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Tuesday, 11 May 2004

Unwarranted Attack on a Fellow Blogger

Now Playing: Jacques Brel: 'Jojo'
Topic: Lactose Incompetent

I'm really really not sure what I make of a blog called Scattered Words.

I was obviously, as an out homo, going to take exception to lines like this:

"10. Develop self-discipline. Do something every day you don't want to do. The homosexual/lesbian emotional mindset is very self-centered and self-indulgent; recovery means learning to be Christ-centered and self-denying."

So I made every attempt not to take offence, and to listen properly to where he's coming from.

Reading on, the guy's explanation for blogging his attempts to brainwash himself out of being gay in order to fully embrace religion goes:
"So what does that have to do with anything now? Not all childhood abuse survivors are homosexual, you say? You say right. Though, being exposed to sex so early -- being forced to deal with adult issues so soon screwed me up a little. As a result, I was sexually active "by choice" at a pretty early age. Thirteen, if I remember correctly. Throw in a rocky relationship with an emotionally distant and detached father ... well you get the idea.

The sexual abuse robbed me of my childhood. I skipped some pretty key developmental steps that I'd give anything to go back and change. But I can't. I didn't grow into a "man" the way I was supposed to and I can't do it now either (at the age of 22). My experiences now will never mirror what a 12 year old boy (or whatever age) goes through."

Fair enough. It's deeply personal.

I disagree strongly but who am I to say that billions of twelve year olds have repressive disturbing experiences of childhood? Who am I to rant on about the gazillions of kids who were abused sexually as children who don't use it as a lifelong excuse to claim victim status in all things? Who am I to point out that it's the concept of 'normal' stages of development that history proves is a false concept?
Who am I to note that this guy's abdicated all responsibility for his own desire, and made even feeling love / lust or interest into a transgressive act?
Who am I to point out that this sort of thing demonises the church in a way that I also object to?
Who am I to point out that continually going on and on and on about gay porn whilst berating oneself is possibly far more perverse and masochistically sexualised than simply enjoying it, and accepting who you are?

And then he links to "christian porn". What's with that? Methinks the ladyboy doth protest too much.

I understand that this is someone's personal thoughts.
I do. Why is it that something about the thing reminds me of the engineered titillation of Belle de Jour?

Particularly when you read something as agonised and misguided as this:
"I'm absolutely devasted by the fact that I'm gay.
[...] I'd love to be at any other place other than where I am. I'd love to be able to make fun of myself and not take all this so seriously -- but it weighs so hard on my heart. It hurts so much. It's like a disease. A chronic illness that no one really knows what the cure (or cause). Except for those of you whom would say Jesus (and sin). And I agree."

I have no wish to kick someone while they're obviously down. But I'm gay, and I've been broadly christian. Not only is this not the answer, this is so Wrong, so utterly Wrong, that my every busy body fibre of being cries out against it, demands I protest.
The attitudes portrayed in the blog so desperately require some form of non-judgemental counselling, not anonymous blogging. Somebody needs to listen to this guy, not to tell him that gay is right, or gay is wrong, or gay is taking you to hell. But to find out why in hell's name he thinks blaming other people's actions is going to allow him to absolve himself from responsibility for deciding for himself who he is. What he is.

I have to stop. It's making less and less sense the more I write. And I could rant all day.

I dunno. More evidence of Why Blogs Are Wrong?

This page graced by sarsparilla at 6:13 PM BST
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Tuesday, 11 May 2004 - 9:04 PM BST

Name: gary
Home Page:

Christian porn you say?

Wednesday, 12 May 2004 - 5:44 AM BST

Name: paul
Home Page:

Why? Do you feel that way because you care about him, or do you feel that way because you want to prove him wrong? Or at least, get him help?

Wednesday, 12 May 2004 - 6:40 AM BST

Name: Vanessa

Because I have friends who've tried to be 'reprogrammed', and it's just so unpleasant, and so futile. So, I guess, prove him wrong.

Wednesday, 12 May 2004 - 11:49 AM BST

Name: lemonpillows
Home Page:

Yup, I've been there too. I can see where he's coming from. Exactly where I was a few years ago. I am gay. And I am a Christian. I believe that they both *do* go together, and I have talked and talked for hours around this subject with priests, Evangelical Christians, Atheists, and people of other religions. I would want to prove him wrong, too - to show him the shortcut, as I've found an answer myself. BUT, he's gotta find it for himself. It's no good showing the shortcut, because you only know where it is once you've taken the long way round.

If you read the bible yourself, in context, and actually *think* about what it's saying, then that is the only way you will be happy with yourself and your faith.

Religion is a man-made institution, formulated to control the masses - which, by the way, Jesus himself had nothing to do with and actually spoke out against.

Faith is another matter, and one you can only come to terms with personally.

*gosh.... I shall end my attempt at intelligent argument there... *

Wednesday, 12 May 2004 - 5:50 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

I think to an extent it's also the modern obsession with the Bible as an incontrovertible truth. All previous religions that I can find seem to have regarded their sacred truths to be held as metaphors - not as a particular text. Written by others, adapted by others still. As fallible and open to abuse as any multiply authored historical source - and like any historical text, to be judged against the values of its times, not against the values of ours. Interpretively true, that is to say.
The argument against that is that without an incontrovertible text that represents the word of god, we may manipulate it to mean whatever we like, then claim divine justification. Which is true. And kinda the point. Shouldn't we be able to do that? Isn't theology precisely that?
Any religion that doesn't trust its followers to use reason is, as you say, a tool for control.

Lemonpillows also said: I've found an answer myself. BUT, he's gotta find it for himself. It's no good showing the shortcut, because you only know where it is once you've taken the long way round.

Yep, that's why I made the decision to remove the link to the blog from the post. It's not something you can argue your way into someone's sense of themselves, so it doesn't actually help him to know that there are people out there who disagree, but don't know the answer.

You do have to kind of give up after a few arguments, don't you? It's an issue that takes a lifetime to even begin to resolve (gay or straight, in fact), not something you can pin down to sound fancy in a pithy blog put down.
It's all about the journey, not the destination.

Wednesday, 12 May 2004 - 6:54 PM BST

Name: lemonpillows
Home Page:

Yes, most religions will agree to some point that the holy books are open to 'interpretation' - as is anything in life. It's just a shame that those who do fervently follow a certain strand of a 'religion' will not recognise that there are different and equally well researched interpretations of the very same book that they stake their lives on.

Yes, it takes a lifetime to resolve, and none of us will *really* know the truth until we die. It is still a topic I get rather heated over though - and I googled for the blog.. Maybe I should be ashamed to say it, but I commented on there (and yes, was instantly put down), and will be very interested to see how far he goes with this. Thanks for making me think today :o)

Wednesday, 12 May 2004 - 7:03 PM BST

Name: Lux
Home Page:

Lemon- Despite your aversion to organized religion (and mine)... if you ever start a cult, can I be in it? :D

Wednesday, 12 May 2004 - 11:21 PM BST

Name: lemonpillows
Home Page:

Yes, of course :) My cult will be called.... the polyester protectors of the Lemon Pillows. :) And you may be my second in command.. he he ;)

Wednesday, 12 May 2004 - 11:43 PM BST

Name: Saltation
Home Page:

This sort of thing is bloody hard isn't it. You're sort of torn between sympathy, and wanting to shake him by the neck until he grows up.

"Misguided" is all too accurate for this chap.

Thursday, 13 May 2004 - 12:02 AM BST

Name: Saltation
Home Page:

>modern obsession with the Bible as an incontrovertible truth. All previous religions that I can find seem to have regarded their sacred truths to be held as metaphors - not as a particular text

this is just an aside, nothing to do with the post or even really the thrust of the comment
but i can't agree with you on this statement.

the obsession is real, but it's certainly not modern and it's not restricted to the christian bible.

christians have killed for simple alternate interpretations of their own incontrovertible text for 2,000 years now. Not a lot of Nestorians or Cathars round the place nowadays. Sharia and Talmudic law both start with their text as an incontrovertible axiom, and have done for ~2k/~4k years respectively.

"previous" religions are mostly non-colonising, with the exception of buddhism, and tended to be driven bottom-up by oral tradition rather than imposed top-down as a code by newcomers. And oral is very blurry and details change, so doesn't lend itself to that lunatic manic nitpicking. But even when oral, you were held to them by the group. Break with some of the dreamtime stories' mandates and the Australian aboriginal would get the required spear through the thigh.

Even buddhism, with its emphasis on the individual's own journey, has spats over its various texts. For example, Buddhism does NOT require you to be vegetarian, not even the priests, that was made up and imposed by priests a long time afterwards. And there were various wrangles and deaths as part of that and there are still huge Buddhist regions which eat meat as allowed according to their (older, more original) texts.

Humans are just crap, basically. Writing something down gives you something heavy to hit someone over the head with. But it's not modern.

Thursday, 13 May 2004 - 12:15 AM BST

Name: Saltation
Home Page: http://as above

> texts
> non-colonising

good god, i'd never noticed that before.
the common characteristic of all the colonising religions is not monotheism (there are defunct monotheist religions that never colonised, and buddhism wears its monotheist hat rather uneasily) but the existence of/their basis on a written text.

judaism is a slight oddity in this sense, since it tends not to colonise outside its gene pool, colonising only physically as its proponents travel/marry.

but all the others i've looked at that have stayed static or subsided, all were primarily oral and/or locally-documented-only. shinto/kamic fell to buddhism, the various european and mediterranean religions fell to christianity (note: "pagan" never existed as "a" religion-- it was manufactured the same way britain's "celtic tradition" was), the south sea islands, blahblahblah

thanks vanessa, you've triggered another intriguing thing for me to chew on for a bit and see what I can winkle out of human nature with it.

Thursday, 13 May 2004 - 12:16 AM BST

Name: Lux
Home Page:

Brilliant *and* hypoallergenic!

Thursday, 13 May 2004 - 12:17 AM BST

Name: Saltation
Home Page: http://z

>going on and on and on about gay porn whilst berating oneself

I think you've accidentally put an R into the middle of the 2nd last word there.

Thursday, 13 May 2004 - 12:19 AM BST

Name: Vanessa

When I say modern, I mean not Ancient. So I was referring to Classical Antiquity, to be real specific.

Anyway, he's still a pussyhole, as they say where I work.

Thursday, 13 May 2004 - 12:22 AM BST

Name: Vanessa

You'd have to be real specific on what 'colonising' means to you to follow that through.
I did like the idea that oral religions were non-colonising - although I disagree - but you're right, the reverse is the more interesting proposition.

Thursday, 13 May 2004 - 12:23 AM BST

Name: Vanessa

In fact I was specifically thinking of a text I read comparing christianity to Homer's attitude to ancient Greek religion (that I quoted the source of in a comment after a post about Troy on Terry's blog.)

Thursday, 13 May 2004 - 12:25 AM BST

Name: Vanessa

Lol! Nice work.

Thursday, 13 May 2004 - 12:38 PM BST

Name: Saltation
Home Page:

>I did like the idea that oral religions were non-colonising - although I disagree

that's interesting. i can only think of one oral religion that pseudo-expanded as a religion rather than as a physical movement of people: the ancient greeks. the roman religion was essentially identical, but the greek religion was aped by the junior culture rather than propagated by the greeks. so the meme was adopted by the recipients rather than being imposed by the err.. what's the word -- givers? sounds stupid but you see what i mean.

can you think of example oral religions which have actively colonised?

> colonising

def'n: for any replicating body/class: distributing self/class as part of its maintenance/survival strategy.

:) like newts: their second physical stage is adapted for travel and they disperse away from their birth pond. once they metamorph into final breeding stage they then lock onto the first pond they breed in.

3 of the 4 dominant religions are fundamentally different from most religions in that they require transmission of the religion to outsiders, as PART of that religion. they are colonisers. and they have tended over time to dominate non-colonisers

Thursday, 13 May 2004 - 2:30 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

>i can only think of one oral religion that pseudo-expanded as a religion rather than as a physical movement of people: the ancient greeks

That's who I was thinking of.

Mind you, I suppose the Ancient Egyptians could count, too. And the Romans do so too count as a separate religion.

Friday, 14 May 2004 - 9:55 PM BST

Name: Sal Tation
Home Page:


Friday, 14 May 2004 - 10:04 PM BST

Name: Saltation
Home Page:

I will miss you when you're gone. I'd hoped the profile's deadline was a Stance not a Statement.

Maybe you could consider a subsequent return, as not a blogger blog, but a presence, an intermittent contributor with a known static start-point. Like emptybottle.

Of course, at this rate, you'll last longer than I can.

Saturday, 15 May 2004 - 10:50 PM BST

Name: Vanessa in Liverpool on Mark's funk

Yeah, there is that dreadful possibility. But this particular blog is getting farther and farther from what I wanted it to be, and it's served it's initial twin purposes - to inform the ex of what I was doing while she holidayed the globe on my money, the which minimal communication she decided she preferred, and to force me to write something every day.
Now I need a new hobby. Life's too short to spend years looking at a damn computer screen. I'll never get a shag like that.

Wednesday, 26 May 2004 - 10:59 PM BST


"And then he links to "christian porn". What's with that? Methinks the ladyboy doth protest too much."

why do you click on the link and find out before you manipulate what he says / does?

Wednesday, 26 May 2004 - 11:00 PM BST


"going on and on and on about gay porn whilst berating oneself"

where does he go on and on and on about gay porn? manipulative, methinks you are.

Monday, 31 May 2004 - 2:02 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

I didn't click on the link, O Keyboard Warrior. I hovered on the link and read the URL that was assigned.

I'd like to know exactly where the manipulation of an anonymous web comment is? Is he a feeble moron, to be so easily influenced? I think not.

Monday, 31 May 2004 - 2:03 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

Everytime he goes on about gay porn and gay sex and gay meeting places is where he goes on about gay porn. I dunno, maybe, O Keyboard Warrior, you'd find it easier to precis his work if you, say, printed it out and used a thick red pen?

Bored now.

Sunday, 6 June 2004 - 1:09 AM BST


No stupid now (ali hannigan delivers that line better than you ever could)...

admitt it -- you manipulated what he said to prove your point and now you've been called on it.

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