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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post
    Well put! Enjoy the Festive season, Vic.

    Cheers!
    Thanks, same to you too.

    The statement, "the meaning of a communication is its response", does seem to be counter intuitive.

    It seems far more intuitive to expect the meaning to be included in the communication.

    But if meaning were included in the communication, conversation would be impossible.

    I mean why would I be having this conversation with you now, if I already knew the meaning?

    No, you are an essential part of this conversation. I can't do without you. I depend on you to give my communication meaning. And of course vice versa.

    And I wait on your response to see what my communication means.

    So rather than asking what my communication means, you have free rein to tell me the meaning.

  2. #52
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kendoiwan View Post
    Oh wow... I think I'm going to have me a look


    Have you read Oso Mocoso's series of humorous renditions of biblical stories yet? If not, remind me (in a couple of days) to send you a link to the INTPc thread containing them. Oh, and welcome to Typology Central!

    As for the OP: If my memory is correct, then a fundamentalist interpretation of the bible would provide more condemnation for homosexuality than for masturbation, but much less than what is given for remarriage after divorce. In a hundred years, I think most denominations/churches will either view it as a standard sin along the lines of premarital sex, or else dismiss it as a non-issue, depending upon their inclinations.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I'm currently on Part 4 of this. It looks pretty interesting so far.

    I've read every passage in the Bible that refers to "homosexuality" (or as close as it gets in ancient terms), and overall it seems pretty vague. The most important passage I think is Acts 15. The focus of Acts 15 is actually more on circumcision, and while Paul is saying that circumcision is not necessary for anyone who is not culturally Jewish, at the same time he also throws out (almost) all of the other Old Testament laws.

    I say almost because the two things he says to keep from Leviticus are the dietary laws and the sexual laws. This of course begs the question, "why these laws specifically", and in truth I really don't know. If you look at Leviticus, some of the laws were clearly for sanitation purposes (like burying your feces or washing in running water), some had an obvious moral element (like leaving food in the fields for foreign people to eat), and others were obviously for cultural Jews (like circumcision and the feasts). What category do the sexual laws fall under? I think it's vague enough the people can intrepet it essentially any way they want to.

    The main conclusion that I come to is however one interprets the sexual laws, they should also interpret the dietary laws the same way. Anyone who thinks homosexuality is an abomination should seriously lay off the pork chops. Why don't people do this? Because the issue is really not about religion. It's about people finding a scapegoat for their problems and prejudices. The Bible is actually more clear about condemning divorce, so why isn't there a big outcry against divorce? Because a lot of church goers are divorced. (I am just picking divorce as one example, there are actually lots of others.)

    So essentially homosexuality is really a cultural issue that people try to disguise as a religious issue (or at very least this is what the leaders do). I'm not really singling out homophobes for doing this, since there are other situations where one issue is disguised as another so people can save face, but it still doesn't make it the right thing to do.
    I see a lot of misconception in this issue regarding the Old testament laws. Christians did not just decide to throw out the condemnation against shrimp or the penal code and keep the condemnation of homosexuality. As the film pointed out, many of the laws were ceremonial, and given only to Israel. These were "nailed to the Cross" (Col.2:16) They are now suggesting homosexuality was basically the same in the context, and that was an interesting take of it, but I don't know if that really can carry over like that.

    The dietary laws were not even really for health as many insist. Pigs and all the ther animals forbidden were scavengers, predators and pests (rabbits, rodents, etc), and all had a negative connotation, as they still generally do today; in contrast with the peaceful sheep, cows, deer, etc. It was all a spiritual representation of holiness, and this was shown when Peter refused to eat all the animals in the vision of the sheet, and they were representing Gentiles. "Clean and unclean" really referred to people and behavior, and other than behavior, was being abolished. Then, in 1 Pet.1:15, he cites "Be ye holy for I am holy"; and Paul: 2 Cor.6:17 "Touch not the unclean thing", . Here they quote OT commands which referred to unclean meats, but now (as the contexts show) their spiritual intent is to avoid unclean behavior and people. If you do that, then you've fulfilled the laws of clean and unclean.

    Outside of Israel, there were really only seven laws: (Idolatry: Gen. 31:19-36; Blasphemy: Gen. 3:1-4, Murder: Gen. 4.8-10-16, 6:11, 9:6, Theft: Gen. 3:6, Gen. 31:19, Forbidden sexual relationships: Gen. 19:5-7, 20.3, Establishing courts of justice: Gen. 19:1-9. (The Gates of a city were where Judges sat to convene Courts of Justice), Eating the Limb of a Living Animal: Gen. 9.4-5). The rabbinic sources, just like they broke their own laws down into 613, broke the seven down into about 66 or so, and they probably take the Sodom and Gomorrah passage as evidence of homosexuality being included, though most of the forbidden relationships are what we would call incest.

    So in Acts 15, what you are seeing is basically a form of the Seven being reiterated for Gentiles. Those were the types of things universally expected of man. Circumcision was specifically for Abraham's descendents, of course. The full set of dietary laws aren't mentioned there; only the "blood" related laws associated with that one law on animals in the Seven. The law against shrimps and pork obviously weren't included.

    There are continuous disputes within the Church between some groups insisting on the 7th day sabbath and dietary laws being kept, and then some others will add thae annual Jewish festivals as well. (They're the ones who the "picking and choosing" critique applies more to). I wrote this page to address that, and it explains more this issue of which laws continue or not:
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  4. #54
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    Outside of Israel, there were really only seven laws: (Idolatry: Gen. 31:19-36; Blasphemy: Gen. 3:1-4, Murder: Gen. 4.8-10-16, 6:11, 9:6, Theft: Gen. 3:6, Gen. 31:19, Forbidden sexual relationships: Gen. 19:5-7, 20.3, Establishing courts of justice: Gen. 19:1-9. (The Gates of a city were where Judges sat to convene Courts of Justice), Eating the Limb of a Living Animal: Gen. 9.4-5). The rabbinic sources, just like they broke their own laws down into 613, broke the seven down into about 66 or so, and they probably take the Sodom and Gomorrah passage as evidence of homosexuality being included, though most of the forbidden relationships are what we would call incest.

    So in Acts 15, what you are seeing is basically a form of the Seven being reiterated for Gentiles. Those were the types of things universally expected of man. Circumcision was specifically for Abraham's descendents, of course. The full set of dietary laws aren't mentioned there; only the "blood" related laws associated with that one law on animals in the Seven. The law against shrimps and pork obviously weren't included.
    I don't believe Acts 15 is referring to these seven (types of) laws specified in rabbinic sources, because only three things are mentioned. I don't even think you can count three matches, because it doesn't say to obstain from idolatry, but merely food polluted by idols. If Acts 15 was referring to these seven rabbinic principals then I would expect all seven to be mentioned.
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    I will just say up front that, just because a particular media piece has an obvious vested interest in a particular view doesn't automatically make it bad. (I think the difference for me is what approach is taken and whether the power of the media relies in substance, form, or both -- and media that depends solely on form without having substance is media that lacks integrity.)

    The documentary is definitely put together to promote a particular side and cast the opposing views in a bad light, and definitely there's a strong play to emotions in terms of music, clip editing, and whatever else. Here, the highly intolerant end of the religious right is promoted as if it's representative of the whole, whereas actually I think most people who are negative towards homosexuality in some way have a more casual approach to it: They're against it but not actively militant until they feel threatened in some way. I think the documentary improves where it casts anti-homosexual opines as less extreme.


    Part 1 (intro): Sets up the rest of the documentary, tone-wise. Pretty clearly telegraphs the style and point of the documentary.

    Part 2: I have to say I was really uncomfortable by the scene where Anita Bryant got a pie in her face; I found it quite juvenile (and not very flattering) for the part of the gay activist, but I was also immediately offended by the religious posturing of Bryant and the others who bowed their heads and prayed for the "poor depraved homo's soul" right there in the conference, taking advantage of the media presence to enforce their "oh so spiritual" image. Just sickening stuff, even if Bryant was doing this sincerely -- I felt like I was watching strategies used by my pre-teen kids, where when they fight they capitalize on situations to make the other look worse.

    // Hitler references? Ick.

    // Again, promoting the most extreme anti-homosexual forces who are rabid, versus the most intelligent "equal rights" people on the other.
    Sort of stacking the deck, isn't it?

    // FINALLY, focusing on Gene Robinson's personal narrative, and interviewing his obviously religious parents who you'd think would be opposed.
    It finally puts a normal, human face on the issue and connects in a much more "fair" way. Basically, "Look, you have these beliefs; look at this guy, look at the family; can you really say you believe all these awful things about this guy, just because he's gay?"

    It gets to the crux of the matter; only the hardcore "theology trumps life experience" folks will completley ignore stuff like this.

    //Interesting way to end the clip by the black pastor's comments: "I said, 'God, don't let my son grow up to be a faggot and my daughter a slut.' And God did that, yup.. he REVERSED it." And then he laughs. Some people would be bitter; his laughter makes it sound like he's had some priority changes; interested in seeing where his story has gone.


    Part 3: Comments by Tanya (the black pastor's daughter) were rather funny -- she came out to her mom to "improve their relationship," since she hated the growing distance from keeping secret, and when asked how it went, she said, "It was... remarkably unsuccessful" and laughed.

    Next comes the conservative pastor ranting against homosexual evils by dragging in people's concern for family; by linking homosexuality to "anti-family," a lot of emotional leverage can be gained by the pastor. (Of course, by linking anti-homosexuality to this style of pastor, a lot of emotional leverage can be gained with the viewers of this documentary.)

    More good "personal narratives" here, showing how people grew up, basically tried to assume the standard baseline and make it work even when they knew they were "different," and how it ended up failing. ALl the people shown are "normal" people too; they seem reasonable, friendly, and rational. In the end, it looks like the black pastor and his wife disagree with their daughter's lesbian relationships, based on their religious beliefs -- although the mother seems definitely more angry about it. I think it's good to include fairly reasonable people like this who disagree, and show how the family dynamics play out.

    In the end, can they stay CONNECTED in some way? And still respect each other? That's the important question.


    Part 4: Powerful comments about the Leviticus condemnation of homosexual behavior and placing it in context of the culture at the time and their understanding of the act of procreation and scientific misconceptions of the role of male seed versus the irrelevance of the woman, in religious thought, except as an incubator. (This also helps explain why women/women sexual activity is never dealt with; it's always about acts that waste the seed of the man.) Using a variety of studied pastors from a variety of faiths and denoms and genders and race (including Bishop Tutu) gives additional credibility, although it's hard to tell if their view is a minority opinion; the variety of sources is geared to suggest it is not.

    Powerful family stories. I love how it shows the reactions of both the children and the parents, the honest reactions, and confronting their own assumptions, expectations, and derailed dreams. It's very honest, and these parts -- which usually involve no sort of judgment, but just the sharing of the stories -- are probably the best of the documentary.

    The matter-of-fact description of the teen who talks about the fun of gay-bashing is rather chilling.


    *** Going to bed, tired


    Homosexual friends of mine have highly touted this documentary, and many said it left them in tears. It's funny how pieces that resonate to our personal experience can move us, whereas those who haven't experienced it often remain untouched or at least not stricken. I haven't yet felt much emotional connection while I've been viewing it; however, I know I watched a particular documentary a month ago, and it was directly connected to the stress I'm having with my parents, and I went from laughing to actually sobbing in the space of about 3 seconds, seeing someone having a restored relationship that I feel will never happen with me.

    So I think a lot of the emotional response is going to be based on one's personal experiences (can you directly relate to the level of rejection and abandonment that many homosexuals go through as part of embracing who they feel they are?), just to begin with.
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  6. #56
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I don't believe Acts 15 is referring to these seven (types of) laws specified in rabbinic sources, because only three things are mentioned. I don't even think you can count three matches, because it doesn't say to obstain from idolatry, but merely food polluted by idols. If Acts 15 was referring to these seven rabbinic principals then I would expect all seven to be mentioned.
    I didn't say they mentioned all of them; that's why I said a form of them. The point was, it's from the same set of universal principles.
    The commandment against food offered to idols would be apart of the commandment to avoid idolatry. Other stuff, like theft, murder and courts of justice, were not in question, but the laws in dispute involved the human body (circumcision, and they were trying to get the gentiles to keep the kosher laws as well), so the laws involving what id done with or goes into the body are what are being mentioned hhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    You are probably talking about this study...

    YouTube - The Truth About Homophobes

    http://www.oogachaga.com/downloads/h...al_arousal.pdf

    Right?

    Small sample though and far from conclusive, but it was definitely an interesting result.
    Forgot to address that. Though it's often true that the most loudest antigay people might have a problem with it themselves; still, these results may not be completely fair. The environment today is so sexualized; it is possible for someone to be turned on by any sexual act without really being drawn that way. So they show a film of two men, and just the motion would conjure up the idea of sex and thus might create some sort of stimulation; it doesn't mean he is really gay inside.
    Suppose they do this with children and animal sex next, and people are stimulated? Does that prove that everyone naturally goes those ways?
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    Jennifer 55

    This is heresy on both sides but I want to ask precisely what does any of them mean by 'Gay'? To answer my own question, I don't believe that homosexual acts or love prove anyone a homosexual, I believe that only the inability to manage (or want) heterosexual ones can truly define a homosexual.

    But what so often happens among bigots and liberals alike? Some kid shows all the signs of growing up 'different' and everybody assumes they'll only ever be homosexual. They don't get much of a chance to ever be anything else. Even beating or exorcising it out of them only confirms that that is what they are and always will be, not that it is only one aspect of what they could be. Toleration is almost worse because it discourages from thinking about heterosexual relationships: you are gay and that's fine but don't you dare even think about anything else as well. In some quarters it's the 'crime' of homophobia to dare tell a kid "You're fifteen now, you're in a homosexual relationship, but that says no more about who you'll be with when you're 25 than the fact that you had no sexual relationships at ten years ago meant that you'd never have any".

    We're totally familiar with the idea that people can change from heterosexual to homosexual but we have always had a prejudice about going on the turn and once a queer, always a queer and now we just call it coming out and make it acceptable - but it's still the same prejudice, once off the Straight (and narrow) and you don't get back - like one drop of black blood and you're all 'A Black'.

    Look at history and a lot of the time you just don't find this simple either Hetero or else Homo. You find a lot of bisexual men and probably women, but women have usually been allowed to show each other a lot more affection that would automatically be called 'homosexual' in men.

    It is not so long ago that girls who displayed open heterosexuality were sent to therapy or even locked up and doctors treated even married women for enjoying their conjugal duties. As for men pleasuring their wife! Degenerates maybe but not real men.

    Were they raising a homosexual society? It's interesting to see how prevalent very intense same-sex friendships and actual homosexuality were among the classes PJ Wodehouse satirised in his Bertie Wooster novels as well as a considerable disdain between the sexes and how Wooster might come across today. Even James Bond as Fleming first wrote him 60 years ago has all the personal fastidiousness stereotypes (the books read like a tedious shopping list from the top London suppliers of the day) thought of as gay as well as an open dislike of women.

    But go back further and it's been noted that Oscar Wilde's marriage was far more 'modern' as a partnership and very genuine affection with Constance (they had two sons, one of whose sons, Vyvyan Holland, is either still alive or only recently dead) than any marriage of his time and class was expeced to be. Go as far as Ancient Athens and they're at it with anything they can afford regardless of sex. By Rome we have a completely different culture from either that takes it for granted that sex and emotion are 'effeminate' and anybody who puts it around with one sex is certain to do so with the other as well. Even 'Lesbia' in honor of Sappho means 'Erotic' towards men as much as to women and when Catullus isn't alternately pleading to get up her tunic or bitching when he didn't, he's up his boyfriend's.

    So are we so right to go back to old beliefs that 'pure gays' incapable of expressing affection with the other sex physically are born and not made as if some kind of congenital mental defect? It's a belief we haven't held for historically very long and don't share with many other world cultures. Remember in Shogun the Daimyo Yabu is happy to bed boy and girl together.

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    I'm only here for a moment, Oleandar, so I was unable to give your post the reading it deserves. On my skim, it seems that you're simply making the point that the need to define "sexual preference" is the culprit here and it can be destructive for people to feel forced to align themselves as homosexuals in terms of identity, since that ALSO locks them in a particular box. Boxes are boxes, after all? No matter what sort of boxes they are?

    It's a point of view worth discussing, but I'd avoid just dismissing gay feelings as a result of feeling compelled to commit to a homosexual identity of some sort. Maybe for some people, that's actually HOW they identify, regardless of what society approves or doesn't approve of; it might not just be a social construct.

    I also think that, especially when people grapple with feelings after a lifetime of effort, this is potentially a lot different than some teenager coming out... the teenager early on is reacting more to personal feelings coupled with a lot of other people's descriptions of their experiences and there's a lot of interpolation going on; when someone in their 40's or later finally comes to acceptance about "who they are," it's based on various efforts and probably lots and lots of introspection over years. It's less likely to be someone buying into a social narrative without proper context.

    Still, having that "identity" should not be used as a limitation on what one can do in the future; it should be used as a way of freeing oneself from unrealistic expectations. Have you considered the possibility that for many gays (and others who "come out"), this might actually be the case, but you're reading it from your own perpsective as another box, when in fact they have a totally different internalized understanding of it, one that is much more liberating than you perceive?

    * * * *

    I cheated and watched Clip #5 last night, rather than going to bed like I said I would.
    That one, I strongly could relate to. Sigh.
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    Member Oleander's Avatar
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    Basically you've got it. I don't like boxes. I don't dispute that people 'feel gay' but I see it as cultural because we make this exclusive distinction. Once you're gay you can't be heterosexual, and you can't ever have been heterosexual. That's what I see as wrong. But a lot of people have had relationships with both sexes, a lot who've subsequently identified as gay have had very good heterosexual relationships. I find it one of our tragedies that very often homosexual men find a far greater attraction to women than so-called heterosexual.

    I think we should investigate our attitudes to affection and sex altogether. I think we are (or have been) essentially a homosexual society which barred actual physicality but allowed heterosexual acts 'decent' women weren't supposed to like and 'decent' men to be ashamed of (some feminists still give that impression).

    But people enjoy all sorts of physical stimulation and all sorts of emotional relationships. It's very suspicious to me that this is the only where it's considered normal for one to be exclusive. Suppose that we had a thing about masturbation? It was taken for granted that anybody who masturbates just isn't going to have any kind of relationship - that's it, there are heterosexuals, homosexuals and autosexuals.

    A case could be made for it - and it would be a self-sustaining case. Shy people who don't make relationships easily but are still sexual do it for themselves. Some very selfish people who don't want the commitment of a relationship do it for themselves. People who aren't ashamed about it or who fancy some kinky deal are less likely to go on the pull for anything they can get into bed. And a lot of women know that they can do far better for themselves than a lot of men can (What they don't realise is that some women behave like they're trying to wrench it off and others have all the sexual excitement of a blow-up doll - it works both ways!)

    It's very easy to see how a belief could spring up to put that the other way round, that they don't want relationships because they prefer themselves. All around them, everybody and themselves would believe it even people who had masturbated but kept quiet about it. They would develop a third 'sexuality' because nobody starts off sexual, everybody worries about the first relationship and the first time and it can often be disappointing (especially for girls). So if it's quite acceptable not to make the effort - do you? It would happen because people believe in it and even though there'd be a few exceptions they would be argued away.

    We're very funny about sex altogether. We are all supposed to like it but at the same time there is very little respect for anybody honest enough to say "I find you attractive, let's make love and see how well it goes", and from man to woman likely to be taken as a gross insult. We like making love but few people like to feel propositioned.

    Come to think of it I think this autosexuality (maybe disguised as asexuality) did exist. It's part of Puritanism and the Jansenist Irish Catholic spin-off of men who could just about have sex only in the narrow space between enough Guinness to get inhibitions down and too much to get it up and the huge number of both sexes who used to disappear into religious celibacy (for whom I work on Saturdays). You have a society there where distrust of the other sex became so extreme that it bordered on homosexuality or autosexuality. What does a 71-year old man who joined a celibate Order at 15 know about women? No wonder so many of them turn to children - they are children. Natural development to relational sex has been arrested.

    I think that excluding people from ever allowing heterosexuality because they have not conformed to the stereotype demanded of their sex is exactly the same thing; indoctrinating them to stop there, not to develop further maturity. There was a certain kind of 'gay lifestyle' which a lot of older men identifying as homosexual loathed, stuck in a kind of eternal promiscuous brittle self-promoting teenage. There is a kind of heterosexual 'lifestyle' that never seems to mature too, embarrassing older men (fewer women) convincing themselves that a succession of casual sexual encounters (often paid for indirectly but they're even proud they can buy it) somehow gives them the edge over 'boring' couples who've settled down to more together than what to be honest half the population always has that the other half wants.

    I know I find certain kinds of person attractive in different ways: some I would like to be friends and have sexual fun with but not to set a home up with. Others, I could live with and the sex might be less kinky because that would feel trivial compared to the rest of the relationship and the intensity that making love would mean with them.(I have my eye on one but I've been stuck at more than chat where she works for ages - and I don't think that looking like a gorgeous Easter Egg I'd love to cuddle up to would go down as a compliment!)

    If I found the wrong things up a certain punky-grungy pair of pants, I might be angry at the deception but I can't imagine I wouldn't still enjoy seeing how long i could make somebody else's thrills last and appreciate the same. I suspect I'd find anything untouched there a lot more attractive than the piercings I suspect may be lurking in very tender places!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oleander View Post
    Basically you've got it. I don't like boxes. I don't dispute that people 'feel gay' but I see it as cultural because we make this exclusive distinction. Once you're gay you can't be heterosexual, and you can't ever have been heterosexual. That's what I see as wrong.
    I can see how it developed. Homosexuality was attacked as a behavior, but it felt intrinsic to the people who were being condemned by society -- not just "screwing around carnally" but a matter of who they felt attracted to. By reducing it to an "identity" issue than maintaining all the ambiguities, they could then better defend themselves socially.

    What I see, really, is that while there might tend to be a large preference, people have some level of attraction to others regardless. I'm not saying all people are bi, but I think sexual desire it not all 100% one way or the other. One of my best friends here actually doesn't think about love in terms of gender at all: She's basically told me that "she loves who she loves," and it doesn't matter to her whether it's a male or female, she just loves THEM.


    But a lot of people have had relationships with both sexes, a lot who've subsequently identified as gay have had very good heterosexual relationships. I find it one of our tragedies that very often homosexual men find a far greater attraction to women than so-called heterosexual.
    Evidence for this, since it runs against the common stories I bump into, would be helpful. It doesn't seem typical to me. What crowd do you run with?

    I think we should investigate our attitudes to affection and sex altogether. I think we are (or have been) essentially a homosexual society which barred actual physicality but allowed heterosexual acts 'decent' women weren't supposed to like and 'decent' men to be ashamed of (some feminists still give that impression).
    What?
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