About the Name of this blog

This blog's title refers to a Dani fable recounted by Robert Gardner. The Dani live in the highlands of New Guinea, and at the the time he studied them, they lived in one of the only remaining areas in the world un-colonized by Europeans.

The Dani, who Gardner identifies only as a "Mountain People," in the film "The Dead Birds," have a myth that states there was once a great race between a bird and a snake to determine the lives of human beings. The question that would be decided in this race was, "Should men shed their skins and live forever like snakes, or die like birds?" According to the mythology, the bird won the race, and therefore man must die.

In the spirit of ethnographic analysis, this blog will examine myth, society, culture and architecture, and hopefully examine issues that make us human. As with any ethnography, some of the analysis may be uncomfortable to read, some of it may challenge your preconceptions about the world, but hopefully, all of it will enlighten and inform.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Congratulations, You Have a New Behavior Pattern


There are two ways for a person to reconcile and come to terms with fear: contemplative sublimation or the fear - anger - hate chain. 

The first method requires a strong epistemology, which at it's core is the ability to know what we know.   This method of catharsis (purging yourself of fear) forces you to examine your fear, asses it's validity, come to terms with it, and ultimately purge it from your system.  In short, you move on from your fear - you get over it and get on with life. 

Although this sounds easy, it is actually one of the hardest things for a person to do.  Most people lack the self awareness to sublimate fear.  Understand, that by saying this, I am not being derogatory, I am saying that we typically do not teach people the tools to do this.

Lacking these skills, most people revert to the other method: the fear - anger - hate chain.   This is a root structural behavior, just a step above being instinctual.  For proof of this, look at animals.  A dog may be afraid of the vacuum when it's running, then he gets angry at it and attempts to attack it.  Eventually, he comes to hate it and attacks it the moment he sees it.

I discussed this chain in my post about "Southern Nice" which is a phenomenon observed by my friend Patrick where in the South, hate gets cloaked by this false veneer of "nice."  In the South ingrained ideas are under challenge, which leads to fear, then anger and culminates in hate.

I'd like to explore this process in a bit more detail, because there are aspects of this cultural artifact that I did not address in the previous post.

As I said before, the South was a insulated cultural ecosystem basically until the invention of air conditioning, at which point the sphere of isolation was ruptured.  This brought new ideas into the South, ideas that challenged fundamental belief systems.

Because of the effects of enculturation, these different attitudes sparked fear.  These attitudes raised questions about the validity of the way things were done in the South, which challenged the naturalized culture.  One of the things about naturalized culture is that it is not examined, it is accepted as Truth.  When you question Truth, you knock the foundation out of a society, which is what happened in the South during the Civil Rights era.  You had new attitudes about race, about class mobility, about religion, and ultimately about peoples' role in society. 

This digging away at the bedrock of Southern Society undermined the entire cultural edifice in a way that had not happened since the Civil War.  And in fact, it was worse in a way, because after the Carpet Baggers left, Southern Society for the most part reverted back to an Antebellum mindset.  Jim Crow laws, poll taxes, sharecropping and segregation replaced slavery, but in general allowed the South to continue in much the same way that they always had.

In the Civil Rights Era, the influx of cultural challenge did not come from Carpet Baggers, who were destined to leave in a short time, it came from sources that would never leave, internal immigrants and televised media.  This time, the questions and the fear were not going to go away.

There could have been two ways the South responded; sublimation or anger/hate.  The first was highly unlikely from the start, it is hard enough for an individual to achieve this, let alone an entire culture.  (Ireland still hates the English 400 years after Cromwell) This was also unlikely because of the basic nature of Southern Culture, rooted in the philosophy of the Southern Baptist chuch, which takes Truth as an unquestioned absolute.

And when you question that which your culture tells you cannot be questioned... you get the picture.

Hence, we are left with only one possibility for the resolution of fear anger and hate.  Anger is a good short term solution for fear; it gets people through a short burst of terror, but it is wholly unsuited for an unending dread caused by the systemic undermining of cultural foundations.  Hate becomes the perfect armor to protect from this type of fear.

"I hate them because they are wrong and they are evil.  I am good and I am righteous, and I am shielded from their evil by my hate."

Throughout history, this is the typical response to cultural threat.  It leads to war, to genocide and any number of other horrors, and this hate crystallized in the Southern Soul.

But there is something peculiar to Southern Culture, gentility.

The South held on to the aristocratic traditions of etiquette and courtesy  present in the Colonial era far longer than the North did.  It should be noted these traditions arose from the Dueling societies of Medieval Europe, where if you were discourteous, you would end up dead on the field of honor.  Because the South maintained the trappings of this culture, etiquette and courtesy became part of the naturalized culture. 

Now we hit the Catch 22. 

The fear - anger - hate progression was kicked off by cultural challenges, but courtesy is at the core of the culture in question.  Therefore, overt hate is not an option, because it leads to an irreconcilable internal paradox of abandoning your enculturation because your enculturation is being challenged.

This way lies madness.

Thus is born "Southern Nice."  Southern Nice allows people to maintain their cultural norms, while sending out an encoded message that lies beneath the surface.  It becomes a complex mechanism to respond to a significant threat, while still keeping a veneer of socially acceptable behavior.  This layered meaning allows them to mask their hate and disdain in a way that does not further undermine their cultural belief structure.

It is a natural response.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Judge Not


Freedom of Religion does not equate to an authorization to discriminate in the name of God.

Recently a baker in Iowa refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, on the grounds that she is a Christian.  Victoria Childress, the owner of Victoria’s Cake Cottage stated, “I didn't do the cake because of my convictions for their lifestyle. It is my right, and it's not to discriminate against them. It's not so much to do with them; it's to do with me and my walk with God and what I will answer [to] Him for.”

Wind back the clock fifty years.  In the fifties and sixties, at the height of the civil rights movement, the same comments were frequently made in regards to mixed-race couples.  It was not uncommon to invoke God in a discussion of the immorality of interracial marriage.  Go back an additional twenty years, it was invoked for Jew-Gentile pairings; in the 1800’s, any marriage with someone who was Irish and someone who wasn’t.

God and morality are constantly employed to justify discriminatory attitudes, and freedom of religion is the foundation of that justification.  “I understand I’m being (whatever the discrimination du jour is) but I have to answer to a higher power.  This (action) goes against God.”

First of all let me remind you of Matthew 7:1 “Judge not lest ye be Judged.”  Also Mark 24:4 “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”  The Bible makes it pretty clear, at least as far as the Judeo-Christian ethic is concerned, that God is the only one who has the right to Judge.

This means that mere mortals cannot actually have any authority to judge the actions of another; we are only responsible for controlling our own behavior.  The laws laid out are for us to govern ourselves, not others.  (It’s that nasty free will stuff again.)

More importantly though, the Bible has been invoked for centuries to justify the horrific treatment of our fellow humans.  It was the basis of the Crusades (Deuteronomy 13:15 Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.)  It was used to endorse slavery.  (Genesis 9:25, Cursed be Ca'naan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.)  It was employed in the fight against Women’s Suffrage (Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.)

These attitudes are horrific, and most Christians today rightly reject them. 

And yet, we still use the cloak of Religious Freedom as a means to engage in despicable behavior.  That is not its intent.  The First Amendment guarantees that there will not be a state sponsored religion.

The Wall of Separation, first defined by no less that Thomas Jefferson, states “government must be neutral among religions and non-religion: it cannot promote, endorse, or fund religion or religious institutions.”  In other words, one religion cannot be promoted over any other.  To take an Evangelical belief that homosexuality is a sin over other religious views that accept it violates the Wall of Separation.

It seems that the religious right wants to enshrine their specific version of Christianity as the law of the land.  They do this while at the same time denouncing any possibility of Sharia Law being acknowledged.  Religious law is religious law; all of them are prohibited by the First Amendment.  Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or whatever, you cannot base American Law on any religious text.

But back to the specific issue at hand; the First Amendment is not acceptable grounds to refuse service.  This battle was fought in the sixties when segregation was finally excised from society.  In 1960, it would not have been news that a baker had refused to bake a cake for a mixed race couple.  In 2009, it was news when a county justice of the peace refused to marry a black man and a white woman.

We are fighting the same battles today, just with different victims.

It is OK that the Victoria Childress holds her views, that is her right.  She can believe whatever she wants to believe.   That is freedom of religion.

What is not right is to allow those personal beliefs to guide her in the refusal of providing the service she is in business to provide.  If she does not want to serve all customers equally, without discrimination, perhaps she should consider closing her business, so that she does not have to violate her beliefs.  That is also freedom of religion – to say that I’m not going to play.  It would be sad, but it would be her right.  And in point of fact, that was an option that many businesses invoked after the end of segregation, they closed their doors rather than being required to serve the African-American community.  (It's amazing what narrow mindedness will provoke.)

What is not freedom of religion is to invoke God as a “get out of jail free card” to justify discrimination.  Her religious freedom does not extend to discriminating against people engaging in a legal activity, which in Iowa, gay marriage is.

We would not permit it if the couple involved were of different races or religions, why is it OK to do so when they are the same sex?

It is time for us as an enlightened society to say enough – we are done with discrimination, no matter what the justification is.  We need to stand together.  We need to recognize that we all have different beliefs, and we need to stop imposing our own beliefs on others.

Especially when all the others are doing is committing an act of love.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

In the Name of God


There is a strong movement in the Evangelical circles that is promoting child abuse as Godly and the right way to raise a child.  We are not talking about simple spanking, which is a debate that I am not going to address here, this abuse moves into the realm of beatings and whippings, and even death. 

This trend in the Christian Right has gotten a lot of airplay in the last week or so because of William Adam’s brutal whipping of his 16 year old daughter.  Adams claims he did nothing wrong, that he was merely disciplining his daughter.

Discipline?  Have we lost so much humanity that a brutal whipping can be called discipline.  Have we reverted to a Dickensian Universe where out and out abuse is justifiable?  Have we forgotten that we live in a era where children are no longer chattel?  Have we gone so far that we can beat a child to the point that they die, all in the Name of God?

Apparently, the answer is yes.

Spurred by numerous books by “Christian” writers, child abuse is being promoted as the “Righteous” way to bring up a child.  One of the “bestsellers” is a book by Michael and Debi Pearl called “How to Train Up a Child.” 

I have to insert here, even this title offends me.  “Train Up” sounds like something you would do to an animal.  We raise our children, nurture them, we don’t train them like a performing monkey.

The scariest part, this book has sold close to 700,000 copies.  Just for comparison, Dan Brown’s bestseller, “The Lost Symbol,” sold just over a million copies in Hardback, with the full weight of media promotion behind it.  700,000 copies for a self published book, with minimal promotion, is an incredible total.

It also means that almost 700,000 parents are raising their children with these frightening techniques. 

Among them, “use the Rod to teach toddlers to submit to authority.”  Pearl frequently compares this to “the same principles the Amish use to train their stubborn mules.”  First, lets ask, is it actually OK to beat a TODDLER with a stick?  A child who does not even have real language or the ability to run away from the hell being unleashed upon them can be beaten with a stick?  Second, are children held in no more regard than MULES? 

And as a side note, I doubt the Amish beat their children like they beat a beast of burden.
The Pearl’s advocate the weapon of choice for this brutality to be a 15 inch long piece of plumbing line, because it can be rolled up and carried in the pocket.  I guess so that you are always ready to whip your child the second that they step out of line.

The Pearl’s advocate using a switch on children as young as six months old.

Yes, six months.

You read that correctly.

A six month old has no cognitive capacity to understand what is happening.  To the infant’s mind, all they perceive is that the people who feed them and care for them have suddenly turned on them.  They do not have the ability to judge cause and effect; they cannot build a causal connection between behavior and punishment.  And besides, what can a six month old do that merits a beating?  Cry?  Poop?  Spit up? 

An infant by definition cannot misbehave.  Even the church agrees that the soul is destined for heaven until free will commences, somewhere around the age of three, by their catechism.  If your soul is heaven-bound at six months, what can you do that would deserve a whipping?

Another horror that the book espouses is starving your children for misbehavior.  Pearl states “a little fasting is good training.”  Training for what; the anorexia that you will develop later in life because of the self loathing that these nightmarish techniques inspire?

And these techniques have lead to deaths.  From the New York Times:

In the latest case, Larry and Carri Williams of Sedro-Woolley, Wash., were home-schooling their six children when they adopted a girl and a boy, ages 11 and 7, from Ethiopia in 2008. The two were seen by their new parents as rebellious, according to friends.

Late one night in May this year, the adopted girl, Hana, was found face down, naked and emaciated in the backyard; her death was caused by hypothermia and malnutrition, officials determined. According to the sheriff’s report, the parents had deprived her of food for days at a time and had made her sleep in a cold barn or a closet and shower outside with a hose. And they often whipped her, leaving marks on her legs. The mother had praised the Pearls’ book and given a copy to a friend, the sheriff’s report said. Hana had been beaten the day of her death, the report said, with the 15-inch plastic tube recommended by Mr. Pearl.

And there have been others.  Pearl’s book has been entered into evidence into at least three recent cases where child abuse ended in murder.

And all of this is laid at God’s feet.  It is the “Christian” thing to do.  As Pearl says, “To give up the use of the rod is to give up our views of human nature, God, eternity.”

The Pearls are not the only Christian leaders advocating child abuse in the name of God.  James Dobson states that “Beating is the way God wants mothers and fathers to discipline their children from Toddlerhood on.”  He wants America to move away from the “Liberal” trend of not engaging in corporal punishment. 

Apparently not beating the living tar out of your children is another evil of being liberal. 

And here I thought all this time that child abuse was evil. 

It’s truly Diabiblical.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

History is Written by the Victors


Whoever controls the language controls the dialog.  Whoever controls the dialog controls perceived reality.

This is not a new idea.

It was most forcefully stated by George Orwell in his book “1984,” where he created a new version of English, which he called “Newspeak.”  In Newspeak, the language was revised to control discourse.  For example, there was no longer the word “bad.”  Bad was replaced by “ungood,” which as the Party states, is more precise word, because it is the exact opposite of good, whereas bad is a fuzzy term in comparison.  Also removed were better, best, worse and worst.  They got modifiers of plus and doubleplus.  Therefore, better became plusgood, whereas worst would be doubleplus ungood.

Newspeak was a primary method of how the government of Oceania controlled the population.  By reducing language to a pale shadow of itself, “wrongthink” could be weeded out and thoughtcrime could be made more difficult.  If you have no words to enframe a concept, it becomes extremely difficult to have that thought.  This is because most people over the age of three think verbally rather than pictorially.  (There is an exception for the autistic, who tend to think in images throughout their lives.)

This control of language crops up over and over throughout history, as opposing sides use words with very specific connotations to induce bias in the listener.  Word choice influences the attitude of the listener; when a word with a positive connotation is used, it influences the listener to be inclined to feel good about the subject being discussed, when one with a negative connotation is used, it makes the listener tend to oppose it.

For example, Entitlements.  This is what we now call Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Welfare.  Entitlement has a strong negative connotation in America; we do not tend to like people to feel entitled to anything.  This plants a seed of disapproval toward the programs described by the word, and the less likely we are to use the program, the more we disapprove of it. 

This is a factor of human nature; we all know we will need Medicare and Social Security, so the negative enframement is less potent, than it is with Welfare, which we tend to view as something “other people” get.  And depending on your geographic location that “other people” idea can have its own negative connotation…

Terming these programs “Entitlements” creates negative feelings toward them, whereas, if they were called “Safety Net” programs, we would feel much more positively about them.  Everyone wants a “Safety Net.”  This enframement of the discussion would make us feel more positively toward even the programs we are not likely to use ourselves, because we would view them through the filter of something there to protect us in case we needed it.  It would shift the discussion.

This is the power of language.

In addition to the power of connotation, language can carry hidden meanings that are also cultural constructs.  For example, when people call Obama “arrogant,” they are making a very specific statement that has extra meaning in the South.  In the South, when you call a black man arrogant, you are saying he is doing something that he has no right to do, that he is challenging the natural order of things, that he is rising above himself.  In most parts of the country arrogant means just that, but to others, it has a hidden dimension of racism. 

By controlling the conversation through specific, targeted word choice, you can control attitudes and ultimately, events.

Now to my main point; pay close attention to how the media is enframing the events in the Occupy movement, and contrast them with how they covered the Tea Party.

They described the Tea Partiers as “fed up,” as “patriots”, and as “average Americans.”  They described their events as “rallies,” occasionally as “marches,” sometimes as just “gatherings.”  Occasionally, they would call them “protests,” but that was as strong of a term as they used.

All of these terms are, on the whole, positive.  The mainstream media used very bland to somewhat positive language to describe the Tea Party.  Aside from some fairly strong condemnations of them on MSNBC, there was very little said about them that were negative.  (And yet, even that small amount of negativity was enough to brand the media the “Lamestream Media,” which is another example of how the dialog is being controlled.)

For the most part, the media gave the Tea Party a pass, even though there were some incidents.  A perfect example of this was someone spitting on a congressman as he walked by a protest outside of the Capitol on the day they passed healthcare.  (Obamacare, does the enframement never end?) 

Now look at how the Occupy Movement is being covered.  The Occupy Protests are typically called “Riots,” the protestors are often described as “chronically unemployed,” (even though many of them have jobs) or “homeless.” (again, even though many of them come in from their homes only for the day) 

The press does not spend much time covering the demands of the protesters, and when they do, they minimize that coverage.  They devote most of the air-time to salacious details of cops beating the protesters, while giving the impression that they deserved it.  The message gets stifled under the weight of negative coverage.  And compare that loss of message with the coverage of the Tea Party.  Their demands were broadcast loud and clear, into every home with a television.

Everyone knows what the tea Party is calling for, while few know what the Occupy Movement stands for.  (And the media helps further this as well calling their demands incoherent, and saying they don’t have a message.)

It is time to put an end to this editorializing from the media.  I understand that the large corporations that run the press have a natural sympathy to the Tea Party, and a natural animosity to the Occupy movement, but lets bring some balance back to the coverage.

I’m not calling for the reinstatement of the “Fairness Doctrine,” although it would be nice.  (Especially to see Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck have to have someone on their shows to present the other side.  I’d suggest Keith Olbermann, but only if there was a video camera to capture the bloodshed.  I put my money on Keith.)

But more realistically, I am calling for the press to have one standard that applies to both sides.  Either condemn both, or lob softballs at both, but be consistent.   It is fine if both sides get equal scorn in the media.  It is better though if the press treated the subjects with the same degree of impartiality that the BBC uses.

Tell the story, let us decide.  Trust me, we are smart enough, or at least 99% of us are.

Friday, November 4, 2011

To Everything There Is A Season


The more things change, the more they stay the same.  Until the mid 1900's, you had many Protestants believing the Pope was the Anti-Christ.  Today, Evangelicals are up in arms that the Pope has called for the appointment of the Anti-Christ.

And no, this isn't about the fact that the Vatican hosted a conference on sub-nuclear physics and the "god particle."  I'm sure that in weeks to come, they will be raked over the coals for entertaining the possibility that Quantum Physics might explain the origins of the universe.

No, right now the problem is something else the Church is doing.

It seems that the Catholic Church, concerned about the rolling economic crisis currently tearing countries and governments apart, is calling for a global public commission to overhaul the world's economy, and put reforms in place to keep this from happening again.

Jake Jones, of the examiner.com put it this way in his article:  (I am quoting it at length because of the head-smacking nature of it)

Now at this point, if you are an Evangelical Christian, you are probably scratching your head and saying to yourself, “have they lost their mind”?

The Book of Revelation, specifically chapter 13 tells us all we need to know about the consequences of this kind of a “Global” structure that would define our everyday lives, what we do, and who we answer to.

Revelation Chapter 13:17-18 says (KJV):
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

So, whether the Vatican realizes it or not, they have called for and formation of global powers that tell us how to live, i.e. “Buy and Sell”!  This document also approves of the establishment of the Anti-Christ or at very least the beginning of the process.  An appalling idea by biblical standards to most Christians, Evangelical or otherwise.

What strikes most Christians that I talk to about this is that it would seem that the Vatican just doesn’t understand what it has done.  Do the folks in the Vatican actually understand the Book of Revelation?  I’m sure they do, but why come up with a contradictory document that makes people believe otherwise.  Do they understand the consequences of what they are proposing?  One might say "no they don't".

Current events when compared with biblical prophecy are falling more and more into line with one another.  All one needs to do is read the newspapers, view on-line news sources, watch the TV news, and then check the Bible!  Your eyes will be opened."

First, the Anti-Christ is NOT mentioned at all in Revelations.  The entire concept of the Anti-Christ derives from a Midrashic reading of the Bible called Dispensationalism.  The enemy named in Revelations is the Beast with Seven Heads.  He has been associated with the Anti-Christ, but there is no mention of the Anti-Christ in St. John's Apocalypse.  (Plus, the Beast, which can in lay terms be described as the Anti-Christ, was probably Nero.  I've discussed this before.)

Jones asks "(Does) the Vatican actually understand the Book of Revelation?"  I'd say better than you if you are stating that Revelations talks about the Anti-Christ.  Not to mention that the Catholic Church has had two millennia of Scholar Monks parsing every word of the Bible for every possible interpretation, and Evangelicals have only been at it for less than two centuries, I would place my bets on the Catholic Church having a better interpretation of the bible.

I have my differences with the Catholic Church.  I find some of their actions bizarre, as documented in yesterday's blog post, but in this case, I think the Church is trying to act in humanity's best interests.  (Generally, I do think they try to do the right thing in that they truly do attempt to help the poor, the disadvantaged,  the downtrodden.) This proposal may not work, but at least someone is trying to make a proposal to solve a genuine crisis.

I do not understand how trying to make the world a better place has become evil.  I have blogged about this in the past, and I still do not understand.  Are the Evangelicals so in bed with big business, that they pull the Anti-Christ card when someone suggests regulating the Banksters?

And by the way, as I have sad before, stop throwing around the term Anti-Christ every five minutes.  It keep throwing fuel on the fire.

Some Christians desperately want the world to end.  They want to be sucked up into Heaven by God's Divine Vacuum Cleaner so that they can watch the rest of us Burn.  (That's what the Rapture is, God's Chosen will get avoid Armageddon.)

The problem is that this can become self-fulfilling prophecy.  If people keep praying for the Apocalypse, they may just get it.

Given how much the Evangelical Community prays every day for the Rapture and the End Times, I'd think they'd welcome this development with open arms.  

Thursday, November 3, 2011



I just found out, according to Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, that I am homosexual.  This was an amazing shock to me, as I have always considered myself to be straight. (but certainly not narrow)

Don’t laugh; if you are a male past approximately the age of 12, you are also gay.  We have achieved 100% homosexuality in the male population.   How has this happened?

Apparently, unbeknownst to any of us, masturbation is a homosexual act.  (And I thought it just led to blindness and hairy palms.)

Who knew?

As a side note, apparently, female masturbation does not equate with lesbianism, since, according to Driscoll, they don’t often engage in that activity.  So women are off the hook, it’s just us guys in this case.

Driscoll states that there is only one situation where solitary masturbation is not homosexual, and that is if you are a happily married man, away on business and leveling up your paladin to pictures of your wife.  (Thanks Urban Dictionary for the most obscure euphemism I could find.)  I know plenty of married men, and trust me, no matter how much they love their wives; they would still prefer a Sticky Mag for that.  Interestingly, he does allow you to masturbate with your wife in the room.  (Which is likely to ensure that that will be the only sex you get for a long time.)

We are defining deviancy downward to make people afraid of their own bodies and their natural sexuality.  It is a form of control, to make you ashamed of the actions that someone else does not approve of.  Shame is the most potent weapon to make people do what you want them to do.  It is so powerful that early societies used shunning to guarantee appropriate behavior - it is almost universally effective.

When you make people ashamed of their actions, you gain a foothold over them, one which can be exploited to get more holds.  You also get people to monitor the activities of those around them, to find out if they are sinning, and to denounce them if they are.  You turn people against each other, and you maintain power over the group.  They are classic control mechanisms.

In other news, Daniel Avila wrote in the county’s oldest Catholic newspaper, “The Pilot:”

Disruptive imbalances in nature that thwart encoded processes point to supernatural actors who, unlike God, do not have the good of persons at heart. 

In other words, the scientific evidence of how same-sex attraction most likely may be created provides a credible basis for a spiritual explanation that indicts the devil...

...whenever natural causes disturb otherwise typical biological development, leading to the personally unchosen beginnings of same-sex attraction, the ultimate responsibility, on a theological level, is and should be imputed to the evil one, not God.

On the one hand, I guess I should be happy that an Assistant Director for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops accepts the possibility that homosexuality is nature not choice.  On the other hand, it scares me that he is actually stating that the Devil fiddles with genetics to make people gay.  (I have a picture of the Devil working in a genetics lab, laughing diabolically, (since that’s the only way he can laugh) as he creates a “gay virus” to infect unborn babies.)

These attitudes need to stop.

It has been my experience that most of the people that I have met who violently hate homosexuals do so out of concern that they might be gay themselves.  I am not saying that they are actually gay, just that they might be afraid that they are.  Maybe they had a stray erection in the shower in high school, perhaps they had gay dream, possibly, it was just a simple intrusive thought, but somehow, they became afraid that they were gay.  And rather than address the issue head on, and determine if they are or if it was just one of those things, they react brutally.

They are so afraid that they might be gay that they must stamp out all homosexuality.  That way, when there are no homosexuals left, they will not be tempted anymore. 

This brings up an odd point about human sexuality, when we are afraid of something, we often fetishize it, which then rewires the brain to make us embrace that which we fear.  We become a walking paradox, and the effort to stamp out homosexuality actually reinforces those drives.  Hence, the vast number of homophobic politicians and preachers caught in gay scandals.  They literally drive themselves to do it.

Imagine instead a world where sexual orientation was not even an issue; a world where all that mattered was that you found someone to love, and someone to love you; a world where a loving family with strong bonds was the most important thing, regardless of it’s composition.  We are all stronger with more love in the world.

And I think that’s what any loving, caring God would want.