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Someone should care, maybe not you....

My thoughts on many things including the army, war, politics, the military corrections system, chaos, life, books, movies, and why there is no blue food. Feel free to comment on what I say. Feedback is nice.

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40+ year old former teacher, linguist, interrogator, soldier, and lastly convict. We all do stupid things every once and awhile. I am an economic conservative and a firm believer in civil rights. Starting a new life now and frankly not sure what I am going to be doing.

27 February 2007

A bit of my past

Those few of you who come here with any degree of regularity will have noticed that I am not writing as much as I used too. I have sort of reached a place in the process here where I feel like I am repeating myself a lot and am pretty much screaming into the void while I do it. There are a few folks who think like I do and a lot who sort of go “Oh god, not again!” when I write. It doesn’t help that it is clear to me where things are going and what the end result is going to be. Oh well.

So, I will go in an entirely different direction today.

While writing that last post I recalled an incident of my earlier life. Way back in the early 80’s when I was in my first year or so of college I had a very good friend named M who was gay. ( I actually still consider myself to have him as a friend even though we haven’t been in touch with each other for several years.) M and I met each other very early in my freshman year of college, like the first two days, and we sort of stuck. We both got in a play, chatted a lot, hung around many of the same folks and generally got along very well. It was some time later that M told me he was gay which I had figured out myself but didn’t really care. This isn’t all that big a deal except in the mind of certain folks because I was (and am) a member of a rather conservative Christian (according to us at least) denomination that had a track record for not accepting homosexuality at all. I had never really thought about it until this event occurred. It was M’s birthday and we, he, I, his boyfriend, and another friend of theirs were going to Savannah to watch a movie and eat. (if you care to know exactly which year this was we saw Something Wicked this Way Comes) while riding around in the car the friend, whose name I cannot recall at all, (who was also gay) was ranting about various issues and brought up the topic of religious intolerance towards gays and specifically mentioned my denomination and said something fairly derogatory about us. M glanced at him and said “they aren’t all like that.” and pointed out that I was one. The friend said I must not be a very good one then which led M and his boyfriend to defend my religiosity fairly strenuously. The friend then expressed amazement that he had finally found a member of that faith that accepted homosexuality at which point M again interrupted him and said that that wasn’t true. He said “Exmi doesn’t accept homosexuality, he just accepts homosexuals.” Needless to say this led to a long discussion that winded on through dinner and afterwards (at which time I got my first visit to a gay bar where I thought I handled myself quite coolly and M said I looked like I was about to jump out of my skin.) As we were winding our way home later that night the friend looked at me and said “I know you are straight, but if you ever want to try gay, please call me first.” At which point M nearly wrecked the car. I think he thought I was going to scream and leap from the car window. I didn’t of course; I just told the guy that I would keep that in mind but not to hold his breath.
I have periodically had similar conversations in my life with different people who all want me to explain why I seem so different from the image they and others have of my church. My answer is always something like this. Yes, the church teaches and I believe that homosexuality is a sin. But so is heterosexuality if acted upon prior to marriage. In fact, so is drinking alcohol and smoking. So if I locked myself away from people who sinned I would have a pretty small damn circle of friends. In point of fact, “homosexuality” per se isn’t a sin (in my mind). By that I mean being attracted to members of your own gender. Acting on it though falls into the pre-marital sex thing since the church does not (and never will I strongly suspect) accept any form of gay marriage. So one can be a homosexual, one just can’t have sex outside the bonds of recognized marriage. Which is frankly no more odious for a gay person than it is for a straight person who hasn’t gotten married.

Well, now you know a bit more about me. Conjure with it what you will…..

81 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's been a lot of fuss local to me about a high school student using the phrase "that's so gay" (which in current teen-speak means the same as "that's lame" or "that's weak", and doesn't really have anything to do with sexual orientation any more than "that sucks" does).

The student (or her lawyer) naturally made these points in her defense, even though the phrase had been specifically listed as offensive. The student claims it's not anti-gay because in her mind the phrase doens't have those association, but means something else. Of course, this neglects the point that the phrase may well have different associations for other people. (Compare "Polack jokes" or the use of the Confederate battle flag in various state flags.)

The funny thing to me is that she used the phrase while she was being teased about being a Mormon. This upset her, so she labelled her tormentor's behavior as "gay".

I wonder if she'd be happy if all the teens in her school just switched to saying "that's so Mormon!"

10:13 AM  
Blogger exMI said...

Probably not but it would be fine. I have read up a bit on this case and generally think it is yet another cse of the PC thought police running amuk. Someone show me a place in the constitution where there is a guaranteed right to not be offended.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a case where everyone's wrong.

It's certainly silly to start invoking hate crime legislation and making a Federal case out of every comment. If we start prosecuting teenagers for being thoughless and insensitive, where is that ever going to end?

Still, it's also wrong on a simple personal level constantly to abuse your ability to offend people. Some degree of mutual respect and civility is required for society to function. Being a jerk may not be a Federal crime, but that doesn't make it ok. "Everything not forbidden is compulsory" is another famous instance of thought policing. Sometimes you abstain from behavior because it's the right thing to do, even if it's not illegal.

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Personal anecdotes are the best blog posts ( I think ), perhaps because they are so true to experience and lack rationalizing. The worst part is - even if your friends tell you to write a book - that sooner or later you run dry ( which didn't stop threescore and ten or more but he has an advantage ).
That's actually why I changed the focus of my blog to net based experience : yes, it's lazy but do-able as far as material is concerned. That way personal stuff - and rants - didn't have to form the foundation of the work.
It's o.k. not to fill up space when nothing more is left to say. Nor would I worry that's all there is. Stories, recipes and photos you wish to share are fine. I do wonder if social networking is not in order : not that I've tried it myself yet. If you want to track comments across the net, try CoComment. It's given me a new tool to keep track of responses to what I've said. Backtracking to threads is much more easily done.

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