Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Saturday, February 24, 2018

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

The culture war has been going on a long time, and it won’t end any time soon. But the outcome is not in doubt. Some conservatives were gratified to see President Donald Trump bar transgender people from the military. The backlash suggests it will be much like the Native Americans’ victory at Little Bighorn — memorable but ultimately irrelevant.

White House officials saw this announcement as a brilliant political move. “This forces Democrats in Rust Belt states like Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin to take complete ownership of this issue,” an anonymous administration official gloated to Axios.

Democrats, however, have put their names on the issue the way the president emblazons “Trump” on buildings. If they feared being out of step with their constituents, House Democrats would not have voted unanimously this month against legislation to stop the Pentagon from paying for hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery.

The proposal was defeated — thanks to 24 Republicans who sided with them. Even Speaker Paul Ryan “declined to fully endorse” it, reported The Washington Post.

Making the case to cut off funding for transgender treatments is easier than making the case for Trump’s decree. “House Republicans were never debating expelling all transgender troops from the military,” reported Politico. “‘This is like someone told the White House to light a candle on the table and the WH set the whole table on fire,’ a senior House Republican aide said in an email.”

A lot of conservative Republicans are not lining up with Trump, either. Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama — Alabama! — said, “You ought to treat everybody fairly, and you ought to give everybody a chance to serve.” Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah — Utah! — said, “I don’t think we should be discriminating against anyone. Transgender people are people, and deserve the best we can do for them.”

Those who pushed the ban believe it will resound with Trump voters. But during the campaign, he claimed to be a better friend to the LGBT community than Hillary Clinton. He also criticized North Carolina’s bathroom bill and invited Caitlyn Jenner to use any restroom she wanted at Trump Tower. Trump’s fans didn’t seem to mind.

The truth is that the number of Americans inclined to support Trump on this matter isn’t large. A Rasmussen survey in June revealed that only 31 percent of voters opposed the Obama administration’s policy of allowing transgender troops.

A poll last year by the Public Religion Research Institute found that 53 percent of Americans — and 36 percent of Republicans — oppose laws requiring transgender people to use the restroom corresponding with their sex at birth. Nearly three-quarters of Americans support laws forbidding job discrimination against gays and transgender people — and 62 percent of Republicans concur.

The zealots cheering Trump won’t help his cause. The right-wing Family Research Council had denounced “President Obama’s use of the military to engage in liberal social engineering.” But the same argument was used against integrating the military, opening the service academies to women and lifting the ban on gays. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.

The FRC had vilified Obama’s “wicked” policy and “the forces of darkness that gave birth to it.” But overtly religious appeals have lost potency. In 2004, the Pew Research Center notes, only 11 percent of white evangelical voters wanted to legalize same-sex marriage. Now it’s 35 percent. Support among Catholics has gone from 36 percent in 2004 to 67 percent today.

Attitudes toward transgender people have grown more liberal even though most Americans don’t know many of them, if any. But the parallel with gay rights is too compelling to ignore.

Once the norm has been established that gays should be full and equal members of society, it’s hard to rationalize penalizing transgender people. In a free and modern society, the nature of inclusion is to expand, not contract.

Trump may get his way on transgender troops, but only temporarily. In the long run, those who see him as an ally should realize how the culture war will end: They lose.

Steve Chapman blogs at http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chapman. Follow him on Twitter @SteveChapman13 or at https://www.facebook.com/stevechapman13. To find out more about Steve Chapman and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

 

53 Responses to Trump Is On The Losing Side Of The Culture War

  1. With respect Mr. Chapman, you write this as if “being on the losing side of the culture wars” means something.

    Trump and the Republicans keep winning elections. That means:

    Trump and the Republicans keep appointing Federal Judges. Republican Governors appoint State Judges. That means:

    When Republican Legislators, at all levels, pass discriminatory laws; those laws will not face severe scrutiny. That means:

    Even assuming that 53% pf the people oppose “bathroom bills” you’re going to get them. And barring serious intervention from the NFL or NCAA, they’re going to stick around.

    “But attitudes are changing!”

    Big whoop.

    The Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965. We’re still fighting against discriminatory Voter ID Laws 52 years later. SCOTUS voided significant sections of the VRA 3(?) years ago. Your “changing attitudes” will still be fighting legal battles in 2069, if the past is any precedent.

    I’m willing to lay money that “gay marriage” will be reversed by SCOTUS after Justice Kennedy is replaced.

    Your attitudes are relevant only in so far as they impact votes and elections. Unless and until that happens, enjoy your dream world.

    • Trump won one election cycle. More than one means he has some kind of mandate, until then he has a lot to prove. As for backsliding on human rights, it happens but we never fully retreat from progressing forward.

        • Yes, won through cheating in whatever way the GOP could dream up: elections fraud; gerrymandering; voter suppression; tricking voters into giving them their votes which they then tossed if not for a Republican; posting billboards confusing the poor and minorities of just when and where elections were to be held; rigging vote counting computers; and more.

          • I read, this morning, where they were testing voting machines in Nevada. Paid hackers were to see if they could compromise them. It took them 90 minutes.

          • Right, which means it wasn’t that hard to do; I’m still convinced despite so many deniers, that the GOP rigged the 2016 election by hacking the vote counting computers in key states run by the GOP. CNN’s exit polling has never been so wrong – and there’s a reason why for the 2016 election they were way off in 13 GOP-run states.

            And there’s a reason why Trump has been unpopular (underwater in approval) since the day he was elected – because he really didn’t win the election – he didn’t have enough true wacko voters to have won. What he had were computer hackers that were rigging the votes for him (changing votes for Hillary into votes for Trump).

          • When I had a two-year-old, I expected a few temper trantrums because that is what two-year-olds do. After the Florida purge and the Diebold machines in Ohio, and the closing of polls early in Democratic areas (also in Ohio) I would agree with you that is a strong possibility because that is what republicans do.

          • Some gain by working for what they want. Some gain by stealing and some gain by force. They are not winners, but they get what they want. The election in Florida should have been held over and it would not have fostered what it did.

          • Ida, You could have knocked me over with a feather when I read what a 37 year old fellow writer wrote in our writer’s forum. “What’s so wrong with a corrupt government? The government hasn’t done very well following the Golden Rule.”

            Do you believe this? That this moron could even ask such a question defies the imagination of who could possibly have raised such a lamebrained dimwit.

          • Would disagree only with culmination. That would imply that the Trump slime has peaked. Or would that be troughed?

            It can get worse. It will get worse.

            Aaron & I joked about it maybe a year ago. GHW Bush is looking pretty good right now, given where the Republicans have gone since then. What will it take in 25 years to think fondly of Trump?

          • Indeed Aaron.

            But what do we do about it? Do we hide our heads in the sand? Do we gloat over moral victories?

            Or do we find ways to delay, disrupt, or defeat Trump and the Republicans every time we can?

          • Sorry to be getting back to you so late. But you ask a very important question, and one which we all should ask ourselves when we’re confronted with a problem.
            We first need to look inward, and assess our weaknesses and strengths. While doing so, we must be engaged in constantly educating ourselves on a variety of issues in order to engage in meaningful conversations which inspire rather than depress the people we engage with in conversations.

            And finally—and this is the crucial act which separates the “men from the boys”, those who talk only from those who speak AND act in a manner that reflects spiritual qualities.

            The best way which the Baha’is in apartheid South Africa were able to defy the rules of separation in their gatherings there in the 50’s and 60’s was to remain firm in their belief about the Oneness of Humankind, by displaying such in the way that blacks and whites in the Baha’i community in South Africa interacted, and by showing to the leaders who enforced Apartheid policies that the Baha’is would not be deterred in meeting together in public gatherings and their Baha’i events.
            These actions had a profound effect on the white South African authorities who allowed the Baha’is to engage in this manner.

            Unfortunately, the older established Religious communities, comprising Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Christians, in South Africa gave in to the authorities, because the Vision of the Oneness of Humankind was never explicitly and vigorously stated in those previous Dispensations—and for good reason. Humanity in the past wasn’t ready to think along the lines of all humanity being descended from the same “Adam and Eve”, metaphorically speaking. We have had to be coaxed along gradually over the eons since humankind’s inception on the planet.

            Now is the time to show in action, the meaning of “The Oneness of Humankind”, and practice one of the cardinal principles laid down by Baha’u’llah—namely, the elimination of all forms of prejudices.

            I could share with you further examples of the Baha’is dangerous situations in Muslim countries, where changing their Religion from Islam to Baha’i led to imprisonment, loss of jobs and pensions, denial of education for Baha’i children in Iran, no rights in Egypt unless the Baha’is accepted that their religious designation be stated as “Muslim” rather than “Baha’i” in all their documents. This the Baha’is in Egypt refused to do, at the expense of great hardship. Lately, as of about two years ago, the Muslim authorities in Egypt relented after seeing that the Baha’is were steadfast and dignified in their refusal to submit.
            The Baha’is in Saudi Arabia and in Yemen are under extreme duress, as are the Baha’is in Iran. Imprisonment and/or death is always a possible outcome. All they have to say to get out of this bind is to recant, or refuse to deny their Baha’i identity. The Baha’is so far are refusing to recant, and so many still languish in prisons in Iran.

            So, that is a glimmer of how to proceed to make a change—dedication, a sense of selflessness, and courage to do what is right, even if death is the alternative.

          • Don’t worry about how long it takes to respond to anything I post. I’ve got the notifications turned on.

            You do not need to convince me of the suffering of the Baha’i. I can imagine the current Muslim world in not too safe right now. Then Trumpistas can’t see any difference between them & “the TERRORISTS”.

            I’m mostly frustrated with the idea that Trump & Trumpism will collapse under their own contradictions. Stcroix’s “cheating isn’t winning” produced the response that was probably overblown but directed at the hopeless naivety of that position. Yes, I saw you’d voted it up.

            Do you think it matters to Trump that he cheated to win?
            Does it matter to the Republicans, as they attack just about everything I hold dear?

            No, like any bully they’ll laugh at our claims of unfair practice. They spit on honor and respectability. They can only be stopped physically, and physically is how we must do it.

            I truly pray the personal repentance that you desire occurs. I’d love to see the Republicans repent and forsake their dangerous policies and ideals. I’m just not betting on it.

        • REPUBLICANS have won elections and they have also gerrymandered legislative and congressional districts, suppressed voters, and taken vast amounts of money from corporations, individuals and PACs. Not to mention the influence of the Russians. Cheaters really aren’t winners.

          • The gerrymandering came after 2010.

            I’ve never used my “Snort of derision” on a teammate before. I’m sorely tempted to make this a first.

            Who sits in the White House?
            Who is Senate Majority Leader?
            Who is Speaker?
            How many Republican Governors are there?
            How many State Legislatures are controlled by Republicans?

            Who gives a flying (expletive deleted) how they got there? They cheated, they lied, they (expletive deleted) bribed the entire (expletive deleted) State of Pennsylvania. IT DOESN’T (expletive deleted) MATTER.

            They’re there.

            How do we fight back? How do we stop them?

            Where do we go from here?

          • There is a wonderful CSpan documentary on Jeff Moss, CEO of DEFCON and Black Hat. See if you can catch it online. I watched it for an hour.

            Ref: https://www.c-span.org/video/?431946-1/communicators-jeff-moss

            Admittedly any computerese more than 3 syllables fries my brain; but, I watched the Jeff Moss interview because he was describing how the hackers get into our lives in ways that are unimaginable.

            Moss is a BS in criminal justice and operates DEFCON and Black Hat to investigate hacking for Dept. of Homeland Security.

            To give you an idea of just how deeply embedded and insidious (not to mention scary) hacking has become, he used the example of a “bubble.” When people use apps on their smart phones and cell phones, they are mostly unaware of how many varieties of “geo locators” are used to track not only where they are using these devices from but which sites they use.

            Moss claims that the major reason this can be done is ISPs who track your use and then sell it to advertisers who profit from it.

            It got kind of scary when he said that people who use their cells phones remotely to connect to home appliances, digitized locks on doors and even their toasters don’t realize all of that is tracked through the ISP. This is the bubble he was referring to. Even Uber using tracking to know where you are, where you are going and where you’ve been.

            Regarding voting machines, when he was asked if they can be hacked and our votes can be changed, he said that was as easy as altering “the tallies on the machines collecting votes.”

            As he said, “It’s not paranoid, if they really are after you.” This type of interview usually goes way over my head technologically, but Moss wanted to make sure the average computer user understood everything he said.

  2. A casual analysis of Trump – or perhaps more accurately, Steve Bannon’s – foreign policy agenda, which range from building a wall along our Southern border, to deportations, to ill advised criticisms of China’s inability to moderate North Korea’s behavior in the face of constant provocations and threats of nuclear attacks by the USA during the past six decades, to Islamophobia with special emphasis on portraying Iran as a sponsor of terrorism and not complying with the terms of the nuclear development agreement negotiated by the USA, several Western European countries, and Iran, are evidence of nationalistic paranoia that, if it remains unchecked, could easily degenerate into war and the marginalization of the USA by
    the rest of the world, including our closest allies.
    The motives, or justifications, for policies that are likely to have dire consequences to our ability to hold on to our privileged position in the world.
    Regardless of whether the current state of affairs is influenced by a desire to satisfy the base of the Republican party, which seems to be more interested in social and religious matters than the preservation of our global interests, the truth is that we don’t seem to be interested in the preservation of life on Earth, let
    alone demonstrating interest or a desire to respect the rights and aspirations of other countries. Our current foreign policy is already causing a realignment of the status quo that existed during much of the past century. U.S. influence is clearly diminishing, while the importance of China, Japan, Russia, Germany, France, and to a lesser extent the UK is rising both on economic and geo-political matters. Trump’s assertions about Iran not complying with the terms of the nuclear agreement have been debunked, not only by IAEA
    inspectors, but by most industrialized nations. Several European countries are negotiating free and open trade deals, and opening embassies in Iran, while Trump cries foul. A similar situation involves North Korea. What the Trump administration, and a complicit media, are not saying is that North Korea offered a moratorium
    on missile testing and nuclear development if the USA stops the provocative military war games it has been conducting in South Korea, the deployment of sophisticated missile systems in South Korea, and stops making constant threats about pre-emptive strikes, including nuclear strikes, against NK. China and Russia both support the compromise offered by North Korea. Trump ignored the offer and is busy sending tweets that insult the Chinese President, and treats the North Koreans like children by accusing them of misbehaving. There is simply no desire to find a peaceful solution. The goal is war.
    We fret over the increased use of illegal drugs in the USA, and demand action against the culprits who, not surprisingly, are always claimed to be foreigners. First it was the Colombians (Cali cartel), then the Panamanians (Noriega), then the Dominicans, Cubans (Castro regime), Salvadorans, Nicaraguans, and finally the evil Mexicans. The only ones left out of the equation are those that cannot wait to get their next fix, not because someone is twisting their arm, but because they cannot cope with the vicissitudes of life. While this mindset is not new, it has been aggravated in recent months by the rise of a small, and increasingly influential and vociferous minority in the USA, more interested in MAGA, America First, Islamophobia, fear and hatred of foreigners, plain old fashioned racism, and the effects of abundance, than a desire to pursue pragmatic solutions in the pursuit of peaceful coexistence, a desire to demonstrate respect for the opinions of others, or willingness to compromise on anything that does not
    include capitulation by those who disagree with our goals, values, and interests.

    • Dominick, good overview of what’s really going on. And even aside from North Korea, China and Russia, what Trump is often doing is resulting in the opposite affect of what he really wanted – which the above article proved in the rebuttal even many Republicans have given Trump on his idiot tweet about banning transgender people from the military; and which he got from many police related organizations from even foreign countries for his idiot speech to police officers about treating people they arrest in a brutal manner.

      You may enjoy this article from the Washington Post that outlines a number of ways that Trump has in fact created a boomerang affect with many of the ‘ham-handed actions’ he has taken:

      Behold the Trump boomerang effect

      An excerpt:

      The boomerang struck first in Europe. Following his election last November, and the British vote last June to leave the European Union, anti-immigrant nationalists were poised to sweep to power across the continent. “In the wake of the electoral victories of the Brexit campaign and Donald Trump, right-wing populism in the rich world has appeared unstoppable,” the Economist wrote. Russian President Vladimir Putin would gain allies, the European Union would fracture.

      But European voters, sobered by the spectacle on view in Washington, moved the other way. In March, the Netherlands rejected an anti-immigrant party in favor of a mainstream, conservative coalition. In May, French voters spurned the Putin-loving, immigrant-bashing Marine Le Pen in favor of centrist Emmanuel Macron, who went on to win an overwhelming majority in Parliament and began trying to strengthen, not weaken, the E.U.

      Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom Trump belittled for having allowed so many refugees into her country, has grown steadily more popular in advance of a September election.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/behold-the-trump-boomerang-effect/2017/07/30/8534a696-73ac-11e7-8839-ec48ec4cae25_story.html?utm_term=.d5d0501dcebe&wpisrc=nl_opinions&wpmm=1

      • Trump’s statements and actions are, indeed, producing the opposite effect he hoped to achieve. His supporters don’t know it yet, however.

        • Dominick, I’m not sure Trump’s supporters know much of anything about what’s taking place in the real world; it’s like they all live in Trump’s fantasy world.

          • I think they could care less if Trump is competent, knowledgeable, or mentally stable. For some of them he represents a return to normalcy after having to endure the sight of an African American President. Others see a reflection of themselves in Trump’s short comings and insecurities. For those that feel they have been left behind, Trump’s arrogance and belligerence represent strength and manifestations of the frustrations they feel. In a nutshell, the conclusions they reach, and their apparent complacency, is influenced by tribal reasons that go beyond ideology or even common sense.

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  3. Partisan politics has utterly confused vast numbers of Americans, whether on the Right or on the Left, or any of the fringe partisan elements. For example, the issue of transgender causes extreme destabilization when partisanship is part of the mix. Many in the GOP camp, who rail disingenuously about the sanctity of the family unit, aren’t quite sure about this matter of transgender, and so they dive head first into a pool of indecision, unsure if there is water in the pool or not.

    The lack of clarity in the Bible on the matter of homosexuality, not to mention gender change, leaves the followers of the Book in disarray as to which view to adopt and which view to eschew. Religion wasn’t meant to be static in its explanation of social affairs. Each Age has its own unique circumstances, with alterations in views on issues happening as a matter of natural progression in humankind’s evolution, but the Spiritual aspects remain constant and inviolable. Which is another reason for the Paradigm of “Progressive Revelation”. Furthermore, the appearance of a dynamic, organic, and consultative Administrative Order, vis-a-vis the new Religion, to address the current issues not dealt with or even considered in the past as relevant, is what is needed.

    And as for Trump, he has been on the losing end, albeit successful money-wise, ever since he reached the chronological age of maturity. Howard Cosell used an oddly worded phrase when describing a team or an athlete—“There’s no quit in this guy”.
    Well, in Trump’s case, “there’s ‘quit’ in Donald. He gave up trying to be a good person, long ago, and all he has is a Twitter account as a cane”—This has been Aaron Cosell, coming to you live from ringside.

    • That’s about to end. And the beauty of it is that it took only two women to break with the Senate and House male majority tradition of fraternal partisanship, Murkowski and Collins. Now, already you have other women from both sides of the aisle tired of the boys always fighting realizing nothing gets done when the only action is fighting.

      Already there is a deep respect developing among Republican and Democratic women for the old rule of law for bi partisanship.

      The Republican male dominance over government has been a disaster since Reagan. It never got much better with Bush ’41 or Bush ’43.

      So now, women like Collins, Murkowski, Warren, Harris, Waters, Jackson Lee, Klobuchar, Gillibrand, Duckworth and others in the House like Watson Coleman, Blunt Rochester, Jayapal, Dingell, Comstock, Adams and others seeing the value of crossing over the aisles and tuning out the big mouth males.

      It shouldn’t go unnoticed that the GOP has fewer women in the House and Senate than the Dems. However, 2018 and 2020 will change that too.

      • And those women are heroines in their own right. They both deserve medals for being honest, sincere, possessing empathy, and loads of rational thinking capacity which the majority of men in Congress clearly lack.
        I know that women and men are equal in their capacity, and are as two wings of the “bird of humanity”. But lately, men in so many areas of human social interactions, particularly in Congress and on the bench, are proving themselves not capable of thinking rationally, nor worthy of being called mature and thoughtful beings.

        • There is one thing most men know about women that women seem to place so little value upon: women are taught from birth to obey. They are taught fear of punishment.

          Men are taught this too. But it is clearly in the gene pool that men will always dare to disobey if they think they can.

          The reality is that the idea of it always being “A man’s world” is about as off kilter as it gets. Men can’t get into the world without a woman’s help. Men cannot continue their gender without a woman’s interface.

          Contrary to men’s gravest fears, women don’t want men emasculated. They want men to be trustworthy, honest and obey the rules of law and life.

          Now, for all time, men are seeing the product of such familial dysfunction that spawned one of the worst examples of manhood: Donald J. Trump.

          Women know not all men are like Trump. There are good, decent men who know and understand the value of the word, “honor.” I’ve seen that too many times in my life not to know there are men who make a woman’s best friend because they are deserving of a woman’s trust.

          The reason men don’t trust Hillary or women like her is simple for other women to understand: Hillary is headstrong and cannot be compromised in life, ethics or principles.

          To women of the world, Hillary is what every man fears most: a female leader who makes accomplishment seem effortless. So, they hack away at her, picking gnat dung out of a haystack in one blink of an eye and in the next allow men with gross dishonorable inclinations like Trump to influence our children and their children for the worst.

          What comes of Trump is anyone’s guess. Thus far, he proves manhood in the US is a double edged sword, one that cuts both ways to honor and dishonor. This is why Trump so fear Mueller. Mueller is something Trump can never be: Truthful, factual and honest.

  4. I have known several Gay persons in my life. Those who are so ashamed of who they are become the macho Gay bashers. I would say that 31 percent of the people have felt something toward someone of the same sex and therefore are those who crotch sniff others and try to make laws against what they, themselves, fear.

      • MB…I agree. If all of the books I’ve read about priestly and nuns vocations is true, back in the Dark Ages, gay people were committed to convents and monasteries. Possibly the reason these were established in the first place.

        When you think about the idea of a monosexual community of men living together from age 18 until death and women in convents, some of them cloistered, you see that there had to always have been some pedophilia of the 18 year olds with the older members of religious communities.

        The problem in nearly ALL religions is the idea of segregation of the genders. Whether it’s Jewish, Islamic or Buddhist, the concepts of segregation of the sexes is prevalent in religious services and in practice.

        The only religions that are not part of this are the Anglicans and Byzantines who allow their religious to marry if they so choose.

      • Mama, the whole issue of Religious Celibacy forces young people into denying one of life’s basis urges. It can not but force people into crushingly difficult choices, and concurrent feelings of guilt.

        Protestant Churches abandoned the idea from the beginning.

        Psychology is not my field, but I refuse to accept that some are born pedophiles. Rather it is a bad choice made under impossibly string and conflicting pressures.

        • There is a great deal of literature on this and it is the other way around – a man who has these urges tries to purify himself and keep himself out of the mainstream and thus out of the “temptation”. Of course it does not work as we all know but that is the accepted theory. Pedophilia is a perversion and nothing to do with biology. It is considered by mental health professionals a mental disorder of unproven cause but the popular belief is that it stems from having been sexually abused as a child and the pedophile s attracted to a child of the same age he was when he was abused. It is phychosexual and extremely complex. This is not to be confused with homosexuality which is, in fact of a biological origin. Any religion that denies natural urges is just plain controlling and sick and has no basis in reality.

          • As I said, it’s not my field. But I’ve always had a problem buying the “genetic gay” thesis. It keeps bouncing up against Ancient Greece where homosexuality was the societal norm. Was everyone there gay? How do we get Mendelian Descent to work out with the math, to get to the 10% figure now?

            Personally, I’m more inclined to buy Freud’s thesis that we are all bi-sexual and everything else is societal norms. On the other hand, I might just be viewing the problem through the lens of my field. If everything looks like a nail when you’re a hammer; does everything look to me to be a question of societal norms?

            I add to Ms. E, that almost all Protestant Churches, and the Jews, that I know of, allow for a married Clergy. In fact, the Jews may require it, though it’s been too many years since I looked into the matter.

          • Good points db, I especially love hammer and nail analogy and it is so very true of humans. Everyone keeps looking for a “gay gene”, and there is not just one. I totally subscribe to the science that people are born gay – not like being born with red hair or blue eyes where a single gene explains it, but born gay nonetheless. Research throughout the world points to small differences on many chromosomes that ultimately produce a gay man or lesbian woman. Societal norms are strong and ignorant people want to believe that gay is a lifestyle choice so they can condemn and judge…..human nature. As for ancient Greeks – that was an open society with no religious type constraints and no judging what was “normal”.

          • Thank you for allowing an open discussion. I honestly have these problems.

            First off, kinda by definition, the “gay gene” has to be exclusive, if not then we’re at Freud’s everyone’s bi, right?

            Next, ” that was an open society with no religious type constraints and no judging what was “normal”.” is rather the definition of societal norm, isn’t it?

            Ancient Greece wasn’t just the 10% of practicing homosexuals. It was society wide. You had Plato discussing whether women could “love”, and generally coming to the conclusion that only men could love, obviously only other men. It wasn’t only Athens, Sparta, Thebes also. Persia, I think, and I don’t remember enough about Egypt to say.

            Now, we accept that Mendel was correct in his mathematics of descent. If not, we lose the entire basis of inheritance of traits, and probably lose Darwin as well.

            So how does the math get us from ~100% in 500 BC to ~10% in 2000 AD? 250 generations. If the gene is dominant it ought to be a lot more. If the gene’s recessive, then it should never have been as dominant as it was and 10% is too high.

          • Well, my friend….you and I can openly discuss this until the cows come home and while it might be intellectually fun, I think we are not talking about the same thing. I am talking about a person who is gay or lesbian, not any particular act. And I think that a great many “acts” get mislabeled as something more than an act. Anyone can do a homosexual act – he can call it whatever he wishes to call it. Many times it is just that, a sexual act. And more often someone who does these acts needs to justify it – let’s call it love…let’s call it drunk and horny, let’s call is experimenting…whatever. There is a difference and trying to tie it into something from ancient history – which may or may not be mis-translated or otherwise skewed is intellectually misleading.I try to be careful of using “all” or “none” or other qualifiers that are exclusive. just sayin’

          • Indeed Mama, I think we need a good definition of “gay”.

            I will stand for the interpretations of Greek Society. I know High School Text Books ignore it, but you can only imagine the uproar if they were to go down that road. Greecian, or at least Athenian, love could only be between two men.

            If your person who is gay, lesbian, or straight, for that matter, can do the “unpreferred” act when drunk or horny, aren’t you back to it being a matter of choice? It’s just a matter of how much “pressure” it takes to break through those lines. At the minimum, you’re back to Freud. Please explain to me how I’m wrong.

            I certainly understand why our friends want to avoid the whole matter being defined as a choice. Bad things happen at that point. But here, among friends, can we remove any moral values from that choice? Can we just bless the people regardless of which choice they make?

          • When I talked about an act performed when one is drunk or curious I was differentiating between someone who “chooses” to experiment. When I talked about a person who is “gay” I was referring to a person for whom it is not a choice. I have a gay son. For years I struggled with him to help him figure it out and then ultimately to accept himself. Trust me, db, it was not a choice for him. His only choice was whether or not to be true to himself or fake his life. Sure, he could have “chosen” to marry a woman and act like a normal heterosexual man. And he did date many women who he liked and a couple he loved and are still best friends. But his true need – emotionally and physically and psychically was only met with a man. He has been with his partner and husband for 10 years and I see him happy and fulfilled and that tells me that this is a man who is gay – he would never have chosen to be. Period.
            that is why I have one so much research.

          • Aha!

            I see the problem, it is one of definitions.

            Genetic is a mandatory. I do not have wings. I can not fly. I can not fly if I am so drunk, I have no inhibitions left. I can not fly if I am tortured. The right equipment simply isn’t there.

            Your Son, honorable man that he is, might well do things while drunk that his sober self would reject. That’s the inhibition relaxing properties of alcohol. God Forbid, he might be tortured into doing things. He might chose to do things to conform to societal norms. Or he might reject societal norms. Whatever the ramifications, the possibilities, the choices, are there to be made.

            Some of the choices are unpalatable, unacceptable, (what is the word I’m looking for?). But that doesn’t make them any less potential choices. Happiness, contentment, fulfillment, these are not hard-wired. They are the result of the choices we make through life. Your Son pursues happiness in his own way. That’s no more or less “valid” than anyone else pursuing happiness in ways that seem good.

            But it’s been 40 years since I studied any of this.

          • it has been my avocation since my son came to me at 15 with his little heart breaking. He is now 34 and a dedicated ER/trauma physician who happens to be gay. And that word you are looking for…untenable.

          • db…Wow…! You make a very interesting point I didn’t know. If it is true that in the Jewish faith, marriage is required, you just proved what the Catholic Church has tried not to: That as a Jewish male, Jesus would have been required to be married.

            Thank you for that.

          • The Jesus/married thing has been kicking around for years. Dan Brown aside, there’s no real evidence one way or the other.

            Remember the difference between a Rabbi called to an established Synagogue and an Itinerant Preacher, wandering the countryside picking up followers wherever.

            Please don’t trust my memory from 40 years ago. I really need to look this stuff up again.

          • db…Thank you. The book, “Bloodline of the Holy Grail” by Laurence Gardner, reminded me of what you posted.

            That book was so insightful. It provides a view of the Jewish religion from some pretty amazing sources.

            It appears your knowledge of religions is much more advanced than mine.

    • Ida, probably the most famous gay man who hid it and bashed other gays was Trump’s mentor and friend, Roy Cohn of McCarthy Era fame. Cohn died of AIDS owing his friends and clients millions.

      Cohn like Trump have 2 cloying, overindulgent mommies who fought their husbands every day of their sons’ lives rather than allow them to discipline their unruly overly entitled sons.

      • My Gay friend, who could not say bad enough about Gays, dies with AIDS. His brother said there was a rumor going around that he died with AIDS, but he did not. His death certificate said Kaparsi’s Sarcoma.

        • When I was younger and working as a dance educator and choreographer, the entertain world is full of all kinds of people. There simply is no identity battles. Talent and appreciation of it is all that matters. I saw this when both of my sons became professional musicians.

          As a civic volunteer, I encountered a very well known family in our town, top business leaders, who had 2 sons who were gay. Both died of AIDs, the eldest of the Kaparsi’s Sarcoma. The original diagnosis though was pneumonia due to weakened immune system. The poor guy suffered for almost two years before he finally succombed. It was the most horrible kind of death there can be.

          My sister-in-law worked as a teacher’s aid in South Jersey in the special ed program. She was bitten by a child who tested positive for AIDS. Needless to say she was scared to death and was tested for the next two years. Fortunately, her tests all came up negative.

          Back in the 1977 in Manhattan there was a disgusting place known as Plato’s Retreat, a so called swinger’s club. All manner of open sex acts took place there. It was raided nearly on a nightly basis. Finally, our then most respected and admired NY City Mayor, Ed Koch, had enough.

          He forced it to close in 1985. But not before the current White House Occupant got in on the fun.

          • I am not surprised that the current occupant of the White House was a patron. Money can’t buy class. I likened I.Q. to an empty container that shows how much you can learn. Money can’t put anything in the empty small container either. Sorry, the amoral trump people cannot add to a container that is too small to hold any more.

  5. we have so many problem mainly our president, the transgender and the others can take care of themselves and they do..”.live and let live”

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