Russia’s Stance on Homosexuality

Let’s Talk Opinion in conversation with Project O

Question 6: If you could share an opinion on a single international incident or topic that you either feel strongly about or that might not be known to the rest of the world what would it be? You have our attention.

“Russia needs to get its act together. What the f**k? Is this the 19th century? This goes for the rest of the world, but they are the ones in vogue right now. In over half the countries in Africa, homosexuality is “illegal”. How can you make one’s sexuality illegal? Marching against Russia's Punitive Laws against HomosexualityThis is ludicrous. Some places even enforce the death penalty. Of course, this stems from religion – the plague of the world. Wake up! God is not listening to you. And if he is, he is a douche bag. Jesus is supposed to be about love. You a**hole.” Jonathon Saia

 

While I am very much in agreement with the spirit of Jonathon’s answer regarding the issue of homosexuality, being a promoter of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights myself, I think it is important to distinguish between our support for the gay community and our disagreement with the Christian position on homosexuality.

He is right to indicate that the Christian church ought to adjust its position on homosexuality, be open to change and rectify this instance of discrimination which results in appalling acts of violence and even in the death of gay people around the world by the hand of those who use religion to justify their heinous actions.

The Church could do a lot more to prevent this. But we should remember that not all Christians share the attitudes of the Church in this, as exemplified by the following: Why I Can’t Say “Love the Sinner / Hate the Sin” anymore. Many Christians are indeed as committed to equality and would want to see gay people’s rights and safety protected just as much as a non-believer would.

Furthermore, we ought also remember that many gay people are themselves Christians, and whilst it is a struggle due to the inherent contradictions that their faith engenders, it must be said that they are the ones who have the power and capacity to change things from within.

I am an atheist, so for me God is an idea created by Man in his own image – an
attempt to make sense of a world that can be unsafe, fragmented and uncertain. Since human beings are flawed, then all our creations are similarly so. In making God in his own image Man has also imbued this idea with his preconceptions, not to say prejudice.

But there is also another side to this idea, one that emphasises love, collaboration, solidarity and kindness. Many Christians, indeed many people that subscribe to other faiths too, tend to subscribe to this side of the coin, and do their best to curtail the first.

We shouldn’t make a habit of throwing them into the same basket with fanatics and fundamentalists that – had they not religion as an excuse – would have found another way to perpetrate harm on others.

Jonathon’s answer gave me a lot to think about, and I hope that my contribution will be of interest to him, as well as to the other participants.

Here are some snippets of the discussion that followed:  

navigator1965 says: Jonathan, Sorry, but your submission didn’t work for me. #6 I don’t see how your general disrespect for monotheistic religion and specific disrespect for Christianity materially differs from some other person’s general disrespect for homosexuals.

cineaste says: Because if God’s message is really saying, “I do not love homosexuals” as MANY Christians are vocal to say, than he is not worthy of respect.

Dotta Raphels :  Hi there, it’s good to read your takes here. I think what this project has done is give me a birds eye view into what people want me to see of them (at the end of the day, it’s exactly what you let out that is seen or perceived as you) That said, I respect your opinions and applaud your support to fundamental rights especially in the sexual orientation department and all.
I think when attitudes of “I don’t give a damn” is thrown around too much, it really may be a sign of something deeper and frankly, being frank many times offends.
As a follower and believer in the words and doctrines of Christ, it pains me to hear you refer to “God” as a douche bag regardless of intent, The one thing this project has been is REAL and intensely discreet in respect to civility and maturity.

IMO everyone has managed to make their point without disrespecting others beliefs or opinions.
To disagree is an absolute welcome, but lets do it with class. I have enjoyed your take and I hope the project has also opened you up to new horizons in regards to diversities and humanity as a whole. Thanks for sharing.

cineaste says: I am not speaking of people of faith in general. Many people believe in God and also believe that gay people are worthy of respect and love. What I am referring to are the people who use God as an excuse to persecute LGBT people. Hopefully he is NOT listening to them because ostensibly, theoretically, God is about love. But if they are truly doing God’s bidding, if this is behavior that God truly wants, than he is an asshole.

Susan Irene Fox says: Jonathon, as someone who is as intelligent as you are (I’ve been to your blog, so I know of where I speak – btw, loved the Myra Breckenridge post), you must be able to differentiate between the characteristics God and the people who misuse His name. As you so aptly stated, “Jesus is supposed to be about love.” In this you are correct. I am proud to be Christian, to be a follower of Jesus, and we are not all like the Christians who blithely toss around hate or judgment.

I would respectfully request that you not lump us all together, and please don’t judge the God who created and loves us all by the actions of the vocal and fundamentalist extremists who presume to speak for Him or for the rest of us.

Thank you, and thanks for sharing your opinions. We all have so much to learn from one another, it would be terrific it we could be open enough to do it graciously.

 

What is your take on this issue?

You have the stage. Make your voice heard. All opinions welcome.

*

Let’sTalk Opinion posts engage with issues that are important to other bloggers, connecting with others on matters close to their heart. If you like a topic and would like to contribute, please feel free to add to the comment box, reblog, share, email or message me on Twitter @shardsofsilence.

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20 thoughts on “Russia’s Stance on Homosexuality

  1. Definitely going to post about this later, but I totally agree with you guys. 🙂 I have to say though, I’m not Catholic, but the new pope that they have–>I’m actually a huge fan of because of his liberal views, at least compared to past popes(you should look up his views on LGBT-it’ll make you smile). I’m a Christian (not really any specific denomination), and I COMPLETELY support gay/lesbian/bi rights. Hopefully Russia, and every other country stuck in past, will wake up at some point. 😛

    • Thank you for sharing your opinion, brecore. Great comment. I agree with you regarding the new pope. I think the census he started regarding Catholics’ views on homosexuality is a step forward. Finally the Vatican is at least attempting to listen to its followers.

    • Interesting you should say “stuck in the past.” Do you know why Russia has that stance? You do know that Russia, unlike America, has a “national religion” that predates MOST religions in America. The thing that Americans tend to forget, and even many Europeans that are part of the protestant reformation, is that the “old traditions” such as the Catholic and Orthodox religions aren’t “trends.” We don’t just change our beliefs because the world tells us to. We stick to them until WE decide we want to change them. I find it oddly amusing that the world has such a sudden “hatred” of the old religions when it is our faiths that gave you YOUR FAITHS. I think many people in America and Europe need to read a religious history book and while we are saying things to “stop” how about people

      STOP MAKING RELIGION AND HOMOSEXUALITY THE SAME TOPIC.
      -OM

      • I did know that actually. 🙂 (I took a religion course in college-and it was one of the most interesting courses I’ve ever taken). And I’m not saying the two topics are one in the same (I re-read my comment and realized it looks like I was trying to link the two-but I was merely trying to comment on both, that’s all). As for a hatred of “old religions”-I don’t hate it. My father was raised catholic, and has raised us with a lot of what he’s taught. My aunt was raised learning about ALL religions, and taking bits from each one that she likes, lol–>I like to think I’m like that. 🙂

      • I suppose I lumped those sentences together. I did not mean “you hate” I simply meant this new “trend to hate” people that are “non-accepting” has created an atmosphere that if you don’t accept you are going to be hated in turn. It really is the biggest amount of hypocrisy in my book. Homosexuality is a sensitive topic and I think the push for their rights is a good thing. I don’t take kindly though to people that bash the Russian religion, not saying you were but people are, especially when they claim to be “Christian” themselves and have no idea what religion Russia even is. To be if people are going to debate or “hate” on an issue they really need to do their homework. -OM

      • I agree that Jonathon could’ve made his point regarding LGBT rights without bringing religion into it, especially in the manner in which it has.
        As you know, I am supporter of LGBT rights and, whilst an atheist, I also do not like gratuitous attacks on religious people. We may not share the same system of beliefs, but as a former Christian myself who was attacked in the playground solely for being a believer, I fully comprehend and empathise with believers when they are attacked on that basis alone.
        I hope that I was able to express my opinion in that regard both with clarity and sensitivity.
        When it comes to religion, I distinguish between church and believers. I do not think they are one and the same, and this is something I was trying to bring up for discussion here.
        Religion is only one part of identity. For many believers it may be that religion influences in a very profound way both beliefs and attitudes towards social, political and other issues. However, no one lives outside society and I think that the call for change at the top is coming increasingly from within religious communities rather than from secular fractions.
        One quick request for clarification: is the last statement addressed to me? I will try to address it if that is the case.
        Thank you, OM. I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
        Warm regards,
        Vic

      • Nope, that was to brecore and she responded in kind. I normally steer clear of these topics, because I don’t have a flexible opinion with these issues. But this one begged a response. Glad you let me step in for a minute, now off to the wind!

        -OM

      • I just realised that when I saw bredcore’s answer. Thank you for letting me know and I’m glad you stepped in, OM. You know your views are always welcome here. Thank you 🙂
        PS: May the wind be a friendly one and take you wherever you want to go. x

  2. I have to agree with you on this. I am glad that my religion hasn’t yet voiced any opinion on this issue, yet. May be because we already have too many issues to handle already. But yes, let us leave God out of it.

  3. I think progressively the Orthodox, like the Catholics, will get there. But the thing that many newer faiths don’t understand is that our traditional faiths are OLD and are “strong” because we don’t simply change our beliefs every year. I think it is the stupidest tradition to have for a religion to “be overly flexible.” What kind of conviction is that? If you simple change your faith because the world says so? And while we are talking on the subject of homosexuality, let us be frank here. The stance of acceptance is actually still in the minority. While I myself have adapted my own views “some” I still don’t agree with homosexuality and I don’t think it was what was intended. But I do say “to each their own” and I ALSO say that I don’t think a person’s sexual preference is going to keep them out of heaven. They aren’t killing anyone. Furthermore, I find it disturbing how swiftly this society has changed their focus of what is “important.” Tebow, the quarterback for the Denver Bronocos two years ago was super popular for a time for being overly religious. He was and is a good guy that loves God. But his popularity is trumped by another athlete “coming out of the closet?” Since when did this become such a popular thing.

    Let us not forget the people taking advantage of this whole new stance of acceptance such as the woman retired marine who was a waitress and claimed someone stiffed her on a tip and wrote a homophobic message on her receipt. She then gets 14,000 dollars in donations…. till the news comes out that they lied. People are really quick to jump on a bandwagon and I see this new “overly accepting society” as just another such view. It is sad really, considering the push for homosexual rights is a GOOD THING and shouldn’t be trivialized by marginal “popularity” contests.
    -OM

    • A very insightful comment, OM, and a great contribution to the debate. Thank you.
      I did read about the homophobic message being left on a receipt, but did not come across any article regarding it being a false allegation. It is dreadful that someone should be using the LGBT community in this way. If you have a link to that story it would be greatly appreciated. Will try to do a search myself and see if I can find it.
      Many thanks.
      Vic

  4. I agree with Jonathan Jesus was an outcast he had no reason to outcast anyone else he is suppose to be about love. Yes, people need to stop hiding behind religion, hate is hate call it by its proper name.

  5. i agree with the idea that not all christians are homophobic and not all homophobes are christian. there are many denominations of christanity that are promoting equality among the lgbtqa community-congregational churches, many methodist churchs-although there is a pretty big divide and it might actually spit the methodist faith down the middle-even episcopalian churches in all of the relatively conservative ways-holding steadfast the the catholic-esque hierarchy, and manner of service, the use of the apostles prayer, etc. have bishops who are openly gay.
    i personally am not a christian, but i can get down w much of the stuff jesus the guy said. i would have had him to dinner and drilled him for his opinions on all kinds of stuff. the eight beautitudes are wonderful, and i mean you can’t really go wrong following the ten commandment really, i mean it is a bit much, but not stealing from your neighbor is probably a good idea. or not murdering someone, you can’t go wrong there.
    i have a problem w ppl telling other ppl the best way to live their lives-whether that is a christian talking to a nonchristian or an atheist talking to a christian. i think to belittle someone’s faith or lack thereof or the way they live their life is wrong no matter what your reasoning behind it!

    • You are quite right. Faith is a matter for the individual to decide on and as long as everyone leads a life where mutual respect comes first, no matter what the other’s beliefs or sexual inclination, then the world would certainly be a better place. Thank you for your comment. You make some very interesting points.

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