Self-Loathing and Desire

The situation described in the following letters is entirely fictitious, including persons, names, crimes, sins, relationships, circumstances and all particulars. The kind of situation that is described, however, is all too common and my hope is that biblical principles applied to this fictitious scenario may be of some help to individuals tangled up in a real one.

Dear Tomas,

I appreciated your last letter. Thank you for continuing to correspond, and thank you also for being so frank and open about what you are dealing with. I know that it can’t be easy to write to a relative stranger about these things, and I hope what I have to say will continue to be helpful. Thank you for your kind comments about what we have discussed thus far.

My intention is to get to what I mentioned at the end of my last letter, but that will need to be in the second part of this letter—I am talking about your fleeting moments of heterosexual attraction, and the failed experiments with heterosexual porn. But before getting to that, I need to set the stage. It may look as though I am changing the subject, but it really is all part of the same piece.

The conservative Christian world is frequently accused of “homophobia,” and there are two reasons for this—and sometimes the two reasons are jumbled up together. The first is that an accusation, known to be false, is being used as a political cudgel. A phobia is an irrational fear, attended with things like panic attacks—fear of heights, fear of enclosed spaces, and so on. I have lived in these conservative Christian circles my entire life and I have never met anyone who reacts to homosexuals the way someone with a genuine phobia might. The closest reaction to it—still a long way off—would be a reaction of distaste or disgust. But bleccch is not the same thing as eeeekkkk. The reason for using this kind of a cudgel is obvious, is it not? The best defense is a good offense, and this tactic enables the homosexual to say something like, “Not only is there nothing wrong with me, there is obviously something wrong with you.” The tactic has therefore been politically useful.

But the tactic has an obvious appeal to homosexuals for a second reason, and that reason can be filed under projection. One of the most common elements of the homosexual experience is that of self-loathing, and this tactic enables homosexuals to try to locate the source of that loathing in the loathing or phobias of others. Thus the suicide rate among homosexual teens is attributed to the straights—to bullying, or lack of affirmation, to non-acceptance, to widespread phobia, and so on. Now I am not saying that there is no such thing as gay-bashing (you and I both know better), but it should also be obvious that if there is any attitude that knows how to project, it is the attitude of self-loathing. Someone in this condition can go to a football game, and be up in the nose bleeds, but every time the team goes into the huddle, he thinks they are talking about him.

In the grip of self-loathing, a man feels that the rest of the world feels the same way about him that he does. I mean, why wouldn’t they? And because this sensation is entirely a miserable one, when someone suggests that the culprit is someone else, anybody else, or a collective someone else, like “society,” the result can be an easy sell.

But the basic cause of the shame and the self-loathing is the standing testimony that God has embedded in the world.

“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error” (Rom. 1:26–27, ESV).

Homosexual desire is therefore a revolt against more than societal norms. Homosexual relations are “contrary to nature,’ Paul says. You have a homosexual history, a homosexual past, and yet Paul says that if you were to have relations with a woman, that experience would be a “natural relation,” whatever your feelings about it were. That experience of yours in high school was immoral because it occurred outside the bonds of marriage. But it was not unnatural in the sense that Paul is addressing here.

Now homosexual relations are, according to Paul, degrading and shameful. More than this, Paul is teaching that they are degrading and shameful according to nature. This means that the shameful nature of the act registers with everyone who performs it, whether or not they have ever heard of the apostle Paul. They may not have heard of Paul, but the nature they are offending is right there in bed with them.

So what does this have to do with what I said I would write about? The shame you feel about your desires is not an indication that your conscience is malfunctioning. Rather, it shows that it is functioning. But here is the dilemma.

When you are in the middle of temptation, there is a love/hate thing going on. You are powerfully attracted to something, you are disgusted by the fact you are attracted to it, and that disgust is part of the fuel that drives you. It is one of the things that (perversely) attracts you. Lust is often after more than simple biological release—lust demands the fulfillment of an inordinate desire (Col. 3:5). Lust is attempting to get from a finite thing what only the infinite can provide. And when a finite thing, like a sexual encounter, is made to bear the weight of all our eternal longings, it necessarily collapses under the strain. But the perverse insanity of the whole thing is part of what attracts us the next time as well.

Now the experience of shame and sorrow can go in two directions, one healthy and one not.

“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death” (2 Cor. 7:10).

It is sorrow in both cases. But godly sorrow turns a man Godward. It is repentance. Worldly sorrow, the kind that brings death with it, is the kind that is occupied with resolutions, turning over new leafs, various contrivances, and so on. But if it is worldly sorrow, you can be sorry today, sorry tomorrow, sorry ten years from now, and die sorry.

When you have toyed with the idea of a heterosexual relationship (finding a cute girl at church), or in desperation when you have tried heterosexual porn, you were trying to harness the power of your self-loathing. But it just won’t take that bit and bridle. It cannot work. Being repelled by something is not the same thing as being attracted to something—even if the same direction is intended. This is why I would put your fleeting experience with that woman in the advertisement in a different category. In that instance, when you found yourself drawn, you weren’t in the middle of trying fix anything. You weren’t trying to pretend that disgust with one thing constituted desire for another.

Now obviously the solution is not to find out who that model is, and start stalking her online. But the experience does tell you something about yourself, and that is the fact that when your guard was down you noticed a surprising desire. Your task should therefore be to repent of a number of other things (which we have already discussed), and cultivate an ongoing Godward orientation in how you are dealing with these other things. I am referring here to things like your relationship with your parents, your artistic gifts, the plague of envy, and so on. This is how you get your guard to come down permanently. When that starts to happen, you may notice other things starting to happen. When we get there we can take that as it comes.

In the meantime, if you try to force yourself into normal sexual desires, goading yourself toward them, you will likely be making the mistake of confounding revulsion and attraction, or attempting to use the power of one to fuel the other. They are not the same thing; that cannot work. This kind of thing ranks high in the annals of bad ideas that seemed good at the time. After Oscar Wilde was released from prison on his sodomy conviction, a friend took him to a brothel in order to help him acquire a “more wholesome taste.” Afterward, Wilde told his friend it was “like cold mutton.” Sin is never a remedy for sin.

So nothing is addressed by telling yourself lies. The thing that liberates is the truth, and Jesus is the embodiment of that truth.

Thanks, and more later.

 

Cordially,

 

Douglas Wilson

Photo by Alejandro Escamilla on Unsplash

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insanitybytes22
Member

“Being repelled by something is not the same thing as being attracted to something—even if the same direction is intended.” I am going to suggest that this concept requires some more work. Hate and love are simply flip sides of the same thing. They are an attraction. Whether one loves something or hates it, one is engaging in a passionate emotional draw towards that thing. The opposite of love is not hatred,it is indifference. Also, I’m going to disagree with you about conservative Christians. They are indeed phobic, fear not being rooted in terror, but rather revulsion and hatred. It… Read more »

John F. Martin
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John F. Martin

Hi MeMe, There is a lot packed into your reply, your second paragraph may even contradict itself. But specifically with regard to hate, I fail to see the attraction in my own life. Specifically in my daily life, when I hate what God hates, I stay away from those things completely. Perhaps the crossover in your comment is between behaviors and ideas, versus people. I’m thankful today that I don’t hate anyone. I think Pastor Wilson’s comment about Christian’s response to homosexuality is spot on. Before my confession of Christ, I thought; “Live and let live.” Post-conversion, I pray that… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“Specifically in my daily life, when I hate what God hates, I stay away from those things completely.”

Interesting quirk there,that is not actually “your” hatred, you are simply aligning yourself with God’s will. When we ourselves hate personally, we usually hate the things we are drawn towards. Addicts for example, tend to eventually come to hate what they are addicted to. Rather than setting them free,that hatred and the shame and fear that goes with it, is a big part of what keeps them trapped and addicted.

John F. Martin
Guest
John F. Martin

Good catch on the quirk… I’ve only recently become familiar with Proverbs 6:16-19 – but I guess God in nature pointed out some things to me as wrong before I read His word. I go to Celebrate Recovery at my church and other recovery programs due to addiction to alcohol and sex. Sunday, I celebrated 8 years sober and free from promiscuous sex. You are right about active addiction, when I was caught up in it, I hated my behavior and myself. Today I know that both things CAN be enjoyed within God’s boundaries, just not by me since I’m… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

Congratulations on 8 years. That is worth celebrating, indeed! Thanks for the reminder to apply these things to oneself first. I often have to read along of two minds, and sometimes I forget to just receive it.

bethyada
Member

We tend to hate what we fear,

But we do not necessarily fear what we hate. All cats have 4 legs but not everything with 4 legs is a cat. There are a vast number of things people hate that they are not even remotely fearful of.

insanitybytes22
Member

I believe that is untrue, Bethyada. Hatred is always rooted in fear. What we hate, we are going to fear. What we fear, we are going to hate. People will even use the words as if they can be interchanged because a part of us knows they can.

bethyada
Member

Well I can think of things that I hate that I am not at all fearful of. And God hates many things that he is not fearful of.

Hatred can be rooted in fear. It can be rooted in disgust. It can be rooted in anger. It can be rooted in injustice.

insanitybytes22
Member

Disgust,anger, injustice, are all fear based responses. You are disgusted because you wish to keep something far away from you .You fear it coming too close. Anger is a protective response to keep the things you fear away from you. Injustice is also fear, we fear having no power, no voice, no recourse.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

MeMe, maybe all that is true for girls? I know it is true the other way around, for men and women alike, that is, what we fear, we are likely to hate.

However, since anger can go out of it’s way to approach and attack it’s object, justly or otherwise, I don’t think it is just fear trying to keep something away. I’m going to agree with Doug and Bethyada here, for most men at least, and maybe some or most women too, disgust should not be misunderstood as fear.

insanitybytes22
Member

That is good point, John! You are quite right,men often have a different relationship with fear. So we could say something like “protection.” What we hate, we have a desire to protect ourselves and others from.

Jill Smith
Member

Hi MeMe, I don’t think that is always true for me. When an unjustice makes me angry, I get energized and tend to want to tackle it head on. But it has to be unjust treatment of somebody else.

insanitybytes22
Member

Jilly, you fear the unjust treatment of others. Anger is nearly always a fear based response.

If you are going to try to claim you don’t fear the unjust treatment of others,than you would be stating, that the unjust treatment of others causes you no “unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.”

That is the very definition of fear. So, you happen to fear the suffering of others.

bethyada
Member

These are not my responses. I object to injustice even if I can change it. I don’t regularly avoid things that are disgusting.

And it fails to address that God does not fear at all yet hates many of these things.

insanitybytes22
Member

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” God is God, Bethyada. It should come as no surprise to us that He can hate things without fear in ways we cannot. We ourselves are not God, nor are we yet made perfect in love. What humans hate, we fear. We can pretend,try to cloak it in virtue, deceive ourselves into believing it’s just righteous anger, but we are deceiving ourselves. What we hate we fear. Hatred is ill will… Read more »

Vva70
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Vva70

What humans hate, we fear. We can pretend,try to cloak it in virtue, deceive ourselves into believing it’s just righteous anger, but we are deceiving ourselves. What we hate we fear. Hatred is ill will or resentment towards a perceived threat.

What’s the basis for this assertion?

insanitybytes22
Member

A few thousand years of human experience and wisdom?

“Hatred is best combined with Fear. Cowardice, alone of all the vices, is purely painful—horrible to anticipate, horrible to feel, horrible to remember; Hatred has its pleasures.
It is therefore often the compensation by which a frightened man reimburses himself for the miseries of Fear. The more he fears, the more he will hate.”
-The Screwtape Letters

Vva70
Guest
Vva70

A few thousand years of human experience and wisdom?

Perhaps, but where do I find this millennia-old tradition of belief that hatred necessarily proceeds from fear? As I suspect you do not have a few thousand years of personal experience to look back on, your basis for the assertion must be external to you.

And the Lewis quotation, even if we assume that he’s right, doesn’t match your assertion. Screwtape’s claim that fear can drive hatred is not the same as your claim that hatred is always driven by fear.

Jill Smith
Member

Oscar Wilde was both lucky and unlucky in that the law had changed just a few years before his prosecution and trial. Lucky, in that he was not charged with actual sodomy which carried a much harsher sentence. Unlucky in that, because British courts found it almost impossible to prove sodomy to a jury’s satisfaction, Parliament had invented a new category of offense (gross indecency among men) for which the standard of proof was much lower. Wilde was convicted on the evidence of chambermaids and young male prostitutes who testified under threat of being prosecuted for their own illegal sexual… Read more »

bethyada
Member

I have heard of professionals advocating adult porn as a salve for the illegal childhood kind.

Jill Smith
Member

It’s hard for me to understand how that would work. It is very difficult to change a desire directed toward children to a healthy desire directed toward adult women. I wonder if this kind of person would simply gravitate to the “barely legal” kind of porn–where the actors are 18 but are wearing school uniforms or baby doll pajamas.

bethyada
Member

I was just pointing out that there are trained men and women working in corrections currently who are as foolish as Wilde’s friends.

(And for the record, it is not the issue that they are attracted to someone 18 or 17 and a half; it is that they are attracted to prepubscence—that is the abnormality).

Jill Smith
Member

It is all very creepy indeed. Has anyone found a therapy that actually works long term to keep pedophiles from re-offending? I know that some therapists have okayed the use of porn for offenders who will be in prison for a very long time, but the idea makes me uncomfortable. What do you think of using chemicals to suppress sexual desires?

bethyada
Member

Some crimes should possibly be capital offenses.

Uncertain about chemicals. Most men would want to castrate any guy who interfered with their daughter! I suspect that if a man hated his attraction and wanted chemicals to aid suppressing thoughts and actions that would be acceptable; though he needs to know that this is not dealing with the core of the problem.

I know a guy who had sexually mistreated a pre-pubescent girl (not certain of his age at the time). As far as I know this struggle disappeared when he became a Christian.

Jill Smith
Member

I agree that the term homophobic is flung about too freely. But I don’t think most people take it to mean the sort of paralytic fear one feels about black widow spiders or hissing cobras. I think it usually is taken to mean extreme revulsion and disgust.

Arwenb
Guest
Arwenb

Of course people don’t take it (or use it) to mean what the actual definition is.

It’s all part and parcel of the practice of using words to mean what they don’t so that no one can speak to what’s real, and everyone can pretend to be a victim.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

I will just quickly point out that it strikes me as funny that in a previous thread, when I objected to “sodomite” as a generic term for gay people on the ground that the original sodomites were would-be rapists, commentors who disagreed with me pointed out that whatever the original meaning of the word may have been, current usage (at least in some circles) is to apply the word sodomite to all homosexuals, and that I should not take an originalist approach to the etymology of the word. OK, same issue, except I expect everyone to now change sides: Doug… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member

Yes indeed. As a language purist, I find it ridiculous to apply the term sodomite to women who have sexual relations with one another.

Jane
Member

I think the most ridiculous argument is “the Bible calls them sodomites.” Only in English translations, pal. The Greek words are not cognates of “men of Sodom” in any way, and as far as I know, the Hebrew doesn’t even have a noun for the persons, just a description of the practice.

Farinata
Guest
Farinata

Agreed. It’s an argument not directly from Scripture, but from millennia of Christian usage. While I agree that’s not equal to Scripture in authority, I also don’t think it should be dismissed.

Jane
Member

I don’t necessarily think it should be dismissed, I just think “It’s the scriptural term” is a very poor argument.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

I’ve never found “we’ve done it this way for a very long time” to be a persuasive argument. Traditions get started for a lot of different reasons, some of them good, some of them bad, and some of them simply no longer relevant. And that was essentially the Pharisees’ argument to Jesus: We’ve been doing it this way for a long time and who are you to tell us we’re wrong? In this case, the tradition got started to smear an entire group of people with the vile actions of a few would-be rapists. I don’t see any way around… Read more »

Jane
Member

You’d have a tighter analogy if the word “sodomite” was frequently thrown around to mean people who aren’t homosexual in any way, the way “homophobic” frequently refers to people who don’t fear, don’t hate, and aren’t prejudiced against gays but do oppose some of the political manifestations of the ideology of some gays.

lndighost
Member

The relative age of the word should also be taken into account, IMO. A word that has been in use for (at a guess) 500 years has had time to move on from its etymology, whereas ‘homophobia’ is barely old enough to vote.

Jill Smith
Member

Very true, but that is true for almost all our current phobia constructions. Pre-Freud, most people knew only about hydrophobia, the old name for rabies. I think it is sometimes part of our tendency to medicalize ordinary states of mind. My deathly fear of legless reptiles is called herpetophobia which actually sounds more like a fear of getting herpes!

I don’t much care for homophobe because it tells us so little except that the speaker doesn’t much like the person he is describing. “Irrationally prejudiced” serves the same purpose and isn’t such a cliche.

bethyada
Member

So “homophobe” is the gay rights equivalent of the liberal epithet “racist”?

Who’d’ve thunk?

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Jane, I would need specific examples to know what specifically you have in mind, but in general I would say that whether someone is a homophobe for disagreeing with a particular political goal of the gay rights movement depends on why he disagrees with it. If I oppose tax exempt status for Christian churches because I hate Christian churches and want Christianity to die, then I’m an anti-Christian bigot. If, on the other hand, I oppose tax exempt status for Christian churches because on principle I don’t think any organization should be tax exempt, then I’m not. We can have… Read more »

lndighost
Member

It’s a shame that opposition to homosexual relationships has been so successfully cast as the same sort of thing as racism. They’re not even similar. Skin colour is something visible, an indisputable biological reality that is innate and completely unaffected by feelings or behaviour. By contrast, secular neuroscientists tell us that human sexuality is plastic rather than hardwired. It is “easily altered by our psychology and the history of our sexual encounters.” Part of what Christians are opposing is the idea that homosexual desire is an immutable part of any person’s identity.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Indighost, race and sexual orientation are very different, but prejudice is prejudice is prejudice.

lndighost
Member

In what sense are you using the word ‘prejudice’? If you mean ‘an opinion formed beforehand, especially an unfavourable one based on inadequate facts’, then I posit it’s those who believe on the basis of their feelings that homosexuality is a hardwired trait who have made a premature judgement. If you mean it (as I think you do) in the sense of ‘intolerance or dislike of a specific race, religion etc’, I don’t see that that’s saying anything meaningful when the ideologies of the opposing groups are manifestly incompatible. All the use of the word ‘prejudice’ does there is paste… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Homosexuality isn’t an ideology, any more than a preference for chocolate over vanilla is an ideology, and I’m sure the ideologies of individual homosexuals are all over the map; I’m told some of them even voted for Trump, though I can’t for the life of me imagine why.

Be all that as it may, the particular type of prejudice we’re discussing really boils down to “I’m better than you,” which is the essence of both white supremacy and homophobia.

lndighost
Member

“I’m better than you” is the attitude of the white supremacist towards black people. It’s also the attitude of everyone who isn’t a white supremacist towards white supremacists. It is not the Christian attitude towards anyone. We are all alike unworthy. The whole problem is that we can’t get back far enough in the conversation to find common ground. “As long as there’s consent, anything goes” is the dogma, and any differing views are shouted down as bigoted. Even the nature of human sexuality on which the dogma is based is not up for discussion at all.

Jane
Member

“but in general I would say that whether someone is a homophobe for disagreeing with a particular political goal of the gay rights movement depends on why he disagrees with it.”

That’s a reasonable enough position, but it doesn’t allow a politician, activist, or celebrity to call everyone who opposes a certain law, court case, or executive order “homophobic,” because he has no idea what all those people are thinking and is almost certainly wrong that they all do so for the same reason. Yet that is far from a rare usage.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Jane, again, I would need a specific example, and you’re probably right at least some of the time. On the other hand, part of the reason the culture shifted so fast on the gay marriage issue was the growing realization that there really weren’t any reasons to oppose it that didn’t involve the assumption that straight people and their relationships are superior to gay people and their relationships, which is the textbook example of bigotry: I’m better than you are. Any public policy based on “I’m better than you are” is a bigoted policy.

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote: Any public policy based on “I’m better than you are” is a bigoted policy. Setting aside Krychek_2’s self-serving lack of imagination for a moment, bigotry is just another survival strategy in the accidental game of survival of the fittest. It’s merely the in-group/out-group dynamic that drives the next evolutionary thing. Remember, Krychek_2 is a materialist. It’s interesting how Krychek_2 keeps trying so desperately to leverage arguments from empathy and shame, even though his own worldview excludes any basis for expectation that might justify empathy and shame. In an accidental, purposeless universe, he appears to be employing any word… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Bigotry may or may not have been a good survival strategy once upon a time when people lived in small, close-knit tribes, but today it threatens to destroy humanity. Just like eating lots of sugar and fat was evolutionarily advantageous at one time when food was scarce and hard to come by, but no longer is now that there’s a McDonalds on every corner and obesity is one of our major health problems. What is advantageous at one time and place may not be in a different time and place. Empathy and shame are evolutionarily advantageous because they lead to… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote: Empathy and shame are evolutionarily advantageous because they lead to socially beneficial behaviors, which is why they evolved in the first place. Right, because divisions, wars, and in-group/out-group behavior ceased to operate once “society” evolved? Shame is just another grouping behavior used to divide the society, right? Why does Krychek_2 feel free to use it against Christians? Oops. As I was saying, empathy and shame are just more accidental behaviors plucked from the same bag as all of those others. So Krychek_2 is just appealing to whatever word salad will get the result he is looking for today.… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

The first sentence that begins “right, because divisions, wars . . .” is the logical fallacy of the conclusion that doesn’t follow from the premise. The “shame is just another grouping behavior” sentence is wrong on the facts; the purpose of shame is to unite society by getting people to stop doing shameful things. And the third sentence in the paragraph is the logical fallacy of tu quoque. In the second paragraph, we have undistributed middle, another conclusion that doesn’t follow even from the flawed premise on which it is based, and the assumption of facts not in evidence. And… Read more »

John
Member

Gould would disagree re “empathy and shame are evolutionarily advantageous.”

Katecho
Member

John wrote:

Gould would disagree re “empathy and shame are evolutionarily advantageous.”

Darwin probably would have as well, but I’m only granting it for the sake of argument because Krychek_2 has much deeper foundational problems that he is running away from.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Gould might disagree with that, but scientists are seldom unanimous and I think I have the better argument.

Rob Howard
Guest
Rob Howard

Katecho, as entertaining as it always is to watch you whack on Krychek with the Bahnsen stick, I’m amazed that you gave him a pass on the question-begging here. Our position as Christians re public policy and law is certainly not based on the notion that “I’m better than you are.” It’s a) grounded in the character of God and his requirements for the way we live in society, and b) to be understood in the context of the unavoidable need that all of us (not just homosexuals, or abortionists, or Yankees fans, etc.) have for a Savior, whatever the… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Rob, the Bahnsen stick, as you call it, is such a silly argument that I’m not even sure Greg Bahnsen believed it, and it does little to persuade anyone not already converted. The only reason it has any traction here is because most of the people here are already converted and inclined to believe it. That said, if somebody were to make the argument that Christianity is a perversion for which people need a savior, you would have no trouble recognizing the bigotry and sense of “I’m better than you are” inherent in that statement. All you’ve really done is… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Rob Howard wrote:

… I’m amazed that you gave him a pass on the question-begging here.

Krychek_2’s distortion, hypocrisy and inconsistency can be approached from so many directions that it’s hard to know where to begin sometimes. It certainly wasn’t my intention to give him a pass. I appreciate that someone else noticed another angle on his misrepresentation.

adad0
Member

Was anybody else wondering why krycheck 2 thought that MacDonalds fattened homosexuals would be part of the evolution of anything?????

And let’s do leave Burger King out of this discussion, the Devine right of kings has been discussed here before!

Jane
Member

Actually, believing that something is wrong and therefore the people who are doing it are doing something less good than other people is not a textbook example of bigotry. It’s not inherently bigoted at all, though it could be in some cases.

Unless, of course, you seriously believe that everyone who thinks that professional thieves are engaged in a less good profession than construction workers is just bigoted.

Now doesn’t that seem absurd when you put it like that?

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Jane, believing that something is wrong, and being able to articulate a persuasive reason for why something is wrong, are two different things. Remember, the key element of bigotry is not mere prejudice, but irrational prejudice. It’s not irrational to be prejudiced against professional thieves or pedophiles or murderers or business cheats. It is irrational to be prejudiced against someone based on the color of their skin or their national origin or their left-handedness or their views on supralapsarianism. So the question is whether homosexuality most resembles the former or the latter of those two sets of examples. Now, of… Read more »

Jane
Member

Just because you don’t think homosexuality is objectively wrong does not make it impossible that someone could dispassionately and without prejudice think so. Your lack of imagination does not constitute other people’s lack of sobriety.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Fine, so give me a dispassionate and non-prejudiced rationale for why it is wrong.

insanitybytes22
Member

“Fine, so give me a dispassionate and non-prejudiced rationale for why it is wrong.” There is absolutely no dispassionate and non prejudiced rationale for bigotry and hatred. That applies to your own examples just as it does to homosexuality. The very act of making a judgment is prejudicial. We can argue till the cows come home about which subjective prejudicial opinion is more rational than another, but what we should not be doing is trying to argue that our prejudiced opinions are not prejudiced. That’s crazy making. That is also why Christians often present as hypocrisy, because we dishonestly attempt… Read more »

Katecho
Member

MeMe wrote: The very act of making a judgment is prejudicial. While all judgments do require discrimination, and an authoritative standard of expectations, that’s not what prejudice refers to. Prejudice refers to pre-judging a case, without hearing all of the facts. Prejudice is jumping to a conclusion. Therefore, not all judgments are prejudicial. Even God came down to see what was going on in Sodom and Gomorrah before He judged those cities. What MeMe should have said is that Krychek_2 is making, and injecting, a host of assumptions and presuppositions into the discussion, while pretending to be neutral. This complete… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Katecho, I have not prejudged your system. I used to be one of you, remember? I probably have a better grasp of your theology than you do. So whatever flaws there may be in my application, prejudging your system is not one of them.

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote: Fine, so give me a dispassionate and non-prejudiced rationale for why it is wrong. How ironic that Krychek_2, of all people, would demand a “dispassionate” (worldview independent?) rationale for our ethics when he has sprinted away from any internal challenge to his ethical system. Krychek_2 needs to move beyond his schoolyard tactics and the assumption of his own neutrality. In order to engage in any meaningful criticism of us, he will eventually have to address our ethical framework on its own merits without importing his foreign presuppositions. If he’s unwilling to do this, then he’s the one who… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Katecho, those are all very interesting questions, and perhaps some day there will be a thread in which they will be on-topic so we can discuss them without it being a thread hijack. But I’m not helping you hijack a thread.

Jane
Member

Because God, who is smarter than we are, and doesn’t want us to use the fact of other people’s failings as a weapon against them or a reason to despise them, said so.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Jane, I’m betting the fundamentalist Muslim would give me pretty close to the same answer if I asked what’s wrong with Christians and Jews. He wouldn’t say the part about not using other people’s failings as a weapon, but “God said so” would be the first words out of his mouth.

Jane
Member

It’s simple, then. If he sincerely means that his fundamental reason for opposing homosexuality is rooted in the will of God, then he is not merely being bigoted.

If he is actually bigoted, then he is not being sincere.

But simply saying that does not indicate bigotry.

I’m not so bigoted against Muslims that “a Muslim could say that” is going to scare me off a rational statement.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Jane, you’re missing the point. Saying “the reason is that God says so” is the logical fallacy of the appeal to authority, and leads then to the next obvious question: What, then, is God’s rationale for saying it’s wrong? So all you’ve done is moved the rationale back a step, you haven’t gotten rid of it altogether. Parents do occasionally say “because I said so,” but that’s not a logical argument; that’s just pulling rank. Now, as a Christian, I’m sure you do find “because God said so” to settle the issue for you, but I would hope you would… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote: Jane, you’re missing the point. I think Krychek_2 is missing that Jane has simply refused his pretense at a free-standing island of neutrality and rationality. Jane isn’t trying to derive God using reason. Rather she is reasoning from God, which is the only way to reason. Krychek_2 is asking for a rational reason why homosexuality is wrong from inside a worldview in which wrong has no meaning in the first place. Right and wrong have no referent in his accidental universe. If Krychek_2 really cared about being rational, he would have acknowledged this obvious conclusion a long time… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote: Remember, the key element of bigotry is not mere prejudice, but irrational prejudice. It’s not irrational to be prejudiced against professional thieves or pedophiles or murderers or business cheats. Cute. Morality lectures from the guy who believes that volition is an illusion, and that we are all deterministic reactions of material forces. And he wants to tell us what’s rational? Speaking of prejudice, he doesn’t even acknowledge when he has installed his own foreign presuppositions to sit in judgment over our ethics. As long as Krychek_2 keeps blindly imposing his mystery system of expectations, he’s just not in… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Katecho, you’re still very silly. But at least I haven’t bet the farm on a deity for whom there’s precious little evidence. And think about that for a minute: If you woke up tomorrow and realized that there isn’t anything out there, you really would have no basis for morality because your basis would have collapsed. Mine, on the other hand, would survive just fine.

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote: If you woke up tomorrow and realized that there isn’t anything out there, you really would have no basis for morality because your basis would have collapsed. Mine, on the other hand, would survive just fine. Krychek_2 resorts to conjecture about a future godless awakening of his opposition, but such desperate daydreaming is of no help to him. Rather than nakedly assert that his ethical foundation would survive, he should spend a bit more time demonstrating why it isn’t already dead. We’ve successfully shown that moral expectation (or expectation of any kind) is contrary to materialism, determinism, and… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Krychek said:

And if you take religion out of it and simply ask what harm is there in two men or two women who love each other playing house, I really don’t see a good answer to that one.

Good to see the atheist, who, despite his belief in evolution, embraces the evolutionary dead-end known as sodomy, admit that homosexuals who “get married” to people of the same sex are indeed playacting.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

I don’t embrace it so much as I don’t believe in treating people badly unless I have a good reason to, and I don’t view someone else’s sexual tastes as being a good reason (so long as they aren’t harming anyone else). I don’t embrace And there is some evidence that having a certain number of homosexuals in society may be socially beneficial. You wouldn’t want everyone to be gay or the species would die out, but not having family obligations traditionally freed up gay people’s time to be creative, to spend their lives in service of others, to help… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote: You wouldn’t want everyone to be gay or the species would die out, but not having family obligations traditionally freed up gay people’s time to be creative, to spend their lives in service of others, to help other people with their obligations, and to create wealth. In the midst of his spin, Krychek_2 seems to have blocked out the whole AIDS epidemic from his memory. I’m not a subscriber of broken window economic theory, so I don’t believe much wealth is actually created addressing the needs of homosexuals with AIDS and gonorrhea and syphilis, etc. Krychek_2 wrote: And… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Fine.

Except the gay agenda also likes to play on the etymology so homophobes hate on the one hand, but they are secretly fearful…

insanitybytes22
Member

Well,one way to counter act that is for us ourselves to be truthful and honest and stop pretending. Am I am Islamaphobe? Absolutely, I both hate and fear the idea of being blown up or beheaded.

Am I a homophobe? Most likely, because I am not real pleased when some six foot tall guy dressed in bondage gear at a pride parade starts screaming at me.

Am I supposed to be ashamed of that fear? Because I am not. Our mistake is in being afraid of being portrayed as afraid or hateful.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

I question whether the six foot guy in bondage gear at the pride parade is representative of most gays. The ones I’ve inter acted with over the years were mostly responsible people with jobs who did volunteer work and were good neighbors. But the gay guy who leaves work to go home to his long-term partner for Chinese food and a movie doesn’t make news the way a pride parade exhibitionist does.

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote:

But the gay guy who leaves work to go home to his long-term partner for Chinese food and a movie doesn’t make news the way a pride parade exhibitionist does.

Next, Krychek_2 will argue that we should distinguish enemy combatants from enemy civilians. But we’ve been doing that for awhile.

Which one is Krychek_2?

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Oh, I would argue that within your paradigm, the parade exhibitionist is actually far less dangerous than the respectable gay who’s a good neighbor. If your goal is to prevent homosexuality from being normalized, it’s a whole lot easier to achieve if you can point to the exhibitionists and try to make them representative of the entire gay community. It’s a lot harder sell once people have gotten to know and like gay people who, other than being gay, are pretty much just like them. Which is precisely why homophobic organizations like the Family Research Council use pictures of parade… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote: Oh, I would argue that within your paradigm, the parade exhibitionist is actually far less dangerous than the respectable gay who’s a good neighbor. I thought Krychek_2 used to be a Christian? If so, he really ought to understand our paradigm better. Does he really imagine that Christians believe sin only comes in the form of snarling trolls, and never done up in “respectable”, “intelligent”, and “cordial” dressing? I guess we should take comfort that Krychek_2 underestimates us so badly. Krychek_2 wrote: It’s a lot harder sell once people have gotten to know and like gay people who,… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Actually, Katecho, I qualified the paradigm statement by saying “if your goal is to prevent homosexuality from being normalized.” And within your paradigm, that is one of your goals, and that’s the specific goal to which I was speaking. That you might have other goals as well is irrelevant since I specified the one I was talking about.

At this point, you’re not even pretending to accurately represent what I say, and you then wonder why most of the time I don’t bother with you.

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote: At this point, you’re not even pretending to accurately represent what I say, and you then wonder why most of the time I don’t bother with you. Uh huh. This is pretty rich coming from the guy who just accused Christians of trying to “sell” homophobia. Not satisfied with that, Krychek_2 has attempted to tell us which group of homosexuals should be regarded as more or less dangerous to the goals of our own paradigm. I assume he didn’t offer that little condescending nugget of wisdom because he thought we already knew it. But, once again, does he… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

At this point, you’re not even pretending to accurately represent what I say, and you then wonder why most of the time I don’t bother with you.

Rob Howard
Guest
Rob Howard

Although, as one writer puts it (can’t remember who), it would never be Adam and Steve; it would always be Adam and Steven.

Farinata
Guest
Farinata

The problem is that you get a bastardized etymology that robs the word of meaning. A phobia is an irrational fear. To apply it to legitimate feelings of fear (as of bandits or terrorists), or rational feelings of disgust (at sexual perversion) is to speak falsely. Nor is this simply a case of linguistic drift – as if those using the term were saying “homophobe” to mean “reasonable people who happen to feel differently”. Rather, they are trading on the actual meaning of the word to tar their opponents with mental illness. They are lying.

Farinata
Guest
Farinata

The problem is that you’re skipping like five thousand years of history. Sodomite in the Bible referred to people from Sodom, characterized by homosexual rape. But the Christian culture of the ancient and medieval world used the name of Sodom as a metonymy for homosexual acts, to the point that when Dante talks about the circle of hell marked with the seal of Sodom every reader knows exactly what he means. Likewise, legal documents of the period refer to Sodom in their prohibitions of homosexual activity. A word can shift its meaning, and it is vain for us to try… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“The conservative Christian world is frequently accused of “homophobia,” and there are two reasons for this—and sometimes the two reasons are jumbled up together.” Okay, final plea here. Do you fear for Tomas’s well being? Do you hate what’s been foisted upon him? Of course you do. That is fear and hatred. That is homophobia. I realize that no one likes having their belief system and desire for people’s well being and human flourishing labeled an irrational mental disorder, but a big chunk of our problems as Christians stem from our own hypocrisy and fear of being labeled. We need… Read more »

Katecho
Member

I fear that this comment from MeMe is complete nonsense.
I hate to admit it, but I’m not sorry to hear that it’s her “final plea” on the subject.

insanitybytes22
Member

Well, at least you are aware that “my final plea” on the subject was a generous act of mercy on my part.