See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Saturday, July 02, 2011

"Why do these words sound so nasty?"



I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me god.

In the name of the father, the son, and the holy ghost. Amen.

Sodomy
Fellatio
Cunnilingus
Pederasty

Father, why do these words sound so nasty?

Masturbation
Can be fun
Join the holy orgy
Kama Sutra
Everyone!

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Vile words.
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Now that Gay Pride month is over, I've been getting a couple of emails with photos of gay pride parades, and of course I've run across the same on one or two news portals and websites. The stuff 'they' do in their parades and carnivals is very celebratory and definitely gay all the way, as well as very theatrical, very Broadway, and very much reminding me of the Broadway musical Hair.  As a toddler (what?) I saw the original cast version on Broadway way back when.  I thought it was very cool but kind of lame - people pretending to be hippies - I was never one to take musicals seriously.  In fact, I've just mentioned two things I dislike the most; parades - any parade, and musicals - although there have been exceptions in that category (Springtime For Hitler).
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Gay people, those who promote the lifestyle and engage in homosexual behavior, hate the word sodomy - just like many more people hate the act, there seem to be a growing number of people today who really hate the word.  It reminds me of the parody from Hair - the song entitled Sodomy - the lyrics are at top.  It was meant to shock in those days, just as it was meant to exorcise the shamefulness of the act.  Today sodomy is not only associated with homosexual practice, it has been a successful sexual alternative to vaginal sex for heterosexuals who wish to avoid unwanted pregnancy.  Basketball players have been accused of that type of behavior in rape cases, as was the former president of the IMF, Dominique Straus-Kahn.  And some kids seem to be able to engage in it while claiming to retain their virginity, 'since it's not really sex'.  Creepy.
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So anyway.  Why does the sodomy word sound so nasty?
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For one, because what it connotes is nasty.  The lyrics from the song is sophomoric titillation, sung by a teen character just 'turning on'.  It's naive and meant to be funny as well - if you're 10 years old.  The musical as a whole wasn't really all that naive however.  It actually unearthed from the 'underground culture' of the time, all the stuff the establishment's moral code had up until the age of chemical contraception deemed unspeakable.  Kids were experimenting with drugs and sex and alternative lifestyles with greater license because of the pill.  Free-love - a concept that emerged amongst the early 20th century Bohemians - Margaret Sanger amongst them.  Hair is an example of how theater affects morality and politics in ways not always so subtle - although it is often dismissed as just 'entertainment'.   But I digress.
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PC vs. not PC.
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I'm not sure why gay activists and gay people hate the sodomite word so much.  On some level, contempt for the word has led gay Scriptural exegetes to attempt to change the meaning of the Biblical account of the destruction of Sodom and Gonorrhea (just kidding with that name!) to say that the cities of the plane were destroyed pretty much due to the inhospitality of the inhabitants.  Maybe it's a bit more complicated than that - but they've down played the sodomy aspect.  Even though most people would consider being sodomized by their hosts to be rather inhospitable.  I know!
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The lyrics of the Sodomy song from Hair ask why these words sound so nasty - while there is a not so subtle rebellion against Christian faith within the framework of the scene.  The young character pretends to be praying, using the 'nasty words' in a sort of ritualized chant, ending with an invitation to a communal orgy.  I see gay pride heading that way.  One of the photos a reader sent me shows a guy - most probably straight, dressed in costume for the parade, wearing a t-shirt sign, "I'm gay for today".  I think the gay thing is moving towards to what could become just such a sexually-fluid event like that - even if only engaged in during the carnival atmosphere of gay pride.  Media is getting close to promoting it as trend.  Therefore I think it reasonable to suggest that we're actually in Sodom to some extent.  Again, I digress. 
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So what is it?
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Nevertheless, I still have not figured out why sodomite is so offensive to gay people and those who like to sodomize their friends as a means of welcoming them or 'loving' them?   (Doesn't that sound radical though?)  Is it just because it is condemned in the Bible?  Or that there used to be laws on the books against sodomy?  Spiritual writers use the term in the Biblical sense and it is quite appropriate to do so.  Do people who engage in sodomy find it offensive?  If so, what does that say about their conscience - if anything?  (I must add I'm not judging anyone.)  Over eaters are gluttons.  Habitual drunks are alcoholics.  They usually can't overcome these things until they admit, or acknowledge these facts.  Therefore, is objection to the word sodomite just another form of denial?
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I don't know what other people think - but I too find the word nasty - but that's because I think the act is disgusting - no matter who is doing it.  It is what it is. 
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Now having said all of that, there is the real issue that today not a few people use the word in language that is purposely meant to hurt and denigrate the humanity of anyone who appears to have homosexual tendencies.  It is used to shame and condemn the person; 'hate the sin and not the sinner' is the rule of thumb, but there are many people who use the word out contempt for the person.  They use other more vile terms as well.  What to do about it?
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I don't know.
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Disclaimer:  This post is not intended to offend.
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Photo:  Scene from Hair

25 comments:

  1. It isn't "gay theologians" only who interpret the biblical account of Sodom differently. There is a Rabbinical tradition going all the way back to the Talmud that also expounds upon the traditional Protestant definition that American Catholics have swallowed wholesale. (The Protestants, you know, don't like critical exegesis.) :)

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  2. "Over the centuries, the Church has often issued decrees defending Catholic morality. Among these decrees more than one has condemned the practice of homosexuality. Until recent years, however, the more common term used by the Church was “sodomy” and not homosexuality.

    The reason for the shift in vocabulary has been mainly the widespread denial that sodomy is anywhere formally condemned by Sacred Scripture. Another reason is that homosexuality has become so prevalent in the modern world that one psychological science after another has developed a library of literature defending the practice of homosexuality".

    John Hardon SJ

    I know! Hate speech, hate speech! Let 'er rip!!!

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  3. Thanks Thom. "119 "It is the task of exegetes to work, according to these rules, towards a better understanding and explanation of the meaning of Sacred Scripture in order that their research may help the Church to form a firmer judgement. For, of course, all that has been said about the manner of interpreting Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgement of the Church which exercises the divinely conferred commission and ministry of watching over and interpreting the Word of God."88"

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  4. Thanks Maria - I agree with you and Fr. Hardon. One reason he is always a good source for information is that he published a catechism as well.

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  5. YAHTZEE.

    "Do people who engage in sodomy find it offensive? If so, what does that say about their conscience - if anything?"

    I can respond to this if you want, but it'd entail some thoughts/words not used in polite society. Lemme know.

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  6. michael r.5:41 PM

    Well, I guess this is what I survived my hospital ordeal for…lol I would never publish this kind of thing, but it’s your space, not mine. While I have the chance, I did want to thank some of your readers for the prayers. In particular, I wanted to mention something to Maria. Three weeks ago, when Iwas wheeled into surgery, and asked to help move over to the actual operating table, I distinctly heard someone say the name “ John Hardon”. I assumed there must be an assisting doctor or nurse with that name,or perhaps it was the name of another patient. (Truth be known, I also had a personal friend with that same name who died in this same facility about 20 years ago, so who knows. At any rate, I immediately said out loud “ bone cancer” and launched into my Trappist compline. I felt as if someone was there holding my hand, for what it is worth. Thank you Maria! I subsequently said the rosary for you and your intentions. I had two priests anoint me, one with an apostolic pardon---one a terrific young priest who Fr. Z has highlighted in the recent past. It feels as if I am headed for another recovery but I have a lot going on. I had both radiation seeds and chemo wafers implanted into the brain, and I will begin yet another type of chemo in a few weeks. I am fine with all, as nothing matters but God alone….and the young priest heard a very thorough confession going back many years and I know I am receiving the Holy Eucharist in a state of grace. Thanks again and may God bless you

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  7. michael r., what a grace. prayers for your continued healing.

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  8. Oh my God, Michael R: I have goose bumps... How perfectly wonderful!You are so kind. Thank you for praying for me in the midst of your suffering. I truly have prayed for you (rosaries as well) and asked Fr. Hardon to intercede on your behalf. It seems as if he has. I am SO glad for you. And, yes, Michael, only Jesus, only Jesus..It truly is a marvel how interconnected we are, through his love, yes? Let's keep the prayers going for each other...May he bless you and keep you, Michael.This is for you--Ortega sings Give Me Jesus:

    http://youtu.be/-N3KPA9ltQE

    Doughboy, lol.

    Terry; This quotation introduces his catechism. It is superb, isn't it? Did I spell catechism right? It is SO hot in DC/MD I cannot think straight. Terry, where is your quotation from?

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  9. Michael: Here is the live version of Give Me Jesus. I like this better.

    http://youtu.be/l1O_Jf_fdkI

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  10. Terry--

    You don't like musicals?? i spent one summer while in college doing engineering work for summer musical theatre. It was a BLAST!! Plus sure did meet some rather ahem INTERESTING people :) I designed lighted costumes and motorized sheep halos for Joseph and the Amazing
    Technicolor Dreamcoat..rather interesting addition to my engineering resume :)

    Sara

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  11. Michael - this is so - I don't know what. BUT - I've been praying for you all day and also during my holy hour. Then I thought I must send him an email and here you are. You are in such a good place right now - I'll unite my prayer to yours all the time now.

    Sorry about the post though Michael - it's a slow weekend - everyone is on holiday and so I do what I can for the shut-ins like Doughboy and Maria and Thom. ;)

    Seriously, don't you guys think about stuff like this? I do.

    DB - go ahead, spill your guts - no one reads this blog anyway.

    Sara - no - I'm not fond of musicals, never have been - movies or stage - but everytime I've been in NYC people have given me tickets to see them - I've seen a ton. I like the celebrities however, and some of the songs. The sets and costumes are nice too. Well, maybe I do kind of like them. I'm just not sure any more.

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  12. DB - no bad language however. This is a respectable blog.

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  13. We are glad you are shut in with us, Terry ;-)

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  14. An anonymous commenter had this to say:

    The problem with gay pride is that they celebrate sexuality; not just any sexuality, but deviant sexuality. And it isn't just that they celebrate it, they bring it to the streets and engage in public displays of nudity and sexual behavior that would get them arrested at other times. In addition, parents who bring their children to these overt displays don't get investigated for child endangerment, so really, there's a huge double standard at play.

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  15. I'm so happy to "meet" another person who hates musicals, although I bet you don't hate them as much as I do. Why is it people don't think a trip to New York is complete with taking in a musical? Yuk.

    Michael r, I did not know of your recent surgery and trials. I, too, will keep you in my prayers.

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  16. And I agree with your anonymous commenter about the displays of lewdness and indecency at so-called Pride parades.

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  17. I LOVE musicals, lol! My father used to love to sing and often led all of in song at the beach, in the evenings, on the porch. My friends, my brothers friends, their friends,OOOOOOOOOKLAMHOMAAAAA. My father was so charismatic and so much fun that even people who didn't like to sing and didn't like musicals ended up loving both!

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  18. Re: gay pride parades...

    parents really need to research this stuff out...these aren't Christmas parades with clowns and ponies, and balloons with Santa Claus at the end...

    The very theme of the parade should give them a clue..

    Don't blame the parade participants...if parents don't want their children seeing stuff like that then don't take them to the parade...

    It's like taking your kids to a R rated or PG-13 movie then complaining about the "adult-themed" content...

    Sara

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  19. Michael r--

    Will lift up your intentions at Mass in the am...


    Sara

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  20. honeybee4:07 AM

    Another musical hater here. I blame it on my parents. When I was a kid, the only records we had in the house were Broadway musicals. I absolutely *loathe* them now. Thomas Pynchon, in his novel "Vineland" has a character who is threatened with torture - it's called "The Torture of a 1000 Broadway Showtunes." I can relate.

    On language: indeed these words are nasty. One of my pet peeves is also the word "suck". This is an incredibly vile and dirty word that has become common, but when I was young (not so many, many years ago), it was shorthand for a very vulgar obscenity.

    I shudder in revulsion every time I hear this or see it in print.

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  21. I don't blame the parade participants for what some idiot parent brought their children to see, but I do blame them for public lewdness and indecency that is excused in the name of "pride". Pride in what?

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  22. Aceman11:48 AM

    So I guess that means you won't being going to see "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" Terry? ;-)

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  23. Ace - I saw a set on the Tony's - I wouldn't like it. I did see the original film however. CeCe Penniston was on the sound track - 'Finally'.

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  24. Anonymous1:31 PM

    what a gay man thinks about the word 'sodomy' (a gay man who practices it and sees nothing wrong with it) is that the word is offensive. and it's offensive for all the reasons thom has enumerated, and probably more.
    but what a gay man thinks about the *practice* of it, is really only how it feels. and it feels pretty darn good w/the right lube. especially if you're high. and from an emotional standpoint, you really do (especially when you're high) feel 'united' to that person. of course, how could you not when you so - ahem - intimate.
    the only time i have to say engaging in sodomy (buttf^ck!ng) gave me pause, was the time i pulled out and i had sh!t on my dick. (naturally, i was barebacking). i had hit a "speed bump" you see. and while my partner said "oh sorry, honey - here's a towel" and i wiped it off, and i tried to shrug it off, i was grossed out. but of course i took it in stride. things happen. after all, it was bound to happen. but then a couple days later i started having severe stomach cramps followed by diarrhea. i had contracted shigella. the bar/restaurant where i worked was shut down by the city health department for 7 days, and all employees had to submit stool samples, as it's very contagious.

    isn't that great?

    now let's go be out & proud about that. //sarcasm off//.

    /signed/
    a former proud gay man turned penitent.

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  25. This is why I adore Abbey Roads: the elevated conversation and charming anecdotes. :-)

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