A friend of mine, Keith R., was once asked on a radio talk show, Do you know of any homosexuals who were cured?. He replied, Yes. Three of them — they all committed suicide.
I am an atheist myself, so I had no troubles overcoming religious guilt feelings about my own homosexuality, but perhaps you were brought up as a Christian or a Jew and are deeply troubled by Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination.
My advice would be to read Towards a Quaker View of Sex edited by Alastair Heron. It is applicable to most Christian sects — not just the Quakers. Many of the ideas in this section were pirated from this book.
Even though no other religions except the Christian and Jewish ones concerned themselves with homosexuality, the Christian church has always frowned on homosexual practices and the ancient Jews distrusted them, apparently because they cannot lead to the procreation of children. (How strange it is that in modern times we tolerate married heterosexual couples who use birth control and yet we jeer at married homosexual couples who practice the ultimate in birth control — the only method with no known failures — homosexuality.)
St. Paul seems to have regarded homosexual behaviour itself with abhorrence, apparently because such acts were unnatural.Romans 1:27and likewise also with men, leaving the natural use of women, burned in their lust toward one another, suggests that St. Paul subscribed to the prairie fire view of homosexual conduct — that it is naturally more attractive than heterosexual satisfaction and that if allowed legally and morally everyone would turn to it. This is plainly contrary to experience — most societies (i.e. the non-Judeo-Christian ones) have no such taboos against homosexuality and I refuse to believe that women in those cultures are sexually neglected. It is no more likely that people will turn to bestiality if it is legalized and morally sanctioned than they will to homosexuality. As for it being unnatural, homosexual behaviour exists in every human culture and in most of the species of the higher mammals. Unnatural is what we call things we are afraid and do not yet understand.
Other than two verses in Leviticus, (Leviticus is the book where people who commit adultery, marry their wife’s sister, have intercourse with women during their periods, eat the fat of any animal etc. are either to be banished or put to death) the only other anti-homosexual references are in the writings of St. Paul, who left no doubt about his ideas in I Corinthians 6:9 know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind… Shall inherit the kingdom of God. His opinions may have been personal ones, however, or part of the accepted Jewish thought of the day. Equally strong prohibitions that women should not pray with their hats off ( I Corinthians 11:5), nor speak in church in I Corinthians 14:34) tend to be disregarded by most modern Christians, so that St. Paul’s views are not, in themselves, final.
There are hundreds of condemnations of heterosexual sex between unmarried couples in the Bible and only a handful condemning homosexual sex. Hmmm.
One important point to make is that Jesus himself never once made mention of the evils of homosexuality. Perhaps he felt it was such a minor sin that it was not worth fretting about. Perhaps when he said, Love thy neighbour he meant just that and love between men is good.
The young un-come-out gay will nearly always subconsciously try to repress his homosexual desires. But, when these well-repressed desires finally emerge, the homosexual finds himself in direct conflict with the society he has lived in all his life. He has been exposed to all the myths and misconceptions and to none of the facts. He may believe that all homosexuals are transvestites; that they are sick and desperately want to be normal; that they are lisping, effeminate misogynists, wildly promiscuous but incapable of affection; that they congregate in washrooms and at the rack row of movie theatres, molest children, blackmail each other for amusement and work part time for the Mafia: or that they are all dirty, deformed old men who sleep with one another because it’s the only kind of sex they can get. Bullshit!, yes, but very commonly relieved for all that.
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