A History of Homosexualityby Rit Nosotro
Change Over Time essay
Homosexuality was listed as a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual until 1973 when sodomy advocates and lesbian organizations lobbied for de-listing. Report on other turning points towards the acceptance of homosexuality from ancient to modern times across cultures.
About half of the information in this essay was taken from: "Straight Answers: Exposing the Myths and Facts About Homosexuality",
October 8, 2003 <http://www.family.org/cforum/fosi/homosexuality/maf/a0028248.cfm>
Has homosexual behavior always been wrong or does it depend on culture, time, and place? Many people believe, under the banner of ‘tolerance’, that gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry with the same benefits, privileges, and acceptance that straight people receive. In the promotion of homosexuality, advocates imply that the life style has been accepted for centuries before the Puritans. How have homosexuals been accepted throughout history? Is today's Christian mainstream all so different from the stream of world history in the response to homosexuality? Why have past societies been uncomfortable with homosexuality?
Modern Jews are seen as accepting of homosexuality, however, their history and their laws, which are kept now only by the devout, show plainly that all historical Jewish cultures forbid homosexuality. During the Renaissance in Europe was when accepted homosexuality began to take root. More so in Italy, but nevertheless throughout the “enlightened” continent people began to preach homosexuality as just another thing that people sometimes do, like painting or traveling to England. This is also the period in which numerous and stringent laws began to be placed on “buggery”, “sodomy”, and other-worded things of that nature. From this point, the controversy over homosexuality ever so slowly gathered momentum until it became what it is today.
Homosexuality is an abomination to the Lord, “...a man should not lie with a man as one lies with a woman."2 Although some might negate this by saying it is Old Testament law (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13), it is reaffirmed in the New Testament. Romans 1:26-27 says, "God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion."
The Egyptian Book of the Dead (Papyrus of Ani), in the Negative Confession, equates homosexuality with sin in a sort of Old Testament list of wrongs and sins that the speaker has not committed. A small portion of the list reads, “Hail, Qerrti, who comest forth from Amentet, I have not committed adultery, I have not lain with men. Hail, Her-f-ha-f, who comest forth from thy cavern, I have made none to weep.10” The Assyrian Laws of c. 1450-1250 B.C. contain the tidbit, “If a man has lain with his male friend and a charge is brought and proved against him, the same thing shall be done to him and he shall be made a eunuch.11”
Greece is the example many homosexuals turn to in their search for acceptance in ancient societies, yet their sources are vague, citing things like obscure vase art and a new interpretation of classic stories12.
Sources on the history of homosexuality are fraught with broken links and groundless ascertains. One claims “Even the Bible itself, it turns out, contains 'pro-gay' texts"13 with the only links that might support that being broken. Usable links either speculate on “lost chapters” of the Bible or show that it really does condemn homosexuality. Attempts to say that early Christians accepted homosexuality are asinine and inconsistent. Saying, “Although certainly not sexually active, it is also common to find Byzantine saints paired with each other in relationships which can be analyzed from the perspective of desire - "friendship" hardly begins to describe what they are about."13 - assumes that any kind of love between men – even the strong brotherly love that combat soldiers experience and that has nothing to do with homoeros – is subversively homosexual and must be looked at as such.
In ancient Nordic cultures, homosexuality was nearly disregarded, since to survive in those harsh conditions the societies must procreate. “It was expected that no matter what one's affectional preferences were that each individual would marry and reproduce. There are no recorded instances of homosexual or lesbian couples in the Viking Age."14 Attempts to convince us of widespread and accepted homosexuality in the Dark Ages rely on inventive interpretations of old documents.
In early Arabia, the Moslem cultures placed an enormously high value on friendship, which is also being misconstrued. The Quran expressly forbids homosexuality15, and while not every Arab is a devout Muslim, Islam as a whole does not condone it.
How has homosexuality changed over time from rejection to acceptance in US history?
The first change came about through revisionist historians who deny the importance of Christianty in the foundation of the US government as most of the founding fathers were active Christians. Opponents of absolute morality claim, “The Bible has absolutely no standing in American law, as was made clear by the intent of the First Amendment (and as was very explicitly stated by the founding fathers in their first treaty, the Treaty of Tripoli, in 1791) and because it doesn't, no one has the right to impose rules anyone else simply because of something they percieve to be a moral injunction mandated by the Bible."1
With the foundation for moral absolutes out of the way, then all sorts of behavioral justifications were proposed.
1. Being gay is like being born into a ethnic race.
Advocates say, “Being gay is much more profound than simply a sexual relationship; being gay is part of that person's core identity, and goes right the very center of his being. It's like being black in a society of whites, or a blonde European in a nation of black-haired Asians. Yes, being gay is just that profound to the person who is....While many Americans do not realize that that homophobia exists to the extent that it does, it is a very real part of every gay person's life, just like racism is a very real part of every black person's life."1 This is saying that a homosexual cannot help being gay any more than a black man can change the color of his skin. Gayness is as natural as skin pigmentation. Homosexuality is as natural. To say otherwise is to go against nature.
Assuming that homosexuality is part of one’s DNA, like eyes, skin, height, etc., fails to take into account the millions of “reformed homosexuals”, men and women who used to be gay but have returned to heterosexuality. There is no evidence to back up this claim. In fact, all research so far points to the fact that homosexuality is a reaction, much like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Which is exactly what it is, a disorder which can be treated with therapy to restore heterosexuality. “The well-known Simon LeVay brain study of 1991, which tried to find differences in the hypothalamuses (a very small part of the brain) of homosexual and heterosexual men, found no evidence that there is any genetic cause for homosexuality. Nothing in the study showed that gay men are born that way."3 However, modern gays dislike this reality because it undermines all of their arguments’ foundations.
2. Being gay should be protected as any other minority.
“Let's get over our aversion to what we oppose for silly, irrational reasons, based on ignorance, prejudice and faulty assumptions, and make ours a more just and honorable society, finally honoring that last phrase from the Pledge of Allegiance: "With liberty and justice for all."1 The author attempts to make his case as a civil rights issue rather than moral issue.
Homosexuality is not the same as skin color, and not being in favor of gays is not the same as hating someone just because of their race. Also, being black isn’t dangerous to your health (unless you’re subject to extreme and violent racism). “Active homosexuals are vulnerable to dozens of sexually transmitted diseases."5 According to one report, the risk of anal cancer rises by an astounding 4,000 percent for those engaging in homosexual intercourse and doubles again for those who are HIV positive."6“AIDS remains the fifth leading cause of death among those aged 26 to 44, and 60 percent of new cases are contracted by men who have sex with men.7” “An estimated 30 percent of all 20-year-old homosexual men will be HIV positive or dead by the age of 30." “According to the Centers for Disease Control, homosexual men are a thousand times more likely to contract AIDS than the general male heterosexual population."9 None of that can be compared to race, or anything else for that matter.
Civil rights deals with discrimination and, in actuality, popular opinion. The Jim Crow laws were civil rights laws back when whites thought they were right. The whole history of homosexuality is just one long list of overwhelming common sense. Gays are stigmatized in society because society knows that sort of perversion is not productive for the society. Good people, maybe, but not good in their beliefs and in the ways they act out their beliefs
3. Being gay is about Loving relationships
“...Additionally, many people continue to believe the propaganda from right-wing religious organizations that homosexuality is about nothing but sex, considering it to be merely a sexual perversion. The reality is that homosexuality is multidimensional, and is much more about love and affection than it is about sex."1
To say that homosexuality is more about love than sex does not seem to match the data. “24 percent of gay men had over 100 partners, 43 percent of gay men had over 500 partners, and 28 percent of gay men had over 1000 partners."4 How can anyone argue that these are faithful, loving relationships?
Ignoring the fact that the majority of homosexual tendencies comes from past physical, sexual or verbal abuse from one or both parents or other trusted adults, or even peers, proponents of the gay movement want those abused children to accept their perverse and treatable reactions like they would accept their height or skin color. “During early adolescence, many children experience a period of sexual-identity confusion when they can easily be influenced in either direction,”3 says Focus on the Family, and the sad thing is that gays are gaining more influence in their direction.
4. Being gay is not a sin.
People have been conditioned to think that inclusionary personal beliefs are acceptable but exclusionary beliefs should be rejected as a demeaning attack on others. Hate laws are drawn up to curtail those who might speak out against homosexuality as a sin. Does honoring diversity mean agreeing and supporting every diverse sinner?
The old Christian adage was to “hate the sin, love the sinner”. The new Christian adage is drifting to “ignore or accept the sin so as to not offend the sinner”. This is not a demonstration of love. Love is what put Jesus on the cross (“For God so loved the world…” John 3:16). God’s love is what draws sinners to repentance (Rom. 2:4). Hatemongering is obviously not the proper response toward those who prefer a homosexual lifestyle. The core issue is the identification of sin. It is no wonder that the most loving Christians, who hate sin in their own lives before hating sin in the lives of fellow sinners, are called hate-mongers by those who do not acknowledge that engaging in homosexuality is a choice to sin. Sinners who are blind to their own sin have understandable difficulty accepting the reality that another could love them even while hating their sinful choices. Love for another is to encourage them to follow Biblical principles for the love of God. In today’s irrational world, such encouraging love is called hate. The loving call to repent from homosexuality is said to come from homophobics.
Although people may be attracted to members of the same sex, homosexuality is the willful perversion of a sexual situation. The ancient Syrians knew homosexuality was wrong and built up laws and customs to shield themselves and their children from perversion. In the modern world, impressionable teens are being conditioned to believe that if they have any same-sex feelings whatsoever, then they are gay and should embrace their homosexuality.
In previous cultures, some form of a deity dictated common lives. Today, individual preference dictates lifestyle choices. As a result, there is no basis for declaring something ‘morally wrong’. Likewise there is no basis for declaring tolerance as morally right. Trying to use truth and morality to support homosexuality will ultimately fail. Basically, the argument about homosexuality isn’t an argument about homosexuality at all – it’s an argument about the authority of God.
1. In which ancient culture was homosexuality disregarded almost completely?
2. Which virtue is being misinterpreted as homoeros?
D. filial piety
3. The gay culture claims homosexuality is NOT
A. a genetic trait.
B. more about love than about sex.
C. a civil rights issue.
D. a moral problem.
4. What well-known brain study found no evidence for genetic homosexuality?
A. Simon LeVay
B. John Gurard
C. Allison Krauss
D. Reuben L’Ollonais
4“Survey Finds 40 percent of Gay Men Have Had More Than 40 Sex Partners,” Lambda Report, January/February 1998, p. 20. A. P. Bell and M. S. Weinberg, Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978), pp. 308, 9; see also Bell, Weinberg and Hammersmith, Sexual Preference (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1981), from www.focusonthefamily.org
5W.E. Owen Jr., “Medical Problems of the Homosexual Adolescent,” Journal of Adolescent Health Care 6, No. 4, July 1985, pp. 278-85., from www.focusonthefamily.org
6Fenger, C. “Anal Neoplasia and Its Precursors: Facts and Controversies,” Seminars in Diagnostic Pathology 8, no. 3, August 1991, pp. 190-201; Daling, J.R. et al., “Sexual Practices, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and the Incidence of Anal Cancer,” New England Journal of Medicine 317, no. 16, 15 October 1987, pp. 973-77; Holly, E.A. et al., “Anal Cancer Incidence: Genital Warts, Anal Fissure or Fistula, Hemorrhoids, and Smoking,” Journal of the National Cancer Institute 81 , no. 22, November 1989, pp. 1726-31; Daling, J.R. et al., “Correlates of Homosexual Behavior and the Incidence of Anal Cancer,” Journal of the American Medical Association 247, no. 14, 9 April 1982, pp. 1988-90; Cooper, H.S., Patchefsky, A.S. and Marks, G., “Cloacogenic Carcinoma of the Anorectum in Homosexual Men: An Observation of Four Cases”; Diseases of the Colon and Rectum 22, no. 8, 1979, pp. 557-58. Also see Between the Lines, Michigan's statewide gay newspaper, reporting on the risk of anal cancer for men who have sex with men, http://www.afa.net/homosexual_agenda/ha031901.asp>, from www.focusonthefamily.org
7“APA’s Practical Guidelines for the Treatment of Patients with HIV/AIDS,” Epidemiology, Clinical Features Influencing Treatment, sections, www.psych.org/aids/, Anti-Viral Treatment section, from www.focusonthefamily.org
8Satinover, Jeffrey, “Reflections: Interview with NARTH,” February 5, 2001, http:www.narth.com. , from www.focusonthefamily.org
9THE HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Division of HIV/AIDS, through December 2001., from www.focusonthefamily.org
10Excerpt from the Book of the Dead, http://www.sas.upenn.edu/African_Studies/Books/Papyrus_Ani.html
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