National Commentary

The Original ‘Love Anthem’ For Our Role in Society

Western civilization’s struggle to emerge from a 1,000 year Dark Age brought on by corruption and decadence that fed the decline and fall of the Roman Empire was achieved by the courageous efforts of those who fomented a rethinking and redefinition of what it means to be human from a higher standpoint, that of the universal values of virtue and a dedication to the dissemination of principles of knowledge, science, beauty and social justice.

Western civilization’s struggle to emerge from a 1,000 year Dark Age brought on by corruption and decadence that fed the decline and fall of the Roman Empire was achieved by the courageous efforts of those who fomented a rethinking and redefinition of what it means to be human from a higher standpoint, that of the universal values of virtue and a dedication to the dissemination of principles of knowledge, science, beauty and social justice.

Such an arduous, dedicated effort defines the challenge today not only to our wider society, pressed by a forceful inertia of greed and consumerist indifference in the direction of perhaps a new dark age, but for the LGBT community, more specifically, as well. It has lived through its own descent into the hell of radical hedonism, as the wheels came off the progressive gay liberation movement in the years immediately following Stonewall, leading swiftly to its hideous AIDS Dark Age.

Lacking models and guidelines to meet that challenge since, the LGBT community has largely resorted to a “post-traumatic stress” copycatting the dominant society’s patterns of descent into myopic selfishness, stifling “gay sensibility” and perpetuating some underlying behaviors that could cause another AIDS-like scourge to burst forth.

For those willing to look truth in the face, rather than a self-serving illusion, this is an overdue and essential undertaking.

There is no doubt, none at all, that the phenomenon we have come to call homosexuality is a derivative of a natural impulse among a certain consistent percentage of the population of all human cultures over time to manifest a heightened empathy toward persons of their own sex.

In the natural order of things, this is for the essential purpose of bucking the prevailing trend toward fixed social roles for the sexes that subordinate them to male-dominated procreative roles and functions, which include the preparation of males for war and conflict, and females for slavish obedience to men and the perpetuation of the social paradigm through child rearing.

As a natural function of creation, what we call homosexuality inclines a proportion of the dominant population away from total, slavish adherence to this paradigm, and to the direction of its progress through enlightenment, empowerment of individual creative potential, universal beauty and social and governmental institutions that affirm and protect all persons.

This is done through a form of same-sex loving that is not a subordinated function of the dominant social paradigm, but which defies and baffles it, tending to nurture and inspire a wider population to break from brutish, male-dominated behaviors toward to acknowledge and inspire what Lincoln called “the higher angels of our nature.”

In this, those of us called homosexuals are called to “love that to which we are inclined,” and to affirm, in the Biblical sense, “By the grace of God, I am what I am,” by loving the objects of our natural affection, and not by exploiting, denigrating or diminishing them.

In the many modern histories of “homosexuality” (that term was invented in 1869 and never used outside of narrow social science contexts until 1953), the studies all document evidences of same-sex sexual behavior, dating back to the boundaries of pre-history, without making serious distinctions between same-sex relations defined by faithfulness and commitment to common virtues, and those which were exploitative, depersonalizing, predatory and destructive.

For example, in ancient Rome, the widely-accepted practice of male prostitution, on the streets and in the temples, legal and taxed by the state until the sixth century A.D., is reported in the same value-neutral breath as citations of sustained commitments to mentoring involving older-younger pairings, or long-term relations among equals.

It can be argued that the entire Judeo-Christian tradition, and among certain currents of most other major religions, it is the contrast between love, nurturing and the shared values of virtue, respect for persons and justice, on the one hand, and against brute force, lust, rape and might-makes-right behaviors, on the other hand, which is at the core of their ethical structures.

Taken in this light with regard to same-sex relations, the Judeo-Christian tradition condemns the behavior of the rapists of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the lustful practice of male prostitution in the Roman Empire (the Book of Romans), on the one hand, and yet holds up as exemplary a long-standing love affair between two males, David and Jonathan, as virtuous and worthy not only of being recorded, but maintained in the Biblical canon over eons (the Books of Samuel).

In like manner, it can be argued that the entire tradition is built around the essential content in the famous “prose poem” of the Apostle Paul, I Corinthians 13, expounding on the qualities of love. With no reference to deity or doctrine, this chapter stands alone, a mirror of similar praises of love in Plato’s “Symposium,” above gender and sex and their traditional roles in patriarchal society, as if the original anthem for those of us “homosexuals,” if you will, who are called to liberate and advance societies beyond their myriad forms of slavery and barbarism.

To be continued.

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