Wednesday, 3 June 2009

More on gay, albeit penguin, marriage

One of the epithets levelled at LGBT people is that they are transgressing the laws of nature. That they are, in some way, unnatural. And yet, such variations are not unique to human beings. Some years ago it was reported in the British press that two male swans had set up home together in the swannery in Abbotsbury in Dorset and were behaving exactly in the same way as other pairs of swans.

Today, there is a report from Bremerhaven zoo in Northern Germany of two male penguins who were given an egg rejected by its natural parents and have hatched it and begun to raise it. The zoo has three male homosexual penguin couples who had been observed attempting to mate with each other and to hatch offspring from stones,

The couple who were given the egg are, according to the zoo:
"behaving just as you would expect a heterosexual couple to do. The two happy fathers spend their days attentively protecting, caring for and feeding their adopted offspring."

The report goes on to say
"Homosexuality is nothing unusual among animals," Bremerhaven zoo said on Wednesday.

"Sex and coupling up in our world do not necessarily have anything to do with reproduction."

Are penguins and other animals, then, unnatural? Or are the moralists who use such language merely wilfully, and maliciously, ignorant?


Paul said...

No, penguins and other animals are not unnatural in their behaviour. It seems that the moralists and those who campaign against same sex relationships are usually those who are most keen to separate human kind from animals. Only humans have souls, only humans are made in the image and likeness of god. Only humans have a moral duty to rise above animal nature. Humans have been set over nature by god to subdue and control it.

Of course this is dangerous nonsense. We are quite clearly animal sharing some 99% of our DNA with chimpanzees. We are not the only species to mourn our dead or have a sense of what is right and wrong. And the "god given right to subdue nature" has been a disaster.

But it suits their purpose very well to set us apart, from the natural world because once that is achieved it is but a short step to set us apart from our very selves.

Idris said...

It is true that moralists generally like to be keen to say that we are separate from and higher than other animals. They do, however, often then go on to describe how our sexual behaviours cause us to fall lower than them and do things that would be repellent to them.

For example, many early christian teachers held up the elephant as model for human beings. Picking up on an account, I think in Pliny- I do not have the reference to hand - they described how this noble beast would only mate once every few years - the period grew longer with each telling - and then would immediately go to the river to bathe away the filth of the congress

Nor are the Abrahamic religions are alone in peddling dangerous nonsense. I was also told, in all seriousness, by a devotee of the Radha Krishna Temple, that all other animals only mated for reproduction in season. The example she quoted was of the dog - which seemed to me to be the most inappropriate of all models as witness the number of times my leg has served as a sex object. She said it so pat that it was clear that this is the example that she had been given in the teaching she had received.

You are right - the purpose of all this crap is to separate us from our true selves. We were created higher but through our sin we have descended lower.