Thursday, March 29, 2012


A member of the BisexualBuddies Group, Horatio Nimier, sent this You Tube Video to the group forum.

When I watched it, I immediately recognized it as the story of my life. More than likely it is the story of your life too as well as the life story of millions of gay and bisexual men around the world.

As with my own life, the song starts out with the expression of great pain and self hate, but it ends on a very high note indeed.

Please watch this video and then tell your friends and family about it; or better yet, just send the the link to it.

If this video is not the story of your life because you still are in pain and harboring hatred for yourself, please contact me personally. I'd be happy to talk with you. It really does get better if you do your part to make it better.

I'd like to hear from you if you enjoyed this video and even if you didn't.

Thanks Horatio for bringing it to my attention.

Jack Scott

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Blogs of Interest from the Huffington Post

Lately I've been finding a number of posts by various bloggers that interest me in the Huffington Post on line.

I think of myself as a pretty ordinary married bisexual man, and I think most bisexual men have an interest in a variety of topics. So I figure if I find a post interesting some of the rest of you are likely to be interested in it also.

Having the luxury of being retired gives me more time to look through the internet for posts that are of interest to me. Many of you do not have that luxury yet, so I thought I'd start listing posts that interest me here on my blog. It will give you the opportunity to read some interesting posts by just clicking on the URL I've provided.

If you look at the right hand column of the blog page just below the "Rate My Blog" animation, you'll find a list of blog posts listed by subject title which have recently been featured on the Huffington Post that I found interesting. Just click on the subject title and the blog will open for you.

I hope you enjoy reading some of these posts, and I'd like to hear from you if you do.

Jack Scott

Friday, March 23, 2012

President Jimmy Carter Talks About the Bible In A Surprising Way

I have never been a fan of President Carter. His Presidency was an unmitigated disaster, and as an ex-President he has often meddled in foreign affairs in a manner that has complicated them for a sitting President.

New International Version Bible
Lessons From Life
By Jimmy Carter
Yet, I do have to give him credit for the courage of his convictions. He has never been afraid to speak up and speak out. Mr. Carter taught a Sunday School Class in his Southern Baptist Church for many years. Baptists are not well known for their tolerance on matters of sexuality. Neither are the known for having a rational view of the Bible. The courage of his convictions led him to leave the Southern Baptist Church after it began to radicalize in the 1960's. Eventually many Baptist Churches disassociated themselves from their more radical brothers in the Southern Baptist Convention and formed new Baptist Churches which are not as politically or fundamentally minded and in which the traditional stance of the Baptist Church that each man is his own priest has been reinstated. It is from this traditional Baptist doctrine that President Carter speaks.

The follow interview with President Carter was posted in the Huffington Post on March 19, 2012. I found it both interesting and surprising. If President Carter, as a Baptist Sunday School Teacher has an open mind on homosexuality, and apparently he does, it is a huge indicator of the progress which is being made to bring about not only equal rights and equal protections under the law for homosexual people, but also an indicator of the acceptance of homosexuality as a normal expression of human sexuality in the collective minds of the average American.

The interview with President Carter touches only briefly on homosexuality itself, but the general attitudes of tolerance and reason which Carter expresses throughout the interview should be a breath of fresh air for those who only know the fundamental unreasoning face of Christianity. It should be of particular interest to those homosexual guys who feel there is a divide between their faith and their sexuality.

If  you're a guy who is struggling with his homosexuality or his bisexuality, I hope you find the interview with President Carter encouraging and comforting. There is no doubt that Carter is a Bible scholar. That he has an open mind on homosexuality is a bellwether of the change that is taking place in this country in the way the average citizen looks at homosexuality.

For religious guys who struggle with the religious implications of their homosexuality, the attitude that Carter expresses should unequivocally point out that not all Christians see homosexuality as an abomination or even as a sin. Those who struggle with their sexuality and their religious faith should also be comforted that Cater, even as a fundamentalist, understands that the Bible is not the literal word of God.

Caters interview is proof that one can be both highly educated and still be a person of faith and reason.

"NIV" in the bio adjacent to President Carter's picture refers to the New International Version of the Bible. Many Baptists, as well as other fundamental groups who see the King James version of the Bible as the literal word of God have rejected the NIV. It is interesting to see that President Carter has not.

President Jimmy Carter Authors New Bible Book, Answers Hard Biblical Questions

Jimmy Carter served as the 39th president of the United States, founded the Carter Center and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. President Carter is also a Sunday School teacher and has followed that avocation since his earliest years. In this interview, HuffPost's Senior Religion Editor Paul Brandeis Raushenbush spoke to President Carter by phone about the hardest questions presented in the Bible: from gays, science, the role of women, slavery passages and more. The former president offered answers to each of them with the insights and spiritual wisdom he has included in his latest book: "NIV Lessons from Life Bible: Personal Reflections with Jimmy Carter."
Paul Brandeis Raushenbush: Thank you so much for talking with me President Carter. As I warned, I am going to be asking the tough questions. So ... Did God write the Bible?
President Jimmy Carter: God inspired the Bible but didn’t write every word in the Bible. We know, for instance that stars can’t fall on the earth, stars are much larger than the earth. That was a limitation of knowledge of the universe or physics, or astronomy at that time, but that doesn’t bother me at all.
How do you approach the passages in the Bible that talk about God’s creation (Genesis 1:1) while maintaining a positive attitude towards science?
I happen to have an advantage there because I am a nuclear physicist by training and a deeply committed Christian. I don’t have any doubt in my own mind about God who created the entire universe. But I don’t adhere to passages that so and so was created 4000 years before Christ, and things of that kind. Today we have shown that the earth and the stars were created millions, even billions, of years before. We are exploring space and sub-atomic particles and learning new facts every day, facts that the Creator has known since the beginning of time.
What do you say to those who point to certain scriptures that women should not teach men or speak in church? (1 Corinthians 1:14)
I separated from the Southern Baptists when they adopted the discriminatory attitude towards women, because I believe what Paul taught in Galatians that there is no distinction in God’s eyes between men and women, slaves and masters, Jews and non-Jews -– everybody is created equally in the eyes of God.
There are some things that were said back in those days –- Paul also said that women should not be adorned, fix up their hair, put on cosmetics, and that every woman who goes in a place of worship should have her head covered. Paul also said that men should not cut their beards and advocated against people getting married, except if they couldn’t control their sexual urges. Those kinds of things applied to the customs of those days. Every worshipper has to decide if and when they want those particular passages to apply to them and their lives
A lot of people point to the Bible for reasons why gay people should not be in the church, or accepted in any way.
Homosexuality was well known in the ancient world, well before Christ was born and Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. In all of his teachings about multiple things -– he never said that gay people should be condemned. I personally think it is very fine for gay people to be married in civil ceremonies.

I draw the line, maybe arbitrarily, in requiring by law that churches must marry people. I’m a Baptist, and I believe that each congregation is autonomous and can govern its own affairs. So if a local Baptist church wants to accept gay members on an equal basis, which my church does by the way, then that is fine. If a church decides not to, then government laws shouldn’t require them to.

What about passages saying slaves obey your masters? (Colossians 3:22) Do you think there is ever a time to say, ok, we know that we don’t agree with that passage, let's get rid of it?

Well, the principles of that are still applicable. It wasn’t a matter that the Bible endorses slavery, it was that throughout history, now and in the future there are going to be some who are in a subservient position like when I was commanding officer of a ship when I was in the submarine corps. It is meant to preserve the basic principles that don’t cause resentment or hatred or betrayal or false attitudes. But it also says that a master should respect your servant. So, it works both ways.

Jesus says I am the way the truth and the life (John 14:6). How can you remain true to an exclusivist faith claim while respecting other faith traditions?

Jesus also taught that we should not judge other people (Matthew 7:1), and that it is God who judges people, so I am willing to let God make those judgments, in the ultimate time whenever it might come. I think ‘judge not that you be not judged’ is the best advice that I will follow. Maybe it is a rationalization, but it creates a lack of tension in my mind about that potential conflict.

There are many verses in the Bible that you could interpret very rigidly and that makes you ultimately into a fundamentalist. When you think you are better than anybody else -- that you are closer to God than other people, and therefore they are inferior to you and subhuman -- that leads to conflict and hatred and dissonance among people when we should be working for peace.

There is a scripture passage attributed to Jesus “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth, I did not come to bring peace but a sword” (Matthew: 10:34) How do you interpret that, in light of your basic belief in Jesus as the Prince of Peace?

For the last 35 or more years, my wife and I have read the Bible last thing every night and just last week we read that passage and discussed it a little bit. What Christ was saying was that when we have conflict in our mind or hearts, between our secular duties and teachings of Christ, we should put the teachings of Christ first.
He was predicting what would happen, that his teachings might cause divisions among people as they decided to follow God’s ordained duties such as peace, humility, service to others, alleviation of suffering, forgiveness -- when we face those conflicts, we should adhere to the principles that never change, to the moral values that are taught through religion.

Should we approach the Bible literally, or metaphorically?
When we go to the Bible we should keep in mind that the basic principles of the Bible are taught by God, but written down by human beings deprived of modern day knowledge. So there is some fallibility in the writings of the Bible. But the basic principles are applicable to my life and I don’t find any conflict among them.
The example that I set in my private life is to emulate what Christ did as he faced people who were despised like the lepers or the Samaritans. He reached out to them, he reached out to poor people, he reached out to people that were not Jews and treated them equally. The more despised and the more in need they were, the more he emphasized that we should go to and share with them our talent our ability, our wealth, our influence. Those are the things that guide my life and when I find a verse in the Bible that contradicts those things that I just described to you, I put into practice the things that I derive from my faith in Christ

If you are a guy struggling with his sexuality and a new reader of this blog, I urge you to use the blog archive which you will find in the right hand column to look up previous posts in this blog in which I have written at length and in great detail about some of the same questions President Carter answered in the Huffington Post interview above.

Jack Scott

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Breath of Fresh Air for Me

I'm not going to write another blog piece on politics for some time to come. That is not a promise, but it is a goal I hope to be able to keep. I'd much rather write about things bisexual men and the women who love them can or should relate to.

However, 2012 is a political year and there is much that is exciting (and scary) going on. The New York Times had a really great pice earlier this week that came from exit polls of Catholics in three recent state races. I found the article a real breath of fresh air.

I'm a moderate Republican as I have mentioned many times and a Protestant, but it appears the Catholic voters may be far ahead of the radical right wing Protestant voters who seem incapable these days of rational independent thought.

Michael in Norfolk did a great job of featuring the New York Times piece in his blog. If you are interested in seeing it, you can click here to go to his blog and read it.

Jack Scott

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Closet Professor

I've been enjoying reading "The Closet Professor" blog for quite some time, but in particular over the last week or two. He's been on a roll with topics that interest me either because they are important topics or sometimes because they are not important at all, just tongue in cheek things that are fun to read.

David and Me by Steve Walker
The Professor, who goes by the name Joe Blow on line, has never seen my blog I don't think. I don't remember how I found his blog, but I check in on it often. He consistently has things to say about stuff I'm interested in - history, art, literature, politics and culture. I guess I need to see if he wants to swap links on each others blog rolls. I'm pretty sure as a gay guy, he likes pictures of hot men, so he might like "Jack Scott's BisexualBuddies Pictures" blog. However, I'm not sure if I'd be comfortable with a real professor looking at this written blog, "Jack Scott's Bisexual Buddies", or not. He might find too many grammatical and spelling errors that would freak him out. I tend to make a lot of those (sometimes on purpose, but usually not). Maybe he'd be interested in a part-time job of proofreading.

As you know if you are a regular reader of this blog, I try not to talk about politics though this political season has pissed me off enough that recently, I've broken my own rules and talked about the Republican political race a couple of times. To be precise the person who has pissed me off the most is Rick Santorum. The professor recently included a couple of pictures in his blog. I found them both amusing. One picture of Santorum was created from hundreds of miniature pictures of gay men having sex which was funny enough; but the other picture, was created from hundreds of miniature pictures of Rick Santorum and together made up a picture of two men kissing. I found that one to be down right profound in a hilarious way. Too bad the pictures can't find their way onto Santorum's campaign trail. I am not sure who scares me most, Santorum or the people who are voting for him. As a moderate Republican, I find plenty to be scared about concerning both.

I guess what intrigues me about Joe the professor is he seems like a guy I wouldn't mind talking to over the backyard fence. He's witty, articulate and informed. He'd be a great neighbor. Oh, and he's a fan of Steve Walker's painting, "David and Me" which is a great painting. I've always held a great appreciation for all things Michelangelo.

If you've never taken a look at "The Closet Professor" find it at It is well worth a look.

Jack Scott

Monday, March 12, 2012

Living Up to Leviticus

As the Political Year from Hell that is 2012 rolls on, the rhetoric has been getting more and more nasty. Oh, no. The Republican Candidates are not saying bad things about President Obama so much. There much too busy saying all kinds of nasty things about each other!

The worst thing to come out of this campaign so far, in my humble opinion, is the dredging up of the contraception controversy. I thought we settled that way back in the 1960's. So did most other Americans. Even the majority of Catholic women use birth control in the United States. Its use is almost universal and has been for decades. I guess the radicals didn't get the newsletter.

To compound the issue, they've renewed the infernal drumbeat concerning those who are radically pro-life and those who are radically pro-choice. Both radical sides on this issue are …., well they're radical. I'll leave it at that. The vast majority of Americans in the middle of the issue, where sane people tend to be on most issues, have made it clear they want abortion to be safe, legally available and rare! That is a pretty simple concept, and its a pretty good place to draw a line in the sand on an issue that will never make everyone happy.

And to put the cherry on top of the calamitous cake they've baked, we have Mr. Santorum telling us John F. Kennedy's famous speech to a group of right leaning preachers in Houston in which he assured them the saw separation of church and state as an absolute, made him (Santorum) want to throw up! The man has taken leave of his senses, but no matter. He's still winning votes from the right wing nuts in the hearland. As another smart alec once said (more or less), "I remember President Kennedy. Mr. Santorum, you're no John F. Kennedy and you never will be."

But this blog piece is not really about politics. It's just that the very word "Republican" has become almost inextricably linked to the Christian Right in the collective minds of Americans. Some Americans, I think, actually believe that God Himself is a registered Republican! I'm really surprised that the Reverend (I use the title cynically and in a sense of mockery) Fred Phelps himself has not put down his signs saying "God Hates Fags," and changed them for signs saying, "God Hates Dems."

As a Christian myself (a liberal one) and a Republican (a moderate one), I'm just so tired of being thought a fool because I admit both to being a Christian and a Republican! The country is about to go down the proverbial drain, and we're fighting about reproductive rights and how big the gap (if any) there should be between church and state? The whole damn country was established more than 200  years ago by mostly religious forefathers who, in a wisdom born of great abuse in Europe, saw fit to set forth a constitutional principle that in this country there would never be a theocracy - that Americans would never be compelled to support religion nor would they ever be compelled to deny their religious beliefs.

But it's not just the country that is going down the drain. Likewise, organized religion is going down the drain and Christians, perhaps I should say, right wing Christians, are still trying to pick fights over the very foundations of the Gospel of Christ and over the Constitutional guarantees that have defined America for more than 200 years.

The facts speak for themselves. Over the last decade the percentage of Americans who do not belong to or attend the services of any religious group has almost doubled. I can't say I blame them. If I was not a Christian but just someone looking in at all the fighting and the bickering and the claims that God hates this and God hates that and the demands that you have to do this and you dang well can't do that or God is gonna git you, I'd run for the hills before I'd ever set foot in a church. I don't have to go to church to find such things!

Not many people will say it (they just vote with their feet and stay away from Christians), but the right wing of Christianity is suffering mightily from a bad case of reactionary fear. They've misinterpreted the Gospel so long and so appallingly, they've forgotten God Himself is still in control of the universe - not them. They don't have to make up their minds about what they need to do to save the rest of us from Hell, God had a plan for that two thousand years ago and He still does! And it's not a reactionary plan born out of fear. It is the master work of proactive plans.

In an age where the average person takes in over 100,000 words a day of information, Christian Right Wingers just look foolish when the try to convince everyone that the Bible is inerrant and the literal word of God. Everyone but them knows it's not. People are just too smart for that kind of nonsense any more. Recent statistics point out that only a third of Christian Right Wingers themselves believe it, but dang if they ain't a vocal minority of rabble rousers!

Now, I know I'm driving Two Lives crazy here, but all of this is just a long wind up leading up to the same important point I've made over and over of late. If you're a bisexual or homosexual man who is torturing himself over his sexuality based on what someone has told you about religion and the mindset of God towards guys like yourself, you're driving your ducks to a mighty poor pond as my grandma would have said. Do you know that recent statistics indicate that almost 50% of fundamental Christians admit they've never read the Bible! They just listen to other people TELL them what it says! They also let other people tell them what they should THINK about what it says. And, oh yes. They use it to bash you over the head!

Have you ever read it? Have you studied it? Have you taken the time to find out that the Bible has a known history and it didn't spring from a burning bush? Have you done all this research yourself before you started torturing yourself over the religious implications of your bisexuality or your homosexuality?

For almost all of you in that situation, the answer to those questions is, "No, you haven't." You've just surrendered without even putting up a real fight.

It's time you corrected that mistake. There are many many books written by well educated Christian theologians that can point you to a new way and a new understanding of yourself and your homosexuality or your bisexuality. There are hundreds of guys you can find on the internet who are Christians themselves who have come to see that they are as God Himself made them to be.

For your own sake, if you're going to take some part of the Bible literally, then take it all literally and spend your time working out the resulting mind numbing conflicts that will beset you before you start working on hating yourself. I guarantee you, you will never have time to get around to hating yourself. Remember, even the fundamentalist don't really take the whole Bible literally. They just take literally, the parts they can bash you with.

Two Lives (Cameron) at "If I Do The Right Thing" blog has posted a great letter that was written to Dr. Laura Schlessinger a few years back when she referred to homosexuality as a "biological error."

The letter is still timely. It talks about living up to Leviticus. It points out that even the most devout fundamental Christian does not begin to live up to Leviticus. Yet, they think they are going to heaven and you're not! Somethings wrong with that! You can read it on the "If I Do The Right Thing" blog at:

More recently the letter was parodied on the television show, "West Wing." You can find that You Tube Video at:

I urge you to read the blog from the link above and watch the video from You Tube as well. Do it for yourself and your peace of mind!

And one last thing. As I said, I've tried to use some gallows humor in this piece. Don't let my poor attempt at humor mislead you. My faith is important to me. It always has been. But as a ten year old boy, I found that the fundamental right wing faith I was being raised in just didn't cut it for me. Nothing about it made sense. Nothing about it ever added up. It always led to me to painting myself into a corner when I tried to take it at face value. It never taught me that God loved me. What it did was make me think if God was really like that, I didn't want anything to do with Him at all.

I struggled for many years with my doubts and fears and sense of self  hate. Then in a final bout of desperation, I began to read and study and think for myself. I found dozens of great liberal Christian authors who have written many wonderful books about faith and love. It is so important that you know the Christians who make the news are really a very vocal minority of Christians. Most Christians go about their lives quietly providing for their families and helping others when and where they can. They don't try to rabble rouse about their faith. They just live it day by day. Chances are you know one or more of them. Perhaps they are work in your office. Perhaps one of them is you kids school teacher. Their everywhere. They're just not in your face!

Like me, they don't claim to know all the answers. They don't claim to know the mind of God. They do claim to know the love of God. They do claim to know there are many many paths to God.  Some of them even lead through homosexuality. They don't claim that the Bible is the literal word of God. They don't claim it is a science book. They just see it as a good and sufficient guide to faith.

You can know all that for yourself. You can know that, even as a  homosexual or bisexual man, you are as God made you to be and that you are loved, not hated. That there is a purpose for your life. Reach out and see.

Jack Scott

Friday, March 9, 2012

Religion, Hate and Love*

Over the last few weeks a video by a young Gig Harbor, Washington man has gone viral with almost 20,000,000 views on You Tube. The video has resulted in Jefferson Bethke being interviewed on CBS This Morning and ABC's Nightline. It also resulted in an article concerning him and his video in Time Magazine's Religion section.

The video that has caused such a stir is entitled "Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus." There is no doubt the video is catchy. But does Bethke have a valid point? Hundreds of people have taken the time and effort to respond to the video. Among them Catholic and Protestant Priest and Pastors, people of other faiths as well as atheists and agnostics.

I think, as it must be in matters of faith, much of the truth is in the eye (and the mind) of the beholder. The value of the video, as I see it, is that this young man, who himself happens to be a member of the Seattle, Washington megachurch Mars Hill, has succeeded in creating a great deal of discussion about Jesus and religion and the value (if any) in religion.

I have reviewed some of that discussion and find bits of wisdom in much of it. There is no doubt Jesus abhorred the corruption of the Jewish Temple System of his day, yet at the same time he was a practicing Jew and he spoke in the Temple himself. There can be little doubt among believers Christ did not want to destroy religion, but gave his life to fulfill its teachings and to reform it. There can be little doubt among any honest Christian that the church universal is still full of corruption 2000 years later and still somewhat misguided in its mission.

For the homosexual and bisexual man, the connection in all of this discussion, as I see it is to point out rather obviously that the minds of both common folk as well as the minds of folks very well educated in theology have for centuries pondered religions of many sorts. Yet, neither the common folk nor the well educated have been able to agree on a common view of God.

In spite of all the pondering throughout the ages no one has ever even been able to prove that God, any god, either exists or does not exist. This point is important because faith actually does cut both ways. Most religious people, at some level, whether they will admit it or not, know their beliefs must rest essentially on faith in the absence of proof. However, it is less common for the atheist to understand that his belief that there is no god must also essentially rest on faith in the absence of proof just as well.

With all this lack of proof either way being a fact, it becomes essential that homosexual and bisexual men who struggle with their sexuality because of religious views (and millions do) give considerable thought to those views and understand what is fact and what is not fact concerning religious teachings relating to human sexuality.

I have personally known men who were suicidal because of their homosexuality because of what they had been told and thus feared concerning homosexuality and a particular religious viewpoint. I have known many more men, including myself, who endured great personal pain and self-hatred for the same reasons.

It seems to me that, at a very real level it is tragic for one to sacrifice his life, his happiness and his sense of well being and self worth on the alter of religious dogma about which hardly no two thoughtful people on the face of the earth entirely agree. And it certainly makes no sense at all to sacrifice one's life for a set of teachings one has never examined closely himself, but rather has just relied upon someone else to research the matter for him and accepted as truth what some man tells him it is the truth. Most of us would never think of risking our lives so carelessly and so thoughtlessly for any other reason; but when it comes to religion, most of us just become sheep and allow someone else to do our thinking for us, no matter  how much it may hurt us.

As homosexual and bisexual men, in a world where progress is being made and at a time when most Americans are becoming more tolerant of homosexuality and more willing to believe that homosexual people should have full and equal protections, rights and privileges under the law; we must be keenly aware that progress itself is dangerous. It is dangerous because many people see the progress and become reactionary to it. That is exactly what is happening in the right wing fundamental Christian churches in this country today. This particular group of Christians see the growing acceptance of homosexuality and bisexuality as a real and present danger to everything they believe! They will do anything and say anything to stop the progress in its tracks and reverse it. Is there anyone other than right wing fundamental Christians who has not been shocked over the words Rick Santorum has publicly spoken in the last few weeks concerning women's reproductive rights, the separation of church and state and the role of the church in secular life? I can tell you, I'm a Christian who is in church every Sunday and his words have shocked me beyond belief. I can further tell you that I don't want someone like Rick Santorum and those who agree with him deciding what religion should or should not be in the common experience of this country. I want that to remain a personal decision for each of us.

Being a homosexual or bisexual man is not easy. It may never be easy. But one can make it easier by doing his homework and learning for himself the facts and the fictions which surround it and upon which others form their opinions concerning it.

For those of you who have not seen Jefferson Bethke's video I have posted it below along with a couple of responses.  In each of the three videos, I find things I agree with. In each of the three I find personal opinions with which I vehemently disagree. I hope viewing these video's will convince you of the need for you to think for yourself in religious matters. The Bible itself tell us that we must each work out our own salvation. It cannot be worked out by someone else and given to us.

Jefferson Bethke's Video

Father Barron - A Catholic Response to Jefferson Bthke

An Agnostic Response to Jefferson Bethke

Bethke's video has now spurred hundreds of responses on You Tube. If you would like to browse through them click here.

My personal thanks to Jefferson Bethke for challenging us all to think about something many of us are afraid to think about. In that, he has provided a great service.

Jack Scott

Monday, March 5, 2012

Why Humans Make Cultural Leaps

An article in the Houston Chronicle, February 4, 2012, caught my eye. Anyone who pays any attention to the world at all knows things are changing at an ever increasing rate of speed. We truly live in an age of information and the rate at which we are being bombarded with all this information has changed everything.

Even education has changed. When I started first grade in 1953, education was all about the imparting of knowledge and information to a new generation of children. True, we were taught to think and to write so that we could manipulate the knowledge that was imparted to us; but the main thrust of education was to receive and retain facts.

Education is no longer about the imparting of facts to a new generation, and the present generation has no real need to retain facts in their minds as we once did. The volume of information available and the rate at which it becomes obsolete have made such knowledge retention ineffective at best. In the age of the computer, multimedia databases and the internet, facts are always at our fingertips. Education now largely consists of teaching young people how to access those facts and manipulate them electronically. All the world's knowledge has been reduced to a simple sting of 1s and 0s. All that we are has been revolutionized by the digital age.

In reading the article below by Eric Berger, it occurred to me that the cultural leaps that humans make are not just limited to knowledge. The same forces that facilitate cultural leaps also facilitate and encourage social leaps. We are seeing such social leaps in the new openness concerning the acceptance of gay and bisexual men and women in society and the move toward equal protections for these gay persons  under the law.

Berger's article explains why.

Why Humans Make Cultural Leaps 
By Eric Berger, 
In just the barest moment of the Earth's long history, during the last few tens of thousands of years, humans have gone from subsistence as scattered, hunted bands of cave dwellers to dominating the planet. 
Scientists understand why this happened: more than anything it has been our ability to accumulate culture and knowledge from generation to generation. We build, we advance, and we use iPads today when our parents used Apple lIe computers. 
Until now, however, researchers have not understood precisely why humans developed this unique ability to accumulate culture. 
But several scientists, including a Texas group, say they have discovered the answer by experimenting with 3- and 4-year-old children, chimpanzees and capuchin monkeys. The chimpanzee experiments were conducted at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center's primate research facility in Bastrop, home to 169 chimpanzees. 
"We wanted to understand how all of these behaviors came about specifically for humans," said Steven Schapiro, an M.D. Anderson professor at the Bastrop facility. 
And we wanted to understand why our closest living relatives can't do all of the kinds of things we do." 
Series of puzzles 
To address their question the scientists devised a series of puzzles with escalating difficulty, the solving of which would produce rewards - stickers of increasing attractiveness for kids; carrots, apples and then grapes for the monkeys. 
The researchers, including anthropologists and biologists, anticipated that children would employ cultural learning to work together and use their accumulated knowledge to solve the increasingly difficult puzzles, for increasingly greater rewards. They expected the primates to not exhibit these skills. 
Yet the real goal was to move beyond this and understand the specific behaviors in humans that allowed them to learn and solve more difficult puzzles. Was it because human children would work together? Or maybe the tendency of animals to steal food obtained by another animal would hold the monkeys back? 
To find the correct explanations the children imd monkeys were broken into eight different groups,and these groups revealed critical behavioral differences. 
During the experiment the researchers observed that the children treated the puzzles as a social exercise, working them together and giving verbal instruction to one another. When successful, they shared the rewards. 
Lack of sharing 
In contrast the chimpanzees and capuchins. appeared to only see the . puzzles as a means to obtain rewards, and worked mostly independently and did not learn from their efforts. They never shared. 
Humans, then, have ratcheted up their culture by teaching one another, imitating the successful behaviors of others and altruism. 
The study results were published Thursday in the journal Science. 
Commenting on the study in the same issue of the journal, psychologist Robert Kurzban and anthropologist H. Clark Barrett noted, "This work provides many valuable new insights into the question of cumulative culture." 


Chimps live in groups of relatives, but this and other studies have shown that though they can work together for the common good of the group, much of what the do is done by each individual for his/her own benefit. Sharing is not the norm. Cultural concepts are not recorded and are only rarely passed from one generation to the other.

For many years, I lived a part of my life in the shadows. I knew I was different, but I did not quite understand in what way I was different. The only term I knew that would begin to describe my difference was homosexuality; but I knew t his term was not accurate because I enjoyed heterosexuality very much.

In those pre internet days, there simply was no one I could talk to about my differences. There was no one I knew who shared my differences. I felt alone in my own world. I felt I might be the only person in the world who enjoyed all the benefits of marriage to a woman yet longed for interaction with a man.

For gay guys the problem had many of the same similarities; but gay men were often capable of recognizing each other. They knew they were not alone. But in those days before the internet, the number of gay men and women was only estimated in studies by social scientists and their work often did not become well known in society at large. Homosexuality existed, but it existed in a very controlled, very closeted world. To get too far out of bounds could jeopardize one's family status, endanger his job or even result in serious bodily injury.

With the advent and then the ubiquitous acceptance of the computer as a necessary tool of modern life, cultural leaps began to be common place. Knowledge began to increase at a rate never before seen in human affairs. With this increase in knowledge, social change was inevitable and began to leap forward at an astonishing rate also.

One of the groups which benefited from this leap in social change was the GLBT community. While major segments of society continue to resist such change, it is clear where the forces of change are leading. Old discriminations are being swept away and a new social order is evolving.

Just last week a male marine coming home from Afghanistan leaped into the waiting arms of his male lover and the kissed passionately in public. The old guard made up mostly of fundamental right wing Christian conservatives was outraged. But most people just accepted it as a sign of the new order of things.

Human beings have learned in the last 20 years, that gay and bi men and women are not those people. Instead, they are our sons and daughters, our fathers and mothers, our beloved grandsons, our nieces and our nephews. This realization that almost every family is touched by homosexuality has been facilitated by more and more gay and bi people coming out of the closet and into the opening. With the truth of the numbers of such people finally there for all to see, a chance in social order is a given.

It is easy to discriminate against those people. It is not so easy to discriminate and to deny rights and use sexual slurs against one's own son or grandson.

At the present time 7 states have legalize gay marriage. Others will follow. Some states, like Texas, will never legalize gay marriage on their own. There are just too many religious right wing nuts in Texas for that to happen. But Texas and the other states that share its antiquated outlook on human rights for gay and bi people will finally be brought into the new mainstream of cultural reality by rulings from the Federal Courts which are inevitable.

Thank God for the ability of human beings to make cultural leaps. The day is just around the corner when gay people and the lives the lead will be just another part of our cumulative human culture. And as a culture we'll be much the better for it! It's a great time to be alive and part of great culture and social change.

Jack Scott

Friday, March 2, 2012

What a Surprise

As I get older, I recognize more and more how utterly complex our lives are. I guess recognizing that complexity should mean that life and people and the interaction of it all shouldn't surprise me; but the fact is I never cease to be surprised at the way life plays out.

The other day when I blogged "When Politics Becomes Dangerous," I did so because I had just about reached the limit. If I didn't let off some steam, I was going to explode. I began the blog piece with an apology and a warning so most of you could be forewarned and just skip the piece.

I expected I would get some comments from a few people  upset with what I had written, if anyone took the time to read it.

As it happened the piece received more attention than any recent post and all the comments were positive and quite thoughtful. I think it showed that I'm not the only one frustrated with the political process and the way the country is headed. I appreciate all of you letting me vent.

If I'd let myself there is a lot more I could say about politics; but I'm not going to in this forum. I think it best we stick to what we're supposed to be about and that is discussing bisexuality.

I have actually been very pleased with the number of you who have contacted me personally for one on one talks lately. I think I've at least been able to open some of you to the fact that there are different ways of looking at bisexuality or homosexuality and at least suggest to you that you can reach a point in your life where you are happy and accepting of yourself. I know this to be true because I know so many guys personally who have done it.

I'm happy to talk with any of you who are willing to entertain the possibility of new paradigms. I don't want to talk to you if you just want to wallow in your misery, keep thinking the same thoughts and expect something to change. That is a waste of my time and YOUR LIFE. The guy in the picture at right is evidently quite content with his sexuality. That is the way it should be and the way it can be. It just takes a willingness to seek help and the courage to build new thoughts of your own rather than submit your thought processes to those who try to impose their own values on you.

I'm easy to reach by email, Yahoo chat and after we've established some contact and a bit of trust by phone.

If you need help, please ask.

Jack Scott
Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott