"Pegging" Bigotry One "Sodomite" At A Time genre: Gaylingual & Hip-Gnosis

Square Peg

I'm generally a patient and tolerant person, but every once in a while I'll come across a situation that ticks me off. This morning I ran across one of those instances while reading comments on a site I frequent.

The following comment was in response to a posting which made reference to Senator Larry Craig and his anti-gay voting history.

Homosexuality/sodomy are disgusting, filthy acts against God. HE says in HIS word that homosexuals will not enter Heaven. I don't want some pervert in politics. Politicians are bad enough as it is without queers around.

Despising homosexuality/sodomy is not racist/hateful/fearful. It is common decency and common sense.

Aside from the wholesale bigotry voiced in this comment, it also demonstrates a butt load of ignorance...and I'm going to do my best to expose it in this posting. While I don't want to jump head first into Biblical interpretation, a little background is required.

Most of us are familiar with the Biblical citations used to condemn homosexuality. They are few but those who utilize them do so with fervor. Essentially, the primary reference involves an admonition against lying with men in the same manner as lying with women...hence the condemnation of same sex relations. This is usually bolstered by a further reference to Sodom and Gomorrah and their destruction by fire...all predicated upon the story of Lot and the purported desire of a number of citizens to "get to know" (defined as homosexual rape) his male guests (angels disguised as humans sent to rescue Lot from the destruction of the evil city...as the story goes).

The definition of the word Sodomy has evolved over time to include what some might say are acts that go beyond those described in the Bible. Nonetheless, the dictionary currently defines it as follows.

From Merriam-Webster:

Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French sodomie, from Late Latin Sodoma Sodom; from the homosexual proclivities of the men of the city in Genesis 19:1-11
: anal or oral copulation with a member of the same or opposite sex; also : copulation with an animal

It is possible to connect the expanded definition with other Biblical references and interpretations such as those which contend that the "spilling of seed"...in any way that isn't intended to procreate...is sinful. In other words, those who adhere to strict Biblical interpretation may well contend that sexual intercourse between a man and a woman with the intent of "being fruitful and multiplying" is the only acceptable sexual act.

Before we proceed, an important caveat is needed. There are countless iterations of ideology which result from Biblical interpretation...some of which wouldn't agree with the above expanded definition of sodomy. I point to the above distinctions in order to demonstrate the pitfalls of literal interpretations...meaning that the Bible has clearly been subjected to cultural and societal influences.

Therefore, it is important to note that there are Biblical citations available to support a number of conclusions...all of which require contextual understandings beyond the words. Further, the Bible is an amalgam of individual writings compiled over some 2,000 years which undoubtedly means that cultural influences impacted what was written and what was read and then rewritten over time. There is no way to conclude that what is in the Bible today is in fact an accurate translation of the purported exchange from god to any of the many authors...nor that the author correctly grasped god's words when they were allegedly spoken.

Enough background; let's return to the comment. I believe it is safe to conclude that since the author cites and condemns both homosexuality and sodomy, the author is accepting at least some of the current and expanded definition of the word (which may well be a function of his/her own Biblical interpretations). Notwithstanding, I'm going to modify the intent for the sake of this argument such that the use of sodomy wasn't intended to include any of the expanded acts contained in the current definition. Clearly, doing so has little rational basis since it makes little sense to use both words if the author sees them as one and the same (homosexual sex). Regardless, I'll proceed with that assumption and my reasons will become evident.

The above commenter and many of those opposed to homosexuality draw clear lines in their condemnations...lines which become blurred if one takes the time to explore the sexual practices of humans. In fact, the absence of clear lines forms the core of my argument...an argument which undermines the certainty of the commenter and those who hold similar beliefs. First, let's look at some relevant information.

Kinsey data collected between 1938-1963 found that 9 percent of non-married males and 28 percent of non-married females had engaged in anal sex at least once.
Among married subjects, the numbers were much lower--around 11 percent for both men and women.

In 1974, Playboy magazine published a huge survey of over 2000 people. Depending on the age of the respondent, between 14 and 25 percent of people said they had tried anal sex at least once.

A more recent study, conducted in 1990 at the Kinsey Institute, found that 27 percent of male and 24 percent of female college students had anal sex at least once.

One researcher, who surveyed one group of people in the 1970s then another in the late 1980s, offers a good point of comparison. In the first survey, 25 percent of women had anal sex and 8 percent reported engaging in it regularly. In the second, 72 percent had anal sex, and 23 percent reported engaging in it regularly.

A 1991 survey of 3200 men (in a nationally representative sample) found that 20 percent of men age 20 to 39 had engaged in anal sex at least once. Fifty percent of the men who had tried it had only tried it once. Interestingly, in this more contemporary study, more older men reported having had anal sex than younger men (27 percent of men age 35 to 39 versus 13 percent of men age 20 to 24).

The most recent U.S. data from a national representative sample comes from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), which was conducted on over 12,000 men and women aged 15 to 44. Results show that 34 percent of men and 30 percent of women reported engaging in anal sex at least once.

In a 1996 survey of Swedish women aged 18 to 74, about 20 percent of women overall reported having engaged in anal sex--specifically, 28 percent of 25 to 34 year-olds and 2 percent of 66 to 74 year-olds.

Sources:

Billy, J.O., Grady, W.R., Klepinger, D.H. "The Sexual Behavior of Men in the United States" Family Planning Perspectives Vol. 25. Issue 2 (1993): 52 -60.

Bolling, D.R. “Prevalence, Goals and Complications of Heterosexual Anal Intercourse in a Gynecologic Population. Journal of Reproductive Medicine Volume 19 (1977): 120-124.

Bolling, D. “Heterosexual Anal Intercourse: A Common Entity, Perceived Rarity, Neglected Patients and Ostrich Syndrome." Paper presented at the 1987 Kinsey Institute Conference, AIDS and sex: An integrated biomedical and biobehavioral approach, Bloomington, IN, December 5-8, 1987.

Fugl-Meyer, K.S., Oberg, K., Lundberg,P.O., et al. "On Orgasm, Sexual Techniques, and Erotic Perceptions in 18- to 74-Year-Old Swedish Women" Journal of Sexual Medicine Volume 3, No. 1, (2006):56-68.

Gebhard, P.H. & Johnson, A.B. The Kinsey Data: Marginal Tabulations of the1938-1963 Interviews Conducted by the Institute for Sex Research Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders,1979.

Hunt, M. Sexual Behavior in the 1970s. Chicago: Playboy Press, 1974.

Mosher,W.D., Chandra, A. & Jones J. “Sexual Behavior and Selected Health Measures: Men and Women 15–44 Years of Age, United States, 2002." Advance Data from Vital and Health Statistics; no 362. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics (2005):

Voeller, B. “AIDS and Heterosexual Anal Intercourse." Archives of Sexual Behavior Volume 20. Issue 3 (1991): 233-276.

One can pick and choose from the above data, but I think it is safe to conclude that more heterosexuals engage in sodomy than do homosexuals...a conclusion we can make if one compares the fact that gays are believed to be no more than 10 percent of the population (the high end of the estimates) and the above studies clearly indicate that at least 20 percent of heterosexual men and women have engaged in anal sex. Even if we assume that the study included a representative number of homosexuals...meaning they need to be removed from the study numbers to discern the number of heterosexuals...the number of heterosexuals engaging in anal sex would still be larger than that of homosexuals.

Now the commenter and many of those who oppose homosexuality might be inclined to argue that those instances of such acts among heterosexual couples is acceptable. Regardless, making that assertion would still violate the current definition of sodomy...and it would clearly violate the stricter Biblical interpretation against acts of sex which aren't intended to procreate.

However, I conceded above that I would assume that the commenter only intended homosexual sex in using the term sodomy...and I'm going to keep my word...even though I believe I've already debunked the focus upon homosexuals as sodomites deserving of wholesale condemnation. With that said, I'm only going to focus on those heterosexual males who have engaged in anal sex...a number, I'll remind you, which still exceeds that of all homosexuals...male and female included. Stay with me...I promise to tie this all together.

Back in 2001, Dan Savage conducted a contest to name the act of anal sex whereby a woman wears a strap-on device to penetrate her male partner. The winner was the word "peg" which has subsequently been expanded to be known as pegging.

Returning to the above studies, it isn't apparent how many of the men who engaged in anal sex did so with a woman (defining them as heterosexuals)...but given the numbers and the percentage of the population presumed to be gay, they would still have to be the largest share. On the surface, that doesn't appear to further my argument and it may seem to play into the contention that such male with female anal sex (heterosexual) doesn't meet the narrow definition of sodomy...that being male with male anal sex (homosexual). Further, as I mentioned above, many of those opposed to homosexuality might argue that anal sex between a man and a woman is actually an acceptable practice.

Were it not for the Bible, my argument may have failed...but every now and again...the universe provides for those in need in strangely ironic ways. Let's see what the Bible has to say about this male with female anal sex (recall that were only looking at pegging...whereby the female penetrates the male).

Time and again, gays have inquired with Biblical scholars as to their proximity to sin and their potential for salvation if they continued with their gay relationships but didn't actually engage in gay sex. In other words, they sought to know if they would still be guilty of the sin if they didn't engage in the act. The following excerpts are from a response to such an inquiry.

Since you acknowledge the prohibition against sodomy, I will forgo exegesis to establish it. I will also simply state my complete agreement that God loves the person while hating the sin, regardless of who the person is, or what the sin is. However, there is an apparent assumption in your question which must be addressed. I cannot find support in the Word of God for the idea of “homosexual persons" apart from those who practice sodomy in heart or deed. Beyond the fact that the Bible does not use a clinical term (homosexual) for those who engage in the sin of sodomy, it is obvious that there are two types of persons, unsaved sinners and saved sinners, and each type can come in one of two genders, male or female. This excludes the idea of sodomites being a different kind of person. It is not a third gender, or a different species of human being, and I cannot consider it a special class of person any more than I can consider liars a special class of person.

Accordingly, I must define a “homosexual person" as one who either practices sodomy, or entertains it in his/her thought life. Either is the equivalent of the other, except in the manner in which it involves and affects someone else. So, someone whose thoughts entertain sodomy is guilty of the sin, even without actually committing the deed. This is the principle expressed in these texts, among others:

Matthew 5:27-28 “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."

Proverbs 23:6-7 “Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: 7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee."

These definitions force me to the conclusion that relationships between “homosexual persons," even without the sexual acts, are sinful because of the thought life.

But there is more to consider in your question. I think defining “homosexual person" as one who has in time past committed the sin of sodomy, either in thought or deed, but have truly repented of the sin, and eliminated it from his/her life, and not just someone who has eliminated the practice of the sin, is an error. One is a sodomite if one commits the act in thought or deed. If one does not, one is not.

Alas, the basis of my argument is exposed. If one embraces Biblical scripture, then the act of sodomy cannot be justified under any circumstances and it certainly cannot be separated from the condemnation. If, in fact, thoughts of sodomy are the same as sodomy, then those men who engage in pegging are well beyond the minimal definition of sinning in committing such an act...even if it is with a woman. To argue otherwise would provide a justification for anal sex which would be suitable for use by homosexuals.

I say as much because I can't imagine the thoughts which would motivate and justify a heterosexual male to desire anal penetration. If those opposed to homosexuality truly associate it with sodomy (narrowly defined as male with male anal sex), then the act of being pegged would have to somehow be divorced from the notion of a woman inserting a virtual depiction of a penis into her male partners rectum. If that can be achieved, well perhaps I've witnessed my first miracle.

In addition, to argue that a representation of a penis isn't the equivalent of a penis isn't possible if one accepts the above Biblical scripture. If said scripture can be circumvented, then all scripture is open to negation and/or reinterpretation.

Taking it a step further, should someone provide a rationale which allows sodomy in a heterosexual relationship, then that same construct would have to apply to homosexuals because homosexuals could contend they engage in it for the very same scripturally sanctioned reasons.

In the end, those who use the Bible as the means to condemn have to be subject to the very same document. To do otherwise would not only constitute a rejection of the Bible, it would be an invalidation of the beliefs one ascribes to it.

I would suggest that my argument not only points out the inconsistency and the hypocrisy that exists in many of those who rail against homosexuals...it affirms my belief that the premise of opposition to homosexuality is far removed from any strict Biblical interpretation. In fact, I'll be so bold as to peg those who do so as little more than unbridled bigots.

Finally, to the individual who inspired this posting with the above comment, may I sardonically suggest that you reconsider your attempts at shoving your proverbial square peg down the justifiably defiant throats of gays? Your temerity is abominable.

Tagged as: Bible, Bigotry, Dan Savage, Homophobia, LGBT, Lot, Pegging, Religion, Sexuality, Sodom & Gomorrah, Sodomy

Daniel DiRito | September 6, 2007 | 9:53 AM
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Comments

1 On September 7, 2007 at 9:42 AM, Ben in oakland wrote —

Daniel: As I have argued in other postings, the conservative religious position on gay people ahs nothing to do with religion and everything to do with plain old fashioned prejudice. Religion is just what is used to give it a veneer of respectability. Arguing with a fundamentalist on this and trying to pin him down is like wrestling with a greased sodomite. It's not aobut religion. I am willing to concede that it may possibly have been at one time, but even that is highly questionable.

2 On October 25, 2008 at 8:20 AM, mike wrote —

i have to take issue with this statement...

"I say as much because I can't imagine the thoughts which would motivate and justify a heterosexual male to desire anal penetration."

as an atheist i had no problem with the article's intent; it doesn't matter at all to me what is argued about god or god's will.

but in the name of debate how can one who professes ignorance of the subject make the assumption of motive?

be not offended as i am not offended that you didn't consult me on this matter!

nowhere in your article was mentioned the prostate or the intense sexual enhancement it's stimulation provides.

knowledge and experience with a woman who enjoys the same inevitably lead to "thoughts which would motivate and justify a heterosexual male to desire anal penetration"

it's not the artificial penis that is the motivation, it's the sensation; i prefer my woman's fingers....phalli are used because they were traditionally already in a woman's toybox...you'd have to survey women to get what they like about it.

in my experience, it's the equality that women feel...not only the way it looks to you, but the way they get the sexual mastery of the man's body in the same way the woman is usually enraptured.

yes, it feels that good! it's the prostate, not the penis.

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