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Non-Heterosexuality

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by CaramelChocolate, Jul 18, 2004.

  1. CaramelChocolate

    CaramelChocolate
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    A study within Sikhism: Non-Heterosexuality


    Introduction

    The primary aim of this report is to question whether it is acceptable to be any sexuality other than heterosexual and still be a good devout Sikh. As the Guru Granth Sahib is the current guru of the Sikhs and is not just a scripture, Guruji clearly has authority over all Sikh texts. So to the reader it should be noted that I am using quotes from Guruji’s teachings ONLY in this report.

    Majority of Sikhs are [or are descended from] Punjabi Indian and it seems that due to non-heterosexuality being a taboo within the culture that most Sikhs follow and Sikhism being originated from a culture that would not accept non-heterosexuality, majority of Sikhs automatically assume that being a non-heterosexual is not permitted within Sikhism.

    It should be noted to reader that where the terms heterosexual, bisexual and homosexual are used I am applying it to both genders.




    Lust
    Many Sikhs seem to think that it is not acceptable for a Sikh to be homosexual or bisexual, because Guruji strongly condemns lust:
    "Just as the lustful man is enticed by lust" - page 629
    This quote is clearly gender neutral, and sexuality neutral. According to Guruji anyone can be enticed by lust, therefore, all sexuality can be lust, heterosexual or otherwise.
    This means just because one is not heterosexual, does not mean they are full of lust.

    Equality
    Guruji states that:
    The four castes - the Kh`shaatriyas, Brahmins, Soodras and Vaishyas - are equal in respect to the teachings.” – page 747

    We clearly see here that all castes are equal in respect to the Guru’s teachings. Since non-heterosexuals must exist in all four castes, which therefore makes men equal to women as heterosexuals are equal to non heterosexuals.



    God's love

    Guruji states that God blesses his devotees with love:

    “The Lord blesses His devotees with His Love; He sides with them and saves them. ||19||” – page 91

    So if someone is truly devoted to God, then God will bless him or her with his love. Guruji does not say, that God will deny his non-heterosexual devotees blessings of love.



    Same gender marriage

    Guruji praises God as:

    "You, Eternal and Formless One!" - page 3 and 4
    Since the aim of every Sikh is to [or should be to] merge with God, it is clear that since God is formless, that it will the soul merging with God, and not the material body:
    When the body mingles with dust, what happens to the soul?” – page 17

    “Without virtue, it is useless; the body shall crumble into a pile of dust.” – page 20

    Since God has no form, according to the teachings of Guruji, God has no gender, and therefore has no sexuality, and if our soul is to merge with him then our soul clearly must have the similar formless properties which God has, therefore, our soul clearly has no gender. So, in Sikhism, anand karaj, which is the union of two souls should clearly allow same-gender marriage, since the soul is genderless.

    It could even be considered discrimination and attachment to maya for a granthi to say no to performing a same gender wedding, as he would not be concentrating on unifying the souls, he would be too concerned with the bodies.



    Other religions

    Guruji says:

    “The Muslim God Allah and the Hindu God Paarbrahm are one and the same. ||5||34||45||” – page 897

    This may lead one to say that all religions are from God, and since most religions condemn non-heterosexuality, then God is against non-heterosexuality, and therefore, it is also not permissible.

    However, Sikhism is a unique religion and should not be compared with other faiths. It is unfair to use Guruji as a scapegoat to back up one’s own prejudices. Other religions have also treated women as half of men and people unequally due to caste, so does this mean that since these teachings are from God, Sikhism should follow them as well? No. It is a flawed argument. All are equal within Sikhism, inequality and prejudice is ego, and Sikhism is a faith that is currently free of ego, it should be kept that way.



    My advice to a non-heterosexual Sikh

    Your Guruji says:

    Truth is higher than everything; but higher still is truthful living. ||5||” - page 11

    Let the first be truthfulness, the second honest living, and the third charity in the Name of God.” – page 141

    Living a truthful way of life, one finds true peace. ||7||” – page 1343

    So, a non-heterosexual Sikh MUST be truthful about who they are, this will give them peace. Guruji is clearly saying here, that God [truth] is higher than everything, but living a truthful life is higher, this is clearly the appropriate way to live – to be truthful to one’s self.

    It is said that within Sikhism, as Guruji condemns attachment to sexual desire:

    “Those who are proud, and intoxicated with the pleasures of sex, and asserting their power over others, never contemplate the Lord`s Lotus Feet. Their lives are cursed, and as worthless as straw.” – page 1359

    That one must save his or her sexual desire for within marriage, and just because one is not heterosexual they are not exempt from this rule. Homosexual and bisexual devout Sikhs should seek to follow this rule just as heterosexual devout Sikhs would.

    ~CaramelChocolate~
    The little philosopher
     
  2. Neutral Singh

    Neutral Singh
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    Hey Little Philosopher,

    Nicely reserached and thought provoking article. Keep it up :)

    Regards

    P.S. : I have noticed one thing in your writings, you tend to shy away from the fact that you are a seeker... In almost every other post, you specifically make it a point to mention that you are a non-sikh... why is that so dear ? A Sikh means a seeker or a learner and in you being presently studying Sikhism you are certainly behaving like a freethinking Sikh or probably better than an average sikhs we find these days. Sikhism is all about seeking... searching, so there is no harm in saying that you are a Sikh... unless these is personal ego ??? ;) ha! ha!! just kidding... :) Please carry on with your discussions. I am enjoying every bit of your posts.
     
  3. truth_seeker

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    Thanks,
    very nicely done.
    Indeed not the object, but the intention is important.
     
  4. CaramelChocolate

    CaramelChocolate
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    I guess it depends on one's interpretation of a Sikh. I am a Sikh in the sense that I seek Waheguruji, but not in the sense that I belong to the religion Sikhism, this is what I mean when I say I am not a Sikh.
    Actually it is funny that you should mention egotism because in my opinion this is one of the most abhorable of the five vices, I can't stand egotism.
    I am glad you have enjoyed my posts/discussions.

    Sat sri akal! [{The} true Lord {is} timeless]

    ~CaramelChocolate~
    The little philosopher
     
  5. FireStorm

    FireStorm
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    Dear Caramel Choclate:

    Caramel Choclate has always been my favoruite...and I think with the quality of posts you have made.. you are certainly are a forum and my favourite and stand true to your ID.

    Keep up the good work brother.

    I hope Guru Ji slowly and steadily guides you to become a proper Khalsa... I am sure it will happen

    pssstt.. (even I am not a proper sikh..but I am sure..one day I will be, as well)

    Lets share and keep up the good work.

    With Kind Regards

    Akal Sahai (May God be helpful)

    FireStorm
     
  6. CaramelChocolate

    CaramelChocolate
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    Firestormji: Nice to meet you [I don't think I have seen you on here before!]...
    Thanks for your kind comments, I was really touched by them...
    I don't know if you have seen my introduction post but I am not a Sikh [but am a seeker of God]

    ~CaramelChocolate~
    The little philosopher
     
  7. CaramelChocolate

    CaramelChocolate
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    OH! Also... Do you think Gurdwaras would accept this if I left a few copies in my local Gurdwaras? Give opinions please all :)

    ~CaramelChocolate~
    The little philosopher
     
  8. Suneet Kaur

    Suneet Kaur
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    A lot of hue and cry being raised over the issue of Gay Marriage by our Sikh leaders, is a cry of the dictator to allude the Sikhs to live a life according to their dictates. It is so ironical that divorce rates among Sikhs are increasing by leaps and bounds and there are no dictates to put an end to this seemed to be never ending problem and notwithstanding no signs are visible to the end dowry deaths and torture of women. And here are our leaders who are raising hue and cry on the issue of same sex marriage?

    Thus in this situation, wherein if two persons of same sex marry and wants to live together then there should not be any hue and cry by our Sikh leaders.

    Living together is a birth right of any human being and a leader should not have any right to dictate the persons what they should and what not.

    No human being can live alone, the isolation kills and jolts person so if two girls and boys wants to spend their life together then nobody should have any objection to it.
     
  9. sehmbi

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    Gay or not



    This is purely a personal opinion – I claim to be no expert on gurbani but I think I understand the basic principals of Sikhism.



    The question of whether homosexuality (or non-heterosexuality as you elegantly put it) is normal and should be accepted on an equal footing as heterosexuality is a rather complex one and controversial to say the least.



    Dare I say that this subject has only now started coming up because of its profile being raised here in the West and that it has become fashionably to talk about.



    In any case, if there is one thing that Guru Nanak Dev Ji did, it was to encourage free debate, challenge dogmatic ideology and allow common sense to prevail. So in the spirit of a constructive debate here are my points.



    It would be naïve and dangerous to lean on way or the other on the basis of a few excerpts of gurbani – worse still on a misleading interpretation of it. Also it is a logical fallacy to say that if gurbani applies to heterosexuals as well as to non-heterosexuals then non-heterosexual behaviour is normal. Taking this thinking to extremes – the message in gurbani is for murderers as well as for non-murderers then by extension murdering should be normal.



    Non-acceptability of gay behaviour is not only in punjabi culture but the world over. Are non-punjabi cultures somehow more gay friendly?. Anti-gay sentiments are prevalent in all societies. In the UK as early as the 60’s severe physical and mental treatments were considered OK to be administered to correct for gayness. Please be careful when passing judgement of this nature on an entire culture – especially if you don’t belong to it.



    Personally I think, if we accept homosexual behaviour as normal, there will be severe repercussions to fabric of society as we know it today. Not least the “grahasti jeevan” as advocated by all the Gurus which is based on the one man one woman principal. And expressly mentioned by the tenth Guru - “ek jot, doe murti” as the basic component of the family unit. I for one cannot see homosexual behaviour fitting this bill.



    If homosexual behaviour is normal then we may have to consider the following in the same light: incest, zoophilia, bestiality, polygamy and polyandry



    Lust

    Talking about the nitty-gritty, even an agnostic will tell you that the {censored word, do not repeat.} and the rectum are expressly there to perform the function of ejecting waste from the body. Any other use of this part of the body is PURE lust – gay or not gay.



    Equality

    Guruji expressly mentioned “The four castes - the Kh`shaatriyas, Brahmins, Soodras and Vaishyas” as well as women I might add to convey a message of equality of all humanity. To stretch this to mean that Guruji was addressing gays at the time because you may have gay Kh`shaatriyas or gay Brahmins is rather lame. By the same token you may have rapist Kh`shaatriyas or incestuous Brahmins – does it make OK for them to be that way.



    This is not to say that gays should be damned and relegated to hell – but the gay condition should be treated as other conditions that may afflict the human condition such as alcoholism and drug addiction. Which in-turn are borne out of KAM, KRODH, LOBH, MOH and MAYA.



    From all my reading of gurbani I have yet to come across any words or phrases expressly referring to gay behaviour in the same light as being from a certain caste e.g. Kh`shaatriyas.



    Same gender marriage

    The argument that because God and the soul are genderless and therefore same gender marriage should be allowed is a very poor one.



    If that were the case why did GOD go to such a great length to create the male and female forms for all living beings (including plants) and by his grace placed each of our souls in either a male or a female body. If his intention was to allow male/male or female/female unions GOD would have made a unisex physical form and provided a corresponding way to procreate. But he did not.



    My advice….



    Humility is one of the basic pillars of the Sikhism and I suppose of all faiths. The truth will be the truth even when looked at from different angles. No one can deny that 1+1=2 whether you are a Sikh, Hindu, Muslim or Christian. Alas, things are not as simple in reality. Still, it only helps matters if we all consider ourselves god’s creatures and not refer to each other as “Your Guru said this” or “Your Guru said that



     
  10. CaramelChocolate

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    Regarding your comments about the west - homosexuality exists all over, it is not a western influence. With all respect I have noticed it is easier to speak out against injustice in the west, and that is why I have more freedom to say yes I am gay and homophobia is wrong.


    Polygamy is normal as per some societies such as Islam. Society will never consider zoophilia as the animal cannot consent to sex.


    This is not true. When one has sexual intercourse, be it via the {censored word, do not repeat.} or orally a bonding hormone is released creating attachment to that gender or whomever they are having intercourse with. Therefore promiscuity is wrong, but homosexuals can still love each other.
    Infact, [sorry to be graphic], the pleasure spot of a man is within his {censored word, do not repeat.} but it is not for females.

    Homosexuality is biological - the hypothalamus in the brain of gay men is larger then heterosexuals. The hypothalamus produces a hormone called aromatase which converts testosterone into oestrogen. Therefore they have richer supply of this hormone resulting in more oestrogen, making them gay. I am not sure about gay females.
     
  11. Amerikaur

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    >> Non-acceptability of gay behaviour is not only in punjabi culture but the world over <<

    I have a very good friend of mine that is a very well-educated and well-traveled. Panjabi gentleman. His complexion could be described as "tan". He said something to me that upset me. He said "You are fair and beautiful, I'm just dark" and he then described the bad things that Panjabis say about fellow Panjabis that are dark-complected. I was flabbergasted by what he said.

    How much popular media in Panjab features "tan" heros?

    Panjabis talk about interacting with "Goray" when they mean westerners.

    Why do I mention this? Because in Panjabi culture there is denegration of darker skinned people. This also happens in countries the world over.

    Just because something is part of several cultures does NOT make it right.

    Some people say that homosexuals are just an aberration and therefore should be "fixed" or "dismissed". Statistically, yes, homosexuals seem to be a small percentage of the population.

    Sikhs are 2% of India's population. Are Sihks an aberration? Can Sikhs be "fixed"?
    There certainly have been those that have tried, yes?

    If a person is lustful, or a sinner for any reason, do they need MORE of Gurbani's influence in their life? Or LESS? Where is a person more likely to learn about and follow Gurmat principles? In a gurdwara? Or in a gay bar?
     
  12. gursidak

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    With reference to Sehmbi Ji's thoughts:

    One has to agree with the above philosophy especially with the said excerpts seem to be quoted out of context. For anyone who interacts with Gurbani for sometime, it is immediately clear that within the premise of any Shabad some specific thoughts are conveyed and if a single line is taken from any Shabad, one definitely loses the essence of the thought being conveyed and hence the hazards of misinterpretation, which to me rather than harming any group or relegion does more damage to the perperator of this act because ------ c'mmon who we're trying to dodge. Neither our Gurus nor any enlightened soul is going to be confused -- it is we who'll get effected.

    On discussing the subject with quite a few Sikhs who have been studying Gurbani for a few decades, none was able to relate any Shabad or Panktis which might shed some light on the subject at hand. So, I would definitely request all fellow Sikhs to be on the vigil and if and when they are able to come across such instances, they should be kind enough to share those with us so that that the matter at hand can be seen in proper light.

    Also, it wouldn't be out of place to mention that eventually what matters to a person is his own choice and no community can effectively ban one from being involved in anything in the confine of 'One's Life,' neither should that be the case because that person only faces the consequences. But again we should refrain from, kind of, impressing upon the vast majority, our own narrow and not-so-clearly-defined choices which go against the popular conventions. Any Change, if there is to be at all, has to gradual, and if it is in the right direction, Nobody Can Stop It -- God Willing. The least one should do is to try to Justify it in the the name of Holy Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.

    Guru Rakha

    God Bless All

     
  13. vijaydeep Singh

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    Gurfateh



    There are two instances in Sri Dasham Granth's Triya Charitar which oppose forced homosexuality.
     
  14. CaramelChocolate

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    "Forced homosexuality", well I assume you mean forcing someone to engage in homosexual acts. Therefore this is rape. We need no special terms, heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual, forced sex is rape.
     
  15. vijaydeep Singh

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    Gurfateh



    Well force could be imotional or by greed or by lust on one side or even on two side.Force can never always mean physical.

    Das hope that there could be something called courting also(which may means to force one to sell own body in leu of money while that person is not at all aware of what all is happening).Like a young child who could be absued sexualy just for the greed of a lolypop or tofee.
     
  16. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    i too enjoy reading caramel chocolate's writings....they have the same effect on my mind as a bar of caramel chocolate has on my body..pleasurable...but hey who cares...indulgence is good once in a while..


    carry on Little Philosopher...keep your posts coming..

    I am an aMritdharee and Sikh...but not bound to little boxes or confined to artifical boundaries of men...

    Jarnail Singh
     
  17. CaramelChocolate

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    Waheguruji ka khalsa..Waheguruji ki fateh​
     
  18. Anju

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    I must commend CaramelChocolate. :thumbup:You argue your point well.

    I too believe that every human being is equal. I can not say what causes the non heterosexual state but I do think it is part of a larger plan. Perhaps even to test our own beliefs and compassion towards others different from ourseleves.

    If we are judged by our actions then a sikh who is all that he/she should be but feels a deep love for another of thier gender. How can this person be less than any other with equal devotion and actions in life?

    I can not see how the lord would not bless either.
    The lord's love is unconditional is it not. Even if you do not love the lord as dearly he still loves you. But if you place him 1st each and every day regardless does he not love you more for remembering him each and every day. Even those that hate him and daily remember him by calling on him are in more favor than those that do not remember him at all. correct?



    there are men/women who stay with one another in a life of a lie. Because they do not desire the other gender.

    They even produce children and pretend to be a loving family. But this is a lie. I can not see the lord blessing a union like this where the love is a sham.
    (in general there are too many of these, even one is too many.)

    which of these non heterosexual relationships is pure and with honor and intrigity. I do not think its the one where they live a lie for the sake of appearing as a good upstanding sikh.


    A LIE is a LIE regardless of how you color it.

    (please note is only my opinion)
     
  19. CaramelChocolate

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    How is their love a lie when they have gone against a huge norm and assumption in society? Homosexuality is not accepted ANYWHERE in the world. Maybe more in some countries, but if it was accepted fully there would not be a concept of 'coming out' as homosexuality would be seen as normal as heterosexuality.
    You are basing your response on PUNJABI cultural norms rather than SIKH values. I would prefer a spiritual perspective.
     
  20. Archived_member2

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    Pray Truth for all and say Satsriakal!
    Dear all!

    God is all and in all. All are evaluating too. God enjoys sex through all. God is ready to marry all Jeeves provided they come to recognize HIS OFFER.

    Is God Heterosexual?


    Balbir Singh
     

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