Can someone please answer this question about homosexuality?

"A Question About Homosexuality" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“A Question About Homosexuality” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

I’m serious about this question. I think I know the answer.

When it comes right down to it, the division is in our own mind.

If our mind is divided, then all things… our entire universe and relationships… everything… including ourselves… will be divided.

It is a divided mind that divides.

And the mind, the master of insecurity, will find the data it needs to justify itself.

The problem isn’t out there with gods, scripture, research, churches and temples and mosques.

The problem is right here in our own minds.

That’s my answer.

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19 Responses

  1. Sabio Lantz says:

    LOL, very good !
    Confirmation bias is insidious.
    But I think it is the nature of the human mind to be divided — many-selves (link here).
    Shooting for a “unified” mind is as mistaken (in my worldview) as shooting for communion with a god.
    But understanding our biases, our confirmation seeking, our craving for answers, and all other mind-centered dilemmas (as you so ably write), is key to transcending artificial, unnecessary divisions between people. But there is not enlightened state, we all are divided and will continue to be — maybe that is all we need to be enlightened about.

  2. What Sabio Domingo said 😛

  3. Jeff P says:

    Ditto

  4. I faced the same dilemma when I was a Christians about whether I was going to heaven or not. There are so many conflicting claims about what constitutes entrance to heaven that one never really knows. That’s part of the insanity of Christianity.

  5. elizabeth says:

    The “pairs of opposites” universe that we live in constantly demands that we “take sides.” To graduate from a universe of victims and villains to a unified view of life that is large enough to include all possibilities is a journey most are not the least bit interested in taking. But if we are tired of living in a world where one is either dominating others or dominated by others we have no choice but step out in faith towards another way of living and relating to other people and communities.

  6. I like the way you said that Elizabeth.

  7. Douglas Sloan says:

    I disagree with the “your scientists” segment.

    The 2013 case of United States v. Windsor ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional. An Amici Curiae (Friend of the Court) brief was filed by the following professional organizations:
    The American Psychological Association
    The American Academy of Pediatrics
    The American Medical Association
    The American Psychiatric Association
    The American Psychoanalytic Association
    The California Medical Association
    The National Association of Social Workers and Its New York City and State Chapters
    The New York State Psychological Association

    Their brief referenced 81 published research papers dating from 1957 to 2013. The brief says:
    “Although homosexuality was classified as a mental disorder when the American Psychiatric Association published the first Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1952, only five years later a study sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health found no evidence to support the classification. On the basis of that study and others demonstrating that the original classification reflected social stigma rather than science, the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973. In 1974, the American Psychological Association adopted a policy reflecting the same conclusion. For decades, then, the consensus of mental health professionals and researchers has been that homosexuality and bisexuality are normal expressions of human sexuality and pose no inherent obstacle to leading a happy, healthy, and productive life, and that gay and lesbian people function well in the full array of social institutions and interpersonal relationships.” [pp. 8-9]

    “Several amici supporting DOMA challenge the conclusion that for most people sexual orientation is not a matter of choice, but they offer no credible scientific support for their position. Moreover, although some groups and individuals have offered clinical interventions that purport to change sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual – sometimes called “conversion” therapies – these interventions have not been shown to be effective or safe. A review of the scientific literature by an American Psychological Association task force concluded that sexual orientation change efforts are unlikely to succeed and indeed can be harmful.” [pp. 9-10]

    For 30 years, the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association have consistently taken the professional stance that being gay is neither a physical illness nor a mental dysfunction and consequently does not require a cure or treatment. It also means that – as a sexual orientation – being gay has nothing to do with pedophilia, bestiality, or some fictional agenda to make the whole world gay. There is no medical, no scientific, and no rational basis – and, consequently, no legal basis – for gays and lesbians to be rejected, excluded, discriminated against, or in any way have their constitutional rights denied or restricted. This is not personal opinion or a committee resolution, this is research and evidence based science.

  8. I’m not sure how this conflicts with what I said. In fact, it supports it. You can find “scientists” on both sides. And by scientists I mean not only biologists, etc., but sociologists, etc.

  9. Sabio Lantz says:

    Seriously, David, don’t you think Mr. Sloan is pointing at the vast, huge majority of scientists, where as with religionists it is the other way around. True?

  10. Sure. I’ll give that. Of course. Argh! Explaining a joke just kills it don’t it?? You get my meaning, don’t you? Besides… isn’t it true… that there are “professionals” who are on both sides and you can find support, even meagre, for whatever position you hold?

  11. Sabio Lantz says:

    The “You Too” argument is common rhetoric of defense. And when people try to minimize their GROSS errors, with saying “you have a few who did it too”, it is more defensive than anything else.

    When I saw the “scientist” thing my gut response was the same as Mr. Sloan, but I got what you were saying, but when you defended yourself against Mr. Sloans obvious objection instead of stating what I did, then I said something.

    What it does, by including scientists, is say “Nothing can help us see the truth here.” But indeed science has had the greatest positive impact in this area I think — and it continues to. Religions continue to be the worst harbor of hate of homosexuals. Don’t you think?

  12. John Powell says:

    It doesn’t matter what the opinion is, or the subject of that opinion. Most people will develop and hold an opinion only when it is easy to justify. Right or wrong will seldom be a factor as justification can be found for those as well.

  13. Brian says:

    Speaking as a gay man, I’d have to say that an extreme cognitive dissonance was necessary to move me beyond what I was raised to believe. If it were not for my daily reality flying in the face of the anti-gay confirmation bias of my environment I don’t think I would have ever moved out of my fundamentalism. Unless someone experiences an equally intense crisis of faith, I don’t think (for many people anyway) there is a sufficient motivation to change. My mother is a case in point. It took her FAR longer to come to terms with my orientation than it did for me – because the personal urgency for her to do so was at a much higher threshold than mine. For me it was a matter of survival and preserving my sanity. For her, it was only a matter of ending a family hurt.

    Desperation, it would seem, plays a major role here. IMHO – if it isn’t a vital matter of personal identity, the chances are much lower for a shift in belief.

  14. Caryn LeMur says:

    David, first off, good cartoon. It covers a lot of ground.

    I would offer that the divided mind does not divide… rather, the divided mind seeks to move out of dissonance…. sometimes as quickly as possible. Dissonance can be painful to experience. In my experience, the mind that is uncomfortable with staying in dissonance and exploring new resolutions, is the mind that retreats to a black-and-white division.

    I like that the cartoon shows six areas of evidences that are weighted by us, the mental jurors.

    I think that Douglas shows that he weights ‘scientist’ very strongly. However, Brian shows quite a different weighting of the evidences: Brian needed “extreme cognitive dissonance” to move beyond fundamentalism.

    I recall the times when I believed in the left-handed God (“Hell” in your cartoon), and the left-handed Bible scholar (“Clear” in your cartoon)… and thus, of course, I believed that the scientists were simply in error over the last 20 or so years…. and oddly would have been happy with a therapist that confirmed I was “Sick!”, a church that called me a “Sinner!”, and a friendship circle that confirmed I was “Gross!”…. The “Scientists” I would have sought out would be “Nurture [ and Reversible]” at that time…. all for the sake of avoiding my own “extreme cognitive dissonance”.

    I could only smile at Sabio’s comment, “Religions continue to be the worst harbor of hate of homosexuals”… in my current area (influenced by Washington DC), it is Republicans… not religionists…. lol.

  15. Thanks for sharing folks!

    Actually, even though science is making great breakthroughs, this is not necessarily what will help people the most. It can be anything. Perhaps for one of my gay friends, the fact that some biblical scholars say it’s just not clear was enough for them to move on. For another, friends. For another, finding an affirming church. In fact, for some religious people, science would be the last front they would need to hear from.

    This made me think the other day of the story of a group of scientists, 9 PhD-s from Harvard, Yale, etc., who have formed the Institute for Creation Research in Dallas. Real scientists who want to prove creation. http://www.columbiamissourian.com/a/178400/researchers-in-dallas-try-to-prove-genesis/

    I read a while ago that some scientists discovered a homosexual gene. I also read other scientists say this is a dangerous claim because it makes homosexuals different, setting them up for discrimination.

    Anyway, yay for some scientists. Boo for others.

  16. glenn says:

    We all have concepts about right and wrong but if we look at ideas not based on a form of ultimate truth we will waver in our ideas. The bible does talk about homosexuality and God does not condone this. This is a unpopular belief today and reverse persecution can take place for those who support that biblical view. We need to be very careful as Christians that we don’t judge people or persecute people but we do have to base our beliefs on gods word. Not on what we feel. Solid truth needs to be grounded on something outside ourselves.

  17. glenn says:

    I don’t know the answer to why some are attracted to the same sex and others to the opposite sex but God warns against practicing the gay lifestyle. What does that mean for those that are gay. I just don’t know and I’m sure you have asked these questions. I pray God will reveal that to you.

  18. Caryn LeMur says:

    Glenn: you have me curious. [I will ignore the Book of Galatians for a moment.]

    The Bible seriously condemns adultery. Jesus spoke clearly and stated that “marrying a divorced man or woman equals adultery” [see Mark 10:11-12]. Jesus therefore warned against practicing the remarriage lifestyle.

    In your opinion, shall we give mercy to those that practice the remarriage lifestyle?

    If we then give mercy to those that live in total and continuous adultery and who defy 1 of the 10 commandments written by the finger of God, how much more should we give even greater mercy to gay couples who do not break one of the core 10 commandments of God?

    Read James Chapter 2, and see what you (not your church, but just you) conclude about giving unequal treatment to fellow believers.

    Again, you have me curious… I am not attacking your position, but rather asking you to explore the concept of giving mercy.

  19. Sabio Lantz says:

    Today, I read a Hindu’s approach to fighting homosexuality among fellow Hindus and wrote a quick post if your are interested:
    http://triangulations.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/hindu-texts-that-support-queers/

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