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Homophobiaphobia

There’s a lively discussion underway at Daniel Kirk’s blog in which he has called for a moratorium on the use of the word “homophobic” as a descriptor for folks whose theological and/or political positions on same-sex relationships is non-affirming. Now of course I’ll be the first to admit that I believe there are many who aren’t irrationally afraid of gay sex who have disagreements about the theological status of same-sex relationships. But the ensuing conversation around Daniel’s post brought some stuff back up for me that I think merits mention.

First, it seems incontrovertible to me that when the gay community calls certain positions or behavior from others “homophobic” they are stating something about the way in which they experience those ideas and behaviors. In other words, it is a relational term. What they experience from how these others relate to them is an experience of being reflexively feared and viewed as a source of revulsion. As such, I don’t see how it can be up to others to tell the gay community when and whether they can use the word to describe others. What they are describing is their experience of being treated a certain way by others. Now I suppose people could argue that they are wrong about all that, and they have, in fact, been being treated with love and dignity when they thought they were being treated with fear and revulsion, but it seems to me that that would have to be a pretty convincing argument. In my experience people tend to have pretty good sense of when others are afraid of them and find things about them repulsive.

Second, I’m really perplexed by why people are so desperate to avoid the term “homophobic” being applied to them. Now of course, no one wants to be accused of having an irrational fear, which is conjured up by the term “phobia.” But let us leave that aside, especially since it seems to me that the most common connotation of “homophobic” is not irrationality but simply revulsion. If same-sex activity and relationships are sins against God and nature, why would anyone shy away from despising those acts? If gay sex is just as wrong as pederasty or incest, why should we be so concerned to make sure we’re all polite about the one and not the other? Why all the fear of “homophobia” if that is, in fact, what taking sin seriously is supposed to mean?

I always find it interesting how the anti-gay sex position always wants to insist on a polite, measured, and properly ordered civil dialogue about the issue. They claim that to toss around terms like “homophobic” is to distract from the “real issues” and inhibit conversation. Honestly I’m pretty convinced that the real diversion from substantive dialogue is the insistence on keeping everything all tidy and polite. To try to sanitize everything in advance and make sure no one gets called any names sounds innocent enough, but it is hardly a neutral move. To insist that things never get heated and self-involving is to cast the argument, in advance, as one in which all participants are good, honest, basically forward thinking folk that just need to speak more clearly to each other. But its an open question whether that is in fact that case. The gay kid who got the shit kicked out of him all through high school, often by Christians, may not feel like he can extend that sort of open hand of politeness, and who are we to say that he has to?

Anyways, my main point is that the desire to sanitize this discussion is itself an ideological move. If we’re really talking about things as important as both sides think we are, there’s no reason to assume that this should be some sort of polite conversation. According to traditional Christian teaching, non-heterosexual sex is a sin against God and an nature, which, like all sins can send you to hell. That’s serious. According to the movement for same-sex rights today the traditional view of homosexuality is degrading, oppressive, and inhumane. That’s serious too. If we’re talking about things that really are that serious, lets let them be serious rather than trying to keep everything nice and contained for the sake of appearing polite and agreeable. To do that is simply to be dishonest about the nature and severity of the disagreement. And that serves no one, at least in terms of furthering discussion and understanding.

50 Comments

  1. Aric Clark wrote:

    Establishing the ground rules for a debate is definitely part of the debate. Both sides want to preclude ad hominem as a fair strategy. The left doesn’t want to be called heretics. The right doesn’t want to be called bigots. The question is, when a value judgment of another person’s behavior is true and necessary to the conversation and when it is a cheap rhetorical strategy.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Permalink
  2. saint egregious wrote:

    This is a phenomenal insight, Halden. I can’t wait to share it with my flock.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Permalink
  3. Tristin wrote:

    more interesting to me is the distinction between the heteronormative and queer. framing the issue as “gay-sex” seems to conflate orientation and the sex act; it also precludes the variety of the queer and the method of queering that extends beyond the LGBTQ community to the intersexed, the varieties of gender presentations, and possibly other forms of queering that might include conversations with difference (as opposed to same-ing) which open the social up to the possibilities of non-violent interactions with the other.

    you are definitely right about the ideology bit. i cringe at the notion of a “traditional Christian teaching.” …another fiction that we use to structure our reality

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Permalink
  4. Doug Hagler wrote:

    I think that this is looking at to narrow a definition of the term “phobic”, meaning ‘irrational fear’. A hydrophobic molecule, for example, could be used for managing oil spills. A dewdrop on a hydrophobic leaf surface (there’s a cool image of this on Wikipedia) turns into a sphere and looks like a marble. Hydrophobic molecules clump together in water, and don’t let the water in.

    This sounds to me exactly the way anti-equality folks behave – clumping together, focused on internal and collective purity, repelling what they are ‘phobic’ of.

    So I think homophobic is a perfect term for people who don’t want to let LGBTQ folks in.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Permalink
  5. Stephen wrote:

    This seems to me to be missing the point. The usage of the term ‘homophobic’ to all who are non-affirming of homosexual relationships ensures that there are only two sides of the debate. If homophobic (or, by extension, bigot) is nondiscriminatly applied to groups as disparate as Fred Phelphs infamous church, Mark Driscoll, and the Roman Catholic Church then we have succeeded in our task–if, that is, our task was schism.

    As a Christian, I firmly believe in the nonviolent ethic of Jesus. I find death-dealing of any kind to be incongruous with the gospel of peace. I am against capital punishment, abortion, and war. However, a friend of mine who agrees with me on abortion and war, yet disagrees with me on capital punishment is not worthy of the moniker ‘war monger’ or ‘death dealer.’ If I refer to every Christian who doesn’t whole-hardheartedly agree with me on the issues surrounding lethal violence with the same level of rhetoric, then I have reserved no special language for those whose actions are so abhorrent that their condemnation merits such titles. If I make no distinction between condemnations of Pinochet’s regime, planned parenthood, the state of Texas, murder, or tribal genocide in Africa then I will concretize difference and cut myself off from those who agree with me on many of the issues. And I am probably worthy of the label ‘sectarian’ at that point.

    Simply because I refuse to call someone who believes in capital punishment a ‘war monger’ or ‘genocide supporter’ does not mean that I think they’re a-okay. Killing is evil and needs to be called as such. But there is still a difference of degree, if not of kind.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Permalink
  6. Jeremy wrote:

    Stephen, I don’t think anyone would contest your point. But I think Halden’s point is that from the perspective of homosexuals it doesn’t really matter. Whether you think God hates homosexuals or you have a much sweeter “love the sinner hate the sin perspective”, either way you’re against them. Sure there are differences in levels of degree, but again I don’t know why anyone would give a damn except those people worried about being associated with those on the extreme?

    Halden, I appreciate the post. However, I have to say it’s hard to know how to respond to your position when it appears you have yet to make up your mind on this issue. I know before you’ve mentioned sharing the evolution of your own thought on this question. I was just curious if this was a struggle over exegesis, etc. I already know where I stand, but I’d be curious to hear your thoughts.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Permalink
  7. Reminds me of the interview with Bush recently when he was SO very hurt that Kanye called him, in essence, a racist.

    The worst thing that can happen in liberal society, I guess, is to not be tolerant. Worse than the idea that your gay brother feels lonely and suicidal or that black people are disproportionately dying because of the busted levy.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Permalink
  8. Evan wrote:

    Two questions, so I can try to understand better what you’re saying here… First, are you drawing a distinction between what Kirk is suggesting (a moratorium on talk of “homophobia”) and anyone in particular objecting to being called homophobic? Because saying “let’s tone down the rhetoric and hold off on accusations of homophobia” could certainly be different than saying “I’m not homophobic”. The second statement could presumably be voiced with the intent of fostering the sort of civil dialogue you see as an obstruction, or voiced with relative disregard for that sort of civility and rather in the spirit of the substantive disagreement that you’re hoping will occur.

    Second, insofar as “homophobic” is a relational term reflecting certain experiences (although I’m not sure we need to restrict its use to “the gay community” the way you do in your second paragraph), would it follow that someone can likewise say “I’m not homophobic” out of similar reference to their own experiences and relations with others?

    I agree with you that refraining on principle from rhetoric like “homophobia” is just troublesome for serious discussion, but I don’t see why conversations about sexuality need all of this meta-analysis. I like your first point on Kirk’s blog the best, that is… ”First, no one is going to stop using the term to describe those opposed to all same-sex relationships. The term is here to stay for better or for worse.” This seems to most successfully avoid beating around the bush with rules or counter-rules of discourse.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Permalink
  9. Evan wrote:

    And the obvious follow-up question to my second paragraph, I guess, is “should we then privilege [or have we then privileged]the experiences of ‘the gay community’ in these conversations/arguments out of principle?”

    And to clarify… there are lots of good reasons for such privileging, so I’m not bringing this up as a problematic consequence of your point or anything like that. It’s just not something that you’ve gone out and said explicitly, so I’m trying to get a better handle on what’s being said.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Permalink
  10. Halden wrote:

    Tristin, I agree about the issue of terminology the framing of the issue. My terminology here (“gay sex”) reflects the confusion of terminology that is presently inherent to the conservative Christian rhetoric and arguments about this issue.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Permalink
  11. roger flyer wrote:

    Halden-
    I just want to say in a public forum that I am greatly blessed by your forthright, thoughtful, provocative, passionate, original thinking. You are a gift to the body of Christ.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 7:05 am | Permalink
  12. Adam Kotsko wrote:

    The rush to say “but I’m not homophobic” is a symptom of a deeper problem that is also reflected in similar claims of “but I’m not personally racist,” etc. — basically, the attitude that what’s most important is that everyone recognize the speaker’s personal righteousness. “I may be opposed to your full inclusion in the life of the church, but that’s no reason to imply that I’m a bad person or call me names.” Such objections simply reaffirm the privileged position of the speaker, who positions himself or herself as the arbiter of whether someone else’s actions are acceptable — ranging from their rhetorical choices to their sexual preferences.

    I’d even go so far as to claim that the person who complains “but I’m not personally homophobic” is, in the hoary comment-thread cliche, proving the accuser’s point for them — the idea that the heteronormative person should be in the driver’s seat is so deeply ingrained that the attempt to look at things from another person’s perspective seems like a kind of insult.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 7:34 am | Permalink
  13. Halden wrote:

    Yeah, there’s a lot of that going on in the thread linked to above.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 9:00 am | Permalink
  14. saint egregious wrote:

    “I may be opposed to your full inclusion in the life of the church’. But it’s worse than that! Its: ‘I’m telling you, if you don’t repent, you will spend an eternity being tortured in hell.’ That’s how serious it is, and Halden is absolutely right that this is serious business and must not be masked by the ‘niceness’ police!
    If eternal hell is the consequence for the ‘lifestyle’, then being nice would seem to be the least of one’s worries. At least Augustine let the Donatists have it (rhetorically speaking of course) even though many of them were his family members and whom he addressed in his correspondence with them as “Lord’ and “my boloved brother’ before bringing down the fury!

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 9:21 am | Permalink
  15. saint egregious wrote:

    Oh, unless of course you’re an annihilationist! But then, who really gives a flunk anyway!

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 9:21 am | Permalink
  16. Adam Kotsko wrote:

    The consequence of the homophobic view in the here and now is exclusion from the life of the church, and that’s what GLBT Christians are fighting for. As for hell, etc., I don’t think GLBT Christians are concerned that God is going to make up his mind on that issue based on what conservative Christians say.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 11:55 am | Permalink
  17. adamsteward wrote:

    Well put, Halden. That insistence on the purity of our intentions really is a fake sensitivity that has nothing to do with the other, but is all about self-justification.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Permalink
  18. Bobby Grow wrote:

    I haven’t read the thread of comments here; although I would just say on civil dialogue, that the notion of “civil” itself has been crucified through the verdict of the cross.

    I’m not sure how proclamation of the Gospel itself can meet the criteria of “civil” discourse? As far as I read Scripture (cf. I Cor 1.17-25), anything “civil” about cruciformed discourse is just considered “foolishness” and “weak” to begin with. This is just the reality.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Permalink
  19. saint egregious wrote:

    Right Adam. I’m thinking more of the power hell cana sensitive religious mind brought up on it. Suicide is only the most dramatic effect.
    In other words, you’ve already distinguished the GLBT person from the ‘conservative Christian’. In the hardest cases, that’s just the problem to solve–a young gay person hearing damnation every day needing a word of courage to help them twist free. All the niceness does is mask over the agonizing decision he/she will need to make:hell or love.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Permalink
  20. Lee wrote:

    If this is going to get off the ground, how about conservatives agree to stop using certain inflammatory terms? I vote for “intrinsically disordered.”

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Permalink
  21. Theophilus wrote:

    So we can freely exchange psychological definitions for chemical ones? We aren’t talking about chemical reactions here, but rather about human behaviour. This grasping after justification for hyperbole is a nuance-destroying abuse of the English language.

    The use of the term “homophobia” implies that someone is not rational. This precludes reasoned discussion, leaving exclusion or conversion as the only possible options. If non-queer-positive people are by definition irrational, there is no sense dealing with them as rational creatures. This ends conversation and initiates pitched conflict. If you believe that disagreement is best resolved by a power struggle, then your posture makes sense. Otherwise, it doesn’t.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Permalink
  22. saint egregious wrote:

    but Halden’s whole point is that given the theological assumptions of the homophobe, their fear is precisely rational. We should fear sin, fear associating with it, winking at it, walking in its path. It’s a very augustinian point. Flee sin!
    The only question is: is love between two men or two women within an ascetically christological and ecclesially ordered frame a sin to be feared? Or a fragile parable of the kingdom under the ever merciful judgment of God?

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Permalink
  23. Evan wrote:

    We should fear sin, fear associating with it, winking at it, walking in its path. It’s a very augustinian point. Flee sin!

    While there are scriptural references to casting people out of fellowship and whatnot, the weight of the biblical witness seems to be on hospitality toward sinners and tax-collectors rather than some sort of shunning of them.

    As far as fleeing sin goes, I think the point is similar… it’s usually our own sin that we need to flee from, not some other sinner (1 Cor. 6:18, for instance).

    How does fearing sin not constitute some sort of “spirit of timidity”? It strikes me as more of a sectarian impulse than anything identifiable as specifically Christian.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Permalink
  24. dan wrote:

    Halden,

    Isn’t your own position on this issue one that is vulnerable to being characterized as “homophobic”? Has your position changed since the discussion/argument we had a few years ago? If it has not, this post is a bit insidious, isn’t it?

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Permalink
  25. Halden wrote:

    I would say yes in response to all your questions. I’m still figuring out how to articulate my position as it is now but it has definitely changed from some years ago.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Permalink
  26. Theophilus wrote:

    If it is rational fear, it is not phobic fear by definition. I still think the term homophobia has currency even if it only addresses irrational fear, however. The infamous “gay panic defence” presented in court by the murderers of Matthew Shepard is a plain example of this, even though it was (rightly!) considered to be no defence in that case.

    I’m also going to question whether sin should really be feared. If Jesus has overcome the world and its sin, and we are in Jesus, I suggest that perhaps, as the psalmist says, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil” (Ps 23:4)

    Maybe this undermines my argument earlier in this post. Maybe there should be no trace of fear among non-queer-positive Christians.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Permalink
  27. saint egregious wrote:

    Theophilus and Evan,
    I won’t argue with either of you on the points you make. I think they are excellent.
    But neither of you has responded to my last question, which is, I think, the real issue here.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 3:32 am | Permalink
  28. Evan wrote:

    But that isn’t the “real issue”… not for this conversation or the one over at Kirk’s blog, at least. Halden himself is still wrestling with the question and has been well able to discuss homophobia without offering a full response to it.

    With regard to the real real issue (what you call “Halden’s whole point”), I’ve already stated that I don’t think sins should be feared, so I’ve disagreed with how you framed your questions (and with Halden insofar as he’s said sins should be feared). I’ve also tried to figure out a little better what Halden is saying both here and on the other blog, but without any response.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 5:28 am | Permalink
  29. scott wrote:

    Halden,

    Your indecisiveness on this essential creedal issue is clearly a sign of your lukewarmness to the gospel itself. You are therefore patently blind to the unambiguously clear self-revelation of The Event, vis-a-vis your own sexuality.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 6:33 am | Permalink
  30. dan wrote:

    Okay. I just want to make it clear that you’re not as much of an ally as this post might suggest.

    Of course, I do that in order to keep you on the hook and try to push you into espousing a position like my own.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 7:28 am | Permalink
  31. Halden wrote:

    Evan, let me make two points that hopefully shed some light on your questions. First, yes I think we should privilege the experiences and perceptions of the gay community about this issue.

    Second, on the fearing sin point, I think that’s fair. For me though I think people are getting sort of myopic about the “irrational fear” etymology of the word when, in terms of its meaning in contemporary usage it has a lot more to do with revulsion, exclusion, and moral condemnation — all of which is quite relevant I think.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 8:22 am | Permalink
  32. Halden wrote:

    Yeah, that must be it.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 8:22 am | Permalink
  33. Halden wrote:

    Dan, honestly I basically do find myself in a position very much consonant with your own at this point. What I haven’t figured out is how, precisely, to articulate everything I’ve come to be convicted about in regards to this is issue.

    But I do hope you can consider me an ally because that’s how I understand my views vis a vis yours at this time.

    Way to keep me on the hook.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 8:24 am | Permalink
  34. saint egregious wrote:

    I don’t blame you for brushing me off, Evan. I’m a pseudonym after all! But it is the real issue–one that is almost wilfully avoided by all this talk about the GLBT ‘community’ and the Christian community as if these were two separate entities.
    That there are, have been and will continue to be gay Christians is what necessitates the question I pose. If gay men and women were willing to choose: be one or the other, then the problem would be solved. But many are not: gay men and women pray the psalms, invoke the Lord Christ, share the eucharistic feast, and accept the merciful, if inscrutable judgments of God on all of us.

    To continue to want to keep these two ‘communities’ separate rhetorically when they are not separate in fact is evidence of a certain kind of fear. Witness the current Anglican scene where primates won’t even sit at the table to talk with their gay brothers and sisters in Christ, even if to sharply rebuke them in love.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Permalink
  35. Aaron wrote:

    “First, it seems incontrovertible to me that when the gay community calls certain positions or behavior from others “homophobic” they are stating something about the way in which they experience those ideas and behaviors.”
    What about the way in which others “experience” the term homophobic? What about the nature of the homosexual community enables them to make value judgments regarding those who do not agree with their views. Why are the experiences of the ones who are the object of the derogatory nature of “homophobic” excluded? What I want to know is why the experience of the one is negated by the experience of the other?

    “In other words, it is a relational term. What they experience from how these others relate to them is an experience of being reflexively feared and viewed as a source of revulsion.”
    In like fashion, if I am the object of the term homophobic, my experience is as one who is irrationally hated, despised and “viewed as a source of revulsion.” Both the homosexual and the heterosexual relate to the term. If this relationship is not helpful to the conversation, then why use it?

    “In my experience people tend to have pretty good sense of when others are afraid of them and find things about them repulsive.”
    Why does this reasoning only relate to the homosexual and not to the heterosexual? I, as a person who is not theologically inclined toward inclusion, am often viewed as irrational and not enlightened.

    In the next paragraph you quickly put aside the common connotation to “homophobic” of irrational fear, which is “conjured by phobia,” because of [in your opinion] the more common connotation of revulsion. How can you separate connotations strictly on which aspect of a word you feel is the most common. If the other is as aspect that is commonly experienced, should it not also be included in your discussion?

    Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Permalink
  36. dbarber wrote:

    Aaron, the simple answer is the power differential at work. This is not a situation of strict reversibility, for the “offensive” is enacted by “homophobes” — who, after all, only become homophobes through their initiation of name-calling. They are homophobes not because they are called homophobes, they are homophobes because they negate others through the name-calling of others.

    This sort of abstraction of discourse from power is itself an insidious modality of power, one that refuses to acknowledge itself as such (much like the discourse of whiteness, for example). Frankly, and once again simply, there are two sides, there is a basic antagonism and one must take a side. The problem with homophobiaphobia is that it acts as if there is a position to inhabit that would somehow transcend these two sides.

    There isn’t.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Permalink
  37. Evan wrote:

    Could you say a bit more about what you mean by “name-calling”? I take it this refers to conceptualizations beyond just the colloquial sense of “name-calling”… the obvious sort of practices that even those who hold heteronormative views would recognize as abusive or exclusionary.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Permalink
  38. dan wrote:

    Good to know your thinking has shifted. I’ll leave it up to you as to when you want to out yourself.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Permalink
  39. dbarber wrote:

    “name-calling” = interpellation.

    as for whether by name-calling i mean “the obvious sort of practices that even those who hold heteronormative views would recognize as abusive or exclusionary.” …. well, my point is that heteronormativity IS abusive and exclusionary.

    Do you agree or disagree with that last statement Evan?

    Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Permalink
  40. Evan wrote:

    I agree that heteronormativity is exclusionary, just like any sort of norm is. I don’t think that it is abusive in all cases. What I meant by the “obvious sorts of practices [...]” were abusive practices that are recognized as such even by others who hold heteronormative views. So, Rick Warren probably thinks that there is plenty abusive about Fred Phelps, even though we’d call them both by the name “heteronormative”. The distinction between these two might not be significant for you insofar as you take heteronormativity in itself to be abusive, but I take it there is some sort of distinction within heteronormative views that you can recognize there, even if in the end you’d say it’s all of a piece. But what you are saying about name-calling seems to be the same as what I meant when I referred to conceptualizations.

    I am not, however, familiar enough with the concept of interpellation as it’s been used in theory and so I’m not sure what name-calling/instances of interpellation you have in mind specifically. Nor, I suppose, am I sure what people read here when I write “heteronormative”. By that, I was just trying to come up with another term to use in place of “homophobic” that might provide some positive sense of its meaning and could be accepted by homophobes/heteronormative people who do not find the name “homophobic” accurate or helpful. I’m not trying to say (and I think this is clear from my other comments) that others should stop using the word “homophobe” if it makes more sense to use it. I’m simply using another word, and out of fairness trying to be clear about its relationship with the name “homophobe” as it has been used to point out various people.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Permalink
  41. Evan wrote:

    I wasn’t trying to brush you off… sorry to have given that impression. Any conversation of this sort is often a mess from the get-go, and I was meaning simply to keep straight what was introduced by Kirk and Halden. If the whole conversation is about a controversial name like “homophobia” (controversial in the sense that reasonable people reasonably disagree about it), it just seemed like new problems, even significant ones, make it difficult (for me, at least) to work seriously with what we had started with.

    But I certainly think the question you raised is a serious and important one. I’m struggling to know how to respond simply because the idea of “GLBT” and “Christian” as two distinguished “communities” isn’t something that I’ve encountered personally in the churches. And my experiences within Anglican churches don’t reflect what you describe either. That’s not to say that I’m discounting what you say, but simply that I have no personal resources with which to respond to it.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Permalink
  42. saint egregious wrote:

    I’m sorry Evan. I thought from your blog writing that you were a member of an ACNA parish, and would thus have a great deal of personal resources with which to deal with this set of distinctions. Glad to know I misunderstood.

    Friday, November 12, 2010 at 5:55 am | Permalink
  43. saint egregious wrote:

    I’m sorry Evan. I thought from your blog writing that you were a member of an ACNA parish, and would thus have a great deal of personal resources with which to deal with this set of distinctions. Glad to know I misunderstood.

    Friday, November 12, 2010 at 5:55 am | Permalink
  44. Evan wrote:

    No, you’re right… I have been in a parish making the transition to ACNA (from AMiA). But as I said, my experiences within Anglicanism don’t really reflect what you’ve described here. I haven’t run into any dichotomies of GLBT community/Christian community, and I haven’t seen leaders fail to come to the table with gay brothers and sisters (at least not because of differences over issues of sexuality… there are certainly other reasons why they have left the table, or why they have been kicked out of the table).

    Friday, November 12, 2010 at 6:28 am | Permalink
  45. “What we talk about when we talk about [queers]” (…love? see Ray Carver). I am wondering about the relationship between homophobia and hemophobia. Seems like there are more than 350 Bible versus about menstrual blood (and other “emissions,” and don’t even get me started about the Talmud), and yet here we are in a kerfuffle about how to talk about talking about homosexuality! I mean, having sex with any woman during the menstrual cycle is as bad as homo sex. And if the pair of you weren’t killed outright, the propitiating holocaust of turtledoves would lay waste to the entire mid-east ecosystem (Lev ch. 15 and 29). Meanwhile vampire blood-lust runs rampant thru our culture and churches, and hemophilia abounds in evangelical circles. I chaperoned at the Twilight movie “Eclipse” a host of my granddaughters, nieces, and their friends from their church (I think I was the only male in the theatre other than 2 gay dudes sitting in front and to the left of me). And when Jacob (the Quileute/werewolf) stripped his shirt off, well, the whole dang theatre of girls loudly squealed with concupiscent twitterpation!!! (the gay dudes just squeezed hands and smiled at each other). Now that Jacob is ripped, his smooth bronze torso glistened with dew in the hazy forest light, and he moved with a sensuous, liquid, energy, as his bulbous regions kept cadence with his stride…..I will admit it to y’all, I don’t know if it was all the nubile estrogen or Jacob’s taut buttocks but ‘“IT” may have “MOVED!”’ Now I am aware of the bible verses prohibiting masturbation, and the Talmud lays an even heavier hand to this issue (“in the case of a man, the hand that reaches below the navel should be chopped off.” Niddah 13a.) My point is this (and I think both Millbank and Zizek would agree) if there is one lesson to be learned from Bella the mediatrix, it’s perhaps that in the cosmic battle between the evil, unredeemed, blood-sucking vampires and the born-again, morally righteous vampires, shouldn’t the traditional enmity between the werewolves and the born-again vampires be resolved once and for all? (issues of bestiality aside), obliged.

    Friday, November 12, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Permalink
  46. Hill wrote:

    To you, sir, I raise my glass. Cheers!

    Friday, November 12, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Permalink
  47. roger flyer wrote:

    There will be blood.

    Friday, November 12, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Permalink
  48. I want to amend my earlier post above since I just found out that Italy’s highest court has upheld a ruling by a Catholic ecclesiastical court that even fantasy about adultery was grounds for annulment. (Note to my dear wife, I wasn’t fantasizing about Jacob’s buttocks, and I affirm that whenever “IT” moves, it is in full accordance within the parameters of the Magisterium and Paul II’s HUMANAE VITAE, and “IT” merely trembled under the judgement of Der Hexenhammer’s “Malleus Maleficarum” ch. 2. ).

    Saturday, November 13, 2010 at 10:24 am | Permalink
  49. Doug Hagler wrote:

    @ Theophilus: I don’t think you understood anything I just wrote. It was obviously using a chemical metaphor to describe human behavior. How was that not clear? “nuance-destroying use of the English language”? And you accuse *me* of hyperbole? Puh-lease.

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 10:15 am | Permalink
  50. Halden wrote:

    Yeah, this is now in top contention for comment of the year.

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 10:18 am | Permalink

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