This weekend, Rebeca Arellano and her girlfriend Haileigh Adams were crowned Homecoming King and Queen of Patrick Henry High School in San Diego, California. Of course, some people are not happy about this. I mean, if this stuff goes on there will be “fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!” “Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes…” “The dead rising from the grave!” “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria!” “Rivers will run red with blood and yellow with urine. And a dog will be seen eating cat food in the land.”
Alright, so enough with the Ghostbusters and Futurama quotes, huh? Oh, well, according to the slight fearmongering of Matthew Hulet at the Examiner. He wrote:
The problem lies in the morality and standards that are being violated with these decisions and this community in general. My fellow San Diego News examiner Dave Thomas said it well.
This is not about denying gays and lesbians their opportunities, it is about keeping some sanity in our values and traditions.
In The Fifth Elephant, Terry Pratchett wrote that “You did something because it had always been done, and the explanation was “but we’ve always done it this way.” A million dead people can’t have been wrong, can they?” If your argument for or against something that does not hurt other people involves the words “tradition” or “morality”, then you do not have an argument. I can make a moralistic argument that I should be allowed to sacrifice a human being to the gods when the crops fail because it is just right, good, and what the gods demand.
It is obvious that neither Dave Thomas nor Matthew Hulet have ever asked themselves why they think that these traditions have to be kept, or why they believe that this is about sanity or morality.
There are a few reasons why ancient cultures banned homosexuality outright or banned certain homosexual acts, but neither are relevant in this day and age. The first major reason was the need for population. If you study sexuality in ancient cultures, you tend to find that it was banned in cultures where life was short and a lot of children died before they reached puberty. These cultures often practiced very early marriages too.
You live in a desert, let us say. You live one crop failure from starvation and you need to have a lot of hands to help tend the crops. Hiring folks to help costs money, so you breed until you have enough hands to not only sustain yourself, but maybe make a bit of profit.
This is likely why the early Israelites banned homosexuality entirely. Too many lesbians and gays running around, and your culture was dead in the water.
The second reason tended to be more of a tendency to ban just anal intercourse. That was a matter of hygiene. In several cultures, including the Greeks, anal intercourse was banned but not oral sex or frottage. These were cultures that worried about the transmission of disease because, let us face it, anal intercourse can transmit a lot of diseases.
The thing is, it does not matter any more. The Earth has seven billion people at a time when global climate change is threatening to destabilize the food supplies of the whole world. As for anal intercourse, if that is your thing, then you wear a condom. Simple as that.
Hulet ended his column by writing:
Gay marriage legalized across the country; state by state. Gay history being taught in schools. Churches forced to marry gay couples. Gay nominated and crowned as Queen, and lesbian nominated and crowned King at Homecomings. Society suppressed and forced into tolerance. Churches threatened and sued. What is next? Where will this end? Does it even have an end?
Here he shows that he is just fearmongering. Churches have not been forced to marry gay couples in the United States. With that argument, his entire rationale crumbles and this is about his own discomfort with lesbians and gays, not about society.
Hulet, like so many Christian-based bigots, confuses being lesbian or gay with the actions that are associated with it. Being a lesbian is not about just having sex with another woman or being attracted to other women. There is a lot more to it than that. The problem for Hulet is that he knows no differently. He is stuck in an era and in a thought structure which is just, well, antiquated.
But then again, he just does not want to give up on those millions of dead people, huh?