HOMOSEXUALITY: Perception and Fear v. Reality and Reason

I have been arguing that universal empathy is the only path to peace and that organized religion builds walls that block the path. Few subjects make my case better than this one. Around the world in many countries, social and political forces work feverishly to suppress homosexual behavior. In the U.S., religious/social conservatives try to establish laws against same gender marriages.

In at least 10 countries, homosexuality may be punishable by execution. Why are homosexuals so feared? Homosexuality isn’t a disease, communicable or otherwise. It affects no one detrimentally.

Among the most favored arguments is that everyone’s sexuality is a choice. Yet, if you ask, I suspect most heterosexuals will deny they’ve ever been romantically attracted to their same gender (I’d love to get comments in this particular assertion).

Still, I can judge with certainty, only one person–myself. I’ve never been romantically attracted to another male. Am I to assume I am different from most folks? Are all conservatives, who make the choice-argument, really bisexual–equally attracted to both genders? I think not.

I offer four rational arguments that I hope most readers will spread:

1) Natural Law: When their biblical argument against homosexuality does nothing to convince lawmakers to make laws against same gender marriage, social conservatives turn to the deceptive and bogus “Natural Law” argument. They claim that in order to determine how humans are genetically programmed–how they should naturally act (unspoken: according to God’s Law)–we draw our conclusions from nature. Yet, it appears that few religious conservatives know much about nature.

The Catholic Church is a good example, as well as conservative Justices on the Supreme Court of the United States (and most in Congress). The Roman Catholic bishops, when Illinois legislators approved civil unions in 2011, said “Marriage comes to us from nature. . .That’s based on the complementarity of the two sexes in such a way that the love of a man and a woman joined in a marital union is open to life, and that’s how families are created and society goes along. … It’s not in our doctrine. It’s not a matter of faith. It’s a matter of reason and understanding the way nature operates.”

Never mind the thinly veiled and false statement that “it’s not a matter of faith,” just a modicum of research would have told them that their uninformed opinion is not the way nature operates. It took me about five seconds to find the facts. Same gender attraction and sexual play occurs naturally in many species besides Homo sapiens. Among the best examples is the bonobo, sometimes called the pygmy chimpanzee. Research on this can easily be found online.

2) Science: A phenotype is a genetic trait that manifests physically (easily seen by the eye). A genotype is a genetic trait that manifests psychologically–a predisposition to certain behaviors, such as sexual attraction (heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual).

      a. Phenotype: An estimated 1 in 4,500 infants are born with ambiguous genitalia. This is a condition in which the gender of a baby cannot be determined, having both male and female reproductive organs. This situation can become tragic when parents decide which gender they believe, or want their child to be, and then order the surgery. As the child grows, he/she discovers that the parents made the wrong choice. The question now becomes; Would religious conservatives deny that person’s right to pursue happiness by marrying a person of the same (apparent) gender?

      b. Genotype: Recall that “genotype” is really all those genetically predetermined behavioral characteristics of any person. Therefore, the genes predisposition a person to be romantically attracted to the opposite gender, the same gender, or to both genders (think of the indisputable variations in phenotype).

3) Strict Constitutionality: The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment forbids the government from making laws respecting an establishment of religion. This is made applicable to the states by the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Anti marriage laws are based solidly in religion. These laws represent government recognition and support of the theological belief of an establishment of religion, and are therefore, strictly unconstitutional. To fully understand the intent of the Establishment Clause, see Thomas Jefferson’s The Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom. This is the document from which the Establishment Clause was crafted.

4) Reason: Religious conservatives are often complaining that the government should stay out of their lives. They call it “intrusive government.” Yet, they are quick to use government as a blunt instrument with which to bludgeon the rest of society into living by their religious beliefs. This should be pointed out by people of empathy at every opportunity.


———————————
What is wrong with allowing every citizen, in this “land of the free,” to seek happiness according to the dictates of his or her own conscience–the same right social conservatives claim for themselves?


— Max T. Furr is author of The Empathy Imperative, a philosophical novel that brings the true nature of justice, mercy, and love into sharp focus. It must be read with an open mind. What sort of world would a truly benevolent god have created?

Of Homosexuality, Phyllus Worship, and Family Values

On a recent post at SodaHead.com, a contributor opined that “it hurts me to see my country turned into one of those barbaric nations that worship phallus; they have closed down roadside rest areas, beach side bath houses because of homosexual men soliciting young boys for sex; homosexuals having full blown sex in one of those public places; the male prostitution, the pornography, all the foul lewd lascivious behaviors they portray. I don’t want my nation celebrating filth and lasciviousness.”

 

First, it is not his nation, it is our nation. Why would any of us want to dictate to all other citizens how they should live their lives? This is a major difference, I think, between conservatives and liberals: conservatives think in terms of “me,” but liberals and progressives think in terms of “we.” Thus, it isn’t all about me, it is about us.

As to his points, however, I used to be a long haul professional driver, visiting many rest areas and public rest rooms in almost every contiguous state in the nation. I never once saw what he described, but I know some of it goes on. Republican Senator Larry Craig, for example, was caught soliciting another man not long ago. But it wasn’t Craig’s desire to have sex with another man in a public rest room that bothers me and it is not why I condemn him. I condemn him for his hypocrisy. He was a strong anti-gay advocate in Congress and obviously his marriage was only a front.

From http://www.ontheissues.org/se…

LarryCraig’s record:

Rated 0% by the HRC, indicating an anti-gay-rights stance, Amend Constitution to define traditional marriage,

Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage,

Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation,

Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation,

Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes,

Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage.

If homosexuals such as Craig were not often successful soliciting in some rest areas, then they wouldn’t be doing it. Their success likely implies that there are many more men with a homosexual bent than most of us think. And likely there are far more LBGTs out there than we think.

The driving force behind the covert actions of some homosexuals is the religiously based the hatred a declining but significant portion of society has for them. Republican coverts, in particular, feel that the only way they can be successful in politics is to remain closeted and vote against their own conscience, and they are quite correct. Likely it is the same in many professions, especially “manly” sports like football.

I admire the courage of those who come out. They know they will become a lightning rod for bigotry, but at the same time they are making more folks realize just how common homosexuality truly is. Thus, society is beginning to turn another page on religious dogma.

Homosexuality, in and of itself, is not deviant. Some heterosexuals and homosexuals do deviate from their norm. Family values, however, should include love and understanding. Take a look and listen to this clip:

 

–Max is the author of The Empathy Imperative, an adventurous novel into the meaning of justice, of love, and of benevolence.

Hallmarks of a Good Person: Homosexuality, Reason, and Empathy

 

***Max is author of The Empathy Imperative***

 

I believe two of the greatest hallmarks of a good and (almost) complete person are the attributes of empathy and understanding. By “almost,” I mean that although empathy is a mark of a good person, universal empathy does not exist. That would make a person, “complete.” I don’t think, however, that the attainment universal empathy is quite possible yet, but it should be our goal.

Why can’t an individual have universal empathy? Because of our attributes gained through evolution, such as the impulse to xenophobia and aggression. Therefore, I think universal empathy is something that can be achieved only by a few thousand years more of social evolution based on reason.

Far back on our evolutionary path, xenophobia (fear or suspicion of strangers, foreigners, and people who are “different”) and aggression were survival instincts we had no choice but to follow, but now they are impulses controlled by reason, more or less, in each individual.

Regarding homosexuality. empathy will dictate to a good person of understanding that:

1) No one would choose a lifestyle that a large segment of society hates and taunts, and some want to kill,

2) Homosexuality is far more prevalent than most people think,

3) Intellectual honesty would dictate that, for heterosexuals, their sexual preference is not a choice, therefore, neither is that of homosexuals,

4) Understanding that some babies are born with ambiguous genitalia, it is quite logical that many babies are born with a heterosexual predisposition, some are born with a homosexual predisposition, and there are babies born at every predisposition in between,

5) Homosexuality hurts no one, and even though some homosexuals are promiscuous, so are heterosexuals,

6) Even though some homosexuals are pedophiles, so are some heterosexuals,

7) From a religious standpoint; “Judge not that ye may be judged”),

8) For the establishment of a just society, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

9) Homosexual marriage does not “redefine” marriage, because marriage is supposed to be the religious and civil bonding of two individuals who love each other, and homosexuals are just as capable of love as any heterosexual,

10) If a heterosexual does not want government intruding into his personal social life dictating whom he may marry and whom he may not, then he should not want the government intruding into the personal lives of anyone else,

11) No one should dictate to others how they may or may not be happy, and no one should strive to deny others the right to seek happiness according to the dictates of their own conscience.

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