Dualism. A terrible line of thought that has caused oppression since its conception. Also, for those who are following the specific authors on this blog, another post about being gay in America.

The separation of the mind and the body is what allows people to disapprove of actions that are taken based off of “feelings” that the body provides to the mind. This is exactly the mentality that the church has taken up as was said “Within the Christian tradition, the separation of mind and body was correlated with the distinction between what is immortal and what is mortal”.

Within the Christian tradition, homosexuality is held to be a mortal sin, a sin of the flesh, which can be prevented through exertion of the mind. As someone who has been through it, they attempt to counsel young homosexuals to ignore their impulses until they go away, to pray to God every time something tempts them, or to realize that this is a “sin” and while the devil may tempt you God does not give you any challenges that you cannot overcome.

This is oppression to the point of brain washing. I have seen people who have denied their sexuality until they “overcame”. What they “overcame” was their sexuality altogether. They have internalized their ability to ignore physical attraction, rooted within “the body”, through an impressive feat of “the soul”. That being said, they do not become “straight” or not as I have seen it, their body is apparently defective and therefore is unable to be attracted to the opposite sex. This “defective” body is treated as a defective irreplaceable machine, the defect is ignored as long as the machine can still get the job done.

This instantly brings to mind “what is the ‘job’ to be done?” On one hand it is argued that the “job” is to reproduce, but that instantly tells all people who are unable to reproduce that they have no purpose. Is that really the case? The church would argue that the job is to worship god through your actions and to obey the tenants laid down by the church. I personally find a problem with that because they oppress who I am and ask me to be unhappy for the rest of my life. Would an all-knowing, loving, forgiving God really subject me to a lifetime of misery? what would be the point? shouldn’t he simply want everyone to be happy? How does my individual and personal suffering help uphold him as “God”.  Finally, the Government would say our Job is to be a productive member of society who does not disobey the laws of the land. Oddly, it sounds a lot like the church, but it is not nearly as oppressive in this country.

So, going back to the dualism of soul versus body, or mind versus body, Shouldn’t the acts of the flesh have no consequence to the soul or mind if they are separate? If the body is the machine that the soul uses to experience, why should those experiences be limited? Shouldn’t the “job” be to experience as much as possible within the confine of not disturbing others ability to experience life? Who someone decides to love or not love, to have sex with or not have sex with, shouldn’t these be experiences of the body and therefore “beneath” the mind? If these are beneath the mind and simply actions of the body, then would we stop to robots without any distinguishable sex features from being together? They have no mind and no thought and no gender of their own without a soul to direct them, so why does it matter?

These are the questions that I pose to the people who tell me to separate my mind/soul from my body and to overcome the “sins” of the flesh. Either my body has a will of its own and a reason for loving what it decides to love or it is not important enough for it to matter who or what my body ends up with as long as it continues to function.

-Ashland

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