The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Saturday, January 28, 2006

A nitpick

A comment from a reader on my last post :

A nitpick: you may be able to think of socio-biological reasons for homophobia, but afaik, homophobia isn't all that pervasive among human cultures--a fair number have room for homosexual acts. Imho, there's probably socio-biological pressure to strongly encourage fertile sex, but that still leaves a lot of room for non-fertile sex.

I don't have a problem with some believers and non-believers being good people to live with--I'm inclined to think that benevolence is a matter of temperament (possibly cultivated), and people choose the parts of their nominal belief systems that suit their temperaments.

The one I have a hard time with is understanding people who are passionate bigots. Where do they find the energy, and why are they spending it on *that*?
and my answer:

I would say that passionate bigotry is, at this point in our social development, a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder, literally a mental illness.  Thomas Jefferson could own slaves and consider blacks mentally inferior (and engage in behavior with Sally Hemmings that would be considered grotesque sexual harassment and abuse of a power position) --and still be a good, balanced, and intelligent man, a product of his time who enjoyed the perks of his class.  For a man today to engage in similar behaviors would be absolutely abhorrent.  We hav to include context in our assessments.  when I run inot men who rant about women, or whites who rant about blacks (or vice versa) or Christians who rant about Moslems (or vice versa) or Liberals who rant about Conservatives (or vice versa)  I sense an overall damaged energetic.

My “Structure and  Flow” class will be conducted this  Sunday at the International  Arts Academy  at 20628 E. Arrow Highway #3,  Covina,  Ca 91724,  at 1:00.
The class will be conducted through March, so don’t miss this opportunity!

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