The Ultimate Brokeback Forum

Author Topic: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain  (Read 377896 times)

Offline Ellen (tellyouwhat)

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2006, 05:50:07 AM »

My thinking on Jack is he just was not listening to Ennis.† On all the threads it seems like they think Jack was doing right.† But, no, I do not think so.† Ennis was up front with his need to be hidden, was up front that he was not going to move in, was up front his fears.† Jack knew them, saw them, experienced them.† Jack also knew Ennis would meet him at least half way, this he saw when Ennis came to Jack on the second night, when Ennis nailed a kiss on Jack first after four years, Ennis gave up jobs to be with Jack, and Ennis mailed Jack back after the big fight.† If Jack wanted more of Ennis he had to provide the protection that Ennis required to feel safe.† We all have to feel safe to love freely.† Jack could have rented a nearby ranch and hired Ennis a ranch hand.† Obviously Ennis would work for anyone to make ends meet, and given the excuse as to why people may see him and Jack around together at the same time it would have worked.† Of course, Jack would have to be more careful so that his reputation did not interfer with Ennis's safe feelings.† Anyway... tis all just a movie...


IMO both Ennis and Jack were very much constrained in their choices, but bottom line it SEEMS Ennis had more choices than Jack, because Ennis' biggest constraint was his own homophobia that he could not overcome.  Jack was really stuck -- moving back to Wyoming wouldn't work 1) because Ennis didn't want him to do it (greater proximity?  more opportunities to head off to the mountains?  more opportunities for people to figure out what was going on?) and 2)  Jack's second best option throughout his life was his cushy situation with Lureen not to mention that he wasn't MERELY using her, he lived with her and had a son that he cared about.  OTOH, Ennis was divorced, after the Thanksgiving blowup probably even more estranged from Alma and girls, didn't have much to lose, it looks like, and Jack's suggestion that Ennis move to Texas seems fairly reasonable.

sometimes I think life is just a rodeo the trick is to ride and make it 'til the bell --john fogerty

Offline Ellen (tellyouwhat)

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2006, 06:06:31 AM »
The only reference to a specific denomination is Jack's mother's Pentacostalism.† But he never mentions her speaking in tongues, nor does he even know what the Pentacost is, so how much of an influence was it?

Ennis has nothing much to say about religion, except that he won't go to the church socials with Alma.† I see Ennis as simply being in the dark, uneducated and cowed to the point that he'll take anything offered by any perceived moral authority as Truth.

Given this, it doesn't matter that they don't care much for religion.† They're still living under its sway.† They're not disinterested if they're in fact letting homophobia engendered by religious belief rule their lives.†

Religion is certainly part of their culture, but I'm not sure what you mean by it's "made in the image of the believers, not the other way around".† †
I've always found it odd that Christianity is pretty much anything anyone wants to make it.† Some charismatic speaker comes along with a new angle, and you've got a new sect.† Small primitive churchs are aborning all the time.† Why some stick and others fall off the wall is anyone's guess.

So you think the reason for homophobia in Wyoming and the rest of the US is only from the Bible?† IMO homophobia is more primitive than the bible or any religion, but religion is used to justify it.† Religion is used to justify other things, as well.† It seems Ennis' life was much more shaped by poverty and lack of education -- and his own ability to "stand it" rather than take risks (as Jack did) to "fix it."

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The flip side of the "True Christian" problem is you would think some of its incarnations would just scare off the masses.† Wouldn't Fred Phelps cause more than a few people to loose their religion?† Wouldn't George Bush?† †They're Christians, right?


In my case George Bush has caused me to have a knee jerk reaction against Christianity, although before he was president I saw Christians as mostly benign in modern times.† I still think the greatest antidote to religious war is freedom of religion - IMO the most profound idea ever, because it has come the closest to ending religious wars (if not religious prejudice).† Instead of responding to 9-11 attacks with hyped up Christianity, we should be responding with hyped-up freedom of religion (which also means freedom to have no religion).†

But my greatest interest in this thread is the non-believer's angle on Brokeback Mountain, which I think starts first with analyzing the story -- and then second, with analyzing the story's impact on our personal lives.†
sometimes I think life is just a rodeo the trick is to ride and make it 'til the bell --john fogerty

Offline DEO

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2006, 07:26:46 AM »
Fellow Gentlelady & Gentleman Atheist Brokaholics:

I am delighted at the prospect of networking/communing with others like myself, but my tricky schedule disallows me to spend nearly as much time conversing on this thread, or even the site in general, as I yearn to.† I can, however, with some advance notice, manage my schedule to allow for direct phone, email, or in-person conversations/socializing/mutual support, highlighting BBM, atheism, or anything else we mutually find fulfilling.† I don't know whether Dave Cullen's policy for this wonderful site prohibits the inclusion of personal contact info. in postings, nor, despite the high level of good-heartedness, intelligence and civility prevalent herein, do I find it prudent to do that, at least not initially.† I enthusiastically await replies herein from any of you who would like to discuss the possibilities of meeting or conversing via phone or email, at least.† To the extent that my personal statistics may affect your interest, I am a gay male, however, I'm interested in all sorts of social connections and mutual support with both men and women of any affectional orientation, based on shared love for BBM, shared non-supernatural world view, shared passion for science, especially biotechnology, shared general intellectual inclination, and shared general optimism that BBM and (hopefully) equal future masterworks of humane, world-changing "magic" will be made, and will uplift our civilization to much greater levels of tolerance, understanding and respect for reason, too.

Fondly,

Dan

Offline Ellen (tellyouwhat)

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2006, 07:41:52 AM »
Fellow Gentlelady & Gentleman Atheist Brokaholics:

(snip) I'm interested in all sorts of social connections and mutual support with both men and women of any affectional orientation, based on shared love for BBM, shared non-supernatural world view, shared passion for science, especially biotechnology, shared general intellectual inclination, and shared general optimism that BBM and (hopefully) equal future masterworks of humane, world-changing "magic" will be made, and will uplift our civilization to much greater levels of tolerance, understanding and respect for reason, too.

Fondly,

Dan

Dan, you can send anyone a personal message through the forum and it will be routed to their normal e-mail.† The main purpose of the forum is to provide a place to discuss BBM and the best way to participate is to post, which you can do at your convenience, also catch up on other's posts at your convenience.† Members are all over the world geographically.† IMO most feel safe here due to a sense of anonymity, then after time many find the level of discussion is high enough that some kindred souls are really out there.† Discussion and participation are emphasized.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2006, 02:12:48 PM by tellyouwhat »
sometimes I think life is just a rodeo the trick is to ride and make it 'til the bell --john fogerty

Offline DaveinPhilly

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2006, 08:02:00 AM »
Doug, and friends - Glad you've found a home for your thoughts!

DaveinPhilly
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Offline Doug2017

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2006, 08:13:25 AM »
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The conflict between science and religion is that they are based two totally different viewpoints of reality.

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I understand what you're saying here.† I meant that there doesn't have to be an inherent conflict, because they are apples and oranges.† That is we don't rely on religion to answer a scientific hypothesis - or we shouldn't.† And we don't often rely on science to supply answers to ethical dilemas.† We consult our sense of emphathy for that.†

I guess the problem I have with that is that religion in ethical dilemmas can not decide based upon reality, it has to decide on tradition set forth by authority.  It also has to decide based upon interpretation, rather than knowledge, which leaves a whole lot of room for manipulation.  I agree, perhaps even most of the time that tradition as merit, there has to be lot of truth inmixed with the poison so that it will be accepted.  That poison is that human consciousness is not the highest valve, but a god and afterlife is.  With that value system, it is easy to sacrifice the individual for the so called good of the group, especially if that individual is relegated to the enemy camp, or even not human.  Do you not see this ethic being used all the time? Do you not see that it is the direct result of using religious ethic?  Or I am all wet, that is possible...

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There are plenty of scientists who hold religious beliefs.† But they've separated their religious from scientific beliefs.† In their mind, there is no conflict.†


Yes, I know that.  But it also quite obvious they are denying that conflict.  That is like separating milk and water after they have been mixed, it is not possible, yet they seem to suggest that.  This demonstrates the power of the religion meme to be able to close off anything that is contradictory to it's existence. 

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They just don't take Genesis literally, for example.† Or they may blink when their pastor talks about miracles.† And there are also religious sects who allow for the scientific reality of evolution for example.† The conflict arises when you believe in Biblical inerrancy or when you hold the Bible to be literally true.

Yes, agree, if you hold that the Bible is just a story no different that BBM, total fiction which makes you think, then yes, this is true. 

However, if what I observe is right, most think that parts of it are in error, the parts that they do not agree with, and the rest is absolutely truth.  Which I have to wonder how does one say "this passage is truth, I will live my life about it, and I will force that upon everyone else by law, and by tradition, and by social pressure" and the next one "this one does not apply to me, nor do I believe it?"  By what criteria does one say this one is valid and that one is not, and how does one get that across to the masses of others who say it is valid?  Then, is there not a social contract of sorts that since one says they are Christian, that they are held to the doctrine that defines Christian, ie the bible, are they not bound to their authority figures as well?  Is this not like saying I am vegetarian but I eat beef? 

I just can not understand how all encompassing truth can be in a set of words that HAVE to be interpreted by authority figures to be understood.  Would one not think that an all powerful god should be able to get his instruction manual printed in plain straight forward 5 year old understandable english? For example, there is a passage where Jesus says you must hate your family and self to follow him, when I asked about this passage from my minister he said, "Well, hate does not mean hate, it means separated from god."  Yet, separated from god in the place of hate does not make sense all, how does one "if you do not separated from god your wife", for example?  What was I supposed to make of that?  If it is ok to take the word "hate" and turn it into "separated from god", then it should be ok to take the word "abomination" and turn it into "most beloved by god"...  If words do not mean anything, yes literal translation, then the whole is meaningless, is it not? 


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I love John Brockman's The Edge.  Every year he does a big "World Question" and invites short answers from a lot of cutting edge scientists.  Last Year's Question was "WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS TRUE EVEN THOUGH YOU CANNOT PROVE IT?"
It's great reading:  http://www.edge.org/q2005/q05_print.html[/qutoe]

Thanks, I will try to get some time to read it.  I do not have a problem with someone believing something, I have a major problem with them by law, by rule and by social pressure demanding that everyone else believe it too, or be damned.  Is this not what the christian right is doing with "defence of marriage law", with the god hate fags mentalitly? 

I know I am overly touchy on this subject, but I have first hand been dealt blow after blow from, so hopefully it is understandable.
Reality contains no contradictions, for how can something be and not be at the same time? Visit Us on the NON-BELIEVERS Thread.

Offline Doug2017

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2006, 08:42:36 AM »
Can anyone give some perspective on Brokeback Mountain?† For example, IMO neither Jack nor Ennis care much about religion, except they are from uneducated people and religion is part of their culture.† But don't forget the religion is made in the image of the believers, not the other way around, so Jack and Ennis seemed to have bigger problems with society's expectations, wrapped up in economics, lack of education and homophobia.

Hi, welcome!  To me that is the care of religion for Jack and Ennis, the society's expectations, wrapped up in economics, lack of education and homophobia.  It is care of religion that keeps their love secret, makes them fearful.  Just think of a world where the kind of love Jack and Ennis has was totally supported.  They would have came down from the mountain among happy family, they would have married in November, and had a nice ranch of cattle and calves.  There would not have been the sad wives, the children who did not ask to be thrown into this, the extreme pain of a love and lives lost. 

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I'm not passionate about non-belief, I'm more disinterested like Jack or Ennis.† I see religion as a by product of culture.† So I'm curious what non-belief means to you in connection with Brokeback Mountain.

I see the disinterested by Jack and Ennis is more that they did not know there was another possibility. 

I guess that is the rub for me, that if you are not fighting against what happens to people who do not fit the religious illusion, then by doing nothing, you are condoning it.  The end result is Jack getting tire ironed, his murders getting away with it because "he got what he deserved", like the two young men after Jerry Farwells kill a fag for christ speech.   How many lives have to be lost this way, how many loves destroyed, how much fear created, how much compassion and love has to be lost before passion kicks in?  Just something to think about... no judgement here at all, we all have to do what we can... just like Ennis and his reluctance, he can not be faulted for that, he has to make his decisions upon the weights of life he is dealt.  While a decision can be wrong in hindsight, it can never be wrong at the moment given the weights at that moment, it will always be the same, therefore it is ridiculous to fret over a decision. 

Take Care...   
Reality contains no contradictions, for how can something be and not be at the same time? Visit Us on the NON-BELIEVERS Thread.

Offline Doug2017

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2006, 08:56:34 AM »
Fellow Gentlelady & Gentleman Atheist Brokaholics:

I am delighted at the prospect of networking/communing with others like myself, but my tricky schedule disallows me to spend nearly as much time conversing on this thread, or even the site in general, as I yearn to.†

Hi, Welcome!   Sure understand that, my time is going to have to become less here as well, but in the mean time... <wink>

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I can, however, with some advance notice, manage my schedule to allow for direct phone, email, or in-person conversations/socializing/mutual support, highlighting BBM, atheism, or anything else we mutually find fulfilling.† I don't know whether Dave Cullen's policy for this wonderful site prohibits the inclusion of personal contact info. in postings, nor, despite the high level of good-heartedness, intelligence and civility prevalent herein, do I find it prudent to do that, at least not initially.† I enthusiastically await replies herein from any of you who would like to discuss the possibilities of meeting or conversing via phone or email, at least.† To the extent that my personal statistics may affect your interest, I am a gay male, however, I'm interested in all sorts of social connections and mutual support with both men and women of any affectional orientation, based on shared love for BBM, shared non-supernatural world view, shared passion for science, especially biotechnology, shared general intellectual inclination, and shared general optimism that BBM and (hopefully) equal future masterworks of humane, world-changing "magic" will be made, and will uplift our civilization to much greater levels of tolerance, understanding and respect for reason, too.

Sounds great.  I am rather new here myself, but I would think you could Personnel message (PM) your contact information fairly safely and without violating rules.  It seems that part of the point of this is to meet up with other like minded people. 

Reality contains no contradictions, for how can something be and not be at the same time? Visit Us on the NON-BELIEVERS Thread.

Offline gboo

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2006, 09:43:48 AM »
Another non-believer here!† I wouldn't call myself an athiest, because frankly that takes a stronger statement of faith (or non-faith) than I'm willing to make.†

I guess I have an unusual relationship with religion.† I've never had any major negative experiences surrounding it so I don't feel the fear, anger, etc. of many who did grow up in conflict with religion.† I have no interest in making religion a big part of my life, and I spend very little time thinking about it.† Yet because I'm fortunate enough to have escaped any religious trauma, when I am faced with it I don't have a problem with it (on a personal level, that is.† I have a huge problem with people who want to force their religion on society at large).† †

My mom's family is Jewish (her grandparents were orthodox) and my dad's is episcopalian but my parents are basically athiests.† We went to Unitarian church when I was little, but it was mainly a way to socialize with other liberal families.† My family's attitude toward religion was very relaxed.† We celebrated (still do) all the major christian and jewish holidays, but it was all about tradition as opposed to the religious aspect of it.† To this day, I always have to remind myself what a big deal Easter is to christians, because to me it's about chocolate bunnies and jelly beans.† Same with christmas -- it's trees and presents to me.† One of my favorite stories about growing up concerns going shopping at Sears with my mother and my sister.† I was 6 and she was about 5 and we were looking at christmas tree decorations.† My sister went up to a creche set and asked what it was.† The saleswoman told her it was the scene of Jesus's birth and it was a christmas decoration.† My sister's comment: "that doesn't look very christmas-y to me!"† When I was about 14 we stopped having a tree altogether.† My dad is an architect and one year a contractor he worked with gave him a brick embossed with "Merry Christmas." So now every December my parents put it out on the mantel, and we have a laugh about our Christmas Brick!

I have to say that as I've gotten older, I've felt a stronger identification with my Jewish heritage, but not in a religious sense -- more as a connection to my ancestry.† I think it stems largely from my involvement with Holocaust issues.† While I was in grad school I had a freelance job writing summaries of audiotaped interviews with Holocaust survivors -- my summaries were sent to various historical archives so researchers looking for interviews about certain camps or towns, etc. could find interviews that were relevant.† Also, I'm a lawyer and for three years I worked for the Justice Department office that denaturalizes and deports Nazi war criminals.† I guess if you asked me what religious I am, at this point I would say Jewish (I used to say none), although I never go to services, don't speak Hewbrew, don't believe in God and think the scriptures are just literature.† But I have to say -- when I meet another Jew I do feel a sense of kinship and identification.† And to be completely frank, I suppose I like it when I get to tell people I'm Jewish because it reminds them that not everyone is christian.

I guess I'm just lucky that I grew up with a family that didn't shove religion down my throat.† And most of my friends and family have a similar attitude toward religion as I do, so I feel supported in my choices.† I really feel sorry for people who feel conflict with their families and their communities because of religion. (doesn't that raise the question of how religion can be so wonderful when it causes so much strife?)† I recognize how fortunate I am that I don't have to deal with that.

Well, I guess that's changing, though, because it's getting harder and harder to avoid being slapped in the face by religion at every turn.† I do feel a lot of fear and extreme anger at the increasing influence of christianity in society at large.† What galls me most is that the idea of separation of church and state seems to have gone out the window.† It really pisses me off when christians say that this is a christian nation (they say "judeo-christian, but we know the judeo is really meaningless).† Uh, hello -- this country was originally colonized by people fleeing the state's imposition of a religion.† I say if people find comfort in god and religion, good for them.† If people want to spend all their free time studying the bible, torah, koran, whatever, go for it.† But really, I simply don't get why they feel the need to inject it into the lives of others.† I basically don't believe in god, although at heart I'm an agnostic because I don't rule anything out.† I do have one very certain belief about god, though -- if there is a god, she/he/it would NOT be happy at the way many people are using religion to impose their personal choices on others.†

Offline gboo

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2006, 10:05:35 AM »
Can anyone give some perspective on Brokeback Mountain?† For example, IMO neither Jack nor Ennis care much about religion, except they are from uneducated people and religion is part of their culture.† But don't forget the religion is made in the image of the believers, not the other way around, so Jack and Ennis seemed to have bigger problems with society's expectations, wrapped up in economics, lack of education and homophobia.

I'm not passionate about non-belief, I'm more disinterested like Jack or Ennis.† I see religion as a by product of culture.† So I'm curious what non-belief means to you in connection with Brokeback Mountain.

Actually, to the extent religion comes up in BBM, I think the movie tends toward a slightly negative view (which I found refreshing!).† It really jumped out at me when Ennis dismissed the idea of going to the church social by sneering, "that fire & brimstone crowd."† I thought it was a subtle, yet brave reminder that traditional religion can be offensive and threatening to gay people (and others who don't fit their idea of "normal and correct").† And when Jack said he didn't know what the pentecost was, even though his mother was such a strong believer in it, to me that signaled that Jack has no interest in religion.† And let's not forget that icky comment by the minister who performs the wedding of Ennis and Alma!† Not exactly a positive portrayal of a man of the cloth.

The non-religious or anti-religious aspects of the film are, as I said, quite subtle.† But how rare is it for the heros of a film to be portrayed in that light?† I really appreciate that Ang/Larry/Diana expected us to identify with and love Jack and Ennis, yet they made them explicitly non-god-fearing.† To me, it's another way they were unusually respectful of the intelligence and maturity of the audience.

Offline Doug2017

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2006, 11:14:10 AM »
Another non-believer here!† I wouldn't call myself an athiest, because frankly that takes a stronger statement of faith (or non-faith) than I'm willing to make.†

I sure understand, I used to be the same.  It was only when I was forced to confront my demons that I saw that being  a little believer is like being a little pregnant...  But you will have to find your own course, there are many many paths to the mountain top.  Some take the rocky shear cliff face, others the wondering gradual stream bed on the other side.  It is the journey that counts, not the destination.  If it is done in love, care and compassion then it is all wonderful. In my humble opinion.   

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I guess I have an unusual relationship with religion.† I've never had any major negative experiences surrounding it so I don't feel the fear, anger, etc. of many who did grow up in conflict with religion.† I have no interest in making religion a big part of my life, and I spend very little time thinking about it.† Yet because I'm fortunate enough to have escaped any religious trauma, when I am faced with it I don't have a problem with it (on a personal level, that is.† I have a huge problem with people who want to force their religion on society at large).†

There a many of a time I would give a major body organ to feel just this way...  I am so tired of the fight, but it goes on.  If you can not fix it, you have to stand it, is absolutely true.  And no, I do not think your relationship with religion is unusual, in fact, I would say that is the usual relationship with religion, which makes it hard to see why this is a big deal.  And maybe, just maybe it is not a big deal, maybe it just me who has this strong reaction to it.   I always have to wonder why 95% say they subscribe to religion, yet at least 65% do not actually believe what they subscribe to.   †

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My mom's family is Jewish (her grandparents were orthodox) and my dad's is episcopalian but my parents are basically athiests.† We went to Unitarian church when I was little, but it was mainly a way to socialize with other liberal families.† My family's attitude toward religion was very relaxed.† We celebrated (still do) all the major christian and jewish holidays, but it was all about tradition as opposed to the religious aspect of it.† To this day, I always have to remind myself what a big deal Easter is to christians, because to me it's about chocolate bunnies and jelly beans.† Same with christmas -- it's trees and presents to me.†

Exactly, the same here.  We celebrate the family for Christmas, have the tree, the great food, love and hugs all around. A celebration of winter.   Easter is a celebration of spring, with flowers, candy, little creatures and our families love.  We celebrate the Christian holidays as family holidays, and get togethers for friends. 

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One of my favorite stories about growing up concerns going shopping at Sears with my mother and my sister.† I was 6 and she was about 5 and we were looking at christmas tree decorations.† My sister went up to a creche set and asked what it was.† The saleswoman told her it was the scene of Jesus's birth and it was a christmas decoration.† My sister's comment: "that doesn't look very christmas-y to me!"† When I was about 14 we stopped having a tree altogether.† My dad is an architect and one year a contractor he worked with gave him a brick embossed with "Merry Christmas." So now every December my parents put it out on the mantel, and we have a laugh about our Christmas Brick!


LOL! Yes, that is a very nice tradition.  I agree with your sister, much of the religion around Christmas and especially around Easter does not seem to reflect what I am celebrating.  But then Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny are not religious either, now are they? 

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I have to say that as I've gotten older, I've felt a stronger identification with my Jewish heritage, but not in a religious sense -- more as a connection to my ancestry.† I think it stems largely from my involvement with Holocaust issues.† While I was in grad school I had a freelance job writing summaries of audiotaped interviews with Holocaust survivors -- my summaries were sent to various historical archives so researchers looking for interviews about certain camps or towns, etc. could find interviews that were relevant.† Also, I'm a lawyer and for three years I worked for the Justice Department office that denaturalizes and deports Nazi war criminals.† I guess if you asked me what religious I am, at this point I would say Jewish (I used to say none), although I never go to services, don't speak Hewbrew, don't believe in God and think the scriptures are just literature.† But I have to say -- when I meet another Jew I do feel a sense of kinship and identification.† And to be completely frank, I suppose I like it when I get to tell people I'm Jewish because it reminds them that not everyone is christian.

It is important to have roots.  I was listening to a conservative talk show the other day, and they was talking about how the holocaust never happened and it was just a Jewish scare story.  While I am not Jewish, I have read and have seen enough pictures to know that it actually happened.  If I remember correctly, was it not 5 million suspected gay people also put to death at that same time?  They with the pink triangle...  one does not ever hear much about them, the jewish gays...   I sorta of wished I had that feeling of kinship and identification, I am too butch for the gay illusion, yet too nelly for the cowboy illusion.  Yet, I was born and raised on a ranch have raised cattle and been around cattle all my life, even rode a horse in my younger days, but never liked the boots and hat.  The boots always hurt my feet and the hat was hot...  Sorry, rambling...

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I guess I'm just lucky that I grew up with a family that didn't shove religion down my throat.† And most of my friends and family have a similar attitude toward religion as I do, so I feel supported in my choices.† I really feel sorry for people who feel conflict with their families and their communities because of religion. (doesn't that raise the question of how religion can be so wonderful when it causes so much strife?)† I recognize how fortunate I am that I don't have to deal with that.


Yes, you are lucky.  I am lucky in that my family did not shove religion down my throat.  Religion is a non-subject here, but so is gay.  Ahh, you do see the contradiction, excellent.  That is the very question, how can religion be so wonderful when it causes so much pain and suffering, when wars can be justified by it.  When people can be marginalized by it.  When sacrifice of the individual can so easily be done with it.  I guess my mission is to maybe get people to see that even if they feel they are not being impacted, that they actually are.  We build walls of protection that we get so used to that we actually begin to believe they are normal, and just.  Just my humble opinion...

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Well, I guess that's changing, though, because it's getting harder and harder to avoid being slapped in the face by religion at every turn.† I do feel a lot of fear and extreme anger at the increasing influence of christianity in society at large.† What galls me most is that the idea of separation of church and state seems to have gone out the window.†


It does not gall me, it scares me to death...  Without separation of church and state, there is no brakes to the rising tide of fanaticism, and is this not why we have attacked other nations?  Without separation of church and state, there is nothing to stop them from being in our bedrooms with laws.  It is already happening, I watched a show on the Texas legislature where one religious nut put a law forward to make it a felony for a man's penis to touch an asshole. He kept quoting the bible as his justification.   His intent was to make it a felony for gay men, but a dem woman was grilling him that it should apply to men and women as well, and he agreed.  She was giving him a hard time about if the man and woman want anal sex that he would make it felony?  He said yes, even if it just accidently slipped...  Just how they was going to enforce this law was not discussed, did this law not justify cameras in everyone's bedroom?  It got watered down to a misdemeanor, but this law passed in Texas. That it was even discussed should make everyone scared, that it passed should make everyone absolutely scared to death.

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It really pisses me off when christians say that this is a christian nation (they say "judeo-christian, but we know the judeo is really meaningless).† Uh, hello -- this country was originally colonized by people fleeing the state's imposition of a religion.†

Exactly, and people forget that the religion we see today did not exist until Billy Graham started it.  Before that religion was more or less a private thing, even the founding fathers stated that religion was between the man and his god. But they have been busy rewriting history, and putting spin on it.  People do not know that In God We Trust did not exist on our money until 1954, Under god in the pledge was not there until 1957.  This nearly 200 years after the founding of this country, and yet to talk to most people they seem to think it was always there.  When I was in school it was "one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all."  Back then it was Eplurabus Unum "from many one".  I think if the founding fathers where here today they would be up in arms.

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I say if people find comfort in god and religion, good for them.† If people want to spend all their free time studying the bible, torah, koran, whatever, go for it.† But really, I simply don't get why they feel the need to inject it into the lives of others.†


Totally agree with you.  That brings up another thought that I just do not understand, if god is all powerful, all knowing, and all loving like we are told, then what need does he have for these self-appointed religious solders?  Why does he need anyone to spread the word, when he can just show the word as simply as a wave of the hand?  Surely he does not need Pat Robertson, Jerry Farwell, the God Hates Fags guy to help.  And such a god, why would he ever need hate and fear to bring us his love, when he could just have his love prove itself.  Anyway... that is just another contradiction...


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I basically don't believe in god, although at heart I'm an agnostic because I don't rule anything out.† I do have one very certain belief about god, though -- if there is a god, she/he/it would NOT be happy at the way many people are using religion to impose their personal choices on others.†

Yep, agree.  Do I agree that it is possible that a god is out there someplace, yes, I have to agree that such is true.  And if he would like to set down sometime and have a cup of coffee and have a long conversation, I would agree he exists, but he would have explaining to do before I would follow him.  Jesus would have to explain to me why I should be happy to dash little ones against the rocks, and why I should not question war. 

Of course this is all just my opinion and does not mount to a hill of beans, but thanks for letting me have a voice.

Doug
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Offline Doug2017

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2006, 11:33:12 AM »

Jack's suggestion that Ennis move to Texas seems fairly reasonable.

Yes, I will have to agree.  But I can see that Ennis would not want to give up what little contact he had left of his girls. Neither of these guys knew of gay communities.  I have thought it would be nice to live in such, but the sacrifices on freedom and rural life seem a hard exchange. 
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Offline Doug2017

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2006, 01:03:14 PM »
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In my case George Bush has caused me to have a knee jerk reaction against Christianity, although before he was president I saw Christians as mostly benign in modern times.† I still think the greatest antidote to religious war is freedom of religion - IMO the most profound idea ever, because it has come the closest to ending religious wars (if not religious prejudice).† Instead of responding to 9-11 attacks with hyped up Christianity, we should be responding with hyped-up freedom of religion (which also means freedom to have no religion).†

G Bush among others has caused the same knee jerk reaction, and that is what people see from me when certain buttons are pushed.  You are absolutely right that freedom of religion is one of the most profound ideas, and that it and separation of church and state, keep the religion in balance with reality.  Under the current administration we have seen the erosion of those two concepts to be replaced with religious intolerance and hatred headed for a talibon style of government if we do not put the brakes on this runaway.  My opinion. 

I also do not understand the debate on gay marriage.  It is always framed in "rights".  It is not about rights, it is about religious freedom.  It is very simple, if a man talks to his god and his god thinks it is a good idea, then he talks to his minister and he thinks it is a good idea and if his church is also for it. Then what business is it of Pat Roberson ilk? It is not like if Jake an Ennis get married down the street, it is going to end Bob and Doris's marriage.  Yet, the christian right would like everyone to think so.   They do not want religious freedom, they want only freedom of their interpretation of the bible.

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But my greatest interest in this thread is the non-believer's angle on Brokeback Mountain, which I think starts first with analyzing the story -- and then second, with analyzing the story's impact on our personal lives.†

Put up what you want to talk about and I am sure that most of us have an opinion, or least I usually do.  <grin>

The first scene with Aguirre, I did not see anything more than two kids who needed work, both somewhat shy, but Jack less so.  I did have a problem with Jack complaining about the job as he did.  Aguirre was up front with them as to their jobs, they should have not taken the job if they did not like the conditions of it.  But I also understand they needed the work, that point just bugged me a little. 

I know I would never have been as bold as Jack to take someones hand and put it between my legs, absolutely not if I was not sure he was gay in the first place.  Though I have to admit to having no gaydar at all, a talent I really wished I could acquire.  Given the reaction Ennis, I would have pulled away sorry that I had assumed so much.  I am not sure that I like the message sent by that action, it too similar to the message sent by many straight movies of her saying no, but we all know secretly she really wants it, how many rapes has that illusion lead to?  How many straight men are going to be horrified that gay men are out to get them?  And the sex was just way too rough for my tastes for a first encounter.  But, again, it is just a point, not a make or break thingo, and only my preferences... 

I really loved the second tent scene, where Ennis comes to Jack, and it is very tender and loving.  This is the love I was looking for, two consenting adults, having precious time together. 

I enjoyed that they was playing together when Aguirre saw them.  It looked like a lot of fun.  Relationships should have a lot of laughter in them, and fun in them.

The fight scene was interesting in only I did not really understand it's point.  It looked to me they where having fun until Ennis got mad, which is very common.  Teasing is the same, it is all fun until someone gets hurt.  But it was important to the end scenes, so that is understood.

The Ennis sick scene was confusing to me, why he was throwing up is a mystery.  If he was so saddened I would have thought he would have been crying uncontrollably instead. 

I really felt bad that both him and Jack felt it was necessary to cover by taking innocent wives.  And it had no other option be to be hard for all involved.  I know that a great many men take wives in the hope that they will somehow change them.  All it does is make them even more isolated from their own beings.   But that is true to reality, and if that was the point it came across clear.

Another thing true to reality is the bone crushing poverty these two was dealing with.  Jack was trapped by it and so was Ennis only in different ways. 

I had great hope that they would find a way to be together, but having been in these kind of places myself, I also know that is not necessary the outcome.  It would have been nice. 

Jacks death, Ennis in his room, to the end scene hurt me greatly.  It brought back a flood of memories, of pain, of loss, and hopelessness. Of cleaning out my own lovers closet, of going through his things, of struggling to say good bye.  And missing him so very terribly at times, Christmas his favorite time of year is especially hard.  I wanted so badly to hug Ennis and cry with him. Yes, the tears are flowing down my checks again... damn...   

Ok, I am back...  It was truly overwhelming for me, and I had to search out for some comfort.  Therefore, I ended here.  Only the living need comfort, I know that Jack is gone forever, never again will Ennis lay eyes upon him, or touch him, smell his being, or experience his consciousness.  Ennis must learn that loosing Jake is just as bad of death as the death he so fears for himself. Ennis must learn to trust others and find love and happiness where he can, there is no other option but overwhelming loneliness, waste of life, and love.  There is nothing to fear about death, it is simply non-existence of a conscious mind.

Hopefully I have given something to think about, but remember all is just my humble opinion.

Thanks for being here. 
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Offline Doug2017

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2006, 01:07:37 PM »

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Actually, to the extent religion comes up in BBM, I think the movie tends toward a slightly negative view (which I found refreshing!).† It really jumped out at me when Ennis dismissed the idea of going to the church social by sneering, "that fire & brimstone crowd."† I thought it was a subtle, yet brave reminder that traditional religion can be offensive and threatening to gay people (and others who don't fit their idea of "normal and correct").† And when Jack said he didn't know what the pentecost was, even though his mother was such a strong believer in it, to me that signaled that Jack has no interest in religion.† And let's not forget that icky comment by the minister who performs the wedding of Ennis and Alma!† Not exactly a positive portrayal of a man of the cloth.

The non-religious or anti-religious aspects of the film are, as I said, quite subtle.† But how rare is it for the heros of a film to be portrayed in that light?† I really appreciate that Ang/Larry/Diana expected us to identify with and love Jack and Ennis, yet they made them explicitly non-god-fearing.† To me, it's another way they were unusually respectful of the intelligence and maturity of the audience.

Very well said, and I agree totally.   I really think this was another part of why this movie hit me so very hard, I really could identify with the two characters. 

Welcome to thread! I look forward to seeing more of your terrific insight!
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sactopete

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Re: Non believers who love Brokeback Mountain
« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2006, 02:07:08 PM »
So you think the reason for homophobia in Wyoming and the rest of the US is only from the Bible?† IMO homophobia is more primitive than the bible or any religion, but religion is used to justify it.

No, I donít think religion is the only reason homophobia exists, but itís the first rationale that anyone reaches for.† If youíre trying to suggest that itís some genetic or primordial abhorrence, I wonít agree with you.† Other cultures and other times have been more accepting.†

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It seems Ennis' life was much more shaped by poverty and lack of education -- and his own ability to "stand it" rather than take risks (as Jack did) to "fix it."

And yet, ranches exist all over America.† Ennis could have gotten a job as a ranch hand on a cattle or sheep ranch in Sonoma county less than an hourís drive from the Golden Gate Bridge if he wanted to.† The contradiction is shown by the illiterate, little or no English Basque hands who come half way around the planet from Spain to tend sheep in Wyoming, while Ennis canít drive the 200 miles to Denver or Fort Collins to escape into a new and better life.† He is absolutely bound and gagged by fear.

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But my greatest interest in this thread is the non-believer's angle on Brokeback Mountain, which I think starts first with analyzing the story -- and then second, with analyzing the story's impact on our personal lives.†

So Gboo has started a skepticís analysis of the movie.† What are your thoughts?