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This blog ran for more than two years with no graphics--and it received about 50 page views. I was advised to add graphics; after seeing the huge public that followed blogs dedicated to homoerotic images, I decided to use that kind. The result was a dramatically increased number of monthly page views, and the number has remained fairly steady. Most of the images were found on the internet; although they are assumed to be in the public domain, they are identified as far as possible. They are exhibited under the Fair Use protections of United States copyright law: their function is simply to attract readers to the poems--I receive no economic benefit from them or from the blog. Nevertheless, they will be removed if they are copyrighted and the owner so desires.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

SOME NOTES ON CHRISTIAN HOMOPHOBIA, THE "PATRIARCH" PHIL ROBERTSON/DUCK DYNASTY SAGA, AND GAY CIVIL RIGHTS



Christian homophobes have been up in arms over the gay reaction to the Rev. Pat—I mean Patriarch Phil—Robertson story concerning the issue of marriage for homosexuals in the U. S., and other civil rights, most recently in Russia and Uganda and, now, Nigeria.  So I guess it’s time to remind them of a few realities.

Here it is:  Homosexuals do NOT have a history of persecuting Christians—not according to any scholarly histories, at any rate.  There is no homosexual bible that says that Christians are evil, and commands that they be ostracized, deprived of rights, and mutilated and killed. But you have only to read “Exodus,” “Leviticus” and “Deuteronomy” and “Corinthians” and “Romans,” and listen to fundamentalist preachers like Patriarch Pat Robertson to realize that these "authorities" have caused a lot of damage, as demonstrated by the remarks of Patriarch Phil Robertson and our opportunist politicians, as well as the gross and disgusting comments online, and the bigoted, irrational conversations that we hear daily all around us.


Christians, obviously, DO have a history of persecuting, torturing, mutilating, and burning homosexuals alive, through vigilante-type mob violence and through their church-state mechanisms.  And THIS is the source of the homosexual sense of outrage.  Most Westerners have heard of the Inquisition in Catholic countries (where church and state co-operated to crush homosexuals as well as heretics and witches), but they are unaware that Protestant countries, starting with the  “Reformation,”  had the same mechanism under different names.  This is on the record in the historical (national, provincial, municipal, diocesan, parish) archives of Protestant England, Holland, Germany and Scotland.  And Switzerland.  (See the NOTE at the end of this essay.)  

In fact, the English form of legalized mob torture, the “pillory,” was so violent and merciless, when applied to gays, that it shocked even homophobic  Christians of other nations, like France.  Look it up. 



Contemporary Christians should do a little research on how the proto-ecumenical church councils of Elvira and Ancyra, in the 4th century, excluded homosexuals from the rites of the church.  How influential church “fathers” Basil and Gregory called for ever more severe punishments against homosexuals, and how starting with the Emperor Valentinian, and his successor Theodosius,  it was official imperial policy to pursue “sodomites,” and to torture, mutilate, and burn them alive.  And this became the policy of most Christian countries into the 18th century.


Among other examples, in the 11th century, “Saint” Peter Damian viciously attacked gays in his Liber Gomorrhianus, claiming that they undermined society itself and required brutal suppression.  In the 13th century, “Saint” Thomas Aquinas added the argument that homosexuality was a “sin against nature”—and then defined nature and natural law not, the way  scientists do, as what routinely happens in the observable world, but as “what God wants his creatures to do”—as defined by Catholic theologians, of course.  The church insisted that the vicious behavior of  “sodomites” required vicious punishments, and human cruelty did the rest.


The Greek Orthodox Church, led at one time by (but not limited to) Archbishop and would-be Patriarch of Constantinople, John Chrysostomos, violently condemned homosexuals, echoing the words of Saul/Paul of Tarsus, and it co-operated submissively with the Emperor Justinian while he committed horrific atrocities of torture and mutilation against those accused of “sodomy” in a campaign to shore up his crumbling authority—Look up Justinian I, and the Byzantine bishops Isaiah of Rhodes  and Alexander of Diospolisbut modern homophobic Christians don't care anything about all that, and this policy is cynically continued in our time by the Russian leader Vladimir Putin

More recently, the governments of largely Christian Russia and Jamaica and Uganda—and now Nigeria—have instituted or intensified the persecution of gays, in the name of “God’s law.”  And this legalized persecution has led to street gangs that beat and mutilate, rape and kill homosexuals, a persecution abetted by the government, the police and the courts—see the weekly news stories out of Russia, Jamaica and Uganda, as well as the few American stories that seep through the media filters in our own dear country.


Two historically significant items of the 20th century—the British government’s persecution, castration, and murder of Dr. Alan Turing (the mathematics and computer genius who contributed more than any other single man to the Allied victory in World War II by deciphering the Nazi “Enigma” military code), and the brutal New York City Police assaults that eventually provoked the 1969 Stonewall Inn riots—seem to be outside the knowledge of most Christians.  And I guess they never heard of Harvey Milk.  They might Google Robert Hillsborough, Matthew Shepard and Brandon Teena, among others.  They should do a little reading and reduce their ignorance of the world.  Maybe then they would understand the response of gay organizations to Duck-head Phil and the other homophobes like him in this country and abroad. 

NOTE: My information for the contents of this essay/article came from a great variety of blogs, web pages, and Wikipedia articles, too many and too scattered in past time for me to cite now.  But I recently came across a pamphlet that contains many of the facts that I include in this essay. It was originally published in 1974 and republished in 2012 as a PDF document, Religious Roots of the Taboo on Homosexuality, by John Lauritsen, and is easily found through a Google search. It appears as 

http://paganpressbooks.com/jpl/RELROOTS.PDF 

and is well worth reading.  I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in an accurate and reasoned account of the horrifically cruel persecutions of homosexual males throughout the history of Christian Europe and America.  My only complaint is that the body of the text lacks formal notes on the sources, although there is an impressive bibliography.     



http://minimosymaximos.blogspot.com/2013/04/el-retorno-homoerotico-de-platon.htm


http://joemygod.blogspot.com/



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