Thursday, November 10, 2005

Why don't People Read?

Well, I never.... Actually, I usually... am surprised by how little of what people read they actually understand and how much they let their emotions get away with them.

A letter I wrote was published in our local newspaper. The subject was twofold: that homosexulaity and heterosexuality (and everything in between, I think) have existed since time eternal; and that the bible, being an oral history that was finally written down many years after the characters in question had passed, is probably missing a bunch of stuff.

This is the text of the original letter, not the edited version that appeared:

"I am confused to see a professed Christian writing that acceptance and tolerance are new age precepts, and then in the same letter quote a passage about acceptance and tolerance. Is the writer saying that acceptance and tolerance only apply for Christians when the issue does not concern same sex intimacy?

Homosexuality has existed along side heterosexuality from the beginning of time, whether people like it or not. Men in Spartan society were removed from their family at the age of 9 and grew up rarely seeing women. Sexual intimacy between Spartan men was the norm, where sexual intimacy between men and women was a difficult and unfortunate necessity for those men. There are many more recent examples of societies wherein homosexuality is the norm.

For the record, the four gospels, which record sayings and quotes attributed to Christ, were written many years after Christ had purportedly died at the age of 33. The gospel of Matthew was written fully sixty years after Christ’s death and the other three gospels after that yet. It is more accurate to say “It is believed that Christ said …”

The bible is the record of an oral history later committed to paper long after the players in question had departed this life. It may have been inspired by some people’s understanding of God, but it was written by fallible humans.

It is entirely probable that much of what Christ said was never recorded and probable that some of what he said was edited out of the record by people who didn’t agree with everything they heard. It is worthwhile considering what might be missing from the texts."

The fellow who rebutted me intimated that I'd made statements, rather than suggestions. He did not, however, respond to the two core items in the letter, being the whole acceptance thing and the realities of the human condition. So I hope, that by trying to discredit what I'd written, the rebutter managed to call some further interest to my letter and to show up his core intolerance and that of those who think like him.

Re the whole Sparta thing, it seems that Spartan society was very focused on military and strength (overpowerment) pursuits that their society became quite segregated in some ways. There's a link here to some information BUT CAUTION IS ADVISED because the word Spartan, combined with homosexual will get you all SORTS of weird and wonderful gay and transvestite sex sites. I make no comment on whether those are good or bad, so please police yourself and engage in whatever censorship you feel is appropriate to your own sensibilities.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post and for the initial letter. Although both do contain misconceptions and errors about the timing and content of The Gospels that have been largely corrected in the past 20 years or so of intense scholarly work, the point of acceptance is well-taken. Homosexuality is certainly not new. It has been around forever and the Bible certainly speaks to it throughout. In fact, considering how Adam and Eve, after their sin, felt compelled to cover themselves from each other seems to imply something deeper gone afoul than simply which sex one prefers. Tolerance is really a post-enlightenment idea (e.g., it's not on any of the old lists of virtues), but what the Bible calls Christians to is NOT something LESS than tolerance. It calls Christians to something much greater and deeper and more thorough than accpetance - something unique in world religions.


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