Mar 6, 2009

Gay Rights and Gay Wrongs

Homosexuality is one of the most heated debates I've seen...and it is probably one of the most flawed attempts at a "who's right, who's wrong" argument. Everywhere I look, there is either a Christian condemning homosexuality as sin or there is a Liberal attempting to force his orientation down my throat. In my opinion, both stances are wrong. I can support granting all the same rights a married couple has to a homosexual couple, but I cannot support the intrusion on an individual's morals and beliefs. I also cannot stand the act of treating homosexuality as something "special".

This is what I'm getting at: recently, the movement for gay rights has been mainly focused on a push for the legalization of gay marriage. I don't have a problem with a gay couple having a ceremony to express their feelings, but when they have to push it on everyone else it's just plain dirty. In my opinion, the advocacy for gay marriage has taken an approach that explicitly states "Hey, you have to accept my lifestyle at the expense of your beliefs." I'm referring to the push for all churches, regardless of belief, to be legally forced to marry homosexuals. The problem is a blatant dismissal of one's morals for another's lifestyle. All too often I've seen homophobia compared to America's history of racism against blacks; problem is, black is race, not lifestyle. One cannot live "black". The problem with the racism comparison is that blacks were denied fundamental government rights. I just love it when an atheist is prepared to block religious political affairs with the separation of church and state, but when the topic of homosexuality is presented, they are ready to argue politically why churches should marry homosexuals. What happened to the seperation of church and state?

Now, the cardinal reason given for the legalization of marriage is because it is a basic human right. If basic human rights include the freedom of expression and equality before the law, why are they trying to infringe on the church's right to express a moral obligation to deny the practice? All men are created equal. Homosexuals and Christians are therefore equal. Therefore, one cannot intrude on another and overturn their rights. The problem is, we end up reaching a paradox. By intruding on the church's beliefs of homosexuality as immoral, the homosexuals become "more equal" than the church; and by denying the homosexuals the right to express their feelings, the chuch has denied the homosexuals' human rights. Either way, someone is going to have their rights denied, thus breaking the Constitution. In a way, it is akin to the fact that though our freedoms are protected, they are indeed limited; a white man can have freedom of speech, but by going out into the streets and shouting racist remarks, he can be charged with "hate speech" and be faced with legal action. Before I continue, I would like to point out that I am aware that there are several churches, such as the Episcopal church, that support gay rights and marriages. I am a supporter of civil unions; that is, a government grant that gives a legally bonded homosexual couple all the same rights as a married couple. For some homosexuals, this isn't enough; they want to be "accepted" and given the same treatment as a married man and woman.

As I said before, I have no problem with a gay couple having some kind of ceremony. My problem is with the push to force churches to "accept" the homosexuals as the same "as anyone else". Okay, yes, homosexuals are humans, they deserve the same basic rights as anyone else, but is taking legal action to force churches to do something against their morals the right way to go? A person is now currently protected by the Constitution's grant of basic rigghts regardless of one's race, color, religion, nationality, gender, and (legal) age, but, as I stated earlier, are rights are, in effect, limited. After all, Major Leage Baseball has yet to star a female athelete, yet any woman can quickly sue the MLB for denying her rights to pursue a career. The reason is, though we are given rights, the rights must remain within the realm of logic. A logical reasion for why a woman wouldn't be accepted into the MLB is due to the dominance of the male gender: there are no seperate locker rooms, to build a new one would result in the renovation of the stadium and would cost tens of thousands of dollars, and one could argue how the sport itself is unfit for the female body and how it could be harmful to the female. Now, personally, it wouldn't matter to me if a woman did end up playing for the MLB, my point is that she can push her rights as much as she wants, but is it logical to allow her to play? Now, let's use another example, an example for one's lifestyle. Alright, let's say some super radical religious nut killed a child because his religion demands he does so (I'm not equating homosexuality to murder, that's just plain stupid); the fact is, his freedom of religion can be used as excuse, despite infringing on the child's right to live. The point? Lifestyles and genetic effects can be supported by the Constiution, but only as it resides within logical reasoning. It is illogical to infringe on the church's denial to marry gays by legally forcing them. After all, since church and state are seperated, how can we? The church provides married couples with a housing for the ceremony, but it is the government and provides all the documentation and grants the rights, not the church itself. So why the push on the church? Perhaps it's merely a result of magnetic attraction, the attraction of polar opposites. The Christian church is notorious for its condemnation of homosexuality, so is it possible that homosexuals are basically pushing thier lifestyles on the church as a retort? Is this really just a battle of lifestyles, with one side hoping to come out victorious wearing a egotistical smirk to irk the opposition?

Some time ago, on a religous debate forum I moderate, an atheist pointed out that the push for the legalization of gay marriage is somewhat hypocritical on the homosexuals' part. Gay Pride parades and many other homosexual events and societies are known for flaunting their pride in how "different" they are. They go out into the streets, wave their rainbow flags, and flaunt their orientation as if it were the most unique and special thing in life. They strive to express their difference. I understand pride in being unique, but they tend to express it in the most flashy and loud ways. So, if they have so much pride in being different, why the push to be "just like everyone else"? It's as if they have so much pride in how different they are, then when one faction doesn't approve, they suddenly have to find a way to get the government to force the faction to accept their lifestyles. The attempt to force everyone to "accept" them isn't even logical; if I legally force a church to "accept" me as their pastor, and if they don't like the way I dress, have they truly "accepted" me? No, I just steamrolled my way into their lives with no respect for their opinions and beliefs. All I have done is made a complete jerk of myself.

Here's my final word on gay marriage: I don't have any problem with the legalization of gay marriage, but we cannot allow ourselves to fall to a level of ignorance and force those churches that do not support the stance to do something against their morals. There are plenty of churches who would be happy to house the event, yet these churches fall off the homosexuals' radar; they want all or none of it. They are not satisfied that some people do not support them. Gay marriage can be legal and there are churches that will support it, but we certainly cannot infringe on other people's rights and morals. After all, in the end, aren't these homosexuals simply after the same government-given benefits as straight couples? The church's stance on marriage is simply the bond between the couple by God; it really has nothing to do with the papers. Homosexual advocates need to drop this focus on the churches simply not accepting them and go after the legal issues that come with marriage. You can get the government to grant you the same basic rights as a racist, but you can't steamroll your way into the racist's personal life.

Now, am I saying that Christians are "right"? I wouldn't say so. Rather, I was simply pointing out the lack of logic in the homosexual push for gay marriage in churches. In reality, I believe the church is just as ignorant in their approach to homosexuality. First of all, the idea of homosexuality being a sin isn't even Biblically supported. Second, the church has yet to provide any logical reason to deny gay rights without religious support. Third, homosexual rights are still protected by the government, despite the church's beliefs; after all, I don't see many churches out there attempting to legally ban the public prayer of other religions.

Okay, let's start with the Bible and homosexuality. The most common reason for homosexuality being sinful is a result of this passage from the Old Testament:

"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."
- Leviticus 20:13 KJV

This is a blatant case of the "cherry-picker" Christian, one who simply picks which teachings in the Bible are in effect and which are inapplicable based on personal preference. A majority of all Christians are believers in the New Covenant, a belief that the arrival and sacrifice of Christ nullified the laws God gave the Israelites wandering the desert (I am a supporter of this belief). The problem is, these Christians will support the nullification of dietary laws, punishments, and several other laws that were addressed by the Apostle Paul, but have somehow decided that this law is still true (minus the death sentence). They will use this verse to support anti-homosexuality, but if they are faced with a question asking if they must also follow the dietary laws, they will simply respond that "Jesus nullified it". If Jesus nullified that, then why is this verse still in effect? Who decides that? Jesus never states which, if any, laws are nullified and which are still in effect. I have even seen Christians argue that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of the citie's homosexuality; but this ignores the fact the men of Sodom were interested in raping Lot's visitors. Also, the Bible makes several references to the cities throughout the text, often comparing the focused society's sinful nature to the cities..yet, none of these passages make any referal to homosexuality, they only explicitly state lying, adultery, contempt for the poor and needy. Jesus Himself implied that the cities' destruction was attributed to a lack of hospitality to strangers.

So what is the next tactic for a Christian to take? Quote Jesus!

" the beginning, the Creator 'made them male and female' and said 'For this reason man will leave his father and mother, and be united with his wife; and the two will become one flesh.'"
- Matthew 19:4-5 NIV

If Jesus said it, it must be true! Well, at least it was a nice attempt to prove that homosexuality is a sin, but if only Jesus was actually talking about homosexuality. Actually, Jesus was answering a question of a Pharisee, who asked if it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife in Verse 3. There is no relation to homosexuality here. Jesus will continue to state that what God has joined together, let no man seperate, nothing to do with homosexuality.

Here's another good one:

"Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."
- Jude 1:7 KJV

Christians may argue that "strange flesh" means homosexuality. This is a simple case of choosing a defintion to fit one's personal preferences. "Simple flesh" comes from the Greek word sarkos heteras, and our word for "homosexual" comes from heteras; however, strange flesh has been repetively translated as "perversion", "lust", and "unnatural sex". So, to say that "strange flesh" here must mean homosexuality, then any reference to beastialty or aldutery must also be re-written as "homosexuality". The fact is, the term is actually too vague to give a specified definition. Christians will state that the reason this particular use of "strange flesh" is homosexuality is because the passage is reffering to the men of Sodom and Gomorrha, but, as we already went over, this would ignore that the men were rapists, which is also a perversion; hey, "strange flesh" might not even be human at all, it might be referring to the men's desire to rape the angels that visited Lot.

Christians will also quote this passage, written by Paul:

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence [sic] of their error which was meet."
- Romans 1:26-27 KJV

At first glance, this passage does seem to be an example of God condemning homosexuality. Well, that is, until you notice one little key word..."lust". "Lust" is explicitly stated to be a sin in the Bible. It is also important to note that the act of homosexuality itself isn't the focus here; rather, it is the fact that the people gave in to sexual perversion and became drunk with the sinful nature of 'perversion'. It is the same way that the Bible refers to drinking; to drink wine is okay, but to drink to be drunk is sinful. Why? It's not because the act of drinking is a sin, but it is the perversion of drinking that is sin.

Most other quoted passages from the Bible will actually say "homosexuality" as part of those who will not see heaven; but this is an inconsistency in translation, as the apostle Paul never used the Greek word for homosexuality, he used the Greek word arsenokoitai, a word with no known literal meaning. The word itself can be divided into parts: "arsen", meaning man; and "koitai", meaning "beds". Now, it is understandable how this could be translated into "homosexual", but it is known that this is not the Greek word for "homosexual". That definition belongs to the Greek word paiderasste, the standard Greek term for any sexual behavior between males. There are two issues when translating arsenokoitai into "homosexual". First, the word strictly adheres to the male gender, with no relation to the female gender, wheras the term "homosexual" refers to members of both sexes. The word arsenokoitai has been translated to refer to pimps, male prostitution, rape, masturbation and pedophilia. The King James Version translates arsenokoitai as "abusers of themselves with mankind", which would likely refer to any sexual perversion. However, it is unlikely that this translation could adhere to homosexuality, because the term refers to the "abuse" of sexual nature, again showing the difference between the act of something, and the perversion of it.

Finally, if any Christian quotes of passage describing Jesus stating homosexuality is a sin that will bring doom to oneself, they are simply wrong. In no Greek text does Jesus make any reference to homosexuality, none at all.

Many Christians can't logically argue why gay rights should be denied. As stated before, just about every argument I hear on homosexuality is simply fueled by religious dogma. They simply state that homosexuality cannot be constitutional because it is "bad". Of course, there is no scientific or factual information of why homosexuality is "bad".

Oh, I just want to mention that if you're going to argue on the side of gay rights, for the love of Joe, do not, I repeat, do NOT, use "the earth is overpopulated" as your argument. The earth is overpopulated already; granting gay rights now isn't going to magically reduce the population, seeing as the homosexuals were already here. With the exception of major "closet" cases where a homosexual may have a baby with the opposite sex, most gays by now have already not had sex or already have. We'll just have the same number of orphans, the same number of straight people, and with the American media so busy pushing sex on teenagers, there's no way that earth's overpopulation can be a good argument for gay rights.

Now, let it be understood that I don't have problems with homosexuals. My problem is the flaunting of sexual nature as a perversion. I'm talking about those gay dudes that brag about how they went clubbing and made out with some hot guy. I'm referring to what I call the "MTV Syndrome". When someone flaunts their homosexuality with the intention of being perverted, then that I can't stand. This why so many Christians see the gay community as one big orgy, because these weirdos decide to come out to Gay Pride wearing only a banana hammock and rainbow cape. This is when the homosexuals are just simply acting like mindless idiots. How can anybody take you seriously if you can't act maturely? How is your "beautiful nature" any different from the school whore? If it is beautiful, why can't it be sanctified? Seriously, at least act decent and grow up.

It's when homosexuals use their orientation as a perversion that sickens me. Because of this, we have the issue of "bicuriosity" these days; girls emulate lesbianism with other girls in desperate attempts to sexually attract guys. They are basically whoring themselves out just to get a date. I heard someone argue that girls do this because they are uncomfortable with themselves. So, it's suddenly alright to be a whore as long as you lack confidence? Chances are, these girls are going to have their hearts broken in the end, anyway! Why do they do this? Because the idiots in the gay community flaunt perversion and the perversion stirs a lust from the heterosexuals. When people throw away decency to flaunt themselves, then there is no reason to respect them. It is like the drinking analogy I made earlier: It is one thing to drink, but to drink with perversion is foolish. I feel the same why about those who "experiment" or do the "fed up with this gender, so let's be gay" binge. These people are simply acting on selfish desire (sins of the flesh, if you will). It is not socially tolerable to act like a fool, so don't be one. Again, being homosexual isn't perversion, but acting like a pervert and flaunting such nature is disgraceful. This is the reason most people won't accept you guys. Also, lose the MTV/N*Sync hair, stop acting like those tools on cable network television, and quit being so freaking flashy (sorry, personal rant).

My best friend is a lesbian. She is a practicing Roman Catholic, in fact, there are several communities of homosexual Christians. She dresses decently, she doesn't flaunt herself and her orientation as the most wonderful thing in the world, and she doesn't conform to the stereotype. She has plenty of common sense: she doesn't drink, smoke, or involve herself with any permiscuous debauchery. She has all of my respect. Fellow Christians, quit being so close-minded and blinded by personal doctrine. Homosexuals, get some common sense, forget the church, and approach the marriage thing with logic and understanding.

Breaker out.

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