Thursday, June 9, 2011

Why Is This Even An Issue?

Famines, floods, earthquakes, wars, terrorists, climate change, disease. Amidst this list of ailments, a significant number of Americans and their elected officials are expelling copious amounts of hot air on... who gets to marry whom. Quite frankly, I should not have to explain why this debate is infantile. The solution is simple: let people legally marry whomever they choose and live your own life. God forbid you have to actually share a planet with people whose views and lifestyles differ from your own! Apparently, this is too much to ask. At least, that's the conclusion I couldn't help but come to upon reading a post a blog entitled "Muslim Masculinity and Islamic Manhood" concerning "The G-Word".

The author of this blog (the title of which speaks for itself) claims to have a psychology degree from the University of Michigan. I find this rather depressing considering the fact that he appears to have been able to graduate with only a rudimentary understanding of biology. Either that, or he has either consciously or unconsciously chosen to forsake facts in the name of his religion. I don't know which would be worse. Either way, I'm going to post chunks from this man's rather brief blog entry on homosexuality and respond in an attempt to explain why attitudes like his are the epitome of what's wrong with the influence of religion is secular society today.

"My beliefs in terms of faith and principle are the foundation of my being opposed to the practice of homosexuality in both males and females. I understand and can sympathize that people can have feelings for others of the same sex. However the practice of same sex intimacy and relationships is where I am apposed to." 

I wish to note two facts about this introduction to the blog entry. Firstly, he freely admits that his views are based, not on fact, but on FAITH. Keep this in mind. Secondly, this man claims to be against the "practice" of homosexuality. Specifically, "intimacy and relationships". This position truly, truly irks me. If this man actually sympathized with same sex "feelings", he would not be opposed to "intimacy". The very fact that he would deny intimacy to honestly loving individuals demonstrates an appalling lack of empathy. Note that this man is not even kind enough to take the softer position of "do what you want, just don't call it marriage". He appears to be against gay relationships full stop. Put simply, other people's relationships are none of his business! If he doesn't want to have homosexual relationships, that's fine. But to be openly opposed to such private choices made by individuals that have no impact on his life is unnecessarily bigoted. It's like saying you're opposed to people putting mustard on their hamburgers or running around their own houses naked. It has nothing to do with him, yet he insists upon passing judgment. What a truly lovely human being.

One of the main reasons is that there is a severe lack of perpetuation or sustainability of the Human race. No reproduction comes out of it. 

This is where I assert that this blogger's education in both statistics and biology is severely impaired. First of all, I've seen a range of statistics for exactly how many gays there are in the population. I've seen the percentage anywhere from 3 to 10 to 30. No matter the actually number, none of these percentages are significant enough to wipe out the human race. The majority of people are still heterosexual and still having babies. They always will be. Secondly, we do not have a desperate need for more children. Many people want to have children for personal reasons, understood. However, there are so many unwanted little ones out there who need families. If you really care about the "human race" do something to help find them homes before you start mandating that people make more babies. Thirdly, being that humans are a social species, our relationships, homosexual, heterosexual or otherwise are about social cohesion as well as reproduction. This is just as biological as reproduction. Humans as well as other animals, such as bonobos and dolphins have sexual relations for the sake of bonding. Some of these relations are indeed homosexual. Other animals have homosexual relations in order to demonstrate dominance. The fact of the matter is, homosexuality is just as much a part of human biology as the birth process. If your going to use the "it's unnatural" argument, it's going to swing around and hit you in the face if you don't have a clear understanding of what "natural" means. I don't even think I should need to repeat the age old argument about infertile, elderly and electively childless couples. If you don't know it, google it.

"The clearest of proof is by simply observing your genitals. Your hands were created for you to use to grab things and eat. Your feet help you walk and kick and stand. Your nose is meant to smell things and your ears to hear and your eyes to see. Thus your penis was made to inject semen into a vagina, thus creating the beginnings of new life."

Again, you cannot just look at yourself and other people and think you understand biology. I used to think that boys had penises and girls didn't because God ran out of material when he was working on Eve. Look at how wrong I was. See my above paragraph.

"We have spiritual aspects that we must fulfill. Women are apart of that spirituality as they bring out something in us. They present us with the ability to test ourselves and our desires and strengths. The completion of Manhood and our destiny has to involve both men and women into that spiritual journey. "

You have no proof that we have "spiritual aspects" to fulfill. But religious stuff aside, has this guy ever stopped to think that it's possible to have a good, close relationship with members of the opposite sex without being sexually attracted to them? Do we not have mothers, aunts, sisters, cousins and friends? Also, if a man is gay, hang out with women isn't going to be much of a "test of his desires"... just saying.

"Now I have heard the argument many times. "There are so many kids out there who need parents and families they can go to; we already have plenty of kids to sustain Humanity." That argument may hold some wait temporarily because the vast majority of people are sexual exclusively with the opposite sex. Lets take this further though. What if most people were gay? What if everyone was gay? Humanity, due to lack of reproduction would eventually become extinct. 

This blogger's entry skips back to the population thing at this point. He also forgets how to spell "weight". But let's ignore the writing issues for now. Sure, if most of the people in the world were exclusively homosexual, there would be a problem. Still, the fact remains that THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE ARE NOT GAY. Furthermore, you CANNOT MAKE SOMEONE GAY. While it may seem like there are more gays running around now than there were 50 years ago, it's not because more people are turning gay. It's because homosexuality is becoming less taboo then it was back then. Homosexuality certainly always existed, both in feeling and in practice. The Kinsey Reports on human sexuality made this fact evident and, slowly, the taboo has begun to fade. There is no reason to believe that heterosexuality will ever die out unless the entire species dies out. The argument makes no sense.

Obviously, people have the choice to believe what they want. Even so, we must remember that when we get our values from centuries old "Holy Books" like the Qur'an, we often end up picking up the prejudices and misconceptions of the time. The reason why our society has progressed is not due to some mysterious hand of God. It's because human beings dared to question these age old ideas and many of them turned out to be dead wrong. It should also be noted that the Qur'an and Hadith do not explicitly forbid homosexuality, only anal sex. It's not just the Holy Book, it's the tradition and dogma that must also be questioned.

As far as the marriage issue goes, I say we should model our legal proceedings concerning marriage after those of Russia. In Russia, all marriages recognized by the state are, essentially, civil unions. Religious ceremonies are not legally recognized and vice versa. This way, people can choose to have only a legal ceremony, or have two ceremonies, one civil and one religious. If we had that here, gays would have the same legal rights as the rest of us and there would be no clucking from conservative groups about "imposing homosexuality" on them.

Ultimately, religions are like genitalia. Most people have them. Most people would feel lost without them. But please, don't whip them out in public and shove them in people's faces and avoid using them to make decisions that could negatively affect others. That's what brains are for.

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