Homosexuality: Morals and Ethics Catch-All Thread

The Conformist wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
The Conformist wrote:
RoughneckGeek wrote:

The contradiction in the bolded section is what led me to attempt suicide at the onset of puberty (I was 9). It kept me a loner through my teens fearing that someone would figure out I was gay right up until I came out at 21. After coming out, it drove a wedge between me and my family so badly that I broke off most communication with them for the nearly two years it took for them to find a way to accept me. So for the sake of your future children, I hope none of them are gay and have to deal with the decade of "loving" nonacceptance until they're no longer under your roof and have the freedom to choose whether maintaining a relationship with their parents is more harmful than healthy.

lostlobster wrote:

Perhaps I'm reading this completely incorrectly, and I certainly don't mean to pile-on, but you seem to make one thing very clear: your love for your child and your love of your Beliefs would be in very real conflict and you would have a hard time reconciling them. As a parent, let me tell you — your (hypothetical, gay) child would know that. But it seems telling to me that there is no instance in which you consider the possibility that having a gay son you might come to understand your Beliefs differently. And, forgive me for this extrapolation, but it sure seems that you love loving your beliefs and hold them tightly so that you'll feel safe and secure. But from what you've said in this forum and especially in this post, it comes across that your Beliefs held so close and are so important to you that you don't seem to feel the need to reconsider them.

I'm extremely sorry you had to experience that in your life. Can I ask you if you're family actually TREATED you differently? For instance, not allowing your boyfriend over? Things like that? Other that simply my son knowing that it's not something I agree with, I would never keep him or his boyfriend/husband from spending time with the family, or make him feel out of place in any way. I think that there are many things in a persons life that should not be compromised, and I believe faith is one of them. Now you may or may not have new revelations on how scripture is interpreted (A whole other can of worms), we after all are only human and grow and learn everyday.

That's not a trivial thing you can gloss over. Telling your son you don't agree with who he is and how he is born will create awful, awful feelings.

Edit: RNG basically already said with with more detail.

You could be very correct. However people handle situations quite differently, the way RNG felt isn't necessarily the way my child would feel. All I really can say is that I would raise my child the best possible way I could. We would both have a decision to make in our lives, both would not be easy. I would love them with all my heart and soul, and I would HOPE that my religious view on homosexuality would not in any way scare him away from a loving relationship with me. But if that's something that the both of us could not see eye to eye on, I would be crushed, he would most likely be crushed. But life would go on for the both of us and I would still always love him.

I think you fundamentally under estimate just how deeply psychologically scarring it is for a child to know that their parent doesn't accept who they are.

The Conformist wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
The Conformist wrote:

You could be very correct. However people handle situations quite differently, the way RNG felt isn't necessarily the way my child would feel. All I really can say is that I would raise my child the best possible way I could. We would both have a decision to make in our lives, both would not be easy. I would love them with all my heart and soul, and I would HOPE that my religious view on homosexuality would not in any way scare him away from a loving relationship with me. But if that's something that the both of us could not see eye to eye on, I would be crushed, he would most likely be crushed. But life would go on for the both of us and I would still always love him.

RNG's anecdote says not necessarily.

Not to sound heartless, or in any way make light of his situation, but we all go through bad things in our life, some completely horrible. My father was abusive, and an addict, I spent countless nights listening to my mother fighting and crying. It really took a toll on me, but my life went on and I learned and grew from it I forgave my father, and he eventually died because of addiction, but I do not dwell, and I do not let it effect my life.

At no point in there did your anecdote contain "my parents taught me the lesson that how I was born is wrong." Those are all external struggles. You are, as previously said, under-estimating the severity of internal struggles.

The Conformist wrote:

Not to sound heartless, or in any way make light of his situation, but we all go through bad things in our life, some completely horrible. My father was abusive, and an addict, I spent countless nights listening to my mother fighting and crying. It really took a toll on me, but my life went on and I learned and grew from it I forgave my father, and he eventually died because of addiction, but I do not dwell, and I do not let it effect my life.

Having endured something horrible like that, you are fine doing something similar to your child because you learned something from it? Correct me if I mis-stated your position, but that is a hell of a view to take.

DanB wrote:
The Conformist wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
The Conformist wrote:
RoughneckGeek wrote:

The contradiction in the bolded section is what led me to attempt suicide at the onset of puberty (I was 9). It kept me a loner through my teens fearing that someone would figure out I was gay right up until I came out at 21. After coming out, it drove a wedge between me and my family so badly that I broke off most communication with them for the nearly two years it took for them to find a way to accept me. So for the sake of your future children, I hope none of them are gay and have to deal with the decade of "loving" nonacceptance until they're no longer under your roof and have the freedom to choose whether maintaining a relationship with their parents is more harmful than healthy.

lostlobster wrote:

Perhaps I'm reading this completely incorrectly, and I certainly don't mean to pile-on, but you seem to make one thing very clear: your love for your child and your love of your Beliefs would be in very real conflict and you would have a hard time reconciling them. As a parent, let me tell you — your (hypothetical, gay) child would know that. But it seems telling to me that there is no instance in which you consider the possibility that having a gay son you might come to understand your Beliefs differently. And, forgive me for this extrapolation, but it sure seems that you love loving your beliefs and hold them tightly so that you'll feel safe and secure. But from what you've said in this forum and especially in this post, it comes across that your Beliefs held so close and are so important to you that you don't seem to feel the need to reconsider them.

I'm extremely sorry you had to experience that in your life. Can I ask you if you're family actually TREATED you differently? For instance, not allowing your boyfriend over? Things like that? Other that simply my son knowing that it's not something I agree with, I would never keep him or his boyfriend/husband from spending time with the family, or make him feel out of place in any way. I think that there are many things in a persons life that should not be compromised, and I believe faith is one of them. Now you may or may not have new revelations on how scripture is interpreted (A whole other can of worms), we after all are only human and grow and learn everyday.

That's not a trivial thing you can gloss over. Telling your son you don't agree with who he is and how he is born will create awful, awful feelings.

Edit: RNG basically already said with with more detail.

You could be very correct. However people handle situations quite differently, the way RNG felt isn't necessarily the way my child would feel. All I really can say is that I would raise my child the best possible way I could. We would both have a decision to make in our lives, both would not be easy. I would love them with all my heart and soul, and I would HOPE that my religious view on homosexuality would not in any way scare him away from a loving relationship with me. But if that's something that the both of us could not see eye to eye on, I would be crushed, he would most likely be crushed. But life would go on for the both of us and I would still always love him.

I think you fundamentally under estimate just how deeply psychologically scarring it is for a child to know that their parent doesn't accept who they are.

Understandable, my father after all wasn't too kind to me, I can relate

The Conformist wrote:

You could be very correct. However people handle situations quite differently, the way RNG felt isn't necessarily the way my child would feel. All I really can say is that I would raise my child the best possible way I could. We would both have a decision to make in our lives, both would not be easy. I would love them with all my heart and soul, and I would HOPE that my religious view on homosexuality would not in any way scare them away from a loving relationship with me. But if that's something that the both of us could not see eye to eye on, I would be crushed, they would most likely be crushed. But life would go on for the both of us and I would still always love them.

They would know growing up that as a Christian, we are to love God more than anything or anyone on this earth. Even if it breaks our hearts to make that decision.

Frequently that's not the case. Suicide rates are 4 times higher for LGBT youth than the average for a reason.

Of course my experience is my own, but it is not unique. Regardless of what you think of Dan Savage, his It Gets Better project is amazing. There are countless personal stories talking about their oppression and lack of acceptance with the primary goal being to encourage youth to hang in there until they're old enough to walk away from it all and find acceptance. These people didn't record videos and put their faces on the internet because they felt loved by a "hate the sin, love the sinner" message.

The Conformist wrote:

Understandable, my father after all wasn't too kind to me, I can relate :-)

Did you ever blame yourself for the fact that your father wasn't kind to you? Did you think you deserved the abuse because of how you were born?

CheezePavilion wrote:
The Conformist wrote:

You could be very correct. However people handle situations quite differently, the way RNG felt isn't necessarily the way my child would feel. All I really can say is that I would raise my child the best possible way I could. We would both have a decision to make in our lives, both would not be easy. I would love them with all my heart and soul, and I would HOPE that my religious view on homosexuality would not in any way scare him away from a loving relationship with me. But if that's something that the both of us could not see eye to eye on, I would be crushed, he would most likely be crushed. But life would go on for the both of us and I would still always love him.

Then maybe the answer is just not to have kids. Maybe the answer is for potential parents to take greater responsibility, and acknowledge that a home where the parents have these kinds of beliefs is not a healthy home because of the chances of having a gay child.

With all due respect, I would argue differently. I was raised in a loving Christian family, as were they and so on. We are all very kind people, and very loving people who have very little problems with anyone or anything.

* A side note however, my mothers family was Christian my fathers was not. Just because you aren't a Christian family doesn't mean that you know better on how to raise a child, or that it's damaging"to a child's growth if you are. It just matters on the child and the parent, religious views aside.

The Conformist wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:
The Conformist wrote:

You could be very correct. However people handle situations quite differently, the way RNG felt isn't necessarily the way my child would feel. All I really can say is that I would raise my child the best possible way I could. We would both have a decision to make in our lives, both would not be easy. I would love them with all my heart and soul, and I would HOPE that my religious view on homosexuality would not in any way scare him away from a loving relationship with me. But if that's something that the both of us could not see eye to eye on, I would be crushed, he would most likely be crushed. But life would go on for the both of us and I would still always love him.

Then maybe the answer is just not to have kids. Maybe the answer is for potential parents to take greater responsibility, and acknowledge that a home where the parents have these kinds of beliefs is not a healthy home because of the chances of having a gay child.

With all due respect, I would argue differently. I was raised in a loving Christian family, as were they and so on. We are all very kind people, and very loving people who have very little problems with anyone or anything.

Well, yeah, but you're not gay, I assume? The stance of your parents on homosexuality didn't say anything about you.

The Conformist wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:
The Conformist wrote:

You could be very correct. However people handle situations quite differently, the way RNG felt isn't necessarily the way my child would feel. All I really can say is that I would raise my child the best possible way I could. We would both have a decision to make in our lives, both would not be easy. I would love them with all my heart and soul, and I would HOPE that my religious view on homosexuality would not in any way scare him away from a loving relationship with me. But if that's something that the both of us could not see eye to eye on, I would be crushed, he would most likely be crushed. But life would go on for the both of us and I would still always love him.

Then maybe the answer is just not to have kids. Maybe the answer is for potential parents to take greater responsibility, and acknowledge that a home where the parents have these kinds of beliefs is not a healthy home because of the chances of having a gay child.

With all due respect, I would argue differently. I was raised in a loving Christian family, as were they and so on. We are all very kind people, and very loving people who have very little problems with anyone or anything.

* A side note however, my mothers family was Christian my fathers was not. Just because you aren't a Christian family doesn't mean that you know better on how to raise a child, or that it's damaging"to a child's growth if you are. It just matters on the child and the parent, religious views aside.

I thought you were raised by an abusive father who fought with your mother.

There's a hell of a lot of "I survived this horrible experience, so anyone can survive any horrible experience" going on here.

SixteenBlue wrote:
The Conformist wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:
The Conformist wrote:

You could be very correct. However people handle situations quite differently, the way RNG felt isn't necessarily the way my child would feel. All I really can say is that I would raise my child the best possible way I could. We would both have a decision to make in our lives, both would not be easy. I would love them with all my heart and soul, and I would HOPE that my religious view on homosexuality would not in any way scare him away from a loving relationship with me. But if that's something that the both of us could not see eye to eye on, I would be crushed, he would most likely be crushed. But life would go on for the both of us and I would still always love him.

Then maybe the answer is just not to have kids. Maybe the answer is for potential parents to take greater responsibility, and acknowledge that a home where the parents have these kinds of beliefs is not a healthy home because of the chances of having a gay child.

With all due respect, I would argue differently. I was raised in a loving Christian family, as were they and so on. We are all very kind people, and very loving people who have very little problems with anyone or anything.

* A side note however, my mothers family was Christian my fathers was not. Just because you aren't a Christian family doesn't mean that you know better on how to raise a child, or that it's damaging"to a child's growth if you are. It just matters on the child and the parent, religious views aside.

I thought you were raised by an abusive father who fought with your mother.

I'm sorry, I was referring to my fathers side of the family. I apologize if there are misunderstandings in my texts. I have to do this quick, I don't have many open windows.

The Conformist wrote:

Understandable, my father after all wasn't too kind to me, I can relate :-)

The difference between your experience and mine is that if you needed to, you could reach out to others. An LGBT teen is encouraged to stay in the closet and hide that part of them so that it's impossible to find the acceptance they're not getting from you elsewhere.

DanB wrote:

I think you fundamentally under estimate just how deeply psychologically scarring it is for a child to know that their parent doesn't accept who they are.

I think people are also fundamentally underestimating how difficult it is for a committed conservative Christian, one who is certain in their faith, to turn away from that faith. That's what would be required for such a person to accept a gay son and believe that they are not sinning. For such a person, it's not like they can easily just shrug and say "Bah, forget the Bible, the kids are more important."

Maybe that's how some here think it should be, but for someone who devoutly believes in their religious teachings, it's not so simple, especially since turning a blind eye to one teaching can, for some people, result in their entire belief system tumbling down. I think people who have never been deeply invested in religious beliefs have trouble understanding how deep such beliefs can run, and how difficult it can be to turn away from them.

My brother died of AIDS in the mid-90's and never told us whether he was gay or straight. My mother felt it was pretty clear in almost everything he did, and while she believed she accepted him, she never accepted his "behavior". In hindsight, as our society evolves to expose the flaws in that philosophy, she hates herself more and more for this glaring weakness in herself. She recognizes that despite her piety, she never gave her son the acceptance he deserved. I wouldn't wish this fate on anyone.

On a side note, the idea that non-acceptance and physical abuse are similar in effect is fallacious. Children find it easier to perceive physical brutality as cruel and wrong, while that cold "I wish you weren't how you are" can often be cradled in a bed of righteousness and piety. To me, it's comparing pedophilia in clergy with pedophilia in a stranger... one carries with it an inherent implication that the victim is in the wrong, while the other can be externalized more easily.

Crispus wrote:
DanB wrote:

I think you fundamentally under estimate just how deeply psychologically scarring it is for a child to know that their parent doesn't accept who they are.

I think people are also fundamentally underestimating how difficult it is for a committed conservative Christian, one who is certain in their faith, to turn away from that faith. That's what would be required for such a person to accept a gay son and believe that they are not sinning. For such a person, it's not like they can easily just shrug and say "Bah, forget the Bible, the kids are more important."

Maybe that's how some here think it should be, but for someone who devoutly believes in their religious teachings, it's not so simple, especially since turning a blind eye to one teaching can, for some people, result in their entire belief system tumbling down. I think people who have never been deeply invested in religious beliefs have trouble understanding how deep such beliefs can run, and how difficult it can be to turn away from them.

While I can understand how difficult it is, I just don't have sympathy for someone who can't turn away from bigoted beliefs. This has nothing to do with their Christian faith. Plenty of non-bigoted Christians in this very thread. There's no reason for this to shatter their whole belief system. That only happens when you belief system is based on nothing but recited garbage instead of based on thinking and actually BELIEVING something instead of being told that's the way it is and just accepting it.

Crispus wrote:
DanB wrote:

I think you fundamentally under estimate just how deeply psychologically scarring it is for a child to know that their parent doesn't accept who they are.

I think people are also fundamentally underestimating how difficult it is for a committed conservative Christian, one who is certain in their faith, to turn away from that faith. That's what would be required for such a person to accept a gay son and believe that they are not sinning. For such a person, it's not like they can easily just shrug and say "Bah, forget the Bible, the kids are more important."

Maybe that's how some here think it should be, but for someone who devoutly believes in their religious teachings, it's not so simple, especially since turning a blind eye to one teaching can, for some people, result in their entire belief system tumbling down. I think people who have never been deeply invested in religious beliefs have trouble understanding how deep such beliefs can run, and how difficult it can be to turn away from them.

I can understand that, but that's also why I said that maybe if someone believes that devoutly, they shouldn't have children considering how harmful it can be to a child to have a parent like that. Part of being deeply invested in one's religious beliefs is the concept of deep sacrifice for those beliefs.

I had a great relationship with both of my parents growing up. Now that I've come out, our relationship is strained, and it's clear to me that they disapprove of me acting on my homosexuality, as well as rejecting the faith I was raised in. They tell me they love me, and I believe them, but they aren't acting that way. They are conflicted, and it's obvious, and I think they have some kind of misguided notion that their disapproval is going to influence me. Instead it's just alienating us. This is just a sense of disapproval, and nothing else. Hypothetical situations are interesting to ponder, but you have no idea how the situation will play out until it happens. Your position, if you hold to it, will be harmful to your child. I sincerely hope your senses as a parent will be more powerful than the beliefs you espouse if you ever find yourself in that situation, for your own sake and the sake of your hypothetical child.

I do not know why the need to share...

My mom has a VERY bigoted co-worker. It is all due to religion as well. She has heard my mom talking to other people about how she and my dad had dinner with Jake and I, then has the audacity to confront my mom and tell her that she does not understand how my mom could support me or love me. My mom simply replied, that is why your God gave me the gay son.

I still haven't seen a substantive reply that demonstrates why there is a difference between someone considering "being black" wrong and "being gay" wrong. Any ACTUAL difference seems to be tiptoed around rather carefully.

Valmorian wrote:

I still haven't seen a substantive reply that demonstrates why there is a difference between someone considering "being black" wrong and "being gay" wrong. Any ACTUAL difference seems to be tiptoed around rather carefully.

The problem is the fact that religion underpins it. Since people disagree on religion and especially since they disagree on the details, this isn't a fact-based argument. It's my emotions versus your emotions. There will never be a winner in that, honestly.

DSGamer wrote:

The problem is the fact that religion underpins it. Since people disagree on religion and especially since they disagree on the details, this isn't a fact-based argument. It's my emotions versus your emotions. There will never be a winner in that, honestly.

But that doesn't address it either. Racism is about emotions vs. emotions as well, but we still have a clear "winner" on that side.
What is different between the "controlled" racist who thinks that other races are "inferior" and the "controlled" homophobe who thinks that gays are "morally wrong"?

And, actually, I think we already have a "winner" in the argument for homosexuals considered to be normal, it's just going to take some time before it becomes just as unacceptable to consider a gay person "morally wrong" as it currently is to consider a black person "less worthy".

After going through all of these posts, I did some research about being born gay and having the choice of being gay. I'm wondering where everyone is getting their information as I have read conflicting reports. I have a number of friends that are homosexuals and they have also told me some have chosen that lifestyle, while others have told me that they were born that way. The underlying notation from this thread is obviously that everyone was born that way.

Valmorian wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

The problem is the fact that religion underpins it. Since people disagree on religion and especially since they disagree on the details, this isn't a fact-based argument. It's my emotions versus your emotions. There will never be a winner in that, honestly.

But that doesn't address it either. Racism is about emotions vs. emotions as well, but we still have a clear "winner" on that side.
What is different between the "controlled" racist who thinks that other races are "inferior" and the "controlled" homophobe who thinks that gays are "morally wrong"?

And, actually, I think we already have a "winner" in the argument for homosexuals considered to be normal, it's just going to take some time before it becomes just as unacceptable to consider a gay person "morally wrong" as it currently is to consider a black person "less worthy".

The difference is that this is rooted in beliefs that are so core as to be practically unchangeable. Religion was used as an excuse for racism at times, amongst a hodgepodge of other reasons. Homosexuality is different. To ask someone to be tolerant is to ask them to fundamentally change a belief structure they may possibly base their life around. I don't see that getting easier anytime soon as you're essentially asking someone to walk away from their core beliefs.

I'm by no means making an excuse. Not in the slightest. I'm just explaining why this issue will continue to be intractable until people reevaluate their theology or leave the church. It's less akin to racism and more akin to the Middle East.

Chabuda wrote:

The underlying notation from this thread is obviously that everyone was born that way.

The best refutation (with straight people) I've seen to the idea that people choose to be gay is to ask them to answer this:

"At what point in your life did you make a conscious decision to be sexually attracted to women?"

Chabuda wrote:

After going through all of these posts, I did some research about being born gay and having the choice of being gay. I'm wondering where everyone is getting their information as I have read conflicting reports. I have a number of friends that are homosexuals and they have also told me some have chosen that lifestyle, while others have told me that they were born that way. The underlying notation from this thread is obviously that everyone was born that way.

The Kinsey Scale is pretty well-known, and it's just a very simple way of expressing people's tendencies towards homosexuality or heterosexuality. The fundamental issue is not that people are saying everybody gay is born gay, it's pretty much the opposite; the real problem is that a subset of people claim that everybody is born heterosexual, and gays and lesbians are simply choosing their lifestyle. There's absolutely no evidence everybody is born straight, and in fact loads of evidence to the opposite (homosexual behavior being visible in all sorts of species, for example).

So, to your point, no.

DSGamer wrote:

The difference is that this is rooted in beliefs that are so core as to be practically unchangeable. Religion was used as an excuse for racism at times, amongst a hodgepodge of other reasons. Homosexuality is different. To ask someone to be tolerant is to ask them to fundamentally change a belief structure they may possibly base their life around.

And yet, today it isn't acceptable to simply allow even the most religious person a pass at saying something like "Black people are inferior because my religious beliefs say so.". We are quickly getting to the same situation with respect to homosexuality.

Making religious people answer the question "why is racism different?" is one way to emphasize this point.

Chabuda wrote:

After going through all of these posts, I did some research about being born gay and having the choice of being gay. I'm wondering where everyone is getting their information as I have read conflicting reports. I have a number of friends that are homosexuals and they have also told me some have chosen that lifestyle, while others have told me that they were born that way. The underlying notation from this thread is obviously that everyone was born that way.

I strongly suspect that the research that indicates sexual orientation is primarily genetic/hardwired is relatively recent and grounded in the scientific method with peer review, whereas the research that indicates otherwise is probably not so well-grounded or recent. Because in my own recent readings, that's the emerging pattern.

Valmorian wrote:
Chabuda wrote:

The underlying notation from this thread is obviously that everyone was born that way.

The best refutation (with straight people) I've seen to the idea that people choose to be gay is to ask them to answer this:

"At what point in your life did you make a conscious decision to be sexually attracted to women?"

An even better refutation is to demand that the straight person claiming that homosexuality is a choice 'choose' to find their own gender attractive enough to want to make sweet, sweet gay love to them.

The more relevant question is if it matters. I contest that it doesn't. Even so, I never made the choice. My parents also believe that it is not a choice. Acting on it is a choice, however, and it's a choice I made consciously. No one else's terms are going to dictate how I live my life. Not anymore.

And if it being a choice matters, and that places a limitation on my rights, then you create a precedent for limiting the rights of those who choose just about anything. Including a choice of religion.

Valmorian: the man in your avatar seems to be wearing a Russian Navy hat?