Thursday, March 15, 2007

Dialogue With a Homosexual

Your dialogue [referring to my Dialogue on Homosexuality] is quite one-sided.

Well, now you are here to present the other side! :-)

The gay rights movement has nothing to do with seeking moral approval.

It sure does, else why do homosexual activists have a cow when we dare to state our Christian belief that homosexual acts are immoral, and that there is no such thing as same-sex marriage? Why don't they allow us to disagree with them, if they are supposedly so concerned about "tolerance" and "diversity?" To merely assert such beliefs is to assure being accused of "homophobia" (a stupid, typically-modernist term which means, literally, "fear of sameness"). Law inevitably has a moral component; there is no escaping it. That is a whole 'nother discussion, but I contend that this is almost a self-evident point (though often overlooked or applied hypocritically by various political activists).

Your trivialization of a civil rights movement illustrates the single dominating point of ignorance of the fundamentalist movement.

But I am not a fundamentalist, nor have I ever been. I am a Catholic. Unless you define the word differently than I do . . .

The gay rights movement has nothing to do with forcing others to believe anything other than that ALL people are created equal.

Equality and the morality and healthiness of sodomy, and the fundamental definition of marriage are entirely different things. Other groups of people (pedophiles) want to lower the age of sexual consent, too, so that they can engage in sex with young boys. A culture of rape, sado-masochism and violence towards women is being promulgated in some of our music today (particularly some forms of rap music, but not confined to it). Perhaps others would like to legalize bestiality. Would you say that these issues are simply a matter of "equality" too?

If you want hypocrisy, look no further than the phrase "Love the sinner, hate the sin".

How is that hypocritical? Of course, if you deny the existence of right and wrong, and sin, then there would be a contradiction. But then if you did that, you would have no grounds for saying I am wrong in my present opinions. If, on the other hand, there is such a thing as immorality, then it certainly is love (and profoundly so) to point out to someone that they are harming themselves, and their relationship with God and other human beings, by engaging in sinful activity.

    [citing from the previous debate on my website]It is indeed hypocritical for either side of this cultural battle to charge their opponents with "forcing others to believe as they do" as long as they are attempting to do the same thing in return.
Both are indirectly, by the compulsion of law. We are forced to do a lot of things by the law and the government. This is the nature of communal human existence. But you deny that the homosexual activists are trying to change public opinion and morality with regard to their activities. This is clearly false. They are trying to do that, and quite deliberately so.

Are we saying to homosexuals that "you must accept the tenets of Christianity and our traditional lifestyle or else you are obviously Christian-a-phobes (and we will force you to by law)?" I have no legal power to force a homosexual to attend church, but they have (or will soon have) the power to force me to accept them as tenants, or to be my church organist, etc. I don't see the analogy here at all.

You are indeed saying that.

Saying what? That a homosexual must attend my church???!!!!! That a homosexual must be a Christian by force of law???!!! This is ridiculous!

Fundamentalist Christianity unleashes it's syrupy vitriol at anyone who is not following the approved "Christian" way of life.

Why do you equate opposition to homosexuality with "Fundamentalist Christianity," when in fact, this has been the consensus of western civilization for 2000 years now? Granted, that civilization is profoundly Christian in its roots, but there are plenty of "secular" types who have agreed with this understanding of the nature of moral, legitimate sex and marriage. It was indeed a societal consensus until the Sexual Revolution made its appearance some 40 years ago.

Not allowed to celebrate their unions,

Not in a church . . . we have the right to believe whatever we do. Who says that someone else can force Christians to believe a certain thing, contrary to their own traditions? That's why I am saying that the attempted coercion is coming from the homosexuals, not the Christians.

be forced to deal with the likes of Fred Phelps protesting at FUNERALS.

This man is an idiot and no example of any kind of respectable Christian. I could pick the very worst example of a homosexual activists (say, that crazy group that blasphemed at a Mass in St. Patrick's Cathedral a few years back), if I wanted to engage in this sort of rhetorical tactic. But I don't think you would appreciate that. Well, I have nothing to do with a fool like Phelps, either.

As long as a person's beliefs and values do not directly affect you, you have no claim to "punish" people, or attempt to make their lives difficult.

Ah, this is crucial. It does affect me, because such a momentous cultural / moral shift has far-reaching consequences for the whole society. This would undermine the very foundation of Christian sexual ethics, just as abortion already has done. Now the last remnants of Christian civilization are being attacked: the nature of marriage, family, gender, sexuality, etc. Your claim is the libertarian one, which is based on the demonstrably fallacious claim that every man lives for himself, and has no effect on anyone else. That is also another huge discussion, but I am saying that your statement is based on false premises.

You also have, soon in every state, a legal obligation not to discriminate based on sexual orientation. I remind you, that if you choose to fight that inclusion, you should also, by definition, fight the anti-religious discrimination clause. Religion is a choice, of this NO one argues.

I am glad about laws against discrimination. I just don't want to be forced by the government to violate my conscience by having, e.g., tenants in my house who are practicing homosexuals (or for that matter, practicing heterosexual fornicators, or Satan-worshipers, or whatever), or people working at my church who flat-out reject some of the teachings of that same Catholic Church.

You forget that Christianity and Judaism and the rest are johnny-come latelys. The earliest and most venerated religions, goddess worship, naturism, paganism, has no such learned hatred for same sex attraction. It is only after religion developed political appetite did the exclusion start.

So you determine the truth of a religion by its mere chronological age? By that reasoning, the human sacrifice of the Aztecs was more moral than the Catholicism of the Conquistadors, simply because it was there (in that particular region) first. Or the rampant cannibalism in the Caribbean islands before Columbus was acceptable - a matter of "equal rights." Or the widow-burning of the Hindus was superior to the Christianity the English brought to India (even Gandhi opposed the practice, too). Or clitorectomies in Africa are morally preferable to Gloria Steinem "liberation" and "sexual freedom" because they stem from an ancient tradition of some sort. Or the brutal infanticide (by exposure) of babies in pagan Greece and Rome ought to have been retained, rather than the Christian compassionate ethic of protection from "womb to tomb" (now we have the wanton slaughter partial-birth infanticide, and deign to call ourselves "civilized"). Your reasoning here, therefore, is clearly absurd.

The US is not a theocracy.

It never has been. The US Constitution is a very secular document: probably at least as influenced by Enlightenment secularism as it was by Christianity. America is no longer Christian as a society (if it ever was) by any stretch of the imagination. A culture which has sanctioned child-killing and endorsed sexual libertinism wholesale is pagan, not Christian.

You keep mentioning the need for "moral respect." I for one do not seek anyone's "moral respect." If a person judges me only based on their opinions about who I sleep with, which they should not spend overmuch time dwelling on anyway, their respect, moral or otherwise, is of no value to me.

I certainly don't make a judgment based on that one consideration, but on the other hand I will not yield up my moral views, just because they don't agree with yours. I didn't invent Christianity. I merely accept it, and try to follow its teachings as best I can.

Religious consensus giving one pause? Religious consensus used to think the sun revolved around the world, the earth was flat, and that AIDS was God's retribution.

I was speaking of the issue of homosexuality in particular. If we want to go over the catalogue of scandals and skeletons in the closet of religion (many themselves debatable), then I am more than able to counter that with the horrors of paganism, Communism, and non-Christian religions (I have listed some above). But what would be the point of that? I was merely making the point that these beliefs are of ancient origin, and that there is a reason why people oppose homosexual practice.

Personally, the term "religious opinion" is an oxymoron. Religion is, by definition, not an opinion, but a decree. Individuals, according to the latest papal decree, are not allowed to have opinions, but rather, are supposed to allow only the highest levels of the Church administration decide for them.

This is also another huge subject, and I have neither the time nor desire to engage in it (though I would love to if I had the time). Suffice it to say that I see a prejudice in you against Christianity at least as objectionable as what you regard as the wrongness of our opposition to homosexuality. Prejudice works both ways, you know.

As for your comment "The left always thinks it can overturn the moral consensus of millennia by enough propagandizing, sloganizing, Big Lies (e.g., 10% of the population being homosexual - Kinsey), fiat court decisions, Ellen shows, Heather Has Two Mommies books for first-graders, etc", this could just as easily be said of the religious right. Homosexuality can be changed, Homosexuals are Pedophiles, etc...

That it can be changed is a demonstrable clinical and sociological fact. There are thousands of former practicing homosexuals out there (we define that by the cessation of sodomy). I agree that it is grossly unfair to paint all homosexuals with the pedophilia brush, but there is certainly overlap. I'm sure you have heard of NAMBLA (North American Man-Boy Love Association). But your analogy fails because homosexuality was not the "moral consensus of millennia" - in terms of Western Civilization. Therefore we are merely attempting to preserve what is left of that culture. The "Gay" Activists are the ones attempting to undermine it. There is no comparison. Both sides have prejudice. I won't make any argument on that. At the same time, I won't stand for such prejudices being projected onto me simply because I have a traditional Christian opinion on the subject.

No one really cares what you think or believe. Your thoughts are your own.

You obviously do. :-)

Your actions, in the public sphere, are what is at issue. I believe you may hold whatever opinion of homosexuality and homosexuals that you like. But that does not mean you should be able to discriminate against someone, or seek to deny them the same EXACT rights that you enjoy, because they do things that make you uncomfortable.

Laws do that all the time. We can't take drugs. We can't kill ourselves. We can't yell "fire" in a crowded building. 5-year-olds can't drive. Teenagers need parental permission to get their ears pierced (but not to kill their preborn child), rape and sexual harassment are considered outrages against women (unless one happens to be the President, and unless one is a feminist defending that President) etc. And in Western Civilization up until very recently, sodomy was considered an objectively disordered, immoral act, contrary to the natural law of normal sexuality (this is arguably evident in the very reproductive anatomy of males and females).

I can't speak for anyone other than myself. There are things in the gay community that I don't approve of; the same can be said of any community.

Fair enough. But you have to be honest about what the "activists" of that movement have done, and what their goals are.

The religious right however DOES need to lie and resort to misinformation to promote their point. At the very least, the entire religious/political agenda revolves around things that cannot be proven, or rely heavily on things that cannot be questioned.

I can hardly answer without specifics, and your assertion is scarcely compelling without any.

"Unnatural", "unhealthy"? Even your use of those words illustrate my point. Nothing which exists in nature is unnatural.

By that reasoning, you could go have intercourse with a hog, or a baboon, or a duck-billed platypus (if indeed that is possible). You could go stick your toe up someone's nose, or your elbow in their ear. How ridiculous are we gonna get here? I guess you don't think much about the logical outcome of the amazing statements you make. Poisonous mushrooms are natural. Does that mean I should eat them? Swamps are natural. Should I drink from them, or take a bath in one? Niagara Falls is entirely natural, but if I take a boat ride over it, certain consequences will have to be faced. I could get more graphic and absurd, but I trust that you see my point by now.

I see no need to get explicit, because a debate on which sexual acts are unhealthy is purely situational.

It is not in your interest to get explicit. But I must regrettably do so for the very reason that your side does not (for good reason). It is a known fact that anal sex - whether heterosexual or homosexual - is extremely unhealthy. That is true for the simple reason that the rectum was not intended, or "made," if you will, for these activities, just as a throat is not a receptacle for someone's hand or foot. And it is true because the diseases which result from such activity are manifest (and more than just AIDS and VD). And it is also patently obvious because we are dealing here with human waste. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that that is unhealthy and to be avoided (this is routine hygiene).

If you were truly concerned about the health of sexually active people, I would imagine I would see more talk about encouraging safer sex information and sex education that encompasses real life issues, instead of only abstinence.

I can hardly sanction an activity I consider immoral, can I? The Christian view has always been: no sex outside of marriage (defined as a man and a woman). I'm for sex education in the home, in a Christian context. And some teaching in schools, in an abstinence context.

Your comparison of normal gay people to child molesters is interesting,

Of course I didn't do that. I was making an analogy to other activities considered "abnormal" by most people, including homosexuals. This is the art of rhetoric and logical argumentation. But listing other deviancies does not imply an equivalance or no difference of degree.

given that you also portray the word "bigot" in a negative light. Do you realize how ironic that is?

No, not at all, because you have misunderstood the nuances and gist of my argument.

A homosexual does not need to justify who they love to you or your religion. Homosexuals are no better or worse than any other group.

As people, probably not (we all have our sins). I will love them (and do), but I will not sanction sinful activities, because that is not being loving to them. So you will say it isn't for me to judge what is sinful, etc. Well, then, take that up with Jesus and Moses, and the whole Judaeo-Christian 4000-year-old Tradition. I didn't invent this. But we all have to believe something, don't we? I give the reasons as to why I am a committed Catholic Christian all through my website. I need not reiterate them here.

You are concerned about the way religious foks are portrayed in the media? Are you concerned that the mainstream public sees you differently than you see yourselves? Well, now you have some insight into how tactics of the fundamentalist movement affects gay people.

Oh, I've been the victim of many prejudices. I'm a heartless conservative, who wants to lower taxes for the rich, and take away Medicare and Social Security. I'm a flat-earth, Troglodyte creationist. I'm a male chauvinist pig. I'm a homophobe (but I like sameness!!!!). I'm a racist (because I oppose affirmative action and Great Society welfare as harmful to black people particularly). I hate women and want to control them because I am pro-life. I'm a patriarchal, environmental-hating European white man. I hate Jews because I am Catholic, and there has been tragic anti-Semitism in the history of Catholicism. I hate American Indians (sorry, "Native Americans") because of Columbus and the later outrages of American genocide (which I loathe and detest). I hate the elderly and suffering because I oppose "Jack the Dripper" Kevorkian and "assisted suicide," etc.

Join the crowd. The left has captured academia, the media, entertainment, and government (even much of institutional religion), so my side is subject to a never-ending plethora of lies and slander and cynical propaganda. That said, I do agree, however, that prejudice against homosexuals is a particularly virulent, ugly, and malicious strain of bigotry. On that we would agree. The difference would be over causation: i.e., how much that is intrinsically related to Christianity (simply because it holds practicing homosexuality to be immoral).

The anti-religious backlash you are seeing in modern society is a result, not of any brainwashing, but of the domineering bigotry and separationism that has been a conservative religious mainstay for hundreds of years.

That is arguable (not to deny that Christians have had many and massive faults). There has always been this prejudice, by human nature. They hated Jesus, too, and killed Him (along with thousands of the early Christian martyrs). Was Jesus a bigot, in your opinion?

It will bring you little comfort to have pointed out to you the general direction of humanity, towards a more inclusionary and tolerant enlightenment.

That's how you define it, but of course, the reigning intolerance is towards those who don't accept this quintessentially humanist and relativist notion of "tolerance" in the first place. "Enlightenment" was a bigted anti-Christian term from the beginning: the implication being that the preceding ages were "dark": the "Dark Ages." "Renaissance" had the same connotation. "Reformation" is also a term which is loaded in favor of the Protestant view, over against the Catholic.

Where some people see only evil actions of groups such as terrorists and anti-civil rights fundamentalists, I see hope, because I'm sure the dinosaurs felt a rage of frustration as they slowly became extinct as well.

This is interesting. I would like to explore the nature of your "hope" sometime - pick your brain a bit, if you care to allow me to.

Movies show the pulse of a society.

True.

Like the GOP leaders, I imagine you feel frustration akin to "But WHY doesn't everyone see that we are RIGHT!??",

I fully understand why people reject what they falsely think is Christianity. If they ever truly understood the real thing, they couldn't fail to be inexorably attracted to it, in my opinion.

never ever seeing how wrong you truly are in your hate, and in the lonely direction you are dragging your supporters in.

How do you define "hate," pray tell? You claim that I am entitled to my opinion, yet now the true colors come out, you drop all the pretense, and flat-out accuse me of hatred.

I respect your dislike for constant sexual innuendo and intelligence insulting commercials; I agree, it is overplayed to say the least.

Good! An agreement!

I grimace at your use of word"impurity." What's next? "Cleansing"?

Yeah; I can start with my own heart and my thoughts, which certainly need the cleansing of the Holy Spirit all the time.

You have ultimate control over what affects or changes YOU. Your tone suggests that you belief this ultimate control is not enough; you want to control what affects everyone else as well.

What can I say? I don't think that you will grasp our viewpoint, because you are clearly a post-modernist relativist. It is utterly incomprehensible to you, because of the hostility of your own presuppositions to it. For the relativist, any form of absolute belief in right and wrong invariably reduces to issues of political control, power, and coercion (and bigotry). This is quite unfortunate, because it disallows the possibility of rational discourse and cooperation across party lines from the outset. And it allows your side to conveniently dismiss our perspective, since "why listen to an ignorant bigot in the first place?! He doesn't deserve to be heard!"

And religious fundamentalists are using whatever tools are at their disposal to prove that they are not. The difference is, homosexuals are trying to show that they are just as human and worthy of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as anyone else. You, however, are trying to deny them this right, or even worse, trying to make those choices for them.

Societies have always had codes of right and wrong. The prohibition of homosexuality has been one of these codes in many societies, including our own. One has to draw a line somewhere. There are still a few things which virtually everyone (including yourself) agrees are wrong: pedophilia, wife-beating, child abuse, rape, incest, murder, theft, torture, etc. Child-killing and fornication and divorce, on the other hand, are now fine in our society at large. Homosexuality is somewhere in the middle: on the way to being accepted as a valid "lifestyle choice."

Is it a conspiracy to fight for the rights you pay taxes to support? Of course it is rarely an objective battle. Is your anti-gay mission objective?

I don't have any such "mission." My mission is evangelism and apologetics, and the proper raising of my children. The subject came up on my list, so I responded (just as I am responding to your letter), and have now posted the dialogue on my website, as a means of food for thought.

Of course not.

Of course my view is. It is based on Christianity, medical science and philosophy (natural law).

But while gay people are defending themselves, it is folks like you who are the ones who put them in that position.

We have to defend ourselves quite a bit, too, don't we? I have spent several hours doing that today! :-)

The best way to force people to stick their nose in the air is to keep trying to rub it in the dirt.

It takes courage to tell people that what they are engaged in is wrong. I do it out of love, not hate. You may vehemently disagree with me, but you have no grounds to attribute nefarious motives to me simply because I take a different view than you do, and disagree with your chosen lifestyle.

First of all, "sin" is a human creation.

There's your humanism coming out. Classic.

Unless you can prove to an objective viewer that "God", assuming one exists, actually handed down these strictures, your use of that word is as valid in the public realm as an Islamic person saying that NO ONE should eat pork or drink wine.

I can make the argument on natural law and medical science (including psychiatry) alone, then. I need not appeal to a divine law to establish my claims on this one. Those things are fairly objective. But your relativism and libertarianism (which I have to tacitly accept in order to agree with your viewpoint) are not objective at all. They are unproven axioms, and ultimately far less rational than the Catholic viewpoint.

Childbearing can occur outside of marriage. If "God" wanted it otherwise, I doubt human reproduction would have been set up that way.

Childbearing can also occur in rape. Does that mean "God" desires rape to occur, too?

Society has no right to infringe upon the privacy of an individual, or upon consenting adults. Social stigmas and other forms of ignorance are simple human creations, formed from fear of that which is different or not easily understood.

Poppycock, but it is far too involved a discussion to enter into here and now. Suffice it to say that this proves what your foundational premises are: why you think the way you do. Ideas have consequences.

I agree, racism as an undesirable trait is a great improvement. I don't recall the Christian Fundamentalist movement supporting that though, as I recall, more often, they were in the ranks of the pure white robed.

I can't speak for fundamentalists, as I am not one (and I have many theological arguments with them on my website). I have always been passionately concerned about, and opposed to racism ever since I can remember, and I have studied it for over 30 years now. I was reading books like Black Like Me and The Invisible Man in high school 25 years ago, and recently read Malcolm X's autobiography. My high school was 70% black (and I loved it), and my college was 25% black (one of the largest percentages in the country for a major university). I live in a city (Detroit) which is about 75% black. I don't think racists do these kinds of things, do you? So I don't quite fit into the box you would love to put me into, do I? In fact, I would say that I have a particular love for African-American culture (especially its music). Far from despising it, or people of color, I adore it. I also have an avid interest in native American culture and Jewish culture (as well as that of the British Isles, which is my own ethnic heritage).

My question is, how come it took so long to grant equal rights to a community who's only "crime" is to love someone of the same sex?

Because people have an innate sense that this is unnatural and wrong, based on not only Christian teaching, but natural law, per my arguments above about what is "natural and healthy," and what is not. People even today (in our thoroughly secular society) have the same instincts about things like bestiality, incest, or child molestation (I suspect you would agree about those, too). So this sort of thing is not unusual in societies. Homosexuality has formerly been one of these things which most people deemed to be wrong, whether or not they could articulate why. You may not like that fact, but it is a reality, and you will never completely change that, anymore than the feminist movement could effect a fundamental change in how women viewed themselves.

" true and right traditions are being broken down in our time, " Education and enlightenment will break down many "true and right traditions" because of the fact that they are NOT "true and right", simply tradition.

How do you determine what is "true and right" for yourself? If you agree with me that, e.g., rape and bestiality and pedophilia are wrong, you must have some moral code which allows you to make such judgments, rather than to say "let them do their own thing in private," etc.

I remind you that "immoral" is also a human opinion, subject to culture and education. What is immoral in one culture is not in another, therefore, your definition of what is immoral is at best, simply your opinion.

The classic anthropological perspective. This is true to some extent, yet there are many universal moral laws, adhered to by virtually all cultures (such as the incest taboo, or the despising of people like traitors). C.S. Lewis documents these in his book The Abolition of Man.

"These types". This paragraph illustrates that not only are you bitter that homosexuality is taking it's rightful place as a valid community in public socity, but that you are even more bitter at being left out of the decision-making process.

I'm not bitter at all. I'm sad that immorality is being given sanction by the society I love, and that Christianity is being marginalized. This isn't a personal thing. It is a grief born of the belief that this is truly a tragic and detrimental societal direction, which will cause untold misery for individuals and the society at large. You can again attribute base motives to my concern if you wish, but you don't know my heart. You don't know me, either. All you can do is put me in all these little boxes you have set up in your own mind: derived from gross caricatures and stereotypes of how Christians are supposed to think and act.

If I achieve anything from this dialogue and the hours I have put into it, I hope it is to break down some of those false ideas you have (I don't expect to convince you of my beliefs). You need to get to know some committed "traditional," "conservative" Christians personally. And yes, I need to know more homosexuals as friends. I am willing to be your friend, if you will be mine. But you will have to cut me a little slack and drop the rhetoric about bigotry and power-hungry, Bible-thumping zealots.

No matter how much influence you think you have, or the gay community has, evolution continues. Someday, gay people will be in marriages recognized by religious communities and the government, and fundamentalist discriminatory religions will take their rightful place on the fringe of society.

American society is becoming more pagan and secularized and irreligious (in the traditional, institutional sense) all the time. That is how I look at it. The trends are very clear, and they will continue, short of a massive religious revival.

No one justifies the violence???

No Christian that I have ever met . . .

Did you not, a few paragraphs earlier, attempt to put all homosexuals on the same level as child molesters?

No, of course not. That was an instance of you not grasping the logical progression of my argument, as I previously explained. It was intended only in a limited sense, by analogy. I find that analogical argument is often misunderstood, because it isn't often used. That is frustrating to me, because I love that form of argument myself.

Are you not trying to make any homosexual out to be less than human if their continue in their "immoral lifestyle"? Your remark is naive.

What? When or how did I imply this? I'd have to look at what I said again, but I know that's not what I think, so at worst, my intent was grossly misunderstood (which may or may not be my fault, for choosing words poorly).

Your constant attempts to compare homosexuality, which is a sexuality, to disorders, diseases, and criminal acts is almost laughable in it's immaturity.

Not the "homosexual orientation," but sodomy.

Since you cannot see the distinction, I will point out to you that homosexuality is fundamentally identical to heterosexuality. A person's sexual identity is part of who they are. What they do is a reflection of that, and as such, their public actions should be subject to the same standards of conduct.

So if someone wants to engage in bestiality, would you acknowledge that as a valid form of "sexual identity"?

Rape is evil, whether it is homosexual rape or heterosexual rape.

Where does your notion of "evil" come from? If you are a relativist, you simply can't - in the final analysis - make such judgments, as the rapist's morality and mentality applies only to him, and him alone. If you say, on the other hand, that there are moral absolutes (the wrongness of rape being one), then you undercut much of the foundation for the arguments you put forth against my position. Big discussion, tho . . .

However, calling one couple "immoral" simply because both members of the same sex, while another is "moral" because they are of opposite sex, is the purest form of bigotry. No objective reasons, just ignorance.

I have given my reasons. Is it also bigotry to be opposed to the child molester, or practitioner of bestiality, or the Aztec human sacrifice, or clitorectomies, or extreme sado-masochism, or the sort of bizrre auto-erotic masturbation which recently killed a Michigan state politician, Perry Bullard? You tell me. I am just showing you the inevitable logical outcome of your stated positions.

Normal is as normal does. I suppose you would consider yourself, hatred and all, normal?

No, because I am a sinner. Complete "normalcy" is a sin-free existence, in perfect union with God. But it is one thing to acknowledge that one sins and falls short, quite another to redefine certain sins so that they no longer exist. And there is the hatred charge again. If you don't apologize for and retract that, this dialogue is over after this exchange [he never replied again, anyway]. I don't dialogue with people who will continue to lie about my character after they have seen more than enough to know better. You merely prove my point that the bigotry is just as much on your side as it is on our side, by casually throwing out an outrageous charge of hatred, based on mere disagreement.

Anything which exists in nature is normal, even if it doesn't conform to the rules we try to impose on it.

We've already gone through this, but it follows that if there is no God, that everything is indeed normal, because there is no (rational) way to apply a universal overarching moral standard. Everything goes. You have no higher reference point than "existence."

Nature knows a little better than you what is normal and what is not. If you cannot grasp this concept, in all it's forms, you are beyond enlightenment.

Yes, well-stated in the smug (but deluded) confidence of the humanist. Of course it means little, if one were to scrutinize the meaning and reasonableness of such words, but it usually never gets to that point with humanists. They are not used to having their presuppositions questioned, least of all by "ignorant, 'unenlightened' Christian bigots."

In your quest to purge that which is abnormal or unnatural, I would image you have removed all medication from your house? Rallied against the culturally imposed ideas of monogamy? Possibly even protested the existence of hospitals? Bandages? Therapy?

This is too silly to respond to, and my eyes are aching by now anyway. How much worse will your letter get before it ends, I wonder?

All forms of discrimination are NOT illegal. Churches are still allowed to fire or deny advancement to gay members, discriminate on the basis of who they allow to be married.

This is not discrimination. It is a failure of the "member" to be in conformity with the beliefs of the Church (therefore a form of dishonesty and subterfuge). A church is not the state (we have "separation of church and state," remember? The left loves that when it suits their purposes). You talk about us compelling you to adopt our beliefs, yet you think nothing of forcing a Catholic or other Christian to allow members whose beliefs are diametrically opposed to our teaching! You want to force us to deny our heartfelt religious beliefs for the sake of your politico-social agenda. This is no different than the pagan emperors demanding idolatry from Christians. You know what the Christians chose to do in that quandary.

I agree, you cannot legislate morality, any more than you can legislate maturity or enlightenment. Morality is a personal decision, and thoughts cannot be legislated. It is only public action, after objective scruitiny, that can be legislated. Feel free to provide even one, unquestionable, objective reason why homosexuality is any less worthy of public protection as heterosexuality.

I have already given them. Sodomy should be outlawed on health grounds alone, if not moral, religious, and philosophical. These abnormal acts are what Christians oppose. I don't care if two men love each other as long as they are chaste and abstain from immorality. Jonathan and King David did that! This is the Catholic position.

You may most certainly act on what you believe in, for YOUR life. You cannot expect to be supported when you atack ME for living MY life.

Not if my Church is forced to "legitimize" what it believes to be immoral. You can't have it both ways. You spout your libertarian, supposedly "tolerant" and "enlightened" rhetoric, but when push comes to shove - despite yourself - you are quite willing to compel Christians to adopt your viewpoint, by force of law and coercion, not the force of moral and philosophical persuasion.

Society's current hostility to organized religion is a long building backlash against a repressive, paternalistic, dictatorship of thought, emotion, and belief.

I've already dealt with this. You throw out every stereotype in the book. It's so predictable (and a bit humorous). . . . Have you ever been a Christian of any sort? I would be interested in hearing about your background. My guess would be that you may have been raised in a fundamentalist home, since you talk so much about it. Either that, or a very liberal background (Unitarian?). For your information, I have never been fundamentalist: I was raised as a liberal Methodist, then I went to occultic paganism, then to evangelicalism and Catholicism.

No longer will fundamentalists have a stranglehold on the minds of the majority.

Since when have they ever had that, pray tell? LOLOL American society was moving away from Calvinism and Puritanism from the early 1700s on. Harvard was officially Unitarian by 1802. Most of the Founders were either Unitarians (e.g., Jefferson), or extremely theologically liberal Christians, if at all (e.g., Franklin, Adams, Madison).

Your view of homosexuality is irrelevant. You are not a homosexual, and therefore speak only from ignorance as to the mind of a homosexual person, of which there are millions anyway.

Well, then all your opinions about Christianity are "irrelevant" since you are not a Christian! There are many more millions of Christians than homosexuals - if numbers must be a criterion of truth. LOLOL This gets more asinine by the minute . . .

You have not objective basis on which to label homosexuality for the rest of the thinking public.

So you say. I have given my arguments, but you obviously are not addressing them. Prove to me, e.g., that sodomy is a healthy thing (the moral and health equivalent to vaginal sexual intercourse), and that no one has to worry about it harming them. I would love to see you attempt that.

I am neutral towards most Catholics, or people of any faith, even of people who are fundamentalist or conservative. Their beliefs are their own, and it is not my place to think for them.

Good God Almighty! If this is "neutral," I would hate to see "hostile" or "opposed." LOL

Their public actions, which seek to try and deny a community equal rights, are worthy of the highest contempt, as are those of racists, and other dictatorial movements.

But of course homosexuals aren't ever bigots, right? And that's because they are victims, and so it is impossible by definition, just as we are told that by some leftists that black people can't be bigots, either.

I can take it that you are definitely not black.

Correct. We have to find something we can agree on . . . It's pretty slim pickins' so far.

And is your position simply bitterness that your machines are no longer the ones in control? Or that there are no more machines anymore?

No, sadness. Error and falsehood always makes me sad.

10,000,000 people can still be wrong.

Of course. And one can be right, if that is all that is left. Athanasius contra mundum.

Who's to say it is not YOU who are "sinning" with your attempts to judge others as if you were "God"?

I merely reflect the Catholic Tradition which has been passed down from Jesus and the apostles. I am under their authority. If you want to express your disapproval, go after Jesus. I am merely His follower. Of course you have never said that I am wrong about anything throughout your lengthy jeremiad. :-) And you accuse me of hypocrisy?

I personally do not want or need your approval.

Nor I yours, so I guess we are even on that score.

I only demand that you stay out of my way and stop blocking my access to those rights guaranteed to me my this country's Consitution and Bill of Rights.

Sodomy was not such a guarantee. The Supreme Court voted recently on that (mid-80s, I think it was - not exactly the Puritan era). Has it been overturned?

I have no confusion at your finding of fundamentalists as compassionate and tolerant. You cannot even see what you are saying as venomous hatred, because you think you have the omnipotent god on your side. So how could you be wrong? Simple. Your positions attempt to strip people of the basic rights that you enjoy because they make your uncomfortable.

Well said! You confirm precisely what I have critiqued: the attitude of scorn and derision directed towards all who merely take another view from yourself. In your black-and-white humanist world without nuance of philosophy or the accumulated human wisdom of religious reflection, a disagreement - by its very nature - becomes "venomous hatred." I guess there really is no dialogue here after all. My initial impression was that you were a very intelligent, thoughtful person, with whom I could dialogue and reach some level of understanding. But your persistent charges of hatred, bigotry, spiritual pride, etc. will not make that possible. Constructive discourse cannot exist with such extreme charges being cavalierly spewed out.

And I see that you have been taken in by decades of religious, anti-thought, dogma.

You are absolutely classic in your expression of the stereotypes of anti-religious propaganda. Dogma and religion are "anti-thought," by their very nature. Extraordinary stuff . . . Breathtaking . . .

Your belief that anything counter to the values of your religion is necessarily hostile is a typical unenlightened response. "To disagree is to attack" is the fool's perspective.

Then you have surely shown yourself to be a "fool extraordinaire" in this letter of yours. Over and over again you commit the transgressions that you so passionately decry when they occur amongst Christians. Or perhaps you have a separate set of standards for Christians and non-Christians, heterosexuals and homosexuals?

I say fool because only a fool could be so short-sighted as to not see the benefit of disagreement in human evolution.

I have been a Socratic for 21 years now. I love disagreement and challenge. I even thrive upon it, in an intellectual sense. But Socrates (unlike yourself) presupposed that there were objective truths "out there" to be discovered, and that the deeper purpose of discussion was to arrive at those by intellectual challenge and critique. You (by appearances, anyway) see no benefit whatever to a critique of the homosexual lifestyle by someone such as myself. All you see is bigotry and hatred and coercion on my part (none of which are present).

Nor are you even truly interacting with my position, from where I stand. Basically, all you have done is to lash out repeatedly with the slogans, propaganda, and half-truths about Christianity which now dominate our society. In so doing you indeed reveal yourself to be a true son of our pagan culture. Be happy, then! You say you don't care about the opinions of people like me, so then don't! Just ignore this and go on your merry way. Of what possible benefit could words of mine (the ignorant religious fanatic with a "Dark Ages" inquisitorial mentality) be to an enlightened, oh-so-intelligent, "tolerant" Renaissance Man such as yourself?

Since you claim to be (despite your frequent contrary behavior) so fond of "disagreement," I'm sure you will have no objection to my posting of this debate on my website. Let the people judge for themselves who has the better case . . . If yours is so superior, then you can thank me for promulgating it on my Christian website, for all to see. :-) The enlightened people can therefore benefit; the Christians are of course beyond all rational discourse anyway, so they won't change their mind . . .

Uploaded on 24 April 1999 by Dave Armstrong.

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