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  1. #111
    Symbolic Herald Vasilisa's Avatar
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    Hi, Kasper. I am not any kind of expert on religious affairs, and I never post over here. I am not interested in convincing anybody of anything either, I just want to help you out with what you are asking for. I relate as someone who wasn't brought up in these things, its hard to understand what is behind it all, where it comes from.

    Here is something I saw that tries to explain how the beliefs came about originally, which it sounds like you are after.
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  2. #112
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    I find it amusing that many anti-homosexual Christians claim homosexuality is a choice. If homosexuality is a choice, then all other forms of attraction are choices as well. For instance, your attraction to your avatar would be a choice, or your attraction to your favorite color would be a choice. Would you say your attraction to your avatar a choice, or was your usage of your avatar a choice? If you had an attraction to not staring at the sun for long periods of time, would that be a choice?

    Preferences for attraction aren't always conscious, but are often predetermined by one's subconscious. Over time, one can overcome the stuff of their subconscious by becoming more cognizant of themselves; for instance, an alcoholic can go cold turkey and slowly mitigate their attraction to alcoholic beverages. The same could be said for addicts of other activities.

    I've heard of some Christian organizations practice a kind of 'rehab' for homosexuals that is similar, but I question if they have a high success rate.

    ------------------

    The link that Peguy gave does invalidate the notion that all Christians 'hate' homosexuals. A theory can have a stockade of evidence mounted up to corroborate with it but it only requires one exception to the rule to debunk the whole thing. Interestingly enough, many people use this kind of scientific approach when evaluating religious doctrine. For instance, they see one moral that does not resonate with them, such as the rule against homosexual acts, and they toss the rest over their shoulder like Alfred Hitchcock tossed coffee cups over his shoulder. This is throwing the baby out with the bathwater, at least prematurely. It would be similar to Rastafarians inciting anarchy for the sole reason that the government outlaws marijuana. Really?

    It's often more desirable for people to build their own moral tenets, while shaving off the undesirable morals of other belief systems. That's the appeal of rejecting Christianity on a basis of morality.

    If God consciously caused the universe to exist (by his free will), and all things within the universe are constrained by linear cause and effect relationships, then our existence and choices within the universe is also dictated by the same rule. This would mean that God necessitated our moral outcomes from the very start, and that he would be judging us for something that he determined. This is part of "Predestination", and by contemporary humanistic standards, God's actions would be unethical, pinning humanity as a scapegoat. Furthermore, this would mean that God is not omnibenevolent; but the Puritanical belief system does not have this inconsistency because it holds that God also dictates all ethical absolutes. How human free will fits into other Christian dogmas is beyond me.
    Last edited by Ginkgo; 08-31-2010 at 04:59 AM. Reason: edited "is predestination" to "part of"

  3. #113
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    I've heard of some Christian organizations practice a kind of 'rehab' for homosexuals that is similar, but I question if they have a high success rate.
    They don't. That's been pretty well-documented at this point, and even the "ex-gay" orgs themselves have felt the need to revise their figures and/or their actual philosopy they share with the people who enter the programs so that their expectations are realistic because for many years they were not.

    One of the more interesting books I've read on it was:
    Amazon.com: Straight to Jesus: Sexual and Christian Conversions in the Ex-Gay Movement (9780520245822): Tanya Erzen: Books

    Yarhouse and Jones presented an interesting book a few years back about their own study -- a five-year detailed program. Unfortunately, there are some issues which I've read before and have been summarized by one of the Amazon reviewers:

    -- The study was conducted by two supporters of ex-gay ministries.

    -- They originally sought 300 participants, but after more than a year of seeking to round up volunteers, they had to settle on only 98 participants.

    -- During the course of the study, 25 dropped out, and one participant's answers were too incomplete to be used.

    -- Of the remaining 72 only 11 reported "satisfactory, if not uncomplicated, heterosexual adjustment." (direct quote). Some of these 11 remained primarily homosexual in attraction or, at best, bisexual, but were satisfied that they were just slightly more attracted to the opposite sex, or slightly less attracted to the same sex.

    -- After the study ended, but before the book was finished, one of the 11 wrote to the authors to say that he lied -- he really wanted to change, had really hoped he had changed, and answered that he had changed. But he concluded that he hadn't, came out, and is now living as an openly gay man.

    -- Dozens of participants experienced no lessening of same-sex attraction and no increase in opposite-sex attraction, but were classified as "success" stories by Jones and Yarhouse simply because they maintained celibacy -- something many conservative gay people already do.

    -- The study purposely declined to interview any ex-gay survivors: people who claim to have been injured by ex-gay programs and who have formed support groups such as Beyond Ex-Gay. Despite -- or because of -- this omission, the authors of this study make the unfounded claim that there is little or no evidence of harm resulting from unproven, unsupervised, unlicensed, and amateur ex-gay counseling tactics.
    One of the biggest issues I've seen in these "reparative therapy" movements and the Christian testimonials online is a lack of follow-thru on long-term results. Converts post their success story... and then within short-term revert so the story is now patently false but the original testimony is never pulled and continues to linger for years as some sort of "hopeful success story" for others to emulate. I can honestly say that for trans success stories, I've either researched the testimonials I've found or connected with others who researched them and tracked down the original speakers, and none of the stories held up long-term; the successes were failures. But they are still out there (some of them have been online for 15 years, while actually being failures for 14 years because the "conversion" didn't take), touted as supporting the idea that change is not only possible but perhaps even common.

    So there is a problem with distorted truth in the belief that people can be changed; a lot of the people who want to believe that "change is possible" only ever are fed the stories they want to hear and never realize many of them are either exaggerated or ultimately resulted in failure after all. At that point, with all these "false successes," LGBT people can be seen as morally deficient if they are unable to replicate these false successes.

    Also, on the Jones and Yarhouse study, I had to laugh because it had an endorsement from George Rekers: ""This is clearly the best scientific study yet conducted on change of homosexual orientation and on the question as to whether attempts at such change are inherently harmful. . . . This study meets the high research standards set by the American Psychological Association that individuals be validly assessed, followed and reported over time with a prospective, longitudinal outcome research design." -- George A. Rekers, Ph.D., Th.D., FAACP; Professor of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science Emeritus, University of South Carolina School of Medicine; Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, American Board of Professional Psychology"

    Rekers was a board member of Narth (National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality), an organization that seeks to change gay people. He was one of the few people trying to "fix" trans kids back in the 80's and 90's using behavioral modification techniques that were emotionally scarring, and was/is a big supporter of reparative therapy in general. From what I can tell, his work might have been as damaging as John Money's was from the other end of things back in the 70's. (Money assumed that gender was malleable; his failures are best summed up in the life and death of David Reimer.)

    This past year, in his 50's/60's at this point, Rekers was caught going overseas with a twenty-something gay male he picked up on a site called "rentboy." He claimed he just needed someone to help him carry his bags on his trip, so he hired a boy from RentBoy... need I explain more? ... and traveled without his wife. The boy claims he never carried Rekers bags, but was able to describe in large detail the types of nude massages Rekers enjoyed. Rekers has since disappeared from NARTH.

    So here's issues why religious people think reparative therapy is still possible, which is a strong motivator in believing that "being gay is a choice" (since "not being gay" is apparently a feasible choice): It's what they're taught by their superiors/denominations, they're not given accurate information about its feasibility, they're taught to view failures of its leaders as attacks on the faith, and ... they also simply don't want to hear about it.
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  4. #114
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    I could actually imagine an ironic butt tattoo that said "No butt-f*cking here" or something along those lines.
    Just a street sign:


  5. #115
    Ginkgo
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    Unless, through some unfortunate constipation accident, he got an anal fissure. In which case it would be:


  6. #116
    Shaman BlackCat's Avatar
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    What I never understood is if God hates gays, then why did he allow them to exist? Why not just create man so that we are only attracted to the opposite sex?

    To me that says that God made us able to be gay, so therefore religions hating on gays doesn't make much sense to me. But it still seems to happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    I find it amusing that many anti-homosexual Christians claim homosexuality is a choice. If homosexuality is a choice, then all other forms of attraction are choices as well. For instance, your attraction to your avatar would be a choice, or your attraction to your favorite color would be a choice. Would you say your attraction to your avatar a choice, or was your usage of your avatar a choice? If you had an attraction to not staring at the sun for long periods of time, would that be a choice?
    Yeah this never made ANY sense to me. Pretty much every gay person I've ever known has been born thinking that way. Studies show that the brains of gay men are similar to women. It's pretty obviously a natural occurrence.

    When I ask Christians (who are obligated by something faith related) or gay haters in general (without religious obligations about homosexuality) about this they can never really back up their points about homosexuality. The ones who have rough opinions on homosexuality seem to have not actually tried to understand gays; and haven't made any effort to communicate with them to understand. They just blindly reject.

    None of it really makes sense to me. Not accepting your fellow man seems to be inherently irrational; we all live on the same planet. But eh. We can destroy ourselves with hate all we want, it's not like there's anything I can do about it.
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  7. #117
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCat View Post
    What I never understood is if God hates gays, then why did he allow them to exist? Why not just create man so that we are only attracted to the opposite sex?
    I think that veers into the age-old arguments about why evil exists in the world if God is not supposedly evil and evil is undesirable.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  8. #118
    Shaman BlackCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I think that veers into the age-old arguments about why evil exists in the world if God is not supposedly evil and evil is undesirable.
    Precisely. When asking Christians about this same issue, the more open minded ones have told me that it was because God gave us free will. So if they are aware of this freedom to be whatever they want... why do they hate? It's god's will for people to think on their own. It's no one else's business to judge them for that. Is this not what Christians strive to maintain in their lives?

    Again. Just people hating people. Maybe I'm soured by living in Southern Baptist heaven here.
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  9. #119
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCat View Post
    Precisely. When asking Christians about this same issue, the more open minded ones have told me that it was because God gave us free will. So if they are aware of this freedom to be whatever they want... why do they hate? It's god's will for people to think on their own. It's no one else's business to judge them for that. Is this not what Christians strive to maintain in their lives? Again. Just people hating people. Maybe I'm soured by living in Southern Baptist heaven here.
    I think they're not seeing it as hate.

    They're treating gays as people who are choosing to do evil/wrong, just as they would treat other people who are doing evil/wrong in their eyes -- all the typical, "hate the sin, love the sinnner" and "don't enable people to sin" and "protect the children from those who would do wrong" mentality. Hence, why it is viewed as choice.

    As long as the frame is maintained where homosexuality is put in the "sinning" category and thus no different than raping, stealing, murder, lying, cheating, or whatever else, I doubt the response is going to change much.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  10. #120
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Yeah, it does fit into the Christian sin framework just fine. By their theology, humans are born sinful and need to turn to God to overcome it. This accounts easily for inherent homosexuality.

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