This post is a continuation of yesterday's post, where I take on the "Are You a Pro-Gay Bigot?" quiz. The quiz questions are in bold.
10. Do you believe that only churches that accept homosexuality have interpreted the Bible in the ‘correct’ way?
No, although I do wish Christians would take a course in textual criticism before they begin quoting scripture. Nonetheless, I think it is likely that many of the men who wrote, copied, and subsequently altered the bible were opposed to male homosexual behavior, and thus anti-gay Christians are correct to read anti-gay animus into whatever version of this ancient text they happen to be referring to. That being said, I question many anti-gay interpretations of biblical text, because they often seem to ignore historical context and other messages within these verses. For instance, in Genesis 19, Lot unsuccessfully offers up his virgin daughters to placate the mob of men intent on raping the male strangers. It is telling and sad that many anti-gay Christians fixate on the alleged anti-homosexuality message of this story rather than, say, condemning the idea that the rape of women is an acceptable negotiating strategy and that female virginity is a commodity that men can use to maintain peace among each other.
Do you feel it isn’t necessary to read the relevant Bible passages yourself, all of which are straightforward in condemning homosexual acts?
I would be curious which bible verses the author of this question deems to be "straightforward" in their condemnation of homosexual acts, but yes I have read various interpretations of "relevant" biblical passages myself. Regardless, there is much in this mythical text aside from its anti-homosexuality that makes it irredeemable, especially its treatment of women.
Do you believe it’s impossible to be “kind” and oppose homosexuality?
A person can be "kind" and oppose homosexuality. Kind to heterosexuals, that is. (Just kidding).
11. Are you quick to say “Judge not, lest you be judged” ( Matthew 7:1) and similar passages, without understanding the Christian theology behind it, and all the while being very judgmental yourself?
I don't generally quote bible verses.
12. Do you sincerely believe Jesus would have accepted homosexual sex acts?
This question is irrelevant to a debate about homosexuality. Not all Americans accept the assumption that Jesus is divine or even that he was a real historical figure. Social policy should be made after weighing relevant pros and cons rather than after speculating about whether a man who may or may not have lived 2000 years ago would have accepted this policy.
Do you believe Jesus is cool with whatever anyone wants to do?
Do you believe there’s such a thing as ‘sin’ and if so, how is it defined?
If we define sin as a violation of a moral rule, than yes, I think there is sin in the world. Generally, I think we sin when we violate the golden rule.
Are you the one who defines sin for yourself?
I don't know from where or what authority the golden rule emanates, but it is a commonality between all major religious and ethical systems. I'm okay with that uncertainty.
Do you have no need of a savior and if not, wasn’t Christ’s death and resurrection pretty pointless?
I was born okay the first time.
Despite all these contradictory and self-constructed beliefs, do you consider yourself a “Christian”?
I am not a Christian. Or a "Christian."
13. Do you believe sweeping stereotypes, like that all ‘gay’ people are innocent victims or that all conservatives must be mean and stupid?
No. Real life usually happens in shades of gray.
14. Do you close your ears and figure it’s a conservative plot if you hear that at least 2/3 of all the HIV transmission in the United States still involves males having anal sex with each other?
No, but I do want to see and analyze all evidence.
15. Do you believe anyone who objects to homosexuality is automatically “hateful,” while you seethe with hate yourself?
No. (Okay, this questionaire wording is really getting ridiculous. It's obviously intended for anti-gay folks who believe they already know exactly how pro-LGBT people are going to respond).
16. Do you believe it’s okay for thirteen- year- olds to learn at school that they have the right to have homosexual sex with each other?
This is a strangely-worded question. I believe 13-year olds shouldn't be taught that homosexuality is wrong or unnatural. The right for 13-year-olds to have sex with each other is a real thing that exists in the real world and, accordingly, I believe they should learn how to keep themselves safe for when they start having sex. That's a big difference from showing them PowerPoint slides taken from the The Joy of Gay Sex, as this question implies.
Do you close your ears when concerned parents are outraged?
Outraged at what, exactly? The idea that homosexuality isn't wrong? Also, how does one close their ears, literally? Is there a flap some people have that others don't?
Would you call such parents “ignorant” and accuse them of “censorship”?
This is difficult to answer without knowing exactly what scenario the question pertains to. Are we talking state action? Banning books? Revising curriculum? What?
17. Do you believe that, after several thousand years where most cultures have prohibited homosexuality, only now the ‘real’ truth is emerging?
The "real truth" about what? The origins of homosexuality? The morality of it? Homosexuality isn't true or false. It is a phenomenon in the real world.
Do you believe this is not an arrogant, narrow or immature position?
No. What is frightening is that this question implies that homosexuality should once again become prohibited because tolerance of homosexuality is arrogant, narrow, and immature.
18. Do you believe that ‘gays’ are the target of widespread violence that goes unpunished in the United States?
Do you understand that hate crimes stats don’t support this claim and that laws already exist to punish all crimes, no matter why they are committed?
The FBI hate crimes statistics show that at least 1,706 people were victims of sexual-orientation-based hate crimes in 2008. This may not rise to some people's level of "widespread violence," but it should also be noted that many hate crimes are not reported as such and studies show that 45% of gay male youth and 20% of lesbian youth report being the victims of verbal or physical assaults in schools. As an attorney, yes, I understand that laws exist already making certain actions like murder illegal. I would encourage the author of this question to seek understanding as to the purpose of hate crime penalty enhancement statutes.
Would you be unconcerned about overall civil liberties if trumped -up charges of so-called “hate speech” were used to silence people?
I oppose laws restricting the expression of anti-gay speech.
19. Do you believe that conservatives are making a big deal out of a behavior that has no harmful effects on individuals, families, communities, or societies?
I do believe many anti-gay folks are unnecessarily making a big deal about homosexuality. I would likewise encourage anti-gay individuals to contemplate how their making a big deal out of homosexuality has harmful effects on individuals, families, communities, and societies.
Do you scoff at any claims that serious public health issues are involved, like sexually transmitted diseases or risks to children?
It's not clear what is meant by "risks to children" so I will address the elephant in the room. Male-to-male sexual behavior continues to be a high risk factor for the transmission of HIV and some STDs. I don't "scoff" at these statistics but I do think that, given that this is what much anti-gay furor over homosexuality centers around, effectively expecting all LGB people to negate our sexual identities is a bit of an overkill to a public health issue that is better managed through education and tolerance.
20. And–very big question: Is your need for other people’s approval greater than your appreciation of truth?
In a heterocentric Christian nation, I am an agnostic lesbian feminist. There is no but. And not the fun kind. You probably don't want to go down this "need for other people's approval" comparison road with me.
Do you refuse to consider an unpopular viewpoint because it might make you appear unenlightened to some people?
After being on the receiving end of veiled rape and death threats because of my "unpopular viewpoints," appearing "unenlightened" is not a big concern of mine.
If your mind and heart changed about this issue, would you have the courage to be a rebel for a worthy cause, to speak up and inform family, friends–and fellow humans who are involved in homosexuality?
I like Rob's answer here: "Yes. And in fact I get enormous satisfaction from being a small rebel in a great and worthy cause — the crusade for truth, dignity, and equality. Wait — are you people claiming to see yourselves as rebels?"
To end, perhaps many of you answered these questions for yourselves as you went along. As this quiz doesn't contain a scoring method, it's hard to say whether or not we "passed." Nonetheless, given the wording of the questions, the quiz seemed aimed more at an anti-gay audience, trying as it did to set up "gotchas" while assuming total foresight as to how a "pro-gay" person would respond. Ironically enough, such questions ultimately revealed a fair among of bigotry, stereotyping, and prejudice on the part of the questioner.