Al Mohler and Exodus: Agree or disagree?

As noted last week, Southern Baptist Seminary’s President Rev. Albert Mohler recently told a reporter that evangelicals have “lied about the nature of homosexuality” and reinforced his sentiments at the recent Southern Baptist Convention conference. I think it is going to take awhile for Rev. Al Mohler’s words about evangelicals and homosexuality to sink in – even for those who say they agree with him.

In this Baptist Press article, Exodus International President, Alan Chambers, came to Rev. Mohler’s defense against critics who say Mohler is going soft on gays, saying

“I grew up in a Southern Baptist church, and I am eternally grateful for what I learned there — the truth that I learned and the biblical foundation that I have,” Chambers said. “But there was no way that I was ever going to tell anybody in my church growing up that I struggled with these things. I am very thankful to say that that has changed [in that church]…. But we’ve still all got to do better.”

Alan correctly identifies his church as a problem. Although he doesn’t say exactly why, he is clear that he could not be open about his situation in his church. Apparently, they would not have handled it in a loving, accepting way. Chambers then says, we need to do better. I agree and I think one great example of that is a recent post – of all places – on the Exodus blog.

In a June 21 post, Matthew Walker says:

I felt like killing myself as a teen not because of the church, but because of a very real spiritual enemy that was trying to destroy me anyway that he could.  His whispers and lies twisted the Bible into a condemnation of me, not of the sin that was overtaking me.

Sounds to me like this man attended a church like Alan’s. However, Walker seems to think that his church was just fine, even though he was bothered enough to consider suicide. Reading this article, I am confused. Is Walker’s narrative an illustration of the church getting it right, or is this the kind of church that kept Alan silent and struggling?

Walker’s entire article, to me, seems like an illustration of just the kind of approach that Mohler critiques. Mohler wants evangelicals to be honest about homosexuality. Instead Walker stereotypes gays as miserable, and in denial about why they are gay.

I was honest with myself about how homosexuality developed in my life.  Many gay men and women use the act of “coming out” as a great dismissal of the developmental history that shaped their gay identity.  Genetics becomes the great enabler that keeps many bound to a life of destruction.

According to Walker’s narrative, gays have been crafted by some kind of knowable “developmental history” which they repress via coming out. Genetic research is not scientific inquiry but a devious means of keeping gays in denial.

In 2007, Rev. Mohler wrote that evangelicals should be prepared to acknowledge that biological factors may operate in forming same-sex attraction. By taking seriously biological factors, is Mohler facing facts honestly as he calls evangelicals to do? Or is he improperly enabling gays as described by Exodus’ Mr. Walker?

I am glad that Rev. Mohler voiced his views about evangelicals and honesty when it comes to sexual orientation. I have been raising these issues for several years now, but it takes someone of Mohler’s stature to keep the conversation going. Despite Mohler’s influential position, his views are not universally accepted in SBC circles. Furthermore, it appears to me that even those who generally agree with Mohler need to work out, practically speaking, what that agreement means.

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  • M. Worrell

    As with your last post, I think much of the problem on both sides comes from regarding homosexuality as somehow different from any other issue. Obviously it has its own unique aspects, but the list of things that the church has handled badly and then become enlightened about (without having to rewrite scriptural teaching on those matters, I might add, but rather by embracing simple scriptural teachings on humility and compassion) is long – disciplinary issues with children, alcoholism, divorce, etc.

    I spent five years as a chaste divorced man. My every waking thought (and every popular media message) compelled me to submit to my libido. I did not choose to have a sex drive. The relentless temptation was unwelcome. The failures were discouraging. But I did find that as I pressed into the Lord, I eventually discovered what was almost another world of grace, strength and contentment, to the degree that I truly accepted the reality that I could spend the rest of my life in chastity.

    The church (both my local congregation and the content of books and Christian programming at large), knowing my predicament as a single man seeking to be faithful, was proactive in its compassion, support and understanding. It should be that way with every matter of sin, and I hope Mohler’s statements move the church in that direction.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Matthew Walker, I was really surprised to see him on the Exodus blog. I know a little about him, and I’m not impressed. As with so many in that camp, I think he has issues far more dire than his sexuality to deal with. If Alan brings him into Exodus (not likely at the moment considering their financial woes), well let’s just say even from Alan that would surprise me.

    To respond more concisely to the post, Exodus seems to be moving into a harsher place (shameless plug) lately. This may be, at least in part, due to Jeff Buchanan, who recently took over Randy’s old job as well as keeping his original position — whatever that was. He is quite the spiritual gatekeeper, and has traditionally maintained a much more fundamentalist tack than Alan.

    Whatever the reason, their general tone is shifting in that direction. Alan’s open irritation with the “It Gets Better” campaign was truly troubling. Countering a move designed to help kids keep from committing suicide is just, at best, stupid.

  • StraightGrandmother

    From Matthews comment at Exodus. “Genetics becomes the great enabler that keeps many bound to a life of destruction.”

    StraightGrandmother, Exuse me? “bound to a life of destruction?” I know happy gay people who have a great life, have children. Excuse me but I think this false statement should be pointed out. If you were young and reading this you might believe Mathew Walker. Thankfully there is a real effort for example in the, It Gets Better Project, to let the young gay youth know that he has choices. And choosing to be gay does not mean you will automatically have a crappy life like Matthew Walker says. What life is he talking about anyway, eternal life or life here on earth? Not all religions teach that you are gong right straight to Hell if you are an unrepentant gay. And what about the atheist gays?

  • StraightGrandmother

    David Roberts, I did go read the article you linked to at ExGayWatch. I think it is an excellently written article and I agree with you, and I don’t have a dog in this race. I don’t know any gay people who are struggling to reject their gayness, and i am not even gay myself.

  • StraightGrandmother

    To be honest I am just learning about SOCE. I have looked at it from time to time mainly because on the Christian Websites that is what I read so often, it is a choice people can change. So I am investigating if this is true or not. I read this article here, http://www.majoraffiliateprograms.com/node/983 The more I read and learn, the more I am VERY concerned about this mixing of religion and psychology.

    There is something wrong here about the churches involvement in psychology. I am not comfortable. For churches to be funding and promoting a particular bent of psychology that is congruent to their religion makes me very uncomfortable. Psychology should be science not religion. If the churches just counseled people spiritually I am fine with that, but it seems to me that they are doing much more than that. They are pushing their congregants into psychotherapy, and only those therapies which support their theological view and these practitioners are not open to the scientific community with any measurable research that proves their therapies are the best option for gays. The more I learn the more uncomfortable I become with this mixing of the science of psychology and religion.

  • Gene Chase

    Warren writes:

    According to Walker’s narrative, gays have been crafted by some kind of knowable “developmental history” which they repress via coming out. Genetic research is not scientific inquiry but a devious means of keeping gays in denial.

    “Knowable”? Walker didn’t say that. “Crafted by”? Walker didn’t say that. Furthermore, doesn’t everyone has a developmental history? “Repress”? Walker didn’t say that either. A “great dismissal” isn’t necessarily a repression. “Genetic research is not scientific inquiry”? Walker didn’t even come close to saying that. “Devious”? Walker didn’t say that either.

    Walker seems to be addressing a developmental history that includes both genetics (explicitly) and subsequent life events.

    Warren, it’s quite unlike you to skew what someone else says. At least you didn’t skewer Walker himself, as David Roberts does in saying with gossipy innuendo

    I know a little about him … I think he has issues far more dire than his sexuality

    .

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    At least you didn’t skewer Walker himself, as David Roberts does in saying with gossipy innuendo

    Trust me, I held back. I could have “gossiped” quite a bit about him, but before saying any more I’ll get the facts on the record. When I do it will be a post. My emphasis there was to agree with what Warren was putting forward, that Exodus seems to be taking some unfortunate turns lately.

    But then you’ve been with Exodus for so long Gene, perhaps it just seems like a return to the “good old days?” Oh, and nice game of semantics you have going there, but Warren is usually pretty good at seeing through that kind of thing.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Hi Gene,

    If you read Walker’s testimony he literally states that he crafted an identity for himself out of feeling different at age 5. This statement would seem to exclude any presumed genetic component.

    As I read his blog entry ..while I did not catch the typicall buzz words that Exodus might use .. I did catch the same attitude and ideals. Re:

    -He hates/dislikes the It gets better videos. Why .. because of the assumption that alll the video’s are made by non-Christians .. see his last sentence) He excludes the possiility that there may indeed be Christians out there (some affirming .. some celibate) who do identify as gay

    - He assumes that if you take the gay label you are automatically outside of Christianity .. since he totally blames said label on the gay agenda and such.

    - His postion seems to imply that there is only one answer to this question .. an answer that is related to whether one chooses to identify as gay or not .. rather than a choice of how to live one’s life.

    I am out of time for now but Walkers article fails to recognize the diversity of thought on this issue (even within the idea of celibacy) He also seems to imply that his exploration of causality and its result (for his life) is the only valid answer … when in fact no one knows the causality for having same sex attractions.

    Blessings,

    Dave

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Gene – I have the link in the article, so folks can read it for themselves to see if I have characterized him accurately. Honestly, I think I was tame.

    He said he was honest about his developmental history which I assume means he knew how it related to his homosexuality (knowable) and then he extends his knowledge to all gays who he says use coming out as a way to dismiss this history (as if they repress it somehow with coming out, maybe suppress would have been the better word). He did not use the word “crafted” but he did say “shaped.” I think devious is appropriate since for Walker genetics is being used as a trick to deceive people.

    Where do you see genetics as a part of Walker’s developmental history? He has nothing good to say about those factors and even seems to construct his homosexuality primarily out of a sense of feeling different.

    I guess skewing is in the eyes of the beholder.

  • Ken

    Gene Chase# ~ Jun 27, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    ““Knowable”? Walker didn’t say that.”

    what he did say was (which Warren did quote):

    “I was honest with myself about how homosexuality developed in my life. ”

    and keep in mind this knowledge of how his homosexuality developed came to Walker while he was a teenager.

    I believe Warren’s interpretation of what Walker said is valid. Warren quoted the text he was citing for all to read and interpret for themselves. And you are right Walker didn’t use the exact words you quoted from Warren, if he did Warren would have quoted them himself.

    If you believe Warren interpretation is wrong, you should feel free to suggest an alternate, or highlight where you believe Warren is wrong. However, picking single words out of context and saying “he didn’t say that” hardly advances the discussion.

    Like this:

    “Walker seems to be addressing a developmental history that includes both genetics (explicitly) and subsequent life events.”

    However, the entire tone of Walker’s article is that genetics is irrelevant. that being gay is something to be overcome, not accepted or embraced.

  • Gene Chase

    Warren, Where do I see genetics as a part of Walker’s history? I don’t. I think that when Walker says

    Genetics becomes the great enabler

    he is going beyond personal testimony and attempting to speak more generally.

    But in general one should treat narratives according to their genre. Walker is offering primarily a personal testimony, not an apologetic or a scientific treatise. If he thought that every morpheme were going to be scrutinized by Ex-Gay Watch, I think that he would have stopped before he started. In reading a personal testimony, one should understand that each sentence is prefixed with “In my opinion,” or “In my experience,” or “as I see things today.”

    When my youngest son heard my testimony in a college dorm lounge discussion on homosexuality, he said that he really liked that I used such phrases explicitly. As one wag put it, “A person with an experience is never at the mercy of a person with an argument.” That cuts both ways. I know gays whose experience is that the Holy Spirit empowers and gifts them. This provides some cognitive dissonance for me, but I’m glad that God hasn’t called me to move in prophetic gifting (that’s Christianese for ranting).

    David Roberts, The disagreements among Exodus leaders about healing versus costly discipleship (to use Larry Holben’s helpful categories) quite predate my first formal Exodus connections in 1984. And as for my “semantics game,” I was actually playing the “pragmatics game.” Semantics is about the meaning of words. Pragmatics is about the effect words have on their hearers. I was concerned about Warren’s tone rather than the definition of words.

    But then the whole point of a blog, like the whole point of a personal testimony, is to express one’s opinions. Warren’s blog just happens to have more links to scientific data than most. Which is why I get the RSS feed to it.

  • http://wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Gene: Thanks for the follow up. Two additional points. One, I don’t think it is fair to stop where you did in Walker’s statement about genetics. He clearly did not give it any credence, general or otherwise.

    Two, if this was Walker’s website, I wouldn’t have posted about it. Well, I might have posted about it if he had been quoted in the Christian press saying Mohler was right on and then turned around and said what he said. The discrepancy gets even more jarring when it is Exodus posting it on their blog and in their print newsletter. Then it is Exodus getting across a point of view they want to get across.

    My questions remain. Was Walker’s church doing things correctly? Is Mohler offering up an enablement? If Mohler is right, then it is very hard for me to see how Exodus is correct in endorsing this testimony. If Exodus as a group endorses this article then I don’t really understand what Alan is lauding when he supports Mohler.

    I should add that I raised this with Alan before I posted about it, with no response.

  • Gene Chase

    Let’s see. Someone asked whether Jeff Buchannan considers himself ex-gay. I think so. He gave a testimony one year when his band led the worship at an Exodus Leaders conference that I attended. I haven’t seen a testimony of his in print.

    I was proposing that Exodus is a “big tent” within which there is room for those who believe that healing includes reorientation for some and those who believe that costly discipleship is required for some. In fact, LIFE Ministry in NYC refuses to affiliate with Exodus precisely because LIFE does not admit that for some folks there will be a lifetime of costly discipleship regardless of what they do to help it to be otherwise.

    Slightly off topic here: In my opinion, if it’s not costly, it’s not discipleship. My devotions recently have been on the topic of money. As Jesus said, show me your check register and I’ll show you your heart. (Matt. 6:21, Chase paraphrase).

  • StraightGrandmother

    Gene what is “costly discipleship?” You used it here-

    I was proposing that Exodus is a “big tent” within which there is room for those who believe that healing includes reorientation for some and those who believe that costly discipleship is required for some.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    If you weren’t playing semantics before, you are now ;)

    Warren already responded with my thoughts on the distinction between a personal blog and Exodus posting on their website — two separate issues.

    If he thought that every morpheme were going to be scrutinized by Ex-Gay Watch, I think that he would have stopped before he started.

    Put yourself in the position of curtailing the rights of others, making statements unsupported by the facts and promoting pseudo-scientific claptrap as legitimate science, and you should expect to have someone scrutinize you — why would you not?

    That scrutiny has unearthed some serious wrongs and incompetence along the way. If you want but one example of many, talk to a guy named John Smid, I’m sure you know him. I only wish I could be sure it was all exposed. Which brings me to ask, do you still practice reparative therapy? Still teach reparative drive theory?

    In fact, LIFE Ministry in NYC refuses to affiliate with Exodus precisely because LIFE does not admit that for some folks there will be a lifetime of costly discipleship regardless of what they do to help it to be otherwise.

    Do you really want to use Joanne Highley in defense of your claims about Exodus? Are you implying that Exodus would allow LIFE Ministry to become an affiliate if not for that objection? If not, then I think you might want to just skip her in your next apologetic. Wow.

    Gene, in all seriousness, the personal lives and testimonies of ex-gays do not interest me or XGW in the slightest unless they are being used as evidence of a claim made by that organization or those involved with it.

  • Gene Chase

    I chose Larry Holben’s term because it’s correct and spiritually minded. I mean by the term exactly what Dietrich Bonhoeffer meant when he wrote the book The Cost of Discipleship.. It’s the opposite of “cheap grace,” also Bonhoeffer’s term.

    Costly discipleship is living in the peace that one is obeying God (the “discipleship” part) even though that comes with a cost such as persecution or self-denial. For ex-gays who are not “healed” they make a distinction between being in denial and denying one’s self. Alan Chambers says that here .

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Hi Gene,

    Could you tell me what Alan Chambers means in the article you linked ?? I am referring to this specific quote… especially the part I italizicied below…

    The key thought here is the opposite of homosexuality isn’t heterosexuality. It’s holiness. There are people who are conflicted with their sexuality, involved with homosexuality, and there is a way out for those who want it. But it doesn’t say that they’re going into heterosexuality, because that’s not the point. The point is that people can leave whatever it is that God calls less than His best and move into something that is His best, becoming more like He is.

    I don’t want to derail th thread .. but it seems so much of these conversations are about words and what they mean … Alan seems to be saying that people must leave homosexuality .. but not to become straight but to be holy .. this is rather odd as heterosexuals are presumably not required to leave heterosexuality to be holy.. Just what are they to leave? .. what is to be changed? .. what is acceptable and what is not?

    Dave

  • Teresa

    Gene Chase stated:

    For ex-gays who are not “healed” they make a distinction between being in denial and denying one’s self. Alan Chambers says that here .

    I’m afraid, Gene, that I can find recent statements by Alan Chambers not making any distinction at all. In fact, his recent backing away from being more ‘liberal’ in accepting being homosexual, and what that might really mean … was quickly followed by a “Here’s what I really meant to say.”

    Gene, et. al., please show me some substantive proof that Exodus, NARTH, et. al., really believe in “costly descipleship”. Their most recent attempt at moving outside their traditional box is: “The opposite of homosexuality is holiness.” Basically, the last line in a longer essay.

    Why is there an opposite to homosexuality? Is the opposite of heterosexuality, holiness?

    Bottom line: Exodus, NARTH (some, many, all?), believe sincerely that homosexuality is a MENTAL ILLNESS. Many, in fact, believe simply having the orientation (manifested by the attractions) is sinful. As mentally ill people, of course, they want us ‘cured’, ‘fixed’, whatever. I understand that. Chastity/celibacy in their understanding doesn’t make us ‘cured’, ‘fixed’ of our mental illness. We’re still a threat to their safety and well-being, their childrens’ safety and well-being, and society as a whole.

    It’s difficult to live without hypocrisy, currently, with that mindset. They sincerely believe one thing, but it’s become hard to hold that stance publicly (with good reason) without suffering a backlash.

    I don’t think they quite understand what “costly descipleship” means for them in their own personal lives and their actions congruent with that notion.

  • Teresa

    Dave, my own comment mirrored yours. Great minds, … probably not. :)

  • Gene Chase

    (Forgive if this posts twice. I seem to have hit a wrong button.)

    I have never practiced reparative drive theory.

    I have taught reparative drive theory as a good fit to some situations (but not in fact my own, so I certainly know that it wasn’t correct as a complete explanation). I have taught Daryl Bem’s Exotic Becomes Erotic theory as a good fit to other situations (but not in fact my own, so I certainly know that it too wasn’t correct as a complete explanation). I don’t think that a totalizing theory is ever going to be successful.

    Totalizing theories overlook the complexity of the human condition, whether the theory is from Pythagoras, Freud, Marx, Darwin, Nihilism, or someone’s systematic theology.

  • Gene Chase

    Dave, Not only do I not want to derail this thread, I seem to have had my whole day reoriented ( ;-) ) toward blog posting. It wasn’t even on my to do list. So ‘bye for now.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Gene – I know you know this, but for the benefit of anyone else reading: A good fit between theoretical prediction of facts and the existence of those facts in a person’s life does not mean that those events caused same-sex attraction. There was probably a better way to say that but that is what I came up with.

    My background fits the fact pattern predicted by reparative drive theory for the development of SSA. However, I am and have always been completely straight. Should I view my overprotective smother mother and distant but cranky dad as the cause of my straightness?

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    I have taught reparative drive theory as a good fit to some situations (but not in fact my own, so I certainly know that it wasn’t correct as a complete explanation). I have taught Daryl Bem’s Exotic Becomes Erotic theory as a good fit to other situations (but not in fact my own,

    And you wonder why you are scrutinized? What a mass of misinformation. Here’s a thought, they are all equally wrong, which is why they are not consistently applicable. But I guess it’s nice to have a smorgasbord to chose from so you can fit the theory to the person. What, no weak father and overbearing mother? No problem, let me see what we have here that will fit you…

    Exotic become erotic — wow. I didn’t think anyone actually took that seriously.

  • Ken

    Warren# ~ Jun 27, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    “A good fit between theoretical prediction of facts and the existence of those facts in a person’s life does not mean that those events caused same-sex attraction. There was probably a better way to say that but that is what I came up with. ”

    The facts can (and often do) fit multiple competing theories at once. So simply showing the facts fit one theory doesn’t prove that theory nor disprove the other theories or the possibility of an unconsidered reason.

  • Gene Chase

    David Roberts, EBE was published in a peer-reviewed journal by a gayman. Are you a la Hickey challenging the applicability of path analysis to create causal models? Or are you suspicious of meta-analyses? Was Ben’s sample not representative? There are some good criticisms of Bem’s approach, but I have to wear my other hat (emeritus professor of mathematics and computer science) to make sense of them. And of course the criticisms have their critics, and so on.

    The questions are rhetorical. I’m mostly pointing out that disdain is not disproof.

  • Teresa

    Warren said:

    My background fits the fact pattern predicted by reparative drive theory for the development of SSA. However, I am and have always been completely straight. Should I view my overprotective smother mother and distant but cranky dad as the cause of my straightness?

    THIS, YES!

    I think we all can fall into the logical fallacy of “Post Ergo, Propter Hoc” … after this, because of this.

    What really opened my eyes on this whole issue, is exactly what you’ve described, Warren, as background. When I finally understood that the very same factors that were the supposed “Holy Grail” for the etiology of homosexuality, happened to hundreds of millions of men who, themselves, were str8 … the lightbulb went on.

    Added to that fact, that many gay men did not have smother mothers and/or distant dads … added more fuel to my lively mind. (BTW, I really don’t like the term: smother mother. It’s a very hostile term, implying death, imo. Distant dad seems rather neutral in meaning, as words go).

  • StraightGrandmother

    Gene I asked you what is “costly discipleship” and you said

    I chose Larry Holben’s term because it’s correct and spiritually minded. I mean by the term exactly what Dietrich Bonhoeffer meant when he wrote the book The Cost of Discipleship.. It’s the opposite of “cheap grace,” also Bonhoeffer’s term.

    Costly discipleship is living in the peace that one is obeying God (the “discipleship” part) even though that comes with a cost such as persecution or self-denial. For ex-gays who are not “healed” they make a distinction between being in denial and denying one’s self. Alan Chambers says that here .

    I read the Alan Chambers quote you linked to and also your explanation and I believe I understand. At Exodus there are two kinds of outcomes, true sexual orientation change, and then also people who never change their sexual orientation but simply pray real hard and through prayer or some people might say, “With God’s help” I am able to resist that which comes naturally to me and never goes away, and it isn’t easy. Oh and the third outcome, drop outs to the program.

    Thank you for the explanation.

  • Maddison

    SG, her’s what Chambers has been saying for some time (not quite as sarcastically):

    “Like AA, Chambers estimates, Exodus has about a one-third immediate success rate. Another third decide they were happy being gay in the first place, while the remaining third are still floating somewhere in between.”

  • hazemyth

    Actually, it’s ‘post hoc ergo propter hoc’ — ‘after this, therefore from this’.

  • http://www.comingout4christians.net Dave

    Gene Chase# ~ Jun 27, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Dave, Not only do I not want to derail this thread, I seem to have had my whole day reoriented ( ) toward blog posting. It wasn’t even on my to do list. So ‘bye for now.

    Well .. I think its a rather important question. hopefully you wil find time later to respond ..

    Blessings,

    Dave

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    I think one semi-fair point that Walker makes is about “genetics being the great enabler” — some gay people actually do make genetics and a belief in a soon-to-be-proven Gay Gene into a sort of article of (blind) faith.

    However, I strongly disagree with Walker’s implication that if gay people let go of this blind faith in genetics, they would be more open-minded about Exodus and eventually rediscover their Innate Heterosexuality!

    What I suspect, instead, is that an overbearing faith in genetics can discourage some Unhappy Homosexuals from the sort of introspection that would enable them to become Happier Homosexuals. That is, when you repeat “I was born this way” once too often, you can become blind to the possibility that although your homosexual orientation is innate, the manner in which you’re living your homosexual life may be the product of acquired bad mental habits.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Here’s a thought, they are all equally wrong, which is why they are not consistently applicable.

    Here’s a thought: “Not consistently applicable” does not mean “wrong” — UNLESS you’re predisposed to believe that there is only ONE type of homosexuality, and you’re searching for a single etiology to explain it.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Arrgh. My previous post was a reply to David Roberts, but I forgot the bquote tags.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Matthew Walker: I felt like killing myself as a teen not because of the church, but because of a very real spiritual enemy that was trying to destroy me anyway that he could. His whispers and lies twisted the Bible into a condemnation of me, not of the sin that was overtaking me.

    Hmm. Although Walker is ostensibly trying to take personal responsibility while at the same time being generous towards his fellow congregants by blaming himself and not the church, the practical result is that he’s applying “the soft bigotry of low expectations” towards the church and its membership. They’re doing nothing wrong in (Slothfully?) taking for granted that their own pet interpretation of Lev. 18:22 and Rom 1:26-27 happens to be identical with God’s own thinking; it’s Walker who must have been misled.

    (Granted, Walker would retort that gay-affirming congregations are the ones applying “the soft bigotry of low expectations” to homosexuals, and that actively-gay people who identify as Christian are the ones guilty of Sloth. As one of our Catholic participants astutely observed, “Dignity thinks Courage is deceived and Courage thinks Dignity is deceived.”)

  • Jayhuck

    Ken,

    but it seems so much of these conversations are about words and what they mean

    Yep – They sure are.

  • Jayhuck

    Throbert,

    That is, when you repeat “I was born this way” once too often, you can become blind to the possibility that although your homosexual orientation is innate, the manner in which you’re living your homosexual life may be the product of acquired bad mental habits.

    Excellent, excellent point!

  • StraightGrandmother

    I am under the impression that the only people who are focused like a laser beam on “why” someone is gay, are the people who want to “un-gay” them. The rest of us who are content to simply accept that some people are gay and have no interest in trying to encourage them to be otherwise, don’t really care all that much what made someone gay. It is only of interest to the people who are focused on “un-gaying” people.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Jayhuck: Have you seen Weird Al Yankovic’s recently released “Perform This Way” video?

    Besides spoofing Lady Gaga’s schtick in a hilarious way (“…I might be wearing Swiss cheese, or may be covered with bees…”), the song/vid can also be interpreted as a very gentle rebuff to all the gay fans who have identified “Born This Way” as some sort of LGBT-affirming anthem. Because even if people are by and large “born” heterosexual or homosexual, there are, obviously, certain aspects of “being Gay” and “being Straight” that sometimes are a performance intended to be seen and appreciated by the general public, and not only for our individual sex partners.

    P.S. Is it sinful to covet that “Taj Mahal With Calamari” ensemble (at the 2:30 mark in the Yankovic video)? C’est très, très chic! ;-)

  • Mary

    It is only of interest to the people who are focused on “un-gaying” people.

    Or those looking to be comfortable in something about themselves

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Another poignant song on these themes: “Rainbow Ride” by Mark Weigle, who is openly homosexual but critical of the mass-market gay culture that gay men have sold to other gay men for years and years.

    Key lyrics:

    You can ask all the stand-in Dads to love you

    You can bask in diva-Mother hovering ‘bove you

    You can teach younger ones these games…

    You gay your way, and I’ll go mine…

    Goodbye — shallow Rainbow Ride.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    You can ask all the stand-in Dads to love you

    You can bask in diva-Mother hovering ‘bove you

    You can teach younger ones these games…

    You gay your way, and I’ll go mine…

    Goodbye — shallow Rainbow Ride.

    You’ve got to be kidding. That stereotype and whatever reality it was based on has been fading so fast that he need not fret. Minorities produce a sense of community in their common struggles against those who want them to disappear. That usually produces some subcultures along the way, but most gays and lesbians could not readily be distinguished from anyone else except for the obvious — same-sex spouse, etc.

    Stand-in dads? Sounds like Joe Nicolosi. Somebody has issues.

    UNLESS you’re predisposed to believe that there is only ONE type of homosexuality

    The kind where one is sexually attracted exclusively to the same sex? Yeah, that one. And honestly, I’m not searching for any etiology, I rather agree with StraightGrandmother on that. Whatever the cause, it doesn’t seem to be mutable, which would take away the incentive for most who seem to care.

  • Teresa

    Actually, it’s ‘post hoc ergo propter hoc’ — ‘after this, therefore from this’.

    Thanks, Hazemyth, you have stated this logical fallacy correctly.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    The Wikipedia entry on Mark Weigle sheds a little light on his attitude:

    I’ve stopped my music career due to lack of support. I dedicated my muse and my career to the gay world, which seems predominately interested in straight celebrities, pretty 20-year-olds, porn stars and drag queens (take a look at a gay magazine or at who headlines ‘Pride’ festivals and gay organization fundraisers and you’ll see what I mean).

    Issues.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled topic, which all of this crap isn’t.

  • Teresa

    David Roberts stated:

    but most gays and lesbians could not readily be distinguished from anyone else except for the obvious — same-sex spouse, etc.

    Yes, David Roberts, this is so true … even though many of us don’t have a same-sex spouse, etc.

    Many of us live, walk, work, and do all the things str8 folks do … all quite anonymously as to orientation.

    David Roberts:

    And honestly, I’m not searching for any etiology, I rather agree with StraightGrandmother on that.

    It’s quite amazing, isn’t it, that homosexuals don’t think alike, don’t believe alike, don’t vote alike, don’t act alike, don’t live alike …

    So, yes, David, I understand for many homosexuals, there is little to no interest in etiology of the gay. However, I’m about as happy a person, as most people, I think, happy being homosexual; but, I am interested in the genesis of orientation, str8 or gay … and, not so I can ‘fix’ someone.

    Whatever the cause, it doesn’t seem to be mutable, which would take away the incentive for most who seem to care.

    Well said.

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    Stand-in dads? Sounds like Joe Nicolosi.

    No — Joe Nicolosi claims that “alienation from the father” causes male homosexuality. Mark Weigle is observing here (I think) that a lot of male homosexuals happen to have “alienation from the father” issues that they try to fix by pursuing sex with Daddy Figures.

    But Weigle is not identifying alienation from the father as the original cause of the homosexuality (which Nicolosi does); he’s identifying alienation from the father as a factor that drives some homosexual men to make stupid relationship and life decisions (for example, insofar as they reject relationships with very promising partners who aren’t “Daddy-like”, in favor of relationships with assholes who are “Daddy-like”).

    And the whole point of the song is that such behaviors are NOT an intrinsic part of being a homosexual, but that they are nonetheless rather endemic in contemporary gay culture — because older gays sometimes say to younger gays “this is what being gay means,” instead of saying “learn from my mistakes, kiddo, and don’t imitate them.”

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    I can’t speak to all that “daddy figure” stuff as it’s foreign to my experience. It has been a long time since I was in a gay bar and that’s where most of that kind of drama used to peculate anyway. I do agree that the older crowd seems to be more prone to identify the gay subculture from days gone by as being, well “gay” but I just don’t see that much anymore. It’s understandable, but a bit passé to the new generations.

    Younger gays and lesbians are, thankfully, living in a world less harsh to them (comparatively) and don’t seem to need to form the same alternatives. No doubt the drama lives on in places, but the change is happening so fast that I don’t really think any of that is a serous concern anymore.

    Yes, David Roberts, this is so true … even though many of us don’t have a same-sex spouse, etc.

    Sorry Teresa, I was speaking generally of the things that would be different. There are a myriad of small things that are said or done during each day which would let someone know one is gay or lesbian, in the same way that they identify someone who is straight, but there are far more commonalities. I didn’t mean to imply one must have a spouse :)

    So, yes, David, I understand for many homosexuals, there is little to no interest in etiology of the gay. However, I’m about as happy a person, as most people, I think, happy being homosexual; but, I am interested in the genesis of orientation, str8 or gay … and, not so I can ‘fix’ someone.

    I didn’t mean to suggest it should be prohibited, just that I have no driving passion to find out. I’m always interested in scientific findings of fact, but after dealing with hacks who develop pet theories to make homosexuality into some sort of curable development disorder, I’m rather squeamish over the issue.

    Whatever orientation you have, you better get used to it or, in the extreme, find a way to make peace with it because in all likelihood, it’s here to stay. That’s the main point.

  • Teresa

    Whatever orientation you have, you better get used to it or, in the extreme, find a way to make peace with it because in all likelihood, it’s here to stay. That’s the main point.

    Yup, David, that’s the truth. It’s been the truth through the centuries; and, will continue to be the truth; regardless of labels, terms, faith beliefs, and scientific whatnot.

    We could, David, using your sentence quoted above, with a minor modification and it too, would be true, don’t you think?

    Whatever orientation others have, you better get used to it or, in the extreme, find a way to make peace with it, because in all likelihood, it’s here to stay.

  • http://exgaywatch.com David Roberts

    Yup, I should have used that verbiage to begin with, as I wasn’t aiming it at you specifically :)

    Was posting in a rush.

  • Teresa

    Heavens, David, I knew you weren’t. We’re on the same page. Just bringing str8 folks into our conversation: they might feel left out. :)

  • http://funfrotfacts.blogspot.com Throbert McGee

    I can’t speak to all that “daddy figure” stuff as it’s foreign to my experience. It has been a long time since I was in a gay bar and that’s where most of that kind of drama used to peculate anyway.

    By “daddy figure” I wasn’t necessarily talking about green-hanky “sugar daddy seeks boy toy” arrangements that were sometimes worked out in gay bars, back in the Long Long Ago before the Innerwebs — but also “I’ll be the screw-up Beta Male [athlete / Pvt. Gomer / convict] and you be the stern but loving disciplinarian Alpha Male [coach / drill sergeant / cop] who sets me on the path towards righteous Alphaness by having hot sex with me” fantasy tropes, which are definitely alive and well.

    Although there may be various motivations for this kind of fantasizing, I would speculate that for a lot of the gay men who get into such role playing, there’s an underlying desire to have one’s homosexuality approved and modeled by an Alpha Male / Senior Authority Archetype who also happens to be homosexual — which is what I meant by “daddy figure”. Let me stress that I don’t think such fantasies are always problematic and need to be “analyzed” so that they can be “fixed” — unless, of course, the obsessive pursuit of such fantasies is interfering with real-life goals such as finding a partner for a stable, long-term relationship.

    (Also, I suspect that a lot of heterosexual men have “daddy figure” needs, too — which shape their social and professional relationships with other men and maybe even subtly affect their erotic relationships with women. So homosexual men with “daddy figure” needs aren’t “weird”, as men go — they just have the complicating wrinkle that they might seek to locate the “daddy figure” and the “erotic partner” in the same person.)

    I also agree that prospects for LGBT youth have gotten a lot better in a relatively short time — partly because of gay-rights activism and legislation, partly because of tolerance-promoting popular culture, and maybe especially because of technological changes that have made it easy and inexpensive to maintain long-distance friendship circles. (Perhaps the only thing that will remain a constant is that nearly all gay people will continue to be raised by non-gay parents — that’s one aspect of our reality that is typically different from what most other minorities experience.)

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