June 28, 2005

A Question for My SoCon Friends

If a close friend of yours confided in you that he/she was homosexual, what would you do?

a) try and get him/her into counseling that will "cure" the problem;

b) renounce the friendship;

c) kick him/her out of your church;

d) pray for him/her;

e) tell this person that despite your conviction that homosexuality is a sin/character flaw, you still care about him/her, and always will.

Posted by Attila at June 28, 2005 11:38 PM | TrackBack

I don't think you have to do anything. S/he has not asked you to do anything, has s/he? Unless, homosexuality announced, your friend insists on changing your friendship, for instance, to include homosexual sex with you (I am assuming, here), I don't see how your relationship has changed.

I make a distinction between persons and institutions. Candidly, I don't care what people do with their bodies sexually, within quite wide limits of agreement and nonviolence. But I do care about social institutions. So I can and do argue that some kinds of social institutions are socially unwise (e.g., homosexual marriage). I guess this philosophy qualifies as libertarian conservatism, sort of.

Posted by: Iam Doubt at June 29, 2005 10:36 AM

How about civil unions that confer the same legal benefits?

Posted by: Attila Girl at June 29, 2005 12:20 PM

Tell them I still love them but let them no in no uncertain terms that their choice of the gay lifestyle is dangerous and wrong and that I cannot ever condone such behavior.

I would say the same thing to someone who told me they were a committed adulterer or gambler or boozer......I still love you but disagree with your lifestyle!!

Posted by: Albertanator at June 29, 2005 02:42 PM

The correct answer for every Christian should be "Both D and E!" Who is beyond redemption? Who doesn't need it? We are ALL sinners, so who's place is it to say that Gays are beneath you? Not you!

Good question!

Posted by: Ranten. N. Raven at June 29, 2005 07:14 PM

Albertanator, you beat me to the punch. Try plugging another issue into the above options a-e, in place of homosexual/homosexuality, and see how the option sounds.

Such as g@mbling addict/g@mbling addiction?




If you really are a friend, the answers will run similar. It is just the high emotional charge to the question of homosexuality that makes the above list sound somewhat like the "have you stopped beating your wife yet?" question.

Of course the above substitution suggestion will run against the grain of those who insist that is simply the way they are born, that it is genetic and not a lifestyle choice. Who knows, maybe they are right? I don't know.

But I do know that I was born to a long line of alcoholics on my dad's side, all of whom died quite young. My dad broke the curse, and I am free too. But if I wasn't I could certainly point to my Irish blood as the root cause. Would I be right to do so? Can I get a pass for my tendency (*ahem*) toward a hot temper for the same reason? I really was born this way.

Personally my response would be different depending upon whether this friend was a fellow believer or someone outside the Body. If he/she is not a believer, it's not really a question of doing anything. You don't "fix people up" so they can get saved. That's getting the cart before the horse in a big and ugly way. D would certainly apply in either case, and if I really did give a serious damn, and they are a brother/sister in Christ, it would be unloving and wrong of me for E not to eventually come up.

Posted by: Desert Cat at June 29, 2005 08:22 PM

I belong to a Church that believes homosexuals are, essentially, called to a life of celibacy. Dennis Prager doesn't think that, but he does think they are generally called to a childless life. (Though he and I agree that heterosexual couples should be first in the adoption line, I do see homosexual couples as a big step up from single parents.)

I just don't know whether I see celibacy as a realistic lifetime option for most gay people. That's a heavy thing for civil society to demand.

Compulsive behaviors such as addictions hurt the person practicing them, and usually their families and friends. Pedophilia hurts children, and therefore can never be condoned by a responsible society, much as we might feel for those who are trapped in it (when we're not fantasizing about doing them physical violence if they've ever acted out on this obsession).

But I'd truly like to know what everyone thinks. There will be a follow-up question, of course, next week.

Posted by: Attila Girl at June 29, 2005 09:25 PM

Celibacy is certainly the option that Catholic priests and nuns choose. If it is not a realistic option, then are you suggesting that at some level, compulsive behavior is involved?

Posted by: Desert Cat at June 30, 2005 08:30 AM

I said it was a heavy thing for civil society to demand--not necessarily for a church to demand.

The desire for sexual expression and human companionship is a very deep one. My mate fits the social conventions: he's male, I'm female, we can get married and live as a couple without raising any eyebrows.

My friend B. lives with a man. Their relationship appears every bit as strong and fulfilling as mine. I'm not positive my Lord would think that such a bad thing, after all.

I'd certainly rather that my gay friends look for fulfilling relationships, versus ending up at gay bars.

Surely for all of us at one point or another, the sex drive feels like an imperative: that isn't "compulsion." It's biology.

Posted by: Attila Girl at June 30, 2005 09:02 AM

And I left out of my comment the distinction I make between the Body life and civil society, which I assumed you'd understand. (So technically I'm not much of a SoCon anyway...)

When I was young and single I used to struggle with the idea that fornication would be frowned upon by my Lord. Surely he knew the needs I had--he himself had made me with those needs after all. And it was only right and natural and beautiful that I should fulfill those needs with someone that I cared for. Surely this couldn't be wrong?

I'm pretty sure my justifications didn't have any impact on his perfect will for me, however.

Switching to the civil side of things for a moment, I propose a thought experiment. Let's assume for a moment that civil unions/gay marriage make sense socially, and creating this new institution or modifying the ancient institution are justified for all of the various reasons given.

In all true honestly, and given the arguments that are put forward in favor of gay marriage/civil unions, what about polygamy/polyandry? What would be so wrong about allowing a woman two husbands, or a man two wives, or four or more people to marry themselves together a la Heinlein's Stranger? Especially if they have a genuine three-way bond through their bisexuality?

There are a significant number of people for whom the concept of monogamy seems utterly foreign--people for whom a relationship with two or three or more people feels far more natural and normal. And if the primary reason for marriage is, as SoCon's believe, the creation of a legal and financial framework that fosters the raising of children, then would not a polyamorous marriage potentially create an environment even more potentially supportive, nurturing and stable? For people who share virtually all aspects of their lives together in a bond of love, why should they be denied the right to celebrate their relationship in marriage, just as would hetero and homosexual couples? And why should they be denied the visitation rights, the property rights, the inheritance rights, etc. that hetero and homosexual couples would enjoy?

I mean these people may not be just like you and I, but who are we to prejudge and say that such an arrangement could never work. Just because it wouldn't work for us personally? Wouldn't it somewhat bigoted to try to impose our monogamous values on the polyamorous? This is about the celebration of the bonds of love in committed relationships, whether these bonds exist between two, three or more people.


Posted by: Desert Cat at June 30, 2005 10:51 AM

I'd make it legal, and I'll tell you why: it would be a lot easier to police the Mormon renegade sects (mostly here in our own southwest) if polygamy were legal, and make sure that 13- and 14-year-old girls were not being forced into these marriages against their will.

As things stand, the entire culture is underground and guarded, so infiltration is very difficult. It would be easier if AZ and NM, at least, gave its blessing to the "marriages," so we could work on the rape problem.

Posted by: Attila Girl at June 30, 2005 01:06 PM

I'll give you credit for consistency then. :)

(I've worked with some of those people--one of the Holm brothers from Colorado City had/has a construction business. When I'm working for a public agency, I can't just say I won't hire you 'cause you're icky. But my neck hairs were on end pretty much through the entire contract. I'm quite certain one of the "wives" of one of his sons couldn't have been more than 14).

Something else itching at the back of my mind though:

I'd certainly rather that my gay friends look for fulfilling relationships, versus ending up at gay bars.

They don't now? And having a marriage option will make fulfilling homosexual monogamy possible where it is now not possible?

Posted by: Desert Cat at June 30, 2005 09:59 PM

I meant looking for fulfilling relationships instead of aiming for celibacy and ending up at the bars in defeat.

Posted by: Attila Girl at June 30, 2005 11:27 PM

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