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Re^4: RFC: Acme::BottomsUp

by ptum (Priest)
on Aug 17, 2006 at 02:52 UTC ( #567824=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^3: RFC: Acme::BottomsUp
in thread RFC: Acme::BottomsUp

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. :)

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re^5: RFC: Acme::BottomsUp
by radiantmatrix (Parson) on Aug 21, 2006 at 17:30 UTC

    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
Re^5: RFC: Acme::BottomsUp
by shmem (Chancellor) on Aug 19, 2006 at 08:12 UTC
    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}
      shmem wrote
      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 differ with this opinion in several regards. On one hand, I think ptum did a "good job" of presenting his point of view in a thoughtful and also a restrained manner. I do not see the ad hominum attack mentioned by shmem. I think that if shmem and others see a "charge of lack of decency and respect for others", they'd be doing me a big favor by posting a quote of such so that I can see clearly which words did so.

      edit 03.09.06: acknowledgement of shmem's response below. I did not read down to that depth thoroughly (replies to replies). Thus I demonstrate my fallibility :-)

      On another hand, I do not think it would be possible to post any reply to this utterance of DrHyde's without it being interpreted as an ad hominum attack by many readers. It's a given that people are going to read "personal attack" into it, no matter what words are chosen, because this is not about some neutral question of computer management or programming technique (for example). The matter is innately personal and laden with emotional meaning.

      edit 02.09.06: on suggestion of planetscape, clarify grammar in next paragraph

      I'd like to suggest that a lot of bandwidth could be saved at Perlmonks if people found themselves able to stop defending thoughtless, ignorant, casual idiocy (whether done in nodes or on the chatterbox) as being some precious human right that's under attack by "uptight dorks"; and instead at the very least, let people who are pointlessly offended offended by pointless ("casual"?) insensitivity speak up for themselves, as ptum has, without frying them for it.

      On the third hand, people have been taking the name (or honorific title, which is what Christ is -- it's a Greek word, not anything on Jesus's birth certificate) of this figure "in vain" for thousands of years, and DrHyde's coarse language is no different from that (some readers will know the sort of things that sailors have been spewing for centuries). People are, someone said to me once, going to have the Perlmonks they want.

      I'm just slightly surprised that ptum has only now discovered that the prevailing sensibilities at Perlmonks are in favor of coarseness, unnecessary offensiveness in language, irreverence and a denial that anything is sacred to any sensible person. I've known this for a long time.

      Well, perlmonks isn't your lawn...

      But ptum's sensibilities are his, and the quality of his experience of Perlmonks is his. Perlmonks would not be worth much to anyone if no one ever interacted with it, would it? What I see a lot of (what I have, {sigh}, participated in arguments about on the chatterbox) is people saying "I care about preserving the quality of the Perlmonks experience for people who think like me but not for "everyone" (for some nuanced value of "everyone"). They are saying this implicitly, I mean, by criticizing attempts to correct thoughtlessly, pointlessly offensive comments.

          Soren A / somian / perlspinr / Intrepid

      Words can be slippery, so consider who speaks as well as what is said; know as much as you can about the total context of the speaker's participation in a forum over time, before deciding that you fully comprehend the intention behind those words. If in doubt, ask for clarification before you 'flame'.

        ptum's words

        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.
        in Re^2: RFC: Acme::BottomsUp are a smart way to say "observe yourself as slapped".

        Furthermore, some points:

        • Christ is a title, yes. And a symbol.
        • Symbols may be held sacred, but aren't. There's no such thing as desecrating a symbol. What is being held sacred (and will be sacred, forever) is what the symbol points to.
        • DrHyde's christ and ptum's christ share a common symbol, but are in fact localized in their own respective package. The debate of the value of christ is pointless.
        • I deeply respect ptum and DrHyde as fellows on the way living through the same life as I live.


        _($_=" "x(1<<5)."?\n".q·/)Oo.  G°\        /
                                      /\_¯/(q    /
        ----------------------------  \__(m.====·.(_("always off the crowd"))."·
        ");sub _{s./.($e="'Itrs `mnsgdq Gdbj O`qkdq")=~y/"-y/#-z/;$e.e && print}
Re^5: RFC: Acme::BottomsUp
by Anonymous Monk on Aug 17, 2006 at 06:03 UTC
    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.
Re^5: RFC: Acme::BottomsUp
by derby (Abbot) on Aug 21, 2006 at 22:45 UTC

    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.


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