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Jan 12 2012

On Homosexuality

 

I don’t care what other peoples’ sex practices are, so long as they don’t practice them in the streets and frighten the horses.  Oscar Wilde, I think.

 

Some years ago, on a camping trip, my friend Joe Ray and I resolved that should one of us be unfortunate enough to be bitten on the penis by a venomous serpent, and oral suction by the other was the only life saving measure available, then the afflicted party would simply have to die.  My liberated stepdaughter finds this view “homophobic,” meaning fear of homosexuality.  I don’t think so.  I am not afraid of homosexuality;  I simply find the idea of people of the same sex having sex unaesthetic and curious and do not understand why up to ten percent of the world’s population wants to do that.

But there are many things I find annoying, don’t understand, don’t want to do, and don’t know why anyone else would want to do, like being left-handed.  Why, I wonder, would anyone choose to be left-handed?  They look funny when they write, and their hand moves across what they have written.  Also, lots of manufactured artifacts are most unhandy for people electing this deviation.  Parents sometimes force their children to be right-handed and normal.  In the superstitious past, such maladapted persons were thought blessed or cursed, depending on prevailing local mythology.  Kids forced to alter their basic nature became psychologically scarred.

We are more enlightened now.  Left-handed people are accepted and their rights acknowledged.  Sports stars and Presidents can be left-handed, as can anyone else, and special goods are manufactured accommodating their variance from the much larger right-handed population.  Their condition is seen as a result of the roll of the genetic dice, having no moral or pejorative implications.

Homosexuality appears to have been an aspect of the human condition forever, praised by some societies, condemned by others.  Because of the “Judeo-Christian” tradition, American culture has feared, condemned, and criminalized this left-handedness of human sexual drives.  To the followers of Yahweh and St. Paul, sex has been suspect anyway, the source of original sin, and tolerated only to create new believers.  Homosexuality was viewed as a practice permitted by the unsaved heathens whose science and culture Christianity destroyed.  The Bible specifically condemns same sex erotic love, but then it also condemns women and gives instructions on repressing them.  One might muse darkly on what those twelve apostles did together on long nights in the desert, without women, or why the woman-hating apostle Paul lavished such affectionate words on his young disciple Timothy.  Anyway, the religious right wants homosexual acts to stay criminal and sees the practice as a sin, not as the genetically predisposed state of being it appears to be.  Because of this sin myth, homosexuals have been banned from the American military, and, if not made criminals elsewhere, have been denied the rights to live together and constitute a lawful family.  They may not behave as heterosexuals in love because their sexual orientation is mythologically viewed as immoral and wrong.  They appear to be not only loathed but feared.

The fear comes from the belief that homosexuality is voluntary and contagious.  Bigots believe gays and lesbians choose to be that way and that they try to convert others to their perversions.  As is usual in matters of religious certainty, if the facts contradict the myth, the myth wins.  The existence of homosexuals in the military is unsettling to many, proving that the perceived immorality is not confined to the arts and the priesthood.  We will not expend space here in prolonged discussion of the obvious hypocrisy of priests practicing that which they condemn as sin and absolving those sinners through the power of God.  That many religious leaders do “unnatural acts” is known from the confessions of nuns who have kicked the habit and from the confessions of priests in open court to the criminal molestation of same sex children.  If gold rusts, what will iron do?

The matter of gays in the military has brought our social myths on sexual orientation into sharper focus.  Gays have always been in our military, and in every military since society started resolving their differences through organized violence.  The Greek way was not confined to the armies of Alexander, and has been accepted, if not condoned, in all ancient and modern land and naval forces, except in those who insist, despite all proof, that the myth is right and reality is wrong.  The armed forces can function with homosexuals in their ranks because they have so functioned and continue to function, despite official denial.  Gays and lesbians have served with distinction, flying planes, running hospitals, manning artillery batteries, and so on.  Many have risen to high command rank without their sexual preferences interfering with duty and good order.  A well-disciplined conscientious gay in the military is certainly to be preferred over a sexually misbehaving heterosexual officer harassing female subordinates or a priest molesting choirboys.

If the sexual drives of the homosexual are propelled by forces within put there by his Creator, whose creations are perfect and whose will is unknowable and unknown, then prejudice against him is theologically unsound.  If homosexual behavior has a biological basis, then one so predestined did not choose his orientation any more than heterosexuals choose theirs, and the idea that such genetic drives are somehow catching is as absurd as a fear that left-handedness may be acquired by proximity or persuasion.

If gays and lesbians voluntarily choose to practice a lifestyle of deviation from mythical standards of proper behavior, they must be severely masochistic individuals.  Imagine choosing to be rejected by family members you love, risking shame, imprisonment, loss of career, and being denied the ability to publicly express affection, obtain housing, or serve one’s country.  Does it seem reasonable that a military person who adheres to rigid standards in rules of conduct and discipline would, in the sexual area of life, elect to destroy all that has been worked for, and risk beatings, private scorn, and public disgrace merely to flaunt freely chosen homosexual behavior condemned by others as repulsive and perverted?  Barry Goldwater correctly observed we should be more concerned with whether they can shoot straight (he probably intended none of the possible puns).

The notion that homosexuals are seeking special rights is in the same category, and is maintained by the same people, as was the idea that blacks were seeking special rights when they wanted to vote, buy a home, or ride at the front of a bus.  What is so special about wanting the same human and civil rights enjoyed by people who have a genetically ordained yearning for the opposite sex?  Actually, I am glad I was not born gay.  Heterosexuality has caused me quite enough problems, thank you.  Sometimes I think the Almighty erred by inventing it.  But I can accept that which I cannot understand without fear of being converted.  I do not believe my left handed paralegal, daughter-in-law, or President are likely to cause me to write in their strange way.  It seems equally unlikely that I could be persuaded to substitute my excessive fondness for warm, soft, perfumed women for attraction to hairy legged males.

Oh, yes, I bought a snake bite kit.

Edwin Kagin (c)

 

 

75 comments

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  1. 1
    Noadi

    No offense, but I agree with your daughter. If the story was that you and your friend decided that if you were ever trapped on a desert island together with no women you’d consign yourself to your own hands for the rest of your lives, that wouldn’t be homophobic. Saying, or joking, that you would rather die than have another man touch your penis with his mouth in a non-sexual situation is homophobic. It’s the “rather die” part that makes it homophobic.

  2. 2
    Allen C. Dexter

    Great summation and analysis.

    My father was unlucky enough to born left handed into a family in which a controlling religious nut grandmother was absolutely convinced that left handedness was abnormal and contrary to the will of God. He was made to write and do things right handedly. It messed him up in lots of ways for the rest of his life.

    The very idea that I am hetero by conscious choice is ridiculous in the extreme. I’ve never had a sexual attraction to my own sex, but I have a cousin who was born that way and as an infant, wanted to play with dolls rather than trucks.

    The very concept that we can decree how people will be according to our own feelings and prejudices is an evil which must be denounced and educated against. If it exists, it is a natural variation which needs to be understood and appreciated.

  3. 3
    Allen C. Dexter

    PS: A Bronx cheer and thumb to the nose to that idiot in the vatican who recently stated that gay marriage was a threat to the future of humanity. If that were so, the Greeks and Romans would have long before now disappeared from the surface of the planet. I believe it’s called the “Roman Catholic Church.”

  4. 4
    Russell

    The problem is that the introductory tale, the mythical snake bite on the penis, doesn’t reflect something you find “annoying, don’t understand, don’t want to do, and don’t know why anyone else would want to do.” Rather, it says you find something so utterly abhorrent that you wouldn’t do it to save a good friend’s life.

    Yeah, yeah. Young straight-guy bonding. Or at least, the intent of what that is supposed to be, through our cultural lens.

    Just take a step back. If you intend to spin some sort of “thinking on this” post, then think on it a bit.

  5. 5
    Zeno

    How come clerical celibacy is not a threat to the future of humanity. I mean, if every man decided to become a priest, humans would go extinct! Benny Hex didn’t think of that, did he?

  6. 6
    aspidoscelis

    More to the point regarding snakebite, that old “suck the venom out” approach doesn’t work.

  7. 7
    Martyn Hughes

    ‘Some years ago, on a camping trip, my friend Joe Ray and I resolved that should one of us be unfortunate enough to be bitten on the penis by a venomous serpent, and oral suction by the other was the only life saving measure available, then the afflicted party would simply have to die.’

    Depends on what your friend Joe ray looks like would be my consideration before saving him ;D

  8. 8
    movablebooklady

    “My dear, I don’t care what these people do, so long as they don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses.” Mrs. Patrick Campbell, famous actress of the Victorian era (b.1865, d.1940).

  9. 9
    San Ban

    I don’t see the point in debating whether (as it seems to be) homosexuality is an inborn trait. It matters not whether they choose, why they so choose, or are simply Born This Way. I figure it’s a person’s right to associate with whomever they choose, and what two or more consenting adults do among themselves is no business of mine, anyone else’s or the government’s as long as they don’t cause harm to anyone. End of.

  10. 10
    San Ban

    Oh, and this: you’d rather DIE than do something you find “annoying” and “unaesthetic”??? I find the idea of eating the flesh of another animal repulsive, but I am pretty sure I would kill and eat an animal if my (or my best friend’s) life depended upon it.

    btw, sucking a snakebite doesn’t work!

  11. 11
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I agree with Noadi. I don’t find it to be an offensive story, but it rings homophobic.

  12. 12
    tarian

    Um. Yeah. “And then! A wild gay appears!” This article has a few other issues beyond the quaint tale of two lads camping that raise red flags for me. Conflation of priestly pedophilia with homosexuality (really? again?), use of “gay” as a noun (these are still people, with all of the attendant complexity; reducing them to their orientation alone is dehumanizing), the cissexist and gender stereotype-reinforcing description of women and men in the final paragraph… Any one of these things in isolation wouldn’t have necessarily done it, but piled on top of each other, I get the impression that you have some unpacking to do.

  13. 13
    Grimalkin

    Gonna have to second Naodi and Russel. The rest of the post was spot on, but the first paragraph was very “Touching another penis with your mouth? Ick, gay” and left a really bad taste in my mouth while reading the rest.

    Also, homophobia is not “fear” of homosexuality in the sense that arachnophobia is fear of spiders. It’s the entire range of negative emotions, from disgust or annoyance to hatred and fear. Being so put off due to the idea that a life-saving act would be remotely similar to a homosexual act that dying seems more favorable definitely falls under that definition. Even while joking.

  14. 14
    drewnewman

    Hell, if I or a friend gets bitten on the cock on a desert island then two things are going to happen.

    1 – one of us is going to get a mouth full of penis
    2 – that snake is going in the cooking pot – cheeky little bugger!

    As for the post – yes it is somewhat tainted by the intro.

  15. 15
    James Croft

    Indeed. As a gay man I also found the opening to exhibit sexual prejudice. I spent ten years of my life dating women, while struggling to accept myself as gay, and I never found sex with a women to be “unaesthetic and curious”. Now I’ve accepted myself, I wouldn’t say “never again” to sex involving a woman if the situation seemed fit. I certainly wouldn’t take the extraordinary position of saying, in effect, “even if your life depended on it, I wouldn’t do something involving your sexual organs.” I’m afraid this is indeed an example of (I’m sure unintentional) prejudice.

    1. 15.1
      Edwin Kagin

      Do not do unto others as you would that others would do unto you. Your tastes may not be the same.

  16. 16
    James Croft

    When you say you wouldn’t suck the poison off another man’s cock to save his life, you’ve gone way beyond taste into prejudice.

  17. 17
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    The snakebite thing is homophobic as hell. As is the referring to LGB people as “gays” and “homosexuals”. And then the conflation of pedophilia with queerness, WTF. And, as tarian said, the cissexism.

    And as for the “practice them in the streets” bit, you do now there’s more to being LGB than actually fucking, yes? As in, people get fucking murdered for practicing their queerness int he street by holding their partner’s hand. I’m so sorry you find the idea of people in love “unaesthetic”. Your revulsion is both intensely homophobic and noted.

    And last, fuck off with this “the poor homos, they just can’t help it” shit. Even if I woke up every single morning and decided to be queer, I wouldn’t deserve the treatment LGBT people get.

    I know you think you’re being progressive and tolerant with this, but this is really, really offensive.

  18. 18
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Did you just step out of a portal from 1971 or something? Aside from the definite homophobia of the pact you and your “friend” made, I haven’t heard the word “liberated” used in ages to apply to women who challenge orthodox gender roles. The term is “feminist.”

    Similarly, most of us who aren’t mouthbreathers refer to gay people, lesbians, bisexual people, and transgender people as “GLBT” or “LGBT,” not “homosexuals” or “gays.”

    Oh, and using masculine pronouns to describe a hypothetical person who could be of either sex…. yeah, how about no.

    I read this essay only because a queer friend of mine linked me, asking, “Why is this homophobic shit on FTB?” Good question. I don’t think I’ll be back.

  19. 19
    SallyStrange

    Yeah, classic example of unconscious predjudice. Your intentions are good, but you know what they say about intentions.

  20. 20
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    What the hell is wrong with you?

  21. 21
    Goblinman

    As a fella who likes those hairy legged males, I gotta chime in on the snakebite story. It’s… actually a little baffling. I’m not sure what it’s supposed to have to do with homosexuality unless you’re counting the brute fact that some dude’s mouth is touching another dude’s dick. I mean, it’s not like we gays consider sucking on a bleeding genital wound to be a romantic night out. Would the situation be different for you if you were with a female friend (but not a lover) in that situation?

    I’m not calling you a bigot here, or anything. The rest of the post is spot on–I like the “left-handed” comparison. I think there’s more you could consider about your views, though. Specifically, it seems strange to me (if not unusual) that you’d be so averse to doing something that could be incorrectly interpreted as being gay–even if it was necessary to save a life. It reminds me of that Snickers commercial a while back where two guys’ lips accidentally touch while they’re sharing a Snicker’s bar and they immediately freak out and attempt to re-prove their manliness by ripping off chest hair. What I find funny about it is that the two guys in the ad come off as MORE wimpy and insecure by freaking out like that.

    In our culture, straight guys aren’t supposed to fear anything–except the possibility someone might even consider them to be gay. In your example, an actual venomous snake is less threatening than touching another dude’s dick. Just saying.

  22. 22
    Walton

    I don’t understand the reason for including the homophobic, pointlessly-nasty anecdote at the beginning. It adds nothing whatsoever to your argument.

  23. 23
    rorschach

    Well, this must surely be the most stupid, tasteless and uninformed post I have ever read on FtB.

  24. 24
    Inaji

    Some years ago, on a camping trip, my friend Joe Ray and I resolved that should one of us be unfortunate enough to be bitten on the penis by a venomous serpent, and oral suction by the other was the only life saving measure available, then the afflicted party would simply have to die.

    What’s going on in your little universe that you equate saving someone’s life with sex? I have a bit of news for you – sucking venom out of a body part is not a blow job, nor is it sex.

    For you to say something like this is, indeed, homophobic and it’s also amazingly stupid. Personally, I am disgusted and dismayed to see such utter shit posted at Freethought blogs.

    Exactly why were you and your friend discussing such a situation in the first place? Playing a game of “I’d suck you here to remove venom but not there?” And you honestly didn’t bother to give any thought to this idiocy?

    Kudos to your stepdaughter, in spite of your asinine descriptor of liberated who recognizes homophobia when she sees/hears it.

    I’m sure it feels good, Mr. Kagin, to have your head so firmly lodged up your anus, but you might want to pull it out for a bit. Get some air.

  25. 25
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    I would like to second Caine’s comment.

  26. 26
    strange gods before me ॐ

    It’s really not a huge deal to me if somebody says something homophobic, unless they also don’t admit that’s what they did.

  27. 27
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I simply find the idea of people of the same sex having sex unaesthetic and curious and do not understand why up to ten percent of the world’s population wants to do that.

    I’m having a hard time understanding how statements like this one can be considered acceptable and not insulting. If you’d written something like :

    I simply find the idea of people of different races having sex unaesthetic and curious and do not understand why up to ten percent [insert the appropriate number] of the world’s population wants to do that.

    it would be considered racist, right?
    Or

    I simply find the idea of obese people having sex unaesthetic and curious and do not understand why up to ten percent [insert the appropriate number] of the world’s population wants to do that.

    would be considered fat-shaming, right?

    So, why is it ok when gay people are concerned?

  28. 28
    opposablethumbs

    I wondered if you had been trying to hold up your own youthful/childhood behaviour then as an example of irrational homophobia – as irrational and unjustifiable as a fear and loathing of left-handedness – precisely in order to make the point that people’s irrational and unjustifiable aversions are no grounds for oppressing minorities or for imposing one’s own opinion on anyone else’s sexuality. I have to say, though, that if that was your intention then this post doesn’t really get it across as you might have wished.

  29. 29
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    Oh, wait.

    Odd, the comment by Caine never appeared here… (Linky)

  30. 30
    Otrame

    But wanting to play with dolls when a young child has precisely NOTHING to do with whether or not a person is gay or lesbian. Annectdata: I, a straight woman, always prefered playing with toys traditionally considered “for boys”. My oldest son, straight, liked playing with dolls when he was very young. My younger son, also straight, did not ever like playing with dolls. The fact that your cousin liked playing with dolls has nothing to do with his sexual orientation.

    However, I am very pleased that you accept your cousin. He probably values that a great deal if others in your family do not accept him.

    And BTW, I love the “left-handed” analogy. It’s going into my rhetorical toolbox.

  31. 31
    1. 31.1
      Tony! The Queer Shoop

      Ed:
      -Not having spent time with Edwin, I can’t say much about his character. I don’t find his comments as homophobic as others have said, but I do see something there that’s questionable. To agree not to save a friends life if he was bitten on his dick is the iffy area (it’s no different if you choose not to do CPR on a friend to save their life). Not necessarily homophobic, or perhaps on the low end of the homophobia scale (if such can be said to exist).
      Flipping the situation, I’d like to think I would (not even sure how this would work) suck the venom from a friends vagina if it would save her life.

  32. 32
    Blenster

    I’ve known Edwin for a very long time; the comment you are complaining about is hyperbole written for “comedic effect” only. It’s no more serious than if I were to say I’d rather starve to death than eat Brussels sprouts. The difference is that you’re much more sensitive to the perceived bias towards sexuality than you are towards the bias against cabbage-like sprouts. If it came down to it I do not doubt that Edwin would do anything within his power to safe a friend’s life, or even a strangers, without hesitation or consideration of the possible sexual ramifications (of which, realistically, there are none). I assure you he’s also well aware of the fact that sucking out the poison orally is not generally effective in cases of snake-bite; it was my first objection to this essay when I read it the first time (some time ago).

    The overall message of the piece is quite clear: homophobia is no more logical than a distrust/dislike/suppression of left-handed people and people who hate should all get over themselves.

    Think of Edwin more as “Dave Berry”; he’s being silly on purpose and exaggerating certain things for comedic effect in order to reach his target audience. After all, the people who are the intended targets of this piece will *not* see that sort of statement as biased; they will think it’s normal, for they are *far* less sensitive to the issue (which, as we can all agree, is a problem we’d like to fix). The intended audience (which is men of his generation and thereabouts; our generation has fewer problems) will see this as humorous and will find that language makes a “connection” with them as it syncs with their internal biases.

    PS I’ll also bet $10 he can’t find a snake-bite kit; if he’s got one it’s buried under piles of paperwork and other stuff. ;-P

  33. 33
    ischemgeek

    Maybe not homophobic in the strictly semantic meaning of the word sense, no, but certainly prejudiced against homosexuals, I think. As the others here have said, it’s one thing to say, “not my thing,” but quite another to say, “even if it would save my life or someone else’s, I wouldn’t do it!”

    The first shows personal preference, while the second implies that homosexuality (and any act that could possibly be construed as homosexual) is abhorrent, vile, and something about on the level of torture or cannibalism.

  34. 34
    SallyStrange

    Never having met Mr. Kagin, I have no idea whether he is or is not homophobic. What I can say for sure is that the snakebite anecdote is a clear example of homophobia, and detracts from the rest of the post, which is a very nice defense of gay rights, using an excellent metaphor–that of left-handedness–to demonstrate why it’s silly to oppose gay rights.

    Helpful hint for people with various kinds of privilege: it’s very easy, especially if the subject is a type of prejudice you will never personally experience, to say something that reveals privilege and/or prejudice. Please keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you are Bad Person; it just makes you a product of your culture. The solution is not to deny it and get all upset. In fact all you really need to do is say, “Well heck. I guess that DID come across as homophobic. That wasn’t my intention, but as any rational person knows, intent is not a magic prophylactic against saying prejudiced things.” That’s all. It really is not a big deal, unless you decide that your right to see yourself as a Good Person outweighs the rights of marginalized people to point out prejudice whenever they see it.

  35. 35
    Jana TheVegan Piranha

    Wow. I am surprised. What I am surprised about is that apprently, there are several people posting comments on this thread who had NOT heard the oldest joke in the world. Is this REALLY the first time “you people” heard the snakebite joke?

    Apparently “you people” then posted your ridiculous and frankly embarrassing comments without reading the rest of the article, which explains Kagin’s position of homosexuality in great detail. Sorry you didn’t take the time, you would have been pleased. That is, if you hadn’t recoiled so far as to not see pleasure in anything. Straight men don’t like gay sex. They don’t like the thought of giving a blow job to another man. Please don’t take a joke literally, that’s what christians do to the bible, and it takes all the goddamned fun out of it. If you don’t know how to read a joke, then you are not qualified to comment on it. It wasn’t offered as a suggestion on how people should think and feel, it was an anecdote before a very thoughtful and insightful message. Poor you- poor all of us.

  36. 36
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Ed Buckner, note that I have not called Edwin homophobic.

    I’m sure he’s very much in favor of equal rights.

    That does not make a homophobic joke any more of a welcome sight.

  37. 37
    Pteryxx

    short response: “homophobia” doesn’t mean what the strict literal interpretation says it means. Even if homosexuality WERE a choice, it’d still be as valid and righteous a choice as heterosexuality. And I’m not impressed by allies who’d rather gloss over their unfortunate choice of words or jokey manner than, y’know, treat freaks like me as fellow people deserving of respect, instead of an exotic species deserving of protection.

  38. 38
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Jana,

    Is this REALLY the first time “you people” heard the snakebite joke?

    Nope.

    Apparently “you people” then posted your ridiculous and frankly embarrassing comments without reading the rest of the article, which explains Kagin’s position of homosexuality in great detail. Sorry you didn’t take the time, you would have been pleased.

    You assume too much. There are people who did read the whole thing who were not pleased.

    It’s just not a pleasant experience for some people to find one more homophobic joke. It may be relatively less unpleasant if it’s novel. Anyway, the homophobia in this joke is not the worst thing ever. It’s not as bad as Ashcroft eating kitten sandwiches. I think you may be subconsciously exaggerating the comments because there are so many of them.

    What everybody ought to be able to agree on:

    If you’re going to make homophobic jokes, acknowledge the reality of what you’re doing.

    If you’re going to make homophobic jokes, try hard to make them funny. Really work at it. Stale is doubleplus ungood.

    Straight men don’t like gay sex. They don’t like the thought of giving a blow job to another man.

    Here might be one of those teachable moments. I cross my fingers and hope.

    Did you know there are misogynistic memes among gay men that produce analogous jokes and defenses of said jokes?

    They are also sad and stale so should generally be avoided.

  39. 39
    opposablethumbs

    Jana, I think your defence may be slightly misplaced simply because many of the comments specifically take note of the fact that the OP is clearly an attempt to speak against homophobia – but that Kagin (in the opinion of many commenters, including myself) lets himself down by coming across as condescending and by opting to use a “joke” which isn’t funny (yes of course we’ve heard it before; it wasn’t funny then and it isn’t funny now).

    I’m only guessing, of course, but I would have thought that part of a move to a new blogging site would be the possibility that a fair few people might happen by who are not familiar with one’s style. So if someone adopts – for example – a homophobic persona there is a certain amount of risk that passers-by will quite reasonably think this person actually is as obtuse as they appear to be.

    I’m more than happy to know that Kagin is not the way this OP makes him sound; I don’t think there’s anything wrong – quite the contrary, in fact – in pointing out how it makes him sound.

    Oh, and “lighten up, can’t you take a joke?” is SOP in the worst places; I’m sure you’re not like that either.

  40. 40
    Ms. Crazy Pants

    I’m going to play a little devil’s advocate here.

    Looking at it in a serious note, could the snakebite thing be more related to just not wanting to touch a particular body part rather than homosexuality? For example, what if a person got bitten on the anus. Typically that is not the most pleasant area on anyone’s body, and I don’t care who the person is (male, female, straight, homosexual), I wouldn’t want to suck snake venom from that area.

    In addition, there are some women who absolutely would never want to suck on a penis. In fact, I’ve met a handful of women like that, and not all of them were lesbians.

    Some things are just gross.
    –What if you had to suck on someone’s trache (from a tracheotomy). If they have one, they’re fairly sick and have disgusting smelly goop coming out of that thing.
    –Just think of how much various human secretions, bodily fluids, and other expelled stuff that the average CNA has to clean up every single day. (GAAGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!)
    –Go read any EMT forum for their gross stories. Make sure you don’t eat anything before reading. They have some really disgusting stuff they’ve seen and had to do.

    If a person had an aversion to sucking on a person’s arm, would they receive criticism for their aversion? Granted, a man sucking on a penis is a culturally accepted aversion (shouldn’t be, but it is), whereas most people would consider the person that wouldn’t suck on an arm as a weirdo.

  41. 41
    Ed Buckner

    First, to extend my earlier comment: despite what some might think, my long relationship with Edwin Kagin has in no way threatened my marriage.

    Second, I second wholeheartedly what “Blenster” has said above. I’ll expand a bit on this in a serious (-ish) reply to some of the foolish fallout attacking Edwin’s later blog posting, but in short there is a vast difference between offering up a joke, however lame, in developing a humorous take on a serious matter and relying on the joke as a serious point.

    –Ed Buckner ([email protected]), longtime friend of Edwin and editor, years ago, of the original piece on which the snakebite blog posting was based.

  42. 42
    Iamamonkeysungle

    I suppose that the few simple souls who were not able to comprehend the literary device of (in this case) using an old homophobic joke to point out the absurdity of small minds that still cling to such neolithic thinking, well, they should probably stick to Dr. Seuss because the point’s been lost on them. This work is obviously too advanced and they should move on.

  43. 43
    Dhorvath, OM

    Sometimes I think the Almighty erred by inventing it.

    The only thing wrong with homosexuality is people who insist on letting fly with their lack of interest, understanding, or appreciation for it. You aren’t homosexual, great, how about in the future you stick with identifying as straight and leave the problematic judgments of people who differ out of your writing.
    Yes, I read the whole article. No I don’t think your opening and closing movements can be justified. In fact, were they absent, few would notice. I doubt anyone except yourself would say, “hey, this article really needs some of Kagin’s personal views on homosexuality to really make it sing.”

  44. 44
    Jana TheVegan Piranha

    Dhorvath, Kagin says the almighty erred in inventing HETEROsexuality. It was another joke.

  45. 45
    Jana TheVegan Piranha

    My comments were certainly on the quantity of the “Oh my!” responses, and the rapid-fire of responding to the first paragraph only. If someone found offense in any other part, I would like to know what part.

    The joke is old, it was told to me as a Lone Ranger and Tonto joke. Edwin removed the racist part.

    Now, I’m sure he could still be accused of being misogynistic, racist, and generally insensitive by different peoples for different reasons. Having read much of his writing, I think someone looking to find offense would be able. The same could certainly be said of me, and probably about YOU as well. Whenever someone puts their proverbial pen to paper, this is the risk.

    I see no benefit in attacking an ally on an anecdote who is such an adamant supporter- why do people feel compelled to eat their own? Why would anyone even try if they knew in advance that trying wasn’t good enough? So is it perfection or nothing? Then that’s what you’re likely to get.

    No one expects anyone to hide their feelings or tolerate injustice. I’m simply suggesting you SHOW the amount of tolerance you wish to receive. When a person who lived through an entire lifetime where people weren’t so egg-shell sensitive tells a joke you find slightly offensive, why pay attention to THAT and that alone, rather than the meat of the article?

    I don’t understand, I’m almost 50. I laugh at misogynist jokes (What do you tell a woman with 2 black eyes?). I laugh at old lady jokes, I laugh at blonde jokes. I don’t hate myself, or my sisters with fairer hair. I don’t hate any group of people on purpose. But if someone bites me while I’m trying, I am less likely to try the next time.

    What are you trying to accomplish?

    I actually get up out of bed on cold days and go to gay rights rallies. I have a bisexual member of my own family, and I love her exactly the same as if she’d been straight. Who cares? I write and send letters to my congressmen and sign my name. I do not like to send my name on a letter to a government official, but I do it. If you do not wish to enlist the cooperation of straight people to achieve equal rights, that’s a real shame. If someone has to BE gay to be accepting of your rights, that’s just ignorance.

    Many straight people do not like thinking about gay sex. That’s a starting place you’re going to have to accept. They aren’t going to come around to thinking it’s cool, or interesting, or even fine. They’re going to recoil. That’s reality. Many people think singles having sex is immoral and deserves prosecution. Many people feel deeply that what I do with my reproductive organs is their business. I would never try to squelch any of these opinions, but I do try to keep my eye on the prize. What am I trying to accomplish?

  46. 46
    Ruth

    “It’s no more serious than if I were to say I’d rather starve to death than eat Brussels sprouts.” – Blenster

    Wouldn’t you say, though, that such a comment indicated an irrational fear and/or loathing of Brussels sprouts?

  47. 47
    ischemgeek

    @Ed Buckner – It’s entirely possible to say something homophobic and hurtful without being a homophobe (case in point). It’s possible to say something sexist and hurtful without being a sexist (think the many and sundry “women love shopping and have no money managment sense!” jokes out there from the 50s and before – as a woman who hates shopping and has decent money management I find them at best irritating and at times downright hurtful). It’s possible to say something racist and hurtful without being a racist (think the many “people with brown skin talk funny!” jokes out there).

    That the writer didn’t intend it in a homophobic spirit does not mean that the joke itself is not homophobic. And that readers are taking it that way does not mean that we’re bad readers; it means that the joke is in fact homophobic. If I write a paper and most people think that I did one thing in a procedure when I actually did something completely different, I screwed up. Here, if he writes an innocent joke and most people think it’s homophobic, he screwed up.

  48. 48
    Delft

    We’re more enlightened now?

    Well, I wasn’t beaten into writing with my right hand as my father was, so I suppose “more” enlightened is true. “How funny that looks” and “I don’t understand why you would do that” are common remarks, which btw is why they’re *not* funny. Do you have any idea how often I’ve come across the idea that left-handedness is a mental illness? Or had someone tell me how they would love to be left-handed as lefties are so creative?

    But apparently “left-handed people are accepted now”.

    I found this post painful to read, because I want to live in a world where people truly accept each other. I’m sure you want the same. I even believe in writing this, you’re actually trying to help create such a world. (Though I’ve read that whatever I think I’m almost certainly wrong.)

    Here’s what I’d like you to understand:
    When you make a load of discriminating remarks, presumably expecting people to infer that you “don’t *mean* it”, you are … making a load of discriminating remarks. Same for off-colour jokes.
    When you tell minorities that their discrimination lies in the past, and everything is just fine now, you are invalidating their experience. And this btw is true even when you are a member of that group – your experience is not everyone’s lot.

    I’m not saying you can’t do that, shouldn’t do that, are evil if you do that etc. I’m saying when you do it, you are hurting someone.

  49. 49
    Iamamonkeysuncle

    Ruth says: Wouldn’t you say, though, that such a comment indicated an irrational fear and/or loathing of Brussels sprouts?

    No. Irony is obviously lost on you. Literary criticism is obviously not a good career choice for you, and you should stick to growing mushrooms.

  50. 50
    Ruth

    Ruth says: Wouldn’t you say, though, that such a comment indicated an irrational fear and/or loathing of Brussels sprouts?

    Iamamonkeysuncle says: No. Irony is obviously lost on you. Literary criticism is obviously not a good career choice for you, and you should stick to growing mushrooms.

    Are you naturally this stupid, or did you have to work hard at it?

    Insisting that you would rather die than eat Brussels sprouts isn’t irony, it’s hyperbole. And extremely insulting to Brussels sprouts, which, fortunately, cannot be hurt by the insult.

    Insisting that you would rather die than do something tainted by association with homosexual men is likewise hyperbole, not irony, and likewise extremely insulting to homosexual men, who, being human beings with feelings, CAN be hurt by the insult.

    It would only be irony if the person expressing the sentiment turned out to be a closeted gay man (or Brussels sprout).

  51. 51
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Beatrice:

    I’m having a hard time understanding how statements like this one can be considered acceptable and not insulting. If you’d written something like :

    -As a gay man, I didn’t see this specific comment offensive. I find heterosexual sex aesthetically unappealing, curious (every once in a while I wonder what it’s like, but that lasts maybe 10 seconds; and I do enjoy straight porn), and I don’t understand why the vast majority of people in the world want to do it. There’s no value judgment being given. No implication of discrimination or bigotry. It’s nothing more than “Not for me. Interesting. Don’t get it.”

    1. 51.1
      Tony! The Queer Shoop

      an amendment to my previous post
      -I was unaware of this joke. Knowing that, the post improves somewhat. I still would have preferred some indication that it *was* a joke-within the post-or at least something to indicate Edward didn’t feel that way.

  52. 52
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Blenster suggests:

    The intended audience (which is men of his generation and thereabouts; our generation has fewer problems) will see this as humorous and will find that language makes a “connection” with them as it syncs with their internal biases.

    I know why you assume this, but this is a flawed approach which is likely to backfire.

    If attempting to persuade a known homophobe, it is not a good idea to make gay sex salient. By deliberately drawing attention to their feelings of disgust, you have probably done as much to activate us-vs-them reactions as if you’d asked them to contemplate the inevitability of their own death.

    (What you could try making salient: love and commitment. Those polls were about acceptance of gay marriage in particular, but pointing to the relationship aspects is a safe bet in any case.)

  53. 53
    Jana TheVegan Piranha

    Some gay men do not like vaginas, and tell jokes about them. Those jokes are funny too. Anyone who takes irony, hyperbole, or inconsistent juxtapositions as literal “truth” is a fundamentalist, and doomed to extract meanings that are not there. This is regrettable, and sad. No one has a right to live in a world where they are not offended.

    I sat through an entire angry lecture yesterday by a man who identifies himself to me as a “black” man, and asked me “How dare I assume he was African-American since he didn’t come from Africa?” When I asked him ,”What am I?” he couldn’t answer. As a mixed-race person, people fail to understand that I DO NOT have to group whose skirt I can hide under, so I don’t feel compelled to protect other people’s skirts. I don’t care how that comes off.

    No one who hates gay people or doesn’t care about their rights, or even subconsciously thinks of them as lesser would take time out of their little squishy day to work to make them better. Attacking your allies is a bad move, and I hope there is also a teachable moment there. I’ll lay odds there is not. Be well.

  54. 54
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Some gay men do not like vaginas, and tell jokes about them.

    Misogynistic jokes, yes. So you know some examples of the genre I noted.

    Those jokes are funny too.

    Really? All of those jokes are funny? Maybe if you’re a teenager and haven’t yet heard “haha! fish!” ten thousand times already.

    Oh but maybe all the gay men you know who tell misogynistic jokes only tell the very funniest such jokes. Perhaps you’ll share one you found especially humorous.

    No one has a right to live in a world where they are not offended.

    No one has asserted such a right. If this is the level of rhetoric you aspire to, though, perhaps I can put this in terms you’ll understand:

    no one has a right to live in a world where they are not criticized for how they write a blog.

    I don’t care how that comes off.

    Convenient for both of us; I don’t care what the point of your anecdote was.

    No one who hates gay people or doesn’t care about their rights, or even subconsciously thinks of them as lesser would take time out of their little squishy day to work to make them better.

    That’s obviously not true. For example, Joseph Addabbo Jr voted in favor of the Marriage Equality Act of New York (made gay people’s lives better) even though he thinks of us as lesser (and consequently voted against marriage equality a couple years earlier).

    Regardless, go back to my comment #36, and remind yourself that I have not called Edwin homophobic.

  55. 55
    Jana TheVegan Piranha

    The issue is fundamentalism. Did people in fact take an anecdote as literal, EVEN AFTER IT WAS SPELLED OUT, and react to it as if it were literal? Yes, they did. Did they then try to infer deep-seated forms of hatred and hysteria based on something that was not literal? Yes, they did. Does this advance anyone’s view of homosexuality?

    I am a vegan. I want to be friends with people who eat less meat, but aren’t willing to go vegan. Many vegans insult, mock and degrade anyone who is not willing to go vegan right here and now. I disavow those people. I am a woman, and I am pro-choice. I want to be friends with people who are personally pro-life, but vote pro-choice because they don’t have a right to choose for me. In fact, I appreciate them MORE. I am an atheist, I want to be friends with people who still hold religious beliefs, those who are “spiritual but not religious”, and those who are in various phases of searching.

    I am not gay. My daughter is bisexual and I already know nobody cares how many gay friends I have, but I spend little time around anyone else. No one in my world passes out over an anecdote this small, I don’t know where this came from, and I find it tawdry. The internet attracts people who have 1. internet access, and 2. time. I found this exchange enlightening, and disappointing.

    I will continue to carry signs and send letters. Be well.

    1. 55.1
      Aratina Cage

      I am not gay.

      Then perhaps you shouldn’t consider yourself any sort of expert on how gay people feel about this kind of thing. It’s time for you to stop jabbering and listen.

      1. Caelidh

        Aratina wrote:

        ” Then perhaps you shouldn’t consider yourself any sort of expert on how gay people feel about this kind of thing. It’s time for you to stop jabbering and listen.”

        Perhaps you should take a step back and re-read the essay instead of taking a stand of being “offended”.

        Love how folks judge something on the first paragraph.

        I wonder how many people reading these blogs consider themselves “critical thinkers” yet constantly use logical fallacies in their argumentation.

        Perhaps it was off color to use that anectdote as a lead in.. but it got your attention eh?. I think many people hide the fact that they might have feelings that would not be “politically correct” if stated openly.. Most of us have personal failings. WE strive to be better, kinder, more tolerant. If you are gay reading this essay and are offended perhaps you didn’t fully read the ENTIRE article.. about how ridiculous fundamentalist TRUE intolerance and hatred can be.

        what we SAY and what we DO can be very different. Should we strive to be more aware in our language? Sure. Should we censor and slap down all things that MIGHT offend? If you say yes.. then you are not getting the gist of “Blasphemous Blogging”..

        Stomp off and close your mind because of something you found “offensive”… Throw the baby out with the bathwater .. it will not progress us forther into civil dialogue

        1. Aratina Cage

          @Caelidh

          Aratina wrote:

          ” Then perhaps you shouldn’t consider yourself any sort of expert on how gay people feel about this kind of thing. It’s time for you to stop jabbering and listen.”

          Perhaps you should take a step back and re-read the essay instead of taking a stand of being “offended”.

          Excuse me? My offense is not false and completely warranted. Broadcasting his disgust toward gay people is right out.

          Love how folks judge something on the first paragraph.

          Are you speaking of yourself, because it seems to me that you are the one who first told him it was homophobic.

          I wonder how many people reading these blogs consider themselves “critical thinkers” yet constantly use logical fallacies in their argumentation.

          Ah, yes. None of us are critical thinkers. You got us there.

          Perhaps it was off color to use that anectdote as a lead in..

          As you yourself noted to him originally…

          but it got your attention eh?.

          So? So what if it got our attention? Could it be that most of us saw the title ON HOMOSEXUALITY and expected to read something a little more thoughtful from such a well-known elder atheist? Naaah!

          I think many people hide the fact that they might have feelings that would not be “politically correct” if stated openly.. Most of us have personal failings. WE strive to be better, kinder, more tolerant. If you are gay reading this essay and are offended perhaps you didn’t fully read the ENTIRE article.. about how ridiculous fundamentalist TRUE intolerance and hatred can be.

          “Gay reading”? Wow, you can slap that word in front of anything these days, can’t you? But seriously, no, I got that aspect of it. It doesn’t change how some things are better left unsaid if one doesn’t want to come off as harboring some bigoted thoughts.

          what we SAY and what we DO can be very different.

          Saying (or publishing) is doing. When you say something intelligible, you are communicating your thoughts about things.

          Should we strive to be more aware in our language? Sure. Should we censor and slap down all things that MIGHT offend? If you say yes.. then you are not getting the gist of “Blasphemous Blogging”..

          Someone already said it above, but blasphemy has nothing to do with homophobic jokes. There is no Ghey Church or Ghey Religion AFAIK that gay men are all members of. Let’s not confuse what blasphemy is for the sake of winning an argument against this piece being a tad bit homophobic (again, more than one would have expected coming from Kagin).

          Stomp off and close your mind

          Gnus are good at stomping, yes. Close my mind to homophobic jokes? Yes, I think I’ll do that, thank you.

          because of something you found “offensive”… Throw the baby out with the bathwater .. it will not progress us forther into civil dialogue

          I didn’t do that. But Kagin is no baby and he is not sitting in a tub playing with his rubber ducky, is he?

  56. 56
    strange gods before me ॐ

    The issue is fundamentalism. Did people in fact take an anecdote as literal, EVEN AFTER IT WAS SPELLED OUT, and react to it as if it were literal?

    Well then your “issue” does not apply to several of the commenters. I knew it was a joke from the beginning. And see #11 and #26; as I’ve been saying, one more homophobic joke doesn’t offend me all that much—I’ve been hurt so often like this, I’ve become accustomed to the unkindnesses—what bothers me most is the denial that it is homophobic.

    You don’t seem to have anything to say to the rest of us, and you’re talking to someone your inane criticisms never applied to in the first place.

    I wonder if you’d like to reconsider your approach, since it is not fully in accordance with reality.

    I am a vegan. I want to be friends with people who eat less meat, but aren’t willing to go vegan. Many vegans insult, mock and degrade anyone who is not willing to go vegan right here and now. I disavow those people.

    Well, there’s your misunderstanding.

    I don’t want to be friends with Edwin Kagin. In fact, my life would have been slightly less full of unkindnesses if I had never known that he exists. It would have been better for me never to meet him.

    Unfortunately, I did. And the way I met him was I noticed “ON HOMOSEXUALITY” in my sidebar, and clicked over here to encounter a homophobic joke. That could have gone better.

    He presented a homophobic stance, said his stepdaughter finds it to be a homophobic stance, and he disagreed with her.

    Someone is wrong on the internet. So I want to point out how that is indeed a homophobic stance, and also how my day is more pleasant when I encounter fewer homophobic jokes regardless of who’s telling them. Generally, it is equivalently unpleasant but much easier to deal with a homophobic joke from a hater than one from someone who means well.

    As to whose voice he’s supposed to be speaking with in that first paragraph, I simply don’t care. If I took it to be not his own voice, I would still want to point out that the stepdaughter in this hypothetical was nevertheless correct. (Someone is hypothetically wrong on the internet and has not clearly been hypothetically corrected.) Moreover, my life is easier when people who want to be my allies don’t put me in a position of having to parse some ambiguous blather to determine whether or not they are indeed my allies.

    No one in my world passes out over an anecdote this small,

    No one here is advocating that anyone should “pass out”.

    Again, see my first three comments in this thread; then compare your first comment. You expended over 100 more words in one comment than I did in three.

    You are making a big deal out of this, and you are not responding when it’s pointed out that your rants do not apply accurately to everyone you apparently want to apply them to.

    You are making a big deal out of this. All I want is to be heard — to point out that yes indeed it is a homophobic joke, and my life is better when I encounter fewer of them. That’s not a big deal. You’re fighting me because you can’t stand even to hear this little deal.

  57. 57
    Caelidh

    Wow.. people REALLY didn’t read this essay.. did they? Did you just stop at the first paragraph and make your judgement there?..

    I think everyone needs to RE-Read this essay.. and then re-read it again!…

    and get their own heads out of their own ego asses…

    sorry.. sigh…

    and yes.. I am “the stepdaughter”

    1. 57.1
      Aratina Cage

      @Caelidh

      I cannot believe you of all people have the audacity to accuse us of not reading the entire essay. I mean, did you actually tell him that the “joke” was homophobic or not? Because it is and we reiterated that fact. That kind of humor is not welcome here.

      1. Caelidh

        Well if you DID read the entire article.. good.. it just seemed to me that from people’s comments they seemed to miss the forest for the trees.
        “that kind of humor isn’t welcome here” sounds like a threat. If you are offended by Edwin’s blog.. then don’t read it.

        Edwin admittedly takes a bit of getting used to. I am not an Atheist btw.. and sometimes I take “offense” (privately) by what some Atheists say and their tone they take.. But hey.. IT’s Called FREE SPEECH!. Be glad you have it.

        If one off color joke really rocks your world so much that can’t see the entire essay for what it is worth.. then maybe that is something that you need to look at.

        It is ironic that this “Free thought Blog” would have folks that don’t really prescribe to “free thought” hmmmmmm.. ironic…

        As for the original interaction many moons ago.. Being young and idealistic.. I probably got all uppity with him at the time.. but as I have grown in wisdom and having more experience.. I can tolerate his views.. even though at times they may irritate.. but I would never seek to censor him.. and I would listen entirely and then judge by overall action.

        Peace!

        1. strange gods before me ॐ

          Criticism is not censorship.

          Sheesh!

        2. Aratina Cage

          If one off color joke really rocks your world so much that can’t see the entire essay for what it is worth.. then maybe that is something that you need to look at.

          Caelidh, Tracy Morgan was just joking, too. Anyway, this is how much the joke rocked my world: it didn’t. I read the essay knowing a little about who Kagin is, felt my enthusiasm for his new stint at FTB wane almost completely, and decided against commenting about it, closing the page in my browser.

          It was when Kagin pretended as if Caine’s comment had no value that I decided to say something about it, and then my comment got caught in the spam filter apparently, but I didn’t know it and it seems not even Kagin knew it, but then as I watched with horror, another “jokester” labelled the LGBT people commenting here “screaming faggots”. Yes, the kind of depraved idiot who thinks it is edgy and funny to call us faggots felt welcome here because of the original joke. That’s what the joke breeds, and no I don’t like it. It is not something I need to look at in myself, it is something that needs to be called out.

          As for the original interaction many moons ago.. Being young and idealistic.. I probably got all uppity with him at the time.. but as I have grown in wisdom and having more experience.. I can tolerate his views.. even though at times they may irritate.. but I would never seek to censor him.. and I would listen entirely and then judge by overall action.

          Let’s say the above essay was not by Kagin but by a complete stranger, and it is the first thing of that stranger’s that you have ever read. And pretend the stranger’s response to criticism is the same as Kagin’s has been. Then what? It looks like a lot of the people reading this essay were reading Kagin for the first time, so don’t discount that. Besides that, why should people in general have to put up with slightly bigoted humor even from those they know well?

          It is ironic that this “Free thought Blog” would have folks that don’t really prescribe to “free thought” hmmmmmm.. ironic…

          Freethought (one word) is not a movement that supports opening one’s mind so much that one’s brains fall out. But if that is what you think, then I do dearly hope that the people at ERV (on Scienceblogs) find Kagin’s blog here and give him the much needed support you think he needs.

          1. Caelidh

            Aratina Cage

            I still don’t know how you could apply “so free your brains fall out”.

            I suppose I can defend him because I know him personally.

            Yes, first impressions sometimes mean a lot, however it is also bad to JUDGE based solely on one essay or part of one essay.. That is bad form.

            As I have stated before.. yes… Edwin’s humor does not fit all tastes. However I feel that the rest of the essay clearly states his overall opinion about intolerance of Homosexuality. As a heterosexual male he is merely stating HE doesn’t understand homosexuality but that does NOT mean he is bigoted!. I know probably several males who would say the same exact thing but that doesn’t mean they are BIGOTED.

            I don’t think there is anything more I can say to change ANYONE’s mind.

            I didn’t see the comment regarding the “screaming faggots” and I do think THAT response is a bit extreme….

            Good luck

        3. Delft

          Consider the following two statements:
          1. Remark X is homophobic.
          2. Person Y who made said remark is homophobic.

          Can you really not see the difference?

          Several people said 1. I don’t think anyone said 2, indeed many people went out to their way to say “1, but I don’t believe 2″. You (and some others) answered: “2 is not true so you didn’t read/understand the article, you should stop judging, you’re making a fuss etc.”

          How does that make sense?

          Someone who doesn’t hate you can make hurtful remarks to you (and it’s quite a few actually, not just one). You may not enjoy this, so perhaps you ask them to stop saying things like that. Would you understand if they then explode “How can you possibly accuse me of hating you”? And others chime in with “How dare you judge the person?” or “You should listen to everything he said over and over again carefully.”

          Does that mean you should just accept that this person makes hurtful remarks? Is asking them to stop really the same as censorship? Or opposing free speech or free thought?

  58. 58
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Edwin,
    Have you given thought to amending this post to make it clear that either the snake bite joke does not reflect your opinion or perhaps indicating that it’s an old joke the mocks homophobia? I fear that future readers that come across your blog and read this post may re-ignite the frustrations displayed by readers.

    1. 58.1
      strange gods before me ॐ

      Tony, it seems you are motivated to read something more into his notpology than was ever really there.

      He genuinely does not believe it’s homophobic to say “I simply find the idea of people of the same sex having sex unaesthetic and curious and do not understand why up to ten percent of the world’s population wants to do that.”

  59. 59
    kennypo65

    Lighten up people it was a joke. Being gay isn’t deviant, but it isn’t sacred either. Please get off the cross, we need the wood.

    1. 59.1
      Aratina Cage

      Lighten up people it was a joke.

      Like I said, Tracy Morgan was joking too. Would you say the same to him?

      Being gay isn’t deviant, but it isn’t sacred either.

      Another person confusing blasphemy with bigotry. Look, kennypo65, you know damn well that there is no Book of Homosexuality that we all read from and no deity that all gay people worship! So I can’t understand what kind of point you think you are trying to make by saying that being gay isn’t sacred–no one said it was and no one thinks it is.

      Please get off the cross, we need the wood.

      That was a very malicious choice of words.

  60. 60
    Caelidh

    Maybe this is just as good of a place to post this.

    I just got finished watching HOWL about the obescenity trial of Allen Ginsberg….

    How “Howl” Changed the World
    Allen Ginsberg’s anguished protest broke all the rules—and encouraged a generation of artists to do the same.

    he poem is Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl”—written in 1955, published in ’57—and it’s probably hard for anyone born long after those years to grasp just what a cataclysmic impact that poem made (or perhaps any poem could make) not just on the literary world but on the broader society and culture. …

    The movie’s courtroom scenes are taken verbatim from the trial’s transcript (much of which was reprinted in the highly entertaining 2006 book Howl on Trial: The Battle for Free Expression). It all really did happen: the parade of prominent literary critics attesting to Howl’s artistic mastery and cultural wisdom; the prosecution’s pathetic troika of nobodies called to the stand to say otherwise (including the deliciously dotty Gail Potter, former educational director of a local TV station, who boasts of having rewritten the 40 versions of Faust into a single volume); and the battle between McIntosh, who builds his case on a count of the poem’s dirty words, and Ehrlich, who got by on a cool style, rhetorical agility, and a sheer mastery of the legal record. ..

    MORE

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/life_and_art/2010/09/how_howl_changed_the_world.single.html

    I just finished watching this and the defense atty’s closing statements are great. I highly recommend watching this movie. I think it is important to be aware of a person’s choice of words.. and not be too hasty to condemn their use in either promoting obscenity or any other alleged agenda. We have free speech in this country and while I am aware it is important to be considerate of the power of words to injure or harm… they are in the end words… and to censor them in any fashion, in the end, causes more harm to society. It is what we choose to do with those words and how those words are wielded.. It is our personal responsibility…

  61. 61
    EMCEE EXORCIST

    Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you twelve? Yet is not one of you a devil?” John 6:70
    Title: AGAINST HOMOSEXUALITY
    http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=11541362

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