Comments:Church of England to allow celibate gay bishops

Back to article

Wikinews commentary.svg

This page is for commentary on the news. If you wish to point out a problem in the article (e.g. factual error, etc), please use its regular collaboration page instead. Comments on this page do not need to adhere to the Neutral Point of View policy. Please remain on topic and avoid offensive or inflammatory comments where possible. Try thought-provoking, insightful, or controversial. Civil discussion and polite sparring make our comments pages a fun and friendly place. Please think of this when posting.

Use the "Start a new discussion" button just below to start a new discussion. If the button isn't there, wait a few seconds and click this link: Refresh.

Start a new discussion

A ten point proposal for lasting progress toward liberty and justice for the queer community

1. Agreement that "I am queer" means "I do not conform to the marriage norm".

2. Agreement that ALL us are queer. None of us conforms perfectly and always. Some people are just more queer than others.

3. Recognition that the "queer community" is defined as those of us who reject the legitimacy of the marriage norm.

4. Affirmation of the critical importance of a vigorous, respectful, and uncensored civic conversation in which all viewpoints can be expressed and will be given due consideration.

5. Agreement that the freedom to speak includes the freedom to promote cultural norms, including the marriage norm, using speech, including rebuke speech.

6. Affirmation that those who engage in rebuke speech are morally obligated to do so with compassion and to avoid targeting individuals.

7. Affirmation that groups which are the subject of rebuke speech must tolerate that speech and respond constructively to it.

8. Commitment to objective, nonpoliticized scientific research into the relative importance of nature / nurture in accounting for queer / normal outcomes in adult males and females.

9. To the extent that individuals become queer due to the "nurture factor", recognition of the legitimate societal interest that exists in developing and promoting the marriage norm.

10. To the extent that individuals become queer due to the "nature factor", commitment to compassion, liberty, and justice with respect to those individuals.

Wo'O Ideafarm (talk)21:16, 6 January 2013

Closed minded suppression of the "QUEERS ARE PERVERTS" viewpoint

> Please do tell me how you are being ruthlessly oppressed.

I said that the QUEERS ARE PERVERTS viewpoint is suppressed by an intolerant, closed minded population. The opinions expressed in the press are one sided on whether queer sexuality is a perversion or an "orientation". There is no vigorous discussion or respectful debate in which people with opposing views are really listening to each other. My own opinion on the question, and the rationale for it, is not given any coverage whatsoever, so no one is even aware of it, much less giving it consideration.

Since I am a civic speaker, and since I have spoken on this issue (as well as on many other issues), my personal story provides a case study of such intolerance (of a speaker) and suppression (of an idea). I have been under effective house arrest for two and one half years in Mountain View, California, and the local court has imposed a gag order upon me. For these two and one half years, IdeaFarm (tm) Operations has been silenced by unlawful government force. Some of the people of Mountain View wonder why the IdeaFarm (tm) Operations signs are no longer displayed 24x7 on the streets of Mountain View. This silencing is not voluntary. It is politically driven. The unlawful government silencing of speech here is rooted in a local population that not only disagrees with my viewpoints, but opposes their expression. Mountain View has a significant queer population, and many who are not queer join the queers in their opposition to the expression of my viewpoint using the very powerful speech method that I use. The "street essay" method, under the ideal conditions found in Mountain View, can reach 20,000 people per day and can be likened in its effect to "a speech in a public park to a milling crowd".

In short, I am at this moment engaged in repelling a "ruthless" attempt by government to outright prohibit an innovative and powerful direct method of speech that is capable of destroying the "thought steering" monopoly that controls the civic conversation in most urban areas of the United States. I just finished meeting with my attorney a few minutes ago. The suppression of the QUEERS ARE PERVERTS viewpoint is indeed real, it is ruthless, and it is so total that many who read this will not be aware that such a viewpoint even exists in any rational, well articulated form. It does exist. You just have not encountered it.

Wo'O Ideafarm (talk)21:57, 5 January 2013

I agree with you on one point: that, even after reading this, I have not encountered the "queers are perverts" viewpoint in any rational or well-articulated form

Ironholds (talk)11:24, 6 January 2013

I am far more concerned with this destruction of a vigorous, uncensored, respectful and constructive "civic conversation" than I am with the silencing of the marriage norm, which the queer community understandably finds inconvenient. ("QUEERS ARE PERVERTS" is a crude statement of part of the marriage norm, which I have defined in another conversation on Wikinews.)

Wo'O Ideafarm (talk)15:41, 6 January 2013

You can talk to yourself all you like.

The wonderful thing about free speech is we don't have to listen.

Brian McNeil / talk15:53, 6 January 2013

If you live in the United States or in any other democracy, then you DO have a civic duty to listen. Democracy cannot function if the citizenry is closed minded and does not tolerate the effective expression of ideas that are unpleasant.

Wo'O Ideafarm (talk)16:08, 6 January 2013

Touche, Ironholds! I just noticed the "even after reading this". My posts, overlong as they are, do not, and cannot given the space limitations, articulate my viewpoint in any detail or with any rigor. A full essay would be required to do that.

But this conversation can be a beginning. What I have posted should be enough for you to respond intelligently to. Tom Morris's post on the other thread, in which he offers an alternative definition of "couple", is the best example of the kind of intelligent response that I hunger for.

The love teaching of Jesus, which is the essence of the Christian way of life, is that we should be wholesomely connected with each other (and with God and with the Earth). Here, I seek wholesome connection in the form of respectful and constructive intellectual engagement, in which we mostly just listen to each other and learn from each other. That is the path on which true progress, including liberty and justice for the queer community, will be found.

I am a libertarian. I do not oppose the political objectives of the queer community. I am only opposed to the methods that they are using to achieve them.

Wo'O Ideafarm (talk)17:34, 6 January 2013

The real bone of contention is whether "sin" exists

I do not think that the queer community is intentionally asserting that there is no such thing as "sin", i.e. that there is no such thing as right versus wrong. But their attack on the viewpoint that queer sexuality is morally wrong, i.e. is a sin, has the effect of undermining the Christian teaching that sin exists. This is a comfort to all who feel guilt.

I am not a sinner when I shoplift. It is just my "orientation"; I am a kleptomaniac by nature. I am not a sinner when I beat my wife. It is just my "orientation"; I am a male trapped in a nonviolent society that gives me no other outlet for my natural violent inclinations. I am not a sinner when I expose my penis to young schoolchildren walking to school. I am just very lonely and have a psychological need to connect with other human beings, and when I expose myself I don't feel lonely. Etc. Etc.

The concept of sin plays a much larger role in Western moral philosophy (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) than it does in Eastern philosophy (Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism). Both philosophies use the carrot and the stick to promote morality. But Western philosophy uses, in addition, rebuke speech. Rebuke speech is unpleasant for the listener. Possibly the main reason that people in the West do not go to church on Sunday morning is that they don't want to be rebuked, to be told that they are sinners, to be told that the various pleasures that they indulge in, like stuffing KrispyKreme doughnuts into their 400 lb. bodies, is a sin. Such people find comfort in the current fight for legitimacy by the queer community. If queer sex is not a perversion but only an "orientation", then I am also absolved of my gluttony.

That, I think, is the psychology behind the broad support that the sexually normal people feel for the queer community's current legal initiative.

Wo'O Ideafarm (talk)16:01, 6 January 2013

Confusion strikes again: What is a couple?

This story interests me because it presents another "symptom" of what I see as a cultural confusion about what a couple is. It is the same confusion that I see in current discussions of "same sex marriage". I post these ideas to invite respectful intelligent discussion, and suggest that we focus on listening to each other rather than on convincing each other of anything.

In every mammal, the reproductive function is central to life. In the individual, every subsystem is interconnected, and the reproductive subsystem is connected to every other subsystem. Individual mammals reproduce by coupling, male to female. By "coupling" I do not mean "copulation". Copulation is a momentary, periodic act. Coupling is a permanent or semipermanent change of being, a change of what "self" identifies. In important senses, the two individuals fuse into a single entity, the couple, and lose their individual identities. I am speaking poetically, not precisely, so that you can grok my idea.

The openness with which we discuss sexuality with strangers these days beckons us into two traps. One is the trap of prurience, and the other is the trap of confusing coupling with copulation. These traps are related, because when we become ensnared in prurience, we become obsessed with sexuality and so become inclined to focus on copulation.

The article about the Bishops is about copulation, not coupling. Peel away the piousness and the nice words and the inuendos about progress and civil rights, and what you'll find is prurience. It is prurience that leads a male into a bonding relationship with another male, a relationship that bears some resemblance to the emotional bonds within a couple. But do not be deceived by the similarities at the surface. When two males are in a "love relationship", even if there is no physical intimacy, it is not a couple, and it is not a marriage. I would argue (in another conversation) that it is a perversion, a behavior that is harmful both to the individuals involved and to the community of which they are a part. The inclusion of physical intimacy in such a relationship does not make it perverted; it just makes it MORE perverted.

Wo'O Ideafarm (talk)05:45, 5 January 2013
Coupling is a permanent or semipermanent change of being, a change of what "self" identifies. In important senses, the two individuals fuse into a single entity, the couple, and lose their individual identities. I am speaking poetically, not precisely, so that you can grok my idea.

I have to agree with you. According to this utterly bonkers definition, gay people are evil demonic perverts.

But this definition is stupid and ridiculous theological nonsense which sensible people have rightly rejected as such.

Tom Morris (talk)11:40, 5 January 2013

And also the Church of England.

Ironholds (talk)12:19, 5 January 2013

I don't mind that the Church of England has done this. The love teaching of Jesus is for everyone, and it is good that one of the major Christian organizations is making a spiritual home for queers. But this should be a "love the sinner, not the sin" thing. There is also no harm in disagreement between Christian organizations regarding whether queer sexuality is a sin. Truth, whatever it turns out to be, will emerge from constructive disagreement and dialog. IMO, queer sexuality should continue to be viewed as a sin, rather than as an "orientation".

Wo'O Ideafarm (talk)17:58, 5 January 2013

My paragraph that begins with "In every mammal..." speaks of reproduction, coupling, and copulation. It does not discuss behavior, sexual or otherwise, normal or nonconformant. It does not mention, either to support or attack, the view that nonconformant behavior should be penalized.

I ended by expressing my opinion that queer sexuality and behavior is perverted because it is this opinion that makes me care so much about the news that we are discussing. Also, I voiced it because it is an opinion that is ruthlessly silenced by a closed minded population.

I would prefer to leave those issues for another conversation and focus on my "In every mammal..." paragraph. If you don't agree with my definition of a "couple", put your own into words for us. We agree that a male-female pair are a couple. We disagree about whether a male-male pair should also be called a couple. What, according to your definition, about a male-horse pair, i.e. a male who practices bestiality? Is that a couple? Just what IS your definition of "a couple"?

Wo'O Ideafarm (talk)17:39, 5 January 2013

I don't deal in "definitions" unless they are actually useful to some meaningful end. You need to actually say why making a distinction between "coupling" and "copulation" is somehow a meaningful distinction.

The Oxford Dictionary says a couple is "two people who are married or otherwise closely associated romantically or sexually", which obviously includes same-sex couples. Your definition of couple excludes same-sex couples. I don't particularly care that you use words in a funny way. Simply appealing to your strange definition of words is not going to suddenly convince me that being gay is wrong.

Please do tell me how you are being ruthlessly oppressed. I'm sure it will be most entertaining.

Tom Morris (talk)19:30, 5 January 2013

The Oxford Dictionary definition accurately represents how the word "couple" is used in general conversation. I am using the term in a more precise way, as a social scientist might use it. (I am a social scientist.) I attempted to define the word, as I am using it, to aid our understanding each other.

I agree that it is pointless to argue over what the definition of a word should be. But you evidently do understand how I am using the word. My claim is that the concept of a "couple", as I have defined it, is useful in bringing into sharp relief a fundamental issue that is raised by the news of a Christian Church embracing and legitimizing queer sexuality. To embrace the idea that queer sexuality is legitimate, i.e. that "anything goes", one must reject the idea of the couple, as I have defined it. If, in nature, the male-female couple is something special and significant, and can be distinguished from, say, male-male intimacy or male-horse intimacy, then it is important and useful to remember that ideas about "couple" might not apply, or not apply as well, to other kinds of pairings.

Please note that, according to the Oxford Dictionary, a male-horse pair is a "couple" if the male has such close feelings for his horse that he engages in acts of sexual bestiality.

Wo'O Ideafarm (talk)22:14, 5 January 2013

Set aside the distraction that we are discussing something that both of us care deeply about, so our personal stakes are high. Just enjoy with me this intellectual banquet.

Another intriguing feature of the Oxford Dictionary definition is that it does not contain any basis for the idea that the number 2 is significant or special. "Married or closely associated romantically or sexually" could equally as well be applied to a sex commune of twenty people who live together. In contrast, the reproduction paradigm that I use to define "couple" contains a wealth of biological and institutional detail from which we can construct rationales for why a male-female pair is distinct and important. You correctly see that the same biological and institutional detail provides a solid foundation for rationales for why male-male, female-female, male-horse, female-donkey, 10-male-10-female, male-female-cadaver, female-male-child, male-female-child (and the list goes on) combinations are morally wrong (perverted). In each of these queer sexuality modes, the biological and institutional detail supports arguments that queer sexuality of the mode being considered harms the individuals involved and/or the community in which they live.

Wo'O Ideafarm (talk)06:10, 6 January 2013