Taking Tolerance Too Far -- Enabling?

Oh. Yeah, at SAAN we’re constantly getting these thirteen year old girls asking us if they should go down on their boyfriends! Good God Almighty! When I was thirteen, I was still playing Barbies! No no no! You’re too yucking foung!

Then at mookville, someone told us about a super permissive mom who has a 12 year old daughter. Daughter wants to get a tongue stud to enhance oral sex with her 15 year old girlfriend! Yikes! I mean, she’s 12!!! 12 year olds should be worried about holding hands and stuff, not enhancing oral sex! For the love of green onions!

Guinastasia wrote:

In this thread the OP just assumes that homosexual behavior is destructive. I realize that many disagree with my stance, which is that it is spiritually destructive, so I ask that you bear with my assumption in this thread.

aynrandlover wrote:

I think I see what you’re saying, but I still would argue that we are accountable for the way we influence others, even though the primary responsibility for my skiing friend rests on his own head.

Bricker wrote:

Yet we shouldn’t endorse (over-tolerate?) that behavior, either, if we have reason to believe that it is spiritually destructive, even if we can’t convince others of this.

Polycarp wrote:

Yet in encouraging me to accept something that I personally find objectionable in myself, you are in a sense enabling me to embrace something which is spiritually harmful. I’m not talking about the orientation; I’m talking about gay sex.

Again, I would disagree that “who I [am]” in terms of sexual orientation is unchangeable and permanent. It need not be, IMHO.

Again, you are maybe unconsciously enabling me and encouraging me to do something morally wrong by advising me that “a healthy committed [homosexual] relationship would not be sinful”. But thanks for your opinion–I do value it.

And I hope a certain little filly doesn’t take objection to the surname! :smiley:

this is an easy one. for starters, you want us to assume in this thread that, not only is homosexual behavior harmful, but that it will destroy anyone who practices it. with those parameters, as a friend you should advise them that no matter how acceptable society deems it, they should absolutely not do it. this is very hypothetical, though. i can’t think of any behaviors in real life that are both societally acceptable and absolutely destructive.

as soon as you start tolerating it.

probably depends on how destructive. i would say 50% for something like knowing about the ok city bombing in advance and not alerting authorities. for something like telling a friend it’s ok to do heroin and he ends up ruining his life, it really depends on much stock you knew the friend was putting in your advice, as well as your expertise on the issue.

This is about being homosexual and being Christian isn’t it? You do realize that sin is sin don’t you? That being homosexual is no more sinful than being greedy or vain or even “fornicating” in a heterosexual relationship. Many feel that you cannot be “in the flesh” and be right with God. Is that what you are talking about? Because being “fleshy” can be eating too much, or shopping to much. Anything that occupies your time or heart to the detriment of your faith. And I believe this is something that only you can decide. You know when something isn’t right for you. And if this extend to suspending giving advice to others then perhaps that’s the way you should go.


i guess i meant ‘socially acceptable’.

It’s not so much whether I agree or disagree (and I think most people here know how I would feel), it’s just that I’m the type who has trouble with abstracts, and needs more of a specific example to get it.

I guess I understand you’re going through a difficult period, no? As such, the only thing I can tell you is keep looking into your heart.

I’m going to have to stop answering posts here, as I have been awake for 30+ hours and cannot keep my eyes open. I’ll be back around midnight and take things from there. Thanks to those who have replied so far. :slight_smile:

On the other hand, groups which ‘rehabilitate’ gay people and turn them straight are noted for not working.


John Paulk, board chair for Exodus International, was found hanging out in a gay bar in Washington DC.

From the same article:

What this seems to be about, from my perspective, is internalizing the dogma that everything in the Bible is verbatim truth, and flaggelating one self with it.

I have a hard time believing any deity would perjure someone for being themselves and loving another person, regardless if it is same sex love or not.

No. I am not telling you that you need to go out and have gay sex, either on a pickup or in a committed relationship. I am telling you something quite different, that you seem to have trouble coming to terms with.

You are gay, Snark. The sight of a well-built male body with well-cut pecs, wearing only jogging shorts that bulge a bit at the crotch, makes your pecker stand up. To be sure, the right female body, a woman you have come to know and love, is going to evoke a similar reaction. But you need to own up to the fact of what your sexuality is. I thought you were doing precisely that, based on your last few posts about your own life.

You are not going to change that by clicking your heels together three times and saying, “I am straight” with your eyes squeezed shut. You are not going to change it at all until and unless you start from admitting it, accepting it in yourself and then work hard at making the change over the course of years. And there is no guarantee that that will work.

Because, and this is the point I am trying to stress, you need to work from where you are to get anywhere you want to go. If you practice (psychological) denial and despise the gayness you find in yourself, you will simply mire yourself deeper in self-detestation.

I think I need to share how I got to where I am. And you need to hear it. And I’m less than thrilled about placing it on a public bulletin board, but it seems called for.

Ten years ago I fell head over heels, in a stupid schoolboy crush, in love with a totally straight young man 25 years younger than me who had come into my life.

It was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Sex was never in question. But I needed him, wanted to be around him 24-7, went completely bonkers over him. And felt guilty as hell about it. Because I was not gay. And I was married to a woman who loved me, and whom I loved, and had been for 16 years at that point.

And he, fatherless and having thrown away the life he had come from, needed me, needed the love I felt for him, and reciprocated.

We never kissed. In ten years we have hugged maybe as many times. Perhaps the most meaningful physical contact between us was when a song played that contained the words, “Who’d have thought we’d be so close, like brothers?” and he gently rested his hand on my shoulder – we were sitting in two bucket seats in a moving car at the time.

But I was forced to confront exactly how fucked up I was, and all the rationalizations I had made about the world. That maybe what I was feeling was not sinful and disgusting, but something God had planned to heal both our hearts. I helped him deal with the rebellion he was feeling, the anger bottled up inside him, and be reconciled to his mother and family. And he helped me to see that the person I was, and detested being, was actually a pretty decent person, who cared deeply about my wife, and about him. And that was the origin of the Polycarp you know today, who can show love and caring and concern for people.

It healed. We’re still each other’s best friend. He lives 715 miles away from me now. His kids consider me as their uncle. And I thank God for bringing him into my life on a daily basis.

So what I’m saying to you is to grit your teeth and face up to facts. God doesn’t hate you for being gay. Neither does anybody else. Except you.

So love yourself. Accept that you have these desires.

They don’t automatically have to be gratified. Not that you’re destined for hell if you happen to slip from the moral stance you’re taking and do express your love for someone physically.

I am not saying to go out and live an active gay life if you personally find that sinful. But I am saying to accept yourself as who you are. Then figure out where you need to go from there.

And the healing will come. The one you really need. The one God has in store for you.

I don’t know just what that is. Neither do you. But He does. He’s just waiting for you to get yourself ready to accept it.

Go do it. I love you. So do a lot of other people. Including you-know-who.

Great post Polycarp, I couldn’t agree with you more.

I understand full well that you think homosexuality is a sin, which undermines your objectivity here. I have no problem tolerating your choice to think this way (there’s nothing I can do ethically to prevent your opinion, nor am I inclined to take up this cause). It is in nobody’s interests of freedom to outlaw or restrict homosexuality (yes, that is what your post is really saying to me). I feel that a free country flirts with disaster everytime we single out groups to worry about, especially based on arbitrary distinctions. Let God worry about it, unless you doubt God’s ability to deal with it. Sexuality is not an artificial choice, IMO, and this is my personal and public observation. I did not choose to be straight, and if I assumed that I did choose to be straight, that would mean that I would be also struggling with homosexuality. The real choice we make everyday is how we deal with other people’s nature.


<Confused smiley>

Ummm… wouldn’t this be more accurately, stated that he’s likely bisexual rather than gay? Or is Gay in this context meaning both bisexual and homosexual?


Quite true, dublos. However, I didn’t play with words because (a) I’d already mentioned that in a previous post to this same thread, and (b) he’s not too concerned about his heterosexuality – just the fact that it doesn’t encompass all – or, apparently, even most – of his sexuality. In situations where you’re trying to make a significant, and lengthy-to-post point, you deal with the problem at hand – in this case, Snark’s difficulty in dealing with his same-sex attraction – not in items that, however relevant, are not part of the problem.

When he starts worrying about desiring women, then I’ll really start to stress! :smiley:

Technically, isn’t everyone bisexual to some degree or another?

Hello, will read after the LA Dopefest and respond.

Of course, the short answer is, to the OP, broken bones are real, but the state of my eternal soul is dependent on one’s beliefs. To think you are saving me from something that, for lack of a better phrase, “isn’t real” is incredibly self-centered, since the implication is that your beliefs are right and mine are wrong.

But I’m sure I’ll have more to say later. :wink:


Hey, Esprix?

Nobody was talking about your soul, or your sex life either.

The question at hand was whether Snark Hunter was being enabled to sin, by his standards.

You ought to know – Y’oughta know by now [ ::: notes Guinastasia and dogsbody setting up to do Michelle-and-Cass backup vocals, shouts back "Now cut that out! :smiley: ::: ) that I don’t agree with him on whether gay sex is sinful, in the general term. But it is for him – because he feels that it is. And because he does have such desires, he tortures himself dealing with it.

I want to fix that. If you’re happy and well adjusted with your own sex life, as I believe you, Hastur, and the rest of the gay regulars who post here are, no sweat! Check out that APA cite that gets brought up every time the question of whether “gay sex is a psychological problem” is dragged out (poor horse! people keep beating it) – there is still a reference to it – where people are neurotic about being gay. And I bet you can’t figure out what the treatment for it is! :slight_smile:


I have a moment in time I can pinpoint where the person I am today started. I’m glad you took 25 years to age into the calm polycarp we see today. It makes feel a little better that it has been 4 years since my beginning.

I appreciate you sharing that story. I don’t often hear about people sharing that “moment.”

Thanks, in a way I know you understand.

That was a brave post. Thank you for showing so much trust in this community.

I am neither Christian (of any flavor) nor homosexual. But I am very interested in quesitons of ethics. So, if you will permit me to ramble for a bit . . .

The conflict you seem to be feeling lies between wanting to save a friend from peril and wanting to encourage a friend to follow their bliss. Now, as you asked in the OP I will accept for this example the idea that homosexual behavior is hazardous. So, the situation is:

Homosexual behavior is hazardous.
You know this.
Your friend wants to engage in homosexual behavior.

Now, as others have noted, you have an immediate ethical obligation to make sure your friend understands the risks. This might entail an uncomfortable conversation, to do otherwise robs him of the opportunity to make an informed decision. It also might place him in a dangerous situation that he would prefer to avoid. The thing to remember is that having the obligation to share your information does not abrogate your responsibility to treat your friend with respect and love. This does not call for a stern lecture, it calls for a respectful discussion.

Now, once your friend understands the risks that you see in homosexual behavior, he has a choice to make. You might be tempted to usurp that choice, to prevent him (or further dissuade him) from taking the risk. This is an understandable impulse, born of concern, but it should not be followed.

I do not know the foundation or particulars of your ethic, so I shall make one assumption: you believe God granted humans free will. If that is incorrect, please let me know.

If it is correct, then I can see no ethical way for you, as a fallible human being, to usurp your friends God-given capacity. Unless your friend’s mental capacity is impaired, he must be allowed to act as a free moral agent.

One additional caveat: your ski analogy paints all of the risk on one side. In the real world, there might be significant risks (to mental health, happiness, ethical development, etc.) associated with both options. Ethically, you must inform your friend of all factors involved, not just those which support the choice you feel is proper.

Polycarp: Once again, you’ve amazed me. Thank you for that post.

Snark: While you and I have had very little interaction here, I’ve followed your story with a great deal of interest. I’ve always hoped that you’d some to terms with your sexual orientation, whatever that may be.

One thing I cannot do, though, is “enable” you, in the terms you defined in the OP.

I cannot tell you it’s okay for you to engage in a homosexual relationship. Not because I think homosexuality is wrong, mind you. But because if I tell you it’s okay for you, and you do it, then get hurt, you’re going to come back here and blame me. “You guys encouraged me, and now look what’s happened! It’s your fault!” Nuh-uh.

You’re a grown man, Snark. Although I’ve come to some personal conclusions about your sexual orientation (based strictly on what you’ve shared here on the boards), I will not tell you which way to swing your bat. Only you can make that call.

Best of luck to you, Snark. I know that you will ultimately choose the path that is right for you.


What an interesting dilemma you’ve laid out for us. I say that because I’m wondering how far I should go in warning you of the danger I perceive you to be in.

For all that you’re a virtual stranger, it hurts me to see the pain you’re in. I would prefer to see you happy and healthy. As far as I’m concerned, the ski slope you’re determined to tackle is the idea that your sexuality is loathsome to your Creator.

So, do I lecture you on the damage you’re likely to do to yourself, or do I keep my mouth shut and let you take the risk? I suspect that you’ve heard the lecture a whole bunch of times, and even if you hadn’t, there are others who can make a far more eloquent argument. So, I’ll be quiet.