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An Essay on the Problem with Society.

Joshua Michail

27 February, 2012

Click here to view and download the PDF version of this essay.

        I have a few gay friends, some of whom are open about their sexuality. And why not? There is nothing to hide, nothing about it of which to be ashamed. Some time ago one of my gay friends confided in me that he had attempted suicide. I've only known him for a few years now and, the whole time that I've known him, he has been open and comfortable with himself. I won't tell you his name, since that is none of your business. But, he told me that his attempt to take his life was a few decades ago, and I seriously doubt he'd consider it now. He's a middle-aged man, I think he was probably a teen or in his 20's when he tried to kill himself. Luckily he didn't succeed at that, but the sad thing is that the pressure-point that caused him to try was the conflict between society and his sexual orientation.

A picture of Clint Eastwood with a quote attributed to him as his opinion on same-sex marriage. "These people who are making a big deal out of gay marriage? I don't give a fuck about who wants to get married to anybody else. We're making a big deal out of things we shouldn't be making a big deal out of. They go on and on with all this bullshit about 'sanctity.' Don't give me that sanctity crap! Just give everybody the chance to have the life they want."        As a heterosexual person I had a difficult time understanding, at first, why it seems that suicide attempts are more common among gay people. But, with some time, having heard and read, enough stories about it, I now get it. Even if one is lucky enough to have avoided direct bullying, the pervasive attitude in our society is that homosexuality is "wrong" or "abnormal". I say 'direct bullying' because of the wide-spread social normative, the idea that being other than heterosexual is strange, or queer, or something  deserving of disapproval. The constant harassment about being a homosexual would obviously be quite depressing. And depression is one of the most common drivers to suicide.
        This social normative is not healthy, for neither the individual or the society, and it needs to be corrected already. It's plainly wrong and it is a heinous and shameful idea. Our culture, our society, marginalizes people a little too easily. This deeply ingrained adverse posture of the whole of our culture and society is a de-facto bullying. It's a sort of auto-bullying, a very real and unacceptable oppression.

        Heterosexuality is not “normal”. It is merely more commonplace. Of course biological reproduction, in mammals like humans, requires heterosexual intercourse. But, no person chooses whether to be gay or straight. The idea that 'heterosexuality is preferable' is disgraceful primitive bigotry. It wrongly implies that a person's worth is necessarily connected with his or her desire to propagate our species. Yet, clearly with homosexuality being in the minority, and with our exceedingly unnecessary and excessive numbers, pinning a person's value to his/her potential reproduction is ridiculous. There are very dangerous archaic ideologies that underpin this social retardation. This evil thought and the ignorance that is accomplice to it will continue to hold humanity back. And worse, it will continue to be a destructive force.
A graphic explaining what biblical marriages are, according to the bible. These biblically acceptable marriages include: "a man and his dead brother's widow", "a man and many wives and concubines too", "a rapist and his victim", "a man, his wives, and their slaves", "a man and his virgin female prisoner of war", among some other scenarios.
        Among the worst offenders, the proprietors of this filth, of this immoral disregard for life are the Catholic church and the evangelicals. With their broad influence and propaganda they still have such a dangerous power on society as a whole. In deed, they have maintained, to this day, a formidable grip on the reins of social influence. But, it's certainly possible to pry our society and our culture from their poisonous fingers, one by one. We can no longer tolerate the evil. For example, the Pope has willfully spread lies  in order to crush innocent, desperate people and enslave them to a life of obedience to his will. The Pope actually instructed the priests and other church officials to tell the people of Africa that condoms increase the risk of getting Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The claim that condoms increase the risk of spreading HIV is a blatant and dangerous lie. [This link goes to a video of Stephen Fry in a debate talking about the issue.] The Catholic church went even further in extorting the people. The Pope imposed a requirement for Africans to swear to never use condoms or else they would not receive food and other aid from the church. This is the same church that tells innocent people that because they are homosexual they will burn in hell. The same church that covers up for and protects their priests after they have raped children. And the evangelicals, in America, agree with the Catholics that homosexual people will burn in their made-up “hell”.

        But, when society's views change enough and that change becomes more and more normal the churches stop having the power to oppress the people in that society. We can do something about the problem. In this particular case the disgraceful attitude toward innocent people based on the very trivial notion of their sexual orientation. We can make changes in the culture and the society. Eventually the churches will lose their death-grip on our society's throats. The more civilized, the more inclusive and egalitarian a society becomes the healthier and stronger that society becomes. We can be sure that the suicide rate among our young and among homosexual people will drop significantly when our culture shifts to, not just “tolerant”, but a more accepting and respectful normative. To some extent “tolerance” is the rule now, yet, to be honest, tolerance means to grudgingly put up with something. The cultural normative must be changed to not treating people as if homosexuals are equal to heterosexuals, but rather to actually realizing that we both are equals. This change will be slow, because it can only happen one changed mind at a time. But, it is our civic and human duty to make that change happen.

Copyright 2012 by Joshua Michail
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