Gaysex in The Bible

For the first time an openly gay priest is to be ordained as a bishop in the Church of England. Why it is so much worse for him to be a bishop than a priest is not clear to me.

So far, by my reading of the media (admittedly, not very extensive), the quality of discussion on the issue has been very poor. The liberals are talking about changes in society, the virtues of tolerance and the scriptures as subject to interpretation. The traditionalists refer to the word of God in The Bible and the danger of a split over this issue. This morning on the radio, a Canadian priest argued that the consequences for the C of E in Africa would be disastrous, as it will accentuate the perception of the West as decadent.

What strikes me about the discussion is how little attention is paid by anyone to what is actually written in The Bible. Perhaps this is because there is actually so little on it – considering the fuss which the crissies make of it. Continue reading “Gaysex in The Bible”

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Indignant Pages

Speaking Out: Writings on Sex. Law, Politics and Society 1954 – 1995, by Antony Grey, Cassell UK, 1997

Published in The Freethinker, journal of the National Secular Society

In the early days of the deliberations of the Wolfenden Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution its name in internal memos was bowdlerised to ‘Huntley and Palmers’ (Grey p242). It is a mark of how much has changed that this absurdity was ironically celebrated by Julian Clary in his high camp TV show. ‘Judge’ Julian has two cute bondage-attired aides, who are named … Huntley and Palmer !

For those of us who cannot remember – and find it hard to imagine – what life was like for gay men pre-67 many of these essays are a valuable resource. It now comes as a shock to read an account of a visit in 1960 to an Amsterdam gay club, in which Grey writes of his astonishment at the normality of same-sex dancing. For many, it is now astonishing that this could have caused surprise. Continue reading “Indignant Pages”

‘The Incredible Bleeding Woman’ – Incredible, Indeed

Marisa Carnesky is a performance-artist, whose latest work is discussed here:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/dec/12/let-it-bleed-arts-revival-of-menstrual-blood?CMP=share_btn_fb

It’s a familiar tactic of a certain kind of charlatan to fabricate a position which hardly anyone holds (a ‘strawman’) and then construct an opposition to this phantom so as to seem so correct. It’s a common tactic of masculinists (‘all feminists are man-hating whingers’) and pro-caps (‘socialists want the State to control everything and to make everyone equal’). Dr Carnesky seems to seriously believe that: As women we’ve internalised a misogynist culture that has tabooed menstruation and said it is dirty. Really ?

The comments to the Guardian article are worth reading. I was especially struck by the argument that the claim that co-resident women tend to synchronise their cycles is no better than an ‘urban myth’. I’ve long taken it for granted that this synchronisation was what happened, and that more or less everyone was aware of it. The argument seems quite technical and involves statistical stuff which is beyond me.

I should fess up that I’m a tad prejudiced re Carnesky because of her insistence on using the word ‘synchronicity’ – a word which carries the stink of the patriarchalist pro-nazi C G Jung.

I’m also less impressed than I was by the work of Chris Knight, which is part inspiration for her project (see FB ‘Radical Anthropology Group’). That’s not because I have really done any work on his theory (an astonishing and audacious Historical Materialist account of the origin of human culture which puts women at the centre of ‘the human revolution’); but because the more I’ve seen of him, the more he seems to me to be a deluded Labour leftist from Central Casting.

Sexual freedom and the Hegemony

Thoughts inspired by ‘I Remember Babylon’

For anyone who is cool and under 30ish years of age sexual freedom together with tolerance of life-styles and orientations is very much a given. This is certainly no bad thing, in itself. But actually, the cultural meaning and the political ‘function’ of sexual libertarianism needs to be looked at more closely.

Continue reading “Sexual freedom and the Hegemony”

Bisexualism and Polar Thinking

The following remark at the Sexual Freedom Coalition ‘conference’, London, Spring 2003, by a ‘bisexual activist’ brilliantly sums up so much of the bisexualist sensibility

Polar thinking leads people to believe you’re either black or white, rich or poor, male or female, gay or straight. It’s easy, it’s quick, it’s wrong.

So there are two kinds of thinking: polar thinking (which is wrong) and the other kind – un-named (which is cool)! Now it is, I think, fairly obvious that this is itself a kind of ‘polar thinking’ (either something is polar thinking or the other kind). It’s much the same kind of fallacy as promoted by those who say they dislike ‘Western thinking’ because it is ‘binary’ and prefer ‘Eastern thinking’ because it is not … binary. But, of course, this incoherence is no more noticed by its utterers than is the similar absurdity by those who so confidently assert that ‘all truths are relative, everything is just a matter of opinion, truth is just a matter of perspective’ (often said by the same persons a few breaths apart).

Continue reading “Bisexualism and Polar Thinking”