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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

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» Not another 'Christianist' from Pajamas Media
Rick of Brutally Honest finds a singular religious spokesman commenting on homosexuality and pronouncing it a sin--the Dalai Lama.... [Read More]

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tenzin

I think you are making a very wrong assumption here. What makes you think that only gay and lesbains use the other "two holes" to come to the conclusion that the Dalai Lama is homophobic. He is talking here of what is called "sexual misconduct" in Buddhism. And it is not a judgement on gays and lesbians. It is a judgement on sexual behaviour. And straight men and women also indulge in oral and anal sex.

Anyway I am linking below a message that the Dalai Lama sent to the XXII world conference of International Lesbian and Gay Association http://www.ilga.org/news_results.asp?LanguageID=1&FileID=782&FileCategory=10&ZoneID=7

Geneva, April 3, 2006:

The Tibet Bureau
Office of the Representative of H. H. the Dalai Lama

"I am pleased to bring you greetings from His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the occasion of the XXIII World Conference of the International Lesbian and Gay Association.

His Holiness welcomes the special attention given at this conference to religious tolerance and respect for diversity.

His Holiness is greatly concerned by reports of violence and discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

His Holiness opposes violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and urges respect, tolerance, and the full recognition of human rights for all.

Finally, he expresses his best wishes for a successful conference."

Geneva, 30 March 2006

Imagine Pope or any other religious leader coming even close to this statement.

Best,
Tenzin

Ricky

I want to see the look on Richard Gere's face when he realizes the Dalai Lama is an anti-choice homophobe.

MikeT

Homosexuality isn't any worse than other forms of sexual deviancy except that it is a very destructive lifestyle. Christians ought to focus less on the sin and more on the sinner. The only way that the sin can be eliminated is to show the homosexual sinner that it is destroying their life and that the Gospel is as open to them as the very best people who would claim its salvation offer.

Noah Nehm

Tenzin,

I don't have to imagine the Pope issuing such a statement. Here's the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as promulgated by JPII:

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

In general, it seems that the position of the Pope and of the Dalai Lama on this subject are quite close. They both recognize the immorality of sodomy (in both heterosexuals and homosexuals), but affirm the inherent dignity of the human person regardless of his condition.

Best regards, Noah

Kathy Shaidle

Actually Tenzin, I'd say this was at least "coming close":

Catechism #2358: "The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition."

dhgyapong

There is something else here that opponents and supporters of homosexual sex don't get.

And that is this: heterosexuals can't do to each other what homosexuals do either. And, they can't use contraception. They can't objectify their partner and make him or her a sex object, even after they are married.

Thus chastity is a difficult row to hoe whether you are married or single.

What drives me crazy is to hear some Christians say that anything goes on the marriage bed, as long as it is heterosexual.

All of us are called to lead lives of chastity--of inner and outer purity--that is impossible without the help of the Holy Spirit. With His help, it is possible to approach the standard, however, and that is why the Church cannot climb down from its teachings.

Ricky, the pope has also spoken out against violence against gay people, has always preached on the dignity of mankind, and has also preached for human rights for all. So you don't need to imagine it. :)

Anton

The fact that after condamning the homosexuals as "sinners" the pope also spoke against the violence perpetrated upon the gay people means nothing. In all cases what I saw was just an increase in the anti-gay rhetoric, witout any influence over the anti-gay violence!

Sasha

Both you and Daniel Nairn, whoever he is, are so ignorant that I don't know if there's actually much point in my making this post. But let me have a try: does Nairn seriously imagine that all gay people are wealthy urbanites living in San Francisco? There are gay people in Darfur, as there are gay people everywhere else in the world. Speaking of homosexuality as if it somehow acts as some magic privileging shield, cushioning you from every other kind of oppression or disadvantage, is sheer nonsense.

As far as "Western elites" who want to "dissociate sex" from commitment" are concerned - well I think you'll find that many gay people, whether they are from a Western elite or not, have no desire to do any such thing. Hence the call for gay marriage - which you and your fellow religious people are so keen to militate against. Nor do gay people want to dissociate sex from "biological constitution" (whatever that means) - they just want to have the sex, and relationships, that fit THEIR biological constitutions.

Mr. Nairn's talk about dissociating sex from community and gender is meaningless waffle, basically - gay people are part of the community, and the whole essence of the gay rights movement is that gender does matter, otherwise what on earth are gay people fighting for? They could just sleep with people of the opposite gender if they didn't feel that gender mattered when it came to sex.

Then we get to the crux of Mr. Nairn's argument - "our decadence". In other words, he has a circular argument, because he's already made up his mind before he posted that homosexuality is decadent, innately decadent, no matter how loyal or committed or caring the lovers involved are (not that he seems to consider the possibility that homosexual lovers could be loyal or committed or caring).

Well, Mr. Nairn is entitled to his view, of course, but some of us consider homosexuality to be an innate biological disposition, not a random manifestation of decadence - and as such, yes we do view freeing homosexuals from ignorance, prejudice and discrimination as a moral crusade for human rights. And we will continue to do so, and we will continue to fight. And if the Dalai Lama opposes that goal, then he is no less an enemy of homosexual human rights than anyone else, so it means nothing to me that your quotes come from him as opposed to from some homophobic Christian preacher.

Kathlene

Thank you, Sasha. Beat me to it.

BroKen

Sasha, (and I suppose, Kathlene) I don't know if there is actually much point in my making this comment, but let me have a try.

You say that you don't know what "biological constitution" means. I would refer you to any biology text book to read the section on sexual reproduction. You will find there a lot about the "birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees." Not so much about "the moon up above" but that really isn't biology, is it? When the book gets to human sexuality, you will read about X and Y chromosomes, genotypes and phenotypes and ovaries, testicles, puberty, mammary glands, facial hair, and many more such things which can be summed up in the phrase "biological constitution."

When you say, "gay people... just want to have the sex, and relationships, that fit THEIR biological constitutions." you are using the wrong word. You mean "psychological constitution." Psychology may be influenced by biology, but they are not the same thing. If you want to communicate, you must use words properly. But I think you know that.

Sasha, if Mr. Nairn has a circular argument, then certainly you do, too. I mean haven't you already decided that homosexuality is "an innate biological disposition"? (again, "psychological" seems to be the word you want.) And don't you feel that so strongly that anyone who disagrees with you must be fought, is "an enemy", and "homophobic"?

Now, if you are still here, let me ask you a question that troubles me greatly. Imagine a confused young boy whose girlfriend just rudely dumped him and he wonders why relationships with girls are so awkward. He asks himself, "Will I ever be able to make it work and have a family?" If our society decides to celebrate homosexual relationships, what will we say to that boy? Could we give any rational warning for him to stay away from another man or boy who finds him attractive and is so very nice to him? Could we? Should we? Would we give any warning at all?

Brian

BroKen,

What is your evidence that it is "psychological constitution" that explains homosexuality in humans? Homosexuality occurs in a very wide range of species. Would you explain homosexual behaviour in butterflies, for example, in terms of butterfly psychology? Or, is it only in humans that it is psychological?

BroKen

Brian, thanks for the question. It is a pretty good one. I am afraid that I can't do it justice in a comment, but let me try.

First, let's define some terms.

Psychology: the study of the mind or mental states; thoughts, desires, emotions, etc.

Biology: the study of living organisms, specifically, in this case, human beings.

As I indicated last year in my comment above, "biology" includes "psychology" but they are not the same thing. It is kind of like the distinction between hardware and software in computers, isn't it? There is the mechanism (biology) and there is the controlling program (psychology).

Let's use food as an example since food is usually less emotionally charged than sex. There is a biological need for food. Without it the organism ceases to be. But there is also the desire for food and the joy of eating and the communal bond that forms when people eat together. Since all that is part of life, it could be seen as "biology" I suppose, but desires and joy are much more the realm of "psychology" since they are clearly mental states not just a physical state like having an elevated blood sugar level. The communal bond might be more properly the realm of "sociology", but let's not go there yet!

I understand the impulse to say "it's just biology". My mouth waters when I smell food. I can't do a thing about it. But why do I eat Twinkies and soda when I'm already overweight? Doesn't that have much more to do with "psychology" than my biological need for food? Of course it does.

Similarly, homosexuality has much more to do with "psychology" than "biology". The desire might be so strong that people want to say, "It's biological." "It's genetic." "They can't help what they feel!" Even if that is all true, what they feel is a mental state, isn't it? That is "psychology".

I am not very interested in homosexual behavior among butterflies. I don't know if butterflies have a "mind" though it might be proper to see their brains as having various "mental" states. Butterfly psychology might be fascinating, but personally, I can't see how to investigate it.

But the REAL question, isn't whether human homosexuality is biological or psychological. The REAL question is whether human homosexual behavior is moral. And that, I think, turns on the series of questions I asked at the end of my comment last year. I have yet to hear anyone give a good answer to them.

Brian, I tried to answer your pretty good question. Would you answer mine? Here they are again. Please, give it a try.

Imagine a confused young boy whose girlfriend just rudely dumped him and he wonders why relationships with girls are so awkward. He asks himself, "Will I ever be able to make it work and have a family?" If our society decides to celebrate homosexual relationships, what will we say to that boy? Could we give any rational warning for him to stay away from another man or boy who finds him attractive and is so very nice to him? Could we? Should we? Would we give any warning at all?

Anya

Brian, cannabilism is a natural behaviour among many animal species including the higher primates. I don't think we can use animal behaviour to justify immoral behaviour.

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