Part 1: Gay Marriage

Last week I received an email from Christianity Today asking me to give a 60 word comment on my thoughts regarding the “Gospel Response to the Prop 8 Decision.” I did … and so did a number of other evangelical folks.

I am starting a Gay Marriage series today based on my quote. Here is what is to come:

Part 2 – I only had 60 words to give a quick sound bite (even though I actually nudged out 68 words). I would like to give my full explanation of what gay marriage means to building bridges.

Part 3 – I was made aware of some great thoughts and questions by some folks around the internet and on my blog. I want to address some of the common questions, criticisms, etc surrounding my thoughts on gay marriage.

Part 4 – I want to speak to how I go about formulating a decision (3 part process) as to why I vote in a particular manner on any given topic, including gay marriage.

Looking forward to this discussion.

Much love.

www.themarinfoundation.org

About Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation (www.themarinfoundation.org). He is author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive DVD curriculum (2011), and recently an academic ebook titled Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility can Save the Public Square (2013). Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. For twelve years he lived in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland, where he is teaching and researching at the University of St. Andrews earning his PhD in Constructive Theology with a focus on the Theology of Culture. Andrew's research centers on the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of reconciliation. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (@andrewmarin1).

  • Eugene

    “I was made aware of some great thoughts and questions by Box Turtle Bulletin, and its comments section, about my quote which I would like to address.”

    Yep, they do have a point:

    “After all, who wants to walk onto a bridge when they don’t know where it goes?”

    Even more importantly, a bridge must be standing firmly on both sides, not hanging in the air somewhere in the middle. The gay community clearly wants and needs civil marriage equality, so I don’t see how bridge-building efforts can succeed without addressing this need.

    Well, I guess you already have an opinion, so I’m looking forward to your posts. :)

  • Mrs T

    I think Andrew’s comment to Chr. Today were excellent!

    But, since I know him, I am hurt by the Box Turtle commenters that think he is political and/or devious! Ha! The reason he doesn’t tell all his opinions is that it himders the dialogue & bridge-building. He also may not even have an opinion. He may even be in the process of changing certain opinions as I have at least once. It also is possible to believe something is OK legally, but not religiously.
    I do not equate gayness with swearing, but I think of an old boss who often took the name of the Lord in vain, one of the worst things one can do! Did that make me be against the first amendment? No, I defend his right to speak. I can choose not to listen or leave the job…..
    So, even if one is against being gay(I’m not!), they can still recognize the potential legal right for gays to marry. This all can be very complex, but to equate Andrew with a politician has me laughing!

    • Eugene

      “Ha! The reason he doesn’t tell all his opinions is that it himders the dialogue & bridge-building.”

      Does it? I’m afraid the opposite is happening. Many influential gay journalists – as well as regular gay rights supporters – have already written Andrew off because of his unwillingness to support civil marriage equality and overall ambiguity. I just don’t see the positive effect on “the dialogue and bridge-building.”

      “It also is possible to believe something is OK legally, but not religiously.”

      Yes, it’s possible. In fact, this stance would be a good “bridge” between the communities. Millions of Christians will keep believing that homosexuality is a sin. Gay people will achieve legal equality. Both groups need to deal with this and stop viewing each other as a threat. But at this point, anti-gay Christians actually are an immediate threat to gay people’s legal equality, and it hinders “bridge-building.”

      That’s why we need Christians who believe that homosexuality (including marriage) “is OK legally, but not religiously” and actually support legal equality. Otherwise, the gay community will (rightfully) keep viewing anti-gay Christians as a threat, and the battle will continue.

      • Ben

        “That’s why we need Christians who believe that homosexuality (including marriage) “is OK legally, but not religiously” and actually support legal equality. Otherwise, the gay community will (rightfully) keep viewing anti-gay Christians as a threat, and the battle will continue.”

        How is this bridge building, by putting a litmus test of what Christians need to believe in order to not be viewed as a threat is ridiculous.

        I don’t believe that gay marriage should be legal, nor do I find it religiously sanctioned. However, with that said, I know eventually it is going to be legalized so I have pretty much turned agnostic towards the view of it. I won’t support it but I don’t go out and hold signs saying that it is the most horrible thing that is ever going to happen on earth.

        There is a problem when litmus tests are put into place (on both sides) in order for talks to begin. I would rather have a candid conversation about where we stand, agree, disagree than do the politically correct do-se-do around the issues. Some of the best conversations I have had were based on simply stating what I think and the other person tearing it apart. You get to hear clearly defined perspectives when you are that honest with each other.

        I don’t see gay people as a threat, I see them as people, walking through crap just like I do.

        • Eugene

          It’s not a “litmus test”, Ben. It’s the foundation of the bridge.

          Yes, if you only cared about “a candid conversation”, it would be an inappropriate litmus test – I surely appreciate the kind of honesty you’re talking about. But do you really think you can build bridges by taking another man’s sincerely held worldview and “tearing it apart”?

          People don’t need a bridge when their fortress is under siege. The last thing they need is a bridge. Many gay rights supporters believe that anti-gay Christianity is the main reason why gay people are second-class citizens. That’s why they will not be building bridges with Christians who oppose civil equality.

          And, again, people won’t be building a bridge if they don’t know where it’s supposed to go. That’s why I’m glad that Andrew will be clarifying his stance on gay marriage.

      • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

        It clearly does Eugene – see the Jay Bakker example posted on Box Turtle Bulliten. It’s a lose-lose either way in fostering peaceful and productive dialogue no matter what group of people from either ‘side’.

        • Eugene

          I disagree. People like Jay Bakker demonstrate that Christians can be loving, kind and gay-affirming. In other words, they’re the main reason why the gay community doesn’t view Christianity as a uniformly anti-gay force. Without people like Bakker, the gay community would simply have no reason to engage in “peaceful and productive dialogue” with the Christian community. Yes, in and of itself, Bakker’s stance is not a bridge. But it’s like a tower that supports the bridge.

          • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

            A tower that no one in the evangelical community cares about, or listens to. What good does that do? The culture war still clearly exists.

          • Eugene

            The thing is, both you and Bakker can’t please everybody – the gap is too wide. That’s why we need at least two “towers”:

            1) Pro-gay Christians (e.g. Jay Bakker).
            They will bridge the gap between atheist/agnostic gays and mainstream Christians and show that a Christian can say, “From this point forward you have an advocate, you have a friend. I will stand up for you and fight for you.”

            2) Anti-gay Christians who still support legal equality (including civil marriage).
            They will bridge the gap between mainstream Christians and extremely conservative Christians.

            You just can’t do it alone. If you decide to support gay marriage, conservative Christians will brand you a heretic. If you decide to oppose it, many gay people will say, “He didn’t support us when we needed it the most”. If you – like Obama – decide to hold the wishy-washy middle ground for political reasons, you will need people like Bakker to convince the gay community that the whole “bridge building” thing makes sense.

            Sooner or later, gay marriage will be a fact of life. What’s at the stake is Christianity’s moral credibility.

  • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

    People are fighting over whether or not gay couples should commit themselves to love and fidelity for life. What’s the alternative?

    This is a debate point for some. A sin for others; no different than rape, theft, or slander. For others of us, it’s about love, commitment, and family. Something we all strive for. Apparently, only some of us deserve it.

    This is what people are arguing and moaning over:

    My wedding homily (jontrouten.blogspot.com/2010/01/wedding-homily.html)

    My wedding reflection (jontrouten.blogspot.com/2010/01/wedding-reflections.html)

    Our kids (jontrouten.blogspot.com/2009/10/gay-fatherhood.html) or (jontrouten.blogspot.com/2010/07/d-scores-big-at-iowa-summer-games.html) or (jontrouten.blogspot.com/2010/03/we-spent-much-of-this-evening-at.html)

    Other gay and lesbian couples publicly professing their unending love and support to each other (jontrouten.blogspot.com/2010/08/13-weddings-on-13th.html)

    Frankly, I’m still shocked that this is what everyone is fussing about. Or that people still have the balls to debate the merits of others’ families.

    • Kevin Harris

      Jon – Thanks for posting those links and giving us a look at a very intimate and special part of your life. Considering the way that some individuals have been posting in a fairly reactive/argumentative manner recently, I appreciate your vulnerability in putting those thoughts and events out there for everyone to see and comment upon. It looks like it was a beautiful day!

    • http://dwhwar.wordpress.com/ Joe S

      Jon, your family and ideals (gay couples should commit themselves to love and fidelity for life) are still fairly atypical for gay men. An honest debate about “marriage equality” would include discussing what are normative values in secular and Christian GLBT communities.

      It’s clear that a large proportion of straight Christians do subscribe to the idea that marriage means “monogamy for life” or that it’s wrong to look at porn (even if they fail to live up to those ideals). It’s not so clear that many gay men agree would with them.

      • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

        Joe: How much of this culture war has contributed to your assertion about the values of gay men? Christians can’t even play softball with lesbians (jontrouten.blogspot.com/2010/06/baptist-softball-league-expels-team.html) for fear of cultural contamination. What results do you think this type of separation is going to have? Not to mention the ongoing assertions that gay men CANNOT (not “will not”) choose monogamy. What kind of effect do you think that kind of false meme has on a culture?

        Gay men and women are striving to marry one another. What the heck is wrong with this world that our efforts to forge families is interpreted as an attack on others’ families?

        Let’s assume that gay men are as amoral as you assert. Does the same go for lesbians? If not, should they be punished for the sins of gay men?

        Let’s also assume that we’re as sexually amoral as your assert. How does eliminating our ability to legally and spiritually bond assist with turning around that type of trend?

        You want to debate my marriage. What’s the end result if your side of the debate wins? The forced dissolution of my family? What’s the likelihood that people like me in that type of result would ever, EVER forgive Christians, the Church, or anything associated with it? Flying pigs in a frozen over hellscape, man…

      • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

        Joe S: I was thinking about this exchange again this morning and thought of something. Check out the discussion boards on the Gay Christian Network (gaychristian.net). Rent or purchase the DVD for “Camp Out”. Heck, chat with most gay men about they’re goals and hopes. We want love. We want a husband (with or without kids) and the white-picket fence, etc.

        It was asserted elsewhere that gay men aren’t romantics. I disagree. I do believe, however, that we as a community don’t know how to nurture and maintain our relationships. I also believe that we lack the natural supports to bolster our relationships that straight people have. For example, Andrew and his wife are having some hypothetical struggle in their marriage. They have family to turn to, they have church mentors to turn to reinforce their relationship. Most gay men don’t have these types of natural supports.

        I also believe that we view gay dating differently than straight dating. Andrew (for example, since it’s his blog and he’s het) might have dated 20 girls in his life before marrying and a couple of those might have been significant in meaning and length, but he’s only been married once. I (for another example, since it’s my example and I’m gay) might have dated 20 guys in my life before marrying and a couple of those might have been significant in meaning and length, but I’ve only been married once.

        My 20 dating relationships are generally viewed as 20 examples of how gay men cannot commit and how we cannot maintain relationships, while Andrew’s dating history is largely moot b/c he’s married and we’re all about supporting and nurturing that marital relationship (rightly so). There’s a bit of a double-standard there somewhere and I’m not quite sure it’s fair to compare heterosexual marriages to gay male non-marriages.

        • http://dwhwar.wordpress.com/ Joe S

          How much of this culture war has contributed to your assertion about the values of gay men?

          Very little. They are my observations based on 20 years of living in a secular pro-gay environment (and reading countless pro-gay opinion pieces) followed by 5 years of hanging out with a mixture of affirming and non-affirming gay Christians.

          Not to mention the ongoing assertions that gay men CANNOT (not “will not”) choose monogamy.

          Some do but it isn’t very common – or at least monogamy isn’t something gay men typically endorse as a moral value. The values upheld by affirming gay Christians are more similar to secular gays than straight Christians in this respect. Monogamy is treated as an option. Nobody in the GLBT community disapproves of a couple who choose to have some kind of (usually sexually) open relationship. Porn and casual sex are accepted “as long as all parties consent”.

          Let’s assume that gay men are as amoral as you assert. Does the same go for lesbians? If not, should they be punished for the sins of gay men?

          I didn’t say gay men are amoral. I said their morals are different. Same goes for lesbians. It isn’t an honest discussion if we all pretend they are the same.

          How does eliminating our ability to legally and spiritually bond assist with turning around that type of trend?

          It depends on what you are trying to achieve. If you want gay Christians to take on the moral framework of straight Christians (monogamy as a value), you will be politely tolerated/ignored by your own side. If you want everyone to adopt the moral framework of Christian and secular gays (monogamy as an option), you will be enthusiastically supported by everyone except conservative Christians and members of some other faiths.

          You want to debate my marriage. What’s the end result if your side of the debate wins? The forced dissolution of my family?

          There will be no dissolution of your family – just an acceptance of your marriage as a “marriage” – meaning full legal equality by some kind of civil union but not quite the ‘one flesh’ concept referred to in scripture.

          • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

            You know darned well that the Christian and political right is fighting against any legal recognition for gay and lesbian couples. The Hawaii civil union veto was the most recent situation. They fought a recent political campaign against Washington state’s DP law. MN’s governor recently vetoed a bill that would’ve allowed gay couples to make funeral arrangements for their loved ones. Those are a handful of recent non-marriage examples that spring to my mind without any google searches.

            I don’t care if people don’t like my marriage or if they don’t believe that it meets “one flesh” requirements. I do care that people want to involuntarily annul my marriage. And I have concerns that people are too quick to poo-poo the religious liberties of those of us who actually believe in marriage for both gay and het couples.

          • Eugene

            “Monogamy is treated as an option. Nobody in the GLBT community disapproves of a couple who choose to have some kind of (usually sexually) open relationship.”

            Well, it’s better than infidelity, isn’t it? When people people promote monogamous values and “fail to live up to those values”, it isn’t called monogamy. It’s called hypocrisy.

            “They are my observations based on 20 years of living in a secular pro-gay environment”

            Even gay people in “a secular pro-gay environment” have been affected by the Christian society. Even the US President have said that marriage is “between a man and a woman”. Is it any wonder that gay people don’t have the same understanding of marriage?

          • http://dwhwar.wordpress.com/ Joe S

            Eugene: Well, it’s better than infidelity, isn’t it? When people promote monogamous values and “fail to live up to those values”, it isn’t called monogamy. It’s called hypocrisy.

            Sure there are hypocrites. Christians are told to watch out for hypocrisy. Moral standards aren’t abandoned because we fail to live up to them (we are all corrupted by sin). So no, it [the honesty expressed by open relationships] isn’t better than infidelity.

            The Christian/gay culture war is the product of both homophobia (which should never be tolerated) and genuine differences of opinion about what is morally acceptable sexual behavior – at least for a Christian.

        • http://dwhwar.wordpress.com/ Joe S

          I was thinking about this exchange again this morning and thought of something. Check out the discussion boards on the Gay Christian Network (gaychristian.net). Rent or purchase the DVD for “Camp Out”. Heck, chat with most gay men about they’re goals and hopes. We want love. We want a husband (with or without kids) and the white-picket fence, etc.

          Again GCN is atypical, the “waiting for marriage” members on GCN are a tiny minority within a minority and we are still talking about options rather than values. Straight Christians do generally promote chastity/fidelity as a value (even if they fail to live up to those values at the same rate as non-Christians).

          I do believe, however, that we as a community don’t know how to nurture and maintain our relationships. I also believe that we lack the natural supports to bolster our relationships that straight people have.

          Don’t have them or don’t want them? We are now talking about the 3rd generation of openly gay people. Young gay men still don’t want to adopt the “restrictions” of the straight marriage ideal (they might sign-up to the romance and white picket fence bit).

          I also believe that we view gay dating differently than straight dating.

          Who is “we” – general society or gay men? As you probably know, gay men have sex on the first date and then decide if they want to take it further as a relationship. Sex first / date later is normal behaviour for gay men. It isn’t for straights – because women are different from men!

          • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

            Joe S: I had a big long response and then it poofed out of existence when I hit the submit button. Here’s the nutshell:

            This board and this organization is all about counter-cultural approaches to the Christian/gay culture war. Change will happen and it will happen slowly if he strive for change. Or we can assume that things will always be as they have been. Our choice.

          • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

            Btw… don’t assume that straight daters aren’t being sexually active on their first or second dates these days. I’m talking about folks outside of the Church and within the church. I know way too many people who think that they’re being sexually chaste as long as there’s no penile/vaginal contact. It’s all semantics. FWIW…

          • http://dwhwar.wordpress.com/ Joe S

            Jon Trouten: don’t assume that straight daters aren’t being sexually active on their first or second dates these days,

            I’m not assuming they aren’t. I’m pointing out the fact that conservative Christian preaching on the subject is very different from the sort of thing you hear in a pro-gay church.

          • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

            Counter-culture, Joe S. Either strive for something new or be content with what is.

  • Dora

    I really don’t know how you can “clarify” a stance on gay marriage. It’s a pretty easy choice actually. There is a right answer and a wrong one. No answer means a default assumption of not supporting marriage equality. Kind of a no brainer there.

    And people do view Christians in America as being the main force behind the lack of civil rights for lesbians and gay people, and for women’s rights, and for all civil rights movements actually. The right wing of this religion has given it such a terrible name, that I don’t think its reputation will recover in the gay world. They’ve been too mean, too damaging and too ignorant for so long now…. The hope out there is of course people like Bishop Spong… a straight man of learning and character who has been out there with us for decades. Katherine Jefferts Sciori of course has been a solid backer of women’s and lesbian rights in the church, and stands (literally) by women as they are ordained bishops in Los Angeles. Pretty impressive and uplifting.

    If you go to the countries where the christian right doesn’t exist or where they have minimal influence, you’ll find gays already in the militiary and with much more civic protection nationwide, than in the US where it is an all out war, state by state. In countries where there is a state church, or where civil law prevails, you’ll find discrimination couldn’t prevail even in the early 60s.
    Jay Baker I think does provide a refreshing voice in this regard. Actually, I never thought his parents were out and out homphobes, nor did they seem overly political. I’ve never met Jay personally, and I would like to actually. He seems like a cool guy. I don’t know how feminist he is, but he’s out there trying.

    It’s really not about what straight people think in terms of the gay community, because we write off the bigots. That’s a given. Christian straight people, if they are to have any legitimacy at all in our community, are really going to have to be very clear about where they stand on the issues. I’d say the bridge building that can be done is for straight people of good will to talk to other straight people who are clueless about gay issues. However, I would not want straight white men speaking for me in that case, I would want other straight women to talk to straight men or women.

    The lesbian and gay world has been very energized; we know who the friends are, we know who the cowards are. There have been decades of abuse of gays and lesbians by the straight christianity, and centuries of attrocities overall. We’ll see how all of this turns out when lesbians and gays have full legal rights of marriage. Over time, I predict that things will kind of fade out, just as they have done for divorce.

    In a war, and make no mistake about it, this is an ideological war, those in no mans land will not be significantly counted, any more than white people of good will are today who sat on the fence during the civil rights era. The real courage lies with every lesbian or gay person who got out there and fought. And my hope is that more and more terrorized gays and lesbians still stuck in closets will find their freedom now more than ever.

    When I see all of us out and proud, I’ll know that what we did for the cause of freedom was well worth it.

    • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

      Dora – In your mind there is a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ – just the same thought from everyone else on ‘the other side’…who coincidentally look at you as ‘the other side’. Do you see how this medium of engagement is totally wacked?! It’s a never-ending continuum of craziness, and it’s only being perpetuated with no end in site.

  • Dora

    Civil rights is not about negotiation, it is about a movement for social justice that simply forces social change. Suffragists who protested outside the White House before the first World War were about demanding the right to vote for women. They stood out there in the rain, in the cold, and were thrown into jail and force fed. This strategy as you characterize it is “wacked”– lesbian and gay rights would not have gotten this far, if it hadn’t been for people solidly and without equivocation on the side of this justice.

    I have never heard one PLAG parent, not one lesbian and gay leader, or even one straight liberal or good concience waver in this regard. I believe you will be most effective talking to those evangelical groups that think we are sinners and idiots. I hold out very little hope for them, and know that after our movement succeeds, they’ll still whine and moan about our sinfulness, they’ll still resent the fact that we can marry, they won’t change, but they will die down.

    Racism, sexism and homo-hatred don’t go away, neither does anti-semiticism. We are seeing a significant change in overall American attitudes towards the issue of lesbian and gay rights, because we as a people are getting more and more sophisticated in our legal strategies, and in our movement. We have people on the inside, people out in the streets, and people who have been there for over 30 years.

    So Andrew, well I think it’s nice that you are speaking about all of this, the very fact that you have no public opinion on the issue of lesbian or gay marriage speaks volumes. It would be a failed political and social strategy for us as a people, and this may be fine for you as a straight white man, but it most certainly is not fine for me as a lesbian who has fought long and hard. Evangelical churches I think have always been a waste of time on so many levels that go beyond lesbian rights…

    The other day, I believe it was the Pugh research center that said Americans for the first time, by a 51% majority favored gay and lesbian marriage. This is a significant shift, and I believe the largely middle of the road American public, the public that doesn’t really pay much attention one way or the other to anything, now sees this civil rights issue clearly for what it is.

    Judge Walker was very clear in his brief, you know exactly where he stands, and you also know how clueless the opposition was once it was confronted with a court battle. You are just some new guy out there, and you are not gay. While this may be a novel idea for a straight guy like you, it is my life, and I believe very firmly that there is the wrong side, the haters, the sin preachers, the bigots, and you can’t reason with them at all.
    They will always be racists, sexists and homophobes… their very identity is built on believing themselves morally superior to lesbians and gay people.

    To grown ups, we write them off, but when they have lesbian and gay children, and those kids escape those people, that’s one aspect of our battle for freedom. Martin Luther King’s letter from a Birmingham jail should be required reading, and it has been posted several times here. Read it! That’s Martin Luther King speaking, and he is responsible for leading a freedom movement that spread to everyone— it reignited the feminist movement (second wave), it gave the lesbian and gay movement its nacent power– I don’t think you have a very good understanding of what a human rights movement is all about, and you are stuck talking to people who have never gotten it on so many levels.

    I think as a lesbian I know what the best strategy is for me, and exactly where I’m headed in life. Long ago, my aim was for full equality, and I wanted a marriage of equal partners, where both of us achieved greatly, where none of us was less than the other. Back in time, before you were born, we had this dream, and it is coming true bit by bit.

    Sometimes I get so frustrated with this blog because well, it seems to be rather unsophisticated in its knowledge of all social justice movements.
    There is no there there to quote Gertrude Stein in terms of lesbian rights– no lesbians are not the same as gay men. We have a whole separate battle. That needs to be acknowledged and respected.

    Go back to MLK and look at his Christianity and tradition. You should have by now read all his major works and listened to all his recorded speeches. Why do I have a feeling you haven’t done this? We need to up the education ante here. Your way would not have gotten us anywhere Andrew— I would not be where I am today if I had wasted my time with this mealy mouthed equivocation. Sorry to be so blunt here, but civil rights is not a negotiation, it is a fight for freedom. After the great battle is won, the country then reveres the rebels, from MLK to Washington, to Susan B. Anthony, to Rosemary Radford Reuther…. and on and on it goes.

    Let’s raise the bar here. Let’s get serious about what social justice really means in this country. Let’s get down to the real life of Christ, and what he actually did. Let’s get some Bible scholars who actually know Greek and Hebrew. Honestly, I am very impatient these days, and I think I know why.

    When you are about to win something huge, you find the middle of the road, the people who aren’t going to go to the mat– well disingenious, to say the least. Something in your message simply doesn’t ring quite true, the silence, the lack of acknowledgement of issues I’ve brought up here.

    All of it fits together– sexism, racism and homophobia are interconnected.
    All of it grows out of the idea that some people are superior to others, some people are real and others non-humans or non-citizens. It’s not negotiable now, and it wasn’t back in the days of segregation in the deep south. It wasn’t negotiable in 1914, it wasn’t negotiable in 1776.

    Ted Olson stood up and was counted, Judge Walker was a Reagan appointee. Every gay and lesbian person of a certain age has to have uncommon courage to get out in the world and fight. Those old warriors come around now and then. We honor them in our community, we are all a part of this great tradition of freedom. Somehow, you fall short in this department.

    It is not wacked to fight for civil rights and it is not wacked to know what right and wrong is. To deny people civil liberties and to say that our strategy both in the streets, in the courts, and one straight family at a time is wacked simply doesn’t really address how history gets changed, or how civil rights actually occurs.

    The southern bigots and racists never went away Andrew, they simply ceased to have complete control over the law. I think just about every gay man here will agree that we didn’t get this far by being you Andrew, we got this far by being who we were, and going the distance, and it was a long long distance I assure you. The freedom train is a train, it doesn’t
    “negotiate” the tracks. I find your use of the words “wacked” highly insulting to say the least. Say that about MLK and see what happens. Say that about Susan B. Anthony and see how that plays out. That’s the tradition I come from. What tradition in civil rights do you come from?

    There is no end in sight, but there is social transformation. There is change in social structures and the legal system. Individual people remain bigots often til the day they die. The christian church has been made a fool of by the bigots. I think just about every out gay activist I have ever met knows that conservative right wing christians have been the biggest obstacle to gay and lesbian freedom of our time.

    The irony of it all was, is that long ago, when my partner went to the conferences of the National Council of Churchs and World Council of Churches, and Washington D.C. and around the world, straight liberals of good will never quite believed that homophobes existed. They be their usual “supportive middle of the road selves” we would be fighting like hell.
    Then the conservatives tipped their hand at these conferences after our community forced the issue to a floor vote– then those conservative straight christians started telling everyone that we are sinners and should not be allowed to join this christian communion. Wow, after they started giving those speeches in front of the whole body, the straight middle of the road… don’t act up, be nice liberals then saw just how homophobic these people really were. We exposed them, we put a spotlight on them. We didn’t build bridges with them, we simply allowed them to reveal the hatred of gays and lesbians that had always been there.

    The life of Christ was not about building bridges to religious authorities, which he condemned endlessly… he could easily be talking about right wing christian leaders today. He didn’t build a bridge to the Roman authorities either. End of rant…

    • Jan Cousins

      Dora, those suffragettes were Bible-believing, “traditional” Christian women who were also pro-life… one of the main reasons they fought so hard for women’s civil rights.

      You can learn the truth about these brave women through:

      Feminists for Life > Feminist History

      http://www.feministsforlife.org/history/index.htm

  • Jack Harris

    Dora,

    Just a note of thanks for your so many eloquent words. You are so right that we will always have to have people who see the justice in demanding civil rights for GLBT people. While I truly believe in bridge building with Evangelicals, I sense that some realize that the “Gay Agenda” is not about coersion but rather one of bringing us all on the same level of equality. As long as there are people who oppose equality, there will always be a need to speak out. Jesus believed very strongly in justice, so it’s definitely a Christian value. I would go so far as to argue that he would march with us in protest.

    Those of us raised in Liberal Mainline Protestant faiths, were taught the importance of a Social Justice Gospel. That message is JUST as compelling as any reading of scripture that follows a fundamentalist(calvinist) view. I believe that is the beauty of scripture, it evokes many different meaning, all of which point beyond ourselves..and more clearly in the direction of Christ.

    When I get to the point where I cannot make sense of where I need to go with all of this i call upon a quote by Sallie Mcfague who wrote “Models of God” :

    “We, all of us, are being called to do something unprecedented. We are being called to think about “everything that is,” for we now know that everything is interrelated and that the well-being of each is connected to the well-being of the whole. This suggests a “planetary agenda” for all….”

    Peace, Jack +

  • Dora

    Thanks Jack. I guess I have never been a fan of bridge building, because it has never worked for me. I’m not evangelical, and just can’t even fathom the literalist point of view of the bible. My parter is better suited to this because she went to a seminary and has a masters degree– accredited, which is more than you can say for a lot of those conservative preachers out there.

    Who can build bridges to people who reject your entire way of life? I believe individual people come to know things, but not those institutions.

    As long as I’ve lived they are still preaching the inferiority of women as a god given thing, they still think god is a white man in the sky, and they still believe the story of Soddom is about gay people. What can one do in the face of such cluelessness? In the 1970s, they were preaching that women should submit to their husbands, and in the 2010s, they are still saying those exact same words verbatum. I’m not kidding, just listen to Frank Pastori and right wing Christian radio if you don’t believe me. To my knowledge, not one man has gone on Pastori’s talk show to challenge male supremacy, or wife submission theology, not one.

    I’m thinking that if they finally get off this gay hating, gay marriage attacking crusade of theirs, I’ll actually be able to take a real vacation. I’ve lost track exactly, but I think I have devoted about 25% of my income to the gay marriage fight, and that’s lesbian dollars guys, not male pay scales.
    There is a certain self-respect in this noble fight. I used to think of Don Quixote, but now lately I’m thinking of myself as Elizabeth I and the Spanish armada :-) We might just win this one, those churches will be toast and the laughing stock of all America, and they deserve it.

    Racism, sexism and homophobia don’t ever go away, the evangelicals have never changed positions on any of these three things except lip service against racism. They haven’t manged to get to even the lip service part of sexism, oh well, women are always expendable, because we are women, not black men.

    That said, good straight men like Andrew can engage in this — maybe he can be the new Don Quixote, and that’s a high compliment. To use his words, I think it’s a wacky strategy, but everyone needs to make a living, and then there is the famous Lyndon Johnson quote about being inside the tent. Andrew is inside the tent. I love Cervantes’ novel as do many lesbian intellectuals :-), so perhaps that might be a more fitting literary journey for the bridge builders to the homophobic churches, I don’t know really.

    I don’t see the possibility of bridges, because I essentially see no substantive change in these church teachings about women. So I don’t imagine they will ever change in how they view gays, and we have no purpose attending sexist homophobic institutions to begin with.

    Our job is to create new space, new laws, new ways of being. I don’t expect any straight person to every fully understand this, because they don’t want to really understand. The oppressor is not forced to understand the oppressed, whether it is a white male slave owner or a man married to a woman. It just ain’t gonna happen ever.

  • Sarah C

    At this current point in my walk with Christ, I feel called to stand up and support legalization of Gay marriage. I voted no on Proposition 8 here in California.

    I have always felt the call of Christ to stand with those who have been marginalized. This has taken many forms throughout the years. In many ways, my desire to avoid being divisive in the church has kept me from being as courageous as I should be on this topic and others. I hope many of you out there will forgive my lack of courage.

    Even with this being a clear call for me…it is hard for me to share my thoughts in a public way. I am still discerning the proper way and pray that God will guide me.

    I feel Andrew is doing important work. His calling is to build bridges. I see that he is clearly calling evangelicals to take the first step in building the bridge. I respect his stance to avoid answering these yes/no questions. For those of you who are suspicious about this, I urge you to understand that his work is bearing fruit. I have shared his book with many other Christians, and have been witness to a subtle shifting – a changing of hearts – a willingness to look beyond assumptions and “what we’ve always been taught”.

  • Dora

    Good for you Sarah C.! We need all the supporters we can get in this epic battle. Thank you for your support, it really means a lot!!

  • Dora

    Joe S., what does this have to do with gay marriage? In terms of fidelity and marriage, we have a 50-60% straight failure rate. Maybe straight people should not be married in christian churches either, until they have reformed.

    And I think there are many gay cultures out there– urban gay male spaces, smaller towns with more “traditional” guys. Lesbians have a whole separate world, and are not at all like the urban gay male sterotype.

    I’d say, that statistically, the people most challenged by the idea of monogamy and fidelity are men. Look at prostitution, sex trafficking, prostituion tourism, and the lion’s share of pornography. To quote a right wing group out there, this stuff is “every man’s battle.”

    Most gay men I know who are extremely non-monogamous support gay marriage because it is about civil rights. I’ve asked them about this, because I find the disconnect a bit weird with them at times, but they see it as a civil rights issue, a human rights issue. Guys are good at explaining this human rights stuff if guys benefit from it. They are not so generous with feminism being about human rights, however.

    Gay marriage will benefit those who wish to commit to it, just as straight marriage holds this out. Personally, I think the greatest gay or lesbian beneficiaries will be gay or lesbian parents. Since about 40% of lesbian couples do have children, their children will definitely get more protection.
    I don’t know what percentage of gay male couples raise children, however.
    But I think men need even more help raising children, and almost every gay guy I knew back up in San Francisco had had his kids taken away in the divorce. The pain was so great, I never even knew they had kids until literally 20-25 years later when we all reconnected on Facebook! Thanks Facebook!!

    I believe lesbians should be cautious about this institution, since in the past, it was constructed as male dominance and property ownership– the women being the property up until modern times. In many parts of the world, marriage is a complete joke for women– Saudi Arabia, Sudan etc., where women are literally sold into marriage by parents.

    I believe gay people in our great awakening as a people wouldn’t be having marriage now if somehow we didn’t want it. Our community has become much more conformist and conservative, and I think the guys might have learned the value of commitment and monogamy as a result of the AIDS epidemic. Lesbians have always been hopeless romantics, and I think women like the culture of marriage more than men do. Witness the fuss over the bride vs. the poor groom during straight marriage productions.

    Some gay activists argue that gay people will become more holy and godlike, christian if you will, if they have the opportunity to marry, and have their relationship protected. The vow of monogamy and till death do us part is very very powerful. Even though I have always been very straight laced and sexually monogamous, I still found our marriage ceremony deeply moving. It certainly helped us get through some very hard times, and this was a marriage ceremony in MCC, and had no civil backing whatsoever. Still, the vow before god was very powerful and meaningful, even back when straight people hardly ever came into our community.

    My two cents :-)

    • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

      Dora: You don’t like it when men speak to the needs of women. Please don’t assume you know how much more gay men (or men in general) need when it comes to parenting.

  • Dora

    Sorry if I offended you, it was not intentional Jon.

    I can’t access your links, so what did the baptists do to the lesbian softball team? Were they afraid the Amazons would bash them in the head with bats? :-) Little lesbian “humor” here.

    What you’ve got to get about fundamentalists Jon is that it doesn’t matter what kind of human being you are, you are hated for being gay. No matter your virtue, your love of your partner or your nicely mowed lawn– they don’t care, you are a sinner to them, and they will do everything in their power to prevent gay marriage, and I do mean they will go after you in every legal way.
    Abortion — those people bombed abortion clinics and conducted a reign of terror far worse than Islamic radicals on American soil. They went into a church and killed Dr. Tiller in cold blood. These are the folks we are dealing with, and there is no reasoning with them. I know of no gay or lesbian person who went into a straight church and killed someone during the service. NO GAY OR LESBIAN PERSON. This violence is on the right.

    They are the same men who burned women accused of witchcraft, the same men who codified The Hammer of Witches in the 1500s into crimen exectum– that is, no legal protections were granted for the crime of witchcraft. Age after age, it is the same fundamentalist forces who think it is ok for women to die in childbirth for “the sake of the child.”

    And when I went to see the Dead Sea Scrolls traveling exhibit in San Diego several years ago, I got to see the first laws — 5000 some years ago stating that women were the property of men! That’s right, I got to see the writing on the wall and it was chilling. If there is justice for women, we have to go back to the very beginning. Who wrote those laws? Who controls the legal system? Who burned the witches? Who kills women in botched abortions legal and not? Who thinks gay men are inherently sinful without any overall knowledge of gay culture? And who goes into the bedrooms of gay men and hauls them into court for making love? That’s right, police went into that bedroom and arrested those gay men, and eventually even the Supreme Court overruled it’s own decision in 1986 to produce Lawrence v. Texas. Just what kind of outrage produces this kind of insanity?

    And let’s argue another point here. Who dicatates how many partners I will have? Who says that gay men can’t create a different kind of relationship if they want to? Just who made those rules and enforces them?

    Who creates a world where women’s idea of conscent is hardly ever recognized in a court of law? Who subjects victims on the witness stand to the kind of humiliation that women who were raped by men have experienced? Who controls the police force? Wow, I could go on and on, but gayness and lesbianess points to a far bigger issue here than something as conservative and mainstream as “gay marriage.” If gay people are outside of that heteronormative system, if women partners can create a life completely free of male domination in the home, what will this do when legal protections become more available? How many more people fearful of straight rejection opt for sham marriages? Ted Haggard comes to mind here. Just how many more gays and lesbians will realize their true identity after all the social rejection is lifted? That might be the real issue here, because one wonders how these people protesteth too much.

    What gay being and lesbian spirit do to the world is we simply point out that sexuality is not all about procreation, it is not about men and women living happily together. It is about a profound spiritual movement in a time when world population has doubled from 3 billion people to 6 billion. It is about what gays and lesbians have contributed to world culture, and it is an alternative to patriarchy for lesbians. I am even more adament about this alternative than even gay men, because all men oppress all women as a class. As a class– this is about one group oppressing another group, not about the individuals in this system of submission and domination.

    Lesbian life poses a clear challenge to that world view, just as all women’s independent spiritual development posed and poses a challenge to androcentric myths enshrined in christianity itself.

    But back down to earth here, back down to conservative gay basics:
    Again, what is so hard about the concept of human rights? Marriage is a cultural right. You don’t have to be good at it or bad at it to get married if you are straight. Witness Elvis Chapels in Las Vegas.

    Freedom of speech is for everyone in America. We don’t judge whether people are able to use this freedom responsibly or not, it is simply there as a part of the bill of rights. Now who has the most access to “speech” can be debated, based on who owns and controls the media… however, the basic concept is that all Americans have a right to free speech, and that this right was fought for in the 1920s to be considered the right it is today.

    It’s going to be a sorry day for christian fundamentalism in America, for the Mormon church, for the Catholic church. Their behavior has been beyond the pale reprehensible. I think of that little group of people at chicago gay pride saying they were sorry. A tiny group of people who had an inkling of the damage the church has done to gays and lesbians. But even they have NO IDEA NO IDEA AT all how bad the church has been. They may think they know but they’ll never know unless they are gay or lesbian.

    There is no going back now. We have reached the twist in the road, and no matter what anyone says here, there is a right side and a wrong side to this, and fundamentalist christianity is not only totally wrong, deluded and bigoted, its sins against the gay world wouldn’t even fit into a circle of hell in Dante’s depictions.

    I think it is too late. Even Jesus on the cross asked his parent to forgive them because he couldn’t do it. This has really helped me in my times of explosive rage against fundamentalists of all kinds. Yeah, even Jesus couldn’t do it!

    • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

      Dora – This is going to be the 3rd, and final, public warning for the LENGTH of your comments. 1 more and you will be banned. This has nothing to do with you thoughts, I’ve never censored those. But this persistence in length, not listening to my other warnings, is too much.

  • pm

    Dear Dora,
    (1) it’s not too late for an honest dialogue; we have until our last breath
    (2) with Jesus, nothing is impossible, even forgiveness; btw: that prayer was to his heavenly father about ALL of US (humans); see, he included ALL so that ALL might enjoy the manifold blessings of our wrong, deluted and bigoted frames of orientations
    (3) wrong, deluded and bigoted are in the ‘eye-of-the-beholder’; are you and I not our brother’s keeper? Where does our responsibility to include others in the family of love stop?
    (4) absolutes apply best to individual’s desire to get their own way
    as in “… not matter what anybody says … “; obviously, you’re absolutely
    for your own opinion. congrats!

  • http://gayhomophobe.wordpress.com/ Sans

    I thought I’d pop back in after cutting out for a few weeks and see what’s going on. Looks like the same as before. One or two people hogging the conversation. I guess I’ll take my leave again and check back later.

    Andrew, best wishes to you. I hope the conversation in “real life” is a little less one-sided than the conversation here.

    BOYMB

    • http://www.livingitout.com Rachel

      Me too… I do appreciate others’ views, but most comments nowadays just seem so long that I don’t bother reading, and from people who don’t even accept the principles here ie bridge-building. Will keep checking in in hope…

  • Dora

    Hypothetical questions: if you wished to build a bridge to a lesbian feminist christian, how would you begin to do it? What words would you choose to use? How would you describe god? What research would you reference? What truths would you be willing to hear?

    If you are a man are you capable of having this discussion — gay or straight? How sincere are you in this bridge building? How aware are you of lesbian herstory and culture, and how willing are you to learn? And study on your own?

    These are serious questions. I think we can elevate the level of discussion on this blog by directly addressing the concerns of lesbian christians of all ages, and I’d really enjoy a bunch of people talking about this and getting down to it. What say ye?

    • Rachel

      I dunno anonymous, I think you’re kinda rude about this – isn’t bridge-building about recognising that categories / language that others use is equally valid as your own? Check our Andrew’s book about how important it is to use language that those you’re building-towards are comfortable with.

  • Dora

    I have many blogs out there open to women only, for obvious reaons. But I would say this: the cosmic question I would be interested in is what exactly is bridge building to lesbian feminist christians?

    And how would the concerns of lesbian feminist christians be included in this “bridge building”? Remember, “gay” is not a generic term. Lesbians are a very separate group. A recent Harris poll said that 95% of lesbians thought women’s equality was not being adequately addressed in American society, 74% of straight women thought this. Needless to say, about 54% of gay men thought this was an issue. You can see a divide here based on who comes from the group being ignored on the construction site of bridges.

  • Dora

    Rachel, my philosophy is simple; if you want me at the party, then you have to attempt to speak my language. If you don’t care, and don’t want to try, then of course I’m not going across a bridge to alien territory, with no attempts at linguistic connection. It’s as simple as that. Same thing with worship services– no inclusive language, means I’m not going to be there.

    • http://www.livingitout.com Rachel

      but dora, if youre not even there to hint at others there is a conversation they could be having, how will others realise that there is an alternative language that brings with it new and liberating concepts? i do attend services without inclusive language, i do hang out with people who dont use my language, and i hope that by doing so i gently suggest to others that there may be value in rethinking their positions. otherwise its going to be alien territory forever, and those living in that territory who are oppressed by it will find it a much harder journey to the good news.

    • pm

      Dora, you’re right as modern linguistics can be both common-place as well as complex, especially within a defined context such as you’re describing here. I think that’s why our example as found in the gospels describes a number of concepts using parables with the hope to reach out to the human condition and avoid any traps, snares and pitfalls of stumbling over certain words/roles that might act as obstacles to reaching out by faith. I don’t see TMF setting up an alien territory but rather gather around loving relationships as a mutual starting place based on respect of the other person’s perspective. Speaking in love helps both of us. If parables is the way to reach some level of mutual understanding, then let’s go there together.

  • Bren

    Dora -

    I am a Christian Feminist, although, straight, (which I am guessing will discredit me in your view point-sorry for the sarcasm) and I have to say that it is hard even for me to follow everything that you are commenting. There is no way to productively have a conversation when you are only willing to look through your own world perspective. The point of this blog and conversation is to allow people with many perspectives, view points, life experiences, sexual orientations, male, female, gay, straight, feminist, non-feminist, radicals, moderates, conservatives, liberals, Christian, non-Christian, faith believers, atheists, agnostics…jeez this list could go on forever. Andrew and The Marin Foundation allow for and validate all experiences in this life. I appreciate that this world is colorful and so are the people that I consider friends and loved ones. I do not believe in a only female world and I do believe that men also have a significant role to play. We must all work toward equality of the sexes. I am a stronger believer in understanding that balance and celebrating in the differences which make each of us strong, unique, and significant. Even feminist history talks widely about the balance between the sexes the ying and the yang. Separate but equal does not work because the world does not function like that, but yet in many of your comments you discredit so many others based solely on the physical make up or their belief system because they do not fit into yours. I don’t even fit into yours and I am a very strong Christian Feminist and proud to be one. You are asking others to engage in your language, play within your world view, but what about the flip side why do you not work within others frameworks? Very few people will cross your bridge and come to you that is why The Marin Foundation challenges us to walk at least half way and do a bit of give and take. Sorry to say statistically you are a very small minority and you do not have a right to monopolize the conversation and expect for anyone to cater to your needs alone… Please see the world for what it is a place with many faces which all deserve dignity and equality. Yes, as women we must continue to fight for all of our rights and I will do so, but I will not do it at the expense of others. Then we just become like everyone else who has oppressed and dehumanized…

  • http://gayhomophobe.wordpress.com/ Sans

    I said I wasn’t going to come back for a while — I guess that was a lie. I think what bothers me about the tone of the conversation here over the last several weeks is not that there have been disagreements or points of view expressed with which I disagree, but rather that certain commenters (on both sides) have been so dogmatic in what they write. “It’s my way or the highway” so to speak.

    I tend to agree with Bren’s comment. We can’t demand that people engage us in conversation ONLY using language we use or ONLY espousing beliefs we do. Then it’s not a conversation…it’s just a bunch of people talking. If any real progress is going to be made on this front, we have to come to a point where we’re willing to meet the other side in the middle.

    The middle…that’s where I live on a daily basis and, I have to say, it’s pretty dang lonely out here. I’m gay, but I’m conservative. I don’t believe in government sanctioning of marriage, gay or straight, but I do believe every person has the right to love whom the choose to love and if a church or community group or whatever other private entity wishes to chooses to sanction marriage, then let them. Like I said, I live out here on the middle ground because it’s peaceful.

    What I don’t like about being in the middle is that I can hear people on both banks SCREAMING at each other and, frankly, it’s getting a bit old! Why don’t you guys just put down your stupid pride (because that’s all it is) and look for some common ground. I know you could find some if you really tried.

    ….but, I suspect you won’t, because you’re too invested in BEING RIGHT! So, I’ll just keep standing out here in the middle….holding my ears….

  • Dora

    I think when you are a minority, you don’t much like the arrogance of majorities, and their unwillingness to look at how the majority might look to minorities. Define minority and majority, and think about that.

    How does this blog look? Take a closer look. Sarcasm is not a good response (clue).

  • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

    Where’s parts 2-4? I’m anxiously anticipating…

  • Dora

    Does this blog have a policy about inclusive god language? Do people even know what the term “inclusive language” means?

    • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

      We use inclusive language during worship at my church, Dora (http://www.faithucciowacity.org/index.php). But not everyone who comments on this board uses inclusive language.

  • Dora

    Does the blog have a policy of what god language to use as a part of the blog articles? I understand that the general public commenting just comments, it’s what the owners of the blog model that often reveals the story.

    I’d expect Iowa to be an advanced state Jon :-)

    • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

      Dora – There is no policy, as everyone is free to refer to God however s/he feels God is best represented.

      As for me personally, it is my belief that God is neither male nor female – God is outside of gender. I have recently tried my hardest to not say ‘He’ when referring to God, instead using ‘God’ each time. But it sometimes slips out otherwise.

      • http://dwhwar.wordpress.com/ Joe S

        Jesus is male and He is God. Dora is falling/diving into the trap of making “inclusive language” her god.

        • http://www.livingitout.com Rachel

          mmm, not according to the Bible Joe…

  • http://gayhomophobe.wordpress.com/ Sans

    Dora, why does it matter? And, I’m seriously asking the question, not trying to be in any way provocative. Why does it matter if there’s a policy on what “god language” is used on this or any other blog? I do know what inclusive language is, but I don’t think it really matters one way or the other.

    Again, please understand, I’m not trying to be provocative, but you seem to want everyone to acquiesce to your demands regarding the terms of discussion or you’re not willing to fairly engage them. How is that fair? I said once before on a preivous post that this is one of my biggest gripes with gay activism today. We DEMAND others adopt our particular worldview whether they agree with it or not and we refuse to even acknowledge the fact that they have a different worldview. That’s not fair…I’m sorry, but it’s just not!

    I respect what you have to say, but you’ve gotta be willing to give a little bit here. You can’t always come in guns blazing demanding that everyone do only what you want!

  • Dora

    Jan –I am well acquainted with feminists for life. Thanks for the link.

  • Dora

    And the answer to my question about the blog’s policy about inclusive language is???? Drum roll—Is there a there there ??

    • http://gayhomophobe.wordpress.com/ Sans

      The answer is that your question is not germaine to the discussion here. Once again, you’re trying to “trap” Andrew with questions that are irrelevant to the discussion. You are the only person demanding a change of language at this point.

      • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

        I don’t think Dora’s demanding anything. She’s asking if there’s a policy on inclusive God language, which there isn’t, AFAIK.

        • http://gayhomophobe.wordpress.com Sans

          Jon, I refer you to the following:

          Dora August 19, 2010 at 11:55 pm
          Rachel, my philosophy is simple; if you want me at the party, then you have to attempt to speak my language. If you don’t care, and don’t want to try, then of course I’m not going across a bridge to alien territory, with no attempts at linguistic connection. It’s as simple as that. Same thing with worship services– no inclusive language, means I’m not going to be there.

          I guess you can call it whatever you want, but it sounds a bit demanding to me. All I’m saying is, why does everyone else have to change the way they speak before Dora will engage them in a discussion?

          • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

            Point taken, Sans.

    • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

      Dora: I don’t think there’s a official blog policy on inclusive language. Just use and language that works for you and respect the language that the others use. But also expect that most people are going to use non-inclusive language usage since that’s the tradition of the majority.

  • Dora

    Thanks Jon, then I’ll use my native god language then :-) Cheers queers!

  • Dora

    Thanks Andrew for the update on the inclusive language policy… seems sensible to me. I loved a line from an old MCC hymn, “Our god is not a woman our god is not a man, our god is both and neither, our god is I who am” Can’t really convey the tune here but it is based on a catchy 19th century hymn. I believe the title of the hymn is “Our God is Like an Eagle”
    And I will attempt brevity of commentary… you know us lesbians, we have a lot to say, and a lot of catching up to do, what with the excessive amount of male theological commentary to catch up with… :-) Cheers Queers…

    • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

      Thanks Dora!

  • Lawrence

    Hmmmm. I could have given the “gospel” response in 3 words, not 60. “Love one another.”. ;)

  • Dora

    I agree PM that parable and metaphor work well. Language tends to reveal intentions to me.

  • Kelly

    I am a male and have sexual attraction to other men. However, i reject these feelings. In my opinion they are wrong. I do not understand why I have these feelings but I know that one day God will explain to me what happened and why I feel this way. There is a difference in loving all people and affirming their sins. I need to be reminded of God’s opinions, not mens, and just stop and repent of my sins. God’s view on homosexuality is well recorded in the Old and New Testament. I assume that you are very knowlegeable of what is written in the Bible. So we do not need to debate the issue because Jesus himself has stated that homosexuals will hot enter the Kingdom of God.

  • Jordan

    In regards to what Kelly said on October 1, 2012 at 8:28 pm… I too felt the same way once, but then I read my bible more after coming out of the closet to my parents (Needing answers and closure as to why I felt this way) and I discovered a lot more to it. The bible has to be understood in its complete context. Where you refer to the bible stating ‘homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God’, that is simply not true. Allow me to explain.

    In the book ‘The Children Are Free: Re-examining the Biblical Evidence on Same-sex Relationships’ by Rev. Jeff Miner and John Tyler Connoley, the book tackles the clobber passages with substantial evidence and good theological arguments.

    In that specific clobber passage you mention there (1 Corinthians 6:9-10), the word ‘effeminate’ did not mean homosexual back then (In fact it wasn’t until around the 13th or 14th century that it was changed to mean ‘homosexual’), in reality, back then, it meant ‘soft’. SOFT people will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    Furthermore, when you look into the context of Sodom and Gomorrah for example, you realize it had nothing to do with homosexual tendencies, it was the act of sexually violating new guests/visitors of the city of Sodom, to show supremacy. In other words, rape.

    Also, when ALL the men of Sodom went to Lot’s house and he offered his virgin daughters as a substitute for the visitors, it makes you think – if all the men of Sodom were gay, why on earth would you offer gay men, two women? Doesn’t make much sense that it would refer to homosexuality here does it? Also, in Ezekial, it explains what the sin of Sodom was. They were gluttons, haughty (arrogant), they did destestable things and were uncaring – especially when it came to the poor and needy (which, by the way, sounds like a lot of the western world. Thank God we are not in a time of judgment or else God would have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah). Nowhere does it mention homosexuality or the bible condemning two men/women in a loving, committed relationship.

    Might I also remind you here that homosexuality can be found in over 450 species, homophobia however, is only found in one.

    You’re more than welcome to see for yourself that what I say is the truth. In fact here are a couple great resources:

    ‘Unchristian’ by David Kinnaman

    A sermon titled ‘Real Christianity Is Accepting’ by Rob Buckingham (can be found on iTunes under ‘bayside church’)


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