A married Christian man struggles with homosexual desires

In my inbox this morning, I found the following letter:

Hi John,

I’m am married man with kids who my whole life has lived with homosexual tendencies. Scared and still am for most of my life of someone finding out. I have hidden it, and no one in my straight life knows of this side of me.

I don’t understand why I was born with this—and yes, I feel it is something you are born with, and not something you can get rid of if you want. I’m not sure why I’m emailing you with this, except for the fact that I could use prayer! I can’t tell you the number of times I have cried in desperation to be rid of this, but for whatever reason it is here in my life. I have acted on the tendencies in the past a few times, and fallen to my knees afterward.

I have heard that if those who are like me would just trust Christ, he will take it away. I have reflected on this, and I think it’s not that I don’t trust Christ, but that I don’t trust myself to turn it over. I have read my Bible more, and prayed more to be straight. I don’t feel that I have the strength to let it go. I don’t think it would magically go away, although I wish it would. I think what my desire would be is to find healing, find an accountability partner, and someday even be someone who could counsel those who suffer from.

It’s so hard doing this alone, and it’s not like I can walk up to someone at church and say, “Hi, I struggle with homosexual tendencies, and I would love prayer.” I fear I would be thrown out of the church, let alone what it would do to my family. My world is straight. I have served on the church board, sang in the worship team, worked with the youth. I don’t know what I would call myself, except a follower of Christ who has scars and has tried to do it alone for too long.

By you posting this I think it has given me the courage to at least tell this to you, although it’s anonymous. I had to do this, if for nothing else to say I’m gaining the strength to someday accept who I am, and it doesn’t mean I’m any less loved by Christ. I’m not sure if I’m rambling or making sense. It is challenging to write of this, as this is the first time I have faced it in this manner.

Thanks for being used by God!

Thanks for listening.

Dear guy who wrote me the above:

What a beautiful and terribly sad letter. Thank you for it.

Right off I want to say what I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of times—especially lately—and that I hope you actually hear, which is that being gay is not a sin. It’s not, it’s not, it’s not, and anyone who tells you that it is wouldn’t know the Bible from a phone book. (To watch a lot of Christians—straight, gay, and every which way—testify about this, visit The Not All Like That (NALT) Christians Project.)

If I might say real quick: you must share this struggle with your wife. You can lie to the church; you can lie to your friends; you can lie to your parents; you can even (for a while) lie to your children. But don’t lie to your wife. She deserves to know what you’re going through—and you deserve for her to know. By not sharing this with her you are (for lack of a gentler way of putting it) tricking her into living a lie. Doing that is infinitely worse than anything you could ever do relative to your being gay.

Tell her, buddy. She might surprise you. She might have a few secrets of her own she’d love to get off her chest. You never know. But you do know that if, by way of protecting yourself, you continue to allow the person who has entrusted you with her life to believe that she’s living one life while in fact she’s living another, you will go to your grave burning with the regret of having caused and perpetrated that tragedy.

Don’t do that to yourself. Don’t do it to her. However long you’ve been keeping this from her is long enough. Share! She’s your wife; your partner; your mate. She’s your friend. If she loves you, she’ll want above all to be part of everything you go through. If she doesn’t love you—or if she freaks out and decides she doesn’t once you’ve told her about this—then, yes, you’ll have to deal with that pain and trauma. But at least all your cards will be on the table. At least you’ll then be playing an honest game.

Remember what Christ said: The truth will set you free. If you believe anything Christ ever said, believe that.

Love to you, brother. I wish you didn’t have to go through this. I wish nobody ever did. And by sharing this testimony as you have, you have helped to bring about the time that no one ever will.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • http://chrisandevie.com Jonesy

    Everyone struggles with sin. I don't have desires for other men, but other women. Regardless, It is sinful to involve myself in physical intimacy with anyone other than my wife – male or female. I think that this is how God sees it too. Sin is sin – we all struggle with different things. I cannot imagine being addicted to gambling… it doesn't make any sense to me, but it legitimately happens, I believe. I need to be as understanding and loving as possible to help my brothers and sisters in these issues, right?

    That said, Sin has consequences, and certain sins come with more severe (socially, spiritually, emotionally, physically … etc.) consequences than others. Regardless, sin is man's fault, not God's.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Oh, great. We're starting off with this ….

      Just know (as I'm sure you do know), Mr. Letter Writer, that lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of Christians don't think God thinks that being gay is any more of a sin than is having red hair or big feet. (Okay, let's just cut the Bozo in Hell jokes right now, shall we?)

      • http://chrisandevie.com Jonesy

        Thanks for carefully reading, and the awesome middle finger.

      • http://chrisandevie.com Jonesy

        I don't know any bozo in hell jokes.

        • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

          Okay, that's it. I am now officially going to be unable to die happily unless before then I have held here on my blog a "Bozo in Hell" joke contest. Stay tuned.

          • http://chrisandevie.com Jonesy

            *noted. I will keep my eye on the feed for said contest, and do my darndest to win. Apparently, I make them without trying – It may be a spiritual gift.

      • Reading God’s Word Literally

        I’m confused–what part of the Bible says that homosexuality isn’t sin? Was it the part in Sodom and Gomorrah or Romans 1:18-28 that confused you?

        *This has nothing to do with homeboy’s letter, but John Shore’s doctrine! kthxpeacenluv4realztho. p.s. Jesus saves!!

        • VigilantAgainstH8

          Unless you’re keeping all the the strictures in the Levitical code, you might want to check out that plank in your eye.
          “The part in Sodom and Gomorrah” where Lot offered his daughters to be raped? The part where the LORD declared that he would destroy the cities of the plain BECAUSE there were not ten righteous men to be found there (bargained down to that 10 from 50 by Lot)?
          As to the long passage from Romans, this requires a very long explication. You’ll find it at:
          http://www.homosexualeunuchsandthebible.com/id6.html
          Happy exegitical explorations.
          You’re right . . . JESUS saves. Not Paul. Nor any other man.

    • Argy-bargy

      I add my voice to that chorus, Letter Writer. I do not believe that God considers being gay a sin. I hope and pray that His Church can move away from this pernicious belief that has caused untold (although it is beginning to be told) suffering to millions. Yes, millions. You are not alone. Many have posted on this blog and are clearly children of God convicted in their faith. In the same faith you have. And you are not a sinner because of this. We all sin, but I don't believe this is one you have to worry about. God bless you. You are walking what seems like a lonely road. But you are not alone.

    • Tim

      Was your response misunderstood? I didn't read that you were calling homosexuality sin. I read that you were calling the man's extramarital sexual liaisons as sin. Was I wrong?

      • Ace

        I don't think so; that is also how I read it.

      • http://chrisandevie.com Jonesy

        TOTALLY was not calling him a sinner for being “gay” or having “gay” tendencies… I was calling him a sinner for being HUMAN. F*ck me, this is a human condition – dealing with all this sin crap in any of its shitty forms.

  • DeeDee

    find a PFLAG group. Go! Share your story. Please be honest with your wife. Please be honest with yourself.

  • JAy.

    I agree with John's advice – for a marriage to be strong, honesty is paramount. Your wife deserves to know how you feel, and if she is a loving woman, she will help, not hurt, you.

    After that, my comment is that perhaps you are praying the wrong thing. You say that you have been praying to be "healed" or changed. I would suggest praying instead for peace, wisdom, and strength. Yes, you have a struggle that you are living with. There is no getting around that. But by praying and taking the time to hear God's response, God will provide a way.

    The most important thing you wrote in your e-mail is that you are not any less loved by Christ. That must be the central focus in your mind as you continue to learn to live with these tendencies. God does love you. With that truth, you are well prepared for whatever path you pass through.

    Finally, I would definitely suggest you find support. I understand your concerns about your church. I can only imagine how hurtful and destructive the response would be from much of the congregation with whom I worship. But I also know that there are people in my congregation who would be supportive, prayerful, and conscientious of your desire/need for privacy. Seek out those people. And if you can't find that in your church, seek elsewhere. Ask your Pastor if there is a Christian counselor with whom you can talk. I promise you that there are people in your community who desire to be supportive and not destructive.

    Finally, be assured that we all have tendencies which we do not like. I am pulled constantly to unhealthy and sinful actions. I too have prayed to be healed. What I have found is that "healing" doesn't really happen, but strength can. And honest, open relationships help me to maintain that strength.

    I pray that you find the peace, strength, and support that you desire and need.

    In His Love,

    JAy.

  • http://nametagsandhairnets.blogspot.com stephanie

    I wish I had good perfect answer for this person, but I'm at a loss. I have a friend, who's not married, but is a "straight" christian man who has struggled with homosexual tendencies. I know that he hasn't come to a clear solution to all of this, but I do know that he was able to find a few GOOD friends that have been able to support him as he figures it all out. And it's made all the difference for him b/c it's no longer a burden he carries alone. So I think John is absolutely right, share this with your wife and come what may. I understand your reservations obviously about sharing this with the whole world especially given the judgmental climate of many churches, but consider sharing this with her at the very least.

    "it’s not like I can walk up to someone at church and say, “Hi, I struggle with homosexual tendencies, and I would love prayer.”

    it's heartbreaking that this is true in a lot of places–a person should be able to come into a church and ask for prayer for any range of issues and be welcomed with prayer instead of judgment.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Amen to that.

    • VigilantAgainstH8

      Can we just get beyond the gay/straight paradigm? There are a lot of conflicted bisexuals who might be best just accepting their dual natures instead of feeling compelled to “be one or the other.”

  • Kara

    To the letter-writer:

    I echo John's advice. Please tell your wife. She is half of your marriage, and her feelings will be very important in the days ahead, no matter what happens.

    As to praying to become straight: I've been there. Oh, how I've been there. The difficult truth is, it's not about our willingness to let it go. It's just not something you can pray away. Time may help you accept this as part of your identity; one facet among many. Father, husband, Christian, LGBT individual.

    You're the same person you've always been. Work to be a wonderful father and a caring, considerate husband. This will probably be extremely difficult for your wife, if you do choose to tell her. I would suggest that you consider couple's therapy with an LGBT friendly counselor who can help you two deal with this together.

    I'm so sorry that you're having to go through this, but please know that there are others out there going through similar struggles. Please know that God loves you just the same, straight or not.

    I'll be praying for you.

    Kara (A fellow LGBT Christian)

    • http://www.barnmaven.com Barnmaven

      Kara, you are so full of wisdom and grace. What a beautiful response.

    • Meganmaloney18

      You are right about telling his wife. Why would he tell her if this is a thing he won’t possibly throw away in some bin sometime in the future? Why decide to live under suspicion the rest of one’s marriage life? I magine that woman beeing suspicious each time her hubby goes out with friends. What a meaningless life to subject to oneself in the name of ‘honesty’. Just keep in to yourself and your God. After all, who is totally free? Doesn’t the Bible say it all? Aren’t the patriarchs even of the New Testament church like Paul indicted too? (Read Rom 7). I know keeping oneself totally surrendered to God is the soln to any condition. God will keep you wrapped in His love and keep you moving on without any condemantion.

  • http://whatsleftinthechurch.blogspot.com Geoffrey

    My heart was breaking as I read this letter. Advice is so cheap, and easy for the one offering it.

    First, there is nothing wrong with you that Christ needs to "fix", except, perhaps, your attitude about your own desires. Love is not wrong. God loves you as you are, because God created you as the person you are. It is the rest of us, including folks in Christian churches, who mess this up by insisting that something is wrong with you.

    While I know it would probably be the hardest thing you have ever done, I would agree with John. Talk to your wife about it. Pray beforehand. Pray together during. Pray after. Pray silently all the while you are talking and listening.

    I will end this by saying that I will keep you, your family, and your relationship with your wife, and your relationship with God and your Church in my prayers. It is horrible that we have created a situation where an individual cannot just live as God intended, because we are so afraid of people being different. You are loved, man, and cherished as a child of God. Please return and let us know how things go.

  • nancy

    my mother was married to a gay man. It was traumatic for her to find out, but she understood that it was not a choice. To her credit, she taught us to love people as they are– and that trying to be what you are not is the dishonest part. She believed until she died that Christians must love all believers- not just those who live lives that meet an artificial perfection.

    Tell your wife, and love yourself. You are both God's children, and hating yourself was never part of God's instructions.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      I have a good friend who was married for 27 years, and finally came out to his wife. He had expected the absolute worst; instead, she reacted with love and acceptance. They separated, of course—he wasn't questioning whether he was gay; he knew he was, and that it was finally time he started living as such—but they've remained intensely close. Both agree that their relationship has only deepened since he was finally honest with her (and himself) about who he really is. He was, and remains, Christian.

  • Derek

    I think that most of the advice you have been given so far is great, and I would add this to the mix; Don't let this separate you from God. I came out in college, and as I accepted my orientation I gradually pulled away from my church. Not because the church was demonstrably anti gay in any way, but because I (falsely perhaps?) assumed that they would be. I stayed away for almost 30 years. Your journey may be difficult, but being honest with yourself and accepting the way God made you (whether you eventually decide you are gay or not) will ultimately bring you peace. If you ultimately find that your church is not supportive or affirming of your reality, don't make the mistake in thinking that God shares that view. Keep your closeness to God throughout your journey, and if you ultimately need to look for a different kind of Christian community, so be it. I do pray that you find peace and that you and your family get through this with God's help.

  • Marie

    Whether either of you realize it immediately or not, you honor your wife by sharing this with her – and only her – first.

    Imagine if she were the second person to find out, it would be no different than being the last to find out. Honor her with this thing that is so sensitive and intimate and so very much a part of you. Let her be there for you first, before anyone else. Trust her. Regardless of her reaction, honor her with this. If she has been your rock of Gibraltar so far on your journey together, you will be blessed to have her by your side for this new journey. And she will be there if she already has been.

    Just as YOU would for be for HER.

    You are in my thoughts and I send you my strength, my love and all my best intentions. Peace to you.

  • John O.

    Dear Mr. Letter Writer,

    I have a deep and abiding faith in God.

    And I am gay.

    A great spiritual mentor of mine taught me that every prayer is answered.

    And sometimes the answer is "No."

    You have prayed to be changed and that has not happened — God created you with these desires and perhaps they are not a curse, burden or test… perhaps they are a gift.

    If the greatest work any of us can do is to take our personal fears and pain and find a way to use those things to better understand the struggles of others, to grow in empathy and compassion, and to then help our fellows who struggle as well, perhaps this gift is a calling.

    You can be an example of a christian man, a loving father, an active participant in your church and community, who has looked within and discovered that you were born this way and that the voices who have told you that it was a sin, that it was an abomination, are mistaken.

    From where you sit today, that journey seems impossible. And on your own, it might be. But a journey like that is never taken alone. With your faith, with God, it IS a path you can travel. It can start with the small (but terrifying, I'm sure) steps of beginning to be honest with others — your wife, a therapist, other people of faith — listen to the part of you that knows you are a child of God, and well loved by Him. Look for the Love of God in your world, not the fear of sin, and a way will be revealed.

    There is joy in faith. And there is a joy in the freedom which comes from being honest with who and what we are.

    You have tried to do it your way — struggling to be something you're not. Now try it God's way, and embrace who you were created to be.

    You are a hero for beginning this journey — starting such a thing takes real courage — and the fact that you are writing and talking about this — even anonymously — is a genuine start, and a testament to the part of you which seeks to live in the light.

    Remember, you are not alone.

    I will keep you in my prayers.

    • RPool

      Answers to the question, ‘Is homosexual sex’ a sin is clearly answered in God’s word. Unless God has issued a retraction of which I am unaware, homosexual sin is mentioned repeatedly and synonymously with fornication, adultery, idolatry and other sins. Under what authority does anyone dispute that?

      • Anonymous

        Under the authority of the compassion insisted upon by Jesus himself, that’s what.

      • Anonymous

        You say that homosexual sex is a sin, then say that homosexual sin is repeated throughout the Bible. If sex were out of the picture, would homosexuality be a sin? It’s not a verb…and sin requires an action. In YOUR book, is someone sinning just because they were born a homosexual?

        And, when you say that “homosexual sin” is synonymous with fornication, adultery, idolatry and other sins, on what authority do you have it that those sins are not associated with heterosexuals?

        Let me just say this, if you’d like to stick to your statement of synonyms, then you might as well say homosexual sin is synonymous with heterosexual sin. The actions of sin you mentioned are by no means exclusive to gay people.

        Lovely that only one day after celebrating Christ’s birth, you pass out statements of judgement, and do so in a conveniently superior manner.

  • DonP

    The Scriptures seem clear enough to me. Homosexual acts are sin. Varying degrees and frequency of attraction to the same gender is probably more common than most would personally admit. At least once in our life, if not often, for most of us is probably the norm. I personally believe that while Jesus was very clear about even the thought of lust is sin, I believe that it is more how we come through (deal with) the temptation than the temptation itself. Because sexual attraction runs so deep into our psychological being and runs it's tentacles through almost every aspect of our life, homosexuality (read sexuality) may be in a class of it's own. I do not believe that you woke up one morning ad decided you were going to be gay. It is rooted deeper and placed in our hearts at a much earlier time than our ability to choose is. I am not wise enough to have all the answers but this I know: You must meld these five things in your life as best you can to bring peace to your heart. 1) Live honestly 2) Bring harm to no-one. 3) To thine own self be true. 4) Honor your commitments and as much as is allowed, as much as follows; Be husband, be father, be child of God.

    I have been privy to more than my share of groups that claim to be able to heal such things. It has been my experience that one of two most often occurs: These individuals at some point return to their former life or mature in such a way as to bring acceptance and control to their own life. God loves you JB. Look around. He made all of this……..just for you. Don't waste it on deception and heartache.

  • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

    Dear letter writer,

    I'm awfully glad you have people here who like John O who can indeed confirm for you, this will get better.

    There's something about keeping secrets that keeps us so isolated. And the things we're hiding act like oceans, keeping us from one another. But when we reveal it to even one person (which sounds like we're all voting is your wife), the oceans – regardless of her reactions – turn into lakes. Then rivers that connect us to one another and to Jesus instead of dividing us and keep us alone.

    It's so terrifying to start crossing that ocean by telling your first secret. I think of that beautiful passage in 1 John that talks about deception and how it keeps us from unity and intimacy with one another and ourselves.

    For me, I don't really care what secrets you're carrying. I don't care that you might be gay. I'm just writing to tell you that I've had secrets too. They suck energy and life out of life, they are distorted in darkness and telling one person is the first step in turning the ocean into a river. Because that's all that any secret is, it's just a part of you that you don't understand, you're afraid of, it's vulnerable which means it holds a ton of meaning. And I think you're wise to let select people inside.

    • Marie

      Beautiful, DR. ♥

    • Air1JB

      DR… that was some good stuff.

  • Robert Meek

    You need to read "Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America" by the Rev. Mel White.

    http://astore.amazon.com/gaychristianb-20/detail/

    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Stranger-at-the-

    He was a Pentecostal married minister who struggled, with his wife's support, until they both realized that this was whom God had made him to be, and jointly, lovingly dissolved their marriage.

    She wrote the forward in his book, and it is heartfelt and loving. She says, of his critics, that she of all people knows best how he struggled in earnest for God to delivery him from this, and watched him in agony, for years. She is very, rightly so, critical of those who would dare say if he had meant it God would have done it – delivered him.

    http://www.melwhite.org/

    http://www.soulforce.org/article/stranger-gate-ga

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel_White

  • Mindy

    Oh, Letter Writer, you are so not alone. You are wandering through your life in skin that doesn't fit – and honesty will be that first alteration toward your tailor-made self. I'm with John and others – tell your wife. It will knock the wind out of her sails, probably, and her reaction could be any number of things – but she deserves to know. And you deserve for her to know; as DR said, living with secrets is no way to live. You've felt the guilt of acting on your desires, but I would imagine the guilt was more about having *been* unfaithful than *how* you were unfaithful, yes?

    You've struggled for a long time – can you imagine your life without the secrecy? Not that your life will necessarily be all that different – how you proceed will be up to you. If you are a bisexual man and you are in love with your wife and want to stay married to her, perhaps the honesty is all you need to feel whole. If you can have an honest relationship with her – if you can help her accept the entirety of who you are, that might be enough. It might not, of course. It might not be something she can live with. It might be that while you are being honest, you have to admit that you cannot stay married. But those pieces will fall into place later, after you take that leap of faith into being true to yourself, with the one who loves you most. The other decisions will come.

    You have to start somewhere – and you did, with your letter to JB and now sharing it here. You are finding your path. Stay true to yourself. Be gentle with your wife. And lean on your faith, knowing that you are the same man you've always been – a real, complex, WONDERFUL human being. I wish you strength and love and humor on your journey to peace.

  • Air1JB

    I want to make sure that you all know, how extremely grateful I am for being so kind to my new friend. I'm touched that he would send me an email about his struggles. I knew that John, and a majority of the readers of his blog, would treat him with the utmost respect and care. I told the "letter writer" that he would receive love, prayer, and suggestion.. from BOTH sides of aisle. And he has.

    Thanks.

  • tavdy79

    I think the first thing you need to do is pray and meditate. And I don't mean a quick five minutes on the couch either: get yourself away from everyone – friends and family alike – for a few days silence with God. A good idea (if it's your thing) would be to go camping on your own for a weekend somewhere with as few people about as possible.

    While you're praying and meditating, keep an open mind for whatever God tells you. Avoid any and all assumptions, instead seeking for and relying on God's direct guidance. If you feel led to do so, fast; it is very effective for focussing the mind, especially after the first 36 hours. Keep your Bible with you, but use it primarily for reference: if God wants you to read a passage, you will be led to it.

  • Gina

    John and Anonymous Writer –

    THANK YOU for sharing this, and for opening up the door to your soul. It is very difficult, especially for Christians, to admit they're something that is so condemned in most churches. While other "sins" are readily accepted in the church that have negative connotations in the Bible (divorce, sex before marriage, gluttony/being overweight, working on Sunday), this area is one that many Christians claim the blood of Jesus just can't penetrate……..how do I know this? Well, I was married for 16 years, have three children, and hid the same fact that I was attracted to other women. When I realized this, and "came clean" to my husband and close friends, I also lost my Christian job. I am now divorced, have been with my wife for nearly 8 years, attend church regularly, and feel whole. AND I still am friends with my ex-husband (although, admittedly, I should have accepted my homosexuality before I dragged him through this…….but like you might admit, I was running from the urges and thought I could pray my way to be straight…….)

    ANYWAY

    I am not sharing the fact that I lost my job to scare you, Anonymous Writer. I am validating your concerns. But that's not the whole story…….

    While I lost my job and lost many of my Christian friends, the Lord has NOT left me, He has NOT forsaken me. I have been blessed to be able to live in the open – to be who I am. I have been blessed in a church that accepts me, have been loved by new friends, and in the process have drawn closer to the Lord (who I now realize does NOT hate me because I am homosexual). There IS hope, although I agree with John – you DO have to cross some scary paths and confide in at least your wife. Otherwise, your truth – the sharing of your feelings – really only can be defined by you and you can decide who you will tell…….

    I am rambling. I really just want to say Jesus DOES love you. I don't believe homosexuality is a sin, but know that my hetero Christian friends often don't see things like I do. I have found great comfort is education, and highly recommend checking out prideinthetruth.com or http://www.gaychristian.net for support and info. And know there are others like you who have been where you are and have survived. I understand on many levels what you describe.

  • Psuedonym

    Hello Mr. Letter Writer,

    I was married for 13 years, have three children, and am gay. Everyone in our shoes must weigh the benefits and negatives of remaining married. Only you and your wife can determine your next steps. If you feel very strongly that you want to remain married, then it is possible, but only with honesty and lots of support. I found a lot of support at http://www.gaychristian.net You will find a forum there for people in M.O.M.s (Mixed Orientation Marriages). Many of them are divorced or divorcing, but some of them are trying to make their marriages work. Don't feel alone in your struggle. There is a host of people that understand, from experience, what you are going through.

    I will not lie—the process of telling my wife, children, and parents was very, very difficult. Once you tell your wife, be prepared for a roller coaster of emotions on her part and yours. In some cases, wives are very accepting and understanding. Her views of homosexuality will be a great factor in how she comes to accept your news. My ex-wife still believes that I chose to embrace homosexuality and forsake my straight life. However, for the sake of our children, she is kind to me. Having children really does complicate the whole situation. I completely know the heartache you're experiencing and the fears you may have. I don't want to paint a rosy picture by saying this, but even though it was hard as hell to come out and begin a new life as a gay man, I feel that I am better person since I am able to live authentically without hiding.

    You're in my prayers. :-)

  • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

    I have no specific advice for you, Letter writer, other than to tell you to trust your heart because you know your situation the best.

    That said and unlike others, I don't know if telling your wife is the best move right now because you have kids, and in my opinion I always favour what's in the kids' best interests (welfare) first and foremost. That's what parents owe their children. If you think telling your wife will throw the family into chaos with a good chance of separation and/or divorce, then I think that's not in the kids' best interests.

    You went into this marriage with these feelings unexpressed. You chose to have children with these feelings unexpressed. The reasons don't matter. Because these kids are your primary concern and their welfare paramount because they are dependent, you have to decide if your coming out will continue to provide these kids with a stable and loving home life. In other words, be careful about being selfish (no matter how justified it may be) if it at the expense of others who must live through the fallout at this time.

    I understand where people are coming from about spousal honesty and honesty with yourself, but it seems this has been a secondary concern for you until now. Only you have a good handle of how things might play out if you bring these feelings forward and into the open. From where I sit, suppressing your own inclinations while the kids are being raised seems to me to be the responsible and mature decision. Once they are adult enough will be the right time to indulge what is your best interest.

    I know that sounds harsh, but you have brought yourself to this place at this time. Continuing it for a few more years for the sake of your children seems to be a small price to pay for creating this situation.

    (I just know I'm in for it now. These other commentators are not shy about expressing their opinions)

    • Gina

      Hello!

      You give GREAT advice and I know from your writing that the sentiments are for the good for all. I have no problem with your comments…..

      But I want to just add – being HONEST about things doesn't necessarily equate to destroying the children's lives. My children were 17, 12, and 7 when I came out. While "coming out" was very different for each as they were obviously at different maturity levels, doing so did not harm them. Also know that my divorce, which occurred four years previously, was harder on them, but they survived that too. And I am not blowing smoke – they were offered and received professional help during both seasons and their individual therapists gave them flying colors. And if you spoke to any of them they'd tell you themselves that they have seen me grow in the Lord (as they have) and that this piece of me (which always existed) is not that big of a deal. I am still their Mom, I am still a very involved Christian, but now I am happy and authentic.

      I am not saying that Letter Writer should come out, divorce, or anything like that. And again, I know your advice was from the heart. But also know that coming out is not necessarily "selfish" or "bad". Just sharing from my own paradigm of reality……..

      • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

        It's not the parental sexuality that I'm concerned about, Gina… it's the break-up of the family. That's why I defer to the Letter Writer to trust his heart in the matter about whether or not such a conversation with his spouse would lead to its dissolution and, if so, not be honest at this time. I'm just disappointed that the Letter Writer wasn't honest – or felt he could not be honest – from the get go. As John writes repeatedly, the truth will set you free, and being truthful is a pretty solid foundation for a lasting and solid relationship whereas changing the fundamentals of a relationship after a good chunk of life has passed is usually pretty disruptive. So it's not the coming out (or whatever the right term might be) that is selfish; it's the timing.

        If your kids are like most, I'm sure they want you to be happy a lot more than they care about the sexual relation with whomever you find that happiness. In my experience, people generally underestimate children's straightforwardness and honest caring and willingness to sacrifice on behalf of their parents of children and far too often fail to have the intestinal fortitude to be equally so in return.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

      When the kids are little, this kind of thing is devastating. You loving those little ones is a very good thing.

    • Mindy

      Tildeb, I'm not going to criticize you at all – actually, I agree with you completely – in theory. You're right in that selfishness is NOT a good reason to proceed. When one brings kids into the world, or into a family, one damn well better put their best interests first. Not doing so would definitely be selfish.

      BUT – I have this feeling that Letter Writer has reached a new point in his search for self, hence the seeking he seems to have begun. What has changed? Why now? We don't know those answers, obviously, but they need to be considered as he decides how to proceed. While upheaval might be a difficult for them, we don't know that the marriage is going to end, so a rough patch might well be worth having a whole parent down the road. A miserable parent is not an effective parent. And even if the marriage ends in divorce, it is not the end of the world. Not knowing how old the kids are, how long the marriage has lasted thus far, how strong the marriage is otherwise, etc. etc., it is impossible to predict what will happen.

      And having not gone through something this like this, I can't say. I have gone through divorce, though, and while it was very hard on our kids at first, we stayed committed to putting their needs first, and I think they are both just fine. Just because something is difficult doesn't mean that it is the end of the world, but you are so right that those kids' needs need to be right at the top as he considers how to proceed.

      • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

        You're right as usual, Mindy. Our info is sketchy at best and this raises the greatest danger about giving advice: people sometimes follow it.

        • Mindy

          LOL – that is a scary thought, isn't it?!

          Noooo, I was just sayin' . . . I didn't really think you were actually LISTENING to me!!!!

          There have definitely been times when I so wished I'd just kept my mouth shut . . . !

    • Mel

      Although I disagree with you about not telling his wife, I totally see what you're saying with regards to his kids coming first. I think it's funny that you said you're "in for it now". He wanted to hear all opinions, and that's why he sent his e-mail to John, there's nothing wrong with you having a different opinion. To me, I guess, telling his wife wouldn't be "coming out". I think he should tell her he's struggling with something, but with just the information he's given, I don't think he's actually gay. That's my opinion, and I could be wrong, but that's what I'm getting from his e-mail. I think that if he can't be open with his wife about something he's struggling with, he's just going to feel worse and worse, and the problem isn't going to get resolved. But, I agree that his kids should be kept out of it. If he confides in his wife, I think he should make it clear that the kids come first. So, their emotional baggage that will come with this can be dealt with in private, or once the kids are older.

      • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

        I agree, Mel, that this letter is very much about the Letter Writer. Sometimes it's really hard to not to do what you think you ought to do, and sometimes its exactly the right thing. We have no way of knowing so I just wanted to express my concern about putting the needs of dependent children first.

    • Tim

      Sometimes honesty isn't the best policy..at least not before the cost is counted. Agree with Gina. I've always thought it was foolish for spouses to be so utterly and completely transparent about their feelings, transient desires and lusts for something or someone "other" than the spouse they committed to. Let's face it…especially with men, the eye wanders, scans, projects fantasy, thoughts are not easily taken captive. Instead, they hold us hostage. If I was to go to my spouse (however I'm now divorced) wringing my hands over the guilt of this unclean fantasy, or that unconfessed obsessive lusting, I would be breaking her heart over and over. Some things are best left unsaid to people, but confessed and repented of before God.

      I would first tell this letter writer that I will pray for him and his family. That no matter how entrenched in sin you may see yourself, there is no depth we can descend that the love of Christ cannot reach beyond. Personally, I believe that God can help make this man's marriage work and keep his family intact. I don't recall where you stand in a relationship with Christ, tildeb's, but even from a non-religious pov, I think when we live putting others first, it's hard to eff up. The tendency to insist that we have to live a "gotta be me" sort of life, we tend to make self-driven choices. I wondered if you agree?

      • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

        Well, Tim, I tend to look at responsible behaviour as my primary concern, and we have many responsibilities – to ourselves, others, to the choices we make and effects they have, the space we inhabit, the duties we accept, the tasks we commit to, and so on. And through it all runs the notion of finding balance while being compassionate yet honest. I guess the mantra I practice is "Say what you mean, mean what you say, and do what you say you're going to do." Why is this such tough advice to implement for so many grown-ups? Putting others first is often commendable but sometimes it isn't the right thing to do. Knowing the difference is a small bit of wisdom and there's no shortcut to really understand it. We just have to keep practicing and do the best we can. And that's the thing about life being a pretty strict teacher: it gives you the punishment first and then you have to figure out the lesson.

        Just as an aside, I really wish Jesus had been quoted as saying, "Don't marry anyone under the age of 30 or someone who hasn't already gone through a divorce." The resulting marriages by autonomous yet experienced individuals under these constraints I think would be so much stronger and stable and a great stable base upon which to raise a family.

        As for my relationship with Christ, I'll quote my friend Cap'n Jack, "I takes whatever wisdoms I can finds." I think Jesus was a revolutionary who was smart enough to aim his message at winning support from women… a chronically under-served segment of the religious population in my view. That's how his central message spread in spite of Paul's attempt to coral it to reflect his views using Jesus' name. But once the boys took back the message and repackaged it as 'catholic' (universal), I'm not surprised the selected readings reflected a male-dominated misogynistic but deeply conflicted theology. That's SO an accurate reflection of men with two brains trying to suppress one of them, eh? (Why do I suppose Matthew will show up soon to set me straight?)

        As for this 'gotta-be-me' sort of me-first life, it's extraordinarily immature. Again, the wisdom that informs why it is so comes in this case from my father, who thought saying anything twice made it doubly deep, repeated this gem in my direction at every opportunity and with a fair bit of exasperation: "Do what needs to be done first, and then play." I blame his agrarian upbringing for the context of this pearl. And yes, it came back into my mind after I turned 30, after a long weekend spent playing 40 rubbers of bridge for money (okay, the bet was for a dollar that my partner and I would win what started off as 10 straight rubbers to prove there was no 'luck' involved in the game but skill… which then became 20, which then became 30 and then 40 as we ran out time and beer and collected our dollar). I then rushed back to town, wrote an exam, and received a failing grade for my effort which I had worked in the tobacco fields the previous summer to pay for. Then I remembered his advice. At least taking a course a second time after failing it the first time really does make it doubly deep!

      • Meganmaloney18

        This is maturity, Tim! Thanks. We have to face our wars, especially those that we we’ve lived into for sometime and broken some bridges along the way while keeping the strange fire ablaze. It’s about others, not even ourselves. If we care so much about ourselves, why can’t we do anything about it then? When someone has failed to stop feelings that are beyond understanding, whyy should they make it eveyone’s business? Why should they separate or divorce–creating a mess then leaving it to the wild? We must take responsibility of our actions and tendencies and to do this is to face them and swallow them whole, without dishing a share to other innocent people around us.

    • Meganmaloney18

      True, Tildeb. A big % of those confessions to members of family ended up in separation or divorce. I don’t see any love in separation or divorce for that matter. It is so painful. Then putting kids into the whole thing again, those innocent souls that should now lack a dad and know all along that he went because he has feelings for other men?

      Let them grow up and give them love. Be a dad and husband to their mom. Live a life war because this is what we’re all born into-constant fight against flesh. When they are of age, may be after college, dad can now call them and divulge the lifelong sacrifice he made just for them. This is the hard way, but it would have saved lives and this is what heaven is pleased about.

  • Susan

    Tildeb,

    I hope you are wrong – about the "I'm in for it now" statement.

    I hope this thread doesn't become about others judging others' comments or debating the merits of various pieces of advice.

    Maybe it would be good to focus on the letter writer and the purpose of this post.

    Blessings to all.

    • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

      I thought I would get blasted for suggesting that honesty isn't necessarily the best policy, that keeping a spouse out of the truth loop would be seen as intentionally undermining their relationship and thus harm the relationship with the children, or set a bad example of how adults make commitments, and so forth. That has failed to materialize (so far), even though they are very legitimate causes for concern. And the comment about getting blasted wasn't meant to derail any focus on the Letter Writer but to suggest that further debate may happen about which concerns are more important in the decision he must make.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Here's a great resource I've today discovered for people seeking understanding on the whole Christian-gay … thing:

    http://www.youtube.com/gaychristiannetwork

  • Mel

    I'm not sure what's wrong with what I posted here either, but it was deleted as well. I just want to state my opinion that I don't actually think this is a matter of homosexuality being right or wrong. I think that the issue here is that the e-mail writer is married, and he is having feelings for someone other than his wife. Whether that person is male or female, I don't think is the issue.

    • Tim

      I agree with you, Mel. It appears as though the first responder was trying to make that point, but the point wasn't taken. It was apparently assumed that the "sin" being discussed was homosexuality, not adultery.

      • Mindy

        But the writer is FREAKED OUT by the fact that the feelings he has are for men. I got the feeling that he would not have committed adultery but for the fact that he is struggling greatly with his same-sex attraction, and has tried to fight it – didn't work; then act on it – also didn't work. He doesn't know if his guilt over that is solely because he was unfaithful or compounded because he was unfaithful with a man.

        I agree that the infidelity is a problem, and obviously he realizes it, too – but I think (and since I'm not him, I obviously might be wrong) that his struggle is far more with the feelings that compelled him to adultery. If he'd had an affair with a woman, I have a feeling he'd be processing it very differently.

        Honestly – and again, not having a clue about any more than we know, I am just "thinking out loud" here – I would bet he'd not have been unfaithful at all if he were just attracted to another woman. That happens all the time in marriage – husbands find other women attractive, wives find other men attractive – but they wouldn't think of acting upon the feelings. For the Letter Writer, I'm guessing that his infidelity happened as he tried to figure out who he truly is.

        I'm not defending it, nor am I condemning him for it – he knows it was wrong from the adultery standpoint. It is the other part of the equation that has left him feeling so lost, confused and entirely alone.

        • Tim

          Hi Mindy,

          My response to Mel wasn't about the letter writer, but the first responder on the blog (Jonesy). John's reaction to Jonsey's response led me to believe that John thought the response was about calling homosexuality sin, when I read it as calling the extramarital affair sin. That is the same point I thought Mel was making.

          Just trying to bring a little clarity.

          Have a great day, girl.

  • Chellee

    Dear Letter Writer….

    You deserve to be "known" for who you truly are…..and LOVED for being true. You deserve to be able to walk with head held high, because you are walking honest and true and with dignity. Your wife deserves being given a chance to "know" you…..in your true-ness. She might take it hard at first. But truth is often painful until we can grasp the ways we WILL find to walk in triumph and liberty. And you WILL find Liberty. You deserve to not live out your days being duplicitous. That makes you so incredibly conflicted and even teeny tiny moments become unbelievably complicated. No one deserves to live like that.

    When we truly love someone……we want the very best for them. You deserve the best. We ALL want the very best for ourselves…..rightly so…..God gave us that desire to live AMAZING lives. To REALLY LIVE! And you cannot live in a prison of hiding.

    I'm sorry there will be difficult things to go through. I'm sorry some will not be kind. But when you and I live out our "TRUEST" lives…..WE BECOME A GIFT TO THE WORLD! And following your heart is part of expressing that gift. :)

    So YOU GO, FRIEND! There are many who are in your corner. MANY!!! We believe in YOU!!! I want to express that if you were my son, I'd be so proud of your desire to be honorable in all the ways you have…..I would applaud your faithfulness…..(and I do NOT mean your ability to be perfect…..I mean your endeavor to keep your commitments!) Your EARNEST desire to try to change yourself in order to be "right with God" will never go unnoticed by your God. He IS FOR YOU! He is on YOUR SIDE! One wonderful person in my life once had me write out a statement four times, accenting it in this way:

    GOD is for me.

    God IS for me.

    God is FOR me.

    God is for ME!!!

    Always HAVE loved that!

    If my child ever came to me in this kind of agony, I would do everything I could to relieve him of it and to assure him of my UNDYING LOVE! My never-ending PRIDE that he is my SON! MY PRECIOUS GIFT. Nothing could EVER EVER EVER change that! NOTHING! THIS IS THE BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOD'S LOVE FOR US AND THE "love" that many show "on His behalf"! His is an unwavering, perfect love. It NEVER CHANGES. We were offered unconditional…..did you hear that?…..UNCONDITIONAL salvation……AND…….UNCONDITIONAL RIGHTEOUSNESS. It has never, nor WILL ever have anything to do with what you do to "earn it". It is HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS that covers us. HIS. Not mine. I CANNOT screw that up. He DIED for screw-ups. You are covered, friend. You can relax now. And breathe. And BE. BE WHO YOU ARE.

    Hugs! Prayers. ACCEPTANCE! The end. By Chellee ;)

  • Chellee

    May I qualify one bit of my previous comment?

    I was not suggesting in any way that I believed you needed to ACTUALLY change yourself. Ok???

    My comment was made to infer that ANYONE (God) who sees someone they love WORKING THAT HARD to please them would HAVE to ADORE that kind of devotion and sacrifice….it could NOT go unnoticed. Right?? Ok??? We ok???

  • http://www.BuzzDixon.com buzz

    Not much to add except to echo my support for the poster.

  • mikew

    I would like to share how I reached the conclusion that it is ok to be gay and Christian. I was in church one Sunday and our pastor was giving a sermon on the topic of homosexuality, the only time he has ever preached on the topic. It really troubled me; he was saying basically what the first commentor said. It was tearing me apart inside to hear homosexuality addressed as a sin (something people do) rather than something people are. I actually thought wow, I am not sure in can be part of a church that really believes something that I disagreed with so strongly. (BTW I am not gay myself.)

    Then I heard a voice that I just knew was God speaking to me.* He usually doesn't seem to speak so directly, at least not to me, but He did that day. The voice said "you don't have to understand everything, but everybody is welcome in my church." Then I just knew that God loves and welcomes gay Christians as much as anybody else. It gave me peace, and may even have kept me from pushing away from the church altogether.

    Mike

    * It is hard to put into words why I am so sure, but I will try. The voice didn't come from my head like when I am thinking to myself or reading silently, and it didn't sound like the same voice either. It was a different experience, and I just knew.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Love it. LOVE. IT.

    • Tim

      If I had to describe myself, I would say that I am a Christian man. Not a male Christian. What comes first in our lives is important to God, since He is pretty clear on the fact that anything that takes us away from Him, serves to divide us from ourself. A house divided cannot stand.

      I may be overstating the importance of how we present ourselves, but when someone describes themselves as a Latino-American, Irish-American, African-American, etc…I feel like they are emphasizing their pride of cultural or ethnic derivation. Not a huge deal, but I wonder if when we put anything ahead of Christ when we identify ourselves, are we subconsciously broadcasting that Jesus comes second? Maybe I'm making mountains out of molehills, but I thought it was worth thinking about.

  • Allen

    For a little variety, I'm weighing in as a person who chose to be Christian and was already gay at the time (age12). One thing that NEVER occurred to me was the idea that God didn't love me, that Jesus didn't care about me, that the Holy Spirit would fall silent on me.

    That's how I felt about God — it was not possible for a long time to be as trusting with people, pretty near impossible to trust my fellow churchgoing Christians with this part of who I am. In my case, getting married to a woman wasn't an option, but hiding from everyone I care about was a way of life. And denying myself closeness to anyone, presenting a mask to the world, was something I thought "protected" me.

    Please, find some gay or lesbian Christian to talk to. They will not be looking to seduce you, "out" you, shame you — but I think you'll find it amazingly helpful to know we are out there, gay and Christian simultaneously. If your church is part of one of the mainline Protestant denominations, there is a group of us in your denomination. Harder for a member of an independent or Evangelical church to find support in their own familiar structure, but if that's the case, look into the UCC Coalition for Lesbian & Gay Concerns, More Light Presbyterians, Lutherans Concerned, etc. for this kind of support. My gay and lesbian fellow Christians helped me through a lot of difficult times.

    The last thing I will say is that no two people experience this process the same way. Pay attention to what feels right, listen for God's voice — it won't be the loudest, but it'll be the hardest to ignore. You'll know what to do, and remember that God loves, and wants the best for all of the people in your story equally — including you. You and your family are in my prayers!

    • Mindy

      Allen, I love this whole comment – but this, in particular, is sooo lovely: "Pay attention to what feels right, listen for God’s voice — it won’t be the loudest, but it’ll be the hardest to ignore."

      What a beautiful way to look at it. :)

      • Jutta

        This is along the lines that I was thinking, while reading the comments. I can see both sides for telling your wife and not telling your wife. I do think honesty is important – I will be leading a group this evening about this topic. On the other hand honesty can also go overboard – I have been struggling in the past with the right balance – when is honesty helpful and when is it "too much information".

        You probably know your wife best – trust your heart, if she needs to be the first to know, or if it would be better to first find somebody who can give you honest feedback without being too involved.

        I would highly recommend finding a trusted friend and accountability partner (or even better a kind of support group) with whom who can pray through these questions, listen to God's voice, asking for wisdom, discerning how to go about things, when and how to be honest about your struggles, etc.

        My prayer is for you for a trusted friend, for wisdom (especially about telling your wife), clearly hearing God's voice and the peace that follows from it.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Fantastic. I couldn't be happier with the quality of these responses. Very touching, very affecting stuff. I'm proud to e-know you guys. (Oh: reader/commenter "Mel": you're now being moderated; in other words, I now have to okay your comments before they're published.)

    I'm going to bed now, so I'm gonna shut down comments to this post for the night. I'll open them again tomorrow morning.

    Thanks again to all. Beautiful stuff. See ya' tomorrow!

  • Mel

    I agree with everybody here that you should tell your wife. I’m sure you’ve heard that message loud and clear by now, but nothing is worse than going through it alone. You always have God, but your wife needs to know. I’m sure she will be shocked at first, but don’t let her initial reaction affect you. Give her time to think it through before you address it again, and then after a day or two, as her what she’s thinking. I would definitely suggest couples counseling after that. To me, the issue isn’t homosexuality being a sin, or not. You are married, and shouldn’t look at anybody else..male, or female, lustfully. That being said, I am in no way judging you. Everybody goes through times where sin wants to take a hold of them. I think that talking to your wife about it can only help. Also, if you get counseling, I think it should be with a Christian counselor. That can make all the difference. A friend of mine went through counseling with a non-Christian counselor, and it didn’t do much good. If anything, it encouraged things getting worse, and brought her farther an farther away from God. After that, she tried a Christian counselor a year or two later. What a difference! They help you by showing you how to get closer to God. Instead of asking God to “cure” your *homosexual tendencies*, maybe just ask Him to help you with your marriage. Ask Him to draw you closer to Him. I believe that once that ball gets rolling, the rest of it will go away. And when your sinful nature is tempting you the next time, you will know how to deal with it. I wish you all the best, and you and your family will be in my prayers.

  • Susan

    Dear Letter Writer,

    What a horrible burden you’ve been carrying, and all alone. I pray that the act of sharing has lifted the burden, if only slightly, so that you can receive a message of love and hope.

    Please know this: by breaking away from the pattern of denial in your mind, in your life, to your wife, I believe you are acting more Christ-like than perhaps you ever have. Being authentic, continuing to seek authenticity – these are what God wants most and the only way in which you can heal and pave the way for those around you to heal. God is more attuned to your heart than are you, but now as you shine a light into those dark recesses; you are opening yourself up to Truth.

    If you believe in both the humanity and divinity of Jesus, you must believe that he has been grieving for you, for the internal battle that’s been waged. Disarming, waving a white flag – these are not signs of defeat, but acts of great courage.

    You are not the first, third or 500th person who’s gone through this. You are not alone. That being the case, there are professionals who have experience and have successfully helped others.

    Definitely look into PFLAG. If for some reason you don’t find what you need, ask them to suggest other resources.

    I could be way off base here, but I’d steer clear of searching for counsel within your church. At least, for now. I tend to believe that you need a completely objective person whose had no ties to you or your family – someone who is a new confidante, and exclusively yours (or at least someone who can be totally objective relative to you as an individual, your wife as an individual, and both of you as a couple.)

    Read every bit of advice here.

    Pray. Trust. Hope. Act.

    God bless you and yours.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Back on!

  • pseudonym

    I’d like to add in regards to the children, that one has to consider which scenario is more damaging. Is it worse for them to find out as adults that their father had been living a lie and keeping a part of himself hidden from them? Or, is it worse for them to find out at a young age when it doesn’t make as much sense to them? Could it be better to tell them at younger ages so that the gay parent can help form attitudes of acceptance in the children. If they are told when they are older, they may have prejudices regarding homosexuality to overcome. Is it better for them to live in a home where the example of a marriage relationship is more or less a roommate situation? Those were some questions that I had to answer for myself. I chose to tell them I’m gay. My children (to this point) are handling it well. However, I can’t get inside their heads to know what they truly think and don’t express to me.

    Still walking it out…..

    • Mel

      Do you mind my asking how old your kids are? Are they so young that you would categorize them in the "doesn’t make as much sense to them" category? Or are they older?

    • Melissa

      That may depend upon what he has been telling his children about homosexuality. Has he been telling them that he believes it to be a sin while knowing he had these feelings? That could certainly add to his difficulty. I certainly wish my parents would have kept many things to themselves while I was younger. Once that layer of protection was stripped away, it took many years to feel safe again. I have to say that from a wife's prospective, I would most definitely want to know. As for the children, I think I would have to stick by him ( if he chose to be with me) until I thought they could emotionally handle the situation somewhat. I think he must be going through hell and I hope he finds peace in knowing that there are those of us who are keeping him in our prayers and hoping he finds the best path for himself AND his family.

    • Mindy

      I am a firm believer in honesty. Sometimes it is best not to tell kids every detail of everything that is going on – age-appropriateness is key – but I do believe that people are generally much better parents and role models when they are living authentic lives.

      I believe the Letter Writer has to figure out who he really is before he can proceed much further – is he gay? Is he bisexual? I can't imagine that he can know if he is able live monogamously in his marriage or not until he figures that out. Staying together for the kids *can* be the right thing, if the marriage itself is based on honesty.

      The truth factor is similar, in a way, to what too many older adoptees have had to go through – finding out, when they are older or grown, that they were, in fact, adopted. Their ability to trust is severely damaged – because they believe, and rightfully so, that their entire lives have been built on a lie. Even if everything after was true, that one underlying lie can become the broken foundation upon that causes their world to crumble. Not that it's exactly the same, but if the Writer is, indeed, gay, the longer he waits to be honest with his family, the more betrayed his children are likely to feel.

      Younger children would be hurt should the marriage not stay in tact, sure – but with love and work from both parents, they can be helped through the hurt and come out fine on the other side, able to accept both parents for who they are.

      I do hope that the stories shared here will let him know he is not alone, and that he will get through this. I read the comments here and am almost overwhelmed by the kindness and love and support of John's community here. The resources people have shared here will surely be helpful to this Writer on his journey to understand himself, as well as let him know how much support is out there and give him much food for thought.

  • Susan

    Thank you, pseudonym.

    Was wondering if telling the kids at a younger age might make them more accepting of homosexuality in general, and if by not telling them would lead to a greater inclination to reject homosexuality. If there is a genetic component, and one of the kids has gay tendencies, perhaps embracing the notion of homosexuality would be healthier for the child.

    Questions that may be best broached down the road when the writer has a good support system and a good therapist who can give better statistics on this issue.

  • Ace

    Pretty much everything I would say has already been said, but I think the letter writer maybe should find some help and guidance outside of his church & family, at least until he's wrapped his head around his own feelings and can express them to his wife in a clear manner, so at least when the truth comes out it at least doesn't *sound like* a garbled, confusing mess, even if it is.

    PFLAG and other organizations can be a good starting point, I think somebody else mentioned them and I'll +1 it, and maybe a psychiatrist who has experience dealing with GLBT people in a positive manner.

    I know for a fact that Mr Letter Writer is NOT the first or last person to go through something like this (I myself have seen two similar situations) and talking to folks who've been there before, well maybe it won't give a perfect solution but at least he will know he is NOT alone. Because he ISN'T.

    Also echoing Tildeb's sentiments on being very careful about the timing and manner in which this is discussed with the children. Each family is different, each marriage is different and each child is unique, and only the letter writer and his wife can make any judgement about how best to talk to their kids about this so I'm not even going to try to advise on how or when, other than to say don't be hasty, whatever you decide.

  • Freda

    WHOA WHOA WHOA. I completely disagree with the advice to tell his wife.

    His struggles are his own, and you have no idea what character his wife may have. What if she's threatened by this, as well as wounded (as most women would be). What if she has a big mouth and a tendency to gossip? What if she's the type to put this on "The Prayer Chain"?

    You simply don't know what factors you're dealing with here, and I doubt that HE does, either. I know from experience that you can never say you truly know your spouse as well as you think you do. My ex husband surprised me greatly during and after the divorce: He indulged in slander, attempts to drive me to suicide, personal and legal attacks, and did everything he could to destroy me. Before the divorce, I never would have imagined it.

    John, you appear to have a wonderful marriage, but don't make the mistake of projecting that on others.

    • Marie

      When shedding our ego in a loving gesture to "walk a mile in another's moccasins", it's nearly impossible to avoid SOME myopia in the effort of establishing common threads. That being said, I side with projecting faith and optimism when attempting compassion, rather than fear and pessimism.

      It's far less of an insult to assume the best of strangers.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      It doesn't matter what kind of character she is. She still deserves to know.

      • Freda

        I would agree IF he was acting upon the impulses. But he is not, and his struggle is his own.

        • Mindy

          Um, Freda, are you talking about the Letter Writer of John's post, or the Anonymous Pastor? Because Letter Writer HAS acted upon his impulses. He is at least bisexual, if not gay, and either way, he is living a lie.

          I'm also divorced. And when I found out some truths about my ex (we have a very amicable divorce and he is an active father to our daughters) about things that had happened during our marriage that he'd never told me, I was crushed that we'd lived with secrets between us. Five years later, it still hurt – a lot. It might've caused us to divorce sooner, might've not – who knows, now – but my point is that secrets are not healthy, not at all. The fact that we HAD those secrets just shows that our marriage wasn't healthy, and even though now I'm fine with being divorced and happy with my life, I was still very hurt to find out what had been hidden. A marriage not built on complete trust is not a marriage. Or not a healthy one, at least.

        • Freda

          One more thing: Let’s not make it a GAY issue – let’s make it a STRAY issue. In other words, he’s fighting the temptation to STRAY.

          Say that the object of his desires was the woman next door – should he tell his wife “Well, honey, just thought you should know that I’m having the hots for Tiffany”?

          I don’t think so.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            Why not? I totally would. And when the situation is reversed, my wife is telling me. And if you really know each other, it's not like you wouldn't eventually notice anyways. And it's not like if I didn't my wife could live in the fantasy that I'd never lusted after anyone else, because anyone who knows anything about healthy male sexuality knows that's ridiculous. And then, as soon as you mention it you basically kill any potential for carnal conniving of infidelity.

        • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

          Boy, do we ever not even almost a little agree on this.

    • Ace

      Nobody is responsible for another person's actions or reactions. You can only control what YOU do, not what others choose to do.

      Being honest is the right thing to do, especially in situations like this. If this person's wife goes batsh*t, that is very sad & tragic, but it's not his responsibility or his fault to control his wife's behavior (whatever the stereotypes are).

      I'm sorry your ex-husband did those horrid things to you, however. But that is NOT your fault, AT ALL. He chose that path himself.

      • Freda

        BUT, why would he want to make it even harder on himself, when he is already strained to the breaking point? If it is severe, he could even consider separation, but why needlessly stir the hornet's nest?

        • Ace

          Sometimes honesty takes great courage, yes. And sometimes the results are severe, true.

          BUT, I don't think hiding in a closet your entire life is a viable solution for a lot of people, especially since he seems to be suffering greatly by continually living this lie.

          Little children hide in closets. Adults come out and face up to reality, however painful it may be.

          At least, that is how I see it.

    • Meganmaloney18

      Mature woman! You only throw yoyrself at someone you really are sure they have the same paradigm with you. Otherwise, even the devil can look angelic if he can see your rot. Yoy risk blackmail. You can become ensnared.

  • textjunkie

    I'm not sure what the original writer means by "homosexual tendencies"–my first thought was, "Don't we all?" Sexuality is a continuum (or possibly a multi-dimensional space); some people do freak out the minute they realize they find members of their own sex attractive, and that's a bit of an overreaction. Is he not attracted to women at all–and living a lie with his wife and kids??–or is he bi and struggling to be faithful to his wife? Or something else?

    I have a friend who claims he's fighting homosexual tendencies in himself because of wounding in his childhood–he's celebrating his 50th anniversary this month, and has worked it out with his wife, gotten counseling, explored his rage issues, figured out ways to avoid cheating, etc. (I think he's bi, actually, because he's quite sexually attracted to his wife as well. But wherever he falls on the sexual continuum, and however he feels about it, he's not allowed to cheat on his spouse.) There are guys who are massively attracted to women and fight similar internal battles to stay faithful to their wives. Flip it around for women, if you want. ;)

    The loneliness of the original letter is what is heartbreaking. :( The fact that he *can't* talk to anyone in his church about it makes me want to pound my head on the floor. Has he considered a marriage counselor? Someone with a balanced viewpoint, to help him work through what to do when these "tendencies" arise, why he's so freaked out by them?

  • Mindy

    Bing, bing, bing! Textjunkie, that is brilliant – and you very eloquently stated what I was trying to get to when I was commenting last night. He needs to figure out who he is – "tendencies" is a murky word. If he is bisexual and having a hard time being faithful, then whether to commit to working on his marriage (which, since he has kids to consider, makes sense) seems to be his primary decision. Being able to do so would seem to me to require honesty with his wife, but that may be an honesty that will need to come out therapeutically – as in, during and with the support of a good therapist and marriage counselor.

    OTOH, if he is gay, he has a whole different process on which to embark – because he's living in denial of his true self. So much advice has been offered by people who know far better than I what he is facing – but I had to thank you for this!

  • denver

    Hi anonymous letter-writer:

    I agree with those above who have said that I don't think your focus should be on praying for "a cure," as it were, as there is nothing wrong with you. God makes people the way he makes them for a reason. You were meant to be this way; this is your path. It's not an easy one, and many years ago I was praying to be able to like men (I'm a lesbian) much as you are praying for these feelings you have to go away. But instead I will pray that God shows you what you need to know, and what you need to do to find out where you're supposed to be. I don't know you or your specific situation so I can't even begin to imagine what your options are, but I truly believe things happen for a reason, and I hope that all the things you read here on John's blog help you to find your way. Sometimes a little nugget of a suggestion can spark an epiphany within.

    Good luck to you, and God bless you – I hope you know that you deserve many blessings! :)

  • kim

    I may have posted this previously, but If you want to explore your own sexual orientation, there is a simple research instrument that was used by Fritz Klein and others. You can find it at

    http://members.tde.com/ben/kleingrid.html

  • Misty Irons

    Dear Letter Writer,

    Thanks for allowing your letter to be published on a blog as public as this one. I’m sure seeing the response of total strangers to your very personal problem is quite an emotional roller coaster ride, so I appreciate your courage in pushing beyond your safety zone and getting this far.

    I’m a straight evangelical Christian, but due to a total change of heart and perspective I’ve been seeking to understand where gay and lesbian people are coming from and have been blogging about it for the last ten years. What struck me most about your letter, emotionally speaking, was when you said, “My world is straight.” To me that’s almost like saying, “I’m locked inside a sound-proof bank vault about 20 feet underground.” It’s a place where you feel like you have no voice and no way of being heard– except the barriers aren’t physical but a whole lot of other complicated factors. The urge to break free is strong but so is the urge to stay safely tucked away. I can understand why someone might go either way. I think it’s a terrifying situation to be in.

    It sounds like you want to make your way out, and I agree with John that the first person you need to tell is your wife. But before you do that I think it’s a good idea to come out a little more thoroughly to yourself before you come out even to your wife. It’s hard for me to get a read on where you’re at with this, but I’m guessing that you’re just starting on the process of admitting your homosexuality to yourself, of finding words that you feel comfortable using to describe yourself and what you’re experiencing. Reading about what others have to say on a site like gaychristian.net (which I highly recommend, along with the other readers) can help you find the right words.

    The reason I’m suggesting this is that when it comes time to disclose your homosexuality to the straight people in your life, it’s possible they might hear something different than what you’re actually saying. Instead of hearing, “I’m homosexual/gay” they might hear, “I want to live ‘the lifestyle’” or, “I’m leaving my faith” or, “I want out of my marriage.” I think it’s important that you figure out how you want to understand yourself, your faith and your life before you come out, so that you don’t let others define all that for you. I’ve seen people lose their way because they weren’t prepared to make up their own minds on these things, and so the uncharitable accusations that some others made about their “true motives” for coming out ended up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    I think it’s also important for you to have safe and supportive friendships in place before you start coming out to family and friends. Sometimes coming out goes well, but then sometimes it doesn’t. If the storm gets bad, you need relationships in place that will anchor you through it. For starters I’ll be your friend. Feel free to write to me at my email address below. Also, I still keep up my blog so you can always find me there.

    I know you don’t feel like you have the strength to do any of this, but sometimes that’s exactly where God wants you to be before he does his work in you. Remember what he said to the apostle Paul: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9) You’ll be in my prayers.

    Sincerely,

    Misty Irons

    musingsonsite@gmail.com

    moremusingson.blogspot.com

  • Jenny

    I see that at this point, it's been made clear that most people think you should tell your wife. But I would like to put in my two cents as well. No matter what the outcome is, she deserves to know. I agree with another commenter who said something like, you can't control how others react, you can only control what you do. And what you do, should be the right thing. In my opinion, the right thing would be telling your wife.

  • Anonymous Pastor

    I am a pastor. I am married. I was married. I am struggling with erotic feelings towards men. I secretly look at gay porn and get aroused by attractive men. When I was a student, I had a gay encounter with another guy in our dormitory (no sex). I couldn't live with myself because of the guilt.

    I cannot feel the same towards my wife. But I love her. I cannot express myself sexually towards her in a way that I see she needs and desires. I cannot reciprocate her sexual feelings towards me. Yet I still love her and my children.

    I shared my struggle with the mother of my children. I tried to convey the fact that I chose not to act on the desires, not to view myself as gay, and not live a double life, but that it is there. She accused me of cheating on her by looking at gay erotic photos.

    I also love God and serve Him with fervour and passion. Early on in my life I decided that I will not be able to stand the feelings of guilt for the sin of secretly cheating on my wife because I fantasize about a man every time we make love, just to reach an orgasm.

    Soon after telling her about my sin of gay porn and the ongoing struggle, she declared that she doesn't love me anymore. Our marriage fell apart and she left me and the children for another man. To this day she never once mentioned my secret struggle as a reason for the divorce. We had other problems as well, so I shall accept responsibility for my part of the divorce. But I think she started looking for someone who could satisfy her needs on sexual level as I clearly couldn't.

    God protected my children, my sanity and my ministry. My congregation routed around us, and our denomination allowed me to continue in ministry as pastor.

    Soon after she left, I started thinking about my newfound single status. Should I get out of the closet? What impact would that have on my children? I know that would destroy my ministry – our church doesn't allow gay pastors, even celibate ones.

    I also started praying about raising two children alone, and the fact that if I could choose, I wouldn't want to go alone through life, as single person. God answered and I met an amazing woman who accepted my children as her own, who copes with a disfunctional ex-wife and who accepted my confession that I like to look at attractive men. She is aware of the fact that I do go onto the internet at times.

    I decided not to tell her how I feel about men on an erotic level. I decided that I will love this woman as she loves me, even though I know some aspects of my feelings remain superficial. I feel guilty that I cannot be the wildly sexual husband she deserves. But I will not (again) burden her with a struggle that I know she cannot understand as she is as heterosexual as can be.

    I will not cheat on her. I will deal with the erotic feelings I experience towards other men, as part of the cross God has burdened me with. But I will never, erver tell het the whole story. It is my burden and struggle not hers.

    • Jenny

      So, you still go on the internet to look at gay porn? You think that's okay? Did you marry her just so that you wouldn't be alone? You yourself said that some aspects of your feelings remain superficial. If you knew that you were gay when your other marriage ended, why in the world would you enter a new one based on a lie? She deserves better than that, and so does the e-mail writer's wife.

      • http://www.facebook.com/narnar Natalie

        Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, Jenny.

      • Mindy

        Jenny – I'm fairly certain judging is not going help anyone. I agree, in theory, that keeping anything that significant a secret is not a great idea, and I personally don't think I could live like that. BUT – it sounds like this man has given this a LOT of thought, and made his choice to love and honor his wife the best he can. Sounds like he's doing it for his kids, as she is mothering them well.

        Until you've walked the mile in his shoes, you might want to take a breath before you pop off a judgmental comment like that.

      • Jenny

        I am sorry. In the heat of the moment I got caught up in my feelings and posted what I was thinking. I should have thought before I posted. You are right Natalie, I am in no position to judge anybody. It was un-Christlike of me, and I'm sorry. I don't disagree with what I said, and I think the fact that he's a minister made me that much more angry, but I shouldn't have posted it, and I should have kept it to myself. Please forgive me.

        • monte

          Jenny you should not apologize for your original hearfelt and right on comment. In my opinion when difficult issues come up thoughtful people often have strong responses like yours. I do not see this as "judging". All too often others say 'don't judge..' when they really mean 'don't speak'.

          Anyway, I responded to your OP in my heart. I am a homosexual man and I agree that this person made a grave error by remarrying. He is used to lying to himself and others so perhaps he had the skills in place to deceive himself and his new wife that this was a good idea. I have had the opportunity to wed more than one beautiful woman. I also have had motive – making life easier, producing children, fitting in better at work, pleasing my family, etc. HOWEVER — none of these reasons outweigh the LIE that would be perpetrated upon the woman in the marriage.

          I stand fast in my view that your comment was correct. Perhaps you retracted your statement because you felt some anger and commented quickly. Now you do not feel the anger. Don't let the emotions confuse you. A lie is still a lie and this man needs to man up.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

      This breaks my heart to read and is so unnecessary. Yet it is the reality we've created for ourselves in the Christian Church today.

      My first reaction is that living in a marriage (as a woman) where there is no real hope for sexual attraction, intimacy and physical love would be absolutely devastating. It would be one thing if I got to *choose* it. It would be entirely another if my husband subjected me to that as a result of not being entirely honest with me.

      A woman needs to be more than the mother of your children, Pastor. To see her as that primarily is to me, a pretty selfish move. Perhaps I misunderstood your comment. Regardless, she needs to know everything. She needs to get to be able to make an informed decision on what she is committing to for a lifetime. It doesn't sound like you weren't able to be sexual with your first wife which means you won't be able to offer your second wife either. She needs to know what to expect and then she gets to choose. Please, please, provide for her the dignity of getting to choose. As much as you want a life for you and your kids and a family, she is child of God who deserves to be respected. As a Pastor, you need to be committed to her well-being more than yours. Or your kids.

      This is such a mess and I'm sorry you are in it. But somethings are simple. This is one of them.

      • Jenny

        Much better way of putting it. I agree with you.

        • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

          I understood what you were trying to say. This is a mess for sure, and who could blame him for wanting a family? It’s the church’s fault that we don’t support him being gay and married, then none of this mess would be occurring in the first place.

          But still, we have to deal with the cards dealt to us and what we choose. He still obviously wants to be a pastor in a church that doesn’t sound terribly supportive of gays and lesbians being in ministry (I don’t know for sure). If he wants to be a pastor, there are benefits to that. But then to ask someone to compromise her own life as a result of the life he still wants to have? That doesn’t sound like it’s too judgmental to challenge. If I were that woman, I’d want someone having my back.

          • Jenny

            In my original comment, I did post in the heat of the moment, so I see that it may have come off as judgmental. I'm glad you understood what I meant. I disagree with you about it being the church's fault, but we can disagree on that and still be friends :) I do think that entering into the second marriage was a lie because he already knew that he was gay, and went ahead and married her anyway for his kids. That's just not fair to her.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            Well, with all due respect I'm not typically friends with people who support a framework of theology that is getting to gay kids and is part of the reason why some are getting kicked out of their homes and subsequently killing themselves. As someone who's worked with homeless kids for years and years, I saw dozens of cases. Most of them didn't make it. So no. Sorry. We're not friends. But we can certainly debate the issue as respectfully as we can, find areas with which we will have to agree to disagree and then part ways.

          • Jenny

            Okay then. When somebody makes a choice to enter into a marriage based on lies, that is not something you can blame on the church. That's what I'm saying. It's too bad that he may have made these choices based on pressure from his church, but what I'm saying is it's not their fault. He made that decision, and he has to suffer the consequences of that choice. For the record, I do not support kids getting kicked out of their homes because they are homosexual. And I do not support people who may push them to the point of suicide.

          • Don Whitt

            Perhaps the greatest sin in any couple's relationship is where one or both trade love for something else. Certainly, some comfort may come from that act, but, eventually the thing unravels. A lie is a lie. People who marry for status, money, comfort -the "right" reasons – are entering into a bargain – a commitment – in bad faith.

          • Mindy

            There are long conversations in the responses to some of Mr. Shore's recently posts about both premarital sex and homosexuality, about how participating in the theology/belief system of "homosexuality as sin" – even if you personally are sweet as pie to every gay person you ever meet – contributes to the Christian cultural climate that leaves the children feeling like outsiders, like less than God wanted, like they are not deserving of the happiness of a long-term relationship, they are not deserving of respect in the eyes of God.

            Your personal beliefs are just that – personal. BUT, Jenny, I ask that you consider two things. First, the translations from the original Greek, of the Bible verses regarding homosexuality, are quite varied and inconclusive as to their specific meanings. So what the Bible deemed as "sin" might well have been "men lying with boys" or male prostitution. Neither has anything to do adult male monogamous relationships OR chaste male dating, and since females are never mentioned, as someone noted in another comment, lesbianism is never even addressed!

            Second, labeling homosexuality a sin implies that it is a choice – you can't "be" a sin, you can only "commit" a sin through your actions. Most up-to-date psychologists are in agreement that homosexuality is not a choice. Exactly what causes homosexuality is not yet known, but it *is* known that gay people do not choose their orientation. Non-gay people may choose, for a variety of reasons, to engage in homosexual behavior, and that is an entirely different issue, one perhaps best examined through the "promiscuity as sin" lens. But "believing" that being gay is a sin is denying the life experience of literally millions of your fellow human beings. As many of us have stated, in a variety of ways – it is not something you get to choose to believe or not. It simply IS.

            I don't know if this makes sense, but if you read through the comments on some of the other posts, you will see many who explain it better than I.

          • Jenny

            Thank you for the responses Don and Mindy. I'm not sure you know where my comment was coming from because your responses didn't seem to be about the same thing. I'm saying that the pastor entering into a relationship knowing that it was a lie (which now has been cleared up, but I'm referring to this part of the conversation) is not *because of* the church. He may have been pressured to feel that way because of the church, but actually getting married, choosing to live a lie, that was his choice. So, I actually wasn't even talking about homosexuality in itself being a sin. That being said, I do believe it to be a sin, and I am aware of the Greek-English translations sometimes being up for interpretation. However, some verses which refer to homosexuality were not lost in translation. I have heard how some people view those verses as well, but to me it sounds like a huge stretch. That is my opinion, but I understand that many people here will have a different one.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            When somebody makes a choice to enter into a marriage based on lies, that is not something you can blame on the church. >>>

            That someone lies isn't the church's fault. That he felt like he *had* to lie in the first place? Absolutely 100% the church's fault.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            @ Jenny:

            "I have heard how some people view those verses as well, but to me it sounds like a huge stretch"

            Just so you know where I'm coming from Jenny, I've zero interest in debating the Greek, the Hebrew, the Russian, the Orthadox, the Emergent, etc. etc. Biblical views on homosexuality. You know why? Because in the last two weeks as those debates have raged on between liberal and conservative christians on this site, four gay kids killed themselves. When I left my volunteer at the homeless shelter for kids five years ago, three gay kids had killed themselves, all of them had been kicked out of their mainstrea, conservative christian homes for their "choice to be gay" (when they all identified as being gay between the ages of 3-5).

            So this debate will rage on forever. It will never be solved. And those of you who want to focus on that can, I don't care. But know that as you do, it's the actual atheists who are stepping up to the plate and intervening with these children, making sure they are loved, protected and have adults who can get them through the hell they are facing. Much of that hell being the message that they are sinful. And Christians are doing crap about it, all we're doing is arguing about just how gay they are and what part of the Bible confirms how gay they are.

            The truth of the matter is Jenny, no one cares what any of us think what the Bible says about gay people when gay teenagers kill themselves at 4x the rate straight kids do. No one cares about Leviticus. No one is listening, they don't have time. They are actually doing what Christians should be doing and aren't – they are out on the front lines making sure these kids know they are deeply loved and valued as they are, They are creating safe haven for these children, calling out Christian parents who are kicking these kids out of their homes.

            So I'll leave you to the Bible fight if that's what you want to have. I'm going to invest my energy elsewhere, and all of my money has now left the church and is going to the atheists at the Trevor project who are actually saving lives. Because God knows, we as Christians are pretty much just focused on making sure the status quo of what we all think about gay sex is intact.

            God have mercy on us for what we do not do.

          • Jenny

            My reply above, was directed at your first comment. The one after it is what I will address now. Some atheists are doing what you have claimed (making sure those kids feel loved, etc). However, so are some Christians. The Greek to English translation comment was for Mindy as she directed a comment about it to me. If you do not want to have that discussion, I will not try to have it with you. You seem to want to have that conversation since you keep commenting about it, but I see you just want the last word, so I will refrain from talking about it with you anymore. Go ahead and have the last word.

          • Jenny

            I said I'd let you have the last word, but if you sincerely want to know, and aren't just being sarcastic, then I can't just ignore your request for a specific example. One of my cousins is gay. My whole family is filled with conservative Christians. However, when *some* people would say things like "you should throw him out" we were disgusted with them. Some Christians are like that. But he was not kicked out of his home. We didn't listen to people around us telling us to do otherwise. We loved him, and made him feel like it. We didn't say "we're disappointed in you" or anything like that. We try to demonstrate Jesus' love in everything we do. That includes our interactions with my cousin. I firmly disagree with homosexuality, but I don't just sit back and let people treat gays like crap. That is a very personal example. I hope it provides the hope you were looking for.

          • Mindy

            @Jenny – my point was really not about the anonymous pastor but about the whole "homosexuality as sin because the Bible says so" mentality, and the fact that you seem to think you play no part in the suicide epidemic or the fact that these men believe they *have* to lie just because, for the record, you don't support kicking a kid out the house or bullying. You still support the framework on which those actions are justified, and you still, erroneously, label something which is not a choice, a sin. You can't call a state of being a sin. You just can't. Far too many do, but it is very, very wrong. Hopefully, one day, you understand.

            You supporting your cousin while still participating in that theology is great for you, because you feel like you are doing good. But I am baffled how you can possibly reconcile that in your mind.

            And honestly, I couldn't care less about the Biblical translations, either – I pointed that out only because I get really tired of conservative Christians basing their bigotry on the Bible.

          • Jenny

            Mindy, randomly commenting on something I said that originally had nothing to do with whether I thought homosexuality was a sin was off topic. Since you brought it up, I said how I feel about it. However, I'm not looking to have a conversation with you about it as you are very judgmental. You seem to have it in for me for whatever reason. That may not be the case, but it seemed to me like you just went on a rant. I am not responsible for kids killing themselves, and I am not using the Bible to justify any kind of bigotry. I'm not going to talk to you about this anymore, so don't bother responding to this.

            DR, I too wish there was a place for gay kids to go where they would be shown the love and compassion that they may not have been shown at home. Throwing them out, telling them they're going to Hell, what do people think that's going to accomplish? All we can do is try to show Jesus' love in everything we do. Advice means nothing. Example is everything. We seem to be in agreement on that. Is there anything else that needs clearing up? Are we still "not friends"?

          • Mindy

            Jenny, you sound so very much like our old friend Mel. Hmmm. Funny, John put Mel on "moderate" and Jenny shows up!

            Nice try, sweetie – - –

            Does that count as trolling, DR, pretending to be a new poster when you really aren't?

          • Jenny

            I see what you are saying now DR. In the context of your original comment, I thought you were saying the whole thing was the church’s fault. I still disagree with you, but at least now it is clear as to what on.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            Some atheists are doing what you have claimed (making sure those kids feel loved, etc). However, so are some Christians.>>>

            Please educate me. I’m quite serious, I’d love to see anything you are aware of where this is happening! I need it, I’ve just about lost all hope in conservative christians doing anything but making sure everyone knows the Bible verses that outline homosexuality.

            I’d love to see even one example where conservative christians are actively taking their peers to task who are kicking their gay kids out of their homes. I’d love to see any kind of ministry that is reaching out to kids who are gay, not trying to change them, but just trying to help them survive high school.

            So if you’re aware of anything, now would be the time to show it, Jenny. Because there are a lot of people who are simply ready – if they have not done so already – to write that portion of the church off all together. So please please please, encourage us with any specific examples you could. I think a lot of us could really use it.

          • DR

            @Jenny

            That is a great example and as one who has had to deal with that ravaged kid when there wasnt someone there to step in? Thank you.

            I guess for me, whT I am looking for conservative Christians to do is what they do so well already, and that is to really organize. To create macro solutions together both online and off that can raise money for gay kids in this situation and minister to them. As one who was a Young Life leader and involved in Campus Crusade for Christ for a decade, I saw firsthand the power of evangelical Christianity when it rallies around a cause. What I keep hoping for, waiting for, is that same kind of organization around what appears to be one of the populations that is in immediate crisis. Zso far nothing, lots of organizations where gays can go if they want to be changed. Just not saved ( in the spiritual and the physical sense).

            Anyway. Thanks for trying and thank you for standing up o your family, god bless you for that. And for the record I would never be sarcastic when asking about a solution re: gay kids being protected.

          • Susan

            OMG. S/he lied about the gay cousin. To win your sympathy. I'm…sad and sickened.

          • Jenny

            Just very quickly, b/c this would be horrible if you thought this to be true….I did NOT lie about my gay cousin. That was all true. When Mindy asked me before if I knew anybody who was gay, and I said that I only knew two friends, that was because I didn't think my cousin's story would be taken well. I thought it would come back at me as something to try to make me feel bad about. It is a deeply personal thing, and I chose not to share it. When I tried to start fresh, I decided to share that story right away so that people could see I'm not a totally hateful person. I did NOT lie about my cousin to win sympathy. I really am disgusted at the people who said to throw him out. And I really do wish their was a place for those kids to go where they could get love from people that they couldn't get from home. Okay, I'm done I just wanted to clear that up before everybody thought I was the devil or something.

          • Mindy

            Your credibility is shot. John asked you to leave and stay gone, and I'd recommend you do as he asked. I'm with Susan – I am completely sickened by all of it. You are dangerously manipulative, and John's blog deserves better.

          • Susan

            I feel horrible, because I voiced my skepticism to the pastor struggling with his homosexual tendencies. I told him I was skeptical of his motives. I guess I really am jaded.

      • monte

        I agree completely. The act of marrying a woman when you know you are gay is a selfish and hearless act, I just can't see that a good or kind person would do such a thing twice while in possesion of this knowledge.

    • betty

      To the twice married gay pastor: Your choices have been made based on self preservation. You don't want to lose your job or your status, so you deny and hide the truth about yourself. You deceived not one, but TWO women into thinking they were marrying heterosexual men! You hide this truth about yourself because it would imperil YOUR marriage and all the benefits it provides YOU — normalcy, a mother for your children, etc. You're not just making yourself miserable, sneaking for gay satisfaction, forcing yourself to have heterosex, you are also hurting OTHER PEOPLE. What do you think your wives did/do conclude about themselves when it's obvious that you aren't very attracted to them — of course, they THEY aren't very attractive. When really the problem is you. but YOU are allowing them to believe that about themselves. How WICKED of you. Do you think God is actually going to commend you for this? You have USED these women, and God is always on the side of the victim. Humble yourself and come clean to EVERYONE. You can't sin and not hurt other people. Man up. If God made you gay, it is a sin to pretend to be otherwise.

      • monte

        This is a very strong comment and I think it is right on. I am a gay man and I can tell you that, even though he is also a victim in this, bearing the weight of his sexuality is no excuse for using the people around him in such a cruel manner. He needs to come clean with all of the people in his life first and after that he can begin to work on his own pain and issues. This is a very sad situation and I have known several people like this. I wonder if such people do not have the creativity to be able to think the issues through clearly. On the other hand, I remember when I was a young man in the Pentecostal church. At that time, the guilt and fear and lack of self assurance were so strong that at one time I was almost incapable of seeing my way through. The church has a lot to answer for as well as the gay men who are married to women. I do not believe that the persecution of gay people in the church would be countenanced by Jesus. Remember who's feet he washed when he was on earth. I bet Lot himself couldn't find 5 pentecostal preachers in America who would was the feet of a homosexual in public.

    • Tim

      @Anonymous Pastor—

      There is seemingly nothing good about hiding what you are going through. When two people marry, they have agreed to be ONE. Any battles MUST be fought TOGETHER. If one is unwilling to fight for the marriage, no amount of valiance on the other's part can win the war.

      I know this from personal experience. If one is not committed to making it work, it can't…no matter how much God wants it to work. And make no mistake, there is NOTHING that can get in the way of God making it work (regardless of perceived sexual orientation) if two people are willing to fully submit to God and to each other. Even a physically abusive relationship can be turned around and healed if the two can honestly die to themselves on behalf of the other half. I know that's an unpopular idea, so I expect some amount of push back.

    • http://craigbenno1.wordpress.com Craig Benno

      I know of other pastors and Christians who struggle in the same area. I was involved with a group that helped men work through the issues of sexual addiction.

      Jenny… I think you protests too much.

      AP I can link you to other pastors who have been through the same walk you have and are walking with the Lord with their heads held high if you would like.

    • chellee

      My friend……

      I feel so deeply for the agonizing spot you are finding yourself in. This has to be terribly heavy to carry. I am so sorry.

      However, I also feel so deeply that your lack of honesty about who you are and what you are about is rather compromising your integrity. I know that none of us is perfect…for sure……but it seems to me to be a fundamental crack in the strength of your "house" (your personal being) that you know….every second of every day….that you are choosing to withhold information that could possibly destroy the things you hold dear. Which I understand the motivation for doing that. It would be VERY SCARY to consider the ramifications of honesty.

      But you owe it to YOURSELF to not be duplicitous. You owe it to yourself as a child of God…..as the leader of your household, …and as a Pastor to take the risk of being true. You don't want to be bringing (as a leader) the habit of dishonesty into the mix. Deliberately. Knowingly. You can never be at peace with your own heart that way.

      I can promise you…..God adores you and has truly exciting plans for your future. But I don't think you will be able to step into them going this route. I would encourage you to try and BE WILLING to not hold onto this lie…..and to pray about CONSIDERING being honest. It is simply the right thing to do. I will be praying for protection for all involved….and healing. But speaking as a wife……I KNOW it when something is missing in my relationship with my beloved….and it can GRIEVE my whole heart at times. We are supposed to be best friends. A team that faces all of life's challenges together, knowing that when all is said and done, we are on the other's side! You need to be on her side, too! That would be acting in Love and not self-preservation. I am here to tell you, self-preservation has a very damaging side to it!

      Just think about it. We all root for you and hope for the very best!

    • http://pastorgaychristian.wordpress.com Pastor Gay Christian

      I am a married pastor as well and have struggled with having desires for men all my life. I got hooked into gay porn, like you, and have struggle in my marriage. I am now in counseling and have been in the process of reconciling my faith and my true sexuality. I'm not sure where this is all going to go with my marriage but I am taking things one step at a time. The church in America has put many of us into the closet…I think it is time to deal with truth and stand in who we have been created to be!

  • http://www.facebook.com/narnar Natalie

    John, thank you for posting this letter. I am saddened by the struggle gay men and women face everyday, but not because they are gay, but because they feel the need to hide it. That they believe it is a sin. I do not. If God created us, and if God loves us, then he is full of acceptance and will embrace us all no matter our sexual orientation. I don't care what the Bible says – I believe, as the man in the letter does, that homosexuality is nature, not nurture – that they are born with these so-called "tendencies" and "urges". I am deeply saddened that society and religion keep these people from accepting who they are and finally reaching the happiness and satisfaction they have never known.

  • http://www.visionapp.com Paul Ardoin

    These stories break my heart. And I believe, theologically, it's totally unnecessary.

    1) The Leviticus verses against homosexuality should be given the same treatment as most Christians treat the Old Testament laws against eating shrimp, wearing wool and linen together, and selling your daughter to the highest bidder. In other words, it holds no weight with the modern world. (Plus, it is specific to males — there's nothing against lesbians here.)

    2) 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy: The word Paul wrote in Greek is "arsenokoites", a compound word composed of ‘male adult,’ and ‘bed.’ This word — which appears nowhere else in Greek literature — is translated into 26 different words in different versions of English Bibles! It's suggested that it could be referring to male prostitutes, males who participated in other religions' ritual sex acts, pederasts–there are a zillion possibilities that DO NOT include regular ol' gay people. And this word only includes men — it doesn't apply to women at all!

    So let me get this straight (no pun intended): You've decided to live a lie, force your wife to be in a marriage devoid of sexual satisfaction, because of an Old Testament rule that society has randomly determined should be followed, when dozens of others are not, and 2) because some monk in the 3rd century decided that a Greek word they didn't know referred to "homosexual"?

    No. No, no, a thousand times no. I reject that. It is totally ILLOGICAL, and almost completely INACCURATE. Not only does the Greek translation constitute more-than-reasonable doubt, but it's mean and nasty and DESTROYS PEOPLE'S LIVES and is the opposite of just about everything Jesus taught us about how to treat each other.

    "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them; for this is the law and the prophets." –Matthew 7:1

    And there's no biblical support at all against lesbianismm even in Leviticus, so whoever decided lesbians were included in the you're-going-to-hell thing just made it up completely.

    If the circumstances were reversed, and being straight were a sin instead, I cannot imagine what it would be like to be forced to live as a gay man while I'm straight. Having sex with another man while I'm fantasizing about a woman? It would be UNBEARABLE.

    • Luke

      Should we treat adultery or sex with animals (the law immediately after that prohibiting homosexuality), the same as the Old Testament laws against eating shrimp, wearing wool and linen together??

      • Mindy

        No, because those sins have victims. But thanks for trying. No one is saying don’t follow laws that make sense. But don’t follow them just because the bible says to.

        Adultery is wrong because it hurts someone you promised to love and never harm. It is wrong because it is an act that victimizes an innocent. Even if the Bible never mentioned it, it would still be wrong. Beastiality is dangerous, for a variety of reasons. To assume that one needs the Bible to know what is right and what is wrong is frankly not giving humanity, the very humanity that your God supposedly created in his own image, very much credit at all.

        • http://www.facebook.com/unholyblackdeath William Ely

          Great comment! I agree 100%. I am sick of the Bible being given credit for morality! People in general are not as stupid and immoral as some would have us believe. Give us a little credit!

          For something to be wrong, there has to be a victim. This is so obvious that it is almost painful. It is amazing that people will try to say otherwise.

        • Luke

          Perhaps the victim may be ourselves. Would you say that sleeping with someone outside of your marriage relationship was ok if your partner was really fine with it?

          • http://www.facebook.com/unholyblackdeath William Ely

            I know you were not talking to me, but if I may give my view here: It is not possible to victimize yourself. You are not a victim if the problem is self inflicted.

            I have been in an open relationship in the past and I see no reason why it should not be okay as long as all parties involved are aware of the situation and give their consent.

          • Mindy

            If both spouses agreed to it AND the external partners were in no way being deceived, I’d say that yes, it would be OK. Not for me personally, but for anyone else – that would be their business and absolutely none of mine. Not for me to judge, or comment, or anything at all. That doesn’t “feel” right to me – but that doesn’t make it wrong for them.

            If your spouse said hey, go ahead and have an affair and you didn’t want to, well, you’d be stupid to do it. Not victimizing yourself, but, sheesh, just stoopid with a capital “OO.”

            And of course each individual has boundaries as to what feels right or not – just because there is no victim of many behaviors, that doesn’t mean anything goes for everyone.

          • http://www.thirduse.com frank sonnek

            Caution Luke.

            Even we gay christians are subject to the erroneous conceit that looks like “I could keep it all under control, so why can´t that one over there”? I am not saying you are doing that Luke, but heterosexuals listen to persons who identify themselves as homosexuals and should be careful not to assume that that homosexual really understands what is going in even with himself. So it is important for a heterosexual not to assume that a gay friend is some sort of authority or expert on being a homosexual just because he is one.

            We all have different levels of tendencies. some might have gay tendencies that are so slight they look like a compulsive disorder, Others have some other mental disorders that makes them act out sexually with others of the same gender but they are not gay.

            It would be a mistake to generalize or offer prescriptions for moral betterment to others from our own personal experiences assuming that what worked for us will certainly work for them in the same way right?.

          • http://www.thirduse.com frank sonnek

            the biblle saying to love our neighbor as our own selves does indeed assume that we give love to ourselves and know what that looks like.

            So if this is all you are saying Luke then you are right.

            But I suspect that that is not all you are saying. You might be saying more than that ,

            as in…

            “God has established rules that we must follow, and then…

            we must assume, in faith, that if God made those rules, that even if they look unlike love and look like sacrifice and pain to follow those rules, …..

            we must assume in faith that that is not the case,

            We must assume that the rules are there for our good even if there is utterly no tangible or reason-able evidence that this is so.”

            Is that the reasoning behind what you are saying Luke?

          • Luke

            I was just asking questions. How strange that you quote what you think I might be saying (if indeed I am saying anything) and then ask me if you are right….

    • prisca

      No the Leviticus teachings should NOT be treated as the dietary laws are treated. Those teachings on seuxal conduct list incest, adultery, bestiality and homosexual acts as sin. These are also reconfirmed as being sins in the new testament epistles. You will find admonistions against gay sex, incest, fornication adultery in those epistles. If you are going to do away with all the Old Testament teachings on sex you then should do away with them all. But in the Christian church we stilll acknowlege that adultery, incest bestiality are sins. Why would God take one of these sins–gay sex– and suddently make it ok but continue to condemn the others as sin? The answer is he didnt. You are a false teacher.

      • DR

        Conservative Christians,

        This person is worshipping next to you. Telling this to his/her gay child, often kicking them out of the home. Driving kids to suicide. In the holy name of Jesus, shut her down. Protect His little ones from evil. That is our job as followers of Christ. Do your job.

        • http://www.facebook.com/unholyblackdeath William Ely

          I know, this person is horrible. I can't even bring myself to address him/her directly. The comments kind of make me want to vomit. Such an ignorant bigot.

    • prisca

      Paul–The book of Romans condemns lesbianism and homosexuality. Start reading at Romans 1:18. you left that out–why?

      • Matthew Tweedell

        ERRRRRr!

        How ironic though that you point to the passage beginning, "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

        Paul goes on to explain the consequences of idolatry (such as you appear to practice in confusing some books for the actual Word of God), that is, of failure to acknowledge to the true God His due place in life, among which consequence is the perversion of ones own nature (whatever it might have been made to be by the forces God introduced to shape one’s development), and with it, failing to acknowledge our humanity, degrading the person to just his/her body, pursuing with reckless abandon whatsoever one body pleases by means of whatever body is willing and able. This does not save the soul. So Paul spoke of when people exchanged what was natural, who they really were as children of God, for the lie. A lie like yours. This was unclear to you—why?

        Continuing, Paul writes, "You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things."

      • Mindy

        Lesbianism is never addressed in the Christian bible. Never once.

  • http://www.facebook.com/unholyblackdeath William Ely

    Man, if you are gay, then just be gay. Why torture yourself like that? In my opinion, being yourself is the only true way to be happy.

    • Jenny

      Because he's married! He made vows to his wife, and he needs to stand by them.

      • http://www.facebook.com/unholyblackdeath William Ely

        Yes, but being truly gay could very possibly end his marriage, unless he is bisexual, then it could still work. Sometimes a marriage needs to end for those involved to be happy. You cannot just stay in a marriage at all costs no matter what, that makes no sense. Living a lie is not living at all. Just my take on the issue.

        • http://www.barnmaven.com Barnmaven

          "You cannot just stay in a marriage at all costs no matter what, that makes no sense."

          Amen to that.

      • http://www.thirduse.com frank sonnek

        Jenny,

        Let me experiment and try to convey an idea in a very very imperfect way. Lets suppose that you are heterosexual and marry a rich lesbian because you are broke and you enter the relationships resolving to sincerely love that lesbian. you make a sincere vow to love her.

        then after some years you decide you cant love her.at least not in the romantic sense. lesbian sex feels awful for you in fact.

        but you made a vow right? You should stick to that vow!

        Ok. I would come back at my really weak analogy saying, "yeah but the vow was made around something false. I married the lesbian because she had something I needed. money. and to get at that money, I promised to be a lesbian even while I knew that I was not.

        Ok. gay men marry to try to get straightened out. hoping that the love of a good woman will fix them. it is not money they are after , it is "normalcy" "religious respectability" even "not going to hell". and yes the gay man or lesbian makes a vow and sincerely intends to keep that vow. but at the same time they know , in their heart of hearts, that they have something different inside of them…..

        I hope that helps you understand Jenny… this is not the same as a man being married and thinking he has fallen in love with another woman. that would be an entirely different situation.

        • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

          What an insightful reply.

      • Jenny

        I don’t believe this man married his wife to be “straightened out”. I could be wrong, but that is not how his letter comes across. From what I get, he is in a loving relationship, and is struggling with sin. Everybody struggles with sin, but that doesn’t mean you should give into sinful desires. This man is a Christian (I’m pretty sure that was said somewhere, but I might be wrong) and God hates divorce. He entered into this marriage, and he needs to stick with it. A Christian marriage counselor could really do some good. But suggesting to someone to break up their marriage is not what God wants.

        • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

          Yikes. There's no way in the world I'd stay in a marriage as a woman if I knew that my husband was gay. He wasn't able to make a vow with me. The vow is invalid.

          You're grossly simplifying this issue.

          • Jenny

            I don't think I'm simplifying it at all. I'm not saying that the woman can't get out of the marriage if she wants to. I'm saying I don't think it's right for the guy to get a divorce because he wants to come out. I'm pretty sure he said he was unfaithful (correct me if I'm wrong) which means the woman can do whatever she chooses.

          • http://www.barnmaven.com Barnmaven

            I don't think he's saying he wants a divorce because he wants to come out.

            Relationships are supposed to fulfill people, not trap them into roles they don't fit. Is it a mistake for someone to marry someone of the opposite sex in the first place if they think they are gay? Probably. But I could not possibly understand what is driving a person who has been taught their entire life (erroneously) that who they are and what they feel is a sin, something to be ashamed of and conquered. I can't imagine how it must feel to be pressured by your family and your religious leaders to live a life that in no way fits you. Many people do things to conform to societal expectations, including get married.

            I wouldn't desire for anyone to live a lie. It leads to nothing good or healthy, and ends up poisoning not only the individual but everyone around them. Better to end the lie and live authentically.

          • Don Whitt

            I’m confused, Jenny. She has options and he doesn’t? Do you think he’s more culpable, and therefore should be held more accountable, in this situation? Shouldn’t either or both help end the charade?

            I had a childhood friend who’s father was gay. After the kids left home, he came-out and partnered with a local gay minister. I always felt sorry for the parents and family that they all felt that they were trapped in the lie that the parents were a heterosexual couple. In the denouement, he got to burst forth into his real identity and find love. I only hope that she’s found some happiness after all those years, too.

            It seems to me a quick end to a lie is preferable to being trapped in it, regardless of who ends it.

          • Jenny

            I will try to clarify. It says in the Bible that one can end a marriage if another has been unfaithful. That is why I believe she can choose to get out of the marriage, or try to work through it. However, that is the only circumstance in which the Bible permits divorce. So, since he entered into the marriage, I do not believe that getting a divorce so he can "come out" is the right answer. I don't believe divorce is ever the answer actually, regardless of why.

          • Tim

            @DR

            It depends on what you mean by "stay". I believe if there is abuse…emotional or physical, the abused has an obligation to protect themselves and any children by removing themselves physically from the situation. That doesn't mean the abused must file for divorce.

            If the abuser is sincerely penitent and deadly serious about doing whatever it takes—spiritually, medically, and psychologically to curtail their abusive patterns—and if the the abused is willing to stick it out and work with the abuser, I honestly believe there is always hope for that marriage. In fact, I believe that coming back from such intense adversity makes a marriage infinitely stronger and unbelievably beautiful.

          • DR

            What about abuse? Do you still stay if you are getting hit or emotionally abused?

          • http://farfromthisshore.wordpress.com Don Whitt

            @Jenny,

            The problem I have with that concept is related to DR's question – what about abuse? Psychologically, the "stinker" in a relationship – whatever it is they do to make it a horrible place to be – is the LEAST motivated to end the relationship. So, a spouse can completely refuse to be a genuine partner (participate in the myriad aspects of being in an intimate relationship, being fair, being truly loving), and that is never seen as being "unfaithful" in a traditional sense. Which I believe is absolutely wrong. If you marry me, and never bond with me, then it is YOU who is being unfaithful.

            I'm proposing that you don't need to "cheat" to be unfaithful. If you enter into a marriage and never go "all in", to quote our friend Mr. Shore, then you are unfaithful. You are living in a lie and you are denying your partner what they deserve and that which you have committed to them. The fact that you haven't gone so far as to have sex with someone else is a very minor point compared to your having never committed to your marriage in the first place.

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            Why wouldn’t he have the same options she does? That doesn’t make sense.

        • http://www.facebook.com/unholyblackdeath William Ely

          *he is, not he are LOL

          • Tim

            I liked "he are" better.

        • http://www.facebook.com/unholyblackdeath William Ely

          At some point, you have to do what makes you happy. God is not the one living his life, he are. If he is truly gay, sin is not the issue, biology is.

        • monte

          Being gay is not a sin. The sin he is struggling with is lying to his wife and everyone around him.

  • http://www.barnmaven.com Barnmaven

    For some reason I can't see all of the responses to the post here, so apologies in advance if I'm repeating anything anyone else has already said.

    I can't imagine what it must feel like to live an entire life in fear of one's own sexuality, to struggle with feelings and desires that you have been told are wrong. It sounds like living in hell. I think John's advice for the writer to talk to his wife is straight on the mark. No one can predict how she would react, but it would seem to me that a spouse should have the opportunity to know.

    The only person who truly knows our secret selves is God. @Anonymous Pastor, I don't want to be judgmental over your situation and I won't. I don't know what I would do if I had to walk a mile in your shoes and I'm glad I don't have to.

    Last night on the news there was a picture of two men kissing, I wasn't really listening to what the story was so I don't know the context. My almost-9 year old daughter said "Ewwww, that's gross! Two boys are kissing!" It was a great opportunity to express to her my belief that there's nothing wrong with two men loving one another, nor with two women. I realize that she's going to hear very different opinions from her peers at school, but I hope that eventually she will learn to be respectful of differences in sexuality and sexual orientation. I decided long ago that it didn't matter to me whether my children were gay or straight, only that they be able to find someone that they loved and who loved them back in a way that was positive. It would break my heart if one of them were gay and felt that they could not trust me to love them just the same, if they felt they had to live a lie in order to have my love and approval, or for that matter the love of Christ.

    I pray for both the letter writer in the original post and for anyone who struggles with a similar situation for them to know just how very much they are loved by God and for them to find somehow the strength to accept themselves and move forward in their lives with as much honesty as they can. Life is so complicated, some problems are not at all easy to solve.

    • Ace

      "For some reason I can’t see all of the responses to the post here, so apologies in advance if I’m repeating anything anyone else has already said."

      Just click on "Older Comments" down at the bottom of the page.

      • http://www.barnmaven.com Barnmaven

        Thanks Ace. I was beginning to thing John's blog hated me and didn't want me to read anymore. ;D Its either that or I need newer glasses.

  • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfor

    dear letter writer and anonymous pastor,

    ((((hugs)))))

    love,

    erika

  • Anonymous Pastor

    Permit me to clarify some stuff.

    I really, really fell in love with my first wife. I did feel erotically attracted to her. We had a fulfilling relationship at first. The mess that resulted in our divorce wasn't because of my honest disclosure only. The resulting divorce didn't once reflect my honesty as a reason for her decision to walk out on a whole family.

    I really love my second wife. I asked her to marry because the love we share is of such a nature that we are continuously growing closer to each other, in several ways. I didn't marry her to have a mother for my children nor for myself. I married her because God permitted me a second chance to happiness.

    I am sharing my struggle as a testimony. I do not view myself as gay, or bisexual even. I am a human being made in God's image who happens to struggle with same-sex attraction. I admit and confess that looking at photos of semi naked men is a sin against my wife, and I constantly askes God for forgiveness. I admit and confess that I am not as devoted to fulfilling my wife's sexual needs as a more straight guy would be. This is the heart of the issue: I had to confess to myself that I simply do not know how to do it. It doesn't mean I do not try.

    I did decide to make a life choice, very early on in my life: I chose to not live a gay life, because I am convinced it is God's will for a man to love a woman and share a life with one in the context of a relationship. I know I could have made that choice and perhaps be happy, even. But that wasn't my life's path. I wanted to be devoted to how I read the Biblical teaching on sexuality and God's dream for community. To this day I only know how it feels to love a woman. I cannot speak about loving a man in such an intimate way, although I know it is possible.

    Yet I cannot switch of the same-sex desires that develop from time to time. Therefore, I continue my struggle in the quiet of my prayer life and devotion to my wife. Doesn't the letter of James teaches that sin only comes to fruition when a person act on his desires? I'd rather struggle in the anonimity of fantacizing than the tearful confession of a deed that cannot be undone.

    Perhaps the original writer of the letter that John published decided to share with his wife his struggle, as everyone suggested. In the name of honesty he would have destroyed the trust that existed between them because his wife will forever wonder if she is good enough and knows she will never be able to satisfy all his needs. I read somewhere that a person who wants to share his/her gayness with friends, must be very sure of the friend's ability to process the information as it potentially alters that friend's view of the person coming out permanently.

    Unless you are not living a double life (married but with secret gay liasions) or you are unable to live a heterosexual life- even if it is a broken one, I strongly advise against involving the person closest to you in a very personal struggle. It will only destroy the relationship with your wife, not strengthen it.

    • Matthew Tweedell

      "…[H]is wife will forever wonder if she is good enough and knows she will never be able to satisfy all his needs."

      I'm wondering if there's indeed a distinct "need" that she should have to worry about not satisfying. I mean, we do normally have a sex drive and typically would be willing, as far as our carnal nature is concerned, to satisfy it with a rather wide variety of individuals, whether or not they all happen to be of the same gender, but for that satisfaction, we need not more than one such individual.

      I'm a straight man, and I could be aroused by a taller dark-skinned woman or by a shorter blue-eyed blonde, or if I really give myself over to doing so then perhaps even by another male. Yet my green-eyed olive-skinned wife can satisfy just fine the primal need that drives it all. And if ever that were to get boring, of course, we could always get wigs, or strap-ons, or whatever else our human creativity could think up for playing with together. And when you do it, together, you bond (which is in fact a function of sex as important as reproduction). But that bond starts with the trust that makes a fulfilling sexual experience even possible. (Of course, playing with oneself may have a time and place too, but that's another matter and certainly is not by itself an indication of anyone's inadequacy {though it may contribute to the inadequacy actually of the one who does it if not restricted to its proper place and time}.)

      Wouldn't "God's dream for community" involve there being no such thing as "personal" struggles?

      If you advise against involving the person closest to you in every personal struggle, then you advise against involving Jesus. If a love is to be as his is for the Father, which is even as it is for the least of these brothers of his, then the two must become one—this is more than just a matter of one flesh with common material possession (like bread and wine in a common body); this is a matter of one soul with common spiritual possession (like christening in a common name).

      At least, that's the ideal. It's hard, making it work anywhere near perfect, but that's no excuse not to try (and it's much easier if we try from the very beginning, which there's no reason not to do if we're truly to give due sanctity, or any sacred, inviolable significance, to the vow "for better or for worse… till death….")

      Honesty and integrity are about more than just not telling lies; they are about telling the truth, especially about those things which if you do not tell, you open the door to the temptation to be deceitful should the matter ever come up. Under such conditions its easy to become bound and shackled by sin. But the truth will set you free.

      In the Communion of the Trinity, if you get to know the Son, you'll come to know the truth about the Father as well, for He, in His fullness, is within the Son, as the Son is in Him. So should it be with the Communion of Christ and Church, and with the communion—the blessed union—of man and wife. Love is the common thread binding each of these, and God is Love. And His Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Truth.

      But I understand that once you've started down a given road, it could be too late to turn back. (That's up to you and God to determine.) So I say this mainly for the purpose of consideration in the advice you give to others, so that they might have the most fulfilling relationship—the Truest love—possible for them.

    • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com Ric Booth

      I strongly advise against involving the person closest to you in a very personal struggle. It will only destroy the relationship with your wife, not strengthen it.

      But if the person closest to us is unaware of a very personal struggle, how close is the relationship?

      • Tim

        True, but people aren't perfect. Being "close" isn't the heart of relationship.

        We ebb, we flow, and a lot of the time we are tragically out of sync. Just because we don't "feel" close, we shouldn't take that to mean we are "out of love" with one another. I entered my marriage knowing I wasn't a sex machine. I told my wife-to-be that I had a low sex drive, and she said it was no biggie. She said, "sex isn't the whole enchilada". But as my sex drive continued to decrease, hers increased. We never aggressively talked it out. She was unhappy and didn't say anything, and I was experiencing an undiagnosed chronic depression and didn't know what was going on. To be honest, even if I did know, I don't know if I would've had the motivation to make it better. I simply wanted to die. But instead, her love for me died. She moved on. No warning, no ultimatum, no desire to try saving our marriage or family together. Just a big shitty shame.

        Close…close is for hand grenades and horse shoes. Committed is for life, love and success.

        • Mindy

          Tim, I'm sorry your marriage ended the way it did. But don't give up on close. I can't imagine being married to someone to whom I didn't feel closer than anyone. Of course there are ebbs and flows – in ALL relationships. But still, it is an ideal to which marriages should strive. I certainly won't marry again unless I would wind up with that in my life. It's not worth it.

    • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

      This is something I’m so unfamiliar with, that I think I’d just throw a bunch of my opinions at you which I’m sure in the heat of what you’re experiencing will shed absolutely no light at all. I’d only ask that you do what you would want someone to do to you if the situation was completely reversed. If your wife married you because she really *wanted* to love you as a husband but didn’t desire you as her husband. If she wanted someone else instead. Imagine what that does to her head and to her heart, being rejected everyday for something of which she has absolutely no control. Because as a woman, when a man doesn’t want us erotically, it is such a profound rejection of who we are emotionally. I imagine that to be a terribly, terribly lonely experience for her. She’s probably blaming herself for not being physically attractive enough as well and again, that’s so painful. Please, please. Tell her the truth if only that she doesn’t blame herself. I’ve been there, I’ve been where she is. She’s more than likely not being honest with you about how the lack of intimacy is impacting her.

      Unfortunately you are going to have to choose between the comfort of what your current faith, your current job brings and instead, choose her comfort. I absolutely hate that the church has put you in the position to begin with. What a mess.

  • Susan

    Anonymous Pastor,

    The fact that you are “anonymously outing” yourself yet saying that you will never act on gay desires to protect your wife, is rather significant. You are not (seemingly) offering advice to the original writer, and your are not (again, seemingly) asking for advice. Why did you post? Are you hoping for people to give you permission to stay in the marriage or to get out of the marriage? Are you merely venting?

    Forgive me if I’m being dense, and perhaps a little skeptical. If you are here because of a sincere heart, you are most certainly in the right place.

    Enough comments have been made with regard to your wife. So, here are a few thoughts for you to consider: If you decide to come clean with who you truly are, can you imagine how many other people who are struggling with this can be POSITIVELY affected by your honest courage?

    You say that you “I also love God and serve Him with fervour and passion.” Actually, it seems that you are doing the opposite. I don’t mean to be harsh, as I know this is a terrible struggle, but if people are associating their belief in God to what you preach, what in the world will happen if the congregation finds out before you tell them? It can most assuredly damage their ability to trust people, and perhaps God, too.

    If you step out in courage…in faith…and are honest, maybe this is how God can not only best help you, but also help countless others. You could be SUCH a blessing and be delivered of this burden.

    What good can come out of this sham-like existence if things remain status quo?

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com Ric Booth

    Dear Letter Writer,

    Tell her. Do not remain locked away in that hidden, lonely place any longer. Invite her into that place with you. She will not want to at first. After all, if it scares you, it will scare her. Just don’t stay hidden and alone any longer.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Mel, Mel, wherever you are:

    If for weeks or months on end you ever find yourself really actively participating in the comments section on a blog, but then write things that make whomever runs that blog decide to (finally) put you on his or her "moderation" list—like yesterday I did with you on this blog—here's a tip: If in response to being put on a that moderation list, you then try to leave on that blog a comment like … well like this one, which you were hoping this morning would magically appear on this blog:

    Okay, apparently John no longer allows freedom of speech. I’m sure this won’t get posted either, but just in case, I want everybody to know not to bother directing anything at me anymore because I am done with this blog. I’m sure you’re all very happy to hear that, but seriously this is just stupid. Most of you treat people like crap when they have a different opinion than you. I hate what John posts, and almost always disagree with it. The only reason I bothered with this was to give my opinion on it. To have discussions with people who think differently than me, and to challenge myself in backing up what I believe. I can see my time has been wasted, as most of you are as close-minded as you accuse me of being. I don’t know why I kept up with it for this long.

    don't then adopt a new screen name—as you have, here today, by changing your name to "Jenny"—and then expect the keeper of that blog not to know what you've done. Because the person whose blog it is can see perfectly well who you are, because you're identified to him or her not by your screen name, but by your IP address, which is unique to each person.

    See? You are learning stuff as you grow older! (By the way, fear not: we've all done stupid stuff like this–and we all will again. So will you. So don't [assuming you might] worry too much about this little incident. But do take a lesson from it. Too often what you write—under whatever name you write it—is really clearly less an attempt to truly engage whomever you're addressing than it is to trap them. That, too, is a kind of lie. Be more honest–be more straight forward about what you really want to say and communicate. Most people here are really nice; they will [as, God knows, they have] treat you well. But you would, I think/know, do well to remind yourself what we all need to constantly remind ourselves: being honest–real, clear, open, brave, compassionately honest–is what matters most. Always.)

    • Mindy

      :)

      You are a compassionate man, John Shore. Nicely done.

    • Susan

      John Shored.

      (category: anti-fun, pro-tough love)

      • Mindy

        LMAO!!! Yes, Susan, that's it!!

        • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

          What? Anti-fun?

          Don't make me come back there.

          • Susan

            Tough-love isn't so fun when you're on the receiving end.

            Remember, being John Shored can be fun, or not fun…it depends on the person.

            And please don't come out of your kitchen, man. That's a sure sign things are 'bout to get ugly…

          • Susan

            psss…hey….maybe you ought to just stick your head out, actually. *subtle pointing upwards*

    • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com Ric Booth

      Actually, John, it's IP address.

      • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

        What did I say? Oh–ISP. I was in a mad hurry when I wrote that. But … righto. IP. Yes. Duh. Will go change. Thanks.

    • Jenny

      I knew that *you* would see my ISP address John. I wished I hadn't revealed my age when I was using my real name. I wished I hadn't said some things the way I did. I wished people didn't think I was so horrible, that I couldn't even be real. I decided to change my screen name, hoping you wouldn't "out me" so that I could start fresh. I wasn't going to pretend to be someone I'm not by changing my views or anything. But, I was going to try to be more understanding so that I could have a conversation with people without having things I've said in the past thrown in my face. I was also hoping that even though *you* would know I was the same person, you would give me a second chance too. Even though I was under a new screen name Mindy started throwing all the same stuff at me, so I said I just didn't want to talk to her in an attempt to not get into the exact same conversation we've already had. Well, at least I tried.

      • Jenny

        haha and I also meant IP.

      • Mindy

        So it's all *my* fault. OK. I can live with that.

        • Jenny

          I'm not saying it's your fault Mindy. Not at all. It's my fault because I don't know when to shut up. It's my fault because no matter how hard I try not to, I come off sounding judgmental. I'm just saying that you and I were going to have the same conversation, so I thought if "Jenny" just didn't talk to you, I could still have conversations with everybody else. I'm not trying to shift the blame, I know it's on me.

          • chellee

            Jenny/Mel

            Sweetie…..you "come off sounding judgmental" because you ARE judgmental. And I don't mean that in a mean-hearted way. What is in our hearts comes out. "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." It's written in your Bible. Like John said….we've all been there and done stuff like that.

            But if you want a different reputation, seriously consider the things that are in your heart. WE teach others how to treat us. If you feel they are treating you meanly, consider what you are "giving off".

            There are some downright unkind people in this world……but those who have taken the time to interact with you in a respectful manner, simply speaking truth to you, should be appreciated. Sometimes hearing the truth can be painful, especially if it means we are embarrassed and need to now change something. It's easier to be defensive and stay the same. But you give up a peaceful heart by doing so. If you knew what was good for you, you would appreciate them. You have a chance to learn a lot here. It is a very self-destructive belief to only get on here in order to confirm what you already believe. That will get you nowhere good.

            It would be marvelous for you to humble yourself and adopt a truly teachable heart…..and open your heart to listen to different opinions and beliefs. The smartest and wisest people in the world…..Jesus Christ himself….took the time to listen to people.

            You have the power to change things. Maybe not every single person will, but the rational, thinking ones….which includes most on here, will find a new respect for you if you will humble yourself and adopt a more open attitude. Just a thought, girlfriend! Coming from someone who's been there.

      • Jenny

        Since this name isn't blocked yet I just want to get a couple things clarified, and then I really will leave you guys alone. John, I have a couple things I don't get about you that I would really like you to answer, then honestly, I'll go away. First, when I posted a comment a couple days ago and everybody was so upset by it that they thought I couldn't even be a real person, I e-mailed you about it. I asked that you please remove that comment because I clearly said things in the wrong way. I said that although the damage had already been done with the people who read it, I didn't want anybody else getting offended by what I said. Why didn't you delete it? If it was only going to hurt people, why couldn't you just give into me that one time? Also, yesterday when you put me on your list to have to read my comments and allow them before they were posted, why didn't you let some of them on? The first one came across too strong, I see that. But after that I tried to re-word it as nicely as possible to really just get an answer, but you didn't allow that one either. Pretty much everything I tried to say last night, you didn't allow. It just got so frustrating, and you didn't explain why each comment wasn't being allowed. I know that you can just block me from the site, so it's not like this is black mail or whatever. But please, explain these things to me, and I'll go away without you having to do that. Thanks.

        Mel.

        • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

          Okay, this is the last time I can afford you, Melleny.

          I did respond to your request that I remove the comment of yours (that at that point was quite old). I sent you an email about that. Here it is:

          From: John Shore

          Subject: Re: [JohnShore.com] Contact Me

          Date: September 27, 2010 10:04:29 PM PDT

          To: private@hotmail.com

          You either meant whatever it is you said, or you misspoke. If you meant what you said, then stand by it. If you simply misspoke, then articulate how, and correctly say what you meant to say in the first place.

          If I remove it, I'll have to share that you asked me to do that, by way of doing right by those who responded. Do you really want me to tell them that I removed it because you asked them to? Again: Correct it yourself, publicly—or stand by it. (Or, of course, say you've rethought whatever sentiment you've expressed, and changed your mind about it.)

          I then followed that up with another email to you, explaining how removing it would, at that point, leave a whole bunch of unexplained responses TO your comment just .. hanging there, and how that wasn't fair to the people who left those responses.

          As to your comments yesterday, I blocked/deleted them because I thought they were antithetical to the spirit of the goodwill I wanted to show the letter writer. You're nine kinds of crazy if you think I'm going to explain WHY exactly I felt that what you were saying was inappropriate/not helping. I don't have that kind of time. If you're not smart enough to take the fact that I blocked them as a spur to answer for yourself what about them I might have found too objectionable to allow, you're not smart enough to understand my explanation now.

          Now, please, make good on your promise this time, and go away. This is a place where grown-ups come to talk about grown-up things in grown-up ways.

          • Jenny

            @ John

            Thank-you for responding. I had tried to say that I misspoke, but people wouldn't hear that because of the way the initial comment came across. As for the comments yesterday, I think they could have been helpful to the e-mail writer. Not the first one, I realized that, but the rest of them just showed a different opinion. Anyways, I'm going to keep my word, and this is the last you'll hear from me. I want to say that I'm sorry I acted like such a jerk sometimes. I stand by my beliefs, but I know I came off too strongly. The fact that you yourself said you didn't like me made me think about why that was. I'm really going to try to be more understanding. In real life you wouldn't even associate my online self to my real self. I'm just horrible at expressing myself properly over the internet. So, I'm sorry if I disrespected you in any way (which I know I did since you said you didn't like me). It was wrong, and I shouldn't have done it.

            To other people who talked with me, I'm sorry if I came off judgmentally. I really tried not to be. Thanks for taking the time to explain things to me. I know you think it was pointless because I didn't change my mind, but I really learned a lot. I learned not to be so high and mighty on myself. I already knew that I wasn't better than anybody, but this showed me that my words can come across as seeming like it. I learned why I believe what I believe. I know that won't be anything for most of you to be happy about, but it was good for me to challenge myself in that way. I know Kara, that you think you wasted your time, and you don't really like me anymore, but really I want to thank-you. You explained so many things to me that I would not have known otherwise. I'm sorry if I ever hurt you. Basically, I'm just sorry to everybody for carrying this on longer than I should have. I know that I feel strongly about homosexuality, and I should have known not to engage in a conversation about it. That was really where things started to go wrong. Thanks again for your patience. Jeanine, I really do think you're awesome. You express what I try to say so much better than I ever could. I guess from here on out, you will be the voice that I tried to be. God bless you.

            Mel.

          • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

            See? Now why couldn't you have been this person for your other 14,000 comments? Does this person want to try hanging out here some more?

          • Matthew Tweedell

            For shame!

            Do not apologize for acting like a jerk.

            Do not apologize on the off-chance that you were disrespectful.

            Do not apologize on the off-chance of coming off as judgmental.

            Do not apologize for carrying this on so long.

            But confess and beg forgiveness (not just of those who responded but of all offended) for your violation of the 9th commandment, your violation of the Greatest Commandment, your violation flying in the face of the very nature of Who GOD *is*:

            You were dishonest—-you were deceitful—not so much by using a different label for yourself—for what's in a name?—but by feigning ignorance when your trying to be more understanding didn't quite work out that way and people saw that the same spirit possessed the new cyber-body as had been previously identified as the particular soul that you are. Even though you framed what you said as questions, you were still lying, Mel. Those questions bear witness to certain assumptions involve in formulating them. (e.g. "where's my car?" assumes as given that "I have a car.")

            That's a lie—a sin against the Lord of Truth, and an offense against your fellow man who wanted to know that Truth (thus far more harmful to us than the things you usually point out as sins). How can you do this with the ostensible goal of serving the Lord!?

            And now this even more explicit revelation: "I said that I only knew two friends, that was because I didn’t think my cousin’s story would be taken well."

            So you didn't lie about your cousin; what you lied about was that you knew only two. A lie's a lie, Mel, but you responded to that focusing solely on what you *didn't* do when you needed to be asking forgiveness for what you *did*, "before everybody thought [you're] the devil or something," which, though you may not be in person, has clearly taken possession of you from time to time.

            In Jesus' name, turn, and be healed!

            May God bless you and forgive you, Mel, and grant you peace, love, and wisdom.

          • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

            Plus acne.

          • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

            (Kidding!!)

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            Mel,

            We've all been where you are. We cling to our beliefs, they get challenged, we get scared, we get nasty, we realize it, we apologize, and then we all start over. We're all learning, somewhere in that pattern, all of the time.

          • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com Ric Booth

            Ahh… the benefits of an East Coast Bedtime.

            Mel,

            I've not respond to you ever. I confess, that probably is because you make me feel a tinge of guilt. I am a Recovering Born-Again, Conservative Christian (RBACC?). I was a youth leader and young adult teacher of the very beliefs you espouse. I still consider myself more conservative than most but there are many Christians More Conservative Than Me (CMCTM).

            So, will you permit me to put back on my teacher's hat again? When you comment as you did with this, "…some verses which refer to homosexuality were not lost in translation…" you lose credibility. This statement can only come from a biblical scholar. The rest of us either have to give a very credible reference or admit that we simply do not know. What I suspect you're doing here is regurgitating what you've been taught. If your local church and your leaders are anything like the ones I've experienced, most teachers are neither biblical scholars nor referencing any biblical scholars. They, too, are regurgitating.

            We need to stop this. We are wrong. I was wrong. Science has proved us wrong. Either our understanding, interpretation, and subsequent translation of God's word IS in error OR God is commanding us to be something in opposition to the gospel.

            Since it has taken me years to post even this comment on the internet, I know not to expect any immediate reply from you with a change of heart. I humbly suggest baby step 1: stop regurgitating. Say something like, "Well, I was taught by my pastor that … and I trust him/her on this issue." or "I read an article/book/whatever that claims to debunk that line of reasoning." OR, if you do know ancient Greek and Hebrew, then you might phrase it like so, "I've studied the oldest Greek and Hebrew writings searching for an alternative meaning/translation but despite all my efforts, I am left with the same difficult, heart-wrenching conclusion."

            Trusting your leaders and teachers is a good thing Mel, but sometimes we are wrong. On homosexuality, we are most definitely wrong.

          • Argy-bargy

            I Am A Person Who Is Agreeing With This Post (IAAPWIAWTP).

          • Matthew Tweedell

            Perhaps most didn't bother to go vote on that one because they knew the motion would pass and were busy spending their time focusing on REAL psychiatric disorders?

          • prisca

            There is no science that has ‘proved us wrong’ on this.

            God is not wrong nor would he allow his word to be mistranslated on this point for 2 thousand years nor ask us to repent of what cannot be repented of. Do you know how the American Psychological Association came to de-classify homosexuality as a psychological disorder? A vote was taken on all the APA members and only about 36% of the members even bothered to vote. That means that only about 25 % of the APA took the position that they wanted to remove this from the manual of disorders.ONLY 25%. And that vote was taken up in the first place because gay activists kept insisting that having what they did called a disorder made them feel bad. Loud and long they protested at meetings of the APA about this. This is a matter of public record, Look into it

            God is right — he is always right or he would not be God. He makes sure his Word is preseved and the science in this case was sloppy the vote was not a by a majority but only by only 25% and the vote was taken up in the first place due to political pressure. Check it out if you don’t believe me. People do not bother to do their homework and simply accept things heard second or third hand.

          • Ace

            "I humbly suggest baby step 1: stop regurgitating." Good advice, Ric. For ALL of us.

            Mel/Jenny – I hope you don't leave this place with a bad taste, even if your experience here has been confrontational. I can't speak for anyone else but I personally don't think you are a bad person any more than the rest of us, maybe just in need of more experience with engaging in calmer debate tactics.

            I've been posting on internet chat boards since 1999 (10th grade for me) and I was probably a lot meaner then, than you could ever dream of being, when I was in high school (I still am mean, LOL, but I have learned to dial back the crazy a bit).

            I hope John will let you come back eventually (if you decide to), because I think we all benefit from having a variety of view-points. There's no point to the discussion if everyone agrees from the start.

            And I can't speak for anyone else but I don't think you necessarily changing your mind was ever the issue, so much as people trying to get you to consider your own reasons for what you believe (which you seem to be starting to do) and, most importantly, to allow for the fact that other view points are also valid beliefs, even if you don't agree.

            Well if you never come back, I wish you the best wherever you do go.

      • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

        You really are a twit, Menny.

      • Soulmentor

        You know what, "Jenny"? You have gotten yourself into such a philosophical mental tangle because you really are just plain wrong in this matter, and no matter how hard you try, you cannot make wrong, right. I've been reading this whole dialogue and you have become exceedingly tiresome. You need to just go away and read some writings that will enlighten you….other than the Bible. Start with "What The Bible Really Says About Homosexuality" by Daniel Helmeniak, a former priest. If you give that an honest read, you will never think the same again about the subject, which is what you may be afraid of.

        I have a personal library on the subject more than twice my arm span so if you want to know more things to read, respond to this with that request and I'll see it in my email and get back to you.

        But don't bother if it's not a request prompted by a genuine desire to learn. I will not engage your religious blather.

  • Mindy

    Anti-fun because you burst her super-secret identity bubble. But you did it so nicely.

    I was just being immature and bratty, and you came along and acted all grown-up, and . . . wait, yeah, you ARE anti-fun . . . .

  • Don Whitt

    Anonymous Pastor,

    You seem very, very confused to me. You’ve compartmentalized you’re homosexuality and rationalized it. You do everyone a great disservice by doing so. You’re a poster child for those who would make homosexuality a sin and unnatural. Please face the truth and tell your wife.

    • Mindy

      Wise words, Don. I have read the Anonymous Pastor's comments here, and vacillate between feeling terribly sorry for him, and being completely annoyed that he's hone rationalization of this to such a fine point. If it were only his life, I'd say . . . well, whatever.

      But if I were his wife, and I ever found out that he'd written these letters and felt this way – and didn't trust me enough to tell me of his struggles – I'd feel horribly betrayed.

      AP, you are living a dishonest life. You've justified it all in a neat little package to fit your theology, but you are not only deceiving your wife, you are perpetuating the hurtful myth that homosexuality is bad, the very myth that has left this original letter writer in such turmoil and causes gay teens to die at their own hands to end the torment of a society, supported by Christian doctrine, that will not accept them. That is the greatest tragedy.

      • Susan

        @ MINDY:

        I was thinking the same thing about the new female commentator…The tone, the words chosen and the sentence structure seem oddly familiar. Or maybe I'm just jaded.

        • Mindy

          Oh, no, Susan, I think we both might be on to something.

          "Jenny?" "Mel?" What should we call her?

          • http://dianer.blogspot.com/ DR

            hmmmm.

          • Jenny

            "Jenny?" "Mel?"….what are you talking about? Am I the Jenny your talking about, or did I come into a different conversation?

          • Mindy

            Don't you just feel kinda silly, now? Or are you one of those people who just can't feel embarrassment, even when you behave badly?

            Whoever you are, how do you think I figured out that you were the same person as Mel? Why do you think I started "throwing the same stuff" at you? Because you started down the exact same road – about homosexuality and sin and it being a choice. I didn't want "Jenny" to wind up in the same long conversations as "Mel," with several people trying to say the same thing that "Jenny" wouldn't hear any better than "Mel" did. So I challenged you, and you came back exactly as I expected you would, telling me how mean I was and that I just better not talk to you anymore.

            If you're gonna fake a new identity, best not to act exactly the same way as you did under the old identity.

            As John said below, we've all done similar stupid things. A true sign of maturity is when you learn from your mistakes. Since you didn't even bother, in your "coming out" post below (oh yes, pun fully intended) to apologize at *least* to John, but certainly to everyone else who took the time to try to converse with "Jenny," for your blatant dishonesty, I have to wonder if you learned a darned thing. Instead, you tried to make John feel bad for outing you, and you blamed me for being a big fat meanie to you, again.

            All I was being, Jenny-Mel, was true to the same principles – that Christianity labeling homosexuality a sin is hurtful – to kids trying to figure out who they are, to the Letter Writer who has lived a life of secret shame, to the Anonymous Pastor who is living a lie, and to the wives and children entangled in it all. Were it not for that cultural/religious defining of who they are as "bad" – none of it would need to be happening.

            Your Mel self got pissy and left in a huff because you hate it and disagree with everything, then you came back as someone else to behave in exactly the same rigid way? Why? You admit that you have no desire to learn or change, only to refine your own positions.

            And you came back dishonestly to do more of the same – at the expense of a man seeking compassionate support. That's pretty low, Jenny-Mel. Pretty low.

          • Susan

            John, Kara, DR and Mindy. They deserve an apology or to be left alone.

            Kara, God lover her, offered so much time, energy, and gave it from her soul. You exhausted me, I cannot imagine how Kara did.

            @ KARA, your words were not in vain. Your posts will be read by many, educating them (including me), giving them hope.

            Thanks Kara. Lots of love goes out to you from this blog.

            Mel, as long as your not some fundamentalist, evangelical, pastor dude, something inside makes me sad for you. I don't know why.

            But please, don't come back and hurt other people. Don't come back and lie. Don't come back until you are ready to be whoever you are and be open. Don't come back until you feel bad about what you've done, not just regret it.

            Nobody wishes anything bad for you.

          • Susan

            *I cannot imagine how Kara managed it.

  • Luke

    I have struggled my whole life with being a gay Christian. It is something that never goes away. And yet I have come to some sense of peace in my mid 40′s. The Bible is very important to me and however much I have tried to agree with pro gay theology, I can’t., and believe me I have tried!!!

    I have been fortunate to have a supportive family and friends that I can talk to. Mostly my strength comes from trusting in a loving God who never promised to make me perfect or whole in this life, but promises joy in the journey as I carry my cross for Him, and believe that no suffering compares to the glory that He has in store for me! And that promise has always come through for me. Not to say there are not times of pain… of course.

    My advice is honesty, with friends and family (choose carefully as not everyone can hear what you want to say), but most of all be honest with God, and don’t believe those that condemn gay people to hell just because of orientation. That is not God.

    • DonP

      @Luke,

      "You're the man" Luke.

    • Jill

      Luke! I love how you put this. I also would like to say that when I was reading this man's letter, the only thing I could think of was that verse in the Bible where Paul, speaking fo the "thorn in his flesh" said that God's response to his pleas for God to take it away was: 'My grace is sufficient for you; My power is made perfect in your weakness." I wholeheartedly think that you are dealing with this is the complete RIGHT way: trusting God, and believing His word that He will sustain you. I also agree that God does not condemn gay people to hell just because of orientation! It doesn't matter if a person has those feelings…it's obedience to God that is important…taking up one's cross. You're wonderful for sharing. Thank you!

  • Mindy

    So it doesn't matter if a person has those feelings, but it does matter if they act upon them?

    • DonP

      Yes to some degree Mindy. Some feelings are symptoms of other problems or imbalances in our life.

      But, in or culture "feelings" is what it's all about. In my own generation "if it feels good do it" was the credo of the day. We live our lives reacting to feelings instead of logic and good.

      The bible teaches us just the opposite. When it says "love your neighbor", it is not saying have a good rolling through the soft grass with pretty music and dancing flowers feeling. It is a call to action, not feeling. A study of the words Jesus used when in John 21:15-17 he asked peter if he loved Him is a real good example of what I am saying here. Look up the different words in the Greek for love and then compare to the word Jesus used.

  • Mindy

    Well, thanks for that, DonP, but I was actually asking Jill.

    And your comparing the selfishness of a "feel good" culture to being gay makes it clear how little you understand about what that means.

    Here's my suggestion: Go back and read through ALL the comments on all of the postings John's written about Christianity and homosexuality. All of them, especially the ones from those who identify as gay.

    • DonP

      Clearly I made a mistake here Mindy. Please accept my apology and would you mind passing my pearls back, thank you…………I just assumed you were speaking English when you used the words "feelings" "acting upon them" and connected them to they "gay" subject yourself. . So Please Mindy excuse the hell opt of me.

  • Mindy

    You're excused.

    • Soulmentor

      I don't think his less than subtle arrogant insult is excusable. Did you toss back his pearls?!

      • Mindy

        Oh, Soulmentor, by excusing him, I was merely removing myself from any further communication with someone who clearly has no interest in actual conversation. And honestly, I'm learning to take those less-than-subtle insults from those with whom I vehemently disagree as compliments. That's been a long, hard lesson for me to learn. So I think I'll just hold on to the pearls. :)

    • DonP

      Dear, dear Mindy,

      First I had no way of knowing that you were replying to Jill. Your reply is not in the proper order. Additionally if you read what I said to Luke, it could just as easily applied to me. Second you suggested that I have no understanding of which I write. If you had read what I first wrote to JB at the beginning of John's posting of JB's letter; even a person with only a couple of neurons working could deduce that I know a great deal about the subject. Your neurotic gay vigilantism blind's you to even the possibility that there might be another way. The truth of the matter and yes I do know from personal experience that the attraction to the same gender is in every way related to "feelings". Additionally it is related to lust (a feeling) and In many cases it is the mind's effort to fill a void that was left empty by our own reaction to experiences in childhood (feelings). Now you may or may not want to accept that as fact. But I have the experience and the observation of others over many years to know this to be the case . I also, know the heartbreak and the loneliness of the internal fight to deny one's self in order to attempt to live a life devoted to God's law. In this day and age it is easy to be gay, Mindy. It is not easy to follow God's law. Does God love gay people? Just as much as He loves the thief hanging on the cross next to Jesus. Mindy, I don't say "don't be gay". I say :"be gay if you are gay" ( true change may not be possible) but live what I have experienced to be a better way not the "feel good" easy way. I honored my commitments ( I made them before I even new what gay was) and in my life, those who need to know do know. I have been married for 4 decades and raised a couple of damned healthy men. And God's grace has been sufficient for even me. Wasn't all that I wanted. But it was more than I needed.

      Now Mindy, you are "excused". I am "removing myself from any further communication with someone who clearly has no interest in actual conversation."

      • Mindy

        Don, I am not your "dear, dear" anything. Please do not patronize me.

        The fact that you have lived your life suppressing your true self is sad, to me, but if it is enough for you, well, then it is no one else's business but your own. I have not jumped all over those who have chosen celibacy, etc. I feel sorry for those who live a lie. I'd feel sorry for them/you regardless what that lie is.

        But the point is that no one should ever feel that they *have* to do that. Choosing it on their own – oh well. I don't get it, but it's not my problem.

        • Matthew Tweedell

          What you call fact is, as the Russian expression goes, not fact.

          How was he suppressing his true self? Isn't his true self that entity that would truly do what he himself does in life? The self that is no more than an individual amalgam of feelings is not the true self but the delusion that some day soon must pass away. But the self whose love is action not just feeling—he who raised his children and surely did so much more in life—will live though he rest his head, as his actions—and he, via them—still do things in and for the world.

          So what do you mean to "live a lie"? Was Don P lying about his feelings? And is action based first and foremost upon feelings inclined towards instant gratification instead of enduring satisfaction preferable? The "'feel good' easy way" does not lead one to rest in peace. Yet it was, until recent decades, basically the "lifestyle" that one would have to have if living as an openly LGBT individual. Of course, as you're arguing, no one should ever feel that they have live in the closet, as it were. But that doesn't put you in any place to judge, to think dishonest, to pity those whose choices—the choices facing them in life that, given the circumstances, were found most acceptable to their "true self"—aren't understandable to you. I've tried to point out to you before the error of the mentality you express again in your last sentence: When you don't get it, that is your problem.

          Who really lives a lie, Mindy? He who honors his commitments or she who gives her word, who takes a vow, that would prove not to be absolutely upheld unconditionally?

          • Mindy

            Perhaps you are right, Matthew. Perhaps his true self is simply a gay guy who pretends he's not gay.

            And if that's the case, then good for him. I will no longer feel sympathy for him.

      • Soulmentor

        Ah, yes, the same old very tired and very insulting canard, lumping us in with, in this instance, thieves. Why didn't you just add rapists, pedophiles and murderers while you were at it. You WERE thinking it, weren't you.

        That false canard it so insulting that I would risk assault if I was facing you. "Sticks and stones……" be damned.

        BTW, I'm long divorced, gay and at peace with whatever God may be. And I've also raised two very fine sons, both successful military officers, Coast Guard and Marines. You think you know so much, but you have SO much to learn.

        • DonP

          You assume a lot. Had my wife not made the choice to stay married I would be in the same style shoes you are in now. Of that I am certain. I would have made the easy choice just as you did. I am very weak except when I am motivated by my love for my family. I consider myself fortunate that God gave me the opportunity to taste the fruit of self sacrifice. I have been on both sides of the fence you know. Believe me when I say the latter is far tastier than the former. I would not be saying this if it were not rue. Not that it is ever easy. It's just right for me to keep my promises and live as close what's truly right as I can.

          You are right about one thing. I do indeed, have SO much to learn. Every new solution to life's problems brings with it a hundred more questions. This blog of John's is proof of that. As I reckon the years of men, I am in the latter days of life. If there is one thing I have learned in my years it is that I am absolutely certain I have a lot to learn.

          I do not judge you as a sinner, soulmentor. I speak only as one sinner to another, I have found a better way ……….. and lived it.

          Thieves. rapists, pedophiles and murderers? They are in all of us. If you feel judged the source is not me.

          • Mindy

            I'm confused, DonP. How, exactly, can you say you are not judging, while at the same time saying:

            "I speak only as one sinner to another, I have found a better way ……….. and lived it. "

            "I would have made the easy choice just as you did. I am very weak except when I am motivated by my love for my family. I consider myself fortunate that God gave me the opportunity to taste the fruit of self sacrifice."

            I am not saying, by any means, that self-sacrifice is not honorable and sometimes quite necessary to do right when it matters. And if you made this sacrifice after honest disclosure to your wife, for the sake of your family, then I don't believe anyone has an ounce of room to criticize you.

            But calling soulmentor's choice "easy" and saying that you found and lived "better" – that, without question, is judging. You made the right choice FOR YOU. That doesn't mean anything that any other person has gone through, even if on the surface it seems to be the same situation, was or is easy.

          • DonP

            Now I’m confused, I thought we "excused" ourselves from each other.

            You are right. I imposed my own experience on soulmentor. Once again, I have learned something new. However, the word easy, though I used it without explanation, is a relative term when used in the context of making these hard decisions. That is as you would say "my experience".

            I suppose tongues are made different when tasting exotic fruit Huh? Some are poisonous though you know.

          • Soulmentor

            OK, Don. I came off a bit harsh but, you see, you do not know my experience. Yes, you chose a different way and you think the self-sacrifice was worth it for your family. If you feel that way, then it was…for you, and I applaud you for it. It was very honorable.

            But my situation was actually quite different. My marriage was beyond salvage and not only because of my sexuality. Like the writer of the letter to John, there were other reasons, ours being her need to be the "boss". She came from a matriarchal family where the father was an alcoholic piece of furniture and the mother ruled, and I came from a traditionally patriarchal farm family who's loving dedicated mother never new her dreams . You can imagine how well that worked out. I tried honestly. Went to counseling, etc, but my wife refused to share that and chose instead vitriol and alcohol. She sunk into drunken bitterness. At one point she slung an empty gallon wine bottle at my head. Missed fortunately. Another time one of my sons had to step between me and a knife inches from my belly. Meanwhile I struggled in tear soaked agony often flat on my face. My sons were high school age and came to great understanding of the situation as I sat at their bedside crying together while she decided they didn't need to be talked to about it, at last themselves suggesting it was time I had to go; not in anger or condemnation, but in a realization that the situation was untenable. We separated and she filed for divorce. The marriage didn't end formally until two years later when we were finally both ordered into court to finish it because she ignored virtually every effort made by both attorneys to end it. Her own attorney finally quit!!

            My struggle with being gay didn't end there, however. I agonized for a couple more years while doing a lot of study and reading (I now have a personal library on the subject longer than twice my arm span and probably a Masters Degree informally in my head) and I've come to the realization that the struggle was unnecessary all along. A great weight was lifted from me when I finally looked up to God in tears and said "I just can't do this anymore. I'm going my way as who I am and if you disapprove, you will block my way". He didn't, and 20 years later I'm quite content and at peace with who I am. IT WAS DISTINCTLY NOT AN "EASY" CHOICE. As I know yours was also not easy, I reach out to you in a spirit of love from one man who knows the pain of another.

            During my "process", all the religious trappings were burned away and it came down to me and Jesus. Christian "religiosity" no longer matters to me. In fact, I despise it as the cause for all my pain. I was raised conservative Lutheran, moved my family to the ELCA and after the divorce found myself and my new partner sitting on the council of a Congregational denomination. After 8 years with him, he "got religion" , tore my heart out and, in the spirit of "sacrifice" crawled back even deeper into his Catholic past to what I regard as the darkness of fundie orthodox Catholicism….because he couldn't resolve the guilt. It was HE who took the easy way, where he doesn't have to struggle because someone will provide all the answers for him. Except for family funerals, I haven't entered a church since.

            Meantime, gay teens continue to commit suicide at a rate 4 times greater than their str8 peers for reasons we all know too well yet do nothing about because, guess what, the hazing and hatred and bigotry remains the direct result of the "permission" Christian religiosity gives to it. When will we grow up, let go, and let Jesus. Not God, an abstraction that is whatever we make in our image, but Jesus. It is his truth that set me free.

            PS: My wife's twin sister is lesbian. Worst kept non-secret in the family. Go figure. What a world, huh?!

          • DonP

            I am so sorry for your pain. The "Church" has done a great disservice to Gays by insisting that "change" is necessary or even possible. Instead of teaching people how to live freely in who we are, they insist that we must conform to some idea that they perceive to be "Godly". While, I do believe change of behavior is possible. I am living proof of that. I don't believe that God wants us to believe that the feelings we have are wrong. Feelings are feeling. It's what we do with them that matter. Probably where you and I will differ is that I see only homosexual acts to be sin, not the feelings. Our actions are quite controllable our feelings are not so easily changed. I have learned to be comfortable in my own skin and I am not ashamed. I have learned that loving someone and wanting to be close to someone does not mean it has to evolve into a sexual relationship. I did not choose this thing, it chose me. But I have learned to compensate and in doing so have found the most remarkable life.

            Thank you for sharing your story.

  • StraightGrandmother

    I am new to your website having found it by following a link about the pigs having wings being posted on Facebook. I have spent over an hour reading the comments and I must admit I am terrified to comment. I do not have the knowledge nor capacity that all of you have to write so elequotently and mainly non confrontational but I'll try. On to the topic at hand-

    I feel inccrediably sad for the pastor who cannot safely act on his gay feelings because the price he will pay will be so high. You know I don't mind it when people are in the closet expecially at their places of emplyment, although for their mental health I think it is better to be out with all family and friends, even if you loose a few becasue of it.

    But I really do mind this pastor being in the closet and basically kind of living a lie and here is why.

    Because he is a pastor, and pastors preach and teach about God and what God thinks about this and that and one topic is same sex attraction. He said that he would loose his job because his denomination is anti gay. I guess I am old fashioned, I always like of believe that pastors are to be good examples, while not sinless, I would hope that they sin less than me. I am not syaing this very well I am trying to put into words this bad feeling I have about the situation and it is hard.

    It seems phony to me, "Do as I say and not as I do" type of thing. Personally I don't think there is anything wrong at all if you are gay, lesbian, bi sexual or transgender but to be that way and then stand up and literally preach to others that it is wrong while not discosing your true self seems kind of, oh I don't know the right word, two faced or something like that. It's insincere.

    I think if you are gay (even if you don't act on it) don't you have to align yourself in a denomonation that allows you to stand up and preach as a truthfull person?

    Basically I think the whole sitaution is very very sad. My hope is that this pastor comes clean to his wife, comes out of the closet and leaves her to find a man who can fulfill her completely, finds a church where he can preach truthfully and falls in love with a wonderful gay man and that they have wonderful mutually sky rocketing sex together and he dies happy and goes to heaven.

    The whole key to his life, how he is managing to hang on by his fingernails is that he has not found a man (yet). That is how he is managing to have one day roll into the next with the status quo. But I bet a million bucks one day he will and then he will have wasted many years of his wife's life and her chance to find complete happiness with a hetrosexual man. Everything will change once he meets the man of his dreams and then the church, the wife, the children even, will come second and actually I am okay with that. That is where we all operate best in life with a partner in life where we are physically and emotionally attracted and bound to. That solid home base enables us to go out into the world and do good. He will simply move on to a new church that will look up to him as he is.

    p.s. you are ALL awsome posters and I learned so much here today.

    • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

      Way to face and overcome your fear about posting! Well done.

      • Mindy

        Exactly what I was thinking, tildeb! Welcome, SG!

  • StraightGrandmother

    I realize I got sidetracked on the gay pastor and didn't respond the the origional topic of a Christian man who is fighting being gay.

    Personally I do not think it is possible to pray away the gay. The way you write I feel sorry for you, sympathy. I guess God jsut made you gay is all and I would like to say to you, "It is okay to be gay" really, it is okay to be gay. There is nothing wrong with it, God made you that way you didn't deliberatly choose to be gay. I think you should stop fighting it. Like the other people said, you do have to tell your wife and the sooner the better. You have to allow her time to grieve as she has lost the person she thought she knew and then you have to move out of the house and get an apartment and start your life anew, as the real you.

    It's for the best, you deserve happiness you deserve intimacy, you deserve to connect with a soulmate you can emotionally and physically bond with. You made a mistake getting married, children are of course never a mistake. Everyone is going to be hurting for a while but then it will get better, it will get better for everybody. Your children will learn firsthand that love and acceptance knows no boundries. Hopefully your wife will be able to move on and have a more robust intimate relationship with a new husband. You will probably have to find a new church but there are churches out there that you will feel comfortable in. I don't see how this will change your relationship with your Lord and Saviour, if anything you will be praying for strength and probably become more spiritual because you will need it more.

    To finish this up, stop suffereing I don't think anyone who loves you (once the shock wears off) wants you to suffer. Really it is okay to be gay, love yourself.

  • prisca

    TO THE AUTHOR OF THIS LETTER

    If you believe you were "born with this' or 'born this way' you are the victim of a cruel and false secular idea that only came about in the last 30 years or so. Please reconsider. The 'born that way' myth started to be spread widely in the mid 80's. I had gay friends in the late 70's early 80's through my work as a waitress. I spent a lot of time socializing with them and knew much about their private lives and upbringing as we were open with each other about our pasts and families and shared a lot about such topics. To a person none of my friends ever said they were 'born that way'. They mentioned desires that showed up in adolesebce. All of them complained of problems with relationships with one or both of their parents. My closest gay friend told me of his rather stiff and cold father (who I met– it was a good description of him as it turned out) and how he (my friend) was born the 3rd boy to a mother who was desperately wanted this 3rd child to be a girl. She forged a 'companion' relationship with him–the kind moms have with daughters. Then she had a 4th child who was a girl–and focused that kind of attention on her- but still remained close to my friend, and he remained close to his mother and to his sister, but was not attached to his father. He was a fun guy, great manners, liked him a lot. He left home at 18 so he could engage in open gay relations. He also never said to me "I was born this way". This "I was born this way" claim started to become commonly heard AFTER they years I spent with these friends.

    I sat back after my life took me in a different direction away from these friends and thought about what they had told me about their lives and what I observed as well. I asked myself do they do this becasue they have no choice about it? I could only conclude at that time that they were not 'born that way' but that their desires had been shaped in childhood by parental mistakes.The desire many not have been their choice, but acting on the desire was. I have also heard many state sexaul abuse can have the same affect. At any rate, I was not a Christian when I was friends with these men, and as their friend, certainly no 'homophobe' when I came to this conclusion–just someone who had many gay friends and stopped to think deeply about why they engaged in gay sex based on what they said about their lives nad what I saw for myself. I became a Christain much later. The Bible also tells us these desires are just that, desires, not an intrinsic part of a persons make-up. They are not like race or gender– If they were God wouldnt tell us not to engage in them or that they are sin as he does. God doesnt tell a woman to repent her femaleness or a black man to repent of his race becasuse those are intrinsic aspects of ones personhood. He can only tell us to repent of what is 'repentable' of–and he tells us to repent of fornication, adulterly and homosexual acts.So God is teaching us this is a desire that is sinful, not an intrinsic part of who humans are. So I really hope and pray you will not be duped, nor let yourself off the hook and buy into the lie that you are not able to change this. Lust–homosexual or heterosexual– is NOT any easy sin to gain victory over, I know from personal experience as well as through many close friends who struggled with it for years. One gains victory by drawing close to Jesus and when the relationship is sufficiently close you will have the victory. You have to repent of any kinds of idols or anyhthing that is sinful that gets in the way of that relationship in the course of seeking victory. Please do not listen to Mr Shore or anyone who tries to decieve you that this is not sin or that you are born this way. The Bible–throughout the Old and New Testaments says the opposite, not once or twice but multulple times in multiple books of both Testaments. That should convince you of what God is saying about this. We live in a time where the SECUALAR trend is to call all kinds of sexual conduct good. But the Bible tells us to hold onto God's wisdom and the truth adn not be swawed by the changing winds of secular morals. Hold onto the truth in the Word and seek Gods help to overcome this with all you have, and you WILL, if you DO battle with this sin, overcome it.

    • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

      Ah, it's all those darned people-who-support-secularism's fault.

      Prisca, do yourself a favour: go back to the beginning of this thread, and read John's post again. Then read every comment. Get yourself a nice cup of tea or something to set the mood. Read all the testimonials, the arguments for and against, the interpretations offered. Read what others think, say, and believe. Collate it. See for yourself how well informed the various views are, how well interpreted are the biblical bits you place so much value in. See for yourself by the generous donations of others time and effort why your position is so weak, one that makes god so small and mean-spirited and ineffective, and see what costs accrue to others for your extending your beliefs into the real world. Then compare what you read about the central message others think defines christianity and compare the intent of your beliefs against that intent.

      If you do all this, you will have the opportunity to learn something very valuable, very meaningful. But you will have to shelve your beliefs long enough to stop judging each comment as they come up until you are done. Then pull them back out and see if they haven't undergone a miracle of transformation.

      • prisca

        I know a great deal on this topic and my interest in it began from my sincere and close friendships with many homosexuals. I took a great deal of time to think about this topic and come to a conclusion on it based on what my friends shared with me as well as the statements of people like william s burroughs.

        Im a trained bible teacher,. I never approached the bible study apologetically, that is as some thing to peruse back up my ideas, I simply studied it systematically, book by book and taught it for years. I have read the entire bible and studied it systematically book by book I found that my observations about homosexuality as a person with many gay friends,years ago, are born out in Scripture. I do not have to read John Shore on this (I read him at HUFF PO,) nor do I have to read all the comments, I have read many such comments over the last few years. I shared how my views came to be formed based on my experience and also what the Bible has to say on it, and can ceratinly go into that in more detail. you seem to need to impy I am ignorant ill informed etc

        My position is not weak, my position comes not only through my friendships with many who practice these acts and therefore I cannot be written off as a ‘homophobe’ or as someone who has never been exposed to homosexuals or that lifestyle, but my position is also informed by my calling as a bible teacher who approached the study of God’s word as the way to know God better and obey him and help others to know him too. That study imparted to me the knowledge that God has condemned homseuxal acts from the Old Testament through and in The New Testament as well, but as with all sins, its can be overcome and one can be delievered from it, you dont like my postion but my positon is well informed from both a former secular , as well as current believing position

        • DR

          Your positions are contributing to gay kids killing themselves. But the food news is that hundreds of Christians are reading this blog and realizing that for themselves. Their love for children is enormous and they will lay down the need to be "right" about this issue and instead, due their duty as people who have been given the gift of Love beyond measure and start actively doing what needs to be done to prevent kids from dying. Not going to your particular Bible study may be one of those choices (though certainly reading the Word of God is essential).

        • Matthew Tweedell

          I didn't see this comment before I posted the below reply, so I thought I'd address a couple things here as well.

          "you seem to need to impy I am ignorant ill informed etc"

          Well, with sentences like that, need we think otherwise?

          Anyhow, teacher of the law, what exactly does arsenkoites refer to then?

        • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

          Well, prisca, if your position is so well informed, then you will enlighten us, I'm sure, and to our benefit I hope. I am always ready to learn.

          You can start by impressing this secular enlightenment gnu atheist by explaining how you might determine if you could be wrong (not that you are, of course, but how can I know unless you tell me what it might take to prove your belief positions incorrect)?

        • Soulmentor

          So you have studied the Bible. I'm sure you know it backwards, forwards and upside down and can quote chapter and verse but………..have you read and studied anything else? Have you "studied" any thing that will enlighten you about the history of that Bible, it's mind boggling history of re-interpretation, the cultural contexts of the various writers , epistemology (I'm guessing you don't even know the meaning of that word), etc? You can know the Bible intimately and still be pitifully ignorant of it.

          READ AND STUDY OTHER WRITINGS before you present yourself as such a Biblical expert. Start with "WHAT THE BIBLE REALLY SAYS ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY" by Daniel Helmeniak, a former priest. That alone should open your mind, tho that's probably what you fear. Give it an honest read and you will never think the same again about the Bible vis-a-vis homosexuality. I'd bet you fear that too. But don't stop there. Read "THE ALPHABET VERSUS THE GODDESS" by Leonard Shlain, to learn how written language influences cultures and physical brain development and therefore, history and then apply that to Biblical history. Also, "CHRISTIANITY, SOCIAL TOLERANCE AND HOMOSEXUALITY" by John Boswell, a Yale professor fluent in several of the pertinent ancient languages who did much of his research in, of all places, the Vatican archives. Then go to "THE GOOD BOOK" by Peter Gomes, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard. After that, you might find enlightenment in the "HISTORY OF GOD", by Karen Armstrong, a former Roman Catholic nun who's credentials include Oxford University, "THE BIRTH OF CHRISTIANITY" by John Dominic Crossan" world renowned Biblical history expert and member of The Jesus Seminar and author of "THE HISTORICAL JESUS". Mix in "THE HISTORY OF HEAVEN" by Jeffrey Burton Russell and "THE ORIGIN OF SATAN" by Elaine Pagels and "WHY CHRISTIANITY MUST CHANGE OR DIE" by (now retired) Epiiscopal Bishop John Shelby Spong. When you're done with all that, I have more suggestions from my personal library that is longer than twice my arm span.

          You might also consider how you can believe so strongly in a book that has a myriad variety of interpretive publications including those that include books yours does not. You can have YOUR Bible memorized but if it's the only thing you know, you remain ignorant of it.

          • Soulmentor

            Oh,I forgot "BIOLOGICAL EXUBERANCE" by Bruce Bagemihl, PhD in Biology and biological research at the Univ of British Columbia. His book is an exhaustive scholarly tome on homosexuality in the animal kingdom….with lots of pictures (gasp!!). That book brings a hammer down on the lie that homosexuality is "unnatural".

    • Matthew Tweedell

      "The Bible also tells us these desires are just that, desires, not an intrinsic part of a persons make-up. They are not like race or gender– If they were God wouldnt tell us not to engage in them or that they are sin as he does."

      Not true in the least. Jeremiah 13:23:

      Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.

      TO THE AUTHOR OF THIS LETTER

      Please do not listen to prisca or anyone who tries to decieve you.

      @tildeb: Very impressed with your comments recently!

      • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

        Thank you, MT. You are a gentleman.

    • StraightGrandmother

      Does it concern you at all if a lot of real nice Christian parents are offended by you shoveling the blame on them, that it was their bad parenting that turned their kids gay? To flesh out your logic of "It is the parents fault" isn't the logical conclusion that then all the kids in the family turn out gay? Why is thin not so in actuality, that in actuality there is usually only one child who turns out gay?

      You claim to almost be an expert on this from having gay friends back in the 70's and 80's and from hearing their stories and observing them. Personally I find your qualifications a bit thin.

      • DR

        StraightGrandmother, that you were afraid to post and are commenting anyway is so AWESOME and I am in love with you! I am a woman and am straight, so don't worry. :) But seriously – you're fabulous.

        • StraightGrandmother

          Thank you so much you are very sweet to say that *blushes*.

          My thoughts on gays and the Bible is not very complex. All current valid (and by valid I mean outside peer reviewed and published in National Professional orgainizations the for example the American Psychological Association) scientific reasearch says that being gay, lesbian, bi sexual or transgender falls within the normal spectrum of human sexuality. Second the children being raised in homes of GLBT families are not harmed and do just as well as children being raised in hetrosexual families. Third the human beings who wrote the Bible in the ancient times did not have on hand the science we currently do so the current science trumps the ancient writings. To say otherwise condemns GLBT people quite unfairly.

          You have to take the spirit of the Bible or should I say of Jesus Christ. It sounds kind of corny but I think to myself WWJD, What Would Jesus Do? I just can't imagine him telling a gay man or a lesbain woman that they are just going to have to tough it out that they are not deserving of having a soulmate here on earth, when everyone else gets to have one. I can't see Jesus saying that is all. My thought process is not very advanced and everyone here is a much much better Bible "expert" than me. But these things above I have learned about and I do know.

          • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

            It seems to be more 'advanced' than for many still mired in the rule book while telling others how they think the game should be played.

          • Mindy

            You are so very right. I couldn’t respond to Prisca last night – she is so revolting to me that I knew if I did, it would be ugly. I know too many gay people – AND their parents – to think for one minute that her “expertise” is anything but drivel. In the ’70s and ’80s, people were still looking for someone to “blame” for homosexuality – so of course it often became the parents, because gays knew that they’d been different since they were first aware of their sexuality – in childhood. Who has the biggest influence on children? Their parents. So it must be their fault.

            No. It is not. She is sooo wrong, and the fact that she teaches her wrong-headed thinking just hurts my heart.

          • Argy-bargy

            Thank you, SG. This is well put. And don’t put yourself down. You don’t have to have “expert” learning to have good reasoning. And you do, abundantly.

            I’ve considered a balancing of evils in all of this. Consider:

            If the Bible is correct and homosexuality is sin, and if the Bible is correct and it is God’s pronouncement of such, then condoning homosexuality by leaving gays entirely alone in this respect, would lead these individuals to perdition. That would indeed be tragic

            If, however, this is not what God wants, that He doesn’t condemn homosexuality as a sin, then any persecution or even denigration of gays is unsupported by divine ordinance, and any consequences of such persecution or condemnation would fall on the persecuter or condemner. Therefore, if there is NO basis for doing so, persecuting these people would be sin.

            Which is the greater sin? Allowing individuals to sin, and doing nothing, not even judging them as sinners, or persecuting them wrongly, and perhaps even hounding them to their death?

  • StraightGrandmother

    Excuse me MarkF but I am having a very very difficult time beleiving that you are a 51 year old ex gay man. I have read my share of posts that gay men write and yours is nothing at all like them. I'm a skeptic.

    • MarkF

      Well, what can I say? Tell you how many Bette Davis movies I've seen? Do the secret handshake for you?

      • StraightGrandmother

        Here you should know this then. Who do gays and lesbians look up to as supporter and singer for "them" Not current like Lady Gaga (I first listened to one of her songs after she brought the discharged service members with her to that award show she was on), but one from maybe 15 20 years ago. I found out the anser in quite a round about way but apparently this singer is liek really "the one" and all the gays know this.

        • Anakin McFly

          I don’t know the answer. :( Cyndi Lauper? Shot in the dark. Am I straight now?

        • Elizabeth

          Judy Garland in the 60s. Then Cher. You only have to know gay men to know this.

  • A

    Hi – I came here directed by a friend's link.

    I found the content of this blog interesting in all respects, and I found John to be very genuine and very open. It is good to know that some people can be rational about Christianity and homosexuality. The "hot-button" status of this sort of argument tends to make people a little overly passionate, in my opinion, and it's refreshing to see such a safe harbor, especially here on the internet. The amount of goodwill contained in this blog (especially directed at gays and others who suffer difficulties in society) is nothing short of heartwarming.

    However, I am rather confused at how "liberal" (I use that word aware of its connotation, but not intended as an insult) Christians can attack the views of "conservative" Christians in such a manner. Granted, these "conservatives" seem to me as being misguided, and often, offensive, but it seems that many here with even the purest intentions come down too hard on them. You argue that they are incorrect, and this is not where my contention comes from. Call me a hippie, but what is dubbed "tough love" seems to me unnecessarily harsh. I suspect that this is because, even when attempting to speak rationally, the "conservatives" come across as judgmental – indeed, their statements ARE judgmental. However, the fact that they are judgmental gives "liberals" no reason to be judgmental in return.

    On that note, I would try to direct your attention to something that has been the core of my problem with Christianity since I was adolescent, and has been reignited from this visit. It seems here that everyone "knows" the Bible, that they can "prove" things and decide what is right and what is wrong, based on that context. The term "conservative" often is taken to mean that someone who has been fed ideas and morals and accepted them as true, and thus stagnates. The term "liberal" has come to mean someone who is a "free-thinker" and forms their own opinions. My problem with both of these methods of thought is that often, both wind up becoming the SAME EXACT THING. Liberals, in this sense, have simply created their own opinions, as opposed to being taught it, yet they arrive at the same result: stagnation. They accept what they believe as absolute truth. I feel that both camps live without questioning why they believe what they do. A great deal of people feel that life is wasted in thought, yet I sincerely believe the unexamined life in not worth living to begin with.

    God is infinite; we are finite. I feel like this is a Christian byword, which, repeated so frequently, becomes shallow. I challenge you all to think about the deeper ramifications of this statement – He is wise, and we are not. If, as Christians, we are to live a life devoted to him, how can we judge what is right and what is wrong? How can we judge what to believe? The answer may be obvious, but even it bears questioning. The Bible. It is somewhere referred to as the source of wisdom. Okay… but what does that mean? Is it a literal manual, each and every word to be followed to the letter? "Liberal" Christians and most rational "conservative" Christians would likely disagree. Why? Errors in translation, literal and allegorical meanings, outdated-ness (though I feel that reason lacking, I probably shouldn't ramble more) – the reasons don't matter in this discussion. Okay. We've thus established that the Bible can't be taken literally. What I ask now is HOW we, as Christians, must interpret the Bible. It is this question that perhaps, out of the three that lead me to question my faith, that bothers me most, and is most relevant to any kind of Christian commentary on homosexuality.

    Who among us is wise enough to interpret the only true source of wisdom? And therein lies the problem. Agh. My brain can take little more of theology/philosophy for tonight.

    I feel like by making these statements/observations/what-have-yous I have become somewhat judgmental myself, and if so, I apologize. I merely was attempting to elucidate something I felt to you all. I am sorry if I seem to have spoken out of turn.

    I would further like to digress and say that I worry I have become muddled and confused, and thus have become incoherent. My ideas made sense in my head, as did these sentences. Please do not cast aside what I have to say based on my inaccuracy in communication, as that seems to be the only other significant problem here, or even on the grounds of irrelevancy. I find this to be extremely important, and the very writing of this has helped me examine my own questioning Christian/agnostic status.

    I appreciate any kind of response, and God bless you all.

    To the letter writer – God loves you. Take solace in that fact. It's repeated so many times in the church, it becomes a Christian byword. But think about it. What that means, for you and for humanity. He LOVES you. As do a great proportion of the people who follow this blog.

    • DR

      I think your critique is valid. For me, being "tough" can certainly take on a level of passion that ceases to be productive. I'm guilty of that. For me, that passion is fueled by the anger that accompanies grief. I am grieving for the damage that the church has done to the gay community, to the children we've allowed to be abused. But hey, no excuses if I've pushed too hard then that's on my shoulders. Deb, a conservative poster actually provided some constructive feedback along those lines (thanks Deb if you're still reading).

      There is a certain expectation that I've experienced among my christian brothers and sisters where we expect to be dealt with kindly. We believe we are rooted in kindness, and so we expect that to be offered in return. When we don't get it? We tend to focus on our feelings. But our *feelings* are often what keeps us buffered and once removed from the impact our theology is having on children who are gay as well as adults who manage to survive the experience, particularly gay kids in christian homes. Peoples' feelings are secondary. And sometimes being attacked is exactly what we need – sometimes not being liked is exactly what we need – to start paying attention.

      So sure, some people don't feel great after reading here. In my opinion, none of us who are christians should feel particularly great about our role in hurting the gay community. So if people walk away really upset and offended? That's unfortunate. But that they never forget this conversation? That a little bit of it stays with them because they got shocked into listening? That someone didn't cater to their offense? I'll live with it.

      • A

        Thanks DR, for responding.

        You are absolutely right, I feel, when talking about how "we expect to be dealt with kindly." I think that far too often Christians (myself, included) fall into the trap of not wanting to offend anybody, of not wanting to shock or challenge people. But ultimately, that is what we are called to do.

        I do, on the other hand, find your last paragraph difficult to swallow. You accept the results of the attack as "unfortunate." Despite how people feel after reading here, it seems problematic that people walk away "upset and offended." People who feel such a way are likely not going to respond well. Rarely, I suspect, will such an attack make them more open-minded, perturbed as they may be. "Shocking into listening," in my (granted, rather limited) experience, isn't a very fruitful tack when it comes to convincing someone of something, which, hopefully, is your intention. Rather, it seems reminiscent of intellectual bullying, wherein, after presenting what you believe, it becomes you tearing them down rather than building them up, and building up is an important aspect of Christianity, at least to me. Simply ripping apart the foundation for someone's beliefs doesn't necessarily make them want to adopt yours. Usually it just pisses people off. I mean – I could go into more detail, but I think my point is clear?

        • DR

          Well, here's where I'm at, A. There is a point where people need to hear that their intention really doesn't matter in the ways they want it to when kids are being hurt by their impact. It all comes down to what we're all really willing to learn and what we choose to be offended by.

          Christians can choose to either be offended by me or people they read here. I used to have some similar beliefs and it took someone telling me that he didn't trust me at my core as a result of them. And I will never forget how painful that was, it shocked me and it made me angry that he held me so accountable to what those other bad christians were doing. He reminded me that we are all in the same tent. He was right to do so.

          So people can choose to believe I am bullying them, they can see me as the bad guy and choose to write off anything that's being said as a result of that. Or they can honor the role of Truth – Truth being a sword – consider not being victimized and just listen without consideration of their *self* for a few minutes.

          Lastly, I'm not here to change anyone's mind, I can't. People change their own mind. We truly to find what it is that we seek. There have been a number of Christians who have entered into this dialogue with a "let me clear this up for you" mentality and are absolutely shocked to hear that they are considered – in part – responsible for the damage gay kids do to themselves in this culture. What I'm doing is ensuring that these people understand the impact of their theology as it plays out in the vulnerability of children who are gay. No one wants to connect those dots, it's awfully easy to just keep talking about the Bible. And fine, talk about the Bible. But take it all the way. It's an issue of integrity, own the consequences of the implementation of your theology.

          They can also r choose to set all of that aside and really listen to why people (like me) are so angry with them. Trust me – after you hold ravaged gay kids – literally, ravaged, they are sobbing messes – while at a homeless shelter with them because their loving christian parents kicked them out? Your tolerance and patience diminishes. And I know that tonight, there are hundreds of kids out there and that a bunch of christians are content to just bat the biblical verses of Leviticus around is fairly shocking to me. I'm pissed about that. I think more of us should be.

          • DR

            A, one more thing (and thank you for writing, by the way. I'm sure a lot of people who've read this thread have felt exactly as you do and felt scared to say something. Good for you, it's important and I'm really glad you brought it up).

            Here is someone who has been deeply, deeply wounded by the christian community. Here is the "lost sheep" that Jesus says He won't leave behind. Here is someone God sent His Son to die for. And here is what he wants Christians to know who are upset that people like Dan are angry with them. It's a very difficult read, but you seem like someone who is truly pursuing the truth. So here is some truth.

            http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2010/10

          • A

            Whoops – I missed this post. I appreciate it and am off to read it before bed.

            Two things:

            I feel like I'm playing Devil's Advocate. Eegads. x.X

            I appreciate your responses. I feel like I'm becoming repetitive, but it is wonderful to see… intelligence, for lack of a better word, on such a crazy subject, issue, whatever. I hope to see similar responses from others (but not too similar. I like new ideas.) on this awesome site.

          • MarkF

            "…because their loving christian parents kicked them out."

            You are making a bad assumption here. Loving parents don't kick kids out, no matter what they've been told at their church.

            Homosexuality starts with problems at home, either neglect, abuse or abandonment. The family problems that you see with the kids are the cause of the kid's homosexuality.

            Also, I've worked the homeless plenty. The first thing you realize when you work with the homeless is NEVER to believe the stories that they tell as to why they're homeless. You get stories from 50 year old guys who claim they're Vietnam vets! They would have been 14 at the end of the war then. But the story works, gets them sympathy and so they use it. My experience is that these kids also have to make up stories in order to get fed and sheltered. Then the media picks up on it and we have a while urban legend about horrible Christians kicking innocent kids out into the streets.

          • Argy-bargy

            "Also, I’ve worked the homeless plenty."

            Do you mean you've worked the homeless plenty or worked with them? Is this a Freudian slip? :-)

          • MarkF

            No, it was just a mistake.

          • Mindy

            OK, how 'bout – their *supposedly* loving family kicks them out? Their family who pretends to be loving until, you know, their kid comes out?

            And your continued insinuation that all gay kids come from dysfunctional homes is astounding – both in its incorrectness and your refusal to back it up with citations of any kind. Your anecdotal history is all you are basing this blanket statement on, and I can provide you with anecdotal evidence to the exact contrary. So where's your proof? I don't give a flying fig that you say you know all this – I have no way of knowing that you are even telling the truth about your own history, given that (a) this is the internet and you are an anonymous commenter, and (b) you haven't hung around here long enough to establish yourself as consistently valid.

            You may be wiser at 51 than you were at 21, but that doesn't make you the keeper of all knowledge, nor does your brand of wisdom make you correct. Cite some sources to back up this blanket claims, or stop making them.

          • MarkF

            I already said, I don' t debate with people on here. It's pointless. I don't like to play ping pong.

            I will say one interesting thing about liberals. They love credentials. They defer to authority figures on virtually anything.

            One hundred and fifty years ago, science believed in phrenology. I also know many psychologists who tell me what happens to them when they dare to voice opposition to the collective nonsense that is enforced by real bullying.

            I trust my own eyes and ears. People only tell researchers what they're comfortable with. Garbage in, garbage out.

          • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

            So your promise to leave was just a tease.

          • Argy-bargy

            150 years ago, religion believed (and defended) slavery.

          • DR

            You are making a bad assumption here. Loving parents don’t kick kids out, no matter what they’ve been told at their church.>>>

            That was sarcasm. I think we all know that.

            Homosexuality starts with problems at home, either neglect, abuse or abandonment. The family problems that you see with the kids are the cause of the kid’s homosexuality.>>>

            Nah.

            Also, I’ve worked the homeless plenty. The first thing you realize when you work with the homeless is NEVER to believe the stories that they tell as to why they’re homeless.>>>

            Yeah, the problem with that is that I also worked with the families so their stories were real.

            My experience is that these kids also have to make up stories in order to get fed and sheltered. >>>

            Interesting. My experience is that these kids who are getting raped, beaten and pimped out after getting hooked on drugs after getting kicked out of their homes for being a "faggot" is that they would far prefer getting fed and sheltered at home.

          • Mindy

            I think StraightGrandmother nailed it, and that MarkF was a big fat liar-troll. I've never heard his sentiments, at least not about "thousands" of gay people, from anyone. Pockets of it, of course. Worse in some areas than areas, some age groups than others – but all those absolutes? Nahhhh . . . .

            John did everyone a favor by blocking him.

          • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

            Mindy: You don't know how big a favor. Well, now you do, since here's the last "comment" Mark F tried to post:

            Yes, you’re fine with dissent, as long as it doesn’t disagree with you. This is Soviet style freedom…you are free to have you beliefs as long as they don’t endanger the Soviet state or the workers it represents.

            As far as “protecting kids”, you’re the person who would let homosexuals back into the priesthood and would force the Boy Scouts to place them around teenage boys. I guess tens of thousands of abused kids wasn’t enough.

            But like I said, it’s pointless to rehash this. If a person is so willfully blind that they can look at the plague of male on male sexual abuse of teenage boys and still refuse to see the connection to homosexuality, then I can’t do anything more.

            But the liberal game is ending. People have figured it out. You guys and gals defend homosexuality, abortion, radical Islam, the PLO/Hamas and euthanasia. You attack Christianity, the west in general and the US in particular, Israel, the Bible and the US military. You’re suicidal. It’s a culture of death.

            Nov. 2. Nov. 2. Nov. 2.

            Yeah, I'll miss him.

          • DR

            As a Catholic, I know the Mark F's. When the scandal broke, a lot of Catholics pulled all of our funding immediately from the church, demanding that the Pope take responsibility for what happened. The Mark F's of the world called us traitors to the faith, etc. demanding we keep quiet. Of course now when it suits him, he pulls out the pedo card when would bet a year's salary in other discussions he is quick to remind people that the priest who were caught molesting kids is less than 2% (which is still so evil and gross).

            Mark F, I think you're an older man who's found some peace with his devotion to Mary and to the church. As for the rest of your ideas, they are as outdated as Vatican 1. Do a little reading.

          • Mindy

            Oh my. Yeah, sure he lived as a gay man for thirty years . . . .

            Wow. No issues there.

          • StraightGrandmother

            ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

            he he he he he he he he

            MarkF, whatever…

            I am NOT EVEN gay but I was able to spot a gay fraud or as Mindy says a Troll. John thanks for sharing that very last attempted post that there verifies it.

            I think what is really sad is that MarkM and people like him that are soooooo stridently anti-gay really truly beleive that living life as a gay person is a horrible miserable life, and from what I have seen it is not true at all especially for the GLBT people age 35 and younger. I know many who lead really happy lives with a wide circles of friends and families who accept and love them. Do they experience discrimination from time to time, yes they do, but it is not a life as the fake MarkM describes.

            Lately I have been watching YouTube videos in this channel called, "It gets better project" I watch a few before I go to sleep at night. After all these sucides that have been publicized lately Dan Savage wanted to make videos to give these kids hope that it does get better. I have really learned a lot watching these videos.

            I would like to talk about one in particular that touched me. It was a man who identifies as queer (I am going to admit I am not real sure what the difference between a queer and a gay man is) and he was tormented so much that he wrote to a university as a high school junior and said, "Get me otta here and let me start college early" he wrote about how he was being tortured and taunted by students in his high school. Guess what? He got in, the Universtiy and it was a big name one, I don't remember which one, let him in and arranged for him to finish his last year of high school at the universtiy, and then he continued on and got his degree.

            After watching numerous of those youtube videos and listening to what it is like Mark F's story just didn't ring true to me.

        • Matthew Tweedell

          Yet this is a public forum; so what we say is not just for the sake of the one to whom it is directed. And even as they walk away upset, well, read tildeb’s excellent—perhaps divinely inspired—reply to Denver below.

          Anyhow, building them up is vain; it is to the glory of man—it is to make of men towers of Babel. We are to bring together in the Spirit whosoever is destined to it, leave the dead to bury their own dead, and.

          Do not think that the teachers of the law enjoyed being called out for the hypocrites that they were; do not think it didn't rip apart the foundation of their belief when they were told their ways would damn them to hell.

          How can you ask us as a whole to tolerate our intolerance? (It's like how in America we tend to give up true independence in the name of our independence.) The one thing we have to fear is fear itself, as fear is what drives hate; and the presence of hate allows that it itself be hated—what goes around comes around—and thus is such a spirit doomed to perish. The spirit of love remains however through it all.

          As MarkF said, "An ocean of tolerance hasn't changed anything," while you advocate for peaceful discussion over a real matter of spiritual as well as physical life and death. When someone is being hurt, you ought to speak out against it, and forcefully so. I'm not going to whisper, "Hey, guys, you know, I was thinking, maybe it’s not a good idea to hurt Denver's feelings," for example. No, I will butt in and say, "Hey, leave Denver alone, assholes!"

          • denver

            Matthew, thank you, you made me smile with that. :D

            And StraightGrandmother, that University story is awesome! I will have to look that one up.

            We had a kid at my high school who I think could fall under the "queer" category; he was tormented like hell and despite being very outgoing with his dress, spent all the times I ever saw him trying very hard to slip by unnoticed by his tormentors, head down, never speaking. Finally one day when I was a freshman, some guys were picking on him in the hall near my locker… and me being the brash fulfillment of Leo stereotypes that I was back then, turned to the group of jocks that were bullying him and said something like, "Leave him alone, will ya?!" Yep, I was not a timid freshman. Anyway, the kid turned on ME and yelled something like "stay out of it" and stormed off. At the time, I was really confused as to why he yelled at me when I was trying to help him. It took some time before I realized that little freshman girls standing up for him probably was not helpful to his reputation and could have made things worse.

            He must have either been a senior when I was a freshman and graduated or he transferred elsewhere, because I never saw him after that year. But I always wondered what happened to him, and hope that he found someplace where he wasn't maligned just for being different. :(

          • Elizabeth

            Matthew Tweedell!

  • A

    Okay. I understand and respect that, but…

    God calls us to be patient. I think that dismissing people because they are resistant isn't quite right.

    Suffering is everywhere. It pangs me deeply, believe me. But the Sword of Truth isn't a weapon to turn on people. It's a weapon of defense.

    And this, too, assumes our interpretation of the Bible is correct. Which reminds me – what do you think of my later two paragraphs of my original response?

    • Matthew Tweedell

      It doesn't exactly assume that our interpretation of the Bible is correct. Rather, it's just quite simple most of the time to determine what is correct if you let the Holy Spirit be your guide. And then your interpretation of the Bible would have to conform to that—it has to be about something that you can relate in all truth to the rest of the world outside the pages of a book—in order for us to think our interpretation correct.

      Speaking of the sword and scripture, the Lord said, "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'"

      As for patience, this is connected with perseverance, and indeed DR's patience on the issue is beyond measure.

  • DR

    I believe that they are dismissing themselves, A. Here's why. Entering into a dialogue where someone is going to plainly, directly tell you the consequences of your actions and not use kid gloves while they do so is a *choice*. And Christians need to learn how to really engage the population that is not their #1 fan without running off when we encounter people who are furious with us. In short, we need to grow up a little. Christians often have a rather neurotic need to be liked all of the time in my experience. I don't need you to like me. More importantly? That gay kid in the shelter right now could give a crap if either one of us like one another or even respect one another. Know what I mean?

    As far as what you offered regarding liberals and conservatives, you're spot on. Scripture does tell us who the enemy is, it's wise to be mindful of that. But I am right there with you, I go through that same thought process. For me, I guess I land on what is consistent. What would a loving God do who actually gave up His Son? What would He care about most? At that point, things just get very clear for me. But you know, if I'm wrong then I'm accountable for any damage I do as well.

    Hope you participate more!

  • http://jessicaalexandra.wordpress.com jessicaalexandra

    WOW! This man deserves an applaud! It is the most difficult road for a christian to be led down a path of temptation and to resist! The fact that this man is tempted by sin and yet, still chooses to love his wife is an admirable trait that any human being would be lucky to possess! This man, is the prime example of everything I've ever argued for. He feels as though he "can't help it" and sometimes temptation feels that way. Every christian goes through temptation, but it takes a particularly strong person to choose to do the right thing despite what they want. This man is evidently a man of God because he OBEY'S him and that is ultimately how we show God that we love him. Some people may think that this is a sin and an abomination but really, it is just temptation. It is sexual sin, the same as lust, the same as pre-marital sex. It's sin. But he will be rewarded for his persistence to love his wife and children and for his persistence to seek God. Hang in there buddy, your rewards will be great in heaven!

    • DR

      thanks for clearing that up!

  • MarkF

    I’m a 51 year guy who lived as an open homosexual for over thirty years. I came back to the Church almost three years ago. My dedication to homosexuality was a barrier that I had to overcome and I’d like to talk about that some.

    Age has its benefits. One of them is, finally, some wisdom. None of the responses on here really has hit the nail on the head. Much of what’s been said is true. None of it has hit the key issues revolving around homosexuality itself.

    Yes, for a man to be married to a woman who doesn’t know him is wrong. It’s probably a sin too.

    I’ll try to be brief. More people have been injured by homosexuality than who have been hurt by the harm that sometimes happens when people oppose it. Many more. It is a complicated issue but I’ll try to shine some light on it.

    Everyone can spot the self hatred that fills the original man’s letter. He’s convinced that his parish will reject him, as if it’s something totally new to them. He’s plagued with guilt, talks about falling to his knees to be cured. of this. To be charitable, anyone can tell that we’re dealing with a very troubled man. To be blunt as I usual am, I’d call him a head case.

    Many will see his confusion as coming from this awful, horrible anti-gay Christian society. It’s not. The self-hatred we see here comes from within, from the same wound that caused his same-sex attraction. This fact is all important. This man is just at the starting point for a very long healing process. He is in fact, to be blunt again, clueless about what’s happened to him or what’s going to happen to him.

    Homosexuality starts in early childhood from trauma, neglect or abuse. It’s caused when the child does not identify with the parent of the opposite sex. It’s cause when a young boy can’t see himself as his father, or when a girl can’t see himself as her mother, or when the child doesn’t feel a part of the peer group. That wound leads to the same-sex attraction, which adds fuel to the fire of self-hatred.

    At this point, many decide to come out. This is what society pushes on us all the time now. The problem is that homosexual lifestyle itself cause more damage. No one on here wants to admit that. It’s not the same as heterosexuality. At best, it’s like a casually promiscuous heterosexuality. At worst it’s demonic. What I’ve found is that very few straight people want to believe what homosexuality really is like. It’s much worse than you think. It’s a life that is filled with drugs, kink (of a kind that I refuse to describe on a Christian site), alcohol, disease and death. Everyone thinks that they will be the exception, that they will make it. No one does. Relationships last at best a few years. Many are “open relationships.”

    Homosexuality is a pagan god. This is what St. Paul is talking about in Romans. If you don’t believe that God does not support homosexual conduct, then you have to either conclude that Jesus (somewhere) instituted same-sex marriage, or that he believed that same-sex couples don’t need to get married. You’d also have to believe that nearly 2,000 years of the Church and her fathers, doctors, saints and holy people were very stupid for not noticing this. You’d also have to believe that we, in 2010 are so much more holy than the accumulated knowledge of the Church.

    It’s a long road, but I’m finally at a point where I realize that my own same-sex attraction is just a temptation to sin, like all my other human weaknesses. I don’t demonize it (like the man who wrote the first letter who gets down on his knees to be “cured” does.) I don’t white wash it either.

    Gay suicide? In my over thirty years of dealing with homosexuals, I only met one person who was kicked out of his family for being gay. I grew up in a working class family. I received nothing but acceptance, albeit that they didn’t want to hear the details. They all knew and liked my lover. What I’ve seen is that the families who kick a kid out were screwed up to begin with. A normal family does not kick a kid out of the house. And remember what I said above…homosexuality comes FROM family problems.

    Gay suicide is not a product of external society. Take a look at last years Dec. issue of the Advocate. They list the top ten deaths of famous homosexuals in 2009. Three out of ten were suicides. That’s 30%. These were all out homosexuals. Suicide is part of homosexuality, just as is kink, promiscuity, raunch, filth, and yes, the sexual abuse of kids.

    Child abuse or neglect leads to same-sex attraction, which in turn leads to more psychological damage. Self-hatred is both the cause and affect of all of this. It’s a cycle. Acting on the attraction leads to more problems and more and more.

    I suspect that very, very few will understand this. I suspect it has to be lived and be seen. Though I feel for the men who wrote the original two letters, I also know that there’s little I can do to help them. At the end of the day, they’ll find that homosexual action is a waste of time and worse, that the inclination to this is no obstacle to God’s love, and that ultimately it’s no big deal.

    What I mostly don’t understand is how anyone can think that the Church, as I know her, has never experienced a person with this problem before. My experience is that when I tell someone that I have same-sex attraction, their response is just to tell me about their own past sins too. But narcissism is a big part of homosexuality too so I guess that’s to be expected.

    • DR

      The exception more often than not, proves the rule.

    • DonP

      @MarkF, Bingo! That is exactly what I meant when I said to Mindy above: "I suppose tongues are made different when tasting exotic fruit Huh? Some are poisonous though you know."

      I am a witness to and agree with the bigger picture you have drawn here.

      Thank you for posting this.

      And to "straightgrandma"….me smells something more ( less ?? ) than a straight, self effacing, little old lady here. Bet you got a mini dress on under that pretty little Hawaiian moo moo. ;-} ,,,,,,,,,,,,,, or "somepin' "

      • StraightGrandmother

        Ha ha? I'm afraid my mini dkirt days are over, I am a bit older than MarkF but I take it as a compliment that you have the impression I am younger, what woman doesn't want to take a good 10 years off LOL!

    • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

      MarkF writes Child abuse or neglect leads to same-sex attraction. Citation please.

      The self-hatred we see here comes from within, from the same wound that caused his same-sex attraction. This fact is all important. Fact? Please cite source.

      Homosexuality starts in early childhood from trauma, neglect or abuse. Citation please.

      It’s caused when the child does not identify with the parent of the opposite sex. Citation please.

      It’s cause (sic) when a young boy can’t see himself as his father, or when a girl can’t see himself (sic) as her mother, or when the child doesn’t feel a part of the peer group. Source please.

      That wound leads to the same-sex attraction [...] Citation please.

      Your argument is causal. You are saying that some kind of childhood damage causes homosexuality. I call bullshit on you.

      I think this ’cause’ exists only in your mind where you believe it to be true but is not backed up by any good evidence that shows this causal link. Show us the studies that establishes this causality, please.

      Without this central pillar of your argument substantiated by independent verification, the rest of your claims falls into bigoted speculation. You are allowed to speculate, of course, but don’t present it as if it is true and don’t pretend it doesn’t cause real people real harm.

      Not only is your speculation without merit, I think, but it runs contrary to today’s well documented understanding. Professional medical and therapeutic organizations like the American Psychological Association has a library of peer reviewed studies of research into its causes, origins, and development that have consequently led to its removal by the APA from its list of diagnoses and disorders. You see, MarkF, if you really care about what is true you will find that the devil is in the details. It has taken quite a while for speculations like yours to be shown to have no merit. Until now, that is.

      Your task ahead is a difficult one, MarkF: you must show why all these studies have reached false conclusions and how their data and/or processes are flawed, why the conclusions reached are incorrect and on what basis, and how your speculation provides better reasons and superior evidence for the conclusion you have reached than those from professional peer reviewed organizations. Your task is daunting but in your quest for truth, I’m sure you won’t mind adding to our collective knowledge. I know I would appreciate it.

      But if you’ve got nothing but your speculation, then consider changing your mind based on best evidence, best practices, best reasons rather than a simpleton’s version of “because I think Big Daddy says so.”

      • MarkF

        I lived this. I lived it for over thirty years. I saw it in thousands of people I've met.

        Studies only capture what people are ready to admit to.

        Other than saying that, I feel no great need to play ping pong with someone who starts off with profanity.

        • Mindy

          Thousands? You've gotten the personal stories of thousands of people? Are you a researcher?

        • DR

          Listen, Mark. Mic you are truly at peace with your state of being? I'm a fan of that. I don't think you have to justify this to anyone. Our interior is a tricky business for others to qualify. That you want to extrapolate your experience and make it formulaic fir everyone isn't something I can get behind, but you get the last word on who you are.

        • SP

          I grew up in a loving family I was never abused I loved my father and mother they would have given their life for us kids. So Mr MarkF where did I get my attraction for same sex at the age of around ten or so ? and how come didn’t I ever have the attraction to women? even though I married one who is a very loving kind wife. So tell me why have I always had same sex attractions and more then opposite? When I was in counseling my counselor tried to persuade me that I must have had some trauma and then even to the point that maybe when I was a baby or even before birth and so I accepted and believed it for a while, but now I know that is all BS. But many think that is the case and so the think they have just blocked it out of their mind – That is also BS.

      • Argy-bargy

        Thank you, tildeb. Well put.

      • Mindy

        Thank you, tildeb. MarkF, I’m sorry, but you’re right, I’m not buying it. Not because I don’t understand it, but because I know far too many people who are the antithesis of your “argument.”

        I am your same age, so I have a bit of wisdom under my belt as well. I’m straight, but have several gay and lesbian friends, most of whom are living happy, normal lives in monogamous, long-term relationships – some of whom are married, some not, depending on where they live and if it is legal. Most are raising children – some of the most delightful, insightful kids you’d ever care to meet.

        My teenager has gay friends, and they, too, are some of the greatest kids ever. From normal upbringing, and, fortunately, supported by their families to be whomever they truly *are* inside. For some parents, that acceptance has been harder than others, but mostly because they fear what their children will face out in the world – people (like you) telling them that who they are at the core is wrong.

        You may have had a lousy childhood, you may know other gay people who’ve had the same – I know lots of straight people who had unbelievably horrible childhoods – and remained straight through it all, even though they lived through hell and all the abuse, neglect and trauma you can imagine. You are calling “causal” on something that is, in actuality, “coincidental.”

        Sorry – but until you cite all those studies that prove your points – and they need to be valid scientific studies, not anecdotal Christian studies – I’m not buying it.

        • MarkF

          I'm much past the point of debating over this. I say what I've seen and then move on.

          I will say that you don't know squat about homosexuality unless you've lived it. Rule one, always unspoken, but always present in homosexuality, is NEVER to tell straight people what really goes on. Ever. I know it from the inside. I've known hundreds of men who talk to me openly about molesting young boys. All of them have lives that look normal on the outside. All of them tell me that no one knows about this part of their life.

          I can't make you believe something that is deliberately hidden from you when you have your eyes closed.

          I was a gay activist for years. I witnessed how messed up the life was. I used to blame it on society too. But the longer I lived it, the more I could not cover up what I saw.

          An ocean of tolerance has not changed things one bit.

          • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

            So, you will go away now, right?

          • MarkF

            More of that famed liberal tolerance on display.

          • Argy-bargy

            More of that famed conservative self-righteousness as well….

          • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

            Hey, dickweed. I haven't deleted any of the nonsense you've here written; I haven't blocked you. But I will, I can tell. You'll make me.

          • MarkF

            Liberals love censorship. It's like the old Soviet idea of freedom. "You have the freedom to believe as you're told."

            "We love all diversity, just not diversity that disagrees with what I believe."

            This is called the dictatorship of relativism.

            Liberals also love profanity. And personal insults.

            You've got to live with your own conscience. You can shut me up but not the truth that you can't tolerate dissent.

          • Mindy

            Sanctimonious, pompous, full of insults and resolute refusal to see outside of his own experience, and itchin' to blame it all on liberals. Yep, sounds like a conservative.

            I am a proud liberal. I have not insulted you. I have doubted you, but that isn't the same. I am annoyed that you choose to apply your experience to all. I have indicated that I believe what you say happens, I just don't believe that it happens to everyone. I'm not swearing at you (well, maybe a little on the inside), and I can live with my conscience just fine, thanks.

            What you don't understand is this: When a liberal says they love diversity, and then fight against an opposing point of view, she is not fighting against your right to hold that point of view, or even to speak it. She is fighting against your using your point of view against other people. You are welcome to believe homosexuality is wrong, bad, evil. You are not welcome to ruin the lives of gay kids with your hate. There is a difference.

            I don't go out and try to make straight Christian kids pretend to be gay, just because I support gay rights. Yet you, who are against gay rights, expect gay kids to pretend they are straight and be OK with it.

            I'm not. They're not. And our generation, the one whose gay population may be fairly screwed up, is loudly trying to keep today's gay youth suppressed just as they were.

            Does that make sense to you?

            What do you say to these kids?

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxfWl1vA1u4

          • Argy-bargy

            I guess clean language full of misplaced moral opprobium is better than profanity laced with righteousness, huh?

          • Mindy

            Mark, I'm debating you. Never once has anyone here accused you of not experiencing what you say you have. We're just stating that it is not true for everyone. It just isn't.

            My feeling is that if being gay was not demonized by the outside, the inside would not be so effed up.

            I do, however, believe that in many cases, gay people coming of age now rather than in our generation will have much healthier relationships, because they are not being demonized everywhere. The suicides of late prove that we still have a long way to go, but there are children growing up right here where I am who are openly gay, accepted by their communities and families, and by all accounts leading functional, productive and contented lives.

          • MarkF

            "my feeling is that…"

            "by all accounts…"

            I've been the clean up man for countless people who looked normal on the outside. This is my whole point. It all looks normal on the outside. You don't know what is going on because they won't tell you.

            These public forums are very sterile places. People show the face they want to show. It's unreal. One-on-one in private, even people who are very dedicated to homosexuality admit to me that I've described it accurately.

          • Argy-bargy

            And we'll take your word on an anonymous public forum. Showing your face.

          • MarkF

            That's a two-way street. I have no idea if you're lying or not either. I assume you're not.

          • Argy-bargy

            Thank you, but by your statement that "people show the face they want to show" you must exercise a fair amount of skepticism about interactions on this blog. So you'll understand the reciprocal skepticism.

            Especially when you state "I already said, I don’ t debate with people on here. It’s pointless. I don’t like to play ping pong…" and then continue doing so, I must exercise a certain natural skepticism.

            I'm sure it's just because I have substantial experience with trolls. ;-)

          • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

            Plus, this lying fool tipped his hand by saying, "I don't debate with people on here." That means he's been here before; he's been down this road on this blog. (Otherwise, he'd have said, "I'm not going to debate people here.) He has virtually all the markings of someone who came here before, got beat up, left, and is now back with a new screen name. I'd bet a lot that's what happening. They always smell the same.

          • Argy-bargy

            O ye diviner of IP addresses….? ;-)

          • Mindy

            MarkF – I'm talking about teenagers, young kids who are in their first relationships or who have acknowledged their sexuality but not yet had a relationship. Kids who still live at home, with their supportive and loving families. Kids who could not possibly be involved in what you are talking about, because every minute of their days are accounted for. Kids who have good home lives, kids who are happy, successful kids. They are not living in the throes of some dark, sinister lifestyle.

            As to us liberals always deferring to authority, that's simply laughable. I'll defer to a documented authority, multiple studies that show the same results time and again. Otherwise, I remain skeptical. You and the conservative Christians, however, happily defer to the authority of the Bible no matter how out-of-touch it might be.

            What I won't defer to is someone who takes his own experience and applies it, blanket-like, to an entire population, completely dismissing the idea that he might not have the full picture.

            I don't doubt that the problems you describe exist. I would even acknowledge that for gay men in our generation, those problems are widespread. I acknowledge that your experience is probably just as you describe it, altho' I take exception with the idea that you know the personal histories of "thousands." I could be wrong, but I have my doubts.

            You, however, refuse to acknowledge that the lesbian couples I know, who are contentedly working their jobs, maintaining their homes and raising their kids are happy. You refuse to acknowledge that the gay couples who run their own businesses and live quiet lives together, tending gardens on the weekends, having friends over for dinner, spending holidays with their parents might be "normal."

            Your "all or nothing" stand is what is suspect. Because that is rarely, if ever, the case.

            You refuse to acknowledge the possibility that growing up in a homophobic world was as much or more the problem for your thousands of dysfunctional gay men as anything and that if homophobia was put to rest, they might live their lives like everyone else – some incredibly successful, some terribly dysfunctional and most falling somewhere in between – just like us straight folk.

            You'd be surprised at some of the secrets straight people keep, MarkF. Nearly everyone has . . . . something.

            You came and you shared your experience. Thanks for that. To me, all it gives is yet another example of how dangerous our homophobic culture has been for kids growing up gay.

          • MarkF

            I'll just say that I used to believe all of what you said. I devoted years, decades really to that belief. It didn't stand the test of time.

            You may have faith in a new and improved homosexuality that is just around the corner. So did I for a long time.

            BTW, I'm not a conservative Christian, i.e. Protestant. I'm Catholic and we look at the consensus of the faithful throughout history, the Bible and Church councils as our guide.

          • SP

            One more thing I quote MarkF It’s unreal. One-on-one in private, even people who are very dedicated to homosexuality admit to me that I’ve described it accurately. END OF QUOTE In our society where homosexuality is still seen by many as being abnormal and many believing that there must be an outside cause for it I believe that many will because of that agree with MarkF even if they support homosexuality, but real studies prove otherwise. Yes I am sure that for some that is the reason. As I said already I accepted what my counselor told me that I must have had trauma in my life but I would have been too young to know. But I didn’t have any trauma and so I don’t have a so called “reason” for being gay except that I just am. I just wish that I had had support when I was younger then I wouldn’t be in the situation I am now. Just support the kids already who are what they are. If homosexuality would be accepted as being as normal as heterosexuality then there would be a lot less promiscuity going on among the the gay community and therefore a lot less disease being spread. When you know you are what you are and then you need what you need but everybody tells you, you are evil, sinful, crazy, then you will get what you need regardless if it is at the evil, sinful, crazy places that are crawling with disease.

          • DonP

            I have met pedophiles both homosexual and straight in their child preference. I have also met hundreds of gay men in groups for men trying to change their sexual preference. I must say that my experience is that gay does not equate to pedophile.

          • Amber Waves

            There are many demons that try to re-write a mans mind, soul, body, identity and preferences. I know of these first hand. I like to think of it as demons strap nuclear devices to wonderful people perfectly capable of a love for a lifetime. These devices can alter the persons identity, emit radiation which cause dissection and anger and can destroy a families life in seconds if not detonated by family deliverance. There are trained bomb detonators in the world. I wish men and women would see that there is a better way and get help.

            Amber

          • http://www.facebook.com/GodAdoresYou Christopher

            Ok, I find your claims to be not only repugnant but downright impossible! How disgusting and low to claim there is some “secret” gay agenda and that we’re all (or mostly) really child molesters! The stats have shown that the vast majority of child molesters identify as straight. I am a gay man, I have known hundreds of other gay men & lesbians and not EVER has the subject come up except with disgust at the sicko who did it and sympathy for the victim. I find your claims to be hateful and inflammatory! I am the father of 2 young children and I have never, would never and could NEVER view them as sexual beings let alone touch them in an inappropriate manner…or ANY child for that matter, disgusting and untrue! You are a vile and evil person for making such untrue and damaging claims against our community….karma’s a bitch!

          • SP

            AMEN Christopher

          • Anakin McFly

            I’m gay, a virgin at 24, and have never been to a gay bar in my life.

            I must be doing it wrong. :(

      • Karl

        Experience makes me know and I don’t need to submit citations to prove scientifically that these things are so. The gay community always looks to science to justify their lifestyle. They do know the science that if you get a child exposed to homosexual behaviour when they are very young then they have a better chance that when those kids grow up there will be very little opposition. The push to have our children exposed to sex at such a young age is the result of a rotting society bent on it’s own destruction. Psalms 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. Why is it so important that a child needs to know that a p*nis is okay to go up the rectum of a man?

        When left alone and he grows up without any influence or promptings, he will normally, like all creatures on this planet find their female counterpart and mate.

        So why is it important that children know that it’s okay to put a man’s p*nis in their mouth? Or lick anus’s? or swallow semen? Did you know that you have to work a man’s anus to loosen him up in order to have sex? This could take some time, and you have to do this each and every time you have sex and did you know that a woman’s organ naturally expands and you don’t have to work on the opening each and every time? When female animals are in heat, their organs expands to accommodate the male organ. But the male anus does not, it has to be worked with tremendous amounts of lube and even then it hurts. Each time this has to be worked. And this is what you want our children to know how natural it is? Seems like a lot of work to me.

        • Matt

          One of the rules of science is that your claims must be falsifiable; in other words, that I can potentially prove them wrong through observation and experimentation. A real scientist never claims that their conclusions are absolute, universal, or fixed–which you do right here.

          In applied science, we understand that the actual, lived experiences of real people trump any amount of theory or writing about those people. Writing is by its nature fixed, but life is happening right now, all around us.

          Thus your experience is a valid one–but it is not the only one. To actually get a clear, coherent picture of the LGBT community, I would need to go and talk to many, many people. I would need to read, and think, and question. I may also draw on my own experiences as a member of the LGBT community myself. And even then my conclusions would not be authoritative, but rather a picture I have made based on the information available to me.

          I don’t think anyone is advocating telling children such details. I can still remember my high school sex ed, and most of it was simple shaming, with no discussion of LGBT issues at all.

          You come from a place of horrible pain, Karl, but I can’t allow you to force your pain on others unchallenged.

        • Allie

          Your sexual knowledge is a little lacking. Seems to me you could have used some sex ed of the type you’re denigrating.

          First of all, plenty of women swallow semen. Second, not all gay men have anal sex. There are many ways to have sex and that’s only one, it doesn’t define being gay. Third, yes, women usually do need to have their “organs worked” to enjoy sex. It’s called foreplay, and I feel sorry for your female partners. Fourth, women don’t come into heat. They can be sexually receptive even when not fertile. Fifth, more straight men and straight women have had anal sex than gay men.

        • Jill

          Oh good grief, Karl. Specificity isn’t going to earn you credibility points, nor is speaking to the audience when you’re ignorant of how the ‘female organ’ actually works, amongst all the other things.

          How about you ask all the LGBTQI people raised by straight families how that worked our for them?

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Somewhere up the thread Mark F. wrote (to me), "You’ve got to live with your own conscience. You can shut me up but not the truth that you can’t tolerate dissent." As with virtually everything else he's dumped here lately, about that he's wrong. I'm fine with "dissent." I'm not fine with toxic assholes. He's blocked.

    • Argy-bargy

      Lady Justice, thine name is John Shore.

      Uh…wait that's not quite right. O_o

      • denver

        Thank you, I needed to LOL and you just made me do that. :)

    • StraightGrandmother

      I have only been on here a few days so I don't know the history with MarkF but immediatly after I read his entry about his life (the first thing I ever read from him) I had a very sure feeling that he is not, and never has been gay. There are people who do that you know. They say they are gay on these websites and then tell how awful it is, and nobody can question them because after all he should know since he is gay. It's a scam.

      Let me set this out, I am not gay, I really am a Straight Grandmother, but I have an interest in GLBT issues so I click from here to there on the internet and I have read quite a few posts from "real" gay people. I am like 99.9% sure he isn't. It was just a cover to spew hatred. You are right to ban those kind of people.

  • denver

    I had to stop reading these comments.

    Maybe for you straight people, this is just another thing to debate, like Great Commandment vs. Great Commission, but for some of us THIS IS OUR LIVES YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT as if it were nothing more than the political topic du jour. And yes, it hurts. It hurts when the people saying we're evil, sinning, perverse screwups don't acknowledge that that may hurt us in even the teeniest, tiniest bit, because, well, it's just an OPINION.

    Do you accept neo-nazis hating people of color and Jews because it's just their opinion, or do you still think they're idiotic jerks?

    I am so tired of people thinking that they "know what they're talking about" because they "know gay people". You know what? I'm so white I glow in the dark. Me knowing black people doesn't mean that I know what it's like when you drive through some white-bred little town in the racist boondocks and everyone stares at you or tosses an "n"-word your way. Me knowing Latino people doesn't mean that I know what it's like when some idiot in Arizona asks to see their papers just because of how you look. Me knowing Muslim people doesn't mean that I know what it's like when someone accuses them of being a terrorist just because they are Muslim. I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE. YOU DON'T EITHER. Please, stop talking about us as though we're fictitious characters in a book that you can analyze and project upon with abandon. We're people, like you. We're real. And yes, despite some of you thinking we're child molesting demons, we have hearts, feelings, and emotions. And you can hurt them. You can hurt them with your "opinions". You can tell yourself whatever you want so you can sleep at night, but it doesn't make it true.

    Someone, in one of these threads, when someone else made a snarky comeback, said that we should be an example of Jesus' love by loving those that would persecute and/or hate us.

    At some point, you have to stop being a doormat and defend yourself. At some point, you have to throw up a wall to protect yourself from others' actions. At some point, the only rational response is a fully extended middle finger. Telling us to love the haters is like telling an abused wife to love her abusive husband and keep on taking it, no matter what he dishes out. There is a difference between forgiveness and victimhood.

    Telling us to love and admire and respect those that would harm us, and continue to harm us, is part of what leads gay kids to hate themselves and attempt suicide! If their beloved, respected teachers/parents/relatives/friends/pastors/whatever keep telling them that they are evil, horrible creatures, and they don't say "well, forget them" and keep on loving that harmful person, they are likely to eventually BELIEVE that they are evil, horrible creatures, hate themselves instead of the haters, and kill themselves. Just as some abused women believe their abuser's rhetoric that "they deserve it". They don't, and neither do we.

    So, screw you guys. I have a pretty high tolerance of BS and have done my share in my life of gently and as non-offensively as possible "debating" with people who maligned what I am. But today, I am done. I am done with you thinking it is perfectly acceptable to judge me when you don't know a damn thing about me other than the fact that I like women. I am done with jerks like you driving me away from what once was a happy place (that is, church) because I felt like I didn't/couldn't belong among the self-righteous and hateful. I am done with maligning myself because so many people seem to think I'm worthless as a human being. It's not for you to judge. The stonings are over. We are past the old testament.

    You are not representative of xtianity. You are representative of bigots hiding behind their religion to justify and excuse their bigotry. As such, I am done listening to your hate speech. I don't get angry often, but I am angry today, and I am sorry if this post is too much, but I left the church because of jerks like you, and I'm questioning today why I thought I had the thick skin to immerse myself back in your filth at all. I couldn't sit here and not say anything again, and just quietly slink out the back door, never standing up for myself. I couldn't smile and stay silent when my very being was being attacked AGAIN. I'm done hating the sin (your attacking good people) but loving the sinner. I am done acting like it's OK for you to treat me like I am any less deserving of love.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Bravo, bravo, bravo.

    • Mindy

      {{{{{denver}}}}}}

      Oh, man. I am sitting here between drafts of an article with tears running down my face. You are amazing. I wish every single LGBT kid had your strength – and I wish NONE of you had to listen to the hate.

      As for myself, I apologize if I've ever come off sounding like I'm discussing fictional characters. When I write anything in support of gay rights, two things are swimming through my mind underneath it all. First, the sweet faces of two of my daughter's closest friends, a gay boy and a bisexual girl, as well as the faces of several LGBT couples and single parents I know, and their wonderful children.

      Second, I remember clearly the first time I felt like a momma bear defending her cub, when I saw a magazine picture of a child making fun of a child who looked like mine. It was a parenting article about how to teach your kids not to bully – but the photo was of a little girl pulling her eyes back to make Asian eyes. The unfettered anger I felt at that moment was immense – completely out of proportion with the fact that I was looking at a photograph illustrating an anti-bullying article. But that was MY CHILD being made fun of, and it hurt like hell. My child was probably a year old at the time, and lots has happened in the intervening years. But I've thought about the feeling a lot – how African American mothers must feel when they have to teach their sons that they will be unfairly targeted by the police. And how parents of gay kids must feel, knowing that so many out there in the big, bad world would call their precious child all the bad words you listed.

      I know I don't know what it is like to be gay, to live with the burden of society's disdain for your very being. I would never profess to know. But I do know what it is like to love someone who is different, and to want nothing more in the world than to protect them from those too ignorant or damaged to know better.

      I hope you know there are a lot of us out here who, if you'll let us, have your backs.

      • denver

        Thank you, Mindy, I very much appreciate your post. : ) I haven't read anything that you've said and felt that you were one of the "projecting" ones – no need to apologize at all for you haven't done anything wrong. And I appreciate you standing up for people you care about, and people you don't even know.

        I am glad to see that so far no one has been offended by my ranting… when Wren the Grammar Nazi doesn't check her disagreeing pronouns (I just re-read that), she is ranting at the page. ; ) I normally try and step away and cool off if I'm fired up, which is rare to begin with, but today, I just felt that I needed to let that be said.

        • Mindy

          Thanks, Denver. Now who is Wren the Grammar Nazi? Because I have to sit on my hands sometimes not to correct a variety of grammar pet peeves when I read them online . . . ! I think Wren and I might get along swimmingly . . . :)

          • denver

            HA – me too. I am currently taking an online history course as part of my degree, and my prof said something like, "We just updated the syllabus. Please let me know if any links don't work, any errors, etc." And I was like… do you REALLY want me to tell you about all the errors, or just the broken links? Because you are opening a dangerous door… I should get English credits for this… XD

            If it wasn't clear, denver = Wren. That's me. ;)

          • SP

            Continue my story – Sometimes those that scream the loudest are part of the hurting – I was one of those. I made sure people would hear me how anti-gay I was, because I wanted to hide behind something and hiding behind the wall of homophobic was for me a good hiding place. So some of those “gay bashers” are gay. I’ve been there done that. It’s a big shame and I admit that I was a big rotten hypocrite sitting in a pew in church looking at the handsome guys, but making sure anybody who knew me would know that I was not gay. But I was. How do we cope? Some like me hide behind the homophobic wall. I don’t take part anymore in gay discussions because I cannot stand doing that although I still am totally in the closet as you can read in my previous comment. I don’t know if I will ever be able to come out. It is just too complicated at this point, but I have been teaching my kids and grandkids that “bashing any person is wrong regardless what we think of their life style” and so my family is a loving family and we do not go marching against gay rights marriages etc. Anyway thought I would put in my 2 cents worth.

    • Argy-bargy

      Thank you and kudos.

      …And the moneychangers' tables were overthrown….

    • DR

      And this is where it all gets very real.

      Dear Conservative Christians who keep batting leviticus and Romans around for fun,

      Nobody cares that you have gay friends. And no one cares that you're so horrified at gay kids being abused, bullied and driven to suicide. All we care about is you not hurting people anymore (even if you don't intend to). If you don't care about that more than you care about being right about this? God have mercy on you.

    • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

      It helps, Denver, to know that bigotry will not win out in the long run if each of us just does our part in confronting it. Consistently. Patiently. Bigotry is a lie and most people have less cognitive dissonance when they bring both heart and head into supporting what's true over what they believe justifies their bigotry.

      Remember that changing people's hearts is a hard thing to do. It is not an event so much as a process and we can see it happening here. People are comfortable with their biases and they have no trouble expressing it seeking support from others. When their bias is confronted head on, we see anxiety start to creep into the reasoning and the rationale that supports it. When those reasons behind the bias are shown to be at least questionable, people often retreat behind tradition and popularity and false certainty that there is nothing wrong with maintaining their biases. But there is. It doesn't feel right. It needs protecting from all those 'meanies' out there.

      When these kinds of arguments fail to reduce the confrontation that bigotry stimulates, fails to reduce the anxiety that results from cognitive dissonance, fails to to reduce the feeling of somehow being both right yet conflicted, appeals to emotion are made to the confronter, appeals that the biased person is actually a nice person who intends no one any harm who is trying really hard to understand what the problem really is. The answer is even more disturbing: the problem is within.

      When the confrontation is sustained in spite of these appeals (often quite heartfelt and honest), people get angry that none of their maneuvers have worked. They still feel conflicted and take it out on whomever seems to be the source. This is a really good sign! They regress into anger, petulance, and name-calling on the same emotional level as the four year old they once were because nothing else is working!

      But they have recognized something in themselves that they don't like (because we really aren't just petulant four years olds) and it wiggles around in the back of their mind eating away at the protective coating of their bias. And that worm is the worm of what's true.

      Eventually, when the opportunity presents itself and the person feels the need to get rid of the conflict, most good people will allow their their hearts to embrace what their heads have tried to deny: the truth. And when that is embraced, then your purpose to confront has been rewarded even if you are nowhere around to enjoy having done what you could do to help bring it about.

      It doesn't matter if you are right; it doesn't matter if you win. What matters is if you have done your part to help change hearts by giving those who are unaware of their bias the tools necessary to change themselves. And all of us become better people for having suffered through the experience.

      • DonP

        Proof of something about sexually active gay men??? I don't know, maybe the CDC is just lying because they are bigots Huh Denver……….the rate of new HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men (MSM) is more than 44 times that of other men and more than 40 times that of women. The rate of primary and secondary syphilis among MSM is more than 46 times that of other men and more than 71 times that of women, "While the heavy toll of HIV and syphilis among gay and bisexual men has been long recognized, this analysis shows just how stark the health disparities are between this and other populations," said Kevin Fenton, M.D., director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. "It is clear that we will not be able to stop the U.S. HIV epidemic until every affected community, along with health officials nationwide, prioritize the needs of gay and bisexual men with HIV prevention efforts."

        Source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/msmpressrelea

        So based on these findings Sexually active gay men are either 44 times more stupid than straight men or 44 time more promiscuous.

        • Matthew Tweedell

          You're mistaken in the conclusion that that means they're 44 times as promiscuous or as stupid.

          Even if their only twice as stupid/promiscuous—twice as likely to have a sexual encounter with a infected person while not themselves infected, or with an uninfected person while themselves infected, without using a condom (part of which increase may be due to not having to worry about the possibility of pregnancy)—you can still get discrepancies much higher than that in the course of time. For example, if for every infected heterosexual there is a 1 in 4 chance of giving it to someone else within a years time, then for every infected homosexual, the chance of that would in this case be 1 in 2, easily contributing in the course of 25 years to an infection rate nearly 100 times that resulting among heterosexuals after the same period of time; yet we speak of a rate only 44 times as high.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            *Even if they're. . .

          • DonP

            Thank You Mathew. I love it when I can learn something new. I wish I had exercised my brain more all these years. I would've sounded smart too. Oh dear I think I'm starting to become a bigot against my own self. Oh the pain oh the agony. I am a house divided. I think I will go now and just fall………………(he said laughing at his own dumb self)

            I guess you tell I'm all tired of this one now. Yeah, yeah, yeah I know to all you serious folks out there. It is serious when kids are killing themselves and growing up hating themselves and leaking disease all over the place. But for the grace of God………

            Mindy is right of course. But I still maintain that homosexuality is the big symptom. It is the proverbial elephant in the room here, not promiscuity. Mindy can say all she wants to support her friends but she hasn't lived it. All her knowledge is second hand. She knows only what she is told, not what she has lived.

          • Mindy

            Oh Look! MarkF has a new screen name . . .

        • denver

          And so having a higher rate of disease (in THIS country… the same does not hold in places like sub-Saharan Africa) equals evilness? Even if they got it from self-destructive behavior… do you treat overweight people with diabetes like they are less than human? "Well, you did that to yourself, so screw you"? And what about those of us that AREN'T engaging in such behavior? And the straight people who are just as promiscuous? I don't see you throwing stones at them. I fail to see how rates of HIV/AIDS infection have any logical thing to do at all with the fact that you think that we are less than human, and deserving of less than equality. There are various diseases that are more prone in people of certain races too… are you going to use that to excuse racism? Excuses.

        • StraightGrandmother

          I would like to respond to DonP's posting about that CDC survey. I was pretty shocked when it showed that one in four gay men were HIV and didn't know it. As you will come to know me you will discover that I am infinately curious. So I did a little fact finding and would liek to share that with you because those statistics are pretty shocking.

          First off the sampling, they went to metropolitan centers that they though had a high concentration of gay men. Then they went to gay bars and recurited in person, then they tested. Only 43 percent of the gay men voluntered to participate, remember only 43% of gay men who go to gay bars, participated. I am sure that they were offered free testing as part of the deal to get them to go along with the survey.

          So IF you were a gay man praticing unsafe gay sex and you had an offer of free testing prolly you will say, "Sure I would like to participate" BUT if you were a gay man, who practices safe sex you prolly said, no I don't need to be tested so I don't need to participate.

          Not surveyed of course are the millions and millions and millions of gay men who live outside of metropolitin areas and or do not go to gay bars. Like gay people I know.

          The CDC lays this out in their notes, but of course the newspapers just grab the scary headline and run with it. I hope this information will help everyone here.

          AIDS is a very bad disease. But in order to get a population of gay men surveyors have to get them from somewhere so they head to gay bars and this population is NOT representitive of the true gay population. They just happen to be in one place so it makes surveys possible, but always skewed. Especially DonP I hope this information helps you.

          • http://mine4thetaking.blogspot.com/ FreeFox

            Can I hug you? (I haven't got AIDS, just a head cold.) ^_^

            Wasn't it Churchil who said never to trust a statistic unless you've faked it yourself?

            A few weeks ago I read online that The Guardian was reporting on a new survey showing that only about 1% of peeps were queer, not the usual 5+% bandied about. They even made the explicit point that this ought to put this whole same sex marriage in perspective, since we are talking about so few peeps – as if that was reason to withhold even one person a civil liberty. But when you read how they did that survey, it by going door to door and asking folks when they were all together in one room with their families. To protect annoynmity they didn't ask them to state out loud if they were fags, though, but showed them a little piece of cardboard saying all-fag. mostly-fag, mostly-str8, all str8 (well, they phrased it "attracted to members of your sex" or something like that) then pointed at the different levels of queerdom and had them say (out loud, in front of their whole families) "stop" when they were pointing at the appropiate level.

            Oh, and 3 or 4% gave no answer, but the article stated (without explanation) that there was no reason to assume that those 3 or 4% were anything but purest vanilla straight.

            And then some peeps on here wonder why we feel harassed or oppressed, or intolerant to those who do so…

          • DonP

            Well aren't you the industrious little old thing, you…….. So I guess my second sentence would apply in your mind.

            Look, I've been there. I have lived it. We gay people can be great fun, warm charming loving, you know all the normal cool to be human stuff. Underling the whole state of affairs though is a blatantly self destructive lifestyle that thank God I found my way out of. Did I become straight? No! But I live according to what I believe my God's plans were from the start (Believe me, that hole on your back side was not put there to put stuff into. It is only meant to expel the poison. Seems to me that the function of that thing ought to be a real big clue. Whether or not you believe God or Darwin's evolution made the hole, it is clear what it was made for. Expeling poison-not putting it in.) Should gay people be condemned because they are gay? No!

            If the Bible is true and if I have read it right then homosexuality is just a sin. Sin is sin and we all have it in our lives. If we are Christians we need to love as Christ loved and loves. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." We should not be going around pointing fingers. Just living our lives with thankfulness for the one who has paid God's price for our own sin. And, by example, loving people out of the need for sin in their lives. Most all the examples of finger pointing in the Bible especially the New Testament are directed at the Church anyway.

            This sin in particular and for every man I ever met in self help groups I attended years ago, is the result of a lack of the right kind of love in ones early childhood. It is a subconscience attempt to fill an emotional void. We are very good at hiding what really motivates us. We do it with sex, drugs, lies, narcissism and when none of that works we play on the sympathy of those ignorant of our plight. "Poor little down trodden me. Look at what society has done to me".

            The only proper response to Gays by Christians is love. Love was the missing ingredient right from the start.

          • StraightGrandmother

            Don, I am very skeptical that you were gay and are now cured. I do not believe you were ever gay. I think you are simply MarkF or maybe his brother or something.

            I have read plenty of posts by gay men and the way you write does not ring true.

          • Mark

            There is no way he is gay. Some psycho right-wing tea bagger pretending to be gay, ex-gay, whatever.

          • SP

            That makes total sense “Thanks Grandma” It would be like testing heterosexual prostitutes for disease to come up with a % of how many heterosexual women are spreading disease. Isn’t that correct? Maybe my example a little exaggerated, but it brings the point accross

        • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

          You like to learn, DonP? Well, here's an opportunity:

          Germs and viruses and bacteria are 'equal opportunity' employers that, unlike you, couldn't care whatsoever in the sexual orientation of their hosts. Surely if they have the wherewithal to treat people equally, then we (and especially those who claim our morality is god-sanctioned) can find it within ourselves to do the same. Maybe I'm aiming slightly higher than you to think that I can at least match if not surpass one of these little boogers in the moral department.

        • Anakin McFly

          Commenting 3 years late to point out that in Africa (and on a global scale) the group most at risk for HIV is married, monogamous straight women who get it from their straight husbands sleeping concurrently with other straight women. So if you’re using HIV rates as a determiner of sexual morality, it’s wrong to be a married, monogamous straight woman.

      • DonP

        Sorry I posted this under the tildeb instead of Denver

        • Mindy

          You are right, DonP – it is a tragedy. It is a symptom of a greater problem, and one that needs to be addressed. But your findings there are at the end are not exactly scientific.

          Did you miss this nugget there in the report?

          "Additionally, factors such as homophobia and stigma can prevent MSM from seeking prevention, testing, and treatment services."

          Is it such a stretch for you to imagine that gay kids who grow up loving themselves, because they are accepted and loved by their families and communities, would be much less likely to engage in self-destructive behavior like this? Be *more* likely to seek healthy, monogamous relationships rather than promiscuous hook-ups? It's no different than any other segment of the population, DonP – if you grow up with permission to love yourself, you will. And if you do, you'll take care of yourself – because you'll know you're worth it.

          • DonP

            Mindy you are right of course. But I still maintain that homosexuality is the big symptom. It is the proverbial elephant in the room here, not promiscuity. You can say all you want to support your friends but you haven't lived it. All your knowledge is second hand. You know only what she is told, not what you have lived.

          • DonP

            You know only what YOU are told, not what you have lived.

          • Dan

            Sorry DonP – I've lived it, living it now, and have to agree w/ Mindy. Gay relationships can be exactly like straight relationships. It's a matter of finding the one you fall in love with and being faithful to that relationship. Gays have had to live in secret for so long that the best they could do was to just satisfy the sexual urges. Now more and more gays are finding and maintaining healthy relationships. And I"m sure it will get even better once we are allowed to marry – in my opinion, we'll probably have a much lower divorce rate than straight people.

            And as far as what the Bible says about homosexuality, I classify it the same as eating shellfish.

      • StraightGrandmother

        @tildeb, who's post started with this, "It helps, Denver, to know that bigotry will not win out in the long run if each of us just does our part in confronting it"

        I wish I could write like you, I tend to be very blunt and it gets me in trouble sometimes. I have now ability to write like you so I have copy and pated what you wrote above and am saving it. I hope this is okay with you when I have the need to use this from time to time that I reprint this, I'll give you credit of course. It is just so well written that it is bound to make people read it and consider what you are saying wtihout being threatened. I especially liek the part where you write that we may not be around to see the final transformation even though we had a part in making it happen. Thank you so much for this post.

        • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

          Thank you for your kind words, SG.

          You'll notice I comment under a pseudonym to remain anonymous. I do that for a couple of reasons (privacy being one) but the main reason is that I think ideas stand or fall on their own merit. If anything I write here you find useful, you are welcome to it because I don't own the ideas; I merely express them as best I can having borrowed them from smarter and brighter and more articulate people who passed them on to me. Now it's your turn if you so wish, to incorporate them and pass them on as you see fit, to be one in a long chain of caring and compassionate people who wish to add their mark in some small way to leaving the world a slightly better place than one found it through the expression of ideas that matter.

          • Mindy

            You are one of the coolest, tildeb. You fascinate me, I admit. Your intelligence is only surpassed by your compassion. That you protect not only your identity but your gender, and do it so very well, makes all that you write that much more compelling. Thank you, for the effort you put into sharing those ideas.

          • https://questionablemotives.wordpress.com tildeb

            Thank you Mindy. We all love a mystery!

            At the risk of offending some, I ask for your indulgence to let me explain why I comment as I do here on what I recognize as a christian blog.

            I am a gnu atheist and as such I feel it is important to show that, on issues that matter, all of us as people share far more than the beliefs (or lack of them) that so often divide us. And what matters most, I think, is compassion (‘com’ meaning ‘with’ in the sense of something shared, and ‘passion’ meaning suffering). We are in this world together and what brings us closer is this sense of sharing the trials and tribulations and triumphs of human life, what John and many others call ‘love’.

            I can appreciate because I’m fully human what it means to another to suffer like I do – whether that suffering is an artistic expression that falls just short, unrequited love, personal loss and tragedy, pain and injury and betrayal, even a child advancing to some new endeavor leaving a part of childhood behind forever (tough not to cry when the child heads off to school for that first time filled with such excitement and courage and armed with nothing but optimism).

            But so too can I share the passion that infuses all of human life with so much potential meaning and purpose through love and adventure and excitement and common achievement. We share all of our humanity even if we share only someof what our different ideas of what that life should look like.

            When I come across this sense of shared suffering – our common humanity expressed a zillion different ways – undermined by particular religious beliefs, I feel compelled to speak out. Not always well, not always effectively, not always kindly, but with an intention that is good, an intention to bring people back to what we share. In the same way that criminality is determined by intent to cause harm, so too do I criticize beliefs whose intent is to divide, to reduce human welfare and human well-being in the name of obeying and pleasing some other-worldly agency. Too often this attempt to impose one’s religious belief on others – no matter how heartfelt the case may pretend to be – is done to raise one’s lesser self to a more elevated place in the belief hierarchy, as if piousness itself is more precious to whatever creator agency is believed in than the actual welfare and well-being of others. Those individuals who are willing to sacrifice the welfare and well-being of others in the name of promoting them selves in the metaphorical eyes of some deity need to be confronted for their selfishness, stupidity, for their lack of empathy, for their arrogance and effrontery, for their misplaced priorities, and worst of all for their intentional perversion of that which binds us together: compassion – of shared suffering with other people in this life, in this place, in the here and now. In its place comes this belief-twisted caricature of compassion that is equivalent to becoming god’s jackbooted bully in order to share the deity’s suffering. It’s a form of illness of human spirit, one that is so blindly extended into the world through misogyny and bigotry and intolerance for what is just, what is right, what is good. We know better. And we can do better.

            Religious belief opens this door (and often makes these divisive acts into virtues) as much as it opens a door to community and love and good works and to sharing beliefs of like-minded people. I think religious belief is unnecessary to achieve the same positive results (for what I think are better reasons) under different secular enlightened banners and ends up causing more harm than it does good in the conglomerate. I also recognize that the choice to hold religious beliefs is not my call (I’m not the one promoting the idea of the Thought Police). Each of us (but only in a secular liberal democracy let us remember) has the legal right to believe whatever we want that juices our religious engine but we don’t have the right to impose those beliefs in any way on others without undermining exactly that same right! (It’s a mystery why so many fail to recognize the importance of this very point when it comes to one’s primary worldly allegiance between a specific religion and the state, especially those who denigrate enlightened secularism in the name of extending their religious beliefs into the world.) Sometimes that fact needs to be pointed out to those who seem to be so willing to sacrifice it on their religious alter.

            Finally, I have come to the conclusion that religion and all its negative effects can be all but eliminated if each believer holds true to keeping the positive beliefs they cherish wholly private (especially from children). We can be just for the sake of equitable justice and fairness, do what’s right for the sake of being ethical, be good for the sake of our common morality. Religious belief is not a better foundation (nor the only foundation) upon which to justify these goals and their achievement, nor is it central to determining and exercising what is just, right, and good. We can gather compassion in our hearts regardless of our beliefs and spread it like seeds through compassionate action as our testimonial to having lived honest and full human lives.

          • Mindy

            Well, I already said you are one of the coolest. I can only add that this explanation is, to me, breathtaking, and I hope it is read and re-read by everyone who stops by John's blog.

          • A

            I wish I hadn't stopped by here again. There's so much that I want to say and argue and think about, and I possess very scant amounts of free time. Perhaps someday, when I'm more available, I'll come back.

            For now, though, I just want to encourage you all for expressing your beliefs and whatnot in an open forum. Christians together, as they say.

            To tildeb – Among all of the posters here, you are the one I'd most like to engage. Your comment was well written and showed, to me, a mind open and kind. Oh how I wish I could neglect my work for a while and just talk. Ah well.

            Farewell, all of you. I am so very glad my friend pointed me here. It's helped me solidify my beliefs, even through questioning and doubt.

            God bless.

    • StraightGrandmother

      Denver,

      TOTALLY!

      Standing O

      Yes I see what you are saying, like you are some inatimate object.

      It is like what parents do to a child, the child can be standing right there and the parent will talk to the teacher as if the child isn't even in the same room.

      I have a different name, I call them CINOs "Christians in Name Only"

      You go girl, MWAH.

    • Mark

      Hip Hip hooray. We all should stand up in public and say what you have said. I think the day is coming when it will be necessary. Kudos to you. That was powerful!!!

    • Karl

      When God says, “Thou shalt not have sex with man like you have sex with a woman”. Is that hate literature? Is God being hateful?

      Jesus hung around sinners and loved them and still does and would not condemn anyone does the hanging around sinners mean that He accepted their sin or accepted them?

      When the woman who was caught in adultery was thrown before the feet of Jesus, he did not condemn her, but told her, “go and sin no more”. He loved her but He did not love her sin. He told her to forsake her sin.

      God says that men having sex with men is a sin. Does God hate homosexuals? Absolutely NOT!! But He will never condone the action, He tells us to forsake it.

      Now, if you love your sin, by all means get your fill of it.

      If you don’t see your sin as sin, then your problem is not with Christians, your problem is with God who established that law in the Earth.

      If Christians are condemning homosexuals with the act of homosexuality than those Christians have never known God. For God does not condemn anyone because He didn’t come in the person of Jesus Christ to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. Homosexuals will not be condemned by God and should not be condemned by Christians. However, condemnation exists outside of Christ, only because Life is in Christ. If your in the Ark of Gods safety…Christ, than your safe from condemnation, but outside Him is death and destruction. That is the law that has been established in the Earth at the cross of Christ that whosoever continually puts their trust in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

      • Anakin McFly

        But God didn’t say that. The Bible wasn’t written in English. Instead, what God (told Moses to tell the ancient Israelites, which most of us are not) was not to engage in temple prostitution rituals in which straight male worshippers had sex with other straight male priests in the service of pagan gods. The word used for ‘men’ in that verse was a term used commonly to refer to male shrine prostitutes, not men in general.

    • Ting

      Thank you, denver. This conversation is hard to read for exactly the same reason. I don’t ever want to insulate myself from people who do not believe the same things I believe, but there comes a point when I just can’t swallow any more.

  • Mindy

    Tildeb, this is beautiful! And so, so true. We have to remember that – all of us. We have to not back down, but we have to remember to keep pushing forward without venom whenever possible. Which can be very, very hard! But yes, it becomes like arguing with a child, when foot-stomping was the fall-back response when their funny logic didn't work. And it's all cute from a four-year-old, not so much from an adult.

    The thing is, in certain emotional areas, we remain stuck where we stopped learning. And if, in early Sunday school, you learned that God Is Always Right and The Bible Is Even Righter, and you stopped questioning any of that – well, then, there you are. Stuck, religiously speaking, in elementary Sunday School.

    To move someone like that forward, who's never questioned that same rigid belief system since childhood, you have to move their hearts as you would move that of a child's. And sometimes, logic just doesn't work.

    Lollipops, maybe?

  • Joe

    Wow! So much to read here!

  • Jeff Perkins

    Gay or Straight? Broccoli-eater or Not? Wearer of Corduroy or Organic Cotton?

    We make choices even though we may have internal “inclinations”.

    Effeminate men are not necessarily attracted to men sexually. Masculine-acting men could very easily be intensely attracted sexually to other men. Homosexual stereotypes are woefully inaccurate. They have become the bartering tool used between a “movement” and media/advertising.

    I am a mid-40s married dad who has known and acknowledged my attraction to the same sex for a decade. I am also a Christian. Before acknowledging my nagging “burr in the side”, I acquired several degrees in theology from Southern Baptist institutions. My family and I served as pastor to a few churches and even took up the mantle as “church-planter” in Western Europe.

    In Europe, the small flicker doubt about my sexuality became a thoroughly stoked inferno. One can deal quietly with a minor inconvenience. This was as much of an inconvenience as an orange-sized boil on your nose. Time for a total life evaluation was at immediately required.

    My wife discovered my interests via a search of our shared computer’s history. Inside, I wanted her to know. However, this news would simply be the last straw that would disable the camel. And it did.

    I immediately lost my family, friends, career, identity, and most importantly, hope.

    Christian counseling started with this statement from the counselor, “I could medicate you into a stupor or we can forever peel back the layers of your soul like an onion. Take a week and think about it.” I have always been fond of onions.

    The capitulation happened 10 years ago.

    For 9.5 years I have walked with an elderly minister who shares the same struggle. He has shown me the love of the Father. Unconditionally embracing my guilt and holding me until I knew that God, indeed is the supplier of grace. My sexuality is unique. So what! My big toe is unique as well. Well, the left one is unique. The right one is rather ordinary.

    Oh, this is very important. After 6 weeks of separation from my wife, she took me back. She said that God told her to accept me and that His grace would be her strength. God was correct. My wife was correct. We celebrated 20 years of marriage last May. Our relationship is very dynamic. My sexuality is simply a platform upon which the Father has demonstrated His identity to me, to my family, and to others.

    I love men. I love my wife. I don’t love women in a lustful manner. I might at times I struggle with thoughts of wanting to be embraced, absorbed, praised by, and locked in hand-to-hand sweaty mortal combat with another like-minded man. When this happens, I defer to God. I ask Him to take the place of my desired male lover. Umm, and guess what? He does, gladly.

    • Allie

      Better would have been knowing and admitting who you were from the outset, so your wife had a chance to marry a man who was attracted to her. She deserves that, just as you deserved to marry someone you were attracted to. I’m not saying you or your wife are wrong to stick with the situation you have now, just that it’s unfortunate the mess was made in the first place, and a culture of honesty about sexuality would have prevented a lot of feelings from being hurt.

    • Karl

      I enjoyed reading that Brother.

  • Jason

    You may want to look into the possiblity of a divided spirit. It is possible that via trauma (even prenataly) a man’s spirit can be divide resulting in a twice-a-soul condition. The bible calls it being double minded. Healing is available if the divided part will submit himself to Christ and allow Christ to reintegrate him into the rest of your spirit (the married father who is thoroughly heterosexual and obedient to Christ sexually). I have heard of this kind of sexual ambiguity happening as a result of a parent who really wants the child to be a girl (probably the mother) and you were born male instead. Her spirit effected the development of your spirit while still in her womb. Not necessarily what happened to you, but a possibility.

    • Mark

      Jason – really? honestly? come on – wake up

    • Karl

      James 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

      James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

      Jason your reasoning is foolish. The double minded man is the man who is betwixt between two opinions. He feels the conviction of the Holy Ghost to trust in Jesus through Grace but wants to trust in his ability to remain in control of his own life through the works of the law.

  • SP

    I was about 10 to 12 years old when I knew I was different – I was attracted to boys not girls. When my friends started to look at girls I started looking at my friends. But I lived in a Mennonite family and though sex wasn’t mentioned it was quite clear that anybody who would live or do things with the same sex that was intended to be done with the opposite sex would burn in hell for all eternity. So I suppressed it tried to date a few girls but even before the first date I would call them and tell them an emergency had come up and I couldn’t keep the date. I have only dated 2 girls in my life and I married the second one. I got married because I thought it would cure my gay disease as I saw it at that time. It didn’t work although it was quite good at suppressing the desires for about 10 years. After 10 years of marriage the desire became very big, in fact I loved to go and shop for my briefs because the pics of men in that department was as close as I dared to watch gay (PORN) – After about 10 more years I couldn’t stand it anymore and so I had a one night fling, this terrified me to the point of nearly getting a heart attack. My fear showed and my son asked me what was wrong with me, I lied and told him that the divorce of my brother had cause me so much stress., I was sure I would have aids now, and so I went to a clinic to have myself tested. I came out negative Praise God. I should go back a little I also went for counseling to my pastor but I never told him what bothered just that it was sexual and so he thought I had sexual problems with girls, and that’s how he counseled me I did not bother correcting him because I knew his stand against homosexuality. About 7 years ago I got caught by my son when he read an email I had emailed to a gay man, I had forgotten to close the email server. I wasn’t home and so he printed up the email and went to our pastor with it. When I got home he confronted me and told what he had done. WHEW I was ready to die. But then I decided to come clean and take good counseling and get this over with. I confessed to my wife she forgave me and I started counseling, after I finished the counseling I took a counseling course and counseled other men who had the same struggle. I though I was healed now God had cleansed me and made me whole. I helped many men get over the struggle at least that is what I thought, and I am sure some did over come it, but then one youth pastor I counseled threw in the towel and said “It doesn’t work, I have tried so long and hard it isn’t a disease and is just who I am.” I though about that and I broke down, I cried before God and I said to God “Who am I kidding?” I knew I hadn’t overcome it at all I was just suppressing it again. And so I came to the conclusion that I am who I am the sexual orientation I have cannot be changed I have been made that way. I am 60 years old and struggled with this for about 45 years of my life. I have now found a Christian married man, we are very close friends and we have the same issues. We love our wives and we love each other. No our wives don’t know one part of us, but they know we are very close friends. They see us as David and Jonathan. We fulfill a desire in us emotionally and physically and we also do that to our wives. This is probably not the best way but in our situation it seems to be the only way at this time. Thanks for listening – I would also ask that you pray for us.

    • DR

      This just breaks my heart. You and your friend have my prayers. I’m so sorry for what we as a church have put you through. Peace, peace, peace.

    • Christy

      Yes, heartbreaking. Thank you for having the courage to share your story, SP. Blessings and prayers for you and your friend and your lives.

    • SP

      Well here I am still married and still in the closet. Sometimes I want to get out of that closet so badly because I am living a lie, but then I realize that I would hurt so many people and so I stay inside. I feel like a I am on the offering block and I am being lit on fire as a sacrifice without being slaughtered. I am being offered alive, yet I choose to let it happen. I do not know why and I do not have the strength to change it. My married friend came out to his wife and now that is even lost, then I found an old friend from years ago he is single and gay I did not know, now this friend has asked if I would like to go to Australia with him. My family knows him but again they do not know that he is gay and so they have told me I should take the opportunity to go with him, because Australia has been a life time dream for me. But I don’t even care so much about Australia I have fallen in love again, but I know it will only last for a short time because when I come back from my trip I will be forced to say good bye once again to a love. Thanks for listening

    • Karl

      Satisfy “emotionally and physically”, what do you mean, a non sexual relationship? You don’t act out, you have someone to talk to, cuddle, hold hands, etc.., non sexual right? If yes, I have always longed for that. God has removed male intimacy off my list for the last 14 years. The fear of God (literally) keeps from acting out with another man. I am like David saying in the Psalms, “Take not thy Holy Spirit from me”. Even though I want to have sex with a man, I am compelled not to have sex with a man and I don’t want this compelling restraint removed. But I would love to have that emotional physical attachment with another man that is non sexual. Just a guy that we can hold hands, cuddle with etc.. but that door is shut for me. God will not open that door and because of the way I am sexually, I thank Him that He does not. It’s for my own good. Oh believe me there are many moments when I cry to Him, Why?

      • Jill

        Is it maybe possible to consider living an authentic life, one that is not predicated on fear of God’s retribution and abandonment? Is is possible to consider that sexuality is a fluid dynamic, just as it is found in all of nature, and that human beings are naturally capable of committed, consensual, loving, accepting relationships of any kind or variety?

        If it is even slightly possible for a person to be homosexual, loving, a child of God, and fully accepted in God’s sight, then is it possible for you too? There are more people than you may know personally that have no doubt of this. I have doubts about a lot things in life, but of this I do not doubt anymore. I hope one day soon Karl, you will not doubt it either.

        • FTC

          [comment deleted]

          • Allie

            Like a scorpion, the stinger’s in the tail… saved that revelation about your sexuality for the last paragraph.

            No, you’re not free from homosexuality. Homosexuality is not a crime nor a sin nor an illness nor a prison, so you can’t be free from it, any more than it makes sense to say that a black person can one day be free of being black.

            I wonder what Paul (a very human, very fallible man) thinks of all the pain his words have caused. Kind of takes your breath away.

          • FTC

            [comment deleted]

          • Allie

            Honey, what you are is a liar. Jesus never said one word about homosexuals but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t like lying. Think about it.

          • FTC

            [comment deleted]

          • Jill

            Ok then. That’s that all sorted.

            Though I find it curious that you feel compelled to capitalize the h in homosexuality like the c in Christianity. A Jungian slip, perhaps?

          • Matt

            Capitalization is a conservative Christian compulsion.

          • DR

            Does this mean you desire women sexually now? What are the specific outcomes of being healed?

          • FTC

            [comment deleted]

          • DR

            So the answer is “no”. Perhaps you might want to consider if a loving God wouldn’t fully restore someone’s “sinful” state to a “normative” condition? Why would God be so cruel? He causes liars, through His Grace, to become honest. Abusers to be peace-makers. Addicts to not desire drugs or alcohol. But he doesn’t replace homosexual desires with heterosexual ones. You’re still trapped in those desires.

            If you need to pursue peace like this then that’s fine, it really is. But there are some young men and women on this forum who might be reading this from you and get very confused so it’s our duty to let them know that they can obviously be both gay and a Christian. That your own personal testimony is your experience and I won’t question that. But for every one of you, there are hundreds of very happily devout gay Christians in exclusively loving relationships, marriages where it is legal, raising beautiful kids and living beautifully holy lives.

          • Allie

            So… you’re not “cured,” in the sense of being made heterosexual, you have just decided to live a life without love.

            It’s important to say that because that’s the truth, not what you are saying about being healed.

            Once again: there was nothing wrong with you originally, so nothing has been fixed.

          • Karl

            “Homosexuality is not a crime nor a sin nor an illness nor a prison, so you can’t be free from it, any more than it makes sense to say that a black person can one day be free of being black.”

            But, it’s not a sin to be black. The scriptures do not speak against being black, it does condemn the act of homosexuality though and that is an established law not only in the Earth but in our conscience. Even if one never read the bible, or went to Church or heard a sermon and they do something wrong, their conscience is pricked and they know that they have done wrong. Laws of the land can be changed to suit gay rights etc, but the law of the universe will never change, it still will be in the minds of men and women that it’s wrong, unless one becomes reprobate and can’t discern between right and wrong.

          • Jill

            Karl’s true colors– it took all day for him to get honest, but he finally proved himself ignorant and bigoted in the end.

            You came to the wrong place to let this nonsense sit without being challenged.

          • Karl

            Wouldn’t it be nice to put all christians who are narrowminded in a gas chamber and finally get rid of them? The world would be a better place. Rome tried to do that back in the day. Even ole Daniel whom his own political peers could not stand because he stood as a righteous man they plotted against him, changed the law so they could trap him and finally get rid of him. It’s happening all over again. The laws are being changed so the Christian can’t do what those who have been chomping at the bit want them to do, to Shut-Up! And that is what they wanted Daniel to do as well, to Shut-Up. Sin hates the preaching of righteousness. It can’t stand it, it either has to bow to it or run away. Sin always rises up in anger it does not want to be exposed as sin. It desires to be tolerant. This too was not written with venom, but I did feel a slight bit of righteousness rising up in me. Which happens from time to time when I am writing from the word of God.

          • Allie

            How dare you refer to yourself as if you were being persecuted and claim that someone here suggested gas chambers when no one but you has done any such thing. Really, how dare you? How dare you, the one persecuting innocent people by preventing them from marrying their loved ones, pretend to be the victim here? Slink away in shame and hide under a rock.

          • DR

            Karl, gay kids are the number 1 group to commit suicide because of the terror of being labelled “sinful” and the culture they are forced to live within as a result of us attaching sinfulness to being gay. They are kicked out of their Christian homes, they feel like they can’t have a relationship with God because they can’t change, and their Christian friends and family often shun them when they are honest about their struggle. It’s clear you’re going through a lot here but consider that you’re actually not being spiritually persecuted – consider that this is about the damage you and others unwittingly do to kids as you take your own, narrow interpretation of Scripture and make it declarative for these little ones. They are trapped in self-loathing and a real fear of losing everyone in their lives that they love. This really isn’t about you, ok dude? You’re a grown up, you’ve made your own choices. Fine. Peace. But the challenges you’re experiencing here are geared toward those kids. Not necessarily you. Not everything is about you. ;)

          • Allie

            No, the scriptures don’t say being black is a sin, they say it’s a curse. That’s because parts of the scriptures are evil because they were written by fallible human beings who hated their dark-skinned neighbors.

            Being black is not a curse, and being gay is not a sin.

  • FTC

    I also struggle with Homosexuality myself. I am a 41 year old single man and I have struggled with this emotional disorder for the vast majority of my life. The struggle is never easy. It is always a difficult battle each and every day. Your desires for members of your own gender is at war with what you really want to do, which is the right thing. The vast majority of us know what the Holy Bible says about the sexual activity that is associated with the condition and why God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah before his son Jesus Christ even came to walk the earth. While the Holy Bible itself doesn’t condemn the condition, it only condemns the sexual activity associated with the condition. We still have to keep in mind that God made man and woman for a reason. God never intended for sexuality to be the way that it is being used today by everybody in the world we are living in at the moment.

    In early 2003, I started reading books by both Christians who successfully overcame Homosexuality and books by secular authors. I had learned the root causes of why I am struggling with Homosexuality and maybe there are other men who struggle with this emotional condition that also had it’s roots in this as well. The vast majority of Homosexual men never really got the full love and gender affirmation by their fathers as fathers are really supposed to do that when it comes to their children, especially sons. When I read that in many of the books, this was me. My father never gave me his love and affirmation and all he ever did was call me names and insult me, but the worst part of it was when I was physically and emotionally abused by him and using his religion “Born-Again Christianity” as an excuse as well as this repeated phrase; “If I don’t do this, it would show that I didn’t love you”. I suffered this for 9 months during the time that I was in between the ages of 8-9 years of age when I was living with him for a brief time. While that was only the root causes of why I struggle with this, there were also other contributing factors like sexual abuse. At age 7, a man in my neighborhood actually masturbated in front of me. At 10 years of age, a 16 year old kid talked me into performing oral sex on him. The worst was when I was 16 years of age, when another man in my neighborhood raped me. There were also other instances when I was used by other males for their own pleasure and it all really messed me up. I am still struggling to this day and the struggle does seem unbearable at times. I am conflicted between my desires and doing what I know is the right thing to do. I want to do the right thing, but my body and desires want me to do the opposite. I also was once a follower of a religious cult when I was in my early 20′s for the time period of 1992-1994 and that also contributed to me being messed up.

    While I haven’t acted out with another man in many years since entering this healing process, I have to admit that I am weak and I need to learn to be stronger. You see, I still struggle and the only things that I have done recently is masturbate and watch porn online. I also struggle with erectile dysfunction, which is secondary, as a result of what had happened to me in life sexually and the physical and emotional abuse as well as the rigorous religious teachings of that cult that I abandoned in 1994. At times, I try to manipulate my genitals and when they reach almost hardness, I masturbate until I climax. I have also done this watching porn and also, when I am talking to myself pretending that there is someone else in the room with me and the talk is always about sex and then, I masturbate to that as well by doing the same genital manipulation. Before that, I used to get hard when I least expected it, but now, I only get hard 2-3 or sometimes more on occasion during the night when I sleep or when I wake up in the early morning hours. I used to get hard every night and have morning ones every time, but now, it only happens once in a while. I also have the problem of my testis freezing up and I have tried stuff like soaking in very warm water and heat, but it just doesn’t work. They still stay frozen.

    I need to take my mind off of sex with other men and get my mind into healthy things like spiritual things(I have returned to church and have been attending since September 2011 17 years after leaving the cult), healthy thoughts of men and only view them as brothers and that each and every man is a mirrored image of another as a result of all men’s bodies being the same inside and out and that the only real form of manly is Christian brotherly love and there is no other form of brotherly love. Homosexuality takes this type of love and eroticizes it and that twists it around and all and gets mistaken as real manly love, when in reality, it isn’t.

    If anybody out there can give me any ideas on how I can get my mond off of sex with other men and how to stop manipulating my genitals to get erect or near erect for the purpose of masturbation, please share whatever advice and guidance that you can give. It will be very much appreciated. Thanks to all of you in advance for everything and I will try to apply it in my daily life onward.

    Thanks again in advance to all of you.

    • DR

      Hello there,

      This seems like a very, very difficult place to be but there are many here if not most who do not agree with the Biblical interpretation of homosexuality being “sinful”. I know you were taught to believe this way and it is for many, a deeply-engrained belief and I won’t try to change your mind (nor will you change the minds of anyone here). Homosexuality in and of itself does not lead to destructive behaviors in the same way that lying, addition, stealing, jealousy, etc. For most it leads to healthy, loving relationships with a person of the same sex.

      I’m sure that idea sets of massive alarms in your head – you might even believe I’m led astray. I assure you, Jesus is my Savior and I’m devoted to Him. While I am straight, not gay, there are millions of actively gay men and women who are in long-term loving relationships with a partner, who love Jesus and don’t have to sacrifice one to have the other. I would encourage you to spend some time on the Gay Christian Alliance website if you’re interested in reading more.

      http://www.gladalliance.org/

      If not, please be as kind to yourself as possible. Take care.

      • FTC

        DR

        Thanks, but I have chosen not to read anything on that website as it conflicts with what I truly believe. I am not looking for any type of sexual relationship with a member of my own gender. What I am looking for are healthy, authentic relationships with other men like friendships, closeness and male bonding where I can trust, confide and connect with other men in a healthy authentic manner and bot in a sexual manner. I want to learn from other men in how I can finally reach the manhood that I was supposed to reach when I became an adult. I don’t want anything sexual with any man. I am looking for male friendships that can lead to closeness, trust, confidence and male bonding. What I want is a guy to say to me; “I really like you and I really like having you around”. and actually mean it. What I don’t want is a guy saying that to me and then asking me for a sexual favor alongside it. I have had my share of so called “friends with benefits” like that and I don’t want any more of those. I want real friends that I can trust, confide and connect with and share things without having to worry about being judged or made to look bad in front of others as a result of what I share. I don’t want nothing sexual with any man nor do I want to be entangled in yet another painful relationship that only leads to more emptyness and loneliness in the end and then, I am back to square one. I have had enough of those and I don’t want anymore of them. They will never really give me what I want, which is affirmation, authenticity and the way that I want to feel, which is like A MAN and not the opposite of that.

        I have met other men who have successfully overcame Homosexuality and they are now happily married to members of the opposite sex and also have families. I also know women with the same things that those men have. As far as others, they have changed, but they are single as they prefer to live lives of chastity rather than have any type of immoral sex with a member of their own gender or otherwise. My point is that if those people can successfully overcome Homosexuality, then I can do that as well. Again, I want nothing sexual with men as I only want true friendships with other men. I feel that there are no substitutes for that type of thing and everything else is actually nothing.

        The vast majority of those types of relationships within the realm of Homosexuality are really not that happy at all. The vast majority of them last usually 3-6 months and if they do last longer, it is because they agree to have affairs on the side with others while trying to hold onto their relationship. I know this to be true because with many of the men that I know who were successful in overcoming Homosexuality have shared with me that they had done this type of thing while in a relationship with another man and also, there were a few that tried to be faithful but were hurt when they found out about what their “boyfriends” were doing on the side secretly. Yes, that is all too common in that particular sex life within the Homosexual side. Again, quite a few men and women have successfully overcame Homosexuality and are leading very happy lives as a result of them overcoming it. It can happen. It is very real.

        But I do want to say Thanks for not trying to get me to change my mind as many others have tried to do, including those that I know who are members of the American Psychiatric Association as I do receive mental health therapy from them as a result of the physical and emotional abuse that I suffered and endured at the hands of my father as well as the therapy that I receive as a result of the sexual abuse that I suffered and endured. Sexual abuse can be the ultimate brainwash as it can lead anyone to think that they prefer members of their own gender, when an older member of their own gender sexually abuses them, rather than the opposite gender. I know that this doesn’t happen to every man who has been sexually abused by other men, but it has happened to many of them and many of them are simply unhappy as a result of that and feel that there is no way out of it, when there really is a way out. They just have to find it for themselves. I did and I am glad that I did, though I am still struggling with the feelings as I willfully choose to refuse to act out on the desires and feelings. Nothing will convince me to act out.

        I am not saying that you have a right to your own opinion, because you do and I do respect your opinion, but I have to disagree with it. Why? Because it is not what I truly believe in as a result of what the Holy Bible says about that sort of thing. I am still determined to find real male friends that I can trust, confide and connect with on a healthy and authentic level in order to get the affirmation that I so desperately need to keep going and to survive as a man in this really wicked world that we live in. The whole world wants me to stay in this thing regarding the Homosexual context, but I don’t want to go through all the pain, heartache, depression and other negative emotions that go with the territory of living that type of lifestyle. I have had it and I don’t want any more of it. No Way. No How.

        Thanks though for your help, DR. Your help is truly appreciated.

        • DR

          This makes me very sad for you. I’ll be honest about that. But your life is yours to live as you see fit as long as you’re not hurting anyone. Bear in mind that you are within a population that is often driven to suicide and severe emotional disorders. Being gay is not an emotional disorder. If you have a need to view it that way then no one can stop you but I will also say that you need to keep this view as a personal opinion – this is not Biblical, God would not allow a sin to continue with no escape from it. And while I’m sure there are men you know who are able to somehow repress their sexuality and marry women? Those are well-documented to be very few exceptions to the rule and those marriages are often horrible for the women because of the lack of sexual attraction.

          I don’t mean to discourage you, you’re quite committed to this path and I wish you the best. But if you’re here looking for support in how to maintain your current stance on homosexuality, I suspect you’ll not find that here. That doesn’t mean *you* aren’t loved and supported but your current state of belief actually hurts kids who are gay terribly, so please bear that in mind as you’re going through this.

          • DR

            This should read:

            Bear in mind that you are within a population that is often driven to suicide and severe emotional disorders *as a result of growing up in a culture – largely driven by the Christian church – that being *gay* is intrinsically condemned by God, against nature and bad at its core.* Being gay is not the emotional disorder.

          • FTC

            I did forget to say one thing. When I was in that religious cult, I was accepted right away by the members and over time, that acceptance actually led me to be attracted to a member of teh opposite sex. It did happen. Before that, my attractions, which were caused by the physical and emotional abuse by my own father and the sexual abuse by other males for their pleasure, I was attracted to men and found them more appealing than women up to that point. When I was in that cult and the acceptance started right away, the attraction to other women happened. I wondered what had come over me at that time as I was once attracted to men only and now, I have found women more appealing than men. Again, at that time, I couldn’t figure it out. When many of the members of that cult made up lies about me and my last study conductor was a very overly critical man towards me as he continually criticized me left and right without giving me a chance to work on one thing at a time, the attraction to men started all over again. I no longer desired woman anymore as my attractions were once again towards men. After that, I am also now struggling with erectile dysfunction as a result of all that messed me up emotionally from the cult and from all of the abuse that I suffered and endured.

            Years later, when I sought a way out of this trap, I started reading books about how others overcame Homosexuality and when I read in one book about acceptance by other men breeding attraction to the opposite sex, it then hit me. The men in that cult accepted me and that bred attraction to the opposite sex as for the first time in my life, I felt desires for women and really wanted the one that I was attracted to, though I was quick to see that she had no interest in me at all, but that was a very significant thing for me. Strange, but significant. I felt that if I can gain more acceptance by other men and have healthy and authentic non-sexual relationships with them, than that could put me on the road to being a Heterosexual (i.e. straight) man and that it is truly possible to be that type of man not just because I want to be that type of man, but because God wants me to be that kind of man as he did create man and woman for a reason and as a result, we are all biologically hard-wired for male-female compatibility. The Holy Bible shows truly that God accepts and supports Heterosexuality and that there are no substitutes for that at all.

            I do appreciate the advice that was given to me and for sharing websites with information, but this is my journey out of Homosexuality and I am going to continue my journey. If other men and women can successfully overcome Homosexuality, I can also successfully overcome Homosexuality as well as I will never accept any tag names for that like Gay or faggot or any other slang or obscene term for any man active in that lifestyle.

            Thanks again.

          • Allie

            Honey, other men and women can’t. That’s what’s worrying everyone, that you have read and listened to a bunch of lies and based your hopes on them. As for why God created men and women, it says he created them to help each other – really! Look it up! But even more than that, we were all created in God’s image to love God.

            Best of luck on your journey wherever it takes you.

          • FTC

            Allie

            I know that you and DR mean well. I am aware that God created us in his image and all and I do believe that.

            I have read that account many times and I only see what I had learned and believed all of my life as well as accepted. The main reason why God created a human woman for the man was because all of the other animals in the Garden of Eden where they were living also had partners who were female or women as far as animals went. That is why God created the human female as a complement to him and the man, named Adam, called her woman as he came out of the rib of a man by also saying “bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh”. Each and every one of us, be we male or female, are biologically hard-wired for the compatibility for male-female. It also said that a man must leave his father and mother to be united with his wife to be one flesh.

            When I started reading the books in the early 2000′s, what I read there regarding the non-acceptance and non-love and non-support of the father being the root of why a man is Homosexual really applied to me here as I never really got the love and affirmation of my own father as he also physically and emotionally abused me as he never told me that he loved me nor did he ever kiss me nor hugged me when I was growing up. He also showed that in his own way, he just didn’t want anything at all with me and that really was the root of my struggles alongside the sexual abuse that I suffered and endured at the hands of other males, including those instances that happened when I was a young kid at the ages of 7, 10 and 16. All of what I read in them really applied to what I was struggling with and it was an eye opener. I now saw that there was a way out of this if I am willing to take it and put up with all the difficulties associated with the healing process out of Homosexuality. If other men and women who have done that can do it, I can do it as well.

            I know that one day I will reach my own manhood. I don’t know when that day will come, but when it comes, I know that I will be happy when I reach it I really didn’t reach full manhood when I became an adult man, but one day, I know that I will. I just can’t let any setbacks deter me away from that. I am going to keep going and march forward in my journey to manhood. I don’t know when I will reach it, but when I do, I will feel much better about myself and I will finally feel the way that a man is supposed to feel.

            Thanks again for your well meaningfulness.

          • DR

            I find it really something that someone who is gay, conservatively Christian and committed to saying that way would come John Shore blog looking for support on continuing his belief that being gay is condemned by God. Either FTC wandered into a corner of the internet that wasn’t aware of or this isn’t exactly what this seems. Color me cynical but this is the fundamentalist element we’re dealing with here, not exactly known for truth in advertising.

          • DR

            Interesting. I’m curious, given that this is site as well as John being pretty well known for holding the opposite view points, what was it that you wanted here? Were you aware of John’s beliefs that being gay is not sinful and men can be both masculine as well as gay as well as Christian, all at the same time?

            I’m curious as to why you’re looking for support from that particular belief corner.

          • Jill

            I love what you said, DR: God would not allow a sin to continue with no escape from it. For so many reasons, and because I know it’s true.

        • Allie

          Funny you should mention men who have overcome their homosexuality. Do you know that many prominent people who made those claims have later reversed them and admitted they were lying the whole time? I live in Memphis, home of Love in Action, a reparative therapy program. The man who ran it, John Smid, now admits that nothing can change a person’s sexual orientation. He is trying to make amends to those gay people he hurt through his former lies. He has chosen to remain married to a woman and faithful to her. I haven’t really read through his stuff, but maybe he will have some thoughts that would be helpful to you where you are right now.

          http://www.gracerivers.com/tag/john-smid/

          As a woman I can completely sympathize with wanting a male friend who isn’t into you for sex. Women have problems with that too.

          • Karl

            The problem with Christian men and women who do overcome homosexuality or are set free from it they get into all sorts of trouble in trying to do the same for others. They flaunt their freedoms and they tend to forget the God who set them free. When we step away from grace and walk in our own strength, we will fall flat on our faces in all sorts of mischief. We find ourselves visiting the gay bars, perusing the porn sites and going back to the place where had the first “good time”. Only because we left God in the dust and working in our own strength. Some of those men certainly were set free, but we can’t live with the grace of God. I do understand that I am writing to someone who agrees with homosexuality, I am merely responding to what was said, not attacking you personally. Because if one is convinced of something to be right, how in God’s name am I going to change it, I can’t and I won’t. :-)

          • Jill

            Stop, Karl, just stop. Go and find yourself a cozy fundy blog where you’ll fit in splendidly with all your self-righteous bigotry. I’m sure those things exist out there somewhere. Your bullshit is unwelcome, and it’s starting to really piss me off.

          • Karl

            Jill your problem is not with me, it’s with God. Lets be truthful, His laws are bullshit and Jesus is the easy going guy that accepts everyone as they are and demands no change from us. Basically, we want God’s name, but “whatever you do God don’t interfere in our lives.” The reprobate mind is the mind that has successfully pushed back the conviction power of God and no longer is aware that what they are doing is wrong. The righteous God is now replaced with their own idea of who God is.

            I will now leave this site Jill only because you have requested that I do.

            When you get close to God, really close, I guarantee that the sexual orientation with the same sex gender becomes repulsive. I love you enough to tell you the truth, even though you can’t stand me. Jesus told the truth in His day and they still wanted to get rid of Him. They couldn’t stand to hear it.

            Thanks John for allowing me to share in your blog.

            http://www.tscnyc.org/

          • DR

            Karl, I think you are trapped in a lot of frustration, anxiety and grief. As well as a lot of confusion, your comments certainly don’t indicate someone who is at true peace with himself. There was a reason you were drawn to this site and I sense you thought you were going to be the teacher and are perhaps, leaving with a wound and a restlessness that will continue to poke at you. May the Holy Spirit truly, truly be with you. The heart of the stubborn never finds rest. I hope you find deeper pools of rest than you’ve ever encountered.

          • Karl

            I thank you for the comments DR I do sense they are genuine and receive them readily, but let me assure you, I am a very poor teacher, I try to avoid it as much as possible. However, I am frustrated because I want to go one way and God is pulling me into another. He will win out. I, like a little child, will try to get my own way but eventually through exhaustion I will bend to His will. Thank you again for your generous contribution in speaking those words into my life.

          • DR

            Just remember that you don’t have to be in control, Karl and God is not someone to be afraid of – fear of the Lord is knowing His divine presence but it is not being afraid of ourselves. Truly. God loving you is not dependent upon you fighting your desires. It’s Him loving you exactly the way you are. You’ll never be able to please Him. He doesn’t need you to, He just needs you to rest in Him as much as you can stand. Much love to you, you’ll be in my prayers. We’re all struggling so much and in the end, so utterly dependent upon His mercy.

          • DR

            “Jill your problem is not with me, it’s with God. Lets be truthful, His laws are bullshit and Jesus is the easy going guy that accepts everyone as they are and demands no change from us.”

            Jill, this is abusive filth uttered from what appears to be a deeply confused, trigger-touchy very angry and miserable man who seems to be trying to find his way to some peace. I remember how damaging I was when I’d say this kind of thing and just cringe from the memory.

            These conversations are HARD and you have a lot of strength that continues to show up and inspire me as you battle this kind of thing. You have my deep and abiding respect. xoxoxoxo

          • Jill

            Hi DR. I chose to step away from what I interpreted the conversation to be of fundamentalist plants, that of Karl and FTC. I am more than ok with being wrong, if I am! If either of them are truly as they claimed, a hurt and struggling man, I begrudge them nothing other than I am fully weary of listening to the same busted record that people whom I treasure are hell-bound sinners. I’m cashed out on it.

            I was thinking about a transwoman I sat with in church on Easter Sunday, and I’m just getting to know her, as well as the church itself. She didn’t have to say much about her story, and I could hear how much abandonment and sadness she’s faced in her lifetime. I don’t pity her– I am inspired by her strength and determination to remain a Christian when it is mainly Christians that oppose her, deride her, and exclude her. She has such poise and grace, and it is through people like her– and other dear friends out here– that I have been able to see what Christ is making new.

            DR, you personally have inspired me to hang in there and go the distance on behalf of those whom I love and care about. I think of your words quite often when I remind myself that Christ’s love is worth fighting for when there are those whom Christians have beaten down nearly to dust. We’re in this together, my friend. :)

          • DR

            Karl, perhaps you could take some of your own advice here. I’m actually fine with this path you’ve chosen for yourself, if it somehow serves you to suppress your desires because it helps you to achieve some kind of deeper peace with yourself and others? Fine. That’s great, I don’t judge it, that’s between you and God, if you are labeling being gay a sin, no one can stop you. But what you seem to be doing here is doing that collectively, you’re taking your experience and extending it toward everyone else. You’ve heard a dozen times here that there are people who are both gay and Christian and have absolutely no issue with reconciling both. Why are you at such odds with them? Why are you trying to control their experience? It doesn’t make your choices any less wrong. Why are you putting such energy into showing everyone else that they are wrong when ultimately, it really won’t impact the peace you’ve found with God yourself? And if it is impacting that, why?

          • Karl

            Hi DR, Thanks for the questions. ” Why are you at such odds with them? Why are you trying to control their experience?”

            hmm…I just don’t think anyone can be a true born again believer and say that it’s okay that men can have sex with other men. God said through Isaiah the prophet that He would write His law in our hearts and we would from that source perform His good will. It’s simply not possible that a person who is born again who has His law in their hearts to say that it’s “okay”. His law speaks against two men having sex.

            There are many Christians who are homosexually oriented (including myself) that disagree with it but find themselves falling into over and over again. The odds that I guess that I oppose is the idea that one can be Christian and than say that a particular “sin” is okay when God has declared it wrong. I don’t hate or despise homosexuals. I hate it when someone says it’s okay when it’s not. Be a sinner and remain a sinner, but don’t say your a Christian and then say that it’s okay to be gay. Unfortunately, if anyone quotes from the bible your going to get shot down. That’s a normal reaction.

            I did not know this was a gay site, I was doing a search online and this particular thread came up and I was responding to it. I will be more than happy to bow out, I know Jill would appreciate it. God love ya Jill.

          • DR

            Well, you didn’t really answer my questions but that’s fine.

            FYI, this isn’t a ‘gay site’. This is a site with a lot of gay people and a lot of straight people. John is a happily married straight man. And I’m a straight Christian who is quite certain that one can be both actively gay and Christian.

            The issue as I see it is that you feel the need to control who God says is in the Book of Life and who does not – that is more of a reflection of where you are with your own walk with Jesus than it is anyone else’s. The second issue is that you need *your interpretation* of Scripture to be “the Bible”. It’s not, Karl. It’s just your interpretation, you and I both can only rely upon interpretations of the Word. Neither of us have the last word on what Scripture truly means, we see through that cloudy, broken glass as a result of our sin. So as you go, consider that you’re leaving us here, not with an impression of a man who is at tremendous peace with Jesus, but as a man who expressed a lot of arrogance and insecurity when he encountered people who held an opposing view of scripture and expressed the concerns we have with yours. A man who needs to know before he gets to heaven, who is a sheep and who is a goat when God says that it is the Holy Spirit alone who knows the hearts of men. Be careful, Karl. Take care of yourself.

          • Karl

            I apologize. What question(s) were they specifically?

          • DR

            I was trying to understand why you feel such a need to define who is really a Christian and who is not. It’s my understanding that only Jesus knows the hearts of man. For example, I have grave disagreements with the people who post here but I’d never challenge the authenticity of someone’s declaration of faith before Jesus, regardless of what I think about what they reveal about themselves.

          • FTC

            [sanctimonious yet transparently rancorous fundy comment deleted]

          • DR

            Oh, FTC. I know you need to believe that you are under spiritual persecution here, that we are “blinded” by the devil and as a result, are treating you aggressively, challenging how you think and feel. I think we all know that is how you can keep your very structured, ordered sense of good and bad, holy and unholy, right and wrong all in order. And I sense that’s what you need in order to manage the fear in your life.

            I write all of this knowing you may not be willing to or able to really *hear* it because a lot of this is too threatening for you. And frankly, I’m fine if you think I’m from the devil, etc. I know who I am before Jesus. Jesus is the Lord of my life. I’m ok without your endorsement. :) But what I will do is continue to speak to you matter of factly and challenge what you’re offering here with other perspectives that are motived out of intense concern for what your interpretation of Scripture is doing to the GLBT community, the spiritual and emotional harm it causes. You’re still here and you’re still participating so the dialogue is serving you in some way. It will be interesting in time to see what that is.

          • FTC

            [insipid and decidedly passive-aggressive fundy drivel deleted.]

          • DR

            DR, it is just that what you are trying to do here is that you are claiming to be a Christian >>>

            You’re so mired in your own rhetoric that you can’t see what you’re doing. Out of the right side of your mouth, you say that I am simply “claiming” that I am a Christian, casting doubts upon the authenticity of my salvation. But then out of the left side of your mouth, you use a thousand words to explain why you’re not doing that, hiding behind the Bible as you do so.

            People who use a ton of words are fearful of speaking plainly. I think we’re all clear on you feeling quite confident in claiming who is a real christian and who isn’t as you deal with us on the internet. The way you use the Bible to passively-aggressively call people fake Christians is nauseating, treating our sacred Scriptures in such a manner, it’s shocking. But you and I both know what you’re doing. You aren’t hiding as well as you think you are.

          • DR

            And I appreciate you saying you’ll pray for me, but please don’t. I’ve never said that to anyone, but your showy words of piety after you attack the authenticity of peoples’ faith here is nauseating and frankly, super creepy. As a result, I’d prefer that you keep me out of your prayers. Appreciate the intent but you are not someone, so far, that I’d desire prayer from. Thanks anyway!

          • DR

            And with all due respect, you’re not in some kind of holy competition here. We’re not your enemy, you are *making* us your enemy. The only things won or lost are souls. Be very careful in creating enemies, FTC, we are told in Scripture that are true enemies are forces we can’t see. Consider applying a bit more maturity to your exchanges here, a bit more integrity – just because we are challenging you doesn’t mean we are the devil or spiritually attacking you, suggesting that we are is manipulative, did you know that? It’s actually a passive-aggressive way of not actually dealing with what people like us are saying to you. If you make us “demons”, then you get to distance yourself from us and not really engage us in any meaningful way. Be honest with yourself if that’s what you’ve done here. And if it is? That’s fine, I suspect we’ll all survive knowing you believe us to be motivated by demonic forces. But also know that you viewing us in that way is your choice, and it’s your choice more than likely because encountering people who are challenging you feels very threatening and scary and you may not be handling it well.

          • FTC

            [fundy crap deleted]

          • DR

            Dear, faith only comes from God alone. I’ve said a number of times that I’m a Christian and believe that one can be Christian and gay at the same time. According to the particular line you’ve drawn in the sand using the scripture to do so- that the two are not reconcilable if one has authentic faith. The only conclusion left to draw is you are judging that my faith is false. You’re quite circular in your thinking, as I’ve stated before, I don’t need your endorsement of my salvation. I’m just wanting your accusations of my faith being false and your certainly of it being false to be stated plainly. You’re going around in circles. Just say it so we’ll all know your real point of view.

          • Karl

            I receive what you have said brother. Harsh as it is, but sometimes that is exactly what I need to hear. Let me say this, I am VERY happy to see another brother like yourself who is struggling with the same thing as I have been very alone in my struggle. And the best part is that you don’t agree with it.

            I was doing a search which I do from time to time looking for a guy that I can be close to without sex and I saw this site as one of the results. I am happy that I came here and though I told Jill that I was leaving, I just won’t respond to Jill and I hope she just puts me on ignore or skips past my posts, I truly do not want to upset her anymore than she is.

            Thanks for your post.

            My obscure email address is niblets37 @ hotmail dot com

          • DR

            Karl, come on – do you actually view the people here as being motivated/deluded by Satan? Seriously?

          • DR

            (And if you’re avoiding Jill, perhaps ask yourself why she’s so angry with you. Seek to understand her, Karl, instead of just knee-jerk reacting. Consider that your theology, the way you’ve chosen to interpret these verses about being gay being sinful has devastated people like Jill and she’s here trying to recover from that, trying to recover from hearing that she is an “abomination”. Consider thinking about someone besides yourself who is in need of healing from this community, who is receiving it, and has encountered someone who seeks to shame her again out of his own need to feel ok about his homosexuality. That’s what is happening and while I’m sure you don’t intend to, you and FTC coming into this community and preaching to everyone about how sinful and “of the devil” we are is exactly what gay kids have heard their entire lives. It makes them terrified of Jesus and some people have found a refuge here. You’ll find several of us incredibly protective of them and we will ask John to ban you if you keep that rhetoric up. If this is your own journey? Fine, no one will stop you. But this is a safe place for men and women who are gay to reconcile their suffering from the evil, abusive interpretations conservative christianity has smacked them over the head with and we love them. They are our family and we will not allow you to abuse them, even if you think you are “telling the truth in the name of Jesus” which I realize is what you think you’re doing. But despite your intent, your impact is severely harmful. We won’t stand for it anymore, despite you claiming that you have the freedom to your opinions. Your opinions that being gay is being sinful are harmful. They hurt kids. They’ve hurt people like Jill. We’ll not be silent anymore. You’re done having the platform unchallenged. A lot of us are now standing up to you and whatever self-loathing or homophobia has driven you to this place and we’re taking our church back so at minimum, you can’t hurt people anymore. If you want to hurt yourself? None of us can stop you, that makes me very sad but it’s your choice. But it stops there, at least as it applies to this dialogue in this community.

          • FTC

            Karl

            Thanks. I will dropping you a line any day now. I will put in the subject line that “Karl, This is FTC from John Shore.com

            Please be on the lookout for it and also, check your junk mail for it to see if my e-mail to you winds up in there.

          • Karl

            DR, I would not say your a false brother/sister, you could have very well been ‘down the road’ had a true beginning, but somewhere along the way it’s possible that you have been deluded. Now, in your mind what you consider delusion was an illumination. I’ve been deluded, and I have no doubt delusions about some of my thinkings. This is a normal function of the human mind, especially in us men. I have a brother who had struggled with homosexuality for many years. He buried it got married and had a child. When the child was raised and had left the nest, he ended up going back into the lifestyle full throttle. It no doubt plagued his whole life while married to his wife and now finding an opportunity, he convinced himself that this is okay before God. To live out his life he has to avoid all contact with people that are going to condemn his choice…namely people like me. Which when I met him I had compassion on him and never uttered a word of condemnation. That is the last thing the brother needs.

          • DR

            Karl, quit playing around, have some respect for those of us here please. This isn’t our first rodeo with those of you who believe us to be in delusion and as a result, express that our faith is not sincere. I copy and pasted your quote that made your feelings quite clear. Now is not the time to back peddle, as the Word says “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.”

          • DR

            PS – think of the hundreds of people who have come here wanting some kind of relief from hearing they are an “abomination” before God, that there is no hope for them. They’ve all read what you’ve written here. So think twice about who you’ve condemned as you’ve actually tried to claim that people can’t have an experience with Jesus while being gay. It is so deeply spiritually abusive, I don’t have any words for it. God have mercy on you for the damage you have no idea that you do as you express that kind of thing. I mean that.

            OK, I’ve had enough for tonight, this is about all I can take.

          • DR

            One thing to pursue, Karl, if you want to is the men and women who are gay and who are in exclusive relationships. I know dozens of same-sex couples who are in devoted, monogamous relationships raising some of the sweetest kids I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. It’s just life – raising kids, paying their taxes, going to church, doing normal stuff – I wonder how life would be if you expanded your circle of gay interactions to these people instead of the bar scene? Straight people have the bar scene too and it’s certainly pretty depressing. Just a thought.

          • Karl

            Actually I couldn’t expand my circle into that realm, I’d be thrown out. We had a taste of it here. I wouldn’t be able to refrain myself. Like what Jeremiah said, “Your word is like fire shut up in my bones”. He too, didn’t want to speak the word of the Lord because he was sick and tired of getting the back lash. But he couldn’t resist the power of God welling up in his soul to speak out. Alas, that is my Achilles heel. I have no doubt that there are a lot of “good” gay families out there that are trying to live the best they know how and would like to be left alone in doing it. But just because these people do good things and live good lives does not mean it’s sanctioned by God. And this goes for anyone, not just homosexuals, heck, this goes for me too. We do not measure our righteousness by our good works or good living or our good deeds, it’s only obtained when we put our complete trust in Christ. (I am sure you are aware of this). I am very much aware that this world is changing and my thinking is archaic, Paul tells us not be conformed to this world way of thinking but to be transformed by the renewing the mind into the mind of Christ. Jill said in another post that she sees God as a God of love not as God that judges. And yet God does both. What He does not do is condemn willingly.

          • DR

            I’m not sure I understand why exposing yourself to high-functioning gay men and women who are raising great kids and are in exclusively monogamous relationships would be harmful. It sounds like all you’re doing, when you’re feeling overwhelmed is going online to gay porn or bars. That’s reducing being gay down to just lust and sex and there are thousands of gay men and women who’ve created families together, who go to church and are raising their kids as Christians who would be able to show you that being gay is a lot more than just lust. It’s love, it’s desiring a life partner and being in a relationship.

            God’s revelation to us through Jesus is complete but that doesn’t mean we always understand it. We didn’t understand how to interpret the scriptures that talk about “dark skin’ and as a result, justified slavery and segregation. As a culture, we’re still trying to deal with the devastations of how we mislabeled that. Many of us believe we’ve done the same thing to the GLBT community so we’re trying to repair that now.

          • Karl

            You make some good and valid points and I can see how that all makes sense to you. I do understand what your saying. However, do we void God’s law because gay families are living ‘good’ lives and raising ‘good’ kids etc..? I am not in any way shape or form condemning these families, what I have to condemn is when people say that God is an agreement with their same sex orientation. It all boils down to that. I would never stand in front of homosexual and tell him he is going to hell or any such things, that is not for me to say, that’s between him and God. It’s this thinking that God has changed His mind in the New Testament and apologized to mankind that what He did to Sodom was a mistake and that His judgments were over the top. What if God only started off with Adam and Steve? No woman, just two men. I can assure you the planet would have two skeletons laying somewhere and that would have been the end of that.

          • DR

            Karl, you actually *do* say that to people like Jill when you draw a correlation between being gay and being Christian. *You* are the one suggesting the scriptures are saying that one can’t be both gay and Christian. You are responsible for the impact of those words. Let’s be clear here, they are not *God’s Word*, they are how *you* are *interpreting* God’s Word.

          • DR

            And make no mistake about it, you and FTC are incredibly transparent. By calling one another “brother” and “fellow believer”, you’re trying to subtly suggest that your faith is the faith before Christ that is really true and that the rest of us are operating under a false, deluded faith. Don’t fool yourself, gentlemen, you’re not the first people to come onto this forum and you won’t be the last. And you’re not as well-hidden as you think you are. The difference here is that people will call you on what it is you are *actually* saying and hold you accountable to those words. I suspect you’ve not encountered much of that in your lives and I doubt you’ll be able to handle it for long. But I guarantee you, you’ll never forget it. :)

          • Karl

            “I’m not sure I understand why exposing yourself to high-functioning gay men and women who are raising great kids and are in exclusively monogamous relationships would be harmful.”

            DR, who said anything about being harmful? I said that I wouldn’t be able to keep my mouth shut when the topic about God accepts their lifestyle. I have talked and continue to talk with gay men and women. I have a niece that is lesbian and one of my friends daughter is lesbian and I love her very much. My nephew is gay and I never sit there and condemn either one of them. They are people like any other people. But don’t stand there and tell me that God agrees with that. That is the issue here. Not good families, not good kids, not good living people, not charitable people.

          • DR

            Oh got it, thanks for the clarification. And yes, God is absolutely with that! He is 100% ok with people being gay and being in love and loving Him. Being gay has 0% to do with someone’s salvation, one can be a new creation in Christ and continue to be gay. Praise God!

          • DR

            (But by the way, you actually do condemn them if the subject of God comes up and you say that being gay is not reconcilable with being in a relationship with Christ. Even *thinking* that condemns them, Karl.)

          • Karl

            I am not avoiding Jill, she doesn’t want to communicate and I respect her for that. As for not considering her feelings about going through the ass end of life being called an abomination and told she is going to hell etc.. I am very aware of it because I am in the same boat. She is getting angry because I am upsetting what she has come to know as truth. If she was standing on a solid foundation, she would not respond with anger. It’s not important to prove to ourselves that we are “okay” and what we are doing is “okay”, what is most important is that God does not see her as an abomination but receives her as she is where she is. Upon receiving us, He goes to work in changing us into the image of Jesus Christ. Now, is Jesus Christ a homosexual? Is He a Heterosexual? The answer is obvious, He is neither. When we are being changed into His likeness, He doesn’t confirm our current sexuality He confirms our standing in Him in Spirit by faith. However, because some of us do not recognize that we are dead to sin and alive unto Him, many of us are bound by besetting sins that hold us back from obtaining the fullness of Christ. The problem with the gay community is that they have been convinced that they themselves and their sin is one in the same therefore because they have these feelings for the wrong sex God must have made them that way. That is the lie that has been fed to hurting homosexuals, and if I never knew Jesus Christ I too would have believe it. The argument is ingenious. Why would God make this way? God didn’t! When Adam and Eve fell in the garden, they fell big time. They took on the nature of the devil, his nature is disobedience and rebellion. There are homosexuals that say that they were born this way. That is true. But David says it this way, “I was born in sin and in my mother’s womb I was shapen in iniquity”. Yes, we were born homosexuals because we were born in sin. All the elements to be a homosexual were there, all that is required is experimentation. Most homosexuals today fit in the category of being raped as children. “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is older, he will not depart from it”. The sin nature is present throughout our lives. Jill shouldn’t be fighting “for the cause” of the gay community, but should be seeking the Father to expose any wicked way in her so nothing stands in the way between her and her God. If that is sincerely prayed and sought daily, there is no way that she can defend her stand that being a lesbian is okay before God for God will expose it. That is how I know that the gay Christian do not seek God in this manner, because if they did, the word gay Christian would cease to exist. God will expose anything that we are holding onto dear, that includes a husband, wife, children, lover, mistress, etc.. Again, I am just talking. If this is Fundy stuff, know this that I can’t help it, I do live near the Fundy Coast of Canada.

          • DR

            She is getting angry because I am upsetting what she has come to know as truth. If she was standing on a solid foundation, she would not respond with anger. >>>

            Really, Karl? Because you’ve been awfully hostile and defensive in several comments, I’m happy to copy and paste them. Is that because you’re not standing on a solid foundation?

          • DR

            Oh wait, I see how you get around it. You referred to it as feeling a twinge of “righteousness”. I see. So you’re simply sanitizing your anger through a “holy filter” so you can say to yourself that it’s not actual anger. Here are some of your words here:

            “…the god that you supposedly serve in your sin is my devil. Your god is not the god of the bible, your god is a tolerant god that deletes portions of the word of God to suit your way of thinking”.

            Here you are actually calling someone else’s faith in Christ evil. You referred to their faith your “devil”. It’s so arrogant and incredulous that some of you do that and then claim you’re not “angry”, the depth to which you have compartmentalized the different parts of yourselves is intense and pretty frightening.

          • Anakin McFly

            Different opinion here: There’s the possibility that Karl and/or FTC is not actually gay; because reading what’s left of their posts on here, they sound different from how the LGB people I know tell their stories, as well as my own, regardless of how much self hate and denial is involved. Sexual abuse does mess people up, as does parental neglect, and I’d believe it capable of creating desires for acceptance and love that end up eroticised in a way that does not result from natural sexual orientation, but rather emerging from a foundation of trauma.

            I particularly relate to what Karl says about desperately wanting a close, platonic friendship with another man, and hating it whenever the men in question want sex as well; his aversion to the latter kind of relationship doesn’t seem to stem from regular internalized homophobia (which I’m more than familiar with) but rather from it not being the kind of relationship he’s even seeking to begin with, which makes him come across to me as being a severely hurt straight man seeking healing from his childhood sexual trauma, and for whom having people insist he’s gay is only making the trauma worse. I have similar sexual fetishes (unrelated to orientation) stemming from trauma, which I’ve been trying to overcome in ways that sound very similar to how Karl and FTC are reacting to their supposed homosexuality, and if people insisted they were natural and healthy (because I have no doubt they might be, for others) and I should accept them as a part of me, I wouldn’t react nicely.

            I believe him when he says how his attraction to men correlates negatively with the acceptance he gets from them, partly because I experienced the exact same thing, albeit as someone who is probably still not straight and still wants to find a good Christian guy to settle down with one day. But the long sought-after acceptance and friendship from other men – for me, in the form of finally accepting I was trans and then transitioning, and for the first time getting to befriend men as a man – was extremely healing and did lead to me very unexpectedly developing attraction to women for the first time ever (and I’d tried hard many times before that, thinking that I couldn’t be a ‘real’ guy if I didn’t like girls, always to no avail). It’s actually reaching a point where I’m starting to get worried that I was never truly gay to begin with, just desperately in need of male acceptance, because it would mean that so much of what I know of myself is a lie. (Plus it took me ages to reach this point of self acceptance and family acceptance and peace with God, and I don’t want all that work to go to waste.) But when Karl wrote that bit about finding a close male friend who would be able to say to him that he liked him, as a friend and brother, and not just for sexual reasons, it stirred something deep and painful in me. And I realised I want that. So, so badly, perhaps even more than I’d want a romantic/sexual relationship, and I’m not sure if I’d even still want the latter if I managed to find the former. But in the meantime all my close friends are girls, so the gayness is still burning strong.

            I’m speaking as someone pretty much in agreement with all that John says on this site regarding LGBT people, so I have no hidden fundie agenda there. But I think there has to be a distinction made between people who are ‘naturally’ gay/bi and wanting to repress it and are suffering as a result, vs people who are straight but developed homosexual desires as a result of trauma, and are now seeking healing to return to their natural state of heterosexuality.

          • Karl

            [comment deleted]

          • DR

            Well there we go, the JP from allowing gays to be married to talking about the rape of children being legal. That, Karl, is so vile that I refuse to participate in that dialogue. It’s an example of a very damaged mind and spirit. Take care.

          • Karl

            A very nice read Anakin McFly, indeed!

          • JenellYB

            I’m thinking the same thing reading some of these posts. Seems a lot of what is getting into these comments isn’t about sexual orientation, homo vs hetero sexuality, but more about some dysfunctional and unhealthy behavioral and emotional issues, such as promiscuity, casual sex partners, casual short term hook-ups, bar scenes, porn attraction, lack of commitment and fidelity to a partner, matters of just plan sexual lust, that are not exclusive to either homosexuality of heterosexuality. Also, the raising of issues of child sex abuse, lack of closeness to same sex parents, etc, which have absolutely nothing to do sexual orientation.
            I’m also going to state what I’m getting a sense of here, am hesitant to say, but feel I need to. I’m getting the sense, from both recurring themes as well as what in English Lit is called “writer’s voice”, that there may be just several, or even just one, person pushing the ‘you CAN change your sexual orientation’ agenda posting under multiple identities.

          • Karl

            Egad, my grammar is bad. I wished that there was an edit button, I said, “Some of those men certainly were set free, but we can’t live with the grace of God.”

            It should read, “We can’t live WITHOUT the grace of God”. ugh!

          • JenellYB

            Allie, your last comment, That is why many straight women have found gay men to be fantastic friends, There is neither the constant concern that the man friend is going to start seeing her as an object of desire and sexual persuit, nor the underlying female competitiveness and petty jealousies of many friendships with other women.

        • Chris

          I can relate to you 110%!! I too struggle with these feelings and I KNOW in my heart that they are wrong! I have not even overcome acting out yet and I hate myself for it! I KNOW it is wrong and yet I still do it but have not figured out why. I feel as though I am a slave to my flesh as times. I want no part of that lifestyle either as I know it is morally wicked and it displeases God because the Bible said so! If you want an on line friend to chat with, I could really use one as well. NO ONE knows of my struggles that I can speak to about this. Perhaps it is my pride but I would be utterly humiliated if anyone I know found out about it. Would be great to have a venue for release on line.

          Please respond if you’d like and lets chat. And for the record, I don’t even know you but my heart still genuinely goes out to you — perhaps because I can relate. Remember that we are sons of God and nothing can take that away although the Devil would sure like us to believe that.

          Jesus forgives — Satan reminds

          Chris

          • Jeremy

            Chris,

            I am in the same boat as you man. I have struggled with this stronghold for a very long time. It has all come to the surface and now my marriage is in jeopardy.

            I am seeking God like never before and I have made a commitment to Him that I will never stray away again. I would like the opportunity to corespond with someone who can relate to my struggles and find an accountability partner.

            I am 38 married with three children and I live in Texas. If you would like to get in touch with me, please let me know.

            God bless

          • FTC

            Jeremy

            I would really like to get in touch with you. I think that it would be wonderful for us to communicate and share some things between us. All I need is for you to say okay and we can start that minute. Thanks.

          • Greg

            Jeremy,

            I am right there with you. I am 44 and married and I have been struggling for years with this addiction and no matter how hard I try I can’t shake this. The desire is too strong and it makes me feel helpless, week and guilty. I too live in Texas and I have been desperate to talk with people about this that understand and can give me support. Let me know if you or anyone else out there is interested in communicating.

            Greg

          • DR

            What an awfully hard thing. I don’t have any answers except I wish for all of you, the terror of “being gay” was gone from our Church. It has to feel pretty helpless and complicated, I think a lot of us know what it means to live in the dark, to live with secrets and feel like we’re living a double life. It’s scary, coming into the light and there are no easy answers. Much love to you.

          • KB

            I feel that I am in the same situation as you and a couple of others Jeremy, and it seems as though its becoming harder for me to “control” each day. I’m 39, married with 3 kids in Texas also. I woke up today and said that I was going to get on the Internet to see if I can find help and or support. I’m interested in knowing how your journey is going and what you have done or are doing to stay on track.

            God bless

          • Karl

            Hey Jeremy, How is everything going for you brother?

    • Allie

      Hi there. Thanks for sharing so much of your private life. I hope we can share some insights that may prove helpful to you.

      For many years I served as a CASA (court appointed special advocate) for abused children, including sexually abused children. I can tell you that many boys are sexually abused by older boys or men and do not become homosexual. Likewise, if every man who was rejected and imperfectly loved by his father became gay, there would be many more gay men than there are in reality. Only those children who are gay to begin with grow up to be gay. Studies of identical versus fraternal twins indicate that although there is no one “gay gene,” there is a genetic component to sexuality. Other studies indicate that sexuality may be determined not genetically but in the womb – as many other human traits are, such as left or right handedness, finger length, the direction of hair swirls, and birth marks. You wouldn’t say that just because the length of your fingers isn’t determined by a gene, you get to pick how long your fingers are, and you’re a bad person because you decided to have short fingers. That would be silly. But you are saying the same thing about your sexuality.

      Please read some of the other posts on this site about Sodom and Gomorrah. It’s also good to read your Bible instead of trusting what “everybody knows” the Bible says. The Bible says that the sin of Sodom was pride, and lack of hospitality, not caring for the poor. The story about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah tells about a city where people raped strangers to punish them – a similar story is told in Judges, except that in that case the stranger was able to offer the rapists a female stranger to rape, whom they accepted. It is clear from the parallel that the virgin daughters of Lot were unacceptable, not because the attackers were gay, but because the daughters did not belong to the strangers the townspeople were attempting to punish. If the angels had happened to be appearing as women, they would have been just as acceptable to the attacking mob.

      Regarding your erectile issues, are you on any medication? Your problems sound a lot like a medical issue, especially if you are not having erections as often when you sleep. Since erectile dysfunction can be a first sign of many problems, including heart problems, as well as a side effect of drugs such as Prozac, you definitely need to see a physician about this! Please take good care of yourself.

    • Christy

      Dear FTC,

      You have been through a lot. Too much. More than any one person should have to bear. What happened to you as a child is not your fault. It was wrong. The people who hurt you were wrong. It is compounded by the abuse from your father and that of the cult that you left. This is quite a lot to carry. I’m glad to see in another note here that you are receiving counseling from someone who can help you navigate these very difficult things and their associated emotions. A gifted and trustworthy therapist is indeed a valuable asset.

      Having to carry and navigate all of these events and emotions is not only heavy work, it’s very disorienting. It often makes it difficult to know what is true and real and who really loves us and what real love and trust and friendship is when so many times in the past we have been hurt and disappointed.

      What I have found to be absolutely true for me – and as a healthcare provider, I have heard and seen how it is so vitally true for others as well – is that for real healing to begin, we have to learn to let go of the lies about ourselves that for too long we thought were true. In order to better be able to connect in a meaningful way with others we have to learn to like and be ok with and accept ourselves. If our own self-concept is at odds with who we think we are – if we cannot be authentic and real with ourselves, it is very difficult to have that kind of relationship with others. We have to stare the real truth in the face and accept it as true. It’s in these breakthrough moments in the therapeutic process where we so often find the truth that sets us free.

      From a religious point of view for healing to take place and for us to be ok with ourselves, it is so fundamentally important to know that we are enough with God, that we are not a disappointment, that we are worthy of being loved. We have to know that we are fearfully and wonderfully made and that the God that made you to be who you are is not waiting for you to be perfect for God to love you. God does not expect you to be the perfect servant. There is nothing you can do to make God love you more….. because God loves you already. God loves you now. You are enough. Just as you are – God loves you. Please know this.

      As Allie has pointed out the sexual dysfunction to which you refer may be medical in nature. It could also be a side effect of medication or it could be part of the greater whole of issues you are wrestling with. It would be wise to let both your doctor and your counsellor know about these symptoms and when they occur.

      And as all have said here, keep getting the help you need, be kind and gentle with yourself, and know that God deeply loves you.

      • FTC

        Christy

        Thanks so much for the words of encouragement. They are really appreciated. It is wonderful that I have reached one person and reaching one person is better than not reaching anyone. Thanks again for the kind words of encouragement.

        Regarding accepting myself as who I am, I am learning to do that. You see, I have accepted that I am a man. Yes, I am an actual man. I also have to accept that my body is just like any other man’s body. I have the same parts and organs on my body, both sexual and non-sexual, that every man has. I am a man externally and a man internally. I was born a male and I was made a male for a reason. I have always felt that if God wanted me to be a woman, I would have been born a female rather than a male. So, I am a man and a male through and through as I am this gender that I am for a reason. I have accepted myself as far as accepting my own gender identity is concerned. Does that make any sense to you, Christy?.

        I have also learned on my own from the books and articles that I have read about the healing process from Homosexuality that every man wants to be a masculine man in the same sense that every woman wants to be a feminine woman. I learned that, in itself, masculinity is not a physical attribute despite what our culture says to the contrary. I learned that masculinity is an intrinsic(i.e. inner)quality. Each and every man identifies himself as a man by accepting his gender identity and masculinity is something that as men feel by becoming familiar with our own male identity and accepting it and it is also fulfilled in normal social situations without even knowing it. It is a matter of being, feeling and not knowing. In woman, femininity also works the very same way that masculinity does. The differences is that masculinity is of men and boys and femininity is of women and girls. But they are both synomymous in that there are both internal and not physical attributes. Each and every man can feel masculine from within their hearts and each and every woman can feel feminine from within their heart as well. You may have heard some men use the phrase “I feel like a man” and some women use the phrase “I feel like a woman”. Does any of this make sense?

        I have learned that on my own. By all the books that I have read and by being a member of online groups that I am a member of who do help men who want to overcome Homosexuality and with that acceptance that I got from the members of the cult, I have found that it is possible for any Homosexual man to change from being Homosexual to Heterosexual. I experienced that years ago and when I started reading the books, that is when it hit me. My attraction to women at the time was very real and though I found it strange, I still found it significant from what I had learned later on when I started reading all of those books that I had read. I have read books written by Christians who were successful in overcoming Homosexuality and also some books from secular authors. I am still seeking even more spiritual support in my journey and the more that I get, the better I know that I will feel. I have signed up with a site called Setting Captives Free and I am hoping to get a lot of spiritual support from that site when I receive some stuff from them in my e-mail. I am hoping that it will be a big help for me and maybe, gain some more healing from what I want to heal from.

        Aside from the abuse of my father and the abuse of the cult that I left, I also suffered and endured sexual abuse at the hands of other males. Yes, I was. A man in my neighborhood masturbated in front of me when I was 7. At 10 years of age, a 16 year old kid talked me into performing oral sex on him. The worst was when I was 16 as another man in my neighborhood raped me. I was also used by other males for their pleasure in many other instances in my life as they got pleasure from me but I never got it repaid to me. All of that Christy really messed me up emotionally. I am still trying to heal from all of the wounds that I have accumulated from all of that abuse as it hasn’t been easy. But Christy, I am still hanging in there and still remaining hopeful. I am also thankful that I am still alive and living.

        I know that God loves and accepts me as I am. But Christy, I have learned through the Holy Bible that God does not condone sinful behaviors and while he doesn’t condone them, he is still there to forgive us when we do fall short as we are all imperfect as a result of the first great sin that Adam and Eve committed in the eyes of God in the Garden of Eden when they disobeyed and ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When that happened, that is when we, as humans, were led into imperfection, sin and the worst part of it all, death. Adam and Eve really screwed things up and we are still living with that imperfection and living with sin all around us and it is also why we human beings die. God hates the sin, but he doesn’t hate the sinner. God loved us so much that he sent his son Jesus Christ to bring us back into a good standing with God his father and to also save people from sin. That is why he died on the cross for us so we would never have to be enslaved to sin and that we can be set free from sin and be forgiven in his name because God sent him not just to save but also to die for the benefit of mankind in the many centuries later. That is the message of Christianity and it is a wonderful message that Christians all over the world spread. You see, though I have sinned in the past, I am now forgiven for them and when I do fall short, which I do on occasion, all I need to do is ask God in the name of his son Jesus Christ to forgive me and after that, the slate is wiped clean and it doesn’t matter to God anymore. Christy, I am a church going man and I do truly have faith in the church and in God himself through his son Jesus Christ. I just started going back to church 17 years after leaving that dreaded cult that really wasn’t all that they were cracked up to be. Live and learn, I suppose.

        Regarding the sexual dysfunction that I am suffering from, I think that it is mostly psychological in nature as far as myself personally is concerned. I also have read a book called Sex: A User’s Manual, which I aquired from a book store and there is a section on erectile dysfunction, which they used the word impotence as it is also commonly called, and I came to see that my case of dysfunction was secondary, which means that I was previously potent, but now that I am not. When I got to the section of unnecessary parental prohibitions, abuse and rigorous religious teaching, that fit me because I went through all of that myself and it made sense. I went through many forms of abuse and all the rigorous religious teachings of the cult regarding sexual activity and how they viewed it. This really applied to me. Though I do take psychiatric medication, I do have erections at times when I am sleeping and when I wake up in the morning at times. The difference is that they don’t happen like they used to happen when I was younger, but still, they do happen when I least expect them to happen. At one time years ago, I actually had morning erections three times in one week. They weren’t consecutive, but they did happen and when I mean week, I mean the 5 day week, not including weekends, though they do happen on weekends on occasion as well.

        I also have come to the point in my life where I have accepted that the abuse was never my fault. I also feel that I didn’t deserve it as nobody deserves to be abused in any way, shape or form as there is also no excuse for any form of abuse. Abuse is simply inappropriate and the people who have been abused never deserve any abuse that they get from anyone family or otherwise.

        The only thing that I strive to be is to be the man that not only I want to be, but the man that God wants me to be. He wants me to be a Heterosexual man and also, a man who can do things in his name through his son Jesus Christ and also to help others who have also suffered and endured abuse of all sorts. Each and every one of us has the capacity and the qualifications to help others. It doesn’t take no degree of any kind. There are those who do help others because they love people and want to help other people as people will always need people no matter what. The day that I get to that full manhood is unknown to me at this point, but when I finally get there, I know that I will be truly happy.

        Forgive me for rambling as I do have a lot to say regarding this, and the healing process from abuse and all other sorts of negative things that have happened to me throughout my life. I know that one day that I will reach that much treasured plateau. When that will be, I don’t know, but it will be a happy day indeed.

        Thanks again Christy for your encouraging words.

    • Karl

      Wow, your life is my life. Your my clone. LOL

  • Jean

    Homosexual orientation or attractions don’t change. I have kmown about gay since I

    was five years old , now I am 58.

    God loves me and loves you.

    No one is perfect.

    • Jem

      Sexual orientations CAN change. I was hetero for 45 years before an unexpected epiphany of my lesbianism. I wasn’t looking for it, didn’t ask for it, it came totally left field surprising me as much as my husband of 28 years. If there had been another woman involved at least it could have made sense but there was none! That was 7 years ago, I am still married and still consider myself a lesbian and always will.

      • Anakin McFly

        It seems that some people (more commonly women) have relatively fluid sexual orientations that can and do change, but – as in your example – it’s not change that happens as a result of choice, but rather something the person has no control over. So it would be more correct to say that sexual orientation cannot be wilfully changed.

        • JenellYB

          It is true that an aparant shift from preference for heterosexual partners to same sex partners DOES occur more often in women than men, however, often follow a history of repeated seriously dysfunctional and often violent relationships with men. Unfortunately, most women that do follow that pattern, turning to female partners after repeated abusive relationships with men, often continue the same patterns of repeated abusive relationship with the women partners they become involved with.

          • https://elizabeth-fullerton.squarespace.com/resume Elizabeth

            JYB, I’ve heard that a lot from lesbians. Like, A LOT. Can you clarify?

      • Candace Caldwell

        You didn’t change your sexual orientation. You are bisexual.

        We tend to forget that not all aspects of human sexuality are the same:

        SEX– the biologic plumbing you’re born with. Unless you’re intersexed or have sexual reassignment surgery, this is immutable. NOT A CHOICE.

        GENDER– the sex role you choose for yourself: it may be male, female, both, or a thousands points in between. CHOICE

        SEXUAL ORIENTATION– You are homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual. This cannot be changed. NOT A CHOICE.

        SEXUAL ACTIVITY– A person can choose their sexual activity but they cannot choose what sexually arouses them– that is determined by their orientation. Bisexuals can become aroused by both men and women. Even a heterosexual can engage in homogenital acts or a homosexual can engage in heterosexual acts without changing their orientation.

        We are simply more complex sexually that we have been allowed to think about in a society that demonizes and glorifies sexuality at the same time but knowledge on the subject– not so much.

  • Hannah Grace

    Sometimes if you’re attracted to the same sex, it doesn’t mean you’re not also attracted to the opposite sex. Some people are bisexual, some are gay. They’re two different kinds of orientations.

    If you’re married and you really love your spouse and have found them sexually attractive, there’s no reason to think that your marriage is invalid or something is wrong just because you might be attracted to other people, regardless of the gender of the other people you’re attracted to.

    Just thought I’d point that out. And I’m sure any success story out there about a ‘gay’ man or woman turned straight, that isn’t full of horrible anguish, is really about a bisexual man or woman who is just turning down half the fruitful, loving relationships they could have.

    There’s certainly nothing wrong with either kind of relationship, but I just thought I’d point out that for people who are already married and realise they have a lot of different kinds of attractions, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong with the marriage.

  • Ralph Smith

    Bad advice–DON’T share this with your wife. She’s the last person you should say anything to. I’ve seen a number of Christian guys’ lives destroyed by well-intentioned sharing of their bisexual or homosexual desires with a spouse or pastor. That doesn’t mean to keep it to yourself–the best suggestion is to try to find a sympathetic Christian buddy (even if it has to be online). They are out there, though tough to find!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Bad advice.

    • Karl

      I disagree. I agree he should tell his wife but he should also go to prayer and ask the LORD for the right timing to tell her. Just simply ask the LORD to “open up a door for me to speak to her”. There are perfect moments and God alone knows those times and we must trust Him and you will know when that time comes………….you’ll know! So keep it a secret until God opens the door. Even if she blows up or goes into a tirade, it’s still the perfect moment. When God changed the languages of those building the Tower of Babel, it instantly brought confusion, but people found each other that spoke the same language and the dust settled and people moved on. When we trust in God, the dust will fly, the feathers will get ruffled, the sh*t will certainly hit the fan, but things settle down, fans get washed, feathers are swept up and the dust no longer gets swept under the carpet it gets thrown out and then the Son of Righteousness comes with Healing in His Wings to restore, refresh, renew your marriage. You may still struggle, but as you struggle, you tell your wife and she will be there to comfort you. Something in your past caused all this to happen and you will need to explore it and find out what it is.

  • Andrew

    Hi! I am also currently suffering the same ailment. I am 16, and for over a year now, I have been brushing aside these weird homosexual tendencies. I’ve had numerous girlfriends, and I shutter at the thought of ever doing something with another male, but I find myself drawn to it through porn. (which is a whole other problem I need to deal with.)

    (Let the record show I also watch straight porn, to whoever is interested haha.) I’m hoping it’s just a phase courtesy of those ever-changing, always-fluctuatuing hormones of mine, but I’m worried I may end up having this problem throughout the course of my life. I relish the idea of someday settling down with a wife and having a good, Catholic family, but I don’t want this to interfere. I find it is changing my very nature. I don’t know what caused these feelings to surface, but ever since I first noticed them, I’ve also noticed I’m more moody and short-tempered. I’m completely confused and absolutely lost, and I don’t know where to turn. I have a weird, uncomfortable relationship with my mom (Who I live with) and I have a little bit more comfortable relationship with my dad (Who lives an hour away, but I see him every week.) so I don’t really want to talk it over with them. What should I do? I need assistance, pronto. Thanks for reading!

    • MT

      Hey Andrew!

      The first thing you should do, IMHO, is relax. Why would you “need assistance pronto”? You’ve got plenty of time for figuring yourself out. It often takes a while to really get to know someone—when it comes to knowing the man that God has in mind for you to become, it’s no different, and you are only getting started!

      And that’s okay, it’s not like there’s going to be a test on it on Monday! You’re not about to flunk out of life simply because you haven’t really felt this certain kind of feeling where you just KNOW that someone precisely who God meant for you to be with. Maybe you’ll only feel that way about girls, or maybe only guys, or maybe you’re bisexual. There is really no rush to define yourself. In fact, you don’t EVER have to define yourself unless you want to, Andrew. It’s just something other people need to do, to squeeze you into a box inside their head, so they can sort out and make sense of a world of endless complexities, a world we are all little bitty pieces of. And if you want to help them out by giving them a label to stick to you.. well.. you’ll know that when you know it.

      It seems you understand that this really only matters insofar as the person you partner with in life is a major factor determining what kind of life that will be. But you know what? The kind of life a person has in mind for themselves when they’re your age, if they even think very far ahead at all (and I think it’s good that you do), it’s almost never quite how life turns out in the end! (And how BORING would it be if it were?) Maybe in your case you’ll settle down some day with a HUSBAND and have a good, Catholic family (never mind what a dwindling number doubters and haters might say)! You certainly would not be the first to have done so!

      BUT… since you did say you shudder at the idea of actually doing it with another dude, more likely than not, you’re a straight, teenage guy who’s just looking to spice up his pornographic pallet with some more exotic flavors. It wouldn’t be the least bit unusual for that to be the case. In fact, I wouldn’t say it would be the least bit unusual to find you humping a nice, comfy sofa! I don’t know if there’s a word for having a sexual preference for sofas, but that certainly wouldn’t mean you have one! What it would mean you have is testosterone, and I do know a word for young men with healthy levels of testosterone coursing through their veins; that word is: horny. You’ll get used to it.

      That, and a certain amount of uncertainty in life. That is, you’ll grow more comfortable not having it all figured out, too. All you really need to know is that everything’s gonna be fine, whichever way it works out for you. As long as God’s in control, Andrew, it’s all good.

      • Andrew

        I feel so much better now. I can’t thank you enough!

      • JenellYB

        Well spoken, MT

    • Karl

      Hi Andrew,

      I am 46 years old and I have struggled with this all my life since I was 9 years old. Your problem is with the fact that you don’t have a close relationship with your Dad. Your looking at gay porn because in your inner most being is crying out for male affirmation. Your 16 years old and you need to be affirmed by your Dad or some other fatherly figure that will not take advantage of you sexually. You need to bond with your Dad and spend more time with him. You don’t need to tell him about you looking at gay porn, that is not important because when you get close to your Dad or a fatherly figure that will lead you into manhood that stuff will fall away. I loved my Dad but we never connected. Dad had 16 children and not one of them got close to him at all because he was unapproachable. He had personal issues that he never dealt with, issues with his dad. He was angry all the time. Every little thing sparked his anger and God helped you if you were caught in his rage. A great provider, gave us a roof over our heads, lots of food, all kinds of land to roam around on, but he was a stranger in his own house. And he never knew the things that were going on between brother and sister, between brother and brother. And when I confessed to my Mother what was going on, he was not supportive at all. Nothing was done about it. No healing, no bonding, no love from him helped me to change my sexually. He had the power to do that, but I was left alone to struggle with my own issues and when I left home I journeyed into a far country seeking affirmation from men who were too willing to be a “fatherly” figure for the sole purpose of having sex and I welcomed it because by that time I was too far gone…….I was and still am to some degree a mess. As Christian I still dabble with gay porn and masturbation. My desires and wiring are all out of whack. When I desire sex, I desire men. The thought of women is repulsive, to me it’s like touching your Mother inappropriately. I have digressed. Your in a critical time of your life where the final stages of your manhood are being developed and you need to be strengthened by the affirmation from your Dad. Does your dad accept you readily or does he push you away? Even if he is a drunk, you can still bond with him. Just don’t take on his habits. My Mother bonded with her drunk father but she is not a drunk.

      • Matt

        Karl,

        There is absolutely nothing wrong with you sexually–except for your extreme self-loathing. It sounds like you’ve been taken advantage of and ignored, and for that I am profoundly sorry. People have failed you in some horrible ways, but they haven’t twisted or warped you beyond repair.

        In fact, there is nothing wrong with you at all. You are whole, perfect, and wonderful just the way you are. There is no need to be ashamed anymore.

        • Karl

          “In fact, there is nothing wrong with you at all. You are whole, perfect, and wonderful just the way you are. There is no need to be ashamed anymore.”

          Matthew, how are you wording that? Are you saying that it’s okay to be homosexual, or are you saying that I am a whole, perfect and wonderful person in Christ Jesus”?

          • Matt

            I am saying both. I won’t explain my entire history to you (long story, not worth getting into), but I am a happy and thriving member of the LGBT community and a Christian.

          • Jill

            Unfortunately, Karl is not interested in being a happy, fulfilled LGBT Christian like you and so many other awesome people I am privileged to know. He’d rather spew misinformed judgments masquerading as concern and empathy.

            My patience with Karl has come to an end.

          • Matt

            You’re right of course, Jill. I knew it was pointless to try and reach him from the start.

            But all the same, I wanted to try. It’s such a shame. Such a loss. Such a waste.

          • Jill

            But kudos to you for your efforts– you possess way more patience than I do. Maybe I’ll learn how from your example, and someday it’ll stick!

          • Matt

            Maybe it’s simply because I hear all the hate first-hand, and it affects me personally. I have very little difficulty putting myself in Karl’s shoes, because I fight the very same impulses to hate myself, the desires to be “normal,” thinking that I am less than.

            He and I really aren’t that different. I was just lucky to have some very sane, loving people teach me and guide me.

          • Karl

            Actually Matt, My Homosexuality ended quite recently when I discovered that there was absolutely nothing wrong with looking at men and acknowledging in my mind that these men are attractive and good looking. This past May I was talking with some friends about this subject and I blurted out the fact that having same sex attraction was not sinful. We as men are attracted to men naturally. When a man comes into the room we automatically size him up, whether your gay or straight all men look at face, build, ass, crotch, and whatever else there is to look at. This is a perfect natural response that both men and women do. As I was telling my friend about this, I had told her that throughout our conversation I had looked at several men passing by and admired each and everyone of their beauty and I told her that doing so there was no sin in that. God made men and women beautiful. It was that day that the condemnation lifted. Now the thought of looking below the belt of a man sexually is repulsive to me. I used to think women were repulsive, but not anymore. I neither desire men or women, but women are more desirable now. When I am aroused I think of women whereas before I immediately would think of men.

          • Karl

            Jill, How can any Christian be tolerant towards sin. I am gay oriented because I can’t help myself. But I know it’s a sin because that is how God defines it. If I were to accept the gay lifestyle and go all hog into it, I would have to delete God out of my conscience. The god that you supposedly serve in your sin is my devil. Your god is not the god of the bible, your god is a tolerant god that deletes portions of the word of God to suit your way of thinking. Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

            I do not want my way of thinking, I want God to change my thinking to the mind of Christ. And if that makes me a bigot, or narrow minded, or an idiot, I’d rather have all of that then miss God. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5,6

            This is how I know that gays and lesbians are not trusting in the Lord with all their hearts is because they are defending the flesh. Paul said the “Flesh profits nothing, but the Spirit profits life and peace”. Jesus said, “If you will not deny your flesh and take up the cross and follow me, you have no part of me”. But the gay lifestyle is all flesh. Seeking rights from governments to change laws to suit their own agenda. Jesus said, “If my kingdom was of this world than my servants would fight”. But we are not of this world, therefore, it’s not important if we try to change it. Even though some groups in Christianity are trying to do the same thing, they too are in the flesh seeking to find favour with man instead of God’s divine favour seeing that God rains on the Just and the Unjust. My words are seen as hate literature. Well., I don’t see them as that. Because I know that I don’t hate homosexuals. Personally, I don’t really care what they do, but if the issue is shoved in my face I am going to respond. So I say, if you see your lifestyle as okay, have at it, only the illumination of the Holy Ghost is going to convince you otherwise. P.S. No venom was used in the writing of this letter. 99/44 100% was purely a delight nature.

          • Matt

            I will not try to convince you otherwise. It’s clear that I cannot.

            However, hear this: Neither can you convince me otherwise. I have heard your words before, from doctors as they held me down and forcibly drugged me, from my family as they silenced me, from the rest of the world as they ignored me. The message never changes: I am not who I say I am. What I say happened to me did not happen. How I say I feel is not real. That it would be best if I just went into a corner and became silent.

            Well, I won’t stand for that anymore. My words may not matter, but I am saying them anyway. You may not understand all that I say, but I don’t say it for your benefit. I am not dead, I am not someone to be mourned for, I am not a demon, I am not a tranny, dyke, or faggot, I am not an object of sexual pleasure, I am not insane, I am not delusional.

            I am a child of God, precious beyond measure. And I am a person.

            I am afraid I have become angry. If you feel that what I have said in inappropriate, John, feel free to delete this comment. I should know better than to have fed a fundamenalist.

          • DR

            Good for you. <3

          • Karl

            “I am not dead, I am not someone to be mourned for, I am not a demon, I am not a tranny, dyke, or faggot, I am not an object of sexual pleasure, I am not insane, I am not delusional.”

            Good for you!

            By the way, What is a fundamentalist?

          • FTC

            [pretentious psuedo-intellectual fundy posturing deleted.]

          • FTC

            [really just sad--but vicious--comment deleted]

          • Matt

            You have not offended me. We simply disagree; that is not offensive.

            I don’t feel like I am “serving two masters,” because I am not representing any kind of “agenda.” I can only represent myself; I am simply a member of the LGBT community. I don’t believe I am being used by either the Christian circles I run in or the LGBT circles. I feel no disconnect within myself, no schism, no nagging sense that I shouldn’t be doing this. In fact, I feel better since reconciling my Christian self with my LGBT self, as both of these self-aspects are very important to me.

            I appreciate your concern, but it is unnecessary. I am happy and well as I am.

          • Jill

            There’s no humility in this comment, FTC. Don’t kid yourself that you’ve said this out of kindness. You said this from judgment. You want to exclude LGBT people from Christianity, that’s on you. But that has nothing to do with God’s will.

            How about you find your own path of righteousness and assume that the rest of us upright bipeds can figure it out quite well for ourselves.

          • FTC

            [comment deleted]

          • Jill

            I kid myself quite a lot in fact. That I believe in God’s love over Law, for instance. That I believe that someone else’s experience and communing with God and with scripture is their own, and it is not up to me to judge it, question it, throw scripture verses in their face over it, etc.

            I kid myself into believing that LGBTQI people deserve their own unique place at God’s rich, abundant table, and that I hope that my friends feel just as welcomed to sit down next to me there as I do. I kid myself in to thinking that Christians can someday quick get over their narrow view of what God finds acceptable when I rest my heart on God because of 1 John telling me that God is love, not God is judge, jury, and prosecutor.

            But then, you’re probably right FTC, and a loving, open-hearted, welcoming person like me probably doesn’t fit in with righteously informed, scripture-loaded Christians such as yourself. I’m probably kidding myself into thinking that Christianity has a place for me too.

            Thanks for setting me straight on the true nature of Christ’s love, FTC. You’ve just made my Easter complete.

          • DR

            “My comment to Matt had more than enough enough humility than anything that you have said on this blog site.”

            So….a sign of humility is pointing out that he has way more of it than you do? I had no idea there was some kind of competition among the humble and the call to point out where *their* humility is better or occurring more frequently. That seems pretty ego-driven to me, it was always my understanding that humility wasn’t terribly interested in how it showed up and/or compared itself with others.

          • DR

            (those were FTC’s words, not Jill’s :) )

          • DR

            You seem far more interested in defending yourself and the “love and respect” you’re insisting that you’re demonstrating instead of demonstrating that you’re here to listen with a willingness to change your mind. You’ve already decided that Matt has some kind of agenda but with all due respect, it’s clear that you have the agenda – you believe you’re the real teacher of the Bible here and that you’re here to set everyone straight. That, my friend, is what a real agenda is. And you’ve got one. Just own up to it.

          • DR

            FTC you’re not actually suggesting that you have the discernment to separate the “sheep from the goats”, are you? Are you actually saying that your faith provides you with the confidence to identify who is a christian? Why would you put yourself on par with the Holy Spirit that way? The Bible gives no one the authority to do so, as much as you think that your interpretation allows you that freedom. You are in terribly dangerous spiritual waters as you try to determine who is in the Book of Life based on a theological disagreement you’re having. Clearly Matt knows who he is before Christ, he doesn’t need your endorsement that he’s a new creation in Christ.

          • Patrice Wassmann

            It is perfectly fine to be homosexual Karl. Jesus loves and accepts you, all of you.

    • Patrice Wassmann

      Andrew, it is normal in one’s teens to have feelings of attraction to both genders. You will sort it out eventually, love yourself no matter what your ultimate sexual orientation turns out to be, because God loves you. The porn addiction is much more damaging to having real, loving relationships with real loving people than being gay is,because it is a fantasy land, not real life. People are meant to be loved, not used for our sexual pleasure. Work on giving up the porn and on loving yourself and others.

  • Amber Waves

    My ex-husband of 10 years confessed to being a porn and sex addict. I found evidence which our Pastor agreed was homosexual evidence. My ex admitted to being into child porn and eventually my kids told me their Dad was sexually abusing them. I have forgiven him only because I Love Jesus more than my ex. I could have even taken him back but if was how he handled the situation that destroyed me. Pride, Anger and Fear from the pit of HELL causedt him to try to destroy me and my two surviving children’s lives. He tried to make me look crazy and got full custody of the two most precious and sweet children on the planet who I risked my life carrying and giving birth to. Through all this the courts forced me to take unnecessary drugs but it was these drugs that helped me to see. Because of the drugs I was unable to make Godly decisions. Though a virgin on my Honeymoon I fell into sexual sin myself and a Homosexual demon came upon me for the first time in my life. At the time I was dating one of the sexiest men on the planet who I later found out also struggled with homosexuality perhaps due to excepted childhood abuse and the demon Pornia. Either way I quickly went to the elders at church and they delivered me of many demons. The homosexual demon is a NASTY one when it comes on you it literally reprograms your brain and you “think” that you were born that way. I am living proof that this is not true and there is a better way! Please pray that God gives this former stay at home Mom and Gymnastics coach money so I can get custody of my kids back and train them in what God has taught me. If you don’t believe in Angels or demons then ask God to show you and he will!

    • Anakin McFly

      What about the Heterosexual Demon, though?

      • Patrice Wassmann

        I’ve got one of those.

    • Dedangelo

      I am truly, truly, sorry for your pain. It sounds like your ex is a very sick man indeed. However, there is no such thing as a “homosexual demon” and homosexuality has nothing to do with child abuse.

  • Christian

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot abouut this, like you wrote the book in itt or something.

    I think that yoou can do with a few pics to drive thee message home a bit,

    but otger than that, this is excellent blog. A great

    read. I’ll certainly be back.

    • Anakin McFly

      Lol, spam.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        I think this may be the only one that’s ever gotten by me! (It’s so weird, to think of someone being in a business where they go, “Okay, we’ll put this on people’s blogs! That’ll work!)

        • Anakin McFly

          There’s another one up there by ‘Errol’ which seems at least to have done it right, given that his name is a link to a blog that’s trying to sell something. No idea about that ‘Christian’ person who will certainly be back. That post has no spam value whatsoever. :/

  • http://treinomusculacao.blog.com/ Errol

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  • PAULA K. SCHMIDT

    Wow. I am 15 years divorced from a man who hid this during our 8 year marriage. But at least he brought me to Christ during that time. In my experience, which is all i can speak to, I wish he had confessed it to me. I would like to think I am the kind of person who would be able to deal with it and would have worked it out somehow? But the way he did it, by leaving me for another woman, and then leaving her for a man, and then another man, and the damage he did to our children then and now, is just devastating.

  • Rob Osberg

    Wow….After reading this mans letter and his cry for help I wept. This was pretty much my own story and I have since learned MANY men in my generation also faced this. In our youth we did what “was expected” and got married, raised our families, pursued our careers, etc. But there comes a time where it becomes almost unbearable to go on living the lie. It sounds like this man is reaching that point.
    That said, John, you are absolutely correct in advising this man that he must open up and tell his wife….in order to preserve his own sanity. For me, I waited until my four children were grown. I knew in my heart this would probably destroy my family. I won’t lie, it nearly did. It took a couple years to work things out but we managed. I say with confidence that my four children love me. Yes, it cost me my marriage, but again, my ex wife and I remain good friends….we often travel together to visit our children..
    I have read most of the comments that have been made so far. Personally, I wouldn’t listen to most of them…. I would add also that MOST churches are not the proper place to look for guidance. If you are a Christian man, there are a FEW churches that may be helpful. For me, the MCC (Metropolitan Community Church) would be a good place to start. I’ve had quite a bit of experience with dealing with churches and have been asked out of quite a few of them.
    You will never change things. You are who you are and you are who God made you to be. Please trust me…once you “come out” your life will change..dramatically. Please be very careful in timing this though…find good counsel and listen.
    Peace to you brother and I will be keeping you in my thoughts.
    Love and hugs,

    Rob

  • Jim Scarborough

    My father is gay. Here’s his perspective:

    Choices: A Cautionary Tale

    The year was 1966. It was the year that James Meredith was shot in Mississippi and the year the sniper in the University of Texas tower in Austin shot forty-three people, killing twelve. It was also the year that I chose my sexual orientation.

    Not that I had no sexual orientation prior to that time; at age thirty I had had one for years, but it was certainly not one I had chosen nor one I ever would have chosen for myself.

    Continued… http://westofhtml.blogspot.com/2009/09/choices-cautionary-tale.html

  • Jon Wilson

    Excuse me, loved all your “advice,” until you told him to tell his wife. Dear Lord, do you always throw grenades into gatherings? I’m not saying that he should continue as he is, but you basically told him to get a divorce, lose custody of his children, be thrown out of his church. There’s a reason why people don’t tell. He first needs to see a counselor to talk this through. Then, he needs to take his wife with him to counseling where full disclosure can occur in a place of safety. As for the church, that’s going to be Hell itself when the story gets out. And it will. If he’s an evangelical (or even a regular mainline Christian), it’s just going to be nearly total rejection, because of his betrayal of his spouse and children. As for facile promises of what Christ will do, my experience is that he faces an existential torture few can imagine. This letter is sadder than he realizes. The fact that he wrote and is beginning to explore is to begin a journey of loneliness and torment. Maybe, he’ll decide he’s gay and then will enter a world with no use for old “trolls.” If he’s lucky, he might find a partner, but he will be broken, for the rest of his life. But…what are his choices? None. Yes, God loves him and is with him, but the pain is real and it’s important to be honest about it.

  • Williams Harryson

    Hello To The World At Large, I am Miss sonia.I will start by saying to all that have experience heart break and also can’t do without their lover should please stop here and read up my story.So that you will know how to go get your ex back from this spell caster.AND AGAIN I WILL WANT TO ALSO TELL YOU ALL THAT THIS SPELL CASTER I WANT TO TELL THE WHOLE WORLD ABOUT IS HARMLESS AND DO NOT HAVE ANY SIDE EFFECT, BUT TO RESTORE AND GIVE YOU BACK WHAT YOU DESERVE, BECAUSE WHEN I MEANT WITH THIS SPELL CASTER THAT WAS INTRODUCED TO ME BY THE WIFE OF MY BOSS IN MY WORKING PLACE, HE MADE IT CLEAR TO ME THAT THERE IS NO PROBLEM THE SPELL CASTER CANNOT SOLVE. Last year December My lover was cheating on me and was not also giving me the attention that a man should give to a woman,And really that was troubling my mind and tearing my heart apart to the extent that i was not concentrating in the office the way i use to before the break up by my HUSBAND.And before that incident,I always see how my boss so much love his wife.I began to think if was not doing the right thing to my husband that will make him love me forever,So i was confuse and i really gathered my courage and went to my boss wife office to ask her the secret that made her husband love her so dearly,In the first place she refused in telling me,She asked me why i am asking her such a question,That if is not normal for every man to love his wife.I told her the reason that made me ask her the question,That my husband have started cheating on me lately,When i knelt down before her,for her to see my seriousness in this issue,She opened up to me by telling me that i should not tell anybody about what she want to tell me,The wife to my boss started to say to me that she used a very powerful spell on his husband to love her,And the spell that she used is harmless, But the spell is just to make him love her but also never to look at any other woman except her.I QUICKLY ASK HER HOW DID SHE GET TO KNOW THIS GREAT,POWERFUL,DURABLE AND PERFECT SPELL CASTER,she said that a friend of her’s also introduce her to him. Then i also ask her how can i meet with this spell caster.SHE SAID EVERYTHING TO ME,THAT THE NAME OF THIS SPELL CASTER IS DR UGBAKHUAN ORACLE TEMPLE.My next question to her was how can i get this wonderful spell caster,She said she is going to give me the email address of the spell caster for me to contact him for my problem,Really she gave to me this spell caster email address and i contacted him and explained all to him,and he told me what to do to bring my husband back in two days.Truly as he said, In the next two days My HUSBAND that hated me so much came to the house begging for forgiveness and i was so glad that i have finally gotten my heart desire.I was so grateful to this spell caster for what he has done for me. So i made a promise to him that i will continue to tell the world about his wonderful work towards me and also to others that came to you before and also the people that will also get to you from my story that i narrated online now..I will want to say to the entire world that you should not cry over noting again, That there is a great man that has been helping people to restore their Joy and smile in their faces!! The direct email to get this man is :ugbakhuanspelltemple@gmail.com.This is what i want to tell you all out there that all hope is not lost okay.Thanks Regards, Miss sonia.

  • Williams Harryson

    I AM BELA i want to give thanks and i will always give thanks to DR.ugbakhuan who brought back my love that has left me for 6years within 48hours, i have said about this last week but i promised to always tell people about this every week end so that those that did not read about it last week will read about it this week, i have been looking for how to get this boy back to my life because i love this boy with the whole of my heart, i could not replace him with any body,one day i was watching my television when i saw a lady giving thanks to DR.ugbakhuan and telling the world how he helped her i was so shocked i could not believe it because i never taught that there are powers that can bring back lost love, then that was how i decided to contact him too because i do really need my love back,when i contacted him i told him everything and he told me not to worry that my love will surely be back to my arms within 48hours at first i could not believe because i was thinking how could somebody that has gone for 6years come back within 48 hours,so then i decided to watch and see,unbelievable within the next 48hours i got a call from unknown number so i decided to pick the call the next thing i could hear was my loves voice he was pleading and begging me on the phone that i should forgive him that i should forget all that have happened that he did not know what came over him,he promised not to leave for any reason, that he was really sorry for what he did,i was so surprised because i never believed that this could happen,so that was how i accepted his apology and the next morning he came to my house and still pleading for me to forgive him i told him that everything is okay that i have forgiven him, that was how we started again and now we are married, i promised to say this testimony in radio station, commenting this testimony is still okay but before this month runs out i promise to say this in radio station and i will,sir thank you very much.World please am begging you people to try and thank this man for me,or if you need his help here is his email address:ugbakhuanspelltemple@gmail.com

  • Williams Harryson

    Hello friends.My name is frank smith. I’m from from India but am based in Chicago.Been living in Chicago for years now.I never believed in all spell casting.Have been scammed by many different people.I lost hope in them.My ex left me.I was devastated.I lost my job.My best friend saw my plight.Then he introduced me to Prophet Dr.ugbakhuan.Was told his work is free.Never believed until i got in touch with him.He did a spell for me. i recover all my money and My ex came back in less than 72hrs.I was recalled at my place of work.Was even promoted immediately.I couldn’t believe there is a real prophet out there who does free spells.I only paid in appreciation after the spell had worked.He doesn’t charge anybody until the spell has worked.You all shouldn’t be deceived by all these scammed that are here for money.prophet pellar doesn’t charge.You can only pay for the items the spell will worked.Try him and see what am saying.These are the few things he does
    *HE BRING BACK LOST LOVERS IN 24hrs.
    *REMOTE CONTROL OVER LOVERS.
    *ALL TYPES OF SPELL CASTING & VOODOO WORKER.
    * IS YOUR HEALER TAKING LONG TO SOLVE YOUR PROBLEMS? THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO BE HELPED QUICKLY.
    *GET RIDE OF ANY WITCHCRAFT, BAD LUCK & CURSES.
    * EXPERT IN DISTANCE HEALING
    *COURT CASES EVEN IF ONE IS CONVICTED[IF THERE'S A CHANCE OF APPEALING]
    *IS SOME BODY JEALOUS WITH YOUR RELATIONSHIP?
    *UNFINISHED JOBS BY OTHER DOCTORS-IF NOT SATISFIED-COME TO ME.
    *ARE YOU BEING FORCED INTO A DIVORCE?
    *HE PREVENT BAD LUCK AND JEALOUSY.
    *TO WIN HORSES AND GAMBLING.
    *HE CAN STOP SOME ONE INTERFERING WITH YOUR RELATIONSHIP.
    * DO YOU WANT TO HAVE CHILDREN OF YOUR CHOICE
    *DO YOU WANT QUICK MARRIAGE PROPOSAL?
    *HE CAN CLEAN PEOPLE HOUSES,BUSINESSES AND PROPERTIES FROM BAD LUCK.
    *DO YOU NEED EXCESSIVE SEXUAL POWER AND STRONG ERECTIONS.
    * WOMEN, COME FOR THE TAMPON. IT WILL HELP YOU NOT TO LOSE YOUR RELATION SHIPS BECAUSE IT MAKES YOU SWEET, WARM AND TIGHT.
    You can get in touch with him through this mail ugbakhuanspelltemple@gmail.com

  • Williams Harryson

    my names are Jessica Hanny am from Nigeria, my story goes like this i traveled out to USA to look for jobs from there i contaminated HIV which was in my body for the past three years, because of that i loose my jobs and my husband run away from me and even my children run away from me. i looked for a solution out but no one can help me, i went to some different churches herbalist but no solution came out, until i met a friend who directed me to a doctor called dr ugbakhuan so i message him an all him he told m the steps to follow then i respected him and follow the procedures so now as am telling you now i am being healed from HIV sickness the dr is specialized in all types of sickness so if you are heartbreak on and you don’t have hope in life anymore so it is now your opportunity for you to also email him at ugbakhuanspelltemple@gmail.com or contact him through his email address http://ugbakhuanspelltempl.webs.com

  • Williams Harryson

    My name is Josephine, and i live in new york city.I have been through hell
    and pain,looking for a good and real spell caster who can help me get my
    soul-mate back.I have been scammed so many times,by some who claimed to be
    real spell casters.until i found the real and great spell caster ”
    ugbakhuanspelltemple@gmail.com” who helped me,and solved all my
    problems concerning my boyfriend who left me since eight months ago.and
    after that i also took my friend along,who was also having the same problem
    concerning her husband,who left her since five months ago,and the problem
    was also solved by the same “ugbakhuanspelltemple@gmail.com”. Cant you
    see! the real and great spell caster is here,all you need to do now is to
    contact this same address whenever you are in any problem related to spell
    casting.It took me a very long period of time,before i could get this real
    and great spell caster.So right now “ugbakhuanspelltemple@gmail.com”
    is here,and the best for you to solve your problems…….
    “” ugbakhuanspelltemple@gmail.com“.or you can also visit his website:http://ugbakhuanspelltempl.webs.com

  • Williams Harryson

    My Name is TRACY, From United Kingdom. I wish to share my testimonies with the general public about what this man called ugbakhuan has just done for me , this man has just brought back my lost Ex husband to me with his great spell, I was married to this man called Steven we were together for a long time and we loved our self’s but when I was unable to give him a child for 2 years he left me and told me he can’t continue anymore then I was now looking for ways to get him back until a friend of mine told me about this man and gave his contact email(ugbakhuanspelltemple@gmail.com) then you won’t believe this when I contacted this man on my problems he prepared this spell cast and bring my lost husband back, and after a month I miss my month and go for a test and the result stated am pregnant am happy today am a mother of a baby girl, thank you once again the great ugbakhuan for what you have done for me, if you are out there passing through any of this problems listed below:

    1) If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you always have bad dreams.
    (3) You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4) You want women/men to run after you.
    (5) If you want a child.
    (6) You want to be rich.
    (7) You want to tie your husband/wife to be
    yours forever.
    (8) If you need financial assistance.
    (9) How you been scammed and you want to recover you lost money

  • Williams Harryson

    I am Julletia Fiyong a citizen of Mexico but now recide in Numbai India,,i have been in a relationship with fiance for seven years, he suddenly started behaving violently and when i tried correcting him, he beat me up and broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before five days, that my ex will return to me before five days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the fourth day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, his email is Ugbakhuanspelltemple@gmail.com you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or anything: Ugbakhuanspelltemple@gmail.com or you can also visit his website:http://ugbakhuanspelltempl.webs.com

    • http://www.whoaisnotme.net/anakinmcfly anakinmcfly

      My name is not really Anakin, but I am from Singapore. Judging by all the people posting testimonies about this Dr. Ugbakhuan, the price for solving their problems involves sacrificing a good chunk of their English and intellectual ability. So… no thanks. I’ll keep my lack of relationships and proper use of commas, if you don’t mind.

      p.s. if googling ‘ukbakhuan’ leads you to more spammy ‘testimonies’ rather than, you know, his actual website, that’s a really gigantic SEO fail.


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