Jesus doesn’t need your repetitive rhetoric.

I just saw this in my News Feed today and I thought I’d tear it up for Christ’s sake (you can take that both ways).

 

Greatest man in history…

Speak for yourself. Nobody ever gets to declare the greatest man in history.

…named Jesus

Hardly. More like, Yeshua bin Maryam.

…had no servants, yet they called him Master.

Master can also mean ‘adept’ (which he was) not just ‘lord of servants’ (which he also was if you consider all his yes-man disciples).

Had no degree, yet they called him Teacher.

You’re speaking in contemporary terms. No, he did not receive a degree from university; nobody else did. All you needed to do was to study the scriptures or the law, which all rabbis did (including Jesus).

Had no medicines, yet they called him Healer.

So could a witch-doctor.

He had no army, yet kings feared Him.

What were their names? From where? There is a story about one king who feared his coming; he was paranoid.

He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.

If you consider the popes and the bishops and the vast papal armies part of Jesus, then yes, he did conquer most of the known world in a span of two thousand years — quite forcibly and with a lot of blood.

He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.

Actually, he did: He was executed for blasphemy and sedition, grave crimes at that time for both Jews and Romans.

He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.

Okay, look: Historically, we don’t even know for sure if he was ever born. Aside from the gospels we have — which, by the way, were strategically picked from 20 or so other gospels of the time, written at least a hundred years after the supposed time of Jesus of Galilee — we have nothing else but ambiguous archaeological clues.

Re-post if you believe.

When has believing ever trumped actual doing? Even if I did believe, it doesn’t really prove anything, and it won’t help the cause of christian love and hope, in the same way that posting a photograph of your favourite cartoon character helps stop child abuse. If you really love Jesus (I know I do), go out there and share that love with actual people. Make it practical and relevant instead of passing on some meme on Facebook about how lucky you are to be a “Christian”.

Advertisements

Happy St Patrick’s Day?

(Let’s pretend I published this on time.)

Happy St Patrick’s Day! Beannachtaí na Fhéile Pádraig!

Now, before any of you accuse me of betraying my Pagan ancestors by supporting the religious coercion of pre-Christian Ireland, I happen to have had been celebrating St Patrick’s even before I rediscovered Paganism. And I never celebrated the man himself, anyway. What I used to do was to celebrate traditional Irish culture. And it’s still what I intend to do today.

First, let’s get our facts straight:

  • Most of what we know of St Patrick comes from the 7th century, roughly two centuries after his death, but he did write two letters: Confessio and Epistola.
  • Patrick was not born on March 17th. As with most Christian saints, his feast day is on the date of his death.
  • St Patrick was not Irish. He was a Roman Briton. That’s Patricius for you. His name in Old Irish is Cothraige (Pádraig in Modern Irish). I’m not sure if this was his original name, though, as I read something about some Celestine dude (fine, he was a Pope) who gave him the name Patricius. Previously, his name had been Maewyn Succat.
  • Patrick’s first encounter with Ireland was when he was a teenager, as a kidnapped slave. There are sources that say his master Milchu was either a warrior-chieftain or a high-ranking druid. After a life of tending herds and herds of his master’s sheep, he escaped and went back to Britain just in time to enter the priesthood in Gaul and become a bishop. He returned to Ireland with a vengeance. As an evangelist. Yikes!
  • Patrick was not the first Christian missionary to Ireland, nor its first bishop. And he did not completely convert Pagan Ireland, either. Several Irish kingdoms were still Pagan well after his death. We even have accounts of druids teaching well into the 7th century. The great bulk of Pagan influences that crept into Irish Christianity is proof of the gradual and unorganised christianisation of Ireland.
  • The preservation of much of Ireland’s pre-Christian literature actually owes itself to the Christian monks who took down the old tales and mixed them with biblical stories. The druids were quite fond of oral tradition and so did not write anything down (that much).
  • The affair with the snakes is fictional. There were never any snakes in post-glacial Ireland. The poor things couldn’t cross the sea when the sea levels rose.
  • The snake myth comes from St Hilaire of France and was merely added to the hagiography (saint-study) of Patrick c. 11th century. Those snakes weren’t originally meant to symbolise pagans or druids, either. They were initially just, well, snakes. Nevertheless, the mythical snakes and their identification with Irish Paganism have become a part of popular folklore, especially amongst some Neopagans these days. ADF founder Isaac Bonewits (may he rest in peace) even wrote a song about it and renamed St Patrick’s Day as “All Snakes Day”.
  • Legend has it that Patrick used the shamrock (three-leaf clover) to educate the Irish on the concept of the Holy Trinity (three persons, one god). However, the shamrock (and the number 3) already had some special significance for the Irish before Christianity, so Patrick probably didn’t have a hard time.
  • The original colour associated with St Patrick was blue. Green only came to popularity in the 17th century as a symbol of Ireland (not St Patrick).
  • St Patrick’s Day is a holy day of obligation for Irish Catholics worldwide and has been a public holiday in Ireland since 1903. It has, however, gradually become more of a secular celebration of general Irish culture (yes, including the beer) in other parts of the world. 
I don’t like him, but I don’t hate him, either. He wasn’t that bad, you know. Patrick was no Charlemagne. He didn’t massacre whole tribes just so they could accept Christ. He didn’t go chopping down sacred trees or desecrating holy wells, either. We still have lots of them in Ireland. Patrician Christianity actually sounds very Pagan. Have you seen his prayers? The bishop had his awesome moments.
I still won’t be celebrating the man, though. Today is still about Ireland for me, but especially Pagan Ireland. Today, I’m going to listen to nothing but Irish music and will continue to support artists who incorporate (or play entirely just) traditional Gaelic music. I will continue practising my bódhran and whistle, and maybe even my fiddle. I will continue studying Gaeilge: I will not let it die. I will promote the Gaeltacht. I will honour the old Gael heroes, especially Great Cú Chulainn whose hero-feast is also on this day. I will honour the old Gael gods (even if only on this day): I will pour them milk and honey, as traditional, or recite a bardic poem. I will continue writing the old Ogham. I will never let anyone again spread lies about Gaelic culture, calling it outdated or uncultivated. And the Gaels will never have to leave their homeland again because of eviction or persecution, or for any other unjust reason.

May the land of Éire be a safer place to live for all Her people. May the culture of the Gaels flourish for more generations to come.

Happy Ireland Day!

Recommended reading:

Hypatia Day

“All formal dogmatic religions are fallacious and must never be accepted by self-respecting persons as final.”

“Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all.”

“Life is an unfoldment, and the further we travel the more truth we can comprehend. To understand the things that are at our door is the best preparation for understanding those that lie beyond.”

These are words attributed to Hypatia of Alexandria, considered the first notable woman in mathematics, who also taught philosophy and astronomy. Today marks her 1,596th (?) death anniversary. Although she was widely esteemed for her wisdom and ethical virtue in life, she got caught up in political turmoil and was murdered by a mob of zealots. Her murderers were nonetheless honoured, and their leader made into a saint. Today, we strip them off of this false honour, and deliver it to the sixty-year old pagan they murdered.

Honour her today (and for the rest of your life, if you can). Uphold her virtues and the things she loved. Read on Neoplatonism, astronomy, or mathematics. Study the Hellenistic civilisation of Alexandria. Learn Greek. Do rituals in her honour: Fast for an entire day as a form of ritual reconciliation, as she was murdered during the season of Lent, or recite a poem or prayer in the fashion of the ancient Greeks.

However you do it, the important thing is that she is remembered, and that the events that led to her death (and the deterioration of Alexandria) never be allowed to rule again.

Who was Hypatia?
Some of us know her through their religion (like me), some of us through their science, and some of us through Rachel Weisz. As a Hellene and a freethinker, I feel that it is my obligation to write about her on this day. Below, I have listed several important details about her life, most of which I owe to the Mos Maiorum Foundation’s well-researched article on Hypatia, written by my Heathen friend Hrafnkell Haraldsson.

  • The exact date of her death is unknown, as only the month is historically attested. Traditionally, the occasion has been placed at the mid point of the Ides of March (the 15th), during the season of Lent.
  • Hypatia was the daughter of Theon, who was head of the Museum or Library of Alexandria during the reign of Theodosius I, possibly its last.
  • She was around sixty years old when she was murdered.
  • Hypatia was a Neoplatonist philosopher. She most likely assumed the divinity of the entire cosmos.
  • Hypatia was a Pagan, though her Paganism was likely of a philosophical or intellectual variety than the popular form celebrated through public sacrifices. We know little of her private rites, however.
  • She was the author of several commentaries, including one on Diophantus, an astronomical canon, and a Commentary on Apollonius’ Conics.
  • Hypatia was not a fan of religious intolerance and coercion: Pupils of all sorts of inclinations were drawn to her, not only Pagans, but also many Christians, two of which would later become bishops. She did not seem to have “converted” or even tried to convert any of her Christian pupils to Paganism, even the philosophical variety.
  • Hypatia was not a Pagan activist: She is not known to have joined any of the public riots between Pagans and Christians, as her own circle included both.
  • The burning of the Royal Library of Alexandria may or may not have occurred during her lifetime. There are four possible time periods in which the Library may have been burnt down:
  1. Julius Caesar’s Fire in The Alexandrian War, in 48 BCE (an unfortunate accident).
  2. The attack of Emperor Aurelian in 270 CE to suppress revolts.
  3. The outlawing of Paganism by Emperor Theodosius I or at the decree of Patriarch Theophilus in 391 CE.
  4. The Muslim conquest in 642 CE.
  • There is also the possibility that the Great Library was not entirely destroyed at any of these time periods, but slowly deteriorated over the passing of these events. We do, however, have evidence of several Pagan temples, which may have doubled as schools, libraries, or research institutes, being converted or destroyed at that time.
  • Hypatia was a brave woman: There is basis for the rumour that she stood “like a lion” between prefect and bishop; that she shared with Orestes the conviction that the authority of the bishops should not extend to areas meant for the imperial and municipal administration.
  • Hypatia was riding through the city in her chariot, on her way home, when the Christian mob, led by the parabalanai, turned their frenzy upon her. The ringleader, acting under Patriarch Cyril‘s direction, was apparently a lector named Peter. Hypatia was hacked to death in the gloom of the so-called Caesar-church (Caesareum) and her body burnt. This church was the old centre of the imperial cult in Alexandria and was recently converted (as had so many temples) into a church. It was also the see of Cyril himself – his headquarters, if you will.
  • Some reports suggest she was flayed with ostraca (pot shards, not actual oyster shells) and set ablaze whilst still alive, though other accounts suggest those actions happened after her death.
  • Cyril justified the deed by proclaiming it part of the unrelenting war on Paganism. The path was now clear to turn on both Jews and Pagans and make Alexandria a Christian city (a specific kind of Christian, to be exact).
  • Two scholars have different opinions on who is to blame for her murder: J.M. Rist blames the rabble, claiming Cyril had no part to play in their conclusions about Hypatia’s influence over Orestes, and excuses Cyril of all charges save one, that of covering up the crime. But Dzielska holds Cyril responsible, even if he did not commit the murder himself (and she does not think he planned it either), though he created the atmosphere that led to her death as “the chief instigator of the campaign of defamation against Hypatia.” After all, it was his city, and his watch, and the parabalanai were under his direct command, as was Peter the Lector. Another scholar, Pierre Chuvin, has a harsher verdict. He makes clear that “His hands cannot have been entirely clean, since the murder was committed in his own patriarchal church.”
  • The murder of Hypatia, a sixty-year-old woman, was not only an act of hatred but also a criminal offense warranting a swift and severe response from those charged with upholding the law. That response never came; those who committed the crime were unpunished. In fact, as we already know, Patriarch Cyril was canonised a saint.
A gruesome tragedy, no doubt. But well remembered. In the words of Newell Fisher, the atheist Druid who spearheaded Hypatia Day on Facebook: [This] is a sobering reminder to always be prepared to look again at history before assuming that things could not have gone another way.

Khaire Hypatía.

Male Homosexuality (and Gender Crossing) in the Philippines: Shared History and Stark Differences

Homosexuality versus gender crossing. Why is it so bloody hard for this country to differentiate the two? Today I, once again, cross-post another person’s wordiness into my own little niche of ramblings.

Whilst I am not too sure if we believe in the exact same things with regard to sexuality (I have yet to find out), I am driven by some sort of moral and/or intellectual obligation to nevertheless pimp his historical commentary below to all of you who may or may not have had the chance to stumble upon his writings.

Male Homosexuality in the Philippines: a short history

The folk wisdom that Filipinos are a gay-friendly people must have first been mouthed by a wide-eyed tourist one lazy orange afternoon, assaulted by the vision of flamboyant transvestites sashaying down Manila’s busy sidewalks in broad daylight. Swiveling their hips from side to side, nothing seemed to threaten these chirping damsels except their heavy pancake makeup, which could run at any moment under the sweltering tropical sky.

By J . Neil C. Garcia

When visitors to the Philippines remark that Filipinos openly tolerate and/or accept homosexuality, they invariably have in mind effeminate, cross dressing men (bakla) swishing down streets and squealing on television programmes with flaming impunity. This is sadly misinformed. To equate Philippine society’s tolerance for public displays of transvestism with wholesale approval of homosexual behavior is naive, if not downright foolish.

While cross dressing exists in the Philippines, it is allowed only in certain social classes and within certain acceptable contexts, among entertainers and parloristas (beauticians) for instance, and during carnivalesque celebrations and fiestas. In fact, Filipinos have yet to see transvestism as legitimate in ‘serious’ professions – male senators filibustering from the podium wrapped in elegant, twotoned pashminas, or CEOs strutting around open-air malls wearing power skirts and designer leather pumps. Second, and more importantly, cross dressing is very different from homosexuality: the one does not necessarily entail the other. Observed more closely, the two have very different stories to tell.

Tolerance
If their society was truly tolerant of (male) homosexuality, then Filipinos would see not just flaming transvestites shrieking their heads off in TV sitcoms and variety shows, but local men, sissy or otherwise, frenching and erotically manhandling each other in steamy ‘gay telenovelas’. There would be as many gay pick-up bars as straight bars, and both the femmy pa-girl and butchy pa-mhin would be able to display affection in public.

At the heart of the idea of homosexuality is sex, no matter the sartorial style of the persons indulging in it. Thus, to historicize homosexuality in the Philippines, we must recognize the fundamental difference between gender and sexuality. More specifically, we need to disarticulate the presentist and commonsensical connection between gender transitive behaviors and the identities of bakla, bayot, agi, and bantut [1] on the one hand and the discourse and reality of homosexuality as typically ‘gay’ same-sex orientation and/or identity on the other. The history of the former stretches into the oral past not only of the Philippines, but the whole of Southeast Asia. The latter is a more recent development, a performative instance and discursive effect of the largely American-sponsored biomedicalization of local Filipino cultures.

Gender crossing
We know from Spanish accounts of encounters between conquistadores and the archipelago’s various indios that gender crossing and transvestism were cultural features of early colonial and thus, presumably, pre-colonial communities.

Local men dressed up in women’s apparel and acting like women were called, among other things, bayoguin, bayok, agi-ngin, asog, bido and binabae. They were significant not only because they crossed male and female gender lines. To the Spanish, they were astonishing, even threatening, as they were respected leaders and figures of authority. To their native communities they were babaylan or catalonan: religious functionaries and shamans, intermediaries between the visible and invisible worlds to whom even the local ruler (datu) deferred. They placated angry spirits, foretold the future, healed infirmities, and even reconciled warring couples and tribes.

Donning the customary clothes of women was part of a larger transformation, one that redefined their gender almost completely as female. We may more properly call them ‘gender crossers’ rather than cross dressers, for these men not only assumed the outward appearance and demeanor of women, but were granted social and symbolic recognition as ‘somewhat-women.’ They were comparable to women in every way except that they could not bear children. Cronicas tell us they were ‘married’ to men, with whom they had sexual relations. These men treated their womanish partners like concubines; being men, they had wives with whom they had their obligatory children.

Gender crossers enjoyed a comparatively esteemed status in pre-colonial Philippine society simply because women enjoyed a similar status. Women were priestesses and matriarchs who divorced their husbands if they wanted, chose their children’s names, owned property and accumulated wealth.

Spanish machismo
This was the state of affairs when the Spanish arrived. Over the centuries, as the status of women progressively deteriorated, gender crossing in the traditional sense became more and more difficult, with the gender crosser suffering from the ridicule and scorn which only the Spanish brand of medieval Mediterranean machismo could inflict. From being likened to a naturally occurring species of bamboo called bayog, the native effeminate man (bayoguin) in the Tagalog-speaking regions of Luzon slowly transmogrified into bakla, a word that also meant ‘confused’ and ‘cowardly.’ Unlike his formerly ‘destined’ state, kabaklaan was a temporary condition away from which he might be wrested, using whatever persuasive, brutally loving means. Nonetheless, despite Catholicism – with its own sacramental frocks worn by its ‘men of the cloth’ – and three-hundred years of Spanish colonial rule, cross dressing, effeminacy and gender transitive behavior never really disappeared in Philippine society.

Western sexualization
The American period, in which arguably the Philippines remains, saw the expansion of the newly empowered middle class, the standardization of public education, and the promulgation and regulation of sexuality by means of academic learning and the mass media. This discursive regulation inaugurated a specific sexological consciousness, one that was incumbent upon a psychological style of reasoning hitherto unknown in the Philippines.

We can reasonably surmise, following academic accounts of how Western psychology took root in the Philippines, [2] that this ‘sexualization’ of local mentality, behavior and personality accompanied English-based education in America’s ewly acquired colony at the eginning of the twentieth century. The force of this imported ‘psychosexual logic’ has grown and become entrenched since then; present generations are subjected to levels of sexual indoctrination unheard of in previous decades. In other words, by virtue of American colonialism and neocolonialism, Filipinos have been socialized in Western modes of gender and sexual identity formation, courtesy of a sexualization that rode on different but complementary discourses of public hygiene, psychosexual development, juvenile delinquency, health and physical education, family planning, feminist empowerment, gay and lesbian advocacy, and the corporally paranoid discourse of AIDS.

The next sexual order
The result is a deepening of sexuality’s perverse implantation into the local soil, accompanied by the exorbitation of the ‘homo/hetero’ distinction as the organizing principle in the now heavilyfreighted sexual lives of Filipinos, especially those in large urban centers where Westernized knowledges hold sway. Thus, the effeminate bakla is also the ‘homosexual’: a genitally male man whose identity is defined as a function of his sexual desire for other men.

Nonetheless, it’s important to qualify that residual valuations of gender persist, and have simply served to modify the new sexual order. For instance, though the bakla has sex with the lalake (‘real man’), for many Filipinos it is only the former who is ‘homosexualized’ by the activity. This means that the process of sexualization, while increasing in alacrity and perniciousness, has not been consistent. In fact, the process has been skewed towards the further minoritization of what had already been an undesirable, effeminate, ‘native’ identity: the bakla. While the terms bakla and homosexual are far from congruent, many Filipinos use them interchangeably because they entail the same social effect: stigmatization.

While his effeminacy and transvestic ways place him in a long line of exceptional and ‘gender anomalous’ beings in Philippine history, the present-day bakla is unlike any of his predecessors in at least one respect: he is burdened not only by his gender self-presentation, but also, and more tragically, by his ‘sexual orientation’, an attribute capable of defining his sense of self.

During the Spanish period, a religious discourse of ‘unnatural acts’ grouped under the rubric of sodomy was halfheartedly propagated through the confessional. Such acts were nevertheless temporary and surmountable, a weakness to which heirs to Eve’s original transgression were vulnerable. Sodomy was not a discourse of identity but of acts: non-procreative, non-conjugal and ‘non-missionary’ acts that were committed by men with men, women with women, and men and women with animals. Even so, the gender crosser’s sexual predilections for and acts with men simply attended – and did not determine – her redefined status as ‘womanlike.’ This status denoted what was more properly a gendered rather than a sexualized form of social being.

By contrast, as though coping with his swishy ways in a helplessly macho culture was not enough, the bakla must now contend with the private demons of pathological self-loathing, primarily on account of his intrinsically ‘sick’ desire. Nonetheless, the pathologizing of the bakla into and as a homosexual has resulted in encouraging narratives of hybridity, appropriation and postcolonial resistance from ‘politicized’ Filipino gay writers and artists. These ‘gay texts’ demonstrate how the very people who have been pathologized by the American sexological regime are ironically enabled by this very stigma.

We may therefore conclude that ‘gay identity’ and ‘gay liberation,’ as Filipino gays currently understand, live and champion them, are as much the ascriptions of these histories of cross gender behavior and homosexuality as the expressions of the various freedoms and desires these selfsame histories have paradoxically conferred.

Notes
1. These are culturally comparable words for ‘effeminate homosexual’ among the Philippines’ Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilongo and Tausug ethnic communities.
2. See: Alfredo V. Lagmay, 2000. ‘Western Psychology in the Philippines: Impact and Response’ in Journey of a Humanist. Quezon City: College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of the Philippines, 163-180.

The article was originally posted here: www.iias.nl/nl/35/iias_nl35_13.pdf

And yes, I do agree with him a lot.

There Is No Such Thing As Homosexuality

There, I’ve said it – there is no such thing as homosexuality. Now before a gay-rights lynch mob arrives to sodomize convince me otherwise, let me make it clear that I don’t think that heterosexuality truly exists either.

I think that one of the problems with modern westernized societies is we have set up this false “either/or” dichotomy when it comes to our sexual identities. People are regarded as either completely heterosexual or completely homosexual with very little wiggle room in between (perhaps a few bisexuals who can’t make up their minds). Rather, I think that each of us falls somewhere along a sexual continuum – a bell curve somewhat skewed towards the heterosexual side of the equation.

In ancient societies, as well as in many current ones outside of the western world, this concept was well understood. The ancient Greeks are perhaps the most famous example. Although the literature is full of examples of rampant homosexual behaviour, very few would have identified themselves as gay. They were merely sexual beings doing what they felt like without regard to labels. Over the past few millenia, western society somehow lost that connection and has thus suffered under a strict, sexually repressive moral code.

In a way it has only been the freedom of the Internet that has once again revealed the full depth of human sexual desire and the diverse ways in which those urges can be expressed. It has shown that there is so much out there that can’t be easily pigeonholed into neat little categories.

So where do we go from here? The gay rights movement has served an important role in liberating all of our sexualities, but I think it is now time to move past such labels and embrace a true sexual continuum for all people. At least I think that has to be the ultimate goal.

Posted by Brian at 20:32 Wednesday, 9 April 2008

14 comments

Anonymous said…

Also, Aboriginals see sexuality as being on a continuum.Some even have up to 8 genders in their traditions. Traditionally they do not have our western “gay” or “straight” boxes that we tend to want to shove people into. sexuality is not as static as society would like us to believe

Interesting topic!

Laurie said…

I’ve always explained to people that I think homosexuality and heterosexuality fall along the same continuum. My ex-husband is gay, but as we have a son, he probably falls closer to the center. His partner, who can’t even think about being with a woman obviously falls a couple of standard deviations farther out.

Anonymous said…

Lets be honest Brian. Any gay mob would have to have pretty low standards to ‘sodomize’ a fatty like you. Too many burgers?

AphroditeRising said…

My sentiments exactly. Hence my latest blog, LOL. Hey, maybe my DNA test would point to greek origins?

Yet another interesting point you’ve made. Cheers!

A.

seventyandtwo said…

Alláh-u-abhá Brian,

I agree wholeheartedly. I have an aunt who says “I am not a lesbian, I just have never met the right man to make me straight” and I think we all fall along those lines. I think the most heterosexual of us are just far more attracted to women, and far more socio-culturally comfortable with that aspect of their sexuality.

As someone who has come to realize relatively recently that I am equally attracted to both gender, I have noticed how strong my culturally ingrained “straightness” is.

Attraction ought not need to fit into a label. We are attracted to who we are attracted too, and that should be label enough.

God Bless,
Ruhi (Gerald)

Aldrin F.T. said…

There we go. *THUMBS UP* Excellent one, Brian. Simply done yet beautifully.

seventyandtwo said…

(double post)

The Ridger, FCD said…

Ah, but until gay rights are set, how many people will be willing to go over to that end of the spectrum? It’s not time to stop fighting yet.

Which doesn’t mean I don’t agree with you about the spectrum, because I do.

the chaplain said…

Over the past few millenia, western society somehow lost that connection and has thus suffered under a strict, sexually repressive moral code.

There’s no question about how the connection was lost, is there?

Mercurious said…

I think you’re absolutely right on this. Surely there is something libidinous about the male penchant for bonding through sports, for example.

Same gender sexual activity in prisons, for example, is far in excess of the incidence of classic homosexuality in the general population. This suggests you’re right: sexuality is sexuality.

Aldrin F.T. said…

By the way, Brian, permission to cross-post in my blog please? With your name and url of course.

sacred slut said…

I’ve thought this for some time. I consider myself primarily hetero, but I did have an intense sexual crush on a colleague at one time. She was married, so I never said anything, but I imagine if I thought she had been receptive I might have done…

I think if there weren’t this strict delineation people might fall in love (or just lust) and have sex with either gender at various times. Gay people are more likely to have experimented this way, it seems.

Brian said…

Great comments everybody (except for the wit who called me a fatty). I especially like the personal stories that have backed up my thoughts.

Aldrin, yes you have my permission to cross-post.

Chaplain, in that exact paragraph you’re talking about I started spelling out the somehow a little more clearly, but I didn’t want to sidetrack the main point.

It is starting to seem obvious that most people would act very different if there wasn’t this strict seperation of sexual choices. Far from being “immoral”, I think embracing our true sexualities might actually be the healthiest thing we could do psychologically.

jeber said…

From those of us who have been trying for years to express this point, substantiated by our own lives, thank you.

There’s too much either/or, black/white thinking on a host of topics. Life is far more gray than many people make it out to be.

Disowned Openly Gay Prince And Syngman Rhee

No, Syngman Rhee is not Gay, nor is he a prince. Those are two different tags.

***

Prince is out but not down

In India, where being gay is a crime, a royal son was shunned when he told his secret. Now he fights to change the law and public mind-set.


His straight friends were shocked to find out he was gay. His gay friends were shocked to find out he’d been married.

For his parents, it was the last straw. He is no longer on speaking terms with his mother. His father, despite disinheriting him, has softened slightly, declaring in a newspaper interview that he had felt pressured by friends and relatives into taking such a drastic step and describing Gohil as “a gifted individual” and “a good son.” The two men still speak occasionally, but their conversations are awkward.


“They cannot get a prince on hire. I am the prince, and whether I am gay or not gay is hardly the issue,” Gohil [the prince] said. “I’m the only son — there are no cousins or brothers they can go to. They have to come back to me.”

Read the rest of the story here.

***

I hate Syngman Rhee right now. 이승만! 승만야! 왜 그런냐?? (Yi Sŭng-Man! Hey, Sŭng-Man! How could you??)

After Korea’s liberation in 1945, President Syngman Rhee suppressed the imperial family to prevent the restoration of the monarchy. Syngman Rhee seized and nationalized most of the family’s properties. The imperial family also had to shoulder the psychological and historical burden of their ancestors’ responsibility for the “collapse of the nation”. Stripped of most of wealth and authority, many members of the family secluded themselves from the merciless world, even from other family members. Some flew to the USA or Latin America in desperate effort to disown their ancestors.

4 millennia, Syngman. 4 bleedin’ thousand years and you sold out on them.

Cloth042_2Cloth109