May I let my voice be a clarion call. I will use these words for justice. I will use these words for truth. And humour.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

 

noticed while walking my dog

Original post from phone follows, blocked and quoted:
Blog on mag n her nose in th mastif-g.shep's b-hole. Yankd her away. Stil not fully pomo. Same w/ xtians n homos.

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So, today, I was walking Maggie and we came upon a woman with a ~125 pound mastiff/german shepherd dog. They did the usual sniffing around, and then she decided to go in for the glory. I watched in horror as I had a full view of this other dog's large butthole, and my dog's nose going straight for it, not to simply sniff it from a millimeter or two away -- but she actually had her nose right up against it for an instant and would've stayed longer had I not yanked her away.


My reaction was entirely reflexive, a directive from some logic burned deep into my primal mind (where the deep frames of reference lie, and where 'intuition' comes from) that says noses do not touch buttholes. Buttholes are often dirty, especially big nasty mastiff/german shepherd buttholes. But not to Maggie. That was EXACTLY what she wanted to do and I wouldn't, couldn't, let her do it. I had her on a leash, and I pulled her away from her bliss. It was not very post-modern of me. If I really don't want that, she really doesn't want that. And if I can control/influence/coerce, I will.

As soon as I recognized what had happened to me, I realized where the SNAFU between Christians and homosexuals comes from. Somewhere deep within the Christian intuition/framework-of-thought, buttsex, woman-on-woman cunnilingus, and man-on-man blowjobs, and by extension anything having to do with homosexuals is understood to be reflexively wrong. And I realize that I will never be OK with Maggie sticking her nose into a dirty dog sphincter.

There are big differences here, however. First, I am close to my dog. I care about my dog. If this were a couple of dogs that I didn't know, I would chuckle, and in my mind, give them kudos for following their nature. But my dog sleeps in our bed. She licks my face -- which she won't be doing that for a while now, until her nose gets clean. Actually I see her licking her nose right now after eating a pizza crust.

Anyway, she's our dog and I care about her well-being, and she enjoys sleeping with us. If she wants to do that, then I'm drawing the line as to where she can put her nose. Being in community as we are, and knowing a bit more about the dangers of the world (traffic, vicious dogs, chasing cats and falling into a hole, etc), I keep her on a leash. In effect, the leash helps with community. I'd rather not have her on a leash. To me, organized religion is like a leash, binding us together -- to some set of principles, a person, a code, or a creed.

If you're part of a community, interacting with other people, there are certain things you can't do, or you will impinge on others' freedom or well-being. If there were a person with tuberculosis and you were to visit them and get the disease, then go back to the community, that would be a Bad Thing. If, however, it were a person with a non-communicable disease such as cancer, visiting them and then going back to the community wouldn't be a problem.

I'll get to the point in a minute.

Imagine there are people who have different sexual practices in your community (whether seen in the context of your family, your town, your country, or your world). And of course, pretty much everybody does have different variations in sexual practices and technique, right? So what if people of the same gender want to touch one another in ways that you don't? How is that different than a man and woman who touch each other in ways that you don't?

If its people who I don't know and I hear about whatever they're doing, I'm going to react however I am going to react, depending on the deed they do. I may feel revulsion, I may chuckle, or perhaps envy or inspiration. But unless there is something about what they're doing that causes real danger or cost to the community (e.g. - spreading communicable diseases), I have no right trying to control their behavior. Especially if they're not in my religious community, and don't share my values.

The post-modern aspect is that people who are not me like some things that I don't like. And they are welcome to pursue those things with absolute freedom as long as it doesn't impinge on my freedom. If it does impinge on some of my freedom, we need to negotiate a middle ground.

Take marriage, for example. Say two people of the same gender want to be free to get married and have a monogamous relationship, with all the social and fiscal benefits that entails. That impinges on straight peoples' freedom to have exclusive rights to marriage and monogamy, and all of the benefits. It also impinges on the beliefs of people who believe that marriage is a gift from God to heterosexuals, by extending or redefining it.

To see it from the other perspective, say a group of people wants to be free to create legislation that disallows marriage and monogamy for those who find their life partner to be the same gender. This impinges on the freedom of homosexual couples to have a covenant before God, friends, and family, and formally establish that they choose to be monogamous. Legislation of that nature impinges on the freedom of homosexual couples to share in the benefits afforded to those who are married. Legislation of that nature impinges on my freedom to have gay and lesbian friends who are married into monogamous relationships.

As a divine representative, I certainly don't sign on with legislation like this, and I look on what is happening here, and wonder if this isn't just the same old excuse by some people thinking how they're different from another group of people, and wanting to find a way to exercise their freedom of oppression against those they think to be "other". So what happens here? In a 'freedom versus freedom' model of this, the oppressors are transgressing/trespassing against those who they claim are transgressing/trespassing* against them. Its simply a case of might makes right, which is very uncivilized. That's why Zoroaster came. That's why Moses came. That's why Jesus came. That's why Mohammad came. That's why there have been a mountain of prophets, to try to get humanity to be civil to one another and to appreciate Life in all its glory.

*here I'm thinking in terms of "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us" from the Lord's Prayer....

I have homework to do tonight. I've got to stop sending little "reminder" text msg notes to my blog for later follow-up.

Lyrics: "I dreamed I would fall like a wounded cannonball." - Brandi Carlile

pax hominibus,
agape to all,
joel

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Comments:
You're being too hard on yourself - you're plenty pomo. It's just that you're also thinking about the next smooch from your dog. As a medical anthropologist, I'd like to bring up a point that is both more and less esoteric at the same time: dogs can catch things from other dogs and pass them on to you. Hello zoonotic infections. I do NOT want to read a future blog about your bad case of worms, and so I think your behavior is entirely appropriate. :p
 
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