Wednesday, December 13, 2006

"happy" about the good news

Article in the Nytimes titled Gay and Evangelical--hmm, why put the gay first? As a person who is involved in the "church profession" nothing shocking about this to me. Nor that some of the gay Christians are mythic-fundamentalist in their belief structure: that only Christians go to heaven. Everybody develops through, into, and sometimes never beyond these basic worldviews/faith systems.

I want to focus on a specific rationale for the very strong fear, at points near-paranoid in nature, of particularly the gay male in evangelical Christian literature. This is just one reason (not a defense) for its existence and though I'm not focusing on it, don't want that to come across as not aware of/concerned about the struggle and existential pain caused by these teachings.

Rationally it makes no sense to spend so much time devoted to stopping the anti-Gay agenda, even assuming as does such writing, that there is this large, monolithic, conspiratorial, all-powerful Gay-dom that is comng crashing down on all of us (pardon the sexual allusion in that).

Rationally it doesn't, at least in the sense that heterosexual marriage is much more undermined by mass media, objectification of women, culture that promotes the individual self, etc. In fact the whole movement in western love is towards the idea that marriage should be about love. This didn't reach mass consciousness until the 1950s and quickly led, as was predicted by the conservatives back then, to people saying that once love is gone from a relationhip, then split. And many gay men love each other, hence they should be able to get married as well. It's all of a piece. And there is no going back, that dye has been cast.

But modern conservatives attempt to hold onto the 1950s image not the pre-1950s, agrarian traditional conservatives. Don't hear too many Southern American Christian conservatives calling for arranged marriages do you? Or polygamy--unless maybe they are hard core Mormons.

But anyway, that aside, the real issue is patriarchy. Now because of feminism, the word patriarchy is supposed to immediately flash oppression of women into your brain. And no doubt there is plenty of that both now and throughout the last thousands of years.

But patriarchy is also, from a integral lens, about the control of men. [Warren Farrell has written a great deal on this subject, it's controversial but overall I tend to agree with him]. That is, it is about getting men involved in family life. Because it could be argued men have no biological reason to be involved in post-birth issues. Except insofar as women could convince men that the best chance of promoting their genes was to stay and protect the child--female homo sapiens having the advantage of not giving off scents/bodily cues to the males as to when they are ovulating, so prior to the introduction of genetic testing no man ever 100% for sure that a child was his.

Control is the word only relative to later evolutionary development. At the time that was the cutting edge and therefore an integral lens reconstructs the history to show ways in which men and women both were forced to and choose to enter into this world, which involved certain advantages/disadvantages to each as well as certain kinds of oppression and pain for each.

And even in the spiritual tradtiions, for men who did not often have families, spiritual families were created. The teacher was a spiritual father and his disciples the sons, who brought either praise or shame onto the father and the lineage/clan based on their actions. Just as in patriarchal biological families.

Which is why two figures always recur in patriarchial literature as the two most sinister figures--who simultaneously are both feared and secretly attact: whore/mistress, gay man.

The obvious connection between the two is that they are the two figures who represent for a male in a patriarchal society sex without responsibility, i.e. sex without familly creation. When social conservatives say they are against IVF, sperm donation, artificial insemination, because those techniques are separating childbirth from biology, they don't really mean biology. Because there is still sperm, eggs, women's bodies, placentas, and all the rest.

What they mean is that contraception is being separated from the culture (LL) of a pre-industrial ("natural") world (LR), where yes the noosphere was not fully differentiated from the biosphere.

So when the modernist (orange) techno-structure of modern birthing becomes popular ir tends to lead towards a modern culture-moral stance. Tends to not automatically does. And that culture starts to relax the tension around patriarchy. Some of which is good, some of which is not good. But relax the repression it does.

At some point, I'm not sure how long into the future, to adjust the mainstream of social conservativsm will have to embrace the social conservative gay movement. So it won't be any longer a question of gay versus straight, homophobic, versus accepting, whatever. It will be social conservative (all kinds) versus socially liberal.

Just as formerly Catholics and Protestants hated each other--remember in the I Have a Dream speech it's not just black and white kids but Catholic and Protestant kids who supposed to play together--but the so-called social conservative/pro-life camps of each have basically patched over the differences and united to fight a perceived common enemy, that trend will emerge stronger and stronger between hetero and homo/bi, whatever these labels don't really work. But I think the point is clear. In North America. Not elswhere.

Christianity interestingly co-opted these two renegade images within the Gospel tradition itself. Mary Magdalene was conceived in Chrsitian literature/myth as a repentant prostitute. The Gospels themselves don't actually say that. The Gnostic tradition says that she became a male because feminity and duality is evil--oops sorry liberal ladies who think the Gnostics are your ticket to end male oppression in Chrsitian churches.

And Mary of Magdala was also connected with the women who wipes Jesus feet with her tears and strokes him with her hair--very erotic but not according to the Gospel Mary Magdalene. But in the orthodox (non-Gnostic) tradition that energy of prostitution/whoredom was synthesized to protect the patriarchial order because 1. Jesus was thought to be celibate and sorta androgynous anyway 2. Mary herself become a nun/monk in the later tradition.

Also in the Gospel of John, the figure of the beloved disciple who is clearly a man and in the tradition was said to be a young beautiful man. [ding ding, anybody hear gay?. He probably had a close relationship with his mother and shared fashion tips with the female disciples--just kidding].

This beloved disciple laid his head on Jesus' breast. In the iconography the beloved disciple is more or less trans-gendered or a highly effeminized male.

So again the figure that could wreck the patriarchy is co-opted, his "energy" if you will brought in but in an unthreatening way. Because again, it is a spiritual love.

The reason I think Christianity has such a problem with literal-ness qua Jesus (even more so than Judaism, Islam, whatever) is because Christianity puts the dangerous truths right in front of your face: Jesus is Nondual, post-patriarchal/matriarchal love and communion, etc. It then occluds you from seeing what those truths are (or can be from a certain pov) by a fabrciated interpretive weave. The other religions tends to try to keep those aspects hidden. Christianity wants them hidden by putting them too close to your face to see them for what they are.

That tension is at the source of the tension of repressed Christians homophobic gays coming out and admitting sexual liasions.


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