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Michaelg
01-11-2013, 05:20 AM
Not sure this is the right place, but I have been moved before.
When I started writing fiction, my dad encouraged me to include in each novel some discussion on a religious topic. In my first book, I touched on the plan of salvation and living together before marriage. Those worked fine.
In the sequal, I want a discussion of homosexuality. I want it in the context that refusing to allow freedom of religion to not accept homosexuality is akin to having your personal freedom taken from you. All of this while demonstrating personal respect. However, it is not working. The rest of the book is going fine. This one little section has me blocked.
My attempts, so far, have the older man sounding arrogant and condesending the younger man (gay) sounds flat and unemotional. I am trying to catch the voice for a mutual conversation with realism. If you can help, I need four lines or so of dialog between a gay and an anti-gay so I can get the voice.
No arrogance, no anger, but with each side communicating logic and self-confidence. Don't respond with anything copywrited as I may, with your permission, use it to start the dialog in my book.

RichardGarfinkle
01-11-2013, 06:07 AM
Not sure this does belong here. You have several different things tangled up.

1. We can have a discussion here about whether not allowing rejection of something impinges freedom of religion. That could be a lively topic and need not be cofined to attitudes toward homosexuality.

2. We cannot have a discussion about the rightness or wrongness of homosexuality itself. This is not a board for telling people that you think their lives are wrong.

3. Getting specific help on a particular piece of writing really requires people to see your writing in order to fit ideas into your work. For that you should use the SYW board.

4. However you choose to deal with this subject your description of the matter involves a conflation between gay people and advocates for religious respect for gay people. The latter response need not come from gay people, but from anyone who feels that respect is due to all humans.

JournoWriter
01-11-2013, 06:25 AM
I understand this is important to you, but most novels that overtly seek to impart a religious message come across to me as more religious polemic than novel. Preachiness is obvious for what it is, and that may turn a lot of readers off.

If you want your novel to make a religious point, perhaps it may be better - for both your readers and you in your writing - to tackle the topic through the arc and path of the story, rather than try to sum it all up in a few awkward lines of dialogue.


No arrogance, no anger, but with each side communicating logic and self-confidence.

If you want the anti-gay position to come out on top, this approach may not work. Neither side is going to budge under these circumstances.

kaitie
01-11-2013, 06:35 AM
I have two thoughts.

First, asking you to respect another human being does absolutely nothing to take away your personal religious freedom to believe what you want is right. It's about respecting others and treating people with basic human decency. Treating others with decency and respect doesn't mean anyone is forcing you to go have a gay relationship. That would go against your freedoms.

Second, if you're just inserting a random conversation with a gay person in your book in order to make a point, there's a reason it isn't working: it's not supposed to be there. You can write about religious topics, explore spirituality, and all of those things without being preachy, but those elements have to be integral to the story, a part of a larger whole. If you just try to tack something on for the purpose of making a point, it's not ever going to work.

No offense to your father, but I disagree with his advice.

ETA: Have you ever had a conversation with a gay person? Or made friends with one? Gotten to know one? I think you'll have an easier time writing a conversation like this if you've got the personal experience to back it up. I'm not saying you always have to write what you know, but the reason your character is flat is because he's not a fully fleshed out person--he's a cardboard cutout designed to suit your needs. A character has to be fully formed in your head before they'll feel dimensional to the reader.

Siri Kirpal
01-11-2013, 06:55 AM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I always include religion in my books, but then I've always written religion/spirituality non-fiction.

I love novels that have religion slipped into the books as an intregal part of the piece. But a dialogue just tacked on isn't likely to work.

I agree with Mr. Garfinkle that you'd be wise to post the flat passage in the relevant section of SYW.

I'm guessing that the problem is you don't want conflict. But novels are fueled by conflict. Which all means, you're running this dialogue on empty.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

MacAllister
01-11-2013, 07:03 AM
What on earth would motivate your young gay man to even bother trying to talk to the olded bigoted guy?

Motivation is a big part of what makes dialog work. What does each speaker want? Where to they want to get to? What motivation do they have for discussing any of this in the first place, especially with each other?

katci13
01-11-2013, 07:22 AM
I second what Kaitie said. You can't sneak politics, religion, and other similar topics like this into your writing. The reader will always know and they will always be annoyed.

If it's a natural extension of your plot, it's different.

It's possible you're struggling because you're forcing it, doing something in your book that wouldn't happen naturally, and you know it.

Take it out. If you try to force it you're going to ruin the overall quality of your story. Please don't feel like you have to insert a religious discussion into every single story you write. If you want to tackle a religious topic, I think it would be helpful if you started with the topic and then built the plot around that. That way it'll be more natural.

If you really want this conversation in your story, I suggest you go online and find some interviews that are similar to the situation you're trying to convey in your story.

zanzjan
01-11-2013, 07:24 AM
I want it in the context that refusing to allow freedom of religion to not accept homosexuality is akin to having your personal freedom taken from you.

So, if I understand you correctly, you want us to help you to make the point that preventing one group of people from oppressing the rights of another is wrong because it oppresses the first group's right to be oppressors? And you want us to present this in the form of a conversation between the aspiring oppressor and his intended oppressee, and have it be logical and reasonable? Or am I missing the nuance here?

I reread your post, substituting, in turn, the words "black person" and "woman" for "homosexual" -- you may find it edifying to do the same (or not.) But I suspect that the reason this is falling flat for you is that, in trying to write a compelling argument between two characters, regardless of whose side you personally agree with, as an author you have to be able to put yourself in both character's shoes and understand where they are coming from in order to give the dialogue that sense of realism. As katie suggested, actually talking to someone on the other side of this may help give you that perspective.

Fantasmac
01-11-2013, 07:27 AM
When I started writing fiction, my dad encouraged me to include in each novel some discussion on a religious topic.

I don't really understand this piece of advice.

It sounds like the reason you're having trouble is that this exchange doesn't actually belong in the book, as evidenced by the fact that your basically asking internet strangers to write it for you. Shoehorning any sort of message into your book that doesn't belong there, no matter how moral and upstanding it might be, just seems like a bad idea.

christwriter
01-11-2013, 07:34 AM
I think your problem is that you're trying to oversimplify an highly charged and complicated issue.

The first thing I would recommend you do is research how Christian gays justify their lifestyles. Because they exist, and they believe they have theological justification for how they chose to live their lives. Don't research just to refute the argument for inclusion, research to understand it. Because you can't just argue this from a he's right, he's wrong POV. Whoever will be arguing for gay inclusion will be just as feverent, and just as convinced that he's right as the other guy. If you don't understand it, how can you write about it effectively?

Secondly, the exclusion of homosexuals from the faith is not and never has been a foundation of Christianity. I USED (emphasis on used) to believe that it was. I believe that I was very loudly and firmly corrected by God. The foundation of Christianity is salvation and Christ, yes? So how can it be a freedom of religion issue, if the thing in question is a secondary factor? If you believe it is a command from God, then you are going to have to explain how and why homosexuality is so antithetical to the faith it permanently divides a soul from God as long as it is practiced.

Thirdly: I call this the C.S. Lewis principle. In his autobiography he states pretty clearly that he's never felt the spiritual authority to comment on homosexuality because he has never faced that particular struggle. Paraphrasing Horse and his Boy, we only know our own story. Have you ever had to deal with homosexual tendencies? Or had a friend who had to? If not, how can you make an effective commentary on how Christian faith and sexual orientation intertwine? You need to talk to people who have faced the struggle, and not just people who made the choice you can agree with. You need to hear the opinions and choices of the other guys. Get the full picture, and then come back to the arguement. Because this is a deep and heady thing you're looking at.

And finally: let the "enemy" in the conversation score some good points. I don't know who the enemy is. The best move would be to have no one "win" the conversation. Don't make it a declaration of faith. Make it a question that the reader has to answer. A "lady or the tiger" kind of situation.

(edit to add: I'd love to say that one can be both a Christian and Gay, but because that's one fight I've never had, I can't do that. I believe that you can be, but I have neither the perspective nor the experience necessary to make a call either way. What I do believe, however, is that the relationship with God is important enough for us not to let it get hung up over who and how we love. And that it's not my right to stand in the churchyard and tell hurting people they can't come in. For any reason.)

Unimportant
01-11-2013, 07:35 AM
In the sequal, I want a discussion of homosexuality. I want it in the context that refusing to allow freedom of religion to not accept homosexuality is akin to having your personal freedom taken from you. All of this while demonstrating personal respect.

If you're struggling with this, either because you cannot personally understand one of the mindsets or because you just don't know much about the issue from either side, perhaps try substituting something else (temporarily) for 'homosexuality', write some sample conversations, and see how it goes. Frex, the Bible says eating shellfish is wrong. So your older guy can say "It doesn't matter if they taste good or not. My religion bans eating shellfish. You need to respect that." The younger guy might argue that shellfish is SO DELISH that old guy is nutso for not indulging in prawns and lobster. Or he might agree that it's in fact great old guy is leaving more prawns on the plate for young guy, but old guy needs to realise that if young guy respects old guy's wish to not eat prawns, old guy needs equally to respect young guy's delight at scoffing all the prawns within reach. Or young guy might note that it's fine for old guy to eschew prawns, but he can't extend that to make laws banning prawns for everyone. Etc.

veinglory
01-11-2013, 07:43 AM
Just to repeat what has already been said... is there an actual narrative, characters or anything else to make people want to read this book? Themes are a condiment, not a main course.

kaitie
01-11-2013, 07:46 AM
I think your problem is that you're trying to oversimplify an highly charged and complicated issue.

The first thing I would recommend you do is research how Christian gays justify their lifestyles. Because they exist, and they believe they have theological justification for how they chose to live their lives. Don't research just to refute the argument for inclusion, research to understand it. Because you can't just argue this from a he's right, he's wrong POV. Whoever will be arguing for gay inclusion will be just as feverent, and just as convinced that he's right as the other guy. If you don't understand it, how can you write about it effectively?

Secondly, the exclusion of homosexuals from the faith is not and never has been a foundation of Christianity. I USED (emphasis on used) to believe that it was. I believe that I was very loudly and firmly corrected by God. The foundation of Christianity is salvation and Christ, yes? So how can it be a freedom of religion issue, if the thing in question is a secondary factor? If you believe it is a command from God, then you are going to have to explain how and why homosexuality is so antithetical to the faith it permanently divides a soul from God as long as it is practiced.

Thirdly: I call this the C.S. Lewis principle. In his autobiography he states pretty clearly that he's never felt the spiritual authority to comment on homosexuality because he has never faced that particular struggle. Paraphrasing Horse and his Boy, we only know our own story. Have you ever had to deal with homosexual tendencies? Or had a friend who had to? If not, how can you make an effective commentary on how Christian faith and sexual orientation intertwine? You need to talk to people who have faced the struggle, and not just people who made the choice you can agree with. You need to hear the opinions and choices of the other guys. Get the full picture, and then come back to the arguement. Because this is a deep and heady thing you're looking at.

And finally: let the "enemy" in the conversation score some good points. I don't know who the enemy is. The best move would be to have no one "win" the conversation. Don't make it a declaration of faith. Make it a question that the reader has to answer. A "lady or the tiger" kind of situation.

(edit to add: I'd love to say that one can be both a Christian and Gay, but because that's one fight I've never had, I can't do that. I believe that you can be, but I have neither the perspective nor the experience necessary to make a call either way. What I do believe, however, is that the relationship with God is important enough for us not to let it get hung up over who and how we love. And that it's not my right to stand in the churchyard and tell hurting people they can't come in. For any reason.)

I love this post.

evilrooster
01-11-2013, 02:00 PM
I want it in the context that refusing to allow freedom of religion to not accept homosexuality is akin to having your personal freedom taken from you. All of this while demonstrating personal respect. However, it is not working.


My attempts, so far, have the older man sounding arrogant and condesending the younger man (gay) sounds flat and unemotional.
No arrogance, no anger, but with each side communicating logic and self-confidence.I don't see how it can possibly work, and I think your blockage is your writer-self is trying to tell you so.

The older man sounds condescending because his position intrudes on the younger man's far more fundamentally than the younger man's intrudes on his. The only way he can defend that position is if there's an unequal power relationship somewhere in there. Explaining how that is valid is going to come off as either condescending or thuggish.

And the younger man, if he's at all realistically written, is going to be angry about it. If you're squashing that realistic anger to get through the scene, he is going to come off as flat and unemotional.

There's no way to write it that leaves both characters as good guys. It's not that kind of conflict in real life.

mccardey
01-11-2013, 02:16 PM
I don't see how it can possibly work, and I think your blockage is your writer-self is trying to tell you so.


There's no way to write it that leaves both characters as good guys. It's not that kind of conflict in real life.

I was going to say this - but since the rooster already did...

I would suggest, though, that you use this block as a stimulus to really examine the question for yourself. If the answer is in you, you'll find it. If it isn't, no amount of someone else's words is going to satisfy you or the reader. you may find you have to re-examine the issue from scratch.

You said
If you can help, I need four lines or so of dialog between a gay and an anti-gay so I can get the voice.
No arrogance, no anger, but with each side communicating logic and self-confidence. Don't respond with anything copywrited as I may, with your permission, use it to start the dialog in my book.

I don't know that that's a great approach, quite honestly. I think you need to know and own your characters yourself. The usual answer to "How do I write (a person who is this or that)?" is - research. Go out, meet them, talk to them, get to know them.

Hope that helps

Wisteria Vine
01-11-2013, 04:07 PM
I'm wondering what the upshot of this conversation might be. Will either character change in any way? Will the older man come to accept that homosexuality is acceptable, despite what he perceives the Bible to say? Or will the younger man come to believe that it's not right?

What do you want these characters to DO with this conversation? Why does this conversation need to exist? If it's merely filler, it doesn't belong there and a good editor will suggest it gets cut in favor of moving the story forward.

If you know that this conversation will eventually turn the older man into a more accepting, loving Christian, there might be better ways to do that than in a four line conversation.

frimble3
01-11-2013, 04:23 PM
When I started writing fiction, my dad encouraged me to include in each novel some discussion on a religious topic. In my first book, I touched on the plan of salvation and living together before marriage. Those worked fine.
In the sequal, I want a discussion of homosexuality. I want it in the context that refusing to allow freedom of religion to not accept homosexuality is akin to having your personal freedom taken from you. All of this while demonstrating personal respect. However, it is not working. The rest of the book is going fine. This one little section has me blocked.
My attempts, so far, have the older man sounding arrogant and condesending the younger man (gay) sounds flat and unemotional. I am trying to catch the voice for a mutual conversation with realism. If you can help, I need four lines or so of dialog between a gay and an anti-gay so I can get the voice.
No arrogance, no anger, but with each side communicating logic and self-confidence. Don't respond with anything copywrited as I may, with your permission, use it to start the dialog in my book.
"In the sequal, I want a discussion of homosexuality."
Why this particular discussion? If the 'living together' worked for the first book, why not something related, like 'sex other than for procreation' for this one?

"No arrogance, no anger, but with each side communicating logic and self-confidence."
How can this work, when, based on your description, one or the other, (maybe both) are troublemakers trying to start a fight? This is not a discussion that two calm, logical people would have, not with each other. If each one knows that the other has a firmly opposite opinion, polite people do not start 'logical discussions' on the disputed subject in a conversational context.
This is something you do to score points, needle or browbeat your opponent, or make them look bad. Unless you're at a public debate or liquored up.
Non-religious example: you do not stand in front of your father-in-law's gun case, looking at his trophies, eating the barbecued game he hunted, telling him there should be a total ban on gun ownership, and expect the evening to go well.

Ken
01-11-2013, 04:32 PM
You can't sneak politics, religion, and other similar topics like this into your writing. The reader will always know and they will always be annoyed.

... not me. I like preachy fiction, so long as the preaching isn't offensive. E.g. a novel showing that you should do good onto others, etc. That'd be fine with me. And maybe after reading it I'd be a bit better person for it, which'd be cool :-) Thought provoking ones are tolerable too even if I don't necessarily agree with the message. Ann Rand wrote some of that sort. Wasn't always on the same page with her, but I appreciated her probing perspective. Broadened my own.

ps As to the OP, homosexuals aren't some sort of distinct species.
They're just like everybody else, with one difference.
That difference doesn't set them apart though.
It just makes them human and beautiful.
Love of any sort is.

Doing a bit of preaching myself here ;-)

cornflake
01-11-2013, 04:33 PM
I want it in the context that refusing to allow freedom of religion to not accept homosexuality is akin to having your personal freedom taken from you.

Huh? I don't understand this at all.

Michaelg
01-11-2013, 08:19 PM
Huh? I don't understand this at all.

This all great stuff and exactly what I wanted. I needed the things that keep it from working. The trilogy I am writing is about people that would make slaves out of those that do not wish to be slaves. Their resistance of those that want to be free. My Dad's observation, he was a preacher for 64 years and passed away last summer, was that people do that with religion as well. It does fit with the plot to explore the religious, moral or ethical issues we encounter every day.

It is the reaction to conflict that I am exploring. Some Christians say homosexuality is a sin, but do they have a right to legislate against it. And, can they stay true to their beliefs without aggressive opposition/opression of those that disagree.

Some homosexuals believe that if someone does not support them, then they must attack that person. Even the name 'Homophobe" can be considered an attack. A phobia is an illness and people can have different oppinions or beliefs without being sick. It is not the conflict, there will always be conflicts in our lives. It is how we deal with those conflicts that define us.

In my book, the older guy has just saved the life of the younger man. He was being beat up and was about to get killed because he was gay. The conversation starts when the young guy finds out the man that has just saved his life is what he considers a "Homophobe".

Again, I thank you all for your comments and opionions. Preaching or not, I can use this. There is no need to respond further. Not on my account. I have what I need and will not respond further to this thread to prevent flames. Ya'll are great!

****************************

To say thank you, I would like to offer a free Kindle copy of my Dad's study book on the Godhead. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005G51BPM It will be free from tomorrow until Monday the 14th. I hope you find it interesting.

ColoradoGuy
01-11-2013, 08:24 PM
I appreciate how everyone is keeping the conversation civil on this difficult topic. Perhaps it doesn't really belong in this room because it's more about writing techniques than religion, but as long as it's here we'll leave it here for now.

I agree that this one would be difficult to write in the natural flow of a story without it sounding like a gratuitous bit of preaching by the author.

EMaree
01-11-2013, 08:27 PM
I'm wondering why you choose to have your character talk to a young gay guy. Why not have your character talk to someone his own age who happens to be gay? You might find it easier to write this interaction when they have more things in common.

EDIT:

Some homosexuals believe that if someone does not support them, then they must attack that person. Even the name 'Homophobe" can be considered an attack. A phobia is an illness and people can have different oppinions or beliefs without being sick. It is not the conflict, there will always be conflicts in our lives. It is how we deal with those conflicts that define us.

This bothers me. If someone doesn't support your right to be who you are, are you really 'attacking' them by refusing to accept this treatment?

And 'homophobe' isn't an attack. It's a word. Considering a description of someone's attitude ("afraid of homosexuals") a personal attack feels unsavoury to me.

thebloodfiend
01-11-2013, 08:32 PM
Huh? I don't understand this at all.It's that same standard argument:

Hate the sin, love the sinner. I should be allowed the right to dislike homosexuality and not be judged due to religious beliefs—including taking right of marriage, adoption, and etc... away from gays. Because the icky feeling in the pit of my stomach about two guys getting it on is much more important than someone's life.

Michael, I'm just going to tell you up front—it's been done before. Watch Morgan Spurlock's 30 days episodes. He has one on a straight conservative Christian guy being sent to live in San Fran for a month and another about an adopted Christian conservative who believes gay adoption is wrong getting sent to live with a gay couple who adopted two boys.

It's impossible to have that conversation while still retaining personal respect. The entire argument behind one side is the complete anti-thesis of personal respect. No wonder the older guy is coming off as arrogant and the younger guy is unemotional and unaffected. The younger guy probably gets people telling him that homosexuality is wrong all the time. Why should he care?

But what is the endpoint of the conversation supposed to be? Does anyone change? Does anyone become more open minded? Or more close minded? If nothing happens, it's a pointless scene. Scenes are supposed to move the story forward.

As for voice—I have no idea what you're talking about. What are your characters like? If you don't know their voice, how are we supposed to know their voice? Just google some standard anti-gay arguments. There you go. None of them are rational and every gay on the planet has heard them. There's really no way for the older guy to come off as sounding rational and respectful. I've never seen it done before, at least.

Good luck. You'll be needing it with this scene.

backslashbaby
01-11-2013, 09:21 PM
I've had the real-life conversation many times with my very devout mother, as we did about a lot of religious differences. I'd never call her anti-gay, though. Someone who is described as anti-gay seems to have all the answers they want.

My mother was concerned with how to handle what she was supposed to think about homosexuality. She couldn't understand why it was 'supposed' to be a sin, but she also felt strongly about not having to know why God wanted things the way she thought He said he wanted them. It was a faith question to her, and she would rather err on the side of caution, if that makes sense. You don't trump God, see?

So she knew very many of my gay friends and they knew her. Most of my gay friends were kicked out by uber-religious parents, btw, so it was nothing new to them that a religious person might have difficulties with the topic (back in the day). Mom basically decided that everyone has a personal relationship with God, and all she had to 'worry' about was how she would handle her own homosexuality. Since that was not a problem for her, it boiled down to just not judging. Period. She loved my best friend (a gay guy) and he loved her :) It sounds horribly tricky, but if the people have reason to enjoy and love each other, I think they find a way to make religious differences a small thing in life.

She got to see that gay love looked just like hetero love, btw, and that changed her mind even further. You'd never get her to admit that homosexuality was 100% OK, because she was truly scared for gay people still (if you could get her to talk about it). She prayed for it to all be OK. My friends thought that was cute, and as long as she was 100% respectful and genuine with them, they still really liked her. It's not like the conversation came up much, for obvious reasons.

eta: there's the whole Leviticus argument that helped her form her new opinions, too. Early on when she had us, she was not going to let us do a few things in Leviticus until that seemed too silly, so she dropped those from her concerns. If she could drop those, she could see why folks argue that homosexuality may be similar (and I think it is).

TheMessy
01-11-2013, 09:42 PM
Here you go.
_____________________________________

"I just want to be accepted." Young said.

Old nodded. "I accept you just fine. It's the lifestyle I can't agree with."

"Then why don't you let me marry who I want, adopt kids like I want, and visit my loved ones in hospitals. Why can't I have a family!" Young said. He stood with palms outstretched, moving his hands in emphasis of each item in the list.

A] Old shrugged slightly. "I got no say in any of those things. I'm just a volunteer fireman doing work as a policeman who helps do carpentry around the church."
or
B] Old sighed through clenched teeth. "Man and woman are the foundation of a strong family, and the family is the foundation of a strong nation."

response for A] Young smiled shyly and started examining his bruises. "Then I have no problem with you. Only those who don't understand that in order to be free yourself, you have to let others be free."

response for B] Young rolls his eyes so hard his head tilts back and a moaning frustration can be heard escaping his mouth. He swivels around and storms toward the door. One muttered thing can be heard before he leaves, "Then why did your God make me this way."
_____________________________________

Enjoy.

little_e
01-12-2013, 01:51 PM
"In the sequal, I want a discussion of homosexuality."
Why this particular discussion? If the 'living together' worked for the first book, why not something related, like 'sex other than for procreation' for this one?

"No arrogance, no anger, but with each side communicating logic and self-confidence."
How can this work, when, based on your description, one or the other, (maybe both) are troublemakers trying to start a fight? This is not a discussion that two calm, logical people would have, not with each other. If each one knows that the other has a firmly opposite opinion, polite people do not start 'logical discussions' on the disputed subject in a conversational context.
This is something you do to score points, needle or browbeat your opponent, or make them look bad. Unless you're at a public debate or liquored up.
Non-religious example: you do not stand in front of your father-in-law's gun case, looking at his trophies, eating the barbecued game he hunted, telling him there should be a total ban on gun ownership, and expect the evening to go well.
Wait, you don't?

I could seriously actually see this happening between my dad and my husband. And the evening turning out fine, because my dad's a pretty mellow guy.

And while I myself don't self-identify as gay, I have many close friends who do and whom I care about deeply, and yet I've had very reasonable, logical conversations of this sort with my deeply conservative former talk-radio host uncle, which bystanders claimed were interesting both for their content and for the fact that we were perfectly polite all the way through.

For the OP, basically, my uncle believes that homosexuality is a social construct/influenced by a lack of suitable male role models in early childhood. (He backs this up with studies from the seventies and eighties. Nothing newer, because the PC police won't let folks do studies which might cast homosexuality in a negative light.) Basically, improperly raised kids are more susceptible to bad ideas and confused about proper gender roles.

Me, I go more with a biological explanation, though of course social construction enters into anything so complicated as personal self-identity.

areteus
01-12-2013, 03:25 PM
Secondly, the exclusion of homosexuals from the faith is not and never has been a foundation of Christianity. I USED (emphasis on used) to believe that it was. I believe that I was very loudly and firmly corrected by God. The foundation of Christianity is salvation and Christ, yes? So how can it be a freedom of religion issue, if the thing in question is a secondary factor? If you believe it is a command from God, then you are going to have to explain how and why homosexuality is so antithetical to the faith it permanently divides a soul from God as long as it is practiced.


This. Absolutely. I have a number of friends who are gay, a number who are Christian and many of them are the same people.

Of course, there is an argument that some sects of Christianity have an issue with homosexuality, especially their involvement in the clergy, but homosexuals can merely go to another sect as there are many who are less bigoted in their approach.

As said already, preaching to the audience directly in fiction never works. It may even have the opposite effect. If an agenda is blatant it causes people to either stop reading or do the opposite (this is why I eat take aways while watching diet programmes on TV...) and it will always sound flat and not right in context. The way to get a message across in fiction is through satire - the way Swift did it with Gullivers Travels and Carrol did against modern mathematics in Alice in Wonderland or, more recently, the chilling parody of religion merged with chav culture in Blind Faith. it's a case of showing not telling and threading your argument through the work in very subtle ways.

crunchyblanket
01-12-2013, 08:38 PM
The question I would ask is: why have this conversation at all? Is it integral to the plot? What is the plot, and how does the conversation advance it? If it's just a bit of preaching plopped into the middle of a story with little context and little purpose other than to insert the author's personal opinion, then it's going to stick out like a fried egg on a mantlepiece.

Why this particular opinion also? What's so important about this message that it has to fit into your novel? It's not a minority opinion, and it's not going to change anyone's mind - you're either going to be preaching to the choir (in which case it's mostly pointless) or pissing a lot of your readers off (in which case it's counterproductive.)

Ask yourself whether the conversation fits within the greater framework of your story. I suspect, from the difficulty you've been having, that it doesn't. And if it doesn't fit, why have it in the first place? You're telling a story, not delivering a sermon.

Crunchy, proud that she managed to restrain herself.

patskywriter
01-13-2013, 12:34 AM
I can imagine the older guy saving the younger one and telling him that he wouldn't be a target if he didn't act/appear so gay.

The young guy thanks him but protests that he's not hurting anybody by being gay, so what's the big deal?

The older guy says that he's not for homosexuality but the young guy can do what he wants … but at the very least, learn how to fight.

frimble3
01-13-2013, 01:16 AM
Wait, you don't?

I could seriously actually see this happening between my dad and my husband. And the evening turning out fine, because my dad's a pretty mellow guy.

And while I myself don't self-identify as gay, I have many close friends who do and whom I care about deeply, and yet I've had very reasonable, logical conversations of this sort with my deeply conservative former talk-radio host uncle, which bystanders claimed were interesting both for their content and for the fact that we were perfectly polite all the way through.


Your family are better people than mine. :D

MacAllister
01-13-2013, 03:10 AM
This thread is increasingly disturbing on a number of levels, most of which include stereotyping by well-meaning people who first take great pains to let us know that they aren't lgbt, but they know some gay people and so feel qualified to speak to one point or another, and the troubling underlying assumption that "a gay" and "an anti-gay" are both universal concepts with a known set of characteristics.

These are not universal, monolithic constructs or identities, any more than "a Blonde" or "a Jew" equate to known quantities other than stereotypes.

The "*I* totally don't identify as gay, but I KNOW some gay people" (or alternately "gay people are some of my best friends") is so very common among unthinking but well intentioned people that there are thousands of hits on search engines. People who are not heterosexual hear this so often that we brace ourselves for the condescending, offensive and often ridiculous generalizations that typically follow.

So instead of putting innocent bystanders through that, I'm just gonna call this one all finished.