Carrie Prejean has second thoughts about recent Blisss Magazine pic

On the heels of defending revealing photos as part of the job of a model, Carrie Prejean has had second thoughts about a recent photo published in Blisss Magazine (spelled Bl!sss on the mag website). Miss Prejean’s pic is a “Super Taste” centerfold of the month and is the lead photo on her Otto Models page. (warning: not workplace friendly)
The recent controversy surrounding Miss Prejean’s modeling work has focused on pictures of her taken when she was 17. She has expressed regret publicly about those photos.

Her publicist, Melany Ethridge, confirmed a comment she gave to celebrity Web site TMZ in which she said Prejean was just 17 when she posed for the photos, hoping they would land her a job model for the Victoria’s Secret lingerie line.
“In her naivete, an agent convinced her to pose for this photo to submit to a lingerie company, claiming they could make her the next Victoria’s Secret model,” Ethridge told TMZ. “She has since learned what a lie that was, and what a mistake it was to have the photo taken.”

However, she defended lingerie modeling as recently as Tuesday when she issued a statement saying:

I am a Christian, and I am a model. Models pose for pictures, including lingerie and swimwear photos.

More recently, she posed for the centerfold of Bl!sss, an action sports oriented magazine which features young women in various states of undress. She touts the Blisss modeling assignment on the Miss California website as part of her resume. However, through her publicist, I have learned that Prejean regrets the Blisss Magazine photo. Her publicist, Melany Ethridge, said that Miss Prejean has had second thoughts. Late yesterday, Ms. Ethridge told me that

…she would not do the Blisss mag photo shoot, if asked now.

Melany did not address my question about whether Miss Prejean would take such jobs in the future. However, this new statement may signal a broader evaluation of her work.
UPDATE: Earlier today, Melany Ethridge contacted me to say that the original statement above about the Bl!sss magazine photo was her belief about what Ms. Prejean would do. However, this afternoon, she now has confirmed with Prejean that “given who she is today,” she would not take the job.
UPDATE 2: Monday appears to be decision-day for Miss California.

484 thoughts on “Carrie Prejean has second thoughts about recent Blisss Magazine pic”

  1. This will be comment 485 on a post about Carrie Prejean’s Blisss pics that somehow got off on to other things. Some light was generated but surely lots of heat.
    A comment involving the Third Reich came along (I deleted it) which is a good sign we have probably reached the bottom.
    This is somewhat distressing. Regular commenters here are well educated and thoughtful folks. However, it is clear these matters generate lots of passion which probably reflects the deep division in our society. The divide leads to a competition of sorts with tactics and rhetoric getting in the way of reasoned presentation of evidence.
    Look up Sherif’s Robber’s Cave experiment. When we get on a side, certain social behaviors seem to follow.
    One quick off topic example before I shut down the thread. Here is a headline from the Traditional Values Coalition:
    Protect a pedophile — Jail a pastor.
    Distortions in both phrases. I think the TVC people have to know the hate crimes bill will do neither. They may worry that someday, some judge will interpret the law in a negative manner but they have to know that the bill as written does not deal with pedophiles or pastors.
    Wanting to win, feeling threatened leads to pressure to engage in behavior that is antithetical to foundational principles.
    I hope we can try this again on the other threads. There is one on gay marriage if folks want to comment on the merits of the issues without attacks.

  2. Mary ~ May 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm
    Pardon me – for not endorsing you.

    Really – truly – couldn’t care less. I didn’t attack you, and I haven’t asked for your endorsement – or anyone else’s. Nor have I chastized anyone for not supporting me or my view.
    I have chastized bigotry… but then provided a definition to show what I meant. Perhaps that’s what got everyone’s undies in a bunch. Dunno.
    David,

    “I’ve never seen you like you were the last few days”

    and yet you still can’t point at an example.
    Well, I’m a bit tired of all this. So if someone posts after this I’ll just have to let it slide not matter how much I may be tempted to respond.

  3. @ Jayhuck,
    Did you have any response to my comment at 8:54 on May 21? I tried to be thoughtful and thorough to your questions about why Christian’s have not gone after heterosexuals….
    @ Timothy,
    Did you mean “chucking at the irony” or “chuckling at the irony?” I’ve never seen you like you were the last few days…hope for better days ahead.

  4. Timothy, don’t you think it is strange that you have attacked everyone here and then call them on their defense of their beliefs by syaing they are calling you a bad guy. Sounds like everyone is aksing for the same thing. We all hold different opinions but you want us to hold only your opinion. Run. If that’s what you feel like doing. Though many opinions here are not shared by me, I do respect their right to have those opinions and express it. When taken to task for all of your remarks about others – you simply decline to admit you have done so.
    I was just reading another blog and found yet again where they have twisted the words of another person. Sounds like you do the same. Or just deny you ever wrote anything. Or – never answer the person to whom you have posted. Tactics – that’s all you have done here. Not truth, not dialogue – just tactics and blaming others for not supporting you.

  5. LOL!!!! Just trying to get some agreement out of you. Otherwise you’re rhetoric sounds alot like the fundamentalist christians. You still have nto acknowledged that I identify with gays and yet do not endorse gay marriage as such. I support it but do not endorse it.
    Seems you have a lot of pick and choose room and leave none for everyone else.

  6. Oh geezzz,
    I said I was done and here I still am.
    Mary, what are you talking about? I didn’t assign two groups (gays v. Christian) so I don’t know what you mean. I know a lot of folks are neither and a lot of folks (myself included) are both.
    And I don’t know about the Third Reich but the phase “He who is not with me is against me” is more commonly attributed to Jesus (Mattew 12:30).

  7. Hmmm
    This thread seems to have devolved into a “Timothy is a bad guy” thread. Okie dokie, if that makes you feel better about yourself, I don’t mind.
    🙂
    I will just go quietly away chucking at the irony of a host of folks indignant over slights they are sure I’ve give them (but which they can’t seem to find) but who feel free to smear and demean gay folks as a whole.
    God’s best to y’all.

  8. Timothy,
    FYI – I don’t identify with the Christian group at large. So…. you ‘ve given people two choices and that’s a flase selection. There’s more to the world than black and white, gay and anti gay issues.

  9. Just smile everyone…he is enjoying your distress about his behavior.
    Thanks David, I am. I refer often to Philipians 4:7-9 – it helps me distinguish the difference between what is considered just noise and what is worthy of praise.

  10. And, now, all I can see is that some people want ‘gay marriage’ instead of ‘gay unions’ because they want the sense of ‘endorsement’… not just acceptance but endorsement that ‘marriage’ would bring. They would then take that ‘endorsement’ and further oppress those who believe homosexual behavior is wrong or sinful.

    I wonder just how you might respond if these comments were directed to a group with which you identify.

    Timothy, you needn’t wonder. I would respond exactly as I am now. You see, you still don’t get it. I probably identify with gay people even more than I identify with conservative religious folks. I’ve done more to campaign against oppression of gay people than most of the gays I know..it’s one sin among many…I don’t see us depriving someone significant benefits because they engage in some other sin, so I can’t see the justification for demanding tax dollars from gay people and yet withholding benefits from them. But I will not take that extra step of endorsement of the behavior.
    Please don’t address any more comments to me on this thread. I’ve stated that I no longer wish to participate in this travesty of a discussion but I do tend to feel an obligation to respond to direct questions…even if they are directed at me by someone who supposedly left the conversation themselves.

  11. Ah, David.
    As you should know by now, I don’t respond to your personal jibes or insults. 🙂
    And sorry to tell you, but no distress.
    (however, if you want to show where I was demonizing groups on this site, please feel free. Or, alternately, you could retract the accusation.)

  12. Debbie – RE: James Hartline – Are you serious?

    What are you saying, Warren? We are both “ex-gay” and Christian except I do not have AIDS. I even lived in the San Diego area for quite a few years. He is a Christian brother who has been viciously attacked by gays for his beliefs. He closed down gay bath houses in San Diego and actually helped launch the Prop. 8 movement. He is a bit edgy and is an activist personified, which I am not. But do we demonize people like him with impunity? Have you ever talked to him? I have.

  13. Timothy has always been kind and circumspect and respectful; thoughtful about the way he uses words and labels.
    Just smile everyone…he is enjoying your distress about his behavior.

  14. I though we were talking about “every day right here”
    Kindly provide an illustration of where I’ve demonized a group right here.

    Ha! So, it only counts for this blog, eh. I’ll let somebody else do the honors.
    In case it escaped your notice, I am part of the group represented by James Hartline. And I am right here.

  15. Kindly illustrate where I’ve stereotyped or demonized a group.

    How about the group represented by these folks? You, from your own Box Turtle Bulletin:

    And, like so very many of the anti-gays, he doesn’t read carefully, makes wild assumptions, and lashes out indiscriminately. It almost makes you wonder if Gagnon had the same Junior High writing class as Peter LaBarbera, Matt Barber, and James Hartline.

  16. Ann,
    Frankly I have no idea when or where I’ve called you names. You insist that I cite examples that I don’t even know exist.
    As to whether you are anti-gay, it isn’t always easy to tell. I believe that you have said that you don’t like to share your thoughts so I’m not sure the totality of them.
    I think that I recall things that you have said in the past that I would categorize as anti-gay, but I would be hard pressed to find an example at this moment. And I am also sure that you have said things that are not anti-gay.
    I don’t know if you are anti-gay. Are you?

  17. OK… well if you run across an example, let me know and I’ll tell you the basis for my comment. I don’t know what to do with generalities.

    Timothy,
    I asked you to substantiate your prior claims toward me by citing examples – you chose not to. Since you do not know what to do with generalities, let me ask you directly – do you now think I deserve to be called “anti-gay”? A simple yes or not will suffice.

  18. I wonder just how you might respond if these comments were directed to a group with which you identify.

    You shouldn’t have to wonder. You have been getting a living illustration every day right here.

  19. Eddy

    And, now, all I can see is that some people want ‘gay marriage’ instead of ‘gay unions’ because they want the sense of ‘endorsement’… not just acceptance but endorsement that ‘marriage’ would bring. They would then take that ‘endorsement’ and further oppress those who believe homosexual behavior is wrong or sinful.

    Debbie

    So many in the gay community simply will not let Christians be conscientious objectors to redefining marriage. And if we oppose gay marriage — or any “rights” they are pushing beyond those we all are entitled to under the Constitution — we are automatically hateful, homophobic, bigoted Neanderthals who could not possibly extend Christian love to our gay brothers and sisters as individuals with the same self-worth we have in Christ. Because they are “the Borg” — the collective conscious. “Resistance is futile.”

    David

    “So many in the gay community simply will not let Christians be conscientious objectors to redefining marriage.” Shout us down, call us names…standard political fare.

    Mary

    I can see now that gays want endorsment for their lives. I too am beginning to see that they do NOT want a live and let live policy but rather they want folks like myself to endorse their lives as proper.

    I wonder just how you might respond if these comments were directed to a group with which you identify.

  20. Eddy ~ May 20, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    You seem quite upset so I’ll let most of the personal accusations pass. And I don’t want to reopen the endless back and forth about the specifics of anti-gay arguments (which I should not have responded to in the first place).
    I just want to note that you are mistaken if you think that I was arguing “public opinion”. Perhaps it would be useful to read my comments again starting from my comments to you:

    [I agree] with you that homosexuality is usually discussed in the context of religion and explaining that this is probably because no one else is campaigning against it.
    Just where are those principled oppositions to gay rights that are not based on religious objection? I don’t think they are very dominant for one reason: currently the only logical objection to homosexuality (that I can think of) is a moral objection.

    One of the problems that religious anti-gay efforts have had is in breaking the “because my church says so” barrier. Those who are unethical will lie through their teeth and appeal to lies and bigotry about disease and threat to children etc.
    Honest religious anti-gays are really having a hard time of coming up with secular-based objections to gay rights. …

    It was in this context that I was speaking about secular opinion.
    And, by the way, I suspect that I hold free speech with as high a respect as you, if not more so. I also value religious freedom, individual rights, and personal liberties. And I think that no one has these freedoms unless all people have these freedoms. I am, at heart, a libertarian.
    It is that perspective that drives me to demand equality – in fact, in rights, in responsibilities, and in name. For both you and me.
    And my respect for your freedom and equality is not based on whether you want “entitlement” or “endorsement” or anything else. Should you have ill intent with your freedoms, should you seek to shout me down, should you want to further oppress those who believe homosexual behavior is not wrong or sinful, I still believe in your rights, freedoms and equality.

  21. Eddy,
    I am in agreement with you. I can see now that gays want endorsment for their lives. While I am a liberal and support gay rights… I do not endorse homosexuality even if one feels compelled in that direction. I am considering how the word marriage will be used against those who do not endorse gay marriage. I do support gay unions and full financial, inheritance, tax, benefits rights for gays. But I do not endorse homosexuality. After reading many of the comments from those such as Timothy and Jayhuck – I too am beginning to see that they do NOT want a live and let live policy but rather they want folks like myself to endorse their lives as proper. I don’t.
    This does not make me anti-gay. It makes me responsible for the decisions I make about my own life. Really, if someone wants to get married – so be it. There are plenty of hetersexuals whom in my opinion ought not get married and ought not have children. But that is an opinion – and one that I am still able to speak aloud. Honestly, just because the government allows something does not make it appropriate or morally right or acceptable to me.
    Getting drunk is allowed. I don’t accept that and find it morally wrong. There are numerous examples and pne can go on and on. But enough said. The poin I hope has been made. I support gay rights but do not endorse homosexuality as a morally right way to live.

  22. @ Debbie,
    “So many in the gay community simply will not let Christians be conscientious objectors to redefining marriage.” Shout us down, call us names…standard political fare.
    Often a food fight is less dangerous than a real fight :).
    These were ideas and attitudes that needed to be revealed…I, for one, am glad they were.
    I am thankful to Carrie for her participation in this dialogue.

  23. …my comment was split
    2. Nevada and Las Vegas have never, in recent memory, been states that espoused traditional values for the family: from prostitution, to easy impulsive marriage, to easy divorce. Nevada was a desert in search of an Economy, it built one around serving those whose values were not served in other states.
    3. Banning sex outside marriage has never been a legal issue (as far as I know), but in generations past, social pressures seemed sufficient to either lower the incidence of the activity, or to hold those accountable for the activity for the children that came out of that activity.
    The shame we currently level relentlessly at our political opponents by calling them prejudiced and bigots (the worst sin in our current culture), we used to level in a broader way toward sexual impulsivity, selfishness and sexual exploitation.
    …we used to know, in a more tribal culture, the costs of that behavior. Larger cultures allow for anonymity and high mobility.
    Encouraging sexual self-control and passing sexual feelings through moral and religious values is now strongly mocked by media and entertainment driven culture…It has become a given that man cannot supervise his sexual feelings…
    It is a lower view of humanity.
    I think I have responded to your criticisms of why Christians haven’t gone after heterosexuals who misbehave…

  24. @ Jayhuck,
    “where is the legislation from conservative Christians to ban open marriages? Where is the legislation to ban drive-through weddings in Las Vegas? Where is the legislation to ban sex out of marriage?”
    1.When no fault divorce came in, the standards for dissolving a marriage were severely lowered. The legislation that you ask for was embedded in earlier divorce, infidelity was one of the few reasons to justify a divorce and it usually led to significant financial loss by the offender.
    No fault divorce did away with the costs of infidelity….an unanticipated outcome that weakened the position of many women.

  25. Timothy,
    That analysis of misinformation ( May 20, 2009 at 9:46 pm), personal animus and the progression of rationalizations that follow was excellent…
    And you are right, it has been leveled, relentlessly at all groups (Gays, Christians and so on), in the guise of skepticism, “honesty” and rigor.
    It is a manifestation of our capacity to either corrupt our nature, or allow our corrupt nature to continue to deceive us.
    But I also agree with Eddy…that this most recent set of posts you made manifested a wish to oppress, marginalize and devalue…we all know what that feels like, whether gay or Christian; gay and Christian; people.
    You have demonstrated many other times that you are way above this.

  26. And, now, all I can see is that some people want ‘gay marriage’ instead of ‘gay unions’ because they want the sense of ‘endorsement’… not just acceptance but endorsement that ‘marriage’ would bring. They would then take that ‘endorsement’ and further oppress those who believe homosexual behavior is wrong or sinful.

    You finally got it, Eddy. So many in the gay community simply will not let Christians be conscientious objectors to redefining marriage. And if we oppose gay marriage — or any “rights” they are pushing beyond those we all are entitled to under the Constitution — we are automatically hateful, homophobic, bigoted Neanderthals who could not possibly extend Christian love to our gay brothers and sisters as individuals with the same self-worth we have in Christ. Because they are “the Borg” — the collective conscious. “Resistance is futile.”
    I pray for you all — for us all. I fear some of us have attempted to build a bridge to nowhere.
    I have been confounded that folks saw the need to drag out this little food fight to the extent that it has gone on here. Juvenile does not even adequately describe it. How ironic that it started with examining what some considered to be immature judgments by a 21-year-old beauty queen. I see her differently now.

  27. Jayhuck–
    Anti-gay has a very specific definition – From Dictionary.com:
    “opposed or hostile to homosexuals or to homosexual social reforms and institutions, etc.”
    Please pay attention: In the definition you just attempted to correct me with there is not one word about having a belief that homosexual behavior is sin. So the label wouldn’t fit based on my religious beliefs. And, you might note that the definition says ‘homosexual social reforms’…did you notice the letter ‘s’ at the end of the word reforms? Some of us support a number of homosexual social reforms (although I’m not exactly sure how you’d apply the word ‘social’ in this context). I support civil unions; I believe in partner rights; I believe in insurance benefits extended to a ‘life-partner’…I just don’t believe in gay ‘marriage’ being legalized. Not yet anyway.
    Ironically, I was in support of gay marriage until I started engaging in dialogue with the likes of you and Timothy. It was the two of you that convinced me that gay marriage is a bad thing for this time. (I have several Christian friends, who I know through Exodus, who support gay marriage and it was a weird moment when I confessed to them that I had changed my mind about it, was now opposed to it, and that the reason was the spin and word games that I heard from you.) Good job, boys. I would have been quite a spokesman. But I see how you turn and twist things. I’ve been seeing it and watching my own words and meanings being twisted for two years now. And, now, all I can see is that some people want ‘gay marriage’ instead of ‘gay unions’ because they want the sense of ‘endorsement’… not just acceptance but endorsement that ‘marriage’ would bring. They would then take that ‘endorsement’ and further oppress those who believe homosexual behavior is wrong or sinful.
    I have said all along that I believe in free speech more than any other right. I do not believe either you or Timothy hold free speech with the same respect that I do. I see you as representative of the gay community and I feel your contempt for those who believe as I do. I read in your comments the desire to silence anyone who speaks an opposing view. And I see ‘the entitlement of marriage’ as a final trump card in your hands to shout us down. Timothy’s arguments today rather than going to reason or substance went to prevailing public opinion. We could have silenced Galileo if ‘prevailing public opinion’ was what answered everything. Well, the opera ain’t over. The fat lady is still in the wings. And until I hear dialogue that is honest and mutually respectful and thoughtful from both sides, I’m going to be personally against gay marriage. It’s too big of a change to embrace, IMHO, without thoughtful and respectful discussion. The polarization that is rampant in our discussions indicates that ‘public opinion’ would guide us; ‘public opinion’ is what keeps ‘reality television’ afloat and relegates substantive programming to PBS. I just don’t trust it, nor do I trust anyone who appeals to it without anything else to back up their opinions or critiques.
    Jayhuck, I personally find you to be lax in critical thinking. You seemed to think that the definition you dug up from dictionary.com was ‘very specific’…and I find it to be a bit vague and general. LOL. It also made me wonder what the goddess Wiki had to say…it’s rare that you don’t quote her. Oh, lookee there, the goddess doesn’t actually honor the term and instead redirects you to ‘anti-LGBT’. LOL. If the term were so clear and specific, don’t you think the goddess would have had it? Instead she redirects you to where she thinks you want to go. And, even that has different possibilities.
    So, NO, Jayhuck. I’m not insisting on redefinition…I’m insisting that when we know a word or phrase can have multiple meanings–and we respect those we are dialogueing with–we will take the time to add a clarifying word or two to ensure we convey a clear message rather than a confused one.
    Sorry, folks, I cleared my mail box of what felt like a million posts this morning…and then came back to another boatload this evening…and, quite frankly, this isn’t a discussion. This is tit for tat. Sure some of it has been fun to read…sure there have been a few memorable zingers…and lots of verbal posturing…but there’s been extremely little respectful and meaningful dialogue. I really don’t see the point in wasting any more time here. Hope to catch some of you on another thread.

  28. Jayhuck,
    Thank you for the last note – it meant a lot to me and so do you. I do understand that you don’t remember and that is good enough for me – to receive an apology on top of that is something I didn’t expect and still don’t feel I deserve but it has settled in my heart and I appreciate it. Thank you again.
    It is one of those magical southern California evenings – dusk has settled in and the mountains are so crystal clear it is almost like you could reach out and touch them – the weather is exceptionally perfect and the Lakers won last night and all is well. I am going for a long walk and spend time with my favorite friend – God. I enjoy my time with Him more than anything else and this prayer time iwill be, as always, a blessing to me.
    I am wishing everyone a peaceful heart tonight and the promises of a new day that the Lord will make tomorrow. God bless.

  29. You’re welcome Ann! I think we all deserve generosity of spirit (although I don’t necessarily feel I was being generous, just fair), its just very hard to give sometimes.
    Tim,

    But others will refuse to let go of the “bad news”. They will really truly want to believe ill of gay folks even if it means believing things that are not factual. And that is a form of bigotry. Those who begin to always believe the bad about gays (or anyone else) begin to become bigots.

    Excellent point!

  30. By the way,
    the same rules about bigotry can be applied to any group.
    I’ve met more than enough anti-Christian bigots. They were ready to spout off about all sorts of stereotypes. And they weren’t at all interested in hearing the facts.

  31. Debbie Thurman ~ May 20, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Also, if I say some argument is based in bigotry it doesn’t mean I’m calling you a bigot. We all know that someone can stupidly say something based on a racist premise without themselves being a racist.

    Is this like like loving the sinner and hating the sin?

    Well, no Debbie it isn’t.
    I’m not talking about “loving” anyone. Especially not the love that the sinner-lovers show.
    I’m saying that I recognize that it’s possible to say something from lack of information rather than animus and bile.
    For example, suppose someone wrote up a ‘news story’ claiming that the APA recognizes 30 orientations – including pedophilia – that would be protected by hate crimes legislation. Now that is flatly untrue and nothing but an attempt to try and equate homosexuality with pedophila and to scare people. The person who set out to lie and smear gay folk – whoever they are – is a bigot.
    But now suppose that someone read this claim on OneNewsNow. If they were to repeat this, it might be out of gullibility and ignorance rather than out of malice. While the stuff they were spouting was based in bigotry, they themselves would not be a bigot.
    And one more example.
    Suppose someone read somewhere that gay people live twenty years shorter and die in their 40’s. Most people would think, “well that’s odd. I’ve never noticed that before. Hmmmm”.
    But a few people will say, “Ha! I thought so! See, it’s the wages of sin!!” That is an evidence of a desire to think ill of gay people. That is the fertile ground in which bigotry can start to grow.
    Now suppose one shows that person clear evidence that the information is wrong. Some will say, “Oh, well that’s good. I’d hate to think that gay people die so young.”
    But others will refuse to let go of the “bad news”. They will really truly want to believe ill of gay folks even if it means believing things that are not factual. And that is a form of bigotry. Those who begin to always believe the bad about gays (or anyone else) begin to become bigots.
    Clear enough?

  32. Jayhuck,
    Have to run out for a minute – will respond to your last post shortly – thank you for sending it.

  33. I CLEARLY stated I apologized if I ever hurt your feelings. THAT was a sincere apology – one I don’t feel necessary to make again

    Jayhuck,
    This came in after my last post –
    Thank you for the sincere apology – you have done what others are unwilling to do, except for Michael Bussee, and I appreciate it. I do not feel I deserve this generosity of your spirit though if you are not sure whether you did anything to hurt my feelings.

  34. Breathe…talk about facts…avoid hyperbole.
    That may be the cure for all of us.

  35. Let me try this again:
    “A person can say anti-gay things without necessarily being anti-gay”

  36. @ Jayhuck,
    Thanks, I’ll look into it further, just thought you might know more about the article you cited.
    I remember when I started this blogging some time ago…things were very tense, it is no surprise the tension returns from time to time…
    It is a challenging topic for people from different camps to communicate kindly about.

  37. Ann,
    I felt like after I gave what felt like a sincere apology you backhanded me with your assertion that it wasn’t really sincere. I’m already sorry that I said some of what I said above because I did it quickly and out of anger. I don’t make it a habit of apologizing to people when I don’t mean it.
    I know you won’t like this response, but I honestly don’t remember why I may have called you anti-gay. I don’t remember any specific instances where I did that. I’m an incredibly busy person – I post on several blogs and its difficult sometimes just to keep up with the new stuff on this one, much less remember some of the things that have gone on before. I remember there have been times when we haven’t seen eye to eye – when we’ve engaged in pretty heated debates. I don’t deny that I may have called you or something you said anti-gay – BUT I can’t recall anything specific. I tend to remember feelings and emotions not specific events. That’s why I said – and I really did mean – that I was sorry if I hurt your feelings. Ugh – I’m sorry if I hurt them again tonight with my knee-jerk response. You seem like a sweet and sensitive person – I’m not sure what else to say.
    I think Timothy’s correct though – I person can say anti-gay things necessarily being anti-gay. My mom and dad are anti-gay, but I love them regardless – they are not bad people, just, in my mind, misguided 🙂 – as I’m sure they think I am.

  38. It doesn’t sound like you really wanted an apology – you just wanted to a reason to lay into us. Fair enough, but call a spade a spade, k?

    Jayhuck,
    I never asked for an apology – I asked for you to substantiate your prior claims about me that corresponded to your definition of the term “anti-gay”. I never want you to feel like you need to apologize to me if you don’t think you did anything wrong and that is what I inferred when you said you couldn’t remember. My heart is starting to hurt again with the above assumptions you just made, again without any validity, so let’s just take your good advice and move forward.

  39. Ann,
    I CLEARLY stated I apologized if I ever hurt your feelings. THAT was a sincere apology – one I don’t feel necessary to make again. Thanks

  40. Ann,
    It doesn’t sound like you really wanted an apology – you just wanted to a reason to lay into us. Fair enough, but call a spade a spade, k?

  41. Ann,
    Um – thanks for being so dismissive of what *I* thought was a sincere apology – I won’t make the same mistake again!!!! You can take that to the bank.

  42. I see a great deal of legislation going towards banning gay families from being able to take care of each other…

    Jayhuck never met a straw man he didn’t like.

  43. OK… well if you run across an example, let me know and I’ll tell you the basis for my comment. I don’t know what to do with generalities.

    Timothy,
    Thanks – this is all I really needed to know.

  44. I don’t remember what all that stuff was about. I’ve grown to truly enjoy your posts, and understand them better because I think I understand you better – although I think I realize now there are things we will never see eye to eye on. I’d rather apologize for ever hurting your feelings and just move on if that’s ok?

    Jayhuck,
    It is ok – if you don’t remember “what all that stuff was about” and are unwilling to cite examples then no apology is needed. Sincere apologies are offered when one realizes the hurt they have caused and acknowledges it by name or descriptionto the person that was hurt. Authentic apologies are offered to heal, not smooth over. Thanks for your otherwise kind words – I enjoy our many exchanges as well.

  45. Also, if I say some argument is based in bigotry it doesn’t mean I’m calling you a bigot. We all know that someone can stupidly say something based on a racist premise without themselves being a racist.

    Is this like like loving the sinner and hating the sin?

  46. Timothy,
    I neglected to mention your posts to other people where you called me these names and leveled personal attacks against me as if the damage and injuries you were inflicting were some kind of pleasurable game for you. Your words and the injurous intention behind them have not gone unnoticed by anyone here.

  47. Perhaps it would help if you illustrate where you have been called anti-gay. If I saw the context I might know the motivation.

    Timothy,
    Please look at 98% of the posts you have directed to me over the past 3 years and you will see what I am referring to. If you don’t want to do that, I understand.

  48. If I criticize anti-gays or bigots or homophobes or haters and you aren’t any of those things then this shouldn’t offend you.

    Timothy,
    I have no doubt about who I am. It is difficult not to be offended when you are directing your attacks to people in general but when you direct them to me personally, I must ask you to substantiate your unrelenting claims. You have leveled attacks against me personally and consistantly, using all the names you listed above. For a long time I didn’t want to believe that about you – I thought you would stop – I was wrong. Again, I would like to ask you and anyone else who has made such cruel allegations about me to please cite something I have said that validates the description that Jayhuck submitted.

  49. Prejudice and bigotry CAN be used by both conservatives and liberals, christians and athiests, gays and straights.

    I agree, but you don’t see gay people trying to pass laws barring conservative Christians from being able to marry or do anything else they want to do that doesn’t infringe on other people’s rights.
    No, but there are other articles on heterosexual infidelity – you know how to use Google.

  50. Ann,
    I don’t remember what all that stuff was about. I’ve grown to truly enjoy your posts, and understand them better because I think I understand you better – although I think I realize now there are things we will never see eye to eye on. I’d rather apologize for ever hurting your feelings and just move on if that’s ok?

  51. Jayhuck,
    Prejudice and bigotry CAN be used by both conservatives and liberals, christians and athiests, gays and straights.
    Timothy says he’s leaving such a discussion, then you revisit it, then he returns.
    Do you have any more information on the infidelity article you cite?

  52. Eddy

    I think it was supposed to say “…the little problem that no one outside of anti-gay circles…”…And, if that is what he intended to say…it’s yet another overblown, unsupportable, hyperbolic statement. Wow, Timothy….”No one”…You are so wise and all knowing that you can speak for every person who isn’t ‘anti-gay’. Incredible! I also take strong exception to the confusing and offensive term ‘anti-gay’. I may not support gay marriage but I do support civil unions and rights and benefits. I may believe that homosexual behavior is sin but heck I believe a lot of behavior is sin…I sin…my neighbors sin…my family sins. I am not anti-self; I am not anti-neighbor; I am not anti-family or anti-my family…I refuse to let you play the word game of branding me and others who believe as we do as ‘anti gay’. You may say ‘anti gay marriage’ and I will not call you on it but, at least here on this blog, I don’t believe you should be allowed to get away with the offensive usage of ‘anti gay’ that you’ve employed.

    Now go back and read what I said.
    I said that no one outside anti-gay circles believes

    the argument that gay men are hedonists and oppose monogamy and therefore are “additional risks to women and children”. Claim that 70’s non-conformism still rules the day.

    Do you believe that, Eddy? Do you think that the dominant philosophy of “opposition to heterosexist conformity” is still the leading policy direction of the gay community? Do you believe that the community hasn’t experience a culture shift in the past 40 years?
    I very much doubt it.
    And if not, then I guess I’m not talking about you, am I?
    And since you said that you support civil rights and benefits, then I guess that’s pretty good evidence that nonsense arguments like David’s don’t work on at least one person that isn’t anti-gay.
    Rule of thumb, folks (to everyone): If I criticize anti-gays or bigots or homophobes or haters and you aren’t any of those things then this shouldn’t offend you.
    Also, if I say some argument is based in bigotry it doesn’t mean I’m calling you a bigot. We all know that someone can stupidly say something based on a racist premise without themselves being a racist. Or people can make an assumption about gay folk that is nothing more than the most hateful of stereotypes without intending to offend.

  53. p.s. – sorry I didn’t address the last/above post – it was intended to Jayhuck or whoever else has called me anti-gay or a liar or attacked my integrity.

  54. I am not sure what it is that I said to make you understand me better in a recent post as I have been rather consistant in all my posts – is it in not knowing me that you and otherrs have made cruel assumptions? Since you have called me anti-gay, and now have clarified what it means, please cite something I have said that corresponds to the definition you just gavethat gives you the right to call me such a slanderous name with such far reaching implications?

  55. Ann,
    Its always been hard to pin down exactly where you stand – and I mean no offense by that. In a few posts back you divulged more of yourself and where you are with certain issues and I appreciated that. It helped me understand you better. I’m still not quite sure about you (mostly kidding :)), but I’m not sure that that label would apply to you

  56. Anti-gay has a very specific definition – From Dictionary.com:
    “opposed or hostile to homosexuals or to homosexual social reforms and institutions, etc.”

    Jayhuck,
    Ok, thanks for the clarification. You and Timothy and several others have referred to me as anti-gay and I have never undersood why. Now that you have clearly stated what you mean by it, do you still think I accurately fit the description?

  57. David,

    It is beyond belief that you continue to focus on heterosexual open marriages as “something the christian community should go after,” they have for 2000 years…ask any Mormon.

    Again, I will ask you – where is the legislation from conservative Christians to ban open marriages? Where is the legislation to ban drive-through weddings in Las Vegas? Where is the legislation to ban sex out of marriage?
    I see a great deal of legislation going towards banning gay families from being able to take care of each other, but nothing like that to tackle all those things you say you don’t like with your heterosexual counterparts. Hypocrisy????

  58. Eddy,
    If you want to start banning words because you don’t like their definition – well, I’m not sure what I would say to that.

  59. David,
    “Caution and careful analysis is not bigotry, or prejudice although calling names may advance your goals…”
    Like so many other things, prejudice and bigotry can be hidden inside words like “caution” and “careful analysis”. They most definitely CAN be used as such. And what would you consider to be caution and careful analysis? How long would this take? What are gay families and gay couples to do in the meantime while you are “analyzing” the situation? I’m certain just about everyone we would talk to would have a different understanding and definition of “cautious” and “careful analysis”. The fact that it is coming from someone who does not support equal rights for gays due to religious reasons from the get-go is why your side is not winning this day.

  60. Eddy et al:
    Anti-gay has a very specific definition – From Dictionary.com:
    “opposed or hostile to homosexuals or to homosexual social reforms and institutions, etc.”

  61. David,
    Gay marriage has been legal now in Massachusetts for 5 years without any known problems, except that millions of dollars have been poured into their economy because of it.
    Gay marriage has also been legal in several European countries without any problems.
    Methinks the data is in!
    As for:

    Should we equate infidelity that is forbidden from infidelity which is condoned and expected in a relationship?

    I think that’s a worthwhile discussion to have – but it does not pertain to giving gay couples equal rights. If you want to discuss it outside that context I’d be happy too.
    Tim is right on – these arguments that you bring up are almost always brought up by those who would be considered to be anti-gay. Should that surprise us – no? Is that going to raise more than just a few eyebrows? Yes

  62. Timothy said:

    Because you run into the little problem that to one outside of anti-gay circles really believes you. And that’s why your arguments aren’t compelling.

    I think it was supposed to say “…the little problem that no one outside of anti-gay circles…”…And, if that is what he intended to say…it’s yet another overblown, unsupportable, hyperbolic statement. Wow, Timothy….”No one”…You are so wise and all knowing that you can speak for every person who isn’t ‘anti-gay’. Incredible! I also take strong exception to the confusing and offensive term ‘anti-gay’. I may not support gay marriage but I do support civil unions and rights and benefits. I may believe that homosexual behavior is sin but heck I believe a lot of behavior is sin…I sin…my neighbors sin…my family sins. I am not anti-self; I am not anti-neighbor; I am not anti-family or anti-my family…I refuse to let you play the word game of branding me and others who believe as we do as ‘anti gay’. You may say ‘anti gay marriage’ and I will not call you on it but, at least here on this blog, I don’t believe you should be allowed to get away with the offensive usage of ‘anti gay’ that you’ve employed.

  63. @ Jayhuck,
    I asked this earlier, any response?
    I visited the site you recommended…and could find nothing but the assertion and the authors study (which is about the first year of marriage?).
    Buss, D. M., & Shackelford, T. K. (1997). Susceptibility to infidelity in the first year of marriage. Journal of Research in Personality, 31, 193-221.
    Somebody get this and forward, please.
    Should we equate infidelity that is forbidden from infidelity which is condoned and expected in a relationship?

  64. Timothy,
    “As for your obsession on whether I will research a trend away from non-conformist individuality towards more structured and traditional coupling, I’m sorry but I’m not going to do the research.”
    Regarding obsession…? More pejorative words.
    If you are unwilling to back your assertion with research, it just remains an assertion, no skin off my teeth. You have asked for scientific support for assertions from others, but you need not require it for yourself.
    As long as we are clear.
    You’ve distorted my argument, as usual (regarding “hedonism” your word again, wow you like to do this). There seems to be a broader definition in the gay community about what monogamy means; when that word is used in the public forum to discuss broadening the definition of marriage, it is reasonable to include such definitions to the general public, so they can make informed public policy decisions. Some gays define monogamy as you do, some do not.
    Regarding your definitions of secular and religious and how the public policy argument will be won or lost…I think the facts will inform all of us.

  65. David Blakeslee ~ May 20, 2009 at 8:53 am
    Kincaidisms…perfect.

    Yawn. I don’t rise to that kind of name calling.
    As for your obsession on whether I will research a trend away from non-conformist individuality towards more structured and traditional coupling, I’m sorry but I’m not going to do the research. At this point I really don’t care in the slightest about what you do or don’t believe.
    Instead I’ll return to the point. Which is that the secular arguments you are making against gay folk are not convincing or selling well with secular folk. As I have proven with polling numbers.
    So go ahead and make the argument that gay men are hedonists and oppose monogamy and therefore are “additional risks to women and children”. Claim that 70’s non-conformism still rules the day. Go for it.
    Because you run into the little problem that to one outside of anti-gay circles really believes you. And that’s why your arguments aren’t compelling.
    You may believe them. And most certainly anti-gay activists believe them. But secular citizens do not. I don’t have to prove you wrong because your audience already knows that you are wrong.
    And that’s the last I’m going to say on the subject. You can have the last word.

  66. Trusting the tried and the true…
    Nothing to do with hatred or bigotry…certainly can be used as such;
    As can liberalism (what kind of hatred has been let loose on the world in the guise of open-minded sexual attitudes? Not all hatred is active, there is also the passive and the permissive).
    Caution and careful analysis is not bigotry, or prejudice although calling names may advance your goals…
    Wait a minute, weren’t liberals the ones who were against all the ad hominem attacks?

  67. con·ser·va·tism (kn-sûrv-tzm)
    n.
    1. The inclination, especially in politics, to maintain the existing or traditional order.
    2. A political philosophy or attitude emphasizing respect for traditional institutions, distrust of government activism, and opposition to sudden change in the established order.
    3. Conservatism The principles and policies of the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom or of the Progressive Conservative Party in Canada.
    4. Caution or moderation, as in behavior or outlook.
    or:
    1. the disposition to retain what is established and to practice a policy of gradualism rather than abrupt change. Cf. radicalism.
    2. the principles and practices of political conservatives, especially of the British Conservative party. — conservative, n., adj.

  68. Monogamy for all of us is difficult, it appears to be getting harder for women in heterosexual unions.

    David,
    This is Dr. Throckmorton’s fault – he puts up videos of hot guys in untucked burberry shirts with messy hair in an outdoor, natural envoronment and it can re-direct our whole day.

  69. What is the definition of a trend?
    At what point does change reach a statistically significant level?
    Do trends flatten, accelerate or reverse?
    It is not about bigotry…it is about the stated values over thirty years within the broader secular community about sex and coupling.
    Divorce as a trend appears to be slowing, flattening and mildly reversing…it will probably remain stable in the mid 40%…a far cry from the fifties and early sixties.
    Marginalizing religious folks because they make up those who disagree with you seems like a kind of bigotry all its own…religious folks have been on the right side of the facts and history more times than not…
    So Catholics and Protestants voted for Prop 8.
    I think they were active in women’s rights, ending slavery and ending Jim Crow laws. I know Catholics are very active in Social Justice…
    Damned religious freaks….

  70. I am sure Marin presents the Gospel. However, I would be shocked if he would ever use a paper like Rob’s in any of his work.

    No, he wouldn’t. But I am not a preacher. I am a “former” discipling others seeking to be formers, understanding their pain from the inside out. Therefore, it is entirely appropriate for me.

  71. @ Timothy,
    you still have not cited data to support the trend you assert as fact.
    Until that data is in, caution about broadening the definition of marriage is in order.
    Previous changes in the definition, however noble, or oriented toward rights, personal happiness or experimentation, have created more complex problems.
    Monogamy for all of us is difficult, it appears to be getting harder for women in heterosexual unions.
    The sexual revolution has more victims than it has heros…what has been won and overcome?
    It is no accident that the trend you cite moves toward Judeo-Christian values.
    Historical data is important, all sides of the argument use it to buttress their positions…1987 is a twitch in time…as is 1970.
    The trend you cite, although hopeful, could be as transitory as the values of 1987.
    Lie detector tests?…I get it, these Kincaidisms are just fun for you.
    @ Jayhuck,
    It is beyond belief that you continue to focus on heterosexual open marriages as “something the christian community should go after,” they have for 2000 years…ask any Mormon.

  72. Warren, you throw out a lot of stuff here, but what’s your point? For example, why say this?

    The jury is out on how intrinsic or innate male sexuality is and female sexuality appears to be quite responsive to contextual factors

    .
    And this?

    but can the state compel someone to find that one woman?

    And this?

    In all of this, I cannot see a clear link to hate crimes statutes.

    Did you read both parts of Rob’s essay? He answers your last question in Part 1.
    The state isn’t compelling men to marry to rein in all that testosterone. But the state does have a vested interest in strong families., and that includes mentally healthy families. The financial cost of mental illness alone, to say nothing of the human cost, is enormous.
    As for your “jury is out” statement, let me add that all humans are “quite responsive” to temptations of all sorts. We have our own ideas about what will make us happy and whole. They don’t all work.
    The essence of Rob’s thesis is in this statement:, as far as I am concerned:

    When two persons of the same sex are brought together in a sexual union, the extremes of a given sex are not moderated and the gaps in a given sex are not filled. On the level of anatomy, physiology, and psychology a man’s appropriate sexual complement is a woman and a woman’s true sexual complement is a man.

  73. @Debbie Thurman:
    I am sure Marin presents the Gospel. However, I would be shocked if he would ever use a paper like Rob’s in any of his work.

  74. @Jayhuck:
    Please do not keep using ad hominem responses. I will delete them henceforth. Simply dismissing someone you disagree with as being someone no one likes is sloppy thinking.
    I don’t take Paul Cameron seriously as a scientist but we devoted a 9-part series to him here because there are people who do take him seriously. Simply saying in essence, “you’re stupid” to those who do take him seriously doesn’t convince anyone and only makes you look defensive.

  75. @Debbie Thurman:
    I am unconvinced that Rob’s argument does what you want it to do. He is really only saying that men and women are different in many ways and complement each other. This is not big news. An evolutionary perspective makes similar arguments based in different biological investments in the production of children. Women have a 9 month investment which is costly in many ways. Men have very little investment in child production and are free to spread the wealth so to speak. Thus, women want a male who has resources and will be a good provider, she has an incentive to bring that male into a relationship which will maximize the potential that those resources will provide for the protection of mom and child. Men have an incentive to find a women who will make healthy babies and this is often signalled by youth and physical attractiveness. To have ready access to sexual favors from that women, he agrees to remain in a relationship with her and provide for the children.
    All this argument does is make us really curious about why those same sexual and relational pathways infrequently find their energy directed toward the same sex. The jury is out on how intrinsic or innate male sexuality is and female sexuality appears to be quite responsive to contextual factors.
    Rob asserts some things about relationships among gays. He is not alone in noting cross-cultural research regarding why gay males have more sex partners on average. The first person I heard make this observation was Michael Bailey. The issue is less sexual orientation and more being male. Inasmuch as males (or females also), gay or straight, do not restrain themselves sexually, they will be more at risk for STIs. No big news here. However, if a man has no sexual interest in a woman as is the case with a gay male, a woman cannot perform that restraining factor apparently designed by either God or natural selection (depending on your world view). What then?
    This information is not relevant to a gay male as far as I can see because even if he wants to like women, his “embodied existence” (to quote Rob) does not include any actionable attraction to a woman. There are those few men who fall in love with one woman and for them it does help them move toward their values, but can the state compel someone to find that one woman?
    In all of this, we must remember that homosexuality is different things for different people. We like to say that women are different than men and that is true on average. However, the evidence I have seen indicates at least two types of lesbians. One is the sexually fluid (I love the person, not the gender type) and the other is a more masculine woman who has never felt attracted to men, was not sexually abused and had a decent relationship with mom (as much as their temperaments would allow). Causes and “embodied existence” for the latter woman are much different than the former woman who might be responding in a fluid way to a highly idiosyncratic set of experiences.
    Another problem with Rob’s analysis is that is fails to take into account any contextuals factors. Men and women who are SSA do display more negative mental health outcomes (although not to the degree that many on the right suggest). However, there are several clear contextual factors – higher levels of gender nonconforming temperaments and clear stigma).
    In all of this, I cannot see a clear link to hate crimes statutes.

  76. Certain religious conservatives want gay people to have to prove something before they deem them worthy of equality, yet they don’t ask the same of many of their heterosexual counterparts.

    I may have been hasty in stating this is a fact, but I sure don’t know of any conservatives working to enact legislation stating heterosexuals who have open marriages or who aren’t married don’t deserve to be parents or to have the same rights as other more “traditional” married couples. If you do, please let me know.

  77. Debbie,
    That’s fine – I don’t know any respectable thoughtful person that takes Gagnon seriously – c’mon!

  78. Eddy,
    I posted documentation on why gay people make good parents.
    It is a fact that monogamous gay couples exist and that gay families exist.
    I don’t think its weak or baseless to suggest that gay people deserve equal treatment under the law – if you think so, please tell me how and why!
    Certain religious conservatives want gay people to have to prove something before they deem them worthy of equality, yet they don’t ask the same of many of their heterosexual counterparts. That, is a fact!
    I’m sorry, when I read David’s “secular” arguments, I see a religious conservative who is trying desperately to convince a public that these arguments are somehow valid – he would do better to stick to religious arguments.

  79. How are you baffled, Warren? Is it not compassionate to show someone who is laboring to build a structure with the wrong tools on the wrong foundation how superior the right tools are? They can still choose to do it their way, of course. I have tremendous empathy for gays and lesbians because I was on that path once. Marin never was. So, I have a perspective he doesn’t have.
    Do you think Marin withholds the truth from those who attend his Bible studies? He is Christ’s ambassador, showing them how to be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:20). If and when they are ready, the Spirit speaks to their hearts. Meantime, he patiently waits. That’s what we all must do.
    Jayhuck, I am not interested in reading anything Boxturtle Timothy has to say about Gagnon. I’ve seen enough Kincaidisms lately to last me for a long time.

  80. I find it amusing that when people with obviously conservative religious motivations start finding their religious oppositions to SSM ineffective in swaying public opinion, that they then attempt to put forth so-called secular arguments against the same – LOL! Then you run into obviously laughable arguments from people like Gagnon – talk about struggling mightily.

  81. Debbie,
    You completely ignore Timothy’s assertions, which is that there does indeed seem to be a trend in the gay community towards monogamy.
    Robert Gagnon – LOL – He is a professor of theology – are his so-called “secular” arguments the same as David’s????
    For information on Gagnon and more Gagnonisms, you can read here:
    http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2008/06/24/2266
    Eddy,
    Sarcasm? – from you? Perish the thought. 🙂

  82. @Debbie Thurman:
    When Worlds Collide…
    I am really puzzled about how you can recommend Andrew Marin’s book and also recommend Rob Gagnon’s two articles.

  83. jayhuck said:

    You struggle mightily to come up with so-called “secular” arguments against gay marriage and equality, but they are weak at best, baseless at worst.

    Funny, I was thinking much the same about your rebuttals. See how easy it is to just toss out opinions and have them heard. The serious readers will check for content, for substance, for documentation. Oh my, Jayhuck has deemed David’s comments weak and baseless…hmmm…and what praytell makes Jayhuck’s evaluation something valid? Is it the clear lack of bias or dogmatism? Maybe the openminded way he entertains any opinion that differs from his own? Or the way he honestly and directly respond to challenges to his POV? (Regular followers of this blog will know that I’m employing sarcasm…this aside is just a heads up to anyone else who stumbles in.)
    My only hope is that people that have stumbled into this interminable detour (LOL. The topic is Carrie Prejean and Blisss…and we haven’t even mentioned either in a few days.) anyway, that those people will read back away and savor the flavor of the commentary. And then make their own determination of whose comments are weak and baseless. I won’t tell you whose weak and baseless…I’ll trust you to figure it out for yourself.

  84. Sorry for the confusion. I was actually responding to David. I thanked you in parentheses as an aside.
    Timothy,
    I really appreciate the clarification – thank you.

  85. throughout this listing you seem to have been arguing against comments made by people not on this blog (DRV, Sluts).
    In addition, you seem committed to characterizing those who disagree with you, or point out the flaws in your arguments as prejudiced or bigoted.
    After that, your appraisal of me as having a “Good Attitude,” holds much less value…
    Prop 8 seems to have released in you many of the reactive stereotypical attacks toward those you disagree with, a tactic you abhor when directed toward the GLBT community.
    Complex human issues can be inflamed anywhere, lets keep it out of here.

    Now that you have that out of your system, let’s address the following:

    I think that you can agree that it’s a given that marriage is good for gays.
    And I think that you would probably agree that if children are going to be raised in families comprised of persons of the same-sex that the marriage of these persons is good for the kids.
    And surely you agree that monogamous coupling of gay persons is beter for society than not having monogamous coupling.
    It may simply be a matter of convincing you that insisting that having all persons – gay or straight – be held by society to vows of commitment is more of a deterent on divorce, illigitimacy and premarital sex than insisting that the gay people not be held to that social standard.

  86. David,
    You seem to be confused about who is making assertions. I didn’t make any of the ones you listed.
    My assertion is “that there are not any reasonable non-moral, non-religious arguments opposing SSM that are effective or persuasive to secular audiences.”
    Your assertions seem to be:
    “monogamy means different things to different people ” I’ve said precisely the opposite.
    “that the monogamy you value in your relationship is typical of a “huge” trend in the gay community” I’ve said nothing of the sort. I have said that there has been a huge trend away from the non-conformist hedonistic rejection of heterosexist paradigms that was more typical of the philosophy of gay voices in the 70’s.
    In the 70’s and even the 80’s there was a lot of talk from lesbians about how marriage was a sexist institution that demeaned women and treated them like chatal. And the men (now mostly dead) praised the freedom of anonymous sex, the value of creating families devoid of roles and ties.
    You just don’t hear that stuff much any more and those that do are considered to be out of the mainsteam. Sometimes the oldsters (Larry Kramer, for example) will lament the selling out of “the gay spirit” and all the conformity.

    If a subculture that previously derided values like monogamy and marriage is now attracted to those values (without saying, “we were wrong, we put forward a set of values that were not sustainable as a culture), I think we have a right to careful and skeptically evaluation their “change.”

    You actually are saying that you have to be skeptical of those persons who married today in Iowa or Connecticut or Massachusetts. We have to be careful that maybe they don’t really have the values that they have been living. They may be liars because.. um, what would that reason be? Because they are, um, perhaps gay???
    Yeah. Run with that one, David. See if that’s going to win the secular vote.
    The problem David is that you are still thinking of gay people as The Gays. It’s like arguing that IBM or The Catholic Church should be held to statements made in the 70’s.
    But gay folks aren’t an institution. They are people.
    Today someone got married without even considering for a moment that some dude that died in 1993 made statement in 1987 about rejecting the values of marriage. You seem to think he should apologize to you.
    Today someone got married without even considering for a moment that some couples in Canada have open relationships. You seem to think that she should take a polygraph about her intent to be monogamous.
    C’mon.

  87. David,
    After 40 years of fighting for equality – after 40 years of asking to be treated the same way under the law as everyone else is treated – after being afforded the right to marry in California and then have that snatched away due to a very expensive and highly visible anti-gay campaign, can you blame some people for being angry or upset. When you seek to deny equal rights to a minority you understandably anger that group. Will anger win us converts? – no. We have to love and show civility towards those who would treat us as less than equal, but its not always easy.
    You struggle mightily to come up with so-called “secular” arguments against gay marriage and equality, but they are weak at best, baseless at worst.

  88. @ Timothy,
    throughout this listing you seem to have been arguing against comments made by people not on this blog (DRV, Sluts).
    In addition, you seem committed to characterizing those who disagree with you, or point out the flaws in your arguments as prejudiced or bigoted.
    After that, your appraisal of me as having a “Good Attitude,” holds much less value…
    Prop 8 seems to have released in you many of the reactive stereotypical attacks toward those you disagree with, a tactic you abhor when directed toward the GLBT community.
    Complex human issues can be inflamed anywhere, lets keep it out of here.

  89. David,
    Its very interesting in what it qualifies! You can’t cherry pick who gets equal rights on such data though – regardless!

  90. David,
    I don’t know that Timothy said anything about a HUGE trend in the gay community, but it would also be worth discussing whether we see more monogamy in the gay community now than we did 30 years ago, as well as discuss whether the change, if its there, IS part of a general trend.
    Its hard for me to believe you are just being skeptical when there are heterosexual couples who scoff at the traditional idea of monogamy and/or marriage as well, yet we don’t seem to be putting much effort into them – much less preventing them from having equal rights with their traditional marriage counterparts.

  91. I guess we’ll have a better idea when Dr Warwick Hosking is done. (thanks, Ann)
    Maybe it will confirm you prejudices, maybe not. But since you currently are quoting a Canadian survey and the opinion of a writer as “the data”, who knows what you’ll do with it. And who knows what I’ll do with it. I suppose when I have time I’ll see if it is representative and relevant to Americans, etc.
    Until then you go on believing whatever stereotype justifies your views. And I’ll go on believing what my eyes and ears tell me. Neither is probably completely accurate.
    In the meanwhile, what’s your point?
    If you think that the argument “gay couples should not have rights because some of them are non-monogamous” is a big seller in the secular world, go for it. See if secular folk say, “gee, had I only thought of that”.
    I foolishly let myself get caught up in red herrings trying to argue with you the merits of your arguments. I should have just pointed out that they were not relevant to the matter at hand (the rights of couples that are seeking vows), they are arguments that have no legs, and then let it be.

    Timothy,
    You’re welcome. I actually was not quoting anything and certainly did not use the word “dada” as you indicated I did. Not sure why you would say I did, do you?I was just sending an article, if anyone was intersted, in reading it. I do not have any real interest in it myself but thought it might be a reference point to consider for others who have been commenting on the subject.
    As to the rest of your comments I have highlighted above, are they directed to me?

  92. @ Jayhuck,
    The Patterson statement is of interest if you look at what it leaves out and what it qualifies.
    It was framed, justifiably, as a human rights issue to protect the rights of parents.
    It is not commenting on the optimal environment for long-term coupling or for child-rearing….Religion tries to talk optimally; human experience (secular) tries to talk about optimal.
    Neither does it talk about the deterioration of the family in the last 40 years and concomitant public policy issues that this raises.

  93. @ Timothy,
    Nothing bogged down here, except your usubstantatiated assertions:
    that there are not any reasonable non-moral, non-religious arguments opposing SSM.
    that the monogamy you value in your relationship is typical of a “huge” trend in the gay community…when monogamy means different things to different people (the same for you, me and those on this site; but not for those that Joe Kort meets and knows and apparently many others) it is worth discussing its meaning in detail.
    It is not about stereotypes, it is about gathering the data as best we can and as honestly as we can. If a subculture that previously derided values like monogamy and marriage is now attracted to those values (without saying, “we were wrong, we put forward a set of values that were not sustainable as a culture), I think we have a right to careful and skeptically evaluation their “change.”

  94. David,
    Divorce hurts many people, but so do loveless and abusive (emotional and/or physical) marriages or those with irreconcilable differences. Kids don’t need to to be exposed to such relationships anymore than they need to be exposed to divorce.

  95. Re child studies.. I am not well versed on this.
    But if I understand correctly, the tentative findings are
    1. Mom and Dad families are better than single parent families
    2. Same-sex couples do about as well as opposite-sex couples.
    But I think we do have to be cautious in that these seem to be not entirely conclusive.
    However, I think that we can agree based on what has been found, that same-sex couples are more successful than single gay parents.

  96. David,
    I agree that more studies need to be done – BUT I the quote below from this site:
    http://www.apa.org/pi/parent.html

    By Charlotte J. Patterson, PhD
    In summary, there is no evidence to suggest that lesbian women or gay men are unfit to be parents or that psychosocial development among children of lesbian women or gay men is compromised relative to that among offspring of heterosexual parents. Not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents. Indeed, the evidence to date suggests that home environments provided by lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those provided by heterosexual parents to support and enable children’s psychosocial growth.
    It should be acknowledged that research on lesbian and gay parents and their children, though no longer new, is still limited in extent. Although studies of gay fathers and their children have been conducted (Patterson, 2004), less is known about children of gay fathers than about children of lesbian mothers. Although studies of adolescent and young adult offspring of lesbian and gay parents are available (e.g., Gershon et al., 1999; Tasker & Golombok, 1997; Wainright et al., 2004), relatively few studies have focused on the offspring of lesbian or gay parents during adolescence or adulthood. Although more diverse samples have been included in recent studies (e.g., Golombok et al., 2003; Wainright et al., 2004), many sources of heterogeneity have yet to be systematically investigated. Although two longitudinal studies have been reported (Gartrell et al., 1996, 1999, 2000; Tasker & Golombok, 1997), longitudinal studies that follow lesbian and gay parent families over time are still needed. Thus, although a considerable amount of information is available, additional research would further our understanding of lesbian and gay parents and their children.

  97. In a pluralistic society, if the data comes down that gay and lesbian monogamous coupling is good for gays, kids and the rest of society…I then have no public policy reason to resist it.

    Excellent. Good attitude.
    I think that you can agree that it’s a given that marriage is good for gays.
    And I think that you would probably agree that if children are going to be raised in families comprised of persons of the same-sex that the marriage of these persons is good for the kids.
    And surely you agree that monogamous coupling of gay persons is beter for society than not having monogamous coupling.
    It may simply be a matter of convincing you that insisting that having all persons – gay or straight – be held by society to vows of commitment is more of a deterent on divorce, illigitimacy and premarital sex than insisting that the gay people not be held to that social standard.

  98. @ Jayhuck,
    I reviewed some studies in 2004 and 06 and recall they were self-reports and were comparing divorced heterosexual women with single lesbians….I think.
    I have argued elsewhere that similar long term studies as divorce (thought to be benign before the data came in), should be done.

  99. I thought you said you were too busy at work?!?

    Ummmm, yeah. I am.
    And by the way, you can call me Timothy.
    And I’m sorry, David, but I have no idea what it is that you are now arguing.
    Somehow we got bogged down in me having to prove to you that gay attitudes about relationships have changed in past 30 years. I, from my experience in the community and knowing both those who went before and those who lead now, say that attitudes have changed. I don’t care if you believe me or not. At this point you can think whatever it is that you want to think about gay couples.
    I’ve stated that there are non-monogamous couples and monogamous couples and that there probably are more varieties among gay men. I readily concede that there probably fewer people gay men per capita that are in committed monogamous relationships than heterosexuals. No problem saying that.
    I’ve also said that there are many monogamous couples. I think that any rational person would believe that. Further it’s simply logical that those seeking to enter into vows of commitment and fidelity at least have some intention on keeping those vows.
    I guess we’ll have a better idea when Dr Warwick Hosking is done. (thanks, Ann)
    Maybe it will confirm you prejudices, maybe not. But since you currently are quoting a Canadian survey and the opinion of a writer as “the data”, who knows what you’ll do with it. And who knows what I’ll do with it. I suppose when I have time I’ll see if it is representative and relevant to Americans, etc.
    Until then you go on believing whatever stereotype justifies your views. And I’ll go on believing what my eyes and ears tell me. Neither is probably completely accurate.
    In the meanwhile, what’s your point?
    If you think that the argument “gay couples should not have rights because some of them are non-monogamous” is a big seller in the secular world, go for it. See if secular folk say, “gee, had I only thought of that”.
    I foolishly let myself get caught up in red herrings trying to argue with you the merits of your arguments. I should have just pointed out that they were not relevant to the matter at hand (the rights of couples that are seeking vows), they are arguments that have no legs, and then let it be.

  100. Ann,

    If there is a resolution for same gender couples in regards to equal rights, would you expect social acceptance of it as well?

    I’m not sure if I would say that such a resolution would increase social acceptance. I can say with some certainty that that society has been growing increasingly supportive of gay people in general, but gay couples specifically – due in no small part to the injustices incurred by gay couples and gay families as a result of inequality.

  101. David,
    I’m sorry to tell you but we already have data showing that the children of gay couples grow up no worse and no better than children of straight couples. – I think that deals with the several paragraphs you devoted to gender complementarity.
    The issue I raised doesn’t just deal with kids though – it deals with whether or not encouraging fidelity among gay couples is overall good for the health of society – and is it good for gay couples themselves.
    I don’t see anything in the several paragraphs you pulled down that amounts to a sound justification for denying gay couples equal rights.

  102. Jayhuck,
    If there is a resolution for same gender couples in regards to equal rights, would you expect social acceptance of it as well?

  103. @ Jayhuck
    “Among the things I listed that you continue to ignore or brush aside is the idea that gay marriage very well may be good both for gay people, for kids and for the rest of society. I think people are starting to realize that it just might! :)”
    I have ignored it, so thanks for repeating it.
    In a pluralistic society, if the data comes down that gay and lesbian monogamous coupling is good for gays, kids and the rest of society…I then have no public policy reason to resist it.
    Marriage, in that scenario, becomes a matter of conscience for the Christian, Jew or Muslim…not an issue of public policy.
    I would add, however, that if the data seem to show a compromised outcome as it does for women and children of divorce…
    Heck, that is how I justified getting into this debate 5 years ago, it was the long-term data on divorce, illegitimacy and premarital sex. All proposed as alternatives to “rigid moral values.”

  104. @ Jayhuck,
    May 15 at 7:44
    I understand you distilling arguments against homosexuality down to morals or tradition…
    That does seem a little simplified…A Design model can be used not only highlighting childbearing, but complementarity of gender differences, monogamy in heterosexual coupling leading to healthier outcomes medically and so on and so forth.
    May 16 at 1:56
    Regarding childbearing and childrearing: you grossly simplify the argument, as it is intertwined with gender complementarity and socialization; increasing empathy for gender differences (the family is the first socializing institution).
    Regarding gender complementarity: you again oversimplify this…there are real differences in the brains of men and women, real differences in how prefer to arrange social interactions, how they deal with conflict and accountability.
    You do not deal with the issue that child bearing in gay and lesbian homes requires a more complex family structure from the beginning (a third, absent parent). Even in heterosexual couples who are infertile….back to gender complementarity.
    “I’m not saying there are no secular arguments or that such arguments can’t be made. I’m saying that hardly anyone is making them. And not many more are believing them.” I am not sure how you can support the second and third statements factually, they seem to be an assertion.

  105. Eddy,
    David said: “If we are going to broaden the definition of marriage to Same Sex couples, as a secularist, it is of interest to think “whay might that look like?”
    I stated that as a secularist it would be of interest to think about how gay marriages might benefit everyone in society. Would encouraging fidelity among gay couples be a good thing? Would giving gay families reasons to remain together and take care of each other be beneficial? These aren’t opinions as much as they are questions that should be asked in any conversation re: this issue.
    You are right though – David doesn’t HAVE to address those questions.

  106. Jayhuck-

    Among the things I listed that you continue to ignore or brush aside is the idea that gay marriage very well may be good both for gay people, for kids and for the rest of society.

    Yes, you have made that statement several times. It’s an opinion you’ve expressed; nothing requires any blogger to respond to all of your opinions. If facts refute or seem to refute our point, then we are called upon to answer to that but, if it’s just an opinon and if it really doesn’t go to the point, it’s perfectly legitimate not to legitimize it by giving it the time of day.
    It’s a weak statement, technically speaking. ‘Gay marriage very well may be good’…wow…who can argue with that!? Gee, it very well may be but then again maybe not…

  107. David,
    If conservatives put 1/2 the effort into battling all those things you listed as they have into gay marriage, I think perhaps they might actually have their way. Where are all the TV ads re: those issues, where are the attempts to amend the constitution to write those things into law, where are the millions and millions of dollars? I’m curious to know!

  108. David,

    I suggested several secular arguments against broadening the definition of marriage to include SS couples.

    I must have missed these. I scrolled back up the thread and still don’t see them – what were they?
    Among the things I listed that you continue to ignore or brush aside is the idea that gay marriage very well may be good both for gay people, for kids and for the rest of society. I think people are starting to realize that it just might! 🙂

  109. @ Tim,
    Take someone’s word for it?!? LOL.
    “Or else he can choose to believe – all logic to the contrary – that gay culture has not shifted at all in the past 30 years and that attitudes are the same as they were at the birth of the modern gay rights movement.”
    Simplistic options from such a bright man…you can do better Tim.
    You seem to project your value of monogamy on all coupling gays…when the data says otherwise.

  110. @ Tim,
    I thought you said you were too busy at work?!?
    This is a long, long thread.
    To reconstruct, Tim argued that beyond religious arguments, there were no arguments that the secular community thought were viable against SSM.
    I suggested several secular arguments against broadening the definition of marriage to include SS couples.
    In the course of that discussion, STD’s came up and monogamy came up (mine, I think were about gender-complimentarity).
    Tim was making generalizations about his coupling relationship to all gay relationships. By implication he was addressing STD’s also. The articles posted, were in reference to the many assertions Tim was making…that some facts, even at gay affirmative sites, do not support his generalization.
    The articles I posted, I repeat, come from gay affirmative sites, by gay affirmative authors; they suggest a broader set of values in gay coupling than in heterosexual coupling (I found them quickly, I think, by googling “gay monogamy.”).
    @Jahuck,
    It is hard to know how to address the argument, “why weren’t you mad at heterosexuals first?”
    Conservatives have been trying to make divorce more difficult for 20 years, they have been trying to get adolescents to delay sexual activity, they have been trying to stop the devaluing of women through pornography for a generation…
    We have argued, since the sixties, that sexual freedom is a false promise, tried before in many cultures with negative outcomes.
    We have only revisited it because of the power of the pill, and penicillin.
    It turns out that even the pill and penicillin, could not overcome the devastating effects of the sexual revolution…
    Conservatives have been raising the alarm the whole time, it was only when the data started justifying our concerns that we regained a voice in the public policy arena.

  111. I truly wish I had the time to pull together evidence adequate to convince David that the attitudes within the gay culture have shifted over the past 30 years. I’m working on a project that will keep me here most of the night and I’m only keeping up with the conversation when I’m taking a break.
    And as Warren says some things are just obvious to those within the gay culture. I guess David will either just have to let this one slide and take my word for it. Or else he can choose to believe – all logic to the contrary – that gay culture has not shifted at all in the past 30 years and that attitudes are the same as they were at the birth of the modern gay rights movement.

  112. And just so you know I would never lump you into a group with people like Cameron or Lively 🙂

  113. Warren,
    For the record, I spent 20 years of my life in conservative Protestant groups 🙂

  114. @Timothy Kincaid:
    It may seem obvious to you that there is some kind of cultural shift in the gay community but it is not as obvious to others — at least not as obvious as the other cultural items you listed.
    It is axiomatic in social psychology that people in a group know its diversity much more clearly than those not in the group. Many of these discussion make this so clear to me. For instance, Eddy knows the diversity within a conservative Protestant group that jayhuck does not grasp. Those in the gay community know the diversity which is unclear to those on the outside. An eye opener for me has been the recognition of the diversity in the gay community just as there is within evangelical community. I certainly do not want to be lumped in with Paul Cameron or Scott Lively so I will make every effort to understand that Timothy and jayhuck, for instance, do not want to be lumped in with extreme gay groups like Bash Back (for example).

  115. Actually, Timothy, hitchhiking can be dangerous but a lot depends on whether you employ ‘safe hitchhiking’ techniques; retro is ‘in’ again so bell bottoms are resurfacing; communes still exist and some say are on the rise again and most of our culture (since it is largely youth) doesn’t even know who Anita Bryant is or was.
    Maybe a little research wouldn’t hurt.

  116. David,
    I’m not hunting up studies for you that there has been a culture shift in the gay community since the 70’s. I’m also not hunting up that fast food is fattening, that hitch-hiking is dangerous, that bell-bottoms are not fashionable, that communes are a thing of the past, that “black power” isn’t chanted anymore, that employers no longer call their secretary “little lady” or pat her butt, or that Anita Bryant is considered a sad national joke.

  117. David,

    If monogamy includes a wide variety of coupling…what impact might that have on a child’s development?

    Same goes for the wide variety of coupling found among heterosexuals. However, I think pointed out already above that monogamy is defined as, among other things, one sexual partner! I didn’t get the sense that he was arguing against that definition.

  118. David,
    At some point your going to have to deal with the reality that gay families, gay couples and gay marriages exist – and that the viewpoint of Americans is moving towards support of those unions.
    You have shown us nothing to suggest that gay couples don’t deserve the same rights as other married couples, although I’m willing to grant that perhaps that was not your intent – I, like Timothy, wonder what you are trying to get at when you post various articles like the one on a study done on a small group of gay men in Canada.
    You most definitely don’t address heterosexual couples that have open marriages.

    If we are going to broaden the definition of marriage to Same Sex couples, as a secularist, it is of interest to think “whay might that look like?”

    Since the definition has already been broadened I suggest you look at the married couples already in existence – especially the gay families who love for, care and support their children. I thinks its also of interest to think “how would/could gay marriages improve the lives of gay people and the rest of society”?

    I don’t think conservatives, secularists or Christians believe this is a healthy framework for marriage.

    I think Tim’s point is that no one sees conservative Christians actively trying to stop these sorts of Las Vegas marriages, while they poor tons of money and resources into preventing gay marriages. – nor do we see conservative Christians actively trying to prevent open marriages, etc….

  119. I don’t think conservatives, secularists or Christians believe this is a healthy framework for marriage.

    No. But conservatives aren’t spending 40 million dollars to stop it.
    See, the problem with arguments like that, David, are that you seek to equate all gay people as having the same values. And you decide that they are debased values and then go hunt for something that confirms such an assumption.
    Thus the opinion of some writer (a nice guy, by the way) who thinks that couples have various options other than monogamy becomes the standard by which we determine if Sally can marry Sue.
    But you don’t think the game works the other way.
    I’m supposed to be judged by what some Canadians in a study about “Relationship Innovation” think amount monogamy, but you aren’t supposed to be judged by drunks in Vegas.
    Now I’m sure that works really well in the echo chamber of your friends and your church. But as I have repeatedly said, this isn’t selling to those who don’t share that viewpoint bias.
    It’s like GOP Chair Michael Steele’s new antii-marriage argument (that it costs small business when a gay employee gets married). It sounds good to those who assume up front that gay marriage is bad. But it falls apart as soon as it gets outside of the shelter of like-minded thinking.

    You pummel our values with degraded, commercialized examples

    That’s the irony. No one on the pro-gay-marriage side is pummeling your values.
    If you stopped for a second and let go of the “fight the homosexual agenda” knee-jerk reaction, you’d realize that they share your values (except the “gays are evil” part). Why do you think they are fighting so hard to get married?

  120. @ Tim,
    Hope you enjoy the rest of your day, finding research to support our assertions is tiresome.
    The Nimmon’s quote comes from a spirituality blog, citing his 2002 book. It later cites more current British researchers.
    Finally, the Canadian study referred to is even more current.
    I thought this was relevant as part of the discussion was about monogamy and STD’s.
    I am very interested in studies which show the “huge” trend you assert.

  121. @ Tim…
    Regarding alcoholic binges, marriage and Las Vegas…
    I don’t think conservatives, secularists or Christians believe this is a healthy framework for marriage.
    You pummel our values with degraded, commercialized examples (The Bachelor is next, no doubt)…odd.

  122. David,
    If we are going to broaden the definition of marriage to Same Sex couples, as a secularist, it is of interest to think “whay might that look like?”
    Sure. So bring on the studies that show that same-sex couples who seek marriage generally use a different definition of monogamy and we’ll talk. Appealing to some gay sites that “warn against stereotypes of monogamy” says nothing about such couples any more than appealing to fundmentalist Mormon sites says anything about how Christian couples view monogamy.

    If monogamy includes a wide variety of coupling…

    Nope. I disagee with that. Just as I consistently have in the posts above.

    Is your argument that you don’t like Joe Kort and Nimmons is a dweeb?

    No. If that were my argument that is what I would have said.

    Monogamy=heterosexist conformity to sexual rigidity?

    It did to some 70’s radicals.

    Can you help me follow your thinking about the shift you see…can you cite some data?

    I wish I did have time to respond to everyone and also do research in the middle of my workday. Sorry, can’t today.
    But I can state with absolute certainly that there has been a strong cultural shift in the gay community from the 70’s to today. For the moment you’ll just have to take my word for it.

  123. @ Jayhuck and infidelity in married couples,
    I visited the site you recommended…and could find nothing but the assertion and the authors study (which is about the first year of marriage?).
    Buss, D. M., & Shackelford, T. K. (1997). Susceptibility to infidelity in the first year of marriage. Journal of Research in Personality, 31, 193-221.
    Somebody get this and forward, please.
    Should we equate infidelity that is forbidden from infidelity which is condoned and expected in a relationship?

  124. @ Tim,
    “And the anti-establishment philosophies of some in the early gay-rights movement actively argued against the heterosexist conformity to sexual rigidity. They were “pioneers” and “sexual anarchists” and now they are mostly dead. But while there has been a huge shift in thinking in the gay community about social relationships and a mamoth move towards coupledom, there is still some of the old do-it-our-way mentality.”
    Monogamy=heterosexist conformity to sexual rigidity?
    Maybe the sexual anarchy of the past is what alarmed so many, not just the bigots and the haters.
    You have made a bold and important assertion about a “huge shift” and “mammoth move toward coupledom” and you seem to be minimizing the number of “do-it-our-way” people.
    Kort and the others seem to a found an in-between step from sexual anarchy to true monogamy….
    Can you help me follow your thinking about the shift you see…can you cite some data?
    Thanks.

  125. @ Tim,
    Is your argument that you don’t like Joe Kort and Nimmons is a dweeb?
    Meh!?!?

  126. @ Tim,
    I have been trying to thoughtfully respond to your statement about only religious prohibitions interfere with gay rights arguments.
    Like Eddy, whom I do not know besides on this site, I agree that your use of “slutty” and “DRV” phrases…cannot be recognized as having root in any of my comments.
    They are rooted somewhere else (since you brought them into the argument I would suggest you look inward).
    The articles I posted were not from hate sites trying to devalue gays; they were from gay affirmative sites trying to warn against stereotypes of monogamy.
    If we are going to broaden the definition of marriage to Same Sex couples, as a secularist, it is of interest to think “whay might that look like?”
    Your use of monogamy in male SS relationships as it related to STD transmission was an important idea to explore more thoroughly…and I hope we are.
    If monogamy includes a wide variety of coupling…what impact might that have on a child’s development?
    Secular…philosophical…practical.

  127. Eddy,

    And as to the year ‘it happened among my gay friends’. It was 2009…

    I though I’d erased that comment. I didn’t. Stupid me.

    You didn’t get my point…David was citing behaviors that didn’t fit the typical definition of monogamy. In your effort to discredit his comment, YOU inferred that ‘here we go calling gays ’slutty’ again. It’s your hyperbole tactic.

    Ummmm…. are we pretending that we haven’t heard that old insinuation before? I’m sure you have, Eddy.
    And what, pray tell, was David’s point about “health concerns and the impact on child rearing” if not an insinuation that “gay men are slutty so they should be denied rights”? Was he, perchance, supporting marriage so as to encourage commitment and responsibility? I think not.
    If you want to object to my choice of the word “slutty”, then object away. Or, altenately, you could actually address the point.

  128. Eddy, David, and Jayhuck
    Monogamy means one partner. Period.
    What I think Eddy and David are saying is partly correct and partly false.
    Unlike Eddy and David (and Joe Kort), I don’t think that gay couples are in general using the term “monogamous” to mean anything other than sexual fidelity. I have not found that those couples who say that they are monogamous are defining that term to include sexual partners other than themselves.
    However, I do think that gay couples generally have wider variation in their relationship structure than heterosexual couples.
    There are probably more same-sex male couples that allow for outside sexual expression. I think that a culture in which gay people are told that they cannot form unions is not one that encourages the forming of monogamous units.
    And the anti-establishment philosophies of some in the early gay-rights movement actively argued against the heterosexist conformity to sexual rigidity. They were “pioneers” and “sexual anarchists” and now they are mostly dead. But while there has been a huge shift in thinking in the gay community about social relationships and a mamoth move towards coupledom, there is still some of the old do-it-our-way mentality.
    And there are probably more that define “sexual behavior” differently than heteros.
    For example, I know a couple of men who have been together for at least 30 years. They met when they were 18 and have only ever been intimate with each other. But flirting and ogling is considered acceptable behavior. I know of another who told me that he likes it when his husband sees someone attractive; it means that their intimacy will be more passionate that night.
    Those are probably not examples that would be particularly common in heteros but are probably not un-common in same-sex couples.
    While a hetero might think flirting is too sexual and outside the barriors, these couples do not. Yet – as best I know – both couples are strictly monogamous.
    I think we have to be careful not to muddy the waters.
    Yes there are a lot of gay couples that think sexual exclusion is old fashioned and impractical. But to the best of my knowledge, the ones that I know who got married last year all think that monogamy means monogamy.

  129. Timothy–
    You didn’t get my point…David was citing behaviors that didn’t fit the typical definition of monogamy. In your effort to discredit his comment, YOU inferred that ‘here we go calling gays ‘slutty’ again. It’s your hyperbole tactic.
    In a further attempt to counter his references and his point of view, you introduce the godless extremes of Sin City into the conversation. It’s you hyperbolic dodge tactic.
    And as to the year ‘it happened among my gay friends’. It was 2009…and it was last month. (That’s the last time…but I’ve been observing it for the past two or three years.) So, I’m really really glad you asked. It’s your sarcasm tactic backfiring on you.

  130. Eddy,
    it sure happened among my gay friends.
    what year was that again?
    Carole:

    On another note–when it comes to heteros with multiples or to gays with multiples, , I am always baffled at how these “couples” come to an agreement.

    Me too. I suspect that someone always feels a bit left out.
    And, like you, I’m way too jealous. And I also don’t want to invest the time or emotion into someone who thinks I’m one of the people they find connection with.

  131. Eddy

    I reserve the word ’slutty’ for those who sleep around indiscriminately BUT I preserve the word ‘monogamous’ for those who have one and only one partner.

    Me too. Otherwise I’m sorry but I don’t get your point.

    I suppose we could try to compel the federal government to nullify the state sanctioned marriages there…we’d need a lot of support though, as someone who recognizes the travesty, can we count on you?

    Nope.
    I always support the side of personal freedoms, even for drunken fools that fall for Vegas cocktail waitresses. While part of me wants to just rush right in and force everyone else to do what I know is best for them, the bigger part of me knows that I don’t want anyone telling me what is best for me.
    Eddy, as someone who certainly doesn’t want to live his life the way that some majority might think is best for you, I’m sure you agree. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to put your life up to a popular vote.

  132. Jayhuck–The only reason I had to say ‘true monogamy’ was to concede to the fact that YOU held different definitions in your head…so I had to add the word ‘true’ to differentiate the defined one from your invented one.
    The wikipedia does not embrace different notions of monogamy. Monogamy is ALWAYS one partner only. Wikipedia simply showed how the word means ‘one partner only’ in several different categories. My comments were and are speaking to sexual monogamy. Their context was quite clear: MY OBSERVATION HAS BEEN THAT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HOW GAYS VIEW MONOGAMY AS OPPOSED TO STRAIGHTS…MORE OF MY GAY FRIENDS BELIEVE IN ‘OPEN RELATIONSHIPS’ AS PART OF MONOGAMY THAN MY STRAIGHT FRIENDS. (That may not be your observation or opinion but it is mine. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. Please stop trying to reinterpret my conclusion. Refute it if you want to but stop trying to reinterpret it. I said what I said and I meant it that way. I PERCEIVE A DIFFERENCE.)
    If you return to Wikipedia, you won’t find ‘open sexual relationships’ as part of ANY of their categories. The gay definition that includes ‘open relationships’ and ‘three ways’ is bogus!

  133. Eddy,
    I never doubted your experience with your gay friends. It has been my experience that straight couples ogle, and might even flirt, but may do so more “furtively” than their gay counterparts. I don’t know if being secretive about it is better or worse than simply being open about it. I don’t know if gay couples do it more often that straight couples. I know that seems to be your experience. I’ve seen that in gay couples as well, but I’ve also seen plenty of couples who don’t ogle or flirt when they are with their partner/spouse.
    I’m not denying you your experience – I believe its valid, if that makes any difference

  134. Eddy,
    Carole misunderstood what I was saying. When I was talking to her I was trying to clarify. I’m not taking exception to what she said. I believe I stated I agree with her. But monogamy, by definition, means one mate – one sexual partner – That’s it. At least that’s as far as the dictionary definitions tend to go. All of us then put our own additions on it – as you stated when you said that your friends’ behavior was not “true” monogamy.

  135. It could go on and on but why? I left out serial monogamy because it really didn’t relate to the point I was making about the differences I’ve witnessed between gays re monogamy and straights re monogamy that related to the comments David presented and ‘serial monogamy’ was not a major part of that. It’s a discussion we’re having, not free association.

  136. Yes, Carol, I find it laughable too. Monogamy is a word…it has a definition…but it seems some will go to any extreme to avoid recognizing any validity in the point someone is making.
    Jayhuck–
    I know you just have to take exception to everything but please consider that I was comparing the ‘open relationship’ monogamy of my gay friends…where right in front of each other and me, they’d look, ogle and flirt. I then, in response to your attempt to water down that observation, presented its actual–not fictional–counterpart. In that very same room, at those very same times, (karaoke nights at a VFW), my gay friends would openly ogle and flirt and my straight friends, if they did look, did so furtively. If they got caught ‘noticing too much’, their wives would razz them about it rather than encourage them as my gay friend’s did with their partners.Their concept of monogamy was true to the definition while my gay friend’s concept embraced the ‘open relationship’ idea. (I clearly elaborated beyond simple looking into open ogling and flirting, yet you come back to me with ‘women look too’. It misses the very clear and pointed statement I was making about the conspicuous ogling and flirting.) Please, if you are going to try to refute my point or try to add further enlightenment to my point, try getting my point in the first place.

  137. Then of course there are those who engage in serial monogamy – wow, this could just go on and on 🙂

  138. I meant that for some people, monogamy can and does mean allowing for the other to ogle, perhaps even to flirt without someone outside the relationship, but not to engage in any sort of physical intimacy with that person. Monogamy – the practice of having only one mate, leaves open the possibility that the partners can engage in non-physical pursuits with others, for lack of a better word. I’m not trying to co-opt words or change them!
    I personally don’t agree with this, but I also can’t deny that these behaviors still fall under the banner of monogamy.

  139. Jayhuck said,

    I probably don’t need to mention this, but your and my idea of monogamy are not the only ones out there you know!

    Forgive me for laughing, but before I call it a day, I just can’t let this comment go by. I am chuckling. We have enough problems these days communicating, one with another, couples with one another, nations with nations, Democrats with Republicans, liberals with conservatives, women with men, parents with children, etc.
    Please , let’s not co-opt words that have meaning and change them by making up, down and down, up. That’s an Orwellian world, the world of Big Brother where words are twisted to twist ideas and to twist concepts, to deceive and manipulate.
    If two people, married or single, gay or straight, wish to establish a relationship with one another, yet also wish to negotiate a relationship which allows for intimacy with others (together or apart, doesn’t matter) let us not enter into an Orwellian world and call that “monogamy” and offer something like,” well, it’s their definition of monogamy.”
    Why not just say, “it’s their idea of a good relationship, a good union”? That doesn’t screw around with words, thus thought, thus ideas.

  140. Eddy,

    The guys may look but they have to answer to their wives for it.

    The women may look too – just to be fair you know. And they only have to answer to their wives if the wives care or if they find out.

  141. Eddy,
    I probably don’t need to mention this, but your and my idea of monogamy are not the only ones out there you know!

  142. Eddy,
    Maybe not your straight friends, but there are straight people who will do that. Remember most gays haven’t had the benefit of marriage or the encouragement to be in committed relationships – yet oddly, many are.

  143. No, Jayhuck, I am making a very clear distinction between the straights that I know and the gays. If it was the same, then I wouldn’t have noticed the gays as different. It is a different definition of monogamy that embraces ‘fooling around as long as we’re open about it’. This is NOT what I see in my straight friends. The guys may look but they have to answer to their wives for it.

  144. Eddy,
    I agree – but not anymore than heterosexuals who ogle and flirt – openly or otherwise!

  145. Jayhuck–
    I know there’s likely lots of hidden cheating out there. What troubles me is that my best friend and his ‘hubby’ identify themselves as a committed couple but openly ogle and point out ‘hotties’ to each other…and then go flirt with them. I honestly don’t know if they ‘go all the way’ but this is not a true picture of monogamy.

  146. Eddy,
    I’ll never say that, in my own experience, cheating didn’t happen among my gay friends – it did. But it seemed to happen in equal manner with my straight friends. The thing about my straight friends is that most were never upfront with me about it. The mother of my two godsons only recently confessed to me about cheating on her husband of many years, and I’ve been close to this women for over a decade.

  147. Carole,

    I am always baffled at how these “couples” come to an agreement. Of course I realize that those who’d do this feel the need for or variety, but what I don’t get is how they can put up with jealousy. Being just a stick- in- the- mud, I guess, I would never, ever be able to avoid jealousy.

    I agree with you completely on this. I was in a monogamous relationship for 8 years. I could never personally do the open-relationship thing.

  148. Eddy,
    I addressed that point a bit above!
    For information regarding the Swinging lifestyle – ( I believe there are more labels that non-monogamous heterosexuals ascribe to themselves than this, but its a place to start to understand heterosexuals who don’t a believe in monogamy) –
    I don’t know of a good to place to go to right off the top of my head to find out about the incidence of such lifestyles though
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swinging

  149. Jayhuck–
    Your comments re the incidence of heterosexual infidelity isn’t a proper counterpoint to David’s links re monogamy. The study you cited seems to primarily address an instance or two of infidelity (i.e. monogamous marriage is going on for some time and then there is a lapse…and it is regarded as a lapse…possibly even the grounds for the breakup of the marriage.) David’s links seem to point to individuals who have simply redefined monogamy…the threesome doesn’t count because we were both there; we have an ‘open relationship’…we can fool around on the side but we tell each other. You can bluster all you want about that being a conservative’s exaggeration…how it doesn’t happen in your circle of friends, but it sure happened among my gay friends. And you’d think that Minnesota, having been an early leader in shaking the shackles of oppression, would demonstrate that change in relationship responsibility to a higher degree.

  150. I don’t know the hetero fidelity figuresm but one place to go to for it is the GSS survey. People are afforded anonymity when they answer this survery, for whatever it’s worth.
    On another note–when it comes to heteros with multiples or to gays with multiples, , I am always baffled at how these “couples” come to an agreement. Of course I realize that those who’d do this feel the need for or variety, but what I don’t get is how they can put up with jealousy. Being just a stick- in- the- mud, I guess, I would never, ever be able to avoid jealousy.
    Can anyone explain what I must not understand? My question is a serious one. Most people I have ever met are “selfish” enough to want their partner to themselvesm and even if they themselves want variety , they aren’t willing to allow their mate that variety.
    Anyone? Lucy? ‘Splain???????

  151. David et al,
    What I’m not certain about is whether or not the infidelity statistics given on that page include those straight married couples that openly engage in non-monogamous lifestyles. It sounds as if they are speaking strictly about cheating, which implies deceit.

  152. David,
    There is a web site called Truth About Deception with interesting figures regarding infidelity – one paragraph says:

    It is estimated that roughly 30 to 60% of all married individuals (in the United States) will engage in infidelity at some point during their marriage (see, Buss and Shackelford for review of this research). And these numbers are probably on the conservative side, when you consider that close to half of all marriages end in divorce (people are more likely to stray as relationships fall apart; also see, who is likely to cheat).

    You can see what else they’ve written and check out their reference page here:
    http://www.truthaboutdeception.com/quizzes/public/infidelity_statistics.html
    Mind you, these figures are talking about married couples – people already receiving those benefits that encourage them to remain together. I don’t know if the gay men in that study you posted a link to were married, but I’d be curious to know.

  153. @Timothy,

    HPV is also associated with increased risk of penile cancer.

    Yes, gotcha.
    (When I read,, “penile sex due to HPV,” I thought, “Does he mean HPV due to penile sex” which still left me….confused.)

  154. Timothy–
    No one on this blog said ‘slutty’ other than you. I reserve the word ‘slutty’ for those who sleep around indiscriminately BUT I preserve the word ‘monogamous’ for those who have one and only one partner. If you have a problem coming up with a word for those who are in between ‘truly monogamous’ and ‘slutty’, please don’t pin your problem on us.
    Re the Vegas hyperbole. Both tragic and laughable. Many of us detest the many many sins of Las Vegas…we’d love to see an end to the many travesties there. But, it’s a city…in a desert…purposely founded far away from those meddling conservatives. I suppose we could try to compel the federal government to nullify the state sanctioned marriages there…we’d need a lot of support though, as someone who recognizes the travesty, can we count on you?

  155. Tim

    We can talk about birthrates outside marriage, the percentage of men who cheat, the percentage who have mistresses, etc. If at the end of that conversation you think it is smart to deny marriage (or other basic rights) to same-sex couples who wish to pledge fidelity but to offer them to any old heterosexual that can drunkenly stumble into a Vegas wedding chapel with a cocktail waitress they met that evening then I’ll be glad to let you make that argument.

    LOL – that just deserves a resounding AMEN! 🙂

  156. Oh, and don’t forget Timothy – all the straight couples that engage in swinging. I lived for a summer with a couple like that – very, um, educational I guess might be the word to describe that experience – OY

  157. Gee, and I wonder what type of gay couples participate in a study called “Relationship Innovation in Male Couples”.
    You can believe whatever you like, David. But 70% non-monogamous? I find that fall-on-the-floor laughable.

  158. Timothy,
    I’m just wondering…. do you know the stats on straight men who have anal cancer? Or diseases related to anal intercourse.
    And you make a good point… I can think a many, many instances that a woman or man has a chance to get sick from hetersexual sex.

  159. David,
    Oh, this old argument: “Gays aren’t really monogamous so don’t believe them when they say they are. Really, they are just slutty.”
    Meh.
    Joe and I don’t see eye to eye on his perspectives and opinions about monogamy. I like Joe but he doesn’t speak for any perspective but his own.
    And as for Nimmons’ “studies”, they were primarily surveys in the 1970’s. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that gay culture has matured significantly since the days in which there wasn’t even the slightest cultural support for relationships.
    And what do heteros mean my “monogamous”, I wonder? Do we want to dredge up statistics for that? Those numbers are more soundly based and easy to prove.
    So before you raise fears about “health concerns and the impact on child rearing” by all those slutty homos, let’s be real.
    We can talk about birthrates outside marriage, the percentage of men who cheat, the percentage who have mistresses, etc. If at the end of that conversation you think it is smart to deny marriage (or other basic rights) to same-sex couples who wish to pledge fidelity but to offer them to any old heterosexual that can drunkenly stumble into a Vegas wedding chapel with a cocktail waitress they met that evening then I’ll be glad to let you make that argument.

  160. And here: http://current.com/items/89625959_gay-couples-try-non-monogamy-study-shows.htm
    Three-quarters of Canadian gay men in relationships lasting longer than one year are not monogamous, according to a limited study presented during the American Sociological Association conference held in Atlanta this week.
    Barry Adam, a gay professor at the University of Windsor in Canada, last year interviewed 70 gay men who were part of 60 couples for his study, “Relationship Innovation in Male Couples.”
    Only 25 percent of those interviewed reported being monogamous, with age and experience playing a major factor, Adam said.
    “Those who were monogamous were more likely to be younger, more likely to be in newer, shorter relationships — that is, under three years — and more likely to come from Latino or Asian immigrant groups who said a more romantic approach is what they were used to,” Adam said.

  161. And as for men who have increased risk of penile sex due to HPV, well they are in the same category.
    I am afraid I don’t understand this statement so I can’t comment.

    HPV is also associated with increased risk of penile cancer. There were 1,250 reported with penile or other genital cancers in 2008.

  162. And here: http://gayspirituality.typepad.com/blog/2005/04/the_m_word_mono.html
    “David Nimmons tries to pin down the numbers regarding gay men and monogamy in The Soul Beneath the Skin: The Unseen Hearts and Habits of Gay Men (St. Martin’s Press, 2002). He says that between 40 and 50 percent of gay men are in committed couples at any given time. Studies of gay male couples have shown that as many as 75 percent are non-monogamous.”
    So, health concerns and the impact on child rearing are reasonable secular concerns.

  163. Is all monogamy the same?
    See: http://blogs.psychologytoday.com/blog/gay039s-anatomy/200809/are-gay-male-couples-monogamous-ever-after
    Are Gay Male Couples Monogamous Ever After?
    By Joe Kort on September 16, 2008 – 9:56pm in Gay’s Anatomy
    The Male Couple BookI’ve wanted to write an article on this topic ever since I began working with a gay male couple who told me that they were monogamous. After several months, however, they informed me they had had a three-way. When I asked if they had changed from monogamy, they said, “No.”
    I was confused. Maybe I hadn’t gotten the correct information in our initial consultation? I told them, “I thought you told me you were monogamous,” and they said, “We are.” Now I was REALLY confused! So I said, “But you just told me you were monogamous.”
    Their reply was, “We are monogamous. We only have three-ways together, and are never sexual with others apart from each other.” Okay, now I was slowly getting it. “

  164. @Timothy,

    So we would agree that men who have already had anal sex and women who have already had either anal or vaginal sex are probably infected.

    Yes. Now, I have been trying to find out, however, if one can be tested for antibodies. I think one can. As I understand it, some researchers are wondering if this virus acts the way, say, the feline leukemia virus acts. After years of researching that, they still don’t know why some cats exposed never get it, but they do know that different kinds of exposures, like bites where the virus goes directly into deep tissues, sexual contacts, and repeated use of shared boxes are high risks. However, they guess that some cats just have immunity and others, even though exposed to the virus through high-risk situations like those I listed , may increase their risk with each repeated exposure. Some think that, some don’t.
    While it is fortunate that there is now a vaccine, it just might mean that researchers will do what they often do when a vaccine for something comes out– stop research that will answer remaining questions that still might save lives. (as in the polio virus research). I guess they figure that the Pap smear is good enough, but even in women who get that within the recommended protocol, there are still those for whom diagnosis is too late.

    And as for men who have increased risk of penile sex due to HPV, well they are in the same category.

    I am afraid I don’t understand this statement so I can’t comment.

    And probably all young people should be vaccinated.

    Absolutely. It’s unfortunate that many families are refusing to allow their girls to get it, thinking this will encourage girls to have sex. Duh. I suppose that were the vaccine available to boys, these same parents would think just as illogically. They don’t seem to understand that there is this window during which the vaccine is especially effective.
    And I will point this out: the medical and research communities have known for years, long before they got a vaccine created, that sexual intercourse was the transmission route that led to cervical cancer in women. Did they tell people? No. They let everyone think either nothing at all or that it ran in families. In either case, they never told women how they might improve their chances not to contract it. Perhaps they figured that while women could protect themselves with spermicide, that wouldn’t do the trick when people decided they wanted to get pregnant.
    I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt that they were trying to prevent the world’s population from panicking, but….the world of review boards and research is not run by women, (not that we’d be fairer necessarily), and one has only to recall how hard women had to fight for research dollars for heart disease studies for women, breast cancer research when prostate cancer research had been going great guns for years.
    Ah, humanity!

  165. Carole,
    So we would agree that men who have already had anal sex and women who have already had either anal or vaginal sex are probably infected. And as for men who have increased risk of penile sex due to HPV, well they are in the same category. And probably all young people should be vaccinated.

  166. Indeed, Eddy, we do measure risk and reward.
    We know that every time a woman of childbearing age engages in vaginal sex that there is a chance that she will become pregnant. We further know that a very small percentage (0.011% in the US) will die due to issues related to such a pregnancy.
    So also know that not all families are ecomonically able to raise an additional child or that familial structure is such that it would be in the best interest of the child. So most Christians (including, I suspect, many good Catholics) do not negatively view taking steps – whether chemical, material, or natural – to avoid becoming pregant as a negative thing.
    There are, as you say, risks. And there are ways to reduce them.
    But – and here’s the point – no one goes around declaring that vaginal sex is inherently unsafe. Nor does any one (but rare extremists) ever suggest that sex be reservered only for those times when one is specifically trying to become pregnant.
    But on this site a commenter claimed that a cancer (which, unlike death, is treatable) that occurs in 0.035% of gay men is a good reason to not engage in anal sex.
    Doesn’t that strike you as curious?
    My point is this, Eddy: if we actually want to reduce the occurance of anal cancer, we would encourage the vaccine to administered to teens, male and female. If we want to argue agaist anal sex, we exagerate the risks and downplay the benefits.
    What is the goal?
    In the context of this conversation, I’ve yet to hear anyone suggest that married heterosexual couples not engage in monogamous sex. It is just too unreasonable to even suggest with a straight face.
    But heterosexual people have little to no hesitation in suggesting that a significant part of a gay men’s sexual expression be considered as just too risky.
    That doesn’t sound suspect to you?
    The truth is:
    There are risks to anal sex. In the era of HIV/AIDS those risks (in the United States) are statistically higher than vaginal sex.
    One can either minimize the risks or demonize the participants.
    Minimizing the risks would include (as Jayhuck has stated) taking proper precautions with lubricants and condoms. Studies show that condoms have a 70% rate of reduction for HPV and much higher rates for HIV. And, of course, monogamy between uninfected partners has 100% success rate for avoiding nearly all sexually transmitted diseases, as does celibacy.
    Frankly, I would favor incouraging monogamy in the context of committed relationships. In my ideal world, folks – gay or straight – would court, date, fall in love and marry the person of their dreams (yeah, I know. Fat chance)
    What I do NOT favor is acting as though the occurance of a very rare cancer that is linked to a virus – one that is avoidable if neither party is infected – is an indication that homosexuality, and the sexual expression thereof, is “worse” than heterosexuality and the sexual expression thereof.

  167. Should have proofread my words:
    #2 in my above post needs a word added so that it reads,
    “That tells you what I think other women ought to do–but so far they say women who’ve already had sex many times (even monogamous sex) have already been exposed.”

  168. @ Timothy,
    First, you distorted my motives; then , when Warren commented, you put forth the Newspeak that labeling someone “bigoted” is different from labeling that person a “bigot” ; now, you pretend you can’t read what I wrote.
    I offered:
    I

    have to say that knowing what we know now, if I still had a cervix, I’d continue to use a diaphram. Remember, the knowledge about women’s cervical cancer and CPV, as well as CPV in general, is very new, at least to most of the public. In fact, most people still don’t know about it unless they have had a recent ob/gyn appt. and even then, unless one is very young and able to get the vaccine (some people have seen the tv ads but education is slow) doctors don’t bring up the warning of CPV. The reason? They figure a grown woman who has been sexually active has already been exposed. Well, yes, they have been, but researchers are trying to find out if protection against it after a certain age would help prevent cancer. So far, no news about that.
    So, most women too old to get the vaccine don’t even know about the virus and cancer as it relates to them.

    1. I specified above what I would do if I still had a cervix (I don’t–lost it in 1993).
    2. That tells you what I think other women ought to to—but so far they say women who’ve already had sex many times (monogamous sex) have already been exposed.
    Women who have not had anal sex are not at risk for getting the virus in the rectal/anal area, , and men who’ve not had anal sex and who will not have anal sex are not at risk for it since they don’t have a cervix.
    3. Young women planning to have vaginal sex can get a vaccine against the virus, and if they were my underaged daughter, they would.
    4. That takes care of how I feel about sex and the CPV.
    There are pathogens more likely to survive when they are transmitted anally but not vaginally, but I won’t bother.

  169. Isn’t it fairly common to weigh risk against reward? An orgasm lasts a moment or two and the memory of it fades; a baby lasts a bit longer and continues to provide ongoing memories.

  170. Timothy–
    Thank you for reading into my motives when I questioned Jayhuck about his ‘fact’ that milllions of gays….blah, blah, blah. If he had made the statement without declaring it to be ‘a fact’, I likely would have missed it and let it slide. But, my school training (public school and community college…so don’t go blaming those conservatives) triggers me…when I see the word ‘fact’, I immediately think ‘has it or can it be supported?’ That’s what ‘facts’ are. And I totally agree with you, you can’t prove a negative. That’s why I knew he shouldn’t be declaring it to be ‘a fact’…it’s a statement that clearly can’t be proven.
    Then a critical reader starts to wonder…why didn’t he just begin his sentence with ‘I believe there are millions of gays…’? It seems clear that he added ‘it’s a fact’ and ‘I’ve stated this fact before’ to give more weight to his opinion. Whether that was intentional or not, I can’t be sure. But I was certainly within blog protocol to call him on it especially while he was on a rampage of challenging and correcting everyone who he perceived to speak an opposing opinion.
    My apologies if I didn’t quite get your criticism of me down correctly. I often read what you have to say but when you’re having a tirade, I find it excruciating and simply not worth plodding through the bile to get to your point.

  171. Carole,
    You didn’t answer the question that I asked (which was, oddly, not about girls taking the vaccine):

    We also know that in the United States 11 out of 100,000 live births results in the death of the mother.
    Would it not be also true that therefore “there’s good reason not to” engage in vaginal sex?

  172. @ Timothy,
    Lastly, if you do look at my comments, you’ll see the number of times I pointed out that anal sex consequences applied to everyone.

    Would it not be also tre that therefore “there’s good reason not to” engage in vaginal sex.

    I have to say that knowing what we know now, if I still had a cervix, I’d continue to use a diaphram. Remember, the knowledge about women’s cervical cancer and CPV, as well as CPV in general, is very new, at least to most of the public. In fact, most people still don’t know about it unless they have had a recent ob/gyn appt. and even then, unless one is very young and able to get the vaccine (some people have seen the tv ads but education is slow) doctors don’t bring up the warning of CPV. The reason? They figure a grown woman who has been sexually active has already been exposed. Well, yes, they have been, but researchers are trying to find out if protection against it after a certain age would help prevent cancer. So far, no news about that.
    So, most women too old to get the vaccine don’t even know about the virus and cancer as it relates to them.

  173. Timothy, you said to me,

    As you well know, you are not writing in a vacuum.
    The context of this discussion was “secular anti-gay arguments” and specifically, my contention that “the “disease ridden vermin” argument doesn’t hold up to inspection”. It is into this conversation that you decided to assert that anal sex should be avoided so as not fall victim to anal cancer.

    Come on Timothy. Please be fair, here. I read your comment, shook my head, and then went back and looked at this thread from the very beginning. It’s not really too hard to believe it started with the original post from Warren about Carrie Prejean since lots of times one topic leads to another, then another, then another, and that’s what happened here. What started with comments about Prejean led one poster to say this, another to say that and so on and so on, with each person responding to something in the other’s comment. Take a look at your comments. Unless I am incapable of reading, I see that at some point you were no longer talking about Carrie Prejean and her Blisss Mag stuff.
    You brought up the “disease ridden vermin” quote, and from what I see in looking back above, your comment was part of a lively discussion among several posters, yourself included, about STDs. The first reference I see to the term “anal sex” is from Jayhuck.
    Truly, if you take a long look at the progression of the comments, I don’t see that you are being fair in criticizing me for offering my comments on that subject.
    If you feel you are, then I would have to conclude you wish to control what we all say and to what we respond, that you wish to be the arbiter of all that is allowed to be offered. I hope that isn’t so.
    It is precisely because the disease ridden vermin comment came up IN conjuc

  174. Ann,
    I appreciate what you said. The spirit in which things are offered really does affect how we receive them and I will try to always remember that as well.

  175. Timothy,
    You’re welcome. I think most people have read the things you have written to me and about me and the spirit in which you have written them and it has been clearly established the hurt and harm you intended with those words.

  176. Ann,
    Thanks for sharing your opinion about me and my self serving and unsavory personal hostilty and hate.
    Though you have so generously shared with me, I hope you will forgive me if I refrain from sharing my opinion about you. It’s probably best that way.

  177. Carole,
    As you well know, you are not writing in a vacuum.
    The context of this discussion was “secular anti-gay arguments” and specifically, my contention that “the “disease ridden vermin” argument doesn’t hold up to inspection”. It is into this conversation that you decided to assert that anal sex should be avoided so as not fall victim to anal cancer.
    You can say that you are just having “an educational discussion”, but the “educational discussion” in which you are engaging is an appeal to the Disease Ridden Vermin argument.
    But let’s pretend for a moment that we are just having some random educational discussion.
    You have stated “there’s good reason not to” engage in anal sex. And the “good reason” you repeat endlessly is that doing so may expose someone to HPV and that this is a factor in anal cancer.
    OK. We know that 35 out of 100,000 gay men get anal cancer. We also know that in the United States 11 out of 100,000 live births results in the death of the mother.
    Would it not be also tre that therefore “there’s good reason not to” engage in vaginal sex.
    In other words, when looking to “nature” or epidemiology or health risk to identify which behaviors one should avoid, where is the line? Is 0.035% an indication of behavior to avoid? Is 0.011% an indication of behavior to avoid?
    Since we’re just having educational discussion, and all.

  178. Timothy,
    It is never about what you say, it is always about how you say it. You have taken every opportunity you can to put people down on this blog and elsewhere, without regard to the damage you leave behind, so I know you will understand what I am going to say. When you want to lash out, which is often, you come across as undisciplined, hostile, self rightous, and emotionally immature. I try to read what you write but many times cannot finish it because of your biting remarks, always with the intent to put someone in a place where you can control the conversation. Your expressed assumptions about people and accusatory mannner is audacious and unappealing and does not advance your credibility in any way. When you leave all this out, your posts are more valid to whoever is reading them, as you are offering information, not your personal hostility and hate, which always comes across as self serving and unsavory. Please leave the name calling, biting remarkes, accusations and sarcasm out of the posts and your points will come across in a way that will offer value.

  179. Warren, I did put up a post in response to Timothy, and it may be in the spam filter, maybe because I included links. Could you check for it?
    Thanks.

  180. Wow, you sound really angy, Timothy. I posted my above comment, and I guess I was writing it when I saw your next one.
    First, you attribute to me a quote I didn’t say. It’s the block quote you offer which begins with “please support with references the fact that…” (I can’t get it to copy or else I’d copy and paste it.)
    Next, all I can do is give a bunch of sites for you to read if you wish. If after reading them you don’t see things as I do when it comes to the safety of anal sex, well, then we can just conclude that we see things differently. Perhaps we measure risks differently because we are different people who don’t worry in the same way.
    I will say that I can’t understand the actual tone with which you or Jayhuck have addressed me on this topic, an argumentative, angry tone. I addressed this issue in what I intended to be (and I think I have maintained ) an educational discussion. It is exactly how I intended it, as educational, sharing what I have learned. It was never meant to be judgemental. I pointed out from the very beginning that this applied to all people regardless of orientation. Suddenly, two people seem to take the info I have read and offered as a personal attack. Why? It was never offered in that spirit.
    Timothy, I don’t care what kind of sexual practices people other than my husband or my kids engage in and in the case of my kids, it was their health when they were young that I cared about (and still do, of course.) They are all now married and their bedroom practices are their business and each of them is educated to the point that as a mom I hope they do what is healthy for themselves whether it’s eating this or that, drinking this or that or whatever….but what you do doesn’t concern me.
    So, if you choose to disagree with what I have learned from reading, okay. We can disagree as to interpretation, I guess. But, what’s with the attacks?
    All I can offer are a bunch of links:
    http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec02/ch021/ch021h.html
    http://www.medicinenet.com/anal_cancer/article.htm
    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/risk/HPV
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090430172946.htm
    http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv-and-men.htm
    http://www.aphroditewomenshealth.com/news/20040612005751_health_news.shtml
    http://ari.ucsf.edu/science/s2c/anal.pdf
    http://womenshealth.about.com/cs/condoms/a/condomanalsex.htm
    http://general-medicine.jwatch.org/cgi/content/full/1987/1020/3
    http://www.health24.com/medical/Condition_centres/777-792-802-1625,17088.asp
    http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/proctitis
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2095003
    http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/std-mts/sti_2006/pdf/406_Intestinal_and_Entaric_Infections.pdf
    http://www.cdc.gov/stdconference/2004/Slides/B-sessions/B6/Marx.pps
    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1475824
    http://www.medicinenet.com/anal_cancer/article.htm
    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/risk/HPV
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090430172946.htm
    “A 2004 study by the American Cancer Society showed that women practicing anal sex had more than twice the risk of developing anal cancer, possibly due to increased risk of exposure to the human papilloma virus.”
    http://www.cdc.gov/std/HPV/STDFact-HPV.htm
    http://www.cdc.gov/std/HPV/STDFact-HPV.htm#common
    http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_6x_FAQ_HPV_Vaccines.asp?sitearea=

  181. I appreciate the responses except for the assumptions that those who aren’t as up to speed are bigots.

    I completely agree. In fact, I seldom use the term.
    And I see a difference between being a bigot and falling into the practice of bigotry. I think folks don’t have to be a bigot to let a bigoted way of thinking on some issue occur.
    I think most who participate here are not doing so because they are bigots. But sometimes the desire to show gay people as inherently diseases is awfully tempting.

  182. @Timothy Kincaid:
    I appreciate that you are really studied on these points, but recognize that not all are. We read things from reputable sources which seem balanced.
    I appreciate the responses except for the assumptions that those who aren’t as up to speed are bigots. I am pretty sure carole doesn’t have an axe to grind with gays and has no need to smear you or gays as a group. Most regular readers here really want to be fair.
    The DRV argument popularized by Paul Cameron and Scott Lively and adopted by many on the right without knowing they are factually off are really irrelevant to gay rights discussions in my view. Primarily any health risks that are unique to homosexuals or any behaviors practiced often by homosexuals should be discussed in the context any at-risk behaviors are discussed — to help members of the effected group reduce them.
    I have been in and out of this discussion and mainly skimmed the last few comments so I may have missed something.

  183. Sorry, Carole
    But your fear tactic is bogus.
    There are over 5,000,000 gay men in America. In 2008, only 2,020 men diagnosed with anal cancer.
    You see this as some shining commentary on gay mens’ sex practices. I see this as a laughable attempt to leap at anything one can leap at in order to falsely portray gay sex as inherently detremental.

  184. David Blakeslee ~ May 16, 2009 at 8:10 pm
    Are we reading the same blog?

    So, I think we have demonstrated that thoughtful, non-religious arguments exist that support OSM as a unique institution

    What I have demonstrated – and which you have ignored – is that the “thoughtful, non-religious arguments” – are very very weak and are being dismissed by the secular world. By 90% in California, for example.

    I think we have agreed that the incidence of HIV and other STD’s are alarmingly high in the gay community compared to other communities…including lesbians.

    No, “we” haven’t agreed on this at all.
    First, we haven’t discussed lesbians who have shockingly low rates of STDs – perhaps the lowest of all groups.
    Second, I have yet to see any evidence of other STDs in the gay male population. I keep asking and y’all keep ignoring and just repeating your claims.
    I agree that rates of HIV infection are higher than in the heterosexual population. But, unlike you, I also note that such rates have dropped significantly over the years as education efforts have reached the gay community.
    I’m astonished that you seem to think we’ve reached “agreement” when I’ve refuted what you are claiming. I can’t imagine what mindset leads to such an assumption.
    To Carol, Eddy, and the rest
    Let’s talk facts not bogus slurs and insinuations.

    Anal sex with a condom, even with lubricants, still risks the abrasion of the lining of the anus and allows common viruses to penetrate the area.

    Oh really? And those viruses just magically appear on their own? Or perhaps we’re talking about the common cold?
    What you are doing, Carole, is projecting your imagination and speculation in order to make insinuation.

    Please support with references ‘the fact that millions of gay men are healthy after decades of having such sex. (We all know the difference between fact and opinion here. You not only stated this as fact but you mentioned that you’ve stated it previously. I look forward to reading the documentation of this fact or to your apology if it turns out that this is just a very strong opinion that is unsupported by any data.)

    That is just a smear by insinuation. How exactly does one prove a negative – that gay men are not healthy?
    Well, we can start with 88% of gay men do not have HIV.
    And 99.965% do not have anal cancer.
    As to anything else…what do you have in mind?

    As I said before, the fact that millions of gay men are healthy after decades of having such sex is testament to that fact.
    No. This is the very thing they are finding is not so.

    You are just lying at this point. Disgusting!
    You may think that there are not millions of healthy gay men… but that is just wishful thinking on your part. “They” are not “finding” this at all.
    You can obsess about HPV, but I happen know that your big worry about anal cancer only occurs in 0.035% of gay men. I wonder why you don’t mention that.

    Do you dispute the medical research in this area? You know as well as I do that the HPV is a very common virus, often lying dormant and exhibiting no symptoms. You know as well as I do that it can be transmitted between two monogamous people.

    Nonsense. Are we pretending that the virus magically is created by the act of sex?
    It must be present in one person to be transmitted to the other. And studies (the real kind, not the “feeling among researchers” kind) show that condoms are quite effective against transmitting HPV.
    And while we are talking about health risks to be avoided, anal sex ain’t the HPV risk area. According to the CDC,

    The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2008, 11,070 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in the U.S.
    Other HPV-related cancers are much less common than cervical cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2008, there will be:
    • 3,460 women diagnosed with vulvar cancer;
    • 2,210 women diagnosed with vaginal and other female genital cancers;
    • 1,250 men diagnosed with penile and other male genital cancers; and
    • 3,050 women and 2,020 men diagnosed with anal cancer.

    So it sounds to me like anal sex between men is the least of the HPV worries (but the only one you find interesting).

    Laxatives might remove that smell, but they don’t remove all traces of fecal matter. I am sure you know too, that frequent use of laxatives is very bad as well.

    What the heck? Do you really think that gay men use laxatives for anal sex?
    Look, Carole, you are showing yourself to be woefully ill informed. Perhaps you’d be better served to look at real statistics rather than give sex advice based on a cancer that occurs in less than one third of one percent of gay men.
    The problem with such scare tactics is that it only inflames and riles up the ignorant. Sure, homophobes will leap up and declare that anal cancer is God’s evidence against the Disease Ridden Vermin.
    But gay people just laugh at you.
    “Fear the scary anal cancer!!” Because you could get it just like… oh, wait… no one you’ve ever met or even heard of.

    You are absolutely right on one thing, and that is I shouldn’t have used the word fact when talking about millions of healthy gay men

    Jayhuck, I’ll use the word “fact”. Because the numbers are on my side.
    If 88% of gay men do not have HIV and over 99% don’t have anal cancer, then what are the diseases that set them apart from the population as a whole? We’re talking over four million otherwise healthy gay guys here if HIV and anal cancer are the means of determining “healthy”.
    Unless there are any other ooooh scary diseases that folks want to insinuate about? Any more appeals to the bigotry and bias that fuels the Disease Ridden Vermin view of the world?
    Because if anyone does, then pull out the numbers. I’m getting a little sick of the repeated smears and insinuations about gay folk and their imaginary negative consequences.
    If you have numbers that support your claims then friggen show them. But don’t you dare just insinuate, demonstrate your own animus, and them demand that we refute your foul imagination.
    I’m sorry if this was a bit harsh. But it’s become difficult to get through to those who just comment as though they were right and ignore correction.
    If your point is that in American at the first part of the 21st Century there are some diseases (specifically HIV) that occur in a very low double digit percentage of gay men, then no one is disagreeing. Yes, it is terrible that as much as 12% of gay men have HIV – a virus that will make their life more difficult than those who are not infected. They will have to take medications consistently if they want to experience the same health and life expectancy as their peers.
    But if you seek to focus on the occurrence of a 12% rate as some indication of the “wrongness” of homosexuality – ignoring the 88% that have taken steps not to become infected – then you are engaging in what I call the Disease Ridden Vermin argument. If your intent is to portray gay people as more diseased than the numbers show in order to demonstrate some imagined commonality to all (or most) gay people and thus show them in a negative light, then this is engaging in bigotry.
    And, ya know, sometimes the word “bigotry” is the accurate word to use.

  185. Timothy,
    While the more sexual partners one has had, the more likely that many different pathogens will be passed to a new partner, it is also true that monogamous partners of any orientation can pass HPV. They know most all of us have been exposed, even “have it”–that’s how common a virus it is. It can be and often is, passed by non-sexual means. We don’t know why some people develop cancer from it, why others don’t. My grandmother died of cervical cancer long before they knew it was the HPV virus that caused it. I’ve done a lot of research into this virus.
    Women who use diaphrams and the spermicide that goes in those diaphrams are protected better than anyone else from the virus getting to the vulnerable cervical tissue which differs greatly from vaginal tissue. (However, what woman has used this birth control method all her life?) The cells of anal tissue are very similar to cervical tissues. That is the key—the dangerous strain of this virus goes after a certain type of cells.
    So, it is very true that most men and most women, regardless of their orientation, are in some danger of developing cancer from HPV. Some get it at a relatively early age (their 40s). Many later–in their 50s, 60s. I just got word yesterday in a distressing email that a former colleague underwent cervical cancer surgery at the age of 63. )
    The least likely to develop it among those who have been sexually active are heterosexual men. This is so because the two tissues that “grow” the dangerous cells are cervical tissues and rectal tissues.
    As for your stats–the number of anal cancers is growing. The CDC and others figure this is due to the change in sexual practices –more couples engaging in anal sex. The number of cervical cancer cases over the years has gone up as well, probably due to the increased sexual activity of the population.
    Young women can now get the vaccine (which doesn’t protect against all 100 strains, but against the two most thought to cause cancer) and the vaccine, as I understand it, is as we speak, being tested on men.
    Thus, it is true that CPV is a threat to everyone.
    As for other pathogens–enteric diseases are often passed through anal sex and even with the use of condoms there exist dangers from those pathogens and others.
    In our school district, for a period of about ten years (when the state and counties still had some money) we used to have to take a seminar on pathogens. A person from our county health department updated us on what was considered new and important information as it affected our kids. Oral and anal sex were the topics a few of those times. A discussion ensued about the pathogen load risks of anal sex and on one occasion an instructor told us (off the record) that the CDC was aware of the risks of anal sex, was collecting new data, and knew that even condoms didn’t prevent the transmission of the HPV virus and that anal sex still carried with it the risk of other infections. (Fingers are carriers of the HPV, for example–that’s how common the virus is; it’s everywhere.)
    When we asked why the CDC didn’t make more of a deal about educating the public as to the danger of anal sex, his answer was that they had only briefly considered it before they realized that they had made such strides since epidemic of HIV, in educating people about safe sex through using condoms, that they feared that if they now told people that they were still at risk for contracting HPV which years and years down the road could cause cancer in some of them, they would be back to square one with unsafe sex–people would use that as a reason to stop using condoms. They didn’t feel they had a snowball’s chance in you know where to get most people who engaged in anal sex to stop the practice so they opted for the next best thing–concentrate on getting everyone to use condoms.

  186. carole ~ May 16, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Ahhhh yes. Anal cancer.
    What is left out of the conversation is:
    -Monogamous partners can’t pass viruses (even HPV) if they don’t have the virus.
    -Anal cancer occurs in roughly 0.035% of gay men.
    -A vaccine has now been developed for HPV. If we can get conservative opposition to the vaccine to cease, we could pretty much eliminate this virus in a generation.

  187. Jayhuck–
    I just read the Wiki articles and it seems you have misinterpreted them in part. “Conservative Christian” or “Conservative Christianity” does not have politics as part of its definition and the term ‘homosexual’ does not come up at all until the section re Conservative Catholicism. The article does redirect you to the ‘Christian Right’ for discussion of politics. Wiki redirects because that topic may be related but is not essentially connected. Politics is not inherent to the term Conservative Christianity.
    “Conservatism” and “conservatist” would be the more appropriate words for discussing a political viewpoint. “Conservative”, when coupled with religious or Christian, speaks more to the theological differences between traditionalists and liberals.
    While it is true that many religious conservatives are also religious conservatists, it is certainly not true of a great number…myself included. When I identify myself as a conservative Christian and when I speak of others as conservative Christians, I am speaking of their basic theological point of view. It may sound like I’m splitting hairs here but if you go back to Wiki and alter your search terms slightly you will see what I’m getting at. Using ‘conservative’ will take you down one path and using ‘conservatist’ will take you down another. While it is true that both paths have signposts directing you to the other path, it is clear that their is a distinction between ‘conservative’ and ‘conservatism’.
    Off to enjoy the birthday….thanks for the b-day wishes!

  188. Ann…. If it is a safe and pleasurable what would be the reasons that not all gay men would have anal intercourse?

    Jayhuck….. Because there is a stigma attached to it! That’s all!

    That is not true. There is a good percentage of gay men who simply prefer other sexual contact.

    Ann…. what is the stigma and why would some gay men have it regarding anal intercourse and others wouldn’t?

    Google the word ‘g0y’ and read their rather sad theological arguments which say the Bible isn’t against homosexual relationships, just anal intercourse. In my humble opinion, however, these people are right up there with Paul Cameron in their viewpoints of men who identify as gay.

  189. Everyone is aware of the Wikipedia scandal of bogus information that was written there and then reported by news agencies around the world??? Wikipedia IS NOT a reliable source.

  190. Eddy,
    Back from running – signing off again soon – it may not mean much coming from me but I hope you have a happy birthday. As we say in the Orthodox Church – God grant you many years!

  191. I’m off for the day myself. I was determined to get some form of answer to my question before heading out. I’ve got a gig with my brother tonight (he’ll be spinning discs and I’ll be trying to engage people in karaoke)…and tomorrow, after sleeping in late, will be celebrating my birthday. (LOL. I’m not counting on my brothers for much by way of celebration so will have to make my own special day.)

  192. Eddy,
    LOL – I shouldn’t have refreshed my browser – I haven’t left yet – don’t know if there has been a new study done, I’ll check, I know Wikipedia is gaining some acceptance in academic circles – but if you look at those subjects you mentioned on Wikipedia, you’ll find both Pro and Con views listed –
    OK – finally – off to run. 🙂

  193. Jayhuck–
    Yes, please bring your more recent study of Wikipedia to the table. The old article that you linked was about Wikipedia’s accuracy on science. I suspect that it would be more accurate with respect to science and history (since they deal with hard, printed facts) than it would be on social or religious commentary (i.e. ‘religious conservatives’, ‘the ex-gay movement’, etc.) where strongly held opinions, both pro and con, abound.

  194. Eddy,
    I’m not sure what you mean by Wikipedia supporting me, but I’ll get to that later. The last time I read a study on Wikipedia it and its methods proved itself to be incredibly accurate. As far as I know its gaining a great deal of acceptance.
    Here’s a relatively old article on the topic: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4530930.stm
    I believe since this one they have improved their editing methods even more – but that’s a discussion for another day – I’m off 🙂 Enjoy

  195. Guys,
    After many, MANY days of rain we have been blessed with an incredibly beautiful Spring-like day in my area.
    So as much as I would love to stay at the computer all day and debate, defend and clarify these issues, I’m going to excuse myself for an afternoon jog and meet a friend downtown later for coffee.
    I’m sure I’ll sign on later today or tomorrow. I hope the weather is as nice wherever all of you are 🙂

  196. Jayhuck–
    Your defense to Ann was that ‘if the prostate provides sexual pleasure, then it must be okay’. More people engage in erotic asphyxiation than those who actually die from it or suffer brain damage…so I guess if you do it in a safe and careful manner, it must be okay or why would it provide a heightened orgasmic experience?
    I appreciate that you finally answered my question re the religious conservatives. The fact that Wikipedia supports your ‘issue oriented’ definition is further proof that Wikipedia is a homespun resource with no real integrity. Yeah, they can get it right a lot of the time but those providing the definitions are often social commentators rather than linguists so they’ll miss the mark a lot too.
    But that’s okay..I’m sure we’ll differ on that POV. I get labelled as a religious conservative because I believe homosexual sex is sin. Dang…I wish you would have said that in the first place.

  197. Warren,
    To be clear, I NEVER said anal sex is not necessarily riskier than vaginal sex – what I said is that anal sex and vaginal sex without condoms are the top two riskiest forms of sex.

  198. Eddy,
    Additionally, EA is listed as a paraphilia in the DSM, anal sex is not.
    Paraphilia: “The current version of the DSM (DSM-IV-TR) describes paraphilias as conditions which “are characterized by recurrent, intense sexual urges, fantasies, or behaviors that involve unusual objects, activities, or situations and cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning,” (p. 535)”

  199. I never envisioned this thread getting into anal sex.
    Commenters, please provide documentation for your statements. Saying I don’t know of any negative outcomes once is understandable but not repeatedly.
    Demonstrating that anal sex is or is not riskier than vaginal sex is not particularly relevant to Carrie Prejean’s Blisss photos. It does not seem particularly relevant to the gay marriage debate either which is where these threads often go.

  200. Eddy,
    Erotic asphyxiation cannot be compared to anal sex. There is nothing safe about cutting off oxygen to the brain during sexual arousal. However, anal sex can be completely safe.

  201. Eddy,
    There are Wiki articles on both Conservative Christianity and the Christian Right that go into far more detail on the matter and I would not disagree with what I found in those writings on the subject – but
    There are two primary criteria that make ME believe someone is a conservative Christian – :
    1) That they do not support gay marriage – primarily on religious grounds
    2) They see homosexual sex as “sinful”
    I understand that there are many different types of conservative Christians, with differing beliefs – some are far more compassionate than others. I see you as one of the more compassionate, at least in your interactions with other people. Conservative Christianity can often leave a bad taste in my mouth, but I do not believe that its adherents are necessarily bad people. I think their intentions are good. My mother is a very conservative Christian but I do not love her less for this, we just have to agree not to speak about certain topics during the holidays – LOL. I actually belong to a conservative Church but because of my changing political and religious beliefs I believe I am going to have to leave.

  202. Jayhuck–
    To turn your question to Ann back around to you: Please explain erotic asphyxiation. Does the fact that it provides sexual arousal mean that it’s a normal and intended form of sexual expression? The extreme lack of oxygen provides a heightened sense of arousal…hmmm…that means it must be good, right???
    Note: I find it rude that you are engaging in other conversations while my question to you going back a day or two–and which happens to be a question of Ann’s as well–has only been avoided by you. I’m still eager to know how you define ‘religious conservatives’ or ‘conservative Christians’ especially since they are labels that you’ve ascribed to me publicly on this blog. Don’t I have a right to know what you mean when you label me as something? Don’t you have the responsibility to say what you meant? I believe that your refusal to answer is speaking volumes about the bias, bigotry and disrespect that you harbor towards me and others who don’t line up with your point of view.
    What exactly did you mean when you said –to me–and for the benefit of all who read here–that you don’t see much difference between me and religious conservatives in spite of the differences I cited in my initial response to you?

  203. But the pain doesn’t always occur in anal intercourse
    oh, ok – sorry I misunderstood – I thought you have said in past posts and threads that initially there is always pain but once you get past that, the pleasure of having the prostate stimulated is well worth it – my mistake.
    Again – the fact that the stimulation of the prostate can lead to incredible sexual pleasure leaves open the possibility that it has more than one use.
    Yes, I can see your point – not sure if I agee but I can understand why you would say that.
    But my point, again, is not to debate the purpose of the rectum – my point is that anal sex can be safe. If one doesn’t like it or finds it distasteful then don’t engage in it. But don’t use the argument that the rectum was made for this therefore engaging in sex in that area is not safe, when it actually can be.
    It can be or it is?

  204. Ann,
    To my knowledge there have been no negative consequences to anal sex when the parties involve are disease free and are safe and careful about their practices.
    Unsafe vaginal sex, like anal sex, can lead to a host of diseases/illnesses for both parties – and pain and tearing can be involved as well – the key thing to remember is to be safe! The problem is many gay and straight people are not.

  205. To turn your argument around – Why would there be intense pleasure with stimulation of the prostate if it was not made for that use among others?
    Jayhuck,
    I don’t have an argument – I am asking questions. I am not sure if I can answer your question with any true knowledge as I do not have a prostate. I know a lot of things can feel good, and intensly so, however, I cannot say with certitude that they are good for the body or soul or heart or mind. Most start with initial pain and then pleasure, followed by illness, either emotional or physical – often this is covered up with desensitizing ourselves to the reality by repeating the pattern.

  206. Ann,
    But the pain doesn’t always occur in anal intercourse – the vagina has natural lubrication yes but it doesn’t always work which is why many women still have to, and should, use lubrication to prevent tearing.
    Again – the fact that the stimulation of the prostate can lead to incredible sexual pleasure leaves open the possibility that it has more than one use.
    But my point, again, is not to debate the purpose of the rectum – my point is that anal sex can be safe. If one doesn’t like it or finds it distasteful then don’t engage in it. But don’t use the argument that the rectum was made for this therefore engaging in sex in that area is not safe, when it actually can be.

  207. There can be pain for a woman with respect to vaginal sex to – I don’t see your point.
    Jayhuck,
    I really am not sure if I have a point because I am still asking questions. Yes, I understand about pain in respect to vaginal sex, especially if the hymen is still intact or if the sex is not agreed to by the woman. It is my understanding that women have a natural lubrication to faciliate a penis during intercourse – I do not believe this is true about either a woman’s or man’s rectum to facilitate anal intercouse. That would indicate to me that there is a purpose to the vagina that is different to the purpose of the rectum. I am also wondering if that could be the reason for the pain that you say occurs in anal intercourse, albeit it is a precursor to the pleasure you also mention.

  208. Ann,
    The lining of the vagina is thin and can tear easily – please see the quote I used previously when talking about this issue.

  209. Ann,
    To turn your argument around – Why would there be intense pleasure with stimulation of the prostate if it was not made for that use among others?

  210. Ann,
    There can be pain for a woman with respect to vaginal sex to – I don’t see your point.

  211. The lining of the vagina is thin and can tear easily

    And yet babies, which are a lot bigger than you-know-what, pass through it at the end of the birth canal. Man, God sure didn’t think that one through either, did He?
    If you guys are finished talking about anal sex (TMI for me), we could talk about childbirth — you know, the thing that sex tends to lead to when you hook the right parts up? I have some great stories.

  212. I have my fair share of experience in health care. I also think I’ve made it clear that both anal and vaginal sex without condoms are considered high risk. I found it interesting that Carole kept going on about anal sex without speaking much about the vaginal.

    Wow. You mean I have been having risky monogamous sex with my husband for 28 years? Somebody better let God know.

  213. p.s. – Eddy, thank you for the explanation and response. I want to direct the above question to Jayhuck though as he is commenting on the safety and pleasure of anal intercourse.

  214. ok, why would there be pain if, as you have indicated before, the body was designed for this kind of sex, particulaly on an ongoing basis?
    Eddy,
    So sorry – this was meant for Jayhuck.

  215. I will ask YOU to define what you mean when you use that label.

    Eddy,
    I asked that question earlier as well and only got one response, which I appreciated. I still would like to know what the terms means since I have been called it. I know what a conservative veiw point is and I know what Christianity means to me, however, I don’t know the purpose for using them togeher is for. Is it good or bad? Is it true or not? Are there any variables as I indicated when I asked the question? If I vote for a democrat but believe in marriage between a man and a woman – what am I? If I voted republican and believe it is ok to be married and divorced many times – what am I? My personal belief is that we should say what we believe in and aspire to integrating those beliefs into how we live and how we are rather than say “this is who I am” regardless of HOW I am.

  216. Yes, but Carole’s argument was to the exclusion of the ability of the vagina to tear easily
    I think that is probably because the vagina does not tear easily – it is designed to have intercourse on an ongoing basis and deliver babies – both significant enough to attach a design theory to it. Tears can occur when delivering babies, however, it is always at the vaginal opening, not the vagina itself.

  217. Jayhuck–
    It doesn’t matter how I view myself. You continue to lump me and others into a label that YOU call ‘conservative Christian’ and it has an obviously negative tone to it…and you have told me that I don’t differ that much from your label. For the 5th time, I will ask YOU to define what you mean when you use that label.

  218. While anal intercourse may be pleasureable, there can be pain involved, particularly for the novice receiver. Some don’t think the promised pleasure is worth the present pain.
    ok, why would there be pain if, as you have indicated before, the body was designed for this kind of sex, particulaly on an ongoing basis?
    LOL – Sunday morning chat. I wonder if Carrie has any idea that a topic with her name in the title could come to this?

  219. Ann,
    My point is, and has always been, that anal sex can be safe!!! Regardless of your views on the practice itself, it can be safe.

  220. Ann,
    Yes, but Carole’s argument was to the exclusion of the ability of the vagina to tear easily and allow the entrance of pathogens – specifically HPV which can cause cervical cancer. She kept saying that anal sex was high risk without much acknowldement, if any, that vaginal sex is as well.
    And while on the topic of anatomy, one has to wonder about the prostate Ann – that it is so incredibly pleasurable when stimulated straight men and well as gay men engage in doing so!

  221. I found it interesting that Carole kept going on about anal sex without speaking much about the vaginal.
    Jayhuck,
    There really is no controversary about what the vagina was designed for. I think Carole said it well when she said the rectum was designed for expelling, not receiving. Anatomically, this is correct.

  222. Ann–
    While anal intercourse may be pleasureable, there can be pain involved, particularly for the novice receiver. Some don’t think the promised pleasure is worth the present pain.
    I’ve also known men who react psychologically to the receiver role…they react against the submissive position or being dominated. Ironically, those same psychological triggers are what motivate other men to desire that role.
    LOL. It’s not your typical Sunday morning coffee chat and I’m only speaking to your specific question of why some would not desire it.

  223. Ann,
    It has to do with how some view the anal area – it should be said that there are gay men who had aversion to anal sex due to perception but then later get over that. I’ve only met a few gay men in my lifetime who say that they do not engage in it. That’s my experience

  224. Eddy,
    I have my fair share of experience in health care. I also think I’ve made it clear that both anal and vaginal sex without condoms are considered high risk. I found it interesting that Carole kept going on about anal sex without speaking much about the vaginal.
    I’m sorry you regard that statement as a judgment. Do you not consider yourself a conservative Christian?

  225. Because there is a stigma attached to it!
    Jayhuck,
    Thanks – what is the stigma and why would some gay men have it regarding anal intercourse and others wouldn’t?

  226. It should probably be noted, since we are on the topic, that not all gay men have anal intercourse!
    Jayhuck,
    If it is a safe and pleasurable what would be the reasons that not all gay men would have anal intercourse?

  227. This conversation is moving far too fast for me. I’ve skipped chunks, which I usually don’t like doing.
    Timothy Kincaid is right: we’re not in the same continent, though we will be soon. I’m heading for the States in a couple of days time for two weeks. Shall see some relatives and the Grand Canyon. At the moment, though, I’m at home here in sunny Ireland. I’ll head across to the bluebell woods soon to see the last of them. They’ll be gone by the time I get back.
    Timothy Kincaid said earlier that the only objection to same-sex marriage is a moral argument. I disagree. Strongly. There is no moral objection to same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage causes no conceivable harm, and therefore cannot be considered immoral.
    There is a religious objection. Religions allow people to imagine that their concerns are moral when they are in fact highly immoral. Religions allow people to cause great harm to others while imagining they are doing right. I will not concede the moral high ground to the people who raised and spent a fortune on a political campaign to deny equality to their neighbours. Think what good could have been done with that money!
    No. There is no moral objection to same-sex marriage. No one with a morality based in the real world can see same-sex marriage as immoral.
    I’ve heard many objections to same-sex marriage. All of these fall into one or both of these categories:
    (a) Ewwwwwwwww!
    (b) My imaginary friend doesn’t like it.
    Neither of these are solid reasons to withhold equality.
    Oh, I give up. Try Marcus Bridgstock instead.
    TRiG.

  228. Jayhuck-
    Your brief post came in while I was writing my last one. We started with Maggie but then you made another comment that troubles me deeply and it is the answer to that one that I’ve been trying to get from you. I detailed it–and my valid reasons for asking it–in my post immediately preceding this one.

  229. I imagine we all share a common sentiment about the need to strengthen families here. The church ought to be ground zero in that battle. Instead of shooting our wounded or getting pulled away from our “first love” by materialism or politics, we have a moral obligation to love and strengthen the body of Christ while reaching out to those on the outside with compassion first, then truth. Truth in love is a hard combination to perfect, as we demonstrate daily on this blog. People tend to hear one or the other, and truth speaks the loudest. It may be a kind cut, but is a cut nevertheless, and it often alienates because the one hearing it is unprepared.
    I don’t like the political arena, but what do we do when we find ourselves in a quandary where government — state or federal, judiciary or legislature — disregards the will of the people — not as expressed in some poll but in repeated referenda? That was the case in California with gay marriage. The travesty wasn’t the money spent in passing Prop. 8 to restore the will of the people, but in that their will was usurped in the first place. That I said that will tick some people off, but it is what I believe.
    So, one aspect of the culture war we all love to hate is a religious one while another is the political one. Both can be contentious. All citizens should feel free to engage on the political front if they desire. The government works for us, not vice versa. Their faith may inform that, but coming off as morally superior again will alienate.
    It’s a conundrum. Always will be.

  230. Jayhuck–
    Thank you for clarifying that the ‘fact’ was actually an opinion. I note that you partially attempt to validate your opinion by your experience and education in nursing. Carole, I believe, is retired so likely has a lifetime of experience and/or education to support her opinions. How does your healthcare experience measure up? I seem to recall that you were still in school for some nursing degree but I do realize that that could be for some extended certification; I also realize that you could have been doing clinical or intern work even prior to the recent schooling. Nonetheless, you brought your healthcare expertise into the conversation to support your opinion. How many hours of clinical or intern experience with a predominantly gay-identified clientele do you have? (I’m sorry but the notion of millions and decades from your opinion both give me pause so I’m trying to sort this out.)
    As to your other point, you said:

    For the record, and to clarify, I don’t think you are a typical conservative. You can find all different types of conservatives: those who are fiscally conservative but socially liberal, both fiscally and socially conservative, etc. Its the typical conservative Christian though that I was talking about. I understand you have gay friends, I understand you see a middle ground on the issue of gay marriage – I DO believe you are more compassionate and thoughtful than say Maggie Gallagher, but I don’t know that these things really set you apart from other religious conservatives.

    I regard this entire statement as a judgement–you are evaluating my position(note that there’s a difference between the words ‘judgement’ and ‘judgemental’) .The ending is particularly baffling to me. Again, I cited a number of areas where I differed from Maggie, and you pronounce ‘but I don’t know that these things really set you apart from other religious conservatives.’ I’m not sure if you have overlooked my listing entirely when you say ‘these things’ and if you are only referring to your own listing of things. If so, that’s pretty rude. I take the time to thoughtfully answer you and then you bypass the list of differences I provided in favor of your own…surely you wouldn’t be doing that. So I want you to tell me (us) what is that essence of being a ‘religious conservative’ that MY listing doesn’t differ from.
    I’m not sure but it seems that you have been the primary user of ‘religious conservatives’ or ‘conservative Christians’ as a representative label of a distinct group of people or a distinct way of thinking. In your comments and questions to me, you clearly have a definition or description in mind. (Again, I present a list of what I consider to be major differences; you say that’s not enough…you have a standard…you have criteria in mind. I’m simply asking that you tell us what the standard is that you are comparing me (and others) by.)
    My question is no more complicated than the one you started with with me…why have I needed to ask it 4 times? It certainly goes to your point…it’s a question that’s been echoed by others. A number of us feel very real disparagement from you and others when you brand us as ‘religious conservatives’ or ‘conservative Christians’ or when you liken our attitudes to theirs. Many conversations derail because you read the attitudes of ‘religious conservatives’ or ‘conservative Christians’ into our questions or responses. I thought I knew the differences but you’ve told me those don’t really count…please, please, please…tell us what your definition or description is.

  231. Eddy,
    Before this goes any further, I want to point out that I did agree in a previous post you were different from the likes of Maggie Gallagher.

  232. Debbie,
    Now THIS is something I can get behind:

    We all know marriage is broken on a large scale. It isn’t money we need to throw at it to fix it, even though Timothy was on the right track when he lamented that the money spent passing Prop. 8 might have helped do something positive for traditional marriage. We are too caught up in politics when we would be better served strengthening our families, communities and churches. Government cannot do that. People can.

  233. Back briefly.
    I just want to take a moment to call everyone’s attention to Mona Charen’s latest column, “The Wrong Marriage Debate.” As you may know., she’s Jewish and conservative. You can Google it. I just read it at Townhall.com.
    In a nutshell, she is giving some sociological and not religious arguments in favor of marriage, but not in the framework of opposing gay marriage. She is saying our focus on preventing gay marriage is distracting us from a greater concern, and that is the fact that 40% of American children are born out of wedlock and 78% of them are experiencing poverty and all that goes with it. She makes no judgments about gay marriage per se in this column.
    I particularly like this sentence: “The old stigma against illegitimacy was harsh and led to its own kind of suffering. But it prevented narcissistic young people from impairing the lives of their children on a grand scale.”
    Narcissism can apply to any coupling arrangement. Charen reminds us again that marriage is about providing the best nurturing environment for children and not about the selfish desires of adults.
    We all know marriage is broken on a large scale. It isn’t money we need to throw at it to fix it, even though Timothy was on the right track when he lamented that the money spent passing Prop. 8 might have helped do something positive for traditional marriage. We are too caught up in politics when we would be better served strengthening our families, communities and churches. Government cannot do that. People can.

  234. Eddy,
    You are absolutely right on one thing, and that is I shouldn’t have used the word fact when talking about millions of healthy gay men – I wasn’t trying to mislead but I was not thinking when I wrote that sentence. That is definitely an opinion – an opinion with some experience and education in health care behind it but an opinion nonetheless. I don’t know that there are any studies showing exactly how many gay people – or straight people for that matter – are actually healthy – and I assume at some point we would have to define the word “healthy”.

  235. Eddy,
    LOL – we’ve moved from me saying that I’m not quite sure how you’re different from other conservatives to judging you now? Wow

  236. Carole,
    Vaginal or anal sex without a condom are the two most riskiest types of sex too engage in, but I didn’t hear you say much about the former – What makes sex risky? –
    1) Having sex without a condom
    2) Having sex without proper lubrication
    3) Having sex without knowing your partners sexual history
    This is from the US Dept of Veteran’s Affairs:
    “HIV is passed through body fluids such as semen, vaginal fluid, or blood. The less contact you have with these, the lower the risk. The most sensitive areas where these fluids are risky are in the vagina or anus (ass). The skin there is thin, and is easily torn, which makes it easier for the virus to enter your body.
    In general, vaginal or anal sex without a condom is the most risky. Kissing, touching, hugging, and mutual masturbation are very low risk. Saliva (spit) and tears aren’t risky. “

  237. Carole,
    I’m not sure where you are trying to go with the HPV information. Women get it AS WELL AS men. You continue to keep missing my point, or ignore it – which is that anal sex can be very safe when the people practicing it are responsible. Proper lubrication can prevent tearing of the rectal wall. I am getting from your increasingly intense tone, and your speech about fecal matter, that you do not like it. That’s fine – please don’t keep stating unequivocally that it cannot be safe though when it indeed can, and when it is a very pleasurable thing that two people can share.
    Seat belts don’t guarantee that you won’t die in a car wreck, but I think we all agree that its better to wear them than not.
    Lyn,

    If that reduction of risk is 99 & 44/100ths percent pure then I guess I can live wiith that.

    Thanks 🙂

  238. As Eddy has asked me to back up my statements with facts – please back up yours!

    No, Jayhuck, I haven’t asked you to back up your statements with facts…I have asked you to back up statements you claimed to be facts with documentation. And, while you threw my words at Carol, you conveniently failed to respond to my request. Here it is again:

    Please support with references ‘the fact that millions of gay men are healthy after decades of having such sex.”

    I followed that sentence with one that spoke to the distinction between opinion and fact. An opinion is also a statement but while we may seek back up to it, we don’t have the right to demand it; when you present something as a fact we have the right to demand back up or a retraction.
    LOL. You must agree, in essence, with the validity of providing back up…or you wouldn’t have misquoted my request to Carol. Do you consider yourself exempt from backing up your statements? I’ve currently got two requests for back up from you that you are ignoring while you continue to challenge myself and others. In case you’ve forgotten: After one detailed and several other posts re the differences I perceive between myself and Maggie (and other conservative Christians), you simply deemed that the differences were not significant but by a very private scale that you won’t share with us. Sorry, dude, that’s totally bogus.
    You don’t get to judge me publicly and then refuse to spell out the standards by which I’ve been judged. And you don’t get to label opinions as facts without providing documentation.
    Warren: This is about the time where I figure you’ll jump in and say ‘we’re way off topic’ and ‘things have gotten out of hand’. I want you to know that if you do that without requiring that my two requests be addressed, you’ll only be supporting the notion that we can judge fellow bloggers by arbitrary and undisclosed standards and that we no longer have to back up statements we present as facts.
    He claims that I come after him…but, once again, if you’ll wade back through…you’ll see that I was engaged in discussion with Timothy and Debbie when Jayhuck engaged me.
    Please note that an opinion can also be a statement but that I clearly made a distinction that it was your ‘fact’ statement that I wanted documentation for. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe we don’t ALL know the difference between fact and opinion
    Oh–and you haven’t even attempted to deliver. Just as you charged me with not being noticeably different from other conservatives but you won’t reveal the standards by which you judge me.

  239. carole….. ” Although condoms do not eliminate the risk of infection, they do reduce it. ” If a reduction of risk is what you call safe, then so be it. We have different ideas about what is risky and safe, I guess.

    If that reduction of risk is 99 & 44/100ths percent pure then I guess I can live wiith that.

  240. Jayhuck,
    Again, did you not read all I wrote up above. I did give facts, and it’s very explicit. Here is one part:

    Can anal cancer be prevented?
    Few cancers can be totally prevented but your risk may be decreased significantly by reducing your risk factors and by getting regular checkups. Avoid anal sex and infection with HPV and HIV. Use condoms whenever having any kind of intercourse. Although condoms do not eliminate the risk of infection, they do reduce it. Stopping smoking lowers the risk of many types of cancer, including anal cancer.

    There are scads of other links-just do a Google search and you could read for days. All the medical sites say the same thing–anal sex is risky and as the paragraph above says, ” Although condoms do not eliminate the risk of infection, they do reduce it. ” If a reduction of risk is what you call safe, then so be it. We have different ideas about what is risky and safe, I guess.

  241. Jayhuck,
    Do you dispute the medical research in this area? You know as well as I do that the HPV is a very common virus, often lying dormant and exhibiting no symptoms. You know as well as I do that it can be transmitted between two monogamous people. You know as well as I do that the rectum has a thin, easily torn lining. It doesn’t take a painful fissure to open it to microbes. You know as well as I do that it takes most cancers years and years and years to develop. You also know that not all people have the same immune system or genetic susceptibilities to particular diseases/pathogens.
    Lots of gay men do not practice anal sex. There’s good reason not to. There’s good reason for heteros not to. There is a reason that nature saw to it that our olfactory system is acute when it comes to detecting the smell of fecal matter and a reason that we react negatively to that smell. It’s nature’s way of screaming, “Stay away!” Laxatives might remove that smell, but they don’t remove all traces of fecal matter. I am sure you know too, that frequent use of laxatives is very bad as well.
    Of course the vagina can tear. It’s rare. The rectum doesn’t have the protection the vagina has. You want to argue anatomy now?
    And you have never known a condom to break? BTW, pathogens are transmitted even with condoms, particularly since fecal matter, even microscopic matter, is often mixed with bodily fluids. Fingers touch the condom, fingers find their way elsewhere …..even being careful carries can’t get rid of the danger.
    People find ways to do all kinds of things that have risks particularly if they feel the rewards are greater than the risks. We are talking about more than treatable STDs here when we speak of anal intercourse. We are talking cancer, and you don’t have to get the benefit of genital warts as a warning..
    BTW, they just determined that a pathogen is one cause of high blood pressure. Surely if you read widely in the literature, you recognize the latest cancer research. Pathogens.
    This whole conversation reminds me of being a kid when I swallowed a dime. My mother took me to the doctor and he gave me the lecture that I am sure millions of kids have heard: “You don’t put anything except food in your mouth. There are certain functions for each part of your body and your mouth is meant for food only.”
    Human behavior is odd, isn’t it? We all know that with each slice of cheese-slathered, pepperoni-covered pizza, we are indulging in something that tastes great, but which is not great for us. With each bag of salt-covered french fries, we are consuming something that risks our health. . With each teaspoon of sugar or sprinkles of salt we risk our health. We weigh the rewards and the risks.
    Same thing with our sexual practices. I guess you feel you have minimized the risk as much as you can and weighed it against the risks. I’d suggest you look into the matter because over decades, there are serious risks no matter how much you have tried to minimize them.

  242. Carol,
    FYI – I work in healthcare – I have yet to see someone who has come in with an STD who was wearing a condom. Condoms do an incredible job of keeping out disease.

  243. Carol,
    As Eddy has asked me to back up my statements with facts – please back up yours!

  244. Carol,
    Oh, and the fact that there is a “feeling among researchers” is hardly good science.

  245. Carol,
    The vaginal lining can easily be torn as well and any opportunistic viruses can enter the body. The important thing in both anal and vaginal sex is lubrication – I’m sorry, but you are wrong on this matter. Anal sex can be and is safe when the people engaging in it are responsible.

  246. Eddy,
    Thanks for the gobbledegook comment – that says a great deal more about you than it does about me.
    Carol,
    No, you’ve done it again!
    Actually, most people who do smoke cigarettes for years can suffer from a host of diseases even if they don’t get cancer – probably not a great comparison on your part!
    AND, all sex has risks – I read about the woman the other day who suffered a tear in her vaginal lining and died from an air embolism – that’s why I said that you should know you partners sexual history, you should be tested and you should use plenty of lubricant and a condom if you have anal sex. You can in fact have very safe anal sex, despite your views on this matter. Again, the fact that many men, myself included, who have had anal sex for years and continue to remain healthy stand as a testament to that FACT.

  247. Perhaps what I should say to simplify is this: most people who have smoked cigarettes for years don’t contract lung cancer. Many never get emphysema.
    Nonetheless, these facts do not lead one to conclude ” the fact that millions of smokers are healthy after decades of smoking is testament to” the fact that people can heathily indulge in smoking w/out fear of consequences. Lungs haven’t evolved to inhale a steady diet of smoke and carcinogens. That’s not their function. Is it any wonder we damage them when we use them in a way they haven’t evolved to handle?

  248. You’ve done it again, Jayhuck.
    1. I said,

    there really is no such thing as anal sex that is not risky and again, this is true for both hetero and homosexual individuals.”

    Take note I said, “true for both hetero and homosexual individuals.”
    2. I also said,

    Anal sex with a condom, even with lubricants, still risks the abrasion of the lining of the anus and allows common viruses to penetrate the area. Just as we now know that the HPV causes cervical cancer in some women, we know it causes rectal cancer in others.

    Notice that I was speaking of “common viruses,” not conditions we normally think of when we think of STDs like syphilis/gonorrhea/ parasites, etc. This is all fairly new research. Back in the 80s, public health officials were trying to educate everyone about how to avoid contracting HIV as well as educating about how to avoid contracting what used to be called VD, then termed STDs.
    Not until recently have they turned their attention to the risk of anal insertions, period.
    The rectum doesn’t have the mucousal lining nor the ph that the more pathogen-resistant vagina has. Again–certain anatomical structures are evolved for certain things, unevolved for others.
    3. I also said,

    There is also a feeling among researchers that we will discover that many colon cancers are the result of viruses introduced by anal sex (among other reasons, of course).

    You said,

    As I said before, the fact that millions of gay men are healthy after decades of having such sex is testament to that fact.

    No. This is the very thing they are finding is not so. They believe HPV (and others) are introduced through anal sex and this can occur even when a partner uses a condom. It can occur if any object is inserted in the rectum. The pathogen need not enter through an anal fissure, although it often does: it can travel up the rectum to the lower colon where it can set up shop over years and years. Only now have we come to an awareness that in some this will lead to cancer and one doesn’t have to have anal warts in order to have HPV. The HPV has many different strains.
    I repeat,

    In the case of vaginal intercourse, the partner of the woman could reduce the likelihood of transmission of CPV with good hygiene. In the case of anal intercourse, even good hygiene leaves the area susceptible to pathogens. It’s a matter of structure having evolved to optimize function

    .
    This is not a case of politics, but a case of health. Gay men and straights who engage in anal sex would do themselves favors to look to other sexual practices that offer less risk to their long-term health.

  249. Anal sex with condoms and with lubricants can be incredibly safe. Add monogamy to that list and it is even safer. As I said before, the fact that millions of gay men are healthy after decades of having such sex is testament to that fact.

    Carole,
    By all means please take the above quote with MUCH caution. LOL. It’s represents the extreme of gobbledgook and double-speak. Please note that ‘anal sex with condoms and with lubricants can be incredibly safe.’ LOL. And then even though it’s already incredibly (i.e. unbelievably) safe, it gets ‘even safer’ with monogamy. WOW! Even safer than incredibly safe! Heck, we should actually start recommending it.
    Jayhuck,
    Please support with references ‘the fact that millions of gay men are healthy after decades of having such sex. (We all know the difference between fact and opinion here. You not only stated this as fact but you mentioned that you’ve stated it previously. I look forward to reading the documentation of this fact or to your apology if it turns out that this is just a very strong opinion that is unsupported by any data.)

  250. It should probably be noted, since we are on the topic, that not all gay men have anal intercourse!

  251. David,

    So, I think we have demonstrated that thoughtful, non-religious arguments exist that support OSM as a unique institution…which has been weakened or damaged in the decades preceding the SSM debate.

    I fail to see how SSM has any bearing on the problems going on with OSM except that it seems to be used as a scapegoat for problems that already existed in that institution.

  252. Let me be more specific – I agree with you that human behavior and health are related. That however does not at all mean that sexually active gay people – or straight people for that matter – cannot be and remain healthy by acting responsibly.

  253. David,

    I do think that human behavior and health are related…it is odd that you would see this as a form of bigotry?

    I can’t speak for Timothy but I can’t imagine that is what he was trying to say.
    As for the above quote, this is one time I actually agree with you.

  254. I hope for more information shared without the label bigot, or fundamentalist, or right-wing hater or …. it’s just an obstacle to communicating.

    David Blakeslee,
    There are few things I hope for more than the Lakers winning tomorrow and your comment above is one of them. 🙂

  255. Carole,
    Anal sex with condoms and with lubricants can be incredibly safe. Add monogamy to that list and it is even safer. As I said before, the fact that millions of gay men are healthy after decades of having such sex is testament to that fact. The HPV virus is one that causes warts can increase your risk for cervical or colorectal cancers, but the issue is to be safe, be tested and know your partners sexual history – neither straight women nor gay men are exempt from this virus and its harms.

  256. David,

    Your argument about hate and bigotry

    Is also the same argument used by most socially repressed minorities, not the least of which is the African American community!

  257. Anal sex without a condom is dangerous even if both partners are monogamous.
    Anal sex with a condom, even with lubricants, still risks the abrasion of the lining of the anus and allows common viruses to penetrate the area. Just as we now know that the HPV causes cervical cancer in some women, we know it causes rectal cancer in others.
    There is also a feeling among researchers that we will discover that many colon cancers are the result of viruses introduced by anal sex (among other reasons, of course).

    Carole,
    Yes, this is all so important to acknowledge AND it comes from medical certainty which does not have a religious component to it. I am not sure there can be any rebuttal to a fact, whereas there often is when it is a belief.

  258. And there are plenty of conservative Christians who don’t have the attitude of “I’m right because I’m right!!”
    What I should have said was that illustrated the attitude of the visible culture warriors who seek to speak for conservative Christianity.

    Ok, thanks – still what is a conservative Christian? In Judiasm there are three different versions of how a person lives and practices their faith – each one has it’s own set of characteristics to it and each person pretty much lives their lives accordingly. When people say they are a conservative Christian or call another person a conservative Christian, what does that mean and what distinguishes if it is a good or bad thing?
    My personal and humble opinion is when using the term, one should say “this is what I believe in and/or aspire to” – not “this is who I am”. People will know who you (generic you) are by HOW you are – not who you say you are.

  259. There is nothing edifying left of this discussion, as I said. So I’ll bow out through the door of the Word. Peace to all.
    Debbie,
    What you have said in your posts have meant a lot to me – please re-consider staying and allowing someone like me to benefit from your goodness.

  260. “Of course, disease ridden vermin (DRV) arguments must either be applied accross the board. If one doesn’t also find God’s condemnation of blacks in the rates of diabetes (thanks, Jayhuck) or God’s condemnation of women in the rates of breast cancer or God’s condemnation of automobile drivers in the rates of accident related deaths, then one is simply practicing bigotry.”
    Diabetes?
    I don’t agree with the odd DRV argument you quote (from someone else on this site?).
    I do think that human behavior and health are related…it is odd that you would see this as a form of bigotry?
    Sexual behavior, regardless of one’s orientation, is related to health as well…the health of our partners and the health of any offspring (quality of life issues related to divorce, out of wedlock births)…
    So, I think we have demonstrated that thoughtful, non-religious arguments exist that support OSM as a unique institution…which has been weakened or damaged in the decades preceding the SSM debate.
    I think we have agreed that the incidence of HIV and other STD’s are alarmingly high in the gay community compared to other communities…including lesbians. This occurs despite intense educational efforts to protect the gay community.
    I hope Warren will provide a completely new post about African HIV and STD rates and the reasons for it…I would enjoy hearing your thoughts and sharing some of mine.
    I hope for more information shared without the label bigot, or fundamentalist, or right-wing hater or …. it’s just an obstacle to communicating.

  261. Timothy said,

    I’m going to guess that in the order of acceptant to non acceptance, they were:
    Buddhism
    Judaism
    Hinduism
    Chistianity
    Islam

    Close. IIRC (and I am not sure), I think if you switch Judaism with Hinduism, you’ve got it.

  262. Several of us have made reference to anal intercourse.
    In the interest of keeping medical issues in the forefront, I feel I must add this: there really is no such thing as anal sex that is not risky and again, this is true for both hetero and homosexual individuals.
    True, use of a condom greatly reduces risk of certain STDs but there are risks of more than just STDs.
    I recalled a class I took about four years ago in which the presenter surmised that as the years went by, we’d be hearing more about germs causing things like cancer. When I retired and had time to read, I discoverd that yes, indeed, more and more, researchers were finding that pathogens, particularly viruses, are the culprits in all kinds of chronic and deadly diseases.
    Anal sex without a condom is dangerous even if both partners are monogamous.
    Anal sex with a condom, even with lubricants, still risks the abrasion of the lining of the anus and allows common viruses to penetrate the area. Just as we now know that the HPV causes cervical cancer in some women, we know it causes rectal cancer in others.
    There is also a feeling among researchers that we will discover that many colon cancers are the result of viruses introduced by anal sex (among other reasons, of course).
    In the case of vaginal intercourse, the partner of the woman could reduce the likelihood of transmission of CPV with good hygiene. In the case of anal intercourse, even good hygiene leaves the area susceptible to pathogens. It’s a matter of structure having evolved to optimize function.

  263. @ Tim,
    “they don’t seem to have any desire to fix it. Instead they spend tens of millions of dollars trying to stop gay people from taking vows of fidelity.”
    I don’t think your are reading their desires accurately…if at all.
    Most conservative folks and nearly all religious folk are quite concerned with fixing broken heterosexual marriage.
    You seem to be being a bit glib.
    Also: “pre-marital counseling and couples therapy, then secular folks might believe in the sincerity of that argument.”
    The research, I am sorry to say, on couples counseling preventing divorce is not good…so I am not sure that the Prop 8 money spent there would be any good.
    It appears that values, and the communities that support those values have just as favorable, if not more favorable outcomes, than couples therapists.
    Your argument about hate and bigotry is the same one used 40 years ago against those who argued against premarital sex, sex outside marriage, co-habitation and no-fault divorce….

  264. Yeah, I know. But we only have one guidebook to help us tell the difference. I accept it, you don’t, and what more can even be said?

    That is perhaps the best illustration of the attitude that dominates conservative Christianity today.
    And, ironically, the best illustration of the attitude that dominated Jewish religious leadership at the time of Christ.

    Well, Jesus called the Jewish scribes and teachers out for not knowing their own Scriptures. And for stoning their own prophets. You left out that part.
    God affixed His Word into permanent form. It will never die. He does not need us. We need Him. Read 2 Peter, especially verses 20 and 21 that speak to interpretation.
    There is nothing edifying left of this discussion, as I said. So I’ll bow out through the door of the Word. Peace to all.

  265. Ann,
    Good question. I did throw the term out there without clarifying.
    And there are plenty of conservative Christians who don’t have the attitude of “I’m right because I’m right!!”
    What I should have said was that illustrated the attitude of the visible culture warriors who seek to speak for conservative Christianity.
    A good example might be Focus on the Family and Dr. James Dobson. But pretty much any talking head that you see on TV that seeks to give “the Christian perspective” on some issue is probably going to fall into this category.

  266. Jayhuck said:

    …but I don’t know that these things really set you apart from other religious conservatives.

    It’s time for the judge to go on the block. Jayhuck, I listed more than a half-dozen specific areas where I differ from the likes of Maggie and other conservatives and you ‘don’t know that these things really set (me) apart from other religious conservatives.” I have two questions for you. 1) What specifically would it take to set me apart from the other religious conservatives? (Remember that I did you the courtesy of presenting a list…granted the list didn’t please you…but I did present one and am now being judged by you not meeting your criteria for appropriate difference. Please be specific in your answer. What specifically would it take to set me apart from the other religious conservatives?) 2) What qualifies you to be the one who sets the standard of appropriate distance?
    And then, by the way, when we’re all done with that, please get back to the original point I made which started your questioning and tell me why it’s appropriate to respond to me or any other person deemed conservative on this blog based on words or actions that we didn’t speak or do. Even if I’m not different enough to meet your esteemed criteria, why is it appropriate for you to lump me together with people I know very little about instead of responding to me and my words or actions? Please answer carefully. I am prepared, based on what you’ve said so far, to justify that I don’t really see a difference between you and most ‘gay activists’; I have learned how to surf the web a bit and will begin having you defend yourself for things you’ve never said and things you’ve never done simply because I see you as a ‘gay activist’ and therefore you are responsible to answer to everything that ‘gay activists’ anywhere say and do.
    You will find this most frustrating when you are involved in a conversation with others that is actually going somewhere and then I jump in with my ‘burning need to know’ and effectively derail your previous conversation.

  267. conservative Christian
    This phrase – what does it mean? So many have identified as such and yet all are very different in how they live their life. If we use the term so frequently, what exactly are we talking about? Do these people exemplify the definition and what is the definition?
    Ted Haggart?
    Carrie Prejean?
    Warren Throckmorton?
    Billy Graham?
    Blair Underwood?
    Mel Gibson?
    The Pope?
    Stephen Hawking?
    Rick Warren?
    George Bush?
    What kind of person and what kind of life and what kind of belief sums up in a tidy way a conservative Christian? I don’t use the term because I really don’t know what it applies to and find it difficult to understand it in any context.
    I think we go around in circles sometimes when this phrase is used to describe so much that isn’t actually said. If it happens here, just imagine what happens out in the real world. Could it be why there is so much contention in both places?

  268. Now is probably a good time for my favorite Anne Lamott quote:

    “You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”

  269. Debbie,
    There are actually many “guidebooks” out there in the world. I am assuming you are talking about the Christian Bible. I do accept it but I don’t interpret it in the same way you do.

  270. FYI,
    Here are two links to blogs with respect to the GSS survey in response to the statement, “Homosexuals should have the right to marry.”
    http://secularright.org/wordpress/?p=1947
    http://scienceblogs.com/gnxp/
    There are many blogs that have responded to the info on the latest GSS so you can type in just about any of them. Of course the interpretation of data varies, as one might expect. You can go to the GSS site as well for the raw data.
    I tried to post some helpful colorful bar graphs but I couldn’t get the darn think to post.
    Also, on a blog several months ago, I saw a bar graph of religious attitudes toward homosexuality by members of the Big 5–Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism but at the moment, I can’t find it. I’ll keep looking.

  271. Debbie,

    Yeah, I know. But we only have one guidebook to help us tell the difference. I accept it, you don’t, and what more can even be said?

    That is perhaps the best illustration of the attitude that dominates conservative Christianity today.
    And, ironically, the best illustration of the attitude that dominated Jewish religious leadership at the time of Christ.

  272. Debbie,
    No, by “mistreat” I mean “pass laws that treat gay people in a way that is disadvantageous to their ability to freely structure their life in the way that they see best”. Or, to get back to the “sticky wicket”, pass laws that treat people unequally.
    I know you think that because God agrees with you, that therefore your views on how my life should be lived are more important than my views on how my life should be lived. Because you think that your views are God’s views.
    Obviously, I disagree.
    So when I say “smugly assume your moral superiority” I mean that when you declare that God believes this that or the other and that laws ought to follow what God believes, you are making the basic assumption that God agrees with you. Smugly making that assumption.
    I’m not saying that you aren’t a sinner. Or that you don’t think you’re a sinner. I’m saying that you think that you speak for God.
    And obviously, I disagree.

  273. I realize you believe that certain types of behavior are “sinful” – this is just a reminder that not everyone describes or understands what sin is in the same way.

    Yeah, I know. But we only have one guidebook to help us tell the difference. I accept it, you don’t, and what more can even be said?
    This discussion has come full circle, I think. It is beginning to degenerate. I had deja vu after posting my last comment to Timothy. I think I said something very similar to him last year in another forum. That’s my signal to be done. You all can talk on if you want to.

  274. Debbie,

    the disease or bad stuff is not related to sinful behavior that we know of

    I realize you believe that certain types of behavior are “sinful” – this is just a reminder that not everyone describes or understands what sin is in the same way.

  275. I’m telling you that your imaginary friend has no jurisdiction over my life.

    Yes, that’s correct. TRiG and I are not the same person. I don’t think we even live on the same continent.

    Thanks. I was wondering what was up with that. He’s a new one to me.

    But the problem with selling this argument is that while anti-gays concede that they messed up marriage first, they don’t seem to have any desire to fix it. Instead they spend tens of millions of dollars trying to stop gay people from taking vows of fidelity.

    Now Timothy, I could hug you for saying that. That is the bestest thing I’ve heard all day.
    Now back to the unpleasantries.

    If one doesn’t also find God’s condemnation of blacks in the rates of diabetes (thanks, Jayhuck) or God’s condemnation of women in the rates of breast cancer or God’s condemnation of automobile drivers in the rates of accident related deaths, then one is simply practicing bigotry.

    In all the cases you cite above (maybe there’s a bit of an exception for the driving one), the disease or bad stuff is not related to sinful behavior that we know of.. ALL STDs in gays or straights (save those few that come from rape or sexual abuse or a spouse with a secret) are the consequences of sex outside marriage as God designed it. HIV is also spread outside of sexual contact, so I am referring only to the sexually transmitted variety.

    Smugly assume this is an indication of your own moral superiority and the moral inferiority of gays and therefore you are justified in your own desire to mistreat gay people.

    Please. I do not assume moral superiority over anyone. I am in the “filthy rags'”department, the same as everyone else. I certainly do not desire to mistreat gays. To you, my dear Timothy, disagreeing is mistreating, apparently. That’s just a crock of hooey.

  276. Jayhuck ~ May 16, 2009 at 4:29 pm
    Debbie,
    I think that imaginary friend line was left by a different Timothy!

    Yes, that’s correct. TRiG and I are not the same person. I don’t think we even live on the same continent.

  277. I knew sooner or later Debbie would get around to this. And David, if you were wondering, this is a good example of the disease ridden vermin argument:

    The point of the discussion was that gay men have them to a greater degree. That public health issue is fair game. Someone else here already provided the primer on just why male anal sex is not healthy. Ya reckon God knew that would be the case when he made us?

    It works this way:
    1. Select some disease that is either at a higher rate in gays – or just claim it is (“The point of the discussion was that gay men have them to a greater degree”).
    2. Declare that this is indicative of a flaw (“male anal sex is not healthy”)
    3. Claim that this is therefore either God’s judgment or an indication of failing to follow God’s plan (“Ya reckon God knew that would be the case”)
    4. Smugly assume this is an indication of your own moral superiority and the moral inferiority of gays and therefore you are justified in your own desire to mistreat gay people (“Equality is a sticky wicket that must be correctly defined”)
    Of course, disease ridden vermin (DRV) arguments must either be applied accross the board. If one doesn’t also find God’s condemnation of blacks in the rates of diabetes (thanks, Jayhuck) or God’s condemnation of women in the rates of breast cancer or God’s condemnation of automobile drivers in the rates of accident related deaths, then one is simply practicing bigotry.
    Because “God knew” about all of these situations and therefore equality for these folk becomes “a sticky wicket”. But if we single out gay people and HIV infection and see God’s judgment there, then we are simply behaving like a bigot.

  278. Debbie,
    Male anal sex can be perfectly healthy as long as you are safe – I think millions of healthy gay men stand in testament to that fact.

  279. This issue has always been, the scientific data is in, as we broaden the definition of family and monogamy, additional risks to women and children occur…and I would argue to gay men (alarmingly increased rates of STD).

    So your point is that encouraging gay men to be coupled would increase rates of STDs? I think not.
    😉
    Your argument is a variation on what I said above.

    Honest religious anti-gays are really having a hard time of coming up with secular-based objections to gay rights. The only one that I can think of which is legitimate (though probably untrue) is “tradition”: that the acceptance of gay people and gay rights is an erosion of traditional social structure and as such furthers in the collective conscience that social mores have no value which could lead to societal collapse.
    That is probably a legitimate debate in which to engage. But it cannot be done in a cherry-picking, inconsistent, ‘its ok for me but not for you’ manner.
    And this brings us back to the point of this thread. If religious conservatives seek to present the secular argument of protecting traditional social structure, they can’t justify and defend the presentation of a topless fake-breasted beauty queen as a person of character, morals, and values.

    But the problem with selling this argument is that while anti-gays concede that they messed up marriage first, they don’t seem to have any desire to fix it. Instead they spend tens of millions of dollars trying to stop gay people from taking vows of fidelity.
    If the money spent on Prop 8 instead had gone to pre-marital counseling and couples therapy, then secular folks might believe in the sincerity of that argument.

  280. You are going to have to ascribe to the reality that not everyone is Christian, not everyone shares your beliefs, even if they are Christian – there are many religions in this world – The fact is that people should be treated equally despite your personal religious beliefs

    Jayhuck, everyone should be treated justly. Equality is a sticky wicket that must be correctly defined. We are equal in the sight of God as his creation, for instance. Feminism in the extreme doesn’t work because men and women are inherently different. Gay marriage does not equate to traditional marriage. Human rights belong to everyone. Marriage is not a human rights issue.
    The reality for us all, whether we ascribe to it or not, is that we are the created and God is the Creator.
    Now, as someone else said in the myriad comments above, gay unions are not going away, so we’re going to have to figure out how best to accommodate them. I don’t have the answer. But a society that so easily accommodated divorce and abortion will find a way.

    I’m telling you that your imaginary friend has no jurisdiction over my life.

    Hey, Harvey is real. What are you talking about, Timothy?

    I’m a Bible-believing Christian Debbie and I disagree with you.

    You’re not the first, Jayhuck, and you won’t be the last. Take a number and get in line.
    Oh, and Timothy, I discussed only the MSM HIV figures because that was the subject we were on. I think we all know other populations have HIV and STDs. The point of the discussion was that gay men have them to a greater degree. That public health issue is fair game. Someone else here already provided the primer on just why male anal sex is not healthy. Ya reckon God knew that would be the case when he made us?

  281. David,
    Re the arguments on childrearing etc.
    I’m not trying to debate with you, David. I’m pointing out that these arguments aren’t selling well as is very clearly illustrated by the fact that secular folk aren’t buying them.
    You can say whatever you like about gender complementarity and socialization, you can point a differences between male and female brains (while carefully ignoring that gay male brains are somewhere between), you can fret about complex family structures, but it isn’t working.
    I’m not just asserting this, secular people are not buying the anti-gay arguments.
    In November in California 65% of protestants and 64% of Catholics vote “yes” on Prop 8. Those who had no religious affiliation voted “no” by 90%. NINETY
    And poll after poll shows that the more secular a person is, the more supportive of gay rights they are.

  282. Tim and David,
    Re: Chronic diseases and the African American Community:
    ” * The prevalence of diabetes among African Americans is about 70% higher than among white Americans.
    * Infant mortality rates are twice as high for African Americans as for white Americans.
    African Americans were 1.5 times as likely as non-Hispanic whites to have high blood pressure. ”
    The rates of STDs tend to run higher in the African American community as well.

  283. Eddy,
    For the record, and to clarify, I don’t think you are a typical conservative. You can find all different types of conservatives: those who are fiscally conservative but socially liberal, both fiscally and socially conservative, etc. Its the typical conservative Christian though that I was talking about. I understand you have gay friends, I understand you see a middle ground on the issue of gay marriage – I DO believe you are more compassionate and thoughtful than say Maggie Gallagher, but I don’t know that these things really set you apart from other religious conservatives.

  284. David

    If your numbers are right, the fact that Gay men contract HIV at a rate 32 times higher than whites; 12 times higher than African Americans and infinity times higher than lesbians, it is a meaningful discussion.

    Really?
    What is the meaning?
    If we want to look at the variances in rates, it isn’t out of curiousity. You must have some point you’re trying to make.
    Gays men have higher rates of HIV infection, therefore
    But you seem hesitant to add the “therefore”. So the only “therefore” on the table seems to be “therefore this is some justification for denying rights” aka the disease ridden vermin argument.
    Now I see the variance and I look at this number with grief.
    I also look at the fact that blacks are two and a half times more likely to become infected with grief. But just as I don’t see this as justification for discrimination against black people I don’t see it as justification for anti-gay discrimination.
    So I’ll ask again, what’s your point?

  285. Eddy,
    I’m sure you are loving it Eddy. The problem is that the difference you try to make between yourself and other conservative Christians don’t seem like significant differences when I’ve heard other conservative Christians say the same sorts of things. That’s all!

  286. David,
    Gay families are a reality, the question now is how best to help them. And I struggle to see how giving gay couples and families equal rights – rights that would enable them to take care of each other and which would encourage fidelity would be harmful for them.

  287. I believe Washington, D.C claims the highest rate of new HIV infections in the MSM population, and that is exacerbated greatly by the down-low black population there.

    Ya know, it’s funny. Because what the Washington Post article actually said was:

    “We have every mode of transmission” — men having sex with men, heterosexual and injected drug use — “going up, all on the rise, and we have to deal with them,”

    Men having sex with men has remained the disease’s leading mode of transmission. Heterosexual transmission and injection drug use closely follow, the report says. Three percent of black women carry the virus, partly a result of the increase in heterosexual transmissions.

    But you only saw the MSM part. Geez, I wonder why.

    And San Francisco and L.A. are still leading centers of MSM HIV/STD infections.

    Yes, and they are also leading centers for MSM toothpaste use, MSM unicycle juggling, and MSM sumo wrestling.
    Why? Because that’s where a lot of gay people live.
    But that says nothing about whether gay folk have more STDs than straight folk. I know that this is a common assumption (even among gay health care providers like the site Carole linked), but I have not had success in finding a source that quantifies this difference (other than locally), if indeed there is one.
    And I wouldn’t be surprised if there were higher STD rates in gay men. But I’m not going to just agree that it’s true without evidence.
    So Debbie, while I know many people really really really want to believe that gays have hugely higher STD rates, I’m not going just take your word for it. Provide some source for your claim. Or stop making insinuating.
    Because I don’t know if it’s true or not but what I do have seems to suggest “not much if any”. I just checked the graphic and guess what, neither SF nor LA were shown as leading certers of HIV/STD infections per capita. And considering the gay population is such a large percentage of SF, it seems unlikely that if gays are disease ridden vermin than this would HAVE to show up as a skew in the per capita reporting.
    Read this article and look at the graphics.
    Oh, and Debbie, when you talk about “the degree of bitterness and self-pity among gays”, that’s just more bigoted and hateful language. There’s really no need for that.

  288. Jayhuck–
    I answered you with somewhere between a half dozen and a dozen examples of how I differ from Maggie–and we were using Maggie as the example of ‘conservative Christianity’. I say you ‘didn’t see the sign’ and, of course, that bothers you…you will, naturally, not like to be labeled as blind while you blindly attach the label ‘typical conservative’ to me. I’m loving the irony of it all.
    Ann–
    Thanks! I didn’t feel like I was writing that for everyone but more that it was something that someone needed to hear.

  289. Eddy,
    In case no one has noticed 🙂 I do not use religion to support any of my thoughts. It is too filled with individual interpretations, failings, inconsistencies, and personal motivations. I still do not understand Christianity as others do, and how they use it as a religion rather than what Jesus taught – just too complicated for me. I also think it is funny/sad/hurtful, etc. that I have been called names like anti-gay, had my character attacked, been called a liar, and enmeshed with this “conservative Christian” movement when none of it applies – never has and never will.

  290. I mentioned in an earlier post that our conversations tend to derail or escalate when the notion of ’sin’ is introduced. Timothy’s detailed analysis of the possible reasons for denying privileges such as gay marriage cited religion but it seems it overlooked God. I realize that religion(s) is or are the attempts of people to formalize their relationships to God…and in those attempts many human mistakes are made…but understanding how my six brothers related to or responded to my father isn’t quite the same as understanding my father. Regardless of the difference interpretations that my brothers have of my father, the fact remains that my father did have intents and purposes whether we all fully understood them or not. I view God in the same way. If He is indeed creator…and if He did indeed send his son as a redeemer…there is a purpose implied in creation and at least a failure or two implied in our need for such a costly redemption.
    I’m not sure what this adds to the conversation except that religion is manmade and has its failings. Did we fashion God in our image or did God fashion us in His? Do we believe in a God who represents the overall consensus of the people of any given time or do we believe in a God who existed before we did? Whenever I read of ‘religious polls’, I always wonder how much the actual person of God is represented. I wonder that about my own life as well but I always come back to the notion that, despite my opinions and beliefs, if there is actually an entity called God…and for most of us blogging here…the God who expressed himself through Jesus Christ…this God is not the stuff of opinion polls. He gets a vote that outweighs ours; his opinion outranks ours…regardless of how many of us subscribe to it. I just want to make sure we don’t leave him out of the mix by lumping him in with ‘religion’.

    Eddy,
    I am going to save this – it has captured everything I have been trying to say for a long time now, especially the last part – you articulate so well – thank you.
    I connect with that small still voice that guides me – the words that say “follow me” when I am lost – Bible verses that comfort and teach me in a way that leaves no room for self centeredness, and people who inspire me with their ability to be emotionally mature when interacting with me. That is a good foundation and if I connect with a religion, which I do, it will have to come from that. I ignore the rest of all the noise because that comes from people, not the God I love and want to please.

  291. Carole,
    I think all of us on here at one time or another have been hasty in commenting or not reading a post carefully! I didn’t really need a lesson in the importance of this.

  292. Carole,
    Thank you for the information. I think we both agree that HIV infection rates are not a very sound basis for denying rights to gay people.
    I don’t think anyone here was making “disease ridden vermin” accusations. We speaking in the abstract about what secular arguments can and are made in objection to homosexuality. My point was that as a secular argument the “disease ridden vermin” argument is not particularly convincing.

  293. Jayhuck,
    My first post on this subject said the following:

    Those who do not practice safe sex in such countries as ours, for the most part, are those who have chosen to be irresponsible and that includes people of all orientations.

    Nevertheless, your response said,

    That study you linked to should have been talking about ALL men. Men in general are unwilling to go in for testing and have a much higher rate of STD’s – gay or straight – because of this.

    I responded that I didn’t understand your response (and to help further the discussion with data from one city’s health service which is hard at work in this area, I included a weblink) and you answered with,

    Forgive me, I think I misunderstood your previous post. I agree with what you wrote, but I think that quote above could be applied to both the straight AND gay populations

    !
    Your last sentence suggests you didn’t read the posts carefully. Discussion through writing is usually more fraught with obstacles to clear communication than is oral communication, but it is especially so if any of the participants don’t read the posts of others thoroughly before commenting. Otherwise, a lot of effort is wasted and conflict occurs where it needn’t.

  294. @ Tim…I am still catching up
    Regarding childbearing and childrearing: you grossly simplify the argument, as it is intertwined with gender complementarity and socialization; increasing empathy for gender differences (the family is the first socializing institution).
    Regarding gender complementarity: you again oversimplify this…there are real differences in the brains of men and women, real differences in how prefer to arrange social interactions, how they deal with conflict and accountability.
    You do not deal with the issue that child bearing in gay and lesbian homes requires a more complex family structure from the beginning (a third, absent parent). Even in heterosexual couples who are infertile….back to gender complementarity.
    “I’m not saying there are no secular arguments or that such arguments can’t be made. I’m saying that hardly anyone is making them. And not many more are believing them.” I am not sure how you can support the second and third statements factually, they seem to be an assertion.
    TIM: Please hear me.
    Heterosexuals broke the family before gays got here; they broke monogamy and they broke sex before gays got here. Please see my consistent posting in this matter, even in my first Oregonian Article.
    This issue has always been, the scientific data is in, as we broaden the definition of family and monogamy, additional risks to women and children occur…and I would argue to gay men (alarmingly increased rates of STD).
    All of this applies to Africa as well…which we can discuss in detail in another post.

  295. @ Tim,
    Thanks for the thoughtful response and I am a bit behind on this thread.
    It is simple-minded and hateful to apply the “disease-ridden vermin” label to almost anyone who discusses STD’s of gay men…
    It is STD’s generally which are a concern…whether heterosexual or homosexual.
    In both secular and religious models it can be argued that monogomy has a cultural and health value…
    If your numbers are right, the fact that Gay men contract HIV at a rate 32 times higher than whites; 12 times higher than African Americans and infinity times higher than lesbians, it is a meaningful discussion.
    No need, as you say, to paint all gays this way.
    But stunning, given all the money spent on sex education and condoms…

  296. Carole,

    there remains a population that resists listening to that education.

    Forgive me, I think I misunderstood your previous post. I agree with what you wrote, but I think that quote above could be applied to both the straight AND gay populations!

  297. Eddy,
    Just to be clear – I never said I didn’t “see the sign”, I merely stated I was still confused as to exactly how you are different from other conservative Christians.

  298. Sorry for that odd block quote above. My sentence should have read,
    “The most obvious reason for education is to conserve the health of the individual, but another reason is to protect the public health.”

  299. Jayhuck said,

    That study you linked to should have been talking about ALL men. Men in general are unwilling to go in for testing and have a much higher rate of STD’s – gay or straight – because of this.

    Jayhuck, I noticed the link I provided was one which had, among other goals, a desire to improve health conditions in the gay community. I can’t speak for what they “should” have provided. They identified a need and sought to meet that need.
    There is no reason to make this a battle. The data confirm that while great strides have been made in modifying sexual behavior in the gay community in order to promote the health of the individual and in order to prevent further spread, there remains a population that resists listening to that education. Now, community health officials are working hard to promote that same message in other subpopulations among which the virus has spread.
    The most obvious reason for education is to conserve the health of the individual, but another reason is the

    public

    health: when a virus doesn’t need to be selective in order to replicate, it evolves to virulence. The practice of safe sex has caused the virus to evolve to less virulence.
    I didn’t understand this statement you made:

    Men in general are unwilling to go in for testing and have a much higher rate of STD’s – gay or straight – because of this

    HIgher rate than whom? I don’t understand your point.
    Here’s another website from the public health dept. in Seattle. It’s very informative: http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/personal/glbt/DrBobSTD.aspx
    They have an extensive website, part of which is devoted to the health of the gay community.

    There is now clear consensus and solid data (which I show below) that G/BM are at very high risk not just for HIV, but for many STD. Not only do the same behaviors and sexual practices transmit both kinds of infection, but the presence of STD makes it easier to transmit or catch HIV if either partner is infected. But, before I go on to describe the actual rates of these diseases in G/BM, let’s explore some of the interesting reasons offered for why some G/BM have large numbers of partners and a higher risk for STD and HIV.

  300. Jayhuck said in a response directed to me:

    Maggie doesn’t support gay marriage – she is vehemently against it. I’m also fairly certain, as many conservative religious people do, and as Anita Bryant did, that she would say she doesn’t hate gay people, she loves them, but she must speak the truth – I’m not sure I see how the two of you are different.

    I don’t recall any statement that I have made that indicates that I needed the lesson of the first statement; I paid attention last week when you all informed me who she was and where she stands. As to the closing statement:

    I’m not sure I see how the two of you are different.

    I find that humorous in the truth that it reveals. It’s like a blind man telling the sign painter “I didn’t see any sign.” In short, it says more about the one who can’t see than it does about the other. That would be a cheap shot on my part if Jayhuck hadn’t followed up in another post with:

    I don’t see a middle ground in this area – not when we are talking about equal treatment under the law. Not when we are talking about equality! Unlike most conservative Christians that’s where my my-way-or-the-highway attitude comes into play.

    This after I clearly challenged that there can be and is middle ground between ‘supporting gay marriage’ and regarding gay marriage as ‘anathema’. I believe I hold to a middle ground position but this thread is not about that and I’ve spoken to my position at length in prior blog discussions. If Jayhuck doesn’t see the difference yet others do; I’m willing to move along in conversation with those who do and lament his blindspot along the way.
    Jayhuck–feel free to comment in response to my comment but do not ask for further response from me. I feel that I have answered your interrogations honestly; the fact that you cannot accept my answers is simply not my problem.

  301. The vast majority of people who are opposed to gay marriage are conservative religious people
    Jayhuck,
    Yes, however, Christianity should not be singled out all the time as the religion that opposes it. I believe the Muslim faith is the largest in the world and they are opposed to any same gender sexual relationship, let alone one that is commited.

  302. The Christian religion is only a component of a large number of religions, some of who claim they are conservative, that are opposed to same gender marriage for the reasons you cited. In fact, I believe the Christian religion and it’s many subsideries, is far more liberal than others regarding this.

    Ann,
    The vast majority of people who are opposed to gay marriage are conservative religious people – at least that’s what I’ve seen, I’m sure there are some exceptions. And no single religion stands completely against gay marriage – there are gay marriage supporters in all faiths.

  303. Gay people, gay couples, gay families are asking to be treated equally when it comes to the secular rights and privileges bestowed on married couples – gay people aren’t asking churches to perform same-sex ceremonies

    Jayhuck,
    I will take this a step further – something I have said many times here – this is not a moral/religious issue, it is an equal rights issue. There is no room for labels to be tacked onto anyone regarding equal rights. I think Elton John had it right – take off the word marriage as that is how men and women define their sacred or otherwise commited relationship to and for themselves – same gender couples will define their relationships as they want, without the word marriage, and are entitled, not because they identify themselves as a category, but because they are human beings, to all the same equal rights that anyone on this earth is entitled to. I have never said what my personal opinion is on this issuebecause it is NOT important – what is important is something bigger that is far reaching – anyone who cares about me is always welcomed to my personal thoughts but they are not up for just anyone to know.

  304. Debbie,
    You are going to have to ascribe to the reality that not everyone is Christian, not everyone shares your beliefs, even if they are Christian – there are many religions in this world – The fact is that people should be treated equally despite your personal religious beliefs.

  305. the conservative Christian opposition to gay marriage rests on the idea that you cannot take something that is inherently unequal and make it equal.

    Debbie Thurman,
    The Christian religion is only a component of a large number of religions, some of who claim they are conservative, that are opposed to same gender marriage for the reasons you cited. In fact, I believe the Christian religion and it’s many subsideries, is far more liberal than others regarding this.

  306. Debbie,
    I understand that that is your BELIEF – Christians believe many things – that doesn’t mean those beliefs should be legislated. Marriage is both a secular and religious thing – Gay people, gay couples, gay families are asking to be treated equally when it comes to the secular rights and privileges bestowed on married couples – gay people aren’t asking churches to perform same-sex ceremonies. You can keep your belief about the religious aspect of marriage and still afford gay couples equal rights.
    I’m a Bible-believing Christian Debbie and I disagree with you.

  307. Debbie:

    But to tell God He wrote the rules wrong eventually filters down to a self-centered view of all authority.

    I’m not telling God anything. I’m telling you that your imaginary friend has no jurisdiction over my life.
    Fair enough?
    TRiG.

  308. I’m also fairly certain, as many conservative religious people do, and as Anita Bryant did, that she would say she doesn’t hate gay people, she loves them, but she must speak the truth – I’m not sure I see how the two of you are different.

    Jayhuck,
    Do you feel/think an individual can have a personal opinion about same gender marriage, pro or con, without having some covert hatred attached to it?

  309. Jayhuck, the conservative Christian opposition to gay marriage rests on the idea that you cannot take something that is inherently unequal and make it equal. Now, before you want to lop my head off, hear what I am saying. I am NOT saying gays are less equal under the law or in God’s eyes than heterosexuals. In fact, hate crimes laws would make you more “equal” than senior citizens who are far easier to abuse. I AM saying that we believe God’s design for marriage has always been male-female — the lock and key mechanism that C.S. Lewis spoke of. That is a picture of gender complementarity. Timothy referenced it earlier, though he doesn’t accept it.. Simply, we can’t mate two locks or two keys. One is as vital as the other. It’s a “one-flesh” concept.
    There are important reasons why messing with God’s design is a bad idea. The Bible lays those out. You are free to reject them. That doesn’t change reality. We also have discussed here some secular reasoning on it.
    I find the degree of bitterness and self-pity among gays about the whole equality thing is largely baseless. Be angry about discrimination and abuse. Those are real and ought to be fought by everyone. Choose to love and create a domicile with whomever you wish. Because gays cannot reproduce children — the main reason for marriage — God does not grant them the privilege of calling their unions marriage and placing them on the same plane as heterosexual marriage.
    I’m sorry, but you are right in that there will never be common ground on this issue between gays and Bible-believing Christians. You may choose to call that hate if you wish. I call it a reality check. We can discuss things we can agree on. In the final analysis, we must enthone God and place ourselves on the altar. Not vice versa.

  310. Eddy,
    My apologies – I don’t see a middle ground in this area – not when we are talking about equal treatment under the law. Not when we are talking about equality! Unlike most conservative Christians that’s where my my-way-or-the-highway attitude comes into play

  311. Eddy,
    Maggie doesn’t support gay marriage – she is vehemently against it. I’m also fairly certain, as many conservative religious people do, and as Anita Bryant did, that she would say she doesn’t hate gay people, she loves them, but she must speak the truth – I’m not sure I see how the two of you are different.

  312. Jayhuck asked me:

    Do you support gay marriage or do you support her view that gay marriage is anathema?

    Therein lies one of the biggest problems with these discussions. He clearly sees only two options–only the black and white. Either you ‘support gay marriage’ or you feel that ‘gay marriage is anathema’. WOW! Talk about ‘my way or the highway’. It is good to have such evidence that the conservative Christians haven’t got the corner on that way of thinking.

  313. Jayhuck–I wasn’t defining the differences between me and Carrie Prejean; I was defining the differences between me and Maggie. I mentioned Carrie Prejean in my list because she’s an area where Maggie and I differ…it seems that Maggie might tend to use her as a spokesperson; I would not.
    The areas of difference that I detailed are areas where I presume I would differ, not just from Maggie, but from many conservatives.

  314. if there is actually an entity called God…and for most of us blogging here…the God who expressed himself through Jesus Christ…this God is not the stuff of opinion polls. He gets a vote that outweighs ours; his opinion outranks ours…regardless of how many of us subscribe to it. I just want to make sure we don’t leave him out of the mix by lumping him in with ‘religion’.

    Spot on, Eddy.

  315. Yes, the group that has shown the greatest rise in contracting HIV in this country is African-Americans. It was predicted by epidemiologists.

    I believe Washington, D.C claims the highest rate of new HIV infections in the MSM population, and that is exacerbated greatly by the down-low black population there. That is not a Southern, rural demographic. And San Francisco and L.A. are still leading centers of MSM HIV/STD infections. Of course, STDs are no respecters of regions. Reckless people are found everywhere.

  316. Carole,
    That study you linked to should have been talking about ALL men. Men in general are unwilling to go in for testing and have a much higher rate of STD’s – gay or straight – because of this.

  317. Eddy,

    so asking me to list all of my specific differences strikes me as bizarre.

    I don’t remember asking you compare yourself to Prejean. I am curious to know the difference between you and other religious conservatives. How are you unlike people like Maggie Gallagher? Do you support gay marriage or do you support her view that gay marriage is anathema?

    I daresay I have a dash more compassion and understanding for those who have opinions that differ from mine; I do not subscribe to a ‘it’s my way or the highway’ mentality; I don’t think that Christians or conservative Christians are always right.

    And Eddy – Thank you for extending me the courtesy of an answer – I appreciate it 🙂

  318. Timothy,

    A recent look at STD’s per population found that those with higher concentrations of gay people were not the highest rates. Those were found in rural/conservative areas.

    I believe I saw this as well. It was a map, wasn’t it? I also read an article about how syphyllis especially has made a come back in some poor, rural Southern areas. I read that one county in Alabama had an unusually high rate. I don’t know. Could be that the poor don’t seek immediate medical help. Also, women with syphillis often don’t know they have it as the disease doesn’t present the way it does with men. Women often go symptomless for a long time.
    I’d like to say that I don’t see anyone on this blog insinuating that gay men are disease -ridden vermin. Anyone who is sexually active, particulary if he or she has multiple partners and doesn’t practice safe sex, is at high risk for STDs.
    Young sexually active people tend to have higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases regardless of their sexual orientation. That being said, there are some mitigating factors:
    1) Men, gay or straight, tend toward liking a variety of sexual partners if they can get them. Without women (yes, we are the ball and chain, I guess) men tend to stick with their variety -seeking. Gay men have more partners than straight men, even when the straight men are single, although the difference may not be as wide as we might think, and the literature suggests things have tempered since the wild 70s and 80s.
    2. Condoms: I doubt there is a man or woman alive who actually like the things and because of this there persists a subpopulation of people, including straight men and women as well as a certain subpopulation of gays , who won’t use them or won’t use them each and every time they have sex. The result is, of course, pregnancies and STDs.
    Fortunately, straights can avoid pregnancies by using other forms of birth control, but gay men in non-monogamous relationships must use condoms if they are to practice safe sex.
    Pleasure-seeking over common sense among a certain subset of people of both orientations is unfortunately still a problem. The younger the participants, the more of a problem it is.
    3. Anal intercourse offers pathogens an easier route of infection than vaginal intercourse. The rectum is designed to expel, not to receive. The cells lining the rectum are, if I remember my physiology, only a single layer (or at least a very thin, vulnerable one) and that cell lining falls victim to abrasion when it meets with friction.
    4. I think it’s not very helpful in trying to ascertain if the HIV infection rates among gay and straight Americans and Westerners are improving to contrast those rates with where most HIV cases are–Africa. That continent suffers from just about every problem imaginable . It’s been extraordinarily difficult to educate the populace, to get supplies to them, to overcome horrendous and vile political obstacles, etc. The world continues to make valiant attempts. It’s been just as difficult getting African populations to use birth control as it has been in gettting them to use condoms to prevent HIV transmission. We have to keep our fingers crossed that they will use the new treated mosquito nets that will aid in fighting off malaria.
    So, my point is that those in this country or in countries in which education and medical care is available offer a very different set of problems than the millions in Third World countries/continents.
    Those who do not practice safe sex in such countries as ours, for the most part, are those who have chosen to be irresponsible and that includes people of all orientations.
    Yes, the group that has shown the greatest rise in contracting HIV in this country is African-Americans. It was predicted by epidemiologists. The high pregnancy rate among black young people told us they weren’t using condoms. It was just a matter of time. Looking at the pregnancy rates, they can predict the next group as well.
    The risk of contracting STDs still comes down to basically two factors: number of sexual partners and the type of sexual activity engaged in.
    Once an education program has begun, no matter the subject, there will always be people that put short-term gains above long-term gains. It’s a conundrum.
    Here is a link that is from 2008 on STDs and gay men, suggesting that many infections have been going undetected.
    http://mens-sexual-health.suite101.com/article.cfm/gay_mens_stds_often_escape_notice

  319. I mentioned in an earlier post that our conversations tend to derail or escalate when the notion of ‘sin’ is introduced. Timothy’s detailed analysis of the possible reasons for denying privileges such as gay marriage cited religion but it seems it overlooked God. I realize that religion(s) is or are the attempts of people to formalize their relationships to God…and in those attempts many human mistakes are made…but understanding how my six brothers related to or responded to my father isn’t quite the same as understanding my father. Regardless of the difference interpretations that my brothers have of my father, the fact remains that my father did have intents and purposes whether we all fully understood them or not. I view God in the same way. If He is indeed creator…and if He did indeed send his son as a redeemer…there is a purpose implied in creation and at least a failure or two implied in our need for such a costly redemption.
    I’m not sure what this adds to the conversation except that religion is manmade and has its failings. Did we fashion God in our image or did God fashion us in His? Do we believe in a God who represents the overall consensus of the people of any given time or do we believe in a God who existed before we did? Whenever I read of ‘religious polls’, I always wonder how much the actual person of God is represented. I wonder that about my own life as well but I always come back to the notion that, despite my opinions and beliefs, if there is actually an entity called God…and for most of us blogging here…the God who expressed himself through Jesus Christ…this God is not the stuff of opinion polls. He gets a vote that outweighs ours; his opinion outranks ours…regardless of how many of us subscribe to it. I just want to make sure we don’t leave him out of the mix by lumping him in with ‘religion’.

  320. So I disagree with simplifying issues to religious and moral grounds.
    David Blakeslee,
    Ok, this is what I have been trying to say for awhile now and somehow am clumsy at any attempt I’ve made to articulate it. Religion does not always have to be the reason an individual decides to re-evaluate how they are living and if it is working out for them or do they want to pursue other things or stop things they are currently doing. One does not have to be religious to be a good person. Many times people who are genuine and truthful and decent and honest keep their faith and beliefs to themselves unless asked and then they share it with the kind of language and examples that is understandable to the one asking. It is inviting and engaging and allows the listener to want to know more.

  321. You can use secular philosophy to justify OSM in favor of SSM.

    But very few do. And so we return to the original point of Eddy’s comment:

    When someone indicates that they hold to a conservative viewpoint [about homosexuality], don’t we assume that it’s due to a fundamentalist Christian or religious background?

    We assume that because most are. And, as I stated above, it’s largely because the secular arguments are so week that they are not convincing to those outside of a religious setting.
    Let’s look at your examples:

    childbearing, but complementarity of gender differences, monogomy in heterosexual coupling leading to healthier outcomes medically

    childbearing – considering the issues with child rearing in this country, few secular minded people think that gay folk are making even an incremental negative impact. In fact, when secular folk think of gay parents, they tend to think that these are people who went out of their way to have kids rather than accidentally.
    Yeah, “the children, the children” will scare those who don’t know gay people or who are already disinclined towards them but it is an argument based on ignorance. And when they meet gay parents the argument falls apart.
    complementarity of gender differences – I know those who use this think they have a gotcha argument. But no one really gets it. Yeah, something to do with sexes complementing each other or something, but it relies to heavily on gender stereotypes. To a secular person, there aren’t “men’s roles” and “women’s roles” so very much, or at least they assume gay people can negotiate around them. Again, this argument is more convincing to those who already hold conservative social views.
    monogomy in heterosexual coupling leading to healthier outcomes medically – funny, but they lead to the exact same medical outcomes as monogomy in homosexual coupling.
    I’m not saying there are no secular arguments or that such arguments can’t be made. I’m saying that hardly anyone is making them. And not many more are believing them.
    Within a decade, there will be virtually NO secular objection to gay equality. There isn’t much now.
    Quinnipiac University put out a poll of New Yorkers this week. New Yorkers were evenly split (46% each) on whether their state should enact marriage.
    But while those who attend church weekly or more oppose gay marriage by 66 to 26%, those who attend less than weekly support it by 56 to 36%.
    A poll in Iowa following the Supreme Court decision was even more drastic. Looking at the three categories of marriage v. civil unions v. no recognition, they found:
    More than once per week: 7% – 34% – 53%
    No church: 41% – 28% – 21%
    It was only in the category of those who attend church more than once per week that Iowans (a fairly conservative bunch) felt that gay couples should get no recognition.
    Which surely shows us that secular arguments aren’t very convincing and that religious arguments aren’t selling well in the secular world.

  322. Tim, I think you bipassed the CDC numbers that 50% of new HIV is due to MSM.

    Did I?
    Where?

    I appreciate all your careful analysis so far, but Debbie’s next question is a good one: the incidence of HIV in the gay/bi population is 13%; what is it in the heterosexual male population?

    Much lower. Much much lower. As I said.
    VERY ROUGH estimates would be:
    In white Californians 0.4%
    in black Californians 1.1%
    in lebian Californians 0%
    But now the important question: what point are you trying to make?
    It doesn’t seem much like you, but it sounds like you are hinting at the “disease ridden vermin” argument. To which I ask: do you judge a group by 88% or by 12%?
    And if we want to talk about “disease ridden vermin” we need to look at our attitudes about the following:
    – Worldwide 90% of HIV cases are in heterosexuals
    – Worldwide more than 75% are black
    – rates of transmission in gay men have pretty much leveled off and the new face of AIDS in the US is rapidly becoming black women
    Pretty soon the “disease ridden vermin” discussion devolves to the nastiest of racism.

  323. This Thread is getting interesting…
    Tim, I think you bipassed the CDC numbers that 50% of new HIV is due to MSM.
    I appreciate all your careful analysis so far, but Debbie’s next question is a good one: the incidence of HIV in the gay/bi population is 13%; what is it in the heterosexual male population?
    I understand you distilling arguments against homosexuality down to morals or tradition…
    That does seem a little simplified…A Design model can be used not only highlighting childbearing, but complementarity of gender differences, monogomy in heterosexual coupling leading to healthier outcomes medically and so on and so forth.
    So I disagree with simplifying issues to religious and moral grounds.
    You can use secular philosophy to justify OSM in favor of SSM.
    Thanks for your many thoughtful replies Tim

  324. As I stated above, Debbie,

    The “disease ridden vermin” argument doesn’t hold up to inspection. Yes, gay men have a higher rate of HIV infection (perhaps as high as 12% in the US), but folks shy away from that argument for several reasons, not least of which is that African-Americans also have a much higher rate of HIV infection and lesbians have none.

  325. This should read “Thus, somewhere in the neighborhood of 13% of gay or bi men in California are living with HIV/AIDS”.

    How does that compare with the general population?

  326. Thus, somewhere in the neighborhood of 13%.
    This should read “Thus, somewhere in the neighborhood of 13% of gay or bi men in California are living with HIV/AIDS”.

  327. Ann ~ May 15, 2009 at 2:55 pm
    Thanks for the link.
    Debbie Thurman ~ May 15, 2009 at 3:59 pm
    Let me be a bit clearer.
    In the United States, a majority of new HIV infections are due to male-male sexual contact (either with or without injection drug use). However, that doesn’t mean that half of gay men have HIV.
    It is very difficult to come up with an exact percentage of gay persons with HIV. We don’t know, for example, exactly how man gay people there are nor do we know exactly how many Americans have been infected. However, we do have estimates.
    The full math is lengthy, but you can review my estimates and how I got to an upper limit of 12% here. A quicky example follows:
    In California, there are 74,014 gay/bi men living with HIV/AIDS.
    The CDC health survey is probably the best to date for estimating the percentage of the population that identifies as gay/bi. Although only 10% do not identify in that survey as heterosexual, only 4.1% identify as gay/bi. Although the true number is probably somewhere between 4.1% and 10%, we’ll use the smaller number. That yields a total gay male population in California of about 560,000.
    Thus, somewhere in the neighborhood of 13%.
    Of course this doesn’t consider that CA has a higher percentage of gays than, say, Alabama or that not all HIV infected persons are known. But it does give us a ballpark figure. I used national averages on my fuller analysis to get an upper estimate of 12% nationwide.

    And other STDs and diseases are more highly associated with MSM.

    This is often claimed but when one looks closer one finds that much of this “evidence” is based on irrational extrapolations. And it just doesn’t seem to be true. A recent look at STD’s per population found that those with higher concentrations of gay people were not the highest rates. Those were found in rural/conservative areas.
    If we were to base civil law on STD transmission then we would need to start denying rights to southerners.

  328. Yes, gay men have a higher rate of HIV infection (perhaps as high as 12% in the US), but folks shy away from that argument for several reasons, not least of which is that African-Americans also have a much higher rate of HIV infection and lesbians have none.

    The CDC has posted numbers vastly different from what you state here (50-70% of new HIV cases are MSM, they have said), but we have to be sure we’re comparing apples and apples. I’m not sure what your 12% means. I also have seen statements from the medical community claiming women have a natural, partial immunity to HIV, which would account for the lesbian non-cases, if true. Isn’t it also true that the mechanics of unprotected gay male intercourse provide a perfect tissue breakdown/incubation environment for HIV transmission? And other STDs and diseases are more highly associated with MSM.

    Honest religious anti-gays are really having a hard time of coming up with secular-based objections to gay rights.

    The anthropological arguments, such as those put forward by David Blankenhorn — and those go to the best interests of children — are secular. Look at what he has to say.
    Perhaps these points qualify for a legitimate debate.

  329. Timothy said:

    If religious conservatives seek to present the secular argument of protecting traditional social structure, they can’t justify and defend the presentation of a topless fake-breasted beauty queen as a person of character, morals, and values.

    …and I think that’s probably the best ‘capturing of the essence’ that I’ve read in a long time. My only complaint is that it’s too long to be displayed on a T-shirt or bumper sticker.

  330. FYI,
    Those thinking Elton John opposes marriage misunderstand his point. In the UK, civil unions are equal to marriage. They have all the same rights, priveleges, and responsibilities as marriage on both a national and a local level.
    Elton John does not oppose the granting all all marriage rights, he just feels that in the UK that ‘equal by another name’ is good enough. Some gay people in the US would agree… provided, of course, that such equality could be achieved.
    For those here who favor FULL EQUALITY by another name, you are entitled to quote Elton John as being on your side. But those who oppose civil unions are being dishonest, deceptive, and duplicitious by such a claim.

  331. Eddy,

    Justifying that point of view by pointing to Maggie Gallagher would support my branding all gay bloggers as ‘flamers’ based on Mr. Hilton. Such an assumption or generalization on my part would be an offense against you. Please consider how you offend those of us who are conservative but are very very different in philosophy and outlook than Maggie when you paint all conservatives (or all religious conservatives) with that brush.

    I had no intention to offend. But I do think the comparison is extreme. No one thinks Hilton is a representative of anyone but himself. However, unless I’m mistaken, the current “voice” for opposition to gay marriage is NOM. Is it not?
    And my point has nothing to do with Maggie or her views. I don’t think you are comparable to her, nor was my comment about you.
    Rather, I was agreeing with you that homosexuality is usually discussed in the context of religion and explaining that this is probably because no one else is campaigning against it.
    Just where are those principled oppositions to gay rights that are not based on religious objection? I don’t think they are very dominant for one reason: currently the only logical objection to homosexuality (that I can think of) is a moral objection.
    The other arguments tend to run to a) homosexuality is a mental illness, b) homosexuals are depraved, c) homosexuality is physically unhealthy, d) homosexuality is bad for society, or e) tradition.
    Most non-religious folk now agree that homosexuality does not fit the definition of a mental illness. And the appeal to “depravity” is really an appeal to moral disapproval (or perhaps to bigotry).
    So the only non-religious arguments are about physical heath and societal impact.
    The “disease ridden vermin” argument doesn’t hold up to inspection. Yes, gay men have a higher rate of HIV infection (perhaps as high as 12% in the US), but folks shy away from that argument for several reasons, not least of which is that African-Americans also have a much higher rate of HIV infection and lesbians have none. And the other claims about early death and such are false and most non-religious folk find them laughable.
    So secular anti-gay arguments are pretty much limited to “negative impact on society”. And it’s not easy coming up with such arguments.
    There is birth rate, but with gay people comprising such a small percentage that one isn’t very convincing.
    And there is the best interest of children, but studies don’t seem to support that claim. And the activist is left arguing either from distortion or deliberate lie. And besides everyone knows children raised in hetero single parent families and most people are not going to think it either fair or reasonable to rail against gay parents and not against single hetero parents.
    So the negative impact arguement is pretty much left with bad influences, which just brings us back to moral disapproval and religion.
    One of the problems that religious anti-gay efforts have had is in breaking the “because my church says so” barrier. Those who are unethical will lie through their teeth and appeal to lies and bigotry about disease and threat to children etc.
    Honest religious anti-gays are really having a hard time of coming up with secular-based objections to gay rights. The only one that I can think of which is legitimate (though probably untrue) is “tradition”: that the acceptance of gay people and gay rights is an erosion of traditional social structure and as such furthers in the collective conscience that social mores have no value which could lead to societal collapse.
    That is probably a legitimate debate in which to engage. But it cannot be done in a cherry-picking, inconsistent, ‘its ok for me but not for you’ manner.
    And this brings us back to the point of this thread. If religious conservatives seek to present the secular argument of protecting traditional social structure, they can’t justify and defend the presentation of a topless fake-breasted beauty queen as a person of character, morals, and values.

  332. @ Eddy,
    not lumping you with anyone.
    Drawing attention to a strategy on both sides to devalue your opponent based on nitpicking.
    Your argument about seeing all conservatives through the window of a specific public advocate (whether Rosie O’donell or Maggie Gallagher) is well made.

  333. There are prominent gays who are opposed to messing with the status quo on marriage, too. Paul Nathanson of Toronto’s McGill University, for example. And Andrew Sullivan has come out against the Hate Crimes bill, another hot-button issue.

    Debbie Thurman,
    You can add Elton John as well regarding marriage.

  334. Maggie Gallagher and David Blankenhorn.

    For those interested in Blankenhorn’s (he’s a liberal Democrat) position on gay marriage, you can read this LA Times article: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-blankenhorn19-2008sep19,0,2093869.story“>:
    There are prominent gays who are opposed to messing with the status quo on marriage, too. Paul Nathanson of Toronto’s McGill University, for example. And Andrew Sullivan has come out against the Hate Crimes bill, another hot-button issue.

  335. David–
    I’m afaid you’re missing the point on this one…whoever Maggie is and whatever Maggie believes in or stands for…I am not her; Ann is not her. We find it extremely tiresome and counter-productive to be lumped in with someone just because they also bear the label ‘conservative Christian’. We find it offensive when people read more into our words that what we’ve actually said…we are, each of us, unique and hope to be regarded as such. That was the point I was trying to emphasize when Jayhuck asked for the differences between Maggie and myself.
    Maggie is political whereas I am not. Let Maggie answer to and for her political viewpoints; don’t ask me to answer for her. Just as I don’t expect them to answer for every gay activist or to distance themselves from the likes of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. They all share the label ‘gay’ but I would do a disservice to the individuality of the bloggers here if I were to constantly throw the actions or comments of those who are more extreme in their faces. My only real point is that I expect the same respect in return.

  336. Maggie Gallagher and David Blankenhorn.
    It is a bigger tent than you think, bright people, well qualified to discuss the topic of marriage and culture.
    Nit pick all you want.

  337. Please consider how you offend those of us who are conservative but are very very different in philosophy and outlook than Maggie when you paint all conservatives (or all religious conservatives) with that brush.

    Eddy,
    Again, I appreciate you addressing this – it is exactly what I was referring to.

  338. Jayhuck–
    I also don’t mean to be rude but I feel that your question is way off the wall. Nonetheless, I will extend you the courtesy of an answer.
    You were present in another recent thread where I revealed that I didn’t know about the woman or her cause so asking me to list all of my specific differences strikes me as bizarre. However, some of the major differences ought to be apparent from the comments I’ve already made in this thread and on the Carrie Prejean topics. I don’t get involved in politics; I count a number of gay people as my closest friends; I don’t believe in legislating morality; I don’t believe in rallying and campaigns; I feel that Carrie Prejean is not qualified to be speaking on behalf of Christian campaigns; I daresay I have a dash more compassion and understanding for those who have opinions that differ from mine; I do not subscribe to a ‘it’s my way or the highway’ mentality; I don’t think that Christians or conservative Christians are always right. I honestly don’t know where Maggie stands specifically on all of the above but from what I gather from you and Timothy, we differ dramatically.

  339. Eddy,
    Please, PLEASE don’t interpret this as an attack. You say you are different from the likes of Maggie Gallagher – I would, personally, like to know in what ways you are different?

  340. Timothy–
    Justifying that point of view by pointing to Maggie Gallagher would support my branding all gay bloggers as ‘flamers’ based on Mr. Hilton. Such an assumption or generalization on my part would be an offense against you. Please consider how you offend those of us who are conservative but are very very different in philosophy and outlook than Maggie when you paint all conservatives (or all religious conservatives) with that brush.
    Ann–
    LOL. I still remember when you first started blogging and would ask direct questions (akin to the type you asked me earlier today) in hopes of understanding a point of view…and you’d be railed against for attitudes that people presumed were behind your questions.

  341. It’s the conservative religious viewpoint that gets noticed (and usually rebuffed) whenever it appears.

    Eddy,
    Just also wanted to mention how much I appreciate that you did not single out Christianity as the only religion that can be conservative. Conservative religious viewpoint includes many others and that is very cool – thank you.
    When a discussion includes a different perspective regarding various aspects of same gender attractions/sex, and religion is not included in that discussion to support the belief, I have found that many times, if not almost always, the post and who wrote it is attacked with assumptions about them rather than the actual post as if it were the knee jerk answer.

  342. When someone indicates that they hold to a conservative viewpoint, don’t we assume that it’s due to a fundamentalist Christian or religious background?

    Yeah, we generally make that assumption. But it’s not exactly unfounded. Maggie Gallagher keeps saying that she invites the non-religious to become part of her anti-gay-marriage campaign… but so far no one seem interested.

  343. Ann–I have many gay friends and we certainly can and do discuss issues surrounding gay attractions without bringing religion into the conversation…so it is definitely possible. However, this is a website sponsored by a Christian psychologist and remains open to the prospect that some who are homosexually inclined can and do choose not to live in accordance with those feelings. To attempt to discuss their journeys or what they’ve learned without discussing the religious belief and empowering that many of them are motivated by just isn’t practical.
    Even when the topic of religion isn’t brought up, it is there nonetheless. How many railings have we heard against the conservative Christians? When someone indicates that they hold to a conservative viewpoint, don’t we assume that it’s due to a fundamentalist Christian or religious background? Don’t those who support the notion that homosexuality is perfectly normal and healthy tout the stamp of approval they’ve received from various Christian denominations? In the appeal for the right to gay marriage, don’t they point to the growing tolerance for divorce in mainstream denomination? Religion actually saturates most of our conversations…it seems it’s when the S-word (sin) is brought up that things get ugly.
    I’m not trying to pick on the other side…I’m simply pointing out that they express their religious viewpoint quite often…yet somehow we don’t take notice. It’s the conservative religious viewpoint that gets noticed (and usually rebuffed) whenever it appears.

  344. Eddy,
    I appreciate the clarification – thanks – no need to apologize to me, you know that 🙂
    Do you or others think it would make a difference, or if it is even possible, to discuss same gender attractions and/or sex without including religion? Perhaps my question will clarify the one I posed to you earlier on this thread.

  345. When I use the term homosexuality I refer to ‘having ongoing sexual attractions towards the same gender’. It is always troublesome to mix that definition with a Bible notion since the Bible does not speak to ‘the condition of having ongoing sexual attractions towards the same gender’…The Bible speaks primarily to temptations and whether we entertain them and/or give in to them. The term ‘homosexuality’ is actually a relatively new construct…introduced sometime in the last century. Since the notion of a ‘condition’ doesn’t really have a Biblical parallel, a number of Christians add the suffix ‘ful’ to ‘sin’ to accommodate the notion of a ‘condition’ that is an aspect of the fallen nature but is not ‘sin’ per se.
    I don’t mean at all to compare the two but there is a similarity to the use of the word ‘alcoholic’. A person might identify as an alcoholic even though they are no longer imbibing. That one has always confused me. And I can see where my use of the word ‘sinful’ has confused you. My apologies. It is a ‘landmine’ I usually try to avoid and I stepped right into it this time.

  346. I tend to use the word ’sinful’ instead of ’sin’ when I’m referring to something that is a part of our ‘fallen nature’. Like anyone else, I can have sinful thoughts or desires but I’m not guilty of sin until I yield to those thoughts.

    I presume you are drawing a distinction between being tempted and yielding to temptation in either one’s mind (heart) or body, per Matt. 5:28. One can choose to resist a devilish thought and not yield to sin, but some may not understand there is also wrongful/sinful thinking. If not, we could not have “hate crimes.”

  347. Eddy,
    I guess I just don’t understand, or more likely, don’t want to understand all the terms that people use that they think everyone else should understand. When you use the word homosexuality do you mean desires/attractions or same gender sex?

  348. Ann–
    I tend to use the word ‘sinful’ instead of ‘sin’ when I’m referring to something that is a part of our ‘fallen nature’. Like anyone else, I can have sinful thoughts or desires but I’m not guilty of sin until I yield to those thoughts.
    I believe that all of humankind is ‘sinful’ by nature: greed, selfishness and pride likely leading the list of vulnerabilities.
    Re your second post: LOL. Do you mean Republicans? (Sorry about that!) But, in all seriousness, I’ve long been troubled by those who don’t seem to have any real relationship with Christ but line up with ‘the conservative agenda’ because of other often selfish or self-centered reasons. When I was involved in ministry, I discouraged others from getting themselves entwined or mixed up with such folks. I was convinced it would muddle their Christian message…and, history has shown, that it has.

  349. LOL. I’m not about cleavers at all. I don’t approve of the notion of making America ‘a Christian nation’…there are simply too many others with just as much right to their beliefs as I have to mine. I also don’t believe in the notion of legislating morality. Apart from Christ, all of our righteousness is ‘as filthy rags’ and counts for nothing. So you can legislate someone into a Bible-based morality (lol…if you can determine what that is) but to what end? So, I think that Timothy’s viewpoint and mine are far closer than most would imagine. I do, however, feel that I have both a right and a duty to challenge and exhort those who have a relationship with God through Christ to pursue and live a more godly life. I don’t have much to say re marriage and family because I don’t have much practical experience of applying Christian principles in those areas; with regards to homosexuality, I have much practical experience of such applications and even of the failure to apply. I don’t believe in saying ‘it’s my way or the highway’ but I do believe in trying to present ‘my way’ in conversations and blog comments for others to consider and evaluate. I don’t want the POV of folks who disagree me silenced or suppressed; I also don’t want the voice of those who hold to the conservative view silenced or suppressed either. I think the record will show that I tend to speak to intolerance from either side when it rears its ugly head.

  350. Eddy,
    What about the individuals who rarely, if ever, make references to Christianity as a moral code regarding any aspect of homosexuality and yet they are enmeshed with those who cite it all the time as the only moral code to live by?

  351. Then things start to go radical with a serious split between those who believe that that God deems homosexuality to be sinful and those who believe that God doesn’t.

    Eddy,
    Forgive me for being tedious – are you referring to same gender attractions or same gender sex when you cite “homosexuality”? I do not consider attractions sinful and can only set boundaries for myself in regards to sexual ethics. It is not for me to set boundaries for anyone else.

  352. Eddy,
    As to “what this God is saying re homosexuality”, this is tricky.
    Let me use the analogy of cooks looking for a receipe for potato soup.
    One turns to the cook book and reads the section on herbs and sees that potatoes go well with leeks. The other turns directly to the soup section and looks for Potato Soup.
    The first cook may say, great lets add leeks. The second may argue that this is in direct opposition to the clearly written out instructions that are very detailed and do NOT include leeks.
    For the rest of their lives they can argue over whether a) the receipe was intended to be set in stone by the author or whether it was a guide, b) whether the cookbook was release in a country that didn’t grow leeks, c) whether the “definition” of potato soup would be changed by adding leeks, d) whether it even matters if the soup tastes better or is more nutritional with leeks.
    Or they can say, “you make it with leeks and I’ll make it without” and lets put down the cleavers.

  353. Eddy,
    I kinda almost agree with you. Here’s where I differ:

    Then things start to go radical with a serious split between those who believe that that God deems homosexuality to be sinful and those who believe that God doesn’t.

    I don’t think the split is over the sinfulness of homosexuality. I think the split is over the understanding of what Christianity means in the world today. I’m going to use shorthand here, but basically I see two thinkings, based on the direction of seeing and doing:
    One thinking is that when we look for sin, for error, for correction, for rebellion, for erring from God’s direction we look to ourselves. And only to ourselves. We don’t bother ourselves with the sins of others or try to force, coerce or even nudge them into compliance with our understanding of God’s will.
    Our interaction with others is based solely on doing. We treat people the way we want. We look to their physical needs and care for the hungry, sick, alone. We care for their bodies because it is the right thing to do, without thought as to what either we or the kingdom of God can benefit from our charity.
    The other thinking is reversed. We look to make the world around us a more holy place. We fight the sin in society, the errors in the neighborhood, the immorality on television, media, our neighbor’s bedroom. We seek to make a holy country, a Christian nation, a society that reflects our understanding of God’s will – even if it means forcing others to live Godly who don’t agree about what that means. We admit we are allllllll sinners, but the sin in others is so much more present and vile than ours and they are not repentant so we need to fight them.
    When it comes to doing, we believe in results-based interaction. We feed the hungry and clothe the poor because it is a great opportunity to witness for Christ. And if they don’t want to change their lives and live holy, well we don’t have much patience for that.
    We make sure that others aren’t doing to us anything we don’t like long before we worry about what they want because, after all, we are holy people and deserve God’s blessing. Our standard of holiness justifies treating anyone any way that we think is appropriate because God doesn’t reward sin. We punish the sin in others’ lives without much regard to the “sinner” other than to love him and pray he’ll do what we want. And it’s all right and proper because we love the sinner with TRUTH in LOVE and it is a hard truth and a tough love.
    Now obviously few people fall completely within either camp. But I think that these two differences are to some extent dominant within each of us and directs our responses to things.
    Or so I think.

  354. Ah–the diversity of this website. I certainly don’t have exact numbers but it would seem that 98% of those who blog here profess a belief in God and Christ as Savior. Then things start to go radical with a serious split between those who believe that that God deems homosexuality to be sinful and those who believe that God doesn’t. Even I tend to forget that there are still others who adhere to that somewhat nebulous ‘higher power’ sense of god or gods. LOL. It’s a wonder that our conversations don’t disrail more often than they do.
    I agree wholeheartedly in what LynnDavid has suggested:

    Well, they should know what their god is saying about like anyone else.

    But the play out is tricky indeed. Those of us who believe in the God who sent Jesus to Earth as redeemer should continue to endeavor to discover what it is he has (or wants to) redeem us from and what things he’d rather not concern himself with. (Sorry, I have a few problems with ‘prayers for victory’ preceding athletic events among other things.)
    As to the issue of homosexuality, those of us who blog here regularly cannot escape the fact that there are others committed to that same Jesus, that same redeeemer–yet there seems to be uncertainty about what this god is really saying about homosexuality. Nonetheless, LynnDavid makes an excellent point…we cannot continue to pretend that it doesn’t matter…we ‘should know what (our) god is saying…’ about the issue. Those of us who believe in the God who sent Jesus as redeemer don’t believe in some ‘god-sense’ that the people put together to express their collective moral beliefs; we believe in an actual supreme entity who actually sent a redeemer. Sounds like this God actually has a few opinions, strongly felt ones, about what’s right and wrong, about the intended design and purpose of HUMANity. And while we might not know what this God is saying re homosexuality, it has always perplexed me that we won’t even engage in honest and complete discussion about what God has to say on the matter. We continue to dodge that issue completely.
    I realize that my somewhat lengthy comment has been off the topic but I hope you’ll forgive me. It’s a tangent provoked by LynnDavid’s comment.

  355. Debbie Thurman… There are prominent gay Christians who say it is a gift (Mel White, for instance). I don’t see how your being gay should hurt anyone’s feelings, Lynn. But putting God’s stamp of approval on homosexuality could mislead or hurt others who are vulnerable and are seeking the truth.

    Well, they should know what their god is saying about like anyone else. But I neither seek any god’s stamp of approval, nor consider that any god denies one to any person.

  356. The point that divides us the most is embodied in both Timothy and me.
    I went one way, he went another. Instead of “kicking against the goads,” I believe God means for us to be directed by them.

    Wow. Just wow.

  357. Debbie,
    You have been chastized better than I could by others whom you can hear so I won’t pile on. It’s a pity you didn’t see need to apologize to those you demonized nor to commit to avoid using terms of bigotry and hatred in the future, but I suppose that’s too much to ask.
    For the record, I’ve never thought of you as “flouting your healing”. I feel many things about the testimony that you express, but envy is certainly not part of the picture. Mostly, Debbie, I pity you.
    So much hostility. So much need to believe ill of others. So much need to feel more valid than others.
    It’s very sad.

  358. You had me dead to rights, Eddy. If I can’t graciously accept correction, I might as well pack it in. I operate under the dual nature (Romans 7) princiciple. My prayer is that God will use me, imperfect as I am, to build His kingdom.
    Yes, Miss Prejean’s hypocrisy is still showing. She’s young, so God has lots of time to work in her life, provided she stays around.

  359. Debbie–
    The tone of your recent lengthy post (much of it in response to mine) was much appreciated. I wrote what I did with some trepidation and am glad that you were able to receive it in the spirit that you did.
    I caught Carrie and Donald Trump talking to Matt Lauer this morning. Timothy was right…there are photos of her that are more revealing than the ‘pink panties’ photos. And Warren is also right…she still isn’t owning responsibility for her overexposure. This time she placed blame on the cameraman and hedged that they could possibly even be taking pictures of her in her dressing room…but the pictures that cross the ‘conservative Christian spokesperson’ line were clearly not from the dressing room. The cameraman may have taken pictures she didn’t want taken but she needs to own that she exposed the ‘naughty bits’ that the cameraman captured on film. She’s still not doing that and will most likely still receive deserved flak for hypocrisy.
    An interesting note: The Donald defended her retaining the Miss California title saying that this is the 21st Century and that we need to realize that standards have changed. LOL. I kept thinking “The Donald is not God and God is not the Donald.” Donald adapts his moral standards to the prevailing whims of society; God doesn’t.

  360. Well… I’d have to say that being gay isn’t a gift at all, it just is. So then I don’t see then what your problem should be. I’m gay… and that hurts someone’s feelings? That’s their psychological problem not mine.

    There are prominent gay Christians who say it is a gift (Mel White, for instance). I don’t see how your being gay should hurt anyone’s feelings, Lynn. But putting God’s stamp of approval on homosexuality could mislead or hurt others who are vulnerable and are seeking the truth.

  361. Debbie Thurman…. Some here won’t like this, but I do have to stand by my assessment of much of the activist mentality of those pushing for gay marriage as anti-authoritarian. Their feelings are understandable, but that doesn’t make them right. Consider also the feelings of those people who do not believe it is in the best interests of their children to be taught that gay is a gift from God. Whose feelings are more valid?

    Well… I’d have to say that being gay isn’t a gift at all, it just is. So then I don’t see then what your problem should be. I’m gay… and that hurts someone’s feelings? That’s their psychological problem not mine.

  362. There is some criticism here that I need to own. So I will. Eddy is right in that my original statements were not nuanced enough. I did add to them later, but the perceived damage from the original galloped on ahead. I prefer pithy to windy, but more was needed in this case.
    Warren, Andrew Marin probably would not be participating in this conversation in the first place. He would be holding one of his Bible studies or having lunch with a group of folks in the gayborhood. He’d be doing church. He’s called to do what he does, and he does it well. I still want to hear what you have to say about his book, by the way.
    I know I’ve been a hardhead most of my life. God has had to do some dramatic things to get my attention. Being a part of this little blog community is an education for me — sometimes in the school of hard knocks. I am not afraid of risking messing it up now and then. God is teaching me through it all. Mastering 1 Cor. 13 has been one of my life goals. It’s a tough one. Shedding old heartaches and prejudices takes time, but God is faithful and I am determined.
    The past few years have been the most intriguing and adventurous of my life. I stepped out of the boat, with faith, but also with fear and trembling. To follow Christ and study his Word is a grand adventure. Previously, I had stayed closer to the calm, more shallow waters, but God flung me out into the churning rapids, amidst the rocks.
    When I made up my mind I was going to test the waters of a lesbian life years ago, God let me go and do it. He knew this rebellious hardhead would only have it one way. To me, the aroma was sweet and irresistible. I saw the fruit, I tasted it and I liked it. In no time, I was utterly consumed by this forbidden passion. Such is the Sirens’ song. What I had imagined for so long was now in my grasp. I will always believe that God lovingly intervened to stop me as I was well on my way to the point of no return. Through circumstances and people and an inner gnawing at my soul, He drew me back.
    Eventually, a call to help others avoid or find their way back from the wasteland surfaced in my heart. I came to find that there are quite a few others like me. I knew I would never fully understand the complexities of same-sex attraction that we debate ad nauseum, but I knew I could help those who were seeking something else.
    God’s Word does not return to us void. Every time we speak it, we give the Spirit the opportunity to carry it to a heart that has been prepared to hear it. That can happen even in a forum such as this. But Eddy is right in that I forgot about the necessity of exegeting the audience and I was too esoteric and too hard-edged. And it did cause a communication breakdown. For that I stand properly rebuked.

    ‘love’ would see the walls and look for ways to tear them down; ‘love’ would see the defensiveness and work to build a relationship of trust before administering those harsher truths; ‘love’ would endeavor to bear the hostility with grace and patience.

    Well said, Eddy. When we are not removing bricks from the barrier, we are likely adding them. When we are not removing the logs from our own eyes, we are probably trying to remove a speck from someone else’s. As for this statement of yours,

    it is a slap in the face to those who are gay activists but are also sincere in their faith and belief in Christ. You’ve accused them of being motivated by ‘anti-authoritanism’ when they see their motivation as a sincere drive to counter the excessiveness of extreme conservative Christianity.

    my response is I wonder why we (that’s believers) can’t all be just Christian activists, examining the living and “active” Word, applying it to our lives, and sending it out again. Anyone who is prepared to hear the truth will hear it. The point that divides us the most is embodied in both Timothy and me. I went one way, he went another. Instead of “kicking against the goads,” I believe God means for us to be directed by them. In his view, I am smug and self-righteous and perhaps viewed as flouting my healing. To me, he is not accepting something God meant to use to grow him in his faith.
    There are bridges we can build, and we ought to be building them. The ultimate bridge can only be built by Jesus Christ, however.
    Some here won’t like this, but I do have to stand by my assessment of much of the activist mentality of those pushing for gay marriage as anti-authoritarian. Their feelings are understandable, but that doesn’t make them right. Consider also the feelings of those people who do not believe it is in the best interests of their children to be taught that gay is a gift from God. Whose feelings are more valid?
    I believe in the value of continuing the conversation to seek common ground, Ultimately, I believe in the power of Christ and his Word.

  363. Soooo….. Debbie. Where do I stand in your world of judging people? I am ex gay and support gay marriage. I am a born again christian and have gay friends. Personally, I don’t think it is that easy to classify people and lump them into one either/or category. And I do know that if I demand my way all the time, I will never reach out to those with differing opinions and experiences.

  364. Warren–
    Is that Cheech Marin?
    Debbie–
    Please allow me to provide a few clues as to why your love is being interpreted as hatred.
    You said:

    The most pertinent example, and one getting us back to the original topic, is the “outrageous and public manner” in which gay activists flout God’s code of conduct in their pursuit of a same-sex marriage entitlement.

    I think ‘love’ would have qualified that statement with ‘some gay activists flout God’s code of conduct….’ and wouldn’t have gone with the super-charged ‘outrageous and public manner’ lead in.

    I draw a distinction between a gay marriage activist and an SSA person who struggles with which way to go.

    I think ‘love’ would have recognized that some who blog here are gay marriage activists because, while they are sincere and devoted Christians, don’t ascribe to our view that all homosexuality is sinful. You only had two options: the evil and selfish activists or the sincere strugglers. Perhaps without meaning to, you branded some bloggers as evil, selfish and anti-authoritian by your ‘either/or’ statement.

    That’s what Romans 1 is all about. It applies to every person, regardless of orientation.

    This reference is troubling…another generalization on your part. I’m sure you’re referring to the ‘meat and potatoes’ part in the second half of Romans 1 where it gets into the ‘nitty gritty’ stuff. Because it simply isn’t true that the first part applies to every person…it is a letter written to believers, to ‘the brethren’. If you really are attempting to communicate rather than bash, please ‘rightly divide the word of truth’. It’s interesting to note that in this letter to fellow believers…at the beginning of Chapter 2, immediately following that ‘nitty gritty’ portion, Paul goes on to speak to the brethren saying: Therefore, thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. (My apologies for the KJV, in my move, I purged ALL excess and my KJV was the most marked up of my various translations.)

    What angers me is his smug, selfish view that he is somehow entitled to break the rules and is being harmed by the school’s discipline for that. In that, I find a comparison to gay activism. It all is a form of anti-authoritarianism, ultimately directed at God.

    Herein is another generalization…that ALL gay activism is a form of ‘anti-authoritarianism, ultimately directed at God.’ Such rhetoric might be an acceptable generalization in a church meeting where everybody present agrees with and accepts your point of view but, in a forum such as this, it is a slap in the face to those who are gay activists but are also sincere in their faith and belief in Christ. You’ve accused them of being motivated by ‘anti-authoritanism’ when they see their motivation as a sincere drive to counter the excessiveness of extreme conservative Christianity.
    Sure, you see it your way…much as I see it my way. But when you consider that you perceive yourself as a ‘loving conservative Christian’ and yet, you’ve administered the truth in a way perceived as hateful…consider the damage done by conservatives who are less loving than you…consider the walls, the defensiveness and the hostility that has been built over the years. It simply isn’t enough to say, “I’m right and the Bible backs me up”, ‘love’ would see the walls and look for ways to tear them down; ‘love’ would see the defensiveness and work to build a relationship of trust before administering those harsher truths; ‘love’ would endeavor to bear the hostility with grace and patience.

    “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.”

    You directed that statement at Timothy. I must confess that I don’t know whether the two of you have had contact apart from this blog but that statement struck me as smug and self-righteous. Anyone who knows Timothy should know that flipping a bible verse at him out of context would be offensive. It simply comes too close to the nature of the church he was raised in and the exposure to conservative Christians he’s had since then. So, while the statement might be Biblically correct, it presumes that the two of you are ‘friends’ (which I strongly doubt) and it pretends to communicate when, in likelihood, it alienates.
    LOL. You don’t know me well either. I’m extremely analytical–sometimes to a fault. Communication breakdowns intrigue me and I could see here where your communications broke down to the point where you assumed it was simply Timothy’s blindness that was to blame. There may be some blindness impacting the communication but , from where I’m sitting, it’s certainly not one-sided.

  365. p.s. – forgot to add emotional maturity to emotional intelligence and emotional discipline 🙂

  366. I’m sure you believe you’re speaking the truth as you see it, but there’s no need to be abrasive – you sure aren’t going to win anyone to your side speaking like that.
    Jayhuck,
    There is never a need to be abrasive – for any of us. It never wins anyone to understanding a different perspective. Emotional intelligence coupled with emotional discipline can advance a good discussion to a good understanding, even if there is never an agreement.

  367. I find a comparison to gay activism. It all is a form of anti-authoritarianism, ultimately directed at God.

    Debbie,
    Please tell me you were kidding with that statement!!! Some gay people may be like this but so are some straight people, and as you said, some Christians and many others fall into that mix.
    Just because you are offensive does NOT, at all, mean you are speaking the Truth. I’m sure you believe you’re speaking the truth as you see it, but there’s no need to be abrasive – you sure aren’t going to win anyone to your side speaking like that.
    What you seem to be unwilling to accept is that others, and this includes a HOST of straight people, Christians mind you, view the Bible differently than you do. So its you’re way or the highway right? And the best way to make sure of that is to say that your way is God’s way! Its one thing to believe that you are right, its another to state that all others are wrong in the manner that you have.

    Oh, and you can tell me all day long how you “love” people, especially those who “struggle”. And you may well love just everyone on the planet. But you know what? That doesn’t make your words any less false, bigoted or full of hatred.

    Thanks Tim – and actually I extend a thank you to Eddy as well!!!

  368. I say one thing; you hear another. Your anger blinds you sometimes.
    Debbie,
    Very insightful – be encouraged.

  369. You believe it to be “hard truth” to say that “gay marriage activists” are smug, selfish, outrageous, anti-authoritarian, anti-God, childish, bullying, and in pursuit of “entitlement”

    Some are. I call that easy truth. So are some Christians.
    I say one thing; you hear another. Your anger blinds you sometimes. How else could you say I am “full of hatred”?
    “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.”

  370. Then again one could just as easily pass off such ideas as nothing but nonsensical superstition.

  371. Debbie,
    You believe it to be “hard truth” to say that “gay marriage activists” are smug, selfish, outrageous, anti-authoritarian, anti-God, childish, bullying, and in persuit of “entitlement”.
    I believe it to be “hard truth” to tell you that your words are false, bigoted and full of hatred.
    Oh, and you can tell me all day long how you “love” people, especially those who “struggle”. And you may well love just everyone on the planet. But you know what? That doesn’t make your words any less false, bigoted or full of hatred.

  372. This kind of rhetoric is exactly why “gay activists” who are so very busy “flouting God’s code of conduct” look at conservative Christianity and see nothing but bitterness, hatred, and contempt coming their way. Gay persons are glibly dismissed as smug, selfish, outrageous, anti-authoritarian, anti-God, childish, bullying, and in persuit of “entitlement”.
    If this is what Christianity means, they want nothing to do with it.

    Timothy, you can’t have all warm and fuzzies and no truth. That also goes for those within the body of Christ. Just how do you propose a Christian speak the hard truth? You have a litmus test for every word that comes out of our mouths. If we believe the Word of God, we must accept that He disciplines those He loves. He allows rebellion only to go so far. That’s what Romans 1 is all about. It applies to every person, regardless of orientation.
    I’m not sure precisely what “this” refers to in your last sentence. But I assure you, not all censure is hate speech. In fact, some of it is love speech.
    And if you haven’t yet figured out what I stand for, you might try reading my May 1 blog post, “Being Christ to the Gay Community” or my May 6 entry, “The Ministry of Reconciliation.”
    I draw a distinction between a gay marriage activist and an SSA person who struggles with which way to go. But I have no problem loving both as Christ would. Judgmental Christians need to get off their high horses and gays need to learn to get past the barking dog at the church door. When they do, they will find there are some loving people inside.

  373. This young man’s case is simply the microcosm of what we see taking place on a grander scale. The most pertinent example, and one getting us back to the original topic, is the “outrageous and public manner” in which gay activists flout God’s code of conduct in their pursuit of a same-sex marriage entitlement.
    What angers me is his smug, selfish view that he is somehow entitled to break the rules and is being harmed by the school’s discipline for that. In that, I find a comparison to gay activism. It all is a form of anti-authoritarianism, ultimately directed at God.

    This kind of rhetoric is exactly why “gay activists” who are so very busy “flouting God’s code of conduct” look at conservative Christianity and see nothing but bitterness, hatred, and contempt coming their way. Gay persons are glibly dismissed as smug, selfish, outrageous, anti-authoritarian, anti-God, childish, bullying, and in persuit of “entitlement”.
    If this is what Christianity means, they want nothing to do with it.

  374. Debbie–
    I do understand where you are coming from. However, I felt that your phrase:

    the “outrageous and public manner” in which gay activists flout God’s code of conduct in their pursuit of a same-sex marriage entitlement.

    immediately following my post could have the effect of altering the more global sense that I was trying to convey. I get in enough hot water here on my own! I wanted to focus on a point of view where we could all share a consensus rather than focus on our great divide.

  375. What I was saying seems to have flown over your heads, folks.
    Warren said:

    First, this case cannot be generalized as signifying any kind of local trend (except for the more global teaching of Christianity that we are all fallen) since it is only one case. Putting it off to gay activism cannot work either since this person has also engaged in straight porn as well. And, from what I am reading, the gay activist world has not jumped to his defense.

    Not one thing you said there correlates to what I said.
    I said this kid may be a “bad egg,” but I was most definitely referring to a broad trend of personal entitlement, not to how his sins relate to the sin of gay sex. I am not “putting it off to gay activism” but merely showing how the student’s crying of foul and his childish insistence on having his way relate to to the lack of tolerance for Carrie Prejean’s Christian view of marriage and the gay community seeing her statement as a personal attack on them … and, to their bullying tactics.
    I don’t care a whit whether this young man’s indiscretions were gay or straight. That’s beside the point. What angers me is his smug, selfish view that he is somehow entitled to break the rules and is being harmed by the school’s discipline for that. In that, I find a comparison to gay activism. It all is a form of anti-authoritarianism, ultimately directed at God. That’s not to say that gays don’t have some valid complaints. But to tell God He wrote the rules wrong eventually filters down to a self-centered view of all authority.
    As to Eddy’s observation …

    4) All people (gay or otherwise) feeling threatened, victimized or otherwise oppressed by the conservative church or its values seem to delight (and rightly so) in the exposure of someone else’s hypocrisy.
    Perhaps these might seem like minor points but my previous comment did not mention gays or a gay agenda at all and I felt that Debbie’s comment altered the more global observation I was trying to make.

    To his first point, I stand in agreement. To his “global observation,” I simply added an analogy that points out hypocrisy runs both ways.
    I, too, believe Miss Prejean will have to give a better accounting of her prior conduct. Having heard what she had to say on the two-part FOTF broadcast, I credit her with a lot of composure and I believe her faith is sincere. And if it is, her contrition ought to be equally sincere.

  376. Warren,
    I agree. The only reason I used the phrase ‘hasn’t totally answered is that some would say that her promise not to do such poses going forward is some form of acknowledgement that they are inappropriate for someone presenting themselves as a conservative Christian.
    But Carrie is caught. As she allows herself to be set up as a Christian spokesperson, she invites a heightened level of accountability. She cannot continue to speak to Christian values without answering more completely for her own incongruous behavior.
    IMHO, she either needs to provides those answers or refuse to be a spokesperson. Those who are exploiting her to advance their causes/issues should see beyond her celebrity and recognize both her youth and the simple fact that she is not qualified–either by experience or training–for the spokesperson responsibilities they have bestowed on her.

  377. @Eddy:

    3) The original topic seems to be that Carrie flouted God’s code of conduct via her near nude poses and that people smell hypocrisy and anti-gay bias in her statement. She has defended herself but hasn’t fully answered to the charges of hypocrisy.

    I don’t see yet where she answered them at all. She won’t on the FOF broadcast since it was recorded before the photos surfaced. Her initial statement was defensive of the activity of lingerie modeling with no hint of the disconnect. She has since moved toward isolated statements of regret. However, this could really blow up as an issue if she continues to move through evangelical circles without addressing issues related to modesty and body image.

  378. Debbie said:

    The most pertinent example, and one getting us back to the original topic, is the “outrageous and public manner” in which gay activists flout God’s code of conduct in their pursuit of a same-sex marriage entitlement.

    1) Other than the fact that the question that first landed Carrie Prejean in hot water was posed by a gay man, I don’t think it’s fair to ascribe the life of the controversy that surrounds her to ‘gay activists’ alone.
    2) And the quote almost makes it sound like the original topic is “the “outrageous and public manner” in which gay activists flout God’s code of conduct in their pursuit of a same-sex marriage entitlement.” I just want to make it clear that while that point might go to the original topic, it most certainly isn’t the original topic itself.
    3) The original topic seems to be that Carrie flouted God’s code of conduct via her near nude poses and that people smell hypocrisy and anti-gay bias in her statement. She has defended herself but hasn’t fully answered to the charges of hypocrisy.
    4) All people (gay or otherwise) feeling threatened, victimized or otherwise oppressed by the conservative church or its values seem to delight (and rightly so) in the exposure of someone else’s hypocrisy.
    Perhaps these might seem like minor points but my previous comment did not mention gays or a gay agenda at all and I felt that Debbie’s comment altered the more global observation I was trying to make.

  379. @Debbie Thurman:
    First, this case cannot be generalized as signifying any kind of local trend (except for the more global teaching of Christianity that we are all fallen) since it is only one case. Putting it off to gay activism cannot work either since this person has also engaged in straight porn as well. And, from what I am reading, the gay activist world has not jumped to his defense.

  380. It puzzles me how a school or other institution can have a code of conduct, define that code of conduct clearly before someone enrolls, provide a conduct statement which the student must agree to by signing–and then still be at risk of litigious action on the behalf of a student who defies the code of conduct in such an outrageous and public manner.

    This young man’s case is simply the microcosm of what we see taking place on a grander scale. The most pertinent example, and one getting us back to the original topic, is the “outrageous and public manner” in which gay activists flout God’s code of conduct in their pursuit of a same-sex marriage entitlement.
    Entitlement-at-the-expense-of-others is the stuff of socialism and secularism, which has found itself a cozy home in the realm of academia. Remember, all colleges and universities in America were originally affiliated with churches. Professors were clergy and religious studies was a coveted pursuit. Maybe our Christian colleges are on that same slippery slope that claimed their hallowed predecessors. Or, this young man is just a bad egg. Still, he got the idea from somewhere that he ought to sue. I wonder where?

  381. Mary’s statement, while true, exposes an area of serious concern:

    It’s a litigious society. He has every right to contest. Whether he lacks character or not is not really the question – is it?

    It puzzles me how a school or other institution can have a code of conduct, define that code of conduct clearly before someone enrolls, provide a conduct statement which the student must agree to by signing–and then still be at risk of litigious action on the behalf of a student who defies the code of conduct in such an outrageous and public manner. The notion that his legal appeal is even being given any weight whatsoever is frightening given the very clear parameters that existed before he embarked on his adult porn career. On one level, it would suggest that the right to have and hold to those parameters is being challenged.
    It would appear that he didn’t just want a degree but that he wanted the degree from Grove City. A degree says that we’ve done the coursework; where the degree comes from says even more. Receiving a degree from Grove City would imply to future employers that this young man held to conservative values that he has clearly abandoned–if he ever had them at all. Or, in other words, it would suggest that he has character when his behavior speaks otherwise.

  382. 1) not all credits are transferrable
    2) the transcripts will always need to be explained
    3) it may be faster to appeal than to transfer
    4) it may be that he had this planned well in advance and is enjoying the attention and trying to capitalize on it

  383. I don’t understand why he just doesn’t take his credits and go to another school instead of making a big deal out of this?

  384. @ David B,
    It’s a litigious society. He has every right to contest. Whether he lacks character or not is not really the question – is it?

  385. RE: John Gechter’s situation. GCC issued a statement over the weekend which I can include here:

    Some media outlets have reported an agreement has been made between former student John Gechter and Grove City College related to granting him a diploma.
    The report that a “deal has been made” whereby Mr. Gechter can gain his degree simply by taking or transferring additional classes is completely inaccurate and without basis. No such agreement has been made.
    Mr. Gechter voluntarily withdrew from the College. The College has an established policy by which he may re-apply. That reapplication, however, would then reinstate the appeal process related to the suspension Mr. Gechter appealed before deciding to withdraw. If he were to fulfill the requirements to be readmitted (including any related to the standards of conduct), he could then be eligible to complete his degree.
    No diploma will be awarded, if at all, until the appeal process is completed to the satisfaction of the College. Accordingly, the awarding of his degree would not be automatic. Mr. Gechter was provided a written summary of our discussion concerning this matter and confirmed his understanding in writing.

    Also regarding allegations that a student reported Mr. Gechter, Christianity Today reports:

    Update: The Post-Tribune reported that a fellow student sent initial e-mails with evidence of Gechter’s work. “The administration did not receive any images via email or any other source of him from any student,” the college told CT.

    Some wondered what happen to the student who found the internet porn. There was no such student. Information came from another source and not via any student violations.
    Let me also add the initial statement from the college:

    “The student’s suspension resulted from his involvement in the adult pornography industry. The student acknowledged that he was employed in the adult entertainment industry and that he knew that violated the student code of conduct. Throughout this process, his sexual orientation was not a factor in the decision.”

    Although I cannot comment further, I am satisfied that GCC has handled this well.

  386. LOL. Now see if you can find the typo in the most recent one…the one that’s entitled “Miss California officials accuse…” (Hint: it’s not in the title; it’s in the text…and like this one, the typo results in another word that almost fits.)

    Eddy,
    🙂

  387. Debbie,
    I don’t think he necessarily needs counseling, but he definitely has some growing up to do!

  388. LOL. Now see if you can find the typo in the most recent one…the one that’s entitled “Miss California officials accuse…” (Hint: it’s not in the title; it’s in the text…and like this one, the typo results in another word that almost fits.)

  389. Shouldn’t the first sentence in the original blog begin “On the heels” rather than “On the heals”?

  390. @Timothy Kincaid: Ok, that is still current and since she advertised it on the Miss Cali website, it is relevant but it does seem like some reflection could have moved her to a different position on the matter.

  391. A look at the Bl!sss website does not reveal (forgive me) that the pic was in 2/09. The Prejean camp says it was sometime last summer (2008).

    I have a copy of the issue she’s in. I don’t know the date of the shoot but I got the date wrong. It’s February 2008

  392. Well, regardless, if I was about to lose my education I , too would hire a lawyer. Not everyone who hires a lawyer really believes in the righteousness of their actions. They do however, believe in the ability to make a civil rights issue out of freedom of expression.

  393. “He has retained a lawyer and is contemplating a lawsuit against Grove City. Though he admits that some of his rule violations were fairly clear, he doesn’t feel like the school is demonstrating Christian values of love and forgiveness. The whole experience, he said, has caused him to re-examine his Christian beliefs.”
    Narcissism personified.

    With an exclamation point. Somebody needs some serious counseling.

  394. @David Blakeslee:
    I know, right? He didn’t examine his Christian beliefs before he volunteered to have sex, for money, in front of cameras? Also, I think it’s ridiculous how he said his school isn’t demonstrating Christian values of forgiveness. To be forgiven, you have to admit you were in the wrong. Much like Carrie Prejean, he seems more defensive rather than apologetic for his actions.

  395. Are you kidding?
    “He has retained a lawyer and is contemplating a lawsuit against Grove City. Though he admits that some of his rule violations were fairly clear, he doesn’t feel like the school is demonstrating Christian values of love and forgiveness. The whole experience, he said, has caused him to re-examine his Christian beliefs.”
    Narcissism personified.

  396. As I understand the situation now, Gechter will be allowed to finish the two courses he needs at another institution, however, GCC will then apply them to his degree and award a diploma.

  397. They knew I had troubles and struggles but they always welcomed me home.
    Mary,
    I think, no matter how difficult it might be at times, if more parents thought this way and reaized every interaction between them and their children is another opportunity to love them, their children would grow with a clear vision of all the possiblilites in life.

  398. @Jay:
    I cannot give any specifics beyond the college’s statement but I can say in keeping with that statement that the results would have been the same.

  399. Considering that they are only suspending him for a year, I’d say Gechter has gotten off lucky. I also trust that if this was a heterosexual student engaging in straight pornography, the action taken would be the same.

  400. It says in a story that a student at Grove City found him on a website (one dealing with pornography, one would assume) and thereafter 75% of the student body (or something like that) got emails outing Gechter. From there to the university staff it was a simple jump.
    I guess Gechter thought so well of his fellow students that no one would find out. I suppose he should not have had such a good opinion of them.

  401. I’m more than just a little curious about how Gechter was outed so to speak? How was he found out?

  402. You’re right, Mary, and it breaks my heart. There is a purpose to “godly sorrow” or conviction, which is not quite the same as shame. And only God can break our hearts in that way. I, too, am blessed that my mom was loving and understanding when I told her about my struggle — after it was mostly behind me, of course. I could not tell her before then because of my own shame and guilt, the condemnation the enemy placed on me that Christ had already removed. Having a poor choice discovered and examined publicly can either make or break us. The one that nearly destroyed me was not SSA, but another sin of the flesh.

  403. Wow – I am so thankful for the parents God gave to me. They never tried to shame me becuase of my sexuality and choices. They knew I had troubles and struggles but they always welcomed me home. They knew they too had made mistakes and that every person on this earth is going through this life together. And we keep trying. We have all made poor choices – parents, children, mentors, teachers, pastors, etc…
    Shame from the church over my sexuality and sexual choices is one of the most difficult things that holds me back. So many in the church are willing to shame ex gays or practicing gays. It is a hinderance to growth and fellowship.

  404. Oh yes. I hope he comes to realize the shameful significance of what he has done. It will follow him the rest of his life. One of the reasons we celebrate mothers today is we sometimes have to face the heartache of knowing our children have made very poor choices. Dishonoring choices. It can feel as if your heart is being ripped out. Parenting is tough job. But God is the Father of the prodigal, too. No one is beyond restoration. This young man is going to need a loving hand extended to him as he is quite confused. But he has gone far beyond just struggling with SSA or sexual impulses. He must receive discipline for that and, we hope, contrition. And those who exploited him are accountable for their part, too. There are too many sad stories like this out there.

  405. I certainly would not want to be his mother on this Mother’s Day.
    Yes, that is understandable and also could be looked at as another opportunity God has given her to love him when he seems to be the most unlovable – Jesus used these words for, IMHO, just these circumstances – “what you do for the least of these, you do for me”. We don’t know how this story will unfold and perhaps it just might be for God’s glory. I hope so.

  406. I shake my head in disbelief at the disconnect between modeling of clothes that you don’t normally wear to the workplace and Christian modesty. Oh wait….maybe there isn’t any such thing as Christian modesty……

    I’m afraid modesty is becoming a quaint thing of the past, among Christians, too.
    Another example of the disconnect appears in this young man’s words:

    “I was prepared to be recognized,” he said. “I was not prepared for the school to react the way they did.”

    I know Grove City College only admits the cream of the crop, academically. So, intelligence does not necessarily equate with common sense and certainly not with morality. One does wonder about the parental guidance in this young man’s life, but you can’t jump to conclusions since kids from seemingly “good” homes do heinous things. College can be a time of wild freedom and experimentation for them. I certainly would not want to be his mother on this Mother’s Day.

  407. Yeah, I was jesting …. somewhat. I figured you might have had some inolvement which would enjoin you from commenting on the situation or more likely would have been thus enjoined by the College.
    .
    But the Prejean story does make for an interesting counterpoint to Gechter’s case.

  408. Lynn David – I hope you were jesting regarding why I would post on the Prejean story.
    Regarding the GCC story, I cannot comment. Any inquiries about the situation must be addressed to Amy Clingensmith at the college.

  409. Somehow I think this obsessiveness with Warren about Carrie Prejean’s problems is to deflect talk about porn star John Gechter – aka Vincent DeSalvo – being kicked out of Grove City College for appearing in adult films.

    Mr. Gechter was charged with sexual misconduct, participation in the public display of pornography and engaging in “conduct that is contrary to the mission and values of Grove City College and likely to bring dishonor to the College.”
    .
    His punishment: an indefinite suspension and a prohibition from re-applying for admission until the fall of 2010. A Grove City appeals board turned down his initial appeal.
    .
    Mr. Gechter had been warned by his mentors and employers in the adult film industry that his identity would likely become known. And he had been careful to keep his adult film career away from campus. Still, he hadn’t expected that it might prevent him from graduating.
    .
    “I was prepared to be recognized,” he said. “I was not prepared for the school to react the way they did.”
    .
    Grove City released a statement yesterday but declined any further comment.
    .
    “The student’s suspension resulted from his involvement in the adult pornography industry. The student acknowledged that he was employed in the adult entertainment industry and that he knew that violated the student code of conduct. Throughout this process, his sexual orientation was not a factor in the decision.”
    .
    Mr. Gechter says he is bisexual.

  410. I shake my head in disbelief at the disconnect between modeling of clothes that you don’t normally wear to the workplace and Christian modesty. Oh wait….maybe there isn’t any such thing as Christian modesty……

  411. A look at the Bl!sss website does not reveal (forgive me) that the pic was in 2/09. The Prejean camp says it was sometime last summer (2008).

  412. Why – oh why are we consumed with this young woman?
    Mary,
    My only guess is that she satiates the need for those on both sides of the definition of marriage issue who want to use her to advance their cause.
    I hope her story turns out well and will be used for many blessing to God, herself and others, no matter what turn it takes.

  413. @Mary:
    In case you haven’t noticed, I like to get closure on things and I tend to get interested in multiple levels of a story once I start.
    I am hopeful this story takes a good turn for her and for those who emulate her.

  414. Why – oh why are we consumed with this young woman?
    We have all fallen off that horse on our way to Damascus. We have all been blinded before we REALLY see.

  415. I wonder how recent Carrie Prejean discovered her conservative Christian faith. Other than her brief, awkward statement of belief in “opposite marriage” to Perez Hilton, it doesn’t seem her belief influenced her prior decisions (sexually provacative modeling, vain surgical modifications, etc.). Certainly Prejean has done a great job in capitalizing on her new found conservative Christian icon status which seems to have gained her far more publicity than a pageant title.
    Could her Damascus road conversion occured on the stage of a tacky pageant? God does work in mysterious ways.

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