Saturday, October 16, 2010

Speaking frankly.

Pardon me, but I want to speak frankly, and briefly, on the subject of homosexuality.

In fact, I'll be polite here and put the frank language past the click. If you don't like frankness, come back later. I'll be talking more about Stephen Hawking or the like.















When's the last time you remember anal or oral sex coming up in a conversation about homosexuality?

See, I've been arguing about this for years, and somehow this aspect of things - largely the point of it all - has never come up. So I decided to bring it up with a religious friend of mine who is also liberal theologically and politically.

Friend: (finishing up giving his view) ..And I just think that if two people love each other, then their having a relationship is beautiful and right.
Me: What about the anal?
Friend: Bweh? What ?
Me: You know. Cock going into the ass. Anal sex. Oral too, but the anal sex is sorta central and...
Friend: What does that have to do with anything?
Me: Everything? It's not like the problem is that two guys like each other a lot and spend a lot of time together. It's the..
Friend: Right, okay.
Me: ..the ass-fucking.
Friend: Quit saying that!
Me: Why? I'm just getting to the point.
Friend: There's a lot more to homosexuality than THAT!
Me: Yeah. Most of it is beside the point, though. You take out all the sodomy and the sexual stuff and what's left? It's not like I have a problem with two guys going on boating trips together.
Friend: ...Fine, but...
Me: 'cause that's the Navy. Nothing wrong with the Navy.
Friend: Right, sure, but...
Me: Unless they have an--
Friend: THERE'S MORE TO IT THAN ANAL SEX!!
Me: Yeah, but like I said. Hey, if there's more to it than that, there's no problem, right?
Friend: What do you mean?
Me: Guys can hang out together, do stuff, share each other's company and so on. Just nothing sexual, and none of that stuff you won't let me talk about.
Friend: That's like asking married couples not to have sex!
Me: I don't think they should be ass-fucking either, so...
Friend: It's different!
Me: So, you're pretty much saying assfucking is a non-negotiable part of the relationships in question, at least for the guys.
Friend: ...
Me: Doesn't that strike you as really odd?
Friend: I don't want to talk about this anymore.
Me: Fine, fine...

I mean, I have this right, don't I? I flip through my CCC and go back to the teachings and all, and it's not like the church has a problem with guys who go camping together or even live together. It's the sodomy. Sure, and the inclinations towards sodomy, but those are just like any other inclinations sin-wise.

And yet, this never comes up. Ever. I mean it when I say I've been reading a lot of these debates for years, and the damn central issue has been danced around.

Well, to hell with it, I'm speaking bluntly about it from now on. I don't care if two guys enjoy each other's company, even quite a lot. It's the sodomy, the anal sex, and the cultural and personal aspects connected to it that's the problem.

16 comments:

Codgitator (Cadgertator) said...

Bravo, Crude. (Earned your moniker with this post! heheh) Years back, when I was in via from Calvinism to either Catholicism or Orthodoxy, I got into my share of online debates (under the name Geistesweisheit, and usually via Mark Shea's blog) about contraception. I rather quickly made sure to focus the debate on the *contraceptive* (versus "ethical", "aesthetic", "conventional", "unpragmatic", etc.) nature of the sin, and thus focused on why the Church also opposes sodomy. Saying the Church first opposes "icky stuff like butt sex" and then just tacks on random heterosexual strictures to annoy everybody, is literally, well… ass-backwards. Sodomy is wrong because it's an elaborate form of contraceptive lust. With sodomy, the colon is turned into a giant contrapcetive device and the seed is literally left to be shat out in desecration of God's order. In contraceptive sex, the vagina is turned into a kind of anus and the seed is left to be disposed of inside a kind of spermacidal colostomy bag known as a condom (or to be discharged "the morning after"). The performance of either perversion is gravely immoral for the same mutually binding reason.

I also resonate with your post because I recall making the point (whether on my blog or just here and there in comboxes) that the gay movement is a Freudian-political corruption of what has always been a good thing: male intimacy. It's chic now to see David and Jonathan as gay rebels (Brokeback Mazel Tov?), or Jesus and John the same way, etc. In reality, though, the Church has always fostered male-male intimacy without endorsing sodomy. It's so sad that people can't imagine men being close, like boyhood friends or bear cubs, without seeing a mirror of their own licentiousness. I am well aware of the sordid influence of the "velvet mafia" in the Church's history (as e.g. exposéed in Randy Engels The Rite of Sodomy), but, as always, there is the Church's magisterial and mortal dialectic which must be considered.

Best,

Crude said...

Agreed on all points. My own problem is that the message of the church is repeatedly and routinely warped, and I think part of this warping is the unwillingness to frankly discuss what is the central issue. Using delicate, roundabout phrases ('The gay lifestyle', etc) as a stand-in has lead to vagueness that is easily and unscrupulously parleyed into a sham, where suddenly it's no longer about sodomy (An old-fashioned, odd-sounding word - I'm in favor of speaking crudely and frankly on this topic), but about utterly unrelated things. "They're against love!" "They're against happiness!" "They dislike gay people just for being gay!" and so on.

There are many other facets of the topic that are problematic - the very idea of identifying people as 'gay', as if some sexual inclination not only does, but should define them as a person. Ignoring the gay subculture issue is another, again possibly because people shy away from speaking frankly. (With that same friend I base that conversation on, I remember asking him once whether he's ever heard of a his church, or any church that was 'accepting' of homosexuality, denouncing bath house culture, or gay hookup phonelines and websites, etc. Well, of course not.)

And that's what really bothers me, ultimately. This issue is ridiculously mishandled by all sides, and I think a desire to speak too delicately is part of the reason for it.

Drew said...

I don't particularly support it, and I've heard that it's unhealthy, but I think you'd be hard-pressed to make a biblical argument that heterosexual sodomy is immoral. I think the real problem with homosexuality is its distortion of gender roles, where it takes men and turns them into something weak. That, and it competes with the family and therefore diminishes the future of the human race.

Ilíon said...

The frank language isn't "after the click," is it?

If you'd like sometime, I can send you the modifications I made to the template I chose (which looks to be the same you chose), thereby allowing me to have a "click to read more" link in the items I post.

Ilíon said...

"It's the sodomy, ... "

And the promiscuity, and the drugs, and the "dressing up" (whether in drag or in assless chaps), and the absolute refusal to keep the disgusting behavior (which includes the "dressing up") behind closed doors.

Crude said...

Please do, Ilion. I thought I knew the html for this, but it wasn't working when I put it in so in the end I just took it out. I'd like to be able to speak frankly (or crudely, har har) without exposing any casual looker on this blog to it. I try to keep my language civil, but this is a subject where I think 'civil' is dangerous.

As for the 'promiscuity, and the drugs, and the dressing up, and..', sure - but none of those are so uniquely related to the "homosexual" issue.

Drew, I think secular cases can be made against these acts, certainly. I come from a Catholic perspective admittedly, complete with Catholic understanding - but I will speak crudely again. I'd find "Moses and Christ and God were okay with anal sex, so long as it was your wife" to be the harder argument to make. That sounds close to Bill Clinton supposedly going through the bible and finding no specific injunction against oral sex with a woman he wasn't married to so technically he didn't commit adultery.

But I'm not coming at this from a specifically biblical perspective, or even a Catholic one necessarily. It's more of an 'elephant in the room' issue.

Ilíon said...

Crude, I don't know your email address.

Drew said...

My basic point is that the anal sex is only a significant issue for Catholics, and not for the rest of society. You could argue to a non-Catholic that anal sex is unhealthy and that we should oppose homosexuality for that reason, but it's not an overly compelling argument (at least not by itself).

By contrast, the "promiscuity" issue that Ilíon mentioned would bother a lot more people, and I think it derives largely from the distorted gender roles that I mentioned.

Ilíon said...

"My basic point is that the anal sex is only a significant issue for Catholics, and not for the rest of society."

I'm not a Catholic, and I'm pretty sure I'm still part of "the rest of society" ... and I think anal "sex" is a significant issue.

Crude said...

Drew,

If you're trying to tell me that anal sex is A-OK according to the traditional religious views of evangelicals, mainline protestants, etc, then sorry - I just don't buy it at all. Again, it's like telling me that "biblically" Bill Clinton didn't cheat on his wife with Lewinski: People can argue any position, even ones that are plainly bullshit.

Nor do I agree that there exist no compelling arguments re: homosexuality that focus primarily on the sex acts that come part and parcel with it. Sure, there are other issues and arguments as well, important ones.

Now, if you're telling me that many, even most modern American christians (catholics included!) may not have a problem with it, sure. But they also aren't going to have much of a problem with promiscuity either. That's a general problem of christians being poorly catechised and the cultural issues present nowadays.

Crude said...

Ilion,

I think I may have your email somewhere, if I can find it I'll shoot you a message.

The Phantom Blogger said...

Its funny I was looking this up to see if there was any direct Biblical Prohibition against male and female sodomy and I found this:

http://www.davidmacd.com/catholic/is_anal_sex_ok_for%20married_couples_as_foreplay_catholics.htm

It comes at it from a Catholic perpective. The author writes:

"Nowhere in the Bible does it say anal sex is OK, on the other hand Romans 1:24-27 says:


“women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women…”

Scripture is clearly saying women cannot have “back door” sex. The Bible doesn’t say “it’s only sex if there is a climax.” I think using that excuse is kind of like Bill Clinton saying “I didn’t have sex with that woman.”

Even if a couple could rationalize Romans 1:24-27 to apply only to anal sex that ends in climax, it would be precarious. Last time I checked, men aren’t always masters in self control during sex. If there is a premature climax, then the couple would be engaging in sin that is listed among the worst of the Bible. Using this rational for anal sex is like trying to justify playing ball hockey on the freeway. (Of course, I propose that it is serious sin even if there is no premature “accident.”)"

What I found funny was that he made a similar reverance to Bill Clinton as the one you made.

The term Sodomy as I understood it (and how it has been historically understood) was mean't to describe and cover all forms of unnatural (in the Catholic sense) sexual relations regardless of the sex of the participants.

Ilíon said...

Mine is given in my profile.

Drew said...

//Again, it's like telling me that "biblically" Bill Clinton didn't cheat on his wife with Lewinski: People can argue any position, even ones that are plainly bullshit.//

No, your position is like that -- because you're the one trying to argue that anal sex is not sex. I'm the one trying to argue that as far as I can tell, anal sex between spouses is "honorable" according to the Bible (Hebrews 13:4).


//Now, if you're telling me that many, even most modern American christians (catholics included!) may not have a problem with it, sure. But they also aren't going to have much of a problem with promiscuity either.//

Even if that were true, I can give you a number of Bible passages that condemn promiscuity. We're struggling here to condemn heterosexual anal sex.


@Phantom Blogger

Most people interpret that passage in Romans as referring to lesbianism, not heterosexual anal sex.

Crude said...

No, your position is like that -- because you're the one trying to argue that anal sex is not sex. I'm the one trying to argue that as far as I can tell, anal sex between spouses is "honorable" according to the Bible (Hebrews 13:4).

When did I say 'anal sex is not sex'? And your pulling '"anal sex between spouses is honorable" out of Hebrews 13:4 is one hell of a stretch. The NIV has that passage translated as "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral." So, what.. marriage is honorable, therefore absolutely any consensual sex act a couple engages in is honorable?

Even if that were true, I can give you a number of Bible passages that condemn promiscuity. We're struggling here to condemn heterosexual anal sex.

No, you can give me a number of Bible passages you interpret as condemning promiscuity. And I can very easily find people who will insist that those same bible passages really meant something else. It would be an obvious, ridiculous stretch, but to be dead honest, no moreso than saying "anal sex between spouses is "honorable" according to the bible".

If you want to say "That's just what you catholics think, not protestants" and leave it at that, go ahead. And if you want to think that anal sex even between spouses was considered great and honorable by most protestants historically, you're welcome to that too. I find the evidence for both claims tremendously weak, but we can just leave it at that.

The odd thing is, my point in the OP was that if you subtract the sodomy and the sexual aspects from homosexual relationships, there's little left to fret over morally. It just so happens that the sex is largely the point.

Ilíon said...

Crude, if you ever shot me that note, it got lost in the aether(net).