Friday, November 12, 2010

Religion and Homosexuality II

I have never understood the thinking of those who deny facts because the facts seem to support unpalatable conclusions.  If a fact is true, then the best approach is to accept it and then explain why it does not support the conclusion, either in part or in whole.  If one cannot do that, then one should have the honesty and courage to accept the conclusion.

With regard to the religious right and homosexuality, the tale of the founder of the "Heaven's Gate" cult is most informative.  It is a classic story of religion literally driving someone mad and causing him to do a great deal of harm. The founder, Marshall Applewhite, was raised as a conservative christian and felt he was destined for the ministry.  He realized upon attaining adulthood that he was gay, or at least bi-sexual.  He could not accept it and apparently suffered a severe mental breakdown.  After stints in mental institutions, he started the cult, the members of which eventually committed mass suicide in 1997.

The cult practiced severe asceticism.  Among other things, they abstained from all sex.  One of the things Applewhite advocated was castration, apparently to get rid of carnal desires.  Several cult members underwent the procedure, including Applewhite himself.  See,9171,986136-1,00.html

As a heterosexual, I have always wondered why right wing religious leaders continually try to argue that homosexuality is a choice.
Frankly, it has never been a choice for me.  I have never felt any "temptation" to engage in homosexual acts.

I have to wonder if these right wing religious leaders consider it a choice for themselves.  One they have to battle against, apparently.  As I said before, if a person says he considers it a choice, isn't he saying that he is bi-sexual?  Or else a closeted homosexual?  If one is purely heterosexual, then the idea of it being a choice wouldn't even occur.

Of course, this is an example of rejecting a fact because it supports an unpalatable conclusion.  If some people just naturally are born homosexual, then it must be a part of god's creation.  It must be something that homosexuals can't control, something the lord made, and for which they therefore do not bear moral blame.  For some people, that is the unacceptable conclusion.  So, we get this continual harping about how some people just choose to be gay.  It is all obvious nonsense to anyone who hasn't had his brains addled by religious indoctrination.

Unfortunately for Marshall Applewhite and his followers, this rejection of reality eventually led to an unnecessary tragedy.  If only Applewhite had not been indoctrinated to reject homosexuality, then we might never have heard of him or his cult because the cult would never have existed.  Instead, Applewhite might have lived out his life as a reasonably content gay, ex-christian.

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