About articles on this web site
Topics covered here:
Why this web site is different:
As of early 2020, our dedicated server at Liquid Web in Michigan contained about 8,000 essays
and menus. This includes our home page, thousands of menus and many thousands of individual essays. We have a goal of adding -- or performing a major update to -- one new essay each day. We also make minor updates to many dozens of existing essays each week.
We continually add to our interesting quotes section, We attempt to cover emerging stories related to religion, spirituality, morality, and ethics, as well as the historic beliefs and practices of many different religions.
There are lots of other religious web sites on the Internet that cover these same topics. However, they often reflect only the beliefs of their webmaster or sponsoring agency. Objectivity and balance are often weak or missing. Our web site is different. We try to explain all sides to each topic while remaining as free of bias as we can. When we do state our personal opinions, we identify them carefully.
There are many news web sites that discuss religious topics. However, they typically describe one-time events. In contrast, we often string discussions of events into an description of how a topic evolves over time. Examples are:
- A succession of polls that ask the same question on a regular basis and show how public opinion is changing. Two examples are the percentage of U.S. adults who are Atheists, and the percentage who support same-sex marriage.
- The Notre Dame cathedral fire in Paris. Our article covers the events on the day of the fire, reactions worldwide, fundraising for restoration, groups involved, etc.
We think that people can often understand a topic better by learning what others who hold different opinions believe and why they believe what they do. Unfortunately, religious and political liberals tend to listen and watch liberal news outlets like MSNBC and the Sirius XM Progress channel. Meanwhile, religious and political conservatives tend to listen and watch Fox News, the Patriot channel of Sirius, evangelical religious programs, etc. Thus, many people rarely have their beliefs challenged. Most get a biased account of the news and do not necessarily have an full and accurate understanding of recent developments.
Essays planned for the near future:
We estimate that we need to write many more thousands of essays
before our web site will be reasonably complete. Even then, there will
undoubtedly be new controversial moral/ethical/religious topics continually emerging -- topics like polygamous marriages. The battle between fear-based and information-based sex education in schools will continue.
Gay marriage -- a.k.a. same-sex marriage -- for lesbians, gays, and some bisexuals arrived during mid-2015. Both religious conservatives and the LGBT community almost instantly switched from gay marriage to alternate topics, including employment and accommodation security to the community, as well as equal
rights for transgender persons and transsexuals. These have necessitated the writing of countless new
articles as these topics develop.
We maintain a list of new topics about which we
are currently working on or plan to write "someday." We have
a larger list for internal use that, sadly, numbers in the many thousands of
Why do we have so many essays that deal with topics about -- or indirectly related to -- gender and human sexuality?
This website's main catchment area is North America. About 75% of our visitors live in the U.S. and Canada. Most developing stories about cultural trends that have appeared there recently on TV, radio, in newspapers, periodicals, the Internet, etc. deal with social and cultural changes with a religious component. Often, these trends contain a gender or human sexuality component. And so, many of our essays covering cultural trends also involve sexual topics.
Over the past century there have been multiple conflicts among:
- Conservative believers/traditionalists,
- Religious social, political and religious liberals,
- Scientific researchers, mental health professionals, and
- Various discriminated-against minorities.
Since the year 1900, the main conflicts have involved emerging concepts of gender, race, sexual orientation, & gender identity.
- During the early 20th century, over whether women should be allowed to vote. This was settled by the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920 which ended the voting restriction against female adults.
- During the 1960's over interracial marriage. This was settled during 1967 by a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia which made interracial marriages legal across the U.S.
- During the early 21st century over the decriminalization of same-gender sexual behavior. This was legalized across the country during 2004 by a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas.
- During the last decade over marriage equality. This was settled during mid-2015 by a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, except for the territory of American Samoa. (That territory is an exception because most people there are considered American residents and not American citizens. Thus, this decision of the U.S. Supreme Court does not apply there as they do in the District of Columbia, the 4 commonwealths, the 46 states, and the remaining four inhabited territories.)
All of these conflicts have been settled in the United States, at least in law, in favor of equal rights for women and sexual minorities. In all probability, similar conflicts will be settled in the future in favor of equality.
The latest conflict to emerge relates to gender identity and transgender/transsexual persons.
The root causes of sexual conflicts is that much support for the traditional, conservative views in the U.S. can be traced back to passages in the Bible which many people consider to be God's word, and inerrant (without error). Further, many people interpret biblical passages literally as they appear in their English translations of the Bible. Unfortunately, such translations have been filtered through the understanding and prejudices of the various groups of translators, who in the case of the King James Version lived in the early 17th century. There have been fierce disagreements about the exact meanings of about a half dozen biblical passages that discuss same-gender sexual behavior. However, the new area of disagreement -- transgender matters -- rely both on people's cultural concepts of gender and on biblical passages.
Meanwhile, there are many trends that are causing some people to abandon traditional views on human sexuality:
- The percentage of adults in the U.S. who identify as Christians is currently dropping about 10 percentage points per decade. At the same time, the percentage of NOTAs (persons who are NOT Affiliated with any religious group) are increasing by a similar amount. The latter are less influenced by the Bible and more influenced by social media, and human sexuality research.
- Many researchers are studying the nature of homosexual orientation, bisexual orientation, and gender identity.
- A clever saying attempts to differentiate between one's orientation and gender identity:
"Sexual orientation is the sex of people you go to bed with; gender identity is what you go to bed as." 1
- Researchers are generally concluding that, with few or no exceptions:
- A person's sexual orientation is discovered, and is not chosen. In adults, it is fixed. No amount of therapy will change it. Homosexual and bisexual orientation are each normal sexual variations, for about 5% of adults, just as heterosexual orientation is normal for the remaining 90% of the adult population. All three are a natural phenomenon and are found among all mammals that have been studied, and in many other animal species. In humans, at least, homosexual orientation is not caused by a person's genes. Rather it appears to have an epigenetic cause. This involves a layer that covers the genes, and switches some of them on or off. A test has been devised that analyzes a this epigentic layer from a saliva sample, and predicts which adults have a homosexual orientation with an accuracy of 83%. More information.
- Adult transgender persons are relatively rare; they constitute only about 0.8% of all adults. Most identify their current gender as opposite that of their birth-identified gender. Some identify their gender as neither female nor male. A few switch between female and male over time. They do no choose their gender identity. It appears to be forced on them by sex-dichotomous differences found in recently discovered structures in their brain, located between their two brain hemispheres. Again, no amount of therapy will enable them to become cisgender: that is, to accept the reality of their birth-identified gender. A much larger percentage of young children identify as transgender. However, most of them become cisgender by accepting their birth-identified gender over time.
It will probably be many decades in the future before differences of beliefs concerning human sexuality can be fully resolved. In the meantime, many religious individuals will continue to resist extending equal rights and treatments for the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual) community.
The following information source was used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.
- "Ask transgender," Redditt, at: https://www.reddit.com/