Sunday, October 18, 2009

Gift of Holiness

We (the staff) had a gender orientation among more than a hundred history students of a certain professor. I was attracted to his description of what we are doing. The professor said that "GST is a holy activity". He elaborated that he had imbibed lots of knowledge and practices that served only to 'oppress' women. So, now he is in the practice of washing his brain from all of those influences. Indeed, that was a very apt description of the activity. I was also illumined because there were lots of questions regarding homosexuality and religion. My lecture started with "trivia" questions as to who were the homosexuals in the Old and New Testament and when did same-sex marriage began. By asking trivia, I intended to tickle the imagination of my listeners of 'personas' in the Bible who was labelled as homosexuals. Questions the students asked after were: "when will same-sex marriage become a normalcy", "if lecturing on the 'normalcy' of third-gendered persons will stifle the debate on the issue", or "differentiate between gender and sexuality", among others.

Initially, I answered the difference between gender and sexuality. I said that the latter is a bigger concept and the former approximates our Tagalog concept of pagkatao. About same-sex marriage becoming a 'normalcy'; I noted it began in 14th century, but till now we have no law legalizing such practice. And what is "normal" actually depends on our notion of 'normal'. Though this term has been appropriated by different disciplines/authorities such as psychologists, psychiatrists.

After the lecture, I had to search for answers about the different world religions' stance on homosexuality. I found out that Pope Benedict XVI regarded it as "intrinsic moral evil". Buddhist monks regard all sex as prohibited; this was balanced by the ruling warrior's class of acceptance of sex. Hinduism is not supportive of H. It was regarded as source of sterility. Though we know that the Hindu's Kamasutra depict of sexual pleasures. Taoism and Confucianism are also neutral about sex. It even supports female sexual freedom because it believes that yin energies are limitless. Whew...what a gift!

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