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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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