Christianity and gay and lesbian people
Anthony Paul Farley
farleya at BC.EDU
Tue Dec 9 11:19:57 PST 1997
On Mon, 8 Dec 1997 12:22:06 -0800 Alan Leigh Armstrong
<armstrng at DELTANET.COM> wrote:
> >On Thu, 4 Dec 1997 11:06:09 -0500 "Bradley P. Jacob"
> >> The Bible's rule for sexual conduct is pretty simple and pretty clear:
> >> it only takes place between a husband and a wife. I'm not very
> >> comfortable trying to quantify "comparative sin," but Rick would agree
> >> with me that unmarried heterosexual conduct is clearly sin, as is
> >> homosexual conduct. A Christian who believes what the Bible teaches
> >> could not accept either of Sandy's forced choices, since neither
> >> non-faithful, non-married heterosexual conduct nor homosexual conduct
> >> (whether faithful or not) lives up to God's standards.
> >Hi Brad
> >Didn't Jesus always take the side of the oppressed? In Matthew, Mark,
> >Luke, and John he certainly seems to have been preoccupied with
> >the oppressed -- the ones without power, privilege or status. Jesus
> >constantly broke the rules of intimate behavior in the name of Love.
> >Indeed, His love and his intimacy with the oppressed earned him the
> >Anthony Paul Farley
> However, the New Testament says things like "go and sin no more." "Such
> WERE some of you". The general confession of the Book of Common Prayer
> starts off with the words "Intending to lead a new life."
> I understand this and other provisions to mean that we are going to violate
> God's laws but that God will forgive us IF we ask for forgiveness.
As a straight person, I have never understood why so many ostensibly
straight people spend so much of their time and energy worrying about
gay and lesbian sex.
At a certain point the critique and the thing criticized become one,
don't they? "And when you look too long into an abyss, the abyss
also looks back into you,"... remember Nietzsche?
Let me explain -- the very notion of "sexual orientation" implies, to
those who use the term, that we are that which we spend a lot of time
thinking about. In other words, the thought is the thing.
Thus, to have a heterosexual orientation one must spend a certain
amount of time thinking about heterosexual sex. Likewise, to have a
homosexual or lesbian orientation, one must spend a lot of time
thinking about homosexual or lesbian sex.
Many of those who say that they "oppose" gays and lesbians seem to me
to spend a lot of time thinking about gay and lesbian sex. Doesn't the
ardor with which the Right, especially the Religious Right, crafts
its anti-gay and anti-lesbian theories really blur the line between the
supposedly opposing camps?
Maybe the Right is a gay and lesbian movement that is,
well, uncomfortable with itself (see Sartre on bad faith)?
I realize that my query might offend people on both sides of the line,
however, maybe that is just the nature of imaginary lines like that
between "straight" and "gay/lesbian." Maybe the imaginary lines are,
by nature, the ones we're all the most insecure about? As lawyers,
they are certainly the lines we spend the most time -- and make the
most money -- arguing about.
so much for philosophy, on a more sociological note, i seem to recall a
series of articles last year regarding then-new research into
homophobia. it seems that in laboratory conditions, men who report the
highest "opposition" to homosexuality also tend to demonstrate the
highest levels of sexual arousal upon viewing films that portray
homosexual sex. before you ask, according to the newspaper articles -
"arousal" was measured in the fairly obvious way that one might expect.
perhaps some of the conflict over this issue could be resolved by
encouraging anti-gay and anti-lesbian people to get in touch with their
inner feelings. maybe people who are "out" gays/lesbians should find
more ways of sharing their coming-out stories and parables with their
the parable of the lost sheep seems on point here. i can imagine the
99 sheep becoming angry at the special rights granted to the lost
sheep. angry until they realized that with the shepherd's departure to
search for the lost sheep, they - the 99 - had all become lost sheep.
The line between lost & found was shown to be hubris. We're all lost
and we are all found.
many of the anti-gay, anti-lesbian people might be happier if they look
within themselves and really try to see where all that libidinal energy
is coming from -- whose face does it wear?
uh oh, i'm sermonizing again. i offer all of the above unfinished
thoughts in the spirit of open inquiry and with the hope that i've not
offended any of those who consider themselves friends of the open
Anthony Paul Farley
Boston College Law School
885 Centre Street
Newton, MA 02159
Tel: (617) 552-4397
Fax: (617) 552-2615
Net: farleya at bc.edu
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