“How about you? Ever wonder if you’re the only one who doesn’t quite fit into one of the sanctioned queer worlds? …Well I’ve got news for you…you’re simply postmodern. Isn’t that neat?”*
One doesn’t have to study or think long about the current trends in our culture relative to the normalization of homosexuality before realizing that it’s a significant front…but only in a much larger battle. Whether intended or not—and for most homophiles I don’t believe it is—the disconnection of marriage, sex and gender from the gold standard of Judeo-Christian scripture and tradition has made the equivalent of runaway inflation in the arena of human sexuality inevitable.
To paraphrase Yeats in his celebrated poem “The Second Coming,” once the center no longer holds and the voice of our Creator is lost, an incremental anarchy will be the inevitable result. (And a rough beast in now slouching towards Sodom and Gomorrah to be born.)
I believe we need a meme, a word or phrase, that better captures the bigger picture, the end-game of this third and final stage of the sexual revolution. “Homosexuality” doesn’t come close to describing what we’re up against. And it also carries with it an air of prejudice and hypocrisy because many if not most of the manifestations of this “rough beast” will be heterosexually inclined.
Paraphilia has been suggested. And it’s a apt term. But I suspect it’s too cold and clinical to catch on.
Allow me to recommend we use pomosexuality.
Pomosexual is a made-up word (as all words were at some point) that comes from combining an abbreviation of postmodern (“pomo”) with sexual. It was developed within the LGBTQ community to encompass the numerous categories of sexual and gender identities, orientations and appetites that have and are still emerging.
I believe it’s also a significant, even prophetic, word in that it represents a modern example of what happened when Jesus confronted the demoniac of Garasene and demanded that the evil spirits oppressing the man identify themselves (Mark 5:1-9). With pomosexuality we have truth in advertising; an instance where the LGBTQ world is actually being honest about itself and the worldview/presupposition driving their movement.
So what does it actually mean?
Well, we first need to define postmodern. Briefly, postmodernism was a reaction (hence post) to modernism, the overtly (and overly) rationalistic and materialistic worldview that was born of the Enlightenment (so-called) and developed in and through the scientific and industrial revolutions. Where modernism sought certainties rooted in supposed objectivity and human reason, postmodernism insists that truth is relative and certainties ephemeral. Where modernism was concerned with drawing clear lines and categories, postmodernism is given to blurring those distinctions; constructing instead multiple subjectivities and exploring difference, plurality, textuality, and skepticism.
As Christians there are some things we can sympathize with in this counter-revolution. Modernity often sought—with some success culturally—to attack the idea of God and transcendent, Spirit-breathed truth. If it wasn’t something you could analyze in a lab, materialism insisted, it either wasn’t real or relevant.
Unfortunately Christians have done a so-so job filling the vacuum and the opportunity left by the collapse of modernity. Instead a radical relativism has flooded western culture; “a revolt in the direction of a pagan polytheism—multiple gods, multiple voices, multiple laws, and a general clamor out of which it is possible to select whatever suits one at the time.”**
The result, sexually speaking, is “the queer erotic reality beyond the boundaries of gender, separatism, and essentialist notions of sexual orientation.” (From the back cover of PoMoSexuals.) In other words: People have the right to be what they want as regards their gender identity and sexual orientation; to do anything they want and with anyone they want.
I remember well the national consternation that arose as the “gay rights” movement picked up steam in the early 1970s. Over the next decade America gradually got used to it…only to wake up one day and find that an “L” (for lesbian) had been added to the “G.” Then came the “B”, followed by a “T.” And now all kinds of other letters (“Q” for queer; “C” for curious; “P” for polyamorous; etc.) are being added to the bizarre alphabet soup that defines the bleeding edge of the sexual and gender frontiers.
Many people today, particularly social conservatives, throw their hands up in frustration at this evolving sexual landscape, asking where it all will end. It’s hard to shoot at such a fast-moving and changing target.
Allow me to suggest that instead of confusion and frustration, we see this eddy of “sexual soup” for what it is: a demon telling us its name. And that we then use this knowledge to take the next step biblically: square off against this dark force and cast it down in the name of the LORD.
The continuing addition of letters in this final chapter of the sexual revolution—accurately summed up in the phrase pomosexual movement—is actually a perfectly logical, even necessary, extrapolation from its root causes.
The ultimate root, of course–in this or any other departure from the divine order–is sin, our inborn penchant for self-referential morality: doing and then justifying whatever we want to do. (And sexual desires are among the most powerful and universal of all human appetites–of what “we want to do.”) Coupled with other dark forces, sin and its passions provide the baseline from which secondary causes emerge. Among them relative to pomosexuality are:
- A prevailing postmodern worldview (as discussed above)
- The explosive growth of the cult of the “sovereign self” that took place in the 20th Century
This cult was driven by all manner of forces, each interacting with the others so as to create a vast and powerful feedback loop. They include but are not limited to:
- postmodern thought,
- Western affluence and the enormous increase in personal leisure time,
- a massive campaign of thought and behavior control waged by the public relations/advertising industries as they discovered how influential and lucrative it was to evoke/create the notion of the sovereign self…and then sell it things,
- disenchantment with the establishment thinking that gave us two World Wars and Vietnam,
- the sea-change that was the 60s, when “Do your thing”—with the emphasis on the “you”—became axiomatic,
- the breakdown of the family and the general atomization of society,
- creeping socialism: the growth of entitlement spending and entitlement thinking,
- revolutions in technology and digital communications that gave multitudes access to their own car, phone, iPod, computer…and a seemingly infinite world of hard-core pornography,
- a popular media industry (television, movies, music, magazine, books, video games, etc.) that absorbed the sovereign self motif and then explored, reiterated and milked it endlessly.
But perhaps the most important contributing factor of all was a Church that was far too compromised by all the above.
The stage was effectively set for multitudes “to begin to do what was right in their own eyes.” (Deut. 12:8; Judges 21:25; Pro. 12:5, 21:2)
- Enter now #3: The increase in the instances of physical, psychological and spiritual trauma impacting people’s families, sexual and gender identities and practices.
To adequately explore this last point would take a book, a big one. But in a nutshell the trauma was rooted in:
- the breakdown of the family (whether through divorce, out-of-wedlock births or the dearth of responsible, godly parenting in technically “intact” families),
- the explosion of pornography,
- the increase in sexual abuse (and the laxity of the laws and penal sanctions dealing with it),
- teasing, bullying and rejection on the part of one’s peers during early, key developmental periods for failing to conform to simplistic gender stereotypes,
- the culture’s growing acceptance and then celebration of “diversity” regarding twisted sexual and gender identities—coupled with the popular lie that sexual orientation is inborn and immutable,
All of this and more came together to create, populate and legitimate the fabric of lies and deceptions that is the homosexual and now pomosexual subculture. And truth is its only cure.
The truth is that each of us was created by God to be both heterosexual and monogamous. Furthermore, God—being the infinitely creative, diversity-loving Tri-unity He is—fashioned each of us with unique temperaments, personalities, cognitive abilities and other aspects of our internal “wiring.” As a result, we each respond differently to the diverse situations and stimuli we encounter in our journey through life.***
Biologically, all of us are innately attracted to our gender opposites–gender being defined by our chromosomes and corroborated over 99.9% of the time by physiology (genitalia, hormone ratios, and hundreds of other gender-specific differences). But this congenital orientation towards heterosexuality—while varying in intensity from person to person—can be impacted by a broad range of negative external influences, the “trauma” mentioned above. (It’s important to keep in mind here the ultimate “trauma,” one’s that both external and internal: the baseline of man’s sinful nature.) Depending on their type, frequency, and magnitude, an individual, again contingent upon their disposition and internal wiring, can be pushed towards various deviant sexual practices specifically defined or alluded to by scripture. Some are volitional, connected to the choices we make. Others—particularly when we are young and vulnerable—are involuntary; are things that happen to us. (Initial sexual experiences, like viewing pornography or being molested, are also very important in this regard since they set a kind of bonding “norm” and exert enormous influence on the development of one’s sexual appetites.)
The final form these adaptations or coping mechanisms take depends again on the individual and their internal “wiring.” (People, and the reasons they do certain things, are, in other words, extremely complicated.) So, for example, one girl experiences trauma from being sexually abused by a male relative and for whatever reasons—grace, disposition, counter-balancing life experiences, counseling, etc.—maintains her inborn heterosexuality and gender identity and eventually gets married and lives a good, moral life. But another girl experiences the same trauma and later, while remaining “straight”, cannot maintain a relationship, moving from one man to the next (“P” for polyamorous). Another ends up embracing homosexuality (“L”), while another feels that she is really a man (“T”), while still another becomes asexual (“A”).
So calling it the LGBTQCP…XYZ Movement actually makes perfect sense. Each letter is just a sliver from the same shattered coin. In terms of our fallen natures in a fallen world, anyone can potentially “become” almost anything.
The big question we need to address as individuals and as a society is whether we want to hold and aspire to the standards defined by God, to the notion that His prescription for sexual and gender expression produces true and long-lasting happiness and health for both the individual and society. Or do we throw up our hands and simply bow to the idols of postmodernism and fallen, broken sexuality?
It has become painfully obvious which road the pomosexual movement has taken and is promoting.
I’ll close with three quick and illustrative examples of where this road is taking us:
One of the contributors to the fifteen essays that make up PoMoSexuals: Challenging Assumptions About Gender and Sexuality is Riki Anne Wilchins. The book describes her as “a lesbian or bisexual, transsexual or transgender, man or woman living in Greenwich Village…Her hobbies include the Transsexual Menace, the Lesbian Avengers, and attacking false binaries.” (p.191) Depending on the homophile, there is the end-game–or the unintended consequence–in a nice little nutshell: a person who is a lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, transgendered man/woman–all at the same time. And the book is filled with similar, even stranger examples of gender and sexual chaos.
A more philosophical exploration of this same chaos can be seen in the life and work of Marco Vassi, another contributor to the book. Vassi was a prolific and internationally respected writer/chronicler of the bleeding edges of the sexual revolution. His Wikipedia entry states (emphases mine):
He was married three times, but was well-known for sexual, drug, and alternative-lifestyle experimentation. He viewed life as the theory and practice of liberation, an exploration of being sexual, that is an all-sexual being, bisexual, and homosexual. Marco Vassi coined the term metasex, which meant any sex outside the bounds of heterosexual marriage. He once wrote (in “Beyond Bisexuality”):
“When one transcends male-female dualism, eroticism becomes susceptible of a more subtle mathematical understanding. For each number, there is a different and unique quality of consciousness, and no one is intrinsically superior to any of the others.
The introduction of the metasexual paradigm is no less a shift in the history of our evolving understanding. The vast majority of the species has not seen past the conditioned strictures of the number *two.* And even those in the vanguard, having their orgies, still operate from the standpoint of a male-female dualism. The most sophisticated among them proclaim themselves bisexuals, not aware that this is the dead-end of that particular tunnel vision. The only way out is to go within to heal the internal split. A monad has no gender.”
This entry concludes with the chilling fact—an irony likely missed by his acolytes—that Vassi was unable to sustain a love relationship and died of AIDS, with only a former girlfriend to note his passing.
Both Wilchins and Vassi are intellectuals, members of the intelligentsia helping define and guide the pomosexual movement. Perhaps of greater interest and significance is the way their thinking has trickled down to the grass roots. Our third example is from one of the millions of web sites, blogs, YouTube videos and Facebook postings exploring and enlarging the boundaries of the sexual revolution; in this case a pomosexual female and musician whose music and writing reflects intelligence, talent and a classic postmodern sensibility. (The censoring is by me.)
Something about the human brain just loves to place people into neat little categories & boxes. Race. Hair color. Height. Place of origin. The gender you prefer to ****.
It’s been established that women who love women are lesbians, men who love men are gay, and women/men who love either gender are bisexual. Anyone involved in the gay community can surely tell you about how close-minded each group can be against anyone who doesn’t fit the description verbatim, despite the fact that close-mindedness & discrimination are the very things gay people are supposed to be fighting against…
They’d rather put me in the bisexual box, thinking this is where I rightfully belong since I take a **** to the **** & face every now & then.
Consider a woman who is married to a man…wait…that was actually born female (and she’s aware of the fact). Is she lesbian, due to the fact that she’s committed to a biological woman? Is she straight, because she’s married to a man? Is the FTM, who is visually & mentally masculine, straight or gay? Are they both bi? Another example would be the guy who doesn’t consider himself gay at all, but he finds pleasure in ***** other guys in the ***** sometimes…and just that activity alone. He is only interested in dating & marrying a woman, is only visually turned on by women. He doesn’t consider himself bi, but most straight people wouldn’t agree with him stating he is one of them.
In actuality, we can be considered Pomosexuals. Pomosexual (a real word) refers to a non-orientation, a dismissal of all labels, by which sexuality is viewed as a fluid experience, rather than a fixed point. This new view understands that love transcends gender, and that one’s identity is not defined by their gender or sexual orientation.****
Welcome to the end-game, the brave new world that is presently being fashioned all around us. Beyond labels. Beyond “the number *two*” and “false binaries.” Beyond good and evil. Man–or whatever name we should now call him/her/it now–is finally and completely free.
Free to embrace the chaos…and ultimately destruction.
* Kate Bornstein (author, playwright, performance artist, and gender theorist; born male, had sex-reassignment surgery, now identifies as neither a woman nor a man) on the back cover of PoMoSexuals: Challenging Assumptions About Gender and Sexuality (Cleis Press; October 10, 1997)
** Douglas Wilson, Sermon: Pomosexuality (Psalm 115:4-8; 2 Cor. 3:16)
*** It should be noted that these experiences can then turn around and impact our internal “wiring.” I have interviewed several people who struggle with unwanted same-sex inclinations. A common theme is having experienced, often unwillingly, a homosexual act when they were young. This episode, often their first sexual encounter, had a profound impact on them akin to a type of “re-wiring”—as if they had been diverted to an exit ramp and now found themselves on a highway going in the opposite, and wrong, direction. Given the Bible’s admonition—and warning—in Proverbs 22:6, this should come as no surprise.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.