Thanks lissener, maybe I should just quit the SDMB altogether

I was originally going to post this in GD, but in light of the new policy, I’m stepping up to the plate and posting it here. This is also my first pitting of another Doper–and one that may very well upset a number of people–so bear with me, and I hope you still love me in the end.

Over in GD, lissener is on his latest one-trick pony rant about the meaning of homophobia. At one point, I stated as such:

To which he replied:

To which I say thusly:

Whoa, whoa, WHOA. Lissener, you and I have never met outside these boards. You can’t take a few posts and say you know me inside and out. THAT is bloody ignorant.

Should I come out of the closet here? Yeah, I’m a Catholic, and yeah, I follow my church’s teachings on homosexuality. For a long time I’ve been extremely reluctant to come outright and say it on these boards, because I’m well aware of the prominence of the pro-homosexuality slant to this community. If you want that out in the open, then FINE, I’m a Catholic, and by your standards, I’m a homophobe. Feel free to start tossing stones.

BUT–I will also say this–I am doing my damndest to keep an open mind. For the past three years, I’ve been attending an extremely conservative law school where, although I agreed with the vast majority of the philosophies and viewpoints of my classmates, I found myself disagreeing with them on 1) their closed-mindedness, and 2) their treatment of other people, many of whom they hadn’t interacted with because they were frankly a bit sheltered.

I discovered the Straight Dope almost two years ago, and lurked for awhile, and decided to start posting. I liked it here. I liked the open-mindedness of people, and their willingness to accept me and anybody despite their viewpoint. Polite conservatives are treated well around here. Athiests and theists can largely have conversations without any disdain passing for the person on the other end. I kept somewhat quiet on my Catholic viewpoints, because I wanted to meet people, and because I didn’t want to shove a viewpoint in other people’s faces.

I will say this: I’m trying to be open-minded. I believe in God. I believe Catholicism is the “correct” religion, and if you want to debate that, it’s another issue. As such, I follow my church’s teachings on homosexuality. However, I also realize that homosexuality is a sticky issue, a prominent one, and it shapes the lives of a number of people. I need to understand it objectively. That is why I participate in these discussions: so that I can understand homosexuality and learn how to deal with it in relation to my faith.

Guess what: I like the people here! Even the gays! I want to know who they are, what they believe, and why they believe it. At the end of the day, this is one of the funnest, most interesting groups of people I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with–present company excluded.

And hey: if I’m wrong, I’m wrong. I’m open to that, too. No, really, I am. I’m working from a default based on a long foundation of 1) God exists, 2) Christ was His only Son, 3) Christ founded a Church, 4) the successor of that Church is the Roman Catholic Church with the Pope as Christ’s stand-in, yadda yadda yadda, and homosexual acts are sinful. No, I don’t expect those beliefs to change in the future. I do, however, demand of myself that I continue to follow my beliefs and understand the arguments against them. If, in my studies, I find continuing justifications for Catholicism, I will stick with it. If somebody disproves, say, point #2, I may have to consider switching over to Judaism. If Catholicism is proven wrong on homosexuality, then I will agree accordingly. Bottom line–I want to know what is true–you and I are just disagreeing on a particular part of the human experience right now.

But how dare you unconditionally come to the conclusion that “I will never come around to your viewpoint”–in other words, to dismiss me as closed-minded. That’s bloody lovely of you. I used to think that the Straight Dope was a place for free debate and a shared quest to find truth–the battle against ignorance. But, gee whiz, lissener, you’re a step in convincing me otherwise.

P.S. You have yet to apologize for misquoting me in the beginning of your latest thread.

ResIpsaLoquitor, since he really doesn’t know you, it is understandable that he might make the mistake of thinking that he knows you well enough to know that you won’t change your mind.

I hope that makes some sense.

At any rate, does his opinion of you matter to you? Why?

For heaven’s sake, don’t go away! Not if you like it here! Remember, at SDMB, no one’s voice is any louder than your own.

people actually still care what venom lissener spews?

Don’t take it personally, Res. He’s quite obviously got a chip on his shoulder, and isn’t shy about making his ulterior motive obvious.

lissener is an extremist in every sense of the word. His views on conservatives chilled me to the bone. It’s about damn time for a pitting.

That chip on his shoulder is his prostate.

[sub]I’ll leave it to you to figure it out[/sub]

To hell with his politics! Anyone who likes “Starship Troopers” (the film) deserves some sort of abuse.

Link for context?

I can’t link to save my soul, but type “Verhoeven” & “Starship Troopers” into the search engine.

Hehe, I actually meant for the OP, but, I’ll do that one too. :wink:

Now that’s not fair. I like that movie. It was a silly subversive action film that featured Doogie Howser as a good Nazi.

Hey! Does this count if we enjoy it in the “Cheesy Bad Movie” way?

Would it be inapropos to describe lissener as a homosexual fundamentalist?

Res, I think I mostly see your point (that Lis is a wanker).
However, how will you ever come to be convinced that homosexuality is ‘right’ and then change your views?
If you follow the church this closely, I can’t see how you can change you views - what would it take? Biological evidence that people are born homosexual? Extensive research showing that gay people have a positive effect on others? Anal sex proved to be good for you?
What could possibly make you change your views of homosexuality that are based on the Catholic church?

Here’s a list of what Res is talking about:

Gay Children of Homophobes Unite!

What is it with fundies and homos?

Homophobes can suck my dick.

Will your children be gay?

“Homophobia” highjacks (sic)

I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether Res is right or not.

The people who treat it as a MST3K flick are alright, but the way lissener talks about it is distinctly not in that way.

By the way, I underestimate myself, this shows him in action.

Arghhh!!! My link’s invalid!!!

(Bangs head against wall repeatedly)

What makes it possible? The same things that made me question my faith. The same things that made me decide that I could no longer support President Bush anymore. The same thing that makes me support homosexual marriages now, whereas I am here on record from several years ago denouncing homosexuality in no uncertain terms. The same thing that made me loosen my stance on abortion.

It requires patience, reasonableness, and a willingness to discuss the issues fairly, and with an open mind. lissener is unwilling to have a good faith discussion about this. He just wants it his way.

That convinces nobody, and in fact, it turns people away from his point of view. If nothing else, he is doing his cause a severe disservice with his tactics.

Anyway, I’m done here. Nothing I’ve said recently has been well recieved, and I have no intention of getting into another emotional swing over lissener. So, hope I helped. If not, oh well.

This is a fair question, and one I expected to come up. I’ll do the best I can to give a truncated version.

First, let me make clear the Church’s position on homosexuality, in brief, from The Catechism of the Catholic Church:

This is taken from this web page. I’d seriously recommend reading it in full–the church’s position on homosexuality isn’t just following Leviticus, but is a conclusion based on its teachings on why God created males and females, and the meaning of human sexuality. This is, by the way, from 1997 (I think). The recent data saying that homosexuality is biological, a la the GD thread, hadn’t been taken into account yet. The Church may eventually agree with the position that homosexuality is biological; it largely won’t affect the passages above.

Anyway, remember that I’m working from a position that God exists, Christ exists, Christ founded a church, etc. In other words, my default position is that Catholicism is correct: Christ exists and this is his church, the Pope is infallible when speaking ex cathedra, etc.

Working in that belief system, my beliefs would change only if the church’s would change.

Whoa. At this point, I’d suspect a number of people might be muttering “militant.” That really isn’t my philosophy: if the church told me to start killing people, I’d raise an eyebrow and ask to be sent to my room.

Rather, I’m working from a personal philosophy that splintering is a bad thing, and that I’d rather stick with a church I believed to be correct, even if it’s incorrect on a certain point, than abandon it for an incorrect church that made me feel better. (This is not to pick on Dopers who have changed churches–my assumption is that they left a prior faith because they legitimately thought they were in the wrong church.) If the Catholic Church is wrong on something–homosexuality included–then I’d prefer to work for internal change rather than cry foul.

This may be a shocking concept to a number of people, because I think our social mode of thinking today is largely “break off if you don’t like it.” We’re all taught that’s what the American colonies did back in 1776. We love the “maverick” character in films–particularly war stories–who defies orders and saves the day.

Largely, I see defiance as dangerous, and to be avoided in all but the most extreme circumstances–i.e., life and limb are in danger. Think of this in terms of the military: you really can’t have soldiers breaking off from their commanding officer every time somebody disagrees with him. In order for the military to operate as it should, there has to be a presumption that the people upstairs know what they’re doing, even if one doesn’t like it.

This doesn’t mean I’m opposed to voicing concerns. I have no problem with, say, gay Catholics pleading with the church to change its position. Believe it or not, change has happened within the Church based on outcry and responses. A demand for quick change can be dangerous, however: the downside of the Protestant Reformation is that we now have several hundred–or is it thousand?–splinter Christian groups, and some of the message threads here alone should illustrate that there isn’t much of a consensus on what a “Christian” is.

Here’s a personal example. The Church teaches that methods of artificial reproduction that separate procreation from the sexual act are immoral. (It’s complicated and worthy of another discussion.) I’m admittedly uncomfortable with this. It makes me fearful: what if my fiancee and I can’t conceive on our own, and some doctor promises us a way to have our own biological child, but it doesn’t meet the Church’s criteria? There’s no bones around it: not having our own kids would suck, seriously, and I’d be sorely tempted to say “screw the Church” and go for it.

My fiancee and I have both agreed not to do so, however. We’ll adopt and deal with the pain. Our reasoning, again, is that we don’t want to be defiant–and moreso, we don’t want to be sinning. I’ve actually looked over the reasoning behind the church’s policy on assisted reproduction, and to me, logically and theologically, it makes sense. I’d still be sad if I couldn’t have my own kids. I’d also be sad if I sinned.

Now, if I came up with a theological proof for why the Church was wrong on that point, we still wouldn’t go through with it. The reason, again, is that we don’t want to be defiant. We’d petition the Church and ask them to come around. It might not work: again, change is slow. But we’re not the ones in charge, and we don’t want to go rogue for our own sake.

Homosexuality is much the same way. I do want to study the issue further, which again, is why I participate in these boards. The discussions here make me realize what’s lacking in my own arguments and beliefs, and gives me reason to look deeper into them so that I’m not merely being a brainless follower. In other words, the Dope makes me realize that I need to back up what I say and think (and I thank you all for that).

I’d love to have a discussion (in another thread, of course) about the Catholic position on human sexuality–although I need to do heavy research before I can get into that–if anyone’s interested. Again, I think it’s far more than just “Leviticus says so,” and I’d hope we all have a lot to learn from each other.

…also, I’m going on the road tomorrow, and I won’t be near a computer for many hours–so don’t be confused if I don’t answer any more questions for the next day. But thanks for the cheer-ups…lissener’s cavalier lash at me had me so upset, I had to get it off my chest.

I won’t get into the personality issues at hand - I do not know either of the people we’re talking about well enough to have a position on their…positions, I suppose, in this situation. Nor will I take on someone’s religion in debate.

I would like to say that Res is the first Catholic person I have ever encountered who believes that, if he did not adhere to the rules of his church, he could not in good conscience call himself a Catholic. I often see people say things along the lines of “Well, yes, I consider myself a good Catholic but I also practice birth control because I believe the church is wrong about that particular issue.” Whether or not I agree with Res’s viewpoints (or those of his church), I admire that lack of hypocrisy.