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Aloka
26 Mar 12, 09:42
I read this recent entry on Ajahn Sujato's blog (He's abbot of Santi Forest Monastery Australia)and wondered if anyone had any comments on this subject.





Why Buddhists Should Support Marriage Equality

Marriage equality is one of the key social and legal issues of our time. I’d like to offer a Buddhist perspective.

As with so many ethical and social questions, especially those that involve sexuality, we find that religion wants to be at the core of things. The conservative Christian churches are leading the opposition to marriage equality. We can’t generalise on the basis of religion, though. Many Christians believe that Christ’s message of compassion and love, and the fact that he never made any statement on homosexuality, provide a basis for support of marriage equality.

In Australia there was an interesting exchange between the highly conservative Catholic leader Cardinal George Pell and the group Australian Marriage Equality. The AME asked to meet Cardinal Pell, and he consented to do so as long as the AME agreed that not all opposition to same-sex marriage was a result of homophobia or discrimination. The AME agreed, and came out with the following statement:



‘Just as we acknowledge that it is possible to oppose marriage equality without hating homosexuals, so we ask those who differ with us on this important issue to acknowledge that it is possible to support marriage equality without seeking to undermine, marriage, family, or religion.’

That’s a great starting point, and an all-too-rare example of dialogue as it should be.

But what of Buddhism? As with any issue, you’ll find a variety of positions; and as with any issue – and I apologise if this sounds cynical – most of those positions have little to do with anything the Buddha himself said or did.

In some cases we find Buddhist leaders who state the ethical case plainly. Ajahn Brahm has been very forward in supporting the gay community for many years, both in Australia and overseas. Master Hsin Yun, the leader of the international Fo Guang Shan order, said:



‘People often ask me what I think about homosexuality. They wonder, is it right, is it wrong? The answer is, it is neither right nor wrong. It is just something that people do. If people are not harming each other, their private lives are their own business; we should be tolerant of them and not reject them.’

On the other hand, the Dalai Lama has repeatedly maintained that homosexual acts are a violation against the precepts. At the same time, he insists on compassion and full human rights for all. His stance is solely concerned with what is appropriate behaviour for a Buddhist practitioner, not what should be made law.

His argument is that the sexual organs are designed for procreation and should be used solely for that purpose. So any form of sex that is not for procreation is out.

This is, to my mind, an extreme and unrealistic position. The Dalai Lama says it is based on certain medieval Indian scholars (Vasubandhu, Asanga – but I have never seen the passages myself). It certainly has no basis in the Suttas. On the contrary, the Suttas freely acknowledge that sex is for pleasure, and they never make a problem out of that. Buddhism is not a fertility religion, so why we should insist that sex be for procreation is beyond me.


Continued:http://sujato.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/1430/



:hands:

Deshy
30 Mar 12, 12:50
His argument is that the sexual organs are designed for procreation and should be used solely for that purpose

He said that? Lol :rolling:

Johnny Panic
30 Mar 12, 16:52
I'm very pro-gay rights. The way I see it, anything that doesn't infringe on other people's rights should be fair game. Murder and rape, for instance, clearly infringe on other's rights. When two men or two women get married, however...nobody is hurt.
To be honest, I worry that the focus being put on something as harmless as gay marriage is really taking attention away from things we should focus on (war, famine, etc.).

Element
30 Mar 12, 18:53
I must agree there, Johnny. The agenda of politics often raises insignificant issues that appeal to the voter's prejudices

andyrobyn
31 Mar 12, 02:44
Yes, I agree also ... most Australian politics is about doing this, of course.

Simply put there is no ethical problem with marriage - gay or otherwise and Buddhism would not seem to have a view on it ... as Ajahn Sujato discusses in his blog nothing harmful is done therefore there is no position to take ( I would like to remember to look into his blog site as the two times I have been directed there I have found it informative).

white_wolf
31 Mar 12, 02:53
You are right Johnny, that's the problem with wedge issues. They are used to distract people from the real problems such as war, poverty, corruption, etc. Instead of debating economic policy or a way to end the various wars in the U.S. our politics are dominated by culture wars such as abortion, gay marriage, god, and guns. It's really stupid.

Abhaya
31 Mar 12, 06:37
Same-sex marriage is not a trivial issue. Certainly there are more wide-reaching problems to be addressed in the world, but that does not diminish the importance of equal rights for all people, regardless of demographic factors such as sexual orientation.

As this thread is about why Buddhists should support marriage equality, I would be interested in hearing others' comments on this question: In his ~45+ years of speaking to laypeople, the Buddha would surely have come across at least one homosexual householder or couple, so why does there appear to be absolutely no explicit mention of homosexuality in the canonical texts?

andyrobyn
31 Mar 12, 12:34
To my understanding, the issues around sexuality have very little to do with gender when it comes to ethical matters - much of what is constructed legally is from social and cultural understandings and conditioning. I have friends who are practising Catholics who support changes to allow " gay marriage " on ethical grounds as they see marriage as ethically sound.

Johnny Panic
31 Mar 12, 14:03
Abhaya,

When I implied gay marriage wasn't something worth talking about, I meant because the answer should (from my viewpoint) be obvious. Arguing about if a couple in love should be allowed to get married would be like arguing about if the sky is blue. Arguing that gov't should legislate something like that seems akin to arguing that gov't should legislate your favorite color or fast food resteraunt. It isn't really anybody elses business.
And, actually, that's sort of why I always felt same-sex relationships didn't get brought up by The Buddha. Combined with teachings about love, equality and compassion it would be weird to have switched up on the issue of homosexuality.
Of course, that's all just one man's opinion.

Edit: Of course, people do argue about it, so we do have to have the fight regardless. I'm not suggesting we roll over on it. That would be ludicrous.

Lazy Eye
31 Mar 12, 14:11
As this thread is about why Buddhists should support marriage equality, I would be interested in hearing others' comments on this question: In his ~45+ years of speaking to laypeople, the Buddha would surely have come across at least one homosexual householder or couple, so why does there appear to be absolutely no explicit mention of homosexuality in the canonical texts?

I guess one answer -- and this seems to be Ajahn Sujato's view -- is that the Buddha didn't see homosexuality as an ethical/moral problem and therefore there was no reason for him to single it out for discussion.

Abhaya
31 Mar 12, 16:27
Combined with teachings about love, equality and compassion it would be weird to have switched up on the issue of homosexuality.



I guess one answer -- and this seems to be Ajahn Sujato's view -- is that the Buddha didn't see homosexuality as an ethical/moral problem and therefore there was no reason for him to single it out for discussion.

Then why is heterosexuality spoken about so often by the Buddha? All of the suttas that mention sexuality (at least those that I've read) are quite heterosexually focused. To give a couple of examples:



Saññoga Sutta: Bondage (AN 7.48)

The Blessed One said: "A woman attends inwardly to her feminine faculties, her feminine gestures, her feminine manners, feminine poise, feminine desires, feminine voice, feminine charms. She is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, she attends outwardly to masculine faculties, masculine gestures, masculine manners, masculine poise, masculine desires, masculine voices, masculine charms. She is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, she wants to be bonded to what is outside her, wants whatever pleasure & happiness that arise based on that bond. Delighting, caught up in her femininity, a woman goes into bondage with reference to men. This is how a woman does not transcend her femininity.

"A man attends inwardly to his masculine faculties, masculine gestures, masculine manners, masculine poise, masculine desires, masculine voice, masculine charms. He is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, he attends outwardly to feminine faculties, feminine gestures, feminine manners, feminine poise, feminine desires, feminine voices, feminine charms. He is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, he wants to be bonded to what is outside him, wants whatever pleasure & happiness that arise based on that bond. Delighting, caught up in his masculinity, a man goes into bondage with reference to women. This is how a man does not transcend his masculinity.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an07/an07.048.than.html


There is no equivalent example given regarding homosexuals. Why this omission?



Sigalovada Sutta (DN 31)

"In five ways, young householder, should a wife as the West be ministered to by a husband:

(i) by being courteous to her,
(ii) by not despising her,
(iii) by being faithful to her,
(iv) by handing over authority to her,
(v) by providing her with adornments.

"The wife thus ministered to as the West by her husband shows her compassion to her husband in five ways:

(i) she performs her duties well,
(ii) she is hospitable to relations and attendants[10]
(iii) she is faithful,
(iv) she protects what he brings,
(v) she is skilled and industrious in discharging her duties.

"In these five ways does the wife show her compassion to her husband who ministers to her as the West. Thus is the West covered by him and made safe and secure."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.31.0.nara.html


So why the attention payed to heterosexual conduct, yet none to homosexual conduct? Why speak of husband and wife and not of the equally legitimate expression of love between same-sex couples?

Lazy Eye
31 Mar 12, 21:15
Well, looking over these two sutta passages, one thing I notice is that neither is really about sexuality per se. The first is about gender roles, and it seems to be mostly about those who are stuck in them (i.e. identify themselves in terms of their masculinity or femininity).

The second is about marriage as a social institution. My guess is that, in the Buddha's time, marriage was defined in terms of heterosexuality and gay marriage simply didn't exist.

It would be nice if a sutta could be found in which the Buddha advised a same-sex couple to be true and respectful to each other and cultivate dhamma together, but unfortuntately none has surfaced, and probably the best one can do is extrapolate from his advice to couples in general.

It's sort of a glass half-empty/half-full situation, I think. Yes, it could be seen as an omission. On the other hand, given that many religions (including some segments of Mahayana Buddhism) make a point of condemning homosexuality, it seems to me significant that the Buddha declined to do so.

Esho
01 Apr 12, 03:39
Maybe instead of saying "why" it should be said "How Buddhists Should Support Marriage Equality".

;)

Abhaya
01 Apr 12, 03:55
The Saññoga Sutta, with its mention of women "in bondage with reference to men" and men "in bondage with reference to women" seems to be addressing attraction ("wants whatever pleasure & happiness that arise based on that bond") of the heterosexual variety. Furthermore, what is meant by "feminine desires" and "masculine desires"? I think an argument can be made that this sutta is about more than gender roles, and touches upon sexuality amongst heterosexual laypeople.

From my perspective, the suttas that make any reference to gender all appear to be of a heteronormative bent. Take for instance...



Saleyyaka Sutta (MN 41)

"He is given over to misconduct in sexual desires: he has intercourse with such (women) as are protected by the mother, father, (mother and father), brother, sister, relatives, as have a husband, as entail a penalty, and also with those that are garlanded in token of betrothal."

[...]

"Abandoning misconduct in sexual desires, he becomes one who abstains from misconduct in sexual desires: he does not have intercourse with such women as are protected by mother, father, (father and mother), brother, sister, relatives, as have a husband, as entail a penalty, and also those that are garlanded in token of betrothal."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.041.nymo.html


Is it implied that a man should not have intercourse with men who are protected by their mother, father,...,who have a wife, etc.? It would be a bit of a stretch to assume this is what was meant.

I am merely curious as to why the Buddha did not state "men and women" where only "women" is stated, or otherwise append these teachings to address what is meant by misconduct for those who fall outside of the so-called standard male-female coupling. It is not as if homosexuality was non-existent.

andyrobyn
01 Apr 12, 05:38
Maybe instead of saying "why" it should be said "How Buddhists Should Support Marriage Equality".

;)


Hi Esho - nice to see you. I agree this is a good question - especially a good one to consider for the benefit of the countries and societies we live in at this time.

andyrobyn
01 Apr 12, 07:54
Further to this thought is this understanding - “How” is always more important than “what.” See if you can give much more attention to the doing than to the result that you want to achieve through it.
Carl Jung

Aloka
01 Apr 12, 08:10
This is a video of a talk given by Ajahn Brahm "Gay Marriage, Why Not?"



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOPcbFhCEj0&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL5AA93AD81819559F

andyrobyn
01 Apr 12, 09:02
Lots of good ideas about marriage there from Ajahn Brahm. I see also that the role of religion is to offer spiritual input and uplift to the difficult task of being married. Most importantly recognition of the commitment being of a spiritual nature as well as legal and social in nature ... it clearly is not about gender. The discrimination and judgement around gender ( and other factors ) is about social control.

I also agree with Ajahn Brahm's idea that getting married is a lot about letting go of idea of a self - it becomes about the " us " created by the marriage. That is how it works best in my experience - the both involved renouncing " me " for moving forward to facing everything faced in life as " us " .

Aloka
01 Apr 12, 09:19
Regarding gay marriage, I like Ajahn Brahm's comment in the video:

"Buddhism does allow you - the government is the one who is standing in opposition "

.

andyrobyn
01 Apr 12, 09:40
Yes, and as Ajahn Brahm also says groups, like Buddhists speaking out about how they understand the issue of same sex marriage will put the right type of pressure to allow for changes needed - it is not about control and power. As he also discusses, the legal meaning of a word and legal definitions often need to change to allow for inclusion and to disregard the discrimination and control which has existed.

andyrobyn
01 Apr 12, 10:20
Then why is heterosexuality spoken about so often by the Buddha? All of the suttas that mention sexuality (at least those that I've read) are quite heterosexually focused. To give a couple of examples:



There is no equivalent example given regarding homosexuals. Why this omission?



So why the attention payed to heterosexual conduct, yet none to homosexual conduct? Why speak of husband and wife and not of the equally legitimate expression of love between same-sex couples?

I can think of various possible reasons why there appears to be such omissions and as it is not possible to know for sure, I see that the fact that there appears to be such an omission is not what is important.

Ajahn Brahm offers a thought about this in the video Aloka - D gave us the link to. He suggests that the intention of Buddhist teachers, writings, books etc. is to direct us on how to think about issues not what to actually think.

Deshy
01 Apr 12, 16:54
I am interested to see where Dalai Lama actually made that comment and in what context. It is pretty amusing that he would make such an irrational statement.

Aloka
01 Apr 12, 17:54
I am interested to see where Dalai Lama actually made that comment and in what context. It is pretty amusing that he would make such an irrational statement.

Hi Deshy,

This is from 1997:




The religious leader said at the press conference that he had previously been asked his views on gay marriage, and said that such social sanction of gay relationships "has to be judged in the context of the society itself and the laws and social norms."

During the 45-minute meeting, the Nobel peace laureate and Buddhist religious leader voiced his support for the full recognition of human rights for all people, regardless of sexual orientation.

Buddhist sexual proscriptions ban homosexual sexual activity and heterosexual sex through orifices other than the vagina, including masturbation or other sexual activity with the hand. Buddhist proscriptions also forbid sex at certain times - such as during full and half moon days, the daytime, and during a wife's menstrual period or pregnancy - or near shrines or temples. Adultery is considered sexual misconduct, but the hiring of a female prostitute for penile-vaginal sex is not, unless one pays a third party to procure the person.

From a "Buddhist point of view," lesbian and gay sex "is generally considered sexual misconduct," the Dalai Lama told reporters at a press conference a day earlier.

However, such proscriptions are for members of the Buddhist faith - and from "society's viewpoint," homosexual sexual relations can be "of mutual benefit, enjoyable, and harmless," according to the Dalai Lama.

http://www.quietmountain.org/links/teachings/gayrites.htm





The part about orifices, hands, time of day etc etc is according to Tibetan Buddhist culture from Tibet (rather than anything mentioned by the Buddha in the suttas.)




;D

Meffi
02 Apr 12, 00:17
And the tibetans doing alright - they tolerate it, but they know about the karma what will be created for gay sex.
It is only a very important help when they declare not to do.

andyrobyn
02 Apr 12, 00:24
Even living in today's Australian society and culture I see that being " gay " would be extremely difficult. I see being a heterosexual male as being the choice - if one was to be made.

Aloka
02 Apr 12, 05:46
And the tibetans doing alright - they tolerate it, but they know about the karma what will be created for gay sex.
It is only a very important help when they declare not to do.


Sorry Meffi, but I'm not very clear about what you're saying in your post.


.

Bundokji
02 Apr 12, 07:50
I am interested to see where Dalai Lama actually made that comment and in what context. It is pretty amusing that he would make such an irrational statement.

I dont see the Dalai Lama's statement as irrational! The "natural law" theory in ethics has been supported by geniuses such as Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas so calling it irrational is a bit harsh in my opinion.

The most popular theory in ethics among westerners these days is "consequentialism" but that does not make other theories such as "deontological ethics" or "natural law" absurd in my opinion!!!

The title of this thread "why buddhists should support marriage equality" raises the following question: "why should a Buddhist bother supporting or opposing same sex marriage"??!!

The whole issue is not related to Buddhism as i understand it (maybe this is why the Buddha has not addressed the issue) and it can be a distraction and even an attachment to views in my opinion.

Regards,
Bundokji :hands:

Aloka
02 Apr 12, 08:47
I dont see the Dalai Lama's statement as irrational!The "natural law" theory in ethics has been supported by geniuses such as Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas so calling it irrational is a bit harsh in my opinion.

The most popular theory in ethics among westerners these days is "consequentialism" but that does not make other theories such as "deontological ethics" or "natural law" absurd in my opinion!!!


In my view it is natural for humans to be attracted to the same sex at some time in their lives (as it is for some of the other species on the planet) whether they remain predominantly heterosexual, homosexual or both - and also to be able to enjoy sex with a partner without having procreation in mind.

Aristotle and Aquinas, western 'consequentionalism' and 'deontological ethics' have nothing to do with Buddhism, so I don't quite see how they are relevant to your quoted comment from Deshy which was refering to the following statement from Ajahn Sujato's blog:



His argument is that the sexual organs are designed for procreation and should be used solely for that purpose.

Aloka
02 Apr 12, 09:14
The title of this thread "why buddhists should support marriage equality" raises the following question: "why should a Buddhist bother supporting or opposing same sex marriage"??!!

The whole issue is not related to Buddhism as i understand it (maybe this is why the Buddha has not addressed the issue) and it can be a distraction and even an attachment to views in my opinion.




Expressing "my opinion" x 4 in #27 of this thread could also perhaps be seen as "attachment to views" !

;)

Bundokji
02 Apr 12, 09:27
His argument is that the sexual organs are designed for procreation and should be used solely for that purpose.

The above sums up the "natural law" theory in ethics. Maybe the same position has been adopted by some medieval Indian scholars as mentioned in Ajahn Sujato's blog.

Natural law operates on the premise that nature is good, and Christian theologists has been using it to explain why they are against gay marriage, masturbation, the use of contraception...etc

Deshy said:


It is pretty amusing that he would make such an irrational statement.

I dont think that BWB is the right place to discuss different ethical systems, i only invite dear Deshy to have a look at it (if she is interested) so that she might not find the postion of the Dalia Lama as non-sensical or irrational as she has described it.

Regards,
Bundokji :hands:

Aloka
02 Apr 12, 09:34
i only invite dear Deshy to have a look at it (if she is interested) so that she might not find the postion of the Dalia Lama as non-sensical or irrational as she has described it.



Ok - well perhaps I should tell you that I completely disagree with what the Dalai Lama said myself. Its also worth noting that he is not the head of world Buddhism just because he gets a lot of media attention (nor is he the head of Tibetan Buddhism)

I also think that its not the business of religious leaders or theologians in general to comment in a negative, judgemental, and controlling way on non-harming sexual relationships between consenting adults, or about peoples use of contraception.

Anyway, moving on, I agree with Ajahn Sujato when he concludes:





Supporting marriage equality is not to introduce something new, but simply to abolish laws that discriminate. The injustice is already in place. The harm is being done. The change is merely to remove the harmful influence of discriminatory laws, which should never have been there in the first place.

People are people, regardless of their gender, colour, nationality, or sexual orientation. The Buddha taught ‘for one who feels’. That’s the only requirement for Buddhist practice: one who feels. In the past our society decreed that marriage should not be between people of a different race, or a different colour, or a different religion, or a different nationality. Over time, we decided that these rules were harmful, and we abolished them.

Catastrophes were predicted: they didn’t come true.

What has happened, rather, is that we have become a little more open minded, and a little more aware of the suffering of others. The test of our generation is whether we can continue this move towards a more accepting and loving way of living, or whether we are to regress to a meaner, hard-hearted place.

My society, my culture, the one that I’m proud of and want to belong to, is this one. The society that is kind, questioning, accepting. Let us take up the best aspects of our own cultures, whether they be Buddhist or modern cultures, and discard all that is unjust, discriminatory, and harmful. Let us give our full support for marriage equality, for if we do not we are betraying the best part of our humanity.




However, I appreciate that it is very different for you, Bundokji, because the society and culture spoken of by Ajahn Sujato is a western one and you live in the middle east.


with kind wishes


Aloka :hands:

Deshy
02 Apr 12, 18:17
I dont see the Dalai Lama's statement as irrational! The "natural law" theory in ethics has been supported by geniuses such as Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas so calling it irrational is a bit harsh in my opinion.



Well, I think his quote is irrational according to natural law. If you know please quote where the said geniuses are saying that sexual organs exist merely for the purpose of reproduction please?

Natural law has various interpretations. A tool like that can be twisted and distorted to set boundaries to natural human behaviour. It is natural human behaviour to use sexual organs for the purpose of pleasure. Don't believe me; just observe nature. Some philosophical theorists seem to suggest that heterosexuals union merely for the purpose of reproduction. Saying so is denying nature considering the amount of birth control, abortions and unwanted pregnancy issues among heterosexuals. People don't seem to have sex to have babies. They in fact don't want to have babies every time they have sex. The natural tendency of a vast majority (aka a big part of nature) seems to be "sex for pleasure". Pleasure seeking is just the way things are in nature. Reproduction is just a result of pleasure seeking, at least in most cases.

Now, saying one form of unharmful pleasure seeking is ethically acceptable and the other is not, is in fact distorting the spirit of natural law imo. Such ethical boundaries fall into the realm of man-made laws; not natural laws.

Applying natural law in ethical or political administering is for the purpose of this:


The Natural Law Party brings to politics the knowledge through which human life can be raised to the same level of perfection with which Natural Law eternally governs the entire universe. Every individual and every area of society can enjoy the effortless skill in action that characterises Natural Law itself.

As I see it, applying natural law theories to ethics or politics is for the purpose of streamlining man-made laws in harmony with nature and society's natural tendencies and behaviours; not to promote separatism or oppress one part of the population.

Deshy
02 Apr 12, 18:33
Natural law operates on the premise that nature is good, and Christian theologists has been using it to explain why they are against gay marriage, masturbation, the use of contraception...etc



Christian theologists are obviously not watching nature. I think they should take a vacation to rest and observe nature, how beings are constantly driven by pleasure seeking instincts, how human behavior is so diversified and how nature is a collection of complicated varieties of species. This IS nature.

Abhaya
02 Apr 12, 20:42
I am also shocked that certain Buddhist "authorities" feel it is their place to remark on the appropriateness or inappropriateness of private sexual matters between laypeople who are consenting adults in a mutually caring relationship. I was just reading this earlier today:



Male Homosexuality and Transgenderism in the Thai Buddhist Tradition by Peter A. Jackson

Excerpted from the book "QUEER DHARMA: VOICES OF GAY BUDDHISTS" edited by Winston Leyland, ISBN: 0940567229

Phra Buddhadasa says that in the past people were "employed" or "engaged" (Thai: jang) by nature in the "work" (Thai: ngan) of reproducing the species, but people now "cheat" nature by using contraception and having sex without being engaged in the work of reproduction. He maintains that this "cheating," i.e. engaging in sex for pleasure rather than reproduction, is "paid back" because it causes problems such as nervous disorders, madness and physical deformities (ibid. :25).

Phra Buddhadasa calls on laypeople to be mindful and establish spiritually informed intelligence (Pali: sati-panna) and to have sex only for reproduction.

http://www.enabling.org/ia/vipassana/Archive/J/Jackson/homoBuddhaJackson.html


Here, Buddhadasa makes statements akin to those made by the Dalai Lama, asserting that sex is for reproduction only. According to him, using contraception and having sex without being engaged in the work of reproduction causes nervous disorders, madness and physical deformities. It naturally follows that homosexual practices are impermissible as well. This is absurd to me.

Aloka
02 Apr 12, 20:54
Here, Buddhadasa makes statements akin to those made by the Dalai Lama, asserting that sex is for reproduction only. According to him, using contraception and having sex without being engaged in the work of reproduction causes nervous disorders, madness and physical deformities. It naturally follows that homosexual practices are impermissible as well. This is absurd to me.

The Dalai Lama and the late Bhikkhu Buddhadasa are speaking about lay matters from the point of view of celibate monks, which is perhaps why they became extreme in their views. I wonder where the evidence is that the Buddha said any of that.

Abhaya
02 Apr 12, 21:11
Here are some additional comments on gender, sex, and marriage from Bhikkhu Buddhadasa:



TWO KINDS OF LANGUAGE: Everyday Language & Dhamma language

FEMALE & MALE

Now, let us look at the words "female" and "male". In everyday, worldly language, these words mean the two sexes - the female sex and the male sex. In Dhamma language, however, they refer to the distinguishing marks and signs of certain duties which Nature has assigned to human beings: duties which must be performed co-operatively, in partnership. Female and male have nothing to do with the exchange and consumption of sexual flavors. Rather, they point to the fact that human being must exist in the world and that the species must not become extinct. This means that the human race must be preserved through the duty of reproduction for as long a time as is necessary for humanity to realize the highest Dhamma - nibbana. The duties called for by this necessity must be divided between the female and male. Once the female and male exist, they help each other to lighten their burdens by dividing their everyday responsibilities and work, which, when done correctly, is Dhamma practice.

In Dhamma language, the signs of the duties which Nature has stipulated in this way are known as "female" and "male". This isn't the lowly meaning assumed in everyday language. We shouldn't think of female and male solely in terms of an instinctual animal activity. Rather, we ought to think of them as signs of the division of those duties which can be carried out properly only in co-operation.

http://what-buddha-taught.net/Books2/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_Keys_to_Natural_Truth.htm#TWO%2 0KINDS%20OF%20LANGUAGE


What about those partnerships that exist between same-sex couples? Buddhadasa seems to be implying that these relationships would necessarily be lacking, as they involve no division of "duties" between male and female.



MARRIAGE

From this we'll move on to "marriage". In everyday language, everyone understands this word to mean the ceremony that joins a woman and man according to social customs. That's marriage in worldly terms. However, in Pali, the language of Dhamma, the word "marriage" is samarasa,which translates as "having equal (sama) flavor, taste, duty, or function (rasa)" through Dhamma or in Dhamma. This means that two people with correct wants and needs are united as one. Physical contact between them is unnecessary, though there may be other forms of contact, such as letter writing.

Marriage is possible even though the skin and flesh of the two partners never touch. This is because their wants are the same and their responsibilities are equal. For example, both genuinely want to transcend dukkha using the same principles of practice. Both persons are satisfied in the unified Dhamma practice and in the fruits mutually desired. This is what we call "having equal flavor" which is marriage in Dhamma language and in Pali. The meanings of words in Dhamma language are always as clean and pure as in this example.

http://what-buddha-taught.net/Books2/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_Keys_to_Natural_Truth.htm#TWO%2 0KINDS%20OF%20LANGUAGE


I am a bit confused about how Bhikkhu Buddhadasa on the one hand encourages reproductive sex ("the human race must be preserved through the duty of reproduction for as long a time as is necessary for humanity to realize the highest Dhamma - nibbana"), but in the next paragraph claims that marriage should be without sex.

These sections seem to entirely exclude homosexual couples. :(

Element
03 Apr 12, 05:03
more Buddhadasa


Nowadays, we educate the girls to refuse being women and mothers, and the boys to be unable as men and fathers. The modern education causes men and women to compete for each other's work, under the banner of human rights, so that everybody ends up sexless or neutered. Among married couples, there are the most ridiculous arguments over who will be the elephant’s front legs (leader) and who the hind legs (follower). This problem did not exist among our ancestors who ate the single bowl of sauce. They left matters in accordance with idappaccayata, the law of interdependent conditionality; each family could agree on who was most suitable to play which role.

We must have the kind of education that does not lead to men and women taking work from each other. Let women have the livelihood of mothers and men the livelihood of fathers. The father takes on the burden of providing for the family so that the mother does not have to work outside the home. If she has some income generating work, she does it at home. This enables her to take care of the children fully, bringing them up to be good human beings and good citizens who will not bring tears to their parents’ eyes. The world, then, will have peace because its citizenry is fitting. The children will be brought up correctly, so that both the boys and the girls are unselfish. There will be no sexually stimulating and provocative activities, such as the sexually oriented beauty contests that encourage shamelessness among both contestants and spectators. Such activities represents the worst kind of selfishness, for it erodes morality and trains young people to become slaves of defilement, thus becoming a menace to society and harming themselves in the process.

A Single Bowl of Sauce Solves All the World’s Problems (http://www.suanmokkh.org/archive/arts/message/1sauce.htm)

Element
03 Apr 12, 05:38
Christian theologists are obviously not watching nature. I think they should take a vacation to rest and observe nature, how beings are constantly driven by pleasure seeking instincts, how human behavior is so diversified and how nature is a collection of complicated varieties of species. This IS nature.

....having sex without being engaged in the work of reproduction causes nervous disorders, madness and physical deformities. It naturally follows that homosexual practices are impermissible as well. This is absurd to me.
Yes, it is absurd, as the following sutta excerpt shows:


I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi at Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Now at that time a certain householder's dear & beloved little son, his only child, had died. Because of his death, the father had no desire to work or to eat. He kept going to the cemetery and crying out, "Where have you gone, my only little child? Where have you gone, my only little child?"

Then he went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there the Blessed One said to him, "Householder, your faculties are not those of one who is steady in his own mind. There is an aberration in your faculties."

"Lord, how could there not be an aberration in my faculties? My dear & beloved little son, my only child, has died. Because of his death, I have no desire to work or to eat. I keep going to the cemetery and crying out, 'Where have you gone, my only little child? Where have you gone, my only little child?'"

"That's the way it is, householder. That's the way it is — for sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are born from one who is dear, come springing from one who is dear."

"But lord, who would ever think that sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are born from one who is dear, come springing from one who is dear? Happiness & joy are born from one who is dear, come springing from one who is dear." So the householder, not delighting in the Blessed One's words, rejecting the Blessed One's words, got up from his seat and left.

MN 87 (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.087.than.html)
I am a bit confused about how Bhikkhu Buddhadasa on the one hand encourages reproductive sex ("the human race must be preserved through the duty of reproduction for as long a time as is necessary for humanity to realize the highest Dhamma - nibbana"), but in the next paragraph claims that marriage should be without sex.
hi Abhaya

i would not get overly "confused" or concerned about Bhikkhu Buddhadasa, who seemed to be personally interested in some kind of creationist and/or mahayana ethos of creating a perfect society. imo, the following statement is also absurd:


the human race must be preserved through the duty of reproduction for as long a time as is necessary for humanity to realize the highest Dhamma - nibbana
although i personally regard Bhikkhu Buddhadasa as the best explainer of core Buddhist principles, he often departed into irrelevent areas, such as other religions, social/political systems, etc

however, when i listened to Bhikkhu Buddhadasa speak live, i do recall him teaching once that sexuality was a "pressure" that nature places upon beings & therefore human beings should make "arrangements" to "manage" the sexual pressure, i.e., "marriage"

therefore, despite many seemingly idiosyncratic statements, Bhikkhu Buddhadasa did comment on sexuality & marriage, at least on one occassion, in a manner relevent to homosexual human beings

regards

;D

Element
03 Apr 12, 05:42
The Dalai Lama and the late Bhikkhu Buddhadasa are speaking about lay matters from the point of view of celibate monks...
personally, i would regard their views as "idiosyncratic" rather than from the point view of celibate monks

Sujato is a celibate monk and obviously does not share the same point of view ;D

Bundokji
03 Apr 12, 06:55
Hello Deshy,

The natural law theory of ethics distinguish between "efficient causes" and "final causes". An efficient cause is what gets things done, a final cause is the end product. If i take a piece of wood and crave it into a statue, the efficient cause is the knife that i use, but the final cause is the image that i seek to create. According to this theory, its the "final cause" that determines what is "good".

You asked me to look at nature and it seems to me that we have a very different view on nature. When i look at nature, i see most other animals make sex during the mating season , most animals take only what is necessary for their survival, only modern humans (unfortunately) are the ones who take more than what is necessary (even in sex) hence our planet is in a big danger!! And i dont think nature has given us the sexual desire to go and sleep around seeking pleasure, but for the survival of our species, hence the sexual act itself is the efficient cause and breeding is the final cause. I thought our purpose on the planet from a purely biological perspective is to pass on our genes!!!

You described the sexual pleasures of homosexuals as harmless. However, on the physical level, homosexuals are more vulnerable to STDs. In addition, some homosexual activities such as "anal intercourse" are not healthy and can cause diseases and bacterial infections.

In my opinion, there are many things in life that cannot be understood if its taken our of its emotional and socail context. For example, when you invite a friend for dinner, you are doing so because you want to boost her protien level!! You do it because it has an emotional/socail meaning. Same thing can be said about sexual relationships. If you date someone and you dont sleep with him/her is totally different when sex becomes involved. In most cases, it takes the whole relationship to a new level:

1- It might create expectatons (of fidelity for example) and what is suffering but the gap between expectations and reality
2- It causes attachment
3- It causes possessivness

The abovementioned feelings of expectations, attachments and possessivness are causes of suffering. However, its given to us by nature so that we make families. The existence of families is necessary for the well being of childerns and the development of society. In a hetrosexual relationship all this suffering can lead to something positive which is the birth of a new human being (as you know, the human realm is the only one where you get the chance to be liberated). However, in a homosexual relationship its only suffering with nothing in return!!!

Finally, please note that all the above does not necessarily reflect my personal point of view, i am only trying to show that the Dalia Lama's point of view is not as irrational as some people think, thats all.

Regards,
Bundokji :hands:

Aloka
03 Apr 12, 07:17
You described the sexual pleasures of homosexuals as harmless. However, on the physical level, homosexuals are more vulnerable to STDs.

Do you have any reliable medical evidence of gay people being more vunerable to STD'S ? There are probably much larger numbers of heterosexuals with sexually transmitted diseases around the world today.


In addition, some homosexual activities such as "anal intercourse" are not healthy and can cause diseases and bacterial infections.


Not all gays practice anal intercourse. ....and have you never heard of anal intercourse between heterosexuals?

http://sexuality.about.com/od/sexinformation/a/anal_sex_stats.htm

Any more objections to gay relationships that you'd like to express, Bundokji ?



.

Aloka
03 Apr 12, 07:26
However, its given to us by nature so that we make families. The existence of families is necessary for the well being of childerns and the development of society. In a hetrosexual relationship all this suffering can lead to something positive which is the birth of a new human being (as you know, the human realm is the only one where you get the chance to be liberated).


Clearly you haven't, as I have, seen the suffering of broken one-parent families and emotionally disturbed children in inner city environments ..... nor seen reports of parents who abuse their children in different ways.



However, in a homosexual relationship its only suffering with nothing in return!!!

Nonsense. One of the longest and happiest relationships between friends of mine both straight and gay, has been between two gay men.

;D

Bundokji
03 Apr 12, 07:46
Hello Aloka,


Do you have any reliable evidence of gay people being more vunerable to STD'S ? There are probably much larger numbers of heterosexuals with sexually transmitted diseases around the world today.

I dont know what you mean by reliable evidence. Is this article considered reliable?

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2009/aug/09082609

Regards,
Bundokji :hands:

Bundokji
03 Apr 12, 07:50
Hello Aloka,


Nonsense. One of the longest and happiest relationships between friends of mine both straight and gay, has been between two gay men.

From a Buddhist perspective as i understand it, what you described as one of the longest and happiest relationships is also suffering. Its an impermenant happiness that you are descrbing here :hands:

Aloka
03 Apr 12, 07:58
I dont know what you mean by reliable evidence. Is this article considered reliable?

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2009/aug/09082609



I don't know because I don't live in America.

However, what is needed is a cure for AIDS . Syphilis used to be a killer STD throughout the world until a cure was found.

Aloka
03 Apr 12, 08:00
From a Buddhist perspective as i understand it, what you described as one of the longest and happiest relationships is also suffering. Its an impermenant happiness that you are descrbing here :hands:

That's irrelevant to the point I was making -which was that temporary worldly 'happiness' in a relationship isn't necessarily found through being part of a heterosexual couple with children.

However, that's it for me now, Bundokji. I'm not interested in continuing with your anti-gay discussion at this point in time. - offline life goes on.

Have a good day. :hands:

andyrobyn
03 Apr 12, 08:32
personally, i would regard their views as "idiosyncratic" rather than from the point view of celibate monks

Sujato is a celibate monk and obviously does not share the same point of view ;D

I agree Element.

Maybe the most relevant points are that the opinions come from them both being monks and that they are from different Buddhist traditions.

andyrobyn
03 Apr 12, 08:44
That's irrelevant to the point I was making -which was that temporary worldly 'happiness' in a relationship isn't necessarily found through being part of a heterosexual couple with children.


Happiness is certainly not guaranteed in this life scenario - being a part of a heterosexual couple with children . I think that it is what is socially accepted and valued, however and it will not lead one to experience being socially ostracised - overtly and covertly.

Element
03 Apr 12, 11:11
I dont see the Dalai Lama's statement as irrational! The "natural law" theory in ethics has been supported by geniuses such as Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas so calling it irrational is a bit harsh in my opinion.

The title of this thread "why buddhists should support marriage equality" raises the following question: "why should a Buddhist bother supporting or opposing same sex marriage"??!!

The whole issue is not related to Buddhism as i understand it (maybe this is why the Buddha has not addressed the issue) and it can be a distraction and even an attachment to views in my opinion.
hi Bundokji

from a Buddhist perspective, i doubt whether Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas are regarded as "geniuses", that is, "fully enlightened"

this issue is certainly related to Buddhism because Buddhism is a refuge of safety, love & compassion for all beings

it seems by your posts that the one distracted is your good self

kind regards :love:


Buddha said:

the Tathagata understands as it actually is the world with its many and different elements. That too is a Tathagata's power...

the Tathagata understands as it actually is how beings have different inclinations. That too is a Tathagata's power...

the Tathagata understands as it actually is the disposition of the faculties of other beings, other persons. That too is a Tathagata's power...

MN 12


Buddha said:

Just as a mighty trumpeter makes himself heard without difficulty in all four directions; even so, of all things that have shape or life, there is not one that he passes by or leaves aside, but regards them all with a heart set free (ceto-vimutti) though deep-felt loving-kindness.

DN 13

Bundokji
03 Apr 12, 11:54
Hello Element,


from a Buddhist perspective, i doubt whether Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas are regarded as "geniuses", that is, "fully enlightened"

Well, i remember that you argued on a different thread the importance of "mundane/worldly wisdom" so maybe Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas have not achieved the supermundane wisdom from a buddism perspective (we cant be so sure though) yet they are quite wise in the worldly sense of the word in my opinion.


this issue is certainly related to Buddhism because Buddhism is a refuge of safety, love & compassion for all beings

I totally agree with you, Buddhism teaches us to have love and compassion towards all living beings, and compassion (as i understand it) means taking action and not to be indifferent towards other people suffering. The question is: by supporting marraige equality, are we really helping homosexuals? or is it better to spend our energy showing them that craving and attachment to desire causes more harm than good?


it seems by your posts that the one distracted is your good self

If i am distracted then i hope my distraction and suffering will come to an end. One of the things i am trying to learn is to re-read my posts and be aware of my mind because what we say to others says a lot about ourselves. ;D

Regards,
Bundokji :hands:

Aloka
03 Apr 12, 12:08
The question is: by supporting marraige equality, are we really helping homosexuals? ?


Of course those of us who agree with Ajahn Sujato are helping by supporting marriage equality.


or is it better to spend our energy showing them that craving and attachment to desire causes more harm than good

Are you implying that you wish to preach to gay people about something that you have not rid yourself of ?

Bundokji
03 Apr 12, 12:29
Hello Aloka,


Are you implying that you wish to preach to gay people about something that you have not rid yourself of ?

Are you implying that only enlightened people are entitled to preach the Dhamma? ;D

In my opinion, the Buddha's teachings are quite logical and agrees with common sense which is accessable to almost everyone ;D

Different followers of the path have different priorties. Maybe for a beginner like myself supporting marraige equality is not a priority as i better deal with my unruly mind. But the simple fact that i chose to follow the teachings of the Buddha implies that i found it the best way to live my life. Consequently, if a homosexual comes to me compaining about suffering i would recommened him to follow what i chose for myself out of compassion.

Actually, it can be seen a bit contradictory to believe that craving and sensual desires causes suffering, and at the same time, support people to indulge more in it!!

Regards,
Bundokji :hands:

Aloka
03 Apr 12, 12:39
Are you implying that only enlightened people are entitled to preach the Dhamma?

What you fail to understand, Bundokji, is that Buddhists don't make a habit offline of telling others how to behave in the manner of preaching Christian evangelists. The whole point of practising dhamma is to apply it to oneself and one's own misperceptions.


Consequently, if a homosexual comes to me compaining about suffering i would recommened him to follow what i chose for myself out of compassion.


Since you don't appear to understand very much yet about what you ''chose for yourself'' that might be a rather presumptuous suggestion to make to someone.



Actually, it can be seen a bit contradictory to believe that craving and sensual desires causes suffering, and at the same time, support people to indulge more in it!!

So this is your rationale for being against gay marriage is it ?


.

Johnny Panic
03 Apr 12, 13:02
Hello Aloka,
Actually, it can be seen a bit contradictory to believe that craving and sensual desires causes suffering, and at the same time, support people to indulge more in it!!

Regards,
Bundokji :hands:

Wow, this discussion got intense since I left it.

This statement seems to imply to me that if I was to go shopping, I should only buy products I don't want or can't use, so as to avoid extra suffering. When you are having consentual sex with an adult you love, it doesn't matter what that person looks like.
So, either...
1. You are abstinant. If so, you have a lot of my respect for trying, or
2. Are participating in an action equivalent to homosexual intercourse. Equivalent because from the perspective of two men or women vs one man and women, they are both involved in an action normal for their niche.

Furthermore, you would expect people with different metabolisms to consume different amounts of food. The person who naturally needs more food isn't a glutton, their biological needs just differ.

You could argue homosexuality is a choice, but that implies heterosexuality is as well. As a straight man, I don't possess the ability to choose to be gay. It is impossible.

Lastly, I am under the impression that, as buddhists, we should never try to project our beliefs on others. That is why Buddha prefered people to think logically about his teachings before joining him, rather than follow him in blind faith. It is better for everyone to do what they feel best, instead of subscribe to something just because others do it, too.

Anyway, thank you for participating. I know having multiple people argue against you via the internet can be a little intimidating. At least, to me it is.

woodscooter
03 Apr 12, 13:11
I don't understand the distinction you are making here, Bundokji:

The question is: by supporting marriage equality, are we really helping homosexuals? or is it better to spend our energy showing them that craving and attachment to desire causes more harm than good?
If entering into marriage is an example of giving in to craving and desire, then surely the same is true of a heterosexual marriage.

Bundokji
03 Apr 12, 13:21
Hello Aloka,


What you fail to understand is that Buddhists don't make a habit offline of telling others how to behave in the manner of preaching Christian evangelists. The whole point of practising dhamma is to apply it to oneself and one's own misperceptions.

Well, is not BWB a type of preaching? Why do you, Woodscooter, Element and Esho spend a lot of your time organizing this forum and answering questions? isnt it out of compassion? you dont go and force people to have membership here, but you make yourself available for those who want to follow the path ;D

Please correct me if i am wrong, but the Buddha asked his disciples to go on all directions and teach people the Dhamma.

Why the Buddha himself shared his knowledge with us? He was already liberated, nothing in this world mattered for him, yet he chose to teach us some of his vast knowledge :hands:


Since you don't appear to understand very much yet about what you ''chose for yourself'' that might be a rather presumptuous suggestion to make to someone

If i were you, i would try not to judge things by their appearances ;D I also hope that when we have a discussion to answer the message, not the messenger


So this is your rationale for being against gay marriage is it ?

Personally, i dont believe in marraige itself regardless whether its gay or straight marraige! But my personal opinion is not important and irrelevant, i prefer to discuss ideas rather than discussing people.

Regards,
Bundokji :hands:

woodscooter
03 Apr 12, 13:34
...the Dalai Lama has repeatedly maintained that homosexual acts are a violation against the precepts. At the same time, he insists on compassion and full human rights for all. His stance is solely concerned with what is appropriate behaviour for a Buddhist practitioner, not what should be made law.

His argument is that the sexual organs are designed for procreation and should be used solely for that purpose. So any form of sex that is not for procreation is out.

Well, I'm not going to criticise any statement from the Dalai Lama. I don't know exactly what he has said and in what context, as all I can go on is Ajahn Sujato's summary.

There are different precepts according to the level of Buddhist practice you are following. I guess that if I were head of a Buddhist tradition with large numbers of monks spending all their time in monasteries trying to drop worldly attachments, I would strongly discourage homosexual acts, too.

Not everybody is leading the celibate life. Many Buddhists lead 'ordinary' lives and their behaviour is guided by their own interpretation of the Eightfold Path. For many, marriage is part of an ordinary life, and the partnership is based on an attraction of some sort. People don't get married out of a duty to procreate. They get married because they want to be together.

So I see no reason for making a distinction between any same-sex couple who want to be together, and any opposite-sex couple who want to be together.

Aloka
03 Apr 12, 13:48
if a homosexual comes to me compaining about suffering i would recommened him to follow what i chose for myself out of compassion.


I think my original comment about inappropriate preaching to others was in response to the above statement


Please correct me if i am wrong, but the Buddha asked his disciples to go on all directions and teach people the Dhamma.


I think you're getting muddled with Jesus and his disciples.

The Buddha lived within a monastic community of monks and nuns and his teachings were passed down within that community.

If lay people want to receive teachings, its usual to request them from a monk or to go to a monastery at a time when an abbot or senior monk will be giving a dhamma talk. Or one can request an interview in advance for the purpose of one-to-one advice.

Buddhist monks don't go around trying to teach people unless they have previously been invited to give a talk at an organised gathering of some kind.



Well, is not BWB a type of preaching? Why do you, Woodscooter, Element and Esho spend a lot of your time organizing this forum and answering questions? isnt it out of compassion? you dont go and force people to have membership here, but you make yourself available for those who want to follow the path


BWB has free membership for a group of people on the internet who all have an interest in Buddhism. Some are already studing and practising the Dhamma and others wish to know more about it. The result is sharing and discussion/debate between us all.

Official teachers are not appointed here and no "preaching'' takes place.


If i were you, i would try not to judge things by their appearances I also hope that when we have a discussion to answer the message, not the messenger

Acknowledging the fact that you are a beginner is not judging !



Kind regards ;D

Bundokji
03 Apr 12, 13:51
Hello Jhonny,


This statement seems to imply to me that if I was to go shopping, I should only buy products I don't want or can't use, so as to avoid extra suffering.

I respectfully disagree, you are not comparing apples with apples here. If i dont eat at all, i die and i cant get liberated, but if i become celibate, it can be quite helpful to focus on my training. In addtion, serious practictioners eat only in moderation and monks dont eat after mid day, have you ever wondered why?

If we agree that Nibbana is the ultimate good, then any action bring us closer to it must be good, and vice versa.


When you are having consentual sex with an adult you love, it doesn't matter what that person looks like.
So, either...
1. You are abstinant. If so, you have a lot of my respect for trying, or
2. Are participating in an action equivalent to homosexual intercourse. Equivalent because from the perspective of two men or women vs one man and women, they are both involved in an action normal for their niche

As i said in my post to Deshy, both homosexual intercourse and hetrosexual intercourse causes suffering. The only difference is that hetrosexual intercourse can lead to the birth of a new human who might get the chance to hear the Buddha teachings and get liberated, but the homosexual act only produce suffering. Some would think that this idea is non-sense, but without explaining why!


Furthermore, you would expect people with different metabolisms to consume different amounts of food. The person who naturally needs more food isn't a glutton, their biological needs just differ.

I think everyone one of us has his own weaknesses. Some have sex as the strongest desire, others have food, fame, money...etc but at the end of the day, the real solution is to observe ourselves, meditate and try to get ourselves free.


You could argue homosexuality is a choice, but that implies heterosexuality is as well. As a straight man, I don't possess the ability to choose to be gay. It is impossible

Its quite interesting how different psychologists have different opinions about that matter which shows that even scientists are not as neutral as we think. For example, if you are gay in a conservative country, the therapist would try to treat you! but if you are a gay in a more open minded country, then being gay is completely normal and they would consider you sick if you reject your sexuality!!


Lastly, I am under the impression that, as buddhists, we should never try to project our beliefs on others. That is why Buddha prefered people to think logically about his teachings before joining him, rather than follow him in blind faith. It is better for everyone to do what they feel best, instead of subscribe to something just because others do it, too.

I totally agree with you, but that does not mean there is no right or wrong (depends on what level of truth you are using when you have a discussion).


Anyway, thank you for participating. I know having multiple people argue against you via the internet can be a little intimidating. At least, to me it is.

Thanks for your kindness and for sharing your opinion with us :hands:

Bundokji
03 Apr 12, 14:06
I think you're getting muddled with Jesus and his disciples.

The Buddha lived within a monastic community of monks and nuns and his teachings were passed down within that community.

If lay people want to receive teachings, its usual to request them from a monk or to go to a monastery at a time when an abbot or senior monk will be giving a dhamma talk. Or one can request an interview in advance for the purpose of one-to-one advice.

Buddhist monks don't go around trying to teach people unless they have previously been invited to give a talk at an organised gathering of some kind.


.


Hello Aloka,

Please have a look at the following link:

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhism/pbs2_unit05.htm


The Buddha was the first religious teacher to encourage his disciples to spread the Dharma so everyone could benefit


Before sending the monks in all directions to teach the Dharma, the Buddha instructed them to go forward for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare of gods and men. No two of them travelled together along the same road. He said that he himself was going to Uruvela.

:hands:

Aloka
03 Apr 12, 14:33
Please have a look at the following link:


Ok - so according to the quote I was wrong about the time of the Buddha .....but I wasn't wrong about how teachings are received from monks in the western world at the present day.

;D

Bundokji
03 Apr 12, 14:40
Hello woodscooter,


Well, I'm not going to criticise any statement from the Dalai Lama. I don't know exactly what he has said and in what context, as all I can go on is Ajahn Sujato's summary.

There are different precepts according to the level of Buddhist practice you are following. I guess that if I were head of a Buddhist tradition with large numbers of monks spending all their time in monasteries trying to drop worldly attachments, I would strongly discourage homosexual acts, too.

:hands: :hands: :hands:


Not everybody is leading the celibate life. Many Buddhists lead 'ordinary' lives and their behaviour is guided by their own interpretation of the Eightfold Path. For many, marriage is part of an ordinary life, and the partnership is based on an attraction of some sort. People don't get married out of a duty to procreate. They get married because they want to be together.

So I see no reason for making a distinction between any same-sex couple who want to be together, and any opposite-sex couple who want to be together.


I agree that people dont get married out of duty to procreate. However, the ability to procreate in a hetrosexual relationship distuinguish it from homosexual relationship and makes the big difference when we argue which one is better/less bad.

Regards,
Bundokji :hands:

Aloka
03 Apr 12, 14:53
However, the ability to procreate in a hetrosexual relationship distuinguish it from homosexual relationship and makes the big difference when we argue which one is better/less bad.



Yet again showing discrimination against gay relationships - and not all heterosexuals wish /or are able to procreate in a relationship.


Just give it a rest now please, Bundokji.

Deshy
03 Apr 12, 15:38
You asked me to look at nature and it seems to me that we have a very different view on nature. When i look at nature, i see most other animals make sex during the mating season , most animals take only what is necessary for their survival, only modern humans (unfortunately) are the ones who take more than what is necessary (even in sex) hence our planet is in a big danger!!

Animals have sex in the mating season because they are driven by sexual desire during that period due to hormonal changes of their bodies. They do not voluntarily pick a suitable time of the year during which they sparingly have safe sex with a trusted partner of the opposite sex for the purpose of having offspring. When I watch nature I don't see animals having sex sparingly. They do not have cultural boundaries, laws or marriage institutions. They are usually polygamous and engage in sex mainly to satiate sexual desire. They stop when desire drives down. The cycle starts again when it is that time of the year when bodily changes happen. This is how nature is.

It is us human beings who have, somewhere in our evolution, given extra significance to reproduction, marriage and monogamy. The reason is mainly to safeguard the communities, clans and tribes. Men wanted to ensure that their property was inherited by a heir of their own. This is how marriage and monogamy became integral to culture. This is how bearing offspring became significant to humans. People started to embrace these cultural elements for emotional and social assurance. Religious leaders promoted the "heterosexual family institution" as noble and sacred. All these are cultural and social constructs having nothing much to do with our actual genetic makeup.

Deshy
03 Apr 12, 15:44
sexual act itself is the efficient cause and breeding is the final cause.

Sexual act is the efficient cause. Sexual satisfaction (satiation) is the final cause. Nature did not introdce any "sex for babies" policy. You cannot find examples for that from the animal kingdom, our ancestors or the modern society.


The existence of families is necessary for the well being of childerns and the development of society.


So why deny this to one part of the population? Since family is necessary for the well being of children, gay people should be legally allowed to get married, form families and bring up kids of their own.


In a hetrosexual relationship all this suffering can lead to something positive which is the birth of a new human being. However, in a homosexual relationship its only suffering with nothing in return!!!


All the more reasons to allow homosexuals the legal rights to marry and have kids. Form families of their own.

Deshy
03 Apr 12, 15:56
However, the ability to procreate in a hetrosexual relationship distuinguish it from homosexual relationship and makes the big difference when we argue which one is better/less bad.



This is more like the statement of a man of the stone age proclaiming his sexual superiority over women because he has the dangly bits between his legs. :mrgreen: There are so many ways for two people of the same sex to have kids of their own or even better, give a home to an abandoned child. Not all heterosexual couples are physically capable of having their own kids. They also use other techniques to have babies or they adopt.

What makes a parent a bad parent is the parenting skills not procreation capabilities. Your statement implies that a drunken, wife-beating, alcoholic straight dad is more qualified to have babies than a gay man in a loving relationship. Nice! :mrgreen:

Esho
03 Apr 12, 16:06
I agree that people dont get married out of duty to procreate. However, the ability to procreate in a hetrosexual relationship distuinguish it from homosexual relationship and makes the big difference when we argue which one is better/less bad.

Regards,
Bundokji :hands:

This same speech is given by homophobic people.

Sad finding this in someone that calls himself a Buddhist.

:(

Abhaya
03 Apr 12, 16:09
In a hetrosexual relationship all this suffering can lead to something positive which is the birth of a new human being (as you know, the human realm is the only one where you get the chance to be liberated). However, in a homosexual relationship its only suffering with nothing in return!!!


The only difference is that hetrosexual intercourse can lead to the birth of a new human who might get the chance to hear the Buddha teachings and get liberated, but the homosexual act only produce suffering. Some would think that this idea is non-sense, but without explaining why!


However, the ability to procreate in a hetrosexual relationship distuinguish it from homosexual relationship and makes the big difference when we argue which one is better/less bad.

I cannot even begin to imagine how deluded a person would have to be to imagine that these words are words of compassion and insight.

The way these statements are phrased suggests that nothing positive can ever come of homosexual relationships and that homosexuality is inherently wrong.

It is not the case that homosexuality is causing more harm than good. This proselytizing, anti-homosexual rhetoric is causing more harm than good, and along with accusations that homosexuality is the root cause of HIV/AIDS, these types of intolerant assertions are a primary contributing factor to rampant homophobia in this world. Hate disguised as sympathy is the problem here.

Esho
03 Apr 12, 16:22
Originally Posted by Bundokji
The existence of families is necessary for the well being of childerns and the development of society.

Bundokji,

What kind of families are you referring?

The heterosexual nuclear capitalist one?

Let me tell that non-nuclear, non-capitalist and non-just-heterosexual families are the most found in many other kind of cultural settings.

This are called extended families where mom and dad are non existent as discrete entities.

In these families you can found many moms and dads spread along the village having different roles at different times and for different needs regardless gender identities or sexual preferences.

In many cases, in those kind of extended families are found many different gender roles and sexual preferences doing any harm to the preferences shown by children there.

Extended families do not face the problem of being together so to have children as happens with nuclear capitalists ones that are oriented for consumption making reproduction an imperative; not loving bonds.

Extended families support all kind of individuals from gay to men and women that -for any reason- have reproductive shortcomings.

My advice, Bundokji, is to go outside and look around and try to put aside all that stuff about Aristotle's "natural law" for a while until you can appreciate all the different ways mankind has developed so to build functional and sustainable social bonds.

:hands:

Bundokji
03 Apr 12, 16:31
It seems to me that if i dont agree with what most members of this forum or what most western buddhists believe, and simply offer an alternative view/opinion on a social issue, then i will be accused of being homophobic (straw man), stone aged (Ad Novitatem), non Buddhist and other personal attacks (ad hominem), begging the question ...etc an endless list of personal attacks and logical fallacies ;)


With love, respect, and compassion,
Bundokji :hands:

Abhaya
03 Apr 12, 16:36
Dear Bundokji,

There is no denying what you've said. Your exact words have been quoted on multiple occasions. If this is not what you meant, then some clarification would be appreciated. If you can't see how your words have hurt others, then perhaps some mindfulness is in order. No need to pretend you don't understand what's going on.

Sincerely,
Abhaya

Aloka
03 Apr 12, 16:40
This is what happens when obvious prejudice encounters people who disagree. It gets exposed and criticised, Bundokji.


:flower:

Deshy
03 Apr 12, 16:42
It seems to me that if i dont agree with what most members of this forum or what most western buddhists believe, and simply offer an alternative view/opinion on a social issue, then i will be accused of being homophobic (straw man), stone aged (Ad Novitatem), non Buddhist and other personal attacks (ad hominem), begging the question ...etc an endless list of personal attacks and logical fallacies ;)




I criticized your comments. Welcome to "general forum behavior".

Bundokji
03 Apr 12, 17:16
Hello Abhaya,

There is nothing to calrify my friend, its all clear as you said ;D

This whole thing remind me of the Buddha's method of handling insults. Once an angry man tried to insult the Buddha and used improper language. The Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead he asked the man "Tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does the gift belong?" The man answered "it will be belong to me because i bought it" then the Buddha answered the man: " in the same way, since i dont accept your insults, it belongs to you"

It takes two people to fight, and it takes two people to tango. I did not come here with the intention of fighting with anyone but to have a healthy discussion free of personal attacks and improper language. Personal attacks are a logical fallacy and the sure mark of intellectual bankruptcy in my opinion.

If anyone got hurt reading my comments (as you suggest) then i would ask them to see what is really hurting them, is it my comments or is it their strong sense of self/identity/attachment to sexuality ..etc

Peace :peace:

Deshy
03 Apr 12, 17:28
Taking criticism personally, specially in a public forum, is a sure mark of intellectual bankruptcy in my opinion. Saying "logical fallacy" several times does not automatically invalidate other people's arguments. You got to prove it you know.

Abhaya
03 Apr 12, 17:56
Dear Bundokji,

Speaking for myself, I am hurt by your comments, not my "strong sense of self/identity/attachment to sexuality". Personally, I have been abstinent for the whole of my short 21 years, having never been in a relationship, sexual or romantic. Sexuality is a private matter, the way I see it, and all people should be allowed to freely make their own decisions on this matter.

Contrary to the way you seem to view this discussion, there is A LOT to clarify. None of what you say is clear to me, given the tone of prejudice and self-righteous pity coupled with denial of any such homophobia. Perhaps it is just your choice of words.

I do not understand how denying equal rights to same-sex couples is compassionate. It is discrimination. I do not buy the explanation that it saves them from suffering. Your statements have come off as extraordinarily condescending. I do not understand your point of view as you have presently phrased it, and my understanding would benefit from a clear response. Please clarify.

Sincerely,
Abhaya

Aloka
03 Apr 12, 18:02
This whole thing remind me of the Buddha's method of handling insults. Once an angry man tried to insult the Buddha and used improper language. The Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead he asked the man "Tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does the gift belong?" The man answered "it will be belong to me because i bought it" then the Buddha answered the man: " in the same way, since i dont accept your insults, it belongs to you"



Please provide references and a URL link for any quotes said to be from the Buddha - or indeed for any quotes used at all, Bundokji

(see Code of Conduct as well as the forum guidelines underneath it)


Thanks

Bundokji
03 Apr 12, 18:28
Hello Aloka,

http://viewonbuddhism.org/anger.html#insult

Please see "how to take an insult"

Regards,
Bundokji :hands:

Bundokji
03 Apr 12, 18:59
Hello Abhaya,


Speaking for myself, I am hurt by your comments, not my "strong sense of self/identity/attachment to sexuality". Personally, I have been abstinent for the whole of my short 21 years, having never been in a relationship, sexual or romantic. Sexuality is a private matter, the way I see it, and all people should be allowed to freely make their own decisions on this matter.

I agree with you, all people should be allowed to make their own decision in every single matter (including sexuality). Accordingly, i made my decision not to support gay marriage, what i dont understand is: why would anyone have a problem with that ??!! As homosexual expect people to be open minded about their sexuality, they themselves should be open mind and accept other people disagreeing with them.


Contrary to the way you seem to view this discussion, there is A LOT to clarify. None of what you say is clear to me, given the tone of prejudice and self-righteous pity coupled with denial of any such homophobia. Perhaps it is just your choice of words.

I still dont understand what is that you want me to clarify. I see both types of marriages as shit, but not equally!! what is wrong with that! i dont see that i am discriminating against homosexuals. If they make a referundum where i live and they ask people whether they support gay marraige or not, i would not even bother to vote!! its not like that i would vote no, same thing applies to hetrosexual marriage. i see both as suffering. Now why you or others believed that i have to see both marraiges as exactly equal, and where that unrealistic assumption came from? I have no idea!!

In relation to my use of language, i have not used improper or rude language, i ve just been assertive. If you look at the Dhammapada you will see a lot of verses with a very strong language, here is one example:


When a man is sluggish and gluttonous, sleeping and rolling around in bed like a fat domestic pig, that sluggard undergoes rebirth again and again

What i love about the Dhammapada in particular is its use of clear and assertive language (they did not want to hurt sluggish and gluttonous people but quite the opposite). Those who wrote it did not care to appear "liberal" or "seeking acceptance" from other people. They said in a clear language what they believed as right and wrong.

Peace :peace:

Aloka
03 Apr 12, 18:59
Hello Abhaya,

There is nothing to calrify my friend, its all clear as you said ;D

This whole thing remind me of the Buddha's method of handling insults. Once an angry man tried to insult the Buddha and used improper language. The Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead he asked the man "Tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does the gift belong?" The man answered "it will be belong to me because i bought it" then the Buddha answered the man: " in the same way, since i dont accept your insults, it belongs to you"

It takes two people to fight, and it takes two people to tango. I did not come here with the intention of fighting with anyone but to have a healthy discussion free of personal attacks and improper language. Personal attacks are a logical fallacy and the sure mark of intellectual bankruptcy in my opinion.

If anyone got hurt reading my comments (as you suggest) then i would ask them to see what is really hurting them, is it my comments or is it their strong sense of self/identity/attachment to sexuality ..etc

Peace :peace:


Hi Bundokji,

I think its not your place as a beginner to Buddhism to be making comments such as in the above post to a valued new member of the group - especially if you take the time to read her post #76.

Some of the prejudiced comments you have made in this thread have no part in 'healthy discussion' and something else which you don't seem to have even considered, is that we have a number of gay members at BWB.

.

Bundokji
03 Apr 12, 19:16
Hello Aloka,


I think its not your place as a beginner to Buddhism to be making comments such as in the above post to a valued new member of the group - especially if you take the time to read her post #76.

Some of the prejudiced comments you have made in this thread have no part in 'healthy discussion' and something else which you don't seem to have even considered, is that we have a number of gay members at BWB.


First of all being "beginner" as you described me does not affect the validity of my views. They are either valid or invalid (regardless of what others think of my level of experience). In this very thread there has been examples where some who consdier themselves experienced can also make mistakes :hands:

As you might have noticed, Abhaya was the one i chose to reply to from few other posts due to his decency and use of kind language. When you reply to someone, its a recognition of the importance of that person and his ideas.

With love, respect and compassion
Bundokji :hands:

Aloka
03 Apr 12, 19:22
In this very thread there has been examples where some who consdier themselves experienced can also make mistakes

If you are refering to me, I don't recall ever saying that I consider myself 'experienced'.

Abhaya is a young woman, by the way, not a man. You have recently been interacting with 4 women in this thread.

Did you read what I said in the last paragraph of my previous post #81?

Element
03 Apr 12, 20:19
....both homosexual intercourse and hetrosexual intercourse causes suffering. The only difference is that hetrosexual intercourse can lead to the birth of a new human who might get the chance to hear the Buddha teachings and get liberated, but the homosexual act only produce suffering. Some would think that this idea is non-sense, but without explaining why!
Buddha never taught to reproduce so a new human might get the chance to hear the Buddha teachings and get liberated. One does not create bondage for the purpose of liberation from that bondage. One does not spread disease in order to sell the medicine for that disease.


Actually, it can be seen a bit contradictory to believe that craving and sensual desires causes suffering and at the same time, support people to indulge more in it!!
hi Bundokji

it is not contradictory at all because the Buddha taught to different audiences, that is, to monks and to laypeople.

the Buddha was not contradictory. The Buddha did not teach that all human beings must become monks & nuns.

The Buddha understood that to engage in sexuality is something necessary for many human beings. Jesus & St Paul were the same.

all the best ;D

Buddha said:


Husband & wife, both of them
having conviction,
being responsive,
being restrained,
living by the Dhamma,
addressing each other
with loving words:
they benefit in manifold ways.
To them comes bliss.
Their enemies are dejected
when both are in tune in virtue.
Having followed the Dhamma here in this world,
both in tune in precepts & practices,
they delight in the world of the devas,
enjoying the pleasures they desire.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.055.than.html

Jesus said:


The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+19&version=NIV


St Paul said:


Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1 Corinthians+7&version=NIV

Lazy Eye
03 Apr 12, 20:41
...both homosexual intercourse and hetrosexual intercourse causes suffering. The only difference is that hetrosexual intercourse can lead to the birth of a new human who might get the chance to hear the Buddha teachings and get liberated, but the homosexual act only produce suffering. Some would think that this idea is non-sense, but without explaining why!

A flaw in this argument, though, is that parenthood actually involves a great deal of attachment and emotional love -- and, as a result, dukkha. Indeed, heterosexual parents who are raising children could be much more involved with dukkha than, say, a non-celibate couple (whether same sex of hetero) that is not raising a family.

The latter would have more time for dhamma practice, as well!

While human birth is indeed said to be precious, I don't recall any suttas that say people obtain special merit for producing babies. Plus, in any case, gay couples are also capable of raising kids.

I think it's worth keeping in mind that the dhamma is a gradual path and one can practice in accordance with one's circumstances. For those not prepared to renounce sensual desire the Buddha's teachings were clearly directed at taming sexual energy within the bounds of a loving relationship. Sexual preference is a non-issue.

Element
03 Apr 12, 20:51
Before sending the monks in all directions to teach the Dharma, the Buddha instructed them to go forward for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare of gods and men. No two of them travelled together along the same road. He said that he himself was going to Uruvela.

Yes, Buddha instructed them to go forward for the good of the many. However, as stated: "for the welfare of gods and men".

"Gods & men" does not refer to monks & nuns. 'Gods' are the rich & powerful and 'men' are the common folk. Go forward for the good of the many, giving them teachings (when they ask) that are appropriate for their individual circumstances.

Buddha taught monks teach laypeople the way to 'heaven' rather than to Nibbana.

Similarly, supporting homosexual marriage is supporting the way to heaven. ;D


The ascetics and brahmans thus ministered to as the Zenith by a householder show their compassion towards him in six ways:

(i) they restrain him from evil,
(ii) they persuade him to do good,
(iii) they love him with a kind heart,
(iv) they make him hear what he has not heard,
(v) they clarify what he has already heard,
(vi) they point out the path to a heavenly state.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.31.0.nara.html

What is the heavenly state?


Husband & wife, both of them
having conviction,
being responsive,
being restrained,
living by the Dhamma,
addressing each other
with loving words:
they benefit in manifold ways.
To them comes bliss.
Their enemies are dejected
when both are in tune in virtue.
Having followed the Dhamma here in this world,
both in tune in precepts & practices,
they delight in the world of the devas,
enjoying the pleasures they desire.

Element
03 Apr 12, 21:19
I see both types of marriages as shit...
Buddha called this wrong view, as follows:


And what is wrong view? 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no other world, no mother, no father....

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.117.than.html



What i love about the Dhammapada in particular is its use of clear and assertive language.
The Dhammapada is a very monkish book, seemingly complied for monks. Used in the inappropriate context, it is not right speech.


Bhikkhus, words having these five characteristics are words well-spoken, are not words badly-spoken, are blameless words that the wise do not criticize. What are these five characteristics? The five are:

spoken at the proper time
spoken in line with the truth
spoken gently
spoken beneficially
spoken with a friendly heart

Bhikkhus, speech having these five characteristics are words well-spoken, are not words badly-spoken, are blameless words that the wise do not criticize.

http://www.suanmokkh.org/archive/rtspch1.htm

Abhaya
03 Apr 12, 23:30
Dear Bundokji,


And i dont think nature has given us the sexual desire to go and sleep around seeking pleasure, but for the survival of our species, hence the sexual act itself is the efficient cause and breeding is the final cause. I thought our purpose on the planet from a purely biological perspective is to pass on our genes!!!

This statement seems to assume that all relationships, with the exception of those involving married heterosexual couples who use sex only as a means of advancing "the survival of our species", are - as a rule - promiscuous, lustful, and nothing more. None of the statements made here acknowledge the care, respect, and even spiritual support that can exist between a same-sex couple. Please provide clarification if this is not what was meant.


You described the sexual pleasures of homosexuals as harmless. However, on the physical level, homosexuals are more vulnerable to STDs. In addition, some homosexual activities such as "anal intercourse" are not healthy and can cause diseases and bacterial infections.


This tangent about STDs seems to be intended to criticize homosexual practices as filthy and disgusting. It seems that these words are intended to invalidate the bond that exists between same-sex couples. What need is there to mention this when heterosexual practices may also lead to the contraction of STDs? Please clarify your intention.


Buddhism teaches us to have love and compassion towards all living beings, and compassion (as i understand it) means taking action and not to be indifferent towards other people suffering. The question is: by supporting marraige equality, are we really helping homosexuals? or is it better to spend our energy showing them that craving and attachment to desire causes more harm than good?


I do not see how heterosexual couples are exempt simply because they are capable of reproducing. Equal rights foster an environment of mutual respect. No single faction of society is deemed lesser than another. To deny equal rights to same-sex couples reinforces the view that homosexuality and hence homosexuals are below all else, which delegitimizes their love, entails varying degrees of prejudice, and encourages homophobia. As I see it, supporting marriage equality definitely helps homosexuals, and moreover, society as a whole to overcome its discriminatory outlook.



I agree with you, all people should be allowed to make their own decision in every single matter (including sexuality). Accordingly, i made my decision not to support gay marriage, what i dont understand is: why would anyone have a problem with that ??!! As homosexual expect people to be open minded about their sexuality, they themselves should be open mind and accept other people disagreeing with them.

There is a discrepancy in logic here. If one were to respect the choices of others, one would not interfere in those choices. For instance, I can personally disagree with abortion, but I refuse to infringe upon another woman's ability to choose for herself on this matter. Likewise, you may disagree with same-sex marriage, but who are you to suggest they should be denied the right to make their own choices about whether to marry? Same-sex couples cannot choose to get married when marriage is outlawed between same-sex couples.


I still dont understand what is that you want me to clarify. I see both types of marriages as shit, but not equally!! what is wrong with that! i dont see that i am discriminating against homosexuals. If they make a referundum where i live and they ask people whether they support gay marraige or not, i would not even bother to vote!! its not like that i would vote no, same thing applies to hetrosexual marriage. i see both as suffering. Now why you or others believed that i have to see both marraiges as exactly equal, and where that unrealistic assumption came from? I have no idea!!

By making the decision not to support gay marriage, are you saying 1) you are completely neutral on the matter, or 2) you oppose gay marriage? From previous statements suggesting the inherent inferiority of homosexual partnerships and the inherent superiority of heterosexual partnerships based solely on the latter's ability to procure offspring, it comes across as opposition and discrimination. I invite you to clarify what has until now been left unclarified.

Sincerely,
Abhaya

Johnny Panic
04 Apr 12, 01:29
EDIT: A lot of my post is outdated, as it took a bit to type up. Sorry for the confusion.
---

Thanks for the reply, Bundokji.

Responding to every section of our back and forth is, frankly, far to tiring for me to attempt. Apologies for looking over your post to Deshy.

Here is my arguement, then. You have admitted that both hetero and homosexual intercourse causes suffering. You've also mentioned being against marriage (I agree to an extent, in that it has become more of a government thing than a thing between two people). That implies, to me, that you view hetero and homosexuals as basically equal, in that they are both creating suffering for each other.

Sidenote: Creating life is also creating suffering for a multitude of reasons. I don't think I have to explain my rational, but I'm interested in your opinion.

Since this thread is about marriage equality, I submit that either:

1. You should be taking a stronger stance against heterosexual marriage/ intercourse. You say that all forms of intercourse are equal in producing suffering, but occasionally imply otherwise. If you really feel that way, then you should argue that straight marriages be downgraded to the level of gay relationships, or potentially downgrade both even further. If supporting gay marriage is supporting suffering, than supporting straight marriage is the exact same thing, and both deserve equal attention. I would even argue you don't have to use labels like "Gay" or "Straight."
or!
2. Consider you may have a well intentioned, but slight bias. This doesn't have to be true, and maybe there are other factors contributing to your focus on homosexual relationships as opposed to marriage as a whole. It just seems odd to me that the thread focuses so much on homosexual intercourse if the real issue is marriage.

Thanks for your time.

Aloka
04 Apr 12, 05:25
maybe there are other factors contributing to your focus on homosexual relationships as opposed to marriage as a whole. It just seems odd to me that the thread focuses so much on homosexual intercourse if the real issue is marriage

Yes....and I'd like to point out that my original intention in starting this thread was certainly not for it to become a platform for one members attitude towards gay sexual relationships. I'm also asking for our wider community at the website, which is inclusive of LGBT, to be taken into consideration in this matter in any future posts in this topic.

Thanks

Bundokji
04 Apr 12, 08:44
Hello Everyone,

As i dont have enough energy and time to answer everyone of you individually, i hope i can do it in a single post, sorry for that.

I agree that parenthood requires great deal of attachment and that the Buddha never taught to reproduce. Not long ago i was even against having childerns (i mentioned that in a different thread about Buddhism and childerns, but unfortuntely i cant find otherwise i would have provided a link). On a different thread, i had a discussion with "Lazy Eye" and he was explaining to me the different rules for monastics and lay people, then i told him that having childerns is not a good idea as you will be bringing new people to suffer with us here in Samsara, then "Yuan" advised that bringing people to Samsara is a good thing as you give them the chance to get liberated. Then i told myself: what Yuan said makes sense, at least there can be something positive coming out of this suffering! So my original poistion was that both marraiges was equally bad, then what Yuan said has conviced me, and who knows how conditions will change me in the future!!

I am sorry, I am not trying to waste your time here, but cant you see the law of cause and effect in what i said above? why do we hold certain beliefs? is not it the outcome of our conditioning (the law of cause and effect/dependent origination)? isnt the ego/the psychological entity is nothing but an accumulated phenomenon of cause and effect? If what i believed at the beginning (that both marriages are equal) is the truth, then it would not have changed, because the truth does not change. And what i believe now (that both marraiges are not equal) is also not the truth because its subject to a constant change.

In my opinion, when a Buddhist see how conditioned he is, and understand the law of "cause and effect" he will start to look for freedom. If i keep on trying to change the conditioned (like supporting marraige equality) then i am stuck in the same vicious cycle. Freedom implies seeing the futlity of changing the conditioned, seeing it as not worthy, not real, plastic. Hence i asked earlier in the beginning of the whole discussion: why should a Buddhist bother supporting or opposing marraige equality? If you are a Buddhist, and looking for freedom, then changing the conditioned cannot be the way. The way (as i understand it) is to see the conditioned for what it really is (impermenant, unsatisfactory, and not self). I hope i made myself clear and my postion less confusing.

In relation to monks and lay people. I think both have the same objective. The Buddha was very pragmatic and he understood human nature. If he asked everyone to become monks, then maybe not too many people would follow the path. However, a monk's life is more conducive to the path than lay people's life and more praise worthy. Monk life is not equal to lay people life in my opinion, its better. The Buddha himself (please correct me if i am wrong) was a monk and the head of the sangha untill he passed away, so those who decide to dedicate their lifes for a higher purpose and renunciated worldly pleasure deserve all the respect, not being mocked and ridiculed if they say something that does not agree with our conditioned minds!!!

If anyone got offended from my views, then please allow me to share the following story with you: Seneca (a Philosopher) was invited to a banquet and while he and other guests were eating, one of the servants who was holding the tray with the dishes on it slipped over and the dishes got broken. The host got too angry and he killed the servant, then Seneca wrote on his book describing the host: He lives in a world where dishes should not be broken!! And it seems to me that some discussant live in a world where no one should disagree with them ;D

Its a different way of looking at Buddhism. What causes suffering/disappointment? isnt it the gap between expectations and reality? why should you be dangerousely optimistic (in other words too greedy) and expect me to agree with you. If you got hurt, it was not me, its your unrealistic expectations (wrong perceptions) that is hurting you. If we accept reality as it is and stop dreaming (which sums up a lot of the Buddhas teaching) then no one can hurt us, and our suffering will come to an end.

Regards,
Bundokji :hands:

Aloka
04 Apr 12, 10:03
Thank you for your lengthy post, Bundokji.

However, it has done nothing to address the attitude that you appeared to be showing towards sexual practices within gay relationships (and towards gay relationships in general) - which wasn't the original subject of the thread anyway - and which some of us are asking you to clarify.

Lazy Eye
04 Apr 12, 12:13
I agree that parenthood requires great deal of attachment and that the Buddha never taught to reproduce. Not long ago i was even against having childerns (i mentioned that in a different thread about Buddhism and childerns, but unfortuntely i cant find otherwise i would have provided a link). On a different thread, i had a discussion with "Lazy Eye" and he was explaining to me the different rules for monastics and lay people, then i told him that having childerns is not a good idea as you will be bringing new people to suffer with us here in Samsara, then "Yuan" advised that bringing people to Samsara is a good thing as you give them the chance to get liberated. Then i told myself: what Yuan said makes sense, at least there can be something positive coming out of this suffering! So my original poistion was that both marraiges was equally bad, then what Yuan said has conviced me, and who knows how conditions will change me in the future!!

I am sorry, I am not trying to waste your time here, but cant you see the law of cause and effect in what i said above? why do we hold certain beliefs? is not it the outcome of our conditioning (the law of cause and effect/dependent origination)? isnt the ego/the psychological entity is nothing but an accumulated phenomenon of cause and effect? If what i believed at the beginning (that both marriages are equal) is the truth, then it would not have changed, because the truth does not change. And what i believe now (that both marraiges are not equal) is also not the truth because its subject to a constant change.

In my opinion, when a Buddhist see how conditioned he is, and understand the law of "cause and effect" he will start to look for freedom. If i keep on trying to change the conditioned (like supporting marraige equality) then i am stuck in the same vicious cycle. Freedom implies seeing the futlity of changing the conditioned, seeing it as not worthy, not real, plastic. Hence i asked earlier in the beginning of the whole discussion: why should a Buddhist bother supporting or opposing marraige equality? If you are a Buddhist, and looking for freedom, then changing the conditioned cannot be the way. The way (as i understand it) is to see the conditioned for what it really is (impermenant, unsatisfactory, and not self). I hope i made myself clear and my position less confusing.

Hi Bundokji,

I think we have to be careful about overgeneralizing based on external circumstances. A heterosexual marriage is not necessarily more "wholesome" than a same-sex marriage. It's true that Buddhism regards human birth as precious, but it is also true that parenthood involves dukkha, and in some circumstances (a family that is ravaged by alcoholism or abusive behavior), the amount of suffering can be great. In that case, the parents may have given their children the chance to live in a hell realm. So we can't draw the conclusion that heterosexual marriages are necessarily better.

Also, as I mentioned before, gay couples can raise children -- and it is even possible to get pregnant and give birth through in vitro fertilization. So the whole argument kind of falls apart.

Bringing "precious human births" into the world is not the only reason for marriage from a Buddhist point of view, and it may not even be the most important reason. A more significant one may be that marriage (or a long-term committed relationship) can provide a way to tame and restrain sensual cravings within certain bounds. Therefore it is more wholesome than mere sensual indulgence. From this point of view, it certainly seems logical for Buddhists to support marriage equality, since we would want to support committed relationships in general , regardless of sexual preference.

Just my two cents.

Aloka
04 Apr 12, 12:25
Just my two cents.

Thanks Lazy-Eye :good:

Bundokji
04 Apr 12, 13:29
Hello Lazy Eye,


I think we have to be careful about overgeneralizing based on external circumstances. A heterosexual marriage is not necessarily more "wholesome" than a gay marriage, children or no children. It's true that Buddhism regards human birth as precious, but it is also true that parenthood involves dukkha, and in some circumstances (a family that is ravaged by alcoholism or abusive behavior), the amount of suffering can be great. In that case, the parents may have given their children the chance to live in a hell realm. So we can't draw the conclusion that heterosexual marriages are necessarily better.

Also, as I mentioned before, gay couples can raise children -- and it is even possible for one partner to give birth to children through in vitro fertilization. So the whole argument kind of falls apart.

Bringing "precious human births" into the world is not the only reason for marriage from a Buddhist point of view, and it may not even be the most important reason. A more significant one may be that marriage (or a long-term committed relationship) can provide a way to tame and restrain sensual cravings within certain bounds. Therefore it is more wholesome than mere sensual indulgence. From this point of view, it certainly makes sense for Buddhists to support marriage equality, since we would want to support long-term committed relationships in general , regardless of sexual preference.

Just my two cents.

"Wholesome" actions are those actions that spring not out of desire, ill-will and ignorance, but out of renunciation, loving-kindness and compassion, and wisdom. Do you agree?

Consequently, its the "intention" that determines if the marraige is wholesome or not, and we cannot examine the intention of each couple (regardless of their sexuality) which makes the whole thing "impracticle" when we want to decide whether Buddhists should support marraige equality or not. As such, my position is not a hasty generalization but practicle. On the other hand, i cant imagine how homosexual marraige can be an act of renunciation, loving kindness and wisdom!!

Now you can argue that same thing applies to hetrosexual marraige. Now if we already have one problem, why should we make them two (by supporting another marraige)??!

One way of doing good in my opinion is by preventing another evil (suffering) from happenning, or at least not supporting it.


There is one who, turning away from desire (for household life) takes to the life of the forest (i.e., of a monk). But after being freed from the household, he runs back to it. Behold that man! Though freed, he runs back to that very bondage

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/dhp/dhp.24.budd.html

looking at the above verse, supporting marraige equality seems to me helping more people to get enslaved (instead of helping them to get freed)

Looking back at the big picture (again), as you can see, the more you add to the argument, or when you look at the whole topic from different angels, you come up with new conclusions. Opinions are always subject to change, hence they do not represent the truth.

What do Buddhists have in common? its not their opinion on social issues such as marraige equality, but its their search for theunconditioned/ truth/freedom. Now, how supporting marraige equality would help me and those that i supported to become free?

Regards,
Bundokji :hands:

Esho
04 Apr 12, 14:26
Therefore it is more wholesome than mere sensual indulgence. From this point of view, it certainly seems logical for Buddhists to support marriage equality, since we would want to support committed relationships in general , regardless of sexual preference.

Just my two cents.

Very valuable cents! :good:

As a Buddhist it doesn't matter if it is an homosexual or heterosexual couple or even single mother or single father families are there or of any other kind, any time loving bonds and a sexual relationship - homosexual or heterosexual - are based on love, caring each other, deep commitment and self esteem are developed.

Esho
04 Apr 12, 15:55
Consequently, its the "intention" that determines if the marraige is wholesome or not, and we cannot examine the intention of each couple (regardless of their sexuality)

So it is useless to harbor judgemental and categorical thoughts toward those who we think are different.


which makes the whole thing "impracticle" when we want to decide whether Buddhists should support marraige equality or not. As such, my position is not a hasty generalization but practicle.

IMO, Buddhists should because married couples are able to develop loving bonds and loving kindness relationships and Buddhism is not interested in the reproductive imperative that some religions impose but the development of a wholesome life together for those who decided to live in couple and have children.


On the other hand, i cant imagine how homosexual marraige can be an act of renunciation, loving kindness and wisdom!!

Yes. It is clear that you can't imagine maybe because you don't know.

If you take sometime to know about gay community and maybe having friends there you will be starting to know that gay couples can develop loving kindness bonds, can adopt children that can result gay or straight or if they practice a sort of spirituality they can undergone in celibate.

It is about human diversity.


Now you can argue that same thing applies to hetrosexual marraige. Now if we already have one problem, why should we make them two (by supporting another marraige)??!

It will be always unwholesome to impede -or not supporting- equality of marriage because categorical thoughts, judgments and mental fabrications build up from blind believes and not from a deep understanding of human diversity.

Behind not supporting attitudes toward equality of marriage there is a sort of passive aggression rooted in fear or in hate or in ignorance.


One way of doing good in my opinion is by preventing another evil (suffering) from happenning, or at least not supporting it.

If you were to have the enough means to prevent - stop or going against actively - you will be harming a huge amount of human beings giving them suffering and violence. Both can not be supported by a Buddhist but maybe by a member of religious believe or committed with an ideology or a political agenda.


looking at the above verse, supporting marraige equality seems to me helping more people to get enslaved (instead of helping them to get freed)

Looking at the above verse we can see that Buddha taught at all levels of human development. There are teachings for married people and those who, by will, have decided a homeless life in a monastery.


Looking back at the big picture (again), as you can see, the more you add to the argument, or when you look at the whole topic from different angels, you come up with new conclusions. Opinions are always subject to change, hence they do not represent the truth.

Some opinions can help to approach truth.


What do Buddhists have in common?

The Four Noble Truths.


its not their opinion on social issues such as marraige equality,

Why not? Buddha's teachings are plenty for householders and married couples.


Now, how supporting marriage equality would help me and those that i supported to become free?

What a Buddhist should try to promote and -if the case is given- to support for married people -gay or straight- is the development of loving kindness, self esteem, healthy relationships, support and respect for each member of a family. It doesn't matter if it is a gay or straight couple with or with out children.

Also, a Buddhist should not contribute to impede over the will of others to get married because a life proyect, being gay or straight. That is not a Noble Buddhist action.

Also, Bundokji, you have been quoted at #65 of this thread:

"The existence of families is necessary for the well being of children and the development of society."

and then at #79 you state: "I see both types of marriages as shit, but not equally!!"

So, are or aren't families necessary for the well being of children and the development of society?

And from here, why not to support a gay couple who develops well being for their children and support and why to support a straight one who abuses and brings huge amount of suffering to children?

And even when both marriages are not equally they deserve the same rights and obligations.

Why you think that a straight one is better that a gay one, as you posted it at #59:

"As i said in my post to Deshy, both homosexual intercourse and heterosexual intercourse causes suffering. The only difference is that hetrosexual intercourse can lead to the birth of a new human who might get the chance to hear the Buddha teachings and get liberated, but the homosexual act only produce suffering. Some would think that this idea is non-sense, but without explaining why!

Is this just because the kind of sexual intercourse?

IMO, the well being of children and the building of loving kindness bonds is what is important when supporting equality of marriage as something wholesome and...

it is wholesome too, to support the freedom to choose the kind of relationship any couple likes or needs.

Aloka
04 Apr 12, 15:58
As a Buddhist it doesn't matter if it is an homosexual or heterosexual couple or even single mother or single father families are there or of any other kind, any time loving bonds and a sexual relationship - homosexual or heterosexual - are based on love, caring each other, deep commitment and self esteem are developed.

Absolutely, Esho ... and I also agree with your comments #96.

Just as an aside -- I notice that Ajahn Sujato has been receiving very positive and encouraging comments from other Buddhists about his blog article supporting gay marriage equality, including this one posted after it on the same website:




What a beautiful, lucid, persuasive essay. I hope you’ll have it published elsewhere – it deserves a wide audience.




:hands:

Esho
04 Apr 12, 16:07
I notice that Ajahn Sujato has been receiving very positive and encouraging comments from other Buddhists about his blog article supporting gay marriage equality, including this one posted after it on the same website.

Those are really good news for mankind, Aloka :flower:

Abhaya
04 Apr 12, 16:16
Dear Bundokji,


Consequently, its the "intention" that determines if the marraige is wholesome or not, and we cannot examine the intention of each couple (regardless of their sexuality) which makes the whole thing "impracticle" when we want to decide whether Buddhists should support marraige equality or not. As such, my position is not a hasty generalization but practicle. On the other hand, i cant imagine how homosexual marraige can be an act of renunciation, loving kindness and wisdom!!

Now you can argue that same thing applies to hetrosexual marraige. Now if we already have one problem, why should we make them two (by supporting another marraige)??!

One way of doing good in my opinion is by preventing another evil (suffering) from happenning, or at least not supporting it.


It seems you are implying that same-sex marriages are unworthy of recognition because it would be impractical to even consider the possibility that they can be built upon good intentions. You also appear to be completely ignorant of the positive states of mind that can be cultivated among same-sex couples. Renunciation (by means of monogamy), loving-kindness (by means of care for one's partner), and wisdom (by means of the moral support afforded to one another) can be developed through same-sex marriage. Your outlook on these matters appears to be incredibly narrow and your definitions even more close-minded. Either your words are poorly chosen with little reflection upon alternatives, or you simply wish to cause controversy. Again, I invite you to clarify your true intentions in making these remarks.



Now, how supporting marraige equality would help me and those that i supported to become free?


It would help you become free of your own ego, which seems to have convinced you that what you believe is Truth (capital T). It would help others in society free themselves of prejudice and attachment to views. It would help same-sex couples become free from discrimination. These are all small but important steps toward ultimate freedom, and denying their importance is not only inconsiderate, it is arrogant. As it has not yet been provided, I still seek clarification.

Sincerely,
Abhaya

Deshy
04 Apr 12, 17:32
So my original poistion was that both marraiges was equally bad

Nice to see you trying to diplomatically find some safe grounds here but your notoriously infamous statement below says that you think (or thought) gay relationships are worse than heterosexual ones because the couples involved are unable to procreate:


However, the ability to procreate in a hetrosexual relationship distuinguish it from homosexual relationship and makes the big difference when we argue which one is better/less bad.



Has this opinion changed over time to something like "all relationships/marriages are equally bad because they all bring suffering?" I didn't read your entire post but seems like you are now saying all relationships are bad and that everyone should give priority to realizing not-self. :mrgreen:

Bundokji
04 Apr 12, 17:52
Hello Esho,


So it is useless to harbor judgemental and categorical thoughts toward those who are different from you.

Could not agree more, disagreeing with someone does not mean being judegmental. For example, in this particular instance, me and you disagree! As long as we respect each other, and dont force our opinions on each other then there is nothing wrong with disagreement ;D


IMO, Buddhists should because married couples are able to develop loving bonds and loving kindness relationships and Buddhism is not interested in the reproductive imperative that some religions impose but the development of a wholesome life together for those who decided to live in couple and have children.

Human beings are capable of developing loving kindness relationship without getting married!! I love you and every single member of BWB without getting married. Married is attachment, when you marry someone then there is possessivness. For example, married people expect fidelity/loyalty from their partners, isnt that possessivness?

Loving kindness is innocent and pure love and has nothing to do with sex, even if you watch the meditation videos on this website for Metta meditation, the monk advice you to start with an object that is not from the opposite sex (so you dont have any sexual attraction because it spoils metta) and he suggested a dog to start with as i remember!


Yes. It is clear that you can't imagine maybe because you don't know.

If you take sometime to know about gay community and maybe having friends there you will be starting to know that gay couples can develop loving kindness bonds, can adopt children that can result gay or straight or if they practice a sort of spirituality they can undergone in celibate.

It is about human diversity

I lived in Australia for more than six years, and i had some gay friends (one of them was my boss ;D) most of them are very nice people as you described them. Expressing my opinion that Homosexual marraige is not conducive to the Buddhist path does mean that i have problem with gay people and their sexuality. Even mentioning that their sexual acts might make them more vulnerable to STDs is not against sexuality!!! There are some research centers out there says that STDs are much higher in Homosexual than Hetrosexual, and i provided a link (its not that i am inventing these info!!). I think those who regard stating simple facts as "homophobia" should ask themselves why!

In addition, you and lazy Eye ealier suggested that also homosexuals can have childerns (either by adoption or by in vitro fertilization). However, i have no information if having parents from the same sex is healthy for the psychological development of the child (having two fathers or two mothers). By the way, i have no info in relation to this subject, its a genuin question. If it does not affect the psychological development of the child then there should be no problem ;D


If you were to have the enough means to prevent - stop or going against actively - you will be harming a huge amount of human beings giving them suffering and violence. Both can not be supported by a Buddhist but maybe by a member of religious believe or committed with an ideology or a political agenda.

In a different post i said that if they asked me to vote yes or no for marraige equality, i would not vote at all!! i would not prevent people from living their life. I only have my opinion, whats wrong with that. It seems to me that some are trying to prevent me from having an opinion!!


Looking at the above verse we can see that Buddha taught at all levels of human development. There are teachings for married people and those who, by will, have decided a homeless life in a monastery

Thats exactly right, and monastic life is more virtious in my opinion. For me i have two choices as a Buddhist: to spend my time supporting marraige equality or to support more people to follow the monastic life. I chose the second.


Some opinions can help to approach truth.

This is another big topic, but personally i think that language itself implies "duality" and i cant understand how it can help me if i want to experience "oneness"


Why not? Buddha's teachings are plenty for householders and married couples.

Maybe, but this is not what attracted me to Buddhism and its not what makes Buddhism the "Jewel in the crown". Freedom is what makes Buddhism stands out in my opinion. Most other religions preach loving kindness and have plenty of rules/teachings for householder and married people, nothing really special about that in my opinion.


What a Buddhist should try to promote and -if the case is given- to support for married people -gay or straight- is the development of loving kindness, self esteem, healthy relationships, support and respect for each member of a family. It doesn't matter if it is a gay or straight couple with or with out children.

I respect your opinion, but i think a Buddhist should focus on his own liberation first and if he still have time to help others to follow the path as the Buddha did.


Also, a Buddhist should not contribute to impede over the will of others to get married because a life proyect, being gay or straight. That is not a Noble Buddhist action.

I think the above has nothing to do with Buddhism. If you disagee, again its your opinion.


Also, Bundokji, you have been quoted at #65 of this thread:

"The existence of families is necessary for the well being of children and the development of society."

and then at #79 you state: "I see both types of marriages as shit, but not equally!!"

So, are or aren't families necessary for the well being of children and the development of society?

In my opinion, From a psychological and social point of view, a family is necessary for the well being of childerns (Plato would disagree though, in his Utopia the kids must be seperated from their parnets once they delivered so when they grow up, both the parents and the kids cant recognize each other).

From a Buddhist perspective, i think its irrelevant!


And from here, why not to support a gay couple who develops well being for their children and support and why to support a straight one who abuses and brings huge amount of suffering to children?

As i asked above, is there any psychological side effects on the childerns if they have same-sex parents, i really dont know the answer, but as you might know, evolution made men and woman to have different bodies which enabled them to play different roles in the family. Males has been mainly hunters while females has been nurturers. The female body enables her to get pregnant while men cant get pregnant. The female breast can be used to feed the babies but males cannot do that. On the psychological level there are also differences. Women usually have higher emotional intellegence which help her to take care of the kids. Of course modern people and femenists would believe that all of this is bullshit. Some believe that gender is between your ears, not between your legs. Its a complicated topic really.


Why you think that a straight one is better that a gay one, as you posted it at #59:

"As i said in my post to Deshy, both homosexual intercourse and heterosexual intercourse causes suffering. The only difference is that hetrosexual intercourse can lead to the birth of a new human who might get the chance to hear the Buddha teachings and get liberated, but the homosexual act only produce suffering. Some would think that this idea is non-sense, but without explaining why!

I think you would have better understanding if you consider the sequence of the posts you are quoting. What you quoted is self-explainatory. I also used the word "the only difference". And by the way, if we take the idea as simple as it was at the beginning of the discussion (including post #59) then yea, in that context hetrosexual marraige is less bad than homosexual one. I hope that this is not confusing you again, just dont take things out of context, communicating online can lead to a lot of misunderstanding. Consider the context and the sequence. please.


it is wholesome too, to support the freedom to choose the kind of relationship any couple likes or needs.

I think its more wholesome to renunciate this whole worldly issues and focus more on getting liberated.

Finally, i would like to thank Esho and everyone who had this discussion with me and i will be looking forward to read Esho's, Lazy Eye and any other members replies and input (if they want to). Personally i spent too much time and energy on this interesting topic and i think i need to stop.

With love, respect and compassion,
Bundokji :hands:

Deshy
04 Apr 12, 18:39
i have no information if having parents from the same sex is healthy for the psychological development of the child

Do you have any information to prove it is unhealthy? No you don't. Why should there be? Clearly the "heterosexual family" concept came much later in human evolution. Kids have been brought up just fine by single parents for many years. Offspring of most species do not have a heterosexual couple around helping them grow. Babies just need love and protection. The real question that should be asked here is not whether there is a vagina and a penis involved because that is irrelevant to a child's mental development. What is relevant is if a child is cared for and protected in a non-abuisive domestic environment and the child is not discriminated by the society for having gay or lesbian parents.

Bundokji
04 Apr 12, 19:00
Hello Deshy,

I ve just made a quick research.


Scientific research has been consistent in showing that lesbian and gay parents are as fit and capable as heterosexual parents, and their children are as psychologically healthy and well-adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents.[2][3][4] According to scientific literature reviews published in prestigious peer-reviewed journals and statements of mainstream professional associations, there is no evidence to the contrary.[5][6][7][8][9] The American Psychological Association reports that some studies suggest parenting skills of gays and lesbians might be "superior." [10] Biblarz and Stacey state that while research has found that families headed by (at least) two parents are generally best for children, outcomes of more than two parents (as in some cooperative stepfamilies, intergenerational families, and coparenting alliances among lesbians and gay men) have not yet been studied

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_and_the_family

You have a good night.
;D

Element
04 Apr 12, 20:40
In relation to monks and lay people. I think both have the same objective. The Buddha was very pragmatic and he understood human nature. If he asked everyone to become monks, then maybe not too many people would follow the path. However, a monk's life is more conducive to the path than lay people's life and more praise worthy. Monk life is not equal to lay people life in my opinion, its better. The Buddha himself (please correct me if i am wrong) was a monk and the head of the sangha untill he passed away, so those who decide to dedicate their lifes for a higher purpose and renunciated worldly pleasure deserve all the respect, not being mocked and ridiculed if they say something that does not agree with our conditioned minds!!!
Bundokji

The post above is not correct according to Buddha-Dhamma and is something worthy of swift abandonment.

Buddha taught people have different objectives, as follows:


28. The Aims of People

Once the brahmin Jāṇussoṇi approached the Blessed One and asked:

What, Master Gotama, is a noble’s aim, what is his quest, his mainstay, his desire and his
ideal?”

Wealth, O brahmin, is a noble’s aim, his quest is for knowledge, his mainstay is power, his
desire is to rule the earth and his ideal is sovereignty.

And what, Master Gotama, is a brahmin’s aim?

Wealth, O brahmin, is a brahmin’s aim, his quest is for knowledge, his mainstay is his sacred
texts, his desire is for sacrifices and his ideal is the Brahma-world.

And what, Master Gotama, is a householder’s aim?

Wealth, O brahmin, is a householder’s aim, his quest is for knowledge, his mainstay is his
craft, his desire is for work and his ideal is to bring his work to an end.

And what Master Gotama, is a woman’s aim?

A man, O brahmin, is a woman’s aim, her quest is for adornments, her mainstay is sons,
her desire is to be without a co-wife and her ideal is domination.

And what, Master Gotama, is a thief’s aim?

Robbery, O brahmin, is a thief’s aim, his quest is for a hiding-place, his mainstay is weapons,
his desire is darkness, and his ideal is not to be found out.

And what, Master Gotama, is an ascetic’s aim?

Patience and purity, O brahmin, are an ascetic’s aim, his quest is for knowledge, his
mainstay is virtue, his desire is to be unencumbered and his ideal is Nibbāna.

It is wonderful, Master Gotama! It is marvellous, Master Gotama! Truly, Master Gotama
knows the aim, quest, mainstay, desire, and ideal of nobles, brahmins, householders, women,
thieves and ascetics. Excellent, Master Gotama!… Let Master Gotama accept me as a lay
follower who has gone for refuge from this day until life’s end.

AN 6:52 (http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh208.pdf)

As for your wish that people such as yourself deserve respect, again, this is very incorrect. Buddha taught one, such as yourself, entering the life of renunciation, is not living a normal life and has no status.


"There are these ten things that a person gone-forth should reflect on often. Which ten?

'I have become casteless': a person gone forth should often reflect on this.

'My life is dependent on others'...

'My behavior should be different [from that of householders]'...

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an10/an10.048.than.html


"These ten essentials must be reflected upon again and again by one who has gone forth (to live the holy life). What are these ten?

1. 'I am now changed into a different mode of life (from that of a layman).' This must be reflected upon again and again by one who has gone forth.

2. 'My life depends on others.' This must be reflected upon again and again by one who has gone forth.

3. 'I must now behave in a different manner.' This must be reflected upon again and again by one who has gone forth.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an10/an10.048.piya.html
In brief, what appears to be condemnation, mocking, ridiculing & belittlement of the lay persons life does not accord with Buddha-Dhamma because the life of a true renunciate is dependent on the lives & livelihoods of laypeople.

Regards ;D

Element
04 Apr 12, 20:51
On the other hand, i cant imagine how homosexual marraige can be an act of renunciation, loving kindness and wisdom!!

"Wholesome" actions are those actions that spring not out of desire, ill-will and ignorance, but out of renunciation, loving-kindness and compassion, and wisdom. Do you agree?
I do not agree because there are two levels of teachings and, on the mundane level, 'wholesomeness' is abiding by the five precepts, which includes blameless sex and blameless livelihood. Therefore, your view about homosexual marriage and marriage in general requiring renunciation [from sensual pleasures] is non-sequitur from both a Buddhist & Christian perspective.


Then Anathapindika the householder went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there the Blessed One said to him: "There are these four kinds of bliss that can be attained in the proper season, on the proper occasions, by a householder partaking of sensuality. Which four? The bliss of having, the bliss of [making use of] wealth, the bliss of debtlessness, the bliss of blamelessness.

AN 4.62 (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.062.than.html)


There are, monks, successes in living caused by wholesome volition, issuing in happiness,
resulting in happiness. They are threefold in bodily acts, fourfold in verbal acts and threefold in
mental acts.

How are these successes in living caused by wholesome volition threefold in bodily acts?

There is a person who abstains from the destruction life; with the rod and weapon laid aside,
he is conscientious and kindly and dwells compassionate towards all living beings.

He does not take what is not given to him and does not appropriate with thievish intention
the property of others, be it in the village or the forest.

He gives up sexual misconduct and abstains from it. He does not have intercourse with those under the
protection of father, mother, brother, sister, relatives, or clan, or of their religious community; or
with those promised to a husband, protected by law, and even with those betrothed with a
garland.

AN 10.206 (http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh238.pdf)

:buddha:

Element
04 Apr 12, 21:21
One way of doing good in my opinion is by preventing another evil (suffering) from happenning, or at least not supporting it.


There is one who, turning away from desire (for household life) takes to the life of the forest (i.e., of a monk). But after being freed from the household, he runs back to it. Behold that man! Though freed, he runs back to that very bondage

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipit...p.24.budd.html

What do Buddhists have in common? its not their opinion on social issues such as marraige equality, but its their search for theunconditioned/ truth/freedom. Now, how supporting marraige equality would help me and those that i supported to become free?
Bundokji

Your view above is again not representative of Buddhism.

Firstly, a judgment was invoked by using the term "evil". Buddha did not call the household life "evil".

Secondly, not all Buddhists search for the unconditioned.

In fact, searching for the unconditioned is not suitable for all people therefore if all people sought the unconditioned that would actually be harmful.


Thats exactly right, and monastic life is more virtious in my opinion. For me i have two choices as a Buddhist: to spend my time supporting marraige equality or to support more people to follow the monastic life. I chose the second.

This is another big topic, but personally i think that language itself implies "duality" and i cant understand how it can help me if i want to experience "oneness".
To believe monastic life is lived for the purpose of virtue Buddha called sīlabbata-parāmāso, which is a fetter.

The "two choices" mentioned above are not related to Buddhism because Buddha supported both the monastic & household life.

The Buddha did not teach "non-duality" or "oneness". Thus, it is not a "big topic" but, instead, a non-sequitur topic.

Also, to say: "i want to experience oneness" is both contradictory & craving.

Regards ;D

Bundokji
05 Apr 12, 04:57
Hello Element,


The post above is not correct according to Buddha-Dhamma and is something worthy of swift abandonment.

Buddha taught people have different objectives, as follows:

The following article was given to me by Lazy Eye :hands: a while ago:


The core of Buddhist practice, what really distinguishes Buddhism from other religious practices, is the Noble Eightfold Path. Notably, the Eightfold Noble Path makes no distinction between Lay and Monastic, each is fully capable of observing all eight noble steps and neither is exempt from following all eight noble steps in the attainment of the highest goal. So, what is it that makes Lay Practice different from Monastic Practice?


Setting out on the Buddhist path is like taking a hike with a large and very mixed group of people of every age, state of health, type of footwear, backpack size, degree of inebriation, and so on. Such a group will spread out along the path, with the strongest, healthiest, be-hiking-booted, light-backpacked, boldest, most persistent and most enterprising leading the way. In the middle there might be a mutually infatuated teenage couple that keeps up in spurts, but keeps getting side-tracked and disappearing from the path for minutes at a time, some chubby middle-aged people who huff and puff, along with some fit but ancient birdwatchers. Falling way back are parents and their little kids who “cannot walk another step,” a couple of people sitting on a rock drinking beer, an elderly gentleman watching fire ants devour his cane that he had to abandon upright after it sank into a soft spot in the ground, and a lady who broke a heal upon encountering the first rock. The Buddhist path is defined with the leaders at the head in mind and the rest of us try our best to keep up but straggling to varying degrees; we do what we can, and often the accomplishments of the leaders, and tales of views from lofty heights inspire us to try a bit harder. The field guides, trail maps and high-tech hiking boots are generally designed with the leaders in mind.

http://bhikkhucintita.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/lay-buddhist-practice-1/

The Buddha has said many things in many different occassions and to many different people, hence quoting a certain sutta/story and claiming that this is what the Buddha taught can be a bit confusing to some. There are many problems with relying heavily on text because we uderstand it through our subjective filters. it is somehow similar to Rorschach ink polt psychological text if you are familiar with it ;D hence i agree with Thich Nhat Hanh that all view are wrong views (i know that you disagree).

One example of subjective filters is confirmation bias which all of us vulerable to it (including me and you). Confirmation bias for those who are not familiar with the term is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs. Here is one example:


Firstly, a judgment was invoked by using the term "evil". Buddha did not call the household life "evil".

When i used the word evil, its not in the same meaning you are quoting, and maybe you did not even notice that i used the word (suffering) right next to it. It could be that your biases or your fault-finding mind that made you interpret what i said (or the Buddhas teachings) in a certain way.

By the way, do you think that i was raised as a christian? because i noticed that you quoted the bible and jesus on different occassions!!!

You raised a lot of good points that i dont have enough time to address. Yesterday i decided that i ve had enough with this discussion but when someone as wise, generous and knowledgeable as your good self spend time to help me understand the teachings of the Buddha, then i have no choice but to dedicate time to reply :hands:

Finally, it seems that most duscussants ideal was to support marraige equality, and my ideal was to defend an old Buddhist monk who got ridiculed on a Buddhist forum. Both ideals are suffering in my opinion.

Regards,
Bundokji :hands:

Element
05 Apr 12, 05:25
The following article was given to me by Lazy Eye :hands: a while ago:

The Buddha has said many things in many different occassions and to many different people, hence quoting a certain sutta/story and claiming that this is what the Buddha taught can be a bit confusing to some.

By the way, do you think that i was raised as a christian? because i noticed that you quoted the bible and jesus on different occassions!!!

You raised a lot of good points that i dont have enough time to address.
You give authority to a quote by Lazy Eye that contradicts the suttas, do not find it confusing, yet you find the suttas confusing. :confused:

The suttas say:


Bhikkhus, these two extremes ought not to be cultivated by one gone forth from the house-life. What are the two? There is devotion to indulgence of pleasure in the objects of sensual desire and there is devotion to self-torment.

The middle way discovered by a Perfect One avoids both these extremes; it gives vision, it gives knowledge, and it leads to peace, to direct acquaintance, to discovery, to nibbana. And what is that middle way? It is simply the noble eightfold path, that is to say, right view, right intention; right speech, right action, right livelihood; right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. That is the middle way discovered by a Perfect One, which gives vision, which gives knowledge, and which leads to peace, to direct acquaintance, to discovery, to nibbana.

Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

And what is right resolve? Being resolved on renunciation, on freedom from ill will, on harmlessness: This is called right resolve.

Magga-vibhanga Sutta: An Analysis of the Path

I quoted the Bible because you regard St Thomas Aquinis as a genius yet the Bible refutes your views. Both Jesus & Paul taught celibacy is not for everyone.

My points are all good, proper & appropriate because they accord to the Buddha and because I have lived in monasteries and witnessed first hand monks & nuns come & go, robe & disrobe, and return to a life a relationship & sexuality. The first monk that ever taught me meditation actually left the monastery soon after i arrived with a woman who was also living there and has been his wife ever since. I have known 20 year monks who have disrobed and entered into relationship.

To believe the unconditioned is for all is cultish blindness. All of the sexual misconduct by monks, in cultish groups like the NKT, FWBO, etc, is generally due to marketing Buddhism in an inappropriate way.

Regards ;D

Element
05 Apr 12, 05:27
i agree with Thich Nhat Hanh that all view are wrong views (i know that you disagree).
if that is the case, why post ignorant views on this forum, given you have just acknowledged views are wrong views?

:confused:

Element
05 Apr 12, 05:40
Yesterday i decided that i ve had enough with this discussion but when someone as generous and knowledgeable as your good self spend time to help me understand the teachings of the Buddha, then i have no choice but to dedicate time to reply :hands:
Well spoken. However, there is no need to reply. You also have the choice to maintain noble silence.

Buddha would prefer to say:


"Monks, the clansman Bundokji was wise. He practiced the Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma and did not pester me with issues related to the Dhamma. With the destruction of the first five fetters, he has arisen spontaneously [in the Pure Abodes], there to be totally unbound, never again to return from that world."

:hands:

Deshy
05 Apr 12, 06:31
Hello Deshy,

I ve just made a quick research.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_and_the_family

You have a good night.
;D

Oh you have found a research paper providing information that same sex couples can actually be great parents. Good for you.

I guess those anti-gay theorists will sleep better at night now knowing that their kids are in good hands. :mrgreen:

Have a good night Bun. Sleep well. ;D

clw_uk
25 Jul 15, 09:51
Bundokji


You asked me to look at nature and it seems to me that we have a very different view on nature. When i look at nature, i see most other animals make sex during the mating season , most animals take only what is necessary for their survival, only modern humans (unfortunately) are the ones who take more than what is necessary (even in sex) hence our planet is in a big danger!! And i dont think nature has given us the sexual desire to go and sleep around seeking pleasure, but for the survival of our species, hence the sexual act itself is the efficient cause and breeding is the final cause. I thought our purpose on the planet from a purely biological perspective is to pass on our genes!!!


Humans aren't the only animals that have sex for pleasure. The Bonobos are a perfect example, where their entire society is bisexual.

Aloka
10 Apr 16, 09:45
I'm adding a more recent article in order to update this previous topic from 2012:

"Celebrating same-sex marriage in Buddhism"


http://www.patheos.com/blogs/americanbuddhist/2015/06/celebrating-same-sex-marriage-in-buddhism.html

ksuyen
20 Jun 16, 03:20
In Buddhism, marriage is not a "sacrament" (unlike in Christian) as such a concept does not exist. From Buddhism point of view, and many Buddhists', a same sex marriage is no great problem. They live a reasonably normal married life just as do many normal couple. We may say they are lucky, or enjoy the results of favorable kamma in this respect. The only problem arise when one or both of the couple started cheating (committed adultery) on his/her partner resulting in harm/pain. But the point should be made that Buddhism does not regard homosexual practice as somehow 'uniquely unwholesome'.

Aloka
20 Jun 16, 05:26
In Buddhism, marriage is not a "sacrament" (unlike in Christian) as such a concept does not exist. From Buddhism point of view, and many Buddhists', a same sex marriage is no great problem. They live a reasonably normal married life just as do many normal couple. We may say they are lucky, or enjoy the results of favorable kamma in this respect. The only problem arise when one or both of the couple started cheating (committed adultery) on his/her partner resulting in harm/pain.But the point should be made that Buddhism does not regard homosexual practice as somehow 'uniquely unwholesome'.

I think that's already been covered in the article mentioned in post #113 (as well as in the rest of this 12 page topic) ... and by the fact that we support the LGBT community at this website.


;D

Neyya
20 Jun 16, 10:59
In my opinion, we shouldnt tolerate anything, we should accept things. To me, the word "tolerate" has a negative connotation.
As a practicing Buddhist, I think its ok to accept and support same sex mariage. A loving kindness expressed to everyone is important.

Neyya

woodscooter
20 Jun 16, 16:39
In my opinion, we shouldnt tolerate anything, we should accept things. To me, the word "tolerate" has a negative connotation.
As a practicing Buddhist, I think its ok to accept and support same sex mariage. A loving kindness expressed to everyone is important.

Neyya

Agreed! :good:

Genecanuck
06 Feb 17, 10:14
Agreed! :good:

I also agree.

:good: