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Elspeth
07-27-2012, 08:37 PM
The Chronicle of Higher Ed (affectionately known as CHE) has a curmudgeonly professor who is a top commenter on all posts dealing with homosexuality and morality. His name is Robert Oscar Lopez, and he's a professor of literature at Cal State Northridge, just outside of Los Angeles. He identifies as a bisexual male but has married a woman and has a daughter. He is a Christian (by conversion) and was in support of Mark Regnerus's study of gay parents that has been so controversial.

I often wondered how he got to where he got, and he posted on that today. In a reply to another professor's article "Should Atheists Reach Out to Christians?", Lopez tells his life story:


http://chronicle.com/blogs/brainstorm/should-atheists-reach-out-to-christians/50385

...When I was a young man and immersed in the gay male subculture of the Bronx, I convinced myself that Christians were wrong to demand that people resist temptations. I defined such notions as inherently intolerant. I sliced and diced the New Testament, choosing to elevate the scriptures that showed Christ as someone who didn't judge, gave people free food and comfort, and forgave people for everything they might do. It was a way of convincing myself that my behavior was okay. For a time I worked the door at a gay sex club, so I was literally making money off of orgies where men were giving each other HIV. Later I had an epiphany and realized that the importance of sexual self-control, moral restraint, and submission to God's faith was inseparable from the forgiving nature of Christ. I eventually had my conversion experience. My life became infinitely better once I understood that Christ meant us to be forgiving to others but to be demanding of ourselves. I learned to be comforting and charitable toward my friends who were dying of AIDs, while discouraging the same behavior in others and in myself. The discipline saved me from what would have otherwise been a spiral into unhappiness, drugs, and human loss. Science can't really pull all those dilemmas together--it can help us with data, but ultimately the deeper meaning is something we have to find for ourselves. I am convinced Christians have access to the deeper meaning. But of course I am biased. I am a dogmatic Christian...

From everything I have been told, being gay is not a reversible condition. (Neither is being straight, for that matter). Any thoughts on this?

Elspeth
07-27-2012, 08:50 PM
Some links to his other comments:

Re: Regnerus



http://chronicle.com/blogs/percolator/controversial-gay-parenting-study-is-severely-flawed-journals-audit-finds/30255

Wow, the lynch mob moved quickly.

This is truly very sad. I apologize to Mark Regnerus on behalf of my country and profession. His study pointed out serious flaws with prior research, which was biased (and often funded) with bias in the opposite direction.

As a card-carrying bisexual, I find it sad that gays have now imposed a singular model of what constitutes a happy GLBT life. You have to be a gay version of Ozzie and Harriet, you need to follow one politically advantageous model, you can't have difficulties or hardships in your life, because that makes you somehow not "representative" of who gay people are. That's what I am seeing in the article above, as gay activists discounted a vast range of people from the definition of "lesbian mother" and "gay father," literally censoring any scholarly discussion of life experiences that deviate from the orthodox narrative of middle-class gay normalcy, no matter how common it is for people not to fit into their categories.

In the rush to present gays as normal, activists have brushed over the fact that being gay is very hard, and for reasons that are only partly due to stigma. By hiding the hardships that come with the lifestyle, gays make it that much harder to converse openly about the best way to find happiness for people regardless of their orientation. I still think civil unions are a better route than marriage. I still think cooperative foster care working with the biological parents (and committing to improving the biological parents' lives as opposed to just taking their kids' custody) is better than pushing a bizarre heteronormatized system of surrogacy, blind adoptions, and exclusive custody. You can love your kids and do all the best for them, but chances are if you insist on raising them exclusively in an all-gay home environment without any contact with a third party who's a biological parent, you are adding unnecessary hardship....




http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/the-regnerus-affair-at-ut-austin/33509

Scott, the problem is that gay and lesbian parenting in the real world usually carries with it awkward complications relating to the excluded third party who's a biological parent but not a guardian. Most research into gay and lesbian parenting prior to the Regnerus study was biased toward affirming gay parents, with the result that researchers studied a very select cluster of children raised by financially well off gay couples who were able to replicate a pristine version of heterosexual parenting, through expensive surrogacy or very specific adoption arrangements. Also, most researchers didn't think through the role of bisexuality in these family structures.

I know this for a fact, because I contacted many researchers interested in the experiences of children raised by lesbian couples (myself being such a child), and they consistently told me that I wasn't usable for their sample because my experience was too specific -- that is, rather than being adopted from China through an expensive adoption agency, I was born to a mother and father who got divorced.But in real life, most kids raised in gay households got there because one of the parents was divorced and got custody of a child from a previous heterosexual relationship. This is because most gay couples don't actually have the money to pay for surrogacy, insemination, or blind adoptions, all of which cost enormous legal fees.You complain about the incompatibility of the control and test groups, but the problem is that gay couples cannot conceive children biologically, so most children raised by gay couples are going to exist in a very different environment from the typical heterosexual home. There will usually be a lot of fighting and tension with the excluded biological parent, intensive self-questioning in the child's heart and anger over the circumstances that led to the breakup with the original heterosexual coupling -- factors that gay activists routinely ignore when they cite "studies" to show that gay couples produce normal children for the purposes of promoting gay marriage equality.

Rather than silence people like Regnerus, you should encourage more open discussion of the difficulties of gay parenting, so we as a society can balance the desire of gays to experience parenting with the likely impact this will have on children given the typical limitations faced by average families. For most gay couples to experience parenting, especially men, it means encouraging them to divorce members of the opposite sex they married and had children with. That's tumultuous and needs to be advised with caution.




Jeffrey, see my comments above. I was a child raised by a lesbian couple and have spent decades mulling and researching this question as well.

I am now 41. I can tell you that my childhood and adolescence were extremely difficult because my mother's coupling necessitated that she get divorced from my biological father. The problem is that that's how most gay couples are going to find themselves in custody of a child. If it's not through divorce, it's likely to be through foster care.

So in reality, when you are a kid growing up and sensitive to your own sexuality, you have to add to it that your parents have an unusual arrangement, and there's a biological parent orbiting around somewhere staring fights and drama. It is hard to grow up stable in that environment.

If the gay couple is wealthy and has the means to replicate a heterosexual home environment through surrogacy or blind adoptions, then yes, chances are the kid is going to be fine because the kid has access to financial ways of skirting the pitfalls faced by kids raised in working class or middle class gay households.

But Regnerus' study is useful and should not be dismissed -- see it as a wake-up call. The gay community has been pushing gay parenting based on an upper-class model that's unrealistic. All the messy things you mention -- infidelity, divorce, anger over breakups, problems with foster care -- are things that will be a part of most kids' lives if they are raised by gay couples. The biological impossibility of gays conceiving children themselves makes the situation fraught from the beginning, and before people push gay parenting as normal to society as large and then change laws to normalize it, they need to speak realistically about what's going on.

It will harm gays and lesbians to convince themselves that gay parenting is going to be easier than it really is.





Oh, I just wanted to add this: I would never say that gays make defective parents. My mother did the best that she could, fighting against homophobia, racism, and class snobbery all at the same time, and bringing up six kids with her female partner. That was a feat -- we all went to college.

But there is no getting around the fact that I would have been much better off had my mother and father not gotten divorced. Period. There are many parents who love their children but still place them in terrible circumstances; such was my case. I overanalyzed my sexuality and thought I was bisexual for many years (I still call myself that because I don't want to deny my homosexual activity in the past.) I felt nervous and insecure around girls and got called homophobic names, all of which added more pressure for me to stay in the gay male world, where I encountered a lot of exploitation and predatory behavior.

Gay men and lesbian make wonderful parents, as I've seen over the years as I've gotten to know kids of gays and lesbians. But they make best parents when they marry the opposite-sex parent of their children and stay married to them, despite the pain of having to forego homosexual love relationships, until the kids are past their teen years. For kids you have to sacrifice just about everything, as I've learned now that I am a dad. Gays get no pass on that. You can't divorce your wife and sue for custody of the kids so you can raise the kids with your boyfriend-turned-spouse -- even though that makes for great gay politics, it takes a toll on the kids.

That's what the Regnerus study was tapping into, and I trust his results. They make sense. Most studies that imply that gay parenting is a breeze and just like straight parenting are propagandistic rubbish.

Elspeth
07-27-2012, 09:15 PM
My basic needs were not taken care of; my mothers could not protect me from violence in my neighborhood. They relied for support on the local gay community, which unfortunately did place me in contact with predatory gay males much earlier than I needed. They couldn't explain my male perspective to me, and confused me about my gender. They enrolled me in ballet and I rebelled by learning rifling through a marksman club in our town. I doubt very sincerely that I would have ever hyperanalyzed my own sexuality and concluded that I was bisexual at the age of 20, had I not been raised around so many gay people.

Today I am in a happy marriage to a female, but the happiness I have found is largely the result of having converted to Christianity, reconnected to my biological father, and made peace with my homosexual past so that I could commit myself entirely to my wife in a functional marriage.

None of the findings of this particularly disturbing study surprise me. It is quite logical -- other than the parts about kids in gay homes being more likely to get touched or abused; on that I am highly skeptical, except that I can see kids being exposed to the gay community at large through their parents, and in my experience, the gay male community (not lesbians) has a lot of predators.

http://chronicle.com/blogs/brainstorm/social-science-gay-parents-and-the-myth-of-objectivity/48187

Rockntractor
07-27-2012, 09:22 PM
I've known 2 kids gay from puberty to early 20's, both married with children 15 plus years now. Both religious conversions, I worked with them 92-97 doing prison counseling which I no longer do now.

LukeEDay
07-27-2012, 09:35 PM
You can be gay and not live the life style, and be married with kids. It is all based on whether you realize the morality of it or not. Some cases, not all, it is because of religious conversion.

Elspeth
07-27-2012, 09:41 PM
You can be gay and not live the life style, and be married with kids. It is all based on whether you realize the morality of it or not. Some cases, not all, it is because of religious conversion.

But isn't that kind of a miserable life?

Rockntractor
07-27-2012, 09:46 PM
But isn't that kind of a miserable life?

They are both very happy with their lives, this is a dirty little secret liberals don't like, people do change, we are all individuals and shouldn't be put in boxes according to a predetermined type.

Rockntractor
07-27-2012, 09:47 PM
Homosexuality is an activity not a person.

LukeEDay
07-27-2012, 09:47 PM
But isn't that kind of a miserable life?

I'm not gay, so I can not answer that one. But, if I was and was saved. I think knowing the rewards I will get when I die would take care of any misery.

Elspeth
07-27-2012, 10:04 PM
I'm not gay, so I can not answer that one. But, if I was and was saved. I think knowing the rewards I will get when I die would take care of any misery.

Well, there's definitely that.

I just wonder how much that misery might affect the kids. From everything I have read, sexual orientation is something inborn, not malleable. I think that's why this Professor Lopez intrigues me. I wonder if he really was gay to begin with (or bisexual). Maybe he was a straight, confused guy, since he was brought up by a lesbian mother & her female partner and apparently preyed upon by the mother's gay male friends.

Odysseus
07-28-2012, 01:30 AM
But isn't that kind of a miserable life?

It all depends on your priorities. If your priority is to raise healthy, well-adjusted children, then you put them first and you have a fulfilling life. If your priority is your own sexual gratification, then you put that first and your kids suffer through the various dramatic turns of your life.

Heterosexuals who abandon their families in order to satisfy their libidos are just as destructive, but we recognize that. A man who leaves his wife and kids for another woman used to be an object of ridicule and contempt, and the other woman was seen as a predator. Even today, there is some stigma to both roles. Somehow, however, if a man or woman decides that they have to be involved in a gay relationship, our society is supposed to celebrate their "courage" in destroying their families in pursuit of their immediate gratification.

Elspeth
07-28-2012, 02:36 AM
It all depends on your priorities. If your priority is to raise healthy, well-adjusted children, then you put them first and you have a fulfilling life. If your priority is your own sexual gratification, then you put that first and your kids suffer through the various dramatic turns of your life.

Heterosexuals who abandon their families in order to satisfy their libidos are just as destructive, but we recognize that. A man who leaves his wife and kids for another woman used to be an object of ridicule and contempt, and the other woman was seen as a predator. Even today, there is some stigma to both roles. Somehow, however, if a man or woman decides that they have to be involved in a gay relationship, our society is supposed to celebrate their "courage" in destroying their families in pursuit of their immediate gratification.

True enough. Politics seems to trump doing the right thing by your kids.

Elspeth
07-28-2012, 02:38 AM
More from Dr. Lopez:



http://chronicle.com/blogs/brainstorm/human-rights-gay-rights-and-western-aid/41949

I delivered a lecture last week on World AIDS Day, in which I struck many of the same notes you mention above. I laid out my belief that while lesbianism is radical, revolutionary, and perhaps liberating, gay male politics is not. The project of men carving an identity based on sharing their love and property with other males to the exclusion of females is, in the context of the world's history, an extension of misogyny, nothing new, and certainly not transformative. In many other parts of the world, male-female relationships are still a crucial means of cementing communities and in fact without this social bond, women would starve. They cannot leave town and get jobs at an office. They need male property and love to survive. In such a context, it is not only not revolutionary for men to say they want to follow the Western model of homosexuality -- it is actually a form of complicity with global capitalism.

I can speak for some (I do not know if most) gay/bi men who have served in the military when I say, we often wanted in good faith to protect gay men in Iraq and Afghanistan from persecution. But many of us found in the course of duty that men who love men in Muslim countries, for instance, cannot follow the "out" model of identity known to the West without betraying their families and failing to fulfill their obligations to women.

Put simply, it's much more complicated than Hillary Clinton saying the US must protect "gay rights."

I think lesbian politics is much different because in many of the non-Western contexts, the idea of women creating spheres of shared life independent of men is indeed liberating and transformative--and a means of freeing women from patriarchy. But the problem is that we like to yoke gay male and lesbian politics together. When we combine the two, the humanitarian project of "gay rights" becomes muddled, because we end up defending gay men's essentially misogynistic desire to erase women from their lives and spread the erasure to other countries, often where gay men set up hubs of sexual tourism and treat men of color in other countries like sex objects to be bought and sold for their pleasure. (This is one reason I reject the argument that gay men need the right to petition for immigration rights for their lovers; I picture old gay white men heading to Brazil to buy up poor brown loverboys and then import them to the US as their sexualized houseboys; it has happened.)

When I delivered my lecture it caused a stir and I got some (healthy) flak from other scholars who still felt it was possible for male-male love to be transformative. It is an area of further discussion and I look forward to spirited exchanges. The lecture room was overflowing so I had to do a repeat of the talk today. I have been surprised, however, to find that most people agree with me and I have not been attacked. The rhetoric of gay rights as a cover for international interventionism has been thoroughly exposed by people like Jasbir Puar, whom I have come to respect. Many gay male students told me they feel more liberated when they dispense with acting like victims and letting go of the need to be counter-hegemonic as queer and GLBT labels demand of them.

For my part, I do not intend to use gay rights as a rationale for any military action I may have to partake in, in future deployments.

FlaGator
07-28-2012, 09:28 AM
And many in the gay community do not like it when someone realizes the sinful nature of the homosexual life style and go to great lengths to discredit any gay who rejects his or her nature.


Jonathan Merritt is a nationally known writer, blogger and news personality. He has written two books, Green Like God (http://www.amazon.com/Green-Like-God-Unlocking-ebook/dp/B00351DSFA/) and A Faith of Our Own (http://www.amazon.com/Faith-Our-Own-Following-Culture/dp/0446557234/) and has written for USAToday, the Huffington Post, and many others. He's done lots of news appearances-- the last I saw him on television was on "The O-Reilly Factor" a few weeks ago.


Recently, after Jonathan, in a piece written for The Atlantic (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/07/in-defense-of-eating-at-chick-fil-a/260139/), defended Chick-fil-A against a potential boycott by gay activists, a "gay, former-evangelical" blogger claimed he had evidence Jonathan himself was gay. In the parlance the effort was to "out him." Merritt's defense of Chick-fil-A had already exploded in the LGBT blogosphere, but this enflamed the issue as many sought to discredit Jonathan after he dared to defend Chick-fil-A.


Jonathan's views have been clear--he considers homosexual practice as sin and is not in favor of redefining marriage (http://jonathanmerritt.com/blogs/news/loving-our-neighbors-all-of-them.html) (about half of America agrees, btw). Such views make you a target today, regardless of your personal situation.
"Outing," in case you do not know, is the practice of revealing that a certain person is gay without his or her consent, is not an unheard of occurrence though it is not always looked on favorably within the LGBT community. My heart grieves to see such low integrity, particularly when done by a person who claims the title "Christian"--and I am deeply disappointed with a few "Christians" in the blogosphere, who, since they disagreed with Jonathan in the past, seized the moment. Sad.



Story and interview with Jonathan Merritt here (http://www.edstetzer.com/2012/07/jonathan-merritt-shares-his-st.html)

Gina
07-28-2012, 11:47 AM
It all depends on your priorities. If your priority is to raise healthy, well-adjusted children, then you put them first and you have a fulfilling life. If your priority is your own sexual gratification, then you put that first and your kids suffer through the various dramatic turns of your life.

Heterosexuals who abandon their families in order to satisfy their libidos are just as destructive, but we recognize that. A man who leaves his wife and kids for another woman used to be an object of ridicule and contempt, and the other woman was seen as a predator. Even today, there is some stigma to both roles. Somehow, however, if a man or woman decides that they have to be involved in a gay relationship, our society is supposed to celebrate their "courage" in destroying their families in pursuit of their immediate gratification.

I was thinking along those lines a bit. I think that it is because people are by nature sinful. Sex is one of the more obvious sins .. that being because it can be so depraved. For example, people into S&M fit that category. The thrill of doing something anti-social(?) or something society as a whole deems sinful or "worse than" or evil. That's why I don't believe people are born gay, because we form an identity for ourselves based on nature/nurture and then live it. Being non-conformist is another possibility.

Being gay imo is either a weak person unable to backtrack to where nature puts us or just plain wanting to be different.

Novaheart
07-28-2012, 11:57 AM
The Chronicle of Higher Ed (affectionately known as CHE) has a curmudgeonly professor who is a top commenter on all posts dealing with homosexuality and morality. His name is Robert Oscar Lopez, and he's a professor of literature at Cal State Northridge, just outside of Los Angeles. He identifies as a bisexual male but has married a woman and has a daughter. He is a Christian (by conversion) and was in support of Mark Regnerus's study of gay parents that has been so controversial.

I often wondered how he got to where he got, and he posted on that today. In a reply to another professor's article "Should Atheists Reach Out to Christians?", Lopez tells his life story:



From everything I have been told, being gay is not a reversible condition. (Neither is being straight, for that matter). Any thoughts on this?

Have you ever noticed that most of the conversion testimonies you read follow a similar abstract? Almost all of them talk about their years in the seedier side of the gay community. So this would be similar to a whoremonger alcoholic having an epiphany that he's making bad choices, except that the whoremonger alcoholic neither attributes nor is encouraged to attribute his self-destructive behavior to his sexual orientation.

For a time I worked the door at a gay sex club, so I was literally making money off of orgies where men were giving each other HIV. Later I had an epiphany and realized that the importance of sexual self-control, moral restraint, and submission to God's faith was inseparable from the forgiving nature of Christ. I eventually had my conversion experience. My life became infinitely better once I understood that Christ meant us to be forgiving to others but to be demanding of ourselves. I learned to be comforting and charitable toward my friends who were dying of AIDs, while discouraging the same behavior in others and in myself.

I have no idea what the precise number of gay people who work the door at sex clubs is. I would imagine it's a tiny fraction of the number of straight people who work the door of a sex club. It's like people who think that they have the smoking gun on the gay community when someone, or many someones, gets busted looking for sex or having sex in the bushes while completely ignoring that just about every town in the US with more than 50,000 people has a place where heterosexuals go looking for cheap outdoor (or indoor) sex with diseased prostitutes.

As always, one has to look past the millions of gay people in khaki shorts and polo shirts at Pride Parades to focus on the handful of strippers, dancers, and leather queens acting out in public.

Novaheart
07-28-2012, 11:59 AM
They are both very happy with their lives, this is a dirty little secret liberals don't like, people do change, we are all individuals and shouldn't be put in boxes according to a predetermined type.

Craigslist

Novaheart
07-28-2012, 12:01 PM
I'm not gay, so I can not answer that one. But, if I was and was saved. I think knowing the rewards I will get when I die would take care of any misery.

lol! Stop pulling these people's legs.

LukeEDay
07-28-2012, 12:05 PM
lol! Stop pulling these people's legs.

Excuse me?

Bailey
07-28-2012, 12:52 PM
Excuse me?



Dont mind him he is the resident gay....militant gay...

Rockntractor
07-28-2012, 01:07 PM
Excuse me?

Tink don't think and his politics stink!

LukeEDay
07-28-2012, 01:08 PM
Dont mind him he is the resident gay....militant gay...


Tink don't think and his politics stink!

He messes with me, I will rip him a new one.

Rockntractor
07-28-2012, 01:16 PM
He messes with me, I will rip him a new one.

That is what we call entertainment and why we use the interwebs.

Zeus
07-28-2012, 01:38 PM
It all depends on your priorities. If your priority is to raise healthy, well-adjusted children, then you put them first and you have a fulfilling life. If your priority is your own sexual gratification, then you put that first and your kids suffer through the various dramatic turns of your life.

Heterosexuals who abandon their families in order to satisfy their libidos are just as destructive, but we recognize that. A man who leaves his wife and kids for another woman used to be an object of ridicule and contempt, and the other woman was seen as a predator. Even today, there is some stigma to both roles. Somehow, however, if a man or woman decides that they have to be involved in a gay relationship, our society is supposed to celebrate their "courage" in destroying their families in pursuit of their immediate gratification.

You are absolutely right.

Used to be the stigma assigned to infidelity and/or divorce was enough for most couples to somehow stay faithful and married. Now that stigma is all but gone and Infidelity and divorce are in essence encouraged and celebrated.

Societies problems just don't happen they are created.

MrsSmith
07-28-2012, 04:30 PM
Have you ever noticed that most of the conversion testimonies you read follow a similar abstract? Almost all of them talk about their years in the seedier side of the gay community. So this would be similar to a whoremonger alcoholic having an epiphany that he's making bad choices, except that the whoremonger alcoholic neither attributes nor is encouraged to attribute his self-destructive behavior to his sexual orientation. Actually, this is not true. Both need salvation from sin, and to come into line with God's will. Both will need to give up their own selfish desires. Both will need to give up sexual sin, along with all others. Whoremongering is as much a sexual sin as homosexual sex. :smile-new:

Bailey
07-28-2012, 09:27 PM
He messes with me, I will rip him a new one.

Well he is gay, he'd prolly like you to rip him a new one.

Hubie
07-28-2012, 09:31 PM
From everything I have been told, being gay is not a reversible condition. (Neither is being straight, for that matter). Any thoughts on this?

Yes. Stop believing what you've been told.

LukeEDay
07-28-2012, 09:57 PM
That is what we call entertainment and why we use the interwebs.

If he starts on me about my God, and my faith, you all will see lots of entertainment.



Well he is gay, he'd prolly like you to rip him a new one.

Duh! I didn't think of that. Then I will rip his head off and crap down his neck.

Elspeth
07-28-2012, 11:23 PM
Have you ever noticed that most of the conversion testimonies you read follow a similar abstract? Almost all of them talk about their years in the seedier side of the gay community. So this would be similar to a whoremonger alcoholic having an epiphany that he's making bad choices, except that the whoremonger alcoholic neither attributes nor is encouraged to attribute his self-destructive behavior to his sexual orientation.



So you think this is some kind of boilerplate thing?