Friendship - Part 4 - Thoughts on homosexuality

Friendship - Part 4 - Thoughts on homosexuality - by P.K.odendaal.

Let's get it straight before I start, I am straight.
However - I have male friends and acquaintances who are not - and what should I think or do about it. I cannot cling to my old prejudices and old conventional wisdom, as I am more against the latter than the former, and I just can't close my eyes or bury my head in the sand.

I will also never say it's right or acceptable, but I need to respect the lives and views of my friends and acquaintances. So I need to address it and set my own perspective on it, to guide my attitude towards them.

This came to a head last week when I was prevailed on by one of my family members, who wanted me to delete a friend, who is gay, from my friends list on Facebook, as he publishes or shares photos of naked men.
Can I just delete a friend? I do not think a friendship can be deleted. It would have suited me fine with regard to less close friends or people who pretends to be friends, had it been so easy. Does it make a lesser friend or an unfriend of me? I do not think so. My friendship is without any strings attached. I will also not fake a friendship, and pretend I do not see.

I am informed and guided in this article by two great men - both gay. And I admire them immensely, for they have contributed posthumously to the richness of my life, due to their contributions in the fileds of literature, science and mathematics. And I am not alone in my veneration for them. In fact, these two persons died prematurely due solely to the fact that society rejected their lifestyle. And so we were sadly bereft by anti homosexual activists of much lesser stature than they were, of their genius and their possible continued contributions to mankind, had they lived longer.

Oscar Wilde.
The first is Oscar Wilde. He may not be a Shakespeare, but he came very close to being one, if his career had not been prematurely terminated by the father of his 'boyfriend'. Pardon the word - I am a novice on gay affairs.

Oscar Wilde produced prolific plays, poems and stories during a short career as a writer and playwright, and I may have read all of it, had I kept track, as I read most more than once. His works are however as witty and emotionally as deep as that of Shakespeare, although the treatment of emotional aspects by him was more direct and in your face, than that of Shakespeare. Shakespeare always lets you wonder what it is in his works that is so well hidden, and yet so troubling, disconcerting and disconforting. Not Oscar Wilde.
But let me start at the beginning.

Oscar Wilde was put on trial on account of homosexuality, which was a crime at that stage (1899), before a London judge, because the father of Lord Alfred Douglas, the latter being his lover and the first being an atheist, accused him of 'sodomy' and 'gross indecency', and after three trials he was convicted on these counts to two years of hard labour.  When he was released in 1897, he spent his last three years in penniless exile and sickness, before dying in 1900 at the age of forty six.

The main argument went about 'the love that dare not speak its name' to which he replied :

It is that deep spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect. It dictates and pervades great works of art, like those of Shakespeare and Michelangelo, and those two letters of mine, such as they are. It is in this century misunderstood, so much misunderstood that it may be described as "the love that dare not speak its name," and on that account of it I am placed where I am now. It is beautiful, it is fine, it is the noblest form of affection. There is nothing unnatural about it. It is intellectual, and it repeatedly exists between an older and a younger man, when the older man has intellect, and the younger man has all the joy, hope and glamour of life before him. That it should be so, the world does not understand. The world mocks at it ...
This is exactly the recurrence of history of the Greeks of 400BC when every matured male of note had a beautiful young boy friend. Why I would not know - but that is history. My personal view is that it is caused by the emancipation of woman and the subsequent emasculation of men.

I also very well know that there are many other factors that cause this social deviation, if I may call it so, without offending those. These factors are environmental, genetic, hormonal, identification with the wrong parent during childhood or the absence of one, seduction, the wrong friends, etc..
I also find it strange that in a very religious era of British history, homosexuality was a crime and atheism a virtue, but as so often happens in times of doubt, rejection and depression, Oscar Wilde wrote his last and most beautiful work - a poem called 'The Ballad of Reading Goal' whiulst he was in jail. I read this poem three to four times a year and have been doing this for twenty years, and conclude this part on him by quoting a few verses from that poem :

Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard.
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word.
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!
Some love too little, some too long,
Some sell, and others buy;
Some do the deed with many tears,
And some without a sigh:
For each man kills the thing he loves,
Yet each man does not die.

For oak and elm have pleasant leaves
That in the spring-time shoot:
But grim to
see is the gallows-tree,
With its adder-bitten root,
And, green or dry, a man must die
Before it bears its fruit!
We were as men who through a fen
Of filthy darkness grope:
We did not dare to breathe a prayer,
Or give our anguish scope:
Something was dead in each of us,
And what was dead was Hope.

I know not whether Laws be right,
Or whether Laws be wrong;
All that we know who lie in goal
Is that the wall is strong;
And that each day is like a year,
A year whose days are long.

But this I know, that every Law
That men have made for Man,
Since first Man took his brother's life,
And the sad world began,
But straws the wheat and saves the chaff
With a most evil fan.

This too I know--and wise it were
If each could know the same--
That every prison that men build
Is built with bricks of shame,
And bound with bars lest Christ should see
How men their brothers maim.

The vilest deeds like poison weeds
Bloom well in prison-air:
It is only what is
good in Man
That wastes and withers there:
Pale Anguish keeps the heavy gate,
And the Warder is

I wish you would read all 109 verses.

And now for Alan Turing.
He died even younger than Oscar Wilde at the age of 41 when he committed suicide by taking a cyanide pill.

Alan Turing is regarded as the father of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence and might have invented the first computer called the Turing Machine, to break the German military codes during World War II. He was a mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and computer scientist. His Turing Test for the establishment of the presence of intelligence in anything, specially machines,  is still being used today.
After being charged for 'gross indecency', his security clearance was cancelled and he lost his job.

In 1952, he was criminally prosecuted for homosexuality, and given a chance to ingest female hormones (chemical castration) instead of a prison sentence. The hormones led to the growth of his breasts and ultimately he committed suicide.
In 2009, Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an official apology for the way in which he was treated.

Do you think I will shun my gay friends? No way.
Do I accept atheism as a better choice than homosexuality? No way.
Am I prepared to condemn a homosexual person, whilst I close my eyes for gossip, lies, fraud and corruption, as many of us do? No way.
Am I going to cast the first stone? No way.

Is a homosexual person allowed to serve and praise God? Of course - scripture says all creation shall do that - and that includes them.