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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

The Cultural Contradictions of Multiculturalism

Gay men have pioneered the reclamation of some big chunks of urban America, systematically replacing seemingly hopeless squalor with nicely restored old buildings, complete with exposed brick walls, track lighting, abolutely fabulous interior decorating, etc., not to mention streets so safe that you can totter back and forth between the bars of your choice at 2 or 3 in the morning without worrying too much about getting beaten up or robbed.

While teaching at the University of Chicago and living in "Boystown" back in the '90's, I got to see this transformation up close. And I think that it was, on the whole, a good thing.

But the black flash-mob phenomenon has now hit Boystown:

View more videos at: http://nbcchicago.com.

...and the boys are in an uproar:

View more videos at: http://nbcchicago.com.

How will this end? I guess it depends on which constituency the powers that be in Chicago ultimately determine to be most precious to them: blacks, or gays.

ht: Richard Spencer.

Comments (54)

I suspect that many more gay men will come to see multiculturalism as a dead end street, as did Pim Fortuyn toward the end of his life.

Someone put up a website cataloging some of the recent black flash mobs:

http://violentflashmobs.com/


There are links to many videos.

My prediction: nothing much will change. A rise in crime rates, if it occurs, will simply bring us back to the situation of the 1960s-1980s: gays living in high-crime cities will be politically and culturally liberal, like their straight yuppie counterparts. A lot of liberals are tough on crime, by the way, even if it doesn't fit the conservatives' stereotype of them. That's always been the case.

In other words, there are no cultural contradictions of multiculturalism. That's if you're talking about what Stanley Fish calls boutique multiculturalism, as opposed to strong multiculuralism, which (if I remember correctly) Fish argues is impossible anyway because of logical, not cultural, contradictions.

Also, keep in mind that the it can be misleading to call the last two decades "low crime." They're only low-crime if history started in the 1960s. Looking at a wider time window, we're still living in a high-crime era now and have been ever since the 1960s, including the reign of Giuliani and Bratton. That puts any recent upsurge in crime in a different perspective.

Liberal Victim Class Hierarchy:
Muslims > Homosexuals > Blacks > Illegal Aliens > Convicts > Womyn

Note that that if one belongs to a given group, his or her (or its) highest rank is used as default unless the lower priority victim class is the specific issue at hand. (Ex. 2008 Democratic Primaries)

Deviations from this hierarchy may lead to being branded as "racist", even if supporting a black person over a homosexual white man. This is due to the complete lack of a sense of irony.

Campaign and "astroturf" contributors (Ex. George Soros) trump all, of course.

Liberal Victim Class Hierarchy: Muslims > Homosexuals > Blacks > Illegal Aliens > Convicts > Womyn

A "gay" black Muslim who is also an immigrant doing time for illegal entry must be an unbeatable Royal Flush in the liberal deal. ("Womyn" are wild cards in this game.)

Gay men have pioneered the reclamation of some big chunks of urban America, systematically replacing seemingly hopeless squalor with nicely restored old buildings, complete with exposed brick walls, track lighting, abolutely fabulous interior decorating, etc., not to mention streets so safe that you can totter back and forth between the bars of your choice at 2 or 3 in the morning without worrying too much about getting beaten up or robbed.

While teaching at the University of Chicago and living in "Boystown" back in the '90's, I got to see this transformation up close. And I think that it was, on the whole, a good thing.

Uh, no, it wasn't a good thing. The creation of a "gay" neighborhood is in itself an evil thing, even if many good things were done as a means to that nefarious end. On the whole, it would be better if no such neighborhoods existed, no matter their extraneous aesthetic and social qualities. Men burdened with homosexual inclinations are capable of doing many good things, of course, but the acts of homosexual men as homosexual men cannot be good in themselves.

How will this end? I guess it depends on which constituency the powers that be in Chicago ultimately determine to be most precious to them: blacks, or gays.

Let's keep our apples and oranges straight. A better question would be, "I guess it depends on which constituency the powers that be in Chicago ultimately determine to be most precious to them: violent black flash-mobbers, or wealthy Boystown sodomites."

Aaron: by the phrase "cultural contradictions of multiculturalism" I mean that not all of the "diverse" "cultures" so uncritically embraced by that interesting intellectual movement mix very well.

"A lot of liberals are tough on crime..."

Really? Tell me more!

My bet, Jeff C., is going for "violent black flash-mobbers," incredible as that may sound. I'm not at all sure that getting tough on crime in such situations is something the powers that be are psychologically capable of doing anymore. I mean that rather seriously. I have a correspondent in Chicago who says that the Chicago Police Chief was recently speaking somewhere and blaming this phenomenon of violence on...you guessed it...Jim Crow laws. Well, goodness: We can't go back in time and erase the era of Jim Crow laws, so I guess we just have to live with the violence forever.

JC: why would that be a better question? I'm genuinely puzzled.

Steve: Black is something you are; "gay" is something you do.

JC: I think (in fact, I know, from my own experience) that your claim that "'gay' is something you do," as opposed to "something you are," is utterly, even absurdly, false - but I'm willing to play along with it, for purposes of argument.

How would that make your question:

"I guess it depends on which constituency the powers that be in Chicago ultimately determine to be most precious to them: violent black flash-mobbers, or wealthy Boystown sodomites" - better than my question?

I'm still genuinely curious.

Cully: "Black is something you are; "gay" is something you do."

Historically, the real situation is much more complex than this, more complex than religious conservatives or the gay left today admit. Gay men have been around for a very long time, although the sociological divisions haven't always been the same.

Sir Kenneth Dover noted that in the ancient world the real division was between whether one was the active or passive partner. While the passive partners were often ridiculed (vide Aristophanes or Juvenal), as they were seen as weak and effeminate, the active partners were respected and often led normal lives, often marrying and having children. Although it's not as pronounced today, there is still a division in the male gay community between these two types: the girly type and the manly type.

Personally, I wouldn't at all be surprised if there's a biological cause for men being gay (whether genetic or infection triggered), although it's still an open question. As an aside, nearly all the studies on biological causes have been on gay men, not lesbians, and it may be incorrect to group the two together in terms of causation. Sailer noted this in an article back in 1994:

http://www.isteve.com/lesvsgay.htm

..

How would that make your question better than my question?

Jeff's question (under his premise that gays are evil and should stay in the closet) the politician's favor is split between two groups that are evil by choice, while in yours it is framed as a judgement between a race and an evil choice. His question is more detailed and avoids a false equivalency (and you don't have to accept his premise to conclude there is a false equivalency here).

I want to associate myself with Jeff's remark here:

On the whole, it would be better if no such neighborhoods existed, no matter their extraneous aesthetic and social qualities. Men burdened with homosexual inclinations are capable of doing many good things, of course, but the acts of homosexual men as homosexual men cannot be good in themselves.

In particular, I would add that a "gay community" that therefore encourages people to engage in and identify themselves with homosexual acts is not good for the people involved in it, inter alia.

On the other hand, I want to say something else in response to Jeff's substitute of "violent black flash-mobbers" for Steve's term "blacks."

I think there is a rather significant parallel here to the Muslim community. We would be foolish to reckon without community solidarity, especially in the political realm. Not all members of CAIR are terrorists, but CAIR certainly makes a huge, victim-group fuss if any effective measures are taken against Muslim terrorists--e.g., if Muslims who give probable cause on airplanes are arrested. That's "profiling" and all the rest.

Now, the same is _undeniably_ true in the black community. For every one person who actually engages in mob beatings, there are plenty more, including men in suits who present themselves as serious political activists and who have never committed a violent act in their lives, who will make a huge fuss if legitimate and effective law-enforcement measures are taken to prevent such violence. That is, if such measures have, as no doubt they would have, "disparate impact" on blacks. This is just true. The "racial profiling" politics in our country, the endless training, the constant race-baiting of policemen, has seriously hampered simply ordinary law enforcement. There is no such things as "stop the bad guys and let the chips fall where they may" among "black leaders" and "the black community."

Therefore, I think it actually is overly restrictive to say that the only group Chicago powers-that-be might be pandering to on the one side here is the set of _actual criminal perpetrators_. To insist on restricting the phrase to that would be akin to correcting someone who refers to "catering to the Muslim community" by telling him that he should instead talk only about "catering to violent jihadis." It isn't, by any means, that simple.

JC, again: as my co-blogger bro', I ask you to answer this question honestly: what do you think it's like to be gay/homosexual/sodomitically inlined/or whatever you want to call it?

I assume that you're familiar with the experience of sexual attraction, and that your experiences of sexual attraction are exclusively directed toward women.

That's what makes you a heterosexual. Even were you to have been imprisoned at an early age in an all-male prison and abused by everybody in sight, so that your actual sexual experiences were entirely limited to same-sex contact (unfortunately, this is not an entirely imaginary scenario), you would *still* be a heterosexual. Agreed?

So what about guys whose experiences of sexual attraction are exclusively directed toward men - and who can no more will themselves *into* your feeling of attraction toward [some] women than they can will themselves *out of* their feeling of attraction toward [some] men?

Would they not be gay because of what they are, regardless of what they do?

Is there any real reason to believe that the courts of law in these areas will be anything other than as fair as possible? The courts, mind--not the politicians.

Therefore, I think it actually is overly restrictive to say that the only group Chicago powers-that-be might be pandering to on the one side here is the set of _actual criminal perpetrators_.

Good point, Lydia, and I thought of that. But it needn't be a problem. Each side in my formulation includes a silent "and their sympathizers" clause. On the flash-mob thuggery side, not every black is a sympathizer; and on the Boystown sodomite side, not every homosexually-inclined male is a sympathizer.

I don't mean to say that Chicago politicians aren't dealing, in reality, with blacks and homosexuals as "constituencies", or that these constituencies aren't aligned the way Steve claims they are aligned. But as a matter of language, and especially political language, I happen to think the responsible thing is not to speak as though racial and ethnic groups are defined by their particular forms of bad behavior, even if it's the behavior of a majority, even if every member of whatever group is sympathetic.

Chicago should pay no attention to "constituencies" anyway: the flash mobs should be crushed, not because they are black, but because they are flash mobs. The city should purchase Boystown - block by block if necessary - and re-sell the homes for a profit, a project that will be made easier when its residents face prosecution for lewd conduct, corruption of minors, and crimes against nature.

Cully: "crimes against nature"

Are you suggesting, in the tradition of Justinian, that gays should be castrated or merely tortured? After all, if it's a "crime against nature," shouldn't there be punishment?

I'm not worried about "crimes committed against nature" as much as I am about those crimes against my person. I'm much more worried about getting attacked by these mobs than I am worried that I'll be attacked by gays. In terms of self-interest and self-preservation, one poses an immediate threat, the other doesn't.

Speaking of race vs. gay, I once met an Opus Dei member in Rome who hated homosexuals with such a passion that he said he wished Europe would be flooded by armed African Catholics so as to put an end to the gay parades (and I suppose an end to Europe's genetic legacy as well). Talk about anti-Western idiological fanaticism.

I'm against gay marriage because it's superfluous (if you think of marriage as having a biological function, as did Aristotle), but because I actually *believe* this I'm not actually too worried about gay marriage because it will self-correct. There are patterns in nature that no matter how hard humans want to overthrow they cannot. But gay men have been around since the beginning of time, and disproportionally (to their numbers) have made many intellectual contributions. The current war between the religious right and the gay left is unfortunate in that it has brought out the worst in both sides.

Steve, you must surely know the distinction that has been made times without number in such conversations, not only all over the Internet but in much literature and many documents, between inclinations (however early they began) and actions. Obviously a phrase like "gay men" and references to the "community" and what-not in such neighborhoods refers to a group of people who _identify_ themselves with such inclinations and actions and are by and large proud of that identity and determined to flaunt it and live by it.

Obviously _not_ merely those who, as Jeff put it above, are "burdened" by such inclinations.

There is a reason why no one in American refers to the "alcoholic community" or says that it is a good thing that a bunch of active, proud alcoholics got together and purchased a bunch of homes in a neighborhood and identified the neighborhood with alcoholism! No one talks that way _regardless_ of whether there is a biological component in the tendency to alcoholism--as there very likely is.

Those "identity" ways of speaking have meanings, and those meanings obviously go beyond a mere reference to inclinations or even to possibly "innate" or "biologically drive" inclinations. You must know all of that, Steve. I see no profit in your trying to push Jeff to say all of this as though you cannot figure out what he is talking about.

As interesting as the debate over whether homosexuality is something a person innately "is" or whether it is something a person "does" may be, the real issue dividing Christians and other social conservatives from sexual libertarians of all stripes (heterosexual and homosexual) is the question of whether or not society has a legitimate reason for supporting certain kinds of sexual behavior and condemning others. The sexual libertarian position that sex "doesn't hurt other people" and should therefore be considered a merely private matter is intellectually indefensible.

As I pointed out in my recent essay "The Facts of Life (and Death)" ( http://thronealtarliberty.blogspot.com/2011/07/facts-of-life-and-death.html ) the individual has the least at stake in sex. His survival does not depend upon it. The survival of the family, the community, the society, the race, the nation, and the species itself, all depend upon sexual reproduction. For this reason, society has the right and duty to set moral standards for sexual behavior, that sustain the life of the society. For a society to accept the libertarian argument that sex is merely a matter of recreation for individuals that affects nobody but themselves is for a society to embrace its own death.

Is there any real reason to believe that the courts of law in these areas will be anything other than as fair as possible? The courts, mind--not the politicians.

I think there may be reason to think that juries will not be as fair as possible. Think OJ trial. Think, too, of the way that juries are now race-gerrymandered. In any event, police have to investigate and prosecutors have to prosecute before courts even come into the picture. And that all can be, I'm sorry to say, very political, in a number of different ways.

It's not as though blatantly biased (lack of) protection of the laws is unknown in America. It has happened in the past for white-on-black crime, where either no one would prosecute or juries would not convict even on overwhelming evidence. I'm afraid it can now happen the other way as well.

JC, again: as my co-blogger bro', I ask you to answer this question honestly: what do you think it's like to be gay/homosexual/sodomitically inlined/or whatever you want to call it?

I don't know exactly, having never had that particular burden. I'm not sure why it matters, though. I don't know what it's like to be addicted to, say, methamphetamines either, and yet I know that a) abusing drugs is an act; b) it's a bad thing to do.

I assume that you're familiar with the experience of sexual attraction, and that your experiences of sexual attraction are exclusively directed toward women.

That's quite true. And heterosexual men, if they are virtuous, must do constant battle with illicit sexual attractions and desires. Their imaginations want to go where they should never go. They want to do things they should never do, with women they should never touch. The battle can be ferocious, perhaps with numerous falls, but it gets easier with the practice of virtue, the discipline of one's thoughts, and especially with prayer and the help of the sacraments. The reward is peace of soul and peace with God. Why should homosexuals be exempt from this struggle?

Even were you to have been imprisoned at an early age in an all-male prison and abused by everybody in sight, so that your actual sexual experiences were entirely limited to same-sex contact (unfortunately, this is not an entirely imaginary scenario), you would *still* be a heterosexual. Agreed?

Not entirely. I once had a friend who was sexually abused at the age of 12, by two men who offered to give him a ride while he was walking along a highway - strangers. Ever since that horrible experience, even as a 50+ year old married man, he struggled with homosexual temptations along with the temptations of ordinary men. Sadly, he has since left his marriage and disappeared.

I could be wrong, but I strongly suspect that most heterosexuals, given the wrong set of circumstances in their formative years (possibly including bad choices in response to those circumstances), are capable of homosexual attractions as well. And I think plenty of evidence supports this. But the question is academic and doesn't shed any light on the morality or immorality of homosexual acts. Even if one were born with a fixed disposition - as the children of substance abusers sometimes are, with respect to alcohol and drug addiction - the objective immorality of homosexual acts remains.

So what about guys whose experiences of sexual attraction are exclusively directed toward men - and who can no more will themselves *into* your feeling of attraction toward [some] women than they can will themselves *out of* their feeling of attraction toward [some] men?

Would they not be gay because of what they are, regardless of what they do?

No, Steve. Men who exclusively experience same-sex attraction, but who battle and discourage these desires and live virtuous lives, are not "gay". Think of it this way: is a man who is constantly tempted to sloth (as I am), but who struggles against it and works hard, even though failing at times, a sluggard? No. A man is not defined by his predominant fault or temptation, whatever it happens to be.

Besides, through good spiritual direction, and through organizations like "Courage" in the Catholic Church, many such men have achieved various levels of freedom from these desires themselves. Some have even been restored to healthy heterosexuality, although this result is by no means guaranteed.

You must know all of that, Steve. I see no profit in your trying to push Jeff to say all of this as though you cannot figure out what he is talking about.

Thank you, Lydia. I can be pretty gullible.

There is a reason why no one in American refers to the "alcoholic community" or says that it is a good thing that a bunch of active, proud alcoholics got together and purchased a bunch of homes in a neighborhood and identified the neighborhood with alcoholism!

I thought they were called Irish neighborhoods.

OK. Here it is without links. I tried posting this earlier but it was blocked because of the links, so I'll repost.

BTW, I was only teasing in my comment above regarding torture.

Certainly a type of harmony could be reached. If we find that gay identity is biological (in that it's genetic or infection-influenced as Gregory Cochran has suggested), then what? Can something that nature creates be a crime against nature? On the other hand, if we do find that gay identity is biological, the extremes of the gay left necessarily do not follow. Gay marriage or the recent "gay curriculum" of California would still be superfluous, given the small percentage of men that are gay. Do we require everyone read braille because some people are blind?

The idea that gay identity, in that it's rooted in sexual preference, is biological is not too far fetched, as we're finding many instances of sexual selection to be hardwired, as shown by Geoffrey Miller in _The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature_. Or Peter Frost in "European hair and eye color : A case of frequency-dependent sexual selection?"

That's what makes you a heterosexual. Even were you to have been imprisoned at an early age in an all-male prison and abused by everybody in sight, so that your actual sexual experiences were entirely limited to same-sex contact (unfortunately, this is not an entirely imaginary scenario), you would *still* be a heterosexual. Agreed?

So what about guys whose experiences of sexual attraction are exclusively directed toward men - and who can no more will themselves *into* your feeling of attraction toward [some] women than they can will themselves *out of* their feeling of attraction toward [some] men?

Sorry, Steve, but what you have described is not the reality, your description glosses over essential distinctions. It is true that most heterosexuals are born that way. It may be true that most men oriented toward the same sex are born that way (I am pretty sure that the data simply isn't quite strong enough to justify saying that it IS that way). That isn't enough to base the remark: "that's WHAT you are."

Some alcoholics are born with a proclivity toward alcoholism. If they had never had access to alcohol, they might never become actual alcoholics, but they are born with a certain directed inclination. Some people are born fat, they are born with an inclination toward overeating. Some people are born hotheads, they have anger management issues right from the start. Or a person who is a co-dependent sort from birth. These are all conditions that they find in themselves without any choice of their own to make it happen, and without any overwhelming environmental factors that pushed them in that direction as if they were neutral themselves.

But it confuses the issue to speak of someone born with inherited anger management issues that he hasn't overcome as "He's angry, that's WHAT he is." Sure, he is in fact angry much of the time, and it is even true that "angry describes his character." Because, however much it is the case that anger is bred into him, there remains the (at least theoretical) prospect that either he, or doctors, or psychiatrists, can find a way out of that by a series of treatments, new habits, new environments, and spiritual growth.

But, much more importantly than that (and even if, for some strange reason, it were the case that for a given person there were NO treatments that could improve him), it still doesn't define WHAT he is: the excessive proclivity to anger is, in essence, a defect from normative humanity. Where it exists inborn, it represents a sad but real inborn defect, a handicap, an impediment that makes the person less readily able to find fulfillment qua human-ordered behavior. It can be just as much an impediment to human completion as a self-directed, self-controlled, self-mastered human person as is alcoholism.

If he does find a way to outgrow the proclivity toward anger by a long series of training, spiritual development, etc, then his character will no longer be the character of "angry" but rather "having overcome habitual anger". Same for co-dependency, or a person born inclined toward obesity.

The fact that a person is born inclined a certain way cannot, logically, conclusively answer the question of whether this constitutes a normative inclination. For that we must look outside the inclination itself. When we look at the rest of human nature, we find that heterosexuality is, indeed, harmoniously well-ordered toward fulfilling human nature, because it is intrinsically ordered in such a way as to draw the individual and the couple toward an expansiveness of self-giving: a person who gives himself over to his mate in full (including his full fertile sexuality) as a heterosexual thereby gives not only to his mate but also to the children who are natural the fruit of that love. True nuptial love-giving is thus expansive of (and with) the gift of self. This is distinctly human: animals don't give themselves in marriage. Any reduction of sexuality to something comparable to what animals do essentially misses the heart of the human-ness of human sexual love. Any reduction of sexuality that ignores the gift of self that constitutes the inherent

directedness outward to new love with new beings is also missing the point of human sexual love. Children do not identify the directedness of human sexuality merely in a biological sense, they embody it emotionally, spiritually, and affectively also: the entire person as a human is involved in sexual love oriented expansively toward new persons.

Steve, even if you hate everything about the above argument, you still have another issue to contend with: some homosexuals have turned around and become heterosexuals. By this, I mean that they initially thought they were ineradicably oriented toward men, but later they came to have faith in Jesus Christ and his grace and truth, and worked at their orientation, until they became different: they are now deeply, rootedly attracted to women, as heterosexual. I am going by their descriptions, not mine. (see the group Courage). I cannot say whether these people are the portion of gays who are not actually gay from birth, but only from environmental causes. Can you claim that? Do gays accept that there are some gay from birth, and some from environmental causes? If so, wouldn't this mean that merely to be "gay" is not the same thing as to be ineradicably oriented toward the same sex? Wouldn't that prove that there is more to be argued than simply "I was born that way?"

A couple of interesting points:

1) To complicate the picture Steve has painted of the above incident, apparently both young black men involved in the attack identify as gay themselves:

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/video/6033600-lakeview-stabbing-victim-speaks/

So now we really have an amusing liberal problem -- what to do about violent black gay men?

2) Lydia, the Police Superintendent didn't blame Jim Crow for the "phenomenon of violence" -- it was actually worse. While at the infamous Saint Sabina (Father Phleger's church) he gave a crazed speech suggesting that Republicans who wanted to repeal gun control laws were somehow enacting Jim Crow laws...or something. The speech was one of the worst speeches ever given by a public official and I was embarrassed for Superintendent McCarthy, who I thought might have been a good pick. I'm still hoping that he just lost his mind that day.

3) While "Boystown" may have once been a urban renewal project (in the 70s?) today it enjoys all sorts of clout and resources including city dollars spent on monstrosities like "The Center on Halsted" which is a giant social services organization that celebrates the gay lifestyle -- whether Catholic Chicagoans (and others in Chicago who have a more traditional view of human sexuality) want to celebrate or not.

Tony, you need to put quality stuff like this in a blog post. That's what we pay you for. That's why you have that big corner office with the leather chair. Etc. :-)

Thanks for the correction, Jeff S., on the superintendent's crazy rant.

A man is not defined by his besetting sin, whatever it happens to be.

I've edited this to read, more to the point: "A man is not defined by his predominant fault or temptation, whatever it happens to be." Faults and temptations are not sinful in themselves.

Steve,
I'm sorry you had to read those sermons about being defective and possibly inhuman. Although you should confess that you made a fundamental, life-altering mistake by using the word fabulous in the original post, it throws social conservatives into a tizzy.

I would merely point out that Tony in the previous post about racial IQ seems fairly comfortable with the idea that you can't resist your biological inclinations, so I'm not sure why his sudden change of heart. Jeff, on the other hand, does show greater consistency, but his policy prescription of imprisonment and taking their property is nonsense.

Jeff, thanks. That reminds me: the chair has squeaky wheels. How do I send a memo to Maintenance for some oil? :-)

I think it's gotten a little out of hand. When Steve says above that Boystown is an improvement, I think he just means that it is better than the unlivable slum that preceded it, not that it is particularly good that there are neighborhoods with an openly gay character. I've never noticed Steve being a homosexualist before now, so I doubt he has suddenly become one.

Step2, nothing I said in either thread was meant to suggest that "you can't resist your biological inclinations," and if you read them that way I suspect you were being more than a bit inattentive.

Steve, fortunately, has good thick skin and is capable of reading a blog post or two about defects in humans without turning green or red. His post was more about the contradictions between the disparate constituencies that drive multiculturalism.

Jeff, Lydia, Tony,

Excellent responses, all of which address the heart of the issue which is the fallen human race. If I understand the Scriptures correctly, and I think I do, all sin is genetic and passed down from the seed of Adam. In that respect, whatever our temptations, urges, or desires, they can only be satisfied within the parameters of the Ten Commandments and because the Law has its own drawbacks, we have hope and redemption in Christ. In varying ways, all of your responses addressed this reality.


1) To complicate the picture Steve has painted of the above incident, apparently both young black men involved in the attack identify as gay themselves
:

I thought I had heard this in one report but was not sure.

I thought they were called Irish neighborhoods.

Half of me is laughing. The other half, not so much.

Step2: not to worry - I've been hit with enough sticks and stones in my time that I don't sweat the odd harsh word. But thanks.

JS - Watching your video, it's obvious that the *victim* was gay. But where are you getting the info that the *perp,* Darren Hayes, "identif[ies] as gay?"

Lydia, JC, Tony - it *might* be possible for us to have a mutually profitable exchange about the general topic of homosexuality, but I doubt it. I'll give myself a little more time to cool off and then get back to you.

There is a reason why no one in American refers to the "alcoholic community" or says that it is a good thing that a bunch of active, proud alcoholics got together and purchased a bunch of homes in a neighborhood and identified the neighborhood with alcoholism! No one talks that way _regardless_ of whether there is a biological component in the tendency to alcoholism--as there very likely is.

No, but there can be some similarities with AA type groups. You'll be encouraged to say "Hi I'm Joe and I'm an alcoholic" (fine as far as that goes) but many say they tend to frown on ever declaring that you aren't and leaving since that would be evidence you're in denial since "once an alcoholic always an alcoholic." It's fine as far as it goes, but there can be some creepy community aspects to some of these groups too. Some of them are quite invested in their identity as alcoholics. But that's par_for_the_course these days. The motto might as well be "If you've got a disease, you've got a community!"

I disagree with the notion that there is a biological tendency towards alcoholism, but I'm in the minority on that. The Indians being genetically predisposed as we were taught in school turned out to be based on no more than anecdotes. Well you'd think a few hundred billion more of taxpayer funded research would show a link soon, but I suspect they'll always be a few hundred billion short.

"I disagree with the notion that there is a biological tendency towards alcoholism, but I'm in the minority on that."

Depends on what you mean by 'biological tendency.' There most certainly is such a thing as chemical addiction, and it's just as certain that some people, perhaps even some people groups, are more prone to it than others. Likewise, addiction most definitely has both biological and psychological aspects which vary from person to person.

Even if homosexuality has a biological or genetic aspect it doesn't mean that the person is therefore "free" to engage in the behaviors, any more than it means that a man with a high testosterone level is "free" to engage in promiscuous sex if he's not married, or adultery if he is.

Depends on what you mean by 'biological tendency.' There most certainly is such a thing as chemical addiction, and it's just as certain that some people, perhaps even some people groups, are more prone to it than others. Likewise, addiction most definitely has both biological and psychological aspects which vary from person to person.

Of course there is chemical addiction. But the naturalist tendencies have led to a shift where there is a belief in a preponderance of natural causes, and the psychological ones are viewed as weaker than they are. A naturalistic shift of this sort is a big deal. Psychological factors in the rational animal are surprisingly powerful to the naturalist-effected mind.

Even if homosexuality has a biological or genetic aspect it doesn't mean that the person is therefore "free" to engage in the behaviors, any more than it means that a man with a high testosterone level is "free" to engage in promiscuous sex if he's not married, or adultery if he is.

All depends on what you mean by "biological or genetic aspect," now doesn't it? If it's like a genetic tendency toward's parkinson's disease? This is why AA, for all the good it may do, is so highly invested in the disease model of alcoholism. Lifetime customers who need them. Are you saying discovery of a gay gene would be no big deal? If so I think you're quite mistaken. And if people can be perusaded that genetic factors are preponderant by assumption then that's quite a coup because the fight is over.

@Mark:

Just one remark: there is physiological evidence that children of alcoholics metabolize alcohol differently. Their brains produce larger quantities of beta-endorphins than members of the general population when they have similar concentrations of ethanol in their bloodstreams. Additionally, they seem to metabolize alcohol faster and obtain higher concentrations of acetylaldehyde in their bloodstreams. This is not genetic evidence, but it is not negligible and it confirms the existence of at least some genetic component. But, of course, this information should only influence our judgments about culpability, not the objective wrongness of the action. And, yes, the disease model is highly questionable as is the "therapeutic deistic" outlook promoted by 12-step programs in general.

It's always hard to say who'll win in the Multicultural Edition of "Rock, Paper, Scissors" , but I predict that "black" will crush "gay." We already know that "Muslim" crushes "feminist."

Steve,

I may be wrong about the perp, but I thought in one of the interviews with the victim, he himself claimed that the guy who attacked him was gay. I just did some Googling and I couldn't confirm this fact, if anything, this (biased) news organization is describing the attack as "anti-gay":

http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/07/09/Arrest_Made_in_Apparent_Antigay_Attack/

There is also some fun stuff in that article about the tension within Boystown between the different gay racial groups.

In other somewhat related news, folks with an empty stomach should Google the appearance of Marc Maron and Dan Savage on Bill Maher's show to find out how tolerant liberals are when it comes to conservatives who hope to help individuals who have same-sex attractions but want to overcome those attractions (or at least try not to be totally consumed by their attractions toward the same sex). They have some choice words for Michele Bachman's husband and for Senator Rick Santorum and Maher and his audience laugh and clap along. I would hope even Steve would be disgusted.

Just one remark: there is physiological evidence that children of alcoholics metabolize alcohol differently. Their brains produce larger quantities of beta-endorphins than members of the general population when they have similar concentrations of ethanol in their bloodstreams. Additionally, they seem to metabolize alcohol faster and obtain higher concentrations of acetylaldehyde in their bloodstreams. This is not genetic evidence, but it is not negligible and it confirms the existence of at least some genetic component.

Untenured: Even if this is true, there are other explanations for this. I think even the most radical "Cartesian dualist" thinks that the mental-physical interaction goes both ways. For example, what causes the body to dump adrenaline into the bloodstream? A naturalist will give some bodily explanation, no doubt incoherent. But a non-naturalist would just say "well he was frightened, of course." So even if that experiment is true, and I wouldn't be shocked if it weren't repeatable, there is no reason to assign the cause as you are.

And I think studies that accept the possibility of non-naturalist explanations (by considering psychological causes) often compare explanatory models. For example, there have been studies that show that what a person thinks that alcohol will do for or to them (happier, calmer, funnier, more likable, etc.) is a much higher predictor of future alcoholism than the ones considered to be so strong. So measuring endorphins is a long way from providing an explanation, and the term "genetic component" is vague and often hints at some form of explanation that isn't at all warranted.

But, of course, this information should only influence our judgments about culpability, not the objective wrongness of the action.

Yes, but I'm not worried about culpability or objective wrongness so much as that a person knows he has some control. It may not be direct, but he can apply himself in a way that in time he can act differently in time. There are so many cultural ideas out there that excel in convincing people they don't have any control. Our advertisements excel in persuading people they can't do it without some product or procedure that actually can't work given the cause.

I dislike both groups. The homosexuals and the black flash-mobs can have each other. I don't care if homosexuals are good at this or at that. The only thing they are good at is their influence on the acceptance of immorality (homosexuality and transgenderism are immoral).

Anita, the violence has to be stopped and the perpetrators punished. My disapproval of other things the victim stands for or does has nothing to do with that evaluation. I'm a sufficient hard-liner on the issue of the morality of homosexual acts that in Europe I would probably be arrested for "hate speech," but nobody should say of violent, beating gangs and their victims, "They can have each other." Beating people up is heinously wrong and must be stopped. Period. Anarchy is destructive of society and must be stopped. Period. And, by the way, any one of us could have been the victim. Plenty of people who don't happen to identify themselves as homosexual have been beaten by these mobs.

They have some choice words for Michele Bachman's husband and for Senator Rick Santorum and Maher and his audience laugh and clap along. I would hope even Steve would be disgusted.

Not a fan of a Tea Party, libertarian chick like Bachmann but if her husband did something like that then kudos to him.

Plenty of people who don't happen to identify themselves as homosexual have been beaten by these mobs.

I know and recognize that. I'm simply opposed to the whole idea that we have to choose between the homosexuals and the black mobs. Clearly you misunderstood my intentions.

Do gays accept that there are some gay from birth, and some from environmental causes? If so, wouldn't this mean that merely to be "gay" is not the same thing as to be ineradicably oriented toward the same sex? Wouldn't that prove that there is more to be argued than simply "I was born that way?"
One of the more popular "gay" fantasies is that of "turning" a "straight" man. So, it seems to me that even "gays" don't *really* believe the "I was born that way ... therefore, you're an immoral 'homophobe' to criticize the behavior in which I indulge " pseudo-argument.

Moreover, no "gay" (or "liberal" enabler of the "gay agenda") in the world actually believes the the "I was born that way [i.e. "gay"] ... therefore, you're an immoral 'homophobe' to criticize the behavior in which I indulge " pseudo-argument is a sound and valid argument.

This claim is easily proven by a substitution of terms --
"I was born that way [i.e. "homophobic"] ... therefore, you're an immoral 'homophobe-ophobe' to criticize the behavior in which I indulge."

If “being born that way” morally excuses one suite of behaviors, then it also morally excuses the other set.

Jeff C:

Steve: Black is something you are; "gay" is something you do.
I would say that "gay" is a political stance that one chooses, and that it is distinct from "same-sex attraction."

Steve Burton:

Lydia, JC, Tony - it *might* be possible for us to have a mutually profitable exchange about the general topic of homosexuality, but I doubt it. I'll give myself a little more time to cool off and then get back to you.
I suspect that the reason for both your doubt of profit and your need to cool off is that no matter what argument you wish to advance in defense of the assertion that homosexual behavior *ought* to be normalized founders on the twin facts that it is not ‘normal’ (i.e. it is ‘abnormal’) and that the behavior is objectively immoral (i.e. the ‘oughts’ run in the other direction).

Given that large numbers of young people (as young as middle school students!) have decided to identify as belonging on some part of the GLBT spectrum, it seems reasonable to consider the role of the intensive and ever-expanding sex education programs mandated by legislation and regulations, as well as integrated into the traditionally academic curriculum. Year after year the children's attention is directed to sexually stimulating media and classroom activities. Students are then constantly warned about the horrific dangers of unsafe (real) sex, and lovingly encouraged to experience the joys of "safe" sex, ie stimulating and satisfying the libido in any manner that does not result in pregnancy. May we consider the possibility that children are systematically being "oriented" AWAY from dangerous, unsafe sex, with the opposite sex, rather than somehow finding themselves "naturally" oriented TOWARDS same-sex relationships -- which are "safe"?

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