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The origins and reasons behind homophobia...
#11
The argument that some people make is that the Bible doesn't specifically say that 'homosexuality' is a sin and that's just in the sense that the term was coined obviously much after the Bible was written.
That's why is explicitly says that man should not lay with a man, nor a woman with another woman.

Another thing is that it is written in the Old Testament and what people forget is that the whole point of the New Testament was to show how Jesus had changed some of the old laws.
For example, an eye for an eye is an Old Testament principle but in the New Testament Jesus changes that to love your enemies as you love yourself, and that when someone strikes don't retaliate but turn your other cheek.
In saying all that, things that did not change with Jesus and in the New Testament were things like the 10 commandments, and part of the things not changed was 'homosexuality'. So regardless of how people state that the Old Testament was written in a particular time and the people were of a particular mindset or culture, the point is that the New Testament did not change it either.
The New Testament is pretty much mostly about bringing love instead of judgement. Thus the phrase "hate the sin, not the sinner" because the basic core principle is that Christians (at least legit ones unlike the entire Westboro Baptist crazies) should be loving other people.
The reason why there are so many countless stories of Jesus spending time with 'sinners' is based on that principle.

For example, adultery is a sin. Jesus still saved the life of the adulteress whereby He says that anyone without sin cast the first stone, to which of course nobody did because nobody is without sin. Afterwards Jesus did not then condemn her to hell or then decide to throw a stone at her Himself, but rather gave her instruction to live differently and then she was left with the option to do as He said or not. That's the example of hating the sin but not the sinner.

I kind of liken that principle to agreeing to disagree.
Yes there are going to be things that come your way in life that you don't agree with, but that doesn't mean therefore you are at liberty to hate someone for being different nor does it necessarily make you 'better' or them 'worse' because you are different from each other. It doesn't mean that therefore you should become just like them or them like you because you don't have to be exactly the same in order to choose to love somebody, and you don't have to alike to show someone respect.

Anyway that's just been my experience with my Christian friends.
We both know that they don't agree with my lifestyle choice, but never have they judged me for being different nor have they ever made me feel like I was 'worse' than they are.
They don't go shoving Bibles down my throat and I don't go hitting on my straight Christian male friends. I can respect that they are different than me and they give me the same in return because at the end of the day, people have a choice as to how they want to live. I mean short from deciding to live a life of crime then yeah I'd say no to that and distance myself completely from that person lol.
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#12
meridannight Wrote:this was the case in Rome, not Greece. in Greece, homosexuality was actually associated with heroism in battle, and there was a celebratory tone to the thing.

Maybe in Rome too, but it also definitely happened in Greece.
Heroism was never associated with the passive. Only ridicule.
(I can't post freaking links to support my arguments! >Sad )


meridannight Wrote:tell that to the ancient Chinese who never discriminated against homosexuality and where homosexual couples were even known to live together as married couples. male homosexuality was so natural and freely expressed there, actually, that when the Europeans came into contact with the Chinese it horrified them a great deal. and it wasn't till that contact with the European civilizations that the Chinese started to rethink themselves on their position (one of the worst examples of the European influence).

blaming it on the ignorance of the age does not cut it here. in addition to China, and ancient Greece, Japan was also liberal on sexual conduct of its inhabitants.

Different cultures I guess. Since everything changed after the western influence.
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#13
Homophobia is a actually deeply rooted in the mysogny of patriarchal cultures. I personally find it far too depressing to go into in great detail, but just think about it: the "worst" kind of gay is the "feminine" gay man, people perceive the "bottom" partner to be the "woman" and how many times have we heard "at least OUR son is the top", lesbianism isn't as "bad" as male homosexuality because the woman is "trying to be a man".
Face it, our society (just like all patriarchal societies) hates the feminine and the "worst of the worst" are people like ourselves who "choose" the feminine rather than the "superior" masculine. We even do it amongst ourselves. Just go on Grinder and look at the prophiles---"masc seeking masc ONLY" ect....
~Beaux
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#14
I had a lady who was very wise tell me once that whatever it is outside yourself you hate is just a reflection of something inside of yourself you hate....

It has caused me so much angst because sometimes it is a BITCH looking at a part of yourself you want to avoid BUT it is worth it if you can come to terms with it and accept it...and then then hate dissipates....

Sometimes it takes years because you don't really see the specific part of the thing you hate....you think it is one thing but it might be something else entirely....

There is no better example of this than homophobia. Projecting your self hatred on people who don't hate themselves and live the very thing you hate about yourself.

I think man/man sex is natural of course and I also think it is more normal than anyone might guess...and I think most men have some kind of fantasy or thoughts that they have to repress instead of accept...

...and hating gay people is a great smokescreen to hide their own feelings from themselves....
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#15
I had a straight guy ask me this question one time and the answer I gave was "social manipulation and control." For sure there are a lot of factors behind it such as social pressures to procreate, male dominant misogyny and so forth. But dominance and control are the same thing: One group of people set up acceptable rules of behavior to control everyone else (often not applying the same rules to their own behavior). These external rules of behavior are repressive and these rules get internalized very early on thus creating the psychological dynamics of repression: The psyche is fragmented into various parts and many of these get turned against one another. The internal state of our human psychology is a reflection (or internalization) of the external state.

I'm not a big fan of Freudian psychoanalysis for a variety of reasons but I think his theory Polymorphous perversity worth considering:

Quote:Polymorphous perversity

Polymorphous perversity is a psychoanalytic concept proposing the human ability to gain sexual gratification outside socially normative sexual behaviors. Sigmund Freud used this term to describe the normal sexual disposition of humans from infancy to about age five.

Freud’s theory
Freud theorized that humans are born with unfocused sexual libidinal drives, deriving sexual pleasure from any part of the body. The objects and modes of sexual satisfaction are multifarious, directed at every object that might provide pleasure. Polymorphous perverse sexuality continues from infancy through about age five, progressing through three distinct developmental stages: the oral stage, anal stage, and phallic stage. Only in subsequent developmental stages do children learn to constrain sexual drives to socially accepted norms, culminating in adult heterosexual behavior focused on the genitals and reproduction.

Freud taught that during this stage of undifferentiated impulse for sexual pleasure, incestuous and bisexual urges are normal. Lacking knowledge that certain modes of gratification are forbidden, the polymorphously perverse child seeks sexual gratification wherever it occurs. In the earliest phase, the oral phase, the child forms a libidinal bond with the mother via sexual pleasure gained from sucking the breast.

For Freud, "perversion" is a non-judgmental term. He used it to designate behavior outside socially acceptable norms.

The difficulty I experienced when first coming into contact with this idea is that my mind equated infantile sexual gratification with adult sexual gratification -- as if they were identical. They are not. I found it helpful to change the word "sexual" to "erotic" -- with an understanding of "erotic" deriving from "eros" i.e., the 'god' of love.

Looked at this way, the underlying theory is that we're all born experiencing our whole bodies as "erogenous" -- sources of pleasure and love. One might say this is the NATURAL human state: A fully erotic body is a body of love; a 'temple' of Eros. It is only through subsequent developmental stages where we begin to fear death and the loss of the loved object (mother, father, etc.) that we learn to isolate our erotic sensations (energies) into specific regions of sensation, culminating in genital sexuality. Put another way, our adult state of experiencing erotic sensations in genitalia alone is a much reduced and focused state VERY different from our early infantile experience where EVERY sensation was 'erotic' (and embodiment of Love).

Frankly, it wasn't until I experimented with psychedelic drugs such as LSD that I began to understand directly what this means. We experience the world through our senses but the senses we have as adults are vastly reduced from the senses we experienced as infants. Psychedelic drugs temporarily suspend some of the conditioned (learned) resistance (as in an electronic resistor) which dampens down and compartmentalizes our in-born erotic energies.

From this point of view, homophobia is a subset of erotophobia; the latter being all the socially derived prohibitions we're given regarding erotic sensations during our formative years. But again, I emphasize, what "erotic" means in this context is not identical with adult eroticism -- it is more akin to the pleasure one derives when experiencing anything beautiful, such as a sunset or flower or music or any sensation from which pleasure is derived. The sensations of the new-born is that all sensations are wide open and intense, stimulating, brand new for the organism. The initial dynamic, then, is the experience of intense pleasure and intense pain -- leading to the desire to experience pleasure and avoid pain -- and this becomes equated with life on one hand and the fear of death (the absence of eros or love) on the other.
.
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#16
Haruka Wrote:I think the origins of homophobia could probably be traced back to the earliest homo sapiens.
You're right and there's a great deal of evidence for how homosexuality would have been a great benefit to early humans. We had a GREAT discussion about that in here some months back. My man and I are really working to get more people aware of aspects of homosexuality that have been ignored for reasons that might make you mad... Here's the link to the thread

Even in Ancient Greece this sort of contempt was especially reserved for the bottoms. It's nonsensical but people at that time didn't have much of a sense.

As for reasons : Haggard's Law? Frog

meridannight Wrote:this was the case in Rome, not Greece. in Greece, homosexuality was actually associated with heroism in battle, and there was a celebratory tone to the thing.

[SIZE="4"][COLOR="Teal"]Anytime you paint with a big brush about anything in history you slop over details that clash with the picture you paint.
A great deal of the impression we have today of homosexuality in the ancient past is the product of the biases of authors/historians since the 1800s who painted with wide brushes.
In the Roman Empires (including the split into east and west) "bottoms" were not always treated as badly as later historians portrayed. For instance under Julius Caesar and Augustus in his young years as emperor they were treated with great respect. What led to that was how JC chose to deal with people who mocked him for being a bottom. He arranged for them to be gang raped for public entertainment. ( the words "every woman's husband and every man's wife" followed JC all his adult life) As for Octavian who became Augustus who was an effeminate twink by any standards with mostly male lovers until he was in his late 20's --- he showed more affection to them than women but because he was such an extraordinary ruler historians have painted over his less than totally masculine personality in what they saw as a favor to build up the respectability of the greatest ruler in western history.
[/COLOR][/SIZE]



tell that to the ancient Chinese who never discriminated against homosexuality and where homosexual couples were even known to live together as married couples. male homosexuality was so natural and freely expressed there, actually, that when the Europeans came into contact with the Chinese it horrified them a great deal. and it wasn't till that contact with the European civilizations that the Chinese started to rethink themselves on their position (one of the worst examples of the European influence).

blaming it on the ignorance of the age does not cut it here. in addition to China, and ancient Greece, Japan was also liberal on sexual conduct of its inhabitants.

Add to this list..... India, ALL of Pre Colombian North and South America, and ever island in the Pacific

And Haggard's Law is one of the most reliable and least used laws I've run into.
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#17
Haruka Wrote:Heroism was never associated with the passive. Only ridicule.


this is simply not true. first of all, most passive males in ancient Greece were youth, and public opinion favored them pairing up with an older adult male, and sexual relations between them were seen as beneficial to the youth.

the adult males who took on a passive role themselves were held in disregard, but the public opinion was not exactly uniform on that one either. if the passive adult had some redeeming qualities (courage in battle, killing tyrants) then the issue was skimmed over and not talked about, in other words suddenly the passive nature of one male no longer seemed important.

and passive youths were not ridiculed for being with men.

i'm gonna quote Homosexuality and Civilization by Louis Crompton:

Quote:Homer’s intentions in the Iliad (c. 800 bce) have been the subject of much debate. There is
ample evidence, however, that by the beginning of the classical era (480 bce)
his archaic heroes Achilles and Patroclus had become exemplars of male
love. Greek lyric poets sing of male love from almost the earliest fragments
down to the end of classical times. Five brilliant philosophical dialogues debate
its ethics with a wealth of illustrations, from Plato and Xenophon to
Plutarch and the pseudo-Lucian of the third century ce. In the public arena
of the theater we know that tragedies on this theme were popular, and
Aristophanes’ bawdy humor is quite as likely to be inspired by sex between
males as by intercourse between men and women. Vase-painters portray
scores of homoerotic scenes, hundreds of inscriptions celebrate the love of
boys, and such affairs enter into the lives of a long catalogue of famous Greek
statesmen, warriors, artists, and authors. Though it has often been assumed
that the love of males was a fashion confined to a small intellectual elite during
the age of Plato, in fact it was pervasive throughout all levels of Greek society
and held a honored place in Greek culture for more than a thousand
years, that is, from before 600 bce to about 400 ce.

Quote:Throughout these accounts, male attachments are presented in an
honorific light, though there were always some skeptics. But for many biographers,
for a man not to have had a male lover seems to have bespoken a
lack of character or a deficiency in sensibility.

Quote:Thus it is noteworthy that Homer in depicting male companionship in the Iliad
does not use the classical terms erastes and eromenos and gives us no clear in-
stance of the typical Greek love relationships so often depicted in later poetry,
philosophy, and biography.
Quote:But by far the most detailed account we have of the way Cretans ritualized homosexuality and incorporated
it into their culture appears in Strabo’s Geography. Strabo, who
lived at the time of Augustus, drew on Ephorus of Cyme, who wrote about
380 bce. The passage is of such anthropological interest that it is worth
quoting at length:

[The Cretans] have a peculiar custom in regard to love affairs, for they win
the objects with their love, not by persuasion, but by abduction; the lover
tells the friends of the boy three or four days beforehand that he is going to
make the abduction; but for the friends to conceal the boy, or not to let
him go forth by the appointed road, is indeed a most disgraceful thing, a
confession, as it were, that the boy is unworthy to obtain such a lover; and
when they meet, if the abductor is the boy’s equal or superior in rank or
other respects, the friends pursue him and lay hold of him, though only in
a very gentle way, thus satisfying the custom; and after that they cheerfully
turn the boy over to him to lead away; if, however, the abductor is unworthy,
they take the boy away from him.
It is the boy’s character—his “manliness”—not his beauty that recommends
him to a lover. The boy then retires with his lover to a country retreat,
where he is given a military outfit, an ox (to sacrifice to Zeus), and a drinking
cup—three costly gifts


Quote:it is disgraceful for those who are handsome in appearance or descendants
of illustrious ancestors to fail to obtain lovers, the presumption being that
their character is responsible for such a fate. But the parastathentes [who
“stand by” their older lovers in battle] receive honors; for in both the
dances and the races they have the positions of highest honor, and are allowed
to dress in better clothes than the rest, that is, in the habit given
them by their lovers; and not then only, but even after they have grown to
manhood, they wear a distinctive dress, which is intended to make known
the fact that each wearer has become kleinos, for they call the loved one
kleinos [distinguished] and the lover philetor.12

Quote:Male love had been held in high regard in Athens before the demise of the
tyranny. Now its esteem increased still more, as the cult of the heroes took
root. In the eyes of the Athenians, paiderastia assumed an added meaning. In
Crete, Sparta, and Megara, boy love had been the means by which a military
aristocracy initiated young males into its traditions; now it was seen as a bulwark
of popular liberty against tyranny

i'd look up the story of Harmodius and Aristogeiton.

wikipedia has a page up on them, although i haven't read that and i can't say how well it describes it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmodius_and_Aristogeiton
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#18
Virge Wrote:And whether or not their armies were formidable isn't important.

[MENTION=21084]Virge[/MENTION]

of course it was important if their armies were formidable or not. but actually, that's a little beside the point in this discussion, so i'm not gonna argue this point any further.

Virge Wrote:In western civilization the laws of the ancient jews have had more effect on homosexuals than the laws of any other single source.

i am well aware of this. did i ever say differently? those bullshit lines in the fucking book of superstition have done the worst and most widespread damage all over the globe. i fucking hate religion with a passion for this.

and i'm gonna quote Crompton on this one as well, as he sums it up very well (the read might be long, but it's a top-quality text. i've bolded some parts, but i do suggest you read it in its entirety to get a better picture, and i highly recommend reading the whole book. it's a fascinating read and he draws on extensive sources):


Quote:Chapter 18, however, condemns certain sexual acts,
including incest and male homosexuality. The Jews are warned that “these
abominations” were common among the Canaanites who ruled Palestine before
the Israelite conquest and that the Jews, like their predecessors, will be
dispossessed—“spewed out”—if they commit them. “Defile not ye yourselves
with any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I
cast out before you: And the Land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity
thereof upon it, and the land vomiteth out her inhabitants” (Lev. 18:24).

Chapter 20 adds to the general condemnation of chapter 18 a specific
penalty for sexual relations between males.


If Judaism had remained merely the religion of a tiny tribe in the eastern
Mediterranean, such fierce bigotry, though deplorable, would have had relatively
small effect. A man would simply have had to walk for a few days to escape
its jurisdiction. But Judaism became the parent of a powerful world religion,
Christianity;
and though Christianity discarded Jewish rules on diet
and grooming, on sowing mixed crops or wearing garments of mixed fabrics,
it retained many Old Testament laws about sexuality. The Levitical statute
thus became the model for laws decreeing capital punishment for homosexuality
in Europe and in as much of the world as came under Europe’s sway,
down to the end of the eighteenth century.

Quote:When the Roman Empire became Christian in the fourth century, the
Old Testament death penalty for male homosexual behavior was incorporated
into Roman law. Later, this same precedent was cited when death for
homosexual behavior was prescribed by criminal codes in France, Spain,
England, the Holy Roman Empire, the Italian states, Scandinavia, and every
land settled by European colonists who professed Christianity.

Quote:When a legislative tradition has caused unnecessary suffering for millions
through more than a dozen centuries, we naturally wonder about its source.
The question is especially acute when this harshness is so much at odds with
other major cultures throughout world history—for example, Confucian
China, Buddhist Japan, or Hindu India. But the answer is not easy to find,
since our sources are few and obscure and we must often rely on speculation
when certainty proves elusive. Laws proclaimed as divine decrees, like those
of Leviticus, do not have explanatory preambles or rationales, and there is a
paucity of records to which we may look for clues.
Quote:The Threat to Population

The Israelites, according to the Bible, were originally
a nomadic people desperately seeking land on which to settle. Their ideological
justification for their claim to Palestine lay in their belief that Yahweh
had given them the territory of the Canaanites in return for loyalty to the
cult his priests had evolved. Because of constant external threats, tribal solidarity—
which came in time to mean religious solidarity—seemed crucial.

This desperate need helps to explain the difference between the cultural history
of the Jews and the Greeks. The Greeks triumphed over the Persians; the
Jews were a much conquered people. Compared with Judaism, Greek religion
seems lacking in heart, soul, and compassion for the unfortunate.
Compared with Hellenism, Judaism in biblical times seems given to fanaticism
and hysterical fears.
Quote:As a small tribe facing mighty and hostile powers—Egypt, Assyria,
Babylonia, Persia—the Jews naturally strove to increase their numbers: military
security demanded this. The concern for procreation has been the most
commonly suggested rationale for the anti-homosexual legislation of Leviticus.

Jewish popular tradition put great emphasis on marriage and large families.

In Talmudic times unmarried men were censured and, on occasion,
could be forced to wed. The ancient Jews frowned on celibacy and, the presumption
is, on exclusive homosexuality. Yet it seems difficult to believe that
this, in itself, would lead to so draconian a measure as the death penalty.

Quote:William Blackstone argued that the death penalty for male homosexual relations
was more than a merely Jewish law on the grounds that “the destruction
of two cities by fire from heaven” took place long before Moses lived.
But did the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in fact influence the authors of
Leviticus? It is almost universally assumed that it did, and early Christian
writers routinely invoked the fiery end of Sodom as proof of God’s anger
against the men who came to be known as “sodomites.” But was this the
meaning the tale actually bore in Old Testament times? A careful reading of
the text, of early commentaries, and of the popular traditions preserved in
the Talmud suggests that it was not.

Quote:What is at issue here is not a consensual
act but mass rape—sexual violence against two heavenly emissaries
by an entire community.

Eventually the “sin of Sodom” was identified by the fathers of the church
as male homosexuality in any context, regardless of consent. But not only is
this interpretation not implied by the original story, the “sin of Sodom” does
not seem to have been perceived as homosexuality by any of the Hebrew
prophets who refer to it.
As Bailey and Loader have aptly noted, the prophets
often name Sodom as a wicked city but nowhere do they mention homosexuality.

Quote:Only one prophet is specific as to the nature of Sodom’s offense. Ezekiel, a
contemporary of Sappho and Solon, grew up in Judea during the ministry of
Jeremiah, was carried off captive to Babylon in 597 bce, and began his
preaching a few years later.

It is notable that
Ezekiel names no sexual offenses, only sins against charity. Sodom is a city of
men whose wealth makes them proud, luxurious, and idle and who remain
indifferent to the plight of the poor.


Quote:When we examine them, we find that a tradition supporting
Ezekiel’s view did indeed exist. The Babylonian Talmud, compiled between
c. 370 and 500 ce, provides a series of stories about Sodom that are surprising
both in content and tone. Instead of the usual solemn portentousness,
we find touches of ironic humor. Sodom is presented as a city of great
wealth, which it does not wish to share.


The book of Ezekiel, which made Sodom a city heartless toward the
needy, is generally dated about 590 bce. But not until the writings of Philo is
homosexuality unequivocally represented as intrinsic to Sodom’s lifestyle and
its preeminent sin
—the view ADOPTED!!! by the fathers of the early church.

(i capitalized 'adopted' and added the exclamation marks, not Crompton).

Quote:What we may call the “Sodom of selfish wealth” considerably antedates the
later Philonic-Patristic conception of the “homosexual Sodom.” In the Gospels,
Jesus, who was Philo’s contemporary, refers often to Sodom but always
as an inhospitable city, never as a homosexual one.17

Quote:If the population hypothesis is dubious and the Sodom story scarcely relevant,
we are left with the question, what was the motive for the draconian
law in Leviticus? We may find a hint in the King James Bible, where the
translators saw fit to introduce the word “sodomites” some half dozen times.
It is used to translate the Hebrew word kadesh (plural kedeshim), which
means literally “consecrated one” or “holy man.” But who were these holy
men and how did they come to be associated with homosexuality?

here's the punch line:


Quote:Anxieties about population hardly seem to account for the death penalty
in Leviticus, but concern for religious and tribal solidarity may well explain
its adoption.
In this regard, the ferocity of the law fits a clear and common
biblical pattern. Certainly the book of Kings associated homosexuality with
aboriginal Canaanite religions, and men who engaged in it would have
been suspect as apostates. In ancient Judea, apostasy was regarded as a capital
offense, as in medieval Christianity and in some modern Islamic states.

i tried to crop the text, and i did. this is a shortened version of it. it will take longer to read, but it's highly interesting.

we can educate ourselves on history and we are aware of our human nature, but it still has no one single ‘cause’, and discrimination of homosexuality is most likely a consequence of several factors coinciding with each other in time.
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#19
Don't Forget that a mourning Emperor Hadrian transformed his dead loved one, Antinous into a go who was worshipped for a couple hundred years until Christianity wiped it out....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antinous

[Image: antin750.jpg]

There are more statues and busts of Antinous than most of the rulers of Rome
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#20
I agree with all that Merdian and am glad to know you're a history addict as well. That's going to put you on the top of my go-to list about some things in the future ---but I'm sure you'll like them as much as I do.
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