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Thje need for authenticity

CriticalThought

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From reading some of the threads in this forum it seems some individuals who have beliefs that homosexuality is wrong are surprised when some people they express this opinion to accuse them of being hateful towards homosexuals.

I don't seek to argue in this thread whether homosexuality is or is not wrong, and I am certainly not suggesting that people who believe it is wrong are hateful of homosexuals. However, I think people who hold the opinion that homosexuality is wrong have a responsibility to practice respect, courtesy, and tact when it comes to such an emotional topic, and I believe that such individuals, often choose not to understand the perspective of gay people.

When it comes to people who believe homosexuality is wrong, they tend to believe that the behavior of sexual relations between two people of the same sex is wrong. They also tend to believe that condemning a behavior is entirely separate of condemning an individual.

This would certainly be true if not for the need for authenticity. What does it mean to be authentic? It means you are a genuine human being. You are true to yourself. You are not pretending to be someone you are not. Most importantly your actions match your true feelings.

From the point of view of a gay person, homosexuality is not just a behavior. It is an attraction to members of the same sex. This attraction is certainly sexual but it also may be emotional, cognitive, and even spiritual. It is their true feelings. Homosexual behaviors are the actions that express those feelings, and they are not just expressed sexually but through affection, love, understanding, mutual disclosure, and connectedness.

When an individual who feels homosexuality is wrong asserts their belief, they must understand that they are arguing that the way in which gay people live as authentic and genuine people is wrong. That can come off as incredibly hurtful and insensitive and in fact, many individuals intend for it to come off that way in hopes of shaming gay people. It is no surprise that some people begin to assume that everyone who feels that homosexuality is wrong must be a hater of homosexual people.

As I said before, I'm not going to argue that people who believe homosexuality is wrong should change their beliefs. However, I do think it is important that when they express that they feel the behavior is wrong that they also recognize that it is how gay people try to live authentically in accordance to how they truly feel.

Please respect gays and lesbians freedom to be genuine in our own way and we will respect your freedom to be genuine in how you adhere to your own feelings. As long as we are not harming anyone, it is not your place to tell us that you cannot condone our behavior anymore that it would be our place to tell you that we could not condone yours. Everyone is entitled to live their lives as authentically as they wish as long they are not harming others.

Now when it comes to the political issues of gay rights and same sex marriage, that is a bit more complicated. However, we live in a democratic society and so we can agree to disagree. Sanctity and tradition are important values to some and equality and fairness are important values to others. We can remain authentic to our own values without attacking or belittling the values of others.

I hope this post clarifies why some resentments exist and what can be done to help alleviate them. It doesn't matter if you feel homosexual behavior is wrong but please recognize that gays must live in accordance with our own feelings and beliefs to be true to ourselves just as surely as you must live in accordance with your own feelings and beliefs.
 
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mike2810

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Well written comment.

What you have said could be applied to almost any topic where people disagree because of beliefs. The key is respect, as you stated. Their are some issues that you will get 100% of humans to agree on. (sex, religion, immigration, etc). The best you can hope for is agree to disagree with respect.
 

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From reading some of the threads in this forum it seems some individuals who have beliefs that homosexuality is wrong are surprised when some people they express this opinion to accuse them of being hateful towards homosexuals.

I don't seek to argue in this thread whether homosexuality is or is not wrong, and I am certainly not suggesting that people who believe it is wrong are hateful of homosexuals. However, I think people who hold the opinion that homosexuality is wrong have a responsibility to practice respect, courtesy, and tact when it comes to such an emotional topic, and I believe that such individuals, often choose not to understand the perspective of gay people.

When it comes to people who believe homosexuality is wrong, they tend to believe that the behavior of sexual relations between two people of the same sex is wrong. They also tend to believe that condemning a behavior is entirely separate of condemning an individual.

This would certainly be true if not for the need for authenticity. What does it mean to be authentic? It means you are a genuine human being. You are true to yourself. You are not pretending to be someone you are not. Most importantly your actions match your true feelings.

From the point of view of a gay person, homosexuality is not just a behavior. It is an attraction to members of the same sex. This attraction is certainly sexual but it also may be emotional, cognitive, and even spiritual. It is their true feelings. Homosexual behaviors are the actions that express those feelings, and they are not just expressed sexually but through affection, love, understanding, mutual disclosure, and connectedness.

When an individual who feels homosexuality is wrong asserts their belief, they must understand that they are arguing that the way in which gay people live as authentic and genuine people is wrong. That can come off as incredibly hurtful and insensitive and in fact, many individuals intend for it to come off that way in hopes of shaming gay people. It is no surprise that some people begin to assume that everyone who feels that homosexuality is wrong must be a hater of homosexual people.

As I said before, I'm not going to argue that people who believe homosexuality is wrong should change their beliefs. However, I do think it is important that when they express that they feel the behavior is wrong that they also recognize that it is how gay people try to live authentically in accordance to how they truly feel.

Please respect gays and lesbians freedom to be genuine in our own way and we will respect your freedom to be genuine in how you adhere to your own feelings. As long as we are not harming anyone, it is not your place to tell us that you cannot condone our behavior anymore that it would be our place to tell you that we could not condone yours. Everyone is entitled to live their lives as authentically as they wish as long they are not harming others.

Now when it comes to the political issues of gay rights and same sex marriage, that is a bit more complicated. However, we live in a democratic society and so we can agree to disagree. Sanctity and tradition are important values to some and equality and fairness are important values to others. We can remain authentic to our own values without attacking or belittling the values of others.

I hope this post clarifies why some resentments exist and what can be done to help alleviate them. It doesn't matter if you feel homosexual behavior is wrong but please recognize that gays must live in accordance with our own feelings and beliefs to be true to ourselves just as surely as you must live in accordance with your own feelings and beliefs.

what i find incredibly difficult is the actual discussion of right and wrong regarding homosexualtiy. we DON'T have the same sort of discussion regarding sex outside marriage, adultery, open marriages, different sexual practices, and so on. while some of us believe this behavior is wrong, we don't FOCUS on it in the same way we do homosexuality. i think the reason is that for some men, homosexuality is very threatening, because of our culture. you don't see groups trying to convert adulterers to monogamy, yet some people think it's prefectly ok to try to "turn" gays straight. there are more adulterers than gays, and i contend that if homosexuality is a sin, it's no more of a sin the adultery. but it's certainly more THREATENING.
 

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I see most of the prejudice against homosexuality in the same light as I do those who say one shouldn't wear their white pumps before Memorial day in that the prejudice is so entirely arbitrary, and so completely without reason that it falls outside that which is truly moral. Unfortunately, those with an incurious disposition who are prone towards following belief systems without criticism CALL it immoral, and despite their inability to say WHY it is immoral, simply go about the business of creating specious arguments that appeal either to authority or popularity in order to advance their prejudice.

What I see as the stickler has to do with the word hate, as although there are countless people who do hate, all the double talk offered by those who are simply too dogmatic to actually ask the basic question "why is it immoral" gives every indication of hatred, so intellectually dishonest are their arguments. Whether or not they actually hate is known only to them, however.

As far as I'm concerned, my own estimation of whether or not people are haters is based upon their preoccupation with the subject. It's like discussions in other arenas where the protesting denials of people who roll out of bed each day and post yet another condemnation of some sort fall on deaf ears. I do not see their sputtering protests as genuine because of the way they harp on the subject. If their actual attitudes matched those they claim, they simply wouldn't be wasting so much effort as they are.
 

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what i find incredibly difficult is the actual discussion of right and wrong regarding homosexualtiy. we DON'T have the same sort of discussion regarding sex outside marriage, adultery, open marriages, different sexual practices, and so on. while some of us believe this behavior is wrong, we don't FOCUS on it in the same way we do homosexuality. i think the reason is that for some men, homosexuality is very threatening, because of our culture. you don't see groups trying to convert adulterers to monogamy, yet some people think it's prefectly ok to try to "turn" gays straight. there are more adulterers than gays, and i contend that if homosexuality is a sin, it's no more of a sin the adultery. but it's certainly more THREATENING.

The key word is "threat". I've read some comments on this board and I shake my head in bewilderment.

"Acceptance of homosexuality will destroy society."
"Those who practice homosexuality must repent."

It's dehumanizing. And you are correct, it is not applied equally. Nobody is arguing that acceptance of adultery will destroy society. Nobody is arguing that people who have sex outside of marriage must repent. In the Abrahamic religions, adultery and sex outside of marriage are among the worst sins.

But if you bring it up, people will justify their double standard by arguing "just because the moral fabric of society has already decayed does not mean we should allow it decay more." In Canada they made same sex marriage legal because they felt it was the moral thing to do and in the United States it is seen as contributing to the immorality of society. And yet is Canada a beacon of sin and depravity? The states in the US that have legalized same sex marriage still boast the lowest divorce rates in the country. Are they facing imminent decay?

Homosexuality has become highly politicized. Gays and lesbians hold their share of responsiblity in it becoming so politicized, but it is now blatantly obvious how irratonal the issue has become. To go so far out of your way to deny a group of people certain legal recognitions, to spend so much money, to run such hateful ad campaigns, to stoke fear among the populace, and so on. It certainly isn't better when gay rights groups retaliate, but nobody is really being the bigger man here. Even going so far to organize and spend money to kick out judges for issuing a ruling that you never even read but still don't like?

The thing that has decayed most in American society is not morals, but civility and common decency.
 

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The key word is "threat". I've read some comments on this board and I shake my head in bewilderment.

"Acceptance of homosexuality will destroy society."
"Those who practice homosexuality must repent."

It's dehumanizing. And you are correct, it is not applied equally. Nobody is arguing that acceptance of adultery will destroy society. Nobody is arguing that people who have sex outside of marriage must repent. In the Abrahamic religions, adultery and sex outside of marriage are among the worst sins.

But if you bring it up, people will justify their double standard by arguing "just because the moral fabric of society has already decayed does not mean we should allow it decay more." In Canada they made same sex marriage legal because they felt it was the moral thing to do and in the United States it is seen as contributing to the immorality of society. And yet is Canada a beacon of sin and depravity? The states in the US that have legalized same sex marriage still boast the lowest divorce rates in the country. Are they facing imminent decay?

Homosexuality has become highly politicized. Gays and lesbians hold their share of responsiblity in it becoming so politicized, but it is now blatantly obvious how irratonal the issue has become. To go so far out of your way to deny a group of people certain legal recognitions, to spend so much money, to run such hateful ad campaigns, to stoke fear among the populace, and so on. It certainly isn't better when gay rights groups retaliate, but nobody is really being the bigger man here. Even going so far to organize and spend money to kick out judges for issuing a ruling that you never even read but still don't like?

The thing that has decayed most in American society is not morals, but civility and common decency.

and i'm afraid i've contributed to that incivility today. damn.

adultery has victims, homosexuality does not. adultery destroys families, homosexuality does not. so WHY is the rhetoric so evil and hateful? because those people are threatened. once the minorities and gays and women enjoy full rights, who will that leave for people to dominate?
 

CaptainCourtesy

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Unfortunately, one sees incivility and intolerance on every side of an issue. This kind of presentation usually shows ignorance in the topic as a whole. To understand something, one needs to understand all aspects, even those that one does not agree with. Best way to learn, even when trying to better understand ones own position, is to close your mouth and open your ears, occasionally.
 

liblady

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Unfortunately, one sees incivility and intolerance on every side of an issue. This kind of presentation usually shows ignorance in the topic as a whole. To understand something, one needs to understand all aspects, even those that one does not agree with. Best way to learn, even when trying to better understand ones own position, is to close your mouth and open your ears, occasionally.

is that an admonishment?
 

OscarB63

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we DON'T have the same sort of discussion regarding sex outside marriage, adultery, open marriages, different sexual practices, and so on. while some of us believe this behavior is wrong, we don't FOCUS on it in the same way we do homosexuality. i think the reason is that for some men, homosexuality is very threatening, because of our culture. you don't see groups trying to convert adulterers to monogamy, .

All those other groups you mentioned tend to want to stay out of the spotlight. gays don't. I think that is why we don't have the same sort of discussions regarding those topics.

I find it funny that , in a lot of cases, if a guy is against homosexuality one of the first responses from a gay/gay supporter is that he must be a.) closet/latent gay b.) afraid he might be gay or c.) insecure . why can you just not accept at face value that some men think, for whatever reason, that being gay is wrong?
 

OscarB63

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who asked you?

defensive much? just sayin... obviously you feel some guilt or you wouldn't have had to question whether CC's post was an admonition aimed at you. :shrug:
 

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defensive much? just sayin... obviously you feel some guilt or you wouldn't have had to question whether CC's post was an admonition aimed at you. :shrug:

obviously i felt guilt becasue i've been quite a smartass today, but i still wasn't asking you.
 

OscarB63

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obviously i felt guilt becasue i've been quite a smartass today, but i still wasn't asking you.

that's the beauty of it. you don't have to ask for help...I will gladly give it freely out of the goodness of my heart.
 

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All those other groups you mentioned tend to want to stay out of the spotlight.

You have devoted quite a considerable portion of your total posts to just this one subject.

Who did you say is responsible for keeping this issue in the spotlight, again?
 

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probably the ones who actually start the threads. duh. if all the gays here would stop starting gay threads, I would stop participating in them. :shrug:
 

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probably the ones who actually start the threads. duh. if all the gays here would stop starting gay threads, I would stop participating in them. :shrug:

What makes you think that it is only gays who start gay threads? You sound like you are doing precisely what you and others become annoyed with when others do it.

Also, you have control of your behaviors. If those threads annoy you, don't participate.
 

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The issue I have is being wrongfully labeled a homophobe.

It is a misuse of the term. Homophobe means an unreasoning fear of homosexuals.

I don't fear homosexuals. I am religiously obligated to view their lifestyle as sinful. I am religously obligated to not support gay marriage.

But you know, I rarely talk about it outside this forum... and I very rarely talk about it IN this forum except when someone else brings it up... particularly when they use the opposition of conservative Christians to gay marriage as an opportunity to fling insults and accusations around.

I wonder how many threads that are started with "Gay" as the topic, are started by anti-SSM's as opposed to those started by pro-SSMs? I'd be willing to bet real money that pro-SSM's start these thread more.... like say, almost always. Offhand I've rarely seen an anti-SSM poster start a thread about this topic.
 

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I am religiously obligated to view their lifestyle as sinful.

Are you religiously obligated to hate sin instead of simply avoiding it yourself?
Are you religiously obligated to shame those who you believe sin in this way?
Are you religiously obligated to believe or preach that this particular sin will lead to the destruction of society?
Are you religiously obligated to demand repentance for this sin from even those who do not follow your religion?
Are you religiously obligated to treat this sin with any greater concern than you would with sins like having sex outside of marriage?

I am religously obligated to not support gay marriage.

Are you religiously obligated to oppose it?
Are you religiously obligated to not support civil unions and domestic partnerships?


My point is the problem is usually not when people disagree on the issue of the morality of homosexuality but when they take it a step beyond that and try to control others, impose their view on others, or argue that homosexuality is hurting people.
 
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CaptainCourtesy

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The issue I have is being wrongfully labeled a homophobe.

It is a misuse of the term. Homophobe means an unreasoning fear of homosexuals.

I don't fear homosexuals. I am religiously obligated to view their lifestyle as sinful. I am religously obligated to not support gay marriage.

But you know, I rarely talk about it outside this forum... and I very rarely talk about it IN this forum except when someone else brings it up... particularly when they use the opposition of conservative Christians to gay marriage as an opportunity to fling insults and accusations around.

I wonder how many threads that are started with "Gay" as the topic, are started by anti-SSM's as opposed to those started by pro-SSMs? I'd be willing to bet real money that pro-SSM's start these thread more.... like say, almost always. Offhand I've rarely seen an anti-SSM poster start a thread about this topic.

In bold... I don't agree. I've seen quite a few folks start anti-SSM or anti-gay threads. They are usually the most bigotted and nasty. Of course, the posters who do it are a different kind and DO fit the definition of homophobe or bigot, for the most part.

On the other side, we have a few who start pro-SSM thread, attacking all Christians. These folks are no better than those that I described above.

If we are talking about legitimate, non-attacking threads, probably the pro-SSM threads would outnumber the anti-SSM threads about 2:1.
 

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Are you religiously obligated to hate sin instead of simply avoiding it yourself?
Are you religiously obligated to shame those who you believe sin in this way?
Are you religiously obligated to believe or preach that this particular sin will lead to the destruction of society?
Are you religiously obligated to demand repentance for this sin from even those who do not follow your religion?
Are you religiously obligated to treat this sin with any greater concern than you would with sins like having sex outside of marriage?



Are you religiously obligated to oppose it?
Are you religiously obligated to not support civil unions and domestic partnerships?


We've been over this ground before. "Hate"? I'm not real big on hate of whatever sort.
"Shame"? I've said before, I don't go around rubbing homo's noses in my views. I rarely talk about it except here, and I only talk about it here because others keep bringing it up and using it to bash my religion.

It's actually not something I normally spend much time thinking about at all, except when I come on DP and here's three new threads on the topic.... two of them started by CT....
 

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On the other side, we have a few who start pro-SSM thread, attacking all Christians.

This is where things have been counterproductive.

The fact is, Christians oppose homosexuality because the Bible says it is wrong. They need no other reason.

Some homophobes take it beyond that and try to shame gays, demand repentance from gays who don't even belong to their religion, preach that they find homosexuality disgusting, argue that society will decay and crumble if gays are allowed to marry, argue that homosexuality is hurting people, and so forth.

There is a big difference between simply saying you feel homosexuality is wrong because the Bible says so and actively trying make gay people feel miserable because they practice homosexuality.
 

CaptainCourtesy

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This is where things have been counterproductive.

The fact is, Christians oppose homosexuality because the Bible says it is wrong. They need no other reason.

Some homophobes take it beyond that and try to shame gays, demand repentance from gays who don't even belong to their religion, preach that they find homosexuality disgusting, argue that society will decay and crumble if gays are allowed to marry, argue that homosexuality is hurting people, and so forth.

There is a big difference between simply saying you feel homosexuality is wrong because the Bible says so and actively trying make gay people feel miserable because they practice homosexuality.

Absolutely. One can hold whatever views one wants/chooses. The problem errupts when one uses those views to denigrate others. Christians who say that their religion teaches them that homosexuality is a sin, and they will therefore neither condone it nor support things that stem from it, do not bother me. Those who attempt to degrade those who are gay, who persecute those who are gay, or those who fabricate information about homosexuality, those are the folks who bother me. And those are the folks who, to me, are bigotted. I've said this in another thread. There are only a very few posters here who are like that. BD is not. Digsbe is not. Goshin is not.
 

CriticalThought

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Absolutely. One can hold whatever views one wants/chooses. The problem errupts when one uses those views to denigrate others. Christians who say that their religion teaches them that homosexuality is a sin, and they will therefore neither condone it nor support things that stem from it, do not bother me. Those who attempt to degrade those who are gay, who persecute those who are gay, or those who fabricate information about homosexuality, those are the folks who bother me. And those are the folks who, to me, are bigotted. I've said this in another thread. There are only a very few posters here who are like that. BD is not. Digsbe is not. Goshin is not.

My views are evolving on this as well. Many of the countries that have legalized same sex marriage are predominately Christian. Some even have state religion.

Christianity has a wide spectrum, spanning from the most vocal opponents of gay rights to the most ardent supporters. It's too easy to end up blaming one side for the denigrating and dehumanizing deeds of the other.
 
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