Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Controversy that is Homosexuality and The Hope for the Higher Light.

I’ve been reading a very interesting article articulating a seldom heard perspective.

It was written by what might be called an ‘ex-homosexual’. In keeping with the convention that everything surrounding homosexuality has to be controversial, especially in the context of Christianity, I'm aware the very term, ‘ex-homosexual’ may rouse certain people to fury.

People do not choose to be gay, it is said. Nor do they choose to stop being gay. The orientation is innate, congenital, "God given" even. The term ‘ex homosexual’, therefore, is pure homophobia. So it is thought.

I don’t really know what to say. If someone wants to think of themselves as ‘ex-homosexual’, why shouldn’t they? Despite the fact that I’m happy with the term, I 'm not aware of harbouring any irrational fears of homosexual men myself - though I suppose if gay men wanted to frighten me they could conceivably succeed, though I’d hope not. Besides, I have gay friends and I'd thought my recent illuminating (and enjoyable) trips to gay bars in
The Castro might constitute at least supporting evidence for my quasi ‘right on’ credentials, not that I seek any.

Anyway, please read the article if you feel animated by this issue. While I’d object to some of the things Ronald D.Lee says - sometimes he seems cruel and insensitive - I found it a very refreshing perspective. I found these lines especially interesting:

“From Mark I have learned that two men can love each other profoundly while remaining clothed the entire time.

We are told that the Church opposes same-sex love. Not true. The Church opposes homogenital sex, which in my experience is not about love, but about obsession, addiction, and compensation for a compromised masculinity.”

I don’t know, I'm guessing that according to a certain hermeneutical script, when an ‘intrinsically’ gay man discovers he's no longer gay, it must be, it has to be, it cannot otherwise be but, that he's been brainwashed by dastardly interfering heterosexual sex suppressors (Christian, no doubt, the bastards!), who've robbed him of the truth about himself that had been so hard won – regardless of what he might actually have to say about it.

It cannot just be that he came to certain conclusions on his own, as a free man, as the writer of this article did, for example. It cannot just be that such an ‘ex-homosexual’ might have decided, for example, that he’d never actually had the innately compelling, nay, pre-determining, erotic desire for other men that he’d hitherto felt he’d had (or is it been told that he’d had?); or, for example, that despite the fact that he continued to feel an appreciation for rippling male biceps and thighs he nonetheless wanted, out of an expression of free will, to cultivate a more fertile, life promising interest in the Daughters of Eve – to renounce, in any case, the totalizing demands placed upon him by the ‘identity-centred’ nature of essentialising sexual politics.

As it happens, despite my failure to be up in arms in defence of the homosexual community, I'm against all punitive repressions against, or intolerance towards, homosexuals. Why do I need to spell this out? I am against cruelty and coercion at all times, and so necessarily will be so regarding the self-appropriation and self-discovery of one's existential identity. In return, however, might militant homosexuals be persuaded to ‘pipe down’ a bit? Is this asking too much? That they stop bothering and harassing certain heterosexual perspectives and understandings, seeking to forbid them the right to exist?

Oh dear: That voice in my head is screaming at me again:

Shut up you homophobic bastard! Stop oppressing us. We are proud to be gay!

To which I say: why is being gay anything to feel proud about? Does this mean being straight is something I should feel proud about too? If so, ok, I will. But pride is overrated and has certain consequences, let us not forget.

Look, honestly, I don’t care if men want to have sex with each other. Why would I? So long as it isn’t my genitals in the mix, why would I get defensive and prickly? From my perspective, in all honesty, however, I find homosexual sex puzzling and odd (how quaint I am). I mean, why can’t homosexuals just shake hands and call each other ‘Sir’ as I do when I’m overwhelmed by affection for another man. Heavens, they could even hug one another if they wanted - at highly poised, significant moments for maximum effect. Anyway, that’s just me. This is all very subtle and complex I realise. As indeed is sex itself! Though try telling that to the Neo-Darwinians of the world, or to the producers of "Reality" TV shows.

Unfortunately, our society’s gross, simplistic approach to sex lends me little support in my desire to approach sex with delicacy and nuance. But then, what is society but a changeling, hurtling through history from thesis to antithesis, blindly or otherwise looking for a story. Who knows, maybe we’ll rediscover the higher light, and in the not too distant future, too. I for one certainly hope so. Then things might get seriously, sublimely interesting and joyful for a change. We’ll see all this genital posturing for the tedious, distracting, limiting, and above all irrelevant, seediness that it is.

In connection to this, I'm reminded of some great, yet sad, lines of the much under-esteemed wordsmith, James Douglas Morrison. He is too often dismissed as ‘just’ a rock star. They are taken from
‘An American Prayer’. My vision of this work is that it is a 1960s American echo of T.S Eliot’s 1920s Anglo-Centric elegy on the death and decay of Western civilization: 'The Wasteland'. Both minds were aware that in the absence of the higher meaning that tends towards eternity, all we have are each other’s bodies to cling to on the road to death.

We live, we die & death not ends it
Journey we more into the Nightmare
Cling to life our passion'd flower
Cling to cunts & cocks of despair
We got our final vision by clap
Columbus' groin got filled w/ green death
(I touched her thigh & death smiled)

As an alternative vision, I refer to what I wrote recently to a friend:

“God, The Prince of Peace, wishes his children, the men and women of Planet Earth, to love one another and to live in peace. This means that he wants, not only men and women, the two halves of the human family, to love one another, as they do not too much of the time; but that women love women and that men love men. The purpose of this love is not that we should experience rhapsodic epiphanies of sexual delight (though these on occasions might occur as a spin-off), but that hatred, fear, oppression, cruelty and suffering should be banished from the surface of the Earth.”

That we do not want such a love to define and transfigure our collective lives. It is this lack of desire which, for me, defines and indicates most perfectly the reality of Sin in the world.


Selena Dreamy said...

“God, The Prince of Peace, wishes his children, the men and women of Planet Earth, to love one another and to live in peace. This means that he wants, not only men and women, the two halves of the human family, to love one another, as they do not too much of the time; but that women love women and that men love men. The purpose of this love is not that we should experience rhapsodic epiphanies of sexual delight ...but that hatred, fear, oppression, and cruelty and suffering should be banished from the surface of the Earth.”

An act of wishful thinking, at best, Jonathan, or, at worst, of appeasement - and nobody knows that better than God Himself ...


Jonathan said...

Well, since I can prove nothing with regards to my understanding of God according to standards of proof acceptable to the scientific community, I can only recoil that "you may be right".

Interestingly, however (well, to me), you seem less sceptical or open to humility regarding your own knowledge claims regarding the uncreated one.

Obviously, this scenario that God wishes for is dependednt on a major act of metanoia on the part of humanity. In the absence of such a metanoia (such a turning around of the mind..also referred to by the somewhat 'crusty' word repentance), I can well see that, yes, it would be mere wishful thinking. So yes, I'd accept that if there be no God, indeed it would be this.

As for appeasement, who is it that God would be appeasing? Are you talking about Mr Satan, by any chance? Or who?

God I love your shoes. It's ok, you can keep them:) In Islamic culture if you say you like something, the owner can often feel obliged to yield them up. Isn't that funny.


Selena Dreamy said...

...for my reply see:


Adam said...

You've hit the nail on the head there with peoples perception of homosexuality, a homosexual's perception of his own homosexuality and how his own homosexuality perceived by everyone else.

Is it human nature that we seek dominance of our views and belief over everyone else? Probably. Is that the route of many of the tensions in the world today? Probaby!

I'm left wishing that there was a little less pride in the world and a lot more understanding.

I really enjoy your blog, keep up the good work!

Jonathan said...

Hi Adam,

Thanks for the compliment.

I'll presume that you are straight, just because most men are, but it would be interesting to hear any corroboration of the perspectives you mention from gay men...if any are out there, reading this. Or denials and refutations from them, of course, with arguments.

After all, I'm not gay and so am not uniquely privileged to write about homosexuality in the way gay men are. Robert Lee, however, was gay(or is - depending on how 'essentialistic' you consider homosexuality to be).

Yeah, I think people are often obsessively attached to their belief systems or models; perhaps the more so the more we consider our core identity to be intellectual.

The will to power hasn't always expressed itself in the context of belief systems. Simple, straightforward war and murder used to suffice. In those days people didn't feel so much the need to argue for and defend their perspectives.

Yes, less pride, more understanding.

Problem is, there can sometimes be valid arguments for both the resisting of a certain kind of campaign to corrode our pride and a certain kind of appeal to the mind to be open to multiple perspectives.

If, for example you are being asked to give up your pride and your localized sense of native identity just so somebody else, perhaps very cleverly and craftily, and in the name of some kind of 'liberal universalism', can get you to submit yourselves to them -in a manner that in no way diminishes their pride, or advances a feeling in them that they should themselves question their own perspectives.

Or to put it simply, the dangers of what can be called political correctness, or 'liberal fascism' –which all to often want us to take pride in not being ourselves, and to understand every perspective except our own – in the name of taking pride in and understanding only the ‘universal’ –as that ‘universal’ is mediated to us by a bodiless, impersonal, ideological abstraction.