Monday, May 31, 2010

Aberrations of Intimacy

This is one of those politically correct, or incorrect, topics that people with brains are smart enough to leave alone.

So, as I was saying... I'll be the first to admit I don't understand homosexuality anymore than I appreciate it. And quite honestly, I don't think I'm supposed to understand it. Sin is an aberration. Beyond that, the actual mechanisms of sin are something completely beyond human understanding. Only God can properly understand sin and properly hate it. That almost magical framework which supports sin and infuses our world with it is unknown to mortals. Negative thoughts, suggestions, appetites and habits are constantly poured into the cup of each soul. The bible tells us from whom they flow. It does not tell us how. At its most diminutive, sin preys upon the weakness of our flesh. These are appropriately referred to as sins of weakness. Sin begins to show its real strength, however, when it is premeditated. It then gathers even more steam and becomes the custom of small groups. And at its deadliest it takes on the function of a worldwide tradition just as human sacrifice once was.

If there's one characteristic of sin that stands out it must be that of senselessness. Not that all sins appear senseless at all times. For instance, to a lazy man, it must seem quite sensible to steal. But there's usually a root to sin that has no sense in it. In this case it is the laziness itself. Laziness provides no real function in life. Laziness enhances the life of no man, and lazy men do nothing to enhance society. It's not just that no good thing comes from it that should astound us though. It's that any man should ever think to be lazy in the first place. How did he ever conceive of such a way of life? Did the world's first lazy man actually conceive anything at all of laziness? Or did he merely act on impulse? Impulse! Ah, where did that impulse come from? How? And why? I also must say that the closer you look at the psychology professional's view on the impulse to sin, the more you come to realize his view is all smoke and mirrors. It's no secret that I have always had a very low opinion of psychology. There are simply no answers there--only men who put on the pretense of one who knows.

The only thing about homosexual acts that can in any way be construed as desirous is that of the physical pleasure some claim to derive from it. But physical pleasures cannot be thought of as positive or negative. They are simply physical states such as hot or cold. They are neither good nor evil. Physical discomforts are also neither good nor evil. They may not be desirous, but they are just a state of existence.

I would also quickly admit that I've heard locker-room talk where guys mentioned things their wives or girlfriends did with them sexually that seemed quite pleasurable to them, but which sounded just as strange to me as any homosexual act and sometimes just as sickening. Frankly, anything involving the word "anus" is disturbing, and to me, comes under the heading of mentally imbalanced. Is this a way of getting back at their parents for not allowing them to play in the city sewer system as kids? That might be the best answer a psychologist could come up with. But isn't it obvious that there's something very wrong, something very insensible going on?

Of course it hardly stops there. One of the more oddball intimate behaviors people sometimes engage in was immortalized by ZZ Top in the song "Pearl Necklace". Need I say more? My question is, what's the point? Physical pleasure? But couldn't performing the sex act in the normal way bring the exact same pleasure? What compels people to do the very strange?

These are the kinds of weird explorations I would expect of six year old kids if six year old kids could have sex. But is there anything about these acts that conjure up images of well-balanced adults?

Now I'm not letting myself off the hook here. For several years I had a thing for married women. I never once acted on the impulse, but still, the compulsion was there, and for the life of me, I don't know why. It made no sense whatsoever. The last thing I was looking for was a wife myself, so it wasn't like I was hoping any of these women were going to leave their husbands for me. That was the last thing on my mind. It was simply a kind of appetite, and maybe that's the word we should be focusing on.

An appetite in this case can best be described as a wild craving. For some it can even become insatiable over time. Life is about making choices. But where do those choices come from? I'm especially thinking of choices involving cravings that appear from within. Sexual appetite is often thought of as merely a physical and biological desire (or bio-physical if you like), but I see much more at work here because so often those cravings have little or nothing to do with the flesh. Normal humans have a physical craving for sex. But strange sexual aberrations begin from within and will manifest themselves even when the physical body is craving nothing at all. Our mind tells us it wants to have sex, and it wants to have it in an abnormal way, even though our bodies are telling us no such thing. I truly believe this is how many people get involved with weird sexual behaviors. They'll so often claim, "This is the only way I can do it", when the truth of the matter is that they could perform the act in the normal manner if they waited until their physical bodies were actually craving sex rather than just their minds. It's rather like a man saying he doesn't like water and can only drink a particular kind of imported wine when in truth he would gladly drink water if he were very, very thirsty.

I've mentioned before of how I once knew a married couple, both of whom were afraid of being in high places, not because they were afraid of heights, but because both of them felt the same insensible compulsion to jump.

These insensible impulses we feel in life have a way of bringing about self-hatred. It begins with a sort of disgust we have toward ourselves for even being tempted to act irrationally in the first place (perhaps because we allowed the impulse in) and ends with an all out self-hate when we fall completely out of control. I've always felt homosexuality was somehow a form of self-hatred. It's only recently that I've come to this understanding of why.

The things of God, however, are usually pretty straight forward. This in fact is one of the things that draws us most to him. We're bombarded with irrational impulses day after day, and if we give in to them, we know that irrationality is only a step away from insanity. But there is sanity in God. I often think this is what's being referred to by that "peace that surpasses understanding". It is simply sanity. A devotion to God is a devotion to all that is rational. It makes sense of the world and gives clarity to the mind.

If you ever try to talk rationally with a homosexual you will immediately find his world is full of irrationalities. I recently found myself having just such a discussion with one. The first thing he did was to say that I hated homosexuals. I of course said no such thing. He had instantaneously drawn the conclusion that if I thought homosexuality was wrong that I must hate anyone who does it. When I informed him that it was only the act that was the object of my scorn, he quickly replied, "The old hate the sin, love the sinner nonsense, eh? That's just a copout. Nobody buys that."

He then went on to say that since I had never tried homosexuality that I couldn't make an informed decision about it. I replied that I had also never tried murder, torture, rape, incest, biting off an ear, or poking out someone's eye with a stick either, but that all rational people realize such things are wrong.

Next he trotted out the old standby of how I was being "intolerant" and that he was promoting "openness and acceptance." I replied that he was being "permissive" that he was promoting openness and acceptance to something that most of the world considers to be a vice.

I also pointed out to him that, without fail, every single homosexual person I had ever encountered had been extremely self-centered and incredibly childish. Well of course he was just aghast at such a comment, but I was simply telling the truth. The fact is that every homosexual man I've ever met, or ever saw on TV, acted much more like a child than a woman. Richard Simmons is probably a pretty good example. I asked him how I could think of homosexual men as being "normal" well-balanced adults when they acted like children?

His only answer was that I must be bigoted. I said that I certainly was not but was only relating my impressions. I said that I had never known a homosexual that I felt comfortable being around but that I didn't see that as bigotry. There are in fact all kinds of people we don't like being around such as those who are childish, selfish, foolish, loud, obnoxious, rude etc. If I don't like being around a fool, does that make me a fool-bigot? Isn't it just common sense not wanting to be around a fool?

His last argument was perhaps the least sound of all and one I've heard many times before, and that was the fact that there are some animals that engage in homosexual acts. This in his mind made it all right for humans too. Actually, he went on to mention some studies done on rats which showed that they became more prone toward homosexual behaviors when their populations were increased within the same small area. The idea behind this argument is that homosexuality may in some cases be nature's way of population control.

First I mentioned that we humans are in dire straights when we start to use the criteria of other animals to judge our own behaviors. Some insects eat their mates after sex. Some eat their children too. Does that make it okay for us to do these things? Does it really imply that homosexual behavior in humans is just a part of nature if other animals do it? Or could it possibly imply that animals simply have no moral conscience? No real sense of right and wrong? I once saw a cat play with a snake and basically torture it to death. I'm no fan of snakes, but the cat never ate the snake. What purpose did it serve to torture it to death like that? Once again, could it be that other animals have no conscience and have no qualms about doing anything irrational that comes into their feeble minds?

The entire conversation with this man felt very strange. It was almost like I was conversing with an animal rather than a human. His arguments made no rational sense at all. They were the types of arguments I would have expected from someone below the age of ten. But the man wasn't stupid. He was irrational. There's a difference. I couldn't help but think that this is what a lifetime of willful sin will do to an intellect. There's no sanity away from God. There's only confusion, selfishness, and inner strife.

By the way, I recently had a chance to look up that study on controlled rat populations. It had the following to say:

"Males became aggressive, some moving in groups, attacking females and the young. Mating behaviors were disrupted. Some males became exclusively homosexual. Others became pansexual and hypersexual, attempting to mount any rat they encountered. Mothers neglected their infants, first failing to construct proper nests, and then carelessly abandoning and even attacking their pups. ... The crowded rodents had lost the ability to co-exist harmoniously, even after the population numbers once again fell to low levels. At a certain density, they had ceased to act like rats and mice, and the change was permanent."

It almost sounds as though homosexual behavior and mental devolution go hand in hand. The whole point in his bringing up the rat studies was to offer evidence that physical environments cause homosexual behaviors in some rats, and thus, that their behavior is not their own fault--the implication being that humans can't help their own behavior either. It's basically a determinist view of the world. That to me is absurd.

That humans may find themselves in situations that tempt bad behavior is a given. It's not even interesting. What's interesting is the way some people fight that same temptation and don't allow it to control them. It's our ability to go against these outside influences (or at least give it our best try) and remain in control of our natures that makes humans interesting compared to all other creatures on earth. The very fact that some of us remain loyal to a higher standard (what the ancients called first precepts, the Tao, or the laws of nature) in the face of adversity is truly astounding and goes against all science since science by its nature is deterministic. Call me crazy, but that a rat chooses to make poor choices doesn't matter to me.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The End of a Perfect Tale

I just watched the final episode of Lost. I wasn't at all prepared for it. I went into it wanting to have all my questions answered about the ancient mythology and science. Well I didn't get what I wanted. Instead I got what I needed. I've always felt (especially lately though) that feeling Jack had going through his death throes--that I live a sort of false life behind a false face. I see glimpses of the real world now and then, sometimes quite vivid, but it always exceeds my grasp. Maybe that's what Heaven is--a person, a thing, or a place that's more familiar than anything on earth, but a thing that's always just a bit out of reach. Some people are scared of it because they've allowed themselves to become too accustomed to this sham reality we live in.

This is the secret thread that runs through the works of CS Lewis, Charles Williams, GK Chesterton, and George MacDonald. They glimpsed the real world and had no fear of it--only a great longing to be there.

I pity those people who are afraid of death. They think it will be full of the unfamiliar and will take some getting used to. The opposite is the truth of things. It will be like opening the door to your home after having been on a long journey through an alien land.