Is ir just me or does the whole "anti-gay" movement have mostly to do with Christians in the USA

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I understand that people oppose gay rights in all places but why does it feel like it is mainly American Christians that make a huge deal out of it?

I know they have large Christian / Abrahamic populations in other places but at least as far as first world nations go only the USA appears to care any idea as to why?

I dunno, seems to be lots of anti-gay church groups in Australia as well.

Anyway, if you want to justify your homophobia, there's not many ways of doing it. "Traditional values", which generally translates to "sorta like the way christianity has been practiced for the last 30 years" is about the best you have.

Because American Christians are the most vocal and dickish about it. There's the same type of folks in every country, but when your country is America, you naturally get most of the attention.

well i would say the most anti gay are the countries where it is illegal, most of whom are islamic.

america seems so anti gay because most of us are not use to it. the non american escapists mostly live in countries that are not christian dominate, so generally the christians in our countries are either more tolerant and the more conservative not vocal. in america though they are the majority, this allows for larger and more vocal extreme conservatives and for people like rick santorum to become a high profile public person. it also means they generally get their way politically, weather it be at local, state or federal level. so because they are a majority and generally get their way it is the atheists and minority religions who have needed to become tolerant not the christians.

It's probably just you. In Australia, the "debate" over gay marriage has nothing to do with vocal US groups from either side. Instead, we have our own advocates, and our own bigoted religious right wing. Just recently you may have seen that a group of doctors came out and said that gay marriages are unhealthy for children (although I'm fairly sure that the studies they quoted actually compared a nuclear-type family to a single parent family). Those guys are full of shit, but they exist, and one of them was the head of an equality commission board thing.

The only reason why it seems like it's just the US, is because they're still the world superpower, and so they get more news coverage.

There are several countries around the world where being homosexual earns you castration and/or death, in a few cases it would be legally carried out. I also have yet to hear about any country that doesn't have an anti-gay movement of some description (although several countries are fortunate enough to not have such a movement with any actual power.)

I would have to say that its a fairly worldwide phenomenon, we just unfortunately happen to breed louder strains of idiot over here.

I think it's because Christians in America have largely given up on all that feed-the-poor, shelter-the-homeless, all-men-are-brothers, peace-to-all communist hippie bullshit, so they've had to retrench to what's REALLY important - Other People's Sex Lives.

Because America is the the most powerful Christian nation on the planet.

Oh wait, we're not? Coulda fooled me.

I don't like being generalized, but even I cannot deny much of what is being said here.

arbane:
I think it's because Christians in America have largely given up on all that feed-the-poor, shelter-the-homeless, all-men-are-brothers, peace-to-all communist hippie bullshit, so they've had to retrench to what's REALLY important - Other People's Sex Lives.

*Hangs head*

This is exactly what I mean, and even though I would love to change your mind based on my own politics and religion I doubt anyone really cares when there obviously is this odd majority of pro-war, pro-im-watching-you-have-sex-and-judging-you, small government Christians.

It's not just you, but that doesn't mean you're wrong.

Look, there's no denying that there's a high correlation between Abrahamic religions (especially Christianity and Islam) and intolerance toward gays.

But that's not the only dimension of it, and it's pure ignorance to pretend otherwise.

For example, in Japan (which is not especially Christian or Islamic, nor would I characterize the country as particularly devout in a faith-style religion of any kind) homosexual sex acts are generally tolerated it seems. I had a gay friend there who could routinely get random guys to show him their junk by asking, and he had no want for illicit blow jobs in gym parking lots from random men. Western women often seem to get their breasts groped more frequently by Japanese women (usually in the course of making a comment about how big western breasts are). Again, this isn't really something that is shameful or condemned in the society.

And in this light, homosexuality seems to be quite tolerated in the society. Compared to the US, it seems LGBT folks in Japan have it made, at least on a superficial view.

But then that ignores some facts about Japanese culture, namely the strongly Confucian cultural (note, Japanese has no explicit Confucian religious presence to speak of) requirement for people to have traditional families. This leads to a sort of mentality where one can play however they want, but they better damn well get married to someone of the opposite sex and have kids for their parents. I have heard of one case where a Japanese lesbian I knew broke down crying on the revelation that it was possible to have a lesbian lifestyle- i.e. it wasn't necessary to bottle up her feelings for the sake of fulfilling her familial duties.

So for myopic Americans who forget that the rest of the world exists, yeah, it's easy to think that the only opposition to homosexuality comes from Christianity. But ultimately homophobia comes from anyone concerned about previously-established gender norms. Those gender norms are going to be established differently from society to society, but they're there.

Sure, look to parts of the middle east, where homosexuality is punishable by the death sentence, but from 'our' perspective, the US does seem pretty rough.

I'm sure there was a poll recently, and the most common response from 16-25s when asked to supply a phrase to sum on Christianity was 'anti-gay'.

If your religion is coming across as that being the most important vocal part of your faith, you have a problem.

However, I've always maintained that a huge number of those who call themselves Christians manage to be far less Christ-like than many athiests. In terms of not being judgemental, kindness to your fellow man, charity, etc.

SenseOfTumour:
I'm sure there was a poll recently, and the most common response from 16-25s when asked to supply a phrase to sum on Christianity was 'anti-gay'.

Well, it's a tad bit better than the old term 'anti-women'. They're slowly narrowing the percentage of the population that they're against. Soon they'll shrink it down to a more specific group. Something like "we don't mind gay guys, but we're totally against lesbians" or something like that.

BTW, can you cite that poll? Thanks.

Frozen Fox:
I understand that people oppose gay rights in all places but why does it feel like it is mainly American Christians that make a huge deal out of it?

I know they have large Christian / Abrahamic populations in other places but at least as far as first world nations go only the USA appears to care any idea as to why?

Don't just throw around "as far as first world nations go" and proceed without first explaining a) why you don't consider gay rights in not-first-world-nations ("they don't count" isn't a valid excuse), b) what differentiates the US from the rest of first world nations.

Now, can you guess what the US has in common with not-first-world-nations in contrast to, say, Europe? May be something to do with religion?

im a Christian but i don't care wearver your gay or not but usa i guess they less open about it

Some east european countries are rather backwards about it as well, but america is the most vocal about it.

Well, as i understand it, the U.S was pretty much founded by English puritans who wanted to escape Europe's religious tolerance and the secularish aristocracies/autocracies of Europe. The culture of that still survives somewhat today, particularly in the historically agricultural states.

Frozen Fox:
I understand that people oppose gay rights in all places but why does it feel like it is mainly American Christians that make a huge deal out of it?

I know they have large Christian / Abrahamic populations in other places but at least as far as first world nations go only the USA appears to care any idea as to why?

The most vocal anti-gay Christians in the US are the Baptists and the Evangelicals, two denominations which are pretty unique to the US. They are known for both being Bible literalists and for being extremely conservative. Many of them are the exact same churches who, nearly 150 years ago, were using the Bible to try and legitimize their right to have slaves during the Civil War. They are, and have basically always been, the extremely conservative and protestant Christian region of the country.

And it has gotten them in trouble pretty much every generation since the Civil War. Once they lost the Civil War, they fought to keep black people from being citizens or owning property or voting. Then the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments passed. Then in the early 1900s women wanted the right to vote, they fought that too. Then the 19th amendment passed. Then after World War II they fought to keep the Jim Crow Laws, like segregation and poll taxes. Then Brown v. Board of Education and the 24th amendment took care of those. Then they worked to fight interracial marriages, but as the black conservative churches have significantly grown in numbers and power they got pushed to the back as well (though even those churches still carry with them the message of militant conservatism, the same kind of conservatism that kept them from being recognized as humans for so long).

The conservative south has been losing battles since their first loss with the Civil War. And every single time the "liberals" have "ganged up on them" and forced them to lose. Every single time they claimed they were right, that their position was the most moral, the most God-like, and the most American. And every single time they were struck down. I think if I were on the losing end of a battle for that long, I'd be a little grumpy and vocal too.

But this is sort of one of their last battlefields, in a way. As far as I can see, there isn't too much left for them to fight, apart from maybe polygamy when society grows up enough to be able to talk about it like adults. Well, that is things for them to fight that the constitution doesn't explicitly say they can't put into law.

So that's how I see it, anyway. 150 years of losing out to "liberal" ideas has made the South very hard and very united in their efforts to not lose every battle they've ever engaged in. Though now it is abundantly clear that their extremism is going to be the very nail that seals their coffin at the end of this battle. They are running off any moderates who might have stayed on the sidelines, or even sided with them had they been more civil. It's only a matter of time, now.

theonewhois3:
Well, as i understand it, the U.S was pretty much founded by English puritans who wanted to escape Europe's religious tolerance and the secularish aristocracies/autocracies of Europe. The culture of that still survives somewhat today, particularly in the historically agricultural states.

Old joke:
"Q: Why did the English ship the Puritans to America, and the convicts to Australia?
A: Australia got first choice."

aPod:
I don't like being generalized, but even I cannot deny much of what is being said here.

arbane:
I think it's because Christians in America have largely given up on all that feed-the-poor, shelter-the-homeless, all-men-are-brothers, peace-to-all communist hippie bullshit, so they've had to retrench to what's REALLY important - Other People's Sex Lives.

*Hangs head*

This is exactly what I mean, and even though I would love to change your mind based on my own politics and religion I doubt anyone really cares when there obviously is this odd majority of pro-war, pro-im-watching-you-have-sex-and-judging-you, small government Christians.

Sorry, I should've said "it's because the loudest and most politically active sects of Christians in America etc" Given that one of my favorite bloggers is a Liberal Evangelical Christian who's quite unhappy that the bigots are holding Jesus prisoner in the GOP's basement, I should know better than to do that.

Well, in the US at least it is still legal to be gay, unlike some other countries I could name.

However, I do wish things would improve here, and I would hope social conservatives would wake up and face the music that yes gay people are going to be legally allowed to marry here sooner or later.

Not G. Ivingname:
Well, in the US at least it is still legal to be gay, unlike some other countries I could name.

However, I do wish things would improve here, and I would hope social conservatives would wake up and face the music that yes gay people are going to be legally allowed to marry here sooner or later.

Gay marriage will end up the same as interracial marriage. The anti-gay crowd will fight it for as long as they can until the Supreme Court eventually just flat-out tells them to cut that shit out, then they'll just begrudgingly accept it and move on to hating whatever minority they can think of next.

Frozen Fox:
I know they have large Christian / Abrahamic populations in other places but at least as far as first world nations go only the USA appears to care any idea as to why?

They're most vocal about it. I'm from the Netherlands, but where I'm from, hatred against homosexuals it the norm. The dominant religious group there are reformists, who to summarize them in short, hate and forbid a lot, accept little, adhere rigidly and modernise not. If you live in such a village it is a claustrophobic world of hatred against everything that's banned by the faith, and the backward status of such places can be compared to regular Americans vs rednecks.

In addition, in major cities, gangs of immigrants make a habit out of waging campaigns of violence against homosexual couples. In 2011 alone, in Utrecht (population 350.000), 23 couples were forced to sell their house and move as a result of such intimidation, and the police doesn't do a thing about it because spineless socialists who generally rule city councils in large cities have to mind their Islamic voters (most of those gangs are mainly of Moroccan descent).


But while there's horrible things like that, in many circles it's accepted, and for all their influence, immigrant gangs and extremist religious fundamentalists are a minority whose influence is quite limited in regards to the country as a whole. The reformist party for instance holds only 2 out of 150 seats in parliament and will never grow to 3.

But for instance in the media and the public sphere, expressions of homophobic hatred are not quite so open, because of the hostile reaction of the general public to that. Going on television and going "Yeah, dem gays are evil and should be glad we allow them to live" like in the US is a guarantee for a national shitstorm against that person. For instance former prostitute, drug addict and born again Christian Yvette Lont did such a thing, arguing homosexuality is a disease that can be cured through prayer, and she became pretty much the laughingstock of the nation for weeks. Some attempts were made to take legal action against 'gay healing' scams she organises.


So to summarize, I think the homophobic people aren't different from the US to other countries, but the attitude towards religious privilege and hatespeech is. In the US, open and covert hatespeech is accepted, and religious privilege is the norm. In many other countries, normal decency in what one says is the norm, and breaching that is generally regarded as a bad idea.

Frozen Fox:
I understand that people oppose gay rights in all places but why does it feel like it is mainly American Christians that make a huge deal out of it?

I know they have large Christian / Abrahamic populations in other places but at least as far as first world nations go only the USA appears to care any idea as to why?

Not really i found a french "News" site where i could read some far right people bashing gays. Our far right isn't keen of gay rights either. But i guess the difference is that the subject just doesn't get as much attention in general. (and usually the anti-gay rights are in minority and can thus be ignored)

I've had the privilege of living in one of Europe's most pro gay rights (is there a better way of saying that. there must be) countries (Finland) and now live in one of the most anti gay rights countries (Italy), and I genuinely think that the USA is better simply because they talk about it. Sure there is a very vocal anti-gay religious movement but at least it's considered newsworthy enough to be out in the open. It can be debated. And such a loud and nasty movement against something is bound to create an opposite force to oppose it. Here in Southern Italy it's never spoken about, not because people are tolerant but because they are so intolerant that they refuse to believe that it exists on their doorstep. People have said to me that there are no 'gays' in Southern Italy. Some of my students asked me if I'd ever met a gay person in Britain, and when I answered that I have many gay friends they were shocked and disgusted. Intelligent young people. It just makes me so sad.

Unfortunately there's intolerance everywhere in some form or another. Going back to Finland, despite being incredibly open-minded about sexuality, gender-equality etc etc it's one of the most racist places I've ever lived in. You just can't escape it.

CAMDAWG:
It's probably just you. In Australia, the "debate" over gay marriage has nothing to do with vocal US groups from either side. Instead, we have our own advocates, and our own bigoted religious right wing. Just recently you may have seen that a group of doctors came out and said that gay marriages are unhealthy for children (although I'm fairly sure that the studies they quoted actually compared a nuclear-type family to a single parent family). Those guys are full of shit, but they exist, and one of them was the head of an equality commission board thing.

The only reason why it seems like it's just the US, is because they're still the world superpower, and so they get more news coverage.

See that's interesting, because every time one of these cockwaddlers slimes their way into the limelight over here in the UK, you can guaran-damn-tee that they're being backed by an "advocacy group" run by, or instituted by, batshit-insane US dominionist zealots.

That sandy-vag'd old crone Nadine Dorries is the latest one to spring up, pushing abstinence-only sex-ed for girls, drastically restricting access to abortions, and all the other assaults on women's rights and Enlightenment ideals that Americans are all too familiar with, and there's a reason for that familiarity; it's the same anti-gay cunts feeding her funds and policy ideas as the ones doing the same for the Republican party in the USA, and sending missionaries to Africa to stir up the ignorant locals to burn "witches"(commonly known elsewhere as "children") and lobbying to make homosexuality punishable by death.

These people aren't content to stay within the borders of the USA, they're well-funded, and they are as determined as any 9/11 hijacker, they simply realised that exploiting ignorance through propaganda and corrupt political systems through "lobbying"(commonly known everywhere except political and journalistic institutions as "bribery") are more effective ways of achieving your goals than blowing yourself up in a cafe.

Even though it happened not long ago, I can't even remember a big deal in Canada being made about gay marriage. I really can't. Maybe there wasn't? If I had to fashion a guess as to where the current movements in Christianity in the USA started at, I'd say it'd be the religious right that evolved in the late 70s through the 80s. They just never left.

I'd just like to take this post to point out that in many of the eastern european countries there's an almost extreme hatred of GLBTQ people and activism taking place and this hatred mainly stems from conservative and right-wing groups that aren't religious.

These are also the countries where skinheads attack pride parades without the police intervening (the baltic states) or the police breaking up a pride parade and arresting many of the participants (Russia).

To me it would seem as religion is just another excuse to be intolerant against those with GLBTQ-orientation. The die-hard conservatives in the USA would probably hate us even if they couldn't fall back on christianity, just like the nationalists and conservatives in the eastern bloc already do.

Pingieking:

SenseOfTumour:
I'm sure there was a poll recently, and the most common response from 16-25s when asked to supply a phrase to sum on Christianity was 'anti-gay'.

Well, it's a tad bit better than the old term 'anti-women'. They're slowly narrowing the percentage of the population that they're against. Soon they'll shrink it down to a more specific group. Something like "we don't mind gay guys, but we're totally against lesbians" or something like that.

BTW, can you cite that poll? Thanks.

No idea if this is the one, or how reliable it is but:

When asked for one word to primarily describe Christianity, 91% of young non-Christians answer "antihomosexual." So do 80% of Christians.

The poll results themselves seem to be documented in this book (amazon.com link)

Heh, I'd found this on USA Today, but seems Amnestic above me found the original poll I must have been talking about, I think I saw it on twitter recently, so a 2007 poll probably wouldnt be the one.

It's bad news for religion that many younger Christians don't even want to be known as that, because of the negative connotations, however.

There's enough denominations of Christianity, why not make room for one more, one where Jesus is the centre of it, instead of the Old Testament God? One where love, respect and peace are the teachings instead of God says people who love each other can't get married if some people feel squicky about their bedroom activities?

Then all you need is to somehow get publicity, which isn't easy, because of course, the media's only interested in religious folks who do nutty or evil stuff, not the majority who are just regular people.

I just find it amazing that with all that's wrong in the world today, gay marriage is even a top ten issue, never mind something that could actually swing who gets the post of President of the USA.

SenseOfTumour:
There's enough denominations of Christianity, why not make room for one more, one where Jesus is the centre of it, instead of the Old Testament God? One where love, respect and peace are the teachings instead of God says people who love each other can't get married if some people feel squicky about their bedroom activities?

Then all you need is to somehow get publicity, which isn't easy, because of course, the media's only interested in religious folks who do nutty or evil stuff, not the majority who are just regular people.

I just find it amazing that with all that's wrong in the world today, gay marriage is even a top ten issue, never mind something that could actually swing who gets the post of President of the USA.

A lot of churches are already reforming, slowly but surely. Apart from the most extremely conservative churches, the rest are slowly changing with the times. I think at this point it's more or less just a matter of that older generation dying out and the newer one taking up more leadership positions. Again it is a very slow change, those older more conservative churchgoers can be very fragile things. I've heard of old people leaving a church because they got new carpet or new lights in the sanctuary.

But those more conservative churches are really overstepping their boundaries now, just as they did long ago with the issues of racial and gender equality. Now that they're having to spew their bile in the open to defend it, things are getting old fast, and when the election comes around I'm pretty confident they'll be shown just how insignificant they really are in the grand scheme of things. Plus, their antics gives these new churches and new ideas a chance to shine.

I think the next 10-20 years are going to be very interesting for Christianity in America. I can't really speak for the Catholic Church, as far as I can tell they've pretty much got the system rigged against any sort of change, reform, or self-examination. I think eventually they'll hit a point where they'll have to give on something, probably their stance on women first just to keep their numbers up. But since it took nearly 500 years for them to fully apologize for how mean they were to Galileo when he proved the earth rotates around the sun, it will probably be at least 50 years or more before they even start to consider changing their mind on women (unless things get really, really bad really quick).

Strangely , like the public image of video games and gamers as some strange anti social thing that breeds serial killers, I think the unpopular and, imo, sillier parts of Christianity, the no women priests, the no gay marriage, etc, will die out and be replaced as certain generations die out and are replaced.

We're just moving into an era where some of our politicians, journalists and movie makers grew up with video games, and know that they're essentially a harmless but fascinating form of entertainment, and next generation there'll be even more, and most of the older gen who believe pong is a murder simulator will be gone.

Same goes for Christianity, they can hang on to outdated opinions and ideas, if they're desperate to, but they'll find themselves shrinking to nothing more than an old people's club grumbling about young people and what they get up to.

Make it about simple good and evil, and hey, anyone can get behind that.

In fact to me, it's quite funny, that given the whole intelligent design part of the fundamentalist Christians, it's the religion actually evolving that will enable it to survive.

One thing that could be done to move things along is kill tax breaks on religious organisations such as churches that promote inequality. Yeah, I'm sure you love God, but how many thousands of dollars do you love Him?

Just coming from my upbringing where you see the near infinite riches of the Catholic Church and the Vatican, and they're asking little old ladies to give up their pension money to pay for repairs to the church roof. Get the pope to sell some of the art cluttering up the Vatican instead, I'm sure there's something about riches, camels and needles, although of course a very rich man can buy one hell of a quality liquidiser.

SenseOfTumour:

There's enough denominations of Christianity, why not make room for one more, one where Jesus is the centre of it, instead of the Old Testament God?

As a christian.
*facepalm*
Last I remember jesus said to love and tolerate everyone.

lapan:
Some east european countries are rather backwards about it as well, but america is the most vocal about it.

I'd like to think that it's because we're the youngest 'large, major world power' on the planet so all eyes have been on us for the past hundreds of years. We just SEEM the most vocal because we're getting the most attention, not because we make the most noise but because everyone is already focused on America to begin with.

So much focus is put on American evangelicals because they are such a powerful lobby group when it comes to US politics. But in terms of homophobic people Christians as a whole are not the most hostile group. In some games I play people are way more extreme in their homophobia and rarely mention religion unless it is to insult muslims. So if gamers got together and became a huge lobby group I could easily see them being a bigger publicly perceived "anti-gay" movement.

More Fun To Compute:
So much focus is put on American evangelicals because they are such a powerful lobby group when it comes to US politics. But in terms of homophobic people Christians as a whole are not the most hostile group. In some games I play people are way more extreme in their homophobia and rarely mention religion unless it is to insult muslims. So if gamers got together and became a huge lobby group I could easily see them being a bigger publicly perceived "anti-gay" movement.

What? You mean the "other" group that is superficially dissimilar to the most prominent demographic here isn't entirely to blame? You mean a group of people who superficially resemble the majority of people on this forum may also be to blame? Shocking! [sarcasm]

Good post man. It very much needed to be said. I just hope you make like the guy in your avatar and put on a helmet. Given the way things go on this forum I can't imagine many people will have nice things to say about your post.

More Fun To Compute:
So much focus is put on American evangelicals because they are such a powerful lobby group when it comes to US politics. But in terms of homophobic people Christians as a whole are not the most hostile group. In some games I play people are way more extreme in their homophobia and rarely mention religion unless it is to insult muslims. So if gamers got together and became a huge lobby group I could easily see them being a bigger publicly perceived "anti-gay" movement.

Last I checked, the harassment gamers engage in pretty much stays online and anonymous. They don't actually go out and beat gay people within an inch of their lives, or use political influence to legally decrease their value as humans, and encourage others to do the same to their faces. Yes gamers do spew a lot of bile, but it is not anywhere near as powerful, as calculated, or as ambitious the bile spewed by the extreme evangelicals. Gamers looking to harass people will shoot at anything that moves, and they usually won't put a lot of money into it. The church literally wants gay people to go away and not be recognized as people, and they will not hesitate to spend a lot of money and a lot of time making it so.

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