Monday, October 22, 2007

1.7 million have HIV infections

According to CNS News, “An estimated 1.7 million people have HIV infections, and there have been over 500,000 deaths from AIDS.” In addition, “For FY 2007, $23.4 billion dollars were allocated for fighting HIV/AIDS worldwide - $14 billion domestically. More than half of the money the government spends on AIDS is for care of AIDS patients through Medicaid and Medicare.”

And yet our public schools continue to push a homosexuality as a positive alternative lifestyle. I would understand public schools teaching that no one should be mocked or ridiculed because of their sexual orientation, but to actually promote a lifestyle which has a high risk of horrible death is not only cruel and inhuman, such promotion should be criminal!

19 comments:

Robert said...

Doc -

I'm not certain I agree with how you've framed the argument regarding AIDS. The transmission of the virus can occur to heterosexuals as well as homosexuals (I know you're aware of that). Anal intercourse is more risky than traditional sex and that puts homosexuals at greater risk. However, in a monogamous relationship, I do not believe that homosexuals are at any greater risk than heterosexuals. The way your post is written, it appears as though you’re saying that homosexuals are the ones at risk and that heterosexuals wouldn’t normally be afflicted with AIDS when really it’s the act of unprotected and anonymous intercourse that is the real culprit here.

With that understanding, it would seem to me that the schools probably should not be in the business of pushing any “alternative” lifestyles. Respect for others yes, but actively promoting it, no. In relation to AIDS, I’d prefer to have the school explain the AIDS virus, explain the risk of unprotected and anonymous sex, and stress abstinence as the only 100% effective method in protecting individuals.

Dennis said...

Robert,

"Unprotected anonymous sex" increases the risk of STD's. Anal sex (protected or not) increases the risk of HIV/AIDS, whether in heterosexuals or homosexuals.

Although heterosexual women also get HIV/AIDS (mostly thorough IV drug use or anal sex), homosexual men are by far at the greatest risk.

To encourage gay men to engage in anal sex is not much different than giving booze to an alcoholic, or drugs to an addict. Some compassion! To tell children that such a lifestyle is a positive thing, is cruel and should be criminal!

Some in the gay/lesbian community have now introduced a new category to glbt (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered)….glbtq. The “q” is for questioning. When the public schools push homosexuality as a good alternative lifestyle, they are encouraging “questioning” students to explore a lifestyle they may lead to a horrible death and to the death of others. I think that is insanity.

If the public schools were pushing abstinence, and if by “alternative lifestyle” they made it abundantly clear that they mean one couple committed to each other for life (ideally), I would be much less concerned. We both know that is not the case. Far from it.

Steve said...

Robert is right. 99 percent of HIV infections in women are caused by heterosexual sex or drugs. 33 percent of infections in men are caused by something other than homosexual sex. 75 percent of those infected with HIV are men and 25 percent are women, which means that half of people infected with HIV in the United States were potentially infected by something other than homosexual sex. In the rest of the world even fewer people were infected through homosexual sex. In Africa the majority of people infected are heterosexuals.

Actually, there is one sexually active group that is safer from HIV than heterosexuals: Lesbians. By your logic we should teach all of our young women to become lesbians.

Most new infections are in young people now. This is a legacy of many years of abstinence-only sex education programs, which do nothing to teach young people about safer sex. Most studies show that students in abstinence-only sex education programs have just as much sex as those in more traditional sex education programs, so what these programs have done is to create a generation of young people who are still having sex but are ignorant about how to avoid HIV.

It's almost funny that you say gays should not be mocked and then go on to compare them to alcoholics and drug addicts and spread hateful lies about them. The reason why gays are mocked and ridiculed is because of the homophobic and inaccurate claims like the ones in your post.

If you really believe what you are saying, and you really aren't homophobic, please tell me why you are not encouraging young women to be lesbians since they would be much safer from HIV than heterosexual women.

Dennis said...

Steve, to say or imply that HIV/AIDS is as much or more of a heterosexual disease than a homosexual disease is pure smokescreen.

HIV is a virus. It does not care whether you are homosexual or heterosexual.

The scientific fact is that there are several risk factors for contracting HIV/AIDS. The biggest risk factor is anal sex. This is true regardless of whether you are a man engaging in anal sex, or a woman receiving anal sex. The sexual orientation of the participants is entirely irrelevant, though you know full well that the vast majority of anal sex is practiced by homosexual men.

Another huge risk factor is the frequency of anal intercourse with other high risk partners. The more you engage in such anal sex, the higher your risk.

Another risk factor is IV drug use. At one time, blood transfusions with contaminated blood was also a risk factor, but as far as I know that has been contained.

When propagandists argue that heterosexuals get HIV/AIDS just as much as homosexuals, they are blowing smoke in your face. If two people have never engaged in anal sex, and have never used IV drugs, their chances of contracting HIV/AIDS solely through vaginal intercourse is very, very small.

Even if you contest my facts, Steve, just look at your own statistics. You wrote that “33 percent of infections in men are caused by something other than homosexual sex.” That would mean that the remaining 67% of infections are caused by homosexual sex!

Armed with a statistic like that, you and your pals on the Left still want to tell young boys that homosexual sex is a perfectly natural and good alternative lifestyle? You want to encourage them in a lifestyle that could result in their death? How heartless can you get?!

So if public schools wanted to tell students to abstain from sex before marriage (or a committed relationship), and to be faithful during that relationship, I could not object on medical grounds (though I would still disagree on social and religious grounds). But to give boys the message that homosexual sex is perfectly normal and good, is not only heartless and terribly cruel, such a message should be criminal.

Finally, I thought my comparison would be clear, but since it apparently wasn’t: Alcoholics, drug addicts, and homosexuals all have one thing in common. Their behavior could lead to their own death. Take alcoholism for example. Regardless of whether someone’s alcoholism was genetic, facilitated by a rotten childhood, or some other cause, society doesn’t tell alcoholics that alcoholism is a perfectly acceptable alternative lifestyle. That’s because we know that if we encourage an alcoholic to drink we are helping to kill him or her. Similarly, we know that if we encourage people to engage in anal sex that could also kill them—but you “compassionate” people on the Left continue to do just that! Some compassion!

Steve, you claim to be a Christian but I really don’t understand your brand of Christianity. What kind of Christianity is it that ignores what the Bible has to say on this topic and encourages young men to engage in lifestyles that could result in a horrible death? That's not an attack against you. I really want to know how you justify this.

Steve said...

"HIV is a virus. It does not care whether you are homosexual or heterosexual."

Bingo. Then why are you singling out homosexuals? In the United States HIV made its way into the population through gay men but it hasn't confined itself to this demographic. In Africa the majority of those infected with HIV are heterosexual.

And you never addressed my question: If you really believe what you are saying, and you really aren't homophobic, please tell me why you are not encouraging young women to be lesbians since they would be much safer from HIV than heterosexual women.

Dennis said...

Steve, did you even read what I wrote?

First, my point was not against homosexuals but against the public school system which promotes a deadly lifestyle. My point is that in spite of all their rhetoric about compassion, their promotion of this lifestyle is very uncompassionate.

Second, I think I did address your question. I pointed out that even in cases in which medical science and health would not be an issue (I gave abstinance followed by monogomous homosexual relations as an example but most intelligent people would realize that the example also applies to lesbians), I would still be opposed on social and religious grounds--both of which I have discussed extensively on this blog.

I don't expect non-Christians to agree with me on relgious grounds but it is cruel to ignore the medical evidence by promoting gay sex among men which can kill them.

OK so I answered your question, now you answer mine. You claim to be a Christian. "What kind of Christianity is it that ignores what the Bible has to say on this topic and encourages young men to engage in lifestyles that could result in a horrible death?" How is that compassionate?

Steve said...

Your point was not against homosexuals yet you compared gays to alcoholics and drug addicts and called it a "lifestyle that will lead to horrible death"? Are you serious?

And how do schools "promote" homosexuality by telling students not to mock them or beat them up? You've lost me here.

AIDS has only been an epidemic since the early 1980s. Homosexuality does not cause AIDS and AIDS does not confine itself to gays so to claim that being gay leads to death is ridiculous. And there are plenty of gay people who have safe sex or are monogomous who have not become infected with HIV. You are just using this disease to promote your own homophobic agenda as you have basically proven by saying that you are opposed to lesbians anyway. I happen to think it's immoral to bash people by using a tragic illness.

There are plenty of lifestyles that could result in tragic death, such as joining the military or being a missionary in a place where there is an epidemic or being a race car driver. Is it immoral to encourage young men to engage in these pursuits?

The Bible only mentions homosexuality a few times: in the Old Testament in the context of many laws that Christians have rejected (such as dietary laws) and in the New Testament in the context of attacking all sex (Paul thought that Christians should be celibate but acknowledged that as that was unlikely being married and monogamous was the next best thing. Jesus never mentions homosexuality although he does appear to bless a gay relationship between a Roman centurian and his servant.

The Bible also never mentions abortion. On the other hand the Bible mentions helping the poor more than 2100 times. have conservative Christinas even read the Bible, I wonder.

This blog has approved of torture and made excuses for the mistreatment of prisoners. How Christian is that?

Are you even familiar with Christ's words?:

"I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not."

"Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me."

How is it compassionate to tell young gay men (but not lesbians) the lie that being gay will lead to death. How is it compassionate to compare them to drug addicts and alcoholics? How is it compassionate to tell them they are immoral and drive many of them to attempt suicide? How is it compassionate to support the torture and mistreatment of prisoners? How is it compassionate to support tax cuts for the rich and cut programs for the poor?

By the way, I don't think I ever said I was a Christian but I wonder how can you call yourself a Christian?

Dennis said...

I am obviously confusing you with another "Steve" who used to post on this blog and who claimed to be a Christian.

While he and I strongly disagreed at times, he would usually at least interact with my arguments rather than just using this as a forum for grandstanding and venting his venom.

Have a good life, Steve.

St.Lee said...

Steve, I am sure Dennis does not need me to speak for him, but it appears that your idea of the "charity" that Jesus spoke of is to take money by the force of government to give to those the government see as being poor. Most conservative Christians see charity as the individual giving of their own free will to those they see as being poor and in need. Statistics show that states with the people having the lowest median income (who also happen to be the most conservative) rate at the top of average household charitable giving.

You seem to be a bit of a Bible expert. Do you think it is compassionate to ignore the issue of immorality (sin)completely. If so, I am afraid you have missed the point of a large part of the Bible. Might just as well throw your copy away - or better yet, give it to a needy person. Before you do though, you might want to re-read Romans 1.

Steve said...

The Bible doesn't say anything about whether the government should take care of the poor or not, it only says they should be taken care of. If private charities could take care of the poor, then no one would have any objection to that. The fact is they don't have the resources, so cutting government funding for the poor is to leave them uncared for, which is clearly against God's wishes.

It's funny that you should say, Dennis, that I am "venting venom" when you are the one who launched a homophobic diatribe. Clearly, you are unable to counter any of my arguments or facts so you have decided to attack me instead.

Steve said...

Perhaps you and Dennis should pay more attention to this passage from Romans 2:1:

"Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things."

Dennis said...

Steve wrote: Your point was not against homosexuals yet you compared gays to alcoholics and drug addicts and called it a "lifestyle that will lead to horrible death"? Are you serious?"

As serious as a heart attack. Anal sex is a huge risk factor for HIV/AIDS. The last I heard, this could result in a horrible death. Regarding the alcoholics and drug addicts—did you not read my response or did you just want to ignore it in order to smear me?

Steve wrote: “Homosexuality does not cause AIDS”

I never said that homosexuality causes AIDS. I said that anal sex is a big risk factor for AIDS. Are you incapable of making a reasoned response without twisting my words?

Steve wrote: “and AIDS does not confine itself to gays so to claim that being gay leads to death is ridiculous.”

I never said that AIDS confined itself to gays. In fact, I made it clear that IV drug use was another risk factor for contracting HIV/AIDS. I also never wrote that “being gay” leads to death.

The reason I didn’t want to respond to you is not because I didn’t have an answer, but because you don’t seem to read what I write anyway and you just twist my words.

Steve wrote, “And there are plenty of gay people who have safe sex or are monogomous who have not become infected with HIV.”

Anal sex with a rubber reduces the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS but there are “plenty of people” who will dispute the idea that any anal sex is ever truly safe sex.

If there are men who are in a committed monogamous relationship, and who never had gay sex before that relationship, and have never used IV drugs, then you’re right, as far as I know, their chances of contracting HIV/AIDS are probably close to nil.

But even if what you say is true, it cruely sidesteps the problem of the huge number of gay men who are not in monogomous relationships and are not engaging "safe sex."

Steve wrote, “You are just using this disease to promote your own homophobic agenda as you have basically proven by saying that you are opposed to lesbians anyway.”

Since you claim to have read my blog before, you know that I have had good friends who were gay or transgendered and I have argued that gay people should be treated with respect. I have repeatedly condemned gay bashing. The point of this entire post was not to bash gays but to condemn the education system that tells children that homosexual sex is perfectly OK—when they know full well that anal sex could kill them! But because I don’t fully support your gay agenda you accuse me of being some kind of homophobic, bigoted hate monger! There is no hope of meaningful dialog with people who argue this way. They just want to smear their opponents with personal attacks in the hope of shutting them up.

Steve wrote: “There are plenty of lifestyles that could result in tragic death, such as joining the military or being a missionary in a place where there is an epidemic or being a race car driver. Is it immoral to encourage young men to engage in these pursuits?”

The last I heard, there were far more people dying of AIDS in this world than all the missionaries, soldiers, and race car drivers put together! Besides, missionaries and soldiers are risking their lives on behalf of others. By your logic I guess we should encourage alcoholics and drug addicts to continue their self-destructive behaviors as well.

Steve wrote, “The Bible only mentions homosexuality a few times:”

How many times does it have to say it before it counts?

Steve wrote, “in the Old Testament in the context of many laws that Christians have rejected (such as dietary laws)”

We reject the dietary laws because according to the New Testament God the Father and God the Son both annulled those laws. Christians’ position on this issue is not an arbitrary whim. We do not just throw out Old Testament laws because they are no longer politically correct. We especially don't ignore them if they are repeated in the New Testament.

Steve wrote, “and in the New Testament in the context of attacking all sex (Paul thought that Christians should be celibate but acknowledged that as that was unlikely being married and monogamous was the next best thing.”

Paul was not attacking all sex. In fact, in his letter of First Corinthians he said that married couples should not withhold sex from each other. His argument for celibacy was not because there is anything wrong with sex in marriage, but for very practical reasons, i.e. because of the troubled times in which they lived (during the reign of Nero) and so they could devote themselves fully to ministry. But Paul realized that most of us need to be married and he approved of that.

Steve wrote, “Jesus never mentions homosexuality although he does appear to bless a gay relationship between a Roman centurian and his servant.”

Because a Roman centurion had a servant, you think it must have been a gay relationship? I’ve heard some desperate arguments before but that one takes the cake.

Jesus doesn’t mention bestiality or child molestation either. Do you think he approved of those? The fact is that Jesus does condemn sexual immorality (Mark 7:21; Matthew 15:19). In a Jewish context sexual immorality included a wide rage of sexual sins including bestiality, sex with one's close relatives, sex and homosexuality.

Steve wrote, “The Bible also never mentions abortion. On the other hand the Bible mentions helping the poor more than 2100 times. have conservative Christinas even read the Bible, I wonder.”

True, the Bible doesn't use the word "abortion," but the Bible does condem taking innocent life (innocent is the key word, here).

And Conservative Christians are all about helping the poor. We do it all the time. Much of the millions that poured in to help Katrina victims came from Conservative Evangelical Christians, who also sent teams of people down to help. Leftists seem to think that because we are hesitant to forcibly take money from the rich and middle class to help the all poor people (via taxes), we don’t care about the poor. That’s simply not true.

Steve wrote, “This blog has approved of torture and made excuses for the mistreatment of prisoners. How Christian is that?”

If you disagree with my position on torture (which, as I understand it, is the same position taken by Bill Clinton), then you would rather seen a million people nuked than to waterboard a single terrorist. That's terrible!

Steve wrote, “Are you even familiar with Christ's words?:"I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not." "Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me."

I’m very familiar with these words. What is your point? Are you trying to say that Jesus was addressing national defense policy regarding the treatment of terrorists?

Steve wrote: “How is it compassionate to tell young gay men (but not lesbians) the lie that being gay will lead to death.”

Once again, I never said that “being gay” will lead to death. I said that anal sex is a big risk factor for HIV/AIDS that could lead to death. That is a fact. I wasn’t addressing lesbians because if they are truly lesbian (rather than "bisexual) they are probably not engaging in anal sex with a man.

Steve wrote, “How is it compassionate to compare them to drug addicts and alcoholics?”

Again, you not only ignore what I said, you ignore my explanation. You either 1) can’t read very well 2) are incapable of logical reasoning, or 3) you just want to ignore what I said because you just want to attack me.

Steve wrote, “How is it compassionate to tell them they are immoral…"

First of all, my entire argument was based on the medical fact that anal sex is a big risk factor from HIV/AIDS. The first time I even mentioned morality was when I was quoting Jesus in response to your assertion that Jesus never mentioned homosexuality.

Steve wrote, “and drive many of them to attempt suicide?”

This is just another attempt at manipulation. By this logic no one should express disagreement with anyone’s behavior because it might cause them mental distress and lead them to suicide! There are millions of Muslims who think Americans are immoral. That doesn’t usually drive us to suicide. There is huge number of gays who think I’m a hateful, homophobic bigot but that doesn’t drive me to suicide. If the fact that some people disapprove of John Doe’s behavior makes John Doe suicidal, then John Doe is in serious need of psychological help and that’s not an attack, That is a fact).

Steve wrote, “By the way, I don't think I ever said I was a Christian but I wonder how can you call yourself a Christian?”

Like I said, someone named Steve used to post to this blog and he claimed to be a Christian. I thought you were him. I call myself a Christian not because I think I’m good and holy (I try, but often fail miserably), but because I recognize that I have sinned against a holy God and that my only hope is to turn to Jesus Christ, the Son of God in repentance and loving devotion (faith) as the atoning sacrifice for my sin.

Steve said...

I have to say I'm shocked that you actually seem to believe you are not homophobic because some of your best friends are gay or transgendered and then you compare your friends to drug addicts and alcoholics and say their so-called "lifestyle" leads to suicide or murder. Why don't you ask your friends how they feel about being referred to in this way? What would you say if I compared Christianity to drug addiction and called Christians murderers?

Anal sex does not cause AIDS just as drinking water does not cause cholera. Unprotected anal sex is one way that HIV can be spread and drinking unclean water is one way cholera spreads. By the way, you may be interested to know, that many heterosexuals also engage in anal sex. And there are also many gay men who do not engage in anal sex.

If you agree that homosexuality does not cause AIDS, why did you single it out and say that homosexuality is a "lifestyle that may lead to a horrible death and to the death of others." Is heterosexuality a "lifestyle" that may lead to death from syphyllis?

We could go on for years arguing about what the Bible says and doesn't say. You claim your morality is based on the Bible and then you go picking and choosing verses that support your world view.

The Roman centurion refers to his servant as "pais" which was a Greek word referring to the younger partner of a same-sex couple. You say, "Jesus doesn’t mention bestiality or child molestation either." I have no idea what Jesus approved of or not and neither do you. That is why basing all of your morality on one book leads to confusion. According to you, gay sex is bad because it says so in Leviticus, but eating shellfish isn't because Christians "rejected" that particular law. On what basis did they decide to reject one law and make another so important. And gay sex is bad, you say, because Paul disapproves of it. But contrary to your claims Paul does think all sex is bad he only counsels men and women to marry so that they won't be tempted by Satan:

1 Corinthians 7

"1Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry.[a] 2But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. 3The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. 5Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that."

I suppose you'll firgure out a way to explain that away since it doesn't fit in your world view.

I also love how you have carved out a terrorist exception for the words of Jesus. Where did you get that idea from? It certainly didn't come from the Bible. It came from your political views.

You claim that the fact that young gay people attempt suicide at a far higher rate than young straight people is a "manipulation." You clearly have no idea what it is like to be a young gay man who made to feel by his family, his schoolmates, society and people like you that he is evil and even less than human. It is not in any way the same to be rejected by those close to you and to be insulted by some random pundit or commenter on the Internet. I wish that you would talk to some young gay people and ask them how your words make them feel.

I think that's what Jesus would do. Maybe you disagree.

Dennis said...

Steve, I think I recognize you now. You're the one who used to post as "anonymous" before I stopped anonymous postings! Welcome back, and thanks for using a name.

Would you define "homophobic" for me?

Steve said...

George Weinberg coined the word Homophobia in 1971 long before anyone knew about AIDS. Here is what he said about the origin of the term:

"I coined the word homophobia to mean it was a phobia about homosexuals....It was a fear of homosexuals which seemed to be associated with a fear of contagion, a fear of reducing the things one fought for—home and family. It was a religious fear and it had led to great brutality as fear always does."

If you want to read more about the origin of the term, here is a scholarly article on the topic (which is a pdf file):

http://caliber.ucpress.net/doi/pdf/10.1525/srsp.2004.1.2.6

I would say his definition of the term fits very well with your association of being gay with HIV and your likening it to such diseases as alcoholism and drug addiction as well as your fears that giving gays rights such as marriage somehow threatens heterosexuals and their families (though it is not clear how).

Steve said...

Sorry, the link was cut off. Here it is.

Dennis said...

Steve,

I think our discussion is a good example of why so many discussions between gays and straights break down.

I have repeatedly said that I do not hate gay people. In fact, in this blog I have condemned attacks on gay people!

In the last couple of years I’ve given almost $1,500 (which is a lot of money for me) to send people to South Africa (twice) to work with AIDS victims.

I’ve pointed out that I’ve had gay and transgendered friends—at least one of whom agrees that homosexual sex is sin (does that make him a homophobe too?).

I made it clear that my comparison with alcoholics was very specific—both homosexuals and alcoholics engage in behaviors that could be deadly and both often think their behavior is in some way genetic. I made it clear that I was not denigrating either group yet you continue to attack me as being homophobic and you continue to twist my words: I associated anal sex with HIV (that’s simply a scientific fact) but I never associated merely “being gay” with HIV (a gay person who does not engage in anal sex is no more susceptible to AIDS than anyone else). I made that clear above, yet you still attack me on it.

Your last response even implied that my supposed fear will “always” lead to “great brutality.”

This is precisely the kind of discussion that makes many of us think that many gay people (not all) are really not interested in rational discussion. Anyone who doesn’t fully support your ideology or behavior is often condemned as bigoted hateful homophobes. This leads many of us to conclude that the homophobe rhetoric is just a power-play designed to shut your opponents up.

By the way, you wrote, “The Roman centurion refers to his servant as "pais" which was a Greek word referring to the younger partner of a same-sex couple.” I don’t know where you got that, but it is absolute nonsense! Pais is simply the Greek word for child.

Of course, it is true that some in the ancient Roman world—like Emperor Tiberius, for example—were so disgustingly perverted that they used children as sex objects, but the word pais simply means child (Liddell & Scott, Baur, Arndt and Gingrich)

I would really like to understand you and to engage in a reasonable discussion with you but, unfortunately, we’re getting nowhere.

Steve said...

Dennis, stand back for a second and listen to what you are saying. You did not say that young people should be warned about how HIV is spread. In fact, unless I am mistaken, you support abstinence-only sex education programs that withholds this information from young people (which is that if you having anal sex with someone--regardless if you are straight or gay--it puts you at risk for getting HIV especially if you are the passive partner but a condom provides some protection though not 100% because of the risk of breakage). If you had said that I could have agreed with you. But you did not say that. You singled out gay people and said their so-called lifestyle (whatever that means) "has a high risk of horrible death." Then you compared gays to alcoholics and drug addicts.

Then you insist you are not homophobic because 1) you say you're not 2) you condemn violent attacks on gay people 3) you gave money to treat AIDS in Africa where most of the victims are straight 4) some of your best friends are gay.

Again, listen to what you're saying. If I told you that Christianity was a mental disease but that I was not anti-Christian because I said I wasn't, because I didn't think people should violently attack Christians, because I gave money to the Red Cross and because I had Christian friends would you really believe that I was not anti-Christian?

And just because someone is gay or black or a woman does not mean they are not homophobic or racist or misogynist. One of the insidious facts of bigotry is that people who are discriminated against are often convinced that they deserve to be discriminated against and they internalize the hatred of society. That is why people from oppressed minorities often have higher suicide rates.

I'm sorry if you think pointing out flaws in your arguments constitutes being unwilling to have a discussion. I am sorry if you don't want to hear that your using the rhetoric of contagion not only defines homophobia according to the person who coined the word but is the kind of rhetoric that has been used to doscriminate against people for centuries. Jews, for example, were singled out and blamed for spreading the Bubonic plague (which some Jews did spread and some did not).

One would hope that one of the positive aspects of having a blog is that you sometimes get to hear another perspective on what you believe, which you do not hear from those in your social circle. If you are unwilling to listen, however, then that is too bad.

And yes "pais" does also mean child. But it also meant the younger partner in a same-sex couple and in this context it is clear that the word was not being used to mean child. I am not saying that the centurion definitely was using the word to mean that. I am only saying it is possible. Your refusal to see that possibility has more to do with your prejudices than with anything that can be found in the text.

Dennis said...

Steve wrote, “In fact, unless I am mistaken, you support abstinence-only sex education programs that withholds this information from young people”

Yes, you’re right: I am in favor of abstinence education. Way back in the dark ages when I had sex education it consisted of nothing more than a short movie clip on the birds and the bees. Yet we didn't need a teacher to tell us what condoms were.

I’m quite sure young people today don’t need teachers to tell them about condoms. Nevertheless, I’m not opposed to teaching kids about condoms as long as the kids are taught that condoms are safer than nothing, but are still not safe.

What I am very opposed to is teaching kids that it is OK for them to have sex as long as they use condoms and I think that is what many public school systems are doing.

Steve continued, “(which is that if you having anal sex with someone--regardless if you are straight or gay--it puts you at risk for getting HIV especially if you are the passive partner but a condom provides some protection though not 100% because of the risk of breakage). If you had said that I could have agreed with you.”

So if a sex education program 1) emphasized abstinence, 2) taught that the only truly safe sex is when two people who have been virgins enter a committed relationship before having sex and then remain faithful to each other after that, 3) that condoms provide some protection but are not truly safe, and then 4) teach them about STD’s including AIDS. Would you agree to a program like that?

Steve wrote, “If I told you that Christianity was a mental disease but that I was not anti-Christian because I said I wasn't, because I didn't think people should violently attack Christians, because I gave money to the Red Cross and because I had Christian friends would you really believe that I was not anti-Christian?”

First, I’m confused with your use of the term “anti-Christian.” Two of my favorite talk show hosts are Dennis Prager and Michael Medved who are both orthodox Jews. Both of them strongly disagree with the main tenets of my Christian faith. So I suppose on one level you could say they are anti-Christian just because they disagree with Christianity. But on the other hand, both of them have defended Christians and neither of them have ever called Christians names like “bigots”!

I don’t think these guys are bigoted Christophobes just because they disagree with my religion.

We could carry this analogy even farther. I once read a book called, “Why I am a Muslim.” I came away thinking that even though this author and I have profound religious disagreements and on one level I suppose the author could be called “anti-Christian”, yet she was never hateful and never called Christians names. I’m quite sure that if her family lived next door to mine we could become good friends. People can strongly disagree and even intensely debate with each other without being bigots or hating each other.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I get the impression from my discussion with you, however, that any disagreement I have with your homosexuality makes me (in your eyes) a fearful, hateful, homophobic, bigot (you even implied that I might be dangerous!) People are always going to disagree with other people about something. If we can’t disagree without being labeled bigots, there is really no basis for discussion.

Second, you’re still twisting what I say, Steve. I never said homosexuality was a “mental disease.” In fact, it is usually the gay rights crowd who argue that homosexuality is genetic and I’m sure you would agree that just because something is genetic does not necessarily mean it is a “mental disease.” The fact is that I do not think all homosexuality is a mental illness—though I would have to add that I do think that some homosexuals do have significant obsessive-compulsive sexual issues. I don’t know how anyone can look at the pictures of the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco and think that this is normal behavior. Of course, not all homosexuals are like that.

Finally, if you had publicly opposed the persecution of Christians, and had given money to Christian charities, and had friends who were Christians, I don’t think it would be fair to call you an anti-Christian bigot even if you argued against Christian beliefs and practices.

Steve wrote, "One of the insidious facts of bigotry is that people who are discriminated against are often convinced that they deserve to be discriminated against and they internalize the hatred of society. That is why people from oppressed minorities often have higher suicide rates."

Another “insidious fact” is that they often play the victim. Its not just gays or “oppressed minorities” who have been victimized, Steve. Anyone who is in some way different in school often gets tormented: Kids with big noses, big feet, kids who are too skiny, too fat, too short, too weak, too ugly, Jews, Muslims, even Conservative Christians who take their faith seriously—they are all tormented in public schools (often while teachers sit back and say, aw, that’s just kids!).

Unfortunately, it’s not always just kids. Take the Folsom Street Fair as an example. The event was promoted with a poster mocking the Last Supper around a table filled with sex toys! Some at the FSF were tied to crosses, mocking the execution of Jesus. There were even displays of dildos in the shape of Jesus! How incredibly sick and hateful can you get!

People are often cruel and hateful. It’s a fact of life. But I challenge you to do a test: Get a couple of your friends who go to a state university. Have one of them stand up in a class and say “Christianity is evil” and have another one stand up and say, “Homosexuality is evil.” See what happens. The one who says “Christianity is evil” is likely to be supported. The one who says “homosexuality is evil” may be in danger of bodily harm!

Delaware State University is now teaching that all white people are racists—what a horrible injustice to white people! (I’ll blog on that later).

The point is that most of us have been mocked, ridiculed or tormented in one way or another. We all have to get over it (or get help getting over it) and move on. If what other people say makes us suicidal, we really need to get help.

Steve wrote, "I'm sorry if you think pointing out flaws in your arguments constitutes being unwilling to
have a discussion."

I don’t mind having people point out flaws in my arguments. What I do mind is when they twist my words into a straw man just so they can knock it down. You repeatedly twist my words and then even call me names.

Steve wrote, “And yes "pais" does also mean child. But it also meant the younger partner in a same-sex couple and in this context it is clear that the word was not being used to mean child. I am not saying that the centurion definitely was using the word to mean that. I am only saying it is possible. Your refusal to see that possibility has more to do with your prejudices than with anything that can be found in the text.”

In Matthew 8:6 when the Centurion appeals to Jesus saying, “Lord my “pais” is lying paralyzed at home.” Some translations translate that “servant” which is possible (a child can be a servant) there is not translation that translates the word, partner, mate or any such thing.

To assume that this was a reference to a same sex couple is reading something into the text that is simply not there. My translation did not come from prejudice (you’re name calling again!) but from the fact that I cannot find a single translation or ancient Greek dictionary that lists your definition as one of the possibilities.