John Candido has recently given us an interesting contribution, under the subject Pass the Word. The issue he raises is, I believe, sufficiently important to need discussion as a post on its own. Herewith:
I have been thinking recently about homophobia and racism. We all know about racism. The more we travel back in time, the more comfortably accepted as a truth and visible racism was situated in former societies. Racism has not disappeared and is as much a part of our modern world as it was of former times. While racism was more accepted and explicit in history, depending on the nation-state you were in, it is less accepted today as well as being socially compelled to be more implicit, i.e. hidden within us. And this is where it should be failing its complete eradication. Unfortunately, this will never happen because racism will always be with us. Catastrophes such as the European Holocaust between 1933 and 1945 are stark reminders from history of where inhumane ideologies founded on unbridled nationalism and racism, will inexorably lead us to.
The other important thing about racism is that it is found in every one of us regardless of how virtuous any one of us is. It is there in different levels from one person to another. Most of us at least have a preference for our own ethnocultural group.
If I may define my terminology before we get too much further in discussion? Homophobia means, ‘a hatred or fear of homosexuals or homosexuality’, according to the ‘Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary’, 5th edition. It has also been defined as ‘an extreme and irrational aversion to homosexuality and homosexuals’, according to ‘The Concise Oxford Dictionary’, 10th edition, revised.
Is a similar dynamic or parallel in play here regarding racism and homophobia? Do humans have a similar proclivity for homophobia and heterophobia as they do for racism? Heterophobia is the antonym of homophobia. The word ‘Heterophobia’ is somewhat controversial and not found in all dictionaries. For those who are interested, you can read more about this word here, http://www.reference.com/browse/wiki/Heterophobia.
In a similar parallel with racism and speaking in degrees of its occurrence; I believe that homophobia can be found in some if not most heterosexuals and heterophobia can be found in similar levels in homosexuals. I don’t have any proof of this but I have an intuition of this state of affairs as a reasonable hypothesis of these phenomena, and I think that they are very much a part of human and social affairs. What are your thoughts?
Here are the relevant comments as at 0939 31 October.
Thats a strange word Phobia-it can mean anything really.
I have a phobia toward spiders however I have a little friend who comes to sit by my feet most nights,
I say hello( I hope I am not at the risk of being sectioned) it just sits there for while and then scurries of to where it came from. I would not dream of hurting it.
If I see a very very big one I put a glass over it an put it in the garden.
When I was in the licensed trade we had all sorts of customers.Maybe we didnt agree with their life style but that didn’t mean they were barred-unless of course they were causing trouble or bad language etc.There were all Nationalities, and it was a small town and those with different coloured skin was unusual. We were all one big family and socialised together, and most customers helped the Church financely with Fetes Raffles etc. No bad feelings ,also Homosexuals no problem.
It it through ignorance to my mind that people are objectional.Live and let live.
People used to ask if we would put a condom machine in the toilet,my husband not a catholic they thought we should.
As catholics we have a duty to uphold the Faith even if we fall ourselves!Because we are weak that is not to say we deny it -either we believe it or not.
Am I wrong in thinking that before Jesus came to save us that the union between male and female was a Civil one and it was He who raised it up to a Sacrament.
Now to my mind it can not be hi-jacked between 2 people of the same sex.
So as the Church is a Christian way of life,it can not by law be made to impose marriage in Church, Christianity upholds the Civil law with the Registrar present. The same respect should be due to the Church. Does one think?
St Joseph, I think you are probably right (here I’m going back to the beginning of this discussion, which I’ve only just caught up with) to suggest that the possibility of gay marriage may founder on the question of what would count as consummation.
There was a suggestion earlier that racism has always been with us. But has it, I wonder? Is it just a form of tribalism (which is certainly alive and well, and contributing to likely problems in Libya and many other parts of the world)? St. Augustine came from north Africa. Was he black? Does anyone know? Does anyone care? Did anyone care at the time he was around?
Back to St. Joseph, and on a lighter note: I had a similar little friend. Our friendship lasted for three years. Each year the little friend became bigger. By the third year it was so intimidatingly large that I resorted to the glass-and-card and out-into-the-garden method of disposal