"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Monday, April 8, 2019

‘It Was God Who Made Me Gay’–Vice-President Pence And The Heterosexual Sicilian Defense

Pete Buttigieg, announced candidate for President of the United States, challenged Mike Pence, American Vice-President and loyal ally of Donald Trump, to refute his legitimacy.  Pence, a committed, devout, and sincere fundamentalist for whom Biblical injunctions against homosexuality are received, unquestioned authority, had trouble with this one.  Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.  While Pence could not deny that God had made Buttigieg and made him with an aberrant sexuality just as he had made fornicators and thieves, he had to admit to friends that for a moment Buttigieg had cornered him.

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Of course, Pence knew, God had created all things, good and evil, animal and human; but weren’t the the unusual and the anti-evolutionary created only to put goodness and good behavior in relief?  God had created homosexuals for a purpose – to show how purely libidinal, un-procreative, and purposeless sexual behavior, while encompassed like all things within God’s goodness, were antithetical to his vision - not to create an alternative to his divine notion.  Pence knew that Buttigieg was an ambitious interloper, a sexual opportunist, and a political manipulator; but he was at great pains to explain why.  God was indeed the Creator of all things, Buttigieg included, so what then?

Who would have thought that Buttigieg, an insignificant ambitious political comer would have provoked such existential thought from the Vice-President, known for his loyalty, his unquestioning faith, and his simple, bedrock belief?

There is no doubt that in both the Old and New Testament homosexuality is forbidden and universally condemned.  While revisionists have interpreted this condemnation metaphorically and historically – God never intended a blanket condemnation of homosexuality but cited it only as an example of the vagaries of faith and the difficulty to form a coherent, cogent, spiritual reality – the text of the Bible is hard to refute:
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual 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 shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done (Romans 1:26-28)
We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers-and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me (1 Timothy 1:8-11)
The Old Testament is no less decisive
Leviticus 20:13 - If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them.

Leviticus 18:22 - Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.
1 Kings 14:24 - And there were also sodomites in the land: [and] they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.
The resolution to the philosophical conundrum is easy. In the view of religious conservatives God created homosexuals as both as a contrast to divine and human procreation and as an expression of his infinite bounty.  The faithful were to accept God’s absolute, universal righteousness and its contrast to barbarianism as absolute.  Just as there is a Heaven and a Hell, a Right and Wrong, homosexuals were instrumental in putting the glory and righteousness of heterosexual procreation in relief.  The example unproductive sexual behavior contrasted to a divinely inspired procreative imperative was absolutely necessary.

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It was only a matter of time before the gay agenda went national.  An openly gay candidate for President has always been a foregone conclusion in this inclusive, relative, and uber-tolerant time  What more liberal and progressive claim to legitimacy than a challenge to the received wisdom of heterosexuality?  Buttigieg not only challenges what he considers the homophobic, reactionary Right but Biblical received wisdom.  This is a man of no particular philosophical insight, or  revolutionary ideas.  He is simply riding the progressive wave of the big tent, all comers welcome, no questions asked  inclusivity.  Two thousand years of Christian religious philosophy, five thousand years of Jewish tradition, law, and legitimacy be damned.  He is today’s People Magazine, E!, and Entertainment Today poster boy.

The resistance of conservatives is rock-solid.  There is no doubt that non-traditional sexual behavior has existed since the first human settlements; and only because it has do Paul, and the authors of the Hebrew Bible choose to condemn it so roundly. When looked at from a philosophical, spiritual, political and existential perspective it can only be anti-evolutionary, anti-communal, and anti-social.

The writers of the Old and New Testaments had it right.  They were considering both a spiritual world and the physical world from which the redeemed would come.  Homosexuality was clearly insurrectionist and anti-social; and the Hebrews and early Christians understood that anything that undermined the social order and the homogeneity which was essential to spiritual salvation must be condemned, marginalized, and suppressed.

Homosexuality has existed since the earliest human settlements and has been criticized and condemned not because of its actions per se, but because of the threat they represented to a Darwinian, procreative, self-interested society.  It mattered not who did what to whom but what the actions implied.

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In other words, the longevity of the species is hardwired and permanent. It is natural, logical, and sensible that homosexuality be universally condemned, as anti-procreative as it is.  Because the future of the species depends on successful heterosexual intercourse, and because this hardwired longevity-purpose is threatened by aggressive homosexuality, it is not surprising that homophobia is as prevalent now as it ever was.

So what to make of LGBTQ  inclusivity? The numbers of non-heterosexual Americans remains insignificant, yet the advocates of rainbow politics insist that numbers are insignificant  Being cannot be quantified.  Human rights cannot be counted.

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Even in the most autocratic societies, homosexuality has never been eliminated.  Men have had sex with men since time immemorial and will continue to do so regardless.  It is a fact of life; but whether homosexuality should be regularized, normalized, and included in the middle class canon is another question altogether.

It is easy enough to dismiss the Biblical quotations cited above.  Enough has been written on the cultural context of scripture to at least put the Bible into context; but it is not enough to dismiss the words of Paul and the writers of the Hebrew Bible out of hand.   Something fundamental is going on here.

Is homosexuality, as fundamentalists say,  a threat to society, challenging both Old and New Testament convictions about family, moral rectitude, and sexual regularity? Or is it simply an aberration, some twisting of God’s intent but not that big a deal? Why not live and let live? Why not leave well enough alone?

Sex, sexuality, gender, and sexual identity are not easily dismissed.  Fundamentalists insist that a man having sex with another man is not simply a private, obscure, and insignificant act; and a challenge not only to received social order, but to divine order.  To those of Biblical belief the heterosexual family is a microcosm of the Divine Family – Father, Son, and Holy Ghost – and a divine expression of the human family.  Mary and Joseph in heterosexual union gave birth to Jesus.  No homosexual union could have done as much.  It is not surprising that Christian, Jewish, and Islamic traditions revere heterosexual family procreation.

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Yet even more moderate, secular voters have cause for concern. American politics has veered far from center.  Ethnic, racial, and gender diversity has become the progressive norm.  Lip service is paid to the millennia of religious tradition the texts of which – Koran, Hebrew Bible, and New Testament – which have not only advocated social conservatism in the pursuit of spiritual salvation, but which have codified them.  Heterosexual union is fundamental to Hinduism.  It is from the physical union of Siva and Parvati that the world springs.  Tantrism, a fundamentalist  interpretation of male-female sexual power, is universal.  D.H. Lawrence was a Tantrist and an evocative exponent of heterosexual union as existential and spiritual.

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The candidacy of Pete Buttigieg is sure to go nowhere, but it is worthy of note. How could a candidate so far from the cultural, religious norm of the country have any chance of winning a presidential election? Has the country become willing heir to Buttagieg's radical multiculturalism? Or is this simply the progressive Left fawning over its own idealistic millenialism, election results be damned?

America in this second decade of the 21st century has strayed far from its Enlightenment roots.  The culture of relativism has demanded a rethinking of everything from the Constitution to the Bible.  According to progressive received wisdom, every aspect of American culture must be seen through the lens of multiculturalism.  There are no longer any historical moorings, nor universal wisdom.

No one on the Left knows what to do with Donald Trump, and the scramble to people the fringes with credentialed liberal opponents is on big time.  Republicans know that the country, despite progressive hysteria, has turned Right and will remain so for some time to come; and are quite happy with the array of political idealistic neophytes slated to run against the President in 2020.

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