Day of Silence and Golden Rule Pledge on Appalachian State University

As a result of the Golden Rule Pledge effort, I have met some really great folks. I am only going to mention one with this post but there are many more. I hope to share their experiences at the new Golden Rule Pledge website soon. I did want to here share one very early report from JK, a student at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. JK was an early supporter of the Golden Rule Pledge and as you will see, used it as a springboard to mobilize Christian groups on her campus for outreach. She wrote to me today (Saturday, the 26th) with her experiences of the day. It is long but well worth the read…

Yesterday was the Day of Silence. A national event where students on their campuses are silent for the entire day to bring awareness to the silencing of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) students. This community has been daily silenced by the name-calling, bullying, and harassment simply because of their sexuality. Many Christians are confused about how to respond to this day because they do not agree with homosexuality, but they do agree that hatred based on it is not acceptable.

This year I decided to get involved. I went to Campus Crusade for Christ as well as Intervarsity Fellowship to present the idea of participating. They both said they wanted to participate but I was absolutely astonished when Campus Crusade said that not only did they want to support it as individuals, but as a ministry. When I heard this, my heart was pounding- it was a prayer come true.

I can’t give you a count of how many students from the ministries actually participated. It might have been one, or many. But to me, it was their sincere desire to do something that really hit me hard. I have long been frustrated with the Christian community’s response to the GLBT group. When Crusade called me, a little piece of anger towards the church was cast away.

Students at our school chose to participate by duct taping their mouths shut in complete silence, and when people asked why, handing them a slip of paper that explained. While I was more than fine with doing this, I wanted to do more. I wanted to make it clear that not only do I love them, but Christ does also. So I made my own slips, not to preach, but to break down the walls between the Christian and LGBT communities. The slips I made said this:

“Today I am pledging to be silent to bring attention to the name-calling, bullying and harassment experienced by LGBT students.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Luke 6:31

As a follower of Christ, I believe that all people are created in the image of God and therefore deserve love and respect.”

Yesterday morning, when I went to the SAGA (Sexuality and Gender Alliance) table to receive my piece of duct tape, I showed them my slips and told them that several ministries would be participating as well. The look on their faces was priceless. They were shocked, but ecstatic. This alone would have been enough to make my day.

But there was still more to be done. Eric Heistand from Campus Crusade for Christ had the idea of bringing a flower to the head faculty advisor of SAGA. We left flowers and a card that read,

“Dear Mary Ballard and SAGA: As followers of Christ, we want to stand beside you in silence to bring attention to the name-calling, bullying and harassment on college campuses around the world directed toward the LGBT community. We believe that all people have been created in the image of God and therefore have infinite worth and dignity. May these flowers and our silence be a symbol of our desire to show true love and concern. May they also be small step in breaking down some of the walls that sometimes divide us. In silence we stand with you, JK, and Eric Heistand on behalf of Campus Crusade for Christ.”

At 5 pm, the students who participated gathered at a theatre to break the silence by letting a scream go and then talking about their experiences. I was 10 minutes late due to a nap, but when I got there people greeted me with hugs, handshakes, and smiling faces. I discovered that Mary Ballard, the teacher who we gave the flowers and card, read the card aloud to the community.

People came up to me shocked. Over and over, people said to me, “Thank you. You don’t know how much this means to me. I’m amazed. Thank you!” The students seemed really surprised that a ministry, especially a Christian ministry would do that. I talked with several students, but one student spoke with me for a while. She told me that she was so surprised and couldn’t believe her eyes that she had to read the card twice even before it was read aloud. I’m so grateful for the relationships that were begun yesterday just by pledging to be silent for less than 24 hours. Later that night I went to eat with several of them and hung out until the wee hours of the morning. It was wonderful.

To those of you reading, I wish I could tell you in person because this day deserves more than a short summary. Yesterday, the LGBT community saw something revolutionary- they saw Christians loving them and more than that, they saw the love of Christ. What would happen if next year, hundreds of Christian students walked around with duct tape in silence?

I have to tell you about how I felt yesterday walking around in silence with duct tape. I felt humiliated at times, and other times proud. You see, everywhere I went, people stared. I felt like a leper, completely stigmatized from people. In fact, I was experiencing what the LGBT community has experienced for decades.

As I was walking to my dorm, I realized why 30% of LGBT students report having missed one or more days of school per year out of fear. Walking by a dorm, someone opened their window and yelled a derogatory statement to me. I was scared. There was such anger in his voice that I was fearful to walk by the dorm again later that day. I was reminded of Lawrence King, a 14 year old who was murdered because of his homosexuality just two months ago.

Yesterday was amazing. The best day of the year by far. The truth is, this group has been disappointed by the church. I know that as people read that, some will become angry with me. ‘Not my church’ they will say. But when “Christians” hold signs on campus that read, “ God hates Fags.” and “fags burn in hell,” the LGBT community associates that with Christianity. Many people have told me that they have never said anything derogatory to the gay community, but the problem is they haven’t said anything at all. You see, half of the church is screaming hate at them, and the other half is silent. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that silence is powerful. The failure to not say anything, has said a lot.

This [Golden Rule Pledge] was a great first step for me to get out there in ministry. So thanks so much to you!

I don’t know how to end this note, but hopefully there won’t be an end. This is just the beginning…

I have to tell you, I am moved and humbled. I am proud of those Campus Crusade and IVP ministries and others like them around the country who stepped away from fear and up to the plate. More stories to come…

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  • Eddy

    Excellent!

  • http://www.hopeunlimitedproductions.com Lisa

    I am standing up and applauding you ! This is what TRUE Christianity is all about. I am a filmmaker and I have been working on a documentary called For Such A Time As This for over 2 years. The vision for it has been on my heart for 18 years and this is it’s goal… to encourage people to reach out in love to the gay community. I wish I had interviewed you and would love to in the future. When this becomes the norm we will have made tremendous progress. We are at a very special time in history…these are defining moments …God wants the church door’s and our hearts opened wide so that ALL of God’s people can come people in…it’s TIME… it Is For Such A Time As This! Let’s keep going …it’s time to change the world one heart and miind at a time. God Bless you and thank you for sharing. Keep up the amazing work! http://www.hopeunlimitedproductions.com

  • jayhuck

    This is wonderful – it really is – but it would be nice to start hearing conservative Christians not talking about the divide between Christians and the LGBT community as if these are always two separate groups – it comes off as patronizing at times and is ignorant of the fact that many gay people ARE Christians.

  • Nick R

    This young student did what was appropriate. She did not try to coopt the Day of Silence by presenting an alternative message. She held up the Day of Silence to speak out, not for the Golden Rule but to proclaim that gays and lesbians are harassed. That she herself was harassed for doing so speaks volumes.

    Perhaps one day Christians in general will learn to follow Christ instead of the James Dobsons, Timothy Perkins, and Ken Hutchersons of the world.

    My congratulations to this young Christian leader. Now if only her elders would follow Christ as well.

  • Eddy

    Warren,

    This response goes so far beyond what I expected–especially for a first time effort. In my imaginings I pictured the silence, I pictured an exchange of the message cards but I didn’t even dream of the gesture of sending the rose and message of support to the GLBT leader. And to top that off with actually meeting face to face and hanging out for awhile. Priceless!

    I appreciate this participant’s understanding of the distorted messages that the church is sending. I’d have given anything to be ‘a fly on the wall’ listening to that wonderful conversation that went on into the wee hours.

    These are now people who have ‘connected’. When they pass each other on campus, they’ll now greet each other and occasionally chat. They’ll actually start taking interest in each other’s bulletin board postings and event announcements. I’d love to hear an update on this one in a few weeks or months!

  • jayhuck

    Yesterday, the LGBT community saw something revolutionary- they saw Christians loving them and more than that, they saw the love of Christ.

    This quote in particular is problematic – it seems to assume gay people and especially gay Christians have never experienced Christian love in action, and furthermore, doesn’t allow for the fact that many of the gay people may in fact be loving Christians themselves. I’m sure this girl didn’t mean to suggest these things, and I’m with Eddy, this connection is a wonderful thing. Perhaps when the two groups chat in the future they will both gain a new understanding for the other and treat each other as EQUALS who deserve both love AND respect.

    That is my hope anyway :)

  • jayhuck

    History has shown us that when those who have in the past been anti-gay really get to know gay people – intolerance and inequality usually don’t last long :)

  • Eddy

    Yesterday, the LGBT community saw something revolutionary- they saw Christians loving them and more than that, they saw the love of Christ.

    I like the statement. Can anyone reword it so it’s not problematic? I don’t like the idea of changing it to ‘conservative Christians’ because there are gay conservative Christians as well.

    Saying that ‘they saw the love of Christ’ isn’t suggesting that they had never seen or experienced the love of Christ. I can walk into a church and see and feel the love of Christ…something I’ve been seeing and feeling for years. But it is always good to see and feel it through people. It rekindles my hope.

  • Mary

    I am so overwhelmed and happy!!! This is excellent news! This makes my day.

  • http://throughthestorm.com wjc

    Wow!

    I am impressed. This again forces me to question why Exodus cannot see to participate and endorse the Day of Silence as well.

    Thanks for posting this.

  • jayhuck

    She didn’t just say they saw the love of Christ – She said they saw something REVOLUTIONARY – which almost implies a never-before-seen-thing. That was my only point.

    I don’t want to get into a drawn- out argument over her words and detract from the fact that this is a great thing that has happened – I just want some conservative Christians to be careful about the words they use and how they are sound.

    How about just saying “some conservative Christians” or “some Christians” – it doesn’t have to be anymore difficult than that :)

  • jayhuck

    Eddy –

    She didn’t just say they saw the love of Christ – She said they saw something REVOLUTIONARY – which almost implies a never-before-seen-thing. That was my only point.

    I don’t want to get into a draw out argument over her words and detract from the fact that this is a great thing that has happened – I just want some conservative Christians to be careful about the words they use and how they sound.

    How about just saying “some conservative Christians”

  • jayhuck

    Good grief – sorry – I was having browser/submission issues :)

  • Eddy

    I think your suggestion does solve the one problem but, unfortunately, creates another. The new wording would suggest that only conservative Christians have or have had issues with responding appropriately to gays. But we’re on the right track. :-)

  • jayhuck

    You are correct, even though there is a spectrum of inappropriate responses to gay people – some worse than others – and not all Christians have responded inappropriately.

  • Eddy

    And many who aren’t Christians at all.

  • jayhuck

    Yes :)

    If anyone was curious how Ken Hutcherson responded to the DOS, here’s a link to THAT article – I just ran across it about 30 min. ago:

    Ken Hutcherson and the DOS

  • Eddy

    Exodus doesn’t really have much, if any, presence in schools or colleges so I’m not exactly sure how they would participate. Perhaps by next year’s DOS, they can direct people to Warren’s humble outreach.

  • Ann

    Eddy and Jayhuck,

    Is there any difference between how a Christian (conservative or otherwise) and someone of another religion or no religion responds?

    The way Jordyne demonstrated her faith and belief leading up to and on the DOS is a very good example of allowing religion to enable rather than hinder doing what is morally right. She extended herself to reach out to others and get involved for their protection and in doing so, developed camaraderie and future friends.

    She saved the best for last – “but hopefully there won’t be an end. This is just the beginning.”

  • http://LovingHomosexuals.com Chad Thompson

    Jordyne is a good friend of mine. She read my book (Loving Homosexuals as Jesus Would) about a year ago and I have been “coaching” her for a while now. I am so proud of her for putting her faith into practice so boldy! We should not just be agreeing with LGBTs that harassment based on sexuality is not OK, but as Christians we should be LEADING the effort to take a stand against those who ostracize and condemn those who are gay, regardless of whether or not we agree with them theologically. Jordyne is a shining example of what that looks like in real life.

  • http://www.collegejay.blogspot.com Jay

    ASU was my second choice for going to college. I’m perfectly happy where I’m at now, but I would have loved to have gone there just to have participated in this event. Way to go Jordyne! I’m especially proud of that campus’ Campus Crusade for Christ and Intervarsity. So cool!

  • Eddy

    Ann–

    There shouldn’t be. I can appeal to a Christian since I understand the value system they subscribe too but many bullies, bashers and unconcerned bystanders aren’t Christian at all. I don’t want to overlook trying to communicate a “live and let live” attitude to them.

  • http://LovingHomosexuals.com Chad Thompson

    I have a friend who attends University in Canada. The gay group on campus was selling flowers as a fund raiser for AIDS research. Even though a lot of the Christians on campus wouldn’t buy a flower because “that’s supporting homosexuality,” my friend Tyson was able to get his Christian group on campus to actually help the gay group sell the flowers. After all, EVERYONE should be against AIDS shouldn’t they? I can’t remember for sure if the Christian group was Campus Crusade or InterVarsity, but I know it was one of those two groups, and I was very proud of them for doing that because they took a LOT of heat from the ultra-conservative religious people on campus…

  • Ann

    Eddy,

    I agree. What I was referring to is that all people should be included and feel capable of doing what is morally right in their responses. With that kind of solidarity, any activity contrary to what the DOS and Golden Rule stands for will not be tolerated and certainly be met with a mountain of resistance to it.

  • jayhuck

    Ann,

    Is there any difference between how a Christian (conservative or otherwise) and someone of another religion or no religion responds?

    Not that I can think of

    The way Jordyne demonstrated her faith and belief leading up to and on the DOS is a very good example of allowing religion to enable rather than hinder doing what is morally right.

    I absolutely agree with you :)

  • jayhuck

    I think it would be interesting to hear from any gay Christians who might have taken part in the events and how they responded to the other, perhaps, more conservative Christians participating in the DOS this year.

    These are just interesting figures that I wasn’t aware of. They come from the article I posted a link to above. The DOS was observed by approximately 7,000 high schools and colleges around the country, and the DOS has “been observed nationally for the past 13 years”. I feel out of the loop – I didn’t realize it had been around that long.

  • Lelia

    “I talked with several students, but one student spoke with me for a while. She told me that she was so surprised and couldn’t believe her eyes that she had to read the card twice even before it was read aloud.”

    I was the one student in particular that she referred to. Jordyne is my new personal hero. I have talked with her for hours since Friday about the DOS and Christian/GLBT issues that society is faced with today. People like her give me hope for unity in diversity…something this world desperately needs. I have learned so much from her already and I’m hoping to join her in her cause.

    As a member of the GLBT community that was raised in the “Christian” faith that was very anti-homosexuality, I developed strong opposition for Christians as a whole because of it. Jordyne, over these few days since the DOS has changed these misconceived views and I fully respect what true Christianity is and stands for. I plan on working with Jordyne in her future endeavors to help tear down this misguided wall that has been built between the GLBT community and the Christian faith. My hope is that both side can come together with love and respect for one another.

  • Mary

    Chad,

    Your work is a shining example. Your message and voice are welcome amongst the usual clatter. Thank you for helping bridge the gap between gays and christians.

  • jayhuck

    Yes Chad – Its good to hear from you – Its been awhile :)

  • Ann

    Chad,

    Please include me in on what Mary and Jayhuck wrote to you – I share the same sentiments.

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    “Today I am pledging to be silent to bring attention to the name-calling, bullying and harassment experienced by LGBT students.

    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Luke 6:31

    As a follower of Christ, I believe that all people are created in the image of God and therefore deserve love and respect.”

    I think this is a formula we all can agree with. It doesn’t diminish the main theme that GLBT kids are subject to more harrassment than any other group: and it maintains a Christian message. It encourages the receiver to find out more about Christianity.

    You see, half of the church is screaming hate at them, and the other half is silent.

    I think it’s rather less than half screaming hate, but they make up for the numbers by the volume of their voices. And the number preaching against hate is so small as to escape notice. That’s the main problem, and the reason why so many GLBT people are turned away from Christianity.

    The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing. as Burke said.

  • Matt Beeman

    I am confused as to where in this response that the Christians indicated that they don’t support the LGBT lifestyle. I agree with everything that was said on the card, but it is what was not said that was the issue. Looking from the outside in, this would give me the impression that Christians are supportive of homosexuality.

  • Mary

    Matt,

    We support people in their right not to be violated against in violent and malicious ways. We support people to be loved and cared about regardless of their beliefs and sexual orientation. We serve those who are oppressed, less fortunate, and suffering. And yes, we support homosexuals because they are people – no less.

  • Lisa

    The way the day of silence was approached was wonderful! This effort is exciting, encouraging and hopeful …

    I agree that there are many wonderful spirit-filled Christians who happen to be gay. I have interviewed and met hundreds if not thousands of them over the past 2 years while working on my documentary, “For Such A Time As This”.

    I have also met and interviewed many wonderful ex-gays and ex-ex-gays and all the key players from “both sides” of “the divide” in for lack of a better word the “culture war” on this issue and unfortunately there is still a divide. I interviewed people from Love Won Out, Love in Action, Focus on the Family, Exodus, and I even interviewed Dr. Throckmorton and Chad Thompson. Hi guys! We have some of the founding members of Love in Action and Exodus. Kent Philpott, Frank Worthen and John Evans and Michael Bussee to name just a few.

    There are many people who are being a wonderful examples of Christ’s love to the gay community. I wish they had the loudest voices and we’re heard more often in the main stream .

    It is obvious to most followers of Christ that the greatest commandments are to Love God and to Love your “neighbor” as yourself. Simply put to ” Love one another!”

    My hope is that people can learn to agree to disagree if necesssary but treat each other with dignity Love and Respect at ALL times in ALL places with ALL People!

    We have been disagreeing about things within the body of Christ for a very long time…perhaps people are finally starting to “get it” and realize that our job is to love and meet people where they are . if God wants to “change” something or someone HE will be the one who facilitates it not us..I think it’s important as Christian’s to allow God be God …. then we might all be able to stop doing our best impressions of Him . It’s so easy to take other peoples inventory, isn’t it? I’ve been guilty of it myself ! ! I’m pretty sure we’re just supposed to invite ALL the people into God’s house and let him sort out everyone’s issue’s.

    Many Christians don’t seem to realize that by being exclusive and trying to pick and choose the members that we are in a sense “aborting souls” ( an extreme term but it seems appropriate) by turning people away and leaving them “outside” with the impression and the message that God “hates them” we are doing tremendous damage in the name of Christ. There is still a lot of “repair work” that needs to be done. This story is an example of the “repair work in progress” we all need to do our part.

    God is no respector of persons and if we are going to exclude “sinners” we might as well close up all the churches and go home. We’re all sinners…saved by Grace. When we start measuring other people’s “sin” we end up condemning and judging ourselves. Why is that not preached more often from the pulpit?

    Judge Not, lest WE be judged. I’m just hoping that we are in a time of a GREAT AWAKENING! Let’s hope so. It ok to reach out in love to the gay community , if I’m reading my bible correctly I believe we are commanded to reach out to everyone that way.

    Keep up the great work!

  • Mary

    Lisa,

    As a once gay activist and now ex gay – I am eager to watch your documentary. Leaving homosexuality did not include forgetting that gay people deserve respect. Becoming a christian did not make me a ranting right wing supporter. It made me a christian. You rock!!!

  • Eddy

    Lelia-

    How great of you to stop by and bring more of the story. Please come back.

    Lisa–

    Very well said. Thank you!

    Mary–

    I thought your response to Matt was a keeper. Well said and point made.

    Zoe–

    You said:

    I think it’s rather less than half screaming hate, but they make up for the numbers by the volume of their voices. And the number preaching against hate is so small as to escape notice.

    and I not only agree with you but I think you said it memorably!

  • jayhuck

    Lisa,

    Thank you so much for this acknowledgment of their existance – many gay and lesbian Christians will be thankful :)

    I agree that there are many wonderful spirit-filled Christians who happen to be gay.

  • Jordyne Krumroy

    Hi All,

    Thank you for your support. It’s nice to find that some people actually agree on something. It was extremely discouraging perparing for the DOS and trying to get christians involved. I felt very alone.

    Here is my question: what are we as individuals going to do from now until April 25, 2009? I am so thankful for what happened last friday, but I don’t want to have to wait until next year to do the same. Perhaps we can facilitate discussion on practical ways that we can love this community specifically more and more?

    It’s been fun reading all the comments! Don’t stop posting.

  • jayhuck

    Jordyne,

    I can’t think of anything as big as the DOS that you could take part in again, but my advice would be to just stay involved with the community. You could get involved in some of the other events hosted by the gay campus group? And I don’t mean to sound patronizing by saying this but just treat your gay neighbor as an equal, with love and respect – as you did when you participated in the DOS. There is nothing worse sometimes than a Christian on a mission, if you know what I mean :) If there are gay and lesbian Christian activities you might join in on those as well. I wish you well Jordyne. Thank you for all you did to help out at your school with the DOS this year :) :)

  • Lisa

    Lisa says:

    Jordyne and Jayhuck,

    I’m sure you have probably met many already but there are some pretty amazing people out there that I would love to introduce you to…

    There is so much happening…. “For Such A Time As This! This is a very special year and many of us our praying for HUGE break thru’s in the body of Christ and beyond. It’s beginning to happen! I believe people who are truly “connected” and are are listening to what the Spirit is saying to the churches will all be a part of this great awakening!

    It’s time. 40 years ago some very significant things began. During the Jesus movement an Evangelist by the name of Lonnie Frisbee baptised thousands in the Pacific Ocean and Calvary Chapel , the Vineyard and the church grew in leaps and bounds. During that time this country experienced a spiritual explosion. Perhaps we are on the brink of another one.

    Many came to the Lord during that time., Many people within conservative Christianity actually believed that Hippie’s couldn’t be saved . I’m reminded of the book of Act when folks didn’t believe gentiles could be saved. But the Holy Spirit was poured out on ALL flesh. And ALL means ALL! :) God is NO respecter of person’s. Jesus was inclusive and His favorite people have always been the “outcasts” they have become mine as well. There is nothing more refreshing than someone who is REAL, HUNGRY and AUTHENTIC.

    A few people I admired greatly believed as do I that the next great move of God will be among the gay community! ( Its happening!) But it won’t be church as usual…things need to change…hearts and minds need to open and be willing to accept that God is doing a NEW thing! Religion as usual just won’t cut it anymore! It doesn’t work and legalism kills people spirits. Grace is truly amazing and once you have tasted of God’s Grace you won’t want to be entangled again in a yoke of bondage.

    The harvest is ripe….The only thing we need to do is Love people right where they are …God will take care of the rest.

    It’s so simple that some folks will miss it but those who are called and are paying attention will realize we are living in a very exciting time in history. Walls will fall! They will come tumbling down in many people hearts and that is when real change will take place in people’s lives. But it won’t be as they may have expected…again God is doing a new thing.

    http://www.hopeunlimitedproductions.com

    I would love to talk with you at some point. I think we are sharing the same heart.

    God bless you.

    Lisa

  • http://www.collegejay.blogspot.com Jay

    Jordyne,

    1. You rock! I was really moved by your story and am really proud of the Cru. and IV members who got involved. It’s really awesome.

    2. This may sound weird, but I put your name in Facebook (it’s the thing for a college kid to do, people) and it turns out we have some mutual friends (I also go to one of the UNC colleges, and have friends at ASU). I was wondering if you minded if I added you? I want to learn from your experiences and see if I can do anything at my own college.

  • Jordyne Krumroy

    Hey Jay,

    Thats fine. lol.

    (did anyone see Lelia’s comment????!!!)

  • Mary

    Leila,

    I was raised in a liberal home and was a lesbian and now consider myself ex gay. I too have felt the “God hates you!” feeling from the church. But I am learning that there are some real heros (like the ones you’ve met) who are worth my friendship and investment. I am so glad that you were able to hear (through all the other muck) a real message of Christ. Sister – you belong to God and we are all in this together. Hope to hear more from you.

  • Lelia

    Thanks Jordyne for adding that in there, lol.

    I don’t think i can ever be ex-gay…I figured out my sexuality very young in life…it’s not about loving a specific gender…it’s about loving a person. if you wanted to label me, i would be bisexual but it’s not a liking boys and girls thing- i likelove people. I was raised in a very southern traditional southern baptist church(es) that really preached against homosexuality which led to me having strong negative feelings about Christianity. I didn’t, and still don’t, see why I’m so wrong for loving people. Going through my early teenage years I took a look at my faith/views and realized it wasn’t for me. I struggled with the idea with a god, and came to the firm belief that I would never honesty/truly know if there was or wasn’t a god until I in fact died. I then decided I would live my life to be the best moral, compassionate, loving, helping, altruistic, good person I could possibly be and that I should hope that if there is a god, he/she/it would see the life I led, or tried to lead and would judge me fairly. I don’t deny that there is a god, I just don’t honestly know, if that makes sense (I guess this is called being agnostic and not atheist ). With that said, I fully support anyone’s right to practice whatever religion they think is correct. I even support my friends and attend some of their religious gatherings/holidays/observations to gain a better knowledge of what is different than me (I’m a diversity nut! I love other cultures/ideas/beliefs that are different than my own). Sunday night I went to a Christian Church gathering with Jordyne (as a side note, I was pleasantly surprised by the people that were there and how nice & down to earth & accepting they were…just like Jordyne!) and last Monday I witnessed my first Jewish Passover Dinner was well, which I found to be very neat and informative. I hope sharing my background/beliefs/sexuality doesn’t offend anyone, ya’ll seem like a very open-minded and accepting group :)

    For being on the “other side of the fence”, I plan on helping Jordyne bring the Christian and GLBT communities together to develop peace, respect, love, and understanding amongst one another to end these bad feelings and misperceptions between the groups. I really appreciate the support you all have shown Jordyne and the GLBT community in respect that we are are people too and that we deserve no less than to be treated as a human. On a personal level, I’m finally seeing what a true Christian is and it makes my heart smile :)

    Peace, love, & all things good,

    Lelia

  • jayhuck

    Lelia,

    You are pretty awesome in your own right. Peace, love and all things good to you as well :)

  • Michael Bussee

    Eddy said: “Exodus doesn’t really have much, if any, presence in schools or colleges so I’m not exactly sure how they would participate.” Funny. They sure don’t have any trouble figuring out how to get involved in politics or support outrageous comments by the likes of Sally Kern.

    Here’s how: Next year, officially announce a “Golden Rule” approach and post it on the EXODUS website. Issue a press release. Then call and send letters to all EXODUS affiliates encouraging them to do something similar to what Jordyne has done. It would be easy. Will EXODUS do it? No.

    Jordyne: You said “It was extremely discouraging perparing for the DOS and trying to get christians involved. I felt very alone.” Try not to be discouraged. Christians often resist doing the right thing — the just and compassionate thing — especially when it comes to the “gay issue” They are worried that they might look like they are somehow supporting the “gay lifestyle”. They are complacent and/or frightened. God Bless you, Jordyne and don’t give up. I imagine Jesus felt very alone at times too.

  • Ann

    Michael,

    Could you call or write Exodus and make those suggestions and offer/extend yourself to them as a conduit to make it turn out just the way you suggested? After that effort has been made then you will know whether they will do it or not.

  • Jordan

    Ann, I think maybe all of us should write or call Exodus. Why just Michael? We should all let them know about The Golden Rule thing and tell them to do this instea d of the “Day of Truth”

  • Ann

    Jordan,

    Good idea and I believe that is already happening. Michael had some very valuable suggestions that he felt Exodus would not carry out. I felt if he shared those suggestions with them directly and helped them follow-through then he would know for sure whether they would do it or not. Perhaps he already has and I don’t know it.

  • Lisa

    Mike Bussee has been offering his suggestions, guidance and wisdom for several years now….Mikey, do you think they are listening and will you try again?

    We all keep hoping and praying for breakthroughs but they are coming slowly.

    Eventually it will happen but with who is the key. The leader who has the strength of character and moral conviction to do the right thing will be the hero. That person will set things in motion and help change things forever. But who will that BRAVE soul be? Or who will those Brave SOULS Be? People are looking for permission to do the right thing! It’s time to stop being sheep and following the wrong leaders!

    Politics and Religion DO NOT MIX. That is a toxic and dangerous cocktail. Someone will have to be willing to get back to the Gospel and put down their Political power and go up against the MACHINE. It is very much a David and Goliath story!

    My friend Micah Qualls is being intimidated by Mike Huckabee a former “pastor “and Vice President hopeful who was responsible for getting her fired. She is a Christian who exercised her first amendment rights and is being rail-roaded and called a liar by powerful people in office who “claim ” to be Christian. Actions speak louder than words. The story is going National today.

    We have been waiting on Alan for years to actually follow through with something he said he would do…It’s not happened yet. We continue to wait, pray and hold out hope. Perhaps it will be someone else who makes a lasting impression.

    I mean no disrespect but I do wonder if it will ever happen with the same group of people who have had the opportunity for years to do something hopeful and helpful. Perhaps a changing of the guard is in order?

    Wendy Gritter gave the best address EVER at an Exodus meeting and I spoke with Alan who was supportive behind the scenes, but did not want to commit as strongly publicly as he did quietly with several of us .

    Wendy is someone to watch and listen to…she has her heart and her mind in the right place. She seems to be hearing what the spirit is saying to the churches. It’s time to put down the rhetoric and the politics and open the church doors to everyone. We need not wait for those who want to remain where they are…

    Keep knocking! Keep Praying and Keep doing the right thing. Walk in love and do unto others! Love is the Answer! It’s as simple as that and when you err on the side of Love you will always end up in the right place.

  • Mary

    As we all know, many people read this blog who do not write in. I’d like to think that those at Exodus are reading this and will add a link for the Golden Rule Pledge to their website. And honestly – Alan chambers? Are you there – aren’t you tired of being the puppet? Can you start leading with the conviction that is on your heart instead of treading in still waters with fear? I’m not trying to be mean – just trying to understand why this should even be a consideration.

  • Ann

    Mike Bussee has been offering his suggestions, guidance and wisdom for several years now….Mikey, do you think they are listening and will you try again?

    Lisa,

    Thank you for pointing this out – I did not know this or the extent to which it had been done. From the responses I have seen and received I am really unsure about a lot of things now. It often seems to me that for some it is more important to be right than build bridges.

    Good luck with your documentary – it sounds really wonderful.

  • Michael Bussee

    Ann asked: “Could you call or write Exodus and make those suggestions and offer/extend yourself to them as a conduit to make it turn out just the way you suggested?”

    Ann, I have made suggestions and will continue to do so. I just do not believe EXODUS will do it. For example, inspired by Wendy Gritter, they said they would get out of politics (“mainly because God” directed them to) — and they haven’t done that. Alan Chambers said he wanted to “officially retire” confusing term “ex-gay” — and he hasn’t done that. Following the Berger and Schoenewolf debacles, Alan said he would dump NARTH “if they’re weren’t some big changes” — and he hasn’t done that.

    I know that Alan and others in leadership positions at EXODUS read this blog and other blogs regularly — even though they don’t comment very often. They are listening. It’s the doing that they seem to have trouble with.

    Another example: a couple of years ago, I noticed that the EXODUS web site had very strong statements about/against Hate Crime laws, but nothing about the hate itself. I began calling and emailing Alan Chambers — OK, I’ll admit it — I bugged him incessantly to adopt and post a clear and strong official anti-hate/anti-bullying/anti-violence policy.

    It took over a year — and did not happen until I threatened to tell an LA Times reporter that EXODUS was stalling. Then, what they did finally come up with with rather weak — and is still not posted prominently on the EXODUS homepage.

    So that is why I have little confidence that EXODUS will actually do something morally courageous related to the DOS — as Jordyne has done. It’s a resistance that I do not understand.

  • Mary

    Michael,

    I was just over at the EXODUS website and read the April 2008 letter from the president. Sad to say it was mostly about money and requests for donations. Nothing about Day of Silence, Day of Truth, or Golden Rule Pledge – all very big items in the month of April for those who are christian and/or gay. Everyone here – and those who are organizers – if you come up with a good plan where we can unite a strong and single message in some action – count me in.

  • Meryl

    Jordyne..

    WOW. I am so encouraged and excited to see the Lord at work through you. As Christians, there is such a tendancy to embrace and even hoard the love of Christ for ourselves, and offer others nothing but hate or indifference.

    I’m so excited to see someone I grew up with and worshiped with joining for a cause that is so worthwhile! Participating in the DOS through the Golden Rule Initiative has really opened up my eyes..

    Im proud of you, girl!

  • Ann

    Michael,

    Thanks so much for your response. I’m sorry that I do not know as much about Exodus and/or your efforts toward them as others do. I always try to be articulate and informed about what I write but even in my best efforts I can see from the responses on this and other subjects that I have failed and that is disheartening.

    I do understand your thoughts about Exodus and the reasons behind them now

  • Michael Bussee

    Mary: Why am I not surprised? This was another opportunity, another teaching moment completely missed by EXODUS. I checked Alan Chambers and Randy Thomas’ personal blogs and there’s nothing there either.

  • Michael Bussee

    I rechecked the EXODUS webpage. There is a press-release about the Day of Truth, which is described as “an opportunity for students to express an alternate view on homosexuality and to encourage a free exchange of ideas“. The DOT is also desribed as “an opportunity for students to express an alternate view on homosexuality and to encourage a free exchange of information on this issue and desperately needed answers beyond the culture’s hopeless, groundless ‘born-gay’ response.”

    Come on EXODUS! The Day of Silence was in no way an attempt to promote a “hopeless, groundless ‘born-gay’ response.” It’s about doing what is loving and just — something Jesus would do. The EXODUS press release says </nothing specific about anti-gay bullying, hatred or violence. That’s only hinted at by offering “a series of video and print resources that help Christian students to understand the facts about homosexuality and to demonstrate compassion towards their gay-identified peers.”

    Come on EXODUS. You can do better than that. Post Throckmorton’s Golden Rule Intiative on your website — and keep it there — taking a stand, boldly and specifically condemning anti-gay hatred and violence — not just peddling your videos and printed materials

  • Lisa

    Same old stuff different day…

  • Mary

    Oh boy! Why is it that these christian organizations always position themselves in opposition to others rather than in union with the spirit to serve others.

    EXODUS should have a tag line on their website:

    “We care. But we would care more if you wanted to change.”

  • Eddy

    Jordyne, Lelia:

    Please don’t be dismayed by the cynicism expressed here. Please don’t be misled by it either. You’ve probably never heard of Exodus and now you hear all this. Exodus is a loose-knit coalition of Christian ministries with specific concern for gays. It’s members are largely people who consider themselves ‘ex-gay’…most are living in a state of celibacy while a small number have moved on into heterosexual marriage. They regard homosexual behavior as sin yet recognize that it was God who reached out to them drawing them to salvation.

    I was a part of Exodus for more than a decade; Michael was one of its founders some 30 years ago. I still believe that the behavior is sin but I don’t see it as any bigger than any other sin; Michael no longer sees it as sin and, I believe, sees it as a gift. And we have other exciting (and challenging) mixes going on. So, things do get ‘snarky’ at times but, if you’ll notice the frequent commenters listings on the side bar, you’ll see evidence that we do we keep coming back. We’ve got that “Throck Connection”. (Which reminds me: Explore this site. There used to be an easy link to Warren’s music site. His band’s name is “Throckmorton“. If not there, I’m sure he’s on YouTube.)

    I think I just got a brilliant idea. One of you asked ‘what next?’ What about the possibility of your two groups (or members from both) meeting to draft an anti-bullying statement? Perhaps for inclusion in the student handbook–or as a sponsored ad in a student publication. And make it so good, that other schools and churches would see its simple truth and they’d start posting it too.

    If you like a sense of urgency, how about getting something together for the next edition of your campus newspaper: “Looking back at the Day Of Silence”. LOL! Campus Crusaders are probably as misunderstood as gay people are. Both groups could use the good press.

  • Ann

    Lelia,

    I also want to say how much I enjoyed your posts. I tried to write this earlier and echoed Jayhuck’s post to you but it didn’t go through. Anyway, my heart was full knowing the connection you and Joydyne made and how you want to work with each other to build this bridge and connect people. When you said that you realized what a true Christian was and it made your heart smile was one of the most important things I have ever heard and I find myself humbled because of it.

    Since my first post didn’t go through – let me echo Jayhuck’s sentiments that he wrote to you in post #98911 :-)

  • Ann

    p.s. – I meant to say Jordyne, not Joydyne :-)

  • http://www.scg-wakeupcall.blogspot.com Susan Gage

    This gives me hope. I have been writing at my own blog (www.scg-wakeupcall.blogspot.com) about the need for Christians and the LGBT community to put down the swords and beat them into plowshares, if you will. And mine is from the lesbian Christian perspective. Hats off to those CCfC students. You did a very important, and truly Christian act.

  • Michael Bussee

    Eddy said: “I still believe that the behavior is sin but I don’t see it as any bigger than any other sin; Michael no longer sees it as sin and, I believe, sees it as a gift.” Not quite. I see sexuality as a gift — like fire. It can warm or destroy. It all depends on how you use it. Sin is determined by the motivation of the heart, not by whether or not it appears on a list of do’s and don’ts. Man looks at the outward behavior. God sees the heart.

  • Regan DuCasse

    I concur Michael. I get Exodus’s newsletter/webpage too. You’re right about what is sin and what isn’t.

    Usually sin could be explained as EXCESS of things that are vital to our lives. Like eating. We must eat, but gluttony will have attendant results.

    Same as drinking wine or other alcohol. Excess will alter your behavior and competence and over a long period damage your body.

    There is sex, within a monogamous and mutually supportive relationship, and then there is promiscuity with all IT’S attendant risks and results and disconnection from the spirit of love.

  • Terence

    Excellent. :)

    Matt Beeman said:

    “I am confused as to where in this response that the Christians indicated that they don’t support the LGBT lifestyle. I agree with everything that was said on the card, but it is what was not said that was the issue. Looking from the outside in, this would give me the impression that Christians are supportive of homosexuality.”

    This is the sort of response I always find fascinating. Why do you think it is always necessary to tell people you don’t support their “lifestyle”? It’s quite an arrogant presupposition.

    You are assuming that every glbt person is having the sex you think is wrong. Why do you jump to this conclusion, and why is it any of your business to guess what people are doing in their own beds? There are many Christians who identify as gay but who remain celibate, and there are many other gay people who for whatever reasons are abstaining.

    Can’t you just love people unconditionally?

  • Jordyne

    Thank you Terence. It’s hard for people to love unconditionally when so much of the christian church still preaches a gospel of conditional love- obey God and he will love you. What if people discovered that God loves in spite of our sin? I think it could start something big.

  • mary

    Terrence,

    I think that most o=f the church does teach that God loves us nspite of our sin. Hmmm – let see if there is an example from the bible???

    Look…… David’s life.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    mary,

    To be fair…It is very rare to hear a message coming from the church about love that does not have a qualifier.

    THe church says that God loves us all in spite of our sin but it is ALWAYS included with a message of repentance. God loves you AND will forgive you IF you repent. The love seems more of a motivation for the forgiveness than anything that stands on its own.

    Eventually it becomes a subtext that God’s love is all about forgiveness. And if you aren’t willing to repent of that evil that I just know is in your heart, then God isn’t so very fond of you. So why should I be?

  • mary

    Timothy,

    I am not arguing that some pastors and churches drive home the fact that God hates you when you sin. That is not what the bible teaches us.

    I am driving home the idea that it is up to each christian to read the bible on their own and study like the Bereans to know what is the truth. Blaming a church or any other person that you learned that you were hated because of being gay – is folly on the person who does not read the bible and on the church who preaches it that horrible way.

    And, when you hear that, I implore people gay and straight to reprimand the pastor and suggest to him/her to review the life of David.

  • Lisa

    Thoughts in response to Ray Boltz coming out. How will the church respond to a man that has reached so many through his music and ministry. On Friday in the Washington Blade and also featured in ChristianityToday, Ray told the country about his 30 year struggle and decided to finally tell the truth and “come out of the closet”. He is not leaving God. He is divorced and his wife and family are supporting him in Love. It will be interesting to see how the body of Christ responds. Is this a deal breaker? Will God let go of Ray Boltz and all the others who did not make it all the way to straight?

  • mary

    The church that he belongs to is very clear on sexuality. He may not like the idea that people will not agree with him and call his choice to partake in homosexual sex as not sinful. This is not a deal breaker. Christians who interpret the bible’s message on homosexuality differently than those who say the bible reads it as acceptable will always have theological differences on this issue. However, the issue and theology that we are to treat eachother with respect does not seem to be changed. That is constant.

  • mary

    In addition, becoming straight is not the goal of becoming closer to God.

  • http://preacherzsonsbible.blogspot.com/ Jamie Burow

    Timothy and Mary,

    After reading your messages (see block quotes below), I don’t necessarily disagree with your assessments of how many churches disseminate their gospel message. But I’m curious: what is your vision of the relationship between repentance and God’s love? It appears to me that both themes seem to be present throughout the Old and New Testaments- perhaps you disagree that both themes exist…I don’t know what you think, but I’m fascinated.

    It’s my first post here, and I’m loving what I’m seeing. I’ll try to self-identify as an effort to be transparent. I consider myself to be a conservative evangelical Christian interested in expanding my knowledge of viewpoints that are different from my own. I lead a teen youth group at the church I attend and conscientiously look for ways more fairly present challenges about issues that I think the orthodox, evangelical church in general, and even our own Vineyard typically has wiffed on.

    I like to use knowledge from outside of my own realm to try to sharpen my apologetic, even though I suppose that apologetics is like a sport: it is life-changing for very few outside of those who participate directly in it; for the rest, it is merely entertainment. I hold some very strongly traditional and conservative views, and some that (I think) are less so. For example, on the issue of whether or not the Scriptures cast all homosexuality outside the pale of orthodoxy, I think that its possible but not probable that the Scriptures do not preclude monogamous committed homosexual relationships. I’m not comfortable enough to come out and say the Bible completely prohibits same-sex relationships. But I have an equal amount of discomfort portraying any Biblical sanctioning of homosexual relationships. However, I don’t know that it much matters since the Scriptures seem to indicate (to me) that salvation is largely a matter of one’s orientation towards and beliefs about Jesus’ being the integral component in establishing an active living relationship with God characterized as justified and sanctified as per the Epistles to the Romans and Ephesians. If that’s the case, then I’d rather forsake the ninety-nine and go after the one by forsaking the argument about whether or not the biblical writings endorse any form of homosexuality and dial in on pointing a person’s understanding towards Jesus’ basic requirements for a relationship with God.

    But, getting back to my original question: Since I do think that repentance is a key concept in the message, work, and salvific of Jesus, I hope both Timothy and Mary will comment on the life of David and how it informs of the relationship between repentance and God’s love because I recently heard an orthodox Jewish viewpoint on the David and Bathsheba story that absolved David of any wrongdoing. While those assertions are in direct opposition to everything I’ve ever been taught about the passage, and therefore were quite a shock to me, I was even more shocked when the short talk concluded with a teaching point that is completely harmonious with my Christian understanding of the story: that one lesson to be learned from the David & Bathsheba narrative is that a humble spirit and repentant heart are character traits valued by God.

    Since that talk gave me pause, I’m anxious to hear other takes on the same narrative and what understanding it contributes to the relationship between forgiveness and repentance themselves, as well as forgiveness and repentance and the GBLT disagreement within orthodox evangelical Christianity.

    To be fair…It is very rare to hear a message coming from the church about love that does not have a qualifier.

    The church says that God loves us all in spite of our sin but it is ALWAYS included with a message of repentance. God loves you AND will forgive you IF you repent. The love seems more of a motivation for the forgiveness than anything that stands on its own.

    Blaming a church or any other person that you learned that you were hated because of being gay – is folly on the person who does not read the bible and on the church who preaches it that horrible way.

    And, when you hear that, I implore people gay and straight to reprimand the pastor and suggest to him/her to review the life of David.

  • http://preacherzsonsbible.blogspot.com/ Jamie Burow

    …hmmm wish there were an edit button for grammatical errors…

    e.g. “conscientiously look for ways to more fairly present challenges”

    and probably others :)

  • mary

    Jamie,

    On repentance: All should inspect their lives for areas of sin. It is not up to me to call out others on what they need to do if their theology is not mine. I have enough to handle in dealing with my own life and areas of sin. Having said that, for the areas that I am unaware of, I am certain that God will either make me aware of them and at the very least continue to love me even though I am ignorant.

    If you want to talk to gay people who are christian and believe that being gay is acceptable to God then you may. I am not that person.

    Just for your info: I am ex gay/lesbian, after that I became a christian. What I have repented for is not of your concern.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Jamie,

    On the relationship between God’s love and repentance, I don’t think there is one.

    God loves his obedient children. God loves his rebel child who seems always to have to be asking for forgiveness. And God loves the athiest who defies God.

    Equally.

    And that is the part that we as humans have such difficulty with. We find it much easier to love those who do good to us and so we assume that this is also the nature of God. Surely God loves good people and is, well, not so fond of the evil ones.

    Few folks will come right out like the Phelps clan does and say “God hates Fags (or whoever they are protesting that day). But an awful lot of Christians will look at sinners and say, “God hates sin” with the very clear implication that the sinner himself isn’t far behind.

    And because “God hates sin” it gives far too many Chistians carte blanch to hate sin right along with him and consequently treat sinners as though they are inferior and not worthy of equal status in society. Which is, of course, a great irony because one of the most egregious sins – one which is in violation of Christ’s two commandments – is to treat others as though they are inferior.

    The grace of God is that he loves. And worthiness (or even a repentant heart) does not determine whether or not he loves.

    And God grieves as much to see mistreatment of vile sinners as he does to see mistreatment of the righteous. And for that we should ever be greatful.

  • Eddy

    Because God loves everybody–including the rebel and the atheist–is there anyone who won’t be spending eternity in Heaven? (I’m assuming those of us who identify as Christians share a belief in eternal life. But I was shocked recently to learn that many see death as the end of it all. Some others believe in Heaven but not Hell and the Catholics also had Limbo and Purgatory.)

    Anyway, eternal life is so much a part of my own definition of what it means to be Christian and I was taught–and still believe–that ongoing repentance when I’ve rebelled is a part of the ticket. I realize there are hordes of Christians who believe otherwise but I, personally, have not been able to shed this belief. It motivated my involvement with what’s come to be called ‘ex gay ministry’ in the first place. My own church and later, my bible school had public outreaches to bikers, drug addicts and users, bars and/or alcoholics, party crowds, nursing homes, hospitals, prostitutes, delinquents, neighborhoods, shopping malls…but they simply ignored gays…as if they’d abandoned all hope for them…as if they were all ‘already given over to destruction’.

    Always willing to confront hypocrisy head on, I first challenged my pastor about his sermons and later started a specialized evangelism team at my bible school. My primary message was that homosexuals have just as much right to all of the graces of God through Christ as any other sinner. (I don’t mean to offend, I’m trying to be true to my recollections of my earliest motivations and the belief that it was one sin among many was a major part of my message. …that is another belief I have not been able to shed.)

    But I’ve always tried to remain open to the possibility that I may be wrong. A number of times I referred clients to local gay congregations or support groups. They were all men who weren’t sure what they believed…and one or two who weren’t even sure if they believed–at all–even in God. I saw my role as only to keep their access to God open. Their hearts direction towards God was my major concern. (If they haven’t been convinced, as I have, that it’s a sin, then they aren’t necessarily rebelling or shutting their hearts to God when they act. It’s not my job to tell them what is and isn’t sin. I can tell them my beliefs and I can point them towards people who see it another way. But then, leave it between them and God.)

    In short, it’s not as black and white as some of the other issues mentioned in the Bible. That allows for many to be in an area where they are doing something that many wrongfully believe ranks 13 on a scale of 1 to 10…and yet, they are in an open-hearted relationship to God through Christ. They are repentant in as many areas as they have been convicted of by the Holy Spirit. (And, even if it is a sin, who among us didn’t have a sackfull of other sins God wanted to help us overcome. Did any among us have instant victory over all of them…all at once? So, then who are we to set God’s priorities in what He wants to work on first and how speedily He needs to work?)

  • mary

    Eddy,

    I pray for mercy for us all – his ways are not our ways. I cannot fathom what I cannot fathom. I am certain that I have some of it wrong.

  • Lisa

    Bravo Eddy!

    Ray Boltz came out on Friday and this was inspired in part by him and all the other people who have struggled and felt abandoned by the Church.

    None of us have all the answers but we are called to LOVE! I am clear on that one.

    To those who have doubted Gods love and lost their way and to those who are being called ..let’s welcome them all!

    I have been working on the documentary film, “For Such A Time As This,” for over two years and I have interviewed many of the key players on both sides of this major divide between evangelical churches and the gay community–including gay Christians. Homosexuality is the Pink Elephant in the sanctuary. The gay community has been excluded and exiled for far too long. It’s time we open the doors of our churches and our hearts and let ALL of God’s people IN!

    This is one of the most important issues we face today within the church, within human rights and equality for all. The Constitution declares that we are to be treated equally, God says that all men and women are created equal and yet we do not seem to be able to embrace it. The time has come to address this topic honestly and openly. People within the church who know better are afraid to speak out because they do not want to lose income and their family members or become church outcasts themselves. It is amazing what people are willing to do to remain a part of a group that is likely to abandon them if you happen to mention that you are gay. For many churches the only “acceptable gay” is one who has changed or one who is on their way to changing. You may stay if you play the game. If you don’t experience change, you just need to pretend you are or continue saying you are in “process”. That will buy you a little time. A few gay people say they changed, but many ex-gay programs are recommending celibacy because change is unlikely.

    A leading reparative therapist from a group called NARTH, The National Association of Reparative Therapist for Homosexualty told me in an interview that “you can slip or fall again and again and repent over and over and you will still be “one of us” but once you embrace a gay identity you are no longer “one of us.”

    Somehow in the view of many church goers the perceived “sin” of homosexuality is greater than any other! How did the gay community become such a great scape goat? And what happened to the fact that we are, according to the bible, ALL sinners who are saved by God’s Grace? If our sins are forgiven then why do we continue to bring them up over and over again and hold them against each other.

    Shame on all of us for participating in and perpetrating a fraud in God’s name. We seem unable or unwilling to recognize and admit the truth that has us in the condition we are today within this country and within our Churches,

    Comedian Margret Cho declares with poignant humor,”Wow, you’re being really mean!” Truer words were never spoken. When Christians are commonly viewed in this light, it’s time to wake up and do something differently. Margaret goes on to say that she wished “Jesus would come back and say, ‘That’s Not What I Meant.’”

    Synagogues, Mosques and many of our Faith communities must tell the truth. Telling the truth is a basic tenet and spiritual law expressed in every Religion and Faith.

    Christian truth teaches that the ground at the foot of the Cross is level. It also teaches that Christ died for ALL people. ALL means all. Everyone is welcome at the table. Although many followers of Christ are exclusive and some think they have arrived and can determine who gets in and who stays out of Heaven. I have some news….that is NOT our job. God is the Judge. We are commanded to Judge Not lest we be Judged ourselves. I am keenly aware that I too will be judged by God and I hope my heart is in the right place when He checks it out. From what I understand He looks at our hearts and determines who truly belongs to Him by the condition of it.

    While Christians police our Faith communities and each other to exclude entire groups or “types” of people we also spiritually harm and exclude valuable members of the family of God. Our greatest gift from God is Love. God really is Love. And when you have God in your heart you will reflect Love. NOT ANGER or FEAR or HATE but LOVE.

    Lisa Darden

    Filmmaker/Producer

    Hope Unlimited Productions, Inc.

    For Such A Time As This

  • mary

    Lisa,

    As an ex lesbian who is politically liberal, I await your documentary. Yes!! We are all equal at the foot of the cross. As much as I try to go to church – I cannot get passed the bigotry that lingers. It is changing – however slowly. I am floored my the hatred of christians. I am tired by the gays who cannot hear me because of the christians who have laid a deep foundation of hate before.

    Recently, I took a course on homosexuality and the church. I learned little. And nothing was mentioned about the mistreatment of gays by the christian community in recent times. I could feel the resentment – as if gays had taken over the country and someone was mad about it. Did anyone concern themselves with the violence perpetrated on gays in the name of “their” God? This was a paragraph at best by one student. And it is not a gay man or woman’s fault that they have been beaten. It is the fault of the person doing the beating. And this was not discussed.

  • Ann

    (And, even if it is a sin, who among us didn’t have a sackfull of other sins God wanted to help us overcome. Did any among us have instant victory over all of them…all at once? So, then who are we to set God’s priorities in what He wants to work on first and how speedily He needs to work?)

    Eddy,

    So well stated – thank you. When I came to realize that God’s timing is perfect and that mine was not, it made my whole life easier and put everything into perspective. I still refer to God’s questions to Job and it always confirms to me that if I did know what God’s plan was, would I be able to understand it – something tells me no and to just trust because His plan is much to awesome for me to understand.

  • Lisa

    Mary,

    Thanks for your HONESTY Mary! What you are saying is so critical.I hope people hear and really THINK about what you as an Ex-lesbian is saying. If I could turn up the volume and get this out to more people I would love it. People need to hear it in STEREO.

    Mary said in response to my blog above: : “As an EX- lesbian who is politically liberal. Yes!! We are all equal at the foot of the cross. As much as I try to go to church – I cannot get passed the bigotry that lingers. It is changing – however slowly. I am floored my the hatred of Christians. I am tired by the gays who cannot hear me because of the Christians who have laid a deep foundation of hate before.

    Can everybody read and hear that? Please for the love of God and HUMANITY Listen and read it again….. because It bares repeating!

    This is the set up folks and GUESS WHAT? Christians who are judgmental , unloving, unwelcoming and critical and are really good at quoting Scripture to people who are gay are alienating them from the Faith…I’m sorry , they are alienating them from JESUS! I believe those people who harm a little one and will not allow them to come to the Savior because of their own prejudice against them are in for a RUDE awakening! Perhaps they will be held even more accountable.

    What you are doing in essence is committing “Spiritual Abortion”. To ABORT means : To bring something or in this case someone or someone’s soul to an end at an early stage. In many cases people never reach out in the first place or cause the GLBT community to feel unwelcome and like second class citizens instead of the Children of God or fellow human beings that they are…. They are aborted and abandoned and left outside of the church in the gutters or in the trash behind the church building. Talk about a BLIND SPOT in the church. This is so bad that Lasix won’t help. This Blindness needs a miracle from the Master. It calls for AMAZING GRACE. I was BLIND but now I SEE!

    We as a church need to SEE the error in the mistreatment and exclusion of the GLBT community. It is a monumentally HUGE problem that needs to be addressed immediately. The PINK ELEPHANT is on it’s hind legs and is blowing its trunk in the middle of the sanctuary in order to get our attention. WAKE UP CHURCH!

    Gays are not ruining the family or the church…UNLOVING Christians are doing it All by themselves and teaching others to do the same in the name of God. WOW!

    The difference between a fundamentalist Christian with Hate in their heart and coming out of their mouths and a Fundamentalist Muslim with a bomb in their hands set to kill , steal and destroy is… Nothing. They both have Hate Not Love in their hearts. Sorry but it is the TRUTH, we need to deal with it. It’s mirror time. Anyone have a LOG in their own eye?

    ONE of the SINS of SODOM ( and this not gay theology, it is truth…ONE , I said ONE of of the SINS of SODOM was IN HOSPITALITY). Well Church are we Guilty as charged? Or not? After making this film and getting personally treated like trash by some of these “prominent ministries” and their leaders and after being threatened legally and lied to and gossiped about but never contacted personally by these leaders after I repeatedly reached out to them , I can say now that I know first hand what these people go through and how they are treated. Its not pretty , it is cold and cruel. And I thank God for allowing me to see it clearly. Perhaps that’s exactly what he wanted me to see…the TRUTH.

    The picture that was painted and that I have now of these ministries is a far cry from the ministries I admired in my Christian Youth. These places are full of bullies and self righteous judgmental people who are pretending to love God. Lesson # 1 in Discernment 101 – If you love God You will love your neighbor. Lesson #2 You will know that they are Christians by their Love~! Lesson # 3 You will know them by their fruit . I experienced little to NO LOVE from some of these people and I was lie to and about. When the camera was on they performed, behind the scenes they were merciless, controlling, manipulative and arrogant. I tried repeatedly to work with them and they made it incredibly difficult for me.

    The church owes an Apology to the gay community and needs to repent for the way they have treated this community. I would think the ex-gay community would have been greater advocates for the gay community , instead many of them ( no offense intended) have become some of the worst perpetrators of these crimes against humanity. Because the hate or disdain of their “former lives or selves” is so great that they forget the scriptural truth that says… there but for the Grace of God go I.

    It will take humble and loving people who refuse to participate in injustice to make a difference. I don’t care what you approve or don’t approve of I care what God thinks. Let him be the judge.

    Mary, tell the truth and do justice for people who have been mistreated. Go back in your heart and mind and imagine that it was you before you became ex-gay. How whould you treat Mary. Let’s all live by the Golden Rule and do unto other as we would have done unto us. And lets stop blogging about it and just flipping do it. That’s when things will change Faith is an action word,

    God bless you Mary and everyone else on here.

    Lisa

  • mary

    Lisa,

    Thanks for the agreement and encouragement.

    Becoming a christian never meant turning away from gays.

    You may ask Warren Throckmorton for my private e-mail.

  • mary

    P.S.

    I will not forget the poor treatment rec’d from the christian community. I want to be the person whom I would have liked to meet.

  • http://www.scg-wakeupcall.blogspot.com Susan

    Lisa, Mary and everyone,

    I have been interested and encouraged by reading your postings on this topic. I am a lesbian. I am a Christian. I do not apologize for either of those labels and I do not see them as inconsistent because they are simply who I am. Homosexuality is not a sin. The sin in any sexual orientation comes in how a person acts on their sexuality. If it is used to coerce someone into having sex who doesn’t want to, or have power over another person, or in any way disrespect the dignity of another, that is the sin. If the sexuality is expressed between consenting adults, and if it is coming from a place of love and respect that is not a sin.

    To read that there are evangelical Christians who are beginning to see the error of excluding people such as myself, and are trying to pave the road toward God…as opposed to setting up stumbling blocks in our path…that is “good news”.

    Lisa: so much of what you have said is what I have expressed on my own blog, and am doing what I can to find ways to knock down the barriers that have been erected in the median between Christianity (or any faith community) and people who are LGBT. The wounds are so deeply inflicted that finding forgiveness on both sides is a slow, long, hard and painful path. But the more people who will commit themselves to walking that path…the better our society will be. I really believe that.

    Mary: your journey is your own. I do not question it. Maybe you will serve as that bridge to understanding…without judgment….the truth that God really does love everyone, really wants us all to come home and discover that love for ourselves. And nothing…save for our unwillingness to believe….can separate us from that love.

    Thanks.

  • Ann

    Gays are not ruining the family or the church…UNLOVING Christians are doing it All by themselves and teaching others to do the same in the name of God. WOW!

    Hi Lisa,

    I am not sure if this is correct – there are many, many other religions and cultures all around the world that teach against homosexuality and yet it is the Christians who seem to get all the blame. Is this fair? Why don’t we ever talk about other religions and what they believe about this subject? Christianity is a relatively new religion compared to others who have had long term beliefs against homosexuality – perhaps we need to stop separating religious beliefs and look more toward human beliefs.

  • Lisa

    Mary and Susan,

    Thank you both for your heartfelt responses. We are ALL in this together. I don’t want to OVER Spiritualize this but TRUTH be told if change is to come and I believe it will , because it is inevitable we must work together. The US vs. THEM mentality is what got us ALL stuck here in the first place.

    It is HARD WORK and it is difficult to forgive people who have treated you so badly. People make a big deal ( Rightfully so) about the Catholic Priest abuse scandal but honestly the abuse perpetrated against the gay community by many Christians has been and is equally devastating and horrifying.

    Spiritually. I think if people could actually see and recognize the damage done (once again) in Christ’s name to the gay community and other “outcast” in our communities they would I hope and pray finally repent and start working towards welcoming and loving the people that have been so injured. But those people who were harmed may not trust you for awhile. Trust is built over time and with consistency..

    People need a new Revelation of God’s all encompassing Love. The box WE put God in is not HIS …it is OURS.

    There are people and churches that have already had this Revelation, and I believe it takes a Revelation from God to totally GET what The Spirit is saying to the churches.

    Many who read this will go into over drive and get defensive and will start playing COPS 4 CHRIST. Some will say it’s the end times and The “Homosexual Agenda” is running rampant and trying to infiltrate the Church. Christ is coming for a church with out spot or wrinkle. And I will say to you that FEAR is NOT from GOD.

    There were compounds in Waco and Ghana that believe they were the chosen one’s and were built on similar doctrine. It is easy to fall into a cult like mentality and view the world in an US vs. Them mentality. The problem is that you end up cutting your self off from God and other people when you are unable to Love. It is FEAR BASED FAITH not LOVE BASED FAITH. The God with the hammer whose ready to pounce and punish you is not the God we call Jesus Christ.

    There is a scripture I am using in the film and believe it is For Such A Time As This-

    It is: Isaiah 43:19 See I am doing something NEW. “Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? The Lord is doing something NEW. He is opening wells of life giving waters, which have been closed for many decades, (Genesis26:18) The Lord is also digging new wells (Genesis 26:19-33) He is giving us waters of new life that we have never had before. The Lord in His Mercy and by His power, is changing the spiritual landscape and climate.

    Forty years ago during the Jesus Movement- the Church had a hard time believing that Hippies could get saved. Drug Taking, Free loving, Crazy Long Haired Freaks and look what happened. What if Jesus uses the foolish things of the world to confound the “wise”…what if Jesus is planning to reach and use the gay community in this next move of God? We’re just about due for a WAVE of the Holy Spirit to hit.

    Heads up folks The Wave is coming. People get ready!

    He is looking for people with enlarged hearts filled with love and compassion to use to reach out. We MUST reach OUT! Do you know how many people feel that Gays are some of the most loving and compassionate people on the planet? We’ll that’s partially because they have SUFFERED so much. They have more in common with Christ than anyone gives them credit for….and we are all made in God’s image.

    God will not be mocked and God will have His way. We as the body of Christ can do one of two things- stay stuck and keep doing what we have been doing over and over again expecting a different result. Our man made effort and results never Glorify God. A good behavior modification program in any area of our lives does not bring Glory to God. It puffs me UP and and encourages me to tell you how good I am, at least I’m not like THOSE people. Oh DO NOT BE DECIEVED DEAR BRETHREN- You are just like THOSE people and you may actually be worse off.

    It does not matter how good, how pure, righteous or “Holy” WE THINK we may be…because God says our righteousness is as filthy rags, None of us are righteous, none of us are worthy…the only thing, the only person who makes us worthy is Christ. His death in place of ours. That’s HUGE and that is where it starts and where IT WAS FINISHED.

    When we start telling the TRUTH to ourselves, to God and to others we begin to set ourselves free and we help to set others free.

    A lie told for Christ is still a lie. The basics are this…no need for a concordance or a theologian to step in here….Christ died for your sins and He wants to have a relationship with you. You are forgiven for ALL of your SINS, WHATEVER THEY MAY BE. Yesterdays, Today’s, and tomorrows. Now which is easier? To say your sins are forgiven you or stand up and walk? When Jesus said, Go and Sin no more to the woman at the well, do you think she ever sinned again? Do you think she was perfect from that moment on? And if she sinned was it over for her? I don’t think so…the gay community is a RIPE harvest field and God wants HIS KIDS back. If you exclude them you are in danger of excluding yourself.

    Yes God loves us enough to not leave us in the same condition we came, CHANGE is a bi-product and assured when you start a relationship with God. But only God knows what He wants to do and change in someone’s life and we all need to work out our own salvation. God’s plan for one may not be His plan for another but we can still make room for each other at the foot of the cross. It is there that we are all EQUAL in God’s eyes.

    How do you respond, how do I respond? It’s simple and it’s a four letter word- in

    LOVE!

  • Ann

    It does not matter how good, how pure, righteous or “Holy” WE THINK we may be…because God says our righteousness is as filthy rags

    Lisa,

    When you use the word “we”, who do you mean?

  • Lisa

    Ann,

    I agree whole heartedly with you! And you are RIGHT! Christianity is relatively new in comparison. Just as:

    ” Synagogues, Mosques and many of our Faith communities must tell the truth. Telling the truth is a basic tenet and spiritual law expressed in every Religion and Faith”.

    It is also true that that many of those religions and others teach against homosexuality. And those people in those cultures deal with similar issues, but the consequence are usually more severe.

    I’m focusing on Christianity basically in my film and here because most of us are Christians. I have enough on my plate with this one right now. I didn’t and don’t have the time to devote to ALL of the other religions at least not now. Maybe that will be another documentary. But hopefully someone else will do it because…this would be TOO hard to do again. After this is done I will work on a TV series to finish up telling peoples stories but I really want to work on a comedy. I would love to laugh again. This has bee way too serious.

    I love to laugh and this has been no laughing matter.

    I appreciate your thoughts and response Ann and I agree but I’m not focused at the moment as BROADLY on the other religions as intently as Christianity. I am a Christian and I actually do make the same room in my life and heart for all the people of other faiths that I believe we should make room for Gays. God died for ALL and He included everyone…there are people of different faiths who will be included in the projects. That’s important. This gets even more involved as you know and I don’t want to get into lengthy discussions on the blog and into scripture battles because no one wins and I have to finish this film. Please pray that God shines through as I attempt to get out of his way. I shared here because I needed to process. And there are people on here who know who I am and what I am doing and hopefully they will try to work with me and not against me. I will pray for them and I hope they will pray for me. I have to go back to work. God Bless and…

    Thanks 4 letting me vent!

    Lisa

  • Lisa

    P.S

    And…….

    YES HUMANITY, ANN ! IT IS ABOUT HUMANITY! I meant tomention humanity as a whole but forgot …thanks for covering it.

    I Whole heartedly concur. with you Brilliant.

    Lisa

  • Lisa

    We Human beings, we Christians, we who ever. Perhaps I should have said I?

  • ken

    Ann asked in post 127795:

    here are many, many other religions and cultures all around the world that teach against homosexuality and yet it is the Christians who seem to get all the blame. Is this fair? Why don’t we ever talk about other religions and what they believe about this subject?

    Because in most of the western world, Christians have been the one’s using their religious to suppress gays.

    Further christian colonizers (ex. England) subverted indigenous peoples indifference towards gays to intolerance towards them.

  • Ann

    Because in most of the western world, Christians have been the one’s using their religious to suppress gays.

    And as one of the newer religions, where did they learn this from? What was their foundation?

  • Ann

    Lisa,

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful posts – you clarified everything and I am grateful for your open mind and heart and for being willing to understand what I was asking and to answer the questions as thoughtfully as you did. Please let me know if I can help you in any way regarding your projects.

  • ken

    Ann asked in post 127838:

    And as one of the newer religions, where did they learn this from?

    According to the christians it is because god told them.

    What was their foundation?

    the christian bible, sometimes referred to as “the word of god”

  • Ann

    Ken,

    Thanks for your answers – here are more questions.

    Are you saying that Christians, on their own, learned this? It is my understanding that they learned this from the old testament and the laws that were given to the Jews in Leviticus. Jesus was an observant Jew and therefore I think would have learned and believed this law as well. When you say the “Christian Bible” – are you referring to the New Testament?

  • Eddy

    Lisa,

    While I agree with much of what you say, some of it baffles me. In the paragraph that starts about SODOM, you mention “getting personally treated like trash by some of these “prominent ministries” and their leaders” but “never contacted personally by these leaders”. Did you mean ‘never’ after a certain point?

    I believe it is the next two paragraphs that concern me most. I realize that you saw and experienced a lot but are you aware that you’ve now set yourself up as judge. You declared that these people are only pretending to love God. (I’ll amend my Bible to say that only God and Lisa know a man’s heart.) You declared the ministries to be full of bullies and self righteous people. I guess I need to ask how many ministries and how many of their people did you have contact with…for how long and under what circumstances?

    You later went on to accuse the ex-gays of being ‘some of the worst perpetrators of these crimes against humanity.’ And once again your inner judge was even able to judge why. “Because the hate or disdain of their “former lives or selves” is so great that they forget the scriptural truth that says… there but for the Grace of God go I.” I’m not sure if your references were switching between leaders and ex-gays in general. (I may still be hung up on the ‘personally never contacted’ part. I keep wondering how you can KNOW all this when the rest of your dialogue seems to indicate that most everything was going on behind your back.)

    I think it’s dangerous (and just as bad as what ‘they’ are doing) to say that your proof that they are pretending their love for God is that you have not witnessed their love for their neighbor. I’ll grant that that’s a pretty big issue but I’d never presume that God wasn’t speaking to them in that area and that they weren’t listening. LOL. If they’re as self-righteous as many of us believe, God will have His hands full opening their eyes. What if He has chosen first to help them see what it means to really love their family…or their neighbor in the pew…or the new pastor…or that annoying person they run into every Sunday? And, tragically, what if God’s planned way of showing them that many gays are a part of the family is for them to witness the real thing, Christ’s genuine love, as expressed through a gay person? Insisting that ‘they started it’ and ‘it’s up to them to make the first move’ is compelling on the playground but It lacks something in the real adult world.

    I’d also like to suggest that there could be other reasons why you ‘didn’t feel the love’. I recall declining your offer to be interviewed mainly because I had my hands rather full. Perhaps it was your zeal for your project but my reaction was ‘she seems a bit pushy for my tastes’. That engaged my cautious mode. And yes, it’s hard to communicate love through that; most of us settle for respect.

    Although I’m connected to a number of Exodus people, I heard no gossip about you. One friend said that she couldn’t put her finger on it but that she just didn’t trust you. I asked her opinion and that’s all I got. Gossip would have gone much farther.

    Please realize that a number of us that were or are a part of the ex-gay movement have been lied to, misrepresented and otherwise maligned by members of the gay community and the media. I’ll grant that sometimes it was deserved…but not always. The cautions do run high. And all of that is just to make the point that we’ve got issues on BOTH sides of this thing that God is still at work on.

  • ken

    Ann asked in post 127871:

    Are you saying that Christians, on their own, learned this

    I don’t care where they learned it. Nearly 2000 years later it is irrelevant where they learned it. You asked why christians get so much blame for their religious intolerance towards gays. I told you, because christians were responsible for spreading this intolerance (and even hatred) of gays through-out the western world, not jews. So your attempts to find a way to blame it on the jews isn’t going to work, and I’m not going to waste anymore time going down that pointless tangent.

    When you say the “Christian Bible” – are you referring to the New Testament?

    When I refer to the christian bible, I mean the whole thing, old and new testaments.

  • mary

    Ken,

    I’m wondering – do you mean all christians? Are all gays bad people? Are sll Muslims bad people? Are all dogs vicious?

    No. However, it has been the fashion of many christians to mistreat others – but certainly not all.

    Where it is learned – (sorry Ann) seems irrelevant to me. Basically, there are good people, there are bad people, and there are people who are sometimes good and sometimes bad – which is most of us. We’re evil because evil does exist. And we’re good because good exists. This is not from any religion. Some people just use their religion as an excuse to be mean to other people. You could put the book of all good things in their hand and some people will corrupt it – it does not matter what name you give them.

  • Eddy

    Ken–

    It seems that Ann asked a question and then you assumed what her motives were for asking. I don’t think she was trying to build a case against any one people group but rather to discuss groups–other than the conservative Christians–who are also part of this way of thinking.

    I could be wrong but that’s how it seemed to me. Knowing Ann from this blogsite, I have a hard time imagining her trying to pin any blame for any thing on any one person or group.

  • Ann

    So your attempts to find a way to blame it on the jews isn’t going to work, and I’m not going to waste anymore time going down that pointless tangent.

    Ken,

    You continue to overstep civilized boundaries – please heed your own words and waste no more time on a subject you appear to have such a limited knowledge of. Shalom

    Eddy,

    Thanks – I think you know that if there was anyone who has defended the Jewish religion on this board, it has been me.

  • Evan

    Ken wrote

    christians were responsible for spreading this intolerance (and even hatred) of gays through-out the western world

    This sounds plausible, but can it be proven? Intolerance is not the property of any one religion. You overestimate the influence of average people’s beliefs on their behaviours. Belief is housed in conscience, but it’s based on deeper motivations. People change beliefs, but they remain tolerant or intolerant, depending on other variables. I have my own opinion on this. I made an argument here for how other factors can underlie people’s homophobic attitudes, regardless of their religious beliefs. This quote summarises the argument:

    I don’t think this is just an equation of faith versus sexual identity, although I do not deny that most people might put it that way when they get vocal or public about it. When people get confrontational about what they hate in society, they can make use of their most sacred values in order to force their opponents either to come up with equally good reasons for their behaviour or to deny those beliefs and make themselves look bad. I also think people’s anger can be sparked by the fears they have and exposure to what they do not want to see in the public space. Most people are not dogmatic, they have common emotions like you and me. That’s why I believe it has more to do with their own emotions about other people’s declared sexual identity than with church dogma. Time will tell, I stand by my argument that people manipulate their beliefs against people they cannot abide. That’s why there are religious people who, although they recognise that church dogma prohibits same-sex behaviour, they have no problem with gay people as individuals. These are people who are secure enough to deal with people of different assumed sexual identity, their faith does not dictate them to harbour hate.

  • Lisa

    Hi Eddy,

    First of all Eddy, I do not recall ever talking with you or asking you for an interview and if I did when was it? I asked another woman who posted here a very long time ago…in 2006 who will remain nameless but that was at Mike Bussee and Warren Throckmorton’s leading and suggestion. I only conversed with her via email and she was not nice. She knew nothing about me and she actually attacked me via email. It was a very negative experience and one that cautioned me. If you know me or have talked to me and have something to say to me then I am one of the most approachable and open people and am willing to talk and listen. If I offend or do or say something out of bounds or inappropriate I’m quick to apologize and actually mean it. I try to encourage people to talk to each other and work things out. I am always willing to dialogue if it is sincere and productive.

    I don’t have your phone number and I did not contact you because I didn’t know much about you and did not feel led to contact you. No offense I just didn’t. I had plenty on my plate and did not need more people. Mike told me about you later on and I have read you here…did I emailed you 2 or so years ago or something? I do not remember a conversation with you. I keep track of everyone who has been contacted and or included in the project. You name is not on my list and I don’t recall you. If I emailed you , it was probably because Michael Bussee may have suggested it but I don’t believe I ever did. I have been overwhelmed and you have mentioned before on this blog that you turned me down for an interview and I would like to make it clear for the record that you were not contacted for the project.. You do not know me so please do not give people the impression that you do. That has bothered me. I don’t appreciate it.

    If your source is the same person I mentioned above with no name, she has never met me either or spoken with me personally over the phone. She came to conclusions that she had no grounds for…this is what is so frustrating about all of this…I really probably should have vented to myself or a friend not here but I did it purposely in a sense to say we need to stop hurting each other. It is counter productive. I always believed if you were open and honest it was a good thing.

    I have met hundreds if not 1000’s of people on both sides of this divide. I interviewed key people in the history of the ex-gay movement. There are some people I still have contact with in the ex-gay ministries and I want to make something really clear, I consider them friends. John Paulk, John Smid, Kristin Johnson, Mary @ Where Grace Abounds, Wendy Gritter, and there are others I will not mention but they know who they are…we have had wonderful and productive dialogues and they know that I have no intention of being unfair in the film. I will be honest and balanced and I am including myself in the examination. I have to take the logs out of my own eyes and take a good long look at myself too! That’s what this process has been about. And YES- BOTH sides get it WRONG and actually in a sense end up cancelling each other out and rendering themselves ineffective…depending on what their goals are in all of this…

    I apologize if I came off in a judgmental way myself. I will look at that and knock it off. I’m no better than anyone else and I do not have ANY desire to sit in another glass house on the hill of self – righteousness. BIG TURN OFF. So thank you Eddy for pointing that out to me. You did me a great favor- Thank you.

    There are people on both sides that I have great respect for and Love, there are people on both sides that I have very little to no respect for and still Love because I’m commanded to Love them by God. I don’t like them very much but that’s life.

    This is a small circle of people and it is very much a game of insider baseball. Everybody knows each other but many people have never met on the opposite side’s. They all talk about, write about and go on TV and argue about or to each other but have NEVER gotten to know each other as people. It’s US vs Them in all its glory or rather all it’s ugliness! It’s gotten old. I’m exhausted by it and tired of talking about it. This for me was an exorcism. Getting it OUT of my system.

    That’s what I do. I try to talk it out and move on.

    One of the reasons I took on this film other than because it was calling, was in order to help bring healing and reconciliation and to help facilitate and encourage people to stop talking about each other and start talking to each other instead.

    I have not nor did I ever intend to do an unfair representation of the ex-gay ministries. This is not another One Nation Under God. As was the rumor that has gone around. I have it from very good sources. I do have love and respect for many of the people on both sides. I have people who are connected to the same people you are and they were the ones who let me know what was going on. I do have friends in ex-gay ministry. I’m not out to hurt or harm anyone and if I came off in a negative way then I repent and apologize.

    “I am keenly aware that I too will be judged by God and I hope my heart is in the right place when He checks it out. From what I understand He looks at our hearts and determines who truly belongs to Him by the condition of it”.

    People who know me…know why this project is taking soooo long to complete …it is because I am walking on a very fine line and balancing it all is very difficult. People are ULTRA sensitive and one word or a paragraph can set them off and in motion towards an attack.. This has been incredibly difficult. We are dealing with YEARS of bad blood a, hurt feelings and things that have yet to be dealt with properly. There are still a lot of open wounds on both side.Both side have played a part . You can’r fight without an opponent and someone needs to engage you in order to keep it going..this particular battle has been going on since 1973.

    In this film I took on the 3 things that your not supposed to talk about at the dinner table or in mixed company. Faith/Religion-Sex-& Politics. You need to be called to this because if your not you are foolish to get involved. It’s intense and it can get down right dirt and very mean spirited. I have seen it on a level most people are fortunate enough to never witness. But the more you know the more responsible you are….I pray for wisdon daily. I have heard the pleas of people who have asked me to be kind to people who were unkind to me…I think you will be surprised in the end when the project is finished. I know who I am ultimately accountable to..

    I agree WHOLE HEARTDLY AGREE that BOTH SIDES have been getting wrong and if I came off in a negative way or manner I sincerely apologize. Its been a long road for many of us. I started back in the late 80’s early 90’s and I happened to know and be friends with people who were instrumental in starting the ex-gay ministries. I have a tremendous amount of history archived. First hand not through something I read from one side or the other but from the people who lived it. It’s been hard for everyone. I hope it’s getting close to a time of healing. We need to end the War. I know it’s complex but I also know it’s much more simple than people realize.

    We all get it wrong sometimes. We are human. But we can try to do better and get it right this time. If I am going to err …it will be on the side of Love.

    Peace to all!

    Lisa

  • mary

    Lisa,

    Interupting here, I am so glad someone is willing to step in and dialogue. Thanks again.

  • ken

    Mary asked in post 127904:

    I’m wondering – do you mean all christians?

    No

    Are all gays bad people?

    No.

    Are sll Muslims bad people?

    No.

    Are all dogs vicious?

    No.

  • mary

    Some of those were rhetorical – however, since you answered it shows there is still hope.

    There is good in the world and it can be found almost anywhere. Sorry to say, there is also bad. And gays have suffered tremendously at the hands of bad people.

  • ken

    Evan asked in post 127933:

    This sounds plausible, but can it be proven?

    What is it that you are looking for proof of? that christians are responsible for the laws and moral codes of the western world? That the christian religion has been historically (throughout the last 1000 years at least) intolerant of gays? that they spread their values and moral codes through-out the lands they conquered? that these moral codes are based on their religious beliefs?

  • Ann

    I’m focusing on Christianity basically in my film and here because most of us are Christians.

    Lisa,

    I understand and am still wondering if your emphasis on Christianity is excluding a much larger majority of people who are currently part of the problem and could potentially be part of the solution. I know I am not anything like the Christians you described on your earlier post. We have to be careful not to sterotype, which I know you are careful not to do. Christianity, as a religion, seems to be getting more blame than they are actually responsible for. Individuals, not religions, are responsible for the ongoing contention. Rick Warren cannot be compared to Fred Phelps, yet they both identify as Christians. Opinions and teachings against homosexual acts was around a lot longer than Christianity and yet it is Christianity that gets blamed. Most Muslims and Jews and Sikhs teach against homosexual acts yet they are never talked about. This is wrong in my opinion. If we do not address individuals of all religions and cultures as being both part of the problem and potentially part of the solution, then our views are limited and our anger is mis-directed, which I feel is unfair and certainly not conducive to reconciliation. We have to be mindful that we are not doing unto others what we say we do not want done to others.

  • Lisa

    Ann,

    I could not agree with you more. And I have been thinking a lot about all of the things you mentioned myself lately. I am in post production on the film and am trying to figure some things out and it may be a very good idea to include some of these things: But I am also time challenged with this particular project. (Re: the length of the film).

    Ann said:

    Christianity, as a religion, seems to be getting more blame than they are actually responsible for. Individuals, not religions, are responsible for the ongoing contention. Rick Warren cannot be compared to Fred Phelps, yet they both identify as Christians. Opinions and teachings against homosexual acts was around a lot longer than Christianity and yet it is Christianity that gets blamed. Most Muslims and Jews and Sikhs teach against homosexual acts yet they are never talked about. This is wrong in my opinion. If we do not address individuals of all religions and cultures as being both part of the problem and potentially part of the solution, then our views are limited and our anger is mis-directed, which I feel is unfair and certainly not conducive to reconciliation. We have to be mindful that we are not doing unto others what we say we do not want done to others”

    If i’m not careful this film will end up being 20 hours long! I will have to nutshell it all . But I do think its important to be broader and more far reaching.But I am focusing on this issue in the film. I can make more but this is the topic for this one.

    So I will be thinking and praying about all of it.

    Just so you know the primary focus of this particular project: And the questions posed:

    The film Poster says:

    Is reconciliation Between Evangelical Christians

    and The Gay Community Possible?

    “Across a Chasm at it’s widest divide their lies

    a bridge of Hope”

    For Such A Time As This

    I’m asking if reconciliation is possible and we are dealing with Ex-gays and Christians who happen to be gay. With other folks sprinkled in to make points and observations from both sides.

    Thanks for you input!

    Lisa

  • Ann

    Lisa,

    Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help with the project as well as my previous offer to volunteer in any way you might need with any other projects.

    Thank you for all you are doing – may it bless and heal many.

  • Ann

    “Across a Chasm at it’s widest divide their lies

    a bridge of Hope”

    Lisa,

    I know this might sound trivial but make sure “their” is spelled like this – “there”

  • Evan

    Ken,

    You’re barely scratching the surface of the issue with that. If a researcher wants to get to the bottom of why people reject and have been rejecting “gays” (or men who had sex with men or gender atypical men in the past), long before Christianity came into being, one has to look for something that is in people themselves, not in the beliefs that have a certain historical existence.

    Do people hate sadists? No, they don’t hate them, because no one identifies one on the street by the way they dress, look or act, and the size effect would be too small to be perceived as a threat. Also, people have nothing against other people’s private behaviours that they cannot understand and do not affect them directly. In this case, it’s the type of behaviours that they can understand but which disturbs them that makes people hate. A heterosexual man who is attracted to effeminate young men may hate gays because he is attracted to a type of men who are usually viewed as very likely to be gay. A mother of boys may hate gays because it’s a form of defensive aggression in response to a perceived threat. Another instinctual behaviour is to harass the psychologically weaker men in order to feel one’s power by making another one feel it or to discharge feelings of anger and stress. That has nothing to do with Christianity, with dogmas or beliefs, because ordinary people don’t really live, feel or behave by the letter of dogmas (one can check the big numbers in statistics on cheating behaviours among both men and women). That kind of conscious justification to hate, based on beliefs, if any, comes after someone already experienced anger in relation to behaviour he felt would disrupt his own balance, whether it’s about one’s behaviour, or it’s related to one’s close relatives, like family or children.

    Our culture presents the world as ordered because beliefs are therapeutic to people’s imbalances and uncertainties, especially the ones related to gender and sex, a most basic layer of being. Gender segregation has been a mainstay of most societies, not only Christian majoritarian ones. That has a lot to do with creating the sense of belonging or displacement in the realm of gender and the development of sexual orientation, which no one would ascribe entirely to biology.

    Christianity is not “the enemy” in this situation, this is a misguided diagnostic, it’s people’s insecurity that gets translated into outward aggression projected on men who are perceived to be psychologically more vulnerable. If gay men were only very masculine fellas without having the characteristic proneness to stress, people would have had as much drive to harass them as they would with mobsters or with other less vulnerable types who are into marginal behaviours.

  • ken

    To be clear Evan,

    I’m not talking about why Joe Sixpack may hate gays. I’m talking about institutionalized bigotry towards gays. Bigotry enforced through laws and moral codes. Laws and moral codes influenced and spread by the christian religion. Do you seriously believe christianity had no significant influence on attitudes towards gays?

    And do you believe all (or most) gay men are effeminate?

  • Evan

    Ken,

    Who supports and creates the institutional side you mentioned? What are their primary motives, insecurities, socially negociated and accepted roles? If people made laws because that’s what their religion told them, why are there religious tolerance and freedom of conscience in your society? Isn’t a religion an exclusive worldview which tries to keep its position in society? I think that what people hate is not simply learned. I mentioned this argument before and I’ll repeat it here: in Communist states people were learned to hate people from capitalistic states, they had descriptions which would help their identification by vices, leisure activities preference, appearance, and so on. But still, most people from those countries hated those who tried to learn them that – the dictators and their oppressive apparatus, while they tried to flee the countries or to obtain goods from the capitalist countries. After the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, no one had any problem in relating to foreigners from capitalist countries, because the ideologically motivated social conditioning never actually functioned. So being told everyday what to believe in and what to hate doesn’t simply work regardless of what is being taught and to whom.

    Do you seriously believe christianity had no significant influence on attitudes towards gays?

    I’m sure it did to a great extent in very dogmatic people, but I think that the feelings of hate cannot be instilled like that, without any support in the nature of haters. It doesn’t hold.

    And do you believe all (or most) gay men are effeminate?

    Research says so using objective methods, but no one knows precisely what the reality is in feelings, behaviours and physical traits among the much larger ranks of the non-participating and non-responding individuals. Researchers prefer using the more technical and less offensive term of “sex atypicality” when they study effeminacy among gays. Probably most men who have been only attracted to men are sex atypical, but not all gays are exclusively homosexual in their attractions.

  • Eddy

    Evan–

    I read a post of yours recently on another thread where you apologized for your clumsiness with the English language. LOL. Most of the time, your command of our language actually exceeds ours. A personal treat for me is how your comments cut through our Americanisms. Thanks for becoming a regular here.

    Lisa–

    I’m skimming post karaoke but I did take note of your comments re whether you and I had previous connections. If i didn’t lose any of my inbox storage when I sweitched computers, it seems I confused you with someone else who approached me to be part of a ‘project;. Even now I’m not sure. I have very little exposure to these topics off the blog; the blog is what drew me ‘out of retirement’ so to speak…so I still can’t figure out how your name is more familiar to me than the only other person in my inbox archives.who could fit that bill….but, I am a compulsive saver. If you and I had dialogued via e-mail. it would be somewhere. I’ve searched a bit and haven’t found it. I’m terribly embarrassed because I’ve apparently confused you with this other person but also in wonder–why on earth didn’t you bring this up before? Isn’t it clear how much I want an open and honest dialogue. It doesn’t bother me if you tell me I’m mistaken in my recollections. I’m as human as the rest of the bloggers here. (My best guess: the other person’s contact of me coincides witth the time you were embracing your study. That also coincided with my ‘coming out of retirement’ and blogging here. Your name must have surfaced here on the blogsite a time or two and I began confusing you with this other woman. I’m terribly sorry! The only bright note is that I only had that one line even about the person I confused you with; regarding you, I evidently heard nothing.

    I’ll read more of the comments tomorrow but this one, about my error of confusing you with another, needed to be acknowledged immediately. Once again, I apologize. I hope you’ll forgive me.

  • Jayhuck

    Evan,

    “Probably most men who have been only attracted to men are sex atypical, but not all gays are exclusively homosexual in their attractions.”

    That is really just an assumption you are making, isn’t it Evan? And what is sex atypicality anyway? What are “typical” behaviors for a certain sex? Do we really have well-defined definitions? I think we probably don’t – although I’m sure the studies that have been done have tried to do just that. Straight men come in all types: from sensitive, to somewhat effeminate, to what we might call stereotypically masculine – I see no reason that gay men wouldn’t also run the same gamut :)

  • Jayhuck

    Evan,

    I think history has shown us the dark side of religion – how it can and has been used to create prejudice and hate towards particular groups of people from African Americans to Gay people. I don’t think the problem exists only with Christianity, but it would be ludicrous to suggest that religion, and even Christianity, has played no part in the hatred and or bigotry that is often directed at gay people and other minority groups. I think most Christians worth their salt would own up to this and I believe many today are trying to change that fact.

  • Jayhuck

    Evan,

    “but not all gays are exclusively homosexual in their attractions.”

    In the same way that not all people who identify as *straight* are exclusively heterosexual in their attractions. We seem to abhor the use of the word bisexual – or perhaps its because the word itself is so hard to define. When does one move from being bisexual to predominately gay or straight?

  • Evan

    Eddy,

    Thanks. It’s great to hear that from a native speaker. I remember last year you said on a topic here that you used to study vocabulary and semantics. That makes your appreciation even more valuable.

    A personal treat for me is how your comments cut through our Americanisms.

    What went on in your country on the issues we discuss here had a great influence in other parts of the world too, so I think it’s important to get involved in the debate and provide a perspective from outside the US. I hope it’s useful for the people (t)here too.

    Thanks for becoming a regular here.

    I guess it’s become a bit of an addiction, but I can handle it. Thanks, again.

  • Evan

    Jayhuck wrote

    And what is sex atypicality anyway? What are “typical” behaviors for a certain sex? Do we really have well-defined definitions?

    There’s a whole line of research on that, starting from the Bem Sex Role Inventory in the 70’s. In August this year, a group of researchers from China published a paper on the reliability of the Child Play Behavior and Activity Questionnaire, which is the most recent tool used to assess sex atypicality. It’s based on extensive research and observations of child play behaviour and socialisation. Each boy or girl must score on a number of items and based on that a number of scales can be generated to assess typicality, based on factor analysis. These studies used samples of hundreds of children and they found the questionnaire to be a reliable instrument in order to measure gender typicality and atypicality.

  • Lisa

    Eddy,

    FORGIVEN. Thank you for acknowledging that you had confused me with someone else. I had a feeling that’s what happened. Thank you very much.

    Too err- Is Human….to admit it is Divine ( Ok I took liberty with that …:) it fit…

    Actually to Forgive is also divine.

    I’m thrilled you “came out of retirement” LOL in order to dialogue. It’s fantastic and I applaud you.

    I also want to say after a good nights sleep: That we all have the right to choose and to say that all ex-gays have cause damage or harmed people is not what I believe.

    The quote that concerned you about ex-gays being in such contempt or hating their former selves so much that they harmed others was not my own quote it was a from some ex-gays themselves and some ex-ex-gay themselves who had come to that conclusion.

    I also know that there are ex-gays who are sincere and who feel they have been transformed. My hope for all people is that they are happy and at peace in their lives and their journey is their own on both sides. I believe our job as friends, family members, Christians, Jew, Muslims, Hindus or what ever is to treat each other with dignity, love and respect at all time and in all places.

    Bringing us back full circle to the point of this particular blog. The Golden Rule.

    If we can get that down and walk in love with each other …we will change and the world will change.

    Thanks Eddy for your apology, it means a lot to me. If you want to talk further we can do it privately. Mike B has my email and so does Warren.

    Mary- I will get yours from Warren. You can get mine from him too.

    Ann, Their is spelled There- thank you…..long nights. I’m tired. sometimes I misspell when sleepy! :)

    Peace,

    Lisa

  • Evan

    Jayhuck wrote:

    I think history has shown us the dark side of religion – how it can and has been used to create prejudice and hate towards particular groups of people from African Americans to Gay people. I don’t think the problem exists only with Christianity, but it would be ludicrous to suggest that religion, and even Christianity, has played no part in the hatred and or bigotry that is often directed at gay people and other minority groups. I think most Christians worth their salt would own up to this and I believe many today are trying to change that fact.

    You said “used.” That was my argument, that people manipulate majoritarian beliefs to serve their own dark agendas. They need higher reasons to justify the hate they already have for other people. I don’t remember one Christian tenet which says you must hate someone. Once again, I don’t think hate can be conditioned by teaching, unless it builds on a certain need inside individuals to project their insecurity on the people who disrupt the society model. I provided one very robust example which was practised on a mass scale in Eastern European countries during Communism and it didn’t work. You cannot condition someone to hate another category unless this builds on a particular need of that individual.

  • Jayhuck

    Evan,

    I absolutely agree with you. Religion is only a tool that people are able to use as a reason for hating others – the problem occurs when religious people see this happening and do nothing about it – in affect supporting its misuse by their silence. This has happened and continues too happen to often.

    Regarding sex-atypicality – what I was trying to get at is there doesn’t seem to be a well-established definition for this term. It sounds like there have been several studies – indeed a “whole line of research on that”, but I’ve yet to hear a standard definition. And when I brought up the subject, I wasn’t talking about children, I was thinking more about adults. Does the sex-atypical behavior carry over into adulthood? Are gay people, AS ADULTS, really more sex-atypical than other adults? I still have no idea what sex-atypical means – although I’m sure each individual study has had to define that term for itself in order to be able to measure it. If we’re only talking about gay people that have taken part in a study, that can’t and shouldn’t be extrapolated to speak for gay people as a whole.

    My personal opinion is that defining sex-atypicality – regarding behaviors in adults – must be difficult if not impossible judging from the broad range of behaviors one sees in just the straight community – effeminacy to “masculinity” – whatever those terms mean? :)

  • Ann

    Jayhuck,

    It is good to see you are still open to discussing/questioning terms and definitions and how they can be interpretated differently.

  • Jayhuck

    Absolutely Ann – although there is still a necessity in certain situations to have things well defined – such as in scientific studies – but on the whole, I’ve always believed that people generally view or define the same words slightly to much more differently than others :)

  • Evan

    Jayhuck wrote:

    In the same way that not all people who identify as *straight* are exclusively heterosexual in their attractions.

    It could be, but I haven’t heard straight people talking about that. On the contrary, I read some people who identified as gay were turned on by some females. It fits one of my hypotheses on the link between attractions and (in)security: that gay men must be attracted to smaller females who are also shier than they are. If I had a lab, I’d prove it.

    We seem to abhor the use of the word bisexual – or perhaps its because the word itself is so hard to define. When does one move from being bisexual to predominately gay or straight?

    Rieger tried to find purely bisexual men and he failed. He concluded that men who define themselves as bisexuals have predominantly homosexual patterns of arousal. But I’m sure that those men had bisexual behaviours to convince themselves that they can still have sex with women. However, the science on this stuff is looking for orientation, for that robust physiological response to one sex or to both. So far it didn’t find a significant equally strong response to both sexes in men. But then, again, as we understand more about gender I’m sure we’ll have different perspectives on how attractions work in relation to individuals who are more or less typical for their sex. Attractions probably vary by objects too, not only by the attracted individual.

    I don’t know about the last question. If someone grows up in a typical way until adulthood and then he lives on an island for a number of years, does that affect his perception of genders? It’s too bad no one asked Alexander Selkirk, the guy who was left stranded for more than four years on a Pacific island. One’s sense of gender depends on regular group interaction with same-gender peers. I’m thinking that some men might decide to go gay because they were rejected by both straight men and women, so they take a sort of revenge on “breeders” by leading an intense sexual lifestyle that could never be matched by hetero sexuality. Others may have a physical preference for rougher types of sex. But judging by the failed attempts some made to change their orientation, I think there are also gays who cannot get aroused or feel good about having sex with women.

  • Ann

    I believe our job as friends, family members, Christians, Jew, Muslims, Hindus or what ever is to treat each other with dignity, love and respect at all time and in all places.

    Lisa,

    Very, very cool! We must all remember humans were created before religions and if we focus on humanity and all the commonalities of THAT, then religious organizations might have a completely different way of interacting with people, without losing their basic beliefs. We were all born human, however we choose our religion.

  • Evan

    Jayhuck,

    I see you’re having a lot of fun debating this… Yes, the research on gender typicality is very relevant to adult typicality. Actually it’s one of the most reliable predictors of adult orientation. Adults too have been studied for their recreational interests and occupations and their behaviours were rated for their typicality. It’s never an absolute measure, but on average it does show that most gay men are more atypical than not. As I said earlier, since not all gays are gay for the same reason, I expect research to find overlapping ranges of typicality and atypicality among gays and straights.

    I’ll stop the off-topic debate here.

  • Jayhuck

    Evan,

    I think you’re missing my point. I still don’t understand what the definition of sex typical is. No one on here, including yourself, has been able to deliver a definition of “typical” for me. Outside of scientific studies I don’t think its possible to define the term – and judging by all the atypical types of behavior I see among self-identified straight people, I don’t think its fair or accurate to impose the term onto gay people – outside of said studies that is :)

    It could be, but I haven’t heard straight people talking about that.

    But I have Evan. I don’t know if its because I’m gay and they felt comfortable around me or not, but many of my “straight” friends have confided about their same-sex attractions to me.

    Rieger tried to find purely bisexual men and he failed. He concluded that men who define themselves as bisexuals have predominantly homosexual patterns of arousal.

    Rieger is only ONE man with ONE study – surely you of all people realize this is not definitive? I’m not sure what is meant by a purely bisexual man, but I know many men who are attracted to and sleep with both sexes. I think its doubly hard in America to find people who will identify as bisexual because it is such a dirty word in a sense – bisexuals remain outcasts from both same sex and opposite sex groups to a large extent – not to mention in America, men are conditioned NOT to express their feelings, not to be in touch with them, and if they are, not to speak about them publicly – which MAY be why I have meant straight men who will talk to me about their same sex feelings, but may not ever share them with anyone else.

    There are really too many questions left unanswered to say anything for certain, but I do know people who are true bisexuals and not the “bi now gay later” kind (as we used to call them) :)

  • Jayhuck

    As I said earlier, since not all gays are gay for the same reason

    Just to be fair – the same thing can be said of self-identified straight people :)

  • Jayhuck

    WebMD has an interesting critique on the study by Rieger concerning homosexuality:

    Bisexual study criticisms

    I didn’t realize that Rieger was a friend and associate of Michael Bailey – the author of a few studies that we’ve been talking about.

  • Jayhuck

    Sorry – I meant BISEXUALITY – Freudian slip???? 😉

  • Jayhuck

    Ugh – I can’t seem to type today. Let me try re-posting the link to that article with the bisexual study criticisms:

    Criticisms

  • Jayhuck

    Hmmm – well, I apparently can’t post the link to the article – It won’t work for some reason. The article is by Daniel DeNoon and it is on Medscape – anyone who is interested can find it by Googling Rieger AND bisexual. It brings up some interesting points – I didn’t realize the sample size on the bisexual study was so small.

  • Ann

    which MAY be why I have meant straight men who will talk to me about their same sex feelings, but may not ever share them with anyone else

    Jayhuck,

    I thought you and many others on this board have said if someone has same sex feelings, then they are gay and cannot be straight. That is different from what you said in the above post. Can one identify as straight, as you just have noted, and still have same sex feelings that they confide to someone they trust or do they have to announce they are gay so as not to be hypocritical as has been the concern/complaint from most of the gay community?

  • mary

    Ann,

    I have had similar experiences. A man I was dating a few weeks ago admitted to me that he had same sex sex when he was a teen. Once when he had hitch hiked and another time down at the beach. To him it was just sex and nothing else. He never made a big deal about it. He went on to marry, has several children, and dates only women. I am inclined to believe that sex is just sex and we put far too much meaning into it. Really, if a person can have orgasm while being raped, while using a vibrator, while dreaming, while …? anything – then it just goes to show us that our bodies can be stimulated in just about any circumstance. What we choose – who and how we mate or partner up is that – what we choose. And some people really do choose an S&M lifestyle, or Chrisitan lifestyle, or whatever…

  • Evan

    Eddy,

    I’m not as good as you think with my English. Look, here’s one big blooper:

    in Communist states people were learned [sic] to hate people from capitalistic states, they had descriptions which would help their identification by vices, leisure activities preference, appearance, and so on. But still, most people from those countries hated those who tried to learn [sic] them that –

    :) Boy, do I write fast!

  • Ann

    Mary,

    I agree with you – my post was mainly to question the inconsistency I perceived in Jayhuck’s post rather than question the validity of whether any person can have same gender attractions at various times in their life and not have to identify as such for a lifetime.

  • mary

    Yes, Ann. My post was in support of you.

  • Eddy

    Evan–

    Don’t worry about the detour…most of the revived discussion has been off-topic to some degree. I enjoyed the atypicality debate. I appreciate your insights. One point of clarification: when you referenced ‘sex atypicality’ did you mean ‘gender atypicality’? (We tend to use the words ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ interchangeably but they aren’t fully synonymous…sometimes I need to ask to make sure I’m grasping the correct picture.)

    BTW: In one of his responses to you re the definition of atypicality, I believe he used the phrase ‘stereotypical masculine’. Can you find a way to define sex-atypicality by comparison and contrast with the concept of ‘stereotypical masculine’?

    Lisa–

    Thanks!

    Ann, Mary, Lisa, Evan–

    I still think we’re missing that discussion of where–besides religion–do we find (or have we historically found) an aversive response to homosexuality or homosexuals. I’m personally aware through my life experience that much anti-gay bigotry is perpetrated by those who are totally unchurched. …I’m thinking of those bars or clubs where gays might fear to go as one example. If those we fear had moral upbringing, somehow they managed to shake off the admonishments re drink, drugs, casual sex while holding onto homophobia. It seems its just too simplified to simply blame it on the church–or religious groups in general, whether Christian or otherwise.

    In short, there’s a whole lot of homophobia and anti-gay bigotry that exists outside the confines of religion, where’s that rooted? Where does that get it’s energy?

  • mary

    Eddy,

    Most of the bigotry I have personally experienced was from people who claimed to be christians but were not well read – versed – in the bible. They would do a pcik and choose and overlook entire chapters, books, etc or Paul’s on grace. Still in my own church there are those who overlook the pastors sermon and go right to their own bigotry (that is present day experiences) However, since the pastor has a kinder understanding, I appreciate my church on the whole.

    I do remember the church from my youth and it was unkind. Very legalistic, very condemning w/o understanding. We know so much more today than we did in the past about sexual development, how childhood experiences shape our impressions , desires, needs, unmet needs, and how genetic coding works. We have also advanced in our clinical practices in treating clients with drug addictions, sexual problems, communication, depression etc… And some ministries are changing. I doubt you will still find a group that practices ECT and aversion therapy. Unfortunately, there are still ministries that teach that you can pray and God will deliver you – that’s code for change you. God might not change you. Paul had a thorn in his flesh – I don’t know what it was. However, that is not tha call – IMHO. We can change and how much is anyone’s guess. It’s different for everyone – again IMHO.

  • mary

    Ooops, outside the church – most everyone who claimed to be hateful towards gays regardless of location – claimed a religious background. But I tend to think that they like I have claimed a relgious background to support an idea or feeling but the bible did not really support the behavior.

  • Evan

    Eddy,

    I’m ok with the detour if it proves fruitful in some way. If offtopic debate is heated, that’s because there really is something there to debate. On the issue of terms: The interchangeable terms are ‘sex atypicality’ and ‘gender nonconformity’, but I’ve also come across ‘gender atypicality’ and ‘gender nonconformism.’ Generally speaking it defines individual behaviour which is not characteristic for one’s sex group in gender terms. The strongest evidence for the concept comes from studies on childhood behaviour, focusing on the degree to which a child conforms to gender roles, such as they are reflected in playmates preference, toy and activity preference, role play and others. The consensus among scientists is that childhood gender nonconformity, or sex atypicality, predicts future homosexual orientation. However, there are degrees of sex atypicality which are assessed using inventories or special questionnaires, it’s never a quality that someone either has it or not. A friend of mine hates soccer — we call it football in Europe — but he’s very interested in other sports and he actually practised a number of them. In my country, he is very atypical, because more than 90% of men are all eyes and ears on football, whether it’s local, national or international, but he’s typical in all other aspects. I used to be a local football fan when we had some great teams over here, but everything’s gone commercial and it’s no longer the game as much as publicity and corruption scandals. I prefer watching the tournaments from stronger championships, like those from Italy, Spain and England. They’ve got great players, they basically collect the greatest talents from many countries and the teams are well welded.

    On sex and gender: Sex is a biological category, whereas gender builds on sex differences, extending well into socially constructed roles. When someone is atypical for their sex category, researchers call them either ‘sex atypical’ or ‘gender nonconforming’, because it reflects a departure in gender behaviour from one’s sex group. It’s always about gender, but the terms relate differently either to a group defined according to biological sex or to typical behaviour in gender terms inside the same sex group.

    Stereotypical masculinity refers to attitudes, behaviours and sometimes values which epitomise masculinity. This one is more cultural than biological, actually it’s a reflection, because cultures have different ways of processing their expectations in relation to the male sex. They get into widespread stories, images, the whole media thing we see right now and people can judge their identity against them, sometimes very harshly. Identity is what we are and are not, but want to be. It’s reassuring, but it has a seed of conflict in it. This says a lot about stereotypes that reflect some of the typicalities which can be found on average in most men, and which can steam a lot of energy to conform and become a full member of the club. To answer your question, stereotypes are stories about typicality, socially transmitted templates. ‘Sex atypicality’ and ‘gender nonconformity’ are scientific terms that somehow got spilt in the media, as the debate about sexual orientation moved in that area too. But these terms reflect something which is based on scientific methodology, behaviour studies, surveys, statistical computations. They are not guided by hearsay or impressions, like stereotypes.

    I think stereotypes evolve, sometimes in ways you would have never expected. Right now, for instance, it’s very trendy for boys to wear the coolest perfume and be very fashion-wise in order to impress girls. In fact, this is a must: when I go out, girls check out my shoes first. Some of this stuff was not so typical until now, I think. So, it looks like stereotypes change and will continue to do so in very unexpected ways.

  • Evan

    Jayhuck,

    Hell, yes, I can’t to define the term to your satisfaction. Please indulge in this paper, written by professionals. The term is scientific, after all. I don’t see why I should try to make it fit into a crosswords definition. :)

  • Evan

    I meant, ‘I can’t define’. I can write faster than I think sometimes or I think slower than I write… One of those.

    On the bisexuality topic, you could write a letter to Gerulf Rieger (gerulf@northwestern.edu) and tell him you know people who are bisexual, ie equally attracted to and aroused by both sexes at any given time. The guy is gay, so I don’t think he has any bias against this orientation. Usually, the work being done in the Bailey lab is replicated by themselves before it gets published, because they don’t want to come up with flukes.

  • Evan

    Jayhuck,

    Sexual orientation is what makes you “crazy” about some members of one sex. THere’s something inside which makes this go into one direction in men. Some men may be able to go against their primary orientation and have sex with members of their own or the other sex if they try, but that won’t make them bisexual.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Folks, please take discussions about causes, atypicality, etc. to one of many threads on causes.

  • Jayhuck

    Evan,

    It doesn’t mean they aren’t bisexual either –

    As for “The consensus among scientists is that childhood gender nonconformity, or sex atypicality, predicts future homosexual orientation.” – this may be true but it only deals with those particular children who display gender nonconformity – it doesn’t say that all or most gay adults were gender non-conforming kids, just that most gender non-conforming kids became gay adults

    Eddy,

    “In short, there’s a whole lot of homophobia and anti-gay bigotry that exists outside the confines of religion, where’s that rooted? Where does that get it’s energy?”

    That’s absolutely true – religion doesn’t have a monopoly on prejudice and bigotry, but it sure exists and flourishes there – to the point at times that attempts to exterminate whole groups of people were born out of religion – including Christianity. It would be interesting to know about the prejudice OUTSIDE religion though – or even to know how much religion can and sometimes does influence even the “unchurched”.

    We can take this discussion to another thread if you like, but we probably shouldn’t continue it here.

  • Jayhuck

    I will write him a letter – Thanks Evan. Don’t assume that just because someone is gay that they aren’t prejudiced against bisexuals – as I said in an earlier post, bisexuals are often ostracized from both straight AND gay camps. I’ve seen a good deal of bisexual prejudice in the gay community

  • Jayhuck

    Evan,

    Sorry – can’t even take my own advice – That 1995 study to which you linked above, does talk about atypicality, but I’m having a hard time seeing where they defined the term. The study also contains several caveats that anyone discussing this subject should be aware of. I’ve only given it a quick glance but I’ll go back later today and review the study again.

    Where should we move this conversation?

  • Eddy

    I’m thinking that discussion of prejudice and anti-gay bigotry probably is a pretty good fit with this actual topic.of the Day of Silence.

    I can see where the discussion of atypicality ought to be moved, though. My bad for reopening that one. I was thinking that perhaps intolerance of atypicality would tie in to this thread but I concede that we’re a long way from that point if it does exist.

  • Jayhuck

    I agree with you though Eddy – Intolerance of Atypicality WOULD fit on this thread – I’d wager that atypical behaviors are what can and do cause some of the prejudice and bigotry people face at times – People seem to fear those things that are different, that are not part of what we consider “the norm”, and I think most prejudice and bigotry are born out of fear.

  • Evan

    Looking back at the discussion, I have to admit that I broached this subject of atypicality when I provided an explanation for why would people hate gays, based on primary feelings rather than beliefs. Whatever way some interpret the Christian message inside or outside the tradition on the subject of sexuality, I think the feelings which lead to expressing hate cannot be really instilled by religious beliefs, unless they build on something which is already there. Actually, the prevailing message in Christianism is unconditioned love from God and how that love should model people’s conduct towards others. Why would then some Christians choose to emphasise the unaccepting attitude rather than the loving one, even if that means it’s not up to them to pass judgment but to offer love so that no one could claim they did not get a fair treatment in a life that depends a lot on other people’s behaviours? Couldn’t rejected and marginalised people, because of their sexuality (or their implied sexuality based on how typical they are perceived as adults or have been perceived during their early life by their peers), claim that their life was also the result of other people’s behaviours?

    It’s a question worth asking, keeping in mind that environmental factors might play an important part in people’s sexual development, whether it’s earlier or later. I’ve recently read the story of the man who is presumed to have been responsible for the train accident that happened in your country, I think somewhere around LA. According to the news story, which was probably given a dramatic tint, this was a guy who lived most of his life alone, had one partner who had AIDS and committed suicide at some point, he had only two older people who talked to him, and was interested in very few things, like trains and dogs. This sounds like the guy had a problem either with anxiety or avoidant personality. It makes one wonder, especially if you’re familiar with the studies on sexual orientation and mental health, whether his lifestyle was not to a degree the product of society’s persistent attitude towards people like him. Sexual orientation, whether declared or implied, is what sociologists call a master status category, the type of status that can determine other people’s primary attitude towards one person. There are accounts which document that sex atypical kids have been subjected to harassment during childhood and I suspect that many of them continue to have problems during adulthood too.

    Now, all these dots are connected somehow: the brain studies which show greater activation in the area responsible with fear and anxiety, the mental health studies which say that homosexuals are more affected by some types of disorders and to a greater extent than heterosexuals, the studies which document childhood sex atypicality to be a significant predictor of adult same-sex sexual orientation, and lots of other studies on substance abuse, addictions, sexual behaviour and partner stability. They all point to some common causes, whether they are biologically rooted or a combination of how some people’s predispositions work in a given environment. I think society must take note of that in an unbiased and non-advocating way by means of education. Christian people could be a great vector for this kind of change in attitude, which should focus less on “what do we gain from this” and more on “what is our mission.”

    In support of this idea that homophobic attitudes might be generated by people’s fear of their own sexual response, I remember there was one study on college men who had their sexual responses measured on seeing same-sex pornographic materials. I googled my brain, but I don’t remember where I read this one. I remember that researchers found a correlation between expressed homophobic attitude and sexual response discordant for one’s declared heterosexual orientation. Michael Bailey had some reservations on the methodology used and on the validity of the study before being replicated, but it’s one interesting avenue for research to investigate. It could provide some empirical support for this idea that religious beliefs may not be at the root of attitudes to sexual orientations.

  • Ann

    Jayhuck,

    Do you think someone who others, as well as themselves, identify as straight can also have same sex attractions and/or feelings? If so, do they then have to identify themselves as gay or bisexual so as not to seem hypocritical to the gay community? Please refer to #128184.

  • http://preacherzsonsbible.blogspot.com/ Jamie Burow

    Evan & Jayhuck-

    Fantastic sidebar! I think introducing quantifiable research into this debate is completely relevant in that much of the ebb and flow of the debating relies on anecdotal evidence. It is difficult to come to informed fact-based opinions without standardized reproducible data.

    Evan, can you post some links to the research or journals in which it is found?

    What is the operational definition of “sexually typical/atypical” from the studies? I’ve read a few summary articles about sex (M/F) and play styles- stuff like little boys crash trucks and are more competitive while little girls initiate more cooperative play, etc. Is that what is referenced when the study defines “sexually typical/atypical” profiles? Also, was the study of children outside of the American culture?

    Evan, Jayhuck, and everyone else pondering the origins of anti-homosexual behavior/ideology/feelings-

    Has anyone ever postulated that any of the cross-cultural manifestations of rejecting homosexuality as a mainstream lifestyle are social expressions of the evolutionary prime directive: procreate to achieve genetic (individually) and/or species (universally) survival?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Jamie – I appreciate your comment but can you all please take this to the current thread on Collins and his comments? This thread is not about causal factors.

  • http://preacherzsonsbible.blogspot.com/ Jamie Burow

    Evan-

    Couldn’t rejected and marginalised people, because of their sexuality (or their implied sexuality based on how typical they are perceived as adults or have been perceived during their early life by their peers), claim that their life was also the result of other people’s behaviours?

    I don’t think that line of reasoning would be viewed with favor within the homosexual community. I believe it would be seen as an extension of the “your gay because someone/something broke you” type of reasoning.

    Warren-

    I’m a little confused about what you mean by “causal factors.” I presume you believe I am positing questions about causal factors/theories of homosexuality. I think I may have miscommunicated (or I’m not grasping the subject matter of the conversation…duh.) I intended my question to address factors contributing towards attitudes towards homosexuality, not the causal theories of homosexuality itself.

    It seemed to me much of this discussion had been dedicated to bridging the divide between the traditional religious and religious homosexual community through an attempt to explore the various factors that motivate the religious community to often exhibit a strong message of exclusion to the homosexual community. I thought Evan’s and Jayhuck’s contributions raised interesting possibilities and ways to look at the underpinnings of the divide:

    That religion may not fit the bill as the prime mover for anti-homosexual sentiment.

    That world attitudes of exclusion toward the homosexual community may be more behaviorally based than sociologically based.

    That exclusion originating in the religious community towards homosexuals may be the product of processes beyond the belief system of the religiously active. I thought it might be an interesting way to understand the prolonging/stalemate of the theological side of the debate.

    However, I may not be tracking the conversation as clearly as I perceived myself to be. If that is the case, sorry to have posted in the wrong section.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/ Warren

    Jamie – Forgive me, attitudes toward homosexuality clearly are relevant to this thread. Feel free to continue…

  • http://preacherzsonsbible.blogspot.com/ Jamie Burow

    No problem, Warren. I’ll try to communicate more clearly in the future. Thanks for the opportunity to participate; I’m finding this blog immensely valuable in that the opinions and discourse presented seem much less dogmatic than the discussions on the “flagship” Ex-Gay, Pro-Gay, and Evangelical LGBT sites.

  • Lisa

    This is a great dialogue! This is how things change.

    I spent the day with Ray Boltz today who “came out” on Friday in the Washington Blade. I also met Joey who wrote the article. Joey is Christian and gay himself.

    We interviewed and I filmed the entire concert that Ray gave at Washington MCC

    I am happy to report that the Spirit was alive and well in the sanctuary and God was praised.

    It was amazing experience and Ray is one of the sweetest and most sincere Christian men I’ve been privileged to meet and interview for the Doc I’m working on “For Such A Time As This”

    I wish everyone on here and within the Christian community and the ex-gay community could have been there. It was truly moving. I will post the concert at some point so people can experience it for themselves.

    Ray has a whole new mission field and it was incredible to see the Spirit working so mightily through Him. God still has BIG plans for Ray Boltz !

    Peace to all-

    Lisa @ Hope Unlimited Productions, Inc.

  • Evan

    Jamie Burow,

    Others concerned,

    Here are two studies which document the link between homophobia and sexual arousal to same-sex stimuli in heterosexually identified men:

    –Adams, Henry E; Wright, Lester W.; Lohr, Bethany A. – Is Homophobia Associated With Homosexual Arousal?, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 1996, Vol. 105, No. 3, 440-5. Link to study.

    –Bernat, Jeffrey A.; Calhoun, Karen S.; Adams, Henry E.; Zeichner, Amos, Homophobia and physical aggression toward homosexual and heterosexual individuals, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 2001 Feb Vol 110(1) 179-187. APA link.

    These references provide some empirical support to the idea that other psychological springs than beliefs prompt homophobic attitudes. I’ve been arguing in favour in this idea for some time on this blog, but I was not aware that actually the idea is quite old culturally and already documented in research.

    I can’t post more than two links. I’ll answer the rest of your questions a bit later.

  • mary

    Homophobia is just that – fear of homosexuality.

    For many, it does not turn into hatred. Isn’t it Titus who writes that we often hate those we harm? In other words – harming someone becaues we are afraid and then truning that fear – without missing a beat – into hatred. If we hate someone then we can justify our poor behavior towards them.

    It can be very frightening for a person to be sexually aroused by something he/she does not understand. Being raped and having an orgasm is particularly shameful and misunderstood. A person sometimes ends up hating themselves and mistreatng themselves over such a thing.

    The reality is that like most creatures in nature, our bodies are excited by visual images of sexual acts – regardless of the act. Hence, rape scenes are popular in media, homsexual scenes are exciting, men and women both respond to same gender skin advertising – that’s why you see half naked dudes in men’s magazines (like workout rags etc…) and women’s magazines like Vogue etc… WE get excited my the very idea of sex and orgasms and all that coupling entails. It’s chemical. It does not mean we are gay or straight or into violent sex, or sex with strangers. It is what it is.

    I have watched two women in a movie love scene and KNOW how good sex feels. It does not mean I want to be in a lesbian sexual encounter. It means I am human and enjoy sex and things having to do with sex. Etc….

  • Evan

    mary,

    I think you’re right about the link between hate and fear. When someone feels his/her balance might be thrown off by someone or something they see, anger at something that is out of their control starts to build up and then — wham — it’s projected into an aggressive attitude towards that stimulus. It’s so basic that people are helpless in front of something they cannot understand and control that they react with the most defensive and primitive instinct: aggression.

    This probably gets channelled into manipulating beliefs by using the most sacred values to bully the opponents or enemies. It’s a way to justify and strengthen one’s sense of identity by rejecting and stressing what separates one from another.

  • Evan

    Jamie Burow,

    I provided a brief answer on the subject of defining sex atypicality in message 128609. Basically sex atypicality can be seen in behaviours and attitudes which cross the social boundaries of gender, but it can be noticed in physical traits too. The idea I defended here was that atypical children grow up having a history of bullying and rejection, which is partly because of their peers’ behaviours but also probably because of their pscyhological make-up which makes them more anxious and avoidant. I then went on to pose the question whether atypicality is not actually what may underlie some of the rejecting attitudes on the part of homophobic people, bearing in mind that it’s a strong marker for adult sexual orientation (when the individual scores or is rated high on this). This must be especially true for boys and men, because the typical trait in this case is aggressiveness, while vulnerability is seen as a negation of male identity, it’s like having a member of the same-sex group which can expose masculinity to what is not masculine, including sex roles which are passive and feminine.

    On the link between atypicality and peer-induced psychological distress, you can check this reference:

    –Robert Young and Helen Sweeting, Adolescent Bullying, Relationships, Psychological Well-Being, and Gender-Atypical Behavior: A Gender Diagnosticity Approach, Sex Roles, Volume 50, Numbers 7-8 / April, 2004, 525-537. Journal abstract here. Copy of the study here.

  • Evan

    Jamie Burow:

    You can read more about sex atypicality in this study:

    Michael P. Dunne, J. Michael Bailey, Katherine M. Kirk, and Nicholas G.Martin, The Subtlety of Sex-Atypicality, Archives of Sexual Behavior,Vol.29, No.6, 2000, 549-565. Study here.

    was the study of children outside of the American culture?

    Yes. The scientific tool used to measure gender typicality and atypicality is called the Child Play Behavior and Activity Questionnaire. Here’s a recently published reference which documents its validity in a large-sample survey in China:

    Lu Yu, Sam Winter and Dong Xie, The Child Play Behavior and Activity Questionnaire: A Parent-Report Measure of Childhood Gender-Related Behavior in China, Archives of Sexual Behavior, DOI 10.1007/s10508-008-9403-4.

    On the link between childhood atypicality and adult same-sex orientation in non-Western cultures:

    Nancy H. Bartlett and Paul L. Vasey, A Retrospective Study of Childhood Gender-Atypical Behavior in Samoan Fa’afafine, Archives of Sexual Behavior, DOI 10.1007/s10508-006-9055-1.

    Here are two more on the link between gender nonconformity and psychological distress:

    W. Christopher Skidmore, Joan A. W. Linsenmeier and J. Michael Bailey, Gender Nonconformity and Psychological Distress in Lesbians and Gay Men, Archives of Sexual Behavior, DOI 10.1007/s10508-006-9108-5.

    Monica A. Landolt, Kim Bartholomew, Colleen Saffrey, Doug Oram and Daniel Perlman, Gender Nonconformity, Childhood Rejection, and Adult Attachment: A Study of Gay Men, Archives of Sexual Behavior, DOI 10.1023/B:ASEB.0000014326.64934.50. You can find an open access article, but if you can’t the abstract can give you an idea about the findings:

    Several childhood factors are reported to be associated with a homosexual orientation in men, including gender nonconformity and rejection by parents and peers. The purpose of this study was to explore the associations between these childhood factors and attachment anxiety (the tendency to experience anxiety regarding potential loss and rejection in close relationships) and attachment avoidance (the tendency to avoid versus seek out closeness in relationships) in gay and bisexual men. A community sample of 191 gay and bisexual men completed questionnaires and an attachment interview. Gender nonconformity was significantly associated with paternal, maternal, and peer rejection in childhood. In addition, paternal and peer rejection, but not maternal rejection, independently predicted attachment anxiety. Peer rejection and, to a lesser extent, paternal rejection mediated the association between gender nonconformity and attachment anxiety. Finally, peer rejection mediated the association between paternal rejection and attachment avoidance. Findings highlight the role of gender nonconformity in contributing to childhood rejection and the importance of peer relationships in the socialization of gay men.

  • Evan

    Jamie Burow,

    I should say a few words about why I referred to these studies. The link between childhood gender nonconformity and adult non-heterosexual orientation is well-established in sex research. These bevahiours or traits are not temporary, they are carried out into adulthood, when sexual orientation is defined. Atypical children are not rejected for their sexual orientation, of course, but they may be called names like “sissy” or any other name that says they are girlish or they are already gay. Probably children don’t fully understand these names, they pick it up from the environment and use it to hurt other kids. Obviously they don’t reject them based on religious beliefs and I don’t think that their parents teach them to reject atypical kids, because of their own beliefs and expectations. That would be far-fetched.

    Both the rejected kids and the children who keep away from them grow up in a certain environment, they reach the age when their sexual feelings kick in, but they continue to build on the same attitudes and feelings. They don’t develop new feelings to relate to a particularly rejected group, based on beliefs. After puberty, they already have an array of sexual feelings that define their sexual orientation. From this point on, both typical and atypical adults start interacting in more complex situations than before. Someone who is typical in a group may be very atypical in another group and therefore rejected. But on average, the kids who were systematically rejected by most gender peers end up unable to find their place in society and live on its outskirts, most of them having psychological or psychiatric problems.

    Most of these people have primary same-sex feelings, if not only this type of attractions. But I think there are significant numbers of people who identify as gay even if they don’t have only same-sex feelings, but have been constantly rejected and denied access to group acceptance and validation by same-sex peers. So we might actually see inside this heterogenous category many types of people who have found that destination due to different factors, or simply because society only has one device to deal with sexual identity: either/or (or both). While the very feminine boys are probably exclusively same-sex attracted and have never considered not identifying as gay or having a same-sex oriented sexual life, the phenotypes in this category are more diverse than those of people with obvious cross-gender traits. It’s this type of less atypical gays that I suspect are able to respond sexually to women, but for different reasons choose to do otherwise, whether it’s physical preference or psychological revenge for being rejected.

    Returning to homophobia and how is it rooted and projected in attitudes based on feelings. I think that some people may reject atypical adults because they don’t want to associate with someone who might be seen as having an alternative sexual orientation. They are afraid of being classified by association. Taking into account that atypical adults who were atypical children have temperaments which make them more socially avoidant, probably typical adults don’t feel comfortable around this type of individuals who seem creepy or are known to have a sexual identity associated with sexual behaviours which in the mainstream culture are perceived as being perverse. This should apply less for more liberal folks. By and large, gender nonconformism is associated with greater psychological vulnerability and that seems to invite rejection and harassment from typical individuals, whether one’s sexual orientation is gay or not, declared, implied or inferred. Recently, researchers started to focus on this line of research, on how able are casual observers to predict other people’s sexual orientation by appearance and behaviour. The results confirm that people are able to do that, their guesstimations exceed chance, and they actually do it in everyday life.

  • http://preacherzsonsbible.blogspot.com/ Jamie Burow

    Evan,

    . Taking into account that atypical adults who were atypical children have temperaments which make them more socially avoidant, probably typical adults don’t feel comfortable around this type of individuals who seem creepy or are known to have a sexual identity associated with sexual behaviours which in the mainstream culture are perceived as being perverse.

    While the data you reference seems to support this idea, it doesn’t seem to fit the totality of or the image portrayed in the media of homosexuals in general. I haven’t had time to read all those studies (thank you so much for posting all the citations) but I have to question how it applies to those individuals who fit within the “sexual atypical” behavior pattern as children, grow up to identify as homosexual, and are professionally successful and socially adept even if their behavior continues in a “sexually atypical” (i.e. effeminate men, masculine women etc.). Even more so, how does it explain/relate to/inform social angst towards homosexuals whose behavior is “sexually typical”, i.e. the homosexual sub-group of extremely physically fit gay men who do not exhibit overtly effeminate behaviors? Does the referenced research speak to the attitudes experience by individuals of those groups? If not, has anyone researched attitudes towards “sexually typical” homosexuals?

    Recently, researchers started to focus on this line of research, on how able are casual observers to predict other people’s sexual orientation by appearance and behaviour. The results confirm that people are able to do that, their guesstimations exceed chance, and they actually do it in everyday life.

    This is fascinating in that it seemingly contradicts what seems to be the message espoused by the media in the U.S.

  • mary

    Evan,

    The assumption that this gets chanelled into a religious belief is an assumption. In my religion, God puts men and women together. The hatred that a person decides to call God’s is a wrong interpretation of the bible IMHO.

    It is less a way of identifying (acting in agression towards another person – since the bible clearly states that is wrong) and more about that individual who does not examine himself/herself.

    Dare I say, gay people have bullied ex gays in recent years for the very same idea – lack of examination and fear.

  • Evan

    Jamie Burow asked:

    how it applies to those individuals who fit within the “sexual atypical” behavior pattern as children, grow up to identify as homosexual, and are professionally successful and socially adept even if their behavior continues in a “sexually atypical” (i.e. effeminate men, masculine women etc.).

    They target environments where they can feel safe and accepted. Why would so many gay men work in the artistic world, in entertainment, beauty services, fitness training, social services, academia and so on? These types of occupations require empathy, communication skills and attention to details. It’s less likely that judgmental or homophobic people work in these areas.

    Even more so, how does it explain/relate to/inform social angst towards homosexuals whose behavior is “sexually typical”, i.e. the homosexual sub-group of extremely physically fit gay men who do not exhibit overtly effeminate behaviors? Does the referenced research speak to the attitudes experience by individuals of those groups? If not, has anyone researched attitudes towards “sexually typical” homosexuals?

    Physically fit gays are probably less targeted by rejection or harassment. But how many men who used to be effeminate and bullied started doing some serious weightlifting to boost their confidence and feeling of security and conform to expectations of physical beauty in the gay world? Also, psychological pressures can be more damaging when someone is cornered by the group they try to fit in. Being a “butcher” type doesn’t make one psychologically invulnerable. Probably many same-sex attracted and less typical men who chose a heterosexual life made similar adjustments to hide their atypicality by getting fat, growing beards and moustaches in order to make themselves look more masculine. But when someone has a less typical body image in gender terms, believe me, this really shows in everything, from the way they style their hair to the type of clothes they wear. I think there are some websites which cater to gays who are looking for straight-appearing gay men, and they copy the way straight men look in dressing style and other stuff. So they are aware that you can signal a lot by physical appearance. This caught scientists’ eyes and they are studying this right now. Take a look at Kerri L. Johnson’s research area. You can also read one paper she co-authored: Johnson, K. L., Gill, S., Reichman, V., & Tassinary, L. G. (2007). Swagger, sway, and sexuality: Judging sexual orientation from body motion and morphology. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 321 – 334. But there’s lots and lots more. Google ‘Gerulf Rieger’ and ‘Science behind the stereotype?’ and read the article. What I am saying is that people do recognise or think that they recognise sexual orientation by atypical behaviour or physical appearance and they act accordingly. I am talking about the stuff that is going on in everyday life but you won’t see it in the news, because it’s not always about people who identify themselves in a certain way or who go through news-worthy hateful violence, some of them may not be gay but still experience rejection because of their atypicality. While part of the violence is indeed directed against people who identify as gay and for purportedly religious purposes, I think some of it takes place in more ordinary and implied ways, because people are averse to gender atypicality which can awaken ambiguous feelings in them.

  • Evan

    mary wrote:

    The assumption that this gets chanelled into a religious belief is an assumption. In my religion, God puts men and women together. The hatred that a person decides to call God’s is a wrong interpretation of the bible IMHO.

    Those who interpret the Bible to permit hateful attitudes think they are right and that others are wrong. Then everybody’s arguing over interpretations. But what’s the psychological state that makes some people use the Bible as a weapon in a war against other people? Why some feel they need to show love while others don’t? Different interpretations? Or different feelings leading to focusing on different meanings of the same words, but which allow projecting one’s hate?

    I’m not saying that the belief in itself has to do with a certain attitude on the sexual nature of humans. Obviously belief is based on more comprehensive life experiences relating to core things in life. But it gets used by some for hateful purposes. That is worth studying. We have some evidence that homophobia in heterosexual men is associated with reacting to same-sex stimuli. We don’t have the association in faith-based homophobia. But it’s very likely that what works biologically in a sample of men of unknown religious beliefs will work in men of declared beliefs. What made them have the aggressive response which was measured by researchers when they experienced arousal in relations to same-sex stimuli has nothing to do with beliefs. It’s too basic to be influenced by beliefs.

    It is less a way of identifying (acting in agression towards another person – since the bible clearly states that is wrong) and more about that individual who does not examine himself/herself.

    Or it’s a genuine expression of their feelings. Your position is critical, rational, considerate.

    Dare I say, gay people have bullied ex gays in recent years for the very same idea – lack of examination and fear.

    I’m not familiar with the exchanges between gays and ex-gays, but I am interested in studying lying on all sides of the divide. It’s a lot more interesting than what each party has to say about itself. Anyone tries to preach to the other side, as if they acted in the other one’s best interest, but I think most people do it for themselves actually, to strengthen their own sense of identity and even out their insecurities. Not to mentioned that they score points back home…

  • mary

    Yes, Evan – everyone is arguing over interpretations.

    And yes, it is easy to be confused between righteousness and self-righteousness. I’ve made the error many times myself.

    I am always cautious of the person who chooses to preach to me about my wrong doing and calling it something for my own good.

    I think people on both sides who are self-righteous really believe in their “calling.” I would not call them liars per se – mislead, maybe – but not liars.

  • Lisa

    Mary -In response to your thread.

    Both sides have indeed bullied each other. Many have also taken a look at themselves intensely for many many years. Many have had tremendous changes made in their lives. Some experienced healing from homosexuality , some merely obstain and remain celibate, some marry, while others are as gay ( in orientation and attraction) as they were day they started their journey.

    It comes back to loving and just meeting people where they are in their journies. We need to take our own inventory and hope and pray people will do the same in their own lives. Regardless if they do or don’t …does that negate God’s love for them?

    I think not. Again Gods ways are not our ways and we do not have all the answers but we were given clear instructions about loving God and loving our neighbors. Is the homosexual our neighbor? That was a good book!

    Yes I believe gays are our neighbors and should be treated as such.

    Lisa

  • mary

    Lisa,

    I agree with you. For as much as we think we know – God’s ways are far unknown to us. Our simple option is to treat others as we would treat ourselves. And I doubt anyone would take a beating, killing, social ostracising because they thought it was good for them.

  • mary

    Evan

    Faith based homophobia vs. Straight men homophobia?

    Men who are religious are straight men, too. Not much difference when you see religious leaders have not examined their hearts and the scripture.

    I was not making a distinction – as I see none. These straight men are religious and carry their fear and hatred with them (not all are this way – but enough to call it out)

  • Lisa

    Mary,

    I whole heartedly agree with you!

    I’m pretty sure they would not care to endure such

    horrible and deplorable treatment.

    People often say “who would choose to be gay?” And yet it is often put forth that it is a choice. We do choose who we sleep with and what we do with our bodies but I do not believe we choose who we find ourselves attracted to …

    No one would choose to be gay for the most part.

    It’s really hard to manage and navigate your way through. Most

    people enjoy being loved and accepted. Not outcast and treated poorly.

    But we choose to be Christian, to accept Christ and He has

    more in common with they gay community than most which

    is why I believe God is finding people outside of Evangelical

    and ex-gay circles to reach out to them in powerful ways. Gays are close to His heart and actually “get Him” because many of them have suffered too.

    People are going to be really surprised at who God chooses to use in this next move of God.

    He’s definitely doing a new thing! People need to be prepared for how God is working in and through people. God is no respecter of persons!

    This could and should get really interesting.

    I can’t wait to see what happens and with whom.

    I suppose we all need to stay tuned.

  • Eddy

    Evan,

    Your post 128998 was, IMHO, a gem. One of the curiosities of my past few decades has been attempting to analyze homophobia and anti-gay aggression that can’t be traced to ‘the conservative Christians’. Back when I was a minister, I realized that even if I got through to every church in the nation/world with the message that homophobia and anti-gay agression are contrary to God’s will and purpose…I wouldn’t reach even half of those that need to hear that message. (Many of these are those you described who only snatch a piece of the Bible to support their bigotry; if you handed them a Bible and asked them to show it to you, they likely wouldn’t know Old Testament from New. Haven’t been to church, never read the Bible, don’t pray, have a general disdain for Christians and church-folks…but they’ll play the God-card to support their hatred.)

    I, naturally, want to tie atypicality and attitudes against atypicality to the subliminal and not-so-subliminal messages we get from television, movies and advertising. It’s in our home…it’s when we’re with family…we store the messages right alongside mom, God and apple pie. True, we learned those attitudes at home but–our parents were unaware just how much the media was teaching us all, even them, everyday–so they didn’t correct or enhance our understanding.

    That is only one major possibility; I’m not suggesting that there aren’t others.

    LOL. In proof-reading before posting, I caught ‘homobia’ for ‘homophobia’ and ‘sublimal’ for ‘subliminal’. Hope that took care of the typos!

  • ken

    Evan asked in post 128001:

    (I realize it has been a while, unfortunately, I’ve been busy lately).

    Who supports and creates the institutional side you mentioned?

    Governments, police, armies.

    What are their primary motives, insecurities, socially negociated and accepted roles?

    I don’t understand this question.

    If people made laws because that’s what their religion told them, why are there religious tolerance and freedom of conscience in your society?

    I never said ALL laws are based on religious views. I said that intolerance towards gays (not just hatred) was spread by christians, based on their religious views. And I’m talking about a time period of centuries, not just the last few decades.

    Isn’t a religion an exclusive worldview which tries to keep its position in society?

    I’m not talking about religion in general, I’m talking specifically about the christian religion and its effects and influence through-out the world. Further, no, religion is not a “worldview” it is a belief system, that often deals with “otherworldly” matters. However, it can certainly effect people’s world view.

    I think that what people hate is not simply learned.

    Once again, I’m not simply talking about hatred. I’m talking about a broader topic of intolerance. While hatred is a form of intolerance, not all forms of intolerance are hatred.

    However, hatred of others is a learned condition. People aren’t born with an inherit hatred of others. They are taught racism and bigotry. I’ve seen 1st hand how it works, and how to combat such hatred. Your communism example is flawed. 1st, I suspect that what the people were being taught was to distrust (not hate although, such distrust can lead to hate) an ideology, not a class of people. 2nd, you stated yourself “most people from those countries hated those who tried to learn (sic) them that,” which indicates they are far less likely to believe what they are being taught by those leaders.

    And do you believe all (or most) gay men are effeminate?

    Research says so using objective methods, but no one knows precisely what the reality is in feelings, behaviours and physical traits among the much larger ranks of the non-participating and non-responding individuals.

    Interesting response, 1st you try to claim research says all (or most) gay men are effeminate, then you contradict that by saying that it doesn’t have enough data to make the claim. Further, I suspect that this research doesn’t conclude that most gay men are effeminate. At best I suspect it shows that most out gay men willing to participate in research are more effeminate than straight men.

    However, I’ll ask the question again, and hopefully, be more clear about what I’m asking:

    Do YOU, EVAN believe most gay men are effeminate?

  • mary

    Throughout the world, except for some instances in time and cultures, gays have been persecuted.

    Of the worlds largest religions – the three that stem from Abraham – they ALL have persecuted gays.

    IN the view of mostt western societies, gays did not contribute to the growth of the family, hence their economic value was less and again they suffered.

    In my view homosexuals or those who choose not to have children ( I am not saying they are one in the same) have always helped protect the security, safety and growth of the kin group by being an extra hand or helper to those with children. Many religious people overlook the value of homosexuality, or the value of an adult who does not produce offspring.

    The hatred for gays has gone far beyond what Paul intended when he was talking to those in Corinth. People have corrupted the meaning. He did not command us to go out and hate homosexuals. He did not command us to heal- anything except the place for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Nor did he say that if we are only attracted to the same sex that we had to change our attractions – rather increase our attractions for God and follow some instructions.

    It’s just that many have taken their natural liking for heterosexuality to mean that others must feel the same way about their own sexuality. God never made that promise.

  • Evan

    ken,

    Governments, the police and armies are not conspiracies against gays. Come on, the argument was different. Whoever drafts laws against gays does it in a certain context. It’s not just anyone that would do it in the given context, it’s the psychological profile of those people that it’s interesting, the motivations, the inner workings that prompt them to do more than just harbour intolerance or hate.

    And while people can be obedient to social forces and contexts to a great extent, someone must initiate that action and must also justify it in ways that meet with approval and support. You propose that the root motivation is religious. I provided two empirical studies which show that homophobia is based on people’s basic feelings, on their anxiety over their own feelings to same-sex stimuli. There could be many types and degrees of that, depending on what primary feelings each person has in relation to same-sex individuals and sexuality. One type could be more dogmatic and less visceral — in this case, beliefs would play a major role. Other types may be the product of people’s own insecurities and may be expressed in more basic feelings. I never said that there is only one type and that it’s created by one cause. Different people perceive the same thing differently, have different feelings relating to that and therefore different motivations to accept or reject alternative sexualities. I focused on a type I think it’s very common and for which there is some empirical support. This one should also be the most resistant to reason among all. You cannot combat this type by focusing on beliefs or on the opponents’ arguments. They would use anything that can be formulated and can gain some mainstream support, because it’s not rational thinking or belief formation that planted the feeling there in the first place.

    What would be the ideal end result of this anti-Christian endeavour? Bringing down the Christian edifice of beliefs? Forcing one single interpretation that favours modern sexual identities? How realistic is this “we’re going to prevail and they’re going to submit” view?

    On the subject of hate conditioning – Can you teach me how to hate unborn children? I’d like to understand the feelings that make a man say that they are parasites. You see? It’s the same thing with homophobia. You can’t teach me that or condition me to feel it unless I already have a problem with it and look for reasons to combat homosexuality or gay identity. If I have no problem with it, I don’t feel threatened by it, it’s not much of an issue for me.

    The example with communism is actually a stronger case of conditioning than you could make for intolerance towards gays. I lived my childhood in a society which was 90% under the control of one party and its administration, lead by one dictator and his family. They decided what we saw on tv (2 hours each evening portraying the dictator in his glory and negative news on the Western world), what we read in our school texbooks, what we heard on the radio, what was good for us to eat and how much (there were limits), whom should we never meet, whether we were allowed to leave the country or receive the visit of someone from abroad, etc. If you told a joke about the dictator you were thrown into prison. It was a climate of fear and mutual mistrust. People from capitalistic countries were considered potential enemies that could bring the germs of depravation into our country. You had to ask permission from the regime to have someone from abroad come visit you and that person would have to make a statement about the purpose of their visit. You were required to report and provide informations that would permit the intelligence to spy on them to make sure that they are not a threat to the regime. I don’t think gays are regarded nearly as dangerous in your society as “capitalistic agents” were in the communist totalitarian regime. Why did that everyday conditioning not leave marks on the way we perceive foreigners today? Because we had no previous negative feelings towards them, the regime had nothing to build on. You can only do that when you manipulate some basic fears about why people have some major difficulties in a certain state of society and project them onto minorities, like it happened with the Jews or with the Roma populations.

    ———-

    There’s no point in splitting hairs over sex atypicality. You know what scientists say on the subject and what many gay researchers actually say on this subject. There could be no same-sex attraction without any degree of effeminacy, whether it’s only in the brain or on the whole body too. Simon LeVay and Richard Lippa are gay (I don’t know about Bocklandt) and they support this view. But there are many others who are gay and scientifically argued in the same vein – Hamer, Bem, Rieger. My opinion is not relevant statistically speaking, unless it’s based on quantitative research. But everyone is entitled to have ideas, especially when the subject is so central to sexuality, mental health and moral issues.

  • Evan

    Eddy,

    Thanks. It’s interesting to hear real stories of real people which connect with facts too. People have a lot to learn and be aware of on this subject. I like to believe that we are working in this direction.

    PS. Don’t worry. I make a lot of typos and mistakes, because ideas are competing over which one gets first into language and that gets into hasty spelling.

  • ken

    Evan said in post 129194:

    Governments, the police and armies are not conspiracies against gays. Come on, the argument was different.

    Yes it is a very different argument, which you apparently have yet to understand. And I said nothing of conspiracies. I going to try to explain this to you one more time, if you don’t get it, then there is nothing I can do to explain it to you and I’m not going to waste anymore of my time trying.

    People have lots of differences, black or white, gay or straight, green eyes or blue. Simply because people are different doesn’t mean they will suffer intolerance. Generally, what makes the differences subject to intolerance are ignorance about those that are different, and someone (or something) that says those “others” are “bad” because of those differences and people believe it. Those differences make the others lessor people, and those who are intolerant are the “better” people because they don’t have the bad characteristic. Ignorance is a key part, because if people get to know these “others” they start to see that the differences really aren’t as bad as they were lead to believe and these “others” aren’t really that different. And it is important that you believe whomever is telling that the difference is bad.

    In the case of religion and gays, religion has been the catalyst that says being gay is bad: sinful, abomination, evil. So bad at one time it was worthy of a death sentence in order to eradicate the evil being gay. And religion has been re-enforcing the notion that gays are bad for centuries.

    On the subject of hate conditioning – Can you teach me how to hate unborn children?

    I don’t hate embryos and fetuses. I don’t really have any emotions about them at all.

    I’d like to understand the feelings that make a man say that they are parasites.

    Because I dislike deliberately using vague terms to mislead. Because I see lots of people who refer to fetuses as “children” as a way of evoking emotional feelings about characteristics that don’t apply to a fetus. Children (in general) can laugh, cry, hug, question, love and do lots of other things a fetus can’t. that’s why the usage is almost always qualified with the word “unborn.” So what I did was use another word that also has a definition that could apply to a fetus to show how using vague terminology can be use to evoke emotions. Emotions you are still apparently having trouble dealing with. For the record, I don’t think of an embryo or fetus as a parasite. However, I don’t think of it as a child either. I think of it as an embryo or a fetus.

  • Evan

    ken,

    I see that when you are not comfortable with a discussion in certain terms, you redefine it in your own terms. That’s why I said earlier on that the argument was different. I made an argument for intolerance and hate based on empirical studies, saying that homophobia can be understood as a form of cognitive dissonance at the level of one’s emotions. You ignored it and replied that anti-gay laws are made because of people’s religious beliefs, then said that this is carried out by the agency of certain institutions, like governments, police and army. You never answered the original argument, you redefined it based on saying so.

    Now you support your reply using the hackneyed argument of people’s fear or hate of differences. You argue that people consider one trait as being bad and therefore reject it. And if they become familiar with it, they no longer see it as bad as before. That’s a bit idyllic and it lacks any factual support. Is homosexuality a trait that is present in only some 2-5% and it’s absent in the rest of the population? Is this comparable with blackness or some other “trait” that was considered a difference and treated with intolerance in the past? How exactly was it stamped as being bad? Because religion also says that cheating is bad, but most people are cheaters more or less. So is lying, but most people lie, and they do not reject liars, unless lying affects their interests. So it looks like it’s not religion that has the power to make people reject some who have a bad quality, according to their beliefs. Dogmatic people, I’m sure it’s pretty important to them to defend the whole constellation of tenets. But average, ordinary individuals actually living and having emotions determined by cognitively learned religious beliefs (or no religious beliefs, or non-dogmatic ones) and having a strong and intractable dislike for some behaviour – this explanation lacks some basic factors that determine that kind of attitude and outward opinion, as expressions of something deeper at the level of feelings.

    There are traces in the culture that support this argument. The fact that people can talk about alternative sexualities as choices actually shows that people are not strangers to this possibility. In fact, it shows that those who talk about choices cannot see through the eyes of those who feel that they have no degree of choice. Some years ago, I was not aware that there really are people who have never been attracted to the opposite sex even if they want that a lot and they make great efforts for that. But other people may not be aware of that. So they can speak about choices, according to the spectrum of feelings they have.

    Now listen to this argument and see how it sounds:

    Generally, what makes the differences subject to intolerance are ignorance about those that are different, and someone (or something) that says those “others” are “bad” because of those differences and people believe it. Those differences make the others lessor people, and those who are intolerant are the “better” people because they don’t have the bad characteristic. Ignorance is a key part, because if people get to know these “others” they start to see that the differences really aren’t as bad as they were lead to believe and these “others” aren’t really that different. And it is important that you believe whomever is telling that the difference is bad.

    Is it really that simple? Someone says something is bad and people start believing it, they become so passionate about it that they organise campaigns, they harass and aggress people they were told are bad? Does being told that a behaviour is bad make straight-identified college men have erections when they see homosexual pornographic videos and also have homophobic attitudes? It’s not very convincing just to say so. People take shelter in some belief environments and find it very convenient that they offer arguments against what they already have a problem with. So it’s more convenient for “lowbrow” people to use religious arguments against it, than just say it’s bad because of their own convictions. I’m sure that for “highbrow” people it’s also a matter of things that are core values in their life, but how many people are like that? Does that affect the degree to which they actually comply with their own beliefs? I mean, in more ordinary terms, like harbouring envy, cheating, stealing, being egoistic, lying, and many other evolutionarily adaptive feelings and behaviours.

  • ken

    Evan said in post

    You never answered the original argument, you redefined it based on saying so.

    The original argument ( post 127836 ), Evan, was why christians get singled out for gay intolerance more than other religious groups. Which you then tried to change into some tangent about the causes of intolerance and hatred, trying to single out intolerance of gays as different from intolerance towards other groups.

    I’ve explained my stance on this issue, how religion can cause intolerance towards gays (and other minority groups), and how christianity spread that intolerance, as clearly as I can. I’m not going to waste any more of my time discussing this with you. You can believe what ever you want about my refusal to continue this discussion.

  • Eddy

    Ken–

    I think you missed something here…the conversation has been going on among more people than just you and Evan. The discussion did not start with your post 127836. That post was actually your dismissive rebuttal to Ann’s question re whether any blame can be placed anywhere besides on conservative Christians. In several responses to Ann you essentially only reiterated your point that Christians are at the root of all the oppression.

    Several bloggers, myself included, recognize that blame can indeed be placed on conservative Christians but that the big picture encompasses a wider segment of society…and ALL the blame can’t be traced to the religious conservatives. But it seems, that on this blog, whenever we’ve tried to discuss anything that deviates even slightly from “it’s all the fault of the conservative Christians”…people seem to think we’re trying to minimize the guilt of the conservatives. Please believe me, we’re not! We see that guilt and we challenge the self-righteous motives that foster that sickness in the church BUT we also see that the issue goes beyond the conservative church, that it includes many who are unchurched along with many who give lip-service to God when they think His views support theirs. All we’re trying to do is identify this other homophobia that seems to parade down main street unnoticed.

    I can usually get a conservative Christian to see the error of their thinking but, with these others, I soon realized that appeals to greater Christian values fell on deaf ears. The bigots didn’t really ascribe to Christian values and, for the most part, were clueless about what it meant to have a relationship with Christ…yet still they were homophobic bigots. What is it about homosexuality (or about these people) that causes them to identify with conservative Christians for the first time in their lives? Where does that come from? (IMHO,we won’t be able to effectively combat it til we know.)

    I told a true story a long time back here on Warren’s site about a husband and wife who came to me with their concerns about the upcoming Thanksgiving get together they would be having. Two sons were coming home to visit and their concern was that one of the sons had come out as gay and wanted to bring his partner. (“We love our son. We’ve even met and like his partner…but we simply can’t condone them sleeping together under our roof.”) I was a bit stymied at first since they were expressing a certain amount of love and acceptance. And then it came to me. I suddenly inquired innocently about the other son. LOL. They thought I wondered how he would react…but I was going somewhere else. “Is he married? Does he have a girlfriend?” With great relief, they told me he had a girlfriend and that she’d be coming for the visit too! “And where will she be sleeping?” Beyond that question, I really didn’t need to say much more. Both parents were almost instantly aware of the hidden hypocrisy in their own hearts. Although neither son was living up to all of the parents’ values, they somehow overlooked the straight son’s sin of sex outside of marriage–not based on God’s standards but rather on society’s. They wouldn’t be embarrassed to introduce their straight son’s live-in girlfriend but they would be about introducing the gay son’s partner. They had this other value system going on that wasn’t really rooted in Christianity at all.

    But that was long ago. I developed a karaoke habit several years ago…since then I must have performed several hundred times. Only once was in a gay bar. All my other experiences were in ‘neighborhood’ or straight bars of various stripes…country bars, VFW’s, urban bars, hole-in-the-wall hangouts. People, if they try to read my sexuality at all, read me as gay more often than not. I rarely try to set the record straight. Many of these people are looking to score…to get lucky. Sunday morning church has never been a part of their routine. And yet, they’ll send out their homophobic vibes…a menacing look, a deprecating laugh, a whispered comment or, sometimes, a direct affront. LOL. I’ve never been one to back down; I will usually find a way to address all (except some of the menacing looks) if not immediately, then within an hour. A number of these former homophobics are now my friends–and they now have included gay people in their circles and will stand up for a gay person who is being harassed or victimized.

    Evan and Ann, like me, travel in a few circles that couldn’t be branded ‘conservative’ or “Christian”…we have hearts of compassion and yet we encounter this homophobia…we want to understand it and we want to address it when we can. We know it’s in the church but we encounter it in other parts of our world too. It’s something I’ve been longing to discuss for the few years I’ve been hanging out here. My apologies for adding to your frustration, though, I was a key player in trying to shift the discussion away from the focus on conservative Christians.

  • http://preacherzsonsbible.blogspot.com/ Jamie Burow

    Evan wrote:

    Those who interpret the Bible to permit hateful attitudes think they are right and that others are wrong. Then everybody’s arguing over interpretations. But what’s the psychological state that makes some people use the Bible as a weapon in a war against other people? Why some feel they need to show love while others don’t? Different interpretations? Or different feelings leading to focusing on different meanings of the same words, but which allow projecting one’s hate?

    Mary wrote:

    In my religion, God puts men and women together. The hatred that a person decides to call God’s is a wrong interpretation of the bible IMHO…

    The hatred for gays has gone far beyond what Paul intended when he was talking to those in Corinth. People have corrupted the meaning. He did not command us to go out and hate homosexuals. He did not command us to heal- anything except the place for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Nor did he say that if we are only attracted to the same sex that we had to change our attractions – rather increase our attractions for God and follow some instructions.

    Ken wrote:

    Those who interpret the Bible to permit hateful attitudes think they are right and that others are wrong. Then everybody’s arguing over interpretations. But what’s the psychological state that makes some people use the Bible as a weapon in a war against other people? Why some feel they need to show love while others don’t? Different interpretations? Or different feelings leading to focusing on different meanings of the same words, but which allow projecting one’s hate?

    I guess one basic question this whole debate has raised is what is the difference between “hate” and “intolerance”? i.e., When does having “differing interpretations” cross the line and become “hatred” and “intolerance”?

    Certainly each sub-group within this dialogue- homosexuals, evangelical homosexuals, evangelicals, ex-gays, evangelical ex-gays, and non-religiously affiliated individuals- hold a different view as to what qualifies as inappropriate attitudes and communications. Who gets to make the universal decision as to what crosses the line and who’s just being a whiner?

    I think the relative status/position of each organization that represents a subset contributes to the ferocity with which the group defends its position- i.e. NARTH, Exodus, evangelical flagships like 700 Club, Dobson, etc. and their corresponding nemeses flagship organizations like PFLAG, Ex-Gay watch, the homosexual evangelical powers all SEEM (leaving room for potential lack of understanding of each position) to harbor hardline stances on the issues that may not necessarily reflect the average position of the members of the subset it waves a flag for. How does role play into the determination of what messages are appropriate versus inappropriate?

    Another one of the most fascinating aspects of this debate is the intensity of the reaction by those who have little to no stake in the “theological infighting” between the homosexual evangelicals and the traditional evangelicals (merely nominal terms, not comparatively intended.) What is the impetus for the non-homosexual, atheist/non-religious community to police the debate over the Scriptural message about homosexuality?

    One might say the non-religious community believes that the message that homosexuality is Biblically precluded is a smoke screen: justification for fear-based reaction toward a sexual arrangement that is different from the adopted norm of the evangelicals. But if the whole textual argument is a pretense, then why then would the homosexual evangelical community engage the issue with an equally intense reverence for the same Scriptures? What horse does the non-religious person have in an argument over Scriptural interpretation when that person discounts the validity and importance of the seminal document in the code of conduct that governs each principle party in the debate? If “religion” or more specifically Christianity is an inherently evil that spawns hatred toward homosexuals and other minority groups, then why not try to lead the homosexual evangelicals out of their delusion concerning the nature of the religion into which they seek initiation and acceptance? How does the non-religious party’s attitude towards homosexuals and this specific subset issue (h-evangelical v. t-evangelical) arise?

  • mary

    Hate attacks.

    It comes in these forms (and many more I’m sure)

    Name calling

    Bullying

    Ostracising

    Discrimination from/in employment, housing, education

    Hitting

    Killing

    Gays are asking for a place at the table – that’s all – and holding evangelical christians accountable for their behavior.

    Believe it or not Jamie – there are gays who are christian.

  • Lisa

    Eddy-

    I thoroughly enjoyed your post. We should talk.

    Now I really want to interview you! LOL.

    Get my email from Warren if you like and let’s chat.

    Peace and Love, Lisa

  • http://preacherzsonsbible.blogspot.com/ Jamie Burow

    Mary,

    Believe it or not Jamie – there are gays who are christian.

    This is something that I do not doubt, just as I do not doubt that there are plenty of Christians who have been completely inappropriate towards homosexuals and failed in that aspect of their Christian ambassadorship.

    Gays are asking for a place at the table – that’s all – and holding evangelical christians accountable for their behavior.

    It seems as though that even the most non-malevolent efforts of evangelical Christians to simply hold gays asking for a place at the table accountable for evangelical theology often are painted a “hate” reactions.

    It seems that the definition of “entry-level hate” varies depending on one’s position relative to the core debate, so I am curious what offenses are being talked about when we say “hate” and “intolerance”.

    I intend in no way to minimize:

    Name calling

    Bullying

    Discrimination from/in employment, housing, education

    Hitting

    Killing

    towards/of homosexuals by Christians.

    Yes, I left out ostracizing.

    Honestly, I have pause with listing ostracizing as “hate” because I don’t know if my definition matches yours. I have problems with the typical Christian practice. of prioritizing homosexuality as a the keystone issue. How can one expect to successfully market one’s brand to a group whom one chastises once that group adopts the brand? But I also believe Christianity has room for time-outs for members who cannot justify the orthodoxy of their practice. Where does that leave me; what’s my attitude? That’s part of what I’m here to search out.

    The Pastoral Epistles include some seemingly cutthroat remedies toward teachers who compromised the orthodoxy of the original church; they also to kick out and both teachers and lay members who repeatedly defied the orthodox limits on heterosexual activity. Even though the first Corinthian Epistle contains these Shape up or Ship out messages and the second Corinthian Epistle provides correction that the disciplining body’s philosophy should not be striving towards Shipping Out, there is little to no rescission of the call to shape up or ship out. The same epistles also SEEM to contain a non-inclusive position towards homosexuality. [Admittedly, this position may largely be born out of ignorance. I am currently seeking literacy in the original languages Corinthians/Romans homosexual defense propositions. Sparks fly when these original language brains/historians get together and trying to keep my head above water with my year and a half of NT Greek is like bringing a Vespa to an F1 race.] So in the context of the “theological infighting/differing interpretations” I can understand how conceding the disagreement over what is not a keystone issue [the orthodoxy of homosexuality] can be understood as a quick bridge to co-opting and dismantling the keystone issue [the grace of God/soteriology]. In that context a rift between departments of the same brand is a conceivable outcome and according to one understanding of the proper relationship of the tenets of the New Testament church is acceptable. However, that does not change that permanently disqualifying the homosexual community from the grace of God and human dignity is just as great a transgression against orthodoxy… So I’m not sure what you mean by “ostracizing”. What’s the place where being on opposite sides of that “differing interpretation” becomes “hate”/”ostracizing”?

  • http://preacherzsonsbible.blogspot.com/ Jamie Burow

    I had a literature teacher who told us we couldn’t say a piece of literature was stupid unless we gave reasons that supported that evaluation. That’s why I find this conversation so amazing. I’m trying to pursue empirical scientific research about the origin of attitudes towards homosexuality, textual/linguistic/historic treatments of the text, and non-traditional understandings of homosexuality to determine my operational policy and position in the debate…and it’s all here in a way that I never could have imagined.

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy and others:

    I’m curious, too, about more subtle types of homophobia – or intolerance if you like. When people vote for efforts that would undermine the rights and privileges of their gay neighbors, are these actions – in some small or large way, forms of bigotry, intolerance and prejudice? I’ve heard people defend such actions as being ways in which they “follow their heart”, or defend their faith, etc… I’m just curious how often these actions, and the reasons for them, might in fact be ways that people are able to rationalize bigotry? I often hear some of these people say that they “have gay friends” as a possible way of proving that it can’t be, even a subtle form of, prejudice or bigotry – but this fact doesn’t really prove that.

    Conservative Christianity, while it doesn’t have a monopoly on hatred, ignorance or bigotry, sure HAS HAD a hand in creating fear on issues surrounding gay equal rights, which I’m sure has contributed in no small way to the way some people have voted.

  • Evan

    This is one reflection on this situation. The thing about Christianity is that it’s the last value-based community which has a big publicly advocating presence on moral issues in the postmodern world, which is basically the Western developed world. This has been getting rarer and rarer in this age, where moral discourse is perceived as being moralising, where talk about duty is very unpopular if it’s based on values and not on civic objectives.

    This is why Christianity gets the blame for being the advocate against alternative sexualities because it’s the last value-based group that retained this unpopular attitude of discussing morality with a view to public life and individual conduct. This is taking place in a modern society which was built as an atomised structure around individuals fenced against each other by rights. It’s also the reason why intolerance is more visible in Christian-voiced messages, because there are no similar competing groups or communities to build a strong case against alternative sexualities, make a public mission out of public morality and give voice to their attitude. Christianity was inherited, it’s based on a tradition and a legacy of sacred texts, there are no other comparable bases on which someone could build a similar public case against behaviours or identities considered morally unacceptable. It doesn’t mean that the belief itself created the lack of acceptance or intolerant behaviours, in my view, but that it’s the public arm of a hidden reflex. If you cut the arm, the reflex will find other ways to project itself.

    So finding a middle ground requires gathering around a common value, instead of negotiating a protocol of mutual indifference. This could build in time around the value of life itself. Both parties are interested in supporting whatever environment is needed to encourage life giving and its protection. That means participating in God’s plans to believers and is an end in itself to unbelievers. Those who observe the pace of scientific advances can see that everything is centered around an attitude of piety for life. So many different reasons to focus on the same thing.

    Many people expect a neutral authority to solve this conflict, waiting for the scientific jury to adjudicate. But science cannot solve what society cannot solve or doesn’t want to tackle. I’m sure it’s going to puncture the debate, however science is probably not going to find anything black or white, it’s going to be a messy mixture of different potentials in different people, which will keep those who want to see results according to their bias busy arguing against each other to impose their own version of what results definitely mean. It’s not realistic to expect that science is going to pull the rabbit out of the hat and what escaped the inquiry of so many great minds for centuries is going to be a chemical formula. I expect people’s attitudes to change before they can be predicted or they can get their certificate of sexual orientation by genetic analysis.

  • Evan

    Jamie Burow wrote:

    One might say the non-religious community believes that the message that homosexuality is Biblically precluded is a smoke screen: justification for fear-based reaction toward a sexual arrangement that is different from the adopted norm of the evangelicals. But if the whole textual argument is a pretense, then why then would the homosexual evangelical community engage the issue with an equally intense reverence for the same Scriptures? What horse does the non-religious person have in an argument over Scriptural interpretation when that person discounts the validity and importance of the seminal document in the code of conduct that governs each principle party in the debate? If “religion” or more specifically Christianity is an inherently evil that spawns hatred toward homosexuals and other minority groups, then why not try to lead the homosexual evangelicals out of their delusion concerning the nature of the religion into which they seek initiation and acceptance? How does the non-religious party’s attitude towards homosexuals and this specific subset issue (h-evangelical v. t-evangelical) arise?

    This is a high-stake issue to which no one is really indifferent, even if they don’t get involved. It’s well beyond the special attention of religious or sexuality advocating groups, but both parties seem to have locked themselves in a logic of combat, so getting involved from a non-dogmatic and non-advocating position is a must, if a common ground should be found.

    It’s cool how you positioned both parties together and against each other, because it can reveal something new. If the Christian belief creates hate and intolerance, can it create that in gays too? I’m sure it can and we have heard of personal experiences of people who went through conflicts between their feelings and their beliefs. But how did they solve their conflicts? Some accepted their feelings and chose to act or not to act according to them, while others listened to their values only. So it’s not their belief that created hate inside people from this particular category, but the clash between feelings and beliefs. That’s why some of them hated themselves (and maybe others too), not because they had no same-gender attractions and their belief planted hate in them, even if only for other people. Belief then can have this effect in people who are same-sex attracted, it has been ackowledged by some of the people who confessed on this blog about their personal evolution, if I remember well. We have yet to see the evidence for people who are not same-sex attracted, are religious and hold intolerant views or even hate towards gays.

    But I think there are many valid explanations for different people, it’s not a clean-cut state which predicts each attitude of intolerance. There are competing forces at the level of society and they’re all in a state of flux. For some dogma it may be more important, for others feelings may take precedence. You cannot corner each of them in separable groups of people and speak to it according to its nature, because people behave and think according to context too. It’s people who have to negotiate new deals with themselves and with others in order to come to terms with the situation, get it off their chest and move on. But leaders have an opportunity to lead here. If they continue to cling to impracticable ways, they’re going to rip the same results they had until now.

  • mary

    Rationalizing Bigotry.

    Some people really do believe that homosexuality is immoral and so when a vote comes up – they vote accordingly to their belief. I’m not sure if this is rationalized bigotry. It certainly is discrimination by any definition.

    Voting agains gay rights is not the same as deliberately attacking others on the street, in the job force etc… It is very passive and discriminating.

    Not to equate homosexuality with murder (because I think everyone here is familiar enough with me to know where I stand on this issue) but to another person who believes that murder is wrong and homosexuality is wrong – there is no difference in morality on the issue. That truly is what they believe.

    Then there are moderates like myself who believe that homosexuality is not something for me but that I also believe it is private issue for a person to make a decision on. I would have no problems if my children (if I had any) were around gay people in school, or from my work etc… nor do I discriminate my friendships on the basis of sexuality (gay or straight.)

    And then there are people who want to enforce the belief that sexuality of any kind is acceptable for everyone. That is also bigotry against those who define sexuality from a different belief perspective. And I don’t want someone telling me what my view on sexuality must be – either in a strict conservative sense nor in an all is acceptable sense.

    So discrimination definitions are being thrown all over the place and not just against gays through legislation but against conservatives, too. There is a lot of rationalized bigotry if you will coming from both sides.

  • mary

    Jamie,

    Hold gays accountable?

    Let me try to explain. Just as the Protestants are split form the Catholics – let us take a lessen from history. We are all still believers – but we do believe differently and read the bible differently.

    This issue is not likely to be resolved by one side agreeing with the other on theological issues of sexuality. We will all go a long ways to recover some essence of Christ by saying we disagree on this issue and you may pray in the church of your choosing. There are now thousands of affriming churches. We can all have a place to worship. As an ex gay ( I don’t like this term but we get the idea of my background) I choose not to worship in an affirming church. But that does not preclude my place at the table.

    Think of this – if you will. Imagine you are reading and study scripture one night before bed and you have a revelation from God. We don’t need to know what it is. But I do know that I have not had that revelation. I die in a car accident tomorrow. I do not have complete knowledge of God – and certainly I do not have your revelation. I must know – without complete knowledge – your revelation, and all the others that I have never known, will I be taken up to our Lord?

    The point being – we are all missing something. If you think gays have it wrong, and gays think you have it wrong – and I am sure I am missing something and have a few things skewed – what will God judge me on? My lack of knowledge – or how I treated others who also have a lack of knowledge? Our greatest commandment – I think (which I fail at almost daily.)

    So long as you think it is your duty to exclude others from Christ – Or continue to harp on someone else’s sin whilst yours goes untouched or unnoticed – what is the point?

    Now I know a lot of gay christians that harp on the lack of love from other christians but whilst they distract us away from themselves on this issue – I think a good look at them will show that they need work in this areqa, too. We all need work in this area.

    And some grace. God help us all.

  • Evan

    This one must be corrected or it’s not going to make sense:

    In message 129745 I should have written:

    ‘If they continue to cling to impracticable ways, they’re going to reap the same results they had until now.’

  • http://preacherzsonsbible.blogspot.com/ Jamie Burow

    Mary,

    1.

    Let me try to explain. Just as the Protestants are split form the Catholics – let us take a lessen from history. We are all still believers – but we do believe differently and read the bible differently.

    I’m not exactly sure that I understand the Protestant Catholic split in the same way you do, which causes me to question how it supports the point I think you are suggesting (that the homosexual evangelical church deserves a place at the evangelical table.)

    My understanding (which is all I’m holding everything in this paragraph out to be) of the P-C split is that it created a distinct and diametrically opposite movement away from Catholocism. While Luther tried initially to the RCC from within, it became very shortly evident that the solution was to create another table rather than clamour for a seat at the establishment table. Even with the event of Vatican 2 in which the RCC codified a less exclusive stance toward non-catholics (e.g., evangelicals or protestants), the rift has not been repaired. While each operates under the umbrella of “Christianity” neither table espouses, affirms, or propagates the theology of the other. While each side still flies the flag of “believer”, the differences in those readings and beliefs still threaten the core values of the evangelical protestant church. Based on that understanding of the P-C split, I’m not sure how it supports the claim that we are all missing something, but are all believers and will all be taken to God despite those differences. I see the P-C split as more of a support for the statement that we are all missing something, believe very differently about CORE ideas, and question whether those believing otherwise will be taken to God because of exactly those differences.

    That being said, I am further puzzled by your allusion to the P-C split because I think that the debate between the homosexual affirming evangelical church and the non-affirming evangelical church ( I am making some packing some major presumptions about liberal and conservative Protestantism in that statement; I am mainly limiting my thinking to the debate within the conservative protestant/evangelical church, e.g. I’m not given to attribute weight to the arguments of Protestant denominations that have castigated the centrality of the Scriptures)… Let me rephrase…I think that the key to the debate between the homosexual affirming evangelical church and the non-affirming evangelical church comes down to whether or not the model of interpreting the text as affirming homosexual relationships threatens the model of interpreting the text concerning

    what will God judge me on?

    What do I need to know- bare minimum requirement of revelation that guarantees

    …I (will) be taken up to our Lord?

    In my understanding the P-C split is a debate about the very nature and subject matter of orthodoxy. While the debate between the homosexual evangelical church and the evangelical church is often elevate to the same status, I DO NOT believe that the subject matter NECESSARILY rises to the same level of centrality. I am strongly inclined to believe that it does not and will not. It’s just that selling that point and creating the supports to affirm that inclination is delicate business because of the attitudes on all sides of the issue.

  • Lisa

    Mary-

    We are on the same page! Thank you for sharing! :)

    We can all talk about this issue for the next 100 years, after awhile and it’s been a LONG while already that we have spent debating, dissecting, examining and arguing the gay point of view, the ex-gay, the Christian, the Muslim the WHATEVER point of view on this issue…. it once again comes down to the most simple commandments. Love God and love you NEIGHBOR as yourself.

    Agree to disagree ! Live by the GOLDEN RULE. I think that’s what this thread started out talking about. Do unto others, treat each other with dignity, love and respect at all time and all places.

    We all get it WRONG from time to time. We just need to make room for each other. We are all in different places in our journey.

    Meet others where you once were or where you may have never been or where you may never go…but meet people where they are and show them God’s Grace and His unconditional love. Be kind, be loving and try not to judge people because we will get judged for judging others. It’s really not that hard. We make it extremely complicated and it’s the NEVER ENDING Story.

    God can handle it all , we don’t need to police the Faith and continue playing “COPS FOR CHRIST”.

    Isn’t there someone we could go help? I need to finish a film. I’ll be praying for all of you!

    Many blessings!

    Lisa

  • Eddy

    Lisa–

    You make it all sound so easy! Just “live by the Golden Rule” is a good example of where things can get all muddled up.

    “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Well, if you knew–or had strong reason to believe–that the bridge was out on the road I was travelling, I sure hope you’d tell me. I think you’d be out of line if you called me ‘stupid’ or ‘blind’ for being on the wrong road but I’d certainly hope that you’d have enough love for me to share your concerns with me.

    Many evangelicals do set themselves up as judge and do resort to regrettable name-calling but there are many others who simply want to say “I think you may be on the wrong road and here’s why.” Conversely, there are many from ‘the other side’ who believe it’s the evangelicals who are on the dangerous road.

    For either side to fall silent about what they strongly believe God has showed them…that would mean that neither side was actually following the golden rule…neither side would be sharing a deep and heartfelt concern that they have for the other.

    So many of us are good at ‘speaking the truth’–as we perceive it–but we fall short on the ‘in love’ part. “Speaking the truth IN LOVE.” And we all need to fully grasp that we all–even the brightest bulbs among us–‘see through a glass darkly’. I’m thinking that the humility that comes from that revelation when coupled with speaking the truth as we perceive it would create the change of attitude that would create conversations rather than sermons and potshots.

    (I’ve been encouraged by this particular topic thread because, as a whole, we have conversed rather than gone preaching or mud-slinging. I appreciate your part in that!)

    “Live and Let Live” is far closer to what many hope for than the Golden Rule. LOL. Many probably think that IS the ‘Golden Rule’.

    (Re your previous post. I appreciate the kudos but I still feel that I must decline to be interviewed. Maybe I’m saving it all for a book I dream of writing some day; maybe I’m still unwilling to step out of hermit mode…I’m not sure of the reasons but I’m at total peace with ‘no’. Sorry!)

    Jayhuck–

    I’m a bit perplexed by the comment you addressed to me–and others. If it was just to me, I’d assume your references were to just how far my friends’ attitudes have changed…has it impacted them in the voting booth? Apart from this blog and sometimes with my family, I simply don’t discuss politics…so I have no way of knowing how they now vote on issues important to the gay community. I’m reasonably content with the fact that I was able to take some degree of antagonism and turn it into some degree of acceptance–and that that acceptance wasn’t just extended to me but a number of gays have enjoyed it too.

    If your comment was really meant for ‘me–and others’, it seems to indicate that you thought we didn’t already have that understanding. Let me assure you that we do. I realize our detour into discussing other possible sources of homophobia might have made it seem that we are blind to the issues within the church. Once again, I assure you we are not. As to levels of intolerance, I believe we are also aware. And I’m sure we’re also aware that the traditions of Christianity can and do have impact on more than just the church; some components of the homophobia that is expressed by the unchurched does, in fact, stem from the church’s impact on society.(I have no idea how much. You and some others obviously feel that it’s much more than I do. But none of has more than opinions or anecdotes on that question.) But, we wanted to step outside of the box for a bit, away from the conversations that we’ve had over and over again, and look at some other possibilities.

    LOL. Somewhere in there I hope I answered the concerns you presented in your post.

  • Lisa

    Eddy,

    It is easier said than done. I was just posting it AGAIN as a reminder. When Jesus said it, it sounded easy then too.

    I was just signing off for awhile because I am overwhelmingly busy with this project and my peace out is a big lets try to treat each other better and call it a day…as over simplified as that sounds.

    Anyway, grateful for your no…I don’t really have any more room anyway and I just wanted you to feel included because I thought after you realized you had me confused with someone else and I had never asked you to participate , the least I could do is ask you. SO I did.

    I would love to go into HERMIT MODE. Enjoy it. Sounds very appealing to me.

    Wish you well EDDY.

    Lisa

  • Eddy

    Lisa–

    As they say in the movies: “Ditto!” LOL. I read your last post in my inbox rather than on the site and, I’ve gotta say, you’ve got the conversation down better than most of us. I went to hit ‘reply’ and caught myself. I think I’m pretty good at conversation but I do have a leaning towards ‘preachy/exhorty’ when on a topic; that usually dampens a conversation. In person, I have a laugh and a sense of humor to buffer but that’s very difficult to convey via keyboard.

    You will keep us informed of the progress, won’t you? We may not still be hanging around on this topic thread but peek up in recently commented and find us there. Or, if it’s really newsworthy, give Warren a shout and perhaps your news will become the topic of the day. Then we’ll find you! Thanks for being a refreshing and optimistic voice!

  • Lisa

    Thank you Eddy my new friend!

    Love you brother. You made me smile.

    In the word of Arnold Schwarzenegger, I’ll be back! :)

    LOL

    Love to all of you!

    Lisa

  • Jayhuck

    Eddy,

    Actually, you didn’t answer any of my questions. My concern is, when does and when should, if ever, our vote reflect our religious beliefs, and when should it not? Should we vote so that our gay neighbor, who may not believe as we do, is denied certain rights and privileges? This is not a question that you answered, and one I believed I asked :)

    Do you believe it is alright to deny our gay neighbors certain rights simply because our religious beliefs dictate that we, and others who may not believe as we do, behave certain ways?

  • Jayhuck

    Let me reiterate that it is a fact that some conservative Christians have and continue to use FEAR and twisted facts as a way of managing and controlling their congregations – especially when it comes to voting against their gay neighbor. This is something that I still do not see these groups trying to make amends for. It is sad.

  • Eddy

    Jayhuck–

    Ah yes, your concerns….your concerns….yes, it’s always about your concerns. Even though I had just stated several times that I had no interest in any further talk in the ‘bash the conservatives’ vein…and even though I hadn’t been talking about politics, “your concerns” gave you the right to direct that question to me. (Silly me for thinking it must have been connected to something I actually said.)

    And that, after you had just returned to posting on this thread, still ignoring Ann’s question that she posted at least twice to you.

    With Evan, you decided to be hung-up on the definiton of atypical while you yourself used the even more vague term ‘stereotypical’. And then, while still puzzling over atypical, rehash your own bisexual theories which are, IMHO, a lot less clear than Evan’s discourse on atypicalism. (I secretly found great humor in this. You seem to assume that if you can’t grasp something, it’s either incomprehensible or the speaker is unintelligible. You never seem to catch on that it might also suggest that you are bull-headed and close-minded. You also seem to think that the conversation must stop until you’ve declared that you now understand. I, for one, have no trouble with leaving you behind…or allowing you to read on the sidelines until you grasp what’s being said. LOL. I picture a student in the first day of physics class constantly interupting the teacher with ‘but you still haven’t explained ‘quantum physics’.)

    (I often don’t engage in conversations with drowssap…not because I think what he’s saying is foolish…but rather, because the conversations are ‘out of my league’. I read and try to learn from the sidelines. LOL. And when he and Evan get going, I find that I actually do develop a better understanding of what they’re talking about.)

    Then I post several long and thoughtful posts about considering the possibility of any sources of homophobia that aren’t rooted in conservative religion and you don’t acknowledge the merits (or lack thereof) of anything I said, instead you feel compelled to ask me to address your concerns.

    You pretended your question was just ‘your concern’ but you conveniently addressed it to me (again, why the need to address it to me?)…and put your remarks re secret bigots saying they have gay friends in quotes…I believe, to purposely suggest that the friends I mentioned reaching were probably still quite homophobic at some level. But, as always, the reference is just vague enough that you can scream “oh no, that’s not what I intended at all; you’re being way too sensitive”.

    Re the answer to your question. I’m going to ask that you use deductive reasoning, read my posts here and answer the question for yourself. If that fails you, use your recall abilities to remember when we’ve discussed politics before. I answered quite specifically then. At the moment, I’m not in the mood for dancing.

    Yes, it’s true that many Christians aren’t loving; it’s also true that many liberals aren’t open-minded. That’s a truth that bears reiterating.

  • mary

    Jamie,

    I’m not avoiding answering – I have been out of town and unable to respond. I have quickly read through your response and will answer shortly – maybe tomorrow or the next day. A couple of items take precedence at this moment.

  • http://preacherzsonsbible.blogspot.com/ Jamie Burow

    Mary,

    How dare you have a life and any other priorities outside of answering my questions! I am incensed!…ya right….LOL.

    Thank you for being so conscientious and for the quick note in the midst of your busyness. I truly appreciate the time and the insights you’ve shared as I’ve muddled through this conversation.

    Godspeed in your endeavours.

  • mary

    Jamie,

    I tried to keep this short and avoid theological arguments, hoping to clarify some points.

    Let me lay some foundations in my thinking.

    The quick reference used to the Catholic/Protestant split was to illustrate that the break was never fixed; the two still pass in the scripture, and no one belief system impressed the other enough to change so completely. Yet, they respectfully agree to disagree on matters. That is all – nothing more. Please don’t read more into a simple example.

    While this can derail into a long conversation on theology and who is saved – my intent was to cut to the chase. The theologies of affirming churches are never going to meet with the theologies of non-affirming churches.

    Consider this, there are several theological issues in which evangelicals differ. Some are concerning Rapture, Tribulation (pre, mid, post) Interpretation of Revelations, Grace vs. Works, etc… The basic need of respect goes to those when they differ on these issues but somehow has been overlooked when it concerns those people who believe that homosexuality is either acceptable or unacceptable.

    Thus far, all the preaching and “intentions” of just wanting to tell the truth and “save” others has moved hundreds of thousands of people away from Christ. My biggest concern when we attempt to activate the great commission is that we shoot our toes off because we are tripping on our own feet. Telling the truth might be heard more clearly if we lived the truth. One of the most impressive things to me about Jesus’ life is that he ate with those who were cast away from the church of his day. And he befriended them.

    The table I was referring to was not one of agreement and but one of respect. Nor was it the table where only evangelical Christians sit. Before I am slammed for being some ecumenical messenger, I am not saying we must believe in the peace and unity of people under one banner of faith or religion. Not at all. I am saying befriend others.

    Most of all let the religion go.


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