Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Black Death and the Seeds of Bigotry

Bigotry, at least to me, can be divided into two distinct groups, those whose hatred of the GLBT is bone deep and unwavering, and those who can only be called "learned ignorant". While I hold out no hope for the hatred group, I do feel that the learned ignorant group holds the key to GLBT civil rights. Much of their "knowledge" about the GLBT comes from the tainted well source for the bdh's(bone deep haters) . How can we expect the L.L.(learned ignorance) to vote for our rights, to accept us as we are, unless we teach them the truth?

Let's go to the root of the hatred tree, that gay men are out there, waiting for their chance to molest their children. Where did this idea spring from? No, believe it or not it didn't spring from the overheated minds of the B.D.H.'s, it came from our distant past, but through the intervening centuries, things became a bit garbled to say the least. In ancient Greece, and later in the Roman Empire, it was common practice for adult men to have sex with teens, both male and female. The highest, purest love, in those ancient times, was between men, not between men and women. For the most part in those days, women were really only there for procreation purposes. They had no civil rights, and were property of their husbands. Men bonded with each other, emotionally and physically, and while I'm sure some men did the same with their wives, this bond was seen as being on a separate plain.

While sex between men was socially acceptable, there was unacceptable and in some instances unforgivable actions between men. The active partner was called the "lover" the passive one was termed the "beloved". It was unacceptable for adult men to be the "beloved". Any adult man who was known to be a "beloved" lost social standing, could be fined, or in extreme cases, put to death. It was the male teens who became the adults "beloved", because of their youth this was acceptable. These teen boys were taken under the wing of their "lover" learning about business, the world at large, and often completing their education under their "lover's" fond eye. Fathers would take their sons to places where they could catch the eye of a well placed man, hoping to place their sons with someone that could allow them to reach a higher status, or wealth.

Sex with children was considered as abhorrent then as it is now. Once a child of either sex started puberty, they were seen as possible sex partners. Around 12-13 a child of either sex was seen as a sexual being, and if you think back to yourself about this time, isn't this when you really started to think about sex? I think in some ways the society was much more honest about sex than it is now. There was a firm line where sexual interest was acceptable or very unacceptable. And through the long years from then to now, this socially understood line was lost, only leaving the memory of men having sex with children.

The Roman Catholic church believed that all sexual contact was immoral, yes all. There was only one thing that made sex acceptable at all in the eyes of the church was for procreation purposes. Any sex act that couldn't result in a child being conceived was considered a sin. Spilling seed without a womb to absorb it was sinful, no matter what sex the partner was. In trying to demonstrate to their congregation the chaos of unrestrained sex could cause a person to do, sex with children was drug out into the light of day. And if a man would rather spill his seed in such a sinful manner, what's to stop him from doing this with children, or animals, or even to himself? During this time period, men were having sex with each other and for the most part society left them alone. Then came the Black Plague, and life in Europe changed forever.

The plague came in waves over a hundred year period, with a fresh wave about every 20 years or so. Because no one understood what was going on, it was laid at the church's doorstep to explain matters. The church's answer was this was a plague from God cleaning out the sinners, obviously God didn't care about innocent victims in his rush to "cleanse" the earth of sin. This is where the first seeds of antisemitism came from, as the Jews were harried from country to country. City run brothels were closed down, as were tanners, butchers and men having sex with men. By the time they had gotten to the bottom of the sinner pile, the plague had passed and life slowly resumed in as normal a manner as possible. Until the next wave hit, and the carousel of hate would wind up again. This is where today's belief came from that God hates gays, and that gay men desire sex with children.

Oh? The other unforgivable item in ancient times? Yeah, you're going to just love this. In the gay world what is one of the biggest sins a guy can commit? You guessed it, being a feminine man. Being feminine in Rome could get one fined, flogged and banished from the city, or in extreme cases the ultimate punishment, death. So that hatred of feminine gay guys is unfortunately historical, isn't it about time we let that one go?

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