Gays and Germs

Finally, an explanation from a reader that helps me understand Mickey better:

"Our culture's 'surface revulsion' to homosexuality isn't really that superficial and it is not 'genetic'; it is deeply imbedded in our Judeo-Christian heritage.  Well, actually, in our Judaic heritage, and it's all about germs.

As a person of faith, you are no doubt familiar with the traditional, though now discarded proposition (which came to me via the Articles of Faith of the Anglican Church), that the moral, but not the sanitary, laws of Moses are carried forward and incorporated in the New Covenant.  Of course, at some point a bright light, probably some pagan classicist, observed that moral and sanitary laws were indistinguishable in most ancient Mediterranean and Semitic culture - physical purity WAS religious purity. Conversely, physical impurity WAS religious, or moral, impurity.  This was equally true in its broadest features in Greece and Canaan. The physical spilling of blood, not the act of murder per se, within the polis, for example, resulted in ritual uncleanness.  Hence, the need for public expiation. In the Jewish context, the taboos became increasingly elaborate and, typical of ancient Hebrew society, tended to fixate on things sexual, consistent with the procreative and sanitary anxieties of a small, weak nomadic society traveling among more numerous settled populations.  Semen, menstrual fluid, urine, feces - all are unclean. The Hebrew phobia of homosexuality ultimately derives from this culturally transmitted notion of ritual uncleanness. So, Kaus's "revulsion", far from being 'genetic', is ultimately 'memetic'. It is a culturally inherited and imprinted response that is based in the idea that homosexuality is 'dirty'."