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Old 02-11-2005, 11:49 AM   #211
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Originally posted by paxetaurora
I'm really going to insist that the discussion going on here wrap up. The point of these "Ask the..." threads is to get some perspective on how people think and live to which we might not ordinarily be privy. I have especially enjoyed this one and I won't have it turned into an argument. That's not fair to Irvine himself or any of the other participants.


This has been one of my favorite threads on FYM since I've been here, and I'd hate to see it close down. My apologies. I think I may have started this tangent.
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Old 02-11-2005, 11:50 AM   #212
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No problem. We're just going to get it back on track now.
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Old 02-11-2005, 11:54 AM   #213
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I have to say, this is getting me to think quite a bit and consider different things.........I'm not a scientist and all the information above about genetics is beyond my current realm of knowledge. It does make me think, for sure.
pax, I agree this thread shouldn't turn into an argument but you gotta admit the debate on this subject does not elicit a response like this very often.

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Old 02-11-2005, 11:56 AM   #214
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No, you're right about that. I'd just rather see it not devolve into an argument, and while the people currently involved are being very respectful, should the current path continue, I fear it will invite persons in who might be less inclined to behave.
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Old 02-11-2005, 12:58 PM   #215
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ooooh! Pax! i'll see you at the Philly show!

okay, back on track ... one thing that i wonder is why is homosexuality such a big deal?

we can safely say that it doesn't harm anyone, no more than any other relationship between two people harm anyone. yet, last night, i was watching about 30 minutes of "philadelphia." great movie, great performances by Hanks and *especially* Denzel -- i'd argue he has the harder role, and does a better job. but even in this really progressive movie, it was still made in 1993, and Denzel still says things like, "listen, those people make me sick, but a law has been broken. you remember the law, right?!?!"

granted, Denzel does appear to learn and grow from this attitude, as evidenced in the scene when Hanks listens to the aria and it's kind of mystical with the lights and stuff. but the fact remains: there's an "ick" factor.

why is it so powerful? why the revulsion? why is it such a big deal?

i really don't think that the marriage debate has anything to do with marriage or legality. it's about some people in society needing to reassert, first, their heterosexual status, and second to make sure that homosexualtiy, something they find icky, remains in a permanent 2nd class status.

but why is there even this need? why are all FYM threads that are even tangentally related to homosexualty become consumed with the topic? why does it seem, to many, that the measure of a person's political beliefs is gauged in their acceptance/tolerance/whatever of gay people? why have 5% of the population become such a litmus test for where we fall in red/blue America? and this falls on the left and on the right. for the left, for example, it seems as if the only kind of devout Christianity that is tolerated is one that accepts and loves homosexuals. i fully admit that i agree with this -- and it is a litmus test that i use as well.

it feels very odd for a white kid from a reasonably upscale suburb born to a nice, mostly normal family with good parents who went to a fancy-pants liberal arts college to be at the center of such heated debate, and to have your "lifestyle" spoken about in both drogatory and lauditory language. it's just such a thing -- from the Jeff Gannon scandal, to Mary Cheney, to SpongeBob. we seem obsessed with it.

why?

why? why? why?
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Old 02-11-2005, 01:14 PM   #216
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If you want an answer from me as to why homosexuality is such a big deal, I say it is a throwback to medieval Christian stoicism, which was suspicious of any and all forms of pleasure. Prior to the Christian stoic movement, there is little evidence that the issue even resonated on the moral or political radar.

For the stoics, they believed every and all emotions came from Satan. A man was to be completely emotionless. Crying at a funeral was a complete "no-no." Sex, even between a husband and wife, was to have zero lust and no pleasure. If a woman even expressed pleasure during sex, she had committed a mortal sin. This is where we get the modern adjective "stoic," as in emotionless. Women, however, were allowed to express sorrow, due to Christian stoicism's heavy misogyny. Women were seen as inherently flawed and weak, and even went as far as to say that the existence of women at all was due to Satan's influence. Thus, if women were already sinful just by breathing, what did it matter if they expressed emotions?

Combine a suspicion of pleasure with a hatred of women, and it is easy to see why homosexuality was deemed as the worst offender for them, as it was seen as a completely hedonistic act, with men "reducing" themselves to the level of women. It actually had nothing to do at all with the Bible. The Bible was just used later to justify homophobia, after the crux of the Christian stoic argument, a suspicion of pleasure and misogyny, fell out of favor.

The Catholic Church still carries on the stoicist argument today: their condemnation against homosexuality is solely due to medieval "natural law" arguments. The Bible has nothing to do with it.

It is easy to see why I find such pseudophilosophy to be repugnant, and why I get even more angry when the pseudophilosophy has been repealed for everyone EXCEPT homosexuals. And, as we can see, old habits die hard even centuries after the fact.

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Old 02-11-2005, 01:21 PM   #217
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bingo.

it absolutely has everything to do, i think, with our attitudes towards pleasure. the idea of having sex for pleasure, and only for pleasure (though we conveniently ignore the fact that sex strengthens bonds between partners, and that homosexuals have sex out of love and commitment), leads some minds to imagine a Bachhanalian world of orgies.

but i'd argue that there's something uniquely American about our uneasiness with pleasure. the Protestan Work Ethic rears its head again. the Yanks on here live in a very hard working country, and there's a huge schism between work and play, which is why so many of us tend to exhibit compulsive, blank-aholic attitudes towards both than our European neighbors who appear to have much more of a balance (at least based upon my experience in Europe ... yes, a sweeping generalization, but could you ever see Americans embracing the idea of a siesta?)

we fear pleasure, because we often think that the only way to success is through it's rigorous denial.
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Old 02-11-2005, 01:52 PM   #218
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Well, Protestantism, historically, emphasized hard work (e.g., the "Protestant work ethic"). Historically Roman Catholic countries tend to be a lot more "relaxed." Quebec is an excellent example of that, as the historically Catholic province tends to pride itself with having "fun cities," compared to historically Protestant Toronto, which they view as "uptight."

If they did view "idle hands" as being the handiwork of "the Devil," then that would probably explain why this nation became a bunch of workaholics.

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Old 02-11-2005, 07:29 PM   #219
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Originally posted by melon
Well, Protestantism, historically, emphasized hard work (e.g., the "Protestant work ethic"). Historically Roman Catholic countries tend to be a lot more "relaxed." Quebec is an excellent example of that, as the historically Catholic province tends to pride itself with having "fun cities," compared to historically Protestant Toronto, which they view as "uptight."

and probably a reason why New Orleans is so traditionally hedonistic.
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Old 02-11-2005, 07:41 PM   #220
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Well, while you guys are patting each other on the back and having a "pseudo-intellectual-verbal-hurrah-fest," let me throw this out there:

What would you say if you had a discussion with U2, the band we all love, about their Christian beliefs? When I read an interview recently (on this website, I believe), Edge was asked what he was reading lately. His response: The Bible. Bono clearly has a relationship with Yahweh and speaks conversationally to Jesus in several songs. Would you rampage through the conversation with all the hullabuloo about why this or that doesn't fit your "truth?" I doubt it, because if it were them, of course, you'd sit in amazement with mouths agape. How in the world could Bono, Larry, and Edge believe such crap? Really?

By the way, what if, in years way down the road, people got a hold of the U2 books.....autobiographies and such.... U2 UNFORGETTABLE FIRE, AT THE END OF THE WORLD, SHOW..... and they thought, "Hmm. You know I think U2 didn't even exist. These writers just wanted us to believe there was a great band and get our hopes up so we could set up huge fan organizations and take all their money. They'd have a hoax as a crutch, those funny little idiots!!"

Melon, with all the uber-liberal info you've been writing, I'm surprised you're still living in America. By the way, ARE you a U.S. citizen? It seems you'd want to be far away from here, with how bad it is. I mean, our country are a bunch of imperialistic pigs who want world-domination and treat people like filth. What are we thinking having elections in Iraq??? The Iraqis hate us for making a mess of things....at least that's what CNN has me thinking.
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Old 02-11-2005, 07:49 PM   #221
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Old 02-11-2005, 07:54 PM   #222
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Quote:
Originally posted by seankirkland
Well, while you guys are patting each other on the back and having a "pseudo-intellectual-verbal-hurrah-fest," let me throw this out there:

What would you say if you had a discussion with U2, the band we all love, about their Christian beliefs? When I read an interview recently (on this website, I believe), Edge was asked what he was reading lately. His response: The Bible. Bono clearly has a relationship with Yahweh and speaks conversationally to Jesus in several songs. Would you rampage through the conversation with all the hullabuloo about why this or that doesn't fit your "truth?" I doubt it, because if it were them, of course, you'd sit in amazement with mouths agape. How in the world could Bono, Larry, and Edge believe such crap? Really?

By the way, what if, in years way down the road, people got a hold of the U2 books.....autobiographies and such.... U2 UNFORGETTABLE FIRE, AT THE END OF THE WORLD, SHOW..... and they thought, "Hmm. You know I think U2 didn't even exist. These writers just wanted us to believe there was a great band and get our hopes up so we could set up huge fan organizations and take all their money. They'd have a hoax as a crutch, those funny little idiots!!"

Melon, with all the uber-liberal info you've been writing, I'm surprised you're still living in America. By the way, ARE you a U.S. citizen? It seems you'd want to be far away from here, with how bad it is. I mean, our country are a bunch of imperialistic pigs who want world-domination and treat people like filth. What are we thinking having elections in Iraq??? The Iraqis hate us for making a mess of things....at least that's what CNN has me thinking.

please take this somewhere else.

and, U2 love homos. and non-Christias. and they don't force their beliefs on anyone, they neither claim to know what God is thinking nor do they tell anyone else how to live their lives because they claim to have God's cell phonen umber.

they're some of the best Christians i know, because they let it speak through their music and their actions, and leave it at that.

and that should be more than enough.
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Old 02-11-2005, 09:22 PM   #223
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How am I forcing my beliefs on anyone by anything I've said? Am I driving to your house and making you do what I say? By no means.

Who said I didn't love "homos?"

Why must I leave or you "shut this discussion down?" Did you think that by opening up this topic that you wouldn't be challenged by anything, but, rather, that you'd sit by as everyone applauded everything you say in response to questions? I don't want to come across as "disrespectful," but if a parent ever disciplined you out of love, and it seemed to hurt or didn't suit your fancy, I wouldn't doubt that your response would be something along the lines of "You don't love me because you don't let me do exactly what I want, when I want to because it's my truth that's valid here." Can you imagine a child saying that? When a child is given a shot of medicine, does it hurt or does it feel good? It surely doesn't feel good and it will probably make them cry, but it can save their life as well.

And how are U2 some of the best Chrisitans you know? Do you know them? I don't know them, except by their music, interviews I read, and the reports in the news. It seems that Bono might "have God's cell phone number," by the way he talks to Him so much in his songs.

Anyway, thanks for "letting" me in for some of this discussion. I guess I'll have to "take this somewhere else????" Geez.
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Old 02-11-2005, 09:35 PM   #224
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Quote:
Originally posted by seankirkland
How am I forcing my beliefs on anyone by anything I've said? Am I driving to your house and making you do what I say? By no means.

Who said I didn't love "homos?"

Why must I leave or you "shut this discussion down?" Did you think that by opening up this topic that you wouldn't be challenged by anything, but, rather, that you'd sit by as everyone applauded everything you say in response to questions? I don't want to come across as "disrespectful," but if a parent ever disciplined you out of love, and it seemed to hurt or didn't suit your fancy, I wouldn't doubt that your response would be something along the lines of "You don't love me because you don't let me do exactly what I want, when I want to because it's my truth that's valid here." Can you imagine a child saying that? When a child is given a shot of medicine, does it hurt or does it feel good? It surely doesn't feel good and it will probably make them cry, but it can save their life as well.

And how are U2 some of the best Chrisitans you know? Do you know them? I don't know them, except by their music, interviews I read, and the reports in the news. It seems that Bono might "have God's cell phone number," by the way he talks to Him so much in his songs.

Anyway, thanks for "letting" me in for some of this discussion. I guess I'll have to "take this somewhere else????" Geez.

your previous post had nothing to do with the thread at hand. if you wish to discuss Christianity, and whether or not it is a hoax, there are other threads for that. this is not what the discussion in this particular thread is supposed to be, and i don't have the power to shut down threads, but i did start it, and my post to you was a request not a threat. but you'll notice that earlier in the day, Pax warned you and Melon to get the thread back to where it was before you two started debating Christianity.

i want to be challenged, i want questions. if you'll read back a few pages, you'll notice that i actually wondered why this thread was such a love-in. not that there's anything wrong with a love in but the point of this thread is to ask "the homo" questions, not to assert what your interpretation of what you believe the Bible says about Christianity. there have been many, many threads regarding that, and they're great and interesting; just post your thoughts on that matter there.

and, yes, if i as an adult were faced with parents who wanted to punish or disciplin me because of my homosexuality, then i would tell them that their love was misguided, that they were simply wrong about their understanding of what it means to be homosexual, and i'd work with them to help them see that this is as natural as their own sexual orientations.

and, yes, i'd stand in front of God and renounce him, and Jesus, if they told me i was in violation of whatever natural law they had set for humanity.

homosexuals arise naturally. homoseuxals are as authentic as heterosexuals. and i know God knows this.

i also do not believe God is a parent who has written a rule book who's literal interpretation (in English) must be strictly adhered to. i am an adult, not a child, and with every breath i strive to live an authentic life.

and i "know" U2 as artists, because i own pretty much eveyrthing they've ever officially released, and some things they haven't officially released. no, i do not know Paul, Dave, Adam and Larry, but i know U2. and how U2 present their Christianity -- which is as loose and non-heirarchical as you can find out there -- is admirable. and Bono's "chats" with god are filled with humility; he never claims to speak for him, but only to ask for his blessings, forgiveness, and mercy.
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Old 02-11-2005, 09:36 PM   #225
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and i've welcomed all your comments, save for the last one.

i just want this to get back on track.

it has been wonderful for me to write about something that's both so close to my heart and soul, and yet appears to be injected into every possible political discussion currently going on in America, 2005.
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