On Homophobia- Personal Thoughts
At its roots, homophobia stems from the tribal desire to preserve itself. Note that I use tribal to mean any social group, whether it be family, religious belief, or economic structure. Pressure is exerted, by the tribe/group, on its members, to conform to the idea of “the tribe” before the individual. At the most basic reduction of the idea, this is why parents want grandchildren. They want to expand into the future, preserve the family name. In this way, they gain a promise of some kind of immortality. The smaller the tribe, the more it depends upon birth to replenish its ranks, the least tolerant it will be of any diversion from its goal of expansion.
The evidence of the fact of same-sex relationships has been found in every age and clime as far back as history has been traced. It has no parent culture; it is as ancient as nature. Whatever animus the biblical Hebrews may have had against it seems to have been the religious use of it. Excepting the Hebrews, with some proscriptions of age and class of the participants, especially regarding the receptive expressions of it, the ancients made made room for it, though anthropologist Patrick Awondo says that “human societies everywhere have often put up strong resistance to “normalization” of homosexuality. All societies tend to look on homosexuality and homosexual practices as a threat to their survival or to their stability, even though the validity of that idea has never been verified.”
Homophobia, as a legal, prescribed persecution of participants in homosexual acts, did not find its legs until the 12th Century and the third Lateran Council. It wasn’t that homophobia was a new idea in the Church. It was St. Augustine, as a middle-aged man who’d tried everything, including homosexuality, and given it up who changed the understanding of Sodom’s sin as inhospitality into a proclivity for homosexual activity. It just took some time to ensconce his, and other Fathers of the Church’s sexual fears and paranoia into Canon Law, eight centuries, to be exact. In those days, what became Canon Law, set secular law, as well.