Vitruvian Man, by Leonardo Da Vinci, public domain
Right now I'm trapped in Fort Collins, CO. Every Greyhound route in to Washington State, to see my parents, is closed. I'm here seeing my grandparents on my way back from Atlanta and desperately want to see them, but mother nature has intervened, so I must spend more time with my grandparents.
I've been thinking about family, among the most natural and essential of human unions. There are fewer relationships that define us more profoundly then family, and family in turn is defined by sex. Man and woman come together, join together two households, give birth to children, who in turn are brothers and sisters, and the brothers and sisters of the man and woman are aunts and uncles. Even if no children are had, sexuality itself is more then powerful enough to create a sacred brotherhood -and sisterhood- among two houses.
The first relationships you have are family. Your parents, your brothers and sisters, your grandparents. There are even very close friends who, after some time, almost become part of the family, adopted brothers and sons, sisters and daughters, but these only carry in themselves - their relatives are still, for the most part, outside. Your family teaches you a way of seeing the world, a way of seeing life, rules, regulations, ways of punishing and regulating yourself, morality, honor, ethics, and the way you categorize all those outside of the family in to your thousands of relationships you keep made for every person in the world in your mind. Family can create, and family can destroy, family can sow love and hate. A peaceful family makes for a more peaceful community, and an unpeaceful family leads to a destructive community. When family members separate themselves from each other, you can see it in the eyes and actions of the victims, both seperated and seperator. And when family roles and rules are broken, the anger and antagonism can carry through town.
Sexuality, also, is a very definitive part of our nature. It's the source of many of our dreams, many of our symbols, much of the way we see the world. It's the basis of many emotions, and it itself can conjure up every feeling, thought, and attitude in the human character. It makes us our best and our worst, and everything in between. When you drown out the emotion related to sex, you drown out the emotions period, harden your heart, deep freeze the world before your eyes in to a palace of ice, with statues of all those near you holding still in front of your eyes.
Adultery divides households, families, people. It is the breaking of a sacred trust between man and wife, or wife and husband, a lie, a betrayal of affections, a stoker of jealousy, a maker of hellfire. It can also pit children against their parents, and make human honor, a vital part of our nature, worthless against the breaking of the most important promise anyone ever makes. It degrades all involved in it, and cheapens sexuality, making it little more then either burden, hyper-personal, or entertainment depending on the attitude of he or she involved. The family is cast out of the mind of the transgressors.
Premarital sex is a cheapener. Those who partake in it will find less loyalty, less love, and less romantic fire with whomever they marry. It too cheapens sexuality, making it hyper-personal, a burden, or entertainment, removing the human face, removing the family ties, cutting away alliegance, loyalty, neighborhood and romantic love.
As you remove the honor, sanctity, and ritual in sexuality, you increasingly convey that a major part of our nature really isn't worth that much.
Before I even mention homosexuality, I want to point out in anger and all grumpinesss that nothing I say should ever be taken to in any way, shape, or fashion excuse those who hate, murder, destroy, oppress, manipulate, lie, steal, fire on federal agents, be inhospitable or sow the seeds of discontent out of homophobia. These people have done what homosexuality will do, and much more severely, by methods far more abominable, hateful and destructive. They too have broken ties, cheapened relationships, and created a disposable, hypocritical, judgemental attitude towards their fellow man that destroys all real community. The fact that they did it with anger, guns, contempt for all things humane and honorable, and cruel lies makes it, indeed, worse then a simple weakness of the flesh, for with the flesh it is only the ends that are an issue.
Homosexuality is an understandable mistake, like the kind that all of us make as we walk through this life, and though I hope we can work through it with them, and there's always a suspicion that within all of us both desires exist, even if we can't, they still are fellow human beings, every bit as deserving as everyone who has ever screwed up with their finances, raising their child or their education, or anything else that important to your life.
Incest is a clear break of family authority, family respect, and proper relationship. It breaks sacred bonds, and mixes one kind of love (Agape) with another kind of love (Eros) that are often contradictory to each other. All of us need a balance of both of these in our life. The love pertaining to sexuality comes with it's own set of conditions, dependencies and expectations that make the love of a mother, father, brother, sister, son, or daughter impossible. Needs bring us close but they also create insecurity - add too many together and the result is oppression and no room to breathe. It creates a dilemma, as love has been cheapened, but the risk of birth defects in an incestious child is very high, and to leave would also cheapen love, relationships, and trust and loyalty in the future. Further it prevents the bond between families, distorts gender roles with a pre-existing status within the family, gets a person more in your mind then they need to be, and creates antagonism and insecurity among relatives.
Homosexuality is a confuser. It creates antagonism and insecurity among relatives. It confuses by breaking the traditional roles of gender, removing the balance of genders that creates clear hierarchy and authority, and balance within the house. It also makes establishes deep bonds within families difficult, as for the males no daughter is gained, and for the females no son is gained, for either house. Sometimes homosexuals seem to take the role of the opposite gender, distorting the individual to balance out the collective. It also leaves the homosexuals in the dilemma of either continuing this clear break of family mandate, or going back to straight sexuality with a cheapened view of erotic love. I'm still not entirely sure what the solution to this issue is, but I see their dilemma, and advise all those considering such a lifestyle to find any way possible of avoiding it.
We, America, are missing family ties. Superficial families make superficial friends, superficial friends make superficial towns, and superficial towns make a world where no one can depend on anyone else, loneliness and silence spread to any space in which they're allowed, and the human being himself is devalued to being an object, an animal, a customer, a worker, a product, a dollar amount. We are made to love, respect, listen, learn, talk, improve, teach, and be our brothers keeper, and yet now we sit in cubicles, even in large offices as apart as can be, and see outsiders as a nuisance. We try to avoid burdening each other in all possible ways, and see only the harm that we do to each other, until finally, we hate humanity itself. With our cheapening of sexuality, we have cheapened ourselves and all of life. The damage is done, but hopefully we can avoid running up the bill further.