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How Do You Make a Homo?

Old joke:

Guy #1: "My mother made me a homosexual."

Guy #2: "If I give her the yarn, will she make one for me, too?"

OK, maybe not a great joke. But it reminds me of an often-heard retort to faith-based homophobia: "God made me gay."

The impulse to stake that claim is understandable. If being queer isn't a choice, then we deserve equal rights, right? And if we're an intended part of some divine creation, then GLBT rights even has a heavenly imprimatur, like not eating meat on Fridays.

But, but, but…

There are, sorry, two big things wrong with proceeding down that pious path.

First off, it shouldn’t matter why some of us have turned out queer: We should have our fucking rights regardless. After all, religion isn't an inborn characteristic, but it's a protected class anyway. Sorry, Pope, but your flock has chosen a Catholic lifestyle, so they don't deserve civil rights. Nope, Miss Benedict wouldn't go for that at all. But somehow, we're all tangled up in debates about genetics and psychology and stuff, when we should just be insisting on our right to be different, even if it's by choice.

The best response to "God Hates Fags" is not "God Loves Fags." It's "This Is A Fucking Secular State, You Inbred Morons."

Even stickier, though, is the whole Sky God schtick. Sure, I understand the very human urge to be part of something larger than the isolated self. Yes, I grasp the desire to somehow be assured of existence past death. Sex is tied up with all that, of course, as is parenthood.

And then there's religion.

But faith is, by definition, impervious to evidence and logic. So by arguing on religious grounds, we're basically ceding the ground to our foes.

"God made me gay, and He loves me just the way I am."

"No, He didn't and He doesn't and He wants you to change."

"Prove it."

"No, you prove it."

And there the matter sits. Theological standoff.

Now, queer folks aren't immune to the lures of heavenly blessings, angelic choirs, and all that eternal good stuff. And there's certainly a temptation to use our enemies' own weapons and throw their shit back at them. But cherry-picking the tenets of revealed religion seems like a sucker's game to me. If you want to be a queer Christian, you're entitled. But if you want to be a gay Mormon or Roman Catholic or even a homo holy roller, I'd question your picking and choosing just what you do or don't believe. I do, yes, know something about the ambiguities of Biblical exegesis; monotheists have for millennia been arguing about what this or that verse means. And certainly, Yahweh's sex police are strangely selective; they pay a lot more attention to the passages forbidding hanky-panky than to the command to kill unruly kids. (Though, based on my last cross-country flight, I'm thinking that maybe that's a pity.)

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Haha, nice, made me laugh out

Haha, nice, made me laugh out loud. Especially about David and Jonathan going to Ikea.

No no no, guys come on Marty

No no no, guys come on

Marty made me gay.

http://hardblush.deviantart.com/art/Marty-114425043

Exactly, Simon. I've always

Exactly, Simon. I've always hated this argument for gay civil rights. For one thing it's so whiny: "we can't helllp being gay! You should feel sorrrry for us and give us civil rights!" Pleh. Not to mention, what does this argument say about bisexuals? Obviously we have a "choice" on some level, right? The point is, it shouldn't matter whether it's a "choice" or not. Like you said, religion is for sure a choice but we don't deny civil rights on that basis!

choice

I've always had a problem with the whole "choice" thing, being heterosexual, since I never "chose" to get an erection when I see boobs and snatch nor to be disgusted by seeing the sexual organs of my own gender. But hey, to each his own thing. I've realized that the haters who still think that being gay is a choice is actually a form of arrogance, because to them being hetero is "good," and they assume that their own life experience is just naturally all "good," and other people who even THINK to be anything but hetero are just evil trash, which they (the good hetero) could never be.

Of course, to cut the story short, you're right. There's no arguing with religious zealots. You should indeed just remind them of Congress's prohibition against making laws respecting religion.

Profit for Carnal Nation?

"This Is A Fucking Secular State, You Inbred Morons."

Can CN make a t-shirt that says this? That would be awesome!

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Simon Sheppard
May 3rd, 2010
Simon Sheppard's picture
Simon Sheppard has been called by San Francisco magazine "our erotica king." He's the editor of the Lambda-Award-winning Homosex: Sixty Years of Gay Erotica  and Leathermen, and the author of...