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Much has by far been said about homosexuality but a few measures have been taken to deal with this ordeal. Is it that ignorance has grown into everyone’s way of life or is it that everyone is no longer interested in the written scriptures? Homosexuality is spreading much faster recently than it was in the past years (Rubin, 1984). Should we blame it on the unconcerned parenthood, peer groups influence, media films, advancement in technology or just lack of proper wives? The rate at which this practice is taking over the society is quite alarming and is feared to rise in future. What is certain though is that homosexuality has been perceived and treated different in different historical periods and societies. These perceptions were and are still mostly based on religious ideals and socioeconomic and political reasons.
In biblical times (Old Testament times) homosexuality was prohibited and termed as an ungodly practice, homosexuality has been facing strong criticism for a long time ranging from when The Bible scriptures where encrypted to the present time. This practice has been more so criticized in the bible. For instance as Davies (1974) notes, God in the book of Leviticus prohibit men from lying with other men as if they were women. In this book (Leviticus 18:22) as Davies (1974) quotes, it is written “You shall not lie with a man as with a woman: that is abomination.” Greenberg (n,d) also quotes the Paul’s letter to Timothy i.e. the first epistle to Timothy where he is advocating against various unholy human deeds. Among the deeds that Paul preaches against is homosexuality. This solidifies the Christian stand against homosexuality that for ages Christianity as a religion has been against homosexuality. Although some factions of Christianity seam to embrace homosexuality, the act does not conform to the basic Christian teachings. Section of Christianity has practices homosexuality and other sexual activities for ages despite biblical rejection of the practice (Davies, 1974).
According to laws governing old treatment age, the proper meaning and forces of taboos lied in their general structure. Their general influence on the separation of categories so that the keeping a part of the good and bad acts as a constant reminder of God’s setting apart the Jews, the chosen people, from the heathen, the lesser breed without the law. The separation into categories according to Leviticus acts as the main factor in determining what may or may not be practiced as most of the rules on holiness law are related to the basic categories of the natural world and of human experience (Davies, 1974).
Homosexuality involves people placing themselves in the wrong sex category. This however diminishes some self esteem and narrows the set gap between the two human categories (Rubin, 1984). As a result, homosexuality was since linked with bestiality and victims were harshly treated as it highly despised the most important category of human race (Rubin, 1984). This could not be tolerated anymore and the Jewish people were forced to come up with rules and laws to deal with this as it threatened to weaken their identity.
The laws of the Parsees and Zoroastrians were more of the Jewish culture (Davis, 1974). Furthermore, Davis (1974) observed that they highly criticized homosexuality, condemned those practicing it and stated severe punishments for those practicing it no matter their social status. Specifically in Zoroaster it was considered as the most evil doing against morality as there was no greater sin than this in their society and any person caught in the act would be put to death without further consultations. The victims would be referred to by any evil name, separated from the rest, put through hardships and in some situations even murdered by anyone as it was considered legal. This helped much in discouraging those involved and warning those who wished to join the practice (Rubin, 1974).
Greenberg (n.d.) observes that unlike the above cultures, ancient Greece people never discouraged or disliked homosexuality. Their laws were generally weak and their taboos did not oppose in any way this practice and those rules close to prohibiting it were twisted to favor those wishing to indulge. More so they had a weak boundary which was weakened further by the existence of a stronger political and legal set of internal boundaries. Greenberg, (n.d) further observes that these weaknesses disrupted their stand on several issues which eventually lead to the enforcement of wavering rules which were not even followed to the letter. Their religion structure was also disorganized; it lacked proper administration of powers according to ranks, lacked proper communication between its members and a firm agreement on their beliefs.
During the recruitment of new members by the early church among the gentiles, majority of the Jews taboos on their identity were abolished and even the Sabbath changed to lords worshiping day, Sunday. Saint Paul from the early church strongly condemned perverts, idolaters and sodomites (Greenberg, n.d). He warned against the wrath and curse of God upon them less they changed their evil ways. To strongly support this, Saint Paul denounced homosexuality in his first letter to the Corinthians where he declared that none of those guilty of either adultery or homosexuality will inherit the Kingdom of God. This warning thereafter forced people to change their evil ways (Greenberg, n.d).
Nonetheless, the view that the neglect towards homosexuality in Christianity is due to the ascetic doctrines expressed in the scriptures or in theological tradition is unreliable in a number of aspects. Those coming up with such opinions tend to contradict hostility to these particular forms of unacceptable sexual behaviors with hostility to eroticism in general (Greenberg). This hostility towards homosexuality dates from the medieval age. The early middle ages were a comparatively more tolerant era and a few years after this is when homosexuality began to be considered as a sin since before no one wanted to take the responsibility of defending or defining the unclear and unthreatened boundaries.
As Greenberg (n.d) note, during the 12th century, in the kingdom of Jerusalem, the earliest and most radical legislation was enacted. The legislation declared that anyone proved guilty of homosexuality should be burned to death. In numerous ways the growth of religious neglect and abuse from 12th century onward was unavoidable (Greenberg, n.d). This was due to the experience disagreements among several present serving leaders and also lack of severe punishment to those who practiced homosexuality. Establishment of poor rules also weakened the system as most of the people preferred not to abide by them but firm stabilization of the overall culture would help reduce this a great deal.
During the 13th century, an immediate need of the clear meaning on defense of religious and legal boundaries led to the increased intolerance of sexual behavior forms involving a breakdown of the boundaries between natural categories (Greenberg, 1974). Not only does the increase in the neglect of these forms of sexual defiance follow closely on the wake of an increased general concern with social boundaries but also the ways in which these sexual offenses are linked together and described make it clear that the enforcers of the new laws really want to preserve boundaries of all kinds (Rubin, 1984). With the proper enactment of certain laws, homosexuality can be reduced and with time be wiped away.
According to Davies (1974) escalation in hostility towards homosexuality came after transformation of the Catholic Church into a centralized bureaucratic hierarchy of celibate priests from the medieval period indicates the need of strongly bounded hierarchical organization. Presently, the church and armed forces have teamed to strongly condemn homosexuality as it is an unclean practice. They have become more interested in upholding rigid internal and external boundaries to effectively deal with sodomite and prevent more people from being drawn into it over time. This is not an easy exercise and therefore calls for use of sober and well consulted plans.
Greenberg (n.d.) also notes that during Pharaoh Time in Egypt homosexuality was not prohibited at all, it was allowed and even viewed as a positive social practice as it proved whether an individual was sexually positive or not. They viewed this as a way of some men proving how sexually active they were hence providing grounds for some to defile other men and indulge in homosexuality. As this was seen to greatly affect some males, the duration within which it was acceptable did no last much as it was brought to an end with the spread of asceticism that was hostile to all forms of sexual pleasure. Initially it had developed mainly within religions that opposed good and evil, spirit and flesh, male and female but need to curb it had arisen (Greenberg, n.d).
Homosexuality was promoted further by the need to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. Since the slaves, serfs, artisans and small traders did not earn much to meet there daily wants, need for a better way of life arose forcing some to practice homosexuality in exchange for resources to make their life more comfortable (Rubin, 1984). In addition, the larger scale of politics in the kingdoms and empires reduced their participation in public associations giving rise to political alienation from government passivity, feelings of helplessness and psychological withdrawal from the world. Due to this, homosexuality was practiced more often (Rubin, 1984).
Rubin (1984) notes that, over time, numerous changes have taken place within the American society and the British society contributing to the entrenchment of homosexuality and other forms of sexuality by these societies. In the 19 century many social movements spread information and ideas against things such as nudity, prostitution, masturbation and homosexuality. Through the 20th century however much has hanged and some section of this societies embraces homosexuality (Rubin, 1984).
Generally the sexual taboos and social boundaries present in the early times were not effective. This was backed by the continuous and unsettling leadership disputes which were present during that time and unstable beliefs in God. Presently, the taboos that exist against homosexuality in Western societies and institutions are being seriously enforced to help reduce the rate at which homosexuality is growing (Rubin, 1984). This is being done by creating some job opportunities for the less fortunate in the society, granting conjugal rights to prisoners, encouraging parents to monitor the growth of their children and through campaigns to publicly condemn those who are involved. More so those caught in homosexuality should be severely punished as the act is considered unclean in the biblical scriptures despite any ones strong believe contradicting this (Davies, 1974).