Honda St John's
Sex, Humanity and the UU.
Humanity, as I understood it being raised in the UU tradition, is central to a proper understanding of UU. Humanity to me means more then an observation about the human species but "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanity" a central virtue to the human condition. Humanity to me is that which distinguishes us from the Animal. In UU circles this distinction is questioned for it's implication is that we are other then animal. I believe our condition is proof that we are different from animals for we have the capacity to destroy the planet and all life forms on it. I believe that we are both quantitatively and qualitatively different from the animals.
Unlike the animals we as Humankind are not driven solely by food drink and sex. We seem to have a unique capability of subjugating our desire for food, drink and sex to greater good. We as human beings can choose what we drink, eat and what sexual behaviors we wish to indulge in unlike the animals. As human beings attentive to a humanistic perspective we even create social unites that make judgments of others of our species based on what food, drink and sexual behaviors they choose to indulge in, though toleration is the default prejudice of UU. Our laws rightfully restrict and control the food, drink and sexual behaviors we indulge in.
I understand this in no small part by virtue of my UU Sunday school classes. I was taught to be tolerant of others but conscionable in my own behaviors of the suffering of others. I was taught that as human beings we are free of doctrine and are not slaves to others preconceived ideas. I was taught that reason is what should determine my set of beliefs and everything must be examined for any falsehood that might be lurking in dogmatic assertions of good. I respect my UU education, clear on my ability to choose and not be told what to choose.
I have been hurt lately by a UU that I feel has forsaken their humanistic roots and in an area that inflames many. Sex is one of our animal passions but unlike the animal we can choose what we wish to do or not do concerning sex, what sexual behaviors we wish to indulge in or not. I was taught that sex is not love and have found out that this is true and especially true for a person attentive to her/his humanity. Sex is a behavior not a definition of our humanity. If one calls some one a transvestite who admittedly indulges in those behaviors one is only describing the behaviors they indulge in not their essential quality, which still is human. Is this not toleration in the best tradition of the UU church? This is also true for the labels homosexual, bisexual and lesbian if and when we choose to use them. The problem is that some make no distinction between a person and their chose of sexual behaviors, a distinction central to my UU religious education.
The problem goes even deeper, for this inability to understand the distinction between labels and people goes to the very basics of what we define as humanity. We are not "human" because we indulge in any type of sexual behavior and I would suggest that if sex is all that drives ones life one is approaching a decidedly less then human condition. The entreating of one to toleration has been twisted into something decidedly less then good, in fact toleration itself is under attack at the UU for to be tolerant of someones behavior is seen as an insult, for it indicates one is prejudice for not understand the true essential nature of their behaviors. Just about every UU service I have been too lately has talked about homosexuals, transvestites, bisexuals and lesbians as if we where talking about humanity as opposed to labels describing behaviors that some choose to indulge in. What a violence is being perpetrated in the name of Liberal religion.
In all fairness this spin is being put out by many. Much of it starts with a confusion between gender and sexual behaviors. It is common to talk of the group "blacks, women and homosexuals" as if that is a reasoned collection however the problem with this group should be obvious to any one who tries to use logic. Clearly black, in this usage, and women are not behaviors, while homosexuals are a description of people who indulge in a type of sexual behavior. Learned sexual behaviors are not genetic qualities by which this group could be easily identified and the relationship between behavior and genes is still not clearly understood. The suggestion that when one is identified as a member of the Group called Homosexual one could not change his membership to celibacy, or any other sexual group, is patently false since the defining characteristic of the group is a behavior that is chosen.
I do not believe unlike many UU's in the "trinity of sex". Sex is not a gender but a behavior. Their are only two genders male and female. I once went to a bar where a man claimed to be a "third sex, sex machine". He was sadly deluded. Their is no "third sex".
I am in sincere hope that Boston will see the errors of it's ways and understand that humanity is not an observation about sexual behaviors but a condition that we can be part of and discourage this litany of sexual behaviors(homosexual, lesbians, transvestites and bisexuals)in services. I know that they are going to suggest that they have no direct control over this but they had much to do with starting this. It should be clear that these labels about sexual behaviors are doing violence to humanity.