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#72055 - 11/11/03 10:12 AM gay christian
abcd Offline
Member

Registered: 10/20/00
Posts: 189
Loc: GA
As I sit here amidst everything that is going on in my life (struggling to hold everything together), I realize that perhaps I am where I am supposed to be. Indeed, my feelings of wanting to change because it is wrong to be homosexual have become not wanting to change because I believe God wants me to be homosexual. I realize that there are issues that people here may have to tease out between their sexuality/abuse, etc.,. Still, I just wanted to vent.

Right now, I am still struggling a bit with everything. The coming out process has been painful and continues to be an ongoing process. However, I have been blessed with also supportive people (Christians in particular--my boyfriend is a Christian) who have welcomed me and encouraged me in my growth. Indeed, with all these current discussions of gay marriage bans and the like, I have come to realize that the way to truly win the hearts of people in this fight for civil rights is to help homosexual Christians show other Christians that there is a way to balance the two. By this, I mean to live a Christian, homosexual lifestyle. By removing such stereotypes of homosexuals, we can help remove some of the biases.

In addition, we can also convey to the homosexual community that there are Christians out there who do welcome them--indeed many Christians who are even gay. How often has the homosexual community engaged in self-destructive behavior, having thrown out their Christian morals. I do not mean to judge anyone by this, but rather to just say that there is a way to reconcile these things.

Anyway for those who are interested as a complement to their journey in combatting the effects of abuse, here are a few interesting websites...(the bottom one has a forum)

http://www.christianlesbians.com/churches/churchesweb.html

http://www.gaychristian.net/


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#72056 - 11/11/03 11:12 AM Re: gay christian
brian-z Offline
Member

Registered: 07/11/02
Posts: 770
Loc: Western USA
I checked out the link below and all I can say is, thank you.

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#72057 - 11/11/03 11:16 AM Re: gay christian
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Abcd,

I admire your courage in coming out to your fellow Christians.

I am not a Christian; but belong to another religion where homosexuality is strictly taboo and there is absolutely no room for any discussion or tolerance of different sexual orientation.

Additionally, I was sexually abused as a teenager by a mentor/guardian in this faith community.

I am now 49 years old have not yet come out to my co-religionists. With the help of a lot of therapy and the support of other gay men, I have chosen today, which is a holy day in my faith, to come out and withdraw my membership in my religious community.

It is a tremendously difficult decision to have to come to. I have been a Baha'i since I was 15 years old and my faith is one of the most constant influences running through my life.

As I said, I admire your courage and wish you all the success. You are fortunate that in your faith there are those who are tolerant and openminded. Of course, you found them because you were willing to take the risk in coming out.

I feel sure that what you are doing is what is best for you and for everyone else. As someone once said, it is what we don't disclose that makes us sick, not what we talk about.

Have you ever seen the documentary "Trembling Before God"? It is an examination of the lives of gay people who are Orthodox Jews, a religion that completely condemns homosexuality.

I would reccomend it as a way of gaining perspective and understanding.

Anyway thanks for having the courage to be who you are, and the compassion to come here and share about it with me. It will help me today as I do this most difficult but most necessary act of detaching.

May God bless us and keep us all close to Him.

PS In the past there has been a lot of church and Christian bashing from some in this space. I'm glad you're not letting that deter you from sharing your journey with me. To my mind, Christian bashing is just as wrong-headed and hurtful to all as gay-bashing. Just my 2 cents,

Your brother,

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#72058 - 11/11/03 01:20 PM Re: gay christian
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
abcd - I agree with where you have arrived in your walk with your faith. There is a need for some christians to focus narrowly in order to make sense in their faith walk. For others, the path is less narrow. I encourage your present course; however, don't let others talk you into "their" system.

Howard

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

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#72059 - 11/11/03 03:01 PM Re: gay christian
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
I have found an accomodation that works for me but I'd like to hear from others in reference to how they call themselves Gay Christians when so many Christians and groups of Christian Churches, Christian church leaders, Christian followers, and Christian theologians reject gayness and sometimes gay people.

Brett

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

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#72060 - 11/12/03 02:17 PM Re: gay christian
Justin113 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 28
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
I understand that Christians sometimes accept gays. That's good.

I also understand that the religious right is potentially the most hateful, ignorant, bitter, lifeless, evil, nasty, corrupt, wicked, hypocritical, hurtful, spiteful, dishonest, unsound, illogical crazy cult there is in this country.

Religion is fine and good if it makes you feel fine and good about yourself and the world you live in. If it makes you feel bad or condemns you for you being you, then it's the bad one. Not you.

As far as I can see, fundamentalist religions of all stripes only serve to feed us deciet, torture the spirit, condemn that which enlivens us and turn us into savage idiots lacking all reason and common sense.

Maybe it's better to believe in yourself for a change.

LOVE is the best way to go in this world. Fill yourself with love, immerse your soul in love, give it to others, recieve it from others. And never stop.

-Justin


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#72061 - 11/12/03 03:30 PM Re: gay christian
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
Justin

I am very interested in how the very non-fundamentalists (inclusive of gayness) separate themselves from the very fundamentalists (condemning gayness). From my point of view the in-betweeners (hate the sin, love the sinner) make no logical sense at all. They're just trying to avoid confrontation and end up getting it from both sides. I hope that somebody here can describe that for me.

I agree that it is good and useful to believe in yourself. Self confidence is a powerful tool in terms of getting along in life.

What you say about love sounds very like what Jesus and a number of other spiritual teachers have taught.

What gets me is how the loving-Christians seem to be very quiet when it comes time to confront the hating-Christians. To me, it looks a lot like they covertly agree. Jesus was a revolutionist, a spiritual left-winger, an innovater, a rebel. These guys today look more like born again reactionaries.

Brett

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

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#72062 - 11/12/03 03:31 PM Re: gay christian
crisispoint Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 2154
Loc: Massachusetts
I am a Christian, and while I don't know if I'm gay, bisexual, or whatever, I understand what it means to be conflicted in regards to sexuality.

What people forget is that, while the Bible does state that homosexuality is wrong, it says that a lot of other things are wrong too that are NO LONGER considered wrong.

We are who we are. God loves us, no matter what.

Thanks abcd. God loves us all.

Peace, love, and acceptance,

Scot \:D

_________________________
There are reasons I'm taking medication. They're called "other people." - Me, displaying my anti-social tendancies

fromacuriousmind.blogspot.com
malehurtandsurvive.blogspot.com

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#72063 - 11/12/03 04:13 PM Re: gay christian
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
...and compassion, I might add.

God is all-inclusive. That is the nature of God. That is the bottom line.

Brett

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

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#72064 - 11/12/03 07:20 PM Re: gay christian
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
I'd also like some explanation on how gay Christians make the separation between themselves and those Christians who outright or nearly outright condemn them.

In reference to the in-betweeners, I have to wonder why gay people would adhere to a religion that relegates them to second class status. Straight sex is not a sin, only gay sex.

Why does a gay person call himself Christian when the associations with that term are so often anti-gay?

Why not go with a more truth affirming spirituality which might freely draw upon the teachings of Christ but not the ancient and culturally defunct strictures of the Old Testament and Paul's racist and sexist preaching?

I ask these things because they describe the dilema that I have found myself in. I am hoping that someone who has successfully answered these questions for themself will share those answers with me.

Spirituality is essential to recovery but the God worshipped by those who surrounded me when I was a child did not protect children then even as he does not now and his followers seem just as bent as ever on pusing down and demeaning gay children.

Brett

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

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#72065 - 11/12/03 11:45 PM Re: gay christian
Justin113 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 28
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
My personal view of the matter is that religion of the fundamentalist kind is essentially a primative practice. The more advanced a culture becomes, the more learned and intelligent, the less need it has for the goverance of a strident, mean spririted doctrine bent on punishing people for excercising natural impulses. What comes naturally and feels pleasing to the soul is what ought to be championed; this includes any sexual activity that doesn't harm the unwilling. The concept of "sin" is trite and unsupported and twisted. "Sin" is what people label their instinctive desires after being taught to hate and fear their own nature. Life should be celebrated, not condemned, we should infuse our time here with pleasure and peace instead of pain and violence. As for sex, whatever gets you off is perfectly healthy and acceptable so long as it harms no one. Anyone who claims otherwise lacks logical support to claim otherwise, and tends to support their fuzzy message by trying to make others feel shameful for their pleasure. What a sick tactic. I say enjoy yourself, and let others enjoy themselves. Then we'll all be happier and on the way to a better more peaceful society.

Just my two pennies.

-Justin


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#72066 - 11/13/03 02:57 AM Re: gay christian
Stephen_5 Offline
BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 667
Loc: Northern California Foothills
I gave up on organized religion when I was sixteen. I was disillusioned earlier. I saw the guy who abused me every time I went to church when I was 11 to 13. He was very pious. The Boy Scout troop was sponsored by a church and a lot of the abuse happened on Scout outings and campouts. I know that it's a bit irrational blaming the church but I just felt that it was not right for me. I think that I am a spiritual person, a compassionate person. I am very non-judgemental lest I get judged myself. I don't know what my sexuality is. I've done a lot of acting out in my life but I loved my wife. Now that she's gone I'm just as confused as ever. But I do know that I can't stand to be around people who are so uncaring and condemning of people who are not exactly like them. My idea of god/higher power/whatever is a loving, inclusive one who knows that everyone is different, that people are affected by things beyond their control, that sometimes people do things that aren't healthy for them, that people are human beings and have human failings.

There's my two cents.

Take good care of yourselves guys,

Steve

_________________________
I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

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#72067 - 11/13/03 11:27 AM Re: gay christian
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
Quote:
Originally posted by Stephen_5:
I know that it's a bit irrational blaming the church...
Steve,

I wonder if it is out of line to blame the church. It makes such huge claims about morality and compassion that I think it practically begs to be held accountable when it doesn't meet its own standards.

Isn't a church supposed to be a sort of it-takes-a-village sort of community? If it isn't, if those people are not thoroughly dedicated to looking out for one another, where in the world can we find such a thing?

Most of the individual Christians I talk to seem right in line with this kind of thing and yet the compassion for one another part of it seems to fall apart over and over again.

Brett

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

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#72068 - 11/16/03 10:40 AM Re: gay christian
abcd Offline
Member

Registered: 10/20/00
Posts: 189
Loc: GA
Wow...thanks for the response guys. I guess I'll write one though I odn't know how much sense it'll make, as I am tired...so good luck if you're reading this \:\)

Btw, I am not that familiar with this site, but it may help for non-Christians (along with Christians) for some other resources...

http://www.iwgonline.org/interfaith/

Now, as far as the whole notion of separating from the extremist, fundamentalist Christians--I will say that it is the same as those say of the fundamentalist Taliban separated from mainstream Moslems. I do not mean to open a whole can of worms here, but the likes of extreme fundamentalism as Rev. Phelps are people who I can easily separate myself from.

Now, this is not to say, that all fundamentalists go that extreme, but rather, just to point out that it is not as hard as it seems--since everyone has to do that regularly anyway. More moderate fundamentalists (which I guess is an oxymoron--though my boyfriend/partner is technically from a fundamentalist Christian denomindation), separate themselves from Phelps as well.

Also, it really helps to be in a welcoming church, as it really shows you that you are NOT at all alone. Indeed, that community is to whom you belong and you have no need to separate yourself. Now your specific church may delineate itself from other churches, but I leave that to them and just pray. For me, it's just nice to really be able to go to church without having to hear the bigotry.

Furthermore, in cases where I do meet with fundamentalists, I simply ask them...well, do you really know the Bible? I talk to them about what I know from schooling (even before I really came out to myself) about the interpretations, the translations, the authorshiops, etc., That usually silences them as they really, for all their fundamental belief in the Bible, do not KNOW the Bible. They simply repeat was has been told to them by say their parents. In addition, I have done a lot of reading myself on Christian scholars and sermons. Indeed, their words to me are very poweful, which helps when I talk to people about what the Bible really says about homosexuals. Just as important, as a scholar, I tell them about the fraudulent methods of the ex-gay movement, and the words of the medical establishments FOR homosexual families/adoptoins and the like. Lastly, I think one thing that some fundamentalists (who know you well) can really listen to is your heartfelt conscience--I tell them what I've been through and how I was saved as a Christian. I tell them how, as a Christian, I really felt compelled to do this--in fact, I really feel that perhaps God wants serious change in this world...to welcome our homosexual brothers and sisters. At the very least, I remind them of the atrocities I went through in the coming out to sort of appeal to their humanity--as they can relate then that this is by no means a "choice" (why in my right mind would I choose it considering how tough it is?). At the end of the day, I can usually walk away with them at least, giving me the benefit of the doubt : )

Anyay, as I noted before though, the bottom line is that there are more people than it seems [from all sorts of denominations and faiths] that have opened their arms to homosexual persons (much as others have before opened their arms to interracial marriages, etc.,).

This is not say that our road is easy, by ANY means, but that there are many people there--homosexuals and NON-homosexuals--who are practicing their faith fully, welcoming homosexuals. Indeed, I think it is important to reach out to them, as I think, many are even just trying to wrestle with these ideas without even really knowing homosexual persons. I remember meeting this lady from a "welcoming" congregation, saying that she just wanted to come and attend this Evangelical Lutheran conference celebrating the welcoming of homosexuals simply because she just wanted to really know what it is like.

Man...this is long...oh well. I hope that made sense. Point is...reach out to welcoming Christian congregations if you can, it'll certianly show you that you are not alone. Moreover, I think it is truly how we can open the hearts and minds of those who have spoken against us.
_________________________________________
ADDENDUM: I actually wrote this message to one of you, but thought it might help to write it here...

Hey,

I was especially touched by your comments...I will say though that for many of us who are Christians, it helps to have that stability. Moreover, as a Christian, just as others may find it in their interest to condemn homosexuals, I find it in my interest to open the hearts of other Christians to homoesexuals. As I said in my response to everyone post (LOL), there are many welcoming, mainstream congregations out there. I think that they are helpful in the grand scheme of things--especially since I believe they can help those homosexual teens or young to live stable, monogamous lives.

Honestly, I just spoke with my brother yesterday (who is also homosexual but less a Christian), and it bothers me to hear him depressed--as he goes out with 4 boyfriends and does drugs. This is not major perhaps, but more rampant than it seems, in the gay community. In the end, what needs to control that is guidance from people as the Christian community--which aside from some of the community's condemning rhetoric against homosexuls--is really not that bad.

Lastly, I will say that the Christianity IS evolving. The truth is that younger people of today are more open to homosexuals (much like now older people were more open to Elvis than their grandparents). To stay the course and hold on to Christianity is a chance to save it from itself and really make a difference. I don't know if this is a stupid analogy, but people could have given up on their grandparents a long while ago too, but that would have made them as close-minded as ever.

That's just my 2 cents. Take it for what its worth. Thanks.


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#72069 - 11/16/03 08:37 PM Re: gay christian
gg1978 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/30/01
Posts: 14
Wow, it's been a long time since i've posted here last, but this thread has lots of interesting conversation...

I just wanted to say that i've thought about this a LOT since late 2001. I've not acknowledged God's existance or gone to church for over a year now, and i don't feel any different. Funny thing is i knew it was coming, before i even thought about accepting i was gay.

I'd like to believe in God, to be honest. I just can't believe though, because of what God is supposed to be. It made no sense to continue believing, so i became an agnostic.

I've thought of going to a gay accepting congregation about 30 miles away, but i've never gotten around to actually going. Perhaps i should consider going there, at least once..


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#72070 - 11/16/03 09:27 PM Re: gay christian
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
I can't change the way I am and if churches impose their self will on me and have their god condemn me, so be it. I don't have a use for them or a need to subscribe to their way of thinking.

The God I know, is one of compassion, love, understanding all of which the world has turned their back on today.

I did not choose to be gay. It is not something that is easy for me because society turns their noses down on those of us who are gay. I can't hold hands with my partner out in public because I may just be beaten and killed for it. I can't talk openly about my partner in the way others can talk about their husbands/wives because of what may happen to me. I am not accepted in this society with respect to insurance, legal matters, and other issues in society - all because my life is different. Even though it is hard for me to accept, I was born this way. I can't change how I was created. I tried to fit in to society and churches the way they wanted me to, only to be frustrated, depressed, suicidal. I now have been accepting myself for who I am and my life has been the best it has ever been for me.

I've now been with my partner for 4 years and we have grown together and within ourselves as well. We love and cherish each other no matter what some religions preach or what society says. To us, we are who we are and it is hard to change something which you are.

There is more to life that I have found than being caught up in how churches seem to be the designated spoke's person for God. ONe of these days, I think God is going to come down and file lawsuits against so many religions for many speak in libel and slander of God.

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#72071 - 11/17/03 08:52 AM Re: gay christian
abcd Offline
Member

Registered: 10/20/00
Posts: 189
Loc: GA
Hey,

Just wanted to drop a quick note, as I have to run...but hey, I agree with you guys. I do believe in a God of compassion and all that. I am not by any means forcing or pressuring anyone to go to church or whatever...Certainly, I am mindful of the hypocrisy and the like of many churches.

My point was just that there is a growing community of Christian gays and welcoming non-gays, however, and that for those (like me who are young, are new to coming out, and may have grown up in conservative backgrounds), there is INDEED a community out there for support (hence, the links above in the 1st post). I mean we all know what it's like to feel alone, right? Well, this stuff has really helped me--at the very least, it's not too much of a shock. It's bad enough when you're grappling with abuse and homosexuality (with all their stigma). It's nice to be able to hold on and even build upon something that has helped you in the past, rather than throw it out unnecessarily thinking that these things can never be reconciled. In fact, not only can these things be reconciled, but as I noted, there is a community out there to whom you can reach out. Also, on a political sense, I think it is the strengthening of these types of communities that will continue to dispel the hatred that is out there (as the Bible and religious doctrines can no longer be logically used to discriminate against us). Even in a non-churchy sense, its just nice (for someone again new to the scene) to see gay parents holding their child's hand at church and all that. Does that make sense?

Anyway, that's it. My two cents. Gotta run, and thanks for your comments.


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#72072 - 11/18/03 11:06 AM Re: gay christian
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
I think you are an optimist and an active one changing perceptions one conversation at a time. I think your strength may be in thinking of it in those terms.

I, on the other hand, think of the endless, numberless, fruitless and hurtful conversations that I would have to instigate or be a part of if I tried to truly be part of a Christian community.

I guess I have always resented being pushed into the role of educator and resist it and so separate myself not only from groups which reject me but also from individuals who have not already educated themselves.

My rights as a human being and the fact that gayness is a natural phenomenon are not a matter of opinion or belief. To paraphrase Thoreau, people can persist in the ridiculous belief that the sky is green, it is still plainly blue. Is it my job to convince them of the obvious?

Brett

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

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#72073 - 11/18/03 06:58 PM Re: gay christian
abcd Offline
Member

Registered: 10/20/00
Posts: 189
Loc: GA
Thanks Brayton for your replies (I read your private one as well). You make valid points, and I cannot and do not plan to force any one to have the difficult task of convincing everyone the obvious.

However, I am a deeply sympathetic person. In my "regular life," I try my best to help those in need...including the poor and the like. I am an optimist perhaps that I can change the world--in "regular matters"--I have met with some success, if I say so myself.

Now regarding the homosexuality issue and Christianity...Personally, I am as outraged as you about the hypocrisy and the loudness of some so-called "Christians." Even now, I am still reeling from this uncomfortability with my sexuality and people. It is extremely tough, and frustrating.

In fact, it is precisely because of that frustration, that I am trying to point out what may not be so obvious: there are many Christians out there who ARE for homosexuals. There are many opening congregations (and some of them are even actively trying to campaign for the homosexual movement). While they are arguably strengthening, they need support from the gay community, and the gay community needs to know they exist. Once other more conservative Christians realize that there are Christians who do not believe what Phelps does, they do start to open their mind a little to the truth. It's just a small thing, but slowly, but surely.

Now in terms of the gay community...Right now, we are fighting on a simply legal front, but there are those with such deep seated prejudice that could care less about it regardless of what the law says--to them the Bible is everything. Until they are shown that they are many who believe in the Bible and also believe in our rights as homosexual persons (and God's love for us), many more like me will suffer. It is painful still to come out, and I still do not know how to balance everything.

I know that perhaps many of you have fought the good fight before, and have grown tired. Trust me, I know how it feels, but I am not asking you to fight. We have much to deal with already. Rather, I am asking just for those who are willing (especially those who may have been part of a Christian community), to join or interact with the "open" Christian community--one that is growing in numbers, but still needs support and our stories. I mean it is like if you have children--why bother to tell them anything? It's the only way to change things.

Right now, with things as the Lawrence case, Canada, and now, Massachusetts, we are on the cusp of something that could really help us for good. Indeed, there are those in the Christian community who have never even known a homosexual, but for homosexual rights simply on the basis of reason and "REAL" Christian love. As the debates heat up, I would imagine that those who know them and may be part of other, close-minded, Christian communities, that they will be swayed to the stereotypes once more. I know because some of my friends have indeed NEVER known a homosexual (until I revealed to them that "I" was)...I can only imagine what would have been told of them about the homosexual community by some of my so-called "friends."

Indeed, it is disturbing to see polls that recently come out, as from Pew Research, regarding whether people think people can change their sexuality. The half/half viewpoint to me is atrocius, considering how clear the medical community has been that re-orientation is damaging and does not work. It convinces me that the half thinking that homosexuals can change their sexuality NEVER even met a homosexual, because a homosexual would have easily told them that this is NOT a choice. If we continue to keep our silence, especially when there are people out there willing to support us, the vocal extremist conservatives will convince our friends of the wrong things. Certainly, they will try to have our legislators enact damaging laws.

I KNOW this is the case because I even recently spoke with a legislator's aide regarding this issue (how some people are calling in to try to ban gay marriages--of course, he said that it would never happen in NJ to ban gay marriages...still, it shows how organized the extreme, conservative, Christian right is). I recently told them, however, that there is a growing Christian community that will speak for gay marriages if they so choose to work with them. There are P-FLAG's and many other groups as well.

BOTTOM LINE: There is a new, growing Christian network out there willing to support us fight this fight--we need not be alone and neither should they. It does not have to be that way, certainly.


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#72074 - 11/19/03 12:48 PM Re: gay christian
Bigmac Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/02/03
Posts: 4
I am a pastor in a United Methodist Church that was sexually abused by my older brother(s) and an uncle for a number of years. Because of that abuse I still struggle with homosexual feels and attractions toward men and boys.
I am also a product of the 60's where the montra was; "if it feels good do it."
I am now a 55 year old man who has struggled with the different issues surrounding homosexuality all of my life and I only know one thing.
If God and the Bible says that a certain behavior or attitude is tabo-it is always for my own good and for the good of society.
I have found out the hard way over and over again that I am a fallen creature living in a fallen world and but for the love, the forgiveness, the salvation of Christ I would still be condoning my self destructive behaviors, be they, homosexuality, greed, pride or all the other affliction that the evil of this world has cursed me with.
Believe me I hurt every moment of every day for those who are engaged in self destructive behaviors, because I often find myself engaged in them as well.

Bigmac


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#72075 - 11/19/03 12:52 PM Re: gay christian
Bigmac Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/02/03
Posts: 4
I am a pastor in a United Methodist Church that was sexually abused by my older brother(s) and an uncle for a number of years. Because of that abuse I still struggle with homosexual feelings and attractions toward men and boys.
I am also a product of the 60's where the montra was; "if it feels good do it."
I am now a 55 year old man who has struggled with the different issues surrounding homosexuality all of my life and I only know one thing.
If God and the Bible says that a certain behavior or attitude is tabo-it is always for my own good and for the good of society.
I have found out the hard way over and over again that I am a fallen creature living in a fallen world and but for the love, the forgiveness, the salvation of Christ I would still be condoning my self destructive behaviors, be they, homosexuality, greed, pride or all the other affliction that the evil of this world has cursed me with.
Believe me I hurt every moment of every day for those who are engaged in self destructive behaviors, because I often find myself engaged in them as well.


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#72076 - 11/19/03 02:15 PM Re: gay christian
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
Well abcd, that's interesting, isn't it?

Brett

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

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#72077 - 11/19/03 02:26 PM Re: gay christian
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
Bigmac,

Your de>
_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

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#72078 - 11/19/03 02:47 PM Re: gay christian
abcd Offline
Member

Registered: 10/20/00
Posts: 189
Loc: GA
That's just it BigMac (btw, I noticed you're VERY new here--you've had 4 posts total?), the Bible is not at all clear on that. In fact, I argue that the Bible says the opposite (just as in fact, it really says the opposite about slavery--no, they SHOULD NOT obey their masters despite fundamentalist translations). Here are some interesting sermons from mainstream organizations (Catholic and Lutheran)...I have removed their names for the sake of not targeting anyone... (and trust me, there are many more who believe in this analysis rather than the traditional close-mindedness...just recently, I read an article by a United Methodist minister reacting POSITIVELY to gay marriage despite what the church officially says).

We're at a time of great change amongst churches, I just ask for your intense prayer and understanding to give others the benefit of the doubt. This is not a trivial matter and any judgmentality you impose on others is SEVERELY damaging...I also ask that if you have something to personally say to ME regarding this matter, please do it via private e-mail. Far be it from me to censure you, but I am a little concerned that posting on the "Gay" forum regarding this matter in such a negative way (as in God wants us to be this way) is a bit inappropriate, especially in light of the matters that are already before us (namely the abuse). Thank you, and God Bless.
______________________________________________

I do not mean to hammer this whole thing, but below is just an interesting article that I read of a homily delivered by a priest in Canada (I do not know if you have been following any of it, but the Canadians have recently allowed gay marriages and prime ministers have been embroiled in a controversy…in the meantime, the Vatican released a statement to the world [but obviously also directed at Canadian politicians] urging them to oppose equal rights for gays). It is interesting in its stance and honest in its views. Indeed, it reminds me of a specific Confirmation class—what I learned of the Church not being just the hierarchy, but also of the lay people. It is a comforting sermon in light of the recent proclamations which have painted an out-of-touch picture of the RC hierarchy (their stance on gay adoptions especially flies on the face of statements already made by the elite medical associations—not just in Canada as mentioned below—but in the US including the pediatrics, psychiatric, and family physician associations against discrimination of gay parents…). Still, such statements as below (made by local pastors) convince me that the RC hierarchy will eventually change its stance (albeit slowly).

______________________________________________________________

A call for intense dialogue: Catholics need to do their own research and search their consciences before reaching conclusions, pastor says

THE REVEREND SG

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reverend Scott Gale is pastor of St. Andrew's Roman Catholic Church in Thunder Bay (in Canada). This is his homily of last Sunday which first ran in The Chronicle-Journal. Reprinted with permission.


In the present ongoing discussion about same-sex marriages, the one thing that seems to be missing within the Roman Catholic Church and within our country, is a dialogue among people who respect one another.

And for me, as your pastor, it is much easier to remain silent, than to take up the challenge to use my own mind, and to listen to my own conscience, about how to deal with this very contentious issue, and to share some thoughts with you today.

I do not mean to be disrespectful towards the Pope, or towards our Canadian Bishops, but I am concerned that we are being treated like "parrots" rather than being recognized for the important role that we have as members of the Body of Christ of being pastors, parishioners, and yes, some are even parliamentarians. What we need is dialogue, not dictates.

As your pastor, I try, through my homilies, to challenge myself, and you, to lead Christian lives and to follow Gospel values. Can homilies not also be challenging to those in leadership positions as well?

In my homily today, I am not trying to tell anyone how they should vote or act. I am merely presenting other perspectives to consider as you form your own conscience on this important issue.

Certainly the recent Vatican statement must be considered, but it must also be studied to see if it reflects the lived experiences of the People of God, and whether it has been truly received by them.

We are in the midst of great social change regarding our understanding of homosexuality, spurred on by scientific studies about human sexuality. What is needed now is an intense dialogue among people of goodwill that will incorporate this new understanding of sexuality into our theology.

In past centuries, theologians and the Church used to consider women as being less human than men because of ignorance about reproduction. No one would dare suggest such a concept now.

For centuries the Church tolerated slavery, and, once again, no one would dare suggest such a concept now.

The Vatican's harsh language in the document Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons is very hurtful to our gay and lesbian relatives and friends, and their families. I can only hope that a serious dialogue will take place between gay and lesbian Catholics and Church leaders, in order that the lived, loving experiences of gays and lesbians can be truly listened to, and taken into account in a re-examination of the Church's attitudes regarding homosexuality and those persons with a homosexual orientation.

But there are two issues here.

There is the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church's leadership on homosexuality, and there is the question of civil recognition of same-sex marriages. With regard to the legal recognition of homosexual unions, the recent Vatican document states that "... the Catholic lawmaker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favour of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral."

And yet, how do we reconcile this statement with what the Second Vatican Council teaches about the dignity of one's own moral conscience?

For in the Pastoral constitution On The Church In The Modern World it states: "Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, tells him inwardly at the right moment: do this, shun that.

"For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God. His dignity lies in observing this law and by it he will be judged. His conscience is man's most secret core, and his sanctuary .... Through loyalty to conscience, Christians are joined to other men in the search for truth and for the right solution to so many moral problems which arise both in the life of individuals and from social relationships."

In Vatican II's Document of Religious Liberty, it further states: "The search for truth ... must be carried out in a manner that is appropriate to the dignity of the human person and his social nature, namely, by free enquiry with the help of teaching or instruction, communication and dialogue.

"It is by these means that men share with each other the truth they have discovered, or think they have discovered, in such a way that they help one another in the search for truth ... It is through his conscience that man sees and recognizes the demands of the divine law. He is bound to follow this conscience faithfully in all his activity so that he may come to God, who is his last end. Therefore he must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience."

I believe that Prime Minister Jean Chrtien and Paul Martin are right in stating that, although they are Roman Catholics, in acting as Members of Parliament, they must take into account a much wider range of factors than the Vatican's directive on same-sex marriage.

How politicians should deal with conflict between their own personal, moral or religious beliefs and their obligations as parliamentarians is very complex.

All politicians, not just religious ones, are open to such conflicts, because all have we hope moral beliefs. As is required, they must act in good conscience and with integrity. Sometimes that can require having the courage to accept either political damage or the wrath of their religious community.

If Parliament and the Supreme Court agree to law reforms that will give the country same-sex marriage, it will be only one more example of the state respecting the individual's freedom to choose without impinging on the freedom of churches or other faith communities to do their best to persuade people to behave otherwise.

This should not offend churches and other faith communities. For any church or citizen group is free to teach Canadians that homosexual behaviour is still wrong, and same-sex marriage is a sin, if that is what they really believe.

They just won't have the arm of the law reinforcing their beliefs. Such legislation will hardly amount to a social revolution. It will be more of an evolution.

If we accept sexual diversity as believing Christians, it does not necessarily mean that we approve it, like it, or understand it. It does mean that we can live with it because it is in everyone's interests, even when that can mean rethinking what many Christians see as the sacrament of marriage.

Marriage has traditionally been the precious way that a man and a woman have shared themselves with one another, in joys and in sorrows, in bearing one another up, from youth to old age. Gays and lesbians are telling us that is precisely what they want to do too.

Their way of doing it may not be your particular choice, but courts in Ontario and Quebec have ruled that denying same-sex couples the right to marry contravenes the spirit if not the explicit letter, of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

And let us not be distracted by the argument about the primacy of Parliament over the courts, or about free votes in the House of Commons, or about the 1999 Commons resolution on the definition of marriage.

The Charter is the law of our land, and both the courts and Parliament must follow it. For extending marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples is fundamentally a matter of law, not religion. Church groups will still be free to bless only those marriages that their religious denomination recognizes.

The Vatican directive also takes aim at gay parents being able to adopt children. It says: "As experience has shown, the absence of sexual complementarity in these (homosexual) unions creates obstacles in the normal development of children who would be placed in the care of such persons. They would be deprived of the experience of either fatherhood or motherhood.

"Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such union would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development."

This position has been condemned by the Canadian Psychological Association as repeating misconceptions about same-sex parents that are scientifically unfounded, since psychosocial research into lesbian and gay parenting indicates that there is no basis in the scientific literature for this perception.

One might ask whether the Vatican opposes adoption by single parents, since those children would have only a mother or father.

In many cases, gay and lesbian couples have adopted children who are often considered not adoptable because of age, race or special needs. Are these children better off in revolving foster homes and orphanages? For who is truly acting in the best interests of the children? The gay and lesbian couples who open their homes to those vulnerable children or the Church hierarchy that has a terrible track record of protecting children?

Before you sign any petitions or write any letters, I urge you to consider all the information at your disposal.

Talk to your friends, talk to someone who is gay or lesbian, read the Vatican document (off the Vatican Web site), read Bishop Colli's letter at the doors of the church this weekend, read the newspapers, and do your own research. Draw your own prayerful conclusions and then act as your conscience dictates.

___________________________________________
“Do Not Call Anyone Unclean” Acts 10:9-16,28. Preached at a Lutheran Church
-HT

The Story in Acts that forms the text for this sermon is the conversion of Cornelius. He is the first Gentile or non-Jew who becomes a believer in Jesus, a disciple. A Roman soldier, a centurion (10:1) or what we would call an officer, the text claims that he feared God. But he had not become a Jew. This man has a vision in which an angel told him to send for Peter. Meanwhile, God is also communicating with Peter himself: vv. 9-16:
About noon the next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the
city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something
to eat; and while it was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw the heaven
opened and something like a large sheet coming down, being lowered to the
ground by four corners. In it were all kinds of four-footed creatures and reptiles and birds of the air. Then Peter hear a voice saying, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat.
But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is profane
or unclean.” The voice said to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.” This happened three times, and the thing was suddenly taken up to heaven.

The vision offers unclean animals, things that were not kosher to eat. The vision is at times referred to under “creepies and crawlies.” Biblical texts have explicitly forbidden certain foods. Leviticus 11: among unclean animals are camels and pigs, anything moving on its belly (snakes), and in the water: anything that does not have fins and scales (shrimp, scallops). All winged insects are “detestable to you.” Touching such things defiles a person.

Peter is told to kill and eat three times. But not even a divine voice can get him to do it.
For Peter these animals are disgusting. Only the French would eat such stuff!
“I would not touch that with a ten-foot pole.” It’s enough to make a man gag. (For me: raw oysters). Note that this involves not just a biblical prohibition but a visceral reaction: disgusting!

As Christians we are not obligated by Ancient Israel’s food laws. Indeed, we have left behind other biblical texts that advocate: holy warfare, slavery, the second-rank status of women (no women could testify in court, study>

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#72079 - 11/19/03 03:20 PM Re: gay christian
MrDon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
I bristle at the fact that people think being gay is some type of behavior or a condition and not who we are. That just gets me to the bone!

I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I am trying to respect this so I probably will refrain from reading any more of this post as it will just get me to upset.

Don

_________________________
In order to journey to new worlds, we must first be willing to lose site of the shore.

The Mind Body Thoughts Blog
http://mindbodythoughts.blogspot.com/

Check out my relaxing piano music from the heart!
http://www.donshetterly.com

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#72080 - 11/19/03 03:39 PM Re: gay christian
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
Don,

I agree but am too fascinated to pull out.

I think that friction is inevitable in a discussion of "gay christianity."

I like abcd's posts as they provide an informed, optimistic and forward-looking point of view.

I am sorry to find myself being judgemental about ideas I don't agree with but this all strikes close the bone not only in terms of the degradation and humiliation of have felt at the hands of the church (some Christians) but also because, in my case, religion was a supporting player in the abuse I experienced.

Christianity is just one big bundle of triggers for me no matter how reasonable and open I try to be. None of all those fine religious people have ever asked my forgiveness. So much for their humility and piety.

Brett

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

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#72081 - 11/19/03 07:35 PM Re: gay christian
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Hey Don,

Thanks for expressing so well what was bothering me. Gee, for some reason it really disturbs me to hear the validity or worthiness of my being being debated by any group, especially a hostile one!

The worth and value of my being is not up for debate. Being homosexual is how God made me.


Your fellow survivor, struggling to be tolerant,

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#72082 - 11/19/03 08:17 PM Re: gay christian
BT Offline


Registered: 06/25/03
Posts: 388
Loc: Chicago IL
I have been reading this thread with a lot of emotion, both sadness and happiness. I do not know why I have vacilated between those two, I think because my own views on my faith are in such a state of the unknown right now.

I think this may be long because there are several things I want to say.

Until recently (the last couple of years) a good part of my thoughts revolved around my sexual identity.

My religious upbringing taught me that if I was gay it was straight to hell for me.

My therapist I had for several years told me my "homosexual tendancies" was because of my sexual abuse.

So I lived a life believing that being gay was wrong, that I had to overcome it, and it was because I was abused. Not only did I believe this, I lived it. I was "religious" to the extreme. I got "healed, exorsized, etc..."

I lived with guilt.

As I got older I worried less and less about being gay and even eventually married.

I married, not because I wanted to be straight, or because of any of the bad reasons. I fell in love and it happened to be with a women. totaly unintended by the way. I told her all about me and she is still sticking by me to this day.

But I still lived with guilt.

Finally the guilt caught up. Depression took over. Suicide began to make sense.

Killing my perps seemed logical. I wondered why I waited so long. It was almost all over when I finally broke and got help.

I could no longer escape to religion.

Now I don't know if there is a God. I do not understand how he would let people hurt thier kids. And if there is a God I am not sure I like him very much.

I have decided that labels suck. Gay, Straight, Black, White, We are just people.

I don't consider myself gay or straight or white or anything now. If you ask, I would answer, HUMAN. I am human. that is as far as it goes.

I have learned that any religion that tells someone that the way they are is so bad that if they do not become someone else they are going to hell, is not much of a religion. Either the religion is wrong and is all fucked up, or it is just a made up fantasy. My problem, right now I don't know which it is. Whether man has made up religion to answer those unknowns or man has taken god and religion and just messed the whole thing up.

It is something I want an answer to, but I don't know how to figure it out.

I know that not only are there a lot of gay christians, but there are an awful lot of straight acting gay christians. good folks, believing all the shit and living miserable lives because they think they have to or they are going to hell.

And a religion that does that to peaple is really messed up. And in all fairness it is not just christianity, but I guess most religions condemn gays.

they say it is a choice. Choice my ass, you are who you are, human I say. who you love is who you love.

I Love my wife and want to spend the rest of my life with her. I cannot totaly explain it. I could act like I was all straight and shit and never looked at another guy, but I don't lie to myself anymore and that is just not who I am. I did fall in love with a women, but does that make me straight?

Religion would asume so, but they would be wrong.

I am faithful to my wife and do not plan on haveing a sexual relationship with anyone other than her male or female. Does that make me straight. No, it means I love someone and am committed to them.

If something happened to my wife would I remarry. Maybe, but it might be to a man in MS.

Go Mass.!!!!!Supreme court.

Would that make me gay?

Religion would say so, society would say so, but I would still be the same person. Having the same feelings, emotions, etc... a human.

Did sexual abuse make me the way I am. Who the fuck knows. but if it did and God would condemn me to hell because of what was done to me what kind of God is that.

And If I was made that way from conception, what kind of God would punish me for the way he made me.

All I know for sure is I did not choose shit. I love who I love. I feel what I feel. I choose how to act and what to do and who to be with etc... but not the way I am, i did not choose that. Of that I am sure. Cause I know if I were choosing things would be a hell of a lot different.

I know I am rambling and I hope I am not pissing anyone off. I just have a lot of feelings about this topic and I decided to get some of them out. there is more but i have to go for a bit, maybe I can continue later.
BT

_________________________
"Everyone is entitled to their opinions and it is not my job to change their mind." Dali Lama

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#72083 - 11/20/03 01:32 AM Re: gay christian
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Thanks, Brent, for your beautiful words.

Your brother,

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#72084 - 11/20/03 02:39 AM Re: gay christian
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
Brent - Ramble?? You've got to be kidding!! You said awhole life full in your "rambling". You made very good sense and I hope a lot of the guys who are struggling read your post!!

My two cents? God is real! I trust Him and depend on His love and grace to get this guy through life. Sounds crazy with all the pain and suffering I've gone through and all the crap I see day in and day out...but, you know, I trust His understanding and love for me anyway!

I really respect and applaud what you say about gay christians!!!

Howard

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

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#72085 - 11/20/03 11:31 AM Re: gay christian
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
Brent,

Thank you for your post. I think you clearly echo a lot of what guys who struggle with defining their spirituality go through and so speak loudly for a lot of us.

Though I call myself gay most of the time I also agree that labels suck and, at least in terms of sexuality, are inaccurate.

I think of sexuality as a broad range of experience and orientation and not in terms of either one thing or another. And I think and observe that it can be fluid.

Also, bisexuality is real. My partner is bisexual. I didn't know much about it before I met him. I even thought it was a kind of cop-out for gay guys who weren't ready to come out but had to explain their emotions. That's not true. I suppose I also associated promiscuity with it. That's false as well.

My impression is that Christianity has an even greater problem with bisexuality than it does with gay-ness. It doesn't even talk about bisexuality.

Looking at attractive people and acknowledging that attraction to yourself is not being unfaithful to the person you are in a committed relationship with. Its just being human.

I read a lot of Herman Hesse when I was a kid. I remember him writing something like, "Every man must find his own path to himself." Somewhere in that process some of us encounter an understanding of God that rings true for us but, ultimately, each is on his own path and Truth is something uncovered individually.

Brett

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

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#72086 - 11/20/03 03:00 PM Re: gay christian
abcd Offline
Member

Registered: 10/20/00
Posts: 189
Loc: GA
Thanks for your comments guys. One thing I'd like to comment on is BT's comment saying:

"I know that not only are there a lot of gay christians, but there are an awful lot of straight acting gay christians. good folks, believing all the shit and living miserable lives because they think they have to or they are going to hell. And a religion that does that to peaple is really messed up. And in all fairness it is not just christianity, but I guess most religions condemn gays."

While I tend to agree with other things you said (some of your words on sexuality are especially poignant), and admire you for your perseverance, I just wanted to clarify that my point is not just that there are lots of gay Christians or straight-acting gay Christians, but that there are actual denominations which are FOR the committed, mongoamous, homosexual lifestyle. Yes, obviously there's always been closeted ones welcomed in a general sense (no one talks about it), but additionaly there is another group. These people are not in the closet, but out and frank about it, and talk about it openly and encouraged to do so. Moreover, these Christian denominations have staights, gays, etc.,. The point is that these people are there...if people want to find them, the links I had in the first post link to them. Thanks guys. I gotta run.


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#72087 - 11/21/03 07:13 PM Re: gay christian
Justin113 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 28
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
Homosexuality is NOT A SIN it is NOT shameful or bad, it is EVERY BIT as beuatiful as straight sex and straight love, REGARDLESS of what the bible says or doesn't say. Using the twisted logic of "if the bible says this, it must be true" will also lead us to the conclusion that we should STONE TO DEATH disobidiant kids, HANG heathens, circumsize CORPSES, and DROWN THE ENTIRE WORLD for the "sins" of a few. The bible is brimming with misguided fear tactics and CRAZINESS. And you want me to believe that a couple SENTENCES referring to homosexuality as wrong should be taken as TOTAL TRUTH and obeyed THOUSANDS of years after some FREAK on a power trip wrote them???

I DON'T think so.

The bible is a defunct remnant of a defuct time. People, it's time to move on and start LOVING each other regardless of our human-ness. Yes, we all make mistakes. Yes, we are not perfect. But I will NEVER change MY true nature to fit YOUR idea of what a human SHOULD be. I'm GAY and PROUD. And I'm HAPPY because of it! And if that's bad and wrong and sinful- SO BE IT!

I see an incredible amount of confusion surrounding this issue, and it leads to so much needless guilt, shame and suffering. And for what? So we can deny our true nature and be miserable and confused. It's such a simple step to just decide to embrace what you really are, how you really feel. So long as your not hurting others, there's nothing wrong with being you.

-Justin


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#72088 - 11/22/03 11:24 AM Re: gay christian
abcd Offline
Member

Registered: 10/20/00
Posts: 189
Loc: GA
Man, I realize this is a charged post, and people assume that because I put "Christian" in there that gays must somehow be condemned in this post, but I don't think that has been the case here (I think there's only been one post that can even be interpreted as being negative on that sense).

In fact, that's EXACTLY my point--Christianity's basis for condemning homosexuality is erroneous (as many religious scholars with whom I have spoken to note). Indeed, there is a growing group of people changing that very notion. Make sense?

Now, I realize we can just throw the whole thing out and not bother with trying to work within a system. Indeed, that is your perogative, and for many of us, we may not be ready (I, for instance, don't really try to bring this issue to my grandparents, as the cultural gap and the effort it would require is too hard at this stage of my growth). However, there is a minority (albeit a growing one) that is pushing for change within Christianity and various faiths, and now more than ever, they need support and would welcome it from our community. Furthermore, as I already said, it may even help those who are finding it hard to reconcile their faith and sexuality to KNOW that many people have done it, and justifiably so.


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#72089 - 11/22/03 12:33 PM Re: gay christian
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Abcd,

You're right this is a charged post.

I've written some pretty "charged" posts in response to this thread and then editted them out before others had a chance to read them.

May I attempt to explain a little bit of what concerns me with this topic and it's treatment here and in general?

It's not my intent to offend anyone or quash open discussion of any matter of interest to men recovering from sexual abuse. We've all be hurt enough and I most certainly do not wish to add any discomfort or pain to the life of any one (OK maybe one or two people, but not on this site!) :-)

If possible I'd like to offer this as an observation with the aim of sharing some constructive perceptions so that you and other Christians might get some idea of what just bugs the hell out of some of us.

First, Please, please, please...Try to keep in mind when writing and talking about Christianity that not everyone is Christian. It may be my thin skin, but it seems like there is this presumption that whether of not Christians eat fish or accept homosexuality is a matter of paramount importance in a global sense. It's not.

The majority, by far, of the world's population could be defined as non-Christian. Most of the people in the world don't care one way or the other what Christians believe or don't believe.

I'm just trying to say don't talk or write like this is a matter of life and death for everyone on the planet, though it may seem that way to you.

It gives me the impression that you are in complete disregard of the feelings and beliefs of everyone else. Just a little nod, as in your previous post, in the direction of the millions and millions of people who don't give a fig about what Christians believe goes a long way toward relieving the theologically-centric slant of the discussion.

Second, what really gets to me and touches my heart and conciousness is the personal story of how any of this relates to a person as an individual. Over generalizations and discussions of different belief systems of all the Christian sects seems to become more a lecture, and maybe even proselytizing for a particular schismatic group within the religion. This is a particularly dangerous area, I think. Rather than opening up the area of discussion, it limits and narrows the focus of ideas.

Gee, for friendly suggestions these are sounding awfully critical aren't they? My apologies to anyone who feels put down or hurt by this. I really am trying to say a little bit about what bugs me with the whole Christian outlook of the world.

I think that part of it is the feeling of an oppressive system like a religion arrogating to itself the role of arbitrator and judge of everyone.

I doubt if any of this makes any sense. I'm having a hard time expressing the kind of doubt and fear that this brings out in me.

It's kind of like I'm a minority (once again) and outside of the "mainstream" because I am not a Christian. Whereas when the discussion is at a personal level on the basis of what each of us feels and believes about our relationship with the universe or spirituality or whatever I don't feel this intense irritation.

The third suggestion I would have for my Christian brothers would be to go to great lengths to avoid any hint even the slightest that rather than expressing your personal feelings, that you are instead proselytizing, trying to convert us heathens or spreading the Gospel.

I know that's important to some folks to do that, but don't do it to me, not here, not now. I'm not saying any of that is going on here in this thread, but I feel some of it comes pretty close, not in specifics, but in the general tone. Like this must be important to everyone because it's about Christianity and everybody is a Christian, right?

Gee, I'm not doing a very good job of doing what I set out to do, am I?

Please, please let me reiterate that this thread is perfectly fine as it is. I thought it might be helpful for you and others to know what it feels like to be a person who is not a Christian and read this stuff.

It's not just here, but it's everywhere. Maybe it has something to do with living in Texas!!

But the overweening dominance of Christian thought is not as universal as it appears and there are many of us who not only don't care in a real personal sense, but like me, find it offensive and insensitive.

God, I've even prayed (yes, non-Christians pray, to the same God I believe as you) that I could express some of my frustration and sense of isolation that I feel without stepping on your toes or anyone elses.

If I have offended any Christians, I beg your forgiveness. And ask you to turn the other cheek so that I may give you a gentle kiss as a reminder that we are all in this lifeboat together. I'm glad that you all are here. I'm glad that we all feel comfortable expressing what we need to say.

And I hope that this feeling of openness and acceptance will allow these few remarks from a slightly (OK, very) cranky old queen from Texas who ain't no Christian. And no, not reading this thread is not an option for me....I've cut myself out of enough of my life without starting to do it here.

By the way, I am a Baha'i, a member of the Baha'i Faith, not Jewish, Moslem or Christian. Baha'is believe that all the worlds religions come from the one and same all-powerful God. They also believe that homosexuality is a complete sin and not compatible with a spiritual life. I've recently withdrawn my membership after 30 some years, and so sectarianism or the mere hint of it, seems to really set me off these days.

I suppose also it is hard for me to remain "detached" or "academic" in my discussion of these topics. My conflict with faith and being a faggot almost killed me. And yes, I can say faggot because I am one. And proud of it, or learning to be.

I love you guys, because you give me a place to say what I can't say anywhere else. A place to be me, as cranky and irritated (and irritating, I'm sure) as I need to be.

Moderators, feel free to dispose of this post in any manner you deem fit.....move it Unmoderated or make a new section "Cranky Old Queers Talk Back", might be a good name.

Wishing all God's children love and peace,

I remain, your faithful brother,

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#72090 - 11/22/03 04:49 PM Re: gay christian
abcd Offline
Member

Registered: 10/20/00
Posts: 189
Loc: GA
Dwf,

I understand your points (and it's okay, I know you have no intention to offend). Indeed, you make very valid points--and just as you have difficulty in getting your message across--I guess have a similar problem.

Trust me, I am probably the first to defend non-Christians--I am highly, and very philosophical. My family has all sorts of backround from Jewish to Christian to atheistic to philosophical--I have friends who are Hindi and all sorts of faiths. I am also very much aware of the global picture--having been exposed and continually exposed to a myriad of cultures--particularly here in NJ (and my family being scattered all throughout the world).

I say this because I seem to be misrepresenting my points and showing a picture of myself which is inaccurate (it's like something gets lost in the translation). If I say so myself, I am very open minded and respectful of other's faiths. I am also quite angry at the church hierarchies--no, I don't just understand the anger, but have it myself.

The point here though is that there is a group of people that need help (the Christian minority who is sticking up for us).

Yes, you're right--in the grand scheme of things--Christians are not necessarily the "majority" hands down. Of course, that is partly due to the concentrations of populations in China and India, along with the Middle East. Christianity, however, is still a moral force to be reckoned with (like it or not) in most of the Western World (particularly the US where it is still the most common form of religion)--it has tremendous influence over people--it's like politics, no we're not all politicians, but if we work with politicians we can get quite a bit of word done.

See...While church charities have brough much good over time, they have also brought with them the baggage of prejudice based on cultural, strict, interpretations of the Bible/Torah.
Man...this is going to seem like I'm babbling, but as times have changed, so has culture and so has our minds. We have learned through science and discovery the truths that we had assumed were wrong and debunked some of that baggage we had received--we did this in Galileo's times for instance. The church had in the past provided tremendous stumbling blocks, and unfortunately, they still continue to do so.

As I write this, there is hate being spewed in Africa against the likes of Gene Robinson (the openly-gay, Episcopalian Bishop), and the extreme Christian right is galvanizing its forces in Massachusetts. The growing minority of Christians who believe in homosexuals' rights and welcome us need our support at this time.
Whether or not we realize it, they are going to be attacked, and people like my bf and I who have made progress with people (strengthening their beliefs to help us) can get discouraged when we see ourselves alone.

So, my point is, I understand how you feel about being a minority, or being excluded. I certainly feel that pain--and it is precisely because of that pain that I write about the opportunity for us to work with (or as) Christians.

While I agree that we can not just fight in one front (i.e. the religious front), I do not think that it is wrong for us to explore this front either, especially when there is such tremendous potential. I am not asking you to convert, but am appealing to your basic empathy for those of us who need help.

Let me give you an example...during Gene Robinson's consecration (and I am not Episcopalian by the way), I wrote several letters to people in the Episcopalian faith (via e-mail). They were most thankful for my words of supports and candidly told me how difficult it is for them at this time as some of the extremists in their faith spew their hate and anger. I told them that they are not alone, and forwarded some of the words of other Christians on the matter (for homosexuals). My hope then and now is that they know that they are supported, that we (the homosexual community) are behind their defense of us. We may not agree on all points and may not even be familiar of their faith, but it does not mean we cannot support them.

One other thing, when Bishop Robinson was consecrated in NH, I was reading an article about how some Christians protested in front of the auditorium where he was being consecrated. If they were the only ones standing there, the press could have made it seem that Christians are against his consecration. That is damaging as, like it or not, some people simply like to do what everyone else does. If they think Christians are against it, then surely they will be too. However, in that instance, there were TONS more protesting FOR Gene Robinson's consecration. Indeed, the press coverage was saying how much MORE people were there in support of Gene Robinson IN ADDITION to the congregation inside the auditorium.

What touched me is that there were people there, neither homosexual nor Christian, picketing for support for Rev. Robinson. This is what is important--that show of support really--so that our many defenders do not fall apart. As you know, feeling alone is the worst feeling, and the last thing we want them to do is to feel discouraged, when we are at such an important part of history and may even help turn the tide.


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#72091 - 12/03/03 04:07 AM Re: gay christian
Justin113 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 28
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
Yikes!

Hmm, I seem to really bite hard when I'm tearing away at an idea...

Perhaps it wasn't helpful of me to put on this site such a charged post. If moderators wish to remove it, then do so. I with to say that everyone has the right to believe what their heart knows is right. Our individual paths are defined by their variance.

Lately, I just talk to friends and surround myself with happy things.

Try this: look at the room you sleep in. What's it look like? Try adding some bright colors to it! Get a BLUE blanket with a YELLOW pillow- then put bright things up everywhere. Anytime you can get anything happy, uplifting or bright, tack it up. Feng shui. Revitalized. Gay USED to be synonymous with joy. Now living gay in the world IS a joy.

Life really is- WHAT *YOU* MAKE IT!!!

Make it GOOD!

Seek those who feel the way you do. Don't listen to those who hurt you. Believe in yourself because you are strong enough. Love your life like it's the last day of your life. Be good to the people around you and take joy in the joy you give them. Happiness is something we make after we learn to interpret the instruction manual. I love you guys. You're ALL worth it to me. And that means ANYONE still reading.

-Justin


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#72092 - 12/03/03 12:21 PM Re: gay christian
Brayton Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
Quote:
Originally posted by Justin113:
Seek those who feel the way you do. Don't listen to those who hurt you. Believe in yourself because you are strong enough. Love your life like it's the last day of your life. Be good to the people around you and take joy in the joy you give them. Happiness is something we make after we learn to interpret the instruction manual.
-Justin
Yikes! is right. I think any time you put the words Gay and Christian together its going to get a lot of attention.

I think it is truly wonderful that anyone who has experienced childhood sexual abuse can reach the point where they can follow a philosophy like what Justin describes here.

I've got this idea that what he describes was the path that little-Brett was on (briefly) before he was wrenched away from it by those who abused him. Now, all these years later he is still trying to get back on it.

Brett

_________________________
Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

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