Monday, June 11, 2007

Christian shame

I criticize the homosex activists at this site a lot. But it does no disservice to the truth to note that I do react to some Christians in exactly the way they do, and so in that minor and temporary sense, some solidarity exists.

My newly-blogging friend David Morrison, a former gay activist, has said that whatever might be said about homosexuality, he knows that gay activists are made, not born (I can't find it on his site, so I may be recounting personal conversation).

How Christians act matters, and if Fred Phelps represents counterproductive homophobia (yes, there is in fact such a thing) at the level of being a virtual parody, other Christians do not. Another Courage friend, Ron Belgau, wrote here:
Under ordinary circumstances, I feel almost no identification with gay culture. But let me spend 15 minutes listening to various conservative voices speak their bit about the “gay agenda,” and I start thinking all sorts of defensive thoughts about “my people.” (Incidentally–and perhaps somewhat ironically–ex-gays and reparative therapists doing their “gay identity is evil” schtick have this effect on me in spades. Joseph Nicolosi does a better job of making me feel identified with the gay community than anybody associated with HRC, NGLTF, or any other gay pride group could possibly do.)
I've been spending my whole life deliberately not-identifying with homosexuality or gay activists, and for some of the reasons Ron cites at his initial note (it's an autobiographical matter for all, clearly, from the discussion there at DM's and with Eve). But similarly, I must acknowledge that some situations identify me with them and not my fellow Christians, shameful as that is to say.

Last week, I came across a Catholic blog where the author ridiculed the Rainbow Sashers by posting a picture of a fat guy in a fairy costume where the leotard barely started to cover his butt. I issued a mild protest, realizing I was a stranger at this site. A couple of days later, the author wrote:
To the Evil Fairies out there, know this... I don't care how long you people perpetrate The Big Lie. THIS CAVEMAN will always fight against the soft-headed notion that some guy sloshing his penis around in another man's feces filled colon is "normal."
And then in the same combox, when I noted that the case being cited actually pitted two of the left's favorite victim groups against each other ("let's you and him fight"), an Orthodox admirer responded:
feminazis vs. faggots. BWA HA HA HA!!!!
Tone is a very difficult thing to convey; different people have different blogging styles, blog premises and personal "voices"; there's the strangers-vs.-friends distinction; I detest linguistic protests from people with no sense of (toilet) humor; and I realize that there is a big element of exaggeration in the Cavemen's personae, which is largely comic, and is part of the fun (this, for example, is brilliant as is this).

But with all that, the words "faggot" and "fairy," the description of anal sex, the picture -- they produce an involuntary reflex in me, which I might as well call "feeling gay" (undoubtedly not le mot juste, but it isn't coming to me). Ron calls them "defensive thoughts about 'my people'." David and Ron had a kerfuffle with New Oxford Review a couple of years ago, where David made the point about how important it is for Christians to act toward homosexual persons:
When I self identified as a gay activist, if the only Christians with whom I had come into contact had been those who took the advice of the New Oxford Review as to how to treat me, I would still likely self identify as a gay activist today and remain dead in my sin.
and
I used to believe that Christians would treat me…well, much as the New Oxford Review appears to believe they should have.
I had a little box of prejudices in which I put “Christians.” Christians, I believed, hated and feared me. Christians would not want to have anything to do with me. Christians believed I could not be trusted with their children.
Essentially, I believed Christians were far more interested creating an icon of homosexuality at which they could throw insults or darts, than they would be in me as a human person ...
God knows I understand how satisfying name-calling can be, particularly vis those whom one already has "written off." But whenever I see Christians say the kinds of things about homosexual persons that the Cavemen do, my gut clenches. And I realize if that's MY reaction ... how much more difficult does that make saving the souls of those not already in the Barque.

6 comments:

Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

CM,

As you stated Last week, I came across a Catholic blog where the author ridiculed the Rainbow Sashers by posting a picture of a fat guy in a fairy costume where the leotard barely started to cover his butt. I issued a mild protest, realizing I was a stranger at this site. A couple of days later, the author wrote:

To the Evil Fairies out there, know this... I don't care how long you people perpetrate The Big Lie. THIS CAVEMAN will always fight against the soft-headed notion that some guy sloshing his penis around in another man's feces filled colon is "normal."


Allow me to remind you that the pic was chosen at random, to signify "The *I Hate The Caveman* Fairy". The fact that the individual was a homosexual, and a marcher at a so-called "Gay Pride" parade rae purely coincidental.

As far as my description of the anal sex act... I used 100% correct medical terms. If anyone happens to find my description disturbing/disgusting... good! That's exactly what I'm after.

The homosexual act itself IS distrurbing and disgusting. And like I was trying to get across, if anyone accepts such acts as "normal", then where does it end? From there, it's moral anarchy.

Thanks for letting me post on your blog.

VSC

Dad29 said...

Hm.

That anyone should "not associate with," or "fear" SSAD-individuals is obviously silly.

On the other hand, the "trust the children with homosexuals" phrase deserves a bit more nuanced discussion.

Let's begin with the common-sense disclaimers: one never trusts one's children with ANYONE who is unknown to the parents except in extreme cases.

And even when people are "known" to the parents, the usual rules apply: there should always be two adults present, the door should NEVER be fully closed, and ideally, there should be a lot of other children present, too.

There are reasons to be concerned, as you know. The point is to minimize or eliminate both temptations and dangers.

Jeron said...

Very good post. I've been to the Caveman's blog before, and just can't stomach his portrayal of gay persons (and the vitriolic responses of his avid fans). This is my 1st visit to your blog & it reads wonderfully. Good work.

John Jansen said...

But whenever I see Christians say the kinds of things about homosexual persons that the Cavemen do, my gut clenches.

Same here.

Excellent post, this.

CourageMan said...

Dad:

Well of course, parents should not trust strangers with their children. And if parents favor a "no-closed-door" or "two adults" rule ... well that strikes me as excessive, but so be it. The "smell" test I apply is "what rules did my parents put on aunts-uncles/godparents/known-neighbors, etc." I know you are my elder, but I am still old enough to remember the days before abuse-fear and lawsuits. Nevertheless ... individual parents have IMO a reasonable right to be foolish in their own cases.

But what David was protesting, rightly I think, is the notion that a homosexual person is, on that basis, untrustworthy around children. Homosexuals are of course as capable of being unfit babysitters or poor godparents or bad uncles as anyone else, and for all the same reasons, not excluding taking sexual liberties (a very small risk, but a very high impact).

But I don't think homosexuality, provided one is both discreet about it and observant of the same other "boundaries" as others, is relevant in itself.

I could understand a certain reluctance or a "higher barrier of trust" for a homosexual around a post-puberty child of the same sex (or a straight person of the opposite sex; or to be precise, a straight man and a teen daughter). But by that age, the child will usually resist parental protecting anway, for reasons of his own unrelated to anybody else's homosexuality. This may be TMI, but there is about as much chance of me "wanting" a child as a woman.

(I have a friend who knows about me and for whom I was burning DVDs of Sopranos episodes last year. I asked whether his wife would be in one afternoon so I could drop off a disc with a couple of episodes on it. He said she would, and I responded that "and you KNOW that when I tell you that I'm seeing your wife alone at home while you're at work, that it really IS to drop off a Sopranos DVD.")

David Morrison said...

CM, I think the basic affront I feel, at its deepest root so to speak, is the affront against human digntity that comments like Caveman's represent. Yes, homosexual acts are sins and carry with them the supernatural and natural identifiers of sin. But God does not reduce human beings - all of whom are His creation and for ALL of whom He went to die on the Cross - to their sins. We are more than the measure of our temptations and it both a sin against the people being so treated and, in a way, a blasphemy to suggest otherwise.

Where I differ slightly now from before is in that my attitude tends to not be as particular to people who live with same sex attraction. ALL human beings, no matter our temptations or failings or mistakes are created in the image and likeness of God and will be redeemed from our sins by His blood if we will but let Him do so. That is a reality I believe our behaviors toward our fellow human beings must bear witness.