In a nutshell

walnutThere’s something going on in California right now that puts the cultural nuttiness of the nosediving United States into a clearer nutshell.

California. Where else?

Church nuts want to let psychotherapists work on converting young gays who allegedly want to go straight. And collectivist nuts, who are legion in California, want to make it illegal to try to do that.

Note to church nuts: You’re not gonna change anybody’s sexual desires.

Note to collectivist nuts: Your socialist state has long sunk into a fiscal-red sea, and where people put their pee-pees is a priority? Mind your own business.

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(You can read more about this nuttiness here.)

47 thoughts on “In a nutshell”

  1. I am convinced that the wealthier a nation gets, the nuttier the political ideas become. When you do not need to worry about whether your next meal may be the neighbor’s dog, you start inventing problems. I guess, to avoid boredom while waiting for the next BBC series on PBS.

    This one ranks up there with the other recent California obsession — outlawing infant circumcision. Can the Placenta Preservation Society be too far behind?


    1. Steve: Well, you lost me on the infant circumcision. Sometimes California gets it right. Circumcision is an ancient religious rite, a butchery, that has no rational place in modern times.


  2. The big problem arises when a parent, brainwashed by religion, forces a gay offspring into a “gay therapy” treatment that almost amounts to torture. And you are right, it can never work. You might as well torture a black man into becoming white. This sort of forced “therapy” (read “witchcraft”) has no place in our society. It is Middle Age stuff.


    1. Croft: Trying futilely to change your gay kid’s druthers is not even close to “torture.” Having your fingernails ripped out is torture. Stretching you on the rack is torture. Let’s not be melodramatic.

      It’s just a big family upheaval, and government should not get involved.


      1. Not so sure. How would you feel about being forced into having sex with a man? I would consider it rape, which is often used as a form of torture.


          1. CNN just did a report on this and mentioned this “therapy” produces severe identity confusion and can and has lead to self-destructive behavior up to and including suicide.


  3. Once again, religion rears its ugly head…sexuality and abortion should be off-limits to ALL except the person living in the body…period.


  4. The right and the left mean well for the most part but both forget that government has real limits as to what it can do without making the problem worse. Some wag suggested that all laws have an expiration date and to stay in force they would need to be voted up or down every decade or so. Sign me up as a supporter of that idea.


  5. If a man or woman wants counseling about sexual issues and conflicting desires regarding his or her orientation, I agree they should have the right to proceed with that type of counseling. It is not nutty to offer counseling to individuals who have a sincere desire to leave a homesexual lifestyle.


    1. I can see a growing business opportunity here. Counselling black people who want to become white, East Indian people who want to become Chinese, short people who want to become tall…. The list goes on.

      Homosexuality is not a choice. Can you remember when you were a kid sitting down and weighing the advantages/disadvantages of whether you would be gay or straight? Me neither. Because it is not a choice.


    2. Laurie: I doubt there are many people who want to change lust preferences. I think there are many people who want them to (primarily church people), and I think there are people who think it’s possible, that it’s a “choice.” I am not among them.

      Having written that, I will immediately backtrack a bit. I have long believed that some women (a minority) join the lesbian club due to having “issues” with men. I could certainly be mistaken. I don’t think gay guys wanna switch ever, but I think some of the less strong-willed can let themselves get convinced (again, by church people) that it’s possible and that they should. From what I have read, the long-term batting average of that “therapy” is somewhere around zero.

      It’s a futile crusade.


      1. For thousands of years, even before big Jesus was on the scene, civilizations that endured generally did not permit homosexuality. It was considered taboo, a perversion, an aberration, or a sin depending on your culture. In the last 40 years or so, it has become increasingly clear that decadent Western society has decided quite quickly that homosexuality has indeed been for all of history not a choice at all but indeed a right due to an innate design for some humans. If I can choose between murder or not to murder, or to steal or not to steal, I can choose which person I choose to have sex with. Temptations have always been there.

        Paul tells us in Romans 1 that homosexuality can arise when one chooses to worship created things rather than the Creator. In my opinion that means people without the light of God tend to make a person or persons into the gods of choice.

        I also believe that sexual childhood abuse or emotional abuse often leads to choosing homosexuality. I have never met a lesbian yet who has not been exploited by a man as a child. Many men were victims of emotional abuse. All of them? No. Some people choose to set aside God and choose to worship another human being to the point of setting aside boundaries that nature and God has given us.

        I fully expect that my views will be set aside as the rantings of a Christian. By the way that term, Christian, is become once again a very bad thing in our society. I have known individuals who have struggled with desires for both sexes. They are not the variant bisexual in my opinion, but sincere people who struggle with sexual identity.

        Do I hate homosexuals? On the contrary, one of my dearest friends from the earliest days of my childhood is a practicing homosexual. I love him as a brother. That’s the paradox of Christianity. We have ethics and standards, but we love one another.

        In Honduras, too, I have a dear elderly friend who is gay. Gay would be the wrong word. He’s very sad and lonely. He is my friend.


        1. Laurie: You won’t see me calling your opinions a rant. I know you are sincere. However, you are basing much of your take on the situation on Biblical teachings, which I do not accept, of course, not being a Christian.

          Can childhood abuse, either mental or emotional or both, cause one to be homosexual? I have no idea.

          I doubt it is possible to totally understand the roots of homosexuality.


        2. Laurie, I suspect your sad and lonely Honduran gay “friend” is that way because for his entire life he has been taunted, snickered at, called names, rejected by society and unable to have a socially “acceptable” relationship with someone to whom he is attracted and loves.

          I can put myself in the place of persons with sexual orientations other than mine because I understand that this is something essential, biological, psychological — however you want to classify it — and that it is not a choice. What moves something essential deep inside you, what makes your heart skip a beat, and what really turns you on, is not a choice. For each individual it is different, but is not a choice.

          I think your friend is sad because he has “friends” like you, who say they care for him but believe his basic form of being is a choice, one which you compare to choosing to murder.

          I can put myself in these peoples’ places, but I cannot put myself into yours. You suggest that your friend can become happy simply by choosing to make love with someone to whom he is not attracted for the rest of his life. Inexplicable.


          1. Laurie, sorry for spelling your name wrong.

            Maybe I missed the point. Perhaps you are saying that if your sad and lonely friend would choose to be abstinent forever and just go to church all would be well. I am curious. What is your solution for him?


            1. Marc: I fixed the name misspelling already.

              Any further talk on this specific issue will have to be started below in a fresh comment box because we have passed the limit here.

              However, Laurie’s take on this matter is based on Biblical teachings, and there is the old saying that arguing politics and religion goes nowhere.

              Or something like that.


              1. Felipe, thanks for fixing my typos. I thought for a minute there I was going crazy when I saw my goofs fixed. It’s a good thing for me you were an editor back in the day. I suffer here from not having an editor around, and my English is getting rusty from lack of use.


          2. Marc: Actually, I fixed two typos. The other was in the middle of your comment, and I was a little unsure that I was doing it correctly. I almost emailed you about it. Appears that I got it right though.

            I edit and correct comments here all the time. Always for typos and goofy punctuation. I never edit for content. As a result, I have the prettiest comments on the internet.

            Goofy punctuation really keeps me busy.


          3. PS: Funny you should mention your English is getting rusty from lack of use. For years now, I have spoken very little English. I definitely am forgetting words and sometimes struggle to remember how to phrase things in English. Not here though, never here. It only happens when I try to converse.


          4. Yes, Felipe, I noticed the a/of typo as well as the name as soon as I posted. I just decided to let it go. On the other thread, I struggle often for words and phrases in English. I am not sure if part of it isn’t creeping dementia, but mostly it comes from not using spoken English much. I don’t have TV, and most of my friends speak Spanish. In writing, my experience is much the same as yours. I have little trouble writing. That’s probably because it gives me time to think. I also resort often to the dictionary (sometimes the Spanish-English!) and a thesarus. Blogging keeps my English from atrophying as rapidly as it would if I did not write, I believe.


        3. Laurie, I too would not call you a “nut” but like Marc, I cannot imagine myself in your place. Yes, homosexuality was illegal back in the darker ages but so was wearing garments of different cloth and growing different crops in the same field. I cannot imagine what made people think that way back then but times have changed. There were homosexuals back then as there are now. They just stayed in their medieval closets. Some present day countries like Uganda are attempting to make homosexuality a capital offence even today and are being financially supported in their efforts by some American “christian” organizations.

          You suggest that:

          “homosexuality can arise when one chooses to worship created things rather than the Creator. In my opinion that means people without the light of God tend to make a person or persons into the gods of choice”

          If you are suggesting that gay people “worship” their partner as a “god” then why do you not say the same thing of some heterosexual married people? I fail to see your point here.

          You also say,

          “If I can choose between murder or not to murder, or to steal or not to steal, I can choose which person I choose to have sex with.”

          If I walked into a situation where an adult was harming my granddaughter I would have no hesitation in breaking a baseball bat over his/her head. If my family was starving to death and I could not provide I would not hesitate in reaching through my neighbors fence for a few cobs of corn. I suspect you would do the same under those circumstances.

          On the other hand, there is no imaginable circumstance that I would “choose” to deliberately change my sexual identity and start having sex with men. Yes, you can quote occasions where this has happened but I will counter with the answer that these people have always been gay but have been forced by family, society or both into living the lie in hopes of conforming. I have a high school friend “Tim” who did this. He married and had children but the instant his religious parents died, he left his family, had an operation and became “Pam”, the woman “he” always was. He is now happy and his true friends are happy for him. His list of supportive friends include his ex-wife.

          I do not look down on you as a Christian, Laurie. However I do look down on people in general who allow religious dogma to taint their thinking and refuse to look for guidance beyond the words of an outdated text or the words of “imaginary friends”.


    3. PS: Do forgive me for focusing so much on “church people.” You are one, of course, and one of the better varieties. However, the folks who advocate this changing of sexual preferences for gays are invariably church folks, 100 percent. Nobody else ever pushes this thing. And I imagine it’s always Protestants. I can’t imagine that Catholics would get into this. They’re too busy smoking and drinking, and making spaghetti, etc.


      1. There is an ex-gay movement within the Catholic Church (Courage International) although their goals seem to be more towards convincing their gay members to solve their problems by practicing lifelong chastity. Similar to their efforts to convince horny teens to “save it for marriage” it is doomed to failure and produces more pious liars than virgins. There also seems to be a disproportionate number of priests who are gay and/or pedophiles themselves, ie. the “choir boy” thing.


        1. I should make it very clear that homosexuality and pedophilia are in no way related. Two separate problems, very seldom affecting the same person. IMHO.


  6. No offence taken, Felipe. We certainly do have our share of nuts. Why, they used to call me “Moonbeam”! And think of “the Gipper”…


    1. Jerry: I’m unsure as to what specifically you are referring to. It would have been clearer, I imagine, had you hit a Reply button on a specific comment. I think that’s the problem. I imagine you are referring to my take on church people, but I could be wrong.


      1. Felipe,

        Jerry Brown is the current, and former, governor of California. He is also the former boyfriend of Linda Ronstadt who called him “Moonbeam”. His run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1980 was doomed when Mike Royko dubbed him “Governor Moonbeam” because he had made the outlandish proposal to launch a communications satellite. Royko also noted that “If it babbles and its eyeballs are glazed, it probably comes from California.”

        “The Gipper” is a nickname of Ronald Reagan, another California governor.

        I hope this helps.

        It’s cool that Jerry follows The Unseen Moon.


        1. Oh, I know all that stuff, Pinky. I just did not grasp immediately what the first-time commenter (at least under that assuredly assumed name) was referring to when he said he did not take offence, using the Brit/Canadian spelling of offense.

          There had been no mention of California in the comments, specifically. But now I recall that the post in question deals with California, does it not? Silly me.

          Perhaps that was you being Jerry Brown.

          Oh, let me back up a bit. I did not know (or remember) that it was Royko who labeled Brown Gov. Moonbeam, but it does not surprise me. I loved Royko.


          1. If I am ever in Chicago I shall get drunk at the Billy Goat Tavern in his memory.

            My source tells me “…but as any New Age Californian can tell you, such hate is probably cover for a deeper love. And so it was with Mr. Royko, who after many vicious gibes at Mr. Brown’s expense offered an outright apology to the governor, and spent years trying to erase the moniker”.


  7. The nation was founded by straight religious people and it remained so more or less until the 1960s and 1970s. Now, it is like the Cole Porter song from the 1930s, Anything Goes. The government should get out of the marriage licensing business. If someone wants marriage, let them find a “religion” and get married without government sanction, for couples of any sort, including ménage à trois, etc.


    1. Andres: America began its journey straight to Hell in the 1960s and 1970s. It was a disaster that continues to this day.

      As for government getting out of the marriage licensing business, that’s kind of difficult since all manner of issues are connected to marriage. Inheritance is just one. When you get married, it’s about considerably more than smootches and romance. It’s a legal contract. I favor it.

      I am not a hippie, and you can quote me on that.

      I do, however, favor ménage à trois now and then for the unmarried, the footloose and fancy free. It’s quite fun, I recall.


    2. A friend of mine once placed an author’s query in, I think it was The NY Review of Books, asking anyone who might have any information as to what he was doing in the sixties to please contact him.


      1. Pinky: I assume you mean he was inquiring about himself, not Jerry Brown. If so, that’s a good one.

        I was busy trying to earn a living in (mostly the latter) 1960s, and there was not too much time left over for getting stoned. I mostly missed all that stuff, and I was the ideal age for it. Dang!


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