nostalgia allergy

October 22, 2011

it’s in the wee hours of the morning when the truth hums one of the most brutal of lullabies; in the quiet skeleton that remains, the house is now too big for us to occupy.

the little corners we used to ignore, suddenly loom in front of our eyes as cobwebs of yesterday occupy the spaces in eerie but beautiful patterns. the doors creak louder, as if in vain mockery, as if to say over and over how much time has elapsed and how, no matter how much regret we inject in specific intervals for the time we wasted, they can never be taken back and will remain hormonal snapshots subject to human error and prejudice that will dictate our future choices. the walls crumble, but this is not apparent to the eye since termites creep in from the inside, giving off a facade of a sturdy infrastructure which in real time is sagging little by little as it struggles to remain upright with its brittle bones. and all at once, the rooms expand as silence begin to settle, replacing the warm conversations they used to carry. now, applications are no longer just accessory items of the household but have become a secret sanctuary when the dinner table and the patio prove to be unbearable and strange.

when did we stop coming home to each other?

have we decided to imitate our shelter, always leaving the lights on even when nobody’s home, out of fear of being infiltrated? or are we more like the walls–deteriorating from osteoporosis but still tenaciously standing out of practicality’s sake?

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august rain

August 21, 2011

if the speed of light is to infinite space, then the speed of thought is to longing and fondness.

here’s to coldplay for coming up with mylo xyloto (out this Oct. 25, 2011), and to the beauty of first aid kit, u2 and coldplay’s music.

And i found myself attached to this railroad track, but i’ll come back to you, someday.

and i can’t decide wrong from right, day from night, dark from light, but i love this life.


and you give yourself away, and you give, and you give, and you give yourself away.

INTRODUCTION

Homosexuality is a very controversial issue worldwide. In several countries, adults involved in a homosexual relationship are subject to prosecution and imprisonment. Although experts agree that homosexuality has existed as long as human beings themselves, many societies, especially Christians, discriminate and consider homosexuals to be sinners who rebelled against nature.

In 1864, the German social scientist Karl Heinrich Ulrichs was the first to declare that homosexuals were a distinct class of individuals, a “third sex”. He was also believed to be the first self-proclaimed homosexual. Although the word homosexual was not used for the first time until later in the 19th century, Ulrichs recognized that homosexuals were “innately different from heterosexuals,” and unlike what some medical practitioners claimed, their desire for same-sex intimacy is actually intrinsic and natural, something shaped in their earliest infancy.

Early research of the phenomenon of homosexuality was adopted by the developing field of psychoanalysis, which classified all sexual deviations from societal norms as illnesses treatable by psychoanalysis. The cause in males was often identified as an Oedipus complex, and in women, the problem was thought to be penis envy. Treatment modalities were thus aimed at helping the client to remember the incidents that caused the Oedipus complex or penis envy and to reverse them if possible.

In modern times, homosexuals have become a staple in any culture and is considered to make up a vast minority in the world. Majority of societies still adhere to the belief that homosexuals are forms of sin, and because of this, there has been slow progress in universal acceptance. Significantly, in recent years, more and more homosexuals have voiced out their interest in legislation and participated in advocacy. Starting in the 1990s, homosexuals began fighting for civil legal rights equal to heterosexuals, and eventually pushed for same-sex marriages to be legal. In 2001, the Netherlands became the first country to open civil marriage to same-sex couples. Belgium became the second in 2003. On May 17, 2004, Massachusetts became the first state in the United States where same-sex marriage per se is legal. Four years later on May 2008, California became the second state to legalize same-sex marriage. While various countries have amended their constitutions to ban same-sex marriages and retained marriage as an exclusive right and privilege to heterosexuals, countries like Hawaii have domestic-partnership laws that provide certain legal rights that provide protection to homosexual partners.

This paper wishes to ground its content on various opinions gathered through various sources and will present arguments based on three issues: the first issue is focused on whether homosexuality is considered a mental disorder or illness and if it should be treated; the second issue will discuss about how the church perceives homosexuality through the bible verses which have been blatantly used to condemn the homosexuals; and finally, the last issue will be about sexual orientation and the morality of homosexuality. Following the issues and their arguments will be the author’s stand on the issues at hand. This will serve as the conclusion and final part of the paper.

TO CONDEMN OR NOT

Homosexuality has always been controversial. It has existed for as long as human beings walked the earth, but was only dealt with seriously in the 1980s when the AIDS epidemic was rampant. Ever since, homosexuals have been under much scrutiny by the society as well as the church.

In the realm of science, there have been arguments on whether homosexuals should be undergoing treatment through conversion therapy. Warren Throckmorton in his article, “Effort to modify Sexual Orientation: a Review of Outcome Literature and Ethical Issues,” claims that conversion therapy is effective and should be readily available for interested homosexuals. He emphasizes the need for therapy since sexual orientation is not a well-defined concept and that the most obvious problem is the subjective nature of self-assessment. He goes on to support what Gonsiorek et al. (1995) said, “Given such significant measurement problems, one could conclude there is serious doubt whether sexual orientation is a valid concept at all.” He believes that homosexuality is a point in a continuum and that the goal of the therapy is to assist that individual reach a point of orientation of exclusively homosexual to an orientation of exclusively heterosexual (Slife, 2006).

Barry A. Schreier on the other hand refutes Throckmorton by saying that homosexuality is not an illness to be treated and that individuals who wish to modify their patterns of sexual arousal may have been pressured to do so out of society’s prejudices. He argues that psychoanalysts have a faulty assumption when they say that people with same sex orientations need help because they fail to establish intimate relationships. In his argument, he claims that using intimate relationships as markers for the need of reorientation of homosexuals are no more true than they are for heterosexuals. Illustrating this is the fact that heterosexuals are responsible for 100% of all divorces. And so when people with same sex orientations have problems, it is not due to their sexual orientation. He adds that the practitioners who continue their work and treatment can cause harm (Slife, 2006).

In terms of morality, there have been claims that the phenomenon is cause for sin and is unnatural, since it goes against the nature of the traditional male and female gender. But equally convincing is the argument that homosexual beings are still human beings and therefore should be treated with equal dignity and respect. Though it is still unresolved whether it is a psychological imbalance traced back to infancy or early childhood or simply a lifestyle developed by normal individuals, majority of the population remain scrupulous in condemning homosexual relationships, especially when it involves sex, since sex in itself is supposed to be exclusive to males and females alone. Traditional Christians even claim that the Bible, of course, condemns homosexuality. Some have even sited several verses in the bible that directly claim this to be true. Some verses include:

Leviticus 18:6 reads: “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female. It is an abomination.”

Leviticus 20:13: “A man who sleeps with another man is an abomination and should be executed.”

Romans 1:26-27: “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.”

In the midst of all the discrimination and the stereotyping of the homosexuals who may or may not be involved in sexual activity, it has become a common mistake for society to miss out on the bigger issue at hand. What most perceive as the problem, which is homosexuality, is actually the product of a deeper issue that is rarely discussed: sexual orientation. It has been mentioned in the earlier issues that sexual orientation is a subjective concept, which has not been clearly established, that it remains a notorious subject between debaters arguing on gender and sexuality. One reason why homosexuals are judged in bias is because majority of the population are not fully aware that sexual orientation is not a choice.

It should be noted that while specific sexual actions arise from the most part from conscious choices or decisions, this is not true of one’s sexual orientation. People do not choose their sexual orientation. Nobody simply makes up his or her mind to become a homosexual or heterosexual..at some point in their development homosexuals “discover” that they are sexually drawn to members of the same sex, just as heterosexuals “discover” that they are physically attracted to members of the opposite sex. The fact that homosexuals, like heterosexuals, discover their sexual orientation, as opposed to consciously choosing it, has long been acknowledged by the U.S. Catholic bishops (Genovesi, 2003).

CONCLUSION

I agree with Matt Slick when he said, “The Bible is completely silent on the issue of homosexual orientation. And no wonder. Homosexual orientation wasn’t even known until the 19th century. The discovery that some of us are created and/or shaped in our earliest infancy toward same-gender attraction was made in the last 150 years… The Biblical authors knew nothing of homosexual orientation as we understand it, and therefore said nothing to condemn or approve it. The authors of the Bible are authorities in matters of faith. They can be trusted when they talk about God. But they should not be considered the final authorities on sexual orientation any more than they are the final authorities on space travel, gravity, or the Internet.”

Bible verses are there as our guide, but more often than not, people misinterpret the bible and use it to their advantage. There are some practices in the bible that are not applicable to our times and there are some that will forever be a part of Christianity like that of the two important commandments, “you shall love God above all else” and “you shall love thy neighbor as you love yourself.” With this in mind, I firmly believe it was not God’s intention to condemn homosexuals since doing so would only imply that God plays favorites among his children. It all boils down to interpretation and the ability to be open to the different people that abound the earth.

Human beings are a complex kind of species and are multidimensional in nature. I learned that apart from physiological and social needs, as individuals, we also have our own personal psychological needs. This is evident in Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs where self-esteem and self-actualization are considered the highest of all. Sexual orientation, I believe, is a subjective psychological variation that differs from person to person and Homosexuality as one form of sexual orientation stems from this type of need. I say need because it plays a crucial role in our identity as individuals.

During the last three decades, research has shown that homosexual orientation is as natural as heterosexual orientation. And more importantly, sexual orientation is a product of a long process determined by a combination of factors. It is therefore dangerous and inappropriate to tell a homosexual to change his or her sexual orientation.

As humans, we follow the natural law. If it is deemed unnatural for homosexuals to exist, then the least we can do is to follow the natural law by respecting the homosexual’s dignity as a human person. There is no reason why they should be deprived of their individual rights just because their preference is something out of the norm. What is more problematic is that when we hear the word homosexual, we automatically think of same sex intercourse or sexual activity between closet lovers. But this should be corrected. There are homosexuals who, like any of us, only seek to be identified, to be human; and to be human is to seek intimacy and companionship in another, whether or not it is of the same sex or the opposite.

As early as 1973, the U.S. Catholic bishops already began to accept the reality that being a homosexual is discovered and not chosen. They add that because of this, not one of them is at fault for their sexual orientation. Finally in 1990, they affirmed this truth by writing, “because [it is] not freely chosen, is not sinful”. Their last statement thus serves as a confirmation that homosexuality, bisexuality or even heterosexuality is not a matter for moral analysis or evaluation due to the fact that a person’s sexual orientation is not freely chosen.

Yuna! :)

July 12, 2011

i first heard her cover of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” on fb, which by the way is very very soothing and addictive to say the least. Her version’s got her own personality. And so I searched for her immediately and religiously. Eventually, I got to listen to her songs, and “Decorate” and “Deeper Conversation” became favorites. 🙂

here’s Decorate:

Deeper Conversation:

and Come As You Are:

Bon Iver has a new album and unfortunately for him, itunes leaked it out. a friend told me about it and so i looked it up and although i only got a hold of 4 songs, these 2 songs stood out.

this one won me over by a landslide:

i can’t make you love me/nick of time

and this is the runner up:

i thought i’d include the original version to “Come Talk to Me” too. So here’s Peter Gabriel’s original:

as well as Bonnie Raitt’s “I can’t Make You Love Me” :

I might listen more to The Smiths and Morrisey as well as Lacuna Oil and Depeche Mode. Just a possibility.