from Jan 29th.

As for your conspiracy takeover theory it was your typical ad hominem argument with bare assertion and fallacies of necessity mixed in with appeals to ridicule. The fact that wealth isn’t even distributed does not mean any take over in motion. If that’s all you have to support your claim then you have NOTHING. I agree we do live in a corrupted society and its extremist like you who helped make it that way by with concepts like moral relativism. An American Buddist monk said it quite well.

“By assigning value and spiritual ideals to private subjectivity, the materialistic world view, threatens to undermine any secure objective foundation for morality. The result is the widespread moral degeneration that we witness today. To counter this tendency, mere moral exhortation is insufficient. If morality is to function as an efficient guide to conduct, it cannot be propounded as a self-justifying scheme but must be embedded in a more comprehensive spiritual system which grounds morality in a transpersonal order. Religion must affirm, in the clearest terms, that morality and ethical values are not mere decorative frills of personal opinion, not subjective superstructure, but intrinsic laws of the cosmos built into the heart of reality”

Since you were disrespectful from my first day here your “deepest disrespect” is means absolutely nothing to me.

Anon – How can science prove something natural? I agree it can or may eventually in other cases exposing the hormonal or the genetic milieu that have given rise to conditions. If I follow your logic pedophilia or any other less than desirable attributes could be considered natural & moral if science exposes the causes. In the end science can’t prove morality all they can do is prove cause. I have no issue with science Anon despite your rant and accusations. I have issue with people trying to use science to rationalize actions. Since my question about science proving something not a sin was based on a something you said if my question is stupid what does that say about your claim? The fact that someone doesn’t choose to be gay doesn’t make it sinful. Being gay isn’t sinful it’s the act that’s sinful. You can believe what you want on the topic. Since you can’t back it up with anything you attack the Bible and me. Actually I suspect deep sown inside you know it’s sinful as well and don’t want to admit it. That’s why you get so worked up. By the way you are wrong on one other thing. It is possible to challenge your predetermined hormonal and your sexual milieu. We have at least a dozen examples in my own church and I’d be willing to bet they are more fulfilled then you. None of them were forced they all came of their own accord. Everyone is free to live his life as they wish. The law should allow them to do just that and as long as it doesn’t try and force a different view of morality on me or my faith I’m fine with it. Bankstreet and I have had some rather interesting discussions and none ever digressed down to the level on insults and personal attacks you and Robert feel the need to resort to using. He and I will never agree on the issue of morality, but I respect his ability to disagree and raise issues without needing to launch personal attacks or mock and malign what others value. Robert and you could learn a lot from him.

I see like Robert when called to back opinions you hold as facts you resort to the same sort of appeals to ridicule. The fact that the church would benefit from its positions on contraceptives and abortion doesn’t make it the motive behind them. That’s a causal oversimplification on your part. If the church’s goal for abortion and contraceptives were as you and Robert claim why not be silent on the issues as a matter of civil law. The Church opposes them in all cases for everyone. That would allow you heathens to keep pace with us Catholics. Why wouldn’t we let you whittle your numbers? As for what I want it’s simple something that supports your claim other than your fallacy of the single cause. I’m not expecting anything because we both know you have nothing but your biased opinion.

I can’t control what you think of me Anon and to be honest I won’t lose any sleep over it. What I condemn in Robert is the same thing I now see in you anger, hate, intolerance, bigotry for anyone and everyone who doesn’t agree with your dogma and opinions.

ravensfan - Again, I stand by my previous post and recognized your attempt to tie it into a Gordian Knot, as just one more example that you are running a Karen Hughes type of obstruent argument that tries to lead the discussion away from the point and make your opponent the focus of the direction of attention, rather than what they are saying.

I have made charges that are completely within the purview of logic that are already considered givens by the historical records, that you also try to belittle. One did not have to prove the motives behind the actions of Hitler to condemn him for the atrocities that were more than evident when US. soldiers first walked through the gates of the death camps near the end of WWII., and the historical record on the actions (large and small) of your church, will not be dismissed out of hand either.

As to the impending, and already in motion, takeover of our country by the forces of great wealth (outlined above), IT IS HAPPENING. When 1/2 of all wealth in this country sits in the pockets of about 4000 individuals and the other half is maldistributed among the 318,000,000 of the rest of us, we are living in a highly corrupted society. You are a liar and a fraud by every measure of reasonableness that exists. Your function is to serve the coming Plutocracy and for that you have my deepest disrespect.

My dear Ravensfan,
The Catholic Church doesn't want any group to be whittled down--the whole world is game--every soul out there is a potential Catholic. I see the Gordian knot that Robert speaks of--you tie one every time. It is the act that is sinful but being gay is not sinful--give me a break man--how much can you twist yourself in your own illogic--the act is not separate from being gay--it is essentially an outgrowth--an integral part of being gay--and the person is not separate from it--every gay person will tell you--if you have gay friends or relatives--that being gay and the sexuality that ensues from that are an integral part of who they are--they don't need you or me to determine this for them. When science sheds light on something then you understand it better--by equating homosexuality with pedophilia--not directly but through insinuation--you expose your own deep prejudices. What about heterosexual promiscuity--is that a perversion? It once was a sin to call the Earth round--also a sin to place the sun at the center of the universe. The Church excommunicated scientists for their truths. Pedophilia, committed by homosexuals or heterosexuals is a crime and a wrong--because children are involved and children cannot play the role of consenting adults. But with homosexuality, when two adults of consenting age come together, mutually attracted, and consummate their love and attraction, in their own bedrooms, without affecting you, your beliefs or your ability to do as you please, why do you object, call it a sin and so on? Just because some dozen people in your church voluntarily offered to change their homosexuality, does not mean that one's sexuality can or should be altered. You don't know the intimate agonies of these church people--you are not a scientist who has devised a study around the consequences or the long term impact of their change of life style and it is premature for you to use this as an example of what is possible and right for all homosexuals to do. Similarly the vigor of my argument against you should not make you conclude that I deep down, am certain that homosexuality is a sin or that I think of sin and virtue the same way you have been taught to think of these matters in your Church. You are a creature of your religious conditioning Ravensfan--you are a good and well meaning man, but a misguided and therefore a rather dangerous one. You could ask if three consenting adults or four or five decide to have sex together is that right? All you can say Ravensfan is that you wouldn't resort to that sort of orgy--all that the state can say is that it won't allow marriage between these multiple consenting sexually engaged parties--but you can't make the grand pronouncement that one woman- one man- relationship is at all times the superior and purer and more virtuous pleasure to seek--because that is the way god intended--or that is the way to create and stabilize good family structure--particularly in the 21st century when family can consist of adopted children and two parents of the same gender; child born through artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization to a single parent or adopted by two gay parents or two lesbian parents, or a child born of surrogate motherhood to heterosexual parents and so on--family, due to science is being defined and redefined even as I write and the traditional family is only one of many successful models out there. The religious love science when it extends life--puts 2 lb premies in ICUs and saves their lives or miraculously extends their lives through technology but when science helps gays become parents or helps single women get pregnant through artificial insemination the religious recoil because they see the traditional family as being under the barrel of a gun by such procedures. Look Ravensfan, here are your problems--saying that the sexual act in homosexuality is what is a sin but being gay is not a sin--the two are inseparable; saying that science cannot prove that something is not a sin--science has done this many times-- by shedding light on the truth--those who opposed exorcism--and the Catholic Church still endorses this--were not exactly loved by the Church--the Church postulated that Satan caused diseases and could be driven out through the process of dramatic exorcist exercises--those opposed did not exactly endear themselves to church elders--but science brought the church around to supplant microbes for Satan--Galileo was not a man close to the Catholic Church's heart--but science brought the Church around to his truth--can science tell you that something is not a sin--not if you are adamant--not if you are an absolutist who insists on seeing the world as black or white--sinful or pure--but science can tell you how and why people are different from each other--what is the internal milieu they cannot change--yes, science can do that--and then science can show the harm of changing the milieu forcefully and show how the milieu can be modified or altered slightly without damage to the person being changed-- if the milieu is harmful to society--like in the case of pedophilia--but in the case of homosexuality Ravensfan there is no harm to society as Bankstreet has pointed out--the act is private--the act is between two consenting adults--at the most there are 10% of homosexuals by statistics--reproduction or traditional family or religion are neither going to be hindered nor going to be spoiled by the existence of homosexuality-- heterosexuals will continue to enjoy sex and family life regardless of the homosexuals around them--so whence comes the furore about homosexuality--the condemnation--the marginalization of youngsters who feel the natural stirrings of their homosexuality--the kinds of categorical statements that Pattycakers-- caked with ignorance spews--that homosexuals are inherently more unhappy--if you lived in a society where you are told that your act is a sin against god, where you are told that you will stew in hell for your natural and spontaneous desires would you be happy? There is a viciousness in the hatred of the religious for homosexuality--the viciousness is explained by convoluted logic- rendered in such a way as to make the religious look good, compassionate, forgiving and well meaning--in my chosen field of work Ravensfan I couldn't practice your wordplay or your prejudice. To me Bankstreet's sexual activity is no sin--it is an integral part of who he is--as natural to him as breathing is to all living humans and he should be accepted as good his sexual act included.
Ravensfan Anon

ravensfan anon and ravensfan (you guys need to better defined "names" -- it gets very confusing....)

I thank you for your compliments (although I am a little uncomfortable being used as fodder in your own batters).

pattycakers and I have retired from this particular fray. She and I (I hope I can speak for her) have exhausted our respective debating points. Although we ended at a draw, I don't think either of us ever expected the other to surrender. She is (along with her Church) convinced that homosexuality is a sin (or at least "acting on it, which I would maintain is the same thing). She sent me some Church-generated materials laying out a position denying the genetic/innate/intrinsic nature of homosexuality. I remain confident that in some future day, with some more progressive thinking from the Vatican, we will see homosexual affection and (yes!) sex given the same support now reserved for heterosexual coupling. Although I am sure that pattycakers would never admit it, the Vatican *has* changed its mind in the past, usually after enough social pressure has been exerted, either actively (through "lobbying" by laity and clergy) or passively (when disgruntled congregants fall away in sufficient numbers). This may take a generation, but the numbers are encouraging, as more and more young people are more and more comfortable with legitimizing homosexuality in their own world. Patience.

On another topic, the blogosphere can lend itself to rants and name-calling. This is not good. I have probably been guilty on occasion of being a little "snarky" when responding to especially irritating posts (I have a low tolerance for sanctimony and mindless citation of scripture.), but I do try to keep my end of the conversation at a civil (Socratic? Thanks.) level. It's all about courtesy and "The Golden Rule" (see, we atheists are not *entirely* without an ethical model!).


My brother from-another-mother BankStreet, behold... I am a dude. Yes, in the past, speculation has indeed taken precedence in these blog-o-wars (the great Littel would question is Pattycakers a thing/she/he)... so to address this: I am sports watchin', rough and tumble, cigar smokin', suit and tie wearin', sailor swearin', Wall Street Journal readin' il-mannered mass of masculinity. I try to be a good guy every now and then. Christian faith helps. So does basic etiquette. The later of which we could use a touch more of... would you not agree? (although RfanAnon has a fantastic sense of sarcasm... just love it!).


Robert – You couldn’t just say you stand by previous post? You had to retype the same thing. Saying it ad nauseam won’t make it anymore true. You are free to believe what ever you wish. Absence of proof it can only be viewed as your personal opinion.

pattycakers!

yo, dude!

I am a Jeopardy!-watchin, somewhat rough-n-tumble, Marlboro-smokin, jeans-wearin, swearin'-when-provoked, NPR-listenin, well-mannered mass of masculinity! I, too, try to be a good guy. A solid ethical grounding helps. So does basic etiquette....

Bankstreet – ravensfan anon is a moniker anon came about a while back when I chastised him or her for not using an id. In retrospect something that was rather childish on my part. My apologies I did not mean to use you as fodder in any dispute. Rather to show that it is possible to disagree and debate without resorting to rants and name calling and other attacks. Your exchanges with pattycakes are a good example. I have also been guilty of getting a little too aggressive or as you put it snarky. Again sorry for making you uncomfortable.

A most eloquent statement, Ravensfan Anon... I couldn't have said it better myself. Thanks.

The "hatred" you ascribe to pattycakers and (the other) ravensfan might be a bit of an overstatement, but, then again, their soft words and inability --or refusal -- to understand can and do manifest themselves in hateful ways. Uganda comes to mind. So does the fate of Matthew Shepard. So does the tragedy of the widowed loving partner of the Missouri State Trooper I posted earlier. You are so right, Ravensfan Anon. It's all about love (nothing more, nothing less).

Anon – As you guessed that Anonymous post was mine. You still provide no reason for why I or anyone else should accept what you said on the Church’s motives as anything more than a personal opinion. Providing false attribution fallacy to the fact the Church would benefit from positions doesn’t validate your claim. It’s an opinion and you are certainly entitled to it as is Robert. Had Robert or you simply said it’s your opinion and you believe it correct I would have no response. Instead both of you continue to argue doing the very things you accuse me of going.

Anon if anyone is twisting it’s you by trying to fuse together romantic or sexual attraction with acting on them. Pedophilia example was meant only to show the illogic in your premise that “science can prove something is not a sin by showing it is a natural way of being--by exposing the hormonal or the genetic milieu that have given rise to conditions”. I purposely picked something we could both agree was wrong to show that flaw. Instead of reconsidering the validity of your premise you appeal to ridicule and call me prejudice. As to your question on heterosexual promiscuity it is also a sin. You seem to want to put words in my mouth. I never used the word perversion that’s your word. I also objected to anything. Don’t confuse something be a sin with an objection. Everyone has free will and everyone is free to choose to follow or not follow church teachings. Those who are doing it at my Church came to us of their own accord. Another program we run is one to help parents and relatives of homosexuals to be able to accept them for who they are. How do you know what, if any, intimate agonies those people went through or are going through. Unless you have some special esp abilities don’t presume to know. If you don’t share my beliefs on sin and virtue why get so worked up? By the way don’t presume to know how I arrived at them. I realize you’d like to believe that all Catholics conditioned. That’s a myth with no proof. It is true for some and not for others. It’s a bit prejudicial of you to assume we are all the same. Maybe the conditioned one is you. Perhaps whatever negative experience you have had with religion is clouding your objectivity. Did you even read any of my posts before Robert and you brought your hate of the church over here? Here’s a partial quote from two.

“I don’t see where anything beneficial comes from trying to hurt or pass judgment. Just as you said who among us is 100% normal, who among us, for those who believe, is without sin myself included. For me to pass judgment on you or anyone else for anything you or they have done or are doing isn’t in keeping with the teachings of Christ. We are called to spread the faith by proclaiming it to others not force it down anyone’s throat who doesn’t want it or to have the government do it for us.”

“As Christians we are called to treat all human beings with dignity and respect not just those who share our beliefs.”

There is nothing illogical in what I said. The problem for you is you don’t agree with it and don’t like it. Like a spoiled child you throw tantrums and use “the everyone else does it” rational when told something shouldn’t be done. I have no idea what your chosen profession is, but I can say you know nothing about the true message of Christianity. Maybe it’s the result of negative experiences, but you hold up the minority of extremists as representative of us all. You are free to believe what you wish. The real problem is that isn’t goof enough for you. You want to make everyone to accept your view which is why you attack so viciously.

BankStreet - You may be right hatred might be overstating. By the way I only meant that for Ravensfan anon and Robert.

Anon - I just sent a lengthy post I think it has my id. Why don't we move on from this current debate I really don't see either of us convincing the other on the topic of sin. Might I suggest we agree to disagree. I'll even let you have the last word.

ravensfan - Evidently, as a self appointed defender of the faith, who cannot let any ideas that your made up beliefs are not in the best interests of Humanity, or that they should be allowed to see the light of day, has taken it upon yourself to fulfill that once attempted goal (then using racks, thumb-screws and the burning stake), by manipulating and trying to control the nature of the discussion, so that somehow myth, delusion, and accumulated institutionalized propaganda can be considered on an equal par with reason, logic and scientific examination. Your attempts, though marginally clever, do not mask their unsupportable origins, or your part in ignorantly acting in their behalf by defending their barely hidden, xenophobic, reactionary, fundamentalist zeal to cleanse the world of all but their own kind. That is the very nature of religion and the religious at the macro level and you are their pawn at the micro level, how pitiful for you.

Robert – Coming from the self appointed leader of the atheist crusade to eradicate religion and any other ideas not in conformity with the extreme left I should take that as a complement. As I said you are free to believe and say what you wish. Just because you keep saying it doesn’t make it fact no matter how desperately you wish. It’s still your unsupported opinion and nothing more. Is there some reason why you can’t try and make your point without appeals to ridicule? Face it the only one attempting to manipulate the conversation is you and you’ve been doing it since I challenged you to prove what you said was more than your opinion. The conversation was not about my beliefs, but your claim on motives for the church’s position. The more you divert from that and ridicule and mock the more you confirm that you can’t provide the support and simply don’t want to admit it’s a personal opinion. As was that rant about the nature of religion. I’m well aware of how you view religion and by now every one pretty much knows that you hate everything we stand for and are not interested in coexisting with us.

I’m curious how someone as caught up in the paranoid delusional conspiracy theory of right wing corporate elitists takeover can consider them self a reasonable, logical person who bases his views on scientific examination. Maybe you could explain that too? There’s no reason, logic and scientific examination that supports it. At least you didn’t provide it when I asked. You simply used a round number estimate of wealth distribution as a base rate fallacy as proof.

Tell you what I’ll make it easy for you just declare yourself the victor and move on to another issue. I’ll let you have the last word.

ravensfan - I have always felt that the rational and logical approach to facing our problems are superior to those based on institutionalized superstition. It is directly a result of not subscribing to the cacophony of the various "ultimate truths" that demand fealty to concepts that exist only outside the realm of reality. You are always free to subscribe to any ridiculous set of ideals you wish, as long as they do not interfere negatively on others, that do not share those beliefs. It is only where religion crosses that line where problems begin. As long as religion remains a personal affectation (at the micro level), it does not infuse itself into the lives of people who do not need it, or who do not want it, but as history has shown, religion always aspires to influence at the macro level, and here is where it goes beyond where it should. You personally may say that your beliefs do not force themselves negatively into other's lives, but when you go on the attack against those who do not share your beliefs (Atheists), whose only crime is not believing what you believe, there is little that can be expected but a backlash. Religionists always interpret the push-back from these attacks as an attack against them, but it is just us saying we are sick of being mauled by the intrusive nature of moral absolutists, who deny they are participating in the same kind of behavior religion has always practiced against those who do not bow to their will. You are going to have to expect to see this type of behavior toward religion anytime it insists on the enforcement of any Sharia type law on all of us, no matter which religion is the source, or how deeply you might feel it is warranted.

Rfan Anon - Greetings, as always.

I noticed you commented:

"... In fact when a pregnant woman is exposed to synthetic estrogens... There are definite differences in the way a lesbian or a gay brain react to hormone stimulants like LHRH or GnRH... The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology has several articles on the subject... Homosexuality is a natural state of being and endocrinologists have known this for a long time."

Would you care to provide a reference?

Also, to make such broad assertions, we must define our criteria which we use to arrive at our conclusions. Otherwise, we are going on "blind faith". In the case of homosexuality, only a handful of barely adequate studies on a small number of people have been conducted in the past few years. It is, therefore, critical to also lay out important limitations that are already beginning to emerge from the research. All are quite consistent with what we already know about the biological and genetic bases of other conditions.

First, like all complex behavioral and mental states, homosexuality is multifactorial. It is neither exclusively biological nor exclusively psychological but results from an as-yet-difficult-to-quantitate mixture of genetic factors, intrauterine influences (some innate to the mother and thus present in every pregnancy, and others incidental to a given pregnancy), postnatal environment (such as parental, sibling, and cultural behavior), and a complex series of repeatedly reinforced choices occurring at critical phases in development.

Second, male and female homosexuality are probably different conditions that arise from a different composite of influences. Nonetheless, they have some similarities.

Third, "homosexuality" is very poorly defined. The use of this one term creates the false impression of a uniform "gay" or "lesbian" condition and culture. It obscures the reality that what we are analyzing is a complex set of variable mental, emotional, and behavioral states that are caused by differing proportions of numerous influences. Indeed, one of the chief characteristics of the gay lifestyle is its efflorescence of styles and types of sexuality. Thus many of the more careful researchers in the field, usually nonactivist, refer to ‘‘homosexualities.’’


Here you go Pattycakers,
JCEM is a journal to which you must subscribe--they don't give away what's in that journal easily--but the article that follows is by a doc and a comprehensive review of where we stand including a small para about endocrine disruptors that can lead to brain changes and alterations in sexual orientation. Maternal stress, fetal antigenicity and early environmental factors that alter the sexual orientation have been studied by endocrinologists. Fetal brain androgenization as a potent reason for lesbianism has also been researched by endocrinologists and basic scientists. The research in this area is ongoing.

ESSAYS BY MICHEL ODENT, M.D.


16. Genesis of Sexual Orientation: From Plato to Dorner

ABSTRACT: This article examines the genesis of sexual preference. Since human beings as a species are unique in that they have a sexual orientation toward their own gender (homosexuality) as well as the opposite sex (heterosexuality), how or where this preference begins is of interest. This paper examines the research and focuses on how and why some fetuses lack male hormones at the end of pregnancy, which along with stress responses may trigger a high level of activity in the mother’s adrenal glands impacting the developing child’s later sexual orientation. Options for future research are also discussed.

KEY WORDS: Sexual orientation, heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality

INTRODUCTION

Why do most human beings have a consistent preference for sexual relations with the opposite sex? Why do others have a consistent preference for sexual relations with their own sex? Why do others express some ambivalence about their partner’s sex? Any study of heterosexuality, homosexuality and bisexuality must start with questions about the genesis of sexual orientation. We are the only species where a substantial proportion of individuals is exclusively and consistently oriented towards their own sex.


HISTORY

Until recently all theories of sexual orientation defied scientific verification. In ancient Greece, Plato had expressed the dominance theory in his Symposium. He explained how humanity was originally divided into three sexes rather than two: its members were joined in pairs of either two men, or two women, or a man and a woman. Zeus cut each pair apart to diminish their power and to teach them to fear the gods. This explains why humans spend their time on the earth searching for their other half, with whom they can merge in love. Those whose sex had once been mixed were obsessed by coupling, whereas people sprung from single-sex pairs were more suited for everyday business of the world, particularly for government and leadership.


During the twentieth century many theories focused on explanations based on social (particularly family) and environmental causes. Freud, without dismissing hereditary factors, argued that male homosexuality reflected a premature fixation of one’s psychosexual development: it was typically due to the presence of a domineering mother or the absence of a dominant father (Freud, 1905). Homosexuality has also been attributed to seduction in early childhood by an older same-sex sibling or playmate that arrested psychosexual development (Cameron, 1963). Others have attributed male

homosexuality to excessive societal demands on boys to be ‘masculine’ (i.e., boys who feel inadequate in complying with those demands tend to seek refuge in females roles) (Kardiner, 1963).


In the 1950s, imprinting theories based on ethological learning principles were developed. It was argued that, after the first year or two of life characterized by sexual neutrality, one’s sexual orientation will be formed by the second or third year of life. Subtle, often accidental social encounters during this critical period cause sexual orientation to develop gradually, but irreversibly (Smitt, 1991). These twentieth century theories are not supported by homosexual men who feel their sexual orientation to be innate, deeply embedded in their personality, and not determined by external factors. It is significant that most homosexual men neither seek nor desire therapeutic reorientation.


TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

In the age of Primal Health Research, we are learning that most personality traits and states of health are to a great extent determined during fetal life. It is time to cease contrasting genetic and environmental factors. We now understand that the expression of our genes is influenced by early--particularly prenatal and perinatal--environmental factors. Our study of the genesis of sexual orientation provides an exemplary opportunity to realize that we are entering a new phase in our understanding of human development. On one hand, the role of genetic factors in sexual orientation is well researched. On the other hand there is accumulating data confirming that the sexualisation of the brain is to a great extent determined during fetal life.


Today, by combining anatomical data, the genetic perspective, the results of animal experiments and the results of physiological and epidemiological studies, we can draw valuable conclusions.

Anatomical Data

There are many reasons to wonder if the anatomical structure of the hypothalamus is the same among heterosexual and homosexual men. The hypothalamus is an archaic brain structure that develops early in life and is involved in the regulation of the typically male sexual behaviour.


Simon LeVay, a neuroscientist at the Salk Institute in San Diego, set out to answer this intriguing question by examining the hypothalamus of 41 subjects – 19 homosexual men who had died of complications of AIDS, 16 heterosexual men, and six heterosexual women. A characteristic feature of the brains of gay men is the small size of one hypothalamic nucleus, INAH 3, which LeVay found to be the same size as in women and only half the size found in heterosexual men (LeVay, 1991). INAH 3, he concludes, is dismorphic not with gender, but with sexual orientation. It is noticeable that six of the heterosexual men had died of AIDS but nevertheless had a large INAH 3. Statistical analysis indicated that the probability of the result’s being attributed to chance was about one in 1000. The brains of lesbians might yield interesting results but are seldom available for research, since this group is at low risk of AIDS.


Let us recall that, as early as the 1960s, Gunter Dorner, from East Berlin, had already conducted animal experiments in order to demonstrate the importance of the hypothalamus in sexual behaviour (Dorner & Staudt, 1968; Dorner & Staudt, 1969a, 1969b). Dorner’s conclusions were reinforced by Gorski and colleagues who found that, in rats, the size of the ‘sexually dismorphic nucleus’ of the hypothalamus is established very early in life and influences later sexual behaviour (Gorski, Goprdon, Shryne, & Santham, 1978). Subsequently, the same team of researchers showed that two nuclei of the hypothalamus, INAH 2 and 3 were twice as large in men as in women (Allen, Hines, Shryne & Gorski, 1989).


Gorski and colleagues have reported another feature in brains that is related to sexual orientation. The anterior commissure, a bundle of fibers running across the midline of the brain, is larger in women and gay men than in heterosexual men.


The Genetic Component

Now we understand that the expression of our genes is influenced by early environmental factors; we can therefore accept that even a genetic factor that reduces reproductive success can transmit itself in a population. The two main research tools to evaluate the genetic component are twin and family studies and DNA linkage analysis (LeVay & Hamer, 1994).


Twin and family tree studies are based on the principle that genetically-influenced traits run in families. The first modern study of patterns of homosexuality within families was published in 1985 by Richard Pillard and James Weinrich of Boston University. Since then, many other systematic studies of twins and siblings of gay men and lesbians have confirmed the initial results. The first pooled data for men showed that about 57% of identical twins, 24 % of fraternal twins and 13% of brothers of gay men are also gay. For women, approximately 50% of identical twins, 16% of fraternal twins and 13% of sisters of lesbians are also lesbian. Michael Bailey of Northwestern University estimates that the overall heritability of sexual orientation is about 53% for men and 52% for women. One of the latest evaluations, based on the sexual orientation in a U.S. national sample of twin and non-twin sibling pairs, confirmed that resemblance for sexual orientation was greater in the identical twins than in the fraternal twins and that sexual orientation is substantially influenced by genetic factors (Kendler, Thorton, Gilman, & Kessler, 2000).


Family trees of male sexual orientation show that the rates of homosexuality in maternally-related males are far above the incidence of 2% in the average population, while the rates in paternal relatives are close to those of the average population. This finding raised the possibility of X chromosome involvement. Males have two sex chromosomes, Y inherited from the father and an X from the mother. Thus, a trait inherited through the mother’s side logically might be influenced by a gene on one of her X chromosomes. This hypothesis is the basis of the X chromosome DNA analyses by Hamer and his colleagues. It appeared that one small area at the tip of the X chromosome, Xq28, was shared by a large percentage of gay brothers (Hamer, Hu, Magnuson, et al. (1993).


The results of such DNA analyses focusing on the X chromosome can help interpret a study among an Italian population, in which the mothers of gay men produced an average of 2.7 babies, compared to 2.3 for the other mothers (Corna, Camperio-Ciani, & Capiluppi, 2004). It seems that maternally-inherited factors favoring male homosexuality also promote female fecundity. This might explain why a genetic factor that reduces reproductive success remains in the population.


PRENATAL AND PERINATAL ENVIRONMENT


The turning point in our understanding of the effect of environmental factors in sexual orientation was generated by the work of Gunter Dorner. Probably because Dorner was based in East Berlin his pioneering research in the 1970s was not widely noticed (Dorner, 1972; Dorner, 1976; Dorner, 1977). Before Dorner there had been unsuccessful attempts to compare the hormonal profiles of adults expressing different sexual orientations. Dorner’s studies revealed the importance of the critical period when the sexual differentiation of the brain happens. While this critical period may vary slightly from one species to another, it is always around the time of birth.


Dorner started with animal experiments. Male rats were castrated on the first day of life and were injected with male hormones when adults. These male rats expressed a complete inversion of sexual behaviour. In other words, being deprived of testosterone during the critical fetal period of sexual determination produced homosexual behaviour in their adult lives.


What we know now about the hormonal profile of homosexuals fits perfectly with the hypothesis of a transitory lack of testosterone during the critical period. Homosexuals usually have the same level of total testosterone as heterosexuals, but their level of ‘free testosterone’ (testosterone that is not combined with other chemicals) is lower. The levels of pituitary hormones, which control testicular functions, are relatively high and so are the levels of oestrogens. It is important to realize is that if this hormonal profile were to be artificially reproduced in an adult, it would not give rise to homosexual behaviour. When a fetus is faced with a lack of testosterone at the end of pregnancy it compensates for this by increasing secretions of pituitary hormones. At the same time as the fetus tries to increase the level of male hormones by a feedback mechanism, it increases in parallel the level of oestrogens. In fact, oestrogens increase the binding capacity of sexual hormones with proteins and lower the level of free testosterone.


This raises the question of how and why some fetuses lack male hormones at the end of pregnancy. The answer could be that certain stressful situations at this time might trigger a high level of activity in the mother’s adrenal glands. The adrenal glands release male hormones the action of which is different from testosterone, but similar enough to compete with testosterone in the fetal brain to lower the amount of free testosterone. Furthermore, a complementary question is raised: Can prenatal stress play a causal role in human male homosexuality?


The multidisciplinary approach of Dorner’s team provides answers to this question. They found a significantly-increased proportion of homosexual males in the former East Germany among the population born between 1941 and 1947 (with a maximum relative frequency in 1944-1945) (Dorner, Geier, Ahrens, et al., 1980). In a further study by Dorner’s team, one hundred bi- or homosexual men were asked about the occurrence of maternal stressful events during their prenatal life. A significantly-increased incidence of prenatal stressful situations was found in bisexual and, particularly, in homosexual men (Dorner, Schjenk, Schmiedel, & Ahrens, 1983).

Since the 1980s, several experimental studies have supported the interpretations suggested by Dorner. They have confirmed in particular that female rats in stressful situations during pregnancy are more likely to have male offspring who exhibit in adulthood female receptivity postures (lordosis) in the presence of other males, than those that are not stressed. Some of these experimental studies suggested that alcohol consumption may also modulate the fetal testosterone surge (Ward, Ward, Affuso, et al., 2003). The effects of stressful situations, but not of alcohol consumption, were confirmed by another study involving 7500 human beings and their mothers. This study was the first to suggest that nicotine has masculinizing/defeminizing effects on the sexual orientation of female offspring (Ellis & Cole-Harding, 2001).

At a time when our focus is on the critical period of sexualisation of the brain and when we understand how artificial is the separation of the different components of the ‘Primal adaptive system’ (nervous system, endocrine system and immune system); we can easily offer interpretations of relevant recently-published data. According to a Canadian study involving 302 homosexual men and an equal number of heterosexual men, the presence of older brothers was linked to an increased probability of homosexuality in the later-born males, while having older sisters neither enhance nor counteract this effect (Blanchard & Bogaert, 1996). The most plausible interpretation takes into account that male fetuses are more antigenic to the mother than female fetuses and thus more likely to provoke maternal immune reactions. This reaction strengthens after each pregnancy with a male fetus. The connection between the mother’s immune reaction and the child’s future sexual orientation is perhaps some effect of the maternal antibodies on sexual differentiation of the brain. It is noteworthy that male-specific Y-linked H-Y antigen (Muller & Lattermann, 1988), which is considered the basis for the greater antigenicity of male fetuses (Komlos, Vardimon, Normann, et al., 1990), appears to be well-represented on the surfaces of brain cells (Koo, 1981).


THE FUTURE

The recent accumulation of data regarding the genesis of sexual orientation has opened several avenues for research.

Sexual orientation of genetically female subjects

Compared with the sexual orientation of genetically male subjects, the sexual orientation of female subjects has not been widely studied, although Dorner had demonstrated that a complete inversion of sexual behaviour occurs in female rats following androgen excess during sexual differentiation of the brain (Dorner, 1977).


Perkins looked at the morphology of lesbians (Perkins, 1981). He reported that lesbians had narrower hips and more muscular builds than non-lesbian women. Within lesbian relationships, those who played the more dominant role were taller (a statistically highly significant difference). The dominant women also had broader shoulders and narrower hips than did lesbians who played passive or intermediate roles, although only the shoulder measurements were statistically significant. These differences are consistent with one developmental process affecting masculinity in both build and personality.

A powerful piece of evidence for lesbianism being related to prenatal masculinisation comes from a comparison of the auditory systems of heterosexuals and homosexuals: click-evoked otoacoustic emissions of lesbians resembled the male pattern rather than the female pattern (McFadden & Pasanen, 1998).

The way babies are born

The Primal Health Research Data Bank contains a certain number of studies accessed via the key-words ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘homosexuality.’ It is striking that none of these studies looked at possible perinatal factors. Since the sexualisation of the brain of mammals in general is influenced by pre- and perinatal factors, we might also wonder if the ratio of hetero- to homosexuals is related to the way babies are born. Is this ratio the same among those born by the vaginal route without any drug or intervention, compared with those born after labour induction, or after elective caesarean, or after a cesarean during labour, or by a premature birth followed by some weeks spent in an intensive care unit?

Intrauterine pollution

Since the late 1990s we could gather a sufficient amount of data to realize that a major threat to the health of the unborn generations is intrauterine pollution by fat-soluble man-made molecules. The extensive list of such pollutants includes PCBs, dioxins and Bisphenol-A that accumulate over the years in our adipose tissues. Many of these synthetic chemicals are considered hormonal disruptors. More precisely they mimic oestrogens. This is how we currently explain the increasing rates of disorders of the male genital tract (undescended testicles, hypospadias, testicular cancers, decrease in average sperm counts, etc). It is plausible that this modern form of pollution can also influence the sexualisation of the brain. Relevant results of preliminary animal experiments have already been published (Farabollini, Porrini, Della Seta, Bianchi & Dessi-Fulgheri, 2002). Interestingly Dorner is already looking at milk pollution (a marker of intrauterine pollution) (Dorner & Plageman, 2000).


If our centre were rich enough to bestow a ‘Primal Health Research Award’ I guess that Gunter Dorner would be the likely candidate.

REFERENCES

Allen, L. S., Hines, M., Shryne, J. E., & Gorski, R. A. (1989). Two sexually dismorphic cell groups in the human brain. J Neuroscience, 9, 497-506.

Blanchard, R., & Bogaert, A. F. (1996). Homosexuality in men and number of older brothers. Am. J. Psychiatry, 153, 27-31.

Cameron, N. (1963). Development and psychopathology. Boston, MA: Houghton-Mifflin.

Corna, F., Camperio-Ciani, A., & Capiluppi, C. (October 12, 2004). Evidence for maternally inherited factors favouring male homosexuality and promoting female fecundity. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

Dorner, G. (1972). Sexualhormonabhangige gehirndifferenzierung und sexualitat. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Dorner, G. (1976). Hormones and brain differentiation. Amsterdam: Elsevier/North-Holland Biomedical Press.

Dorner, G. (1977). Hormone dependent differentiation, maturation and function of the brain and sexual behavior. Endokrinologie, 69, 306-20.

Dorner, G., Geier, T., Ahrens, L., et al. (1980). Prenatal stress as possible aetiogenetic factor of homosexuality among human males. Endokrinologie, 75(3), 365-8.

Dorner, G., Plagemann, A. (2002). DDT in human milk and mental capacities in children at school age: an additional view on PISA. Neuro. Endocrinol. Letter, 23(5-6), 427-31.

Dorner, G., Schenk, B., Schmiedel, B., & Ahrens, L. (1983). Stressful events in prenatal life of bi- and homosexual men. Exp. Clin. Endocrinol., 81(1), 83-7.

Dorner, G. & Staudt J. (1968). Structural changes in the preoptic anterior hypothalamic area of the male rat, following neonatal castration and androgen substitution. Neuroendocrinology, 3, 136-140.

Dorner, G. & Staudt J. (1969a). Perinatal structural sex differentiation of the hypothalamus in rats. Neuroendocrinology, 5, 103-106.

Dorner, G. & Staudt, J. (1969b). Structural changes in the hypothalamic ventromedialnucleus of the male rat following neonatal castration and androgen treatment. Neuroendocrinology, 4, 278-281.

Ellis, L., & Cole-Harding, S. (2001). The effects of prenatal stress, and of prenatal alcohol, and nicotine exposure, on human sexual orientation. Physiol. Behav., 74(1-2), 213-26.

Farabollini, F., Porrini, S., Della Seta, D., Bianchi, F., Dessi-Fulgheri, F. (June, 2002). Effects of perinatal exposure to bisphenol A on sociosexual behavior of female and male rats. Environ. Health Perspect., 110 Suppl 3, 409-14.
Freud, S. (1905). Drei Abhandlunger zur Sexualtheorie [three essays on the theory of sexuality]. Leipzig, Germany: F. Deuticke.

Gorski, R. A., Gordon, J. H., Shryne, J. E., & Santham, A. M. (1978). Evidence for a morphological difference within the medial preoptic area of the rat brain. Brain Res., 148, 333-46.

Hamer, D. H., Hu, S., Magnuson, V. L., et al. (1993). A linkage between markers on the X chromosome and male sexual orientatiom. Science, 261, 321-327.

Kardiner, A. (1963). The flight from masculinity. In Ruitenbeek (Ed.), The problem of homosexuality in modern society (pp. 17-39). New York: Dutton.

Kendler, K. S., Thornton, L. M., Gilman, S. E., & Kessler, R. C. (2002). Sexual orientation in a US national sample of twin and nontwin sibling pairs. Am. J. Psychiatry, 157(11), 1843-1946.

Komlos, L., Vardimon, D., Normann, J., et al. (1990). Role of children’s sex in mixed mother-child lymphocyte culture reactivity. Am. J. Reprod. Immunol., 22, 4-8.

Koo, G. C. (1981). Serology of H-Y antigen. Hum. Genet., 58, 18-20.

LeVay, S. (1991). A difference in hypothalamic structure between heterosexual and homosexual men. Science, 253, 1034-37.

Smitt, J. W. Homosexuality in a new light. International Journal of Sexology, 6, 36-39.

LeVay, S., & Hamer, D. H. (May, 1994). Evidence for a biological influence in male homosexuality. Scientific American, 44-49.

McFadden, D., & Pasanen, E. G. (1998). Comparison of the auditory systems of heterosexuals and homosexuals: Click-evoked otoacoustic emissions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 95, 2709-2713.

Muller, U., & Lattermann, U. (1988). H-Y antigens, sexual differentiation, and spermatogenesis. Exp. Clin. Immunogen., 5, 176-185.

Perkins, M. W. (1981). Female homosexuality and body build. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 10, 337-345.

Ward, I. L., Ward, O. B., Affuso, J. D., et al. (2001). Fetal testosterone surge: specific modulations induced in male rats by maternal stress and/or alcohol consumption. Horm. Behav., 43(
A difference in hypothalamic structure between heterosexual and homosexual men

Here's the study of the size of the hypothalamic nuclei in people of different sexual orientation--by Levay.

S LeVay

Salk Institute for Biological Studies, San Diego, CA 92186.

The anterior hypothalamus of the brain participates in the regulation of male-typical sexual behavior. The volumes of four cell groups in this region [interstitial nuclei of the anterior hypothalamus (INAH) 1, 2, 3, and 4] were measured in postmortem tissue from three subject groups: women, men who were presumed to be heterosexual, and homosexual men. No differences were found between the groups in the volumes of INAH 1, 2, or 4. As has been reported previously, INAH 3 was more than twice as large in the heterosexual men as in the women. It was also, however, more than twice as large in the heterosexual men as in the homosexual men. This finding indicates that INAH is dimorphic with sexual orientation, at least in men, and suggests that sexual orientation has a biological substrate.


THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN CITED BY OTHER ARTICLES:

Who do we think we are? The brain and gender identity.
J. Herbert (2008)
Brain 131, 3115-3117
| Full Text » | PDF »

A sex difference in the hypothalamic uncinate nucleus: relationship to gender identity.
A. Garcia-Falgueras and D. F. Swaab (2008)
Brain 131, 3132-3146
| Abstract » | Full Text » | PDF »

Patterns of Brain Activation during Visually Evoked Sexual Arousal Differ between Homosexual and Heterosexual Men.
S.-h. Hu, N. Wei, Q.-D. Wang, L.-q. Yan, E.-Q. Wei, M.-M. Zhang, J.-B. Hu, M.-l. Huang, W.-h. Zhou, and Y. Xu (2008)
AJNR Am. J. Neuroradiol. 29, 1890-1896
| Abstract » | Full Text » | PDF »

Male-to-Female Transsexuals Show Sex-Atypical Hypothalamus Activation When Smelling Odorous Steroids.
H. Berglund, P. Lindstrom, C. Dhejne-Helmy, and I. Savic (2008)
Cereb Cortex 18, 1900-1908
| Abstract » | Full Text » | PDF »

Sexual orientation and its basis in brain structure and function.
D. F. Swaab (2008)
PNAS 105, 10273-10274

There are enough studies--listen--the long and the short of it pal is this--we cannot categorically declare homosexuality a sin--we should seek to understand the biological, hormonal, genetic, psychosocial and other causes of differences among us and human sexuality is a vast treasure of information--it asks us to pause, not to be judgmental, it shows us that creation is varied and so called normals don't define all humans, that as we are becoming more and more industrialized, digging out and burning so many fossil fuels to keep us on wheels, the in utero brain is sexualizing differently. The church is not the repository of this info--neither is the Bible--as Littel would say, "We don't know everything about this subject--yet"--which means we should stop the condemnations and eradicate our proclivity for calling homosexuals, bisexuals and transgendered people "sinners" . Life is difficult for them as is--we should stop telling them we love you the sinner--but not your sin--we think it is OK to be gay--but we don't think it is OK to commit sodomy--such double speak is very harmful to young gays and lesbians --it often leads to critical depression and even suicide.
Ravensfan Anon

RFan Anon,

Indeed, an interesting article; a review of research done on the affect of hormonal imbalance and homosexual behavior.  I do not discredit the theories and evidence.

What I do think this paper does arrive at is that these hormonal changes that may induce homosexual behavior result from disease states. Each of the studies really look for some type of structural abnormality or environmental factor that could adversely influence the development of sexual identity.  Each of these studies and theories could very well hold a clue to why people would act in such a way that is contrary to the biological design of the body, not to mention the moral issues. That said, what are the "moral" issues? Clearly, in secular culture, there are not many fundamental absolutes anymore. Regarding whether or not the acceptance of homosexualities as being perfectly "normal" or a good thing to promote as "right" for our society is a very important question. Using your logic, if a behavior is traced back to biological complications or anomalies, it is therefore OK to act according to the resulting tendencies or attractions. What I am saying is that for society to have the best interests of everyone taken into account -- atheists, agnostics, religious included -- we NEED to have an objective framework to live within. Rationalizing away the issue as a "human rights" case is dangerous and counter productive. Here is a paper summarizing the potential effects of allowing same-gender relations to become common-place:

Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage
Will Increase Prevalence of Homosexuality:
Research Provides Significant Evidence
Trayce Hansen, Ph.D.

An accumulation of research from around the world finds that societies which endorse homosexual behavior increase the prevalence of homosexuality in those societies. The legalization of same-sex marriage—which is being considered by voters in several U.S. states—is the ultimate in societal endorsement and will result in more individuals living a homosexual lifestyle.
Extensive research from Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and the United States reveals that homosexuality is primarily environmentally induced. Specifically, social and/or family factors, as well as permissive environments which affirm homosexuality, play major environmental roles in the development of homosexual behavior.
A closer look at the research:
Twin study investigations of homosexuality were recently conducted in both Sweden and Finland. Such twin studies compare rates of homosexual behavior between different sibling groups who share varying degrees of genetic similarity (i.e., identical twins versus non-identical twins). By comparing such rates, twin studies help sort out the extent to which homosexual behavior is genetic and/or environmental. For instance, if homosexuality is genetic, then in cases where one identical twin is homosexual the co-twin should be homosexual nearly 100% of the time because identical twins share 100% of their genes.
But that is not what these two large-scale Scandinavian studies found. Both studies revealed that when one identical twin was homosexual the other twin was homosexual only 10% or 11% of the time. Such findings indicate that homosexuality is not genetically determined.
Instead of genetic factors, these Scandinavian studies concluded that unique environmental factors play the largest role in the development of homosexual behavior. The question as to which specific environmental factors contribute to homosexuality was not answered by these studies although some conclusions are offered by Danish and American research data to be discussed later in this article.
But first, it should be noted that although the Swedish and Finnish twin studies are among the best to date, they still have wide margins of error. In fact, the margins of error are so wide it remains entirely possible that genetic factors play no role in the development of homosexuality. That remains to be determined, but what has been resolved is that the primary factor in the development of homosexuality is environmental.
A Danish research investigation studied two million adults living in Denmark, a country where same-sex marriage has been legal since 1989. This study uncovered a number of specific environmental factors that increase the probability an individual will seek a same-sex rather than an opposite-sex partner for marriage.
For Danish men, the environmental factors associated with higher rates of homosexual marriage include an urban birthplace and an absent or unknown father. Significantly, there was a linear relationship between degree of urbanization of birthplace and whether a man chose homosexual or heterosexual marriage as an adult. In other words, the more urban a man's birthplace, the more likely he was to marry a man, while the more rural a man's birthplace, the more likely he was to marry a woman.
For Danish women, the environmental factors related to increased likelihood of homosexual marriage include an urban birthplace, maternal death during adolescence, and mother-absence.
Interestingly, this Danish research finds that urban birthplace and separation from the same-sex parent both were associated with same-sex marriage for men as well as women. (The latter finding supports psychological theories that have long asserted homosexuality is related to childhood problems—real or perceived—with the same-sex parent). In summary, this study finds that environmental factors that contribute to the development of homosexuality can be social and/or familial.
Finally, an American research study—the most comprehensive and representative survey of sexual behavior in America—reported its findings concerning homosexuality. The results of this study also support an environmental theory of homosexuality, not a genetic one. In particular, this survey identified specific types of environments that increase the likelihood of homosexual behavior. The authors describe these environments as "congenial" to the development of homosexuality.
For American men, the environmental factor most related to homosexual behavior was the degree of urbanization during the teenage years. Specifically, boys who lived in large urban centers between the ages of 14 and 16 were three to six times more likely to engage in homosexual behavior than were boys who lived in rural communities during those same ages. The authors offer the following possibility: "an environment that provides increased opportunities for and fewer negative sanctions against same-gender sexuality may both allow and even elicit expression of same-gender interest and sexual behavior (p.308)." Note the word "elicit." These researchers believe that growing up in a more pro-homosexual region may evoke or draw out homosexual behavior in young men. The implication is that some homosexual men who were reared in urban centers would not have become homosexual if reared in non-urban centers. The authors explain, "the environment in which people grow up affects their sexuality in very basic ways (p.309)."
For American women, the environmental factor most associated with a homosexual or bisexual identity was a higher level of education. And though that was also true for men, the pattern for women was more dramatic. For instance, a woman with a college degree was nine times more likely to identify herself as non-heterosexual than a woman with only a high school diploma. The specific elements that create this marked difference are unclear, but the researchers don't believe it's simply due to higher reporting of non-heterosexuality by more educated individuals. They believe one explanation is the fact that with more acceptance, even encouragement, of homosexuality at universities, more university women embrace a non-heterosexual lifestyle. For an example of how that might develop, see Dennis Prager's article entitled, "College Taught Her Not To Be a Heterosexual."
Based on the findings of this American research study, environments that sanction and/or promote homosexuality induce more individuals to engage in homosexual behavior.
Conclusion:
All of the aforementioned research studies from four different countries, each utilizing large, countrywide samples, reveal that homosexual behavior is not genetically determined. Rather, the data find that human sexuality is malleable, and environmental experiences and influences can and do shape its expression. Moreover, these findings are supported by decades of anthropological and sociological evidence that reveal that rates of homosexual behavior fluctuate—sometimes greatly—with changes in the social, cultural, and legal climate. The more an environment affirms or encourages same-sex sexuality—whether an urban center or a university campus—the more homosexuality there will be in that setting.
Social and cultural norms, as well as legal regulations, influence human behavior including sexual behavior. So not surprisingly, as the United States and other Western Countries have become increasingly pro-homosexual—socially, politically, and legally—they have experienced an upward trend in the number of individuals engaging in homosexual behavior. That trend will continue if we move beyond mere tolerance of homosexual behavior (which is appropriate) to formally honoring it by legalizing same-sex marriage.
###
References:
Butler, A.C. (2005). Gender differences in same-sex sexual partnering, 1988-2002. Social Forces, 84, 421-449.
Frisch, M. & Hviid, A. (2006). Childhood family correlates of heterosexual and homosexual marriages: A national cohort study of two million Danes. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 35, 533-547.
Langstrom, N., Rahman, Q., Carlstrom, E., & Lichtenstein, P. (2008). Genetic and environmental effects on same-sex sexual behavior: A population study of twins in Sweden. Archives of Sexual Behavior, DOI 10.1007/s10508-008-9386-1.
Lauman, E.O., Gagnon, J.H., Michael, S. (1994). The social organization of sexuality: Sexual practices in the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Prager, D. (2005). "College Taught Her Not To Be a Heterosexual." Available on the web at: http://dennisprager.townhall.com.
Santtila, P., Sandnabba, N.K., Harlaar, N., Varjonen, M., Alanko, K., von der Pahlen, B. (2008). Potential for homosexual response is prevalent and genetic. Biological Psychology, 77, 102-105.

Amen. Sexuality is always a choice, even if genetic factors are involved. A monkey is born a monkey and he can act like one. Or, as in the case of the movie "Inherit the Wind," they can get the monkey to wear a suit and smoke a cigarette and act like a person to try to convince people that we came from monkeys, which of course we didnt. In the case of people, we can act like people or we can run around and act like monkeys. It is our choice. When we know God, one of the first things we learn is no monkeyshines. Thanks.

Clay - And I'll bet that was all set in stone 6000, or so, years ago when men and dinosaurs roamed the Earth together, six days after your god said "let there be light". What color is the sky on YOUR flat planet?

Pattycakers,
Much of what you have said makes no sense--I have not the strength needed to battle one such as you--I capitulate, vanquished by you illogic--Robert have you read Pattycaker's profoundly misguided explanations for why homosexuals should overcome their biological urges--how indeed they can be overcome and his argument--based on studies of course--that if society stands by idly without condemning homosexuality then it will become the accepted norm and the number of homosexuals will rise. I don't know where to begin my reasoning against that one. I am simply going to allow Pattycakers to walk away triumphant for I know my breath will be wasted on that one. Pattycakers your arguments have earned the distinction of support and approbation from Clay. That type of plaudit puts you in the same category as the Nobel laureates my friend. Go on believing your "set in stone" prejudices. You are irredeemable.
Ravensfan Anon

I have long stopped wasting my time wading through the mountain of rubbish extruded into this blog by the megolomanically intransigent moral absolutists, unless that can keep their uninteresting and bigoted musings short enough to make cleaning the cat's litter box a better use of my time, like the simpleton Clay does. Clay is just so simple and lacking the gajones to counter his opponents (by the cowardly act of shunning them) once they have correctly identified him as someone who considers "The Flintstones" to be a valid historical documentary series. With them, it becomes only a task of pointing out when their drool buckets need changing.

PattyCakers!

I thought you and I had an agreement. Now look what you've done!

And I must weigh in.

As a Gay man, the only "tolerance" I want from you is the same "tolerance" you extend to others who are different. I assume you "tolerate" Blacks, Jews, redheads, and women. We are your brothers, sisters, and fellow citizens. We are probably your neighbors, friends, and relatives. There is no "tolerance" without acceptance. And there can be no acceptance that does not include equal access to the rights extended others.

I'm sorry, my friend, but if you cannot grant me that, you do not "tolerate" me. Lord knows, I tolerate you.

Gentlemen,

I do not wish to continue beating this to death (I should have already let it go as BankStreet and I had "agreed to disagree"). My apologies BankStreet -- I do find this a fascinating subject and replied to Rfan Anon as he cited a study in the JCEM.

- I conceded that biological conditions play a role in human sexualities
- These conditions could be attributed to unknown/known chemical anomalies
- These anomalies play a role in forming ones sexual orientation
- We must respect everyone's differences

What this does not entail:

- Ignoring the reality of external influences at play in peoples sexual orientation
- Ignoring the studies bringing to light various problems associated with homosexualities
- Denying that marriage is best designed for the upbringing of children
- Ignoring the compromising influences which homosexual presents for children
- Putting the already compromised stability of the institution of marriage at greater risk by rationalizing away the argument against homosexual unions
- Putting "grown-up politics" before the needs of children caught in the midst of these situations

As gracious as you have been "awarding me the victory", I kindly decline your accolades Rfan Anon. I have not emerged victorious as you have resigned due to your inability to grasp the correlation of factors which contribute to a persons sexual orientation. Furthermore, you have nothing to measure your claims against in order to produce an objective argument to trump those of your opponents regarding any issue in which what is "right" or "wrong" is in question.


For those of you who argue that kids raised by same-sex couples will experience gender confusion, check out the link below:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20100208/sc_livescience/childrenraisedbylesbiansdojustfinestudiesshow

The whole point here is that homosexuality should not be promoted as a good, for both the individual and for society.
How this plays out in the life of an individual is another story. They can have affairs, or practise self-disciplline. It is their choice, but society has no legitimate reason to claim homosexual sex is something that should be discussed publically or promoted as a legitimate life-style. In fact all evidence indicates it is dangerous and destructive.
And I say this from authority as I suffer from same-sex attraction, but am offering this cross to Our Lord as best I can.

Scott123 - The only problem you have is that you are caught between a reality that is real and a made-up rationale that would have you deny your basic nature all to appease doctrinaire religious beliefs centering around god concepts that have never been proven to be real. Your drool bucket needs changing.

I have not resigned because of my inability to grasp anything Pattycakers--I have resigned because you are intransigent. Lets say environmental factors contribute to homosexuality too--what difference does it make? A gay person is a gay person and you cannot say you accept him, as Bankstreet puts it, and also call his act reprehensible or repudiate him as a danger to society and the institution of marriage. Marriage will be strengthened not enervated when homosexuals marry. Considering how heterosexuals have excoriated marriage, it is a wonder homosexuals want to subscribe to the institution, but they do! Hurray. Let them marry. May be they can show heterosexuals a thing or two about the sanctity of marriage. How many gays do I know, who are loving committed couples, who are caring toward one another? Plenty and they should be married. Children brought up by gays do just fine. What children need are economic, physical, mental and intellectual security. Would you say children should not be raised by single parents, women or men? Even among heterosexuals, the environment for child rearing is not ideal in many instances. Divorce can wreak havoc. Does that mean divorce should be made illegal, the choice to divorce be removed from our courts? Don't make yourself out to be a big advocate for children. You couch your homophobia-- based on your Catholic conditioning and your previous Biblical effervescence--I suspect those have a role to play in your inherent and entrenched biases too--you couch your homophobia--as concern for the little ones of the world. That's duplicitous man--your walls have been vanquished one by one on these blogs. But you keep rebuilding them stubbornly because in the end you are too afraid to let your prejudices go. Hang on to them--the world, thankfully, is leaving you behind. Scores of young heterosexuals who have grown up with their homosexual friends and neighbors see it differently. They love their fellow men and women no matter their sexual orientation. They don't indulge in double speak, that says, you are my brother by another mom, but you cannot have the marriage rights or the civil rights that I have-- because I choose to put my penis in a different hole than you do, I am superior. Get over Pattycakers. You are a theocratic pedant, masquerading as a bleeding heart for children.
Ravensfan Anon

Scott123--

You have presented yourself with a foolish and depressing choice. As a Gay man, you also have the choice to pursue a loving, committed, long-term, monogamous relationship with the man of your dreams. You have the choice to relax in the sexuality that your God was gracious and wise enough to give you. You have the choice to acknowledge that your God did not put you on this earth to suffer. You have the choice to know that you can retain a relationship with your God that allows you completion as a man and as a human being. Many, many men have done just that.

Please re-think the narrow range of options you have assigned yourself. Your sanity and your health are in serious jeopardy, my Brother.

Homosexuality is a condition in nature that exists and cannot be denied. Gay people exist with the will of God.
Many Gay men have characteristics that are indeed unique and not pretense.
It is their lifestyle of gay sex that goes against the laws of nature. You cannot have a baby through Gay sex. If everyone became Gay the world would come to an end. In the end you must have a mother and a father.
Gay people should explore other methods of sexual release such as Masturbation.
Gay sex between men leads to bleeding and spread of Hepatitis and irreversible damage to the Colon. The Muscles in this area can be damaged and inhibit the victim from defecating.
The same is true of Anal sex between Heterosexual couples encouraged by the porn industry without fully understanding the devastating effects on the Colon, loss of ability to defecate normally and spread of disease through contact with fecal matter.
Unfortunately it all sounds very dirty and that is what Gay-Sex is.

concerned Citizen - Don't worry, within a few short years we will develop an artificial womb, the whole birth process will be able to be accomplished outside the female altogether, making it possible for even heterosexual couples to avoid ever having to even see each other's filthy sticky bits, let alone go through the humiliation of having to touch them in the process. Someday we can all be celibate and clean, making the difference between gays and straights moot. What a brave new world that will be.

ConcernCitizen--

I am a sexually active Gay man.

I don't have hepatitis.

My colon is peachy, thank you.

I defecate just fine, like clockwork, each morning.

Any other idiocies you want to spread?


I bet it would not even register to you BankStreet that such joy -- like nothing in the world -- could and does come from suffering or "carrying a cross"? Yours is the easy way out. You choose to succumb to your passions and urges. What Scott123 lives is an unyielding submission and offering to truth. There is nothing restraining or depressing about finding truth. His sanity and health, I'm sure are just fine. Your second last comment sounded like an ad for a Hedonism resort.

ConcernedCitizen--

And, yes, I fully understand that Gay sex cannot produce a child. That is NOT to say that many many Gay people (both couples and single parents) aren't today, all over the world, lovingly raising very happy children.

And yes, I fully understand that the future of the human race depends on successful heterosexual union. That's part of our nefarious plan, you see. Y'all keep making us new Gay people. In fact, a recent study found that most Gay kids grow up in heterosexual households. Obviously, an inappropriate environment in which to raise a child, wouldn't you say?

Anonymous,

I made no such choice, no more than you chose (I presume), to "succumb" to your own passions and desires. If I made a choice, it was to acknowledge my homosexuality as part of who I am, rather than to spend my life in -- yes -- unhealthy denial of that truth.

I'm not sure which of my comments sounded unduly "hedonistic" to you. So many straight folk equate homosexuality with lasciviousness. Admittedly, because homosexuality does not have procreation as its object, the pleasure of sexual union and companionship is paramount. The same might well be said of heterosexual couples who either cannot or choose not to have children. Would you fault these couples' "hedonism"? Something they should suppress?

Robert Littel,
You made my day with your comment about sex and procreation--I am still laughing as I type--ditto for Bankstreet's comment about his defecation status--what's wrong with concerned citizen, Pattycakers, and Anonymous--a different one from me--I know what's wrong. Robert I do hope you see what follows--at last science may have an answer to this malady that afflicts millions across the globe and a majority on these blogs. Please read what follows:

Spirituality Is Caused by Brain Damage

Is it possible that spirituality is a symptom of brain damage? That's what a team of Italian researchers has concluded after evaluating the brain scans and responses to questions about spirituality of patients who had brain surgery. The researchers found that people who had damage to the left or right posterior parietal regions regions of their brain were much more likely than other patients to report increased feelings of "self-transcendence" after surgery. Self-transcendence, or the "ability to identify one's self as an integral part of the universe as a whole," is considered a key component of spirituality. "Dysfunctional parietal neural activity may underpin altered spiritual and religious attitudes and behaviors," one researcher concluded. The team of scientists hopes the discovery will allow doctors to better understand and treat mental illnesses that are caused by neural activity. "If a stable personality trait like self-transcendence can undergo fast changes as a consequence of brain lesions, it would indicate that at least some personality dimensions may be modified," one researcher said. "Novel approaches aimed at modulating neural activity might ultimately pave the way to new treatments of personality disorders."

Finally we have an answer for the aberration called religiosity--it is a mental illness and the study comes from Italy, a Catholic bastion, the repository within its boundaries of a second country called the Vatican--what could be more potent than this study? It explains Clay.

Science Daily | Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010

You made my day with your comment about sex and procreation--I am still laughing as I type--ditto for Bankstreet's comment about his defecation status--what's wrong with concerned citizen, Pattycakers, and Anonymous--a different one from me--I know what's wrong. Robert I do hope you see what follows--at last science may have an answer to this malady that afflicts millions across the globe and a majority on these blogs. Please read what follows:

Spirituality Is Caused by Brain Damage

Is it possible that spirituality is a symptom of brain damage? That's what a team of Italian researchers has concluded after evaluating the brain scans and responses to questions about spirituality of patients who had brain surgery. The researchers found that people who had damage to the left or right posterior parietal regions regions of their brain were much more likely than other patients to report increased feelings of "self-transcendence" after surgery. Self-transcendence, or the "ability to identify one's self as an integral part of the universe as a whole," is considered a key component of spirituality. "Dysfunctional parietal neural activity may underpin altered spiritual and religious attitudes and behaviors," one researcher concluded. The team of scientists hopes the discovery will allow doctors to better understand and treat mental illnesses that are caused by neural activity. "If a stable personality trait like self-transcendence can undergo fast changes as a consequence of brain lesions, it would indicate that at least some personality dimensions may be modified," one researcher said. "Novel approaches aimed at modulating neural activity might ultimately pave the way to new treatments of personality disorders."

Finally we have an answer for the aberration called religiosity--it is a mental illness and the study comes from Italy, a Catholic bastion, the repository within its boundaries of a second country called the Vatican--what could be more potent than this study? It explains Clay. The above study is from Science Today and was conducted in Italy as I said before.
Ravensfan Anon

I apologize my previous post was repeated twice--an error.

That said Concerned Citizen, the vagina is no aseptic place. It is contaminated with fecal matter and with urinary organisms--look at anatomy texts--the urethra lies close, so does the anus. In fact when the uterus prolapses, the rectum and the bladder often prolapse with it. The vagina in no small measure is the source of several sexually transmitted diseases including Hepatitis C and B, herpes, chlamydia and HIV. If anal sex can damage the anus--just accepting your fabricated premise it does--by the same token vaginal sex can lead to chronic vaginitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, tubal inflammation and strictures--So what makes the vagina superior to the anus may I know? Besides when the uterus is retroverted then sex can be painful to women--this is called dyspareunia. Cancer of the cervix happens because of a vaginal organism called the human papilloma virus. So your argument that somehow anal sex is dirty and has dire consequences but vaginal sex is somehow more natural and less risky holds no water at all Concerned Citizen--be less concerned is all I can say--if you don't like anal sex just don't have it--but don't tell others you know what god wants because you don't, you don't even know if there is a god--you assume there is one and from there start all your false premises and you then claim them as gospel truths.

Robert Littel is right--in the end this is about the sexual hang ups of a bunch of paternalistic figure on these blogs. They are against all sex--hetero and homo--they are into the creation of massive guilt, which then will lead to several visits to the lord for forgiveness . No uterus, no sex, no procreation-- this is right up the alley of the fear mongers.
Ravensfan Anon

"KAAA-BOOOOM!"

RAVONS ANON
What rubbish: I reproduce what you typed

"That said Concerned Citizen, the vagina is no aseptic place. It is contaminated with fecal matter and with urinary organisms--look at anatomy texts--the urethra lies close, so does the anus. In fact when the uterus prolapses, the rectum and the bladder often prolapse with it."

You do not pass excrement from your Vagina. Equating the Anal hole and with the Vagina is total rubbish.
A women would not be able to defecate.
please do not write rubbish by whatever lies close.
Your testicles are close to your anus but they have nothing to do with passing Fecal matter.

We are talking about carcinogens. Cancer and all manners of disease including Cholera, Typhoid, Hepatitis result from fecal matter. In India where millions defecate on the streets of New Delhi and Bombay they pose a health risk. You can inhale some of these toxins by simply breathing around these public street toilets.
God never intended the Anal hole for sex. Talk to a Gastroentrologist and find out about the damage they have seen from "Ticklish Men " inserting all manners of things in their Anal hole for gratification that either broke or were pushed up into the Colon.
Also, even oral sex will lead to Aids.

So to sum up, Homosexual friends are advised to use their hands for gratification. We should not try to justify something that is not normal.

We should leave the anal hole alone and let it do its work of expelling excrement and toxins from our body.
thank you

ConcernedCitizen--

I've got news for you: AIDS is caused by the HIV virus, not by oral sex...and, yes, vaginal sex is a very ripe opportunity for transmission of the virus (and fellatio is typically not). As I suggested earlier, please try to be better informed in your ranting -- I'd hate to think anyone reading this would take your postings as reliable medical advice.

Your god may not have "intended" "the anal hole" (!) for sex, but men (and women) have found erotic pleasure there since they first walked upright (and probably before). So, your god's intentions seem largely moot. Also, one would think, were such delights so hazardous, evolution would have eliminated the option eons ago. But then again, you probably figure your god didn't intend there be evolution, either....

BankStreet:
Do What you like. I am only trying to help my Homosexual friends.

Do you believe in the Bible's story of Sodom and Gomorrah?

Do you accept the deaths of many talented men including my favorite lead Singer of the band queen from Gay life style.
What about Rock Hudson, Liberace

The Erotic pleasure is associated with the smallness of the anal opening as God did not design it for receiving foreign objects. It is a wring of Muscle that helps keep the opening closed and only expands and opens when expelling excrement.

The Tissue behind it is very very soft and easily ruptured. This is what leads to profuse bleeding and the chance of disease. I checked this with a doctor.
The Anal opening and its muscles must never be forced to open from the outside.
Check it out on Google.
If you still want to do what you want to do then go ahead. Who is stopping you.

ConcernedCitizen--

I believe the story of Sodom and Gomorrah to be a fable that has been interpreted in many ways, not all of which have anything to do with homosexuality.

I do not "accept" the death of any person. I do not "accept" the notion that a "lifestyle" has ever killed anyone. HIV/AIDS is caused by a virus, not by who or how someone loves.

I also know that anal sex has been enjoyed for milleninia without it being a death sentence. My experience has not included "profuse bleeding." I am sorry that yours has.

You are not helping anyone by spreading alarmist generalizations. Every aspect of sex between men can be enjoyed safely. Gay men should not be-- and are not -- condemned to a solitary life. We desire and deserve love, companionship, and fulfillment.

Bankstreet-- Hurray.

Concerned citizen
The anal sphincter is what you refer to as a muscle--without anal sex, this sphincter can relax and have problems after a woman delivers babies--after episiotomies or perineal tears during labor and delivery--the anal sphincter can also relax due to neurological disorders--due to multiple sclerosis and due to diabetes--does that mean you have to condemn diabetics, patients with multiple sclerosis, condemn labor and delivery too?

Your concern for homosexuals seems obsessive--in the guise of concern for their health you spread falsehoods--clearly you suffer from homophobia--Rock Hudson and Liberace died not because they had anal sex but because they did not follow the rules about condom use and promiscuity--heterosexuals are the main spreaders of AIDS in Africa and Asia--the two continents teem with people--heterosexuals too must use condoms and avoid promiscuity not spread AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases.

Yes, the anus is a vascular organ--so is the vagina--women are particularly prone to various viruses when they menstruate and during pregnancy--does that mean menstruation is dirty and women should have no sex during pregnancy?

Every organ serves more than one function--the vagina does not become dirty because it transmits menstrual flow to the outside world as the penis does not automatically become dirty because it transmits the excrement called urine.

You may be particularly revolted by feces but the urine is no cleaner--the rectum is not always the repository of fecal matter and you seem terribly misinformed about anal sex resulting in injury to the colon--the colon is way out of reach.

As for people inserting all sorts of things in their rectums for sexual pleasure--people do that with other holes as well--including the vagina--if women doing that with their vaginae does not make heterosexual sex anathematous to you then why should homosexual sex become disgusting just because of what some people tend to do with their anuses?

In Madhya Pradesh, in Khajuraho, India, there are many erotic sculptures of homosexuality--ditto for pictures and mosaics from Pompeii--as for open defecation in India, and how the very smell is revolting-- connecting that repugnant feeling to anal sex--insinuating that anal sex is the equivalent of open defecation because it exposes the body to feces--you think you are one up on everyone with this piece of crazy logic--first of all--there is no connection between anal sex and open defecation--secondly open defecation, abhorrent as it is, has conferred terrific immunity on Indian citizens exposed to its pungency--thirdly it has come to light recently, all the asepsis and decontamination of the West have reduced the immunity of the Western people and led to several autoimmune diseases--no exposure to worms--the result is Crohn's disease--no exposure to dust--the result is asthma and allergies--so apparently exposure to fecal matter is not always lethal and may also be protective against certain diseases.

Concerned Citizen,
The anal sphincter is not always meant to be tight--it relaxes and tightens--it will relax during sex and tighten at other times--as it will relax during defecation and tighten at other times--as does the vagina--it will relax during childbirth and tighten at other times.

Also, as women get older and have many babies the vagina relaxes and various organs prolapse--some women go ahead and have plastic surgery for this and others have bladder suspensions and so on--heterosexual sex causes a lot of problems for women and their reproductive organs--does that mean the vagina is unsuitable for sex or that women should stop using their vaginae for the purpose of pleasure?

Heterosexual sex can lead to balanitis--inflammation of the penis--and men who are not circumcised can have multiple infections--microbiologists will tell you that a vaginal swab is amazingly full of organisms as is a rectal swab--but the comparison you make when you say that the testicles are close to the anus, so what if the vagina is close to the anus--in opposition to my previous post-- is not a good one--the testicles are protected by the scrotal sac--the testicles are not exposed to fecal matter but the vagina, need I remind you, is open and is susceptible to urethral and fecal organisms--that is why many women are prone to recurrent urinary tract infections.

Apparently you get a zero for your knowledge of microbiology, medicine, anatomy and preventive medicine--for prejudice you get A plus, plus, plus.

Sex-- anal, vaginal, oral all pose hazards--that doesn't mean they are also not pleasurable--with my post, I want to tell you that your automatic disgust for anal sex, when analyzed under the light of anatomy, physiology and pathology does not stand to scrutiny--your demagoguery
on this matter, with free and easy quotes from doctors--must stop. It carries no water.
Ravensfan Anon

By the way Concerned Citizen,
Why are you running around checking out facts about anal sex with a doctor--unless you are planning to have anal sex I can't think of any reason why you should or would be so interested. Go ahead enjoy yourself--perhaps you can see for yourself, you have not bled like a valiant soldier when it is all over. By the way, I love your assertion, the anal sphincter--ie--the "wring" of muscle--by which, I assume, you mean, the "ring" of muscle, should never ever be forcibly opened--what a ton of laughs you are--what do you think docs do when they do rectal or digital exams to assess prostatic enlargement, take swabs for occult blood or even look for rectal or anal cancers or hemorrhoids--what do people do when they take medications rectally as suppositories (a not uncommon mode of giving meds in people who are vomiting--can even be a lifesaver in some) or take rectal temperatures--or give themselves an enema for chronic constipation--what do you think happens in those instances, if not the anal sphincter is relaxed and external materials inserted?
Ravensfan Anon

It's a shame that this conversation has been reduced to a discourse on anatomy. But, then again, it did BEGIN with an eating-disorder analogy!

Nothing wrong with anatomy Bankstreet--in fact, to those who study it, it a perfectly above board, exciting subject--go see the Bodyworks exhibit--you may have already--every part of the human body is exquisitely designed--evolution has worked wonders.
Ravensfan Anon

Very true, Anon. And every human body is equipped with an "anal hole"!

Which too is exquisite Bankstreet----not as Concerned Citizen would have us believe, a disease spreader, a dangerous place to put anything--a place to avoid for love--by the way where is Concerned Citizen--he seems to be behaving like "Cornered Citizen"--but of course on these blogs he could resurface with another name at another time, ranting against anal sex and his concern for the health of his homosexual friends. By the way Bankstreet, on another blog, Shaukat Malik's blog about how to combat Islamic terror in fact--I copied for you an article from the London Guardian about how sodomy was just decriminalized in India--in 2009 to be exact--by the Delhi Courts--Concerned Citizen was not aware of this--but it is unbelievable, the complete lack of civil rights for the gay-- lesbian and transgendered community across the world--a dismal state of affairs--the persecution is unbelievable--myths and lies abound--America is terrific in comparison--I believe the ancients were far more enlightened on this issue Bankstreet than modern men who have become sexual retards and prudes. In the end Bankstreet, Littel is right--the puritans are alive and well and they are against all sex.
Ravensfan Anon

Ravensfan Anon: Why are you misleading people?
I am simply advocating safe sex so people who are homosexual and must have sex can be safe.

I am in the medical field and work with doctors. I was only trying to help you.
Please do not confuse Fecal matter that belongs in the toilet to natural lubricants.

Just study the female anatomy. You can Google it .

Compare the very small opening of the the Anal hole with the Vagina opening.
The Anal hole is clearly closed by the ring of muscles and tight. It has no natural lubricants like a female Vagina.

We all come out of the Vagina opening. A Vagina that can expand to allow a baby to pass through. God designed the Vagina for Sexual intercourse. You cannot argue against facts and the way things are. The Sun rises in the morning. You cannot change that.

The Anal hole on the other hand is so small it will invariably lead to problems.


I would still recommend that my homosexual friends should explore Masturbation as an alternative to Anal sex.
This is the safe and better path to follow.
I have nothing further to add. In any case do what you must.

Masturbation....now THERE's something I hadn't considered!

Seriously, ConcernedCitizen, any informed Gay person knows appropriate safe(r) sexual practices. These involve mutual masturbation, fellatio (less safe than some, but still considerably safer than unprotected anal activity), and the assiduous and consistant use of condoms.

Note that all of these involve contact with another human being. Your suggestion that Gay folk cannot safely and happily couple betrays your true agenda.

I repeat my earlier point: "Every aspect of sex between men can be enjoyed safely. Gay men should not be-- and are not -- condemned to a solitary life. We desire and deserve love, companionship, and fulfillment."


On June 3, 2009, the State of New Hampshire became the sixth U.S. State to codify the legal construct of same sex marriage, enacting "HB 436, An Act relative to civil marriage and civil unions."

The "gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered" (GLBT) community hailed the new law as a civil rights victory. Declaring that the new law advances fairness and equality for all, they proclaimed that New Hampshire had supposedly "ended discrimination" for everyone.

But the law did no such thing. Rather, it intentionally "discriminates" against consenting adult polygamists - indeed, on purpose.

Previously, New Hampshire's RSA 457:1 and 457:2 established a combined anti-incest and anti-homosexual prohibition. "RSA 457:1 Marriages Prohibited; Men" banned a man from marrying a relative or another man. Likewise, "RSA 457:2 Marriages Prohibited; Women" prohibited a woman from marrying a relative or another woman. Banning only incestuous and same sex marriages, neither of the former statutory paragraphs mentioned polygamy at all.

The new law (HB 436), however, completely changed the "man-only" applicability of RSA 457:1 by replacing it, instead, with the new re-definition of marriage as "2 individuals," "2 people," "regardless of gender." It was divided into two paragraphs, 457:1 and 457:1-a.

The new "457:1 Purpose and Intent" paragraph now declares, "The purpose of this chapter is to affirm the right of 2 individuals desiring to marry and who otherwise meet the eligibility requirements of this chapter to have their marriage solemnized in a religious or civil ceremony in accordance with the provisions of this chapter."

The newly added "457:1-a Equal Access to Marriage" paragraph declares, "Marriage is the legally recognized union of 2 people. Any person who otherwise meets the eligibility requirements of this chapter may marry any other eligible person regardless of gender. Each party to a marriage shall be designated 'bride,' 'groom,' or 'spouse.'"

HB 436 also completely changed the "woman-only" applicability of RSA 457:2, making it the combined "Marriages Prohibited" paragraph. The new RSA 457:2 combined only the anti-incest prohibitions from the original 457:1 and 457:2 - while not listing the former same gender prohibitions. However, the new law then took the matter further, with intentional "discrimination." The new RSA 457:2 now ends with a newly added anti-polygamy provision.

To wit, the new "457:2 Marriages Prohibited" now declares, "No person shall marry his or her father, mother, father's brother, father's sister, mother's brother, mother's sister, son, daughter, brother, sister, son's son, son's daughter, daughter's son, daughter's daughter, brother's son, brother's daughter, sister's son, sister's daughter, father's brother's son, father's brother's daughter, mother's brother's son, mother's brother's daughter, father's sister's son, father's sister's daughter, mother's sister’s son, or mother's sister's daughter. No person shall be allowed to be married to more than one person at any given time."

The very last sentence there was completely new. Same sex marriage supporters had intentionally changed the combined anti-incest and anti-gay-marriage ban into a combined anti-incest and anti-polygamy ban instead. They intentionally re-directed the law to purposely "discriminate" against consenting adult polygamists - the clearly known bigotry of equating consenting adult polygamy with the biological dysfunction of incest.

The matter gets worse. After purposely "discriminating" against consenting adult polygamists, the new law startlingly then allows for under-aged heterosexual marriage while it bans under-aged same sex marriage.

Previously, the "RSA 457:4 Marriageable" paragraph had declared, "No male below the age of 14 years and no female below the age of 13 years shall be capable of contracting a valid marriage, and all marriages contracted by such persons shall be null and void."

To replace that language, the new law (HB 436) amended "RSA 457:4 Marriageable" to now declare, "No male below the age of 14 years and no female below the age of 13 years shall be capable of contracting a valid marriage that is entered into by one male and one female, and all marriages contracted by such persons shall be null and void. No male below the age of 18 and no female below the age of 18 shall be capable of contracting a valid marriage between persons of the same gender, and all marriages contracted by such persons shall be null and void."

Thereby, same sex marriage activists codified marriage for under-aged heterosexual minors while simultaneously "discriminating" against voting-age consenting adult polygamists, on purpose.

In truth, therefore, New Hampshire's new gay marriage law does not end "discrimination" at all. It absolutely does not provide "equal access to marriage" for all. Rather, New Hampshire's new same sex marriage law intentionally "discriminates" against consenting adult polygamists.


It might be argued, Monica (and, frankly, I'm not sure I entirely believe this), that polygamy poses a somewhat higher risk of coercion and abuse than does monogamous same-sex coupling/marriage. That being said, my own argument might be used to justify the disparate age requirements for same-sex marriages vs. heterosexual marrriages ... and I KNOW that is unjustified. So ... all I can advise is ... patience.

If a particular sexual orientation has been shown to lead to adverse circumstances in all areas of human development, we must be open to exploring options for corrective measures. There is substantial evidence that sexual orientation may be changed through reorientation therapy. Efforts to change sexual orientation have not been shown to be consistently harmful or to regularly lead to greater self-hatred, depression, and other self-destructive behaviors.
There is significantly greater medical, psychological, and relational pathology in the homosexual population than the general population.
The usual hypothesis is that societal discrimination against homosexuals is solely or primarily responsible for the development of this pathology. However, specific attempts to confirm this societal discrimination hypothesis have been unsuccessful, and the alternative possibility—that these conditions may somehow be related to the psychological structure of a homosexual orientation or consequences of a homosexual lifestyle—has not been disconfirmed. Indeed, several cross-cultural studies suggest that this higher rate of psychological disturbance is in fact INDEPENDANT OF A CULTURES TOLERANCE of—or hostility toward—homosexual behavior. Further research that is uncompromised by politically-motivated bias should be carried out to evaluate this issue.
A person's desire to prevent or cease experiencing such a variety of serious medical, psychological, and relational health risks is sufficient reason for anyone to seek and receive competent psychological care to minimize or resolve the desires, behaviors and lifestyles associated with such increased risks. The concerns of parents, family members and friends of persons whose sexual behaviors and/or attractions leave him or her at risk for such harms are understandable and scientifically justified.

rational,

I can speak only from my experience. I am a happy homosexual.

All I want from you is your acknowledgement that I, Gay man that I am, deserve to be left alone ... to find love, to couple. An acknowlegement that my homosexuality poses no threat to you, your marriage, your faith, our society. Is that too much to ask? I suspect it is, unfortunately.

I am not going to rise to your bait. We have gone round and round comparing studies and data ... to absolutely no avail. You "know" what you "know." I know what I know. I speak from 57 years of life as a Gay man. I presume you do not have the benefit of that perspective as you fulminate against the threat I am not.

As I posted my last comment, it occurred to me: rational, I *do* pose a threat to you, *because* I am a happy homosexual. You can't stand the notion that I am not neurotic, depressed, and consumed by regret. You'd much rather I conform to the stereotype you have erected. Guess what ... I don't, and frankly, I can't think of anyone in my circle of Gay friends who does. That muust scare the hell out of you....

A bunch of sane, grounded, productive, happy homosexuals. What is the world coming to?

rational.

As I drove home from work tonight, I found myself fuming at one particular part of your earlier posting. Are you really so callous as to entertain the notion that a fifteen-year-old boy, dealing with feelings he can't control, didn't ask for...and surely didn't "choose" would not be hurt profoundly (perhaps permanently wounded) by being told (or worse, *knowing*) that those feelings (not actions ... just feelings) --

-will cause him to lose his family forever

-will rob him of any hope of friendship with his peers

-will cause him to spend eternity in torment

-make him less of a man

-make him less than human


Surely even you would discount *any* so-called study that dismisses this kid's pain as a "hypothesis." If you are able, my friend, recall your own adolescence. A time of great fragility and self-doubt, even for those of you among the comfortable majority. Again, I hope you are not so callous, so unfeeling.... To paraphrase Joseph Welch..."have you no decency?"

The record of "re-orientation therapy," spotty at best and horrific at worst, offers no consolation ... neither to that kid nor to your conscience.

At the risk of overloading us with allusion, I am reminded of the line from Dickens' Christmas Carol..." are there no workhouses...?" Please think long and hard before you propose such "assistance."

-

Mr. BankStreet, with all due respect, this was not my intention to come across as such, but you are naive to think that this is what or how a therapeutic approach would be conducted.
By contrast the methods would be absolutely geared towards:

- causing him to embrace his family forever
- give him hope of friendship with his peers
- cause him to spend eternity without torment
- make him more of a man
- make him a stronger human for it

As per your ideology, you love to generalize and demonize any opinion or proposition which gives alternatives to dealing with gay tendencies or which doesn't give you the "rights" to civil institutions designed with purpose. I'm very glad you are happy. I admire your success and charisma. You have all the freedoms in the world my friend. Why then misconstrue the message of people and organizations actively trying to help you and others of the same orientation? It's because you go too far BankStreet. Some things are best left for the purposes which they were designed for. You need to realize this.

rational,

I misconstrue nothing. The people and organizations you represent offer me and others absolutely nothing of value. What I (and that fifteen-year-old) want is acceptance and genuine respect, rather than to be molded to your liking.

Your own ideology is laced with the poisons (and yes ... "sins") of sanctimony and arrogance. I don't "go to far." Rather, I go farther than you would have me go. And that is a reality you will have to deal with. We are no longer accepting of our shadowy seat in the back of the bus, and, since we are paying full fare, taking our rightful place on the seat next to you. Relax, and try to enjoy the ride.

Rational is a damn irrational creature with a misnomer for a moniker he roams these blogs trying to tell homosexuals they can be saved from their own misery--first, he assumes all homosexuals are miserable and then he assumes that he can bring them to salvation----Rational, whether you want to proselytize and convert people to heterosexuality or asexuality is unclear but what is clear is that you don't accept homosexuality--you consider it a path to unhappiness and perdition --your preconceived notions, justified by cockamamie studies will do gigantic harm and ruin the lives of young homosexuals-I wonder how many men on these blogs, who preach your sort of conversion for gays, would happily give one of his daughters in marriage to a gay man who has been scared straight-- the true valor of the gay bashers and the homophobics lies in such an act .
Ravensfan Anon

I absolute agree with the Bishop. And I would like to say that: the word homophobia is wrong etymology. Because phobia means fear and homo mean one of two things: similar or human. Whence this word is a fallacy created purposely to prevent freedom of expression.

Ms Alves,

Semantic quibbles cannot distract from the reality that "freedom of expression" is not diminished by responses to hate and ignorance.

When the word was first coined, by Dr. G.K. Lehne, it meant "a threat used by heterosexist individuals to enforce social conformity to the male role, and maintain social control." Over time it has come to refer to a more generalized "fear" of gay people, a mythical "gay lifestyle," and, of course, the dreaded "gay agenda."

I Think we have to go with the intentions of the originator of the term and with its subsequent development. To attempt to alter its meaning based on a cursory glance at its Greek roots is not productive.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

About Matthew Hay Brown
Matthew Hay Brown writes and blogs about faith and values in public and private life for The Baltimore Sun. A former Washington correspondent for the newspaper, he has long written about the intersection of religion and politics. He has reported from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, traveling most recently to Syria and Jordan to write about the Iraqi refugee crisis.
-- ADVERTISEMENT --

Most Recent Comments
Baltimore Sun coverage
Religion in the news
Charm City Current
Stay connected