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Christianity and morality





Bikerman
I was reading through the bible last night (largely because I am involved in a debate in another place and I wanted to make sure that I remembered the bible context of the debate. My opponent has a habit of firing-off bible quotes which are extremely selective - he searches through the various translations and finds parts of quotes which apparently support his point - very dishonest and oh so typical of many apologists).
The part I was reading was the book of Job. It came to me, as I read, that there is no possible interpretation of these passages (particularly Job 1 & 2) which allow any conclusion other than God is evil.
For those who don't know the story, Satan and Yahweh are having a chat. Yahweh is bragging about how good his worshippers are and he cites Job as an example. Satan points out that since Yahweh treats Job so well it is hardly surprising that he is a faithful worshipper. Yahweh says - OK then, let's test this - you can make his life a misery and do anything you like to him, short of killing him, and I reckon he will not denounce me. So Satan ruins him and kills his children. Yahweh says I told you so but Satan says that this is not enough and suggests 'striking the flesh' will turn him, so again Yahweh says - go ahead, do your worst. So now Job is given painful sores all over his body...and so it goes on.
As Yahweh says:
Quote:
“Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”
And his only motive for this evil torture is his own ego - so that he can brag about the loyalty of his followers.
The fact that Christians can read this, and scores of similarly evil acts by their deity, and say that God is moral and loving can only mean that their morality is so compromised that it is questionable whether they actually ARE moral in any real sense of the word. One is tempted to conclude that they act according to a predefined set of rules which they have been fed, being either unwilling or incapable of recognising and understanding morality for themselves, rather they just follow the 'rules' unthinkingly. This, of course, makes them as moral as a calculator, as ethical as a dictionary and as 'good' as a robot arm.

EDIT - I just remembered - DarkMatter made a video on this very passage and pretty well nailed it:

WARNING - strong language - includes use of the F word - don't watch if this might offend - but it isn't nearly as offensive as the bible story it is taken from, so bear that in mind.....
nickfyoung
Bikerman
Quote:
The fact that Christians can read this, and scores of similarly evil acts by their deity, and say that God is moral and loving can only mean that their morality is so compromised that it is questionable whether they actually ARE moral in any real sense of the word.


Morality can be different things to different people groups and cultures. One would need to define the meaning used here and the context.
Bikerman
LOL....thus speaks the man who believes that morality is one thing for all men from one God...the DEFINITION of absolute god-given morality. So when it comes to gay marriage, for example, they (the believers) are not being bigots honest, it is just that God said it was immoral and therefore it is immoral and no change of circumstances or time can change that. After all, anything else would be horrible relative morality and if you believe in THAT then you have no reason to say that raping babies is wrong...

But then, notice that as soon as this causes a problem for them, they suddenly become the most relative of relative moralists 'oh it depends on context'.

What a load of hypocritical, nauseating bollox.
nickfyoung
Biklerman
Quote:
So when it comes to gay marriage, for example, they (the believers) are not being bigots honest, it is just that God said it was immoral and therefore it is immoral and no change of circumstances or time can change that.


Just to lift one thing from your post. You will find many Christians are now in favor of Gay marriage. Personally, for me, gay was a problem before I became Christian so my Christianity has little bearing on my feelings toward it.
Bikerman
I didn't say otherwise. I illustrated how this actually happens - when a particular 'absolute moral' position becomes too difficult then Christians change it. That would not be so bad if they didn't still keep lying about having 'absolute morality' and, worse, claiming that atheists don't and are, as a consequence, morally inferior or questionable.
Christians have always altered their morality - a quick look through Leviticus and Deuteronomy shows this. Most of the law has quietly been dropped.
It is YOU that was maintaining that 'mainstream Christianity' is agreed, theologically speaking - which is so untrue it is laughable. And now you admit that on this one issue alone it is fundamentally divided (which indeed it is). The majority of Christian sects oppose Gay marriage and a few don't. The ones that don't see it as not key doctrine whereas the ones that do see it as absolutely key doctrine.

It is YOU that talks about 'biblical' Christianity as if that actually meant anything and as if you actually kept to the bible rather than cherry-picking and redefining to suit.

It is YOU that has the bigoted position that others who claim to be Christians are NOT Christians because they don't share your interpretation of the bible.

I have no misunderstandings and my position on these matters is consistent, moral and logically defensible.

It is YOU that has the hypocritical and morally repugnant position that God is good, that the bible is largely true and that this God who tortures Job for a bet is the ultimate moral entity....
nickfyoung
Yes, Christianity generally accepts the Bible as the inspired word of God and believe it to be consistent in it's teaching throughout. That is who we are and what we believe like it or not. You are critical of the Christian perspective and that is your prerogative.
You still need to explain what you mean by Christian morality as I can't see it pertaining to me as you seem to portray it.
Bikerman
Quote:
You still need to explain what you mean by Christian morality as I can't see it pertaining to me as you seem to portray it.
It is explained in terms a child could understand, so if you don't understand it then it is either because you don't want to, or because of some hitherto undisclosed learning difficulty.
Quote:
Yes, Christianity generally accepts the Bible as the inspired word of God and believe it to be consistent in it's teaching throughout. That is who we are and what we believe like it or not. You are critical of the Christian perspective and that is your prerogative.
And there we see the dishonesty come shining through yet again.
  • You don't speak for 'Christianity Generally'
  • The majority of Christians do NOT believe that the bible is to be taken literally.
  • The majority of Christians accept evolution and understand that the Genesis account is FIGURATIVE not narrative; metaphor not history. They know that Adam and Eve were not historical figures and that the story of the 'fall' is mythological, not literal. In fact the majority of Christians are embarrassed by the creationists who insist that it IS literal and they wish that they would just go away and stop making Christianity look so bad. They have been wishing this for at least 17 centuries but they just can't seem to get rid of you. St Augustine understood creationism and summed up the damage that this brand of lunacy causes to the rest of Christianity - early in the 5th Century CE.
    St. Augustine wrote:
    Often, a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other parts of the world, about the motions and orbits of the stars and even their sizes and distances, … and this knowledge he holds with certainty from reason and experience. It is thus offensive and disgraceful for an unbeliever to hear a Christian talk nonsense about such things, claiming that what he is saying is based in Scripture. We should do all we can to avoid such an embarrassing situation, which people see as ignorance in the Christian and laugh to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant person is laughed at, but rather that people outside the faith believe that we hold such opinions, and thus our teachings are rejected as ignorant and unlearned. If they find a Christian mistaken in a subject that they know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions as based on our teachings, how are they going to believe these teachings in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think these teachings are filled with fallacies about facts which they have learnt from experience and reason. Reckless and presumptuous expounders of Scripture bring about much harm when they are caught in their mischievous false opinions by those not bound by our sacred texts. And even more so when they then try to defend their rash and obviously untrue statements by quoting a shower of words from Scripture and even recite from memory passages which they think will support their case ‘without understanding either what they are saying or what they assert with such assurance.’
    Seems that, on this at least, he was spot-on.
  • The majority of Christians likewise do not think that there really WAS an Ark, a character called Noah and an impossibly large number of animals floating on an impossibly large mass of water in a wooden boat of impossible dimensions that couldn't be built then, probably can't be built now, and certainly wouldn't be seaworthy even if we did cheat and use some modern know-how.
  • The majority of Christians do not think the universe is thousands of years old and do not think that the universe was created by God in 6 days
You DO believe these things and therefore you not only do not speak for the majority of Christians, you don't believe what the majority believe. You constantly and dishonestly try to portray yourself as a mainstream Christian in an effort to portray my criticisms as general to Christianity rather than specific to creationist nonsense. When I want to criticise Christianity in general then don't worry - I will and do. Here I am criticising YOU and YOUR beliefs which is a different thing. You are a creationist fundamentalist, with all the dishonesty that we have come to expect from members of that particular delusional belief-system. Your repeated claims to honesty and sincerity are laughable, and become more so everytime you repeat this deceptive trash.
Yes, I certainly am critical of all religions, since it is clear that personal revelation is no path to truth, and that the various claims made to the contrary are, at best, delusional and, often outright dishonesty. But I am particularly critical of YOUR beliefs because not only are they demonstrably untrue - as even Augustine knew all that time ago - they add up to probably the worst, most degenerate and morally repugnant world-view that I know of, being a combination of bigotry, idiocy and evil/immorality in roughly equal measure. No other religious belief system I can think of (apart from those of some fundamentalist Islamic sects) combines the immoral nonsense of Divine Command theory with the anti-science lies and deception that is a fundamental part of the modern creationist movement. Not only is it immoral nonsense, it is dangerous immoral nonsense which needs to be challenged wherever it rears its filthy head.
nickfyoung
Quote:
Christian fundamentalism was deeply entrenched and concentrated in the U.S. South. In 1972–1980 General Social Surveys, 65% of respondents from the "East South Central" region (comprising Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Alabama) self-identified as fundamentalist. The share of fundamentalists was at or near 50% in "West South Central" (Texas to Arkansas) and "South Atlantic" (Florida to Maryland), and at 25% or below elsewhere in the country, with the low of 9% in New England. The pattern persisted into the 21st century; in 2006–2010 surveys, the average share of fundamentalists in the East South Central Region stood at 58%, while, in New England, it climbed slightly to 13%.[34
] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_fundamentalism

I don't think that fundamentalist beliefs belong to a group as small as you seem to think. As I just said in another post, my church experience over the last 35 years in Australia and the Philippines has shown that fundamentalist beliefs are alive and well. I know that you don't like them but you can't push them down to a small minority if that is not the case.
catscratches
Bikerman wrote:
[*]The majority of Christians do NOT believe that the bible is to be taken literally.
To be fair, he said 'inspired', not 'literal'. I do think most Christians consider the Bible to be inspired by God, but not literal. In fact, I'd say no one actually thinks the Bible is literal, not even the ones who claim they do. You'd be hard-pressed to find people who believe in a flat earth, sea monsters guarding the edges, giants and dragons.

nickfyoung wrote:
Personally, for me, gay was a problem before I became Christian so my Christianity has little bearing on my feelings toward it.
It's true that Christianity is perhaps not so much the cause of bigotry but rather a defense for pre-existing bigotry that's simply indefensible by any other means. Not that that's really any better.
Indi
catscratches wrote:
nickfyoung wrote:
Personally, for me, gay was a problem before I became Christian so my Christianity has little bearing on my feelings toward it.
It's true that Christianity is perhaps not so much the cause of bigotry but rather a defense for pre-existing bigotry that's simply indefensible by any other means. Not that that's really any better.

I disagree.

There has always been bigotry against one thing or another, as far back as recorded history, and you can always find people who are bigots about this or that (people who prejudge people who drive Hummers, for example, or people who prejudge people for using Apple products, etc.). But the kind of long-standing institutionalized bigotry that homosexuals face doesn't just pop out of nowhere.

If you look back in ancient history, all throughout the world, you will find that not only was homosexuality accepted, it was openly and freely practised. In some cultures, it was even a standard part of the growing up process for young men and women to be introduced to sex by elders of the same sex before taking wives or husbands. I'm not even aware of an ancient culture that actually prohibited gay sex, except for the Israelites (and it is likely even they were okay with it, within limits).

Now fast forward to the dawn of the Christian age. Roman culture was pretty much the dominant culture in the area in that period, and while they were a fairly strict and repressive patriarchal society, even they were were cool with homosexuality, within limits. (For example, gay sex orgies at temples were just standard practice, and most powerful men had free young men and male slaves as lovers. Where they absolutely drew the line was at men being sexually submissive. A man could have gay sex, but he had to be the penetrator, not the penetrated.)

Then along comes Christianity.

Originally, Christians didn't have any particular problem with homosexuality specifically. The average early practitioner probably had gay sex freely. But when Christianity started to organize and formalize, and the clergy started to come to power, they were just down on anything fun. They were the original miserable, repressive ****** - a role taken up in modern times by the angry iman in Muslim countries - who didn't want anyone else to have fun, and repressed any and everything they thought they could get away with repressing. They even tried repressing sex altogether - even between a married man and woman! - though of course they couldn't get away with doing that completely, so they just restricted when a man and woman could have sex, how they could do it (missionary position only), and asserted they could only do it to make babies, not for fun.

Their condemnation of homosexuality was just part of all this repression - it didn't really have a special place in their focus; it was a form of fun, so it was repressed - that was all they cared about.

People who had gay sex were persecuted, yes, but so were people who had straight sex of the wrong kind - sex out of marriage, sex in the wrong position (yes, really!), and so on. Homosexuality really wasn't particularly targeted, until the 12th century or so. During that period, Christianity became more and more extreme and fundamentalist, so everything was cracked down on, really. But homophobia really started to take root during this period, and Aquinas actually formalized why homosexuality was really evil - his formulation has pretty much stuck with us to this day. Starting during this period, homosexuals started to be tortured and executed.

Those homophobic attitudes, and the persecutions, continued more or less right to this very day. Today's gay-bashing Christians are the direct inheritors of these ideas, and many of them say pretty much the same things (some have toned down the rhetoric, slightly, in recent years, but not all). And as Christianity spread throughout the world by conquest, it's virulent homophobic attitudes were spread with it. Consider Japan, for example. Before Christians came to Japan, there was no prohibition of homosexuality whatsoever - in fact, the standard relationship between a young warrior-in-training and a master often included sex, which you don't see depicted in samurai films for obvious reasons. When Christians first came to Japan, they were persecuted all to hell (well, it's more complicated than that, but basically), but during the Meiji period when Japan tried to shun its past and embrace Western values, including Christianity. The point can be illustrated graphically just be looking at the dates: Christianity was more or less eliminated from Japan around 1630 and Japan was completely closed off to the rest of the world (homosexuality was practised openly, and accepted, of course)... Japan finally started communicating with the outside world again in 1853... the Meiji revolution which ended Japanese exceptionalism and created a new order that embraced and welcomed Western values was in 1868... religious tolerance began in 1871, and the first Christian missionaries arrived... and the very first law in Japanese history condemning homosexuality was passed in 1872. That's pretty stark evidence that Christianity brought homophobia to Japan.

And the same pattern can be observed everywhere. India was not only quite cool with homosexuality, they were cheerfully inventing new ways to conjugate mixtures of males and females sexually, and publishing them. Then along came British Imperial rule, with its Christian values... and whammo... homosexuality was condemned in India. It's the same story everywhere.

Basically, pretty much everywhere in the world, with only a few exceptions, institutionalized, systematic homophobia can be traced back to Christianity. (Largely because most places didn't have much of institutionalized, systematic anything before Christianity came along.) There are exceptions of course - Islam did it's fair share in the Middle East and Northern Africa for example, but by and large, most places in the world were not homophobic until Christians came along.

Want more evidence? Let's consider nickfyoung's case directly. According to him, there was a period where he wasn't a Christian. Whether you believe him or not, let's assume that's true. Before he was a Christian, he was a homophobe... therefore, the argument goes, Christianity does not cause homophobia. Except... why was he a homopobe? Answer: because the society he grew up in was homophobic. And, how did the whole society become homophobic? Christian influence.

So in this case, Christianity was the cause of this form of bigotry. Christianity was not the first to invent it, but they were the ones who popularized it and spread it in its modern form. I don't even know where you or nickfyoung are, but i can tell you with a very high degree of certainty that before Christianity came to that land, the local aboriginals were okay with homosexuality... and then along came Christianity, and suddenly homosexuality was condemned.

The bottom line is that this is a shame that Christianity has to bear. It is responsible for the persecution of homosexuality worldwide - with only a small handful of exceptions. Even today as fewer people are being born into the faith, the damage Christianity has done in poisoning the laws and social structures of most countries persists. Most Britons, for example, are not raised according to Christian values any more, yet most Britons are probably still raised homophobic - but that doesn't mean it's not Christianity's fault, because Christianity is directly responsible for the homophobia in British culture that gets passed on to each new generation, even if Christian religious beliefs themselves have been discarded. Christianity created the problem in the modern world, and just because it is no longer in absolute control that doesn't mean it's absolved of all responsibility for the problems it created when it was.
nickfyoung
It was interesting to note, on my first trip to the Philippines, which is recognized as the most Christianized country in the world, that homosexuality was displayed quite openly on the streets and generally accepted.
Indi
nickfyoung wrote:
It was interesting to note, on my first trip to the Philippines, which is recognized as the most Christianized country in the world...

By who? ^_^; I can think of at least a dozen countries who could make that claim much more believably than the Philippines.

nickfyoung wrote:
It was interesting to note, on my first trip to the Philippines, which is recognized as the most Christianized country in the world, that homosexuality was displayed quite openly on the streets and generally accepted.

Bullshit. If you happened to see a couple of gay people holding hands without people surrounding them with pitchforks, that means nothing. The Philippines is not accepting of homosexuality. Not only is same-sex marriage still not legal, just five or so years ago there was a political party that tried to form for gay rights called "Ladlad". They tried to run in the national elections but they were disqualified because they couldn't prove they had national support... so they went out and got proof of their national support and tried in the next election. Guess what happened?

You probably won't believe this, but they were denied the right to run because of "immorality". Yeah. Seriously. Because they were an LGBT party, they were denied the right to even run in the election. So much "generally accepted".

(The story has a moderately happy ending, though. The Supreme Court ruled that the denial was bullshit and ordered them to be allowed to run.)
catscratches
@Indi: That's true, I was looking at it from a far too small perspective.

And homosexuality being accepted in the Philippines? Allow me to laugh... and then get sad cause I just realized what I was laughing about. Sad
nickfyoung
Indi
Quote:
By who? ^_^; I can think of at least a dozen countries who could make that claim much more believably than the Philippines.


Quote:
The Philippines, a predominantly Catholic nation, was found to have the highest percentage (84 percent) of people who "know God really exists and ... have no doubts about it," and the lowest percentage (less than one percent) of people who said they "don't believe in God" at all.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/which-country-believes-in-god-the-most-least-74118/


Quote:
Bullshit. If you happened to see a couple of gay people holding hands without people surrounding them with pitchforks, that means nothing.


Just making a general observation. I was interested to note the different level of openness there as compared to here.
deanhills
We have a large community of expats from the Philippines in the UAE. I'd say they are natural compassionate people, more so than most other nationalities. I picked up on that in Canada too. Hence why they excel in nursing and care giving and service industires. However, I doubt that has only to do with religion. I'd say their general character is the first reason, religion is a manifestation of that character. Not the cause of it. This is obviously stereotyping which is not a good thing to do, however there are certain nationalities that seem to be more friendly, compassionate and caring than others. Philippines count as one of them in my experience.
LxGoodies
Indi wrote:
nickfyoung wrote:
It was interesting to note, on my first trip to the Philippines, which is recognized as the most Christianized country in the world, that homosexuality was displayed quite openly on the streets and generally accepted.

Bullshit. If you happened to see a couple of gay people holding hands without people surrounding them with pitchforks, that means nothing. The Philippines is not accepting of homosexuality. Not only is same-sex marriage still not legal, just five or so years ago there was a political party that tried to form for gay rights called "Ladlad". They tried to run in the national elections but they were disqualified because they couldn't prove they had national support... so they went out and got proof of their national support and tried in the next election. Guess what happened? You probably won't believe this, but they were denied the right to run because of "immorality". Yeah. Seriously. Because they were an LGBT party, they were denied the right to even run in the election. So much "generally accepted". (The story has a moderately happy ending, though. The Supreme Court ruled that the denial was bullshit and ordered them to be allowed to run.)

Hmm that could have been conservatism of (some of) the elite and the church ? General population in the Philippines seems not to be heavily opposed to LGBT-rights.. Wiki sais this,

"The Philippines is a predominantly Roman Catholic country,[5] with approximately 92.5 percent claiming to be Christian. Despite this, the Philippines has recently been ranked as one of the most gay-friendly nations in the world, and the most gay-friendly in Asia.[6][7][8] On a global survey covering 39 countries, only 17 of which had majorities accepting homosexuality, the Philippines ranking as the 10th most gay-friendly. The survey titled “The Global Divide on Homosexuality” conducted by the US-based Pew Research Center showed that 73 percent of adult Filipinos agreed with the statement that “homosexuality should be accepted by society,” up by nine percentage points from 64 percent in 200"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_the_Philippines

.. which also opens the question whether religion is able to block the upcoming LGBT rights in Western countries anyway. I wonder if religion always decides this. I doubt that, it depends on education too. Brasil and several south-American countries did introduce gay marriage. As did Spain.. In Italy and France they fight over it.. while Germany, Ireland and Poland lag behind. Eastern Europe still has anti-gay laws.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Europe

Of course, only gay marriage and completely equal rights will solve all problems. Non-equal rights always translate into problems, because parents fear for the social position of their children and react negatively. In my country (Netherlands) this is slowly changing, after 10 years of established gay rights parents start to become interested rather than worried, when their child is coming out.
Indi
catscratches wrote:
@Indi: That's true, I was looking at it from a far too small perspective.

Yeah, there are plenty of things we can't really blame Christianity for... but this is totally not one of them.

nickfyoung wrote:
Quote:
The Philippines, a predominantly Catholic nation, was found to have the highest percentage (84 percent) of people who "know God really exists and ... have no doubts about it," and the lowest percentage (less than one percent) of people who said they "don't believe in God" at all.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/which-country-believes-in-god-the-most-least-74118/

Ah, right. You only consider people who believe with "no doubts about it" to be Christians.

The reality is that even the country i grew up in - Barbados - is more Christian (95%+) than the Philippines (93%). And Barbados isn't even that high on the list of most Christian countries. Around 99% of Romania is Christian, and not only is Malta like 98% Christian, unlike the Philippines it is actually literally a Christian country - Christianity is enshrined in the constitution, and taught by law in all the schools.

LxGoodies wrote:
Hmm that could have been conservatism of (some of) the elite and the church ? General population in the Philippines seems not to be heavily opposed to LGBT-rights.. Wiki sais this,

Oh man, I dug into this and... it actually made me laugh. Let me show you why, it's pretty hilarious.

When i read what you quoted, it set off my bullshit alarm. I know the Philippines isn't particularly LGBT friendly, so for the Wikipedia article to be so positive was... suspicious.

So I actually checked the sources on that Wiki article. Dude, you have to see this - it is the funniest example of spin i have seen in a while.

Here's what the Wiki article (as you quoted) says:
Despite this, the Philippines has recently been ranked as one of the most gay-friendly nations in the world, and the most gay-friendly in Asia.[6][7][8]

Here's what the first source link (number 6) actually says - right at the top:
The Philippines has earned its ranking as one of few gay-friendly countries in the world.

Isn't that neat? ^_^;
Source says: "PH is one of the few gay-friendly countries."
Wiki says: "PH is one of the most gay-friendly countries".
Like, almost literally (very close to literally). That is about as blatant as spin can get.

Technically, yes, the Wiki article isn't wrong... but whoever wrote it sure seems hellbent on putting a positive spin on the facts to make the Philippines look not so bad. It's as ridiculous as if someone did a comparison of the three most evil dictators, and they scored - from most to least evil - as Hitler, Stalin, and Mao... so someone writes "Mao is the least evil dictator!" Technically, yes, true... but he's the "least evil" of a pretty darn evil bunch.

To make it even more hilarious, here is what actual Filipino gay activists in the same source article (number 6, still) had to say:
Quote:
Not impressed

However, Filipino gay groups were not impressed by the survey results.

When asked if the gay community in the Philippines felt accepted, Jonas Bagas, executive director of the TLF Share Collective, said: “Hardly.”

^_^;

It's like night and day. Whoever wrote the Wiki blurb is technically not lying, but they're spinning the truth to sound positive, and it's so extreme in this case! Wiki says PH is one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world! Meanwhile the section in the source article where they actually talk to gay Filipinos is literally titled "Not impressed". ^_^;

I actually dug up the source data the Wiki article is gushing about, and it's not nearly as positive as the article pretends. The Philippines was noted, but not for being particularly warm toward gays. What was noteworthy about it was that there was a pretty strong negative correlation between religiosity and antipathy toward gays, and Philippines was one of the few outliers that bucked the trend, along with Russia and Brazil. Both Philippines and Brazil scored as very religious, yet both also scored as fairly accepting of gays. (By contrast, Russia scored as "not very religious", yes was pretty intolerant to gays.)



That was the ultimate message in the data. Not that the Philippines is a nice place for gays, but rather just that it is fairly nice considering how religious it is. Which is good, i guess, but does that mean that the Philippines is actually friendly to gays?

To quote someone who knows: "Hardly."
LxGoodies
Ya of course.. compared to Canada or Europe it would be hard for gays in the Philippines, I take that is so. But I am a little more optimistic.

Indi wrote:
So I actually checked the sources on that Wiki article.


This is what you quote,

Indi wrote:
"The Philippines has earned its ranking as one of few gay-friendly countries in the world."


I agree "one of the most" is really an exaggeration, a fault quote and very "politically correct" ! however.. it could be worse.

Quote:
Not that the Philippines is a nice place for gays, but rather just that it is fairly nice considering how religious it is.

Despite. And the same thing we can see in Brasil. Very catholic and at the same time, homosexuality finds a base in certain aspects of local culture and becomes (more) accepted than import religion would dictate.

Apart from the main topic, there are more interesting lemma's about the Philippines in Wiki,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_Philippines
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_culture_in_the_Philippines


Quote:
The Philippines is predominantly Roman Catholic,[7] and the faith views homosexual activity as "intrinsically disordered" while tolerating persons with such orientations.[8] This condemnation of homosexuality presents a problem for the baklâ because of the potential for discrimination in a Catholic-dominated society. Baklâ belonging to Catholic families–especially devout ones–often struggle to reconcile their feelings and religious beliefs throughout their whole adolescent lives. While some baklâ are told to abandon their homosexuality because of religion, others are encouraged by either parents or friends to embrace it, considering the baklâ to nonetheless be an important part of society.

While a significant minority, baklâ who are Protestant face varying degrees of acceptance based on the denomination to which they belong. The Philippine Independent Church, which is affiliated with the Anglican Communion, is known for its progressive stance, while various Evangelical churches and the Iglesia Ni Cristo are more fundamentalist, and thus strongly condemn homosexual acts and identities within their congregations.

Non-Christian Filipinos who profess Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and other faiths also present a wide range of doctrinal views. The largest non-Christian minority faith (some 5% of the population), Islam, like Christianity and Judaism, regards homosexual acts as sinful on a doctrinal basis and Filipino Muslims society is generally not accepting of homosexuals. Hinduism and Buddhism on the other hand generally frown upon homosexuality but are tolerant.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bakla_%28Philippines%29

Yep, there's discrimination. Bakla isn't even regarded as male. Very offensive. But compare this to e.g. Russia, Uganda or Iran.

Can't say have a good holiday in these countries and some LGBT fun.. like in in Manila Razz

http://www.travelgayasia.com/gay-map-of-manila/

They did not read Swaab yet. I estimate them.. somewhere in the 60's, 70's regarding LGBT and discrimination. They will develop, as we did.. I have no doubts about that.
tingkagol
In the many years I've lived in the Philippines, I've definitely observed some improvements when it comes to gay tolerance. Homosexuality in the Philippines is definitely not as invisible as it was in the past since you could literally see gays everywhere now, even on TV - and it's a good thing. Being a predominantly Christian country, it's easier to be bigoted about homosexuality when gays aren't around than when they're sitting right next to you. I'm glad gays are becoming more visible in Philippine society today - if anything, it encourages more people to be more tolerant and to acknowledge that these are real people (not some alien species from another planet) who deserve equal rights as heterosexuals.

While Filipino bigots aren't as outspoken as they used to be, it doesn't necessarily mean homophobia is dead. It's very alive and well. I've visited a few local (supposedly neutral) online forums that discuss gay rights in the Phils and they're literally one of the most headache-inducing threads I've ever read. The level of ignorance is nauseating. Homophobic slurs are thrown around regularly like it's no big deal, calling gay people a "disease" even in the presence of self-confessed gay posters. This thread is a good example.
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