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Posted by 1971 on October 5, 2012 at 11:09 AM · Report this
I always felt that first 10 minutes of Up was some of the most poignant on film. And yes, it does illustrate what marriage is about.
Posted by ProstSeattle on October 5, 2012 at 11:17 AM · Report this
mrbarky 3
h/t to Christophers80 on reddit as that's where I found out about this.…
Posted by mrbarky on October 5, 2012 at 11:21 AM · Report this
That's lovely, and brilliant. I would go to a Catholic church that thought and taught as this man does.
Posted by Hannah in Portland on October 5, 2012 at 11:23 AM · Report this
I like that in the full letter, he addresses the separation of church and state. A lot of theological opinions get bounced around regarding whether homosexuality is against the bible. That, however, is irrelevant with regards to the law. If you are religious, you should support the separation of church and state for the freedom it affords you and observe that same freedom for everyone else.
Posted by Jamie in Pittsburgh on October 5, 2012 at 11:24 AM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 7
Well said, sir.

And well referenced. You could argue that it's formulaic and unoriginal, but the beginning of Up is about as good a capsule of a simple life well-lived as you could ask for.

Fuck, I'm crying all over my lab notebook. I must be getting senile.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on October 5, 2012 at 11:42 AM · Report this
care bear 8
Jesuits are the shit. That's why I'm now on Jesuit school number 3.
Posted by care bear on October 5, 2012 at 11:48 AM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 9
He's right. The penis and the vagina (in combination) are the primary reasons for reproduction (if the opposite sex couple are fertile), not marriage.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on October 5, 2012 at 11:53 AM · Report this
treacle 10
Finally, some sense in the debate from the religious side!
Yeah, Jesuits really are more intellectually rigorous than other Catholics/Xtians.
Posted by treacle on October 5, 2012 at 11:56 AM · Report this
I salute anyone who recognizes the beauty of the first 10 minutes of Up.
Posted by Action Kate on October 5, 2012 at 12:05 PM · Report this
GlennFleishman 12
Wonderful statement, and logically consistent, which one would hope from the head of a Jesuit school.

I take issue with his "founding fathers" statement. To be true to that belief, one has to encompass the incredible amount of disagreement and compromise the drafters of the constitution had, their desire for it to be a living document, and the lack of consistent (or any) religious faith across them.
Posted by GlennFleishman on October 5, 2012 at 12:15 PM · Report this
Quintus Slide 13
A word spoken in season is like apples of gold in pitchers of silver.

Nicely done.
Posted by Quintus Slide on October 5, 2012 at 12:37 PM · Report this
THIS IS WHAT BISHOPS WILL BE SAYING IN 100 YEARS (hopefully minus the natural-only BC requirement)!

They will catch up eventually. They WILL catch up!
Posted by DRF on October 5, 2012 at 12:46 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 16
@15 - One could quibble about his exegesis, but it's still more clever than your rebuttal. Literalism in interpreting scripture is unique and endemic to anthropomorphic monotheism; one of the many ways in which Jesuits are a bit like the Buddhists of Christianity is that they recognize that "revealed" text can be, at best, a filtering through the fallible human mind of obscure metaphysical insights, invariably colored by the context--social, cultural, linguistic--in which they arose.

This does not speak, of course, to the question of whether it's even relevant, so far as we're discussing civil marriage, what texts founded on subjective metaphysical views (and moral systems derived therefrom) have to say on the matter.

Of course, you avoid offering any insight (I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming you just might have some on hand) by not really addressing the question he poses. Do you maintain that infertile couples do not "become one body"--that, in essence, childless marriages are not valid marriages? What of elderly couples or couples known before marriage to be unable to conceive--should they not be allowed to marry (or, more precisely, should whatever commitment rituals they undergo anyway not be recognized as marriages)?
Posted by thelyamhound on October 5, 2012 at 1:31 PM · Report this
Brooklyn Reader 17
"That’s because the primary purpose of marriage is unitive, not procreative. It is the union that makes the marriage sacramental. Marriage, in and of itself and regardless of the presence of children, is a path to God."


I'm actually surprised he went there, though. While that's a tenet of my Quaker faith, I was thinking that he was going to make a secular argument. Awesome!
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on October 5, 2012 at 1:32 PM · Report this
He'll probably be getting a call from his bishop.....
Posted by Tor on October 5, 2012 at 1:47 PM · Report this
venomlash 20
@15: It's pretty clear that the phrase is an example rather than a rule. A man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife. It could just have easily said that a woman leaves her father and mother and clings to her husband; in fact, that would be more accurate in light of the patriarchal tribal customs of the time (the wife became part of the husband's family rather than the opposite).
The bit about becoming as one body is explicitly NOT about bearing children together, but instead refers to Eve being created from Adam's rib.
And the man said: 'This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.' Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.
The imagery is of two split halves returning to each other in perfect complementation and unity. (In fact, it's reminiscent of the story put forward by Aristophanes in the Symposium, in which humans were originally bound in pairs as two-sided beings, and were divinely split and set to wander the earth waiting for their other half.)
Posted by venomlash on October 5, 2012 at 1:52 PM · Report this
venomlash 21
@19: Um, it has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with reproduction. Stop trying to make Scripture say what you want it to and start reading it for what it is.
Posted by venomlash on October 5, 2012 at 1:54 PM · Report this
Fuck yeah, @20. Thanks.
Posted by gloomy gus on October 5, 2012 at 2:20 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 26
We noted that the scripture he cites does not support homosexual 'marriage' in any way and poetically alludes to the reproductive potential of marriage; totally opposite of the argument he was attempting to make.
From where do you extrapolate that it poetically alludes to reproductive potential, and not to unity? Is it, or is it not, your contention that all childless marriages--or even just those marriages where future childlessness was a known quantity--are in violation of this definition of marriage?

Aside from the quickly diminishing fun of actually trying to get you to express an idea (the capacity for which is all that separates us significantly from the cockroach), it's all rather beside the point, for all the reasons I mentioned. There are passages in the Lotus Sutra that say bodhisattvas should not associate with practitioners of combat sports--a matter which many orders that follow said sutra violate by practicing such sports themselves. Scholars and followers of religion and religious texts spend considerable time trying to separate the necessary and absolute at the heart of what they study from the conditional, from that which arose as a function of the time and place in which these texts were written.
Posted by thelyamhound on October 5, 2012 at 2:22 PM · Report this
venomlash 27
@22: Marriage is unitive. Therefore, marriage is driven by the desire of people to be together. Homosexuals differ only from heterosexuals in that they desire people of the same gender as themselves. Legally, people of both genders are equal. Therefore, there is no legal difference between homosexuals and heterosexuals. Therefore, marriage between homosexuals and between heterosexuals has no substantial difference. Q.E.D.
Please try to keep up.
@23: You said it was about reproduction. I showed you how it WASN'T about reproduction. You said, in effect, "HA! It's not about gay marriage!"
Huh? Numbers 15:37-41 isn't about gay marriage either. So fucking what?
Posted by venomlash on October 5, 2012 at 2:24 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 28
And the insight that marriage is Unitive is not an argument for homosexual 'marriage'.
Not by itself, no (at least not a factual or empirical argument; more on that in a second). It's simply a rebuttal against the notion that marriage is, in essence, reproductive, which is one of the major arguments advanced against same-sex marriage. It kicks the ball back to the other side to either refute the notion that marriage is unitive or come up with an argument that doesn't rely on the notion that marriage is for baby-making.

One can step back from the factual, and say that from a unitive standpoint, there is no difference between a homosexual relationship and a heterosexual one. I'm not sure that's any more (or less) relevant than anyone's beliefs to the contrary, since such things cannot be empirically measured.
Any more than arguing that it is a means for man and dog to become 'one body'.
Animals other than humans cannot vote, own property, change careers of their own volition, or enter into any kinds of human contracts. Since marriage was first recognized by any kind of tribe, the nature of marriage has been contractual. At the risk of adding zoological confusion to your list of intellectual maladies, your dog is a red herring.
Posted by thelyamhound on October 5, 2012 at 2:32 PM · Report this
"Literalism in interpreting scripture is unique and endemic to anthropomorphic monotheism;"

I don't think that's correct. It's endemic to monotheistic fundamentalism - like evangelical Christianism, Islamism, and some strands of Jewish Orthodoxy.
The major strands in Christianity - Catholicism, mainstream Lutheranism - and Judaism - Conservative, Reform, Reconciliation - don't believe in literalism. In Islam literalism is unfortunately more widespread, I don't know much about that, though, beyond the fact that I guess it's connected to the story of how the Q'ran was dictated to Mohamed.
Posted by adam.smith on October 5, 2012 at 3:01 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 30
@29 - That's probably fair. I tend to look at Judaism through a different lens, because so many of the Jewish thinkers with whom I have contact are panentheists, if not pantheists, in approach, so the notion that deity is possessed of will, moral interest, and is immutable in such doesn't really apply. Catholics may be less literal than, say, Calvinists or Pentacostals, but it seems to me that once you use the Bible as an argument for (rather than merely an expression of) principles for social organization, you're granting it a very "literal" authority.

In any case, your point is well taken. I'll chew on it for a while.
Posted by thelyamhound on October 5, 2012 at 3:16 PM · Report this
OuterCow 31
We're winning.
Posted by OuterCow on October 5, 2012 at 3:47 PM · Report this
venomlash 33
@32: You claim that I have made false assumptions. Please, tell me which statement in my argument you consider to be incorrect. It's called a "counter-argument", and it's what adults do instead of just saying "I'M RIGHT YOU'RE WRONG LALALALALA".
Also, your use of the word "literally" needs a bit of help. Do a man and a woman LITERALLY become one piece of flesh when they have a kid? And what does reproduction have to do with those verses? It's not mentioned ANYWHERE in Genesis 2. (And for the record, I've before never heard the interpretation I delivered to you. I took the theme of unification vs. reproduction that Mr. Hickey brought up and looked for Scriptural support on my own. Judaism has a strong tradition of encouraging critical and independent thinking, which is more than Christianity can say.)
Posted by venomlash on October 5, 2012 at 5:43 PM · Report this
kim in portland 34

I respectfully disagree, venomlash. While there are a fair number of loud absolutists calling themselves Christian. The practice of literalism and infallibility became popular in the nineteenth century. There are a fair, number of Christians who consider the practice of Christianity to be a "wisdom tradition". And, as you know, wisdom and knowledge are not identical. Hence, there is a strong tradition of encouraging critical thinking and questioning in many denominations. Unfortunately it does not seem that you happen to be engaged in conversation with one.

Kind regards.
Posted by kim in portland on October 5, 2012 at 6:11 PM · Report this
LaSargenta 35
I think our pseudo xtian troll doesn't actually study the Bible, but instead reads the Cliff Notes thereof. Context counts.

Thank you to the posters who actually KNOW that verse and where it comes from.
Posted by LaSargenta on October 5, 2012 at 6:22 PM · Report this
very bad homo 40
Wow, it's going to be really nice when we win this.

I don't care what the Bible says, that's not the law. And I don't care how children are produced, since I'm not having any. All I care about is that my relationship (and so many others) will be legally recognized, as they should be.

And yes, we WILL win this.
Posted by very bad homo on October 5, 2012 at 7:46 PM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 42
@37 - I think you've had too much of the sacramental wine.

@38 - *citation needed.
Posted by Pridge Wessea on October 5, 2012 at 9:11 PM · Report this
very bad homo 43
@41 The claim is that marriage is about unity, rather than about raising children. If your reading comprehension is that low, I don't think any of us can help you to understand. Now go pray to your made up deity or something, Daddy's got laundry to finish.
Posted by very bad homo on October 5, 2012 at 9:20 PM · Report this
venomlash 45
@34: Fair enough. My apologies.
@36: You're jumping through all these rhetorical hoops to try and make it about reproduction, when it's right there in the previous verse. Eve was taken from Adam's side, therefore they are missing part of themselves. By finding his/her "other half", a person can achieve unity. It's right there, simple as anyone could wish for. The rationale for Eve's creation is even laid out as Adam needing a partner or helper, not because there needed to be more of him.
And in case you care, reproduction doesn't exist at this point in the creation narrative. It's only after humanity is expelled from Eden that women are cursed with childbirth and men with hard work.
@39: Society's interest in supporting marriage is not reproduction, but rather parenting. Single people can have kids just as well as married people; where marriage helps is in raising those kids to be thoughtful and productive members of society. And two gay men or two gay women can parent JUST AS WELL as a straight couple.
Posted by venomlash on October 5, 2012 at 11:43 PM · Report this
Reverend Tap 46
It's always nice to see the more socially progressive interpretations of Christianity (or, for that matter, any religion) stepping forward to remind us all that the literalists and fundamentalists don't actually have the monopoly on religious thought that they claim to posses.

It would be even nicer to see them stepping forward to a greater extent and kicking the extremists out to the fringes where they belong. Perhaps then the perpetual "Christians vs Atheists" slap-fight could finally wind down.
Posted by Reverend Tap on October 5, 2012 at 11:52 PM · Report this
Tetchy Brit 47
@35 The vast majority of the "Jesus says no!!1" brigade have barely read the bible, they've simply cherrypicked the parts they know they can interpret to support their personal dislikes. Hell, I probably know it better than them, and I stopped attending church when I was 14. People who actually know their stuff biblewise, like my Methodist reverend father, tend to be more on the supportive side of gay rights.
Posted by Tetchy Brit on October 6, 2012 at 1:13 AM · Report this
Dr. Kent Hickey was my high school prinicpal ten years back. He was one of the best things about going to school. I just love him.
Posted by meg213 on October 6, 2012 at 2:11 AM · Report this
venomlash 53
@50: "Because so far the studies show that kids raised by their married mom and dad do WAY better than kids raised under any other circumstances."
WRONG! Children raised by married parents do way better than those raised by a single parent. The evidence so far indicates that there is no significant difference between gay parenting and straight parenting (sources here, here, here, here, and here). No matter how much evidence stacks up against your viewpoint, you seem determined to ignore it. (And you advocating for statistical rigor is pretty rich, considering that you don't know how to properly infer causality or construct a reasonable null hypothesis.)
@51: There are TWO creation stories at the beginning of Genesis. The quote I've been explaining comes from the second one. The commandment you quoted comes from the first one.
More importantly, though, it's not connected to the issue of unification. We are commanded to be fruitful and multiply, yes. But the FUNDAMENTAL REASON for marriage is given elsewhere, and is very clearly not for the purposes of reproduction. Enough mental gymnastics, Alleged; I know that book a lot better than you do.
@52: know that men aren't actually missing ribs, right? The ancient Israelites knew that too. Have you ever heard of an allegory?
Posted by venomlash on October 6, 2012 at 8:27 AM · Report this
thelyamhound 54
If there was an all knowing benevolent god who shared with mankind the secret of happiness it would be unwise to doubt and question.
Please cite any testable evidence that such a thing has occurred. Don't have any? Then it isn't really relevant. The book in question is nothing more than a philosophical guide. What's interesting about Kent Hickey's argument is its philosophical fruit; the rest is pseudo-history--a better argument for an attitude of tolerance among believers than for legal recognition of a contract between consenting adults.
Posted by thelyamhound on October 6, 2012 at 11:21 AM · Report this
thelyamhound 55
Heterosexual relationships frequently and consistently result in children.
But we don't reward heterosexual marriage only in those cases where it does. Could it be because society benefits from marriage in other ways--say, because married people commit fewer crimes, rely less on social services, tend to give more to charity, be more productive, and so on?
But historically the overwhelming majority did.
Currently, less than half of all marriages have progeny at any one time. You can account for some of that by factoring in new marriages that don't have children yet and marriages where infertility is discovered later, but then you also have to account for declining rates of marriage overall.
Maintaining the species is serious business.
What is the empirically demonstrable value or state interest in "maintaining the species?"
Posted by thelyamhound on October 6, 2012 at 11:32 AM · Report this
thelyamhound 56
Reproduction may not be the primary purpose of marriage for some people but it is the primary reason society has an interest in fostering, nurturing and subsidizing heterosexual marriage.
Perhaps historically, but it has rarely been the only reason; there are all the reasons I cite above.
If the envious and bitter want to adjust social marriage policy to reduce or eliminate the subsidies given married people who do not have children they could advance that proposal.
I've been married over 16 years; you have nothing I envy but a perplexing lack of rational self-doubt (and ultimately, while I'm sure it would feel good, I'm probably better off with what I've got).
But trying to pretend their barren pairings are Just As Good as heterosexual marriage is false and poor social policy.
You have not demonstrated that it anything but "just as good" as the marital contracts offered to childless, elderly, and/or infertile couples.
Posted by thelyamhound on October 6, 2012 at 11:36 AM · Report this
thelyamhound 57
but every parent knows you have to kick the little moochers out of the basement before they'll make anything out of themselves.
We really can't wait 'til your mom gets the memo.
Posted by thelyamhound on October 6, 2012 at 11:40 AM · Report this
venomlash 62
@60: We CAN tell, scientifically, whether people are attracted to individuals of a certain gender or not. A penile plethysmograph can tell if something gets a guy hard, and a vaginal photoplethysmograph can identify whether a woman gets turned on by a given image. By conducting electroencephalograms of people engaged in sexual behaviors, we have recorded patterns of brain activity indicative of sexual arousal, and can identify them in test subjects. In short, we have a nice array of methods for finding out what people actually find sexually arousing. Case. Fucking. Closed.

Don't like the science? Okay, facts have a well-known liberal bias anyway. Consider the following. ASSUMING that all individuals are actually heterosexual, and CONSIDERING the extensive social bias against homosexual behavior, WHY would people actively choose to act gay? Even where being gay is a capital offense, some people still are gay. What possible reason can you propose to explain this choice if the analysis is so heavily stacked against it? Is there any possible explanation other than that some people are just neurologically wired to be gay?

@59: So okay, gays are just as good as infertile people, and gay marriage is just as good as straight marriage between infertile people. I'll take that.
Posted by venomlash on October 6, 2012 at 3:37 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 63
Societies that do not maintain a sufficient birth rate
see their pension and social security systems implode.
That says more about the efficacy of those systems than of the need to make more womb rats. If the likes of you are what we can expect of future generations, I'd say we're far, far better off going the way of the dodo.
Another aspect of the problem
is that the rate of babies born may be high enough to sustain the population
but the quality of people produced deteriorates
and the rising generations do not take their place in the economy
and contribute
but instead add to the burden of society
by taking more social services than they contribute in economic activity.
I agree. The last thing we need is more reactionary miscreants typing missives in their mothers' basements. I, on the other hand, work three jobs, have never relied on social services, pay my taxes, donate to charities, and take responsibility for the physical, spiritual, and artistic health of my various communities. What have you done today that's worthy of my attention?
Posted by thelyamhound on October 6, 2012 at 5:52 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 64
There is as much evidence that god exists as there is that humans are attracted to people of their own gender.
Sorry, but no. And to be fair, my own pantheistic beliefs are no more testable, in the empirical sense, than either theistic or atheistic premises. That humans are attracted to people of their own gender can be easily established by way of blood flow and erectile function (as @62 points out rather succinctly).
Is Danny attracted to boys? Who knows.
You've got me there. I cannot prove that Danny is attracted to boys. There's evidence that some men are, but there's a certain intuitive leap--a modicum of faith, one may even say--in my believing that he's one of them.
He has had sex with icky girls, after all.
As has my wife (occasionally even in my presence), just as I had sex with icky boys before we married. There's a limitation to what you can extrapolate from such data.
"Homosexuality" As an innate biological condition? Please cite any testable evidence that such a thing exists...
You mistake me for someone who thinks it is. I think there are all kinds of factors that determine whether an individual is solely or primarily attracted to members of his or her own sex--genetics and innate biology being only pieces of the puzzle. The other pieces strike me as being scientifically and philosophically interesting, but morally, socially, and legally irrelevant. That it is or is not "innate" is less interesting to me than whether or not it is immutable (in my purely anecdotal observation, it is); whether or not it is immutable is, in turn, less interesting to me (morally, socially, and legally, at least) than whether it is harmful (in my purely anecdotal observation, it is not).
Posted by thelyamhound on October 6, 2012 at 6:32 PM · Report this
Tetchy Brit 65
@49 Indeed he is, thank you for asking. Is yours proud he raised someone who spends all day making easily disproved claims anonymously on a message board, as opposed to doing something productive?
Posted by Tetchy Brit on October 7, 2012 at 4:06 AM · Report this
venomlash 68
@66: Yes, those devices measure sexual arousal. What do you call someone who gets aroused by dirty pictures of people of their own gender? You call them gay, duh. (Unless pictures of opposite-gender folks get them hot too, in which case they're bischmexual.)
And as for your religion distraction, I've got an explanation right here. Many religions promise a reward in the afterlife to the faithful, and punishment to the wicked. Therefore, their adherents are willing to let themselves be martyred because eternity in paradise is worth it. Duh.
I'm not trying to prove that God doesn't exist, Alleged. (In fact, it's impossible to prove God's existence or non-existence.) You're attempting to deny the reality that some people are gay. What's your evidence? I've given you mine.
Posted by venomlash on October 7, 2012 at 8:54 AM · Report this
venomlash 70
@69: Sexual orientation is a pattern of sexual arousal and romantic attraction. If some dude CONSISTENTLY only gets hard from looking at guys, whereas most dudes CONSISTENTLY only get hard from looking at girls, wouldn't you say there's some substantial difference? (Note also that it's caused by other factors than environmental conditioning. People who are brought up believing that gay is bad, or even not knowing about gay, still sometimes turn out gay.)
Not to mention the collection of physiological differences in the brain that have been recorded and studied, and demonstrated to actually determine sexual orientation.
If it seems subjective and unverifiable to you, that's only because you selectively ignore all evidence that doesn't support your opinions. And that's your problem, not mine.
Posted by venomlash on October 7, 2012 at 12:34 PM · Report this
US is a superstitious country.

Solution: bitch/butch only relationships. The holy union of Ish and Isha are there. And anti-gay discrimination is shown for what it is, gender discrimination.
Posted by LewisT on October 7, 2012 at 1:50 PM · Report this
venomlash 73
@72: Are you referring to this study? The one where there were no significant differences between men's or women's responses to seeing animal copulation and the control treatment? I certainly hope that's not what you're talking about, because you're talking about plethysmograph results as if they were boolean rather than continuous.
Don't change the subject, now. Admit that some people just happen to be wired for gayness, or show me your evidence against it. You don't win debates by asking questions instead of answering them.
Posted by venomlash on October 7, 2012 at 4:34 PM · Report this
venomlash 75
@74: You read the abstract of the STUDY that I linked. I actually read the full text and looked at the data and methodology. Women, gay and straight alike, differed in their vaginal responses to control treatment and images of bonobo sex, while men did not. HOWEVER, there is not a statistically significant difference between women's responses to the two treatment. Even an ignorant moron like you can see that the error bars overlap. (This is also seen in the study you mentioned.) Oh, and your "quote" from Chivers and Bailey 2005 doesn't actually appear in that study. It's actually a quote from Chivers, Seto, and Blanchard 2007.)
Of course, you're not going to care about the science, so let me lay out for you what the evidence supports. Women demonstrate genital arousal based on the acts they see performed. Men demonstrate genital arousal based on the gender(s) of the actor(s). Therefore, straight men become aroused when looking at naked women. Are you mentally defective?
Clearly, you don't know how to science or statistic. You cherry-pick data, interpret absence of evidence as evidence of absence, and improperly infer causality. Do you even lift?
Posted by venomlash on October 7, 2012 at 10:51 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 77
Those devices measure sexual arousal, not sexual orientation.
Since your question was about whether Dan is "attracted" to boys (yes, understood to mean males, not necessarily minors), "arousal" is all we need to objectively establish. We cannot "prove" Dan loves males, the way one might describe as being "in love," because we can't prove such a thing in just about any context. That my wife loves me is something of an article of faith for me; that I love her is no doubt similarly an article of faith for her.
Everything you assert about homosexuality applies much more so to religious belief.
I'll buy that. What I believe, in religious terms, is certainly not chosen by me. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy describes belief as the holding of a posit to be true. While what we hold to be true isn't entirely rooted in perception, it cannot be wholly counter-perceptual; thus, if someone perceives an ordered universe, one will be drawn to the notion of design, whereas one who perceives chaos will tend to be drawn to a notion of the random. There are, of course, many degrees between one pole and the other, but we can still say that belief, tied to perception (which is in turn tied to temperament, aptitude, experience, possibly even genetics), is not volitional. Religious practice, on the other hand--the observance of rituals and moral mandates, the fulfillment of community obligation--certainly is.
ASSUMING that there is no 'god', and CONSIDERING the extensive social bias against religion in many modern 'enlightened' humanist societies, WHY would people actively choose to practice religion?
I would say that some of that practice arises from belief. Because the homosexual cannot choose not to be attracted to members of his or her own sex--or, perhaps more importantly, he/she cannot choose to be positively attracted to members of the opposite sex--the choices with regards to practice are celibacy, loveless heterosexual marriage, or homosexual lifestyle. Similarly, to one who believes in [G/g]od(s), choices with regards to practice are either to observe/practice a theistic religion or to live a lie, in a sense, by observing or practicing a non-theistic value system.
Is there any possible explanation other than that some people have encountered 'god'?
We can adjust that ever so slightly to make an accurate statement: The only reasonable explanation is that some people have had experiences that, according to their various epistemic presuppositions (and we all function according to those), constitute either direct experience or reliable anecdotal evidence of the existence of [G/g]od(s).
Posted by thelyamhound on October 8, 2012 at 9:30 AM · Report this
venomlash 78
@76: I linked the study. The abstract is written at the top of the study. Are you illiterate?
Read the second-to-last paragraph in my previous post.
Posted by venomlash on October 8, 2012 at 10:16 AM · Report this
very bad homo 81
@80 Trying something once when you're young is not the same as having a history. Especially when one grew up in a time when homosexuality wasn't readily accepted or even discussed.
Posted by very bad homo on October 8, 2012 at 11:51 AM · Report this
thelyamhound 82
@80 - Given that heterosexuality is (and will, I suspect, always be) presented as the norm (even if and when homosexuality is largely "accepted" as an equally socially valid variation), pretty nearly ANYONE who identifies as homosexual has some history--however short and fraught with mishaps--of heterosexual behavior and relationships.
Posted by thelyamhound on October 8, 2012 at 12:01 PM · Report this
venomlash 83
@79: Hm. The University of Chicago must have a subscription to that journal; I'm accessing the interwebs from the UChicago network, so it seems I can access the whole thing. If you really want to read the whole thing, this copy probably isn't protected.
So let's sum things up. I read the study. You read the abstract. I have formal training in statistical analysis and biology. You do not. My argument (that sexual orientation is real and innate) is supported by the APA. Yours is not. And you still think you're winning this argument?
You're not making any points. You're just making me explain mine in minute detail so you're capable of understanding them.
Posted by venomlash on October 8, 2012 at 1:17 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 86
@85 - Thus we may distinguish between homosexuality and homosexual behavior. Just as we may distinguish between my being left-handed and my writing or using utensils with my left hand.

One may slip into and out of, or experiment with, any of a number of behaviors in order to determine what one's inclinations are. I would never have known that I loved Sleepytime Gorilla Museum or hated the Eagles had I not listened to both; I would never know that I can effectively box and use scissors as if right-handed had I not attempted such, just as I would never know that I can write and use chopsticks more effectively with my left hand had significant effort not been made to use each for the sake of comparison. My wife and I each had homosexual experiences before we married, and, indeed, experience enough interest in our own respective sexes that one may call us bisexual, or at least bisexually responsive; that said, we were able to determine that our primary interests were in the opposite sex, broadly speaking, and in each other, narrowly speaking, and this determination was made because we "experimented" first with others and then with one another.

Proclivities differ from behavior, but they're not unrelated.
Posted by thelyamhound on October 8, 2012 at 3:35 PM · Report this
venomlash 87
@84: If you'd actually read it, you wouldn't be touting it in support of your position that gay isn't real. I see you continue to make condescending, pithy dismissals rather than actually presenting a counterargument.
Do you have any explanation of the consistent differences observed in the brains of heterosexuals and homosexuals?
Posted by venomlash on October 8, 2012 at 5:24 PM · Report this
venomlash 89
@88:Let me quote you. "There is as much evidence that god exists as there is that humans are attracted to people of their own gender."
Until you admit that you lied here, there's really no point in trying to convince you of anything further. (Protip: there is no scientific evidence for or against the existence of supernatural forces. There is a great body of scientific evidence suggesting that some people are exclusively attracted to persons of their own gender.)
I'm not contesting that there is a neurological basis to psychopathy. I will, however, correct "neurological defect" and "deviant sexual desire" to "neurological variation" and "atypical sexual desire".
You also err in comparing homosexuality to psychopathy. They are NOTHING alike. A more accurate comparison would be to left-handedness. Do you have any compelling reason why left-handed people shouldn't have the same rights and opportunities as right-handed people? Or homosexuals the same as heterosexuals? (Careful how you answer, I'm dating an ambidextrous bisexual.)
And again: do you concede that you lied by claiming a lack of evidence that homosexuality is real?
Posted by venomlash on October 9, 2012 at 8:31 AM · Report this
thelyamhound 90
We cited it to demonstrate arousal is not orientation; that women may be aroused by seeing animals copulate and yet not have an affinity for fucking apes.
I don't even think that amounts to being on topic unless we could illustrate that a woman was turned on, not by copulation between animals, but the animal in its natural state, or, if copulation were involved, if it were between a human and an animal. That is, being aroused by witnessing a "natural" sex act between two animals of the same species not only says little about orientation, but little of interest about arousal.

That said, as venomlash points out, your statement was about attraction. Arousal does have a pretty explicit relationship with attraction, which in turn is an important component of orientation.
And we never said the gay isn't real. We said it is real in the same way that religious conviction is real.
Happy to grant that arguendo . . . But then, we do recognize, protect, and even subsidize (through various tax exemptions) religious practice in the U.S. We even license ministers of various churches to confer certain civic contracts--marriage, for instance. Indeed, we could suggest that the inability of those pastors who would want to bless same-sex unions (or plural marriages, for that matter) are inhibited in their free exercise by current marital law.
We certainly are open to the concept that a neurological defect could confer deviant sexual desire.
Venomlash already corrected this very nicely, but it bears repeating: variation is not defect; that which is atypical is not deviant.
We just don't think society is compelled to subsidize or promote the condition.
It isn't even necessarily compelled to subsidize or promote the norm--in this case, the heterosexual family unit. Breeding within that context is preferable to breeding outside of it--that is, children of two parents fare statistically better than children within it--but the objective value of more humans is no more and no less than the objective value of more termites. Societal valuation of life is borne of the need to protect life once it exists. Rights do not exist in nature; they can only be yielded by individual or group. Thus no right to life exists until that right is enumerated; life, in turn, is a foundational right without which no other rights can exist. That's a formula for protecting life, though, not a mandate for manufacturing it.

Thus the "condition" of heterosexuality, or of heterosexual union, isn't really worth promoting for what differentiates it from homosexual unions. What's worth promoting is the social stability it provides even in the absence of children--the lower crime rates, higher levels of productivity, and lesser reliance on social services among committed, co-habitating family units.

Do you have any explanation of the consistent differences observed in the brains of psychopaths?
Posted by thelyamhound on October 9, 2012 at 9:51 AM · Report this
thelyamhound 93
Cut myself off. The last line there should be blockquoted:
Do you have any explanation of the consistent differences observed in the brains of psychopaths?
You make a common mistake. Explanations for why homosexuality is at least partially biological are arguments against it being thought of as volitional or unnatural; they are not arguments for why it should be tolerated or accepted, or why homosexuals should be allowed to form unions comparable to heterosexual unions and have those recognized via the same civic contract. Those arguments are separate. Whether homosexuality is natural or biological is only relevant when its allegedly volitional or unnatural status is used as an argument against such allowances or recognitions.

Homosexuality is indeed more like left-handedness than like psychopathy, but let's take a step in your direction, just to keep things simple enough for you to follow along. All of these things--along with pedophilia, alcoholism, a sweet tooth, an interest in redheads, a taste for art-films, color-blindness, type-A vs. type-B personality variations--represent seemingly natural, arguably immutable conditions in which the individual may find him-/herself. Only the actions associated with are regulable (that is, even in the case of the pedophile, we do not regulate pedophilia--the attraction of the adult to minors--but the act of an adult having sex with a minor).

When looking at whether to tolerate homosexual or left-handed behavior, we measure the potential harm to any non-consenting participant, or any participant whose consent is compromised by age, drugs, or level of competence. In these cases, I just don't see any such harm.

Marriage goes further than that, of course, in that it's a contract with certain "perks," though, in most cases, a tax penalty that seems to more than make up for it, most years. That said, in comparing homosexual behavior with heterosexual behavior, BOTH are neutral in the terms outlined above (that is, they can be dangerous when practiced irresponsibly, less so when practiced responsibly). One may produce children, but that in itself is a moral and social neutral--it's just another organism that could come to offer good or ill, like any other organism.
Posted by thelyamhound on October 9, 2012 at 10:23 AM · Report this
thelyamhound 94
A 'variation' that renders those afflicted with it incapable of reproducing is a defect.
Assumes a specific value in procreation. An advanced society continues to make use of individuals who may be considered less value in a less sophisticated species.
'Atypical' desires deviate from the typical.
So does atypical dexterity. Do you also call the left-handed "deviant?"
An education should send you fearlessly in search of The Truth, not leave you guarding your words and cowering in fear
of sanction from the Forces of NarrowMinded Bigotry and Intolerance...
Precisely why I reject and oppose quasi-literate ramblings from a miscreant typing missives in his mother's basement.
Society has a huge interest in seeing enough babies grow up to be contributing functional adults.
That explains why we would prefer married parents raising children to single parenting. That doesn't really explain why we would prefer breeding to non-breeding.

Moreover, considering that homosexuality occurs at nigh identical rates in places like Iran as in places like the Netherlands, there's no indication whatsoever that greater acceptance of homosexuality, or recognition of homosexual unions via legal contracts, would increase its incidence or affect the breeding pool at all. Thus recognizing same-sex marriage would have no more effect on the birth rate than recognizing childless heterosexual unions.
Unless you expect termites to pay SS and Medicare taxes and change your diapers when you are in the nursing home.
I expect to break into the basement apartments of aging, underemployed rednecks and shit on their carpets. I'm a fierce being; they're gonna have to put me down with an elephant gun.
And childless 'marriages' have no need of subsidy or 'promotion' by society. Childless couples will find pairing up to be in their financial and emotional best interest without the need of social subsidy.
And yet they (we) receive it. You seem to think that's just an oversight. It seems far more likely to me that the myriad other socially stabilizing benefits of marriage are recognized by those who offer and oversee the contract.
Posted by thelyamhound on October 9, 2012 at 10:53 AM · Report this
venomlash 96
@91: There is a difference between being politically correct and simply being accurate. The neurological variations that determine sexual orientation do not render people sterile; therefore, your reason for calling them defects is incorrect. Atypical simply means different from the typical; "deviate" denotes the leaving of a path, a departure from what is correct or accurate. A human tetrachromat is certainly atypical, but it would be wrong to call him deviant, as his vision would actually be BETTER than the norm. Do you understand my use of non-slanted language now? Unlike you, I fit my opinions to the evidence, not vice versa.
Blacks also had the same marriage rights as whites under miscegenation laws. And yet nobody would argue that such laws were not racist in intent and in action.
And if you were not comparing homosexuality to psychopathy, why did you even mention it? (In the above paragraph, I make no mention of the illegalization of same-sex marriage, and yet anyone with two cerebral hemispheres to rub together can tell that I'm comparing it to miscegenation laws. It's called connotation, Alleged.)
My girlfriend is indeed an ambidextrous bisexual. Not even joking.
@92: Our society DOES reward couples that have children over those that don't. It's called a child tax credit; people caring for children don't have to pay as much in taxes. Problem solved. Do you really expect people to stop having kids if gay marriage is legalized?
@95: As someone with a background in evolutionary biology, I can tell you you're more full of shit than a factory farm fecal lagoon.
One, the human race is no longer operating under natural selection. Two, NOT reproducing often leads to higher fitness under certain common conditions. Three, homosexuality's incidence shows no signs of changing, so your specter of "too many gays not enough straights" is laughable. Four, homosexuality does not cause any adverse effects.
And with regard to your comments about Nazism, I see you haven't studied any history either.
Posted by venomlash on October 9, 2012 at 1:34 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 97
He would tell you that creating enough functional mature contributing (breeding) members is The Prime Directive of any species that plans to survive.
But what is the value of the species surviving? What I value in any life--including my own--is the degree to which it fulfills its potential to amuse and edify. Thus I may strive to see that every life fulfills such potential, but I see no reason to elevate the making of more organisms to some sort of sacred or social duty.
And as long as that wastage is kept to a small percentage the species can overcome it. But, alas, too many homosexuals would spell the end of the race.
Considering that the percentages remain consistent across both culture and species, it seems that nature has built in mechanisms for keeping it from making any real impact on the birth rate.
That said, in comparing homosexual behavior with heterosexual behavior, both are emphatically NOT neutral. Or equal. Or Just As Good...
Yes, they are. Or, at least, you have failed ever so miserably to illustrate otherwise. In an advanced society, making more is no longer the paramount virtue; homosexuals have actually contributed disproportionately to such fields as art, medicine, and technology. What they "waste" in breeding potential, they often make up for in cultural contribution. You, on the other hand, are contributing . . . what, exactly?
Heterosexuality must be practiced in order for the species to continue,
and the race will thrive or suffer to the extent that it 'responsibly' practices Traditional Heterosexual Marriage.
If the caliber of organisms by which are species survives is equivalent to you, there's more value in promoting the survival of the ebola virus.
Rates of homosexuality are difficult to measure and you do not know what you claim is true.
Studies that show the numbers tend to be based on self-reporting, so you're right. If anything, they probably underestimate the numbers in places like Saudi Arabia. Which makes even the appearance of statistical equality frightfully compelling.
Posted by thelyamhound on October 9, 2012 at 4:17 PM · Report this
venomlash 99
@98: I wouldn't.
In other words, you don't have any counterarguments. That's match.
Posted by venomlash on October 9, 2012 at 11:49 PM · Report this
venomlash 101
@100: ...what's so inconvenient about pedophilia and psychopathy being nothing alike? Why did you even bring up pedophilia? It's not remotely relevant to the conversation at hand.
Homosexuals can reproduce, sure. Same way left-handed people can use their right hands for things. Clearly, if there was really a left-handed state of being, those creatures couldn't use their right hands for anything. So obviously anyone who's left-handed just chose to be that way. According to your logic, that is. I wonder if it's even possible to know less about biology than you do. And if gay is just a set of choices people make, why do gay people's brains differ anatomically from those of straight people?
You definitely don't understand natural selection either. Nice guess, but you're wrong here. I'm talking about INDIVIDUAL fitness, where it can be in an individual's OWN best interests not to reproduce. Guess away, worm.
Posted by venomlash on October 10, 2012 at 9:54 AM · Report this
venomlash 103
@102: Are you advocating that we teach our kids how to be straight from birth? Man, and the people at NOM say WE'RE the ones exposing young children to sexual propaganda. (Also, you can't actually turn southpaws into northpaws. The closest you can get is ambidexterity.)
Homosexuals' brains aren't defective. Just different. Same as lefties. There's nothing a straight person's brain can do that a gay person's can't.

And ah, you've finally touched upon the key issue at the heart of evolutionary biology. Fitness is defined as an organism's ability to propagate its genome. But it's possible, depending on the conditions, for an organism to propagate its genome more if it DOESN'T reproduce. It can be done! Can you guess how?
Oh, and by the way? "The Prime Directive" is from Star Trek. Don't get TOO mixed up, now...

...give up on the question yet? Dance, puppet, dance.
Posted by venomlash on October 10, 2012 at 11:50 AM · Report this
thelyamhound 105
Were there ACTUALLY a 'homosexual' state of being those creatures would/could not reproduce.
Why? There is a left-handed state of being, but that doesn't mean the left-hander can't use his right hand; it means that his right hand will never achieve a capacity equal to what his left hand could achieve. This difference is crucial, and gives lie to your assertion that they can function "perfectly well as right-handed people."

In that sense, homosexuals can, of course, create loveless, erotically unsatisfying marriages with members of the opposite sex, if they so desire, and it would no more be my right to stop them than it is my right to stop anyone from entering what strikes me as an ill-fated marital arrangement. But there is a difference between being in a relationship with someone to whom you're capable of being attracted, or capable of forming romantic emotional attachment, and being in a relationship with someone to whom, or with whom, you are not capable of same.
Of course, we all know that "gay" is just a set of behavior and lifestyle choices.
Homosexual behavior is as much a choice as any other behavior; homosexual responsiveness, particularly in the pointed absence of heterosexual responsiveness, is not.
"NOT reproducing often leads to higher fitness under certain common conditions."
Those conditions being the potential reproducers are defective goods whose genes are best kept out of the gene pool.
Not necessarily, though in some cases that may be true. On the other hand, many great scientists, artists, humanitarians, philosophers, and religious figures have been childless, for any of a number of reasons.
Posted by thelyamhound on October 10, 2012 at 1:19 PM · Report this
venomlash 107
@106: Homosexuals sometimes have straight sex, generally because society pressures people to be straight. Left-handed people sometimes use their right hands for tasks, generally because society (still) pressures people to be right-handed.
So, apparently handedness isn't real either, according to you. If homosexuality wasn't innate, why would the brains of homosexuals have such consistent differences from the brains of heterosexuals? If it was all just a choice, why would certain loci (known to be involved in sexual desire) differ between gays and straights?
The answer to my little puzzler, Alleged is kin selection. Look it up.
Posted by venomlash on October 10, 2012 at 11:05 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 112
Homosexual activists like Danny assert that homosexuality is an innate biological trait, like race, and that for that reason society is compelled to sanction homosexual behaviors and pairings.
Stop talking to Dan. He isn't even paying attention to this conversation. I happen to believe that there is an innate component to homosexuality; I also happen to believe that homosexual acts should not be legally proscribed; I additionally believe that it is fair and socially equitable to offer the same recognition to homosexual unions that heterosexual unions, with or without children, currently enjoy. But all three of these conclusions, while part and parcel of a broader set of philosophical convictions, are not really all that related. That is, if I believed, despite massive evidence to the contrary, that homosexuality were entirely chose, I would still believe that behavior that arises from such proclivities should be allowed and that unions arising from such proclivities and behaviors should be able to enjoy the same civil contracts that my wife and I currently share.

Of course, my own marriage is my greatest piece of anecdotal evidence that sexual orientation isn't chosen--I didn't choose to love or be attracted to my wife; I only chose what I would do in light of that.
However innate biological traits can not be altered.
That I can box right-handed, even though I can't use chopsticks right-handed, indicates that biological traits can be mitigated. Some presumably more that others.
One does not experiment with a different race, or dabble in a different gender (surgical mutilation notwithstanding....)
I think you mean "sex," since gender is a web of social constructs that we build around the biological fact of sex. One can, indeed, experiment with gender without surgically altering one's sex characteristics. As for race, you're partially correct, because race is only partially biological; it, too, is largely a cultural construct. White kids for generations now have been experimenting with "black" social identity; this is admittedly harder in reverse because there ARE certain visual cues that (arbitrarily) keep some people from having a proper seat at the table because of the way others react to appearances.

A homosexual who engages in heteresexual activity is not necessarily changing his or her orientation any more than a white kid dancing to hip-hop is changing his race.
One could not be both homosexual and heterosexual,
were 'homosexual' an innate trait (and not just a behavior)
Nonsense. I'm bisexual (or at least bisexually responsive) because I remain erotically responsive to both males and females. I can choose what I do (or don't do) with that, of course, but I cannot choose to make it not so (nor could I choose to make it so were it not).
In order to push his line of 'reasoning' Danny ignores the overwhelming reality;
that sexual desires and preferences are fluid and greatly influenced by environment and culture.
Influenced by environment and culture, but also rooted in certain biological predispositions, at least according to the available data.
Danny once answered a college student who asked if he could "un-out" himself after deciding he was not gay after all "you can tell people but no one has to believe you".
The cynical cold rigid assertion that one can never renounce the gay puts huge pressure on kids, especially males, who may think themselves gay at some point and later decide otherwise.
I don't have enough information to make a call on that case; even if I did, I'm not Dan, and it's not my job to make or defend his arguments. I would say that if the young man ever truly believed he was gay, he had at least enough attraction for and capacity for emotional intimacy with males that we could say he was probably bisexual or bisexually responsive; that said, if he had or has significant attraction for and capacity for emotional intimacy with females, he doesn't lose much by "rounding up," as Dan sometimes puts it.
We're sorry, we don't see how it benefits the species or them when the 'great' do not have children. Could you elaborate?
Passing one's "genes" might seem pretty urgent to the chimpanzee (if the chimp can even contemplate such), but during our recorded history (admittedly not a very long stretch of time), it seems to me that those societies (in the macro or the micro--tribes, nation-states, cultural movements, clans) "win" that best succeed in passing down ideas, language, works of art, cultural memes, scientific or technological advancements.

We don't admire Socrates, Shakespeare, William Blake, Albert Einstein, Nichiren Daishonin, or Mother Theresa for their children; I'm not sure why we should chastise Alan Turing, Allen Ginsburg, or Jean Genet for failing to produce any.
Posted by thelyamhound on October 11, 2012 at 11:50 AM · Report this
venomlash 113
@108: This post is just a gem. Are you really this ignorant of simple evolutionary biology?
Human homosexuals are not generally sterile. Neither are subordinate turkeys in a lek display coalition, say, or young silverbacks helping their fathers maintain the group, or young adult scrub jays helping relatives raise their young. (And no, such non-breeding individuals aren't actually more nurturing than breeding individuals. Kin selection doesn't require that.) There's a difference between "can't breed" and "don't breed". I'm not talking about eusociality here, but rather altruistic behavior powered by kin selection.
Now, since you're so badly misinformed, it may interest you to know that natural selection doesn't result in the best designs: just better ones. And you're going out on a limb with your assertion that gays are bad parents, mainly because the evidence we DO have actually indicates the opposite.
Aversion to homosexuality has no genetic basis, but rather a cultural one. Homophobia isn't hereditary; it has to be taught.
Of course, I never said that homosexuality evolved by kin selection. In my educated appraisal of the available evidence, it has only a minor genetic component, and is mostly caused by intrauterine (environmental) factors.
So, what's that you said? You don't need to look up kin selection because you understand evolution so well. Really, you expect me to believe that? I couldn't misinterpret natural selection so badly as you did if I tried.

@109: Gay people are never straight, no matter how much society pressures them. That's how innate traits are.
@110: Um, no. Fat people and lean people don't actually have differences in their brain morphology. Do you even think about the shit you make up?
@111: Wilson is disavowing kin selection in favor of group selection. Big whoop. Did you know that Nature, one of the most prestigious biological journals, published FIVE letters criticizing Wilson's argument against kin selection? One of which was signed by 137 prominent scientists? The evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of kin selection as a mechanism for the evolution of altruism; all that remains is sorting out how much it is responsible for, and how much is the product of its kissing cousin group selection.
Posted by venomlash on October 11, 2012 at 2:40 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 115
You confuse culture and race.
No--I acknowledge that "race" is at least partially a societal construct made up of actions. Indeed, even skin pigmentation only equals race as a result of the way that pigmentation causes others to react.
So can Danny.
Sure! The difference is, when I choose to sleep with a woman, I am choosing to sleep with someone to whom I am capable of being attracted and with whom I can experience romantic intimacy. If Dan chose to sleep with a woman, and if I take him as truthful in what he says about his proclivities, he is choosing to sleep with someone with whom he cannot experience those things.

Thus he is choosing an action that is contradictory to his innate proclivity.
All healthy whole humans are biologically heterosexual.
All healthy whole heterosexual humans are biologically heterosexual.
What they choose to do, or not do, with that is their choice.
A homosexual is not a heterosexual who happens to have relations with members of his or her own sex. Such a being would, by definition, not be having sex with someone to whom he or she is attracted. Maybe I'm luckier or better looking than the next guy, but I've never had sex with anyone to whom I wasn't at least nominally attracted.
Predisposition is not Predetermination.
Perhaps not, but if the alternatives were celibacy or loveless marriage, I would consider homosexual activity an improvement over either if my primary sexual interest was in men.
And people, with appropriate gender role models and family and cultural support, can overcome deviant sexual predispositions to lead normal lives.
An empty facsimile of so-called "normal lives," perhaps. I could also force myself to write with my right hand. But I will never write as clearly with my right as I would with my left, no matter how early you'd opted to "train" me to do so.
If cultural pressures can force Dan to have sex with girls under 'duress' why can't the reverse be true?
Even if we said, arguendo and with no evidence whatsoever supporting the conclusion, that this was possible, we'd have to ask whether such sex under duress wouldn't be just as unsuccessful in reverse, and that nearly all heterosexuals would come to reject the homosexuality with which they experimented?

Seems like you haven't thought most of this through.
Why can't children growing up in a culture that relentlessly promotes and propagandizes homosexuality (as ours does) succumb to peer pressures and experiment with homosexuality even if they are not in the least gay?
What you say about our culture simply isn't true. We still live in a heteronormative culture, and I don't imagine that will change anytime soon . . . or, in all likelihood, ever.
Why does Danny get to renounce his heterosexual past but you and Danny are smugly sure the college student questioner must really be at least partially homosexual even if he won't admit it.
I never suggested the student was partially homosexual. I suggested that either you have the capacity for attraction to members of your own sex or you do not. Even given that you do, that attraction may be significant or not. I get hot and bothered for approximately 50 women for every one man that is of interest; that's enough, in my mind, to call myself "bisexual" or "bisexually responsive," but aside from a couple of fun play sessions, my "lifestyle" is primarily heterosexual because that's what suits me.
Danny's attitude toward homosexuality is the same as the antebellum racists who contended that even one drop of negro blood contaminated the bearer; in Danny's world any homosexual exposure at any age forever condemns the participant to the gay ghetto.
Again--I will not answer for Dan. I will only say that one doesn't choose to whom one is attracted. If one is attracted to both men and women, and decides to "round up," more power.
Ask Japan.
A rather sexually conservative society, in some ways. One might suggest that birth rates have little or nothing to do with whether a society accepts non-procreative sexual practices, or recognizes the unions of those who engage in them.
The cultural etc advances you tout are luxuries that are only enjoyed by societies that master the humdrum basics of producing ongoing generations of competent citizens.
Luxuries without which the humdrum basics of producing ongoing generations of citizens--and such quaint, constructed notions as "competence"--are no more meaningful or valuable than the wriggling of a paramecium.
And, btw, cultural dalliances with normalizing homosexuality are a hallmark of civilizations in decline.
An oft-cited, rarely illustrated, never proven maxim of sexually dissatisfied scolds and underemployed, basement-dwelling paranoiacs.
Posted by thelyamhound on October 11, 2012 at 4:29 PM · Report this
venomlash 116
@114: Let me pick out the clearest lies in your post.
"All healthy whole humans are biologically heterosexual."
Nope. Certain variations in morphology at certain loci in the brain cause homosexuality without any other known effects, and homosexuality is not a disease.
"relentlessly promotes and propagandizes homosexuality (as ours does)"
Our society actually propagandizes against homosexuality. If the tide of cultural influence was so in favor of being gay, why would gay people still be closeted?
"cultural dalliances with normalizing homosexuality are a hallmark of civilizations in decline"
Really? Were the Abbasids, Spaniards, Neo-Assyrians, Mongols, and countless other powers to rise and fall all that friendly towards gays?
Damn, you're delusional.
Posted by venomlash on October 11, 2012 at 5:17 PM · Report this
venomlash 118
@117: Actually, humans are reproductively bisexual, as are most chordates. You're really not in a position to make any statements about biology.
And as long as I'm lowering myself to speak to you, mind giving an example of mainstream culture telling people that you're better off gay than straight? (No, the Village People do not count as mainstream.)
Posted by venomlash on October 11, 2012 at 9:55 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 119
Did Danny love Terri at some point? Does he now need an outside release every now and then? Has his love waned? Will it last Forever?
no. body. cares.
Except, presumably, Danny and Terri. And that's all that really matters--that those who enter into contracts of lifetime commitment do so with someone with whom they can spend the rest of their lives.
It is not the job of government to GUARANTEE that anyone can marry/love/fuck the person they *Love!*
Who's asking for a guarantee? I'm suggesting mere allowance.

Whatever "orientation(s)" someone may profess, it really doesn't matter.
In order to reproduce humans have heterosex.
But not all sex is build around reproduction. For instance, fewer than 25% of women can experience orgasm without direct clitoral stimulation--which means that female sexual pleasure tends to rely on non-procreative practices like oral and digital stimulation. This suggests that, even on an evolutionary level (not that this is of any particular importance; survival is incidental, existence a mere accident; only by deriving satisfaction of life do we grant it any value, since value does not occur in nature), sex has as much to do with bonding and attentiveness as with fertility.
You scoff.
You just make it so easy.
But what is homosexual "marriage" except "an empty facsimile of so-called "normal lives"
Normal Heterosexual lives, that is.
I disagree. A marriage to someone with whom you wish to spend your life is certainly preferable to--and considerably less empty than--a marriage to someone with whom you do not.
Evidently you are not in touch with the popular culture that American children are immersed in.
I'm actually part of that pop culture professionally; I also watch about 12-15 hours of television a week (not easy when I'm working three jobs and my wife works two, but what can we say? we like to watch TV at the end of a 10-12 hour day).
Homosexuality is relentlessly projected and propagandized.
Music. TV. Movies.
It is portrayed; it is even, thankfully, more often portrayed as non-harmful than in the past. It is also sanitized, compartmentalized, and in no way portrayed as preferable to or better than heterosexuality.
But when they try to un-out themselves Danny warns them that "no one has to believe them..."
And no one does. You don't have to believe that I'm married, left-handed, bisexual, bald, or smarter than you by such a ridiculous margin that I should be able to write this conversation off as a donation to the less fortunate. The people who know these things to be true will be those who matter.
Why does Danny scorn the idea that someone could identify as homosexual then recant and recognize their heterosexuality.
Has Danny ever acknowledged one case?
What did I tell you about asking me to answer for Dan Savage?
You have a depressingly low appreciation for the specialness of human life.
Specialness is assigned. It is not objective; it does not exist in nature. Quantities have value because we value them.

I hold a great many human lives special; I'd say I even grant human life a special deference because I can enter into contracts with any mentally competent human that I cannot enter into with a lion or a virus. But that deference is, make no mistake, contractual, that specialness assigned. The universe recognizes no phenomenon as special; all phenomena are one.
People who have never heard of Socrates, Shakespeare, William Blake, Albert Einstein, Nichiren Daishonin, or Mother Theresa can have rich full lives doing no more than loving and providing for their families.
Wait . . . I thought that love was inconsequential, and I was immature for suggesting it had anything to do with marriage.

Shit, you're even too stupid to keep up with your own arguments.
You may from your smug tower of cultural chauvinism disdainfully see them as no better that protozoa but that is your loss.
I imagine the protozoa would be offended that you so dismiss its experiences, if you'd any way of communicating your disdain. And perhaps that is your loss--that you think so little of phenomena in general that you hold the eating, sleeping, shitting, and breeding of upright-walking apes in greater esteem than all else.
Posted by thelyamhound on October 12, 2012 at 10:04 AM · Report this

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