Reconciliation

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    Dec 25, 2008 12:59 AM GMT
    It seems all too often that life is a conflict of dichotomies. An excess of versus: Gay v. Christian, McCain v. Obama, Blue v. Red, Ohio State v. Michigan, Israel v. Palestine, Liberal v. Conservative, Yes v. No. We divide and categorize ourselves constantly perhaps to construct for ourselves definition and identity. We are sorted, with nothing we can do about it, on our race, nationality, gender and orientation. And yet, all of these seemingly cast-iron identities may be deconstructed. There are Republican single mothers. There are Gay Christians.

    Conscious of these hard-edged Vs, good Christian priests at this time of year concentrate on the theme of reconciliation and goodwill. We should all listen, not because they have a monopoly over morality (the good ones wouldn't claim such a thing) but because what they are talking about is fundamentally a human act of kindness. Of choosing to ignore for a time that which we disagree --- regardless of how much --- and concentrating on our shared humanity, vulnerability and mortality.

    We should therefore be asking at this time of year difficult questions: how can we live with, and reconcile ourselves with, the very people that believe us to be abominations? It seems to me that as we are asking for the very freedom to Love who we want to, we need to understand how to Love those who detest us. We need to confront what seems a fundamental truth: that only by reaching out to others, our family, our distant friends, by creating allies..... only thus can we secure more freedom for ourselves.

    The constraints of forums regrettably confine us to essays of a few paragraphs, which obfuscate our true thoughts and unduy simplify the force of our thoughts. Let us remember, all of us, the incompleteness and imperfections of our arguments and let us not let allow them to overshadow us as humans.

    Let us all make this time a time of reconciliation. Please feel free to share your stories.
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    Dec 25, 2008 1:22 AM GMT
    Well Tim I find that some Christians are quite happy to accept gays, but they are in the more liberal denominations. In Canada they would be United or even Anglican. My Uncle is a practicing Anglican and has never had an issue with my relationship with my partner. Then again he does not take the Bible literally, but sees it as a metaphor.

    Only time will tell whether the more rigid forms of religion will be more accepting. I am hearing whispers that the younger generation are more tolerant and less prone to hold extreme views. But that is in Western countries, in other parts of the world the very existence of same-sex attractions is denied.
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    Dec 25, 2008 6:57 AM GMT
    Acceptance starts at home. That is gays need to work at accepting other gays. When we do that we root out all the negative programming we have about ourselves. We are all the same is the bottom line. When we can fully accept each other and walk a little taller and be more open, others will have to think again about who they think we are.
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    Dec 25, 2008 7:22 AM GMT
    We have to be responsible and "a light to ourselves" that is truly know yourself and what it means to be a human being ..



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    Dec 25, 2008 7:37 AM GMT
    ActiveAndFit saidAcceptance starts at home. That is gays need to work at accepting other gays. When we do that we root out all the negative programming we have about ourselves. We are all the same is the bottom line. When we can fully accept each other and walk a little taller and be more open, others will have to think again about who they think we are.


    A-men.

    Thanks, Tim. Not to be cliche or sarcastic, you are a Gandhi among us. Thanks for the reminder that we all share at least one thing, and that is our humanity.
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    Dec 25, 2008 1:16 PM GMT
    I think that we need to keep seeing the positive in others, and before that we have to see the positives in ourselves.

    If you keep yourself surrounded by, and gravitate towards, negative emotions and people, that's what's going to grow in you. That's not to say everything is sunshine and roses all the time, but focusing on the positive in any situation, even if that is a positive way you can improve and awful situation, will make you feel better inside.

    I create more positives in me, and have a better internal life, if I don't focus on the negatives of others.
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    Dec 25, 2008 2:36 PM GMT
    Never!
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    Dec 25, 2008 4:29 PM GMT
    matt45710 saidI think that we need to keep seeing the positive in others, and before that we have to see the positives in ourselves.
    Yes. It is like "release the good" icon_lol.gif

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    Dec 25, 2008 11:04 PM GMT
    An interesting discussion on the problems of the world and the nature of personal revolution



    here are the other parts, in order
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LOEONvcrAE
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rg05uMCSVT4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rsa60e0w0mk
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1Fcc46xSm8
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUc2NrnklUo
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Dec 26, 2008 12:46 AM GMT
    You see the problem with Religion is that it sets up a whole
    situation where a certain group of people hold the "Truth" and
    everyone must follow that truth or be damned to eternal pain and torment

    .... Now you wouldn't believe your Doctor if he told you something like that
    or your local Mayor or Congressman
    WHY THE HELL ... would you believe a man because he wears a Collar ?
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    Dec 26, 2008 12:50 AM GMT
    TigerTim saidIt seems all too often that life is a conflict of dichotomies. An excess of versus: Gay v. Christian, McCain v. Obama, Blue v. Red, Ohio State v. Michigan, Israel v. Palestine, Liberal v. Conservative, Yes v. No. We divide and categorize ourselves constantly perhaps to construct for ourselves definition and identity. We are sorted, with nothing we can do about it, on our race, nationality, gender and orientation. And yet, all of these seemingly cast-iron identities may be deconstructed. There are Republican single mothers. There are Gay Christians.

    Conscious of these hard-edged Vs, good Christian priests at this time of year concentrate on the theme of reconciliation and goodwill. We should all listen, not because they have a monopoly over morality (the good ones wouldn't claim such a thing) but because what they are talking about is fundamentally a human act of kindness. Of choosing to ignore for a time that which we disagree --- regardless of how much --- and concentrating on our shared humanity, vulnerability and mortality.

    We should therefore be asking at this time of year difficult questions: how can we live with, and reconcile ourselves with, the very people that believe us to be abominations? It seems to me that as we are asking for the very freedom to Love who we want to, we need to understand how to Love those who detest us. We need to confront what seems a fundamental truth: that only by reaching out to others, our family, our distant friends, by creating allies..... only thus can we secure more freedom for ourselves.

    The constraints of forums regrettably confine us to essays of a few paragraphs, which obfuscate our true thoughts and unduy simplify the force of our thoughts. Let us remember, all of us, the incompleteness and imperfections of our arguments and let us not let allow them to overshadow us as humans.

    Let us all make this time a time of reconciliation. Please feel free to share your stories.


    Thanks.

    I'm convinced the biggest problem holding back the gay rights movement is a black & white view of the world and a hunger to alienate themselves and other lgbt people.

    Religious? You're irrational and stupid.

    Conservative or Republican? You're evil.

    Don't believe in gay marriage? You're the KKK.

    A person of color who doesn't believe in gay marriage? You're an (epithet) who oughta know better!

    Poor and don't agree with gay marriage? No surprise there. You're an uneducated baffoon.


    And we push away those of us who are religious, conservative, republican, lgbt of color, and those of us less fortunate enough to be born with little privilege.

    When will it end?
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    Dec 26, 2008 1:27 AM GMT
    GQjock saidYou see the problem with Religion is that it sets up a whole
    situation where a certain group of people hold the "Truth" and
    everyone must follow that truth or be damned to eternal pain and torment

    .... Now you wouldn't believe your Doctor if he told you something like that
    or your local Mayor or Congressman
    WHY THE HELL ... would you believe a man because he wears a Collar ?

    ummm... again you are thinking of christianity and islam... i dont think any other religion actually thinks that!


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    Dec 26, 2008 3:30 AM GMT
    If you haven't seen them, A&F, you might also watch Krishnamurti's dialogues with David Bohm, "The Future of Humanity." Bohm is the physicist who developed a particular method of dialog that TigerTim might wanna look into too, being a physicist and all.

    I find Bohm's approach much more realistic than what Tim seems to be suggesting here. In a paradoxical way, Bohm conducted dialogues with no goal of consensus or reconciliation. I don't think cooperation requires loving those who detest you. (Doesn't this establish a context with its own binarism?)

    What is revelatory is not overt meaning but the process of meaning's construction. In forums like this, there's no agreement in that respect, so nothing much changes at the level of overt content, either. If we threw out the assertion that "I have a right to believe what I choose" and replaced it with the question of "How did I come to believe what I believe?" we might get further.
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    Dec 26, 2008 6:06 AM GMT
    ObsceneWish saidIf you haven't seen them, A&F, you might also watch Krishnamurti's dialogues with David Bohm, "The Future of Humanity." Bohm is the physicist who developed a particular method of dialog that TigerTim might wanna look into too, being a physicist and all.

    Yes, I have seen a little of those and have a book that is a discussion between Bohm and Krishnamurti (Limits of thought). I find Krishnamurti's writings and lectures to be not necessarily unique and draw parallels to other "teachings" and the Tao Te Ching. Krishnamurti was certainly not without his critics which is OK as I tend to see everyone as flawed anyway.

    What I take from most of what I have looked at and personal experience is that human beings really are much more alike than different. You can at least draw compassion from that, but I still don't have any static way I think we should deal with people. Sometimes it is good to be "groundless" I find comfort in knowing all people are fundamentally the same.
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    Dec 26, 2008 4:01 PM GMT
    ObsceneWish saidIf you haven't seen them, A&F, you might also watch Krishnamurti's dialogues with David Bohm, "The Future of Humanity." Bohm is the physicist who developed a particular method of dialog that TigerTim might wanna look into too, being a physicist and all.

    I find Bohm's approach much more realistic than what Tim seems to be suggesting here. In a paradoxical way, Bohm conducted dialogues with no goal of consensus or reconciliation. I don't think cooperation requires loving those who detest you. (Doesn't this establish a context with its own binarism?)

    What is revelatory is not overt meaning but the process of meaning's construction. In forums like this, there's no agreement in that respect, so nothing much changes at the level of overt content, either. If we threw out the assertion that "I have a right to believe what I choose" and replaced it with the question of "How did I come to believe what I believe?" we might get further.


    Well I think this is very helpful, but I guess I was conflating two issues: I agree with you on the forums, but about religious people I don't know that dialogue is the solution. I see only accusations that gay people are "intolerant" of other people (who are in fact "intolerant" of them!).... I think the only way we can respond, those of us who are safe and secure at least, is with unconditional and overwhelming love. Then all their words seem to melt... at the very least you're right. We have to remove the versuses.

    I am a big fan, btw, of the Aharonov-Bohm effect!
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    Dec 26, 2008 4:17 PM GMT


    It's us, down here in the trenches. Though this discourse waxes noble in intent, Bill and I have seen and experienced first-hand intolerance on a spectaular scale. This in regards to

    "I think the only way we can respond, those of us who are safe and secure at least, is with unconditional and overwhelming love."


    We'll keep it brief. We were the helping hands of the neighbourhood and more, the bridge between those with very disparate opinions of each other.

    The property owners immediately beside us decided to 'go after us' and the day to day torture of having their redneck biker type friends over to torment us every time we went outside was bad. All those neighbours we'd befriended retreated into their various realities as what we happening to us 'didn't personally affect them' as many told us. We were on our own. The police became involved, but with only recorded evidence of them calling us 'white niggers' and other things but not faggots which is a hate crime, we could do little but finally sell the house. Things escalated. They damaged their own property in order thwart potential buyers of ours! The City became involved, and began visiting them and ordering them to 'clean up' and they became the eye-sore of the neighbourhood as their front yard and back became an enormous crazy junk-yard.

    In the eight months that followed our dogs became ill, so we had to patrol the yard looking for 'foreign stuffs' as the police called it, that our dogs may have consumed. We had to lower our price over and over and over. Finally sold it, at a price $150,000 less than the street's average! We couldn't tell any of the thirty or so 'friends' we'd made there over the years (10) where we were going, as loose lips sink ships, per the police.

    We came here hoping to make new friends, and gay ones, as we had mainly existed in a straight society before and thought this better. We still think so as many here have been very kind to us.

    Sadly, unconditional love is often only as good as its reciprocation.
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    Dec 26, 2008 4:52 PM GMT
    With no particular group in mind, whether self designated or not, I think it largely boils down to simple education, whether through knowledge, communication or experience.
    The easiest way for people to describe themselves is through descriptors and attributes or deficits. The problem is usually that everyone else adds their own interpretation of those attributes. If you say you like tall men, others will read into it that you don't like short men even though you didn't say that. It doesn't matter whether you implied it or not. While some may chose to follow a specific theist faith, others will automatically put them in the category of the worst religious atrocities regardless of whether or not they are even remotely overlapping in their beliefs.
    Often, paradoxically, the closer two similar attributes are, the more their small differences are magnified.
    I've rarely seen anything truly evil that is not simply (if egregiously) a lack of knowledge from ignorance or misinformation. The problem is when those who suffer from this ignorance or misinformation are given great power. Then, the want of that power will frequently prevent them or shield them from that knowledge.
    This applies to self-love, self acceptance, altruism and charity, growth of the individual or growth of knowledge.
    If you think that all Christians are fundamentalist hate mongers, all Muslims are terrorists, all atheists are heartless, etc., etc., then you have much to learn.

    It is those who see the importance of learning, the possibility that anything that they know could be wrong, that absolute knowledge is an ideal to strive for but to never believe to be fully attainable, that can better man. They are the ones who will always consider the infinite number of perspectives that exist and that the more you consider, the higher the accuracy of your view.
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    Dec 26, 2008 5:14 PM GMT
    the TiggerWell I think this is very helpful, but I guess I was conflating two issues: I agree with you on the forums, but about religious people I don't know that dialogue is the solution. I see only accusations that gay people are "intolerant" of other people (who are in fact "intolerant" of them!).... I think the only way we can respond, those of us who are safe and secure at least, is with unconditional and overwhelming love. Then all their words seem to melt... at the very least you're right. We have to remove the versuses.

    I am a big fan, btw, of the Aharonov-Bohm effect!


    Well, Bohm's Dialogue is not, as I said, seeking consensus. I was lucky to attend a session of it with him years ago and I have several friends who have trained in it, including one who was active in the Truth and Reconciliation hearings.

    The difficulty, which is maybe implicitly assumed in your tact, is getting people to participate in dialogue at all, especially dialogue that is not framed as a debate or an attempt to build an issue-related consensus.
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    Dec 26, 2008 5:19 PM GMT
    ObsceneWish saidI find Bohm's approach much more realistic than what Tim seems to be suggesting here. In a paradoxical way, Bohm conducted dialogues with no goal of consensus or reconciliation. I don't think cooperation requires loving those who detest you. (Doesn't this establish a context with its own binarism?)

    What is revelatory is not overt meaning but the process of meaning's construction. In forums like this, there's no agreement in that respect, so nothing much changes at the level of overt content, either. If we threw out the assertion that "I have a right to believe what I choose" and replaced it with the question of "How did I come to believe what I believe?" we might get further.
    Earlier I had been thinking in terms of how we can change ourselves without really addressing how to affect change in discussion. Obviously changing the variable that is you can change the outcome of dialog, but beyond that I am still wondering about this situation - like I said there may not be any one best way. The nature of a relationship between the parties disagreeing will dictate the method of discourse.

    Bohm and Krishnamurti actually had a falling out that was somewhat patched up somewhat later which, from my reading, brings up more questions on how to deal with disagreement. Here is an interesting article about Bohm ..
    Look for Truth No Matter Where It Takes You
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    Dec 26, 2008 5:38 PM GMT
    ObsceneWish saidWell, Bohm's Dialogue is not, as I said, seeking consensus. I was lucky to attend a session of it with him years ago and I have several friends who have trained in it, including one who was active in the Truth and Reconciliation hearings.

    The difficulty, which is maybe implicitly assumed in your tact, is getting people to participate in dialogue at all, especially dialogue that is not framed as a debate or an attempt to build an issue-related consensus.
    I will see if I can look more into this. Not seeking a goal/consensus sounds kind of like a Taoist precept to me - that is not giving yourself as an object of opposition so there is nothing to resist. I guess if the party is known to be in "opposition", the best way to enter into dialog is not too try to hard or give the appearance of it.