Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Anti-Equality Argument That Finally Forced Me to Say Something

I hear the same arguments again and again: "the bible says men shouldn't lay with other men," "marriage is meant for procreation, so two people who can't possibly procreate shouldn't marry," "it's 'unnatural'"etc.  I've also heard all the valid rebuttals to these arguments--rebuttals I happen to mostly agree with.  But no matter how pro I am,  I also accept that people who are against these issues due to their very strong, very firm religious convictions are most likely not going to change their views, because what their reasoning inevitably boils down to is their beliefs, their faith, and the nature of faith is that it's not really arguable.  You can't argue someone into having it and you can't argue someone into getting rid of it; faith is something people have to gain or lose on their own.

So when homosexuality-based issues come up, wherever and whenever, I honestly don't pay much attention anymore--I've heard it all and anything I could respond with has already been said . . . until now.

The other day, I heard a new (to me) argument that made me physically ill:  "Yes, they're born that way, but they can choose not to act on that attraction.  Pedophiles are born that way--they can't help that they're attracted to children--but they don't have to act on it."  (In the interest of full disclosure, there was an additional group of people mentioned in the comparison, but I can't quite remember who it was.  I imagine my brain was too shocked by the juxtaposition of homosexuals with pedophiles to register a less appalling notion.)

There are many things wrong with this statement ( "wrong" in many senses of the word), but I'm going to stick with two points for right now: one from a logical perspective and one from a personal perspective.

First, equating (and yes, that's what this argument does) homosexuals with pedophiles doesn't really work.  The average gay relationship is much like the average straight relationship: it occurs between two consenting people of (around) the same developmental stage  (i.e. children "date" children, teenagers date teenagers, and adults date adults).  Pedophilic "relationships," however,  are between a teenager or adult (someone who is mature in his or her physical and mental sexual development) and a child (someone who is very much NOT), and they can't really ever be consensual, as at least one party doesn't have the maturity, emotional development, etc. needed to give consent.  It's comparing apples to oranges, but drawing a conclusion as if you're comparing apples to apples.

Now, here's my personal point; here's why I really have a problem with the "they don't have to act on it" idea.

I was raised being told (and am still told) that God is a god of love, above all else.  That He loves us, all of us equally,  and he wants us to be happy--He LOVES to see us happy.  We're his children and that's what any parent wants most for his or her child, happiness.  But, apparently, if we're born gay, we're supposed to be happy in a completely different manner than those born straight--namely without any possibility of marriage, sex, or children.  Those particular joys are only reserved for heterosexuals.  A homosexual's lot in life is, apparently, very much like that of a priest or a monk, but with one very large difference: it is a lot he or she had no say in.  And even worse?  Many, many gay people want those heterosexual privileges more than anything.  They want to be married to the loves of their lives, share the marital bed them, and have a family with them.  But apparently these earnest hopes and desires, so easily and sinlessly available to the Adams and Eves of the world,  must be denied them . . . because they were born to love someone the same sex as themselves.

I can't imagine living in a world, surrounded by people who have these precious, holy things that I want most, but can never ever have, lest I go to hell--FOREVER.  And I really can't imagine being a parent and watching my child live in a world, surrounded by these precious, holy things that he wants more than anything--things I have always taught him are good, worthy things--and forbidding him from ever having any of them due to something he had no control over. And above all, I can't imagine telling my child that the way for him to truly show his love for me (and ensure he avoids my "justice" in the form of eternal damnation) is to forsake those joys that I freely offer to my other children.

Perhaps the homosexual's lot in life is more like a modern Job--except his or her test lasts a lifetime.

A god of love who loves all his children equally? Not in this version of the story.

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