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Rising Western Acceptance of LGBT primes Culture Clash

Suppressing the views of one side only sets our society up for a massive culture clash.
Suppressing the views of one side only sets our society up for a massive culture clash.
Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images

Although LGBT behavior and lifestyles are gaining acceptance, which is less than approval and more than tolerance, in the West, the same cannot be said about many corners of the world. Where the more “liberal” West is defined by its focus on individual rights, the Middle East, Africa, and East are defined more by their focus on cultural rights, thus the individual right to express sexual identity is less significant in these regions than the cultural right to maintain traditional values. Because sexual identify plays a significant role in cultural identity, even tolerating LGBT behavior is asking for a considerable shift in cultural values and practices. For example, such a conflict made its way into the headlines around 2011 due to the criminalization of homosexuality and increasing anti-gay violence in several African countries that prompted Hillary Clinton to declare “gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights,” which likely did more to undermine US influence over the Peoples of this region than to protect gays.

For African cultures, which view homosexuality as unacceptable and fiercely reject outside influences redefining their cultures due to their history with colonialism, the best case scenario is to prevent the state-sponsored persecution of suspected homosexuals, especially given the reality that there are plenty of places in Africa where weak governments cannot even protect women and young girls from being raped when they fetch water for their families. Unfortunately, American LGBT activists, who have political leverage over the Democrats and Obama Administration, are provoking a culture war overseas that will only endanger the lives of LGBT individuals, who just want to live in peace, and those who are accused of being LGBT while undermining America’s influence in favor of Russian influence, i.e. Russia appears to respect the cultures of others more than America. As such, President Obama must be careful in how he protests anti-gay policies in order to demonstrate the US actually respects the rights of other cultures and those who dissent from his stance on LGBT issues.

Quite frankly, America fosters a very dishonest culture when it comes to expressing views on sexuality. We are so averse to even the use of the word “sex” that we too often say, “sleeping together” or “in bed” while we call any sort of lustful sexual act “love making.” Meanwhile, every time a prominent Christian leader, celebrity, or political commentator rejects gay marriage and/or disapproves of homosexual activities, the media reports it as controversial. It is not, because their actions are part of their belief system. Christianity defines homosexual behavior as immoral; therefore, Christians can never accept LBGT lifestyles as appropriate, unless they are untrue to their Faith. In which case, some conflict of Faith, a.k.a. identity crises, will arise and there will either be backlash against the LGBT community or a rejection of Christianity. It is, therefore, important to recognize American LGBT supporters can easily be seen as hypocritical while Obama’s boycott lacks legitimacy in the eyes of non-LGBT supporters.

In truth, Christianity does not technically accept sexual behavior outside of marriage or any kind of lustful behavior, yet it is tolerated by modern Christians in order to avoid conflict, foster cohesion, and open the religion to an attitude of forgiveness, among other things. Hate speech, violence, and other attacks on LGBT individuals will always be unacceptable behaviors under our American values, yet those who find LGBT behavior and lifestyles to be inappropriate for religious and nonreligious reasons have a right to their beliefs. As such, Christians, at best, can accept a “hate the sin; love the sinner” approach when it comes LGBT behavior and lifestyles. Consequently, the Christian community and the LGBT community can never be integrated without a catastrophic social conflict, though their interests can be balanced.

Looking at gay marriage as an example, there is an argument to be made that government should only recognize civil unions for gays and straights alike. Because marriage has a religious and legal component, the only balanced approach that respects Equal Protection under the Fourteen Amendment and the religious protections afforded under the First Amendment is for government to stop legally recognizing the religious practice of marriage and start recognizing the legal status of civil unions for both heterosexual and homosexual couples. Instead of balancing these interests, however, a growing conflict between supporters of the LGBT community and proponents of traditional lifestyles has been allowed to fester. In other words, we are headed away from victimizing LGBT individuals to suppressing those who view LGBT lifestyles as inappropriate in such a way that we are certain to cause a massive, avoidable social conflict.

Furthermore, a large portion of the world’s population favors more socially conservative views when it comes to sexual behavior. As such, a global conflict over differing attitudes on sex is certain, especially given how those with incompatible views are so unwilling to balance their competing interests. Quite frankly, both sides tend to be “ignorant” and “intolerant” even when it comes understanding the other side’s perspective. Everyone can recognize that homosexual attraction and innate transgender traits are rooted in biology and/or early childhood development, thus these individuals cannot be damned for their impulses to engage in these behaviors. On the other hand, it also important to recognize tolerance is a two-way street.

Where Westerners are more inclined to accept homosexuality and reject polygamy, even though our cultures embrace serial polygamy, which we dishonestly call serial monogamy, many parts of the world are more inclined to accept polygamy and reject homosexuality. A large part of this has to do with modern Christianity and Western feminism, yet Western intolerance of polygamy demonstrates how supporters of the LGBT community can be very hypocritical in the eyes of those who view homosexuality as improper while creating unnecessary social conflicts that will eventually result in backlashes to the LGBT community and LGBT individuals. Moreover, LGBT supporters and supporters of more traditional lifestyles must approach how they express their beliefs in a more balanced approach in order to avoid a catastrophic culture clash.