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.