Reflections on Homosexuality in America
The following article/essay is simply my thoughts on the issue of homosexuality in America and the hold that religious (namely Christians) people have on it. The intent is not to change anyone's mind, but express why I think the mode of thinking shouldn't spill into politics.
My Opening Thoughts
While I am not gay myself, I see myself as more of an advocate or supporter or gay rights. Why? I believe that everyone should have the same freedoms and civil liberties that our constitution says we have. This even means I am against the NDAA since it takes away the right to a fair trial and infringes on privacy; but that is a different topic. The point is I think we have an awesome constitution, but we need to abide by it, not pick and choose like people of faith can tend to pick and choose quotes from the bible and interpret them in a way to harm or hurt others.
I think that even if one has the opinion that homosexuality is wrong (which is okay to have that opinion), they need to tolerate and accept the fact that some people are gay. Note, in no way did I say they have to agree that it’s okay, just know it’s a part of some people’s lives and that it’s normal and they should not be shunned for it. Being gay has been linked to genetics; and here is a URL that shed some light on it: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/01/homosexuality-genetics-usa
While it may not be 100% certain yet that it’s linked to genetics, it seems so obvious to me that for whatever specific reason, gay people are born and wired that way and it’s not a choice they can help. Just like I was born and wired to be straight. I think back to the old phrase, “If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it must be a duck.” Sometimes the answers we seek are very simple and under our nose the entire time.
Even if homosexuality was a choice, I still wouldn’t care and would still fight for their rights. So, choice or not, it’s irrelevant to me and my philosophies on life. While I don’t care for it personally, I don’t see anything wrong with it for someone else… but I have a lack of religion in my life, as I am an atheist, and so I have little or no hang-ups about things like this. I do know and have seen theists who think the same way, socially; so I can argue that being atheist has nothing to do with it, but that’s the fundamental reasoning for my personal philosophy and why I brought it up.
Now, one last thing; I’ve always thought that those who were so angry at homosexuals, those who we would consider homophobic, were secretly repressed homosexuals themselves. I read an article this morning that shows a scientific study with empirical evidence that proves this claim. I never thought I would read such an article, but here is the link: http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/20120309012352data_trunc_sys.shtml
I'm not suggesting that all Christians are secretly repressed homosexuals, but it is something to think about.
What I See
I often see, especially on the hubpages forums, strong opinions from both sides. I’ve gotten into several debates myself, defending homosexuals. For the sake of this article, I’m going to specifically reference Christians because they are the majority of whom I have dealt with. My intention is not to pick on Christians, so please don’t take it as such. It is very much true that other religions have similar beliefs against homosexuality, just like there are sects and philosophies of the Christian religions that don’t believe it’s wrong. I recognize that not ALL Christians feel this way.
I often read hypocritical statements about followers of Christ, who say they have no problem against gays, but then quote the bible and call them sinners, suggest god hates what they do or even suggest god hates them specifically in some cases. These are the majority of the people who likely vote against giving them equal rights during voting times. The reason this is hypocritical is because they have found a loophole against hatred and bigotry by blaming it on god. It seems like if only god had said homosexuality was okay, then it would be just fine and we’d have no problems. This to me is a thinly veiled opportunity to express hatred and/or bigotry. It’s like bullying on a classmate by saying that some other child called them a name and believing it to be true – it’s still coming from your mouth and it happens to also be your belief, which makes you responsible for making the other person feel bad and blaming it on someone else.
I propose the following, which might be closer to the truth for why some Christians pretend not to be hateful, bigots or homophobic: it’s not normal for most people and it’s difficult to understand why someone is homosexual. It’s easier to be a bully about it (since the bible says so) than it is to even attempt to understand it. As for my personal feelings, I simply don’t care if someone is gay. Homosexuals don’t affect me in any way, shape or form, just like heterosexuals don’t affect me in any way, shape or form. Why make a fuss over something that doesn't affect me?
I understand that certain interpretations of the bible (and even if you take it literally, that is still your interpretation) suggest that homosexuality is wrong and Christians think they are doing someone a favor by trying to save them from hell. Regardless of how much faith you have, there is no empirical proof that the way you view your religion is right. You need to have an open mind about that. As an atheist, I may reject the existence of god because it seems most logical to me, but that doesn’t prove a god doesn’t exist and I don’t make that claim. As an atheist, I am free to find out the truth when the time comes, but in the mean time, I believe what I believe, and you believe what you believe, and there is nothing wrong about it for either of us. What’s wrong is when you take your religious beliefs and infringe them upon others who don’t feel that way in a manner that is harmful, hateful or limiting. Remember, we are NOT a Christian nation; we are an extremely diverse nation with many different beliefs, so the Christian religion beliefs cannot be the standard for the entire population.
Remember, its fine that you have your beliefs – I do not want to change your mind or your position on the issue. As long as you have thought critically on your position, that’s fantastic; but it’s unfair to prevent another group of people from having the same freedoms and civil liberties you have. While I wish I could find the exact quote, an example of this is when president Obama said something along the lines of him disagreeing with gay marriage, but it’s not up to him to decide if it’s right or wrong for the people.
What I think is Correct
Homosexuality has been around for a long time, it isn’t something new. I believe that homosexuality exists naturally for two reasons. One is that, as humans, we have evolved beyond using sexual intercourse for more than procreation. Whether you want to believe it or not, most sex is done for pleasure. Homosexuals can only have sex for pleasure, but that isn’t a negative since heterosexuals do the exact same thing. Homosexuals obviously can’t procreate or raise children without scientific intervention or adoption; which leads me to my next reason is that I think homosexuality is a natural form of population control – in the same vein as frogs that can change genders when populations get low and their genders get disproportioned. Again, this isn’t meant to be taken negative, as that doesn’t have anything to do with their parental skills and the fact that homosexuals want to be parents and are adopting unwanted children is awesome.
So, you might be thinking, why would it be okay to vote on a plan to give schools more money, but why can’t I vote my opinion for the rights of homosexuals? Well, firstly, in my opinion, the rights of other individuals shouldn’t even be brought to a vote, it should just be okay and tolerated since they should have the same rights and civil liberties as everyone else. And second, when you vote against homosexual freedoms, you are limiting the civil liberties and opportunities that you have. What if interracial marriage was still frowned upon and people voted to make it illegal? This would harm you as an American if you wanted to vote someone of a different race since it would limit who you could marry. That isn’t fair, is it?
We are supposed to have a separation of church and state in this country, but as ex-president George Bush showed us, he didn’t care and brought a lot of his religion into office with him. This was wrong. I don’t agree with everything Obama has done either, but none of it has been because of his religious beliefs. Whatever religious beliefs Obama has, he keeps them personal. I very much appreciate that.
I think that if you disagree with the homosexual “lifestyle,” (lifestyle is a pretty lousy term, as all homosexuals I know are normal, they just enjoy being in the company of a person of the same gender, but that seems to be what some Christians say, so I am using their term), it’s perfectly fine, but don’t limit the rights of others just because it isn’t for you. If you’re a Christian and you are against homosexuality, just imagine for a moment and pretend that Christianity was the minority religion and enough people of America wanted to vote for Christianity to be outlawed. I realize while I am comparing religion to a genetic issue (or lifestyle choice if you still think it’s a choice), the point is the same – it’s simply not fair. As I stated before, we have religious freedom in this country, and I am all for that, but it shouldn’t spill into social and political issues, thus taking away the civil liberties that everyone else has.
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