Last week a cohort of bloggers spearheaded by a Pink Agendist participated in exposing my real identity. Pink then proceeded to slander my husband and my church on his blog. He published the names and addresses of our home community leaders as well as my friends’ picture. Though some of these people from my church have probably never read my blog, they were made to suffer because I choose to write about gay marriage. So, what’s a Jesus-loving girl to do in that situation? Spend some time sick to her stomach? Yes. Bury her troubles in a Downton Abby marathon? The Countess may give me some words of wisdom, after all. Or put on her big-girl pants and do the hardest thing of all: initiate a conversation with one who has sought to harm her friends and family. And so, with very little hope that it would result in anything other than more taunting and personal attacks, heart racing I clicked “send.”
Dear Pink. This is Katy Faust. I am writing in an attempt to see you not as an adversary, but as a person. We are on different continents, so I think that there is very little that I could ever do for you in terms of tangible service and encouragement. But I have an obligation and a desire to do something that you would consider meaningful in terms of caring for you. Obviously, if the only way you feel I can do that is to change my beliefs then I will not be able to offer you anything. But one of my beliefs is that I am to make peace through sacrifice. Can I do that somehow for you? If I was basing my actions on whether or not I thought they were going to bear fruit, I wouldn’t bother to send this email. But I am writing this email because I believe that you are a valuable, gifted, and precious person. And because you deserve to be seen as more than a gravitar in my mind. And I am to make every effort to live at peace with all men. So, that’s all. Best wishes, Katy
I didn’t hear anything for a great while (well,maybe only 36 hours but that’s a long time in cyberland.) He probably thought I was attempting to get him off my back. Or perhaps he was working my email into an opus on the wiles of Christian women. He did write back, however. And the conversation did not go the way I had expected. His thoughts on the origins of our conversation can be found here. His first response to me can be found here.
(Obviously more social-media-savvy than I, Pink feels that our correspondence should be ladled out in digestible doses. You can’t knock the man for his lack of drama. Mike’s Shakespearean influence I suppose?)
1/15/15 update: Pink has reinvented himself and is now blogging at justmerveilleux.wordpress.com. Below are the portions of our exchange that were previously found at pinkagendist.wordpress.com.
Thanks for your message, although I’m not entirely sure what you hope to accomplish. Your efforts and website do the opposite of portraying gay people as valuable, gifted or precious people.
You reduce human beings to their sexual orientation as if that’s the be all and end all of human existence.
You ignore the basic notion that life isn’t black and white. That people can be good or bad and their sexual orientation has very little, if anything at all, to do with that.
Perhaps you didn’t personally have a good experience, but that doesn’t mean that that’s the full picture of possibilities. You can’t deny that there are heterosexual parents who do a monstrous job at rearing children. Their heterosexuality doesn’t stop them abusing, beating, rejecting, ignoring or neglecting their flesh and blood.
That’s the point at which one has to ask themselves, what does that mean? Could a gay couple possibly offer respite in one of those situations?
Should we not look at cases individually without prejudices? Couldn’t the gay couple where one is a psychologist and the other stays home possibly fulfill the needs of a troubled child better than a heterosexual couple where both work long hours in a bank?
Thanks for writing me, I really do appreciate it. I don’t know if anything will be accomplished by this, I only know that I am to make the effort.
If my blog has not conveyed that gay people are valuable, gifted, precious and worthy of love then I have erred greatly. While I have devoted posts in the past to that reality, clearly it is time to state it explicitly again. I will do my best to convey that truth in my next post.
“You can’t deny that there are heterosexual parents who do a monstrous job at rearing children. Their heterosexuality doesn’t stop them abusing, beating, rejecting, ignoring or neglecting their flesh and blood.”
You are of course absolutely right about this. Heterosexuality does not a good parent make. And conversely, a same sex attraction does not negate parenting abilities. As stated numerous times on my blog, my mother was an exceptional parent. Much of what I do that is good as a parent myself comes directly from her modeling. She is one of God’s greatest gifts to me.
“Could a gay couple possibly offer respite in one of those situations?”
Absolutely. Which is why I traveled internationally with a lesbian couple when they were adopting their special needs child. (Also mentioned in several posts.) Do I think their daughter will miss out by not having a dad? Yes. Will she be immeasurably better off in the care of those two wonderful women than in the orphanage? Absolutely. Does that mean that we should promote a family structure where mother or father is absent? In my opinion, no. Do I hate them? Not by a long shot. Have some Christians criticized my decision to support them during their trip. Yes. But my Lord tells me that I not only can, but must, serve those even if we disagree about ideas. (Not to mention, they are just fun to be with.)
Thank you again for your email. Though I don’t know what this would look like, if I can do something to serve or sacrifice for you I will try to.
All the best to you and your partner.
Would you like to post our exchange? We can both do it, if you like. If so, I’m willing to re-state my position, and stand by the fact I think you’re actually more open than some comments led me to believe
I think this portrays a good, fair and reasonable dialogue. Leaving room for each person’s private positions.
regards to your (very good looking) family,
Want more? See “What did the Christian and the Gay say- Part 2”
139 thoughts on “What did the Christian and the Gay say? Part 1”
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Katy, you are my inspiration for reaching out to my gay/liberal friends and reaching out in love to all people who do not know Christ in general. We are to sacrifice for others to demonstrate Jesus’ mercy, even when they persecute us and threaten us as the man you are referring to in this post did. You demonstrated just how essential and worthwhile it is for us to bless our enemies, and I am eagerly awaiting how the rest of your conversation panned out.
I feel like I am far too closeted as a Christian; I’m thinking of creating my own blog to share my love of Christ.
Thanks friend. I’m looking forward to seeing how the conversation pans out as well. It’s hardly tied up in a pretty package. Yet? But I have been blessed by it.
Blogs are good. And I can see glorious happenings though mine. But it certainly is not substitute for personal, long-term, face-to-face devotion to one another. The blog works for transmitting truth yes, but the willingness to do life together is the other necessary side of that coin.
Thank you thank you for commenting, Ada.
Maybe we’ve all been doing it wrong all along. What if we stopped looking at our opponents as enemies? I’ve just seen on the news that another school rampage happened. 20 people were left injured, 4 of them quite seriously.
We need to get our priorities straight as a society…
Good job putting on your Christ-like big girl pants, Katie! 🙂
Thankfully I had a pair laying around. It just took me a couple days to find them.
Appreciate the comment, friend.
I trust I may address you so, as you have recently introduced yourself on your blog.
The following comments are meant seriously, without any malice or sarcasm. I need to say that because it is too easy to misunderstand comments on the internet.
Did a cohort of bloggers really spearhead in exposing your identity? If so, I would like to say right now, that I was not one of that cohort, nor would I have been interested in so doing. However I would like to repeat that, because you probably won’t recall, your initial response about my comment on your blog was to assume that I had been summoned by Pink to his defence. The truth was simpler, like many people on the internet I browse around, usually via comments, hence I arrived on your blog. No conspiracy that I know of.
While I strongly disagree with your views re homosexual marriage I respected your right to blog anonymity if that’s what you chose.
I disagree with Pink about ladling it out in digestible doses, but what would I know, having worked in PR (I’m sure you won’t believe that but it’s true). The pair of you are turning this into a soap opera by dragging it out. Sure we’re all waiting to see what’s coming next, but you are devaluing a serious message about how people can reconcile their differences. I take it, that is the message, yes? Just post why and how you have come to an agreement and leave it at that.
Because I doubt you are going to support homosexual marriage or that Pink is going to rediscover Jesus. In which case nothing has changed.
(I had to do it as our names are so similar and it struck me as ironical)
I spent days wondering whether to answer or not to bother. My response was very curt. The email I got back was not. I think it’s worth not letting this get lost in a single Wednesday post.
I made presumptions, perhaps because of the name choice for this website, perhaps because sometimes the comments include words like sodomite. I’m pleased to have found there’s more grey to the story than I imagined.
That’s fair enough. But if an agreement between people from two very different sides of the fence is so important, then you can both reference it as a page. At the moment, to me, it doesn’t come across as though either of you are treating this with gravity, rather that you are both stringing people out – just, wait, just wait Just. Wait. For the next installment.
Your joint choice. My view.
Kate. Thank you for your comment. As stated previously, but I am happy to repeat, I did not give you the proper welcome to my blog when you first arrived. Please forgive me for that. I did not understand the overlap of how things rolled within that community of “cohorts”. After some observation, I see that you are right and that you all frequent one another’s blogs and see what the other’s are up to. Actually, after spending a fair amount of time on Violet’s site I decided to ad the “recent comments” widget to my blog because I observed that it helped people better make those connections.
On that note, that is how I came to view your disparaging comments about my Chinese son.
Pink mined for my identity and linked it to my husband and the church. Clare allowed my name to be spoken on her blog. Violet revealed the name of my editor’s husband and cheered Pink on in his “research” to expose me. He also offered to private message her on how he did so. So maybe not a “conspiracy” but certainly complicit participation.
I don’t know if we have “come to an agreement.” But I we are seeking to work cooperatively in posting our correspondence. Honestly, I am following his lead on this. So your PR background might be better employed on his post.
Katy, thanks for your prompt response.
No you didn’t, I found your assumption insulting, but I’d like to put it behind us. Of course I am happy to forgive. I mentioned it solely because you seemed to think there was a conspiracy of which I was a part.
There is no community of cohorts that I am aware of. I read many blogs. Travel, personal, expat, animal people, political, educational, I try and keep a broad list so that I am not just reading vegetarian, feminist, environmentalist, left-wing blogs all the time. Because reading blogs of people who think the same way as I do isn’t exactly broadening my mind.
One of the problems with blogging is that it can appear very cliquey. As does your blog. When you have exchanged a few comments on a blog and establish a rapport, it can be difficult for someone else to break into that circle (someone actually did say that to me about my blog and I was sad she had felt that way), and can be quite intimidating to people from the outside who genuinely want to exchange views. I don’t see a way around that. It is what it is.
I think the recent comments one is good, I don’t use it, but for blogs with lively discussion it is helpful to keep up with recent comments.
I realised where your comment came from. I’d prefer to keep more or less on topic both on this and on the other post, so that’s why I’ve not replied. Post on Violet’s and I might.
Others have written about you. I have not. I have written one general post about religion based on reading a number of blogs, yours included. You would have to ask Pink, Clare and Violet about any complicit participation. Rather I would suggest, that we all feel very strongly about discrimination against homosexuals No more, no less. I think we all feel that our code of ethics and morals that we abide by, is as good as yours. Clare is Christian, the rest of us are not. I would like to extend tolerance and compassion to everyone, which is why I do support homosexual rights to marriage.
As for PR, I wouldn’t drag it out, but there again, I wouldn’t make all the emails public either. I appreciate you have both agreed to do that, but one of my core principles is never to share private correspondence. I think a summary, with a rationale of why you have both come to an agreement, with possibly a few excerpts, might have been rather more dignified. But if you both want to do tabloid, go for it. Tabloid newpapers sell after all.
“No, you didn’t”
Do you mean that I did not apologize and give you a proper welcome to my blog? I’d go back and check on that one if I were you.
“One of the problems with blogging is that it can appear very cliquey. As does your blog.”
Curious that you see it that way. Ark, Pink and John Zane’s recent comments total 209. My top supporters: 151. Is the clique “clique” you refer to my opponents?
And to be clear, I’ve never alluded to the idea that you were part of “the pack.” We have exchanged only a few comments that I’m aware of.
“I realised where your comment came from. I’d prefer to keep more or less on topic both on this and on the other post, so that’s why I’ve not replied. Post on Violet’s and I might.”
Are you saying that you are not going to address your comment about my Chinese son here? And that you would only do so on someone else’s blog? Because, I will tell you something, my very cultured vegetarian feminist friend, you can smear me all you like, as many others have done. But you don’t get to have a nice little chat with me about the ups and downs of blogging with that racist comment dangling on the web.
Find it. Own it. Apologize. And then we talk.
All I did was reverse-search your picture on google images: http://images.google.com/imghp?hl=en
Any picture on the internet can be reverse searched. Right click on a picture, then click on copy url, then click on the camera in the google search box and paste in the photo url. Click search. Anyone can go through every comment you’ve ever made on the internet using that photograph as your id…
BTW, you posted your picture and your name here: http://maberica.com/people/take-time-for-stories/
And I didn’t need any help to find that 😛
Ten points for resoursefulness and common sense. Zero for virtuous conduct.
Was that to me?
You used my information to deliberately hurt other who are totally disconnected from my blog. I like you (now) Pink. But that was wrong.
What if I paraphrased that? Gay children and teens who read certain comments on your blog may have been terribly hurt? Do they count?
They count. My objection to gay marriage is that at its core, the state’s interest in marriage is children. Mothers and fathers offer unique, valuable, and complimentary benefits to children (it’s not a sexual orientation thing, it’s a gender thing.) We should not then promote a family structure where the child has to lose one or both parents. (But in our own life, we should not condition our friendship or love based on whether or not someone’s family fits that mold.)
So, friend. I ask you. Is there a way I can say that where it doesn’t hurt my gay neighbor? Because if there is, I will gladly adjust my language. Honestly, I would love your suggestions about ways that I can soften my method without changing my message.
But some feel that the above message in and of itself is offensive. If that is the case, I cannot stop speaking about it because some find it uncomfortable. That children have a right to, whenever possible, a relationship with both their mother and father is too vital a truth to be left unsaid.
In my not entirely humble opinion the message ignores the realities of the world. Ideal is a bit of a fantasy. Every single family I’ve ever met had issues.
Too much this, too little that. The mother and father factor is also overblown. I’ve seen father’s do terrible harm to their daughters and mothers to their sons. Scott Forbes explains it beautifully in A Natural History of Families.
This surpasses language. It’s a matter of reviewing results.
There is certainly no silver bullet for raising flawless kids. But nearly every social issue (incarceration rates, academic performance, mental/physical health issues, poverty) can be traced back to an in tact home. And why? Because mothers and fathers are key ingredients for the emotional food kids are made for. Not only that, but any kid that I have ever met who has lost a parent for any reason suffers for it. Brokenness in this life finds us. But we should not chose a broken parental bond for the sake of adult fulfillment.
Party still going on? Is it 4am there?
As I’ve stated before, it’s not that someone published your name from public records that is so disturbing…public records are available. It’s the fact that your records (and the records of others) were published and linked with words such as “bigot”, “hater”, “intolerant”, “discrimination” that is the issue. This is an issue that is taken very seriously within the context of cyberbullying. Any harm to you or your family that can be directly associated with that linking of your name with hateful words can be seen as incitement to commit, or at least complicity with, a hate crime.
Look at it this way: If Pink’s personal information were published on your blog with the term “fa—t”, “sodomizer”, “trying to do away with traditional marriage” and a crazy weird Christian (yep, we’ve got those 🙂 ) snapped and used that information (which said crazy person would not have “mined” for on his own) to, God forbid, harm Pink or his partner or his family, then whoever posted that name-hate word descriptions would at least have some serious splainin’ to do. Even if the original post is retracted, it could still be referenced as an impetus for a hate crime.
And Pink makes a great point about priorities (“I’ve just seen on the news that another school rampage happened. 20 people were left injured, 4 of them quite seriously.). Is gay marriage important to both sides? Absoloutely. Is it MORE important to get worked up about than 24 people injured in what is fast becoming regular news? I’ll leave it up to individuals to decide, but for me, I say no. I don’t “believe” in gay marriage and it’s important to me to state why. But if God came down and said “school rampages or gay marriage….pick one to fight against”, it would be the random and senseless acts of violence that are becoming so prevalent….no contest, really.
Wow! This is a great discovery. I’m off to play …
It’s a good way to find out if anyone is stealing/using your pictures. Which means you can complain. I’ve had a number of people use my (young & buff) pictures on their social media profiles, which is a little disturbing… So I check pictures periodically just to make sure.
Hilarious! I’ll have to go google all the young & buff photos of me that must be flying round the internet. 😀
“What did the Christian and the Gay say?”
I don’t want to be rude and rain on the parade of love and reconciliation, but my first thought is:
Christian: “You can’t join my church unless you swear to live a life of loneliness, denied the romantic partner of your choice and denied the right to ever raise children.”
Gay: “Oh well, I’ll go join the Quakers then.”
I’m not joining the Quakers or any religion for that matter. I’m sure there are things we’ll never agree on, but I’ve been reminded that people aren’t always exactly what they appear.
A valuable lesson. If you haven’t done so already, I recommend you take a thorough look round previous posts on this blog, so you are clear exactly who are dealing with, and when and how the side-kicks are employed to drive home more vicious points e.g. the paedophilia comment below. I think you may have been duped by this silver-tongued seductress, either that or people fighting to marginalise homosexuals and encourage discrimination don’t bother you as much as I thought they did. Saying all that, I look forward to hearing about the grey areas.
I’m assured and confident she’s even participated in procuring gay adoption. So I can’t turn my back on that.
Oh please, have you not read about that? She helped the child. She thinks gay people shouldn’t be parents.
No. What I’ve been told is she assisted a Lesbian couple in adoption, which I think is a fantastic thing to do.
Violet, I don’t mean to be offensive or make moral equivalence, but I’m honestly curious about something. What should Katy’s church say to a pedophile that wants to join?
That is an equivalency, and a highly unfair one at that.
I’m honestly not trying to make moral equivalence. But there are some situational similarities in Violet’s scenario, and this is not just a hypothetical situation. Her answer to this may offer some valuable insights.
I would suggest they seek answers in their holy book. The most appropriate illustrations I can find that would indicate how your benevolent deity feels about this are here – Judges 21:10-24 and Numbers 31:7-18, where the rape of young virgins is encouraged by your god God and your holy prophets. Now, given that this is now illegal, and exceedingly harmful to the non-consenting children involved, I wouldn’t recommend they actually encourage it.
And this contrasts nicely with the case of homosexuals in same sex marriages because your holy book doesn’t mention it at all, only consenting adults are involved, and there are no harmful outcomes.
Hope that gave you some valuable insight into the value of the Bible and also the value of weighing up your judgements by their actual outcomes.
Violet, you didn’t answer my question, but it was the answer I expected.
Given that we all agree that pedophilia is a problem, what should Katy’s church say to one looking to join?
They should call the police. Seriously.
You think they are a lost cause? You think they should do nothing for them?
Apologies – it appears that the reply button to your last comment seems to be missing, violetwisp.
The verses you are referring to have been taken grossly out of context. In Judges, the verses you quoted were not directions of God to the people of Israel. You have to understand that Israel was God’s chosen nation, and in the paragraphs before and after the verses you took explicitly showed the people of Israel being distressed at why one of the tribes in Israel was missing, and they were pointing the fingers at each other for not assembling before God. God was not speaking to them at all in the verses you quoted – their decision was made by them, not supported by God.
Then they asked, “Which one of the tribes of Israel failed to assemble before the LORD at Mizpah?” They discovered that no one from Jabesh Gilead had come to the camp for the assembly.
For when they counted the people, they found that none of the people of Jabesh Gilead were there.
So the assembly sent twelve thousand fighting men with instructions to go to Jabesh Gilead and put to the sword those living there, including the women and children.
See, before the verses you mentioned, the decision was made entirely by men, not by God.
There are so many verses I can quote where it is actually stated that rape is detestable to God! I believe this is a good one:
But if in the open country a man meets a young woman who is betrothed, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. But you shall do nothing to the young woman; she has committed no offense punishable by death. For this case is like that of a man attacking and murdering his neighbor, because he met her in the open country, and though the betrothed young woman cried for help there was no one to rescue her.
That was from the Mosaic Law for the Israelites, make no mistake, but the Law of Moses was punishment based on what God saw as sin. God considers rape a sin. In fact, He sees it as being on the same level as murder! Oh, what a Loving, Just God!
The Numbers verses you quoted as well was not a command to rape the women. It said to “take them for yourselves” as in into their tribe. He did not say to use them as sexual objects. In that same chapter the men were told to purify themselves after the battle, and them having sex of any kind was not seen as pure.
And when Dinah was raped by Shechem, her brothers avenged her (albeit extremely, but they would not have done so if they didn’t know what Shechem did was deplorable!).
God does not desire women to be treated unfairly. I do hope critics of Christianity would take the Bible into context for once.
If you have any more confusion about Bible verses, I would be happily obliged to clear them up for you.
God bless you.
It’s called cherry picking and it’s generally done while accusing others of doing it 😉
Haha, I realize that. 😉 I will admit some Christians can be cherry-pickers as well, but I won’t let God’s nature be twisted into something it’s not on account of verses being taken out of context.
Just to be clear, I was referring to Violet taking the verses out of context, but you are correct….it exists on both sides of the gay marriage issue.
Thanks for your interpretation on these verses. In Judges, the verses I quoted were a continuation of the drama where the god God urged the annihilation of the the Benjaminites – clearly, three times – urging the murder of 25,000 men. Following this, the leaders of Israel give sacrifices to the god God and were in fellowship with him – surely we are to understand this is a continuation of his wishes. Certainly, there is no condemnation of this act, or even slight suggestion that it is wrong. “400 young virgins who had not known a man by lying with him” stolen from their murdered families.
You’ve conveniently ignored Numbers:
“So they made war against Midian, just as the LORD had commanded Moses … kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man intimately. But all the girls who have not known man intimately, spare for yourselves.”
Moses is the direct emissary of the god God’s commands, seeing wishes are carried out “just as” the Lord commanded, not “with variation”.
Finally, I’m horrified you think me so ignorant of the Bible that you would bring up anything in Deuteronomy 22 to suggest the god in the Bible is good. Verse 28:
“If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her”
He doesn’t see rape as equal to murder in the slightest. Rape of someone already betrothed ie, a possession, is crime against another man. Rape of a virgin not betrothed to marriage is a slight against her father that can be settled with mere coins and forced marriage. Please don’t tell me you believe what you wrote above.
And for Tisha, yes I agree about the cherry picking.
I believe you probably expect me to cower away and assume that I was wrong about God or wrong about my interpretations of the Bible and let myself be seen as an uneducated Christian who has no idea what she is talking about. However, I was genuinely expecting your response, since I am accustomed with many critics’ arguments against the Bible, and I’m sure you will be surprised by my own arguments in my next comment.
I don’t have the time now because I am studying, but tomorrow I’ll respond with my arguments on how you are actually still misinterpreting God and His judgment in those verses. Rule number one of Bible study is to never take a verse out of context with the rest of the Bible, and when you search the scriptures with a calm mind, you will discover that all things are fair and good.
Thanks Ada, I look forward to being surprised by your arguments.
Before I get into the verses, I am going to start by stating that I understand where you are coming from. Rape is a sensitive subject and it is clear to me that you care dearly for those traumatized for it; I commend you for your fierce compassion. So before I get into my arguments for why God does in fact view rape as a sin, I would like to also say that I too am very grieved for women who have experienced sexual assault. One of my closest friends was raped by the older brother of one of her other friends; she was only a kid at the time. So I share your compassion for victims of rape, and it is in my desire to teach men how to respect a woman’s “no” as well as extending comfort to women who have been abused.
To begin, I am going to quote Jesus on what He said for all people who have been wronged:
Matthew 5:4 – “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
I know that those who are sexually violated mourn very severely, and many times even fall into PTSD. There is hope for them in the arms of Jesus – He will not turn them away if they cry out to Him. Likewise, it is the duty of Christians and non-Christians alike to comfort them as well.
Now let us go to the verses where God addresses rape.
First, we look at the spiritual condition of the Israelites under the Mosaic Law: God has not yet revealed to them His Will in Its entirety yet, so He just set down some ground rules. The Israelites were not entirely obedient, and He knew that if He set down the extensive rules that Jesus did in the New Testament (His entire Will), they would complain and might have even been more disobedient. At the same time, the Israelites had their personal culture.
So what happens when a virgin woman gets sexually abused? First and foremost, she has been wronged terribly (“for she has been violated” Deuteronomy 22:29) but she has also lost her virginity. Considering the culture and attitude of the Jews at the time, an unmarried woman who lost her virginity was not desirable for marriage, and their first thought would have been that she had had consensual premarital sex. Arranged marriages were the norm in those times (although there were a few cases where the partners married for love), and families judged people for marriage based on such things like virginity.
Now what was life like for unmarried women? Also taking into account Israel’s culture at the time, women did not work for money, as they mostly worked for their family, and if they did get work they would not be paid well. So when her parents died, the unmarried woman who was considered undesirable by her culture would have nowhere to go and no support. The only thing she could possibly get was to become a prostitute, but then she would be further isolated from her society.
A man had sex with her against her will, and now God knows he has to pay. An arranged marriage would force the man to provide for the woman (note how the verse says nothing about the man having to consummate their marriage – his wife could ignore him for the rest of their married lives and he would not be allowed to divorce her, as stated in the verse, for he had to pay for what he did by supporting her for the rest of her days, and he could not marry any other woman); he also has to give her and her family fifty shekels of silver. But, was she really forced to marry him?
The answer is no, because in that culture, her father was the one who gave blessing for a man to marry his daughter. And what father would give his daughter over to a rapist? There is no account in the Bible of any woman actually being forced into marriage with her abuser – Jacob didn’t allow his daughter Dinah to marry Shechem and God did not tell him to do so.
A Jewish family in that time would be looking at the situation like this: unless another man fell in love with their daughter and would marry her without her virginity, which was rare, their daughter would have no support when her parents died. If they forced her rapist to support her through marriage (which was what marriage really was at the time – not for love, but for the economic benefits of a couple/family), then the support issue would be solved. But since most fathers (and all GOOD fathers) would not agree to marriage between their daughter and the man who violated her against her will, the man would still have to pay up fifty shekels of silver, which in today’s currency is about a couple of hundred dollars. That was a lot in those days, and I’m sure their daughter would have some significant support from it.
All of this keeping in mind that that was in the Mosaic Law and that rule for when a woman gets raped does not apply to today. The rule was only in place to fit the culture of the time. God was putting His Will into the context of the Israelites’ culture until He revealed to them the full extent of His Will. Today, arranged marriages are most certainly not the norm, and men won’t normally refuse to marry a woman they love because she isn’t a virgin. Also, the payment for a man’s crime against his rape victim today is time in prison. And since the Bible referred to rape as the man violating the woman, it is certainly considered a sin that demands retribution – it is simply that the payment for that sin was different in that time.
Conclusion: rape is a sin, the distressed rape victim has comfort available to them in Jesus Christ and should be comforted by all those around her, and the rapist should be punished for his crime.
Now to address the issue of the Benjamites.
Forgive me, because I am just recently reading the Bible and I have only read up to Exodus 6 and Matthew 14 so far, so when you gave me those verses I put them into context with the surrounding paragraphs. However, now that I have studied them in more detail, I am still confident that your interpretations are incorrect.
You seem to be making the assumption that the Benjamites were being punished “even though they are innocent.” You are incorrect, because when God punished Sodom and Gomorrah, He told Abraham that if there were just ten righteous people among the thousands of unrighteous people in those cities, He said He would not punish the city in its entirety. There were only eight righteous people there at the time, and for innocent people, God offers a means of saving them, as was in the case of Lot. It would not fit God’s character to punish the Benjamites “despite being innocent.”
So, what do we know about the Benjamites? When a Levite man and his wife were in Benjamin, several Benjamite men raped the woman to death, and all of the tribes of Israel were told by the man what had happened (this is all in Judges 20). They all demanded the Benjamin tribe that the men responsible for the injustice be punished, but the Benjamin tribe refused, and instead decided to draw their swords against the rest of Israel. Tell me, Violet: when several thousand men come at your entire country for battle, due to the fact that they don’t like that your people told them to punish a select few men for committing a crime against a helpless woman, would the best thing to do be to simply let them come? Wouldn’t a good God support the Israelites in fighting back against those who come to do them harm? God didn’t say, “Go kill the Benjamites because I don’t like them.” He supported them in fighting back because the Benjamites made the first move to attack.
And men whom, in their hearts, don’t believe that when several men rape a woman to death, they should be handed over to punishment, are not good men, wouldn’t you say? The Bible didn’t say that there were any arguments among the Benjamite tribe when they were told by the other tribes to punish the men for their crime – that would have been a significant detail to note, right? Instead, they all unanimously agreed to refuse to hand over the men who sinned against the woman and against God. So it’s not even as though God commanded to punish the Benjamites for what only a handful of men did. Since the entire tribe refused to punish the men, then that implies they didn’t think in their consciences that what the men did to that poor woman was wrong. Isn’t that evil? Now, God would have allowed them to change their minds, but they decided to then add insult to injury by attacking the other tribes of Israel for daring to tell them to punish their men. Since they were dead set on attacking Israel, the only option was to fight back.
In the entire Old Testament, God never punished sinners who repented or wanted to repent. He gave them time to ask for forgiveness and right their wrongs (in the case of the great flood, He gave them 120 years – He gave that many years for people who “only had evil intentions in their hearts all the time” to repent), but they still refused His offer of grace. The tribe of Benjamites could have done the right thing and handed over their criminals for punishment – they didn’t. The tribe of Benjamites could have allowed themselves to be corrected for thinking it was okay to let a group of rapists and murderers go unpunished – they didn’t, and they went to war with Israel instead. If there was even one man or woman who stood up and said, “Guys, I think we should hand over the criminals to the punishment they deserve,” God would have spared that individual. But they didn’t, and they still decided to go to war.
God gave the “go ahead” to the men of Israel to punish the Benjamites because the Benjamites already decided to go to war with them and had no desire to repent.
As for the virgin women who were spared, they were spared because God didn’t want the entire Benjamin bloodline to die out. So, he would let the women assimilate into the other tribes of Israel. Note, the Bible didn’t say they were to be used as sex slaves or to be raped. They were simply going to marry into the tribe. Since women didn’t do well when they were unmarried in that culture, and since marriages were already arranged marriages with the intent to simply strengthen the society of Israel, that was certainly a better fate for the women.
And all of this is to be put into the context that God didn’t yet reveal His full Will to Israel until the time of Jesus’s ministry, also put into the context of Israel’s ancient culture.
It seems to me that you completely ignored the portion where the Bible explained what the Benjamites did to demonstrate why Israel went to war with them, resulting in the death of thousands. Pardon me for this, but who exactly is conveniently dismissing verses now? 😉
Anyway, God bless you.
(I’m so sorry this was so long, too!)
Great reply, Ada! Very thorough and it reveals the hazards of interpreting the Bible from outside of the place and the intent for which it was published. One of the things that is so positive about reading and communicating with those who don’t share our views is that it offers an opportunity to re-read, to refresh exactly WHY we hold the position we hold and that we should not be afraid to search for answers because they are there. Kudos to you for not getting bogged down in the point-counter point debate and instead giving such a thorough explanation for an issue!
Thank you, Tisha! One thing I have learned as a Christian is that it is important not to step down when we are challenged with verses from the very Bible we believe in. If we do, we look like hypocrites and cherry-pickers, and we push people further away from Christ. We must always first trust that God is good and then that will drive our motivation to search His Word to PROVE that He is Who we believe Him to be. That is why Jesus told us to search the scriptures.
And yes, it is a hazard to interpret the Bible outside of its context. I once read an essay entitled “Never read a verse of the Bible” – that is, never read one verse and walk away from it without the desire to read further for the context. I think an example of this is, say someone opened a book to a random page, and they read, “And so he shot the man with a bullet to the chest.” If you walked away from the book with that one sentence, you would think, “Who was that awful murderer?” But if you went on to read the entire chapter, you’d find out that the man was shot by a police officer because he was a criminal holding ten people hostage at gun-point and had already committed dozens of crimes in the past without getting caught, then the only option on the part of the officer was to shoot. You would have missed those very significant details if you walked away after the first sentence.
Ada: Agreed, context is everything. Authorship, time of publication, culture within which it was written and the basic Judeo-Christian principles it is expressing are also critical in accurate interpretation. We are called to do our best to share the wonderful, infallible and timeless truths that are His Word, as He commanded His disciples (Mark 16:15). In the end, however, it is up to the listener and to whether they have ears to receive the Truth, as is revealed in the very next verse (Mark 16:16).
One of the mistakes I make sometimes is in forgetting that, although I came voluntarily to the Bible seeking answers and was blessed to have strong support for interpretation within my community and with God’s grace, many people who are shown the truth of the Bible have a strong antipathy to it for one reason or another. They will not receive it, no matter how many ways you defend it or explain it. You’ll never have the right combination of words to present it to them, just as if they spoke a foreign, different language from you.
That’s why I respect AskMe’s approach of love and willingness to return to show again, speak again, love again. The love we bear for Christ, for each other and for all is what speaks the truths of the Bible to those who do not speak our language.
I like how you did just this in your posts 🙂
That is true. That’s where I try to bring prayer into the mix. I pray that the people I meet who do not know God and/or might not understand His truths may have Him revealed to them in a way that they will understand. But I agree that we cannot simply reason with people without first loving them and trying to show Christ’s love for them, as imperfect as our attempts may be.
And thank you, I am glad if I was able to communicate in a way that shed a little light into Christ’s spirit within me. It’s my duty as one of His many followers to do just that.
Ada, thank you for taking the time to put together such a detailed reply. I can understand why it’s so important to justify the treatment of rape in the Bible as a whole. However, nothing you have said, and more importantly nothing in the Bible, shows any kind of disapproval of rape because of the severe trauma it causes to the woman. Where it’s disapproved of in the Bible it’s clearly because a woman is the property of either her husband or her father, and any kind of sexual contact, outside of the commitment her father makes to her husband, makes her completely worthless. Nowhere in the Bible is it suggested this a foul, harmful and immoral outlook.
The god God demanded that the Israelites gave up their other gods – they did. If the god God could demand such a massive cultural shift in one respect, it could easily have been demanded in any other respect. If such a benevolent, omniscient creature existed, do you really think it would have abandoned women to thousands of years of abuse and virtual slavery because it was putting its ‘full Will’ in the context of society at that time? These laws were NOT corrected when Jesus came along, in fact he was careful to state that he was here to fulfil the law and that ‘not one letter or one stroke of a letter will disappear from the Law’ (Matthew 5:18). That being the case, it’s disgusting to say, but Christian women should still marry anyone who rapes them.
I can see you’re looking for ways to make all these barbaric stories seem logical, and I understand why you need to do that, but please don’t think for one moment that anyone who doesn’t need to believe that there is a Christian god and that this god could be in any way benevolent, can read these stories and see anything other than a barbaric, ignorant society behaving like any other society of its time.
Whoa there, friend! For someone who claims to understand the Bible, you are extremely confused about not only a verse, but a very specific Christian doctrine that is central to the faith! The Mosaic Law is no longer in effect BECAUSE Jesus said, “I have come not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.” And how did Jesus fulfill the law? With His own flesh! He lived by the law His entire life by not committing any sin (“I have come to fulfill the law”), and then He paid the punishment for all sins of humankind, past, present, and future with His death on the cross because of His sinless life. The Bible is not calling for women to marry rapists as equally as no murderer has to be executed (although they should spend time in prison – the rapist and the murderer). This is the pillar of the Christian faith, violet! All of the punishments used for sin in the Old Testament are no longer needed. That is why Jesus rebuked the men who wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery, because she did not need to be punished under the Mosaic Law – Jesus was there to forgive her! That’s not to say that time in prison is unnecessary for criminals, but nobody has to die for their crimes or sins. And also, I already told you that no fathers would hand over their daughter to a rapist in marriage, as in the example of Jacob and his daughter, Dinah, in Genesis. There is absolutely no account of a woman actually marrying her rapist in the Bible.
Also, if the cultural context isn’t enough for you, think of it this way. A man who has the evil of committing rape in his heart obviously isn’t thinking of entering a consenting, supportive marriage. To him, then, since consent is undesirable and he only wished to use the woman as an object, marriage would be a punishment in his perspective. Since in marriage, a man is to respect his wife (Colossians 3:19) and to be consensual in their acts (1 Corinthians 7:1-5), that would be a chore to him, as a man with a foul conscience. He would also have to support her and he wouldn’t be allowed out of it, since he could not divorce her. Since God knows peoples’ hearts, He would know what would discourage a man from committing an act of sexual assault. Basically, “if you wouldn’t take the time to develop a mutual relationship with this woman first by going through marriage and consensual sex with her and caring for her for the rest of your life, don’t do this.” A rapist is a selfish man who only seeks to gratify himself; he would be dissuaded from doing harm to a woman. He also has to pay a fine for the transgression.
And nothing in the Bible says that rape is a sin because it is violating a man’s so-called “ownership” of his wife – no! – rape is a sin because “he [the rapist] has violated HER,” as stated in the verses we were discussing.
And while we’re on that subject, Biblical marriage is not a woman being the property of her husband. In a marriage, BOTH man and woman belong to each other and BOTH have to make sacrifices to keep their marriage strong on both sides.
“Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. IN THE SAME WAY, the HUSBAND’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by MUTUAL CONSENT and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” 1 Corinthians 7:1-5
I don’t see the unfairness in this; women are to respect and love their husbands as their husbands are to equally love them. Can you point out any error in this? Isn’t this what marriage is?
Pingback: The Christian and the Gay Part II: My First Response to Katy Faust | The Pink Agendist
I love this blog and the path that Katy is choosing to go down. The internet is full of hostility and knee jerk emotional reactions and also bullying. A while back it started to really bother me that people were becoming like two dimensional stereotypes, whose entire nature can allegedly be summed up in a 144 character tweet. We need to knock that off, we’re depriving ourselves of the depth of people’s characters and also the breadth of some of the modern day issues we’re dealing with.
Seriously, friend. You are exactly right. None of this can be reduced to a bumper sticker and none of us are a shallow as the emotional tag lines would lead us to believe. PS- Love your blog for that very reason.
keep up the good work.
Haha. Keep the prayers coming. 😉
don’t get too drawn in to personal debate. don’t make too much of a public spectacle of one man’s criticisms. keep to the task of educating, elucidating. minister with grace and love. this is what so impressed me about your blog. how you ministered with love and compassion. when critics fire, it is too easy to come down to their level. much encouragement.
Honestly happy to see that it seems that Pink Agendist and Ask The Bigot are having a conversation outside of their blogs and seem to be at least coming to a better understanding of each other.
Though mining and exposing people’s identities seems over the line to me.
I don’t think my intent was out of line. I stand by the belief that if anyone is going to question another citizen’s rights, that must be done from a position where their motivations and intent can be questioned. Disclosure and conflict of interest rules are law for a reason.
I believe that you, Violet, Clare and John Zande are all well intentioned. I believe that you have take up the cause of a group of people who have been marginalized and hurt, sometimes by the church. But you don’t right that wrong by redefining parenthood and squelching anyone who supports natural marriage or who believes that fathers and mothers are interchangeable.
And if a gay person were to blog about their support of gay marriage and someone were to expose their identity- even though they had not yet shared their orientation with their family and friends, would that be justifiable?
Sorry. You weren’t talking to me.
I think there’s a difference in the for versus the against, particularly in the case of what’s considered a private matter.
In my view government should never make distinctions in how it affords rights to citizens based on gender (or any other characteristic inherent to the individual). In fact, laws should only say ‘citizen’. Citizens have the right to… Two citizens may enter a contract that allows…
That would remove bias and privilege in a single swoop.
No, I am not in a conspiracy, but I dislike this blog very much. I looked at one post. Of six commenters who had blogs, there were four with the latest post about the evil gays. I don’t know if you blog about anything else, but whenever I have seen this blog it has been about gays.
There are more important doctrines in Christianity. Yet I hear the allegation that anyone who accepts gay marriage does not respect the Bible, and I think- wait a minute, what would be the point about all that Biblical scholarship if we do not respect the Bible? And- what room do you give any other doctrine, if all you write about is Bad Gays?
Your first comment here: Ada says gay/liberal friends and reaching out in love to all people who do not know Christ in general. Not everyone has the same conception of Christ. I am ultra-liberal by US standards. Blake is useful:
The vision of Christ that thou dost see
is my vision’s greatest enemy
Yours has a hook nose, like to thine
Mine has a snub nose, like to mine.
Please do not assume that someone who disagrees with you does not know Christ.
To me, you drive people away from Christ. It is a moral issue. I get it, we Christians take morality very seriously, and think we know about it, and when people make a moral judgment about us we get upset. But it is a moral judgment. Demanding gays forsake romantic attachments is Wrong. So some Evangelicals respond that no atheist can know morality, and come up with detailed arguments that they think the world is random therefore it cannot be moral. No. Not true. There is that of God in every one.
People see Christians and the church behaving wickedly and oppressively- and comparing gays with paedophiles and murderers. That does not sound loving to me. You drive people away. Just as New-Earth Creationists say things which no-one who considers the issues could say, and make people think we are nuts- though I am aware of a theologian of the 19th century perfectly happy to accept the theory of evolution.
One of the most dangerous verses in the Bible is in John 16: “I have spoken these things to you so that you shall have peace in me. You shall have suffering in the world, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” So when people disagree with you, it is Persecution, and proof you are Right! But Jesus also said, Whoever is not against you is for you, Luke 9:50.
I will excise your name from my blog if you like. I don’t know if I have had any other views from the city of S—-.
And- I found this quote here https://askthebigot.com/2012/08/11/arent-people-born-gay/ : affirm the little boy who can’t stand football but who loves to sing. Comments are closed.
I hate you for that. It shows that your campaign against gay people is part of a wider campaign against the beauty and diversity of God’s creation. You would “reach out” to the tree-climbing tom-boy? Really? For what purpose? To tell her that tree-climbing is just a normal part of being human, quite acceptable for girls, and for her if she wants to? Or to force her into some procrustean women’s role?
Boys who like to sing. So there is a manliness scale, with Arnold Swartzenegger on top, and Luciano Pavarotti right at the bottom, and David Beckham- well, confusingly, he is very good at football but the word “metrosexual” was coined for him- and Andreas Scholl particularly confusing. I mean- listen to his voice! Yet he has an ex-wife and a girlfriend. Not gay, then, though sex outside marriage is less than ideal.
In God’s creation, humans are diverse, and this makes society richer and more beautiful. I don’t know if you are a full-blown Complementarian, but you shrivel and distort the potential of human beings.
Clare, she never said “tell them to stop singing/climbing trees.” She said “affirm” them – I haven’t the slightest idea how you missed that, seeing as you specifically quoted her saying “AFFIRM the little boy who loves to sing.”
She is saying AFFIRM because when children feel like they don’t belong to their own gender when they enjoy gender-nonconforming activities, they feel isolated from their own gender until someone tells them, “hey, it’s okay, you’re still an amazing, unique boy/girl.” That is what Katy said.
But why should it need saying? Is a girl climbing trees really such a big deal? Whisper it- a boy sings? So everyone shuns him, as in an HM Bateman cartoon (please Google, they are worth seeing) but, bravely, ATB reaches out to “affirm”?
And what is the point of “affirming”- is it to try to stop the child becoming lesbian? As if that could make any difference at all. Telling a gay child that being gay is sinful and damaged is hardly affirming.
What if we do conform? I was captain of my school’s soccer team when I was a boy. I also competed in tennis and showjumping. My closest friends were boys. I’m the eldest brother by years, so there was no competition. I had romantic relationships with girls. No abuse. My father was present and my parents were married. I can’t speak to my mother’s hormone levels, but on everything else, my life doesn’t fit the description.
That’s why that sort of theory can’t be used as a general parameter. At best, it could describe a specific subset. I’m not suggesting that it couldn’t be true and actually apply to a particular group, but not as a general rule.
Clare, I find it fascinating that you have responded so strongly to my statements above. We have a son who loves to sing. He just has a natural gifting and his rendition of “Let it go” is fantastic. (especially when he is on the potty.) I don’t know if he is athletically inclined in the same way that his brother is, but I will be very protective of anyone who might criticize his “boyness” if he ends up being a chess maverick instead of a star pitcher. He is a boy because he is a boy. Not because of what he likes or how he acts. Being a boy should be celebrated. Just like being a girl should be celebrated.
The reason I make the case above, is for exactly the reason that you point out. There is no “masculinity scale.” There’s no one way to be a boy, or a man for that matter, when it comes to talents, personality, occupation, and gifting. I write this after my post “War on Men? Yep.” https://askthebigot.com/2012/11/28/war-on-men-yup/
“Within our circle of friends, I am grateful that my boys have examples of men who are interconnected and secure in their manhood even though there is great diversity in how that masculinity expresses itself. Among those men, there is a police officer, fire fighter, computer geek, moonlighting artistic movie maker, electrician, bio diesel company start-up guy, pastor, Boeing assembly line guy, actuary type, and Amazon warehouse guy. Some love sport, others love music, some outspoken and some reserved. They express their masculinity differently and none of them are less of a man for it.”
The reason I felt that I needed to include this specific admonishment to my readers (to reach out to children who do not conform to superficial gender stereotypes) is because I have seen damage done to some children for this very reason. One example was a man (if you could even call him that) who totally rejected his son, belittled and made fun of him, because the boy’s interests where reading and drawing instead of working on cars and video games. (Lemme tell you, this blogger had the urge to routinely clock that man with whatever heavy object was within reach.) I have also heard from some gay friends of the pain they experienced at being singled out when they were very young because they did not conform. It breaks my heart.
So, my dear, there was no nefarious message there. Just one of acceptance and affirmation for little kids. And the admonishment that the adults in their life draw them in whether or not they have common likes/hobbies.
Katy, my prayers are with you, precious sister in Christ. Your love for others is apparent to me, if not to others. May The Lord bless you and keep you, and make his face to shine upon you in these dark days. May he continue to bless you with His wisdom, compassion and courage to speak the truth in love. In Christ’s love, and for his glory alone, Sherryn
pspruett April 9, 2014 at 4:20 pm
You think they are a lost cause? You think they should do nothing for them?
Sorry to move this down here, I can’t reply to the original question and can’t get to this comment in my notifications. This is a serious point, but I don’t see what it has to do with the post or with homosexuality.
However, to answer your question, I don’t know much about this area, but obviously anyone with any kind of problem that strays into an illegal area (especially one that causes such immense harm to a vulnerable group) should be referred immediately to receive professional help. I would be very concerned if anyone in church or any other kind of organisation attempted to deal with problematic behaviour like this without reference to qualified civil authorities. I fully expect the Fausts are reasonable people in this regard and would do the obvious thing to ensure the protection of children.
No-one is a lost cause but currently we don’t know enough about the brain to deal effectively with people who are sexually attracted to children. As far as I’m aware, chemical castration is the only method that has been shown to have significant and reliable effects on stopping harmful behaviour like this.
It’s relevant, because in theory they might say a similar thing to this person (the pedophile in my example). E.g., “You are welcome in our church if you are comfortable with our beliefs, but you will need to renounce your desires, seek never to exercise them, and not be permitted service in children’s ministry.” There are indeed those who are expected to suffer their proclivities — this is but one example. There is just disagreement over which ones qualify.
If such a person had committed a crime, then it’s certainly worthy to consider bringing in the authorities. But simply turning them away in favor of “professional” help seems to deny the role of the Church in bringing people to moral and spiritual healing, and affirms a secular view that holds the mind/body to be nothing more than an electro-chemical sack that simply needs to be fixed like a machine, which scientists are best equipped to do. If Christianity is irrelevant in these things, then it is irrelevant in general.
A Quaker meeting I attended, which ministered in the local prison took in a paedophile. We held separate monthly worship for him. He was not permitted to go to the weekly worship. Those who worshipped with him were introduced to him as a paedophile. We kept his confidentiality otherwise, as we knew that such people can be the victims of vigilantism. We needed those precautions. There are also “Circles of Support and Accountability”, Quaker in origin.
Do you think our precautions were too much? What precautions do you take when a gay person comes to your church?
The point of my question is to illustrate the difference between these people. My current Quaker meeting has two lesbian couples. We shall celebrate the marriage of one later this year. It is not my observation that they sin even against each other, leave alone against anyone else: their partnerships enrich them, and us. As part of the membership procedure we share our spiritual journeys, and the whole area meeting has been enriched by this.
Please stop using the word paedophile in the same sentence as gay, To give you an inkling of how offensive it is, ponder the antitheists’s allegation that teaching a child Christianity, a load of old nonsense, is child abuse. Think of something else. If you must insist gay love is necessarily sinful, pick on lying. not paedophilia or murder, as a comparison.
Claire, I’ve not been in the middle of a situation where a gay person came to a church and was open about that. Since the churches I have attended (I’ve recently moved and am still shopping around) are conservative, most gays that embrace their orientation would not ultimately be comfortable staying on for a number of reasons. If they did, and they came to perceive their attractions in the same way as these churches, then that’s where your concept of “support and accountability” would come into play, though I don’t think the extreme precautions required for (known) pedophiles would be in order.
I well realize that the mere mention of pedophilia in conversations like these is taken as an affront. The problem is that certain arguments are fallacious and that fact is best demonstrated by using what’s called a “reductio ad absurdum” argument. This is how that works: you find something that meets the criteria being used in the argument, which both parties disapprove of, in order to show that the argument itself is inadequate. For instance, many people use arguments like these to support homosexuality: “I was born this way” or “how is love wrong” or “you’re asking me to live a life of loneliness and never raise children.” A pedophile can say all these things, too. Consequently, they are not themselves adequate arguments. Pedophilia is effective as a logical defeater *exactly* because it is offensive (and let’s hope it stays that way). Of course, there are other arguments (like “consenting adults”) that offer no parity for pedophilia, but those can be addressed in other ways.
I have seldom seen this point understood — generally it only stirs up a cloud of emotionalism — so I actually do try to use other analogies that may apply. But, unfortunately, sometimes pedophilia matches most closely the point(s) being argued and it begs to be brought into conversations where this issue is being debated.
Personally, I do not find it offensive when atheists claim that Christianity is nonsense and that teaching it to children is questionable. If atheism is actually true, then they are right. I understand their position. The only thing I object to is their characterization of it as evil, as Richard Dawkins believes. I do not think they are entitled to concepts like objective morality and meaning by which they could judge anyone’s values and beliefs as inferior to their own, much less “evil.” In any case, I wish we could do a better job of comprehending the beliefs of others and not be so thin skinned about it. As I said elsewhere, clarity above agreement.
You seek “clarity” by being deliberately offensive? In my post “born that way” I show why the argument applies, but we (on Side A) should not use it, and Pink’s comment there gives another aspect on that.
Nobody here brought up the “born that way” argument until you mentioned paedophilia. Violet’s original point, when you brought up paedophilia, was that orientation could not be “cured”, which is a very different argument: see all those poor ex-gays who still have their unwanted attractions, despite all the prayer they do.
You are obsessed with paedophilia.
And- the reason you use “paedophilia” as an analogy is that you cannot provide any moral reason why loving gay relationships are wrong, apart from your particular interpretation of a very few verses in the Bible. Produce a moral argument, rather than just say you think paedophilia is comparable.
The chief clarity I seek at this point is for you to understand what I am and am not saying.
Perhaps you have forgotten what my original post said: “I don’t mean to be offensive or make moral equivalence.” Taken at face value, this says that I’m not claiming that pedophilia and homosexuality are morally equal. I was simply using it in relation to a particular point being made, not to homosexuality on the whole, i.e., comparing ideas, not people. And I even acknowledged that there are other pro-homosexual arguments to be made where pedophilia would not be an anolog. Please don’t misread me.
I also was not suggesting that anyone had brought up the “born that way” argument (though it is all too common in dialogs I have had). I was simply using it as but one example of where pedophilia can possibly or actually make the same claim. In your post you contemplate the merits of that comparison as well. I was simply explaining why that thing is often leveraged in conversations. I’ll not be disarmed of legitimate tools of argumentation merely because you find them offensive, or by being accused of obsession over them.
The root of the problem may simply be that I find anything wrong at all with homosexuality, and that I offer any kind of push-back. It is my experience that these conversation get very emotional, and it is very hard to have a reasoned and intellectually honest discussion that does not end with me being dismissed with some ad hominem label.
This is not the time or place for me to give a comprehensive argument against homosexuality. I started here by simply posing a question to a thought offered by Violet. It does not require that I give a full accounting of myself in order to challenge an idea put on the table, and I’ve challenged the ideas even of people who are on my own side of debates. (Examples: http://pspruett.wordpress.com/2014/02/02/responding-to-a-critic-of-love-the-sinner-hate-the-sin/#comment-8 and http://pspruett.blogspot.com/2006/05/bad-arguments-against-abortion.html)
Let’s simply start with clarity over positions. I would like to think that you can accept that I have a belief that will not magically change by way of emotionalism or personal attack, and that I have a right to argue both for my position and against its opposite. If my logic is flawed at any point, then I expect to be called on that. Of course, I am presuming here that reason and truth are shared principles that can be employed in these things, and that this is not simply about what people “want” — reason be damned. If that is the case, the only meaningful place left to express each of our beliefs is the voting booth.
I own my contempt for you. I won’t use a term which expresses it, because our homophobic hostess might object.
You want me to “understand”? I mean, really? You think I am, well, not quite intelligent enough, and though you express yourself with such beautiful clarity, I don’t quite get it?
Yes, I read that you claim not to be making moral equivalence. And yet, there you are, you and a hundred other mediocre little people like you, using “gay” in the same sentence as “paedophile”. No, no moral equivalence at all. It is a perfect analogy. Each might be equally “born that way” or “unable to help it” or as disgusting to you as the other.
Honestly. You complain of emotionalism. You find homosexuality wrong, you compare it to paedophilia, rather than say serial adultery, you pick on the most hateful thing to make a-
Yes, I know Godwin’s law. You don’t like emotionalism, so I will make a comparison which fits you equally well, though please understand I am not making a moral equivalence. You are the guy at the Wannsee conference, considering the Jewish problem coolly and rationally without emotionalism, because Jews and gays are worth not quite so much as Aryans and straights.
Yes, I am being emotional. But isn’t that what you wanted?
To put it another way:
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DON’T USE THAT ANALOGY!! i’M BEGGING YOU!! iT IS REALLY HORRIBLE, AND IT REALLY HURTS!!
I’m one of the lesser ones. You can find “anything wrong at all” with me. Congratulations.
I fear that productive dialog cannot be had here, which is unfortunate to me since I always enjoy hearing other people’s ideas and testing my own beliefs. As a champion of anti-hate and tolerance, yourself, it is sad to see you expressing explicit contempt for me (and Katy elsewhere) when “hatred” and nefarious motives on our part are only *inferred* by you because we believe differently or argue in ways not sanctioned by the LGBT community.
It is only your presumption that I find X and Y equally “disgusting” (for lack of permission to name these things, with “Y” hereafter being the hated thing). I did not say it, I do not believe it, and I have tried continually to qualify the analogy and admit that it does limit work. You invite me to use other things as analogies, which I often do, but not every unoffensive thing fits well with the point in question. I can’t very well make reductio ad absurdum arguments with weak analogies and with things for which the audience may be morally ambivalent. If I simply wanted your emotionalism I would have made the analogy without qualification.
Regarding your Wannsee analogy, if you felt that I were making an argument that had a meaningful analog to this then I could understand and accept your usage of it. If it was what you believed, and I cared about dialog with you, then I would address the analogy and not brush it off in a huff. How would that persuade you that you are wrong?
Unfortunately, there’s not much to work with in this case. The only similarity to leverage is that I have an issue with homosexuality. However, no conclusion follows, because my view of human equality and value does not permit the Nazi road. Also, I do not share their Darwinian view of genetic progress or superiority, which had them brutally arbitrating who was the “fittest” to survive. Additionally, there is some historical warrant for believing that some of those in power were themselves homosexual and there were many conservative Christians who suffered under the Nazi pogrom as well. History is messy and nuanced.
I don’t think you understand yourself, that’s the thing. You make the analogy of gay people with paedophiles, and then you try to weasel out of why it is an offensive and ridiculous analogy. I would like to know why you think serial adultery is not a good analogy. Someone is born with a strong sex drive, but should not act upon it- since I agree that serial adultery is wrong, the analogy is equally forceful- but instead, you pick paedophilia. Why not serial adultery?
Sorry that I’ve given the impression of being evasive or intellectually dishonest. Opening the door for psychoanalysis is the last thing I intend 🙂
Let me just try to answer your very reasonable question. The points of comparison were to someone who must presumably “live a life of loneliness, denied the romantic partner of your choice and denied the right to ever raise children.” While I don’t actually accept Violet’s particular characterization of Katy’s (or my) view of homosexuals, I do think that condition “Y” is a closer analog to what she said than a serial adulterer, and a better candidate for a reductio argument.
This serial adulterer (SA) is presumably a heterosexual. (Let’s say it’s a man, too, so I can use a pronoun. In fact, let me use a man for all examples.) What he wants to be happy is not so much a matter of kind, but of quantity. He can still have the thing that makes him happy, but just not the volume and variety of it he prefers. He can still have a piece of cake, just not the whole thing. On the other hand, “Y” wants something different from what society permits him — something he cannot have in any quantity. He can have no cake whatsoever. One, two, or ten women are still women, which are the kind of thing that SA wants. However, ten women get “Y” no closer to what he wants than they do for the homosexual. Ten brussel sprouts do not equal a piece of cake. Even though SA may have similarities in that it involves a particular sexual desire (that many heterosexual males must suppress), it is not quite as categorically similar in the above regard.
The other way that “Y” is a closer analog is found in the comment about raising children. Again, I don’t accept Violet’s characterizations about homosexuals and children (I have similar nuanced views to Katy’s), but “Y” more clearly represents a direct danger to his children than a SA. Remember, AGAIN, that I’m comparing to what Violet said, which was an expression of concern for the children.
Another reason why “Y” is superior is because it is both a real scenario and also less likely to be shrugged off with indifference (thus far in our culture). A SA is more likely to be a promiscuous divorced man than a married man embracing a SA lifestyle. I have one of these in my family, and he eventually got tired of being kicked out by women and settled down with my niece with a grudging commitment to fidelity for the sake of avoiding hassle.
Also, these days, there are many people who don’t think of extra-marital sex as being a big deal, and they would even cover adultery under the umbrella of “love,” or being modern, or moral relativism. I remember watching an interview with Billy Idol where he talked about the arrangement that he had with his wife. He said that they didn’t really have a problem with infidelity so long as they were discreet about it and didn’t flaunt it at each other. Well, Billy happened to overhear (through the baby monitor) his wife talking on the phone with one lover. Even though she was intending to be discreet that was enough for Billy to kick her out. Billy is an example of not really having a moral problem with it and also not actually allowing it to be an ongoing lifestyle.
For a reductio ad absurdum argument to work, it has to closely fit the argument being presented and it also has to be something that is agreed to be “absurd.” I think that “Y” fits better than SA on both counts (in this case) even though there are places where SA may do the job. I shall try to keep that in mind in the future and not use a chainsaw where a butter knife may do just fine 🙂
Oh, please do use the word, if that is what you mean. I ask, do not use the analogy.
Thank you for introducing me to the evolequals.com blog. And thank you for coming out, here. You really do think there is a threat to the children from gay people, and fear that at some point paedophilia will not be shrugged off with indifference.
You see, I do not need to convince you.
Here’s a possible solution to the problem: if no one tries to make an argument that could equally apply to it, then I won’t even be tempted to use it as an analog. Perhaps if someone else does, then I can point them to you in order to gently explain why their argument is only begging for unpleasant analogies 🙂
Coming out? I’m assuming you mean to suggest that you’ve distilled my concerns down to these two things. It is certainly true that I am concerned with children on a number of levels, e.g., how they are produced and raised, how we perceive them morally, who has rights to them, what we teach them and are *allowed* to teach them. I wouldn’t say these are my only concerns in matters of sexual diversity, nor matters of life and death in general.
On your first item, it seems reasonable to believe that the ideal environment for raising children is within a stable household containing his/her natural parents in a committed/loving relationship. This has several benefits, not the least of which includes parenting by both a man and woman. Sure extenuating circumstances happen, and traditional families are not always perfect, but that is no more a refutation of the ideal than is, for example, rejecting our legal system because judges and police officers can screw up and sometimes vigilantes can exact real justice. My problem with this issue begins with the fact that someone who holds to this ideal could be considered a “hater.”
On your second item, I think you got it backwards (maybe accidentally). I have hinted at my concern that pedophilia will eventually become something that society takes in stride as just one more natural orientation. It seems outrageous to most, but there appears to be both a growing apathy for it in the culture and increased advocacy for removing it as a disorder. Additionally, in recent decades many philosophical and moral ideas have been put into play which lay the groundwork for its normalization. The slippery slope is only a fallacy when there’s not actually a slope that is slippery, as in this case.
Moral intuition and commonsense values have long since been dispatched by “enlightened” thinkers, a progressive media, and a “proper” liberal education. When you begin removing both taboos and the underlying principles that justify them in the first place, what can ultimately stand?
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.. er, what?
You know, the Bigot is welcome to you. I hope she enjoys your comments, and wish you all the fun you can have together. I am delighted to hear that you are protecting commonsense values against The Evil Gays. I will rest more easily in my bed.
To be honest, I’m more concerned about someone’s orientation with God than with their sexual orientation. I’m more interested in Pink, John and Violet’s apparent atheism, and where your own unique perspective on Christianity has taken you. It’s a shame that you’ve written me off as someone who just wants to write people off, because I’d like to talk about these other things with you some time.
Okay. We are not going to agree about LGBT.
My perspective on Christianity is fairly normal for British Quakers. If you like, suggest a post on your blog unrelated to LGBT issues, and I will engage with it. Or pick a post on my blog, and engage with that. We might have more light than heat yet.
Okay, thanks for the offer. I’ll look for another place and time for such a conversation. I realize that agreement on LGBT issues is a distant thing, especially where subjective factors are in play, but I hope you’ll understand if I jump in somewhere future if I see you presenting problematic arguments or mischaracterizing people like myself. I invite you to do the same.
As to Quakers, I am ashamed to say that I know less about this denomination than I should given that I have several first cousins involved in leadership positions. Even so, they represent both liberal and conservative factions, which is true in many denominations these days, so I tend to deal with people’s beliefs on an individual basis
Problematic arguments, you say, when you use paedophilia as an analogy for gayness, you waffle on about precision or whatever it was and refuse to let it go, and then you suggest I mischaracterise you?
The thing you have to realise is that people despise you because they find you immoral, and they have a sight better justification for that than “I think the Bible says so”. Your homophobia and your lack of self-knowledge disgust me. If you jump in in the future- well, what is the thing you can imagine, at the same time the most repellent and the most boring?
Clare, I wasn’t speaking about our recent conversation, I was referring to possible future conversations. I won’t comment further on your view of how this played out, because you’ll just find it boorish and think I’m just refusing to let it go (cue the song).
I *would* like to comment on a couple other things, though. You call me a homophobe, but this suggests my belief is driven merely by emotion or bias. Let me share just a few things about myself.
I did not always hold my current beliefs. I started life with no thought or problem with these things. In fact, a couple of my best friends in college were gay men, whose house I often went to — it was a fun place to be. I also have family members who are homosexual, and I have nothing but love for them. My beliefs changed in spite of what I personally feel about this, and few even know my beliefs. Additionally, my changed beliefs do not change my relationship with these people. For example, one of our family friends is a gender confused woman (it’s complicated), and she is a regular guest at our home for dinner and holidays. In fact, she is like a third parent to my grandchildren because she is so close with my daughter and her husband.
Second, my issues are both philosophical and theological. While I do indeed believe that same-sex attractions are not celebrated in Scripture, I can make a case against them from theism alone and could make a case for at least acceptance of us “homophobes” even apart from theism.
In any case, as a self-described Christian, I would think that you would be sympathetic to someone attempting to be faithful to Scripture even if you believe them to be wrong about their interpretation of it. I think that Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons have gotten their theology badly wrong, but I certainly don’t consider them despicable. In fact, I’m wondering what form of Christianity you promote that has you calling me repellent, immoral, disgusting, and despicable rather than expressing concern for my soul and reaching out to me in grace and tolerance.
Quakers are a practical lot. We have one book of theology, written in the 1680s, and that has been enough. So I am far more concerned with the effects that your pernicious views have on others than the state of your soul.
You have just said, without any irony I can perceive, that some of your best friends are homoseK-ssual.
I doubt ze would like the term “gender-confused”, though, if ze knew one better: neutrois, bigendered, there are all sorts of good descriptive words. If you call someone who is trans “gender confused” you are being insulting.
If you were concerned at all with your own soul, you would be concerned by your own sin. That you are concerned with a “sin” to which you claim no temptation can only be because you want to look down on people you can call “sinners”.
Yeah, I know, it probably sounds trite when someone like me says these things about friends and family. I was just trying to make the point that it’s not all about hate and bigotry, nor is it because I simply haven’t been exposed to any nice LGBTs. To be honest, my bad experience with gays were primarily during the period when I didn’t have anything against them, and it didn’t even manage to impact my thinking (of course, I didn’t do much moral thinking at all in those days). I changed my mind on a different basis, and only much later thought back and remembered the various experiences that I had entirely forgotten about.
As far as labeling this family friend, none of us really do use labels. She usually just lists herself as a male on facebook and stuff but she doesn’t much care if we use feminine pronouns. She’s pretty easygoing about all of it and understands our position. We even jokingly call her the “Ancle” of our granddaughters (Aunt/Uncle). She used to be pretty in-your-face and militant about things until my daughter helped her tone it down and understand she was being as pushy and intolerant of others as she thought they were of her. She also helped her move away from atheism by challenging her to read a book I recommended. That made a big difference in her demeanor.
I am indeed concerned with my own sin. You can’t even imagine! But that doesn’t mean I need to sit in a closet and navel-gaze. I don’t need to be perfect before I can care about the world. I don’t need to feed all the hungry people of America before I can care about Africa. I don’t need to have made nothing but good decisions before I can talk to my children about bad ones. And sometimes the cure to your own sin is to stop nursing it and go out to engage the world.
It is not true that my interest in this (and other things like it) “can only be” because I want to look down on people. Does it also mean that I defend the pro-life view, argue against atheism, or debate political philosophy for the same reason? Can you not imagine that someone genuinely has a principled objection to the full normalization of LGBT, and has concerns for the future rights of those who differ? Must it *necessarily* be that we are wicked people to hold these views? Why can’t we just be “mistaken?”
Thanks for the free psychoanalysis, but I was more interested in why Christians like yourself almost always (in my experience) react by condemning people like me rather than attempting to be inclusive and caring about our spiritual state like they do with others. Most of the “inclusive” Christians that I have dialoged with about this are quite theologically liberal and do not believe in hell, but they seem willing to make an exception in my case. It would seem that the grace of God extends only so far.
So, not a “friend”.
This person, clearly a man from what you say, you refer to by female pronouns because you claim that he does not really mind and he was the intolerant one, if he objected. And you are trying to get him to follow the same insane brand of Christianity as you.
You see, I don’t think you are doing “moral thinking”. Rather, you are as delusional as a Young Earth Creationist, so enchanted by your “Beliefs” that you cannot see moral reality.
“Friend” by her reckoning, not just mine. By the measure of what nature (and God, if you’re inlined) made her, she’s female. She hasn’t attempted to “correct” that thus far. She’s a “he” in the same sense that she is a “Prince” when dressed up for the Renaissance Festival. She doesn’t demand that I alter my view of reality in either case.
I didn’t say her “intolerance” was in relation to me; I actually have this information second hand. It was in relation to how she acted and what she talked about around everyone, even children, and how she didn’t give a speck of concern for what she said, who she was with or in which dressing room (our original interaction with her was through theatre). Just to make it clear, she felt she had the right to both dressing rooms.
As far as my “insane” brand of Christianity, of course I would want people to share my belief, especially if I believed it to be true and that I’m supposed to evangelize. You implicitly would like me to accept your own view of it, though. It is for another day to discuss which of the two most closely represents the teaching of Jesus as delivered to us by His closest followers. In any case, I only told you that we had dissuaded her from atheism. I don’t really know where her thinking is at this point, but it is at least friendly to Christianity of some form. Whatever our differences over the nature of Christianity, I should think you would find that a positive move.
No, actually. Denying the truth of how this man was created is a retrograde step, especially if you lie that that is a Christian response. You make Christ a torturer and liar in your image.
This precious person was “created” as a female. It is only her desires that contradict that empirical and tangible fact. I do not hazard to reengineer truth to comply with desire, especially given that desire has so often proved to be errant. Jesus seems to me to affirm the idea that the chief problem of humanity is its deficient desires. I’m quite certain that He’s not just thinking of the temptation to have a fourth Hamantaschen at breakfast. Crafting one’s theology to suit one’s proclivities seems a questionable project and would better qualify as making Christ in one’s own image. Doing so is what led me to liberalism. Seeing the fruit of that tree is part of what turned me away.
Yes, but you do. You desire him to be simple and explicable in your terms. You think he looks like a woman, so you desire him to be a woman. God has made him far more complex than that, but you cannot bear God’s good creation, because it is inexplicable to you.
No, I don’t think she “looks” like a woman, she physically *is* a woman. That is simply data. You imply a metaphysical aspect, bestowed by God, that supersedes this, e.g., a “male” soul. In this you seem to be suggesting that God has made a soul/body assignment mistake that she is required to correct. I’m sure she would much rather that God had gotten it “right” and given her the male body in the first place. You also seem to be suggesting that I ought to consider this human to actually be a cat, both before and after the surgeries: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1052934/Cat-Man–human-tiger-enjoys-climbing-trees-eats-raw-meat-day.html
Look it up. I infer masculine brain structures as shown in other trans men. But, whatever. You seek to make it simple, because you cannot accept the complexity or the truth of the situation. I have not thought about that cat-man, and will not be derailed from the truth of the trans experience.
I do not deny the complexity of the situation, nor do I lack sympathy. I just do not accept the premise that it is a natural/normal/ideal situation, much less that it is what God is pleased with. There’s a hard road of proof required to get there, and it would be a similar road that would consider congenital defects to be the ideal state for those who have them. Also, while you are considering cat-man, consider amputee wannabees. Yet another example of people who somehow manage to have desires that are… unusual.
Actually, I have considered Bodily Integrity Identity Disorder. There is a ping on that post, with a response from someone with BIID.
God is pleased with God’s children. The Earth shall be filled with the Glory of God as the waters cover the sea. Part of God working God’s purpose out is bringing increasingly diverse groups of people together, with immigration and greater acceptance of human diversity. This benefits everyone, but unfortunately conservatives like you seek to inhibit it.
Things in God’s creation which you, with your tiny, fearful mind do not consider good: try to imagine them as side-effects of things you can imagine to be good.
“Diversity” is definitely spoken of in Scripture, specifically tribe, language, nation, race, slave/free, man/woman, Jew/Gentile. But you can’t just cover everything you like under the blanket of “diversity.” There are many ways people are that you wouldn’t want to include. Being born in a different nation or race is one thing, rejecting your physical nature and the sexual framework designed by God is another thing entirely. I’m not being “fearful”; I’m just trying to think rationally within the framework of the Natural and Special revelation that God has provided. Apparently, diversity doesn’t cover tiny minds like mine 🙂
Diversity does not cover rejection of truth. Diversity covers how things are. We get liberated, we accept ourselves, we are diverse, we enter the Kingdom of Heaven. You reject truth, you imagine that I reject my physical nature because you can’t understand how God made me, and you are not diverse, you are rejecting diversity. If I was a little clone of you, it would make you feel safe.
Truth? But you see, I have reason to believe my views are true as well, and I do so rationally rather than by way of the bias and emotion that you *continually* ascribe to me. You can’t just assert “your truth” and assume those who disagree must necessarily do so by way of nefarious motives. It’s certainly not a convincing tactic in any case, though it may be emotionally satisfying.
How things are? But in this world there exist many things that just *are*, which even you exclude from your approved roster of diversity. We just disagree over what that list includes and the basis upon which to make any exclusions at all. It seems to me that you have taken natural teleology off of the table, which opens a Pandora’s Box of moral options.
Get liberated? From what or who? If God made you a certain way then that implies that He personally put you in bondage from which you must be “liberated.” What interesting games this god plays.
How God made you? Are we to believe that every way people are, that God made them thus with intention and pleasure? People are born with all manner of physical and psycho-social disorders, and many develop conditions along the way. Just how much credit do we give to God in these things, and if we have no grounds for defining what is “normal” (as physical nature might provide), then this question cannot be answered either way and we all get to credit God.
The entire Christian worldview is premised upon the idea that we live in a fallen world, which does not exclude ourselves. We should expect problems, even from birth, and the mere fact that we have desires that are rewarding to satisfy (like an alcoholic or sex addict) does not vindicate those desires. Be assured that this theology runs counter to my own inclinations; I do not hold these truths merely to affirm my own biases and emotional safety. Back in the days when I DID craft my theology in such a way I found New Age mysticism to be far more attractive than classical Christianity. I know bias. I lived it. Much of what I have argued against in my internet blogging and debating days I have believed myself at some point.
Why do you imagine I reject teleology?
Because you trump the design & purpose of the physical gender distinctions with what amounts to personal feelings about it, and merely justify doing so by reference to things easily explained as examples of where that design has been impaired. Even if a wrench were sentient and preferred to pound nails in, I would still think it had left its proper estate. And I wouldn’t expect to be called a “hater” if I thought so.
A better analogy is a claw hammer. Yes, it is for banging nails in, but also for pulling nails out. Sex is for reproduction, but also for binding couples together, and it works in the second purpose just as well for gays as for the infertile.
Yes the claw hammer is for nails, isn’t it — both front and back. The wrench is not. It is ad hoc to try to use the one for the other’s purpose, and a denial of the teleology of tools.
There is no question that the penis and the vagina are made for each other, even down to the bio-chemical level. Semen has properties to permit it’s survival and delivery to the egg within the vaginal environment, and the vagina has cell membranes specifically suited to the advances of the male organ and its payload. The anus, on the other hand, has a delicate cellular structure that is designed for absorption of fluid and has none of the defenses of the vagina. This is one of the reasons why there is an increased risk of anal cancer in those who engage in anal sex. Similar health issues exist even for oral sex. Homosexual sex is ad hoc of necessity.
Sex is certainly an expression if intimacy, but sexual teleology suggests to us the context of its proper application.
Extra-marital sex fits all that description. Straight men bugger women. Some gay men never use anal sex. It’s not just,
Can you say anything relevant? What were you trying to argue, anyway?
“Extra-marital sex fits all that description.”
If the extra-marital sex is between a man and woman, then it fits very little of what I have said. But I would argue against that on other grounds and I don’t think you are advocating it, so I’m not sure how it’s relevant.
“Straight men bugger women.”
Indeed some do, and they suffer the same risks. It is equally ill-advised for them to do so, and does not magically make it okay for the homosexual to do so themselves. At least straight couples have the natural option at their disposal. The homosexual is forced to make due with problematic alternatives of necessity. In rejecting the need or purpose of the hammer he is forced to improvise, and it is no surprise when the results suffer.
“Some gay men never use anal sex. It’s not just, [?]”
As I said, there are similar problems even with oral sex. But okay, so maybe there are even gay monks, who affirm homosexuality but choose not to practice it for whatever reason. It is still true that they sustain a denial of gender teleology. They reject the hammer even if they do not use another tool in its place. The elevated health problems of the community that does so is but one clue that there is something against nature going on here.
“What were you trying to argue, anyway?”
I started off responding to someone *else’s* idea, and have spent the balance of my time unpacking your own assertions. At this point, I’m only arguing indirectly for my beliefs by way of the critique of your own. All I would hope to accomplish at this point is to prove myself reasonable and seek the right to have a view contrary to your own, which you could accept as being motivated by something other than hate and fear. Future productive dialog will be elusive without that.
Happy Easter, Clare. May you increase in the knowledge of your maker and redeemer, and enjoy Him forever.
Mmmmm. You want to prove yourself reasonable by a detailed anatomical analysis of anal sex, which shows the deep interest you have in it, and does not alter that the purpose of sex is to bring people together.
Are you reasonable and entitled to your view? I do not deny that reproduction is the primary purpose of sex. But your position, that Gay is Wrong, requires you to deny its other purpose, of bringing people together in Love.
Happy Easter! I just checked wordpress’s Homosexuality tag: I see the homophobes are taking a day off from posting about The Evil Gays. Amazing!
I find it curious that when I debate LGBT issues, the more cogent and detailed my arguments are the more likely they are to be dismissed as the product of “deep interest” or “obsession,” as though my interest in the topic has any bearing on the validity of my arguments. I’ve debated things like the Cosmological and Teleological Arguments, ethical theory, abiogenesis, abortion, cults, liberal Christianity, and embryonic stem cell research in exhaustive detail. In those debates, never has anyone bothered to substitute a judgment of my enthusiasm on the topic for an actual response to my arguments.
You say the purpose of sex is to bring people together, but then admit that it’s *primary* purpose is reproduction. It seems reasonable to believe that if sex’s primary purpose is reproduction, then it’s secondary purpose(s) would be in the same vein: to express intimacy with persons who are reproductive candidates.
If sex has purposes at all, then those purposes should have some sort of continuity with each other. You decouple sex from men and women of reproductive age and from the need of both a penis and vagina, which leaves its secondary application open to all sorts of interesting options. It could bring neighbors together, Sunday School classes together, children together, families together, pets and their owners together, etc. Here’s where you start scrambling for ad hoc qualifications to try and throw up boundaries around your alternate sexual teleology. Failing to take your cues from its primary purpose leads one into a moral death spiral.
Since I know you love my analogies, let me offer another one here 🙂
One might reasonably say that a meal’s primary purpose is nutrition and it’s secondary purpose is to be a focal point for social activity. By your logic we would be fulfilling it’s secondary role by shoving produce into our anuses so long as we do it with friends and family. This analogy suffers from the same kind of discontinuity between the two purposes for “meal” as your view does with the purposes of “sex.”
A better analogy for meals would be we have equal social gain from eating ice-cream together, which has limited nutritional value. And it was your recounting details of the anus so lovingly, not any cogency in your arguments, that led me to comment on your obsession.
However, I have made an Easter gift for your side. Please have a read.
So, I offer “a detailed anatomical analysis” that you now perceive as “lovingly recounted.” I wonder if you find medical journals to be diaries of obsession. I once had a debate with a postmodern over the issue of moral relativism that spanned 400 pages. He never once claimed I was obsessed with moral objectivism, but in almost every debate I’ve had on LGBT issues, I’ve had to answer more for my motivation than my arguments. In fact, one fellow insisted that the only reason I could possibly be making my objections to homosexuality was because I was a closet homosexual myself. These things don’t do much rational work, but they are a great way to change the subject.
As is quibbling over analogies rather than the arguments they are meant to illustrate. But I’ll bite.
Your adjustment to my analogy would better support the idea of recreational heterosexual sex. That’s because we’re still talking about generally edible things and taking them orally. Remember, same-sex relations do not involve the same equipment as used in reproductive sex, so you have to alter something in the functional nature of eating for the analogy to hold. Since the primary purpose of sex is reproduction, and homosexual sex cannot accomplish this even slightly, then to craft an analogy with food we have to eliminate it’s primary purpose from the equation as well. You have to dream up a situation where it can provide no nutritional value whatsoever, while still involving the secondary, social aspect of the meal. Since the colon does not really employ digestive enzymes, I think my example holds pretty well. Perhaps I could also have said that the “meal” consisted of rubber, but I think the shifting of the intake to a different orifice has its own relevance in this analogy.
The point is to show how you are divorcing the important contextual details of gender complementarity and the primary purpose of sex from your own question-begging secondary purpose. If the purpose of sex can alternatively be defined to include other acts and other relationships (so long as people are being “brought together”), then it would seem that the sky’s the limit. Once sex is loosed from its natural context, then you can only be a phobe, hater, or “obsessed” to pass judgment upon someone else’s idea of how it may be expressed.
Clare, I thank you for your attempt at understanding my side. My presuppositions may be wrong (as I believe yours are), but I’m only trying to think carefully and non-emotionally based upon those presuppositions, which I’ve come to based on much study, thought, and personal observation. It’s an unfortunate thing that where mutually exclusive ideas exist, that for some to be right others have to be wrong. I tend to agree with Pascal when he said that unless you love the truth you cannot know it. I think he means that we must love it above our own preferences, temptations and shortcomings. Finding a “truth” that wraps our own flaws in a warm affirming blanket is hardly an impressive epistemological achievement.
I am sorry to hear about your flaws, but affirming them by saying “At least I’m not as bad as The Evil Gays” is indeed not impressive. Thank you for that confession.
Or- you think I have flaws? What would those be, then?
I only meant to point out the problem of epistemological bias and the fact that so many people define their “truths” based upon their own physical desires and psychological comforts. A good example of this was found in an old coworker of mine who loved fried foods and hated vegetables. In trying to convince him of the problems with his diet he offered to me what he thought were meaningful justifications. He was wrong and it affected his beliefs and arguments. And no matter how self-righteous I may or may not be about my own diet he was still wrong.
It is generally understood to lend credibility to an argument (more specifically, the arguer’s objectivity) when the truth of the argument causes embarrassment or inconvenience to the arguer. If a researcher who loves a food finds that it is a health problem and quits eating it, then it adds credibility. If a mother witnesses against her own child at a trial, it is more compelling. If a politician calls out an abuse in his own party, he gets attention. If a person testifies to an incredible story that makes him look like a fool in the process, we are more likely to believe it.
All I am saying about the conservative view (and, by extension, my own) is that it has an impact on things we might otherwise be inclined to do — pointedly so for the conservative Christian homosexual. As I said before, my prior liberal beliefs provided much greater moral latitude. If I cared only to revel in my biases I should have stayed in that place. When I converted, I changed (immediately in some ways and started changing in others). Liberalism may be true, but it is undeniably a more comfortable kind of true. As Billy Joel said, “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints”. And as philosopher Thomas Nagel said, “I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.” Subjective preference is not a rational mistress.
The gay who is an advocate is by very nature biased. Heterosexuals can certainly be biased themselves, though it is curious that heterosexuals are about evenly divided in their thinking while gays are mostly of one mind. I think this is in line with what I’m saying, though. For gays to be anti-gay, they have to declare war on something within themselves, like an alcoholic does. For a heterosexual, they don’t have to give up something one way or the other to be pro-gay. We don’t have true parity because nobody is advocating anti-heterosexuality. In fact, nobody would even be advocating for homosexuality if there were nobody who had these attractions. If no one were tempted toward homosexuality I doubt that anyone would remark at the lack of persons wanting to do odd things with their sexual organs, just as if there were no amputee wannabees we wouldn’t think it odd that no one wanted to cut off their legs. There is nothing that causes us to intuit these things alone. They are merely desires, inconsistent with the physical designs of nature, seeking both satisfaction and justification.
We may debate over whether or not LGBTs are born that way, but one thing that is certain is that we are all born with subjective bias to rationalize that which we most desire. And sexual urges are among the strongest and most insistent desires with which we must contend. I believe that LGBTs not only bear the burden of proof as to why we should normalize a departure from natural sexuality, but must face the prospect that their personal biases are the sole reason they seek to do so. This makes theater of reason, but behind the mask is only passion. And there, I think, hides a flaw.
OK. You are anti-homosexual, and by your own reasoning, it would be better to listen to the majority of heterosexuals who are not.
Your fatty diet is that of extremism. You seek refuge in purity from the difficulties of moral thought.
And- you repeatedly go back to this idea of natural sexuality. If homosexuality were unnatural, it would not exist. If gay lovemaking did not fulfil the purpose of lovemaking, which is to bring people together, it would not exist. The purpose of procreation is less, because it occurs in a tiny percentage of cases.
What an odd and disjointed takeaway of what I wrote. I’d like to unpack some of your statements, but I think you could do it yourself if you’ll go back and do a careful, linear read.
Your last paragraph covers ground that I’ve already responded to and you’ve bypassed. I’ll give a recap without the distraction of anecdotes and analogies.
* Justifying gay lovemaking by reference to its mere *existence* fails, unless you want to affirm all manner of other physically and psychologically problematic things that also *exist*.
* You don’t define what’s natural strictly by what people desire and how they behave, but primarily by how they are designed.
* Reproduction is the purpose of sex, even if no one chooses to exercise it as such.
* The primary purpose of a thing is not trumped in importance by how many times it is used in ways outside the scope of its purpose. The primary purpose is always *primary* by definition.
* The primary purpose of a thing sets the tone for the context in which secondary purposes should be expressed. There should be continuity across the spectrum.
I’ll close with something I’ve written elsewhere:
The fruition of sex is conception. The highest pleasure of sex is to climax. The greatest expression of intimacy is to have sex. The best and safest context in which to have sex is in a committed, monogamous relationship. The best partner with which to share all these things is one of the opposite sex. The teleology of sex is a logical chain that connects reproduction at the one end to an intimate relationship between a man and woman at the other, and it does not preclude all the pleasures that are found in between.
“outside the scope of its purpose”, you say.
Sex unites people. “The two become one flesh”. Do you deny that?
This is a good thing. Do you deny that?
I could go through everything you say and make mincemeat of it in the same way, but- I have better things to do.
It would be meaningless to answer your questions because we do not yet agree on words, and I think they are even ill-defined in your own thinking. Let me demonstrate the problem by asking the question with the terms defined in a couple different ways.
1) Sex (using any orifice or device you like) unites (in some vague way) people (of unconstrained variety, quantity, and relationship). Do you deny that?
2) Sex (involving complementary genitalia) unites (brings together in a unique, intimate, and mutually satisfying way) people (of the opposite sex who are in a committed and loving relationship). Do you deny that?
Obviously, I would have a problem with #1 but not #2. The devil is in the details.
But let me answer the gist of your questions by asking my own less equivocal ones.
Sex between men is outside the scope of it’s *primary* purpose (i.e., reproduction). Do you deny that?
A hug and a beer “unite” people. Do they not?
If sex can be defined in a way that does not require two people with genitalia that could, in principle, reproduce, then “sex” can be defined in about any way you want between how ever many of anything you like. Is this not true?
If sex is loosed from natural constraints, and presumably “unites,” and if that’s a “good thing,” then sex should be practiced by as many people, places, and ages as possible. Do you have a problem with this?
Someone who advocates a kind of “sex” that you would call out of bounds can equally appeal to its power of “unity” to justify it. Do you see this?
For you to claim that they are wrong about their definition you would have to appeal to some sort of sexual teleology, which would mean that we agree on some sort of boundaries and we’re just haggling over the extent of those boundaries. Do you agree?
Jesus said “the two shall be one flesh” in the explicit context of a married man and woman. Do you deny that?
Oh dear, a “kind of sex I would call out of bounds”. You’re the one for precision, you claim: what, precisely, do you mean?
That’s where you want to quibble?
There are literally hundreds of paraphilias. I do not know which you embrace in your diversity (and emphasis on unity) and which you do not. All I know is that you do indeed reject one or more, because we’ve discussed at least two that you found to be problematic. But if you insist on having stated examples before being willing to engage the gist of my argument, then perhaps these candidates will do.
Anything in the family of heterosexual chronophilia
And any number of paraphilic ways that one or more individuals may choose to exercise during (or as) sex, including S/M, voyeurism, dressing as animals, things involving various bodily excretions, role play involving rape, role play involving pedophilia, etc., etc.
Now, would you like to respond to my argument(s) with something from this list put into that context, or shall we engage in another side discussion?
I’ve got family in town for 5 days, so I probably won’t be commenting until next week. This means you’ve got plenty of time to meditate on your next volley 🙂
Oh, I didn’t need it. Having no respect for you at all, I have just been trolling and baiting you. Better that you waste your time on the Bigot’s post than that you be nasty to other people.
Ah, that would explain the lack of coherence and focus in the conversation. I’m sure you would have done much better had you actually cared to mentally engage with someone of an opposing viewpoint. I think much better of you now 😉
Here’s an example scenario that just hit the news:
I guess if sex unites, then the more the merrier.
The problem with brain studies is that brain matter changes over one’s lifetime, and all babies’ brains, male and female, are the same except for overall difference in the sizes of their brains as a whole. It is a scientific error to state that brains of transsexual men mean that they were born transsexual when it could very likely be that their brains became masculine after obsessing over becoming the opposite gender for so long and attempting to copy them.
I have a good friend who told me one year she wanted to be a boy, and everyone was ready for her to transition into “Brian,” (everyone was accepting of it – I live in Ontario, and she cut her hair, bought traditionally male clothing) but a year later she reverted back and said she was more comfortable being a girl, just a tomboy (and she was not visibly unhappy over her decision).
That people revert does not prove anything about people who do not revert.
But that people revert should make us very concerned about how we respond to people who believe they were born in the wrong gender. What about the people who change genders physically and want to go back? By then they’ve already done the damage to their bodies. You seem to be approaching this issue from the viewpoint that people are born with the desire to be in the body of the opposite gender. They are not: http://www.mygenes.co.nz/transsexuality.htm
There are complex psychological factors at work, and we need to be sympathetic to that. The fact that they are not born that way and that there are cases of people who revert is already an alarm bell that this is a bigger issue than simply giving them surgery to “make everything better.”
But which is making the mistake, the one who transitions, or the one who reverts? If you put a great deal of pressure on people not to transition- which is what society does- you will make people who ought to transition revert because they cannot bear that pressure. Then you use them as evidence that transition is wrong, for further bullying. Do you understand that?
There is a great deal about reverting on my site. I have considered this deeply. When I transitioned, I thought I might revert, but knew that even if in five years’ time I was presenting male again, the only way I could get there was to transition.
But you know better than all these trans folk who revert. You know that we are wrong. “Complex Psychological Factors”, you say knowingly, without having any idea what they are. Congratulations!
Do have a look at my site. If your mind is open at all, you just might learn something. Most trans people go through transition and feel happier and function better.
I’m quite sure I don’t know how to respond to that, PSP, but thanks for inspiring a post.
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This all seems very childish, Katy. Pink asked me to weigh in but there’s so much back-and-forth it’s hard to get a lock on anything profound.
Also, I read somewhere that you stated you were obligated to sacrifice yourself in order to placate Pink. I don’t believe in obligation. If a person is going to do something for another person, then they knowingly are doing it; therefore, it is not a sacrifice but a choice. To say they want to do something obligatory for you as a sacrifice is patronizing, I perceive.
I perceive you as emotionally insecure as evidenced by your need to justify your actions. I say that in an objective way. I used to counsel juvenile offenders and I had this one boy who had a propensity toward justifying his actions because much of his childhood his authority figures discounted his thoughts, beliefs, and ideas. He was afraid of being discounted or rejected. He was afraid of being told he was wrong because he felt that was a reflection of his self-worth. His insecurities kept him from listening and understanding the perspectives of others. The result was that he did not experience emotional growth. He forfeited the opportunity to benefit from different perspectives.
Once you realize that all people make mistakes, it’s okay to make mistakes, mistakes are learning opportunities, and it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, then you won’t feel the need to justify your actions anymore. When you don’t feel the need to justify your actions or have the last word, then there won’t be all of this runaround. Don’t let people pull you into arguments where you feel the need to justify your position, because it just shows people that you are emotionally insecure and then they will bully you and delight in your weakness.
So if I don’t engage you, does that mean that your conclusions are erroneous? 😉
Please my dear, I invite you to have the final word in our very brief discussion. All the best to you!!
Just to clarify, analyticalperspective is another devout Christian I communicate with, so I wanted to know how she sees our discussion.
Marriage has covered many arrangements. Any competent who can contract can marry..Euro-American Judeo-Christian marriage is limited to one man and one woman because it is specifically to support propagation of the species.
Homosexuals may marry certainly, but as they cannot propagate, they need other forms of marriage.
Homosexual folk demanding legal Judeo-Christian marriage are simply political bullies, muscling into the state subsidies that have been attached to encourage child raising.
A more honest version would be to remove the child-raising subsidies from the situation, since they lose their justification in the addition of definitional non-breeders to the arrangement. Perhaps I am cynical, but it seems to me likely that such removal would quickly end the demand for gay marriage …
Jack Curtis: you are completely correct. And I think you would find even the lesbian feminist Lauren Taylor http://goo.gl/sbY2hb in agreement regarding the state subsidies attached specifically to romantic relationship status. A more comprehensive argument for removal of subsidies is here http://goo.gl/cRnG7S
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