Dear Professor, I Cannot Support The Gays And “Lesbos”

As I was going through some old computer files, I ran across an email a former student sent to me a few years back…an email I forgot completely about.  As I reread her email the other day and my embedded response (in italics) to her position on homosexuality, I was reminded that ignorance and backward thinking still exist in our country–it just seems the political climate has changed so these folk tend to now shut up or utter their ignorance behind closed doors. So today I offer you this letter, complete with my various reactions to serve as a reminder  this continues to exist in profundity in our culture. I have left the letter in the original condition in which it was written…though the editor in me really wants to clean it up. I believe the poor spelling, grammar, and syntax might be more telling than anything else. I did create the use of paragraphs myself as it was hardly readable in its original condition.

Quite frankly, if this letter were written to me today, I may or may not take the time to respond. But it was not; it was when I was a bit younger and probably had a bit more hope than I currently possess. Or, hey, you may disagree with me and think she is on to something. If so, I would love to hear from you.

Dear Professor,

“I understand your point on committing adultery and gutton (gluttony?) and gossipers are not being addressed in 2010 but the same-sex marriage is (my point is not whether or not they are being addressed, rather they also violate “God’s laws” -as you understand them- thus where do we draw the line on what we enforce and what we do not?) and I just don’t agree with it, now aside from the Bible let’s say for instance If I didn’t believe in God I will still find it Very disgusting to see another man macking down another man in front of me (unfortunately, Civil Rights and laws cannot be mandated on what an individual might find offensive. I am sure many gays would prefer not to see you “macking down” on a male as well…though you are free to do so), I’m sorry it’s just not natural I mean it’s gross to me (many things in life are not “natural” as you contend…medicines, automobiles, prosthetics, books, etc. and yet we engage in these things constantly), I don’t care what’s fair to gays  because they don’t care what Fair to straights (so your bible tells you only to love those you like and who love you back? What happened to loving your enemy?), and it’s not fair for my kids to see that in my opinion (though you have already established you do not care what is fair).

If gay people were suppose to be gay, why is it that they CAN’T bear their own children the way a women can? NATURALLY but we find them all trying to adopt a child? (Should we restrict those straight couples who are unable to bear children the right to marry? Or couples that use birth control? Again, this is a very unnatural act) don’t people find that odd? (Again, no more odd than the millions who currently practice birth control for the purpose of not having children). They can’t bear children threw their rectum (does the inability to bear a child rectally undermine one’s rights and freedoms?) …two of the same sex have the same equipment, I mean to play catch you need a ball and glove not two balls or two gloves you’ll never catch anything. (Should we also outlaw oral sex? For this is sexual activity that will not bear children). The  body wasn’t made that way how does people think we all got here?!?!? (No one is suggesting everyone become gay). The big bang theory? like seriously, thats more of a miracle then God creating the Heavens and Earth don’t you think? (this is a red herring as creation vs. evolution is not the issue) lol

my husband and I were just talking about that yesterday Because my sister who I love dearly is a lesbo (the label is lesbian and I find your term to be offensive for many…name calling is not allowed in this course) and has questions for me like the ones you asked but really I’m not going to back up what I believe with reference from the bible or what have you That’s not necessary because people are going to believe and act as they want wether you prove it or not but in my opinion if man was suppose to be with man and women with women why can’t they bear their OWN children? (This issue has already been addressed) and their adopting children from what MAN and WOMEN created? My answer: “Because God gave us human beings that blessing to bear  are OWN children between man and women.”

I don’t Hate gay people or dislike them If you were gay I would totally talk to you and befriend you it doesn’t bother me, (that is absolutely awesome and great to read…definitely a step in the right direction) I just won’t help legalize something I don’t agree with I just don’t accept their ways and I will never consider them either and this topic of discussion can go on and on but I have understood, let people who are confused with their sexuality be confused and let them find their way and if they never do that’s their problem not mine cause I’m straight (whatever happened to the concept of compassion?) I’m not and will not confuse the generation that I had come out my body naturally “my four children” to believe such a thing I have answers as a straight person too, you know gay people to me always play the victims but I’m a victim too 🙂 (I believe you cannot speak for all gay people…this is called stereotyping) and another thing I don’t understand is why they want to get married anyway it’s a covenant under God which how it was originally before people started making their own rules and laws. (Does not divorce break this covenant? Should we outlaw divorce because it is not part of God’s covenant? In our country, marriage is a legal contract that does not even have to be religiously based.)

This is a crazy subject and I will not have a open mind to the gay life style even if someone panted it with pink and white poka dots 🙂 (This is called dogmatic thinking; it is probably the type of thinking of the majority of people) I just think it strange but I love everyone regardless of what status they have of lifestyle they choose but I just don’t choose to help legalize it for my own reasons, I’m not a mean person either lol or a confrontational person 🙂 (someone who is not mean or confrontational would never feel the need to claim they are not) I just won’t budge on what I believe 🙂 sorry this isn’t to offend anyone just my opinion and not a fan of pro 8 that’s all”

Hmmmm, maybe I should just stop going through old files.

Or maybe it is a really good exercise to practice arguing with unreasonable arguments that we might think do not warrant a response.

 

jimmysintension

18 Comments

  1. What an interesting coincidence that I just had to argue about this with my step-mom earlier today (I don’t know if your old student still feels this way, but isn’t it scary that my step mother, and countless others still do?) I also happened to be reading about the whole “born gay” debate at the exact second my email notification popped up that you posted this (so with two coincidental occurrences, of course I had to comment on your post). One mildly interesting thing of note that I brought up to my step-mom is that the concept of marriage (at least in a broad sense) actually predates Christianity and even religion in general. But in an attempt to defend your student, I would like to point out that your former student probably did/does feel as if she’s not a mean/confrontational person, and probably felt the need to point it out because many people probably made/make her feel like a bad person for not believing in the legalization of gay marriage. The whole “how dare you not believe in gay marriage” attack can quite understandably make people rather defensive and unwilling to change their minds. And I believe several Supreme Court justices actually felt similarly to her, citing the first amendment to support the argument of “not legalizing something” (quoting your student) that people of a certain religion don’t agree with. (Which I’ve always disagreed with because I associate the amendment with a “separation of church and state,” but nonetheless, your student expressed an opinion similar to that of some very well educated, experienced, and powerful people, so maybe she was onto something).

    • Thank you Anthony! Long time…Yes, I do think she expressed what many believe, even if for lack of eloquence. I have been giving a lot of though about religion recently (perhaps because we are currently discussing it in my diversity class) and my basic position is that I will offer anyone respect to believe whatever they want to believe. It is only when said belief crosses the threshold of someone’s basic civil rights where that belief must be confronted. Now, if you have ever had my for critical thinking you would know that I frequently defend others basic fundamental values even if their beliefs cross my own. I believe the basic fundamental value of those who oppose gay marriage is an honorable one in that they (I am assuming and speaking for an entire group, I know) genuinely believe this is a mandate from their rule book and to honor a code of ethics is certainly an honorable one…so I do not think they are bad people at all. In fact, if my assumption is correct, they are a very loyal and faithful people who want to stand up for what they believe is right. So I do not question their character in the least…I just do not share the tenets of their basic values. I also hope they would not think my position is dishonorable as it is rooted in the love of all people and wanting everyone to share in basic freedoms and rights…which is also honorable. So just as I do not question their values I would hope they would not question my own as well. I feel it is our duty to not allow others beliefs systems to infringe on others basic rights…and if they do not, I will just shut up and watch them believe whatever it is they want to believe! Thanks again Anthony.

  2. I’m not sure why you would feel the need to reply to this letter, even though you were younger and more easily agitated (yes you were). Someone with this opinion is not going to change based on someone else’s argument and logic. The only thing that will change such a person, at least some of the time, is if one of their children is gay. I speak from experience. I am 79 and grew up as a Catholic. My parents and grandparents held the same views as this young lady. I did too, until one of my grandchildren, who had been married, had a child, divorced and then “became” gay. My parents and grandparents were deceased, so I have no idea what they would have done, although I’m sure my Mother would have immediately accepted the change. I ,my late wife, my ex-wife (the daughter’s grandmother), the dad, the mom, and everyone in the family accepts her and treats her the same way as before she “came out”. There are a couple of aunts who’s religious views condemn such a life style and they “pray for her”, but do not make an issue of it with her. There are no attempts to persuade her to “change her ways”. In fact, even her partners are accepted.
    The point ot the above ramble is that there are many of us out here that do think it is not something that we can imagine doing (and I think that is the much bigger issue) but don’t give a care whether someone else does it. I believe there are a large number of people in the USofA that understand that “marriage” between same sex couples is a matter of economics due to the tax codes and not something they desire from a religious standpoint. (I realize I am assuming what gays think, but , what the heck, it’s what I observe). My gay granddaughter wants to be accepted as a person and not discriminated against or preached to. That’s it. In most cases, here in the Houston, Texas are, she gets her wish.

    • Thank you so much Don…hope your city reaped benefit from the Super Bowl last weekend! An author I used to read Brian Mclaren (I no longer subscribe to his basic philosophy so I no longer really read his work) was once interviewed and asked how he might go about changing the minds of his neighbor on the issue of gay rights. His response was have a gay person over for a dinner and then make up your mind. So, yes, certainly having a child come out as gay might likely change one’s mind (not the hardcore) yet just having gay friends and acquaintances is a good start as well. It is far easier to violate a strangers right over a friends. I always love your comments Don…appreciated.

  3. I think this is why Harvey Milk was so adamant that gay people come out to their friends and family. He understood that for a person’s heart to change, they needed to hear someone else’s story. The more visible we become, the more we tell our stories, the more people will see a different perspective. These are often the kinds of people programmed from childhood and don’t care about facts or logic. They feel things with their heart, so their heart is what needs to be changed.

  4. Well, that was an hour reply trashed because of a blue screen. On the bright side that’s a lot less for you to have to read! First, thanks for your detailed reply on my comment to your last post Jimmy. I wanted to catch you on campus to thank you but I’ve been constrained by time.

    Here’s my condensed response. I feel that your old student doesn’t respect Individual freedom. I think that’s disgusting. Gays should be free to get married. Churches should be allowed to reject performing what they consider to be immoral actions. I think the best thing to do is for government to be stripped of its ability to authorize marriage. That shouldn’t be their job.

    In summary, if you think it should be illegal for gays to kiss in public or marry each-other, you’re part of the problem.
    If you think you should be able to force a baker to bake you a cake for your gay, straight, gender fluid, or whatever other type of wedding you want to have, you’re part of the problem.

    • Thanks Chris…you really struck at the core of the issue concerning religious rights, tolerance and expression. I do have a question for you (and, as you know, I like to ask real questions and not rhetorical ones to make a point…so I really solicit your response). If we allow an owner of a business to discriminate against people based on WHATEVER characteristic they choose to discriminate over, how would that effect certain groups rights in the age of corporate monopolies? What if Disney said no known gays or blacks can visit their theme parks? Or Time Warner said they will not do business with women, or Mexicans, or whomever? Or Wal-mart said “no mas” to Asians, gays, or even gay Asians? It just seems so backward to me, yet I still get it. If the baker does not have to bake a cake for someone because they do not like who they are, what might be the extreme of allowing this discrimination in the long run?

      • Jimmy,
        Thanks for your reply! Not only that, thanks for your question. In my view I don’t think that we have to worry about corporations like Wal-mart, Disneyland, and Time Warner deciding to discriminate against, and withhold services from, certain demographics based on physical attributes or cultural background. I believe this to be the case because it would work against these corporations number one goal, which is to maximize profit. Now for the sake of answering the question, let’s suppose that Disney, Time Warner, and Wal-mart did decide to start discriminating in this manner. I believe that what these corporations would experience would be a financial and PR shit-storm. Not only would they see a drop in profits from the demographic that they exclude, but they would also experience a loss of profits from their customer base that would be abhorred at the blatant discrimination. The great thing about all of this is that the discriminated group wouldn’t be left high and dry. Target, Universal Studios, and Dish would fill the gap in market space that was left by the discriminating corporations.
        Going back to the baker, the same applies. The baker will likely lose customer base for not supporting a certain demographic. Now this loss will probably not be as severe if they discriminate against making a cake for a gay couple vs. if they were found to completely discriminate against all black, white, Asian, or any other people. (In the famous instance of the baker, they weren’t refusing to provide other services like selling food. They were refusing to bake a cake for an event that they personally felt was immoral.) There are varying degrees to the amount of backlash and outcry the baker would face. Despite this, in all these situations there is another business out there that is going to be more than happy to provide people a service in exchange for money.
        To finish up my response, I don’t believe that government intervention in the baker wedding cake instance is constitutional. However on the other hand it’s completely constitutional for that gay couple to peaceably protest that bakery and for all others who wish to, to boycott that business.

        I think that’s everything… if I missed anything or you have another Q or insight, let me know!

        On a side note, in case I don’t catch you on campus this semester, I really appreciate your class Jimmy. It’s helped me grow a lot. I appreciate the environment you facilitate for civil discussions in the classroom and here on your blog.

        • Wow…very well stated Chris. Totally agreed on the big corporation thing…yet, at least theoretically, it is very unsettling to me and many that it is possible they could do it if applying your argument. We actually had an extended discussion on this very topic in class yesterday. It was pointed out that what if you live in a very small town where there are very limited resources? Such discrimination could be devastating, pending the nature of the discriminatory business. This is a very tough and touchy issue. Businesses already have to comply with minimum wage laws, governmental health and safety standards, not to mention the many small business that receive loans from the federal government…I certainly do not want my hard earned cash going towards businesses that discriminate. Hell, I do not want my tax money going towards the salary of the health inspector being paid to inspect and keep that business open. Since government permeates nearly every part of our life, the division you suggest is not all that clear cut. I would hate to see a country where everyone now shops at the discriminatory business of their liking…hate gays? Shop here! Blacks not your thing? Eat at Whitey’s Bar and Grill! Such a scenario scares me and I do not think it is an overreach for the laws in our land to forbid discrimination of any type. But, hey, the heart of my personal narrative is that very good and reasonable can disagree. Bring that civil dialogue on!! Thank you as well for the kind words…I really wish you would have spoken up more in class. Perhaps I will see you in class in the future?? If not, I’m sure our paths will cross at some point.

    • I have never had such a wide range of reaction to a post…mainly from people I run into. The reactions range from extreme sadness, to those who actually think it is humorous, to anger, to partial agreement with her. As I ran across this old email, I felt posting such a dialogue would help inspire concern as well as enlighten those (like myself) who have to be reminded such a mindset exists. I live in a pretty progressive bubble, I admit. It was not posted to provoke sadness 🙁

  5. Her wording and way of going about this is WRONG. She expresses it in a way of hate, where as a “Christian”, she should have the same love towards gays/lesbians as she does towards straight people. Me being a Christian, I know that, though you may not agree or support certain acts, you should still love those taking part in the acts EQUALLY as much as those whom follow the same path you do. Her use of the words “disgusting”, “gross”, “strange”, as well as other phrases said throughout this email show a HUGE lack of compassion and, in reality, show that she views herself and the straight community as being higher or better than the gay community. I will say, though, that she 100% has the right to not support gay marriage if she doesn’t want to. The majority of religious people I know would agree that gay marriage should not be legalized, however, most have much higher compassion and love for people with other sexual preferences than themselves. Also, I find it odd that she refuses to debate with gays/lesbians on their lifestyles because she knows they won’t change their viewpoint or way of life. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t, but isn’t your job as a Christian to gracefully and loving bring more people to follow God and live the way he wishes us too? Her wording and way of expressing herself is frustrating. In my opinion, the hatred towards gays is the problem. Whether you agree with same sex-marriage or not, if you have love for them, I don’t think you are the problem, but if you have hate in your heart for them, then you ARE the problem.

    • Hello Kayla…thank you so much for your thoughts on this important matter. You are a person who certainly practices what they preach and I love your position of grace and loving kindness. To counter your point, many would argue (myself certainly included) that though you correctly point out the unnecessarily harsh and unloving overtones of her email, the bottom line is both of you -if I am interpreting your response correctly- wish to deny a large segment of our population a fundamental civil right…you just do so more lovingly and civilly. If you wish to make the argument that in your faith homosexuality is not moral, that is fine and that is your freedom to believe. Yet remember that not everything that is moral is legal and not everything that is legal is moral. I think you would agree such things as adultery, cheating, divorce, and, well, just being an asshole, are not moral…but if we jailed all these people there would be no one left to throw them in jail. As a Christian, imposing your worldview on marriage to those who do not subscribe to your faith, well, many people would call that act immoral (I would not btw…because I know where the value derives from…I would call it “ignorant” not “immoral”). Do you believe it is fair to impose the bible (or Koran for that matter) to those who do not subscribe to it? Thanks again Kayla!

  6. Hello professor Jimmy, my name is Preston von Helf. I am enrolled in your speech 100 class that starts at the end of March. I have subscribed to your blog and have been very entertained by your witty yet intelligent posts. I normally dislike blogs, but yours I have found addicting.
    Since you seem to be looking for someone to disagree with you, I will proceed to do so. I do not agree with almost everything your student sent you in her email. One of the issues I take with your post is that you have presented your students email as a representative of all of those who voted against gay marriage rights and that is false. Now it is true that most who have voted against gay marriage have done so on a religious ground. However, you cannot take one illiterate and uneducated person’s thoughtless babblings and state that her email represents the mindset of all who are against gay marriage. Likewise, it would be incorrect for me to find an illiterate and unreasonable article supporting gay marriage and state that everyone who voted for gay marriage rights shares the mindset presented in the article.
    There are many reasons to be for or against gay marriage. For example, you seem to support gay marriage because you believe it to be a fundamental right and not because you yourself are homosexual and want a gay marriage. On the other side, some have voted against gay marriage because they believe that the government should have no say in marriage rights in the first place. Another reason for voting against gay marriage in California was the fact that a vote against gay marriage did not seem limit the rights of gay couples due to the already existing domestic partnerships. Therefore, a vote against gay marriage rights in California seemed to be a vote to keep the marriage title reserved for traditional marriages. Because of these alternative reasons, your student’s reasons for being against gay marriage does not represent the mindset of all those who voted against gay marriage.
    Furthermore, you seem to have taken the position that it was immoral (or at least ignorant) to have voted against gay marriage rights on the basis of religion because gay marriage rights are a fundamental right. However, you have not stated why it was a fundamental right before it was legal. Now that it has become legal in America, it is a legal right. However, unless you appeal to another authority besides the American government, gay marriage was not a right until recently.
    Now, to be fair and allow you to make a better response to me, I will tell you a little about myself. I have never voted on the matter of gay marriage. I do not have a problem with gay marriage being legal due to the need for freedom in America. Additionally, I have had many gay acquaintances and my barber is a gay man. I would consider my barber a friend as we enjoy exchanging thoughts and books with each other. With that being said, I am also a Christian and believe that homosexual sex is a sin. I also believe that it is a sin to be discontent with ones gender because it is a sin to be discontent. This may seem very harsh to many due to the nature of many non-compassionate people who have used this language as an excuse to be mean. When I state that it is a sin, one must realize that I also believe the following to be sins; heterosexual sex outside of marriage, divorce, lust, covetousness, and pride. If I were to not love and befriend those who sin I could not love or befriend anyone including myself. Therefore, in my worldview, we are all in the same boat. We all are sinners and desperately need love and forgiveness.
    Thank you for starting a conversation on such a relevant and sensitive subject. I am looking forward to your response and taking your class.

  7. I see what this person is attempting to say but I kept getting lost in her argument. She definitely need more supporting reasons to back up her statements. I myself wouldn’t go out of my way to support gay marriage but Im also not against it. My step brother is gay and I knew he was gay since the day I met him, although he had not come out about it yet. We love him very much and do not judge him. He himself does not really view marriage the same though since they are both men and will not be having kids. Being life long partners is fine with them.

  8. I actually just had a similar debate with someone over transgender rights and whether or not transgender people should be allowed to legally declare themselves as the gender that they identify as. The person who I was speaking to said that they “had no issues with the transgender community” they just “didn’t think that it was fair or right for someone to legally identify as the opposite gender because the system could be abused”. The assumption made was that a man could pretend to identify as a woman and then legally change their sex in order to sneak into restrooms, “all women schools”, locker rooms, etc. to sexually assault people. Other than the, what I perceived as, ignorance, my issue with that statement is that I feel that people think the road to legally transitioning is a short and easy process when in reality it’s long and filled with so much adversity. To abuse the system would be so laborious because to even start taking hormones to begin transitioning, a transgender person would have to live as their gender identity for a year, hormone free, using the correct pronouns and their new name, which comes with it’s own set of issues. They have to pass mental health evaluations and go through years and years of effort to just be who they’ve always known that they were. After all of these steps are taken they can petition to have their sex legally changed, so clearly the process is anything but easy. The person I spoke to also confused the definitions of sex and gender, which I feel is happening more and more as the issue of transgender rights becomes more prominent in the media. I do understand that for people who’ve never experienced what it’s like to be a transgender, it’s a hard thing to wrap your head around. I wake up everyday knowing that I’m a woman and that I’m comfortable with the sex that I was born, but unfortunately that’s not the reality for some people. They’re trapped in their own bodies.

    I’m a lesbian. I know what it’s like to not understand because growing up I just didn’t understand why I wasn’t attracted to the boys around me like my friends were. I don’t know what it’s like to feel like a straight female but I would never let my inability to understand someone else’s sexuality dictate my legal opinions.

    I sympathize with those who don’t understand, but ignorance and unsympathetic behavior toward decisions that affect the lives of thousands of people is a pet peeve of mine, clearly.

    If someone is willing to go through the transitioning, and everything that comes with it, who am I to tell them what they can or can’t legally identify as?

    • Thank you Shanika…your point is wonderfully stated. Concerning your friend and those of his/her ilk, I get the part that the idea of transgender is (relatively) new to many people. I remember back to the 1970’s when I was reading an article about Dr. Renee Richards who transitioned from a man to a woman. I was only about 10 years old at the time, though it thoroughly confused me. It was a whole new category of thinking for me as it is for many people. I am very good friends with a transgendered woman, Georgia, who is the MOST understanding person on the planet when it comes to people like your friend…she actually believes the current trans agenda is far too aggressive to the point of bullying (I do not necessarily agree with her…but how interesting coming from a trans person). She believes we need to be patient with people, educate them and not pass laws that aggressively threaten people. She has told me the best way for her to get people to understand her plight is to smile and be friendly and realize she is just a normal person whose parts do not match the psyche. I completely agree with your sentiment concerning unsympathetic behavior…one does not have to fully understand to behave decently and civilly towards others that are not like them. Thank you so much for your contribution to the blog Shanika!

      • Interesting stories and comments. My question is how much should we legally require people to participate in the gender identity of others? I agree with your transgender friend. What is being pushed for is a transition in cultural thinking through laws and media bullying instead of letting the cultural views shift naturally. As far as the bathroom thing goes, I believe the whole thing has gotten so ridiculous and sharply divided that we have two options to choose from. One, we either make all bathrooms single stalls that are welcome to all who defecate. Or two, we have a picture of a vagina or a picture of a penis on the bathroom door, and whichever one matches yours is the restroom you use. Personally, I think that making single stalls gender specific is inefficient for wait times. I am for just making more single stall bathrooms for all people that way everybody is happy. However, I fear that many in the transgender community wouldn’t be happy with this decision because I believe many are looking for a way to force others to validate their gender identity. A bathroom stall for all does not publicly validate the way they feel about themselves and is meaningless for their identity.

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