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Homosexuality

 

 

  1. Introduction 
  2. Homosexuality throughout the history
  3. Christianity – or the period of execution
  4. The truth about the attitude towards homosexuality
  5. Conclusion

 

“It always seemed to me a bit pointless to disapprove of homosexuality.

 It’s like disapproving of rain”.

 Francis Maude

 

1.Introduction

 

What is homosexuality? According to the Webster’s New World medical on-line dictionary it is defined as “sexuality directed toward someone of the same sex”. According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary it is “the quality or state of being homosexual”. Being “homosexual” in the social perspective nowadays causes certain responses that are either extra-positive or extra-negative. The golden middle has nothing to do for homosexuality as a social process and that is its curse. The attitude of the society to homosexuality has always been affected by its the social, economic and political order; it is absolutely impossible to image the Greeks persecuting homosexuality which they believed driving force of its art, music and literature.  Homosexuality for the heterosexual society was “justified” only during war or in prison. It becomes obvious that this “acceptance” was always a consequence of a set of definite social factors. Nevertheless subconsciously, the society neglects homosexuality due to the fact that homosexuality is connected with degeneration, because this “love” cannot give or produce life. And in its turn the reproductive process is one of the leading instincts of the society. The responses to homosexuality as a sexual variation can be various and these responses should be understood as reflections of the sociological factors that influence the perception of this sexual phenomenon. Harry A. Blackmun stated: “…disapproval of homosexuality cannot justify invading the houses, hearts and minds of citizens who choose to live their lives differently”. Of course there always were and will be social groups disapproving this nevertheless it is necessary to admit that this neglecting is absolutely and entirely based on the type of society, which is evaluating homosexuality.

 

  1. Homosexuality throughout the history

The word homosexuality has as its base a Greek word homo meaning the same and therefore implies affectionate relations of the members belonging to one sex. It is for the “affectionate” part the representatives of this phenomenon suffered so much throughout the course of human history. Luis Crompton reveals the reader the tremendous achievements that were ever made by homosexual representatives of the social structure. But his book also reminds the reader something he truly knows - the persecutions such people have experiences throughout the historical timeline.  During some times homosexual people were seen as a potential threat during communication. And in other times homosexuality was perceived as a vice of the “gifted”. This is not specific to the society of one given country, but to all the countries which ever existed all over the world:  ancient Greece, ancient Rome, the West with its Christian influence and many more.  For instance, Ancient Greece was basically the only culture that openly did not only accept homosexuality but also declared it to be the morally appropriate. The same was made by Japan through its samurai tradition. The homosexual line can be traced throughout the masterpieces of the ancient Greece, which did not only resemble this topic, but also were brought to life by homosexuality. This is no surprise due to the fact that the Greeks had a lot of gods to worship and in spite of all the knowledge given by this race its moral constructs were instable and did not have one common route. In contrast it was in the sixth century B.C.E. when the Jewish church made the declaration that homosexual Jewish people destroy the very essence of the Jewish religion and the Sodom sin cannot be stimulated. The Jewish by that time were a rather socially developed nation. Greece, in its turn with its pagan gods was going still the “primitive” social stage. The Roman Empire being a very developed social and economically state but with the introduction of religion repressed homosexuality, as a sign of weakness.

2. Christianity – or the period of execution

It is necessary to mention that the Church had the ruling power at many times and was the social, cultural and economical engine for many courtiers. The Inquisition became the starting base for numerous executions of homosexuals and became the strongest social factor for restricting the behavior of people.  But there also was another side of the issue - as the homosexuals were often the ones who possessed a great amount of power and money by executing them the Church could get all the properties for its own needs. As homosexuality was widespread in the periods of Renaissance and in medieval France – many people were taken away from the political stage as homosexuals leaving place only for one power – the Christian Church. A very remarkable period to mention is the Italian Renaissance. Its cultural contribution is immense and also with a high homosexual signs. The real cause of such specific “culture” was the sublimation of the homosexual oppression into it.  The great names of Leonardo, Michelangelo and Donatello dedicated a large amount of their works to the Christian Church as the reflection of the influence it had of the social, economical and political life of the society. The more the Church oppressed homosexuality, the more wide spread it became and there was no royal palace without intrigues related to this theme with the most bright example of Henry III of France.  Christianity in this aspect revealed itself, as a rather cruel structure forgetting how important is to love.  The reason Ancient Greece and Japan had a very special positive attitude towards one-sex relationship was their romantic background as it was considered to be love, too. It goes without saying that there is no need to stimulate its development but not to execute people who love but in a “different way”.

 

  1. The truth about the attitude towards homosexuality

Million of people throughout the human history were homosexuals. And this is the truth, which does not need any arguments. Only one main point can be pointed out – the appearance of the Christian Church changed the way of life of many people and converted them from “different” people to “perverted animals”. European Christians tried to eliminate every sign of homosexuality because they were so afraid of it that did not know what to do.  The majority of the population always had and always will be conformists and will be highly influenced by social, economical and political factors without analyzing their true essence.  As homosexuality undermined the Bible readings and this became the moment the Europeans decided to change the positions for instance of Japan and China towards homosexuality. They converted it into a show with burning bodies and hanging people. If it was not for the interests of the Christian Church many things would have been different and especially that number of homosexuals. The more they prohibited one-sex relationships the more they appeared a simple social reaction.

3.     Conclusion

The attitude towards homosexuality has always been highly influenced by social, economic and political factors without the conscious analysis of the society. These factors in their turn have always been “dictated” by the ruling “party”.  For a very long time the Christian Church was the strongest ruling party and its positions were formed the position of the whole society and changed its perception of this phenomenon. For many centuries people of Japan, China and France lived with homosexuality and did not know it was something unmoral. They lived in harmony but then something changed and this change of perception produced “ordered social responses” and resulted in the oppressions of same-sex love giving the start to the era of homophobes.  Yes, homosexuality cannot give start to a new life, but nevertheless it can give a start of a new love and that is what the Christian Church forgot about.

 

 

Bibliography:

 

1. Crompton, “Christians and Pagans: 1-565 CE.” from Homosexuality & Civilization, Harvard University Press, 2003 pages 111-149.

 

2. American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 87, No. 5, Mar., 1982 Sexual Taboos and Social Boundaries By Christie Davies.

 

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