Celebrating difference

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AvalonXQ
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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby AvalonXQ » Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:15 am UTC

Belial wrote:Okay. I find this "God" guy to be bigoted and homophobic. I think you should stop hanging out with him. You won't, but there it is.


There's your own prejudice and hypocrisy shining through again.

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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Belial » Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:22 am UTC

Are we getting into the "He's being intolerant of my bigotry!" argument again? Could we not?

Oh, and during that edit festival, you may have missed the final form of my last post.
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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Freakish » Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:24 am UTC

AvalonXQ wrote:
Belial wrote:No, not really. It would be "fascist" to try to do so by force. If I like one idea, and find another to be abhorrent, it is perfectly okay for me to try to spread and endorse the first while denigrating the second. That would be....expressing my opinion. It stops being okay when I try to force you to accept it.

By force or persuasion, either one -- if you take the position that it's not okay to disagree with you, that's fascist. Being accepting of others, even when their ideas differ from yours, is important.

EDIT: I withdraw that second line of inquiry. Belial's being a real jerk to God. I don't want to encourage him to do so further.


I believe he was commenting on what you had said.

There's nothing wrong with being attracted to anyone or anything, but acting on that attraction can be sinful; God doesn't like it when you choose to sin, and neither do I.


In other words, "You can be gay as long as you don't act on it"... "and I don't like it".
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Mr. Mack
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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Mr. Mack » Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:33 am UTC

Edit: This thread moves so fast that it's hard to say anything before the focus changes. But I see no reason to let reality get in the way, especially since nobody else has said this yet.

It seems to me that this whole debate stems from a rather simple difference of perspective. Namely, the difference that comes from something as basic as whether you're an individualist or a collectivist.

Speaking as an individualist, the phrase "Celebrate diversity" has no immediately discernible meaning. But with a bit of work the best I can come up with is "Be happy that there's other people." From my perspective, everyone is different. Out of the 6.5 billion people on the planet, only one of them is me. The only way I could not celebrate diversity would be to abandon society and live alone. So to me, that statement is meaningless, and hearing meaningless phrases multiple times is kind of annoying.

Now to a collectivist, that statement has far reaching social implications. A collectivist would interpret it as "You're a member of a group, but there's other groups of people on the planet as well. Instead of shunning them or ignoring them, you should take interest in the differences between your group and their group." If you're shunning people that aren't members of your group, well, that's kind of intolerant. Seriously, it is. (I'd appreciate it if you'd refrain from taking issue with the exact definition of "intolerant," you know what idea I'm trying to convey). Instead of doing that, maybe look to see what interesting things their culture might have that yours doesn't. (I don't know if that last statement applies to gay people, but I don't think details are as important as the basic premise)

-Short version-
To an individualist, "celebrate diversity" at worst means nothing, and at best means nothing new.
To a collectivist, "celebrate diversity" promotes cultural understanding and denounces hatred.

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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby AvalonXQ » Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:47 am UTC

Belial wrote:Are we getting into the "He's being intolerant of my bigotry!" argument again? Could we not?

It's more along the lines of "He's prejudging my point of view, and calling it bigoted without actually understanding it". I'm sorry, but your hair-trigger use of terms like "bigotry" and "homophobia" really IS an example of flat-out hypocrisy.

Belial wrote:Edit: I was weighing in on his beliefs the way I would weigh in on anyone else's. You brought him up.


The prejudiced attitude that would result in calling him the names you did, based on the practically nonexistent set of information you had, does not bode well for your level of tolerance and understanding.

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Cycle
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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Cycle » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:00 am UTC

What possibly gives you the idea that he doesn't have enough information? God (supposedly) thinks that straight sex is OK, and gay sex isn't. That's intolerant.

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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Belial » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:01 am UTC

The debate on whether god is homophobic is, as I said, a topic for another thread.
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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Dextrose » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:02 am UTC

Avalon, as an outsider to the conversation who was about to point out all the logical holes in the last few posts you've made, I've got to say you're losing the argument to Belial here, hard. I suggest you open your mind to the perspective that Belial's coming from on your God and the origins of your beliefs therein. The point here is that one has to take into account why one believes anything and try to figure out whether that's a good reason or not. I've got a lot of reasons to think your reasons are bad reasons. Frankly, the thought system you're working with is one that works with God and God alone. I'd make a metaphor involving Imperial units here, but methinks it would be an understatement. And in any case, I believe that the religious question, as it relates to the current topic, has been asked and answered, but the answer I've given hasn't been addressed yet, so I think if you want to have a religious discussion outside of the framework of this thread, you can take it outside of this thread.

Mr. Mack: I don't see where we disagree, or where your original denigration of what I had to say came from. And I think it's a funny coincidence too - in fact, I'm going to generalise you with all the other people in this world who have caught on fire, because that's what I do. ("Die in a fire," by the way, is a phrase I use as loosely as "catch herpes from a camel," and I mean nothing by it other than that I disapprove of you. I, and others, have said way more hateful things in the course of this thread, I'm not sure why that of all things was subject to a mod warning.)

One last thing: There's nothing fascist about pursuading people. If that's true, the Christian church is the most fascist organisation known to man. I mean, it still is, but you're just asking to be labeled that way with that kind of rhetoric.
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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Jjarro » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:10 am UTC

Celebrating the differences between people is fine, and as Mr. Mack pointed out, basically the default for an Individualist. But if I don't like a difference, I shouldn't be expected to celebrate it. If I don't like the Christian faith because I dislike the moral premises that it's built on, I don't deserve to be chastised for publicly disagreeing with both the teachings and politics of modern incarnations of Christianity. It doesn't mean I don't like Christians. It means that I don't like the religion.

If I don't like the apparent collectivist and identity-politics-oriented premises of a cultural movement, or if I argue against the goals of that movement, it does not mean I hate its members. Or, as more closely models this situation, if I even agree with many of the goals of a movement but disagree with the way some members of that movement go about discussing them, I shouldn't be subjected to "attack labeling" for saying so.
I think that people get labeled "homophobes" and "bigots" and things that they say "hate speech" far too often.

Seriously, calling the phrase "accept but do not celebrate homosexuals" hateful speech is still my major hangup, here. I accept but do not celebrate all kinds of things. Personal religion would be the biggest example (I'm an atheist who regards personal religion as sometimes useful/beneficial but definitely not for me, institutional religion as often harmful), but homosexuality is another. I just don't care about homosexuality. It's not a bad thing, but I don't consider it right for me or a necessarily positive choice, either. It's "icky" to me, but only because I don't personally see the appeal - obviously other people do, and the fact that it's "icky" to me has no moral bearing at all. It's like eating squid. (Or okra. Eeww.) Squid is nasty to me, I don't like it. I don't particularly like thinking about eating squid, or seeing someone eat squid - but I'm not so idiotic as to suppose I have a right to ask them to stop, or to make a scene about how gross it is - though under the right circumstances, I can see that being funny. This has no impact on my opinion of people who eat squid. It just is. People who are homosexuals shouldn't be discriminated against because of it, they should have all the civil rights anyone has and that should be obvious.

Does it count as celebrating to say that I'm glad that people are enjoying themselves, regardless of what gender combination they choose (or disgusting sea-creature/horrifying unearthly fried vegetable they choose to eat)? Does it count as celebrating differences if I don't care about said difference, but am glad that people are happy?

Because it doesn't seem to be about differences, there. It seems to be about valuing other people, and I do. Most differences are just what make people other people; some differences are objectionable. I object to the things I don't like, and sometimes they make me not like people. Homosexuality doesn't fall into this category for me, and I broadly agree that it shouldn't for most people. But I don't think what I just outlined counts as "celebration." I think it outlines acceptance.

I accept but do not celebrate homosexuality. If you want to celebrate it, I'm happy you're happy, but my life's about other things.

P.S: I think Belial's tolerating this God dude just fine. He's not accepting him or celebrating him, is all.

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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby 4=5 » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:12 am UTC

AvalonXQ wrote:
Belial wrote:Are we getting into the "He's being intolerant of my bigotry!" argument again? Could we not?

It's more along the lines of "He's prejudging my point of view, and calling it bigoted without actually understanding it". I'm sorry, but your hair-trigger use of terms like "bigotry" and "homophobia" really IS an example of flat-out hypocrisy.

ok as I understand it god gave people urges, and some are sinful to act upon. (that matches up with what I have observed of reality)
the way you differentiate between the sinful and non sinful is by reference to the bible
the way I differentiate between the sinful and non sinful are by their effects on society and any damage to individuals. (I can't trust the bible because of unreliable narrators)
Last edited by 4=5 on Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:19 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Quixotess » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:17 am UTC

AvalonXQ wrote:So, that really brightened my day to hear you say that. Thank you very much. I don't dislike you, either -- and we really need to have a serious talk about gender/sexuality issues sometime soon. I think it's possible I could really learn something.
Aww. Let's stop before it gets embarrassing. You know, I keep telling people that if they want to post in the gender roles thread, I am so there, but no one has taken me up on it yet.

And openly condemning so many people because you don't like the way they feel about things makes YOU, not them, a complete jerk.
I'm not condemning the people. I'm condemning their bigoted beliefs and actions. Yeah, I have a big problem with bigotry. I don't think that's prejudiced because I find that, like murder, bigotry is harmful to society and its individuals.

I do not, and never will, celebrate sexual practices outside of the monogamous heterosexual marriage relationship. There's nothing wrong with being attracted to anyone or anything, but acting on that attraction can be sinful; God doesn't like it when you choose to sin, and neither do I.
It's also absolutely none of my frickin' business how you live your life, and, having explained what I believe God expects, I will do everything in my power to protect your right to live however you see fit.
...
In my experience, your sexual orientation has very little effect on your instance of sexual sin, anyway.
I'm confused. The first part seems to imply that you believe acting on homosexuality is sinful, but the second says that orientation has little effect on your sin. Clarification please?

I thought others handled the rest rather nicely.

Dextrose, please, I agree with you, but saying "You're wrong" without enumerating the reasons why will only serve to put his back up and get in the way of productive discussion.

Jjarro, on the first page of this thread Taarnling posited a definition of celebrating that I liked:
Taarnling wrote:I think that when people say that everyone should celebrate difference, they mostly mean that people should appreciate it, find it important and to be a generally good thing.
That looks like what you are doing.
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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Gelsamel » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:27 am UTC

It doesn't matter where your bigotry or sexism, racism, homophobia or other prejudice comes from, whether it be the bible, or because you're of the opinion that X is inferior or what ever, it's still bigotry. In both cases you still think you're right, and you're still a bigot.
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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Jjarro » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:53 am UTC

Well, it could be that I've been celebrating all along without knowing it, but I don't think so.

Maybe the "celebrate" in "celebrate your differences" means something else when people use it as a positive instruction, but I think in the case of the phrase "accept but do not celebrate" it isn't as wide, since it's being drawn in specific contrast to something else - acceptance, not tolerance.

I celebrate individualism. I celebrate marksmanship and gunhandling. I celebrate love of liberty. I celebrate intelligence, discussion and independence. My life is about these things, and I enthusiastically support and pursue them, and encourage them in others. This is what I mean by "celebrate."

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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby taarnling » Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:28 am UTC

Hey neat, it looks like people are mostly agreeing now. It seems to me that a lot of the arguing has been about which words people are using to mean what. It almost makes me want to go find a language that's a little less easily misunderstood.

Also I've learned a valuable lesson. No more reading and replying in topics like this late at night. More often than not I just misstated my arguments and caused more trouble than I solved. Oops :oops: (wow, the little blushing guy is actually named oops, perfect!)


Mr. Mack wrote:To a collectivist, "celebrate diversity" promotes cultural understanding and denounces hatred.


I think that this is what I was trying to say. Mr. Mack just put it more succinctly than I could hope to. I can't really see where anyone would have a problem with me encouraging that people 'celebrate diversity' in this way. Also I want to say thanks to Mr. Mack for bringing up the individualist vs collectivist thing. I've got a good bit of thinking to do now about where I fall on that spectrum.

Otherwise, everyone has pretty much said what I'm thinking on this issue. Thanks for sharing your views all, it's been enlightening.

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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Dextrose » Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:39 am UTC

Wow, that sort of came full circle all at once. Uhh...I'm with everybody, here, I guess.

Edit: Kudos to Jjarro for the big post, I think that encapsulated the conclusions of this discussion incredibly well, and I stand corrected on the language I used in the very beginning here.
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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby btilly » Tue Apr 15, 2008 5:48 am UTC

Quixotess wrote:Well, Charles Heston did talk about that Jjarro quoted an excerpt, but I'll reproduce it here:
Charles Heston wrote:On the other hand, I find my blood pressure rising when Clinton’s cultural shock troops participate in gay-rights fundraisers but boycott gun-rights fundraisers… and then claim it’s time to place homosexual men in tents with Boy Scouts, and suggest that sperm donor babies born into lesbian relationships are somehow better served and more loved.
Interestingly, he does not actually say what btilly said, that the babies are better loved than the babies that straight couples have. He just said that people were saying the babies were better loved. He didn't say better than what.

He did not say what I expanded on because at the time he said it, nobody needed that explanation. He could assume that his audience was aware of the remarks he was criticizing. Just as he could assume that his audience was aware of the lawsuit involving the Boy Scouts of America that he was referring to.

I expanded on it here for the simple reason that a lot of people in this discussion don't remember what was in the news back in the last millenium.
Quixotess wrote:Also, I'm not sure I believe that anyone actually said that. Certainly no one did in this discussion, which makes it a straw man.

I am telling you that the comment in question was said. And was common knowledge in the late 90s when that speech was made. I tried googling for it, but couldn't find it. But since I remember it, and I think it is relevant, I provided that explanation. I unfortunately don't remember who said it, and since it happened before the web hit critical mass it isn't easy to Google for. But I guarantee that it was said.

Choose to disregard that explanation if you want. But if you want to understand his comment, that context is relevant.
Quixotess wrote:Of course, I wish people would make up their minds. Are we supposed to just look at the original quote and take it with face value without trying to read context into it, or not?

Different people may disagree, but my position is clear. Relevant context is always useful.
Quixotess wrote:Edit: Aw damn, what the hell. Missed like five posts. Ninja'd by btilly. My point about the statement being a strawman in this discussion still stands. Also, the statement is not objectionable because of its ideas about homosexuality; it is objectionable because it is ridiculously sexist. Heston was misrepresenting it as a "Look! People are discriminating against heterosexuals!!!"

Back up one second and consider what I've told you he was responding to. He was responding to a quote that said that a child born to a lesbian couple was better off than one born to a heterosexual couple because that child would have two moms, and moms provide more love than dads.

Now you've claimed to be against sexism. Here is your chance to prove that.

I am telling you, as a father, that I found this claim extremely offensive. I grant that there are many dads who are poor dads - I had one. (And a step father who was even worse, but that is another story.) However as a dad who cares and tries, I am offended that someone would just assume that I'm less of a parent because I have a penis.

This is your chance. Do sexist comments only offend you when the sexist comments put down women? Or are you against sexism against men as well?
Quixotess wrote:And btilly, I would suggest "You are being bad if you dislike someone for being a homosexual."

That is your opinion and you have a right to it. But do you think we should be trying to enforce this opinion? I don't. Particularly not when it leads to people who are unable to admit that they don't like someone who is gay because they don't want to be accused of being homophobic.

Dextrose wrote:
4=5 wrote:I think the objection to homosexuals is cultural, not religious. The squick factor makes sense, sex is Gross, the only thing that obscures that is hormones and habitation.

I challenge you to produce an item of our culture, which I believe is a culture that supports the ideas of freedom, acceptance, peace, prosperity, intellect, knowledge and growth, that objects to something as unobjectionable as sexuality. No, I believe that there is no cultural basis for homophobia, except for our culture's basis in religion.

Our rating systems for movies, games, etc. Depictions of sex - even consensual heterosexual sex - are considered more objectionable to the censors than, say, cutting off someone's head.

Belial wrote:
btilly wrote:I agree that people who think homosexuality is bad are bigoted. But I don't think it should be the role of government or society to tell people that they can't have the feelings they have.

So...basically, you and I agree. Believing homosexuality is bad....is bad. Bigoted. Flawed. Etcetera.

But one still has every right to do it.

Am I missing a nuance here?

Just the one where you're very fast to wrongly accuse people of being homophobic on flimsy or no evidence.

Freakish wrote:
AvalonXQ wrote:There's nothing wrong with being attracted to anyone or anything, but acting on that attraction can be sinful; God doesn't like it when you choose to sin, and neither do I.

In other words, "You can be gay as long as you don't act on it"... "and I don't like it".

No. In other words, "You can be gay. I don't like it when you act on that impulse." And if you read the part you didn't bother quoting he goes on to say, "And even though I don't like that you do it, I'll strongly defend your right to live a gay lifestyle."

In short AvalonXQ shows what absolute tolerance of something you dislike should mean.

I find it ironic that multiple people in this thread, particularly self-proclaimed "tolerant" people, have shown no tolerance for AvalonXQ's choice of religion. This despite the fact that freedom of religion is far more accepted in our culture than freedom of sexuality! I would suggest that people go back and re-read viewtopic.php?p=625286#p625286 thinking about what it would look like for them to show the same dislike of yet tolerance for AvalonXQ's choice of religion that he shows for homosexuality. (I don't have to think very hard since that's a good description of my position on Christianity.)

Mr. Mack wrote:-Short version-
To an individualist, "celebrate diversity" at worst means nothing, and at best means nothing new.
To a collectivist, "celebrate diversity" promotes cultural understanding and denounces hatred.

Extremely well put. To which I can only add that Charleton Heston was an individualist.

And that seems like a good place to end this post.
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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Belial » Tue Apr 15, 2008 5:59 am UTC

btilly wrote:Just the one where you're very fast to wrongly accuse people of being homophobic on flimsy or no evidence.


I still disagree. I still assert that he was making a homophobic statement, albeit one of those "I dislike homosexuality but still think they should be allowed to do it, or whatever" statements that aren't nearly as bad as others. Tolerance but not acceptance.

Because, again, you don't volunteer that you "don't celebrate" something out of the blue. It's like saying "I'm not thrilled about black people" out of the blue. The very fact that you're saying anything at all on the subject, unbidden, says that you have an opinion on the subject, and you're pretty well ruling out the positive possibility.

The comment about "[placing] homosexual men in tents with Boy Scouts" just casts it in further light, if we want to include context. "Oh, yeah, gays are fine, but keep them away from our children!"

The guy was a civil rights activist, back in the day, and I respect the hell out of him, but I don't think it's disrespectful to point out that he still had some lingering prejudices, and that they came out from time to time. And as I keep saying, everyone does.

I find it ironic that multiple people in this thread, particularly self-proclaimed "tolerant" people, have shown no tolerance for AvalonXQ's choice of religion.


Lucky me that I think tolerance is a condescending bastard child of a value, then.
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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby tetromino » Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:09 am UTC

Belial wrote:I still disagree. I still assert that he was making a homophobic statement, albeit one of those "I dislike homosexuality but still think they should be allowed to do it, or whatever" statements that aren't nearly as bad as others. Tolerance but not acceptance.

Because, again, you don't volunteer that you "don't celebrate" something out of the blue. It's like saying "I'm not thrilled about black people" out of the blue. The very fact that you're saying anything at all on the subject, unbidden, says that you have an opinion on the subject, and you're pretty well ruling out the positive possibility.

I don't know what was going on through Heston's mind, but the way I initially interpreted his words was that he was offended at Basic Human Decency and the limitations it places on free speech, and his remarks about homosexuality were a way of illustration.
The comment about "[placing] homosexual men in tents with Boy Scouts" just casts it in further light, if we want to include context. "Oh, yeah, gays are fine, but keep them away from our children!"

Now, this is a point where I do agree with Heston. Not because I want to keep gay men away from children, but because placing a sexually active adult in a tent with some children that he/she may be sexually attracted to, in the middle of the woods, miles away from a legal-age sex partner, is a singularly bad idea. You do not send a straight man to sleep in the same tent with a bunch of young girls. You do not send a gay man to sleep in the same tent as a bunch of small boys. And you do not send a straight woman to sleep with the boys, either.

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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Quixotess » Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:16 am UTC

btilly wrote:
Quixotess wrote:Also, I'm not sure I believe that anyone actually said that. Certainly no one did in this discussion, which makes it a straw man.

I am telling you that the comment in question was said. And was common knowledge in the late 90s when that speech was made. I tried googling for it, but couldn't find it. But since I remember it, and I think it is relevant, I provided that explanation. I unfortunately don't remember who said it, and since it happened before the web hit critical mass it isn't easy to Google for. But I guarantee that it was said.
Yeah, okay, and so I'm down with that. Still a strawman in the context of this thread, though.

Also, the statement is not objectionable because of its ideas about homosexuality; it is objectionable because it is ridiculously sexist. Heston was misrepresenting it as a "Look! People are discriminating against heterosexuals!!!"

Back up one second and consider what I've told you he was responding to. He was responding to a quote that said that a child born to a lesbian couple was better off than one born to a heterosexual couple because that child would have two moms, and moms provide more love than dads.
Yes, I understood you the first time. That's why I said that the statement is "ridiculously sexist." I say so right in that bit you quoted. What I mean by that is "the statement is very offensive because it perpetuates a belief that is hurtful to both sexes."

That's right, both. It hurts men because it implies that men are just naturally bad fathers and therefore that is not what they should be doing. Love kids? No you don't! It hurts women because it implies that women are just naturally good mothers and therefore that is what they should be doing. After all, the men can't do it, and someone has to. Oh, well, guess you'll have to stay home and depend on someone else to support you financially then.

Patriarchy hurts men too. I've said that before. We can end the melodrama now.

In any case, Heston was using it in his speech to say "Hey, I support gay rights and everything, but some people go too far. The Clintons will go to gay rallies but not NRA rallies. And some people say that lesbians make better parents than straight couples." He left out that "and gay men" which would have shot his point to hell. He completely misrepresented the situation, given the context *you* provided for it. He was saying "Look! People are giving preferential treatment to homosexuals!" when the statement wasn't about homosexuality at all. It was about gender roles.
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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby taarnling » Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:24 am UTC

tetromino wrote:Now, this is a point where I do agree with Heston. Not because I want to keep gay men away from children, but because placing a sexually active adult in a tent with some children that he/she may be sexually attracted to, in the middle of the woods, miles away from a legal-age sex partner, is a singularly bad idea. You do not send a straight man to sleep in the same tent with a bunch of young girls. You do not send a gay man to sleep in the same tent as a bunch of small boys. And you do not send a straight woman to sleep with the boys, either.


I think I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one. Regardless of the genders or orientations involved I don't see anything wrong with having a sexually active adult in a tent full of young people of whichever gender. The main issue is that you've got to trust the people you're putting you children with. That should be done on a person by person basis and not on the rather broad basis of gender or orientation.

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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Jjarro » Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:30 am UTC

Re: boyscouts
Right, I think it could be argued to be a reasonable restriction, just based on avoiding potentially bad situations. I'm not convinced, but I think it's a fine argument to be had. And I think that someone shouldn't be called a homophobe for suggesting it's a poor idea to have homosexual scoutmasters.

Re: tolerance vs acceptance
I think that tolerance is the required minimum level of respect for all non-rights-violating activity. That is, one's tolerance of something is of no use as a general answer to "am I being a good person, here?" You can tolerate and despise something at the same time. For instance, I had a co-worker I felt like that about. I was civil and avoided him as much as possible, and encouraged others to do the same. Every time he made a mistake (and it was a goddamn lot) I would make sure it got reported, whereas anyone I disliked less I would have let it slide.

Acceptance, which I really do think Heston was talking about, is different. You don't have negative feelings about something you've really accepted. It is at least neutral, and possibly positive. I accepted most of my other coworkers. If they slipped up, I acknowledged that it happens, and ignored it or pointed it out to them instead of complaining to management unless there was a pattern of stupidity that made my job substantially harder. If these people were happy, that was nice. If they were unhappy, it wasn't a big deal unless it was my fault.

I guess we're using "celebration" for the final step on this scale. Some of my colleagues were celebrated. I helped them out as much as possible because I liked them and admired their work. If they made a mistake, I fixed it for them and pointed it out so they could avoid it in the future, which they then did. If they were happy, great! If they were unhappy, I would try to correct the situation if I could.

Now, I think Heston's speeches indicate that he had at least a little bit of intellectual inclination. I think he probably examined himself for bigotry, and probably fought it where he found it, when he could. When he said he accepted but did not celebrate homosexuality, it wasn't out of the blue. He was talking about how difficult Basic Human Decency made to discuss situations involving homosexuals, and replying to the accusations of homophobia leveled against him after his first (and admittedly more inflammatory) speech on "the culture war."

And "tolerant" is the word I would use to describe my behavior toward most institutional religion, by the way. I don't like it, and I think it's generally bad. People have a right. So there it is. Heston didn't go that far, and I think he went exactly as far as he meant to.

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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Wormwood » Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:54 am UTC

taarnling wrote:
tetromino wrote:Now, this is a point where I do agree with Heston. Not because I want to keep gay men away from children, but because placing a sexually active adult in a tent with some children that he/she may be sexually attracted to, in the middle of the woods, miles away from a legal-age sex partner, is a singularly bad idea. You do not send a straight man to sleep in the same tent with a bunch of young girls. You do not send a gay man to sleep in the same tent as a bunch of small boys. And you do not send a straight woman to sleep with the boys, either.


I think I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one. Regardless of the genders or orientations involved I don't see anything wrong with having a sexually active adult in a tent full of young people of whichever gender. The main issue is that you've got to trust the people you're putting you children with. That should be done on a person by person basis and not on the rather broad basis of gender or orientation.


My father, a teacher at an all girls school, is not allowed to supervise girls swimming without a female teacher present. He says it is frustrating that he is not trusted, just because he is male. However, the issue is how can you tell if you can trust a person that much. There is no way to actually know whether someone is trustworthy. Such things are impossible.
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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby taarnling » Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:08 am UTC

Jjarro wrote:Re: boyscouts
Right, I think it could be argued to be a reasonable restriction, just based on avoiding potentially bad situations. I'm not convinced, but I think it's a fine argument to be had. And I think that someone shouldn't be called a homophobe for suggesting it's a poor idea to have homosexual scoutmasters.


First off I'm not calling you a homophobe for not thinking gay scoutmasters are a good idea. Given your explanations I just think that you're settling for the first solution that works rather than finding the best solution to the possible problem of a scoutmaster molesting their charges.

As far as I can see there is no reason that professed gay men are any more likely to molest the children in their care than professed straight men. Just look at all of the abuse cases that have cropped up within the Catholic church. I don't think that the whole possible abuse issue is sufficient reason to ban gay men from being scoutmasters.

In fact doubt that that that reason is really why the Boyscouts don't want gay scoutmasters. I think that it is more for the same reason that they don't want atheist scouts and gay scouts among them. What would you call that kind of behavior? Intolerance?

Edit:
I agree with what wormwood says about the uncertainty of trust in these situations. Nothing is 100%. But I don't approve of what the Boyscouts are doing, or that school he mentions. Closing people off and telling them that you don't trust them is not the way to go with this. Society will not be well served if no one trusts anyone.

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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Jjarro » Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:29 am UTC

Two things: I am not advocating disallowing gay scoutmasters. I am advocating allowing the argument to proceed unmolested by accusations of bigotry, unless someone tries to use bigotry to justify it. In fact, I think that there's no problem with homosexual boyscouts. I just don't see it. But I think it's perfectly acceptable to discuss.

Secondly, I know no one's accusing me of being a homophobe. Mostly. At one point I was accused of saying something apparently pretty bad about bisexuals, but I honestly have no idea what that was about. So I'll just let it pass.

If an argument is irrational, disregard/refute it. That takes the bigoted arguments out of the pool, and without them present it's fairly clear that the inclusion of homosexuals (and atheists, by god!) in the boyscouts isn't objectionable. Of course, if someone is using moral reasons/homosexuality as the reason, they're being a bigot in addition to being irrational.

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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby taarnling » Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:33 am UTC

Ahh, very sorry. It looks like I missed the bit about you not being convinced by the argument and instead thought you were making that argument yourself. My mistake, and quite clearly, time for me to get some sleep. I'll come back when I can actually read things in their entirety before posting. :oops:

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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Jjarro » Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:07 am UTC

No worries. I didn't stress that I disagreed with the assertion, because it wasn't relevant to my argument that it should be acceptable to discuss.

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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby recurve boy » Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:05 am UTC

Belial wrote:Who said anything about being "allowed"?

It's so funny, watching these fora, how any discussion of what people should or shouldn't do leaps immediately to "Who's going to make me? Can they do that?" It's pre-conventional reasoning at its finest.

Of course you're "allowed" to be however you want as long as it's not hurting anyone. It's just a strong possibility that the way you're being makes you a dick.


My impression from the original topic is that there is mutual exclusivity between not caring and not being a bigot about that which you don't care about. So I think I used the word "allow" correctly.

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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Belial » Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:52 pm UTC

Jjarro wrote:Two things: I am not advocating disallowing gay scoutmasters. I am advocating allowing the argument to proceed unmolested by accusations of bigotry, unless someone tries to use bigotry to justify it. In fact, I think that there's no problem with homosexual boyscouts. I just don't see it. But I think it's perfectly acceptable to discuss.


Hrm. True, but Heston wasn't discussing, he was assuming a conclusion, and, in fact, being pretty disparaging of the people with the opposite viewpoint, as though the idea that we shouldn't discriminate against homosexuals in the boyscouts was totally ridiculous and evidence that "Hillary Clinton's Shock Troopers" were crazy and wrong.

Jjarro wrote:I think that tolerance is the required minimum level of respect for all non-rights-violating activity. That is, one's tolerance of something is of no use as a general answer to "am I being a good person, here?"


My feelings exactly.

taarnling wrote:In fact doubt that that that reason is really why the Boyscouts don't want gay scoutmasters. I think that it is more for the same reason that they don't want atheist scouts and gay scouts among them. What would you call that kind of behavior? Intolerance?


Quite. Which is why the issue is just a shortcut straight to homophobia in my mind. But I think we're verging into another topic here. Curse this constantly branching discussion.
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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby AvalonXQ » Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:59 pm UTC

Quixotess wrote:
AvalonXQ wrote:In my experience, your sexual orientation has very little effect on your instance of sexual sin, anyway.
I'm confused. The first part seems to imply that you believe acting on homosexuality is sinful, but the second says that orientation has little effect on your sin. Clarification please?

This is probably the topic for another thread. What I was trying to get across is that it's the fact that the sex occurs extramaritally that is sinful -- not the gender/sex of the two partners having it. And, in my experience, sexual orientation isn't a good determinant of whether or not you have extramarital sex.

Quixotess wrote:Dextrose, please, I agree with you, but saying "You're wrong" without enumerating the reasons why will only serve to put his back up and get in the way of productive discussion.

Assuming the "his" in that sentence is me, it's pretty hard for Dextrose to get my back up since he's on ignore. From the first I realized I wasn't going to get anything from him but hateful vitriol and ignorant attacks. Fortunately, this message board has a function so I don't have to read what he writes.

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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Dextrose » Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:12 pm UTC

tetromino wrote:
The comment about "[placing] homosexual men in tents with Boy Scouts" just casts it in further light, if we want to include context. "Oh, yeah, gays are fine, but keep them away from our children!"

Now, this is a point where I do agree with Heston. Not because I want to keep gay men away from children, but because placing a sexually active adult in a tent with some children that he/she may be sexually attracted to, in the middle of the woods, miles away from a legal-age sex partner, is a singularly bad idea. You do not send a straight man to sleep in the same tent with a bunch of young girls. You do not send a gay man to sleep in the same tent as a bunch of small boys. And you do not send a straight woman to sleep with the boys, either.

All right, I'm sick of this. Absolutely sick. This actually made me pretty pissed to read. I think it was Sam Seaborne on The West Wing who had a line about how just because they're gay doesn't mean they can't keep their hands to themselves. What a fucked up thing to think.

Quixotess: I didn't need to ennumerate any of the problems I had with Avalon's posts because Belial already did it for me, which was kind of the point I was trying to make - that Avalon (pity s/he'll never hear this) was beating a dead horse and basically ignoring what Belial had to say while nonetheless attacking him for it.

Speaking of Belial:
Belial wrote:"I'm not thrilled about black people"

Funniest thing I've heard all week. And seconded. (Not on not being thrilled about black people - I'm absolutely thrilled, most of them* have bigger penes than I do and that's thrilling - but on the point about "not celebrating" homosexuality.)


I've been reading through the last few posts here and I'm still convinced that everybody is on the same page except about the Heston quote itself, and I still don't see where there's any room for interpretation there on the way he went about saying what he was allegedly trying to say.

*Edit: Except most of the women.
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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Kachi » Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:40 pm UTC

No. You volunteer "I'm not happy about..." because you are unhappy about it. In this case, a literal reading is a misreading of what was communicated.


I wouldn't necessarily agree. If it was in response to something-- a question or a statement-- it's not the same as volunteering it out of the blue. Though I would agree with you that that was his implication were that the case, it sounds as though it was a more or less provoked comment. As a stand alone quote, that's pretty much the only way you can look at it.

Not that I'm defending Mr. Heston or whatever his ideas may really be, but as someone just analyzing the statement out of context, there is nothing wrong with it.

As for whether or not Mr. Heston is actually a bigoted, prejudiced, intolerant human being... who cares? Again I draw emphasis to the fact that I really don't know much about him, but I did hear in passing that he was an actor and recently died. So... a possibly bigoted dead actor... While this is an amusing cerebral exercise I'm sure, let's not get too upset over it.

I mean, I understand that we're discussing the idea moreso than the person, but the person and vis-a-vis the context associated with him seems pretty irrelevant and the quote on its own a very neutral opinion. It's one thing to have a discussion about attitudes towards homosexuality or acceptance versus tolerance, but I think we can leave Mr. Heston and his quote out of it. It seems to add an unproductive element to the discussion.

It's like saying "I'm not thrilled about black people" out of the blue.


That is funny, though not equivalent. The phrase "I'm not thrilled" has sarcasm at its roots in our social contexts. If one literally meant that they weren't thrilled about black people, it would be no big deal, but it's understood that "not thrilled" is a way of expressing disapproval in our culture. "I don't celebrate it," doesn't have any such widely acknowledged implication. Not that any of that seems relevant in light of my prior statements, but just pointing out a flaw in your analogy.

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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Lucrece » Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:08 pm UTC

I'm putting this in during lunch, so I promise to extend later on:

Please don't refer to my sexuality as a course of action, practice, or personal choice. It's an aspect of myself. Homosexuality is not an action, just like your never questioned heterosexuality is classified as such. When you fall in love with someone, don't tell me it's a practice or personal choice that at first interaction, I get these feelings of tender infatuation. It's deeply insulting to be reduced to mere behavior.
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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Vaniver » Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:03 pm UTC

Dextrose wrote:If you really don't care, then - and no offense - shut the fuck up. This discussion isn't about you. I really don't think anyone who's posted here to that effect ("well I'm okay with gay people being gay but I just don't care") actually doesn't care at all. I think the "I don't care" statement is usually a manifestation of "Get it away from me." That's the kind of non-acceptance I'm talking about. Saying you're okay with something until the idea of it shows up in your daily life is not acceptance.
I'm ok with my roommate having a girlfriend. I am not ok with my roommate and his girlfriend having sex while I'm in the room (thankfully, they don't try), and I prefer him not telling me any intimate details. I would count that as being accepting of his relationship with his girlfriend; do you disagree?

Dextrose wrote:And what the fuck would make you uncomfortable about somebody expressing their sexuality around you, unless they're expressing it at you, in which case, shouldn't you at least be a little bit flattered?
Is it alright for women to not want to be leered at by men? If so, should it be alright for men to not want to be leered at by men?

And no, not all expressions of sexuality are leering. But if someone you are not attracted to is attracted to you, that can cause awkwardness that takes time to get over (if one can get over it at all), regardless of what sexes are involved.

Belial wrote:Passing judgement on someone else's beliefs, however, is totally fair game. Saying that what Heston said was entirely uncool and not something to be admired is fair game.
And so the response is not necessarily "you can't force me to believe in what you believe!" but "not only do I not believe what you believe, I have no reason to succumb to your moral judgment simply because it is your moral judgment."

btilly wrote:Because I don't like telling people what they can and cannot do.
Minor correction- you don't like telling people what they can and cannot think or say.

Belial wrote:No. You volunteer "I'm not happy about..." because you are unhappy about it. In this case, a literal reading is a misreading of what was communicated.
You're missing context.

Imagine someone comes up to me and says "hey Vaniver, come join our gay pride parade." I respond with "no thank you; that sort of thing doesn't make me happy." Which is the logical response- "so gay pride parades make you unhappy, we knew all along that you were a homophobe!" or "have it your way, then"?

If I walked up to someone that I knew attended gay pride parades and said "hey, gay pride parades don't make me happy," that would be a different situation. It would still be wrong to assume I'm a homophobe (maybe I'm starting a discussion on the best way to integrate homosexuals into mainstream society); but the lack of prompting makes it somewhat more likely.

Quixotess wrote:Prejudice: preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience. Here, it happens that "reason" is the key word. If you dislike murder because murder is demonstrably detrimental to society, that doesn't make you prejudiced against murders.
If I dislike lisps because their sound is unpleasant to me (so, there's a reason and actual experience involved), am I prejudiced against people with lisps?

Dextrose wrote:What you're doing is assuming you know what's going on in my head better than I know what's going on in yours.
No; he is discussing your actions. The things you say are typical of what can be legitimately called "thought police." You are the one stepping past actions and saying "I know you say X, but that's because you must be thinking Y, and Y is wrong!"

Quixotess wrote:Also, I'm not sure I believe that anyone actually said that. Certainly no one did in this discussion, which makes it a straw man.
Flawed reasoning. If someone says something stupid, and Heston calls them out on it, the fact that no one said it here doesn't influence Heston's argument.

Dextrose wrote:This actually made me pretty pissed to read. I think it was Sam Seaborne on The West Wing who had a line about how just because they're gay doesn't mean they can't keep their hands to themselves. What a fucked up thing to think.
Did you miss the part where he was talking about all adults and specifically mentioned both straight men and straight women? This is pretty much exactly what Heston is trying to work against- it's not a concern about gay people, it's a concern about sexually active adults alone with possible objects of their attraction. It doesn't matter if they're gay or straight or male or female, what matters is that there's a risk that's real and deserves to be discussed, and shutting down the discussion because you think it's anti-gay doesn't help anyone or anything.
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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby zahlman » Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:51 pm UTC

Just FTR: I am personally quite comfortable with the whole gay thing. Heck, I even, myself, kissed a guy once, and it wasn't to "prove" anything (except perhaps "okay, fine, you really do have that much power" to the girl who was present). I'm mostly playing Devil's Advocate here because my feeling is that the implied demanded standard of tolerance/acceptance/celebration/etc./etc. is unreasonably high, and that striving further from my own standard would accomplish little to nothing.

Also FTR: I never liked or understood the term "homophobe". Every other sort of discrimination is an "-ism". What's different about homosexuality? The term "homophobe" suggests a different motivation, and also elides the reference to sexuality, so that it literally means "fear of same". Well, let me tell you, if I encountered someone who looked just like me, I'd be pretty freaked out! And then, ITT we are defining "homophobophobe" in a seemingly strange way. I would interpret it to mean someone who is afraid of homophobes. I used to be like that. I had a lingering fear that, because of various unique behavioural traits, some homophobe would single me out, assume me to be gay, and beat me up for it.

Dextrose wrote:Because if he didn't care, he wouldn't be talking about it.


Er. That only logically holds if his opinion wasn't solicited in the first place. Do we even know that much here?

DarkKnightJared wrote:If you really believe in something, it should be able to come out in your words and actions.


I respectfully disagree. Strongly. Based on personal experience.

Quixotess wrote:But when he says "accept but don't celebrate," what that sounds like to me is a statement that Heston is not interested in a discussion.


Why would there be a need to discuss what is already understood?

"Look, you can fuck guys if you want, just don't tell me about it."


I don't particularly want to know what it's like to fuck men. I imagine the typical gay guy doesn't want to know what it's like to fuck women, either. We're talking about a person's sex life, here, after all. Is it wrong to expect people to keep that sort of thing to themselves (unless asked)?

You know, I don't think anyone will insist that you go to a gay pride parade. But you're fine with people having a gay pride parade, right? I mean, people can have a parade about any damn thing they want, right?


The Toronto pride parade invariably results in numerous flagrant violations of public indecency laws, as far as I can tell. I'm not talking about sexual acts; just overall nudity. AFAICT, arrests don't get made for these offenses. In any context other than making a public show of "celebrating diversity", the nudity in question would not be tolerated. That, frankly, offends me.

"That makes me uncomfortable; why do you feel the need to flaunt your sexuality?" That would be homophobia to me.


I don't understand this. What's wrong with not wanting people to flaunt their sexuality like that? (I know plenty of people who object to heterosexual PDA, too. And FTR, I would have no problem with encountering a proportionate amount of random homosexual PDA on the street. The parade, though, is a massive overdose.)

Put another way: should I feel compelled to "celebrate" heterosexuality? Should my gay friends be likewise compelled to "celebrate" my sexuality? If not, why not? If so, what if I don't feel that strongly about my own sexuality? (And why would I make such a big deal of that, anyway? It's simply a facet of who I am.)

taarnling wrote:Unless you think it's a bad thing, there is no reason to be uncomfortable with it.


I don't think this follows at all. Many insects are safe for humans to eat, and a good protein source. Many cultures around the world do so, and I absolutely do not think there is anything "bad" about that. But the idea of eating them still makes me uncomfortable. (It could be that your definition and/or intuitive understanding of "comfort" differs from mine.)

You're acting like people are wrong for wanting you to be comfortable with someone who is different from you.


Notice the subtle shift there: from comfort with the concept/idea/activity to comfort with the person. :/

Why on earth would you be uncomfortable with that (being told to become comfortable with those with whom you are already comfortable)? Unless you're being silly that is?


Because it's irritating.

btilly wrote:Wonderful. Enjoy. But don't bother inviting me to your party, because I'm a guy who has no interest in fucking or being fucked by guys.... According to several comments here, this makes me a homophobe in your eyes.


Er. Do you normally assume that being invited to a party implies sex with people of the same sex/sexuality as the host?

Azrael001 wrote:Guys who are flaming (including one of my friends) make me uncomfortable.


That's different, though. Straight guys can be "flaming", too. They can act the stereotype. It's just that, normally, they have no incentive, and strong disincentive (both in the form of "there still exist violent homophobes", and in the form of expectation of conformance to gender roles) to do so.

taarnling wrote:I think that when people say that everyone should celebrate difference, they mostly mean that people should appreciate it, find it important and to be a generally good thing.


OK. Now we're getting somewhere. :)

I hope it's understandable, though, that various LGBT organizations have a habit of being a bit, er, confrontational, and it tends, from what I have seen, to be counter-productive. This notion of "celebrate" is a weaker one from what is intuitively expected, and the front presented by these organizations does nothing to reconcile that gap in perception.

Dextrose wrote:And what the fuck would make you uncomfortable about somebody expressing their sexuality around you


The fact that it's someone else's sexuality.

There's, like, no point in going, "Eww, guys kissing each other." Especially when you're dick enough to go, "Dude, chicks kissing each other." Double standard is for the fail.


So I'm a "dick" for having a sense of sexual aesthetics that treats the two genders differently? I don't have to disagree with something to find it gross; see above about insects.

If [BDSM is] a topic of conversation, and you tend to go, "Man, I really don't want to talk about that because it makes me uncomfortable," then yeah, you should figure out how to not do it anymore, because, and I speak from experience, you're being a dick.


I'm into BDSM myself and I disagree. People have a right to change the topic away from that (though being polite about it would be nice). I don't have a right to keep them talking about BDSM.

Quixotess wrote:I'm sorry you got the impression that I was prejudiced against Christianity. I don't think I am, except in that I don't believe in God and have a strong aversion to people trying to convert me (bad experiences in fifth grade.) ... That's not a statement against them, however.


I'm sorry you got the impression Charlton Heston was prejudiced against homosexuality. He presumably doesn't think he is, except in that he doesn't believe a lesbian couple is necessarily more capable of childrearing than a straight one and has a strong aversion to people trying to tell the Boy Scouts what to do (presumably in the interests of "protecting the children"). That's not a statement against them, however.

(FTR, I don't even agree with the second part; I'm just showing the parallel.)

Quixotess wrote:Interestingly, he does not actually say what btilly said, that the babies are better loved than the babies that straight couples have. He just said that people were saying the babies were better loved. He didn't say better than what.


You say this as though there is reasonable doubt as to what else he could have been drawing a comparison to.

Also, the statement is not objectionable because of its ideas about homosexuality; it is objectionable because it is ridiculously sexist. Heston was misrepresenting it as a "Look! People are discriminating against heterosexuals!!!"


Er, no. The way I read it, Heston is arguing that people get away with promoting a "ridiculously sexist" idea by clouding the issue, by conflating it with the sexuality issue, and that this is not right.

And btilly, I would suggest "You are being bad if you dislike someone for being a homosexual."


OK; now what does it accomplish to remind people of this?

Dextrose wrote:I challenge you to produce an item of our culture, which I believe is a culture that supports the ideas of freedom, acceptance, peace, prosperity, intellect, knowledge and growth, that objects to something as unobjectionable as sexuality. No, I believe that there is no cultural basis for homophobia, except for our culture's basis in religion.


I'm not coming at this from the same angle as who you quoted, but...
Growing up, noone ever tried to tell me, personally, and based on religion, that there is anything wrong with homosexuality. I'm still bothered ("squicked" is much too strong, by now - I've been exposed to a fair amount of it, in various ways, and become desensitized) by the idea of acts of male homosexuality, because it's not erotic to me. Thinking about acts of male sexuality involves thinking about the naughty bits of males, without also simultaneously thinking about the naughty bits of females. I don't like the idea of the physical appearance of male naughty bits.

Dextrose wrote:
Tetromino wrote:And you do not send a straight woman to sleep with the boys, either.

All right, I'm sick of this. Absolutely sick. This actually made me pretty pissed to read. I think it was Sam Seaborne on The West Wing who had a line about how just because they're gay doesn't mean they can't keep their hands to themselves. What a fucked up thing to think.


Are you actually reading what you reply to?
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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Quixotess » Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:23 pm UTC

zahlman wrote:Also FTR: I never liked or understood the term "homophobe". Every other sort of discrimination is an "-ism". What's different about homosexuality?
*shrug* "Homoism"? "homosexualism"? They sound like they would be used to support homosexuality. The trouble is that sexism and racism make no reference to a specific sex or race, just to the judging people based on their sex or race. We need that generic one: "sexism." Oh wait. "sexualityism." Maybe "sexualism"? That might be the best one, but it still sounds like judging people based on whether or not they have sex.

The moral of the story is that people will go with whatever phrase they like first. Then it gets widely accepted. Then you have to go with what it is because we can't all be having different names for the same thing. See: Big Bang.

Why would there be a need to discuss what is already understood?
Homosexuals and homosexuality are treated differently by society than heterosexuals and heterosexuality. The two groups have different social experiences. It is very valuable to discuss those experiences so we know where each other is coming. Seriously, dude, discussing our experiences is a pretty basic part of interacting with someone.

I don't particularly want to know what it's like to fuck men. I imagine the typical gay guy doesn't want to know what it's like to fuck women, either. We're talking about a person's sex life, here, after all. Is it wrong to expect people to keep that sort of thing to themselves (unless asked)?
Again, I meant social experiences, not sex life.

The Toronto pride parade invariably results in numerous flagrant violations of public indecency laws, as far as I can tell. I'm not talking about sexual acts; just overall nudity. AFAICT, arrests don't get made for these offenses. In any context other than making a public show of "celebrating diversity", the nudity in question would not be tolerated. That, frankly, offends me.
Au contraire. Here in Seattle, we have the Fremont street parade every year to celebrate the summer solstice and the arts. The best-known part of the parade is the naked bicyclists. There, now you don't have to be offended.

I don't understand this. What's wrong with not wanting people to flaunt their sexuality like that?
I mean that they shouldn't have to hide the fact that they're homosexual and do homosexual things such as dating members of the same sex.

I hope it's understandable, though, that various LGBT organizations have a habit of being a bit, er, confrontational, and it tends, from what I have seen, to be counter-productive. This notion of "celebrate" is a weaker one from what is intuitively expected, and the front presented by these organizations does nothing to reconcile that gap in perception.
Great, so that would appear to be a problem with the people doing the perceiving. Even if it wasn't, though, what does it matter to you? Let them do what they think is best; they probably have a lot more experience with what works overall than you do.

Quixotess wrote:Interestingly, he does not actually say what btilly said, that the babies are better loved than the babies that straight couples have. He just said that people were saying the babies were better loved. He didn't say better than what.


You say this as though there is reasonable doubt as to what else he could have been drawing a comparison to.
Yes. "Better loved than children who stay in orphanages." Haven't you ever heard people say that homosexual couples shouldn't be allowed to adopt? I have.

Er, no. The way I read it, Heston is arguing that people get away with promoting a "ridiculously sexist" idea by clouding the issue, by conflating it with the sexuality issue, and that this is not right.
...Okay...but that's not Basic Human Decency gone too far.

OK; now what does it accomplish to remind people of this?
Social pressure to get them to stop.
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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Vaniver » Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:21 pm UTC

Quixotess wrote:...Okay...but that's not Basic Human Decency gone too far.
The claim, as I understand it, was that Basic Human Decency makes it so you can't point out "hey, that gay activist is being sexist!" because that's responded to as though it were anti-gay.
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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby btilly » Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:49 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
btilly wrote:Just the one where you're very fast to wrongly accuse people of being homophobic on flimsy or no evidence.

I still disagree. I still assert that he was making a homophobic statement, albeit one of those "I dislike homosexuality but still think they should be allowed to do it, or whatever" statements that aren't nearly as bad as others. Tolerance but not acceptance.

Because, again, you don't volunteer that you "don't celebrate" something out of the blue. It's like saying "I'm not thrilled about black people" out of the blue. The very fact that you're saying anything at all on the subject, unbidden, says that you have an opinion on the subject, and you're pretty well ruling out the positive possibility.

But he didn't say that unbidden. He said that after having been personally caught on the wrong side of a series of controversies. And said it in the context of a speech where he was basically saying, "We've gone too far. It is one thing to correct historic discrimination, and that we should do. It is quite another to give members of the discriminated against group a free card to push other people around."
Belial wrote:The comment about "[placing] homosexual men in tents with Boy Scouts" just casts it in further light, if we want to include context. "Oh, yeah, gays are fine, but keep them away from our children!"

I've already indicate that I disagree with that comment. But I've indicated why I think he said it. And again the issue comes down to saying, "At what point do we have the right to tell people that they aren't free to do what they want to do?" He draws that line differently than I do. And I draw it differently than you do.
Belial wrote:The guy was a civil rights activist, back in the day, and I respect the hell out of him, but I don't think it's disrespectful to point out that he still had some lingering prejudices, and that they came out from time to time. And as I keep saying, everyone does.

I have lingering, and not so lingering, prejudices as well on lots of issues. But I truly believe that I don't have any on the specific topic of homosexuality.

tetromino wrote:
The comment about "[placing] homosexual men in tents with Boy Scouts" just casts it in further light, if we want to include context. "Oh, yeah, gays are fine, but keep them away from our children!"

Now, this is a point where I do agree with Heston. Not because I want to keep gay men away from children, but because placing a sexually active adult in a tent with some children that he/she may be sexually attracted to, in the middle of the woods, miles away from a legal-age sex partner, is a singularly bad idea. You do not send a straight man to sleep in the same tent with a bunch of young girls. You do not send a gay man to sleep in the same tent as a bunch of small boys. And you do not send a straight woman to sleep with the boys, either.

Lots of people think this way. The question is whether it makes sense to let them set up rules on this thought.

However people who think this way, including yourself, tend to make a significant mistaken assumption. The truth is that people tend to have very specific patterns of what they are attracted to. Most gay men are not pedophiles. They are no more interested in sleeping with boys than they are with women.

Furthermore a "no gays" policy only weeds out gays who are honest that they are gay. But as stated most of those gays are not pedophiles and are therefore not a risk. The ones you have to worry about are the ones who don't tell you their interests.

Now whether a gay is more likely to be a pedophile than a random man is a complex question, and the answer to it would be difficult to research. (I suspect the answer is that the rates are very close. And the rates are lower among gays who are honest enough about their sexuality to admit to being gay.) However given what we know about sexuality, and given that I know of no research on that specific question, I would give the benefit of the doubt and say that gays should not be discriminated against in that capacity.

Vaniver wrote:
btilly wrote:Because I don't like telling people what they can and cannot do.
Minor correction- you don't like telling people what they can and cannot think or say.

Correction accepted and agreed with.

zahlman wrote:
btilly wrote:Wonderful. Enjoy. But don't bother inviting me to your party, because I'm a guy who has no interest in fucking or being fucked by guys.... According to several comments here, this makes me a homophobe in your eyes.

Er. Do you normally assume that being invited to a party implies sex with people of the same sex/sexuality as the host?

Context. We're talking about a party (or parade) which is all about celebrating homosexuality. As a non-homosexual I do not share the bond that that party is about. And if the gays that I know are a sample, I would expect that event to be a complete pick-up scene. Now I could go to say hi to friends, but I couldn't demand their time at said event - I know they have other priorities.

Therefore why would I want to go? What would be the point of my being there? Does anyone think I would enjoy myself? I sure don't. So don't invite me.

Now if some gays wanted me to be at some event where we share a bond, that's another story entirely. See the volleyball game I played in last weekend. Or going to my sister's birthday party. (She has a lot of gay friends.) That I'm happy to go to. Because it makes sense to be there.

So you can see that I accept homosexuality, but I do not celebrate it. Nor do I really want to be at an event that celebrates homosexuality.

Quixotess wrote:
zahlman wrote:
Quixotess wrote:Interestingly, he does not actually say what btilly said, that the babies are better loved than the babies that straight couples have. He just said that people were saying the babies were better loved. He didn't say better than what.

You say this as though there is reasonable doubt as to what else he could have been drawing a comparison to.
Yes. "Better loved than children who stay in orphanages." Haven't you ever heard people say that homosexual couples shouldn't be allowed to adopt? I have.

You can believe me or not, but I guarantee you that the audience he was talking to at the time he talked knew what he was talking about. And it wasn't comparisons with orphanages.

Vaniver wrote:
Quixotess wrote:...Okay...but that's not Basic Human Decency gone too far.
The claim, as I understand it, was that Basic Human Decency makes it so you can't point out "hey, that gay activist is being sexist!" because that's responded to as though it were anti-gay.

Exactly.
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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Vaniver » Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:38 pm UTC

btilly wrote:However people who think this way, including yourself, tend to make a significant mistaken assumption. The truth is that people tend to have very specific patterns of what they are attracted to. Most gay men are not pedophiles. They are no more interested in sleeping with boys than they are with women.

Furthermore a "no gays" policy only weeds out gays who are honest that they are gay. But as stated most of those gays are not pedophiles and are therefore not a risk. The ones you have to worry about are the ones who don't tell you their interests.

Now whether a gay is more likely to be a pedophile than a random man is a complex question, and the answer to it would be difficult to research. (I suspect the answer is that the rates are very close. And the rates are lower among gays who are honest enough about their sexuality to admit to being gay.) However given what we know about sexuality, and given that I know of no research on that specific question, I would give the benefit of the doubt and say that gays should not be discriminated against in that capacity.
The second part is definitely true; I don't know enough about pedophilia to talk about the first or third. But scouts have wide age ranges, and protecting 8-year-olds from adults with a sexual interest in them is very different from protecting 16-year-olds from adults with a sexual interest in them. Even if we can't say much about who is attracted to 8-year-olds, I think there's a strong reason to suspect that someone attracted to male adults is going to have a higher chance of a sexual liaison with a male pubescent than someone attracted to female adults. [edit]I should clarify- there's a higher chance of a m/m relationship when the adult is gay than there is of a m/m relationship when the adult is straight, and no claim is made about the chance of a m/f relationship when the adult is straight.
Last edited by Vaniver on Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:45 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby Lucrece » Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:41 pm UTC

By the way, a phobia can be a strong negative reaction, not just fear. However, if you were asking for a word that expresses superiority over homosexuality, it already exists. It's called heterosexism.
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Re: Celebrating difference

Postby zahlman » Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:03 pm UTC

Quixotess wrote:
zahlman wrote:Also FTR: I never liked or understood the term "homophobe". Every other sort of discrimination is an "-ism". What's different about homosexuality?
*shrug* "Homoism"? "homosexualism"? They sound like they would be used to support homosexuality. The trouble is that sexism and racism make no reference to a specific sex or race, just to the judging people based on their sex or race. We need that generic one: "sexism." Oh wait. "sexualityism." Maybe "sexualism"? That might be the best one, but it still sounds like judging people based on whether or not they have sex.

The moral of the story is that people will go with whatever phrase they like first. Then it gets widely accepted. Then you have to go with what it is because we can't all be having different names for the same thing. See: Big Bang.


Point. (The best I ever managed to come up with is 'orientationism', which is awkward and vague.)

I don't particularly want to know what it's like to fuck men. I imagine the typical gay guy doesn't want to know what it's like to fuck women, either. We're talking about a person's sex life, here, after all. Is it wrong to expect people to keep that sort of thing to themselves (unless asked)?
Again, I meant social experiences, not sex life.


I'm sure you do, but not everyone I've encountered in my life has shown such restraint.

I don't understand this. What's wrong with not wanting people to flaunt their sexuality like that?
I mean that they shouldn't have to hide the fact that they're homosexual and do homosexual things such as dating members of the same sex.


I still don't understand how you get from not hide to flaunt.

Most homosexuals I know do neither. However, the parade appears to exist for the purpose of flaunting.

Great, so that would appear to be a problem with the people doing the perceiving. Even if it wasn't, though, what does it matter to you? Let them do what they think is best; they probably have a lot more experience with what works overall than you do.


Okay. When I was in engineering, the campus LGBT organization would put up triangles (in the rainbow colours, of course) of posters reading "rip me down if you're homophobic". They would last a very short period of time.

I would rather have been able to ignore the fact that a significant number of my peers would carry that kind of hate around with them. I would rather not have experienced the organization's apparent need to dare people to do this. I strongly doubt that it actually accomplished anything.

By way of (obviously quite flawed) analogy: when someone on the forum makes a direct challenge to a moderator's authority, it tends to make everyone uncomfortable. I don't think that is fair to the "general public", when the vast majority of them are willing to play by the rules.

OK; now what does it accomplish to remind people of this?
Social pressure to get them to stop.


So you think this will actually work?
Belial wrote:I once had a series of undocumented and nonstandardized subjective experiences that indicated that anecdotal data is biased and unreliable.


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