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Re^2: RFC: Acme::BottomsUp

by ptum (Priest)
on Aug 15, 2006 at 20:17 UTC ( #567545=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: RFC: Acme::BottomsUp
in thread RFC: Acme::BottomsUp

While it is possible that the above post was whimsically-intended (I do try to keep a good sense of humor on this site), I'd have to say that I find this particular exclamation deeply offensive. I don't understand the mindset of someone who takes a thing that is precious and sacred to others and profanes it in this way. Take it from me; among those who honor the name of Jesus, this particular combination of terms is the written equivalent to a slap in the face. I have come to expect a higher level of maturity from the PerlMonks community.

Admittedly, there are alternative (pun intended) uses for the word 'gay' and certainly Jesus was not the only person who is claimed to be a 'christ', but the casual intent to defile seems evident in this post.

I don't really have a problem with 'galloping', although it seems likely to be historically inaccurate. :)

Whatever your meta-ethical viewpoint (or lack thereof) it seems to me that a small amount of decency and respect for others would go a long way in terms of refraining from posts like this.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re^3: RFC: Acme::BottomsUp
by radiantmatrix (Parson) on Aug 18, 2006 at 19:55 UTC

    Take it from me; among those who honor the name of Jesus, this particular combination of terms is the written equivalent to a slap in the face.

    Sigh. See, this is exactly the problem I have with the easily-offended:

    1. The post in question never actually uses the name "Jesus"
    2. The word "christ" is just anglicized Greek for "annointed one"
    3. You've assumed that every person who honors Jesus Christ (that is, every Christian) agrees with you
    4. You've assumed that something offensive isn't still funny

    I'm not Christian anymore, but still have a great respect for the religion (after all, I used to be an ordained minister) and for the teachings of Christ. I found the phrase "galloping gay christ" to be hilarious.

    A quick informal poll among my friends (many of whom are devout Christians) revealed that 80% thought the phrase was funny; of those who thought it wasn't funny, none cited "offensive" as even part of the reason.

    This is now horribly off-topic (sorry, folks), but I think it's important to understand that posting "offensive" material -- especially when it's clearly intended to be humorous, doesn't mean the poster has a "lack of respect for others".

    A collection of thoughts and links from the minds of geeks
    The Code that can be seen is not the true Code
    I haven't found a problem yet that can't be solved by a well-placed trebuchet
      Sounds like you're arguing that Dr.Hyde's post should not be read as a causual blasphemy. I don't think that's tenable.

      I'm somewhat puzzled that sexual references are used for swearing, but they are used that way. I don't find them offensive, but some do. If no one found them offensive, they wouldn't be much good for swearing, or for humor. Swearing would have to move on to another topic.

      The power comes from crossing some boundry of courtesy or a suggestion of crossing that bound, as in "Good Gravy!". Once something offends no one, and doesn't even make a weak reference to saying something offensive, it doesn't make much of a swear.

      "Breakfast!, that's hideous!"

      doesn't quite do it, except as a parody.

      There are probably some monks who think, "Oh, for crying out loud, will you just let it go?" But this thread is deep enough that it will likely go unnoticed by any except those few who are still interested in this discussion, so I think I'll persist. Besides, I think it is helpful to the long-term health of this community to delineate the boundary between humor and offensiveness a little more clearly.

      I suppose it is true that I am 'easily' offended, at least with respect to this particular topic. I suspect that nearly everyone is that way on some subject or another -- some care about skin color, others about politics, sexual orientation, the people they love, or whatever else they care deeply about. There may be some who care little or enjoy mockery as a way of life, but by and large I'll bet there is something that could be said that would 'easily' offend you. Is that so bad?

      Granted, an individual cannot expect to take an entire community hostage to his particular worldview. But if I'm 'easily' offended by remarks about my ethnicity, does that mean it is 'open season' on me for verbal abuse? Shouldn't intelligent people possessing a minimal amount of tact, courtesy and decency speak softly on some subjects, out of respect and kindness for the feelings of others?

      There are small logical problems with all four of your criticisms:

      1. I never claimed that the original post directly defamed the name of Jesus -- in fact, I made provision for that possibility:
        " ... and certainly Jesus was not the only person who is claimed to be a 'christ' ".
        Note, however, that the OP has removed any doubt about which 'christ' he meant in his subsequent post.
      2. Same flaw as in #1. In common usage in both the OP's home country and mine, the word 'christ' is frequently used to refer to Jesus. Pretending he wasn't talking about Jesus is just a smokescreen.
      3. Slightly inaccurate again. I used the phrase "among those" which can (and often does) refer to a subset of a larger group. I don't claim to speak for all Christians, but I do speak for some.
      4. I didn't make any judgment about the humor of the post ... indeed, I agree that it not uncommon for something to be funny and offensive. After all, many of the racial or sexual jokes that can be very offensive to some are perceived as quite amusing (at least in the short-term). In some ways, the funnier a slur, the more damaging it can be. I believe it was Roy Hattersley who said, "In politics, being ridiculous is more damaging than being extreme." I think that some of the most underhanded personal attacks are done under the cloak of sarcasm and other forms of humor.

      Here at the monastery, the original 'funny' post stands about even-steven with respect to downvotes vs. upvotes out of the forty-odd folks who have voted. That suggests to me that roughly half of the folks that voted didn't really think it was funny enough to outweigh the offense.

      As to your final point, seeming to defend the OP and his purported "respect for others", I think his subsequent post (perhaps you find it also 'hilarious') demonstrates that his respect for me and at least some Christians is not very high. A person who did have respect for others would be inclined to answer my critical post in a more conciliatory manner (perhaps with a backhanded remark about taking it too seriously, but still basically apologetic). The OP in this case chose a more acerbic path. A little research on his personal blog site suggests this is a pattern of behavior that doesn't start with me, but I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions about that.

      "The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything." -- Goethe

        I'm not going to get into logical pedantry with you, I tired of that long ago.

        However, you seem to have a very odd conflation regarding race, sex, and religion. Yes, mocking someone because of something so trivial as genetics (race and sex, for example) is pretty small-minded. However, choosing to mock someone's choice, as with religion, is rather not the same thing.

        Further, any set of beliefs that results in one being unable to laugh at oneself a little bit is dangerous. That said, I see no problem with you being offended at the "galloping gay christ" joke -- what I have a problem with is your presumption that since you were offended (and other people might be), that the OP should be sanctioned.

        As an atheist, I put up with all manner of "offensive" jokes about my lack of belief. Most of them are extremely funny. On the occasion someone makes a joke I feel is too inappropriate, I will approach them in private and explain why I felt they went too far. However, I would never suggest that they be sanctioned, or their comments removed from public fora.

        A collection of thoughts and links from the minds of geeks
        The Code that can be seen is not the true Code
        I haven't found a problem yet that can't be solved by a well-placed trebuchet
        Believe it or not, I actually upvoted ptum's post, as he/she/it makes some valid points while still being hopelessly wrong overall.

        I believe that you're wrong in your analysis about why my post received downvotes though - it's not because some people think the offence outweighed the humour, it's because they're utterly devoid of humour when it comes to matters of their invisible friend and so only saw the imaginary offence. In my opinion - and I used to be a christian myself (I got better, obviously) - their god would disapprove of their small-mindedness.

        You're right about my respect for you. You've done nothing to deserve it, and quite a bit to *not* deserve it. In this you differ from most christians. Most of them, while not having done anything to deserve my respect, have at least not pissed me off.

        You don't really get a choice in your ethnicity, sex, &c., the same is not appearently true about religeon, hair color, or culture.

Re^3: RFC: Acme::BottomsUp
by virtualsue (Vicar) on Aug 16, 2006 at 07:47 UTC
    A slap in the face? That sounds so familiar.

    "But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also."

    DrHyde is also well known in certain circles as "Evil Dave". So, there you have it, straight from the Sermon on the Mount.
Re^3: RFC: Acme::BottomsUp
by gellyfish (Monsignor) on Aug 16, 2006 at 07:33 UTC

    This appears to be where The Christians are going wrong. Simply considering a node because it is found offensive. Comes across as a bit, well, feeble.

    I'd recommend boycotting his export goods and burning down a few of his embassies, then people will really know how upset you are.

    Apologies to any Danish People who might have been offended by this post, but you know how it is.


Re^3: RFC: Acme::BottomsUp
by eric256 (Parson) on Aug 16, 2006 at 22:47 UTC

    Seriously? I mean are you serious? Because in your defense of your christ you claim that calling someone gay is an insult. Are you so lacking in maturity that you think your own actions are okay?

    I realy hope that you were joking and it just didn't come accross in your post. Otherwise you should consider that your own post was highly offensive. Your own intent to defile a populations life style wasn't casual and was certainly offensive. I don't want to start this argument so don't consider it a challenge in need of a reply, consider it instead simply another point of view that perhaps you weren't aware of.

    /me considers considering his own node for removal....well the masses can make that decision.

    Eric Hodges

      Thank you for taking the time to point out a possible inconsistency in my post. Going back and reading over it again, I think you are putting words in my mouth. I didn't insult anyone who was gay, I simply objected to someone saying Jesus is gay. Assuming that you are not Jesus, or in some way equivalent to him, I think you are grasping at straws to claim that I am generally insulting all those who follow that lifestyle. But I was reasonably serious in my earlier post, and there is certainly no doubt that I am lacking in maturity, because I thought I had taken some care not to offend. Go figure. :(

      Within the context of the Christian faith, it all boils down to who Jesus Christ is. If he is fully man and fully God, as many believe, then in order for his death on the cross to be accepted as a sacrifice for the sins of all people, he himself had to be guiltless. The Old Testament is clear that homosexuality is an abomination to God, and thus if Jesus were a homosexual, he would not himself be sinless and would be ineligible as a savior, having trouble enough with his own sins, let alone mine. To sneeringly imply that Jesus is gay is to strike directly at the very foundation of Christianity in an unkind manner. I'm not insisting that everyone agree with me, but I am asking that when you drive past my house, you refrain from throwing garbage on my lawn. (I speak metaphorically, of course, since I live on a cul-de-sac, and very few people drive past my house.)

      The word I used in the post you found offensive was defile, which pertains to dishonoring the sacred. I made no other disparaging remarks about anyone else being gay ... I merely stated that the OP's implication that Jesus was gay is offensive to me and many other Christians. For those not familiar with the religious implications of the word, if I talk about a flag being defiled by touching the ground, it seems silly to claim that I am insulting all tablecloths that have ever touched the ground, when I was only talking about the flag. The word doesn't pertain to a tablecloth.

      Holding (or defending, when attacked) a personal belief or standard of right and wrong is not inherently offensive, even if that view is opposed to yours -- it is the act of attacking or provocation that primarily contributes to making a statement offensive. The fact that you take my earlier remarks as offensive (when they were, in their very essence, defensive) is unfortunate and inaccurate. There really isn't a way for me to defile something that isn't sacred, unless there is some special sacred holiness to homosexuality of which I am unaware. My issue with the OP is that, although the faith of Christians had no bearing on the issue he was discussing, he attempted to casually defile the central figure in that faith.

      The main defense I can offer to your charge of giving offense is that I didn't start this discussion, and so I think I should be granted some leeway. I tried to react in a calm, reasoned manner to something that another monk originated ... I certainly didn't set out to alienate any gay monks or those who approve their lifestyle. For those who are looking to take offense at my words, I'm sure this post will supply anything that was lacking in my original node, and for that, I apologize in advance. But please note that I have been a monk for some time, and have posted on a variety of subjects. I think that if you review my posts, you will see that I am not characterized as driven by some gay-bashing agenda. I'm not trying to force my views on anyone, and I don't think it is unreasonable to respond to posts that stray into my area of expertise.

      The bottom line: A monk made disparaging remarks about someone I honor greatly, more than a parent or a spouse. I privately asked that monk to edit his post, and (when I received no answer) recommended the node for consideration, hoping that the PerlMonks community would see it as a needless jeer at Christians, and would reap it accordingly. For reasons best known to themselves, many monks preferred to keep the node, although it had minimal merit apart from the offensive content. I tried to explain how the node was offensive in my own subsequent posting, but that was not well-received and seems destined for Worst Nodes of the Month. I suspect that many monks think I overreacted to the original casual offense, and that I should have overlooked it -- indeed, I may have done my cause more harm than good through this discussion, although I have tried hard not to bring further dishonor on my Lord. I hoped that this community is one that could respect the faith of people like me. And so we come full circle to my own immaturity -- I'm apparently still young enough that I don't know when to just let things slide.

      Or perhaps some things are worth standing up for. We'll see how it plays out. :)

        There really isn't a way for me to defile something that isn't sacred, unless there is some special sacred holiness to homosexuality of which I am unaware.

        You are unaware. There are many faiths which believe that sexual congress, regardless of the genders or quantity of the participants, is a sacred act. For these people, suggesting that any two people -- even members of the same sex -- acting on mutual attraction in a sexual way is anything but beautiful, even divine, would be extremely offensive.

        Unfortunately, so many are so focused on their own beliefs that they don't take time to even realize what others' beliefs are.

        The only way to reconcile the fact that conservative Christianity thinks homosexuality is wrong with the fact that other faiths see all consensual sex as sacred is simply tolerance. Part of tolerance is to accept that some people will find your own beliefs laughable, whatever those beliefs might be.

        Sorry: I know this is now waaay off topic, but considering that viewpoints on this matter affect the decisions to remove and edit posts, I think it's important to hash out.

        A collection of thoughts and links from the minds of geeks
        The Code that can be seen is not the true Code
        I haven't found a problem yet that can't be solved by a well-placed trebuchet
        Why does this remind me inmediately of the scene in Monty Python's "Life Of Brian" where an old man is stoned for uttering the word "Jehova"?

        Your offense does not consist in construing an offense to Christianity of some uttered words (which to my eyes seems silly^Wfunny) but in going from there to an ad hominem attack charging the poster with lack of decency and respect for others.

        I'm not insisting that everyone agree with me, but I am asking that when you drive past my house, you refrain from throwing garbage on my lawn.

        Well, perlmonks isn't your lawn...

        --shmem - unbaptized christian (which statement could be taken also as offense to established Christianity[tm], but I really don't care...)

        _($_=" "x(1<<5)."?\n".q/)Oo.  G\        /
                                      /\_/(q    /
        ----------------------------  \__(m.====.(_("always off the crowd"))."
        ");sub _{s./.($e="'Itrs `mnsgdq Gdbj O`qkdq")=~y/"-y/#-z/;$e.e && print}
        Gay is an adjective meaning "carefree", "happy", or "bright and showy"; however in modern usage, gay is a word usually used, as either a noun or adjective, to refer to same-sex sexual orientation; homosexuality.
        Since when do good Christians discuss Jesus as a sexual being? I'm a good Christian, and I say Jesus was gay.

        A monk made disparaging remarks about someone I honor greatly

        Jumping jesus on a pogo stick ... small c ... small c. If I learned something in twelve years of Catholic school, it's capitalization matters.

Re^3: RFC: Acme::BottomsUp
by DrHyde (Prior) on Aug 17, 2006 at 09:27 UTC

    If you study the scriptures, it's obvious that Christ was gay. There are gay people right now (this is indisputable) who are made in the image of God (so says Genesis). JAYSUS was God (we know this because christians worship him and yet claim to not be polytheists). Therefore gay people were made in his image. Therefore he was a mincing poofter. I hope you're a backdoor boy, cos if you're not then perhaps you're an agent of Satan and you defile God's creation.

    A witch! A witch! Burn the hetero!

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