Monday, July 15, 2013

How I've taught myself to love the homophobe, but hate the homophobia.

You like that title? That's right regressionist homophobic religious types, I've found Jesus, in that I've found that core part of his message, empathy. I understand why you rally so strongly against homosexuality, it's acceptance in our culture, and the equal treatment of those who practice it. I don't accept it, I know it to be wrong, unnecessary,  and immoral, but I understand how you arrive at it with only good intentions, and bad logic.

You will never read this, likely almost no one will, but perhaps some liberals will and it will give them insight into your mindset.

There are two types of you, and I know you both, deep down.

There are the ones who are rarely, if ever, tempted by homosexual desires.
And there are those of you who, almost certainly in secret, have felt, still feel, perhaps ONLY feel attraction to who's bits look a bit like your bits.

The first, I consider understandably, and frankly, pretty typically lazy ethicists. Most ethical people fall into this category. Most people consider themselves ethical, so most people fall into this category. You learn a set of ethics, and then adapt them to your situational needs and desires, in order to make yourself feel good. This is fairly easy, and thus common. Often (in the USA and Europe) it's the bible, with various denominational, cultural, and personal slants upon it. Sometimes it's the law, including a collection of family law. Many rules are shared broadly (murder, theft-*with addendums, adultery, cruelty, etc.) others much more specific (you never sit in Dad's chair, no matter what.) These are learned, adhered to, and (usually) used to judge other people. Sometimes rules are considered to only apply to those within the culture group, other times not. The key point however is that often times, perhaps much more so today than in the past, people emphasize aspects of their personal rulebook which allow them to feel better about themselves and worse about other people (superior). Rich people considering how lazy, stupid, criminal, etc. the poor are, considering their lack of success to be a mark of poor character, since they themselves value success highly. This plays into their morality by making themselves feel better, which allows them to ignore those other aspects of their learned rulebook they are failing at (charity? fidelity? honesty? pride? greed? that's right boys, keep telling yourself how good you are.)
The same effect drives much of homophobia. It's an easily justified sin, whatever your feelings are towards the Biblical view of homosexuality, it's certainly easy to make the case that the Bible DOES condemn it. So it's not a stretch, but playing up it's importance is easy and lazy because most people don't have much in the way of homosexual tendencies, and so they can feel absolutely pure and free of sin in this regard, unlike for instance, violence, theft, lust, and so on. Even if they manage to remain righteous in act, they still feel the temptation, and that would of course make them worried, and feel bad, so they focus on something they are never tempted to do, homosexuality. This is then compounded by the fact that homosexual acts are indeed disgusting. To heterosexuals with very little experience, openness, or interest in homosexuality, rather as I'm fairly certain many strictly homosexual men and women find the concept of heterosexual acts utterly disgusting. (Am I right Lesbians, how disgusting is a dick?) This is simply the difference between sexuality, heightened by the unfamiliar, and cyclically reenforced by the learned unethical nature of the acts. It's not a rational basis for an ethical position, but it lends visceral credence to what they are being taught, their own bodies seem to reject the mere notion of the act, and so surely it must be both unnatural and sinister. This makes a very convincing case to someone who has absolutely nothing to lose by embracing the sinfulness of homosexuality with open arms. They get to feel pure, see others as sinners, and themselves and bulwarks of morality standing against a tide of terrible sinfulness, by which they themselves are not even tempted. What a glorious feeling that must be, and the best part is, up till recently (maybe) you were still the majority, and that meant you could stand against this seemingly powerful tide, and not be harmed by it, could win against it. This is changing, because the tide you are standing against isn't immorality overtaking society, it's progress in moral improvement, it's further civilizing, moving away from our brutal past into our more accepting future. But for 60+ years now, you've had a hell of a good time. Oh you've seen barriers fall, but most of your real strongholds held out till very recently. It wasn't a crime anymore, but then, neither are lots of sins, you still got to rail against it, hurt people who embraced it, marginalize them, demonize them. You've been fighting a war of attrition, and it let you ignore so many of your own demons, since you were busy fighting someone else's. And you were clothed in the pure shining cloth of morality, and godliness, and you KNEW you were fighting the good fight. You still do, but now you're losing it, the bulwarks are falling, and you will become mere footnotes in history, while champions of the movement will live on for many years as icons.
So you see, I understand the appeal, and know that many on my side would do the same had they simply been given a different rulebook. I know you're wrong, but I understand the appeal of believing you're right.

Then there are the others.
The ones who hide in a closet with an N.O.M. poster on the door.
Oh you poor poor people.
This time is hell for you.
You're lucky though, because this hell is far better, and won't last as long, as the hell which has existed for those who COULDN'T hold it in for the rest of recent history. Those people suffered tremendously throughout much of time, and just have to suffer somewhat tolerably for about 70 years.
But right now is nearing the worst of it.
What to I mean?
These are people who have learned that homosexuality is a sin, and because in their immediate circle, it is widely discussed and condemned, they have this emphasized, again and again. They worry about it more than ANY other sin, not because it's the worst, but because it's so prevalent, in their environment, and in their lives. Because after hearing this so much, they can't help but believe it strongly. This is then further reinforced by their fear, often legitimate, that if they acted upon, or embraced those urges their world could utterly collapse, family and friends would utterly abandon them, they could become outcasts in their school, town, church, business. They would be destroyed, and they aren't about to suffer both earthly and heavenly damnation, so they fight it. Now in the past, I'm sure that fight was sometimes difficult, but all of society was structured (by intent perhaps?) to defend against such actions, leaving people with an easier job avoiding temptation. Now however, just as the sin is increasingly emphasized, culture is moving towards accepting the sin, and temptation abounds. Hell the internet is right there, you could be with your new gay lover in literally days. I'll bet there are hundreds of beautiful gay men who would sleep with a Republican senator no matter what he looked like, or had said. Just for the bragging rights (Am I right Gays? Who doesn't want some of John's Boehner?)
eh hem, getting away from tempting people into sin, and back into commiserating in as offensive and insulting a way as possible.
I get why you would be absolutely frothing mad at all these liberals who are making it so easy for you to be tempted off your righteous path, you who are so naturally inclined to be tempted, you who have sacrificed sexual and relationship satisfaction for acceptance in the community and biblical morality for so long. I completely understand and feel for the hatred you would have towards those people who pile literal insult upon literal injury by, after creating a society which hurts you daily with temptations you dare not act on, and which acting on would do tremendous harm to you, then go about acting on the same impulses you dare not. And now, they're being fucking praised for it, winning all the rights you have sacrificed for, and being socially accepted. Plus they have MUCH MUCH better parties, those outted homos have all the luck amirite? How could you not fight tooth and nail for the societal armor that in the past sheathed those who like you had a tender hold on (hetero)sexual morality to begin with? How could you not lament and object to the granting of rights, freedoms, opportunities, and privileges to those people who have given in to their depravity while you have rejected it at great personal, and entirely secret, cost. Sadly though, you are so twisted about by fear and anger, you cannot see that the best path forward is to embrace the change, and in doing so accelerate it, so that you could possibly enjoy your own entirely ethical and honest sexual existence, and the personal success and acceptance you currently have (admittedly likely in a different community). The reason this hell is far less serious than that faced by those who couldn't suppress their feelings in the past is that you probably won't be killed no matter what you do. The reason it will be shorter lived is that there will reach a tipping point very soon where only in very small and isolated communities will anyone again grow up denying their sexuality out of fear, of immorality, of social rejection, of God.
Damn I'm a champion rambler. 

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