[percy-l] gays, biblical authority and Percy's language theor y --

Parlin, Steven PARLINS at culver.org
Sat Aug 16 16:09:52 EDT 2003

Karey, I am imensely interested in Percy's language theory, and I hope to
resume that discussion either concurrently or a little later. But, I am also
matters of eathly concern. On the one hand, inquirey into theory is
exciting, fun, and even necessary. Let's roll up our sleaves. But, let us
not become like that scientist Percy mentions in Lost in the Cosmos who
spends all of his time in the abstacted orbit of theory never being able to
successfuly achieve re-entry. Homsexuality, among the many deviant sexual
behaviors, is one of the most odd behaviors in the Cosmos. I think it's
worthy, even necessary, to wrestle with this...especially since it's
impossible to ignore it. 
in fact, this is my point...It's really only possible to entertain the idea
of homosexual marriage when we are in orbit and lost. We have lost our
moorings. The center is not holding. We really don't understand ourselves --
We are indeed the strangest of cosmic phenomena. 
[For fun-- I adapted the below dialogue from a few excerpts  in Lost in the
Interviewer: Are you more confused about sexuality than any other phenomenon
in the Cosmos? 

Subject: What do you mean? 

Interviewer: I mean... gay marriage? C'mon. 

Subject: I don't follow...what's wrong with it. It's no different than any
other marriage. It's all about love after all. 

Interviewer: Love? Is sex necessary for love? And, is marriage a necessary
arrangement for love? Isn't marriage primarily for ensuring the health and
well-being of family life; that is, for having and rasing
children...obviously homosexuality... 

Subject: Well...if you mean do gay lovers need to get married, no they
don't. .  

Interviewer: If there's no real need, then why the fuss? Homosexuals have
been "loving" each other for centuries. Why now the need for marriage? 

Subject: Ceremony, validation, recognition...they have rights you know. And
why not? 

Interviewer: Why? 

Subject: Why not? 

Interviewer: I asked you first. 

Subject: Well...there's nothing wrong with it, and they deserve the same
benefits as other married couples. 

Interviewer: Such as. 

Subject: Taxes...health care... you know 

Interviewer: I see. 

Subject: They have rights. 

Interviewer: I see. Just like two friends living together. Why not call that
a marriage too? 

Subject: No...that's different. 

Interviewer: How?

Subject: Well...two friends aren't a couple; they aren't in love. 

Interviewer: Hmmm...so the state should only give benefits to people who are
in love. 

Subject: No...not just in love...committed. 

Interviewer: Friends can be committed...so can brothers...sisters... I'm
even committed to my cat.  

Subject: But that's different. 

Interviewer: How?

Subject: Well... homosexuals love each other in a special way. 

Interviewer: You mean they please each other sexually. 

Subject: No...they're "intimate". 

Interviewer: I see...how do you measure that? Even though I'm not sleeping
with him, I'm probably more "intimate" with my best friend than a lot
married men and women. 

Subject: It's different. 

Interviewer: Perhaps....but how? Can you explain it? 

Subject: No...but... I mean...It's still perfectly natural. At least as much
as heterosexual marriage. 

Interviewer: Perfectly natural? 

Subject: Yeah 

Interviewer: Can you explain why it is that men and women exhibit sexual
behavior undreamed of among the other several million species, with every
conceivable sexual relation between persons [or animals] or with only one
person [their self] or between a male and female, or between two male
persons, or two female persons, or two males and one femaile, or two females
and one male; relationships moreover which can implicate every orifice and
appendage of the human body and which bear no relation to the reproduction
and survival of the species? 

Subject: No. 

Interviewer: Odd isn't it? Is this sort of behavior natural? 

Subject: I dunno...but heterosexual desires...well, some of those aren't
exactly "natural" either. 

Interviewer: True, heterosexuals can be just as depraved. But then isn't
that why marriage is so important for helping to keep these behaviors in
order... if for no other reason than for the sake of rasing children? 

Subect: Perhaps....but there's still nothing WRONG with homosexual marriage.

Interviewer: That's another mattter... But what about the children? Isn't
child-reering natural AND necessary? 

Subject: Yeah... but homosexuals can adopt. In fact, they can adopt children
that heterosexuals have discarded. 

Interviewer: Hmm...that's an interesting point, and a shame that there are
some children who need to be adopted...but aside from not knowing what
affect this would have on children, isn't it obvious that without
heterosexuals there wouldn't be any children at all? No next generation.  No
one to adopt? 

Subject: Science is changing all that. 

Interviewer: I see. 

Subject: And, I never said that homosexual marriage should replace
heterosexual marriage. 

Interviewer: No, but we still haven't figured out what homosexual marriage
means...how is it different than any two people living together.  Moreover,
I was making a point. That is, I was illustrating that marriage is necessary
for raising children. 

Subject: Government is changing all that. 

Interviewer: I see. 



-----Original Message-----
From: Karey L. Perkins [mailto:karey at charter.net]
Sent: Friday, August 15, 2003 2:25 PM
To: Percy-L: Literary and Philosophical Discussion
Subject: [percy-l] gays, biblical authority and Percy's language theory --

No -- I'm certainly no moderator!  But I am fascinated by the fact that gays
and Biblical authority have garnered so much response, but Percy's language
theory doesn't get much interest?  There's so much he left unfinished and so
much to investigate.  If he had lived longer, I think something tremendous
might have come out of it -- like, the answer to, what is the interpretant?
He died before he could solve it.
So, here's what I would discuss if I had the choice...
What is the interpretant?
Why did he use triangles instead of triads, even when a good argument was
given against it?
What did Susanne Langer drop that he picked up?  (I believe he says what it
is in one place, but I lost it somewhere)
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Parlin, Steven <mailto:PARLINS at culver.org>  
To: 'Percy-L: Literary and Philosophical  <mailto:percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thursday, August 14, 2003 10:52 PM
Subject: RE: [percy-l] West Wing 


Because some of my replies that contradict Karey are not showing up in my
inbox, I assumed (wrongly it seems) that I had angered her (isn't she the
moderator?), and that she was preventing my postings from going to the list.

I owe you an all an apology...but especially Karey. 

Please forgive my presumption.

I'm an ass.  


-----Original Message-----
From: David Alan Beck [mailto:dabeck at iupui.edu]
Sent: Thursday, August 14, 2003 9:45 PM
To: Percy-L: Literary and Philosophical Discussion
Subject: Re: [percy-l] West Wing 

Why are we getting triplicates of your posting??

On Thu, 14 Aug 2003, Parlin, Steven wrote:

  [NON-Text Body part not included]

David Beck                                         


An archive of all list discussion is available at

Visit the Walker Percy Project at http://www.ibiblio.org/wpercy

An archive of all list discussion is available at

Visit the Walker Percy Project at http://www.ibiblio.org/wpercy

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