The Day of Silence is looming once again with concerns expressed from social conservatives about adult identity politics intruding into the schools. As occurred last year, some conservative groups are calling on parents to keep their kids at home on the Day of Silence (April 25 in most places).
I have a different idea. How about considering this day an opportunity to promote treating others the way you want to be treated? Perhaps kids could go to school equipped with index cards which have Luke 6:31 written, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” with a pledge to honor this Scripture. It seems to me that Christian kids could be leading the way with a pledge to keep the Golden Rule.
Could this approach be more productive than staying home?
263 thoughts on “Day of the Golden Rule?”
I thought you might appreciate my post. I tagged you in it.
Alrighty, my bad….
Calrification – I did not say I was Jewish and converted to Christianity.
I appreciate you trying to mediate here. But most ex gays DO define their conversion AS going from gay to straight. Or from having gay sex to not having sex at all. And the lines around what that really means get extremely blurred and it seems the hope is no one will probe enough to know what’s really going on.
Mary, if I remember was Jewish. And is now Christian. The ramifications for changing RELIGIONS doesn’t have the consequences that declaring oneself now heterosexual does.
The definitions, are ambiguous, making my point that the general public is badly confused by this and gay young people pay a terrible price for this confusion.
How can one actually qualify an ex gay? Marriage to the opposite sex? Gay people do that all the time.
How one dresses, speaks, what sports they play or their social network, the profession they are in?
No one dare ask the quality of sex they are having or if it’s all they wanted and expected it to be.
Which is actually the very thing no one WILL probe in polite society.
So we sit around here and try and make nice, and meanwhile, as I said…the mutability of one’s sexual orientation is ARGUED in courts as a justification for discriminatory laws.
The bottom line: what kind of mind is it, that believes giving a broken toy to a needy child is still an act of supreme charity and goodness?
Ex gays who would LIKE for straight people to be nice to gay people don’t seem to get that CONVERTING gay people IS an act of charity. The poor, struggling gay person is redeemed and better off being heterosexual.
Ex gays are people trying to hand off something THEY no longer want, and in doing so, cannot defend.
And gay people have a terrible time defending who THEY are. Which makes ex gays (who are legally and institutionally free and are no longer burdened by being gay anymore) look self serving. The intentions of charity and protectiveness towards gay people looks like lip service, because the RESULTS of their conversion does damage.
And being in denial of the damage done to gay credibility is and could be unforgivable.
There are enough ex gays out there definitely hostile to gay people. And whatever charity or advocacy Mary and Warren espouse, as I’m saying for the nth time, is rendered WORTHLESS by their assertions of conversion.
And as for some charity being better than nothing, I also said that their charitable goals are NOT ENOUGH to counter the beliefs and confusion out there.
There is such a thing as a person blundering with the best of intentions and screwing up royally instead.
And it makes me angry when someone won’t accept just how badly they ARE screwing up.
Regan and Mary,
Would it help if we try to define what “change” means? Regan – change often doesn’t mean moving from being gay to being straight if that helps.
Oh no, it’s not about coming to terms with ME. This isn’t about me and never was. This is about whether or not the terms of conversion has any benefit for the equality and rights of gay folks.
And it doesn’t. Never did.
Well Regan – I see from your perspective that there is no coming to terms with you.
“The significant problems of our day cannot be solved with the same consciousness that created them.”- Albert Einstein
Christianity in particular and heterosexuals have created the problems that homosexuals struggle with. And you have now made a comparison of homosexual orientation with substance addiction.
Homosexuality and heterosexuality are one in the same. Even so, a heterosexual has trouble empathizing with or accepting that-this is what has to be reinforced, NOT the consciousness that has abused, murdered and isolated gays and lesbians for so long.
Yet you are defending and trying to reconcile BOTH in your mind what cannot, no matter how much you insist it’s possible, it is NOT.
It does NOT MATTER what you would LIKE to happen, as long as you give the consciouness that created homophobia ANY degree of saying their conscioness is correct.
And that YOU’RE proof that it is. So, you’ve given proof to those most vested in gay people changing to not invest in anything different. You demonstrate THEIR course works, you give them more power, not less. And keep THEIR consciousness clear.
This is why I cannot and have not empathized with you on that. Not even this persecution complex also demonstrated by ex gays.
Of course you can disagree that this dilutes priority and urgency from the needs of gay people.
But you can disagree with anything that simply won’t make you feel better in your mind.
Gay people ARE screwed because of you and what you’ve said on this thread.
And you just don’t want to believe it, or feel that being good to them is demonstrative enough for others to follow who are homophobic.
Your defense is weaker for gay people, than it is for the consciousness that created the problems for them.
And even those who agree with being nice to gay people don’t have to agree that they marry or conduct GSA meetings for gay youth in their schools.
And still, you’d just as soon inject the agenda of conversion wherever you go too, further taking away from the defense of gay people, to defend ex gays.
So, by doing this you weaken the defense of homosexuality, not just rights for gay people AND you strengthen the defense of ex gays, heterosexuality and the church, which has ALWAYS been VERY strong.
And you tell me people are in favor of stories like yours. Well, maybe there was no elaboration on their part. Or maybe they haven’t had the time or concern to think it through as I have. So that tells me nothing.
It’s not easy to tell an ex gay how their behavior is the ruin of other people’s defense of their orientation, is there?
And most of then don’t CARE. They are radical and hostile against gay people and of course, would see you as a traitor as well for defending gay people’s rights, if not their orientation.
That is what turning two faces to the world can do. This is the wrong subject to have two faces with. It really is. The issue of homosexuality and gay rights cannot withstand it.
And you disagreeing with that, doesn’t make that fact GO AWAY.
Now, perhaps you see what you’d LIKE to do as better than anything else. And Dr. T’s suggestion might have it’s uses, but how to implement it?
But that’s not very reassuring considering what we’re up against.
Indeed, I’m not reassured by you at all, Mary because you haven’t engaged the most important part of this whole discussion.
What I’m getting is that being ex gay is more important to you than anyone or anything else because of the freedom to make such a profoundly personal decision. That the defense of it doesn’t carry or shouldn’t carry any consequences for yourself or gay people.
But it does. There is no other way it couldn’t because of history, social context and not much choice for other gay people in avoiding the expectations others have they do the same.
And since ex gays are more important to the world than gay people, and OTHER ex gays-there is no room for gay people all over again.
You need reassurance that you’re doing right, that in your heart it’s going to help.
I know what works and what doesn’t Mary. And who you chose to be, won’t make it work as well as you’d like.
Warren, I wish you well in your endeavour to find a Christian answer to this.
Given the nature of those against us, it won’t be easy, will it? That one’s from MassResistance, BTW.
And from Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern (R), about “The Homosexual Agenda” :
I think you can see why many who have experienced the violence that the DOS protests against might see your quest as Quixotic, and even detrimental to what is a silent protest in the best Christian tradition. Nonetheless, as I’ve stated before, I think it worthwhile. Not for the Gay kids, but for those unfortunate enough to have parents whose views are accurately expressed above, so they don’t face ostracism in turn.
I know the argurments – gays don’t need protection if they can change
yada yada – (not to make light but you get my drift)
But you can’t deny that people can change. By trying to deny something that has been shown to be untrue is killing the fight. Fight on the true merits of being gay – that gay people deserve rights whether or not they can or want or never change. This will ensure a solid decision based on human rights to choose their lifestyle to listen to the music they want, work in the industry of their choice, sleep with a consenting adult of their choice etc… At first blush I can see your point – but in the long run – the truth is people do change. But that’s a personal decision and can be very difficult, time consuming and costly for many. For many – it just isn’t worth it. And that should never be used as legal strategy against someone. Drug users use drugs and are criminalized for it. We know they can change – but not everyone can kick the habit. I would like to see drug addiction treated as a mdecial condition rather than a crime. I would like gays to be treated as people rather than as untrainable animals. I would like the merits of legal justice won on jurisprudence rather than false claims about people.
I disagree that my existence deters one bit from gay rights. Everyone I have spoken to – gays, striaghts, etc… are in favor of stories like mine. Those against me are the christain fundamentalist – because I’m supposed to be on their side because I’m no longer gay. Trust me – they want me to be quiet because I oppose them. And I oppsoe many of the methods they use for “conversion”.
Let’s look at this – I was gay. Now I’m not. I support gay rights. That ought to speak volumes to the courts. I still am a freedom fighter. You don’t have to pray to my God or walk in the shoes of my religion – I seriously doubt my personal relationship with God is between me and you and him – it’s really just between he and I (he being used for ease of conversation) Now – as a patriot – we both agree in freedom for people – don’t we?
By buying into the argument of the right wingers – you move right into an angle where they want you to defeat you. Stand up, speak the truth, be courageous because it is a long fight. Don’t play to win today’s battle and then lose the war in the long run.
“As far as immutability is concerned, well you’ve been proven wrong.”
And THAT is exactly what a lot of court cases have hinged on, and you’ve just sunk it for the gay folks arguing it.
So I’m not the one that’s screwing up the fights on the legal level. And when heterosexuals are cornered with the question, what it would take for THEM to change into a homosexual, have you noticed they don’t have an answer either?
And can’t empathize with someone gay regarding that.
So what happens, is what I mean by not being able to convince heterosexuals that they can get off the gay folk’s back and not EXPECT any conversion.
But you don’t really want to let them off the hook on that, you are representing their option to go on doing exactly what they keep doing. Expecting it, and since THEY are the majority and have all the power:
You’re not giving them any more compelling reason, not even justice and fairness appears to be enough.
Go ahead and mock that I don’t appear to be empathizing with YOU. Or that I’m not communicating well with YOU. Sure, I can tell people there’s an ex gay that supports gays fully, and after they ask me what an ex gay is….the next question will be, well if gay people can change, what do they need rights for?
It’s already happened, so I’m not speaking an UNtruth here.
So now, after mocking me, you want me to do the job for you, that’s already been made very hard by the confusion engendered by ex gays.
So now you want me to defend YOU and gay people…you really want me to, don’t you? This is really ALL about ex gays. This really has NOTHING to do with gay people and the urgency for their needs to be met.
The needs of the ex gay will always take precedence or at least the needs of those who are extended into Christianity by conversion from homosexuality.
However compassionate your are to a gay person, conversion dilutes the urgency and priority away from gay people. Mostly because of the TRADITION of conversion and passing that already permeates our society.
If you are willing to accept that people can change, you should also be able to accept when no matter how sincerely in your heart you have compassion for a gay person, then understand when it’s not enough or works at cross purposes to what needs to be done.
Why is it so hard for you to accept that?
Warren, Michael, Ann (if you’re still out there)–
I do believe we have a mutual concern for trying to counter that negative message of staying home and substituting a positive message. Michael, I like the wearing of the cross. Like I said earlier, could be some Christian gay kids mixed in with those other Christian kids. Simple message really: Jesus is Anti-bullying!
Anyway, the DOS is just a month away. What would be some possible ways to get this word to the Christian-identified youth? …They’re the ones getting the most mixed messages about how they should respond…how can we target a message to them so that it reaches them in time to do any difference?
And you say I have a credibility issue?? Please – should I re-direct that??
However, you may now begin to tell people that you know an ex gay who does support gays – fully.
And there is a difference between abandoning and changing. I grew into a new direction. Sorry – but you can’t hold a woman down. Didn’t abandon – just changed.
As far as immutability goes – well – you have been proven wrong. Here I am. I’m not saying that in the future I won’t be gay again or that I won’t have some sexual feeling for a woman again. I am saying that feelings, thoughts, behaviors, beings do change.
Wow, Mary….the first part of your post sounds like projection and it’s inaccurate. I’m not calling on the genetic card, AT ALL. I never did. I didn’t mention genetics whatsoever.
I said, immutability. There’s a difference.
Now, as to another part of your post, that’s actually the way I sometimes DO approach communicating the rights of equality on gay people. The need for justice and access to protection part.
However, sincerely you feel about the rights of gay people and THAT I do respect that you do.
You have a serious credibility problem. Again, defending what you yourself abandoned won’t quite cut it the way I think you feel it will. That’s what I mean, somethings are inevitably conflicted, no matter how kind and lovingly you want to do something for someone.
And as for telling blacks too bad, oh BOY….that’s not the way to handle it out of context.
It’s better to invoke some common history and redirect your approach. Which I could teach you about if you like.
I know I’m not gay. In fact, I always say I know nothing about being gay. I just know what the injustice of bigotry and prejudice feels like and how hurtful those who don’t see you as legitimate as they are feels. My work is from the standpoint of empathy, and that does create more understanding in trying to communicate certain things to people.
I also know that being straight, maybe even being Christian is SO overrated, depending on what the agenda of the seller is.
However, there ARE degrees of urgency you have to understand. Have you considered that what ex gays know and want to do doesn’t carry the same urgency and terms that being known and understood and accepted has for gay folks. Especially gay children?
A good deal of what you, Eddy and many others on this blog are MORE concerned with yourselves and feeling good and reassured about being ex gay, than the priorities that are forced on gay people.
Christianity and heterosexuality is taking care of itself, and there is hardly any persecution going on in ways that require taking energy away from the matter at hand.
It seems to dilute what gay people really need. And that’s why an honest and forthright dialogue with ignorant or hostile straight people becomes impossible.
There are ex gays, who are NOTHING like you that many straight people can’t distinguish you from because the focus is more on conversion than ANY thing else.
That’s what I mean by however sincerely you care, and want to see justice done for gays and lesbians (obviously commendable and I DO commend you for it), I can only tell you it seems like simply a kind gesture, but what you’ve chosen takes a LOT of power out of the meaning of your own gestures and goals for gay people.
I say again, it’s not what you’d LIKE to do that’s the problem, but how strongly effective it can be under the circumstances.
Oh, and I’m SO not Christian. I will not align myself with ANY religion. It’s against my destiny to do that.
Oh boy, do I have a story about THAT. It’s kinda sorta wimsical, and maybe it’ll take a little heat from this contentious exchange.
Seriously Mary, I dont want to give you too hard a time, but the hostiles out there will and DO.
We gotta be ready for it. And tougher than they are. You know how mean it gets, and we are tested. And I admit, I was testing you somewhat.
As for your answer on Zach Stark, I appreciate your forthright answer. i think however, if you’d seen the father interviewed on PTL, you might amend it a little.
Want to hear that whimsical (and it turns out true) story about what someone I worked with prophecied for me?
Just so you might understand me better.
Another thing that distrubs me about using the genetic card – it would open the door to re-evaluate the criminally insane – whom it is percieved as being a genetic disorder. Gays are not in the same category.
Gay people are not disabled citizens by nature. They are disabled by discrimination based on a religious tenet. Our country provides for religious freedom and gays are not under the thumb of religious zealots. They are free to their own expression as well. FREE. Gays are not aniimals of a different genetic sort that need to be trapped in that definition. THEY ARE PEOPLE.
You sound like one of throse christians who goes aorund speaking their mind and then calling it the truth and the only truth and unwilling to dialogue with anyone. Sort of like the other side of a similar coin.
Personally, I see YOUR solution is not the best solution. Calling on gay rights because it is genetic dilutes the wholeness of being gay. And it buys right into the hand that call gays immoral. Instead of standing your ground, being courageous and truthful, you take on their game by saying – well immoral or not – it is genetic and therefore cannot be helped. You also take away freedom from people. You are not all gay people – nor are you all ex gay people. You really have no idea what it is like to be gay. There is some real freedom in saying – this is who I want to be. I choose not to try and change, I choose to love who I do, I am gay. (I remember – that’s who I was) There was tremendous power in standing my ground. There was nothing immoral about my being gay. Genetic or not – I wanted my freedom as a lesbian. I still want my freedom as an ex gay and I still want freedom for gays and lesbians. You see – I look beyond the gay only issue and see people who are in need of freedom. Only by having that choice can gays be truly whole to experience and express themselves. Calling it genetic and not tackling other issues takes away from a person and cages them again. That’s not freedom nor a right – that’s still a gay slave.
And niether you nor any group can claim that it is genetic nor environmental and it seems it is a little bit of both. Again – this is my truth and you may not like it.
I would tell Zach’s parents – to be very cautious. Investigate LIA, their rules, who their child would be in contact with (criminals by the way), what techniques they used, what are the credentials of the counselors, and talk to many, many people on both sides of the issue. And if they spoke to me – I would suggest that they not send Zach to that place. And I would tell them my story in full. And I would give them some details as to what to expect from their son. They would not like it.
I would tell black people to – too bad. Gay people are people, too.
In case you can’t find them:
What would you tell Zach Stark’s parents, who felt that confining him to Love In Action was an act of love.
What would you tell blacks, who believe gay people are hijacking the civil rights legacy for a behavior based issue and resent it?
Yes, Michael, thank you.
And Warren, I already answered to what I think of it.
Now, would you and Mary please answer my question.
Michael – thanks for getting back to the topic of the post.
I think we are mostly agreed that there are several options for Evangelical families to consider instead of keeping kids home on the Day of Silence. Some may choose to take part, some may engage in conversation following the day, and some may do something like what I suggested.
In any case, Christians should make their loudest voice count for safety, respect and redemption, in my opinion.
As for the DOS, I think Christian gays should wear crosses that day to show just WHY they are against anti-gay violence. People might ask, “Wow! You mean you can be both gay and Christian?” Talk about a teaching moment!
And btw, Warren, I didn’t call the PATH to being ex gay that your friends chose, naive and weak…but their thinking in how their activity works for gay people at large.
And the homophobes and those who really couldn’t care less about what you do are a LOT more arrogant than I am…and so what WILL you do about THEM?
And Mary, those names you think I called you…weren’t names, but descriptors of how you’re approaching a particular situation.
I was just called arrogant. Big deal.
I can handle it. You know you got worse out there….so, how you going to handle that?
I dunno people. The vibe here isn’t putting any confidence in me that you know what you’re doing.
If you’re not convincing, you’re not convincing…for EITHER side.
And again, the point is: you ARE hurting gay people in the process. Not wanting to believe that is beside the point, it happens.
And to be effective at seeking justice for all, then that can’t happen. And I don’t think you’ve figured out how NOT to make it happen.
Your goal is compromised and you don’t want to accept how.
Can’t plan a good campaign if you don’t do that.
Why is it SO important that EVERYONE know you’re ex gay? I pretty much think I know the answer. But I want to ask it anyway. And if you’re honest, then that’s the reason why things won’t be the way you want for a VERY long time.
Mary and Dr. T, you changed the subject and NEVER answered the most fundamental aspect of how to be effective against reality. Wishful thinking is all well and good to keep a goal ahead of you.
But being effective in reaching it is a different matter. And I know that one cannot be weak, naive or contradictory to do it. The stakes are too high.
I already asked, how do you reconcile helping gay people who in the legal courts and court of public opinion are trying to prove that being gay is immutable?
How would you approach Zach Stark’s situation (a boy forced into Love In Action). His parents already feel they love him and were doing what they did out of love.
How would you talk to blacks, resentful of gays, who they feel are hijacking the civil rights legacy for a behavior based issue?
Tell me how you’re going to do that?
And because you DO make what gay people are trying to do and have been for a long time, THAT much harder….telling people to be nice isn’t enough. I already said, some racists and homophobes consider themselves nice enough. That gay people have enough, and since this is a behavior based thing, if gay people want more, THEY can be the ones to change.
And since ex gays can themselves be homophobic and already consider their activity a loving gesture….what WILL you do to reconcile what YOU have done with this in actuality?
I have had my work cut out, I’ve labored over a literary work (which has gotten tremendous support and accolades), to help blacks and gays reconcile through the wedge driven between them.
I know what works and what won’t. And I don’t think you DO know. It’s so important for you to be accepted, that you’ve lost perspective.
And if you don’t think you have. Answer the questions I’ve put before you.
Don’t change the subject, and don’t ask ME another thing until you answer the question I asked you.
And Mary, people don’t change their color to the point of being seen or recognized as a whole different race. There is NO medical procedure that can do that. Even John Griffin (“Black Like Me”), employed tanning and stain and a shaved head, to simply look black. And it all faded when he stopped. But no BLACK person has been changed completely white.
Michael Jackson didn’t change his color through some medical technique. He has an auto immune disorder called vitiligo. I have it myself. And Im willing to bet he’s the only one you’ve thought of. Maybe it’s because he’s the only black person you’ve seen change like that?
Well THAT wasn’t his CHOICE.
Michael Jackson had surgery on his nose and wears a straight hair weave to finish out erasing his ethnicity, but he’s STILL a black man.
And he’s obviously deeply conflicted there because he did that and didn’t want black children.
Mary, rights are NOT genetics based anyway (except in being a human being). Obviously people’s religious rights and choices are respected and protected in the law. The issue here is basic rights also being taken AWAY as well because of the intense animus against gay people. And the prevailing logic is that if gay people don’t want to be hurt or lose any rights, then they don’t HAVE to be gay.
Warren, you have a hard time following me because it’s SO important to you to have no challenges to YOUR logic.
Saying that my point that ex gays hurt gay people is a non starter leaves me to think you just don’t agree, or it’s not a reality or it’s not important. Or all of those things.
Christians exist, gays exist. Surely. But the point is, Christians aren’t the only ones that DON’T want gays to exist, have extorted conversion out of them and are given a green light by ex gays to continue to.
You don’t want EX gay’s existence to be questioned. And there IS no existing together as long as ex gays exemplify that Christians are the ones that don’t have to LET gay people exist.
They are let off the hook for even caring about that. I already said, to them, it’s enough that they no longer kill gay or jail or institutionalize gay people anymore.
They feel they’ve done enough. And by your example, don’t obligate them any further for anything else.
Don’t ex gay ads and outreach and other forms of literature say “question homosexuality”?
And now you’re telling people NOT to?
Conflicted message. Contradictory terms.
Or do you mean don’t question EX homosexuality, because they are above questioning?
Yes, you DO exist Warren. But it DOES come at great expense to gays and lesbians.
And it’s the denial of this that is also a genuine vexation.
Dave – You don’t have to be a Christian to love one another; in fact, you don’t HAVE to be Christian at all – no one does.
I don’t want to be treated that way so I won’t treat others that way either.
Regan – I have a hard time following your comments. Your point seems to be that ex-gays somehow hurt gays by expressing their stories. Is this it? If it is, then your position is a non-starter. I really think you mean well but I don’t think you are really adding anything to this thread. Christians exist; gays exist. We have to find a way to exist together without questioning the right of the other to exist. I don’t get that from you.
According to the Golden Rule, speaking the truth in love on the Day of Silence and also one the Day of Truth, I will share the following:
“You don’t have to be gay to love one another;
in fact, you don’t HAVE to be gay at all –no one does.”
Sad to say that the idea of rights based on genetic traits is not going to stand the test of time. Could it be that you are wrong in your logic? And could it be that a foundation based on liberty and justice for all is a better platform – one that is more authentic. Because the truth is some people do change. I know you don’t believe that and don’t want to hear that. But if you forge ahead on a genetic basis – science will catch up and legislation can be reversed.
That is the big picture – not just concerned about today but the generations of gays to follow. To be authentic about what they feel, who they are. In this sense, then those who change or want to change can also be authentic. There will be nor more question about hiding or coercion – it will be because they are truly being who they are.
You have called me many names throughout your writings. Are you aware of that?
Right Mary….but most people who do, don’t do it because OTHERWISE justice and their rights are withheld from them.
The fundamental rights we’re talking about AND whether or not you’re in danger if you do.
Those that change their gender, or even those who simply LIVE as the opposite gender do so at serious risk to themselves.
And now you’re steering the argument in a totally different direction.
As if the big, pink elephant isn’t dancing all over your living room.
What IF the merits of gay rights stood on justice for all?
Well, IF doesn’t cut it, that’s a given.
It’s the part about convincing those who expect conversion and extort it that don’t care about that.
And as I said, good luck telling them that convernsion is possible at the same time gay people are trying to say that it’s not.
Justice flies out of the window and preoccupation with convernsion takes it’s place.
Oh right, that’s already going on.
And Dr. T…just how strong IS your argument to have it both ways?
You didn’t exactly elaborate on that.
Throwing my own words back , with a disdainful word check is exactly makes my point.
I don’t hear you, Mary or Eddy doing anything about how to square the contradiction.
Bring it people, don’t call ME names Dr. T.. Bring your game. C’mon!
Just a point – it is now possible.
You can change your skin color
You can change your gender
You can change your face, appearances, name, identity, etc…
These people have rights based on the merits of liberty and justice for all.
What if the condition of gay rights stood on the merits of liberty and justice for all.
Those are the merits I stand on.
Sure Mary, it’s possible to be different from FP or FOTF.
But you’re already where and the way they WANT you and OTHER gay people to be.
A disappeared gay person. Another one down!
Those men and orgs they represent are EXTREME. They don’t NEED your voice to prove their rationale. They have your ACTIONS. You contradict the terms of standing up for who you believe in, not just WHAT.
Sure, you can be different from them in that you’re not HOSTILE to gay people.
But again, in the scheme of things…it does NOT matter.
You’ve chosen what THEY want anyway. So any protests or other pleas for acceptance of what homosexuality IS and what homosexuals can DO about it, won’t work.
Because that’s ALL that’s concentrated on. What gay people ARE and what they DO as sexual beings.
Which isn’t as simple as respecting the choice of whether a person would rather wear yellow than red or have long or short hair.
Or diet to lose weight.
And it’s almost like you’re arguing as if being ex gay or not has the same option to defend both.
You can’t, without a LOT of people being hurt.
That’s what happens.
You believe you can teach people that BOTH conversion and non conversion is an option to be respected so that no one is hurt?
That’s naive and weak, and all things considered…..no, it’s not an option at this time. Some things that haven’t had time to take root and grow enough and need THEIR time for it.
If I’m reading you right, it still looks to much like horning in for your own pupose and not the other that requires it’s own space.
You’ve had yours. So no, again….what I think you’re expecting won’t work.
I just TOLD you what changing has to do with. This is the condition on which MOST rights for gay people rests!
And as to your second question it depends on who it’s for, how and for what purpose.
This notion of changing hasn’t customarily been for the comfort of GAY people, but that of STRAIGHT people either ignorant and/or hostile to gay people.
Change is EXTORTED by the unwilling, like gay CHILDREN, and most of those subject to this extortion suffer greatly for it.
And it’s not about having rights REGARDLESS of being able to change. The issue before us the EXPECTATION of it at ALL.
The ONLY people it matters to, Mary…are those whose power has been unchallenged and difficult TO challenge. Whose authority is STRENGTHENED by YOUR conversion.
And who also consider themselves nice enough to gay people simply because they don’t assault them in public. But are perfectly FINE with doing so at the ballot box, the courts, through familes and the schools and churches. The MOST important institutions that have kept people FROM murdering each other in the streets in the first place.
You destroy the option to prove immutability and strengthen the expectation of changing. And the people who want that ANYWAY, have all the cards, so they don’t HAVE to care about the other ramifications because many already think they do enough and want gay people to do the rest (change to THEIR kind of life and belief, if gay people want anything else.
Period. End of discussion for the opposition to gay equality.
Ex gays feed their self righteousness, Mary.
Ex gays feed their rationalization for continued injustice.
Ex gays feed the assumption that gay people are unhappy, broken , pathetic mental cases who don’t know when to quit trying to be accepted as such, and chronically suspect with regard to their own needs and identity.
And the fact that we’re having this conversation, you feed the assumption that ex gays aren’t tough enough or are too dense to figure out the damage they do to gay people and how inauthentic you are to straight people.
I can’t help you BE authentic as a straight person, because you AREN’T.
I can’t defend what you are to gay people, because it’s an indefensible betrayal.
And most ex gays everywhere ARE complaining about gay people wanting them silent. And being hostile.
It’s only fair that they ARE after what ex gays do.
And you CERTAINLY aren’t helping gay people as much or in the way YOU think.
It’s useless, like giving a broken toy you’ve tired of to a needy child.
Ex gays have no more use of homosexuality, but YOUR charity isn’t enough and in some ways it’s condescending. It’s not enough to counter the damage done by avowed conversion.
Gay people know it.
And it’s part of the consequences of your decision.
I can think of a LOT of things I haven’t been accepted for, Mary. I already said there are plenty of straight people who have abandoned me or said terribly abusive things to me. So what?
I know I’m right because I can’t hurt gay people in the process, NOR straight people.
I CAN bridge the contention for THAT reason. You CAN’T because gay people ARE being hurt through YOU.
That’s what would disqualify you from working for SWC, for example.
It would disqualify Dr. T.
Pretty much most ex gays for that reason.
And you also hurt those parents of gay kids who want them to change, and when they don’t or can’t suffer profoundly for it.
You do more HARM than good Mary, because of what you’ve done. Sad, isn’t it?
We can’t work together any more than a broken toy can. The purpose of effective advocacy is so EVERYONE involved can’t be hurt. Period.
That the very strong ability to make things work better is to articulate how and where everyone can win and does.
And THAT’S impossible for an ex gay, regardless of how charitable, to do.
It’s because of how the rationale of straight people is ALREADY involved, that’s why.
Conversion and it’s expectation isn’t NEW, Mary. People have been extorting, demanding and expecting it for centuries. And by any means necessary.
The advocacy I’m engaged in is relatively new in comparison. And ex gays really don’t even want to give it a chance before it’s barely started.
That’s what makes you all seem supremely inconsiderate to complain about not having a voice, and people wanting you to be silent.
Yeah, well…since the whole issue that conversion is possible and needed and happens, has NEVER has been silent, what makes you think a time would never come when it had to stop?
Or that maybe this wouldn’t be so easily accepted always?
Evidently, ex gays can’t handle that. Again, making any entreats that you aren’t really wanting gay people to suffer or that you can counter what’s always happened ring SO hollow.
Is it possible Regan – that I am a christian but do not have the same voice or belief as Fred Phelps? Is it possible that I am ex gay and do not have the same voice or belief as Focus on the Family?
I’m just asking – Is it possible?
And what does change have to do with anything? Gay people should have rights, too regardless if change is possible or not? Right?
Can it be that some people can change and some cannot change?
It’s not my ‘view’, Mary.
This is what HAPPENS. I am pointing out what keeps gay people and straight people at odds with each other.
Perhaps THIS most of all. People already see color and gender as an immutable given.
So no one argues that people of color and women can’t help what they are.
But most people, and wrongly, consider being gay a changeable thing, like losing weight or beating an addiction, so they don’t see ANY reason whatsoever to allow equal access to marriage equality of any other rightful freedom because of that.
So in the standoff for equal stature in society, straight people expect gay people to CHANGE in order to get that stature.
And the burden of proof for EVERYTHING has been on gay people, because in other unfair and twisted logic..gay people are considered guilty to begin with.
How ARE they going to challenge the expectation that gay people can’t change, shouldn’t and shouldn’t be forced to, with you and every OTHER ex gay running around shouting for YOUR right to be heard?
And where are you NOT heard? To the people it matters to, you ARE heard, loud and clear.
And the factors and people I already mentioned USE you to their FULL advantage. I heard our state’s attorney use it, I hear Focus on the Family who is respected in the White House use it….I hear avowed ex gays use it to support definitively anti gay public policies use it.
This situation is going to take a LOT more than you just being nice and supportive of equality policies. And you’re not fit for the task.
That’s why a place like I work for, or any number of pro gay advocacies can’t use you.
They are VERY serious about that. It’s simply not flattering why, Mary and I personally don’t think you can handle what that really means.
I appreciate you trying to understand me. But I already know the frank and brutal truth upsets you. And why should I have to go there to make you get it?
The proof that homosexuality is immutable.
There is a huge burden of proof on gays and lesbians regarding that being gay IS immutable.
And ex gays keep sinking that proof and making the burden much, MUCH harder.
I really am trying to understand your view.
What is the proof – of what.
And I’ll answer you Mary.
Those same white people who did that, weren’t ALSO in a tacit way, telling those racists that they really believed in the inferiority and immorality of black people. But if a BLACK person had sided with those racists, and affected the trappings of what was considered white behavioral norms, then they’d would not only have betrayed other black people…they wouldn’t and couldn’t be trusted, not by black OR white.
White people, by marching with blacks at such a crucial time, were showing OTHER white people that they didn’t follow the party line, what they were willing to do to prove it, and showing black people not all whites were prejudiced against them and willing to do MUCH more than just be nice to them.
You do JUST the opposite when you identify yourself as ex gay. And even though you’re not into anti gay policies, it doesn’t matter.
I am more like those white civil rights supporters than YOU are. I’m not gay. I don’t have to be a part of any political action whatsoever and it’s gotten me some abuse and some straight people thinking I’m immoral and worthless or that I’ve betrayed THEM.
I haven’t tried to be anything other than what I AM, however hard or difficult it has been.
And I don’t complain and expect accolades and to be unchallenged by gay OR straight people for doing it.
But I have been in cordial social situations where some gay people have tested my depth with regard to their political rights.
Similar to the way I’m testing you. Can’t blame them, they want to know if they are dealing with someone superficially friendly, but if the rubber hit the road…how would I act?
Seemingly friendly people can be real snakes.
White civil rights advocates were putting their LIVES on the line by traveling down south. And there were others who wrote checks to the NAACP and went about their business.
Yesterday, I was risking sun poisoning from my lupus, to have pledges signed to counter the signature gathering going on here in CA to put marriage discrimination into our state’s constitution.
I was with a young gay man I’d met years ago, but he found that he was too shy or uncomfortable with talking to the public in that way.
I am the same way with gay AND straight people. I have ONE face. Just one.
So Mary, if you’re thinking that whatever mean or uncomfortable things have been done or said to you puts you in the same shoes as a civil rights advocate…sorry, no.
Your new way of live is tacit validation of what a lot of heterosexuals ALREADY are taught to expect, feel and ENFORCE.
You did an about face and got another one. You wear two now. Making you ineligible as someone INEFFECTIVE to challenge the belief that homosexuality is mutable.
And making it impossible for gay people to challenge it at all.
That is enough of a betrayal to make virtually any kindness or charity you have for gay people irrelevant.
Hard to hear, but why so hard to understand? Gay folks are so screwed because of ex gays.
And in Eddy’s very articulate post he left out the most important aspect of my question to him.
The who and what that benefitted the most from his (and your) change, are the homophobic, the ignorant regarding the mutability of homosexuality and the fear gay people have of being on the hook because they can’t or won’t convert.
The real winners are the law makers and educators who want to force conversion education into the public schools.
They ALL benefit and gay people and those expecting conversion ALL lose.
And it is the GAY people who are THE most important in this. Not ex gays.
It is the consequences of not changing that is most important , not YOU or any OTHER avowed ex gay that’s speaking.
The ethics of this situation with regard to priority, have to be given to who suffers the most when justice and education can be lost.
And ex gays have no priority over the gay person at this time. But most of you keep trying to muscle yourselves into this fight over justice and education as if you do.
If you were the morally sound and ethical people you should be, you’d know that.
I already know, that’s why me being straight or even black doesn’t matter as far as INSTITUTIONALIZED discrimination is concerned.
So my prioroties now are my gay neighbors.
And Mary, it’s NOT knowing the difference in priorities except to your OWN personal needs, feelings and emotions that make you the sort of person that, even in your heart and mind you think you can do some kindness and charity for gay people.
In the bigger scheme, it doesn’t matter.
What I meant by the burden you replaced, was this: you know the stakes for gay people. You know how important it is that when they challenge what gay people say about them, it IS the most difficult task. To NOT have a straight person challenge their identity and needs.
So, knowing that….the burden of proof, already heavy, was made even more so by your action. You shifted the proof away from yourself and onto the gay person.
Perhaps because you underestimated what straight people might really think or what gay people have to do, and you think you STILL have a burden because it hasn’t been a picnic for you either way.
Well, why SHOULD you be trusted and why does anyone OWE it to you?
Why do so many ex gays feel entitled to instant acceptance and trust?
And are even more beligerent when gay people don’t?
A serious socio/political movement such as gay equality needs more than what you got.
And especially doesn’t need what you did.
You must understand that there is always someone who can be well meaning, but totally useless or even detrimental to a cause.
And you’ve shown yourself to be more detrimental to the situation and socio/political needs of gay people or ignorant straight people.
So, handle the consequences of that. Handle it.
Complaining about your lot can’t score much for points either.
I know how it feels, as I have pointed out up post. It’s just that between the two of us, I know I’m not sinking the boat that gay people are in, and that you jumped.
And I have a question – should white people have walked in civil rights marches of the past where black civil rights were the focus?
My burden- what was the burden I replaced?
Mary and Eddy, I thank you.
It’s important to talk about what you’re actually doing day to day and what is passive as opposed to what is active towards your stated goal of the meaning of the DOS and also the day to day struggles that gays and lesbians have.
Eddy, if you’re not too public with your disclosure yourself, well ok. And you too Mary. However, both of you have said you suffered some kind of assault and abuse which led me to think you were more active in communicating being ex gay.
Here’s the situation and there is no gentle or simple way of putting this.
Eddy, all the benefits you have mentioned are centered around EX GAY people.
And even though you mentioned gay people struggle with SSA, and regardless of which direction they take, you see what you’ve pledged as a comfort to them because of a supportive community of the like minded.
No gentle way people…
Because of what’s at stake, what you do is an extreme betrayal of gays and lesbians. Particularly gay youth.
And Mary, telling me that there was no pressure from your family or anyone, makestelling you this worse.. It is because of what’s at stake and the price already paid that makes this a serious breach.
Both of you have talked about non acceptance or actual assault like spit or something else.
You’ve thought ME abusive as well for being brutally honest.
But when you’ve betrayed a situation that has horrendous consequences for a class of people, speaking in terms of compassion for them is NOT ENOUGH. And never will be. Every time you open you mouth to say, being ex gay IS an option, you betray them all.
Every time you say that a gay person’s rights cannot be breached, the opposition will ask…well, what’s it to YOU? You’re not one of them and don’t want to be.”
Those who want to continue to abuse gay people will see you as weak and they will know their ability to extort gay people to whatever they want, is stronger.
It seems as if you haven’t considered that. Your OWN needs have outweighed what has to be done for any of this to work. And your need for reassurance that it does, is frankly not compatible as reassuring to the needs of the cause.
And THAT is what would disqualify you from being an effective activist with regard to equality for gay people.
This situation needs more than you can give, or are willing to.
And Mary, in one sentence…on life’s road, you replaced YOUR burden and placed a heavier one on your gay brother along the way, making your of no service to anyone but who put the same burden on them to begin with.
Just wonder – if you can put into one sentence – what road do you think I am taking?
As for the DOS, I’m in on a blog silence for that day, too. Understanding that my reason for doing so is to support the GLBT community in the need to be heard for no more violence and as a conservative christian who wants to build bridges and extend a hand out to say “Let me treat you as I would want to be treated”
I also wondered about the possibility of Christian kids joining in the DOS but also wearing some visible Christian emblem that would make a strong statement: “Yes, I’m a Christian and yes, I’m anti-bullying.” But I was under the impression that overt religious symbols weren’t allowed anymore. It’s just an impression, though, I don’t know for sure. If it’s permitted, I think it would be great–and yes, those kids who identify as both Christian and gay could decide whether they wanted to make both statements. (Nobody asked that yet but I figured it would likely come up.)
Re a DOS for the blog. My only real concern is that it could backfire. While all the people professing any form of compassion are silent, opposers could have a field day…filling the blog-sites with anti-gay venom that goes unchallenged. Blog owners could conceivably ‘lock their sites’ for the day to prevent this but then it would turn out to be their show of support for the DOS rather than their bloggers. Is there a good way to ‘tweak’ your idea so that it actually demonstrates the real numbers who are anti-bullying?
As I believe I mentioned, this is the only place I speak publicly. Any other disclosures I make about being ‘ex-gay’ are in one to one situations where the other person is more than a passing acquaintance. With that said, on to your question: “who do you think your speaking out about your ex gay experience benefits the most?”
First, I think it most benefits others who have SSA and also have a conservative view of the Bible. Whether they ultimately adopt an ‘ex-gay’ journey or a gay one, knowing that they’ve looked at the matter from both sides should help them to make a more informed decision.
Second, it benefits others who identify as ‘ex-gay’.
Third, it benefits those who have a negative caricature of ‘ex-gays’ and conservative Christians. They certainly don’t agree with everything I have to say but they do come away realizing that it’s not as simple as “it’s us against the mindless religious intolerants.”
Fourth, if it is at all in our agenda to dent the bigotry that exists in parts of Christendom, it would seem that someone who is familiar with both opposing mindsets could actually assist in times of communication breakdown
Fifth, since the owner of this blog makes no secret of his Christian faith and yet gives place for opposing voices to speak, it seems it would benefit him and the purpose of his blog that voices from all sides contribute to discussion.
Sixth, it benefits me. Although it is wearing to weather misunderstandings and accusations, it is also strengthening to have to rethink what I’m doing with my life and if it’s the best path for me.
There may be other reasons but those are the ones I can think of readily.
I honestly think it’s time we move on from ‘what I’m all about’ and ‘why I speak’. I don’t make a habit of questioning people’s motives for blogging; I accept that they have a purpose for being here. The topic is the Day of Silence and how we might counter the negative response of ‘just stay home’. If you take exceptions to my expressed opinions on that topic, feel free to question. Otherwise, I recommend that you jump in on future discussions and challenge my statements or opinions if they need it. And, I realize it may be cumbersome but you could also look into past posts. (Post titles and number of comments should give a clue as to where related discussions have occurred.) I realize that may be a bit of a burden but, then again, so is explaining myself all over again everytime a new person with an opposing viewpoint joins the blog. (And I really hate detours from the stated topic. You try to remember where you or somebody else said something and you can’t find it because neither of you was speaking to the topic.)
LOL! “Now where was it that I spoke about my personal motivations for blogging? Oh, of course, it’s in the thread about the Day of Silence in the schools. Why didn’t I think to look there in the first place?!”
(Of course, you may express any criticisms you have of the motives I expressed today. I’ll read them but I may or may not respond. They are my motives. They do exist. They are why I’m here. And, unless you can somehow demonstrate why each of the six motives is bad or improper, I’ll continue to speak here…and I welcome you to do the same.)
I realize that I did leave out my motivations for one to one conversations but that’s because 1) the motivations are different depending on what sparked ‘my revelation’ 2) it actually happens rarely (My best friend’s partner, who I’ve known for 6 months or more, still doesn’t know that I’m “ex”…but I warned my best friend that the next time his partner tries to set me up on a date, I may have to tell him. The last guy he tried to set me up with seemed to take it personal when I didn’t respond to his obvious flirtations. He was a very nice guy and simply saying that I wasn’t interested didn’t seem right. I know what rejection feels like. But, it also didn’t seem right to say “I’m not interested because I’m ex-gay” because, as you suggested earlier, that statement seems to inject feelings of condemnation. So, awkwardly, very awkwardly, I tried to play dumb…like I wasn’t catching on to the flirtation.)
I haven’t said one voice isn’t important Mary. I haven’t told you to be silent. Even if you gathered up MORE voices that said that policies against gay people must stop…how to you explain what YOU’VE done that contradicts IMMUTABILITY?
It’s not about being silent, but in WHAT VOICE are you speaking? In whose language will you be understood?
And for NOW, your way of life contradicts what your WORDS say.
Can WE work together? Nothing would please me more, sweetheart.
But first, you’re going to have to explain how gay people are going to prove immutability, while you’re proving to the dominant culture that expects and DEMANDS conversion, that being gay IS mutable.
The voices of the opposition is MUCH louder and has been LONGER, Mary. Ex gays have existed for longer and THEIR voices haven’t been silenced at all.
Working together. I would love to Mary, but I’m not getting from you a grasp of the gravity of what you’ve done… except that you don’t like the response you’re getting. I’m not really hearing from you or Dr. T, the gravity of damage to OTHERS and the progress that’s been made.
Working together. Depends on the sync and organization of thoughts. Kindness isn’t enough. And articulatin the two experiences as gay AND straight isn’t what’s needed.A piano is a beautiful instrument, but you can hit all the piano keys at once to make it loud, but the sound isn’t harmony.
Your voice cannot harmonize, Mary. No matter how loud or how many keys you hit.
I asked you, who has benefitted more from your conversion? Who has already worked long and hard that this should happen and this is God’s plan anyway?
And who has suffered and will continue to because you have demonstrated that conversion is possible?
I KNOW you don’ t want gay people to FEEL marginalized. But I don’ t have to tell you they ARE. And they are because the rest of the world is waiting for them to get with the program and convert, otherwise whatever happens is on them to suffer.
It’s letting the wrong people off the hook, Mary. And it keeps gay people on the same hook they always have been. It doesn’t take much.
And in gay people trying to tell the courts, and clergy and educators, and politicians that homosexuality cannot and shouldn’t be changed….here you are. Showing the world it CAN be.
So…how will you explain that to the confused, the ignorant ,the hostile or the questioning? Who ARE looking to be let off the hook and feel no shame or empathy. How can you SHOW them to feel anything but what they already do? Without YOU doing it yourself, how will you do it?
I really appreciate you asking me about working together.
The best way to convince anyone of something is to lead by example. And that goes back to the original question. Who do you think most benefits from your conversion?
And you’ll pretty much have your answer. As I said, your decision isn’t a neutral one, there have been serious consequences to others besides yourself and those who made your same decision.
Raise your voice, Mary. Please, raise many voices. And the crashing of all the notes, in disharmony will not be the song that needs to be sung.
I’d love to work together, as long as you know what you’re doing and how to go about what has to be done to get things done right.
Rosa Parks didn’t give oxygen to segregationists. You invoke her name, but don’t understand that she did all she did and got hurt in the process because at NO TIME, did she ever give evidence or any opportunity to show that the racists were right.
Neither did the rebels at Stonewall, they were going to BE gay, act gay and live gay lives….no matter what.
That’s the difference between you and them. Not that you haven’t been abused. You will be.
In a high stakes situation as this, you took two roads. Rosa Parks took one. And so have I.
Sometimes that’s the ONLY thing that works. It’s not about believing as I do, and agreeing with me.
But knowing that two roads going in opposite directions can’t meet. I didn’t make the roads.
What I am trying to say is that you can’t take the individuals out of the story of the group. That’s all. And I’m hoping that if enough people like me voice against the stories of those who are gathering most of the media attention about policies against gays etc… then more people will stand up, too. And then when more voices gather – it will be seen that we are a larger group and that we don’t want a conflict with gay people, we don’t want gay people to feel marginalized or minimized or made to feel like lesser people.
You see, when you say one voice is not important because of the majority speaking group – imagine saying that to Rosa Parks, or any one of the individuals at Stonewall.
When I first started blogging, a lot of gay people wanted me to shut up. They were rude and called me all sorts of things. But I continue along with people like Ann and Eddy. We have something to say. Horton does hear a Who and I am praying that we get louder. We want peace. I hope peace wins out over the animosity that has spread for so long.
I came from the experience of having Fundies spit on me, threaten me etc… I KNOW THOSE PEOPLE. I don’t like that anymore than you.
Now – can you and I work together? I may not be an activist in the same manner as you or believe what you believe about sexuality – but can we work together?
Of course it is Michael. A young person can wear something representative of their religion AND carry Bibles.
The line is drawn at using provocative language exclusively directed at someone.
In the case of Chase Harper, he directed his message at gay people on a day that gives awareness to anti gay violence.
That was an especially provocative thing to do, and is directly what can be attributed to anti gay violence.
After all, the very Christian based organizations that are stonewalling anti bullying laws only SEE them as pro gay, when in fact such laws DO serve ALL children.
And said groups are not using the same language against OTHER issues that offend Christian principle.
For example, messages directed at people in divorce court, or who attend Weight Watchers or who are in bars or shopping for gold jewelry.
The negative attention is directed at gay students.
However, if a Christian is expressing themselves as such, but remain neutral as far as who they direct their message to, no worries.
But that’s not what happens.
So NOBODY gets to use negative messages. And even DOS isn’t directed AT Christians, or any religious group in particular.
It is a day to bring awareness of injustice and violence. Unfortunately, the ADF encourages hijacking it as some kind of victimization of Christians. Completely missing the teaching moment that persecution of Christians isn’t even a reality unless and until imposition of Christian expression on the unwilling to do so come to the attention of the law.
Expressing oneself as GAY, isn’t the same as someone trying to MAKE another express themselves as gay or converting to being gay.
In this, schools CAN allow a gay kid to express themselves safely. There is an obligation there.
Unfortunately, prosletyzing sort of demands that a school require a student to understand the difference.
To simply express, or try to make others express as Christian (christian prayers) or outright convert?
I have a question: Is it still legal for kids to wear Christian T-shrts or a cross to school or to carry a Bible? If so, wouldn’t it be interesting to do the Day of Silence in that garb? People might be puzzled. They might think, “Wow, I know that person is Christian — but anti-gay violence? What gives?”
Then, as Warren said much earlier, there would be a “teaching moment”. Someone might ask about Jesus. Someone might be saved. That would be much better than staying home, dontcha think?
Mary…what part of this isnt about YOU, don’t you understand? You’re an individual. I am speaking from the standpoint that OTHER gay people don’t have any such support from THEIR families or churches or schools. You KNOW that, and THAT is who and what I’m addressing.
I didn’t assume ANYTHING about YOU. You took my post PERSONALLY and didn’t have to, so I had no choice but to direct some of what I said TO you because of the way you responded.
That being said, I want to address Eddy’s post or maybe both of you, I”m not sure yet.
Being the target of some kind of violence Eddy,, either because of non threatening appearance (such as in the case of being a small man, a woman or perceived as gay) is the unfortunate trifecta of attracting the most cowardly of criminals.
I can see why a church wouldn’t accept you Eddy, but be assured, I’m not saying it’s right. It’s part of the: ” what are you really and when did you know it?’
It’s part of the how do we identify you factor AND
It’s a part of the expectation factor.
And who is most affected by the pecking order.
Now, it can be argued that you, as an individual exercising their right to choose their own path could be seen as simply looking for upward mobility. Which defines also a real aspect, that being gay is downward on the food chain.
But I have to ask you and Mary…what are YOU expecting from gay people or those who you want to believe you no longer are?
Stating a fact of being bigoted against, again, leaves out a few important factors. Whose agenda, other than your personal benefit, does this hurt and who outside of yourself does it benefit?
It is not something with neutral consequences. In fact, there are PROFOUNDLY bad consequences.
There is a simple principle here as far as how you help is concerned. And that is, you can give and give and give to, and hold no personal hostility or bitterness towards gay people.
But giving with one hand, and taking away with the other…leaves nothing.
And in many ways, takes away more from gay people because of the pernicious distrust and hate of them….even if they ARE children.
Every family advocate organization, PFOX, the Alliance Defense Fund, many state attorney’s offices or other law makers and enforcers and some Christian and one Jewish organizations out for the purpose of coverting gay people ALL agree on discriminatory laws because of the insistence that gay people can and DO change.
And they are winning, in the most important quarters.
If you’re working to advocate for the rights of gay people, then you have to know that and what a huge battle it is to deny mutability.
I know it makes MY job harder. Especially after hearing the state’s attorney argue on mutability.
And yet….who do you think your speaking out about your ex gay experience benefits the most?
This question is for both Eddy and Mary.
Who has benefitted and who do you think really can? This isn’t about agreeing with me or believing what I believe. This is about how you reconcile in your mind, who other than yourself benefits from what you’ve done and who it has weakened.
You’re not past caring about what other people think of you and how you want to be treated now as a person identifying as no longer living as a gay person.
However, the communities on either side are telling you something: everything DOES depend very much on who benefits and who is hurt the most and those who you have hurt and know it won’t thank you or necessarily respect you for it.
Although it looks like that’s what you want because anyone SHOULD be respected for a personal choice they made freely. That would be fine if the socio/polictical landscape were THAT neutral on gays and lesbians.
And that’s why, given the terrible and extremely high price being paid by young gays and lesbians especially.
The unfortunate consequences is being a pariah sometimes. You chose after all. And didn’t you know, or were you warned that this could happen?
I wasn’t kidding about being a heterosexual is overrated as a morally virtuous way of being. And the high pressure sale going on about it from the other side embarasses me, it really does. I mean talk about indoctrination and rubbing our faces in that ideology.
Perhaps, more than ever, because of being so accutely involved in the most depraved and disgusting human behavior that is out there….I am very offended that anyone could say being gay is worse than any of them (or closely resembles them) or being a gay person having a sex life is.
Good luck with not being gay anymore. I mean it, you WILL need it.
Probably a whole day of no comments blogosphere wide would be a nicer breather 🙂
I have an idea! Why don’t we observe the Day of Slience here — on Warren’s blog? All opposed to anti-gay bullying and violence would simply announce that they won’t post on that day (4/25/08). I’ll be first.
Of course, not posting might give someone the impression that you are not a “Christian” that you are “progay” and that you approve of homosexualty iteself. You gotta be very careful. People are easily confused that way.
…actual haters are numerous and beyond our reach….
How true. Smiling faces (music playing) Everyone remembers that song.
It’s going to be a bad November 20th this year. That’s the day we remember our dead, though few know of this memorial day – The International Transgender Day of Remembrance, In 2007, the list ran to 17 pages. The death rate from violence has greatly increased this year, following an unprecedented wave of publicity of the existence of Transgendered people. I hope that’s a coincidence.
I’m not going to call for action, for these murders to be discontinued. I do think though that we have the right to make the situation known. Most people, not even Gays, realise what has happened in the past, and what continues to happen. What should be done about it, I leave to individual conscience.
I see no ill-will on anyone’s part here.
I see a lot of conflicting opinions. Who was it who said “Melodrama is the conflict of Good against Evil: Tragedy is the conflict of Good against Good.”? What we have here is Tragedy.
Under such circumstances, you have to reduce things to basics: Kids are dying. They’re being killed. Now, there may be worse things that could happen, that may genuinely be a horrible but necessary price to pay for avoiding something worse. But the bar, the standard, is set pretty high, and I think it’s up to those who are against measures that ostensibly are supposed to prevent those killings to either show that the measures are ineffective, or that their side-effects are worse.
Again, without wishing to engage in competitive victimology, I belong to a group that suffers from homophobia, despite us not actually being Gay or Lesbian. Most of us, anyway. Of the 8 lynchings of GLBT people in the first 2 months of this year, over half were of “Gender Variant” people, the T in GLBT. And almost half of those were children.
This story is typical of how much worse we’re treated in other areas.
One thing this has done for me is to reveal the essential hypocrisy of many anti-Gay “Christian” groups. It’s not about behaviour. It’s about being different from their expectations of what is normal. It’s also revealed the extent of the selfishness in parts of the Gay community, and of the Left in general. It’s bad enough to be attacked by the Fundies. It’s worse to be attacked by our, if not Allies, then co-belligerents.
Now this is a long article, but please read it. It explores the contradictions in both sides views of us.
But there are advantages in being in this situation. It gives an insight into human fallibility – and since I’m human (though that has been disputed by some), my own fallibility, While sometimes saying along with Puck “Oh, what fools these mortals be!” it makes me acutely aware that those of opposing views can have the best of motives, and genuinely be trying to do what they see as right.
My own observation is that, while perhaps a third of Gays don’t actually care about human rights if they aren’t affected – see here for their views – to most it’s a matter of principle.
And as a rather conservative right-winger, I’m deeply saddened that virtually all of the various “concerned citizens”, when confronted with evidence that they’re wrong in their views, redouble their efforts, becoming more and more shrill and mendacious, deliberately “bearing false witness” against “activist niggers” – sorry, activist she-males”.
It’s a really awful pun (but you must remember that to people in my situation, a sense of humour is a survival skill) but….. By their Fruits shall ye know them.
I feel that Dr Throckmorton is labouring under a misapprehension: that most who are virulently anti-Gay are Christian in actuality, not just name. And many who oppose those faux-Christian hate-groups are under the misapprehension that all those who are anti-Gay and Christian are like that. They’re not. They do, however, give them tacit support. It’s up to us to reach out to them. I’m sorry to say though that the actual haters are numerous, and beyond our reach.
Thanks. Good to get to know you a bit better. I don’t mean to be snarky but when I said I run into more bigotry and bias re identifying as ‘ex-gay’…I’m not whining or complaining…but similar to what you said in an earier post….I’m just stating the facts. Our world is full of injustice and confusion; I suppose I’ve experienced more than some but a whole lot less than others.
You might find this interesting: I have six brothers. All jock types. Three were Marines while I was protesting the war in Vietnam. One was a gay basher; he and I actually attended the same community college where he was president of the only frat and I was trying to organize a gay liberation group. Some wonder how I survived that environment. I’ve been a victim of two gay bashings–one of them while I was ‘ex-gay’. I’m only 5’1″ and have also been the victim of a dozen muggings and assaults. Anyway, where I was going with this is I now have an incredible relationship with all my brothers. And the former basher is now one of the closest.
When I was entering the ministry years ago, I met with each of my brothers and explained what was up. Although everyone ‘knew’ I was gay, this talk was the first open conversation we’d ever had. The former bashers face went pale as I talked and he immediately confessed that he used to bash and “oh my god, it could have been you”. I revealed that I already knew and that I had been steering people away from his buds whenever I recognized their vehicle. His turnaround was sincere. Our relationship as brothers and our friendship has grown ever since.
It was probably the strongest message I’ve ever received that so much bigotry can be ended when we are willing to put a real face to it.
Of my brothers, two of them definitely prefer the ‘ex-gay’ role for me; two don’t seem to care much either way as long as I’m happy and two want me to wake up and find “Mr. Right”. Thank God I’m not highly motivated by public opinion. They’d have me spinning in circles.
Sorry, a bit rambly. The posts hit just before I was about to log off for the night. Tomorrow’s Friday, I’ll make it. If you post to me, I may not be able to answer til Friday after work. (Morning posts usually make me miss my bus!)
Are you aware that I had full support of my family during my gay years? No one cajoled, pressured, intimidated, bullied, threatened etc… me into becoming straight. No one.
Did you check that point?
You assume my change came from some repressed cultural influence. And then you are making all sorts of assumptions about my effectiveness in social change and influence because I’m from the “other” team.
And just so you know – ex gays face discrimination in the church. So – no it’s not easy to be someone like myself and wanting to be accepted because for the most part people do not. Like you – I work to vercome the social stigma associated with homosexuality.
And please – either read the posts on this blog or STOP making assumptions.
You have made very many and that’s just the thing you don’t like – I’m certain.
thanks Eddy, I appreciate your thoughts on this. Working in anti hate advocacy, we must see where the break is in communication and what people’s expectations ALWAYS have been.
A personal journey for you is just that. However, in the bigger scheme it does leave a whole lot of vulnerable young people to have to deal with unfair and mostly irrational expectations regarding their orienation.
The knives have already been out for a long, long time. You know that. Some of my more elderly gay pals tell me stories as hair raising as that of my parents and grandparents and their lives under Jim Crow.
One has to be very careful about the perception of bias, and the results of bias.
I’m hearing you say that you’re dealt with anti ex gay bigotry, but from whom?
Gay, straight, both? And in what way?
Is it about inconvenience and ruining your good mood, or is it about fear of insitutionalized problems?
What is it that ex gays NEED and why?
What rights are specific to you so that you’re on par with who, exactly?
I have to admit to you Eddy, that the few ex gays who were friendly enough to say something to me about why they chose to leave being gay, they all pretty much sound the same.
No offense, but there isn’t much variance.
I remember when a pair of my great aunts told me about passing for white. Their father was from Ireland and their mother half black and half Irish. So these ladies were light enough to pass, with long red hair and green eyes.
But they only did it as a temporary relief from the Jim Crow standards in their lives.
At no time however, did they stay that way, Declare to their social network that it was a way of life they’d want.
They had a hard time listening to ignorant white people while at the same time, having to stay silent and not reveal themselves or their feelings.
There was no two ways about it.
They KNEW they were black enough, and couldn’t leave behind the black family they loved. However much the white side would have provided them benefits, they knew the pressure of being so could break them as well.
There is a price to be paid for straddling the fence, Eddy. My aunts only had one choice.
Be themselves and especially not give into the institution that made them decide ANYTHING.
An ex gay can say it was THEIR choice to make, but if an institution is out there that expects and forces it, then it stands to reason why the choice would seem inauthentic to the others suffering within the same institution.
There ARE ex gays that vilify gay people in the worst way. And even lie about their experiences with living as a gay person to give gravitas to their aim.
You have to live that down as well.
That’s not necessarily YOUR fault. But the insitution itself that couldn’t and won’t make your gay life any easier for you.
My aunts weren’t wrong to seek relief from Jim Crow where they could find it. And some blacks have ALWAYS resented those light skinned blacks who have benefitted from it.
Light skinned blacks DO benefit for it, in ways their darker skinned brethren don’t.
But rubbing everyone’s face in that benefit can be unforgivable. And at times it seems ex gays ARE doing that.
The impression is: look at me, I think I’m special because all the straight people love me now, and Jesus and God do too.
It’s the impression, it’s the perception. And the result is, gay people DO pay a VERY high price for what ex gays do.
So if there is no thank you or outright hostility for you. That comes with the territory you chose to tread.
And if you complain that there isn’t enough gratitude or respect for what you’ve done, then you come off self pitying and thin skinned. Also the price to be paid for putting it out there.
It’s perhaps not so important where you are Eddy, but those like you and who they left behind and what THEY are to do if they don’t take your same path or can’t.
I’ve paid a price too, for being a big mouthed, take NO prisoners type of woman. Some people are VERY intimidated by strong, educated black women.
I think Warren expresses “Christian love” toward gays.
After reading your explanations I would actually hear you out when you say you love gays.
Warren, I continue to roll my eyes and scoff every time you say it. I’ll leave you to figure out the difference.
Michael Bussee wrote:
“Really? Wouldn’t the end of antigay hatred, bullying and violence against gays benefit everyone?”
No. It would not benefit some evil Christians who enjoy abusing gays as an article of faith in their evil religion. In fact, it is, to them, quite literally an attack on their religion and they will readily admit that.
Yes: some Christians are evil because they follow an evil religion.
Blog timewarp. Two of your posts dropped in while I was writing the last one. LOL. I didn’t mean for you to re-read Mary’s post…I thought I said to re-read mine.
I see where I missed you.
It comes from talking and living honestly and trying to be sensitive to the messages they might take. Funny how we can’t choose what people choose to learn from our lives. They could see my honesty about no easy answers. They could believe me when I say that this is what I believe and not take that to mean that they have to believe it too.
Heck, they might even see, that despite the fact that I identify as ‘ex-gay’, my closest friend is not only ‘gay’ but ‘ex-ex-gay’. (Yes, he’s ‘been where I am’ and moved to another place in his understanding. Does it make him right? Does it make me right? Neither one.) They might actually see that I’m both a Christian and a human trying to live the best life that I can with the resources I’ve got.
They might see that I don’t bother trying to correct people, straight or gay, who perceive me as gay. My chief reason for that is “that if they think I’m gay” and learn to love me anyway they will eventually, whether straight or gay, be confronted with their own biases and misinformation about gay people.
That might not be the ultimate answer that you want but it is the one that I’m living and I make no apologies for it. I’ve managed to confront a lot of bigotry in my 50+ years, usually with good results. The bigotry against ‘ex-gays’ is where I run into the most difficult times.
Mary, I reread your post as Eddy instructed.
And your post is sadder than mine. How you think that you’re left out of the rights race. Do you think ex gays, now living as heterosexuals ARE persecuted, if so, please tell me how. I might and rightly have assumed that if you’re living as a heterosexual (who have no legal biases against them) that you wouldn’t have any LEGAL biases against you either.
Okay, if there are, please tell me. And no one said you didn’t count, indeed…it’s hard to ignore ex gays. There are WORLDWIDE organizations and outreach programs. There are proud endorsements and billboards announcing conferences and books and DVD’s and CD’s. There is political support of elected officials that gay people can change.
I get all their information. So, you DO have a lot of support for being ex gay.
So if there is a breach somewhere and the bias has compromised you at all, you have advocates that will aid you.
Isn’t that right?
If you’re doing charitable work for gay people, for the homeless, for anyone-I’m sure they appreciate it. And I didn’t exactly assume you didn’t.
But regardless of what YOU do personally, you know that the anti gay have a lot of ammo to use from the same organizations and outreach that supports folks like you.
Now, we’re talking about a school event for young people that addresses a specific people and problem.
I’ll ask you the same question I asked Eddy, how EFFECTIVE do you think you can be against virulently anti gay or even just say, misguided people who think homosexuality isn’t what GAY people say it is, but what YOU show it is?
Now, I asked fair questions. I reread my posts and yours and I have truly wanted to understand you and have you understand me.
This is why I write so much text.
Okay Eddy, let me try and simply this for you. This is NOT a gigantic leap.
As you interpreted what I posted, you were going along fine until the parting shot :
“So if you want people to hear what you say or feel, then you have to be silent about the fact that you are no longer living the gay life.”
No, that’s not what I said at all. You can go RIGHT ahead and speak ALL you want that you are no longer living the gay life.
And THEN what do you think happens, Eddy?
And THEN how do you think this HELPS gay youth not be extorted to change?
Now, speak ALL you want and YOU explain to me how you can do it.
I really, really want to know.
And Eddy, if you’ll read my post carefully, if Mary interpreted UNHELPFUL activity as a call to being silent, then her interpretation AND yours are wrong.
Yes, if you have stayed around to interpret the posts and such or act even as a referee, then okay.
I appreciate that.
But, your judgment was wrong. And I’ve already tried to clarify what I mean. If long posts to you are ‘rants’ instead of a complex way to a point, then already you’ve decided to criticize and NOT exactly say specifically what YOU mean.
Now, the point and the thread is regarding Dr. T’s suggestion. Mary decided to stand out by complaining about my post, even though I didn’t attack her personally, but she took the post personally.
If that is going to happen, then the thread becomes what it has….back and forth and still nothing important or effective is said.
Just complaining that I was too hard or not understanding you enough.
Well, exactly….how can I understand you if you’re only complaining and give no background?
That’s right Mary…maybe I dont understand YOU personally.
But I already said I understand why someone wouldn’t want to be gay. I already said it’s exhausting and scary to be a member of a suspect group. And I understand that it might be hard to have a good relationship with another member of your suspect group because you’re not supported, but attacked for it.
I understand why living like a heterosexual or even a celibate life might be liberating.
But I’ve been there with ALL of that myself Mary. Been there.
Check: you dont want any gay children bullied, and you support gay equality and all that. Check, double check.
So, if you have something ELSE to inform me on, I’d appreciate it.
I might have said all I have at a complete disadvantage because of not knowing YOU.
But I know people with anti gay bias very well too. And there is little that is worse that could be done, than validating ANY of what they rationalize against gay people.
You don’t thave to ENDORSE it directly, just validate it because of what you’ve chosen to do.
There is no other way around it, and no other way to say it.
As you’ll note, I wasn’t a part of the bulk of the conversation. You asked a question wondering how Mary could take the ‘Leap’ that you were suggesting silence. I explained where I thought it came from and that it didn’t seem like much of a leap.
I conveyed no emotions yet you’ve assumed a number of them. I made no opposing statements and yet you rant that perhaps I want you to be silent. All I’m asking is that you go back to my post, remember your question to Mary about how she could possibly think that was your point, read the paragraph I quoted from you, read how I interpreted it…and tell me why my interpretation was such a leap?
That’s all, Regan. Read it again and realize that you are the one making assumptions and taking gigantic leaps.
Oh man…this is really something. Alright, Eddy and Mary, I have already brought up analogies. I’ve already brought up the reality of what actually happens and the expectations of most heterosexuals regarding gays and lesbians.
And bring up a reality is seen as a screed on MY prejudice? I already said, this isn’t about SILENCE, I never said you had to be.
Have you EVER met someone who however well meaning was incompetent at certain things? Or however much they WANTED to help, they couldn’t help a situation because of the other skills they choose to have not suited for the task?
It doesn’ t mean that you have to be silent. It doesn’t mean that I said anything of the kind.
It means that you’re not helpful in the most effective and meaningful way to destroy anti gay bias. It means that the issue is confused and holds contradictory terms for the situation. Period.
You don’ t have to be silenced. You have joined with the consciousness that created the problem, therefore you can’t solve it in the institutional sense just because you think you’ve solved you own problems with it.
The way you AND Mary are interpreting my post, is as if you’re under some censoring and you dont get to speak on your own behalf. As I said, who is stopping you?
No one, especially not me are keeping you silent and for the THIRD time, neve said you should be. And there is no INSTITUTIONAL bias against you and no institutional bias that I’ve even supported.
I see a pattern here.
1. Reality check is seen as a call to have you silenced.
2. Informing on how long time activists HAVE to work so that the public being addressed isn’t confused by mixed messages: seen as a call to silence ex gays on their experience.
3. Informing that however well meaning, some points of view and actions are not helpful to be effective in tearing down the walls of sometimes brutal institutional bias: is seen as a bias unto itself and a call that ex gays are the persecuted ones because they don’t feel they get to speak. for THEIR cause. Which is a part of the conscioness that causes anti gay bias in the first place.
Eddy, Mary….I really don’t know enough about your personal journeys and where you live.
But if all you’re seeing is persecution and bias, then I don’t know what to say to that. What are you looking for. Validation and flattery? What?
You’d rather it was ME who was silent? Well, okay. I could go away from here, but what point would that make about YOU?
Warren had a suggestion, I already agreed with it in part. That’s really all you needed to know.
How effective HE or any of you will be, remains to be seen. The bigger point is, if you’re this bothered by someone telling it like it is…how WILL you handle someone who twists what you do into serious lies to hurt young people exactly the way we’re talking about?
I interpreted this statement in much the same way as Mary did:
It sounded like this said: “What you say or feel makes no difference to anyone, all they will see is that you are no longer living the gay life. Most Christians will take that fact and use it to verbally bash gays; gays will take it as condemnation of the fact that they are still living the gay life.” “And that expectation comes at the risk and expense of all else.”
It sounded like: So, if you want people to hear what you say or feel, you must be silent about the fact that you are no longer living the gay life.
Can you help me see how this isn’t what you were saying?
What about other kids who are bullied? Why not have some mutual day of understanding about ANY kid who is bullied??? I would think that post Columbine this is a very relevent issue? The fact that the students promoting this appear to care little for kids being bullied because they are nerds or have social skill deficits or all the other bazillion reasons schoolchildren bully each other is very telling. I DO think there is an agenda beyond compassion. Because if that were so, there would be some concern extended to other victims of school harassment besides gays and lesbians. Perhaps the true Christian response would be raising awareness about harassment ACROSS THE BOARD. Perhaps (and I need to work on this myself) treating people with respect even when they are wrong or their behavior turns you off. Instead of high school being an exercise in social Darwinism for a lot of kids. This could send the support message without complying with the implicit agenda of normalizing homosexuality.
Thank you by the way for confirming your bias- that some people don’t count in this society. I highly doubt the Jewish community, the homeless community, the gay community at large or any other oppressed group would not want my volunteer help or my story.
Just a note – when you are fighting for the rights of others – remember people like myself exist. And we too have rights. And we also vote.
Your writings are a sad commentary.
I will send your post on to my jewish relatives, my gay friends, black friends, christian friends, etc….
I am certain you do not speak for them – as I am certain that those highlighted in the christian media do not speak for me.
My life is not a conflict in terms. It is just difficult for you to understand.
I know in history where and when Christians have been persecuted. I know that Christians (the Fulan Gong) are in China.
But we’re you nor I are in China and neither is the DOS. Persecution isn’t the case in America and you know it. Certainly not to the extent that it is on gay people and in all this talk of persecution, you’d think other Christians would show the very empathy that we’re trying to talk about here.
Something very important for you to know. I volunteer for the Simon Weisenthal Center in Los Angeles. It’s a Holocause archive, but it’s dedicated to bridging contentious communities. I was there when they first implemented the outreach for gays and lesbians. The presidents of PFLAG in each area of LA county were a part of it, as were GLSEN, the Matthew Shepard Foundation and a coalition of priests, rabbis and other religious clergy that supported this effort.
I have been with them as a member and volunteer since 1992 when riots broke out county wide here and Days of Dialogue initiated me in my first years as a dialogue facilitator and writer.
And although your heart is compassionate for gay people, a place like the Musuem wouldn’t want you to participate in the way that I’m charged to.
And that is precisely because your life exemplifies a conflict in terms.
Knowing that homophobia exists at there is pressure extorted to convert on very young gays and lesbians in unhealthy and sometimes brutal ways, it would be inappropriate for you or Dr. Throckmorton to be considered an expert on gay/straight relations and as able to bridge the gap between these issues.
It’s not about silencing you at all. It’s about a conflict in interests. However sincere and forthright you are about the rights of gay people, the fact is, you would be unconvincing ( and unhelpful) on what identity and sexual orientation means.
Many ex gays (perhaps a majority with the most visibility) are outright hostile to gay people. They do engage in anti gay political policy. Used as a tool to defend discrimination.
The SWC knows that.
Now if you were an activist or in some other way, on the street: such as in what Dr. Throckmorton suggests, that is about the golden rule.
I don’t know how far Dr. T wants to take his idea. Or how far he can.
But in the very seriosness of what is most effective and meaningful to change the prevailing view on homosexuality, what it is and means…you are of no help.
You can’t help, it IS a contradiction of terms.
Again, it’s not about YOU personally Mary, but what the majority of people believe and do.
So it’s not about MY beliefs or feelings. It’s about being effective where it counts and who it’s for.
Being an ex gay, you don’t require the same defense that a gay person does. You are embraced by the heterosexual majority. But especially embraced by those hostile to gay people. So your needs as far as civil rights and protection are met.
A places like SWC or even ADL is VERY serious about conflicts in terms.
Mary, I’m not demanding you change your life for me or what I think. I haven’t done that at ALL. I don’t even know how you made such a tortured leap or that this is even about YOU.
Indeed, I have said NOTHING about your silence and that you should be.
I would love for you to point out exactly how I’ve said any of that, or even eluded to it.
I’m not stopping you obviously from speaking your mind. You have a 1,000 posts to prove it.
I wouldn’t know how you feel if I didn’t hear from you. So, no…silence isn’t what I want.
I was being honest and not telling you to DO anything. I was pointing out a very simple fact. Your life is your own after all. It’s normal to want validation in a community that shares your beliefs and goals.
I share too the understanding that you’d want that.
This is your bailiwck, I’m new here. But you want me to deny, or just not mention that straight people mostly expect ALL gay people to do the same and are poised to punish them if they don’t?
Well, why not. Why can’t I mention this very real situation that your choice doesn’t help?
What’s it really saying about you that you can’t handle that much that’s simply honest?
You’re not silenced, you’re not abused by that fact. It’s just not especially flattering, that’s all.
I’m not going to change my life for the sake of you. I am who I am and will continue to tell me story in venues such as this. That you want me to be silent because YOU think it would be best for YOUR cause – is kind of wierd. Kind of goes against your own sentiment about mob rule. The minority person or group should be able to speak – right?? And have their own life respected – right?
As to the posts – please don’t try such shotty reasoning again- there are out ther for anyone to read.
Mary; I agree with you hat “GLSEN’s position that those of us who do change are against them is pretty directed at a group of people”. That’s probably true. Ever wonder why? How do you suppose that groups like GLSEN — and many individual gay people — got such an impression?
Why do “gays” feel that “ex-gays” are their enemy? Why don’t “Gays” trust “Christians”? How did they come to feel that the church was a place of blame and rejection — and not a place where God’s love was made manifest?
I’m glad to hear that YOU are against bullying and any attacks on the LBGT. I never accused you of any of that. I’m also glad to hear that you don’t think everyone should or could change.
The point is….how YOU feel doesn’t matter to those who want ALL gay people to change. And to the dominant culture that thinks they CAN and should, they won’t care what you think or feel about how gay people should be treated. Just about what you have done.
And that condems other gay people to the expectation that they can do what you say you have. And that expectation comes at the risk and expense of all else.
That’s all I’m saying. That’s not a belief, Mary.
That is a fact of life.
And Warren, your suggestion, as I said is better reinforced ALL the time. Twenty four seven. It is the most profoundly important thing because it is a teaching on selflessness and empathy. These are the most civilizing things one can teach a child. Children are by nature selfish. They have to be taught to share their toys, or how would THEY feel if they got hit or yelled at? Some children are born empathizers, but most aren’t.
In a way, the prevailing religious teaching is more argumentative and serves retribution without considering more nuance regarding empathy.
Of all the sins people know are out there, they empathize with homosexuality the least. It’s extremely primitive and simplistic what most well know religious texts say in how to respond to it. And in the meantime, no matter how much you try to encourage the golden rule on say, public policy issues. “How would YOU feel if you couldn’t marry or if you had your children taken away from you for what you are?” How would YOU feel if you got fired from a job you loved and did well because of being gay?’
There is little empathy expressed, but often extreme selfishness. Heterosexuals only see the existence of gay people as somehow as at the expense of their freedom and protection and rights.
So the point is, children are easier to teach about empathy. Young people will have inevitable contact with a gay person. Christian kids included and their religion doesn’t prepare them for the reality of this contact, even how to treat their OWN gay children.
Morals and virtue IS about goodness out of empathy, not with the expectation of control or denial of that person. How good you are to another person, whether or not they are LIKE you.
One can believe in equal justice regardless of religious background. And children do want to know they can participate in changing things in this way for the better.
Not to me you haven’t written 1,000 posts. I only need one to try and understand you. If you think my threads are too long to read. How do you expect me to go through 1,000 of your posts?
And as for kind, loving Christians being attacked and paying for what others do. Name it Mary. What danger are loving, kind Christians in here in America?
There is a difference between the loving ones, and confrontational ones. Have you vetted which one got back what the gave?
One can take offense to my frank honesty, and it not have anything to do with an attack. I have taken more than offense at young people who are bullied to the point of suicide, taken offense at the casual murder of gay children by other children. And I not only take offense, I ACT against those outrages.
I know the root of such bullying and violence and ACT. It’s hard to be polite when that happens. It’s hard to be soft and it’s even harder to understand those who don’t have the WILL to act as swiftly and properly at the things that cause violence and put children at risk.
I’m acting on someone else’s behalf. Not mine. This isn’t about my beliefs, which is most in the Golden Rule to be totally honest with you.
If your offense is at someone being hardcore honest with you and illustrating part of the problem, then if I can’t speak on part of the problem, then how can a solution be reached?
The concern here isn’t about you and your feelings, but the confusion and inherent contradiction that feeds the problem. Young people need something that makes sense, and contradictions don’t do that. Mixed messages certainly don’t.
Dr Throckmorton – Warren – as someone who doesn’t agree with you, my opinion is that you have the patience of a Saint, to use the well-worn cliche.
You provide a place for people who have issues with what you say to air their opinions. Now such people have a lot of emotional commitment to their cause – seeing just one dead child will do that. That means they sometimes use semantically loaded language, when a more objective turn of phrase would be more appropriate.
Not that I would ever do anything like that, of course…
Well, hardly ever.
Ok, I plead guilty and throw myself on the mercy of the Court.
Thank you for your patience with me. I’ll attempt not to try it so much in future.
Now about the issue at hand –
Well, it’s better than them staying at home in protest.
It’s better even than them polling up at school, and ignoring the whole thing.
But while it doesn’t reinforce violence, it does nothing to undermine it. You see it as a bridge to something better, I see it as mere camouflage over a gangrenous wound.
There is another argument that you haven’t used, one that I have (to my shame) only just thought about myself.
What about the Children?
By being against your suggestion, we are attempting to separate the sheep from the goats, to marginalise the parents who see the deaths of a few gay kids as an unfortunate but unavoidable consequence of sinful behaviour. To force them to choose sides, with the aim that some of those who choose the side of violence, those who are reachable, will not rest easy.
I repeat, but what about the Children?
Because it is not the parents who will be immediately marginalised, it will be the kids. What happens when I read an account of how some Evangelical’s child has been beaten for being Homophobic, a Hater, a Bully and a Thug? When all he or she did was obey his or her parents….
I don’t want that on my conscience. Any harm your suggestion does will be relatively small, and it may just allow some kids to avoid being marginalised in turn. Being marginalised can be deadly. I of all people should know that. And if I’m so righteous in my concern for children, maybe i should think about all children, not just some.
A card with the Golden Rule can be an icebreaker. Conversation can flow from that. I think it would be an individual thing whether kids are silent or not.
Wendy – Middle schools can be organized for DOS as well.
I see practical problems with suggestions that traditionally minded kids blend in to the DOS. Kids are often polarized on the morality issue. Lots of spade work would need to be done for kids who were at odds over the right and wrong issues to participate in the same event. It is not just a matter of people thinking conservative Chrisian kids who do not affirm homosexuality have turned pro-gay. I have dissonance from both sides of the issues that would take finesse to overcome. Not saying it couldn’t be done; just saying that for conservative Christian youth groups, it may be more doable to get them and their adult sponsors and parents to start with something like an affirmation of the basic teaching of Christ regarding our neighbors.
I am not sure how to assess my patience. I have spoken to high school and college groups over the last several years and I imagine to them I seem pretty impatient. However, I see nothing in the Golden Rule suggestion that reinforces violence or the status quo, just the contrary.
Christians are persecuted all the time. Well, first there are the biblical accounts. then the martyrs, and moving fast forward into present day – many countries have strict rules against teaching christianity. Oh – and then there are the occurences here in the US where someone who is a kind, loving, compassionate christian gets verbally attacked for the actions of others who do not hold their beliefs but call themselves christians.
Oh – wait – that only happens to gay people.
Can we all agree that many people make judgements on others – unfairly and attack them in a variety of ways?
On the paragraph that responds to potential opponents – it lists people like myself who are relgious and do think a person can change. (I did not say all people can change or must change or anything of the like)
I am totally against violence, discrimination, bullying of any member of the GLBT community. And I do think that GLSEN’s position that those of us who do change are against them is pretty directed at a group of people. JMO.
When I discuss DOS with school age children I always discuss the opportunity for people to have a variety of opinions and beliefs within a respectful environment. That violence, bullying, and discrimination based on sexuality (unless of course it is criminal sexuality as in abuse of some sort) is not civil nor the way to handle conflict. And just today I came across a book for teachers on how to teach conflict resolution and social skills. Next big paycheck – goes to that purchase.
I support DOS but I do not support all the ideas on the GLSEN website. I would prefer that instead of children staying home from school they do take this day as an opportunity to build bridges of peace though they have different belief systems. (Or have we not learned from the middle eastern conflicts all these years???)
I have made over 1000 comments.
You’re right …. on the DOS they would simply be silent….. but after the fact if the conversation comes up they have an opportunity to gently and respectfully explain what they believe – we are talking highschool students here right? They should be able to articulate why they believe what they believe. I would rather them not have some card explaining their position on the DOS …. a conversation in response to a query is very different than an unrequested explanation of beliefs during a day that is understood by students to be about ant-bullying and reversing unjust treatment of gay students.
You’re free to ask again, if I did miss something and I’ll be SURE and answer you.
Mary….I answered your question. I also asked you to help me understand you and correct me if I’m wrong about you in particular.
And AGAIN, you simply criticize without doing so. So, if there is something new to learn, I’m open to it.
So far, you’re not doing that.
I see you you go off the subject and stop.
You veer from answering a simple question. You make assumptions about me, my experiences (as well as about others) and then accuse us for lack of understanding and relevance.
Seems kind of silly to to keep reading lies about myself. Unless you think I should believe what you have to say about me and others like myself??
Or maybe – and here’s a thought that you may not have considered yet, maybe you could learn something new?
How do you say all that and remain silent while doing so? LOL! I suggested that the kids might go along if they had their own card which was strongly anti-bullying but presented a clarification such as yours and I believe that was seen as a violation of the spirit of the event.
I can attest to what happens to me because of my support of say, anti discrimination legislation or even marriage equality.
Right away, I get painted with an extremely broad brush as someone who would also support pedophilia, or that I’m a certified liberal, Leftist or accept any and all sins and perverts.
It doesn’t matter what I do for a living, it doesn’t matter that I’m pretty conservative on all other issues.
The price paid, yes…is to have people believe that. However, they only believe it when it comes to issues that concern gays and lesbians.
No other subject. I find this especially strange and another clue in how exclusively people save their invective for gay related subjects or pro gay support.
I can see if a Christian does something gay supportive, even with regard to DOS, they could be vilified for it or at least treated with some disapproval.
However, being treated with disapproval IS better than any child suffering a day of violence at school.
Believe me, it’s all worth it.
Well, Mary…you still haven’t said anything that would help me.
And you haven’t exactly taken apart any points that I’ve posted that would enlighten me to understand you. You see a long thread and decide it’s not worth the bother?
At least I articulated exactly why I’ve come to the conclusions I have, not assumptions. I’ve done you that courtesy Mary. Even if I’m wrong, tell me where and why, don’t just say you think so.
BTW, DOS is not directed at Christians. It’s to direct the general public to the violence against gay youth, but also that few gay kids can voice who they are or their concerns in peace.
It might seem it’s directed at Christians, because it’s a Christian advocate group, or one of several that are fighting against this day and other aspects of protective legislation for gay and lesbians students.
And Warren, you actually underestimate that tall order. When the purpose has very strong clarity, and the quality of empathy being proposed to the young has already been an example to them through their parents, they can handle it.
Adults however, tend to send conflicting and hypocritical messages, and that’s what makes it difficult for this age group to understand what’s being done.
Wendy: Try firstname.lastname@example.org
Wendy: No. I am not getting your emails. I will keep trying.
Michael – I’ve replied a couple of times – but they don’t seem to be getting through. Not sure what’s up there. I can receive your emails – but mine aren’t getting through???
Warren…. I seem to recall you saying to Timothy recently that he was impatient and baby steps were needed…. that is wisdom, and I hear what you’re saying here. Truth is, I’m also impatient. I don’t think it is really the maturity level of the kids that is the big issue – most kids understand the fundamental need to respect and care for ALL people. Rather, it is the high level of “freak out” in the adults. I think they do need to be pushed and challenged to put “first things first” and rediscover the heart of the gospel. Though in reality, this is a long process requiring patience, grace and humility.
My concern and the reason for my impatience is two-fold:
1. Unjust treatment of gay students continues – and without doubt is at times perpetrated by Christian kids.
2. While we wait for Christian adults to “catch up” and “rediscover the heart of the gospel” the negative perceptions of Christ-followers and Christianity in general continue – perceptions that do NOT accurately reflect the heart of Christ.
In the meantime, New Direction, will continue to work hard at developing resources to help Christ-followers chill out and actually reflect Christ in how they respond to gay people.
Wow! If I were straight, I would ask Wendy to marry me. I completely agree that It is “a price worth paying” and that “Christians should (not) be so scared…”
An aside: Wendy, I am trying to email you and have sent a couple of notes. Do I have the correct address?
But I wanted you to agree with ME, Wendy 🙂
With my suggestion, I am thinking of the kids and churches who have never thought outside the box and who have no models to go by in living out a radical life in Christ. I am thinking of those who will have dissonance over being involved in what is often viewed locally as a gay rights event – and is even referred to in the materials as that. Youth group leaders and parents who are charged with responsibility to pass along their beliefs and be as conscientious in that as possible are not likely going to support a complete involvement in the day. We are talking about kids ages 12-18.
I am looking for a way to respect the maturity level of the kids, the dissonance of their adult leaders, the demands to love and the respect for the beliefs of all. Tall order.
Sorry, Ann. That was for Mary. Oops!
I agree with Timothy here. True, one might assume that Christians who participate because of a conviction regarding violence ALSO support other gay issues – which they do not. But, that is a price worth paying. If asked, “Do you support gay issue ….. ?”, the Christian student can simply say, “I chose to be silent on the DOS because I too want to see an end to unjust and harmful treatment of students. I don’t happen to agree with gay issue xyz – but I certainly want to see all students experience a safe environment at school.” I think this testimony would speak volumes and represent Christ much more clearly than the kids who stay home – who’s non-participation could be interpreted at worst as agreement with unjust treatment of glbtq students or simply as apathy and a lack of concern over unjust treatment. Neither of these reflect the heart of Christ.
I simply don’t think Christians should be so scared of the possibility that someone will think they affirm all or certain gay issues. If asked, they always have the opportunity to hopefully respectfully and graciously clarify what they believe and what they do and do not support.
Ann: Just curious. How did you get the “impression that the DOS was started as a response to Christians who hate”? Do you know something of the history of the DOS that would lead you to believe this?
Are you sure you mean me? I never had this impression, nor have I ever written anything like it. I think you might be referring to someone els 🙂
On the Day of Silence, Christian kids will have only one choice – whether or not to participate. There is no alternate peace message process.
If they participate, they are on record as opposing violence against gays, but they may also be perceived as supporting “the militant homosexual activist agenda”. Or they can non participate and thus say nothing about violence against gays.
It’s purely a matter of what is important to them.
The notion that they can somehow not participate and yet magically communicate their “support for peace on campus” is, frankly, difficult to fathom. I really doubt that in your quietest moments you really think that this is particularly likely.
What will happen is this: The Day of Silence will come – and Christian kids will refuse to participate. Some small handful will react with hatred and venom – and no Christian kids will stand up to them. Some few will show up with anti-gay messages – and no Christian kids will challenge that message. Next week and the following week and the week after that some gay kid will be tormented – and no Christian kids will step in to protect them.
Eventually some kid will be killed or tormented into suicide or drugs. And in their history will be no Christian kids that saw it a matter of faith to protect them from bullies. None.
This is not conjecture, it is not hyperbole, it is not propaganda. It is what has been seen over and over and over and over. Everyone knows this to be true.
Christians are choosing how they will be viewed. They are deciding whether to stand with the victims or to stand with the oppressor.
And they are making that choice on the Day of Silence.
Ann: Just curious. How did you get the “impression that the DOS was started as a response to Christians who hate”? Do you know something of the history of the DOS that would lead you to believe this?
Were some “Christians” doing something that would give a hateful impression and call for such a response? And even if it was a response to “Christians who hate” — wouldn’t that be OK, too? After all, the world will know that we are Chrisitans by our love.
Soory Regan but your words and long drawn out tangents do nothing to convince me that you have read, understood, the people here.
I happen to agree with Warren. I would not partake of the DOS but would instead hand out peace “offerings” on a card. I am politically liberal but it has always been my impression that the DOS was started as a response to christians who hate rather than the general hatred towards gays. Soo… I would have to make a stand on both points – 1: Hatred and violence against gays is wrong and 2: Christians are looking for a peacful response.
The DOS may have changed it’s “slogan” terminology to march with the times but the christians are still obligated to respond since it was intially directed at them.
In post 92419 you said
Then, in post 93137 you said it does not go against Christian tradition and beliefs. Instead, you just don’t want people to think that you approve of homosexuality by participating in an activity that “speaks out” against violence against gays and lesbians because of some political motivation that was attached to the event. Well, I guess if one doesn’t approve of Islam then one shouldn’t participate in an event that condemns violence done to Arab-Americans because in the past they have advocated for certain “special” rights (aka the same rights everyone else already has). Jesus must be proud of the people who use his name.
Been there, done that Mary. Tell you what. I have my work cut out for me here in CA. I’m working with several equality groups, but I’ve been with Simon Weisenthal for 16 years. I’ve been volunteering there as a facilitator. It’s mostly a Holocaust archive.
Seriously Mary, I’ve been working hard to have ex gays help me understand. I contacted Desert Stream and Living Waters chapters in my area. I went by NARTH, which is close by.
Know what, no one would talk to me. No one would explain anything to me. And I had to do a lot of work. When I first contacted Dr. T here, he wouldnt say anything to me either.
So after a while, and seeing the testimonies on blog threads such as this, I was LEFT to draw my own conclusions, not assumptions.
This has taken me years, and I finally got fed up. So that’s what you’re seeing now Mary. The results of being stonewalled or at the very least, there isn’t a lot of differentiation from story to story.
I entered into the whole situation with a VERY open mind. I’m an analytical person by nature. Works great in forensic photography and as a facilitator at SWC.
But being probing tends to scare off ex gays. The last one who spoke to me at length was a very nice fellow named Chad Thompson.
He was the ONLY one. I know celibate gay people. I’ve met them in church, and I have celibate heterosexual friends. But their reasons, will differ depending on what their lives were like and what they were doing prior to being so.
There is an expectation in the prevailing assumptions by anti gay people that if a gay person’ can’t change their orientation, then being celibate is the way to go.
That’s still not actualizing one’s potential as a sexually active gay person, but it’s the assumptions of heterosexuals that have steered this ship in the first place.
And gay people have to keep living it down over and over again.
Relationships, gay or not are difficult. Finding the right person for yourself and your own happiness is a serious job and tough to do. I was single for a long time, and after many years of marriage, I”m single again.
When you’re already a minority, finding someone who shares your background is not easy. If they area a minority that is set up to fail at relationships and a lot else, that’s even harder.
The odds are against gay people finding someone that’s great for them anyway and its a calculation that happen.
Celibacy for some is breathing space, for others it’s a situation pushed on them by people who don’t understand and it’s tiring to make it understood.
It’s tiring to be gay, to justify yourself and tiring to be suspect. Don’t think I don’t empathize with that. I just think the whole business is so sad and unnecessary how people can so talk past each other.
But the agressive tactics against gay youth in particular, yes, bring out the protectiive in me.
I tried, I really did. And no matter what I did before, no one tried to help me think otherwise than what you see here.
A certain gay man was going down the road one day and he fell among gay bashers. They beat him severely and went off leaving him for dead.
By chance a man was walking down the street and when he saw the man, beaten to a pulp, he passed by on the other side thinking the faggot got what he deserved.
Likewise an evangelical pastor was walking along the road. He spied the beaten gay man and thought to himself, if I help the gay man he will only go on and continue in his behavior, therefore my help will appear to condone his lifestyle. With that the religious leader went to the other side of the road and continued walking.
But a certain Christian, who was out for a walk, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him, and bandaged up his wounds, decrying the violence that man does to man. He spoke out against the violence done to homosexuals, even though he himself did not approve of homosexuality. He recognized a difference between protecting an individual from harm and approving of the individual’s specific attributes or behaviors.
Warren, which of these three do you think proved to be neighbor to the gay man? Which of these three do you think would merit Jesus’s applause?
Warren, you said : “Christian kids can affirm their support for peace on campus but the basis for their beliefs in peace.”
I really don’t think we should perpetuate this false dichotomy — of the “gays and pro-gays” on one side and the “Christian kids” on the other — when many of those same gay kids and “pro-gay” kids are “Christian kids”!
And when those you call the “Christian kids” see evil being directed at particular kids or particular groups of kids, can’t those same “Christian kids” say something like: ”
“Jesus is our Prince of Peace! Violence and hatred are wrong! And violence against a partifular individual or group of people — just because they are seen — as different is especially wrong.”
Jesus often taught the general princlples of peace by using specific people and groups of people as examples of those whom God loved but who were being mistreated as different, defective or unworthy by the self-righteous. Sometimes, by doing this, Jesus seemed to “convey other things” — namely that by hanging out with (and boldly standing up for) the outcasts and sinners that He was somehow tainted — or was condoning sin.
Your underlying concern seems to be that “people might think I am pro-gay or support pro-gay politics…” Yep, they might. But, as I have said before, that’s the risk we take for being a follower of Jesus.
Hi Ann, thanks for your very thoughtful way of me toning it down. Let me explain: as we speak there is an agressive campaign to write discimination into my state’s (California) constitution.
The state’s attorney in arguing the case, also argued on the mutability of homosexuality. It’s been used time and time again in higher courts as a legitimate reason for discrimination.
How one is perceived is a delicate concept for gays and lesbians. Being constantly suspect is exacerbated by the expection that a person can and does change. This has divided families, separated gay children from their parents. Has required that clergy and educators force gay young people into camps or suspension from school for not conforming. Parents are told they are responsible for their child’s orientation and to act quickly in order to save their soul.
And gays and lesbians can attest what fear they have had or punishments for not conforming.
The influence of this is so pervasive and intense, few gays and lesbians have been born into a situation where inculcation isn’t a presence.
Gays and lesbians are forced to not only justify their orientation, but their very humanity. This isn’t about a freely made decision, and it can be fair to assume, that given all the constant pressure on a gay person not all of them did so for their own reasons. It’s fair to assume Ann because that is what happens and the campaign to force gay people to change is very aggressive, even by depriving them of civil rights to do so.
Even if only to not be suspect anymore, I can understand why a person wouldn’t want to be gay. To not have to live like that, I’m sure, might feel very liberating.
But I’m not assuming it’s not what it seems, it isn’t. I speak from empathy, actually.
Perhaps you should read some of the threads in archives to get a better idea of where people are coming from, their experience, the development of their ideas, and their lives before making some of the statments you have.
I get this way because I work in a law enforcement capacity.
I share Zoe’s commendation for the courageous work you do and thank you for having the emotional and physical strength to do it. I do understand how it can have a profound effect on you and bring out the warrior to protect the vulnerable and innocent. Thank you.
Anyway, I already put up the solution and suggestion. That Warren’s suggestion be a part of young people’s DAILY activity. Every day of the year, every year of their lives.
I like this a lot – make it a way of life and one will never have to remember what to do. Doing it genuinely is even better and I believe that will come in time to those who don’t initially understand that it has nothing to do with any one particular belief system about homosexuality, rather, respect for each of their fellow students as peers and fellow human beings and zero tolerance for any kind of abuse in any way – ever. Adults might catch on if there is an overwhelming stance and solidarity with students 🙂
but the very ex gay issue is divisive on it’s face.
This I cannot agree with. How one portrays themself and how they are perceived by others is subjective and cannot be clumped into one catagory. I don’t even understand the “ex-gay issue”, nor do I want to – I understand individuals and their personal stories instead.
Mary…you don’t have to believe as I do. Not at all. You don’t, do you? I haven’t forced you to think any other thing but what you want, right?
I already asked you. What do you want me to think, Mary? What would you rather I believe? I already told you that I respect the fact that you don’t have any animus against equality for gay people.
But it’s not a belief that a person cannot defend effectively what they don’t want to be themselves.
That’s not a belief, that’s the consequences of your actions, not mine. If you don’t think those who make your decision doesn’t undermine what gay people are trying to do, then that is a disconnect on your part. And not a belief on mine.
But what you do and say can do nothing but undermine some aspects of what gay people have to do.
It’s just a tough fact, not a thing to do with you agreeing with me or not, or me agreeing (or not) with you.
It’s a strong subject, I can’t help that either.
TImothy – False choice. Christian kids can affirm their support for peace on campus but the basis for their beliefs in peace.
I am happy to speak out against gay violence but I am not so happy when that speaking may convey other things I want to be neutral about or may even disagree with.
I guess it’s all a matter of what is most important to you. Would you rather
Hi Ann, point taken. I have much respect for you and Zoe’s comments. I get this way because I work in a law enforcement capacity. The casual violence against the LGBT is an urgent and serious situtation and it’s hard for me to be soft about it in order to not hurt anyone’s feelings.
I won’t apologize for that. Some people really don’t have a clue how much damage is out there.
Anyway, I already put up the solution and suggestion. That Warren’s suggestion be a part of young people’s DAILY activity. Every day of the year, every year of their lives.
And mean what they say, and understand the real duty to it.
Perhaps I’m testing Warren’s skin for the deal, by being brutally honest. Might be divisive to you, but the very ex gay issue is divisive on it’s face.
I already said that I don’t exactly have that big a problem with Dr. T’s suggestion. But a suggestion is only that and he can call on the Alliance Defense Fund to change their tactics towards his suggestion, not those who support the DOS.
I’ve already called the Alliance Defense Fund on that. Warren is free to do the same and doesn’t need to have anyone agree with him to do so.
Considering that it is okay to speak out only if you believe as Regan does.
It would mean a lot and make a big difference in how we can all discuss things if you would not catagorize people in such a negative way just because they do not always hold the same opinions as you do. It is very unfair and inaccurate. Your posts hold the same hate and abuse that you are accusing others of. They are divisive and not conducive to what this particular thread is about or bringing people together. We have heard all you have said. Is there anything you would like to suggest as to how the students can show support and respect for each other in a peaceful way and rise above how you and others handle this subject with agressive confrontation and assumptions and accusations?
Considering what’s at stake and what happens, it’s not about ‘believing’ a certain way. It’s about what you’re de facto saying when you declare you’re an ex gay.
What you’re validating to people who want and dictate that to happen at the expense of a gay person’s freedom and equality.
This is the intellectual disconnect that is so frustrating Warren. It contradicts support of homosexuality, does it not?
And plenty of ex gays DO NOT support homosexuals or the option for gay people to stay that way without intervention.
Capitulation is capitulation. Try and call it something else. Try and tell me or anyone else this isn’t exactly what an ex gay person is doing.
Try and tell me that this doesn’t validate exactly what most anti gay people want and believe can be done.
This is what happens, Warren. This is the RESULT of what ex gay people do.
That’s not a belief. This is a fact, not an opinion.
Sure, throw out the word outrageous. To mean what? Meaning what, Warren.
I don’t deal in belief. I’m a realist. And I don’t have to disconnect realities from my beliefs. I don’t have the dog in this fight you do. I’m already a heterosexual, and it’s overrated.
Seriously it is.
I already said, if a Jew wants to convert, it’s their option. Other Jews would be distressed that they’ve lost one of their number when they are already a minority. But converting doesn’t represent being anti Semitic.
But joining into a socio/political situation that DEMANDS conversion of the Jew and at times is definitively anti Semitic IS offensive.
That is what is outrageous.
This situation isn’t so tame like a Jew converting from their cultural and religious roots.
This would also represent joining in what destroys Jews and who they are and their identity. At that point, that Jew has lost their cred to represent Jews.
So, those who join with who DEMANDS that gay people change and deny what they can do for their own lives, does make the ex gay lose their cred.
It’s fence straddling, if not outright support of those who want to see gay people disappear and don’t care how.
If you don’t get that…then you don’t seem to understand what trust means. Real trust.
‘We love gay people’ simply doesn’t have the cred, if they don’t love you back.
And they don’t for a very good reason, Warren. If it’s too uncomfortable a thought, again, the price you have to pay.
Wqrren: You said: “ I am happy to speak out against gay violence but I am not so happy when that speaking may convey other things I want to be neutral about or may even disagree with.”
Oh, go ahead, Warren, Take the risk! You’d be imitating Jesus. It can be kinda fun in a way to be silent to protest evil, to speak up for what’s right and, yes, to have some people think that by doing these things you condone something you do not. But hey, if they get the wrong impression, you then have an excellent opportunity to express God’s love and to explain —
“I love gays as God’s chilren, so i condemn anti-gay violence. However, I have personal religious objections to homosexual behavior. I am here to say that one can condemn the former without endorsing the latter.”
So you have to believe a certain way to support gays? You have to deny your own experience?
Hi Mary, I want you to know that I don’t wish to especially give you a hard time. I think it’s important that you have expressed support for marriage for gay people and equality.
But you also know, that there are ex gays and an entire political machine that supports and ex gay industry, that does not support equality, hate crimes legislation or marriage. Indeed, you are a distinct minority in that regard. The point is, a person who has rejected their own orientation would be a poor defender of it for others.
Some things require far more active participation. Good people cannot let things occur without it. If you’re not that type of person, well okay. It’s not for everyone.
Considering the determined war on gays and lesbians, it takes quite a serious commitment not everyone can have.
You know that there is a prevailing expectation that gay people can change and should. And how, doesn’t matter. Just so the extortion works in favor of those who want gay people to change.
I know how it feels to be a part of a suspect class of people. I know how it feels to doubt your worth in a world that inculcates you have none.
However, I will be damned if I capitulate (and you could be too anyway) to such an outrageous thing.
There are very strong people who intend to make me pay for my activism the same way they want gay people to pay for being gay.
I know what’s at stake. I’m not in it because it sure doesn’t garner any glory or family support.
I’m not even sure about personal satisfaction. But understand this Mary…trust is everything, if not love.
Ex gays are not and cannot be trusted. That’s the price to be paid. And if there are ex gays who don’t understand that or protest that price, that’s too bad.
It may not be true of you, but you must know that many ex gays expect to be loved, by straight AND gay. To be trusted by both (at least to the extent of being of some influence they do the same thing and become ex gay.). Some don’t care what gay people think of them, but it seems to mean a great deal to at least be respected ultimately for their response their Christian discipline. If it is Christian.
But is IS capitulation, Mary.
The most virulent anti gay person believes gay people can change, and you represent and validate this option for them to use against gay people.
I’m sure in your heart you believe yourself a good person. And I’m sure you are, it’s just you no longer have the street cred, the qualifications to be a part of what’s required that gay people realize their equality and freedom.
But this isn’t like not being a great singer or lacking athletic ability. Lives and freedom are at stake. The things some straight people obviously have been willing to kill gay children over.
Gays and lesbians trust me, and it’s a gift that they do. I have earned it, and I would rather die than betray that trust.
With ex gays, it’s the other way around. And most gay people have no reason to respect that which does so much damage to their fight.
Dr. Throckmorton’s suggestion is a good one for every other day of the year. And respectfully, that’s what I try to remind committed people of faith to do. Tends to fall on deaf ears though, because giving more than lip service to the Golden Rule seems to mean more than what people are really willing to give.
And with energy that could be put to that purpose, instead spend an inordinate amount of time doing just the opposite and making definitive exception with gay people.
But what about silence, not “speaking out”?
The DOS was changed so that it was not seen to “celebrate the Gay Lifestyle”, merely protest against violence and other discrimination, specifically to address concerns such as yours. This appears to always have been the primary intent, as silence is a poor “celebration”, but a most powerful protest.
The problem is that some groups see a “slippery slope” argument. They see this as a sneaky and underhanded way of making “the Gay Lifestyle” acceptable, and I can’t in all honesty say that there isn’t an element of that present. The DOS cannot help but encourage legislation that will stop discrimination in provision of employment, health services, housing and the like. If it’s not OK to bully little faggots, how can it be OK to persecute adult ones?
But those “decent, right-thinking” groups are dishonest with themselves if they don’t realise that to oppose this protest sends a far stronger message: Not just that the behaviour is sinful, but that it is a duty for “all right-thinking people” to punish it with torture and death. They should be honest and admit that that element is present in their objections too. It’s not an unfortunate side-effect for some, but a “consumation devoutly to be wished”. And they are most devout, they’ll tell you that. They see themselves as being without sin – well, not in comparison with those filthy homos anyway – so eminently qualified to “cast the first stone” as Christ commands them to do.
The question those of goodwill – like yourself – is to ask yourselves which is the greater evil?
From the DOS website:
To listen to how the American Family Association views this, listen here.
Now… is the DOS “Pro-Gay”? I think so, but only in the way that bothering with any for of trial is “Pro-Criminal”. Is the handing out of such cards really a “celebration of a lifestyle choice”?
Imagine a card that read:
Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence, despite my religious objection to homosexuality. Scripture states that Male Homosexuality is sinful, cross-dressing an abomination, and the Intersexed are outcasts who must wait for a Heavenly reward that must be denied them on Earth.
Scripture also states that violence is a sin, no matter at whom they are aimed. Homosexual and Gender-variant children suffer such persecution worse than most, so it is they who deserve most consideration. It is to protest both these sins, of both Homosexuality and the violent persecution of Homosexuals, that I remain silent. Non-violent persecution in accordance with my Faith is OK though.”
Is that what you mean?
Also, were her opinions known by her constituents before taking office?? If not, and her vote sways the passing or not passing of a sensitive bill or measure that would effect the GLBT community, then her vote needs to be null and void. And that legislation needs to go back to the floor.
You’d really have to go into the differences between what a particular Church teaches, what those who profess Christianity actually believe, and what Christ taught, to answer this.
Yes, and Yes, for many Churches in the USA. Yes and No, respectively, for almost all the rest. While there are very few Churches which did not traditionally persecute gays, these days there are relatively few who do any worse than “turning a blind eye”. Not officially. More actually oppose such violence, and do so not just with empty mumbled words, but deeds too.
Christians – well, they’re sinners, as are we all. Some more than others. Some are violently homophobic despite what their Church teaches – well, officially, nudge nudge wink wink – some are violently homophobic because of what their Church teaches. Most are not, and many have the active support of their Church in that regard.
As for what Christ taught – as opposed to commentary afterwards – that is, shall we say, open to some debate. From my view, I’m sorry to say that many consider this irrelevant. They use scripture as a weapon to justify their beliefs, they don’t come to their beliefs from reading scripture. They know what Christ taught, and no exegesis will convince them otherwise.
She has every right to speak her opinion. And the citizens have every right to vote for another citizen to speak for them. (If that’s what they want)
Nick – it is not and I have made that point clear.
In the past, the DOS has not simply been about violence toward gays; rather it is has been a gay civil rights event as was indicated in the 2005 manual supporting the DOS. Some of the language has been changed so perhaps GLSEN is more sensitive to the problems this creates. I am happy to speak out against gay violence but I am not so happy when that speaking may convey other things I want to be neutral about or may even disagree with.
My idea, while not popular with many, would allow Christian kids to support peace for all without aligning themselves with a larger agenda they may not be sure about.
I understand – as you know I am not public with myself.
So why is it not important for ex gays to speak for themselves??
It is indeed important but in today’s hostile climate, sometimes people choose to quietly live their lives instead of being the target of those who want to discredit them.
I am ex gay, unmarried or in legal terms single. As an ex gay I know the struggles and problems facing gays. I still support gay rights and marriages. From my perspective – I know why it is important for ex gays to speak about their lives – their whole lives. There is discrimination – financially, socially, familialy (if that is a word?) but you know what I mean.
So why is it not important for ex gays to speak for themselves??
How is speaking out against violence directed at gays and lesbians contrary to Christian tradition and beliefs?
Is it that Christian tradition supports violence against gays and lesbians?
Is it that Christian beliefs support violence against gays and lesbians?
And I’ll answer you again. YES. Ex gays can speak for themselves. Absolutely.
I just haven’t heard any do that.
Let me explain.
For an outsider to think someone isn’t gay any more they would have to be living one of two ways.
Celibate. Which is without sexual contact with the same or opposite sex.
Or having a sex life with someone of the opposite sex.
Now, an outsider tends to assume if a person is in a married situation, that they aren’t gay. But gays and lesbians marry the opposite sex all the time, and they are still gay.
So for what purpose and for what problem to be solved is speaking as an ex gay?
It certainly can’t solve the problem of homophobia. The prevailing assumption is that gay people aren’t really gay, but broken heterosexuals.
So what do you think speaking as an ex gay would do, would solve?
You sure did misunderstand me. And I have plenty of suggestions to solve problems.
Let me explain myself. You made a deman earlier in this thread that gays should speak for themselves. I wondered if the same logic applies to ex gays?
Did I misunderstand you – did you want to argue? Or solve problems?
You have expressed many opinions. Did you really expect me to read all of that – since it had nothing to do with an answer?
Mary, I think it’s fair to at least engage the fact that if a person is set up to hate themselves, and they belong to a group that is deprived of equal rights, safety and their indentity, then if they in fact don’t want to belong to that group anymore then why would not acknowledge that?
And why not acknowledge also that this is a calculation of the heterosexual dominant society? And WITHOUT CAUSE and the subset pathologies transcend all orientations?
So if OTHER groups have suffered from the same programming, and they struggle with being what they are…then why do ex gays or the ex gay industry refuse to acknowledge this is so?
Your simple question was to a complex issue. There is no simple way to answer it.
But I tell you what Mary, When I’ve asked questions of ex gays, they don’t answer them. And further, tend to not really want to speak that extensively on what their personal journey was.
And to tell you the truth, when I’ve listened to the few who will engage, all of you have sounded the same . And what I say a rant, call it any negative thing you want. It seems like the sort of deflection I see all the time.
But the fact remains I have tried, extensively for years to reach out to ex gays, but the truth is Mary, few really don’t seem to like the challenge very much and do just what you’re doing.
I asked a simple question that you turned into a rant about hate groups, majority groups, and gays.
Now, I am going to say – I am ex gay and I will define what that means to me. I will not engage in your argument.
Back to the original topic — the Day Of Silence, I can’t do it because I am a therapist and must run groups at the hospital. Instead, we will spend the day talking about human differences, prejudice, xenophobia and sexuality in general. It’s kinda easy because the mentally ill folk already “get it” — that it’s not nice to single out a group of people for mistreatment just because they are “different” in some way. It’s not about “adult identify politics”. It’s real life. They know. They experience it too.
And again, this is for Dave or anyone else that say if a straight person doesn’t agree, then they don’t think it’s right to be called haters.
Okay, perhaps in your individual mind you don’t. But you know the hate is out there. It is dangerous and has threatened and killed even gay KIDS. Or those suspected of it.
If you are dangerously IGNORANT of who you are dealing with and cannot be bothered to learn about who you are dealing with on THEIR terms, then the equivalent is this.
It’s like a person with NO training on how to navigate, insisting on steering the ship and looking over the horizon from a telescope from the wrong end.
Maybe not haters, but stupidly and dangerously playing with other people’s lives and freedoms who at no time, if given the equal measure that is asked…wouldn’t at any time compromise yours or come at the expense of anything you care about as well.
We are all just travelers here. And gay people should be wary of the knuckleheads who think they can captain a gay person’s life better than they can.
No, if it’s not about hate. It’s about obstruction of justice and freedom. It’s about selfish quarrels over whether a person can change their stripes so you can maintain the priviledge you’ve taken for granted.
It’s about allowing honest and truthful interaction occur without the expectation that a gay person has to BE you before all else of merit he has to offer is allowed.
Get out of the way…don’t create and enforce laws that are at once, hypocritical and contradictory to what gay people see other’s having freely.
This was about the golden rule. What I see is, if not haters…people who don[t even realize that they are punishing someone who isn’t their enemy and isn’t trying to be.
And there isn’t a thing you can do or say that says that gay people ARE’NT your equal in every way.
And you have to remember to, when you REALLY made it possible for such opportunity to happen. Passing judgement on gay folks from thousands of years of persecution, will take more than less than a generation of time to make things right.
Even our American society decided to integrate black folks way to late for pathologies to still not plague them at a higher rate than their white peers.
Don’t let the same thing happen to your gay peers because you decided too late they weren’t your equal either.
Ann, no need for you to apologize. I apologize for my “tone”. It’s just my opinion that heterosexual men do not “struggle” with SSA. Bisexuals do. Bi-curious people do. Ex-gays do. But unless I have this all screwed up, truly heterosexual men do not, And, all of the things I have said about Alan’s continuing SSA are things that he himself has admitted previously in very public forums, He’s not trying very hard to keep it personal.
Actually Mary, I didn’t say no. You asked about ex gays speaking out. And no one has stopped them. No one is telling them they can’t. What is actually happening is that ex gay are another category of person. Who cannot speak for GAY PEOPLE. But they do anyway, and confuse those who take it for granted that they have changed, or that is something that is possible, effective and can’t be challenged as otherwise.
And what I said was the truth, ex gays are representatvie of what straight people want, and always HAVE wanted.
You’re not disputing that, are you?
You didn’t point out any double standard except the one typical of straight people who expect gay people to change, and will extort that outcome by any means necessary.
And deny that that isn’t what they are doing or why.
Even using an intangible to make a point when gay people themselves ARE tangible.
Gay people aren’t stupid, and it’s very typical that gay people are treated as if THEY haven’t pointed out the glaring double standard…or log…in the eye of their neighbors.
Ex gays are on their own. And it’s ridiculous for any of them to expect respect or support from the very community they not only have rejected, but often support public policies that will make gay life much harder than it already is.
Here is the equivalent Mary, if I hadn’t mentioned it already.
No one disputes that a Jew is welcome to convert to Christianity…or even Islam.
However, the conversion to Islam in a way makes a statement because fundamentalist Islam has proven MURDEROUS to Jews everywhere.
So although converting from Judaism is a right a person can have, joining with and ANTI Semitic group cannot and would not be acceptable.
With so much pressure to change on gay youth, and that pressure being exerted in ways that are sometimes threatening, the choice to convert cannot really be seen as such.
Gay youth ARE targeted in an especially serious way that cannot be denied. However conveniently the ex gay industry DOES try and minimize that coercion.
Becoming a heterosexual by coercion or any other kind of extortion isn’t really converting by choice at all given those realities.
Gay people who have been subjected to that same pressure, but remain true to themselves and what they are….know what’s going on.
If you want to believe that pressure is really exacted from GAY people for one of them that is rejecting them…then you don’t know an understand gay people AT ALL.
Nor the point of this discussion.
Gays and lesbians, in spite of being a minority are seized on to be what they are not. Pass as what they are not.
And there is no EARTHLY reason to, it’s certainly not to ANYONE’S benefit that gay people NOT just be themselves and left in peace.
And since few ARE left in peace to be gay….and teach the world something, then really Mary, can you think of any reason that gay people shouldn’t be gay.
without injecting the heterocentric point of view into this discussion.
There is far more reason for straight people to leave gay folks alone to their identity, than straight people forcing their own on them.
So Regan, you have the answer and the answer is ‘No’?
Sounds strange – ex gays are still ex gays and you cannot define them away for your purposes.
Just pointing out a double standard you are holding.
If I mis-read your numerous comments about Alan’s personal sexuality, then I apologize.
And sometimes, sarcasm is necessary
Ann: I am really confused. Why on Earth do you say that I have a “desire to take as many opportunities as you can, and have, to talk about his personal sex life, I guess that is something you will do regardless of how he or his family or others feel about it.”
When have I ever talked about what Alan does in private? How would I know? Why would I want to? I have no information about it and it’s none of my business! I assume he is (and I have no reason to doubt) happily married and completely faithful to his wife. I have never implied otherwise.
Alan has made all of the statements I take issue with in public settings. It’s not his personal sex life that I have a problem with. It’s his public statements as head of EXODUS, particularly vague, confusing or misleading terms like “change”, “ex-gay” and “former homosexual” Even Alan admits that EXODUS folks need to explain what they mean when they use such terms.
Perhaps my sarcasm was un-called-for, but he still has “SSA”.
The sarcasm is never necessary – it only reveals one’s character, no one else’s. As to your desire to take as many opportunities as you can, and have, to talk about his personal sex life, I guess that is something you will do regardless of how he or his family or others feel about it. It would be so great instead to put ongoing effort into positive suggestions about Exodus and what they can do to be a better organization. I just trust and defer to your judgement on all of this.
Ann: Regarding Alan’s personal life, I am not “questioning the integrity of his sexual prefences now.” There is no need to. Alan has been pretty honest that he still struggles. That is public record. I am challenging him because he dropped “ex-gay” — but continues to use the equally troublsome term “former homosexual”.
That’s just as confusing and misleading. Alan said he dropped “ex-gay” because the term is (1) “more negative than anything”, (2) “doesn’t really convey what the change process is all about” and ought to be “officially retired” and “never used again”.
Alan has made these statements in public forums. It’s not about his personal life. It’s about truth in advertizing. Using “former”.or “ex” is not conpletely honest. It gives the wrong impression. Even Alan admits that he is not “former” — (in the sense that he is now completely heterosexual in attraction).
He has been pretty truthful about that, I think. He admits that he still struggles, telling an audience at Love Won Out that ” …every single morning — this is a ritual for me — I wake up and I say, “Dear Lord, I can’t make it today without You. I choose to deny what comes naturally to me.” Perhaps my sarcasm was un-called-for, but he still has “SSA”.
It is that you questioned his credibility, through sarcasm and doubt – questioning the integrity of his sexual preferences now. That is personal and has nothing to do with Exodus. If he has a family, those remarks can hurt them as well.
Are you referring to my (admittedly sarcastic) objection that he continues to refer to himself as a “former homosexual”?
Wendy: What a loving, wise and Christlike response! As you know, a gang of gay-hating men murdered my best friend and tried to kill me as well. The District Attorney, the Chief of Police and even the Governor of our state all called it a hate crime. There was no other motive. They yelled “fag” as they stabbed us. So this comment by you really means a lot:
“I would long to see Christian students’ hearts break with the things the break God’s heart and join in beinig silent. If they truly seek to be the presence of Christ on their school campuses they would not seek to rub salt in the wound being represented by the DOS by any reactive response.”
As I said before, can you imagine the response? Some folks might (wrongly) assume that the “Christian kids” were supporting homosexuality. That’s the risk of following Jesus. People might think you love sin if you love sinners. But Jesus took that risk time and time again. It’s worth the risk to truly demonstrate just how deep God’s heart is.
Ann: Thanks for your remarks. I appreciate it. However, you keep saying that I make “attacks on Alan’s personal life”. I really don’t think I have. I can’t because I really know nothing of his “personal life”. As I said, he seems to be a loving and devoted family man with a strong and abiding Christian faith. Can you give an example of a time when I did make attacks on his personal life?
Are you referring to my (admittedly sarcastic) objection that he continues to refer to himself as a “former homosexual”? I only criticize that because it is just as misleading and confusing as “ex-gay” — a term that Alan says he does not like or use. What’s the difference betwen “ex-gay” and “former homosexual”? I don’t get it. Is there an EXODUS lexicon somewhere?
Hi Mary, first of all, if a gay person isn’t gay anymore, then presumably they are now either affecting heterosexuality, or they are celibate (ex-sexual), so as having joined in the heterosexual side of things, they are now defining themselves with the dominant group who has already had the floor. And since straight people are at the same time confused and impressed by this, then the purpose for having ex gays say anything is to all over again, define gay people for straight people’s terms and by their terms.
Which in short, is redundant.
And makes the motive suspect because all along, straight people have been trying to extort this change from gay people.
It’s like the having the choice between a rock and a hard place.
Ex gays are not especially contributing to the benefit of gay people, but to the benefit of straight people. As another example to say that the extortiong works.
No one is restraining ex gays from speaking, it’s hard to determine for whom.
I used to know a Jewish boy from Soviet Russia. I remember how it made me feel for him to vehemently say that he hated being a Jew. It broke my heart. But considering the treatment of Jews in Russia, his struggle with it came as no surprise that he’d hate being a Jew.
I know blacks experienced with abject racism to hate being black, and women surrounded by chauvinism to question the use their gender has for them.
So, considering the chronic animus a gay person faces, struggling with their orientation, hating it and not wanting to be gay is understandable.
Those who created such struggle exploiting it in the end….is not.
p.s. Michael …. do connect with me off the blog: wendyATnewdirection.ca
Just a thought ….. this thread was originally about the Day of Silence….. it seems that conservative Christians often assume political motives behind this day ….. but at the risk of sounding naive, I don’t think the students themselves are being political or intending to be political. The goodness of intent behind the day – standing against violence towards glbtq youth – is perhaps most closely held by the students themselves. In light of this, I would long to see Christian students’ hearts break with the things the break God’s heart and join in being silent. If they truly seek to be the presence of Christ on their school campuses they would not seek to rub salt in the wound being represented by the DOS by any reactive response.
Dave, this displays an amazing ignorance about the conversation. It is without question that some persons are attracted to the same sex. This is not some hedonism, or some choice, or some rebellion. It’s simply an attribute of that person.
And label games serve only those who fear the truth.
So Dave, I have to repeat right back to you, please allow the scriptures to speak to you personally, without imposing the filters of preferred interpretation.
Let go of your tradition and your adherence to narrow interpretation and your animosity towards gay people. I wholeheartedly believe that if you accept the guidance of the Holy Spirit, rather than the advice of certain religious traditions (those, incidentally, with the worst history on human rights and God’s message to all), that you can come to see the amazing and radical good news that is God’s gift.
I am guessing that you are accustomed to making bold claims and having people say, “Amen”. Well, sorry but that’s not what this site is about.
I think that if you looked closely, you’d see a wide variety of view, but that those who come here carefully back up what they have to say. They don’t do a drive-by posting making bizzare claims that have no basis in truth or fact.
But let me address your points.
First, I don’t assume that those who disagree with me do so out of hatred. Frankly, most do not. But some do and it’s pretty easy to tell the difference.
One way is to look at whether what is said serves primarily to demean or dehumanize gay people as a group. If the individual or group lists some iteration of faults or statistics or stereotypes and these claims are not true, then you know that they are acting out of malice.
Another clue is the response that is given when false claims about gay people are corrected. Those who are acting out of love are horrified to discover that the have maligned other Children of God. Those acting out of self-righteousness get haughty and accusatory. Those acting out of hate ignore the correction and just launch into another attack.
There are many more ways to tell, but I think you get the point.
To clarify, I doubt that you are coming here out of deep hatred. But I do believe that it is clear from your writing that you think that gay persons are, by definition, sinful and that there is no room for interpretation or possible error in your thought.
When you were corrected, you did not apologize.
Let me say that again. You said things that were not true about homosexuality.
Do you care that you bore false witness? I ask this in sincerity.
Regan – just a quick Thanks for the job you do.
I haven’t said how some Intersexed children are treated at home, it’s both too incredible and too horrific. But I’m sure you know. You get to take photos of the worst of the cases, the ones where the victims don’t grow up to tell the tale.
I don’t know how you can do it. But someone must. Please know that someone on the other side of the planet has a small inkling of how hard your job must be sometimes.
Meanwhile we all do what we can. Moving the mountain one teaspoonfull at a time, and never looking up to see how much remains. You make a difference, and have to be content with that, as do we all. Thank you.
p.s. As for my personal details. just Google my name. For good or ill, I’ve always had a high Internet profile.
If gay people get the floor to speak for themselves – are you willing then to let ex gay speak for themselves, too?
We were working on the various definitions over on another thread.
We were? 😉
I wanted to offer a change of pace and sincerely compliment him on some of his very positive, recent comments and actions:
These sound very positive to me as well – I do not know Alan, however, if he is like most of us, he probably responds more positively and productively to constructive suggestions and encouragement than personal attacks and criticisms. While you and others might not always agree with the way Exodus is run, if you present ideas constructively without the attacks on his personal life, I believe you will have an attentive audience with him and your suggestions will be received well and acted upon. If there cannot be initial agreement, then things can be “reasoned out” until there is agreement. Remember, Exodus is not there to satisify a couple of people – it has to take into consideration the thoughts of many people.
On a personal note, I appreciate what you wrote and how you distinguished Alan’s personal life with his family from what he does and how he does it at Exodus. Two very different things. Very cool.
I do think we should clarify that ‘orientation’ as a concept didn’t pop up til the late 1800’s. We were working on the various definitions over on another thread.
I think you should look at your post. You are judging Tim or any other gay person on the consciousness that heterosexuals created.
And in the conscioness are responsible for the negative consequences of gay life.
There is a constant stone denial of this, and I…as an observer of just what people communicate and how, can tell you: you have no idea what you’re talking about or who you’re talking to. Your reason why is as narrow as a hair from your head.
Heterosexuals are simply a DOMINANT orientation, and as such have extorted a great deal of control over what gay people can do with their lives.
And the consequences of THAT, are a matter of control, not concern for that gay person’s identity.
Which isn’t really acknowledged as such on it’s own, but as a heterosexual who is really in there somewhere and you heterosexuals are JUST the people self appointed to get at it.
Well, a lot of people in this world are not appreciated no matter how normal they are. Difference is a fact of life too.
One sexual orientation doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, given that homosexuality presents as all things being the same anyway,
But think on this, Dave.
Gay people know a lot more about heterosexuals than the other way around.
And your post proves you’re not interested in a gay person save they agree with being heterosexual and that’s what THEY want to be.
That way you’re off the hook for ever thinking that you could be wrong and that gay people are what THEY say they are.
I’m in a suspect class myself. But I doubt you’d want to tell me what to do with my identity the way you’re so comfortable with telling Tim.
Personally I really wish that gay people could do what I do any day of the week. I dont’ want to be TOLD by the likes of you what you THINK might happen, but let equal social and political justice speak to what will.
I had to rely on that justice in my life to get where I am. And you get in the way of what I and many young people I know could learn about gay people.
If you extort change out of them, who they really are will never be known.
Kind of like people trying to convert Jews into Christians all the time. Who will know who they are and speak on them truthfully if they aren’t here?
And like Jews, there aren’t so many gay people around and hopefully won’t be buried again because you can’t keep your business to yourself. I want to hear it FROM THEM, not YOU.
Just like that chronic busybody that won’t shut up and let who they are talking about speak for themselves, it’s way past time for heterosexuals who can’t tell what’s what to just step aside and let someone else who knows what being gay is about have the floor.
And that would be gay people.
Hi Dave…your post to Tim had me thinking: this isn’t about ‘disagreement’, nor are the actions against gay people centered on behavior alone. How is anyone supposed to know you have a sex life if you’re dismissed from your job or assaulted or suspended from school simply from the disclosure or suspicion you’re gay?
Disagreement is a tame word that’s inappropriate for what happens. A blow to the head isn’t a disagreement. Fired from your job isn’t either. That isn’t even room for negotiation or defense.
Sure, in YOUR mind it might be a disagreement. But to a gay person…or ANYONE who is a member of us suspect classes, most often what you DO doesn’t matter. It’s what you ARE.
I’ll say it again. Homosexuality has been a fact of human life since BEFORE organized religion or fair interpretation of what it is. Some cultures have accepted it as simply a difference of orientation and not a matter of moral or deliberate decision.
Which frankly NONE of us can disagree with our orientation or wanting to have someone love us sexually and love them back.
I might add that your last paragraph is your own advice staring back at you.
The interpretation of homosexuality and the control of the information regarding it has until very recently been dispensed by other heterosexuals. Gay people should be able to interpret who they are FOR YOU.
Identity is a powerful thing. Some of it we get from our culture, our families and even our jobs.
But sexual orientation is an identity that’s not subject to what religion we have, family we come from or job we have.
Being fully informed realistically is more a matter of whether or not it’s safe to do so. A gay person passing is still a gay person, they just haven’t had the luxury of letting the world know it without a serious threat to the well being.
You know that being honest to the average person isn’t because a gay person doesn’t want to be honest, but because they don’t know if the next person will show their disagreement by nodding in understanding or be moved to stab them in the heart.
Ask Michael Bussee.
You want gays and lesbians to be held accountable for how someone else feels about them. And the thing about prejudice, you can never know what a person is willing to do and how far.
The preferred interpretation of gay people is that they are useless to mankind., if not dangerous.
Kinda hard to walk away or have a disagreement with people that see you doomed or already dead or who wish you were.
And given that interpretation, you can’t call that love.
You say “There are many anti-gay Christian hate groups. They tend to say ‘we don’t hate the homosexual’ but their actions are pretty clear.”
Why is it I get the sense that you are prone to interpreting anything that disagrees with you as “hate” material? Is this super-sensitivity because you are in denial?
I apologize for delayed response –blogs are not my usual pastime –but your response to my Mar 15 post seems to assume that I was attacking and lying about persons who are convinced they’re homosexual. What I expressed is the witness of many former homosexuals about their own prior behavior and experience, on which they no longer base their identity, as well as the testimony of scripture which condemns BEHAVIOR, not persons. It is not “evil” to warn others that certain behaviors have negative consequences. No one is “maligned” by this.
Yes, God’s grace is sufficient to forgive us all, but as St. Paul writes, “Are we to continue in sin, that grace may abound? By no means!” (Romans 6:1)
By the same token, I also dispute the categorization of “homosexual” and “heterosexual” as nouns. They are adjectives describing sexual perception and conduct, not descriptions of what or “who” we are. Self-identifying with one of these adjectives may tend to influence our lifestyle and relationships, but we have the free will to do so or not. The Bible says we should love one another, not reject those whom God loves; but it also very explicitly tells us not to sexualize any relationship other than within the marriage of a man to a woman.
Tim, I appreciate your concern for me and my relationship with God, but please allow the scriptures to speak to you personally, without imposing the filters of preferred interpretation. Accept the guidance of the Holy Spirit rather than the advice of certain revisionists.
Ann: I know it’s not really the topic of this thread, but since I routinely criticize Alan Chambers on this blog and elsewhere, I wanted to offer a change of pace and sincerely compliment him on some of his very positive, recent comments and actions:
(1) He apologized to “those that have been unintentionally, but at times recklessly, misled by poorly defined labels and words used to describe the process out of homosexuality.”
(2) He agreed “wholeheartedly that clarifications need to be made on confusing terminology that at times has been used incompletely or misused.”
(3) He acknowldged that “the ‘change’ factor is one that has confused many” and that “when we use words like ‘change’ the burden is on us to clearly state what that means in our lives.”
(4) He has reccently announced that EXODUS intends to get out of politics and focus solely on ministry — although I’m not convinced that he’s being completely honest about this one… Time will tell. It’s still a very good start for Alan to announce it — and I sincerely hope it happens.
If you’re ever in the vicinity of Canberra, Australia, I hope we can meet.
That sounds great – thanks 🙂
It’s illegal to be indoors on such a beautiful day as we’re having here in Los Angeles.
You have a good one yourself Ann.
It is magnificent day out – you have a good one too Regan 🙂
okay, cool, Ann
It’s illegal to be indoors on such a beautiful day as we’re having here in Los Angeles.
You have a good one yourself Ann.
Michael, my maternal great grandfather came from Ireland…and my luck, I look hideous in green!
Keep the faith!
Love and hugs!
On a professional level, I am on a first responder.
Sorry again! It should have said “I am not a first responder”.
I just realized you might not have understood me. You made me smile though.
I am sorry I misunderstood the term “first responder” – thank you for clairfying. On a professional level, I am on a first responder.
Ann: Thanks for the compliments about my intelligence, fairness and integrity. I could use a boost today — not feeling very smart — forgot to wear green to work on St. Patty’s Day! As for beiing an “activist” — that’s just what EXODUS likes to call me. I don’t really like it since I am not a member of any group except my church and my choir. I don’t really like the label since I just see myself as an individual Christian, gay man who is trying to be truthful about my own experience — and trying to keep EXODUS honest while I’m at it.
You commented that I am “attacking Alan’s personal family life,” Not so. Or at least, I don’t mean to. He seem to be a loving husband and devoted father. I genuinely wish him well. It’s not easy for any man — especially one who continues to struggle with gay feelings — which Alan admits he does. I have been there. I know.
I am not challenging Alan’s personal family life — I am challenging his confusing (and in my opinion) less-than-completely-honest use of language, his contradictory statements on EXODUS policy matters and (what seems to me) his reluctance to really keep the public promises he makes.
As for his personal life, I think it is wonderful that Alan has been able to find enough “change” to make his marriage work. I envy him. For his sake, his wife’s sake and especially for the sake of his children, I earnestly pray that he succeeds.
There is a difference between being pro gay, but not anti Christian.
But to some Christians that’s one and the same.
Again, I am very familiar with this.
Ann, my dear….a first responder is a police officer, emergency medical tech and firefighter. Forensic photographers have to respond to incidents to preserve the evidence for the second team of criminalists.
I appreciate you responding to this blog 800 times. But first responder is an emergency response term.
I just realized you might not have understood me. You made me smile though.
There are anti-Christian individuals of various sexual orientations. There are, to my knowledge, no anti-Christian homosexual hate groups.
There are many anti-gay Christian hate groups. They tend to say “we don’t hate the homosexual” but their actions are pretty clear.
oops, wrong link. It’s for Christian World Adoption.
Concerned Women for America has Matt Barber write for TownHall. maybe you can get the link there.
No Ann, I haven’t read this blog before. And I’m not surprised if there are any anti Christian gay individuals. Christians are inherently anti gay, although homosexuals have been around since before that religion.
But an individual isn’t an organization, it’s a single person. And no homosexuals are organized to deprive Christians of their ability to be Christian or their rights as citizens. Just their ability to deprive gay people of everything else.
Know the difference between and action and REaction.
And as has been pointed out by Zoe….no gay child on record has assaulted a Christian in their school, nor verbally abused them with the tacit approval of the school or community.
There are organizations that advocate for the rights and freedoms of gays and lesbians.
That’s not anti Christian. Many gays and lesbians ARE Christians.
There is a difference between being pro gay, but not anti Christian.
But to some Christians that’s one and the same.
Sort of like the way gay people get judged as just as dangerous as murderers and thieves.
Gay people don’t seem to be having as big a perception problem and persecution complex as some religious people who about who is indoctinating who and who is persecuting who.
Well I”m at a disadvantage. I don’t know who you are. And have no way of knowing how familiar you are with what I write. That still doesn’t tell me anything.
You did pass judgement on me before the other way around and made an assumption of your own.
And went WAY off topic to make sure of that.
I am really not familiar with those groups or organizations you referred to – only the Simon Weisenthal Center.
Actually I am not surprised at all. With the exception of attacking Alan’s personal family life, I have found you you to have exceptional intelligence, fairness, integrity, and have learned a lot from you. I didn’t even know you were an activist.
If I’m wrong, then please, enlighten me. Are you a first responder too?
I believe I have responded over 800 times now on this blog. We have probably crossed paths with the kind of work you are involved in. I am extremely familiar with the things you write about.
I know for a fact there ARE no anti Christian homosexual hate groups.
Have you read anything on this blog from individuals who are? I have.
Ann: Since people have labeled me a “gay activist” and most people think they know what gay actvists believe or want (you know — our “agenda”), you may be surprised to hear this, but I am not in favor of abortion. I think it’s tragic. All human life is precious and deserves protection — it is the “how” that we might disagree on — not the principle.
You may also be surprised to hear that I am not in favor of gay marriage. Hey, I don’t even think that straight marriage ought to be governed by the state. I think “marriage” should be a very personal/spritual/family sort of thing. That being said, I think everyone should have the right to form a civil union if they want to protect themselves legally.
Okay Ann, sometimes assumptions invoke the same. If I’m wrong, then please, enlighten me. Are you a first responder too?
So don’t read something into what I DIDN’T say and pass judgement as if I accept abortion when I dont.
This is another assumption you made about me. I observed what you wrote and inquired about the thought process so I would understand it. Please don’t jump to conclusions about me.
Hi Ann, I am sure about that in America, however I DO know that Christians ARE persecuted, even killed in other countries.
Some of them are missionaries and others are nationals of their country. The Fulan Gong for example, in China are Chinese nationals.
I know that Christians have been jailed in countries like Pakistan or Indonesia where Muslims dominate society.
But here in America that’s not an issue in the ways SOME Christians or at least virulent anti gay groups want to portray.
Matt Barber who writes and is a spokesperson for Concerned Women for AMerica recent wrote that OK State Rep. Sally Kern was receiving threats from “anti Christains homosexual hate organizations.”
Sally Kern recently was recorded making extremely homophobic remarks in her office.
And it’s been publicized widely.
Now what Matt Barber said was not only MORE inflammatory but it was DANGEROUS.
I know for a fact there ARE no anti Christian homosexual hate groups. If there were, the Simon Weisenthal Center would be onto it. And if they really thought so, then they could have that organization research it and track it down for him.
But his behavior was a if Sally Kern was some poor innocent in this mess and that her words were factual and she was being targeted for no reason but speaking the truth.
Again, simple minded reflective cowardice of people who open the door, then want to duck for cover when accoutability shows up for it’s due.
Personally, if the Alliance Defense Fund and Concerned Women for America are about defending Christians and their persecutors. I’m sure the Fulan Gong and those Christians in jail in Indonesia would benefit from them going OVER THERE and doing what their mission says.
Then I’d be impressed.
But trying to damage the civil rights of gay citizens then whining about it when they don’t get to do it, is more of the cowardice I’m talking about.
Day of Silence is a distraction and as such should be abolished from schools (during school hours anyway). It has no place in the tax payer arnea of teaching children how to add and write. Small interest group affairs should remain private.
and the results are the street violence, domestic violence and squalor that I’m glad YOU don’t have to see.
Please tell me how you can make this assumption about me?
you have to point out the specific groups that are being, or have been, singled out for mistreatment.
Would you be willing to extend this (the Golden Rule) to the thousands of pre-born children who die every year at the hand of another? Do they deserve the same protection of their life that you say others do?
The subject here is the objection or suggestion by Throckmorton on how a Christian should respond to DOS, not abortion. And HE brought it up.
So don’t read something into what I DIDN’T say and pass judgement as if I accept abortion when I dont.
But I also don’t accept that our society is as civilized as it thinks it is.
Ann, I wouldn’t and couldn’t and DIDN’T say that the loss of a child by abortion hasn’t the same credibility or meaning.
It’s a different issue. I was answering Dr. T’s suggestion.
The loss of ANY child is devastating. And deliberately is a terrible thought to me.
But let’s keep things in perspective.
Ann, I work for the Los Angeles Police Dept as a forensic photographer.
And to be very frank with you, Ann. Our society likes to pretend it loves it’s children and can take care of all them fully and competently.
And we don’t deserve our children if what I see every day keeps happening.
I’m one of those people who has a very tough and sometimes dangerous job. i am confronted with realities that most people only know superficially. Even America is not as safe and understanding a place we root for it to be. Well meaning isn’t the same as being well.
I might seem pessimisstic, but I’m not. That’s why I work so hard to support and advocate for the young. But I see them being sold out, sold and destroyed by their own parents, and the results are the street violence, domestic violence and squalor that I’m glad YOU don’t have to see.
But births exceed our society’s ability to do right by it’s children. And if there is a woman out there that doesn’t trust us, the father or any one else she knows to give that child life, well…that’s on us too.
She’s got eyes…and if she sees nothing in herself or us and we can’t show otherwise, then what do you think we should do Ann?
The risks are ALL hers, not ours. And it’s who takes the risks who have to make that ultimate decision, however reprehensible it is to us.
And who are we to decide HER sacrifice is worthy, when WE aren’t prepared to make any of our own.
Warren I agree that the “Golden Rule is a general princicple , a more inclusive principle…” It would be great if everyone understood that and lived by it.
But sometimes, just to make sure everyone understands that the Golden Rule applies to everybody, you have to point out the specific groups that are being, or have been, singled out for mistreatment. You have to say, “See this leper? The Golden Rule aplies to him too.” “See this Samaritan? Him too.” “This tax-collector? This gay person? Yep, them too.”
The freedoms we enjoy in the USA apply to all of us, and yet we have had periods in our history when excluding certain groups was par-for-the-course — generally accepted as “right” or “OK”. You mean, slaves should be free? Yes, them too. Women whould have the vote? Yes, them too.
Sometimes, due to the history and extent of the persecution and exclusion, you have to spell it out specifically. I think that’s what the Day of Silence is about. It would be nice if gays were no longer specific targets. Until then, we have to spell it out.
The brutality against gays and lesbians cannot be soft pedaled by ‘no name calling week’ or the like. Dr. T.
It’s inappropriate. FROM the colonials executing gays in aboriginal cultures to the Nazis to virtual lynchings by mobs or law enforcers…the historical record is there and it can be a part of it that institutionalized hate and discrimination contributes to the violence TO THIS DAY.
Young people have a way seeing their world in personal relativism. If they’ve never witnessed racism or know it personally, the brutality of Jim Crow or the biggest terrorist organization in American, the Ku Klux Klan won’t make an impression on them and their place in really making hate a thing of the past.
They not only can bear witness to what makes whole governments and it’s supporters go along with how they treat minorities or aboriginals (Trail of Tears) for example, children won’t feel like they can actually participate in changing history. But simply seeing it as in the past and beyond them and their concerns.
The ex gay industry and the anti gay in a way foster this attitude that homosexuals are responsible for the bias against them. And the simplistic idea that if gay people were the ones that changed, then again….the brutality against those who don’t is entirely their fault. Gay people have had all this time and opportunity to change after all or hide and not take such punishment.
They why don’t Jews change? Why are they constantly under seige, they don’t have to be Jews. They can hide it. Otherwise they wouldn’t be blown up in Israel and the Nazis wouldn’t have gotten them.
Gays and lesbians have been a part of humankind since BEFORE religions were established. The prehistory of homosexuality is ignored and the dominant culture isn’t even taught that gay people have and do contribute much of merit to society.
This makes it that much easier to dismiss them altogether.
To encourage young people to be the generation that DOESN’T casually persecute gay people or expect them to be the ones to change (since they’ve been around for so long), then this prepares them to take having their own gay children, friends, colleagues and such in stride.
It’s not just about tolerating their gay peers but also learning about gay people’s place in our entire history as human beings.
I’m not into pretending otherwise. It’s obviously wrong and unhealthy to gay/straight relations to withold or pretend that being a committed EX sexual or post gay person proves something positive for the image and history of homosexuals and homosexuality.
It doesn’t serve progress to be right where the dominant culture historically has always wanted gay people.
Abortion is personal, private and the loss anonymous.
Please help me understand how can you give such credibility to the loss of one child and then say another child’s death has no meaning because it is personal, private and anonymous?
Are you sure about Christians not being persecuted? It is my understanding that it rarely happens in this country but it does happen in other countries around the world. The International Foundation of Christians and Jews, among other organizations, are involved in rescuing those who are being persecuted and offering their help in other ways to prevent or alleviate it as much as possible.
Warren, DOS does commemorate those who were murdered by anti gay hate. There are sometimes vigils and other meetings in that regard. You’re right, it’s about attitude change.
But if the impact of NOT changing isn’t also illustrated, then the DOS motive isn’t clear.
It’s as legitimate as Shoah for that reason. Gays and lesbians were also victims of the Nazi regime.
The DOS is done in different ways from school to school.
As for injecting the abortion issue into it, THAT isn’t the same issue. Abortion is personal, private and the loss anonymous.
Abortion can be spontaneous, therapeutic or not. And none of us knows which it is when it happens to a female. And abortions don’t happen BECAUSE of hate. Or deliberate insitutional bias in the law against children or the unborn.
Gays and lesbians are a specific target for a specific reason by specific language and terms.
Indeed Zoe…Christians are not persecuted. There are Christians who only because of loud and inappropriate verbal assualt in a public square or in some other place they’re illegally provacative (and know it), they are removed forcibly.
This is not persecution because they are Christian. This is removing a provocative presence from a vulnerable target. Anyone behaving that way would get the same treatment by authorities. And being inconvenienced for NOT speaking in such an imposing way, is very different from being threatened outright for simply existing and going about one’s legal business.
It wouldn’t kill Christians to restrain themselves on this issue. But it CAN kill a child when they don’t.
In a way, there is a determined cowardice to place oneself in the position of being removed or having your statement removed from your person. Such as in the case of a high school boy that wore anti gay statements on his t-shirt in response to the Day of Silence. He was encouraged to do so by Christians for the precise reason of being sent to the principle’s office and garnering publicity for the Alliance Defense Fund, the legal entitity that defends the Day of Truth counterprotest.
The reason I say cowardice is the specificity and the way they target ONLY gay people for example.
Their Christian conviction for example doesn’t extend to picketing or protesting divorce courts or divorce lawyers. They don’t use this device to assail known adulterers or detention centers where thieves and other criminals are housed.
No, they save their invective almost exclusively for gay people and get offended when gay people defend themselves or challenge them on what they do.
The ADF is looking for gay baiters and they find them, sure enough. Using children to do so I find especially reprehensible. Poising the next generation to assault gay children. And what’s even sadder….the Christian children who do this, are unprepared in a positive way for having gay children of their own.
And either way, they and their gay child are both betrayed in the end and the Christians who did it, wouldn’t ( and don’t ) have the courage to admit it.
Michael – He did do something – He used Samaritans and lepers and tax collectors, etc as illustrations of general principles of reconciliation and redemption. The Golden Rule is a general principle that would be, IMO, a more inclusive principle.
Regan – The DOS is somewhat different from the example you gave in that DOS does target attitude and belief change – or at least it has in the past. Past manuals supporting (2005) the DOS have referred to the DOS as gay rights event. The current handbook describes past DOS as gay rights events. The SHOAH is a remembrance of a historical event, the DOS is not. Would you approve a school activity of pro-life students being silent all day long to call attention to abortion? I say this not knowing if there is such an event, but I just wonder how many days can be observed.
I want to state that I do not see the DOS or No Name Calling week as being the issues I used to. I still am skeptical that the singular reason for these events is ending violence, but these days have come and gone, and the world keeps on spinning. I am likewise skeptical that keeping kids out of school teaches much of spiritual significance. My suggestion is made knowing that it will not likely catch on, but hoping to express an alternative for those who are disposed to engage rather than disengage.
If Samaritans or lepers werre being singled out for mistreatment, I bet Jesus would have done or said something…
If you’re ever in the vicinity of Canberra, Australia, I hope we can meet. I was touched by your kind words of friendship, and return the sentiment exactly. You’re my kind of people.
You raise a good point – on one side, you have people who another group disapproves of on moral grounds. They make no distinction between disapproving of their supposed behaviour, and disapproving of their existence. They feel threatened by them, that all they hold good and right is being attacked by them. They believe that even their children are being attacked, that their souls are being put in peril.
On the other side, there are those who believe that their feelings are either natural and moral, or sinful but both harmless and something they’re born as. And who also feel attacked, not in some metaphysical sense, but in terms of broken bones and a trail of corpses. Even the corpses of slaughtered children.
The latter is asking that their injuries be acknowledged, and the danger reduced.
The former… it’s difficult to see exactly what they want. They send conflicting messages, not exactly approving of the massacre of innocents, but not being terribly concerned about the physical welfare of sinners who are their enemies. Even ones 6 years old. The profess Christian Love, but want to save their enemies’ souls, not their bodies, from harm. Pharisees. Hypocrites.
That does some of them an injustice though: there are many parts of “traditional morality” that are essential for spiritual health. The 10 commandments are a pretty good basis for moral behaviour. Even Atheists try to obey 9 of them, anyway. We jettison them at our own risk. Many are neither hypocritical or pharisaic, they’re just afraid that their moral structure is under attack on so many fronts – and I can’t say I entirely disagree there – that they can’t give an inch, or dire consequences will result.
But “traditional morality” at the moment at least tolerates the bullying of the gender- or sexually- non-conforming, and in extreme cases, actively rather than passively encourages it. Just as it tolerated the ownership of slaves, the political oppression of women, and a host of sins in the past.
But that proves that “traditional morality” can withstand change. One can disapprove of extra-marital sex, and yet not condemn unmarried mothers – and their children – to lives of poverty and pariah-hood, as was the case even within my lifetime. It’s possible to register disapproval of sin, without casting stones at the sinners.
Dr Throckmorton’s proposed solution seems to me to be flawed in two ways. First, it’s a band-aid on a gangrenous wound. It preserves the status quo, when reform is needed. Second, it unwittingly denies the problem, that the bullying of gays, transsexuals and the intersexed at school is so much worse than for other groups that it differs not just in degree, but in kind. I think the evidence supports that thesis.
Evangelical Christians suffer some persecution for their beliefs. But I can think of no examples in recent memory where an Evangelical Christian child was martyred at school, executed by gunshots to the head, for being who they are. Not in the USA anyway. There’s a difference.
I agree that we should speak out against bullying of all kinds – but we do do that to some extent already. Sometimes the situation calls for us to bring to everyone’s attentions those groups that receive a great deal of bullying, and even extreme forms of bullying. When individual groups that are the victims step up to do this, I don’t think we need to criticize them by saying: Yeah, but……. If you agree that all forms of bullying should be stopped then step up, be loud about it, and say something – and speak about those groups that are often at the receiving hands of extreme forms of bullying – sure some people called geeks are given “swirly’s” or wedgies, but gay people are KILLED for being who they are – and these kinds of things need to be talked about.
Let’s acknowledge that all bullying needs to stop, without pretending that all groups receive the same kind or type of bullying – and be willing to talk about and help these groups without boycotting their attempts to bring it to the public’s attention. If you really care about bullying stand up to it, say something, don’t stay at home.
I am a person, I hope can lend a little bit more of an expansion on what Michael Bussee and Nick R have written.
Warren, although your idea is well meaning, it will fall somewhat short of the intent of Day of Silence. It’s not directed specifically at Christians. However, Christian students have been encouraged to exclusively target their gay classmates with Day of Truth.
The issue of what is moral or a sin in the belief system of Christians, takes on a specificity with homosexuality it does not with say, adultery, divorce, gluttony or the abuse of another person.
Let me for example bring up Shoah. Shoah is “Day of Rememberance” it is specific to the event called “Kristalnacht” when thousands of Jewish establishments were destroyed in the most violent orgy known during the Holocaust and hundreds and hundreds of Jews were murdered or arrested and sent straight into slavery or execution camps.
Now, if there were students influence by Holocaust denier, anti Semites or some othe organization that wanted them to express it on SHOAH, then that tactic in itself would be rude and specific for offending the purpose of that day to begin with.
Forgetting, sugar coating or diluting in any way the facts regarding the violence and threat against gays and lesbians doesn’t commit fully to the history that this groups actually has with Christianity.
Christians can show their solidarity with gay students AND the Golden Rule every OTHER day of the year. And should do that.
The brutality of the Holocaust is real. And I was taught about that, and shown the pictures and how segregationists lynched blacks when I was young.
I know a lot of young people can handle it. And would appreciate the adults standing up and being honest about just how bad these issues are. Sometimes that’s where you have to go for a high schooler to appreciate the impact of hate in our society.
DOS is as specific as Shoah. It’s not YOUR time, it’s that of gay students and the fear and silence and threat they live with.
Christian consciousness created this situation, and Christian consciousness is going to have to do a lot more than what you propose on ONE day.
It’s about every day after that’ll count a lot more.
After many conversations with Jag, I had a very profound thought – one that made so much sense to me that it seemed like the answer to much of the contention. I am sure others have had this same thought, I was just a little slow in “getting it”. If the issues presented (protection, marriage, etc.) were based on “equal rights” rather than “moral acceptance”, I really think much of the existing resistance would go away. Unfortunately, those people who resist are doing so based on this – “if I agree to this then it means I accept all the components of the people involved and I cannot do this because it is not my moral code”. They personalize it and cannot separate doing the right thing based on protection and equal rights from morally accepting every component of the people involved. If they feel forced by others, it only makes it worse. I may be over-simplifying things but I get lost in long explanations 🙂 I really like the idea of re-assurance between students and if this day can bring that based on the equal rights (the right thing to do) aspect of it rather than equate it to personal moral acceptance of the myriad of issues of homosexuality, I think it would be a wonderful example to many of the adults who hold out on equal rights because they are confusing or enmeshing them with personal moral acceptance of the other issues.
I dont like his message either.
I really wish we could spend the afternoon together – you are the kind of person I would like to have as a friend.
Thanks for answering so candidly. In my recollections above I was thinking 9th grade through 12th. Your mention of recess triggered my memories of hiding in a locker at lunchtime recess in order to let 3 of my picked on friends back inside the building. My male friend and I both experimented from puberty on but didn’t officially ‘come out’ until our first year of college. But we were getting picked on, pushed around, tripped, knocked down from as early as the second grade. Anyway, the bullying did increase around age 11, none of us were really thinking in terms of sexual though; the bullying was simply because we were different. Once everyone got on board with puberty, then the bullying took on the anti-gay/fag/homo but, prior to that, it was a response to our ‘being different’.
Eddy, I’m sorry that you were given such a rough time. No child should go through that kind of thing.
And honesty compels me to say that in comparison with virtually every TS person of my generation I’ve talked to, I had it easy.
You see, unlike you, I wasn’t gracile or petite. I was built like a linebacker, which was a really horrible situation for any young girl to be in. Still, it made accepting my lot in life easier, and I never “dressed” or anything. The phrase “putting lipstick on a pig” was all too appropriate. When there is no choice, “doing the boy act”, pretending to be male and even striving to be the best Man any girl can be is easier. I was a Tomboy too, I liked a lot of Boy Stuff. Remember, this was the 60s, and traditional female roles were far more confining than now.
It had other advantages too. I could give as good as I got and make others afraid to attack – except in packs. At 8 I was larger than most 10 year olds. I fought dirty too, none of this silly boy-pecking-order stuff. I wasn’t interested in establishing hierarchies of male dominance. Like most girls my age, I considered the whole thing rather puerile. Girls that age can be rather priggish.
However, it meant i became brutalised, even feral. When cornered, I bit, I scratched, and whenever I caught a gang member alone afterwards, I attacked without mercy. I’m sorry to say that I deliberately broke one boy’s collarbone, just so he’d stop hurting me. Not to cause pain, or in revenge, or to “teach him a lesson”, but so he wouldn’t have the capability. Coldly Pre-meditated. I’m glad my mother came in on me unexpectedly shortly thereafter when I was taking a bath, and freaked out at the way my body was just one big bruise under my clothing. I got put in a different school, and so regained my humanity. My victim was only 10. OK, I was 8, but he was no monster, he was just a normal 10 year old boy “fitting in”, socialising with other little boys. I wish I could apologise to him.
In another way I was lucky too. My parents were loving. I couldn’t tell them of course about my secret. I figured that when I hit my teens and turned into the ugliest girl in town that they’d have enough on their plate. I just naturally assumed that that’s what would happen, and I could wait patiently until it did. Meanwhile, my Father was no distant figure, but someone I rather hero-worshipped, not exactly an Electra complex, but not far off. I wanted to be like him, even though I was a girl. But I digress.
Your comment about “beating the hippie/peacefreak” out of you resonates though, not with me, but with all too many cases where parents took it upon themselves to “beat the gay out”. It happens so often, it’s almost a cliche.
The TS version is darker, and I’ve heard it more than once from others. A Father (in one case an older brother) says “So you think you’re a girl? I’ll show you what it’s like for girls, that will change your mind! Bend over, Bitch….”
I am so, so, so very sick of trying to mend broken spirits. This didn’t happen to me, nothing like it did, I was lucky, but even second-hand and after over thirty years, it wrenches my soul.
That’s why, try as I might, I can’t be as dispassionate and objective as I’d like to be, even as I need to be, when discussing the bullying of gay and TS kids. I had it easy compared to many, but it was hellish enough. Well, no more, I won’t see other children put through that if I can help it.
– Buddy Smith of the American Family Association, quoted at http://www.missionamerica.com
Father forgive them, for they know not what they do. I know that Buddy Smith is acting out of the same concern for children that I am, you see.
Eddt asked: “was this the stated reason for the firings? If not, how were you able to uncover these motivations? What were the manufactured reasons, if any? What was the frequency of the regular kicks, beatings and spitting? Daily, weekly, monthly, several times a year?
Yes, in both firings, the bosses told me they were letting me go only because I was gay. One told me she was worried that large (conservative) donors would stop giviing money if they found out they had a “homosexual on staff”. The second boss took me aside one day and told me “never hire a gay or a Jew”. I’m not Jewish, but when he found out I was gay, I was toast.
In terms of the schoolyard beatings and harrassment — daily or almost daily — to the extent that I dreaded every recess. I never suggested that gays were the “only group needing protection from bullies”. But I sure could have used some.
You are correct that you’ve been victimized more than I. But I have twice been beaten in situations where I feared for my life. Beyond that I’ve been assaulted/mugged approximately a dozen times. My small stature tends to be a magnet for adult bullying.
My questions to MIchael went more to comparing the difference in bullying from one region of the country to another. I thought the bullying I received really sucked but your attacks and Michael’s were both more frequent and more brutal. I hadn’t really given it much thought but I’m also thinking that having six brothers spared me more brutality than I would have gotten otherwise. One of them tells the story of a friend who wanted permission to ‘beat the hippie/peacefreak’ out of me. My brother told him to back off saying: “besides that’s our job.” Another brother was a gay basher; the people who beat me in the one incident cited above were likely friends of his. At home, he would elbow me sharply in the ribs several times most days. Still, though, not the severity you experienced.
Eddy – at the risk of being accused of engaging in competitive victimology… an accusation with some justice behind it…
Let’s look at some metrics.
How many times were you strangled to the point of unconsciousness?
How many skull fractures do X-rays show you endured before age 10?
How many cigarettes were stubbed out on you?
How many times were you raped?
How many times had you had bones broken, then were deliberately kicked on the site of the break a week later?
Of that list, I wasn’t raped. I was lucky that the bus conductor (remember them?) found me before I’d been unconscious too long, and loosened the garotte around my neck.
The one blow I do not recall is when I was hit with a crowbar at age 9. I remember seeing it coming out of the corner of my eye, then remember the feeling of the ground pressing my back.
My experience is all too typical of transsexual children, even ones who don’t appear overly effeminate or overly tomboyish. We “smell funny”, we “vibe wrong”. Our cross-gendered neurology means that many of us have our mannerisms setting off alarm bells. We don’t *think* like other kids who look like us. That’s why I identify more as transsexual than as the more medically precise Intersexed.
But remember, my childhood days were 40 years ago. Things might be better now.
Overt gays don’t have it as bad, but they have it bad enough. I dimly recall that the stats say about a quarter get seriously injured, and some 60% experience significant bullying of the kind you describe. We don’t know how many die in “tragic accidents”, pushed under vehicles, or falling from heights, or trapped in burning buildings while “playing”.
The most dangerous time for gays appears to be in high school, the most dangerous time for transsexuals in grade school, before puberty. 10-12 year olds don’t have the strength of 16-18 year olds, but they don’t have the moral development or anticipation of consequences either. By high school, TS kids have learnt survival skills – running, having a protector, or hiding in with the nerds and other outcasts.
The one really good piece of science we have on the subject was a survey conducted by the Scottish Office on gender-variant children in Northern Ireland. That showed that 50% of transsexual children had self-harmed before age 20. The figures for gays were almost exactly half that.
I don’t think even 10% of the nerds of your acquaintance made suicide attempts.
That there is a huge problem with “nerds” being victimised by “jocks” is indisputed. It needs addressing. But merely being a nerd is something most transsexual kids could only aspire to. Being beaten, but not stoned with bricks. Having bruises, not fractures.
I agree that gays are a group that gets singled out for bullying but I strongly disagree that they are the only group needing protection from bullies. Anyone who is different is susceptible to bullying. Christians, the drama group, the debate geeks, hippies, Teenage girls are capable of horrific bullying–and suspected sexual orientation isn’t often a factor. Ethnic groups are now, not only the targets of the bullying, but in places where they have a substantial presence, they have begun bullying of their own. I support statements that speak to all bullying.
Re the Orange County firings, was this the stated reason for the firings? If not, how were you able to uncover these motivations? What were the manufactured reasons, if any?
What was the frequency of the regular kicks, beatings and spitting? Daily, weekly, monthly, several times a year? I was bullied frequently in high school but only one time can I recall a blow; their tactic was more intimidation than actual physical violence. But it was nonetheless effective. I dreaded the bus ride to and from school and strategized my exit from the bus so as not to draw the attention of the bullies and/or to be travelling in a pack.
* that should be “some of the gays receiving the violence are already Christian”. My apologies. I just get upset when I see such ignorance being promoted.
Even though Warren probably hasn’t logged on to this since yesterday, based on the comments of others I thought I would restate my questions to Warren:
How is speaking out against violence directed at gays and lesbians contrary to Christian tradition and beliefs?
Is it that Christian tradition supports violence against gays and lesbians?
Is it that Christian beliefs support violence against gays and lesbians?
Steve takes the approach that one should just ignore the violence done to gays in order to preach to them (even though the gays receiving the violence are already Christian, and those like myself endured well over 10 years of ex-gay therapy, remaining celibate before therapy and throughout therapy, praying and crying on a regularly basis thinking God had abandoned or rejected me because the desires were not going away). You see Steve, your words do not make an impact because your basic assumptions about homosexuality are flawed and dishonest.
P.S. to Steve: You said you liked Warren’s suggestion because “it is not aimed toward anyone in particular but everyone in general.”
But you see, Steve, that’s the problem! The hatred, bullying and violence is not aimed at “everyone is general”, but at kids who are seen as different and hate-worthy — simply because they might be gay. It’s “in particular“, not “everyone in general.” ”
“In general”, kids seem to know they probably shouldn’t mistreat kids like them. Unfortunately, many kids somehow get a get a different impression about kids who are different. For example, as a school kid, I was singled out “in particular” and regularly teased, kicked, beaten and spat upon because they saw me as “homo” or “queer”. It wasn’t “everyone in general”>. It was me (and kids like me) “in particular”
As an adult, I was fired from two jobs, not for poor performance, but singled out “in partcicular” because the bosses didn’t want a gay guy spoiling their conservative Orange County image. Before protective legislation, there was nothing I could do. It wasn’t “everyone in general“. Employers had the legal right to fire me, “in particular“.
Serveral years ago, I was beaten and stabbed, without provocation, in a parking behind a gay tavern in my hometown. My best friend, Jeffery Owens, was also kicked and beaten. Our attackers, a group composed mainly of teenagers, singled us out ‘In particular”, yelling “fag” as they repeatedly attacked us. Jeffery took five stab wounds in his back — and bled to death on an operating table. How did those kids learn that such beavior was “macho” or “ok”? Could they have learned it at home — or on the playground?
Sometimes, a society needs to bring special attention, in particular, to those groups that are being singled out for mistreatment and violence. — reaffirming that basic principle of democracy that no particular group should be the target of hatred or injustice. That’s what the Civil Right movement was about — and it benefited everyone.
Steve (in post #92396) made the assertion that the Day of Silence was “for the benefit of gay students above anyone else.”
Really? Wouldn’t the end of antigay hatred, bullying and violence against gays benefit everyone?
Praise God for the opportunity to share some truth in love with you.
The unconditional, forgiving love of God in Christ who warns us that lying about others is a sin and is abhorent to God’s presence. Fotunately, through the grace of Christ’s sacrifice you can seek forgiveness from God for your untruthful tyrade and then show your humilty by seeking forgiveness from those whom you have maligned.
There is nothing whatsoever to support your untruthful claim that homosexual behavior is addictive, unfulfilling, heartbreaking, spiritually deadening, and ultimately destructive of individuals, relationships, families, nations, and or civilizations. Nor are there “multitudes” of “former homosexuals” to attest to this. Frankly, there aren’t more than a few thousand trying at any given time and most of those (at least 85%) wouldn’t consider themselves to be heterosexual.
To make such a claim shows a deep misunderstanding of not only sexuality and gay persons but also illustrate a willingness to repeat evil about others. Surely such a vile desire to spread hateful gossip can only come from Satan.
But again, I thank God that the amazing and wonderful Good News of Christ can be shared with you. If you show a truly repentant heart God will forgive you. I you allow Him to, God will remove your desire to lie and do evil with a desire to do good to those around you.
Rather, God wants us to live according to His Will, which is clearly revealed in scripture. He promises blessing upon those who do so, and multitudes of former homosexuals attest to this.
These are very refreshing and encouraging words – not sure how others will respond but I want you to know how much I appreciate them for myself.
Of course –it’s a great idea! Just as I would want others to speak the truth in love to me, I will try to speak the truth in love with those beset by silence, and I will share the unconditional, forgiving love of God in Christ who warns us that homosexual behavior is addictive, unfulfilling, heartbreaking, spiritually deadening, and ultimately destructive of individuals, relationships, families, nations, and civilizations. Rather, God wants us to live according to His Will, which is clearly revealed in scripture. He promises blessing upon those who do so, and multitudes of former homosexuals attest to this.
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:17)
Everyone – gay, straight, black, white, Christian, heathen, or funny looking girl who only eats tater tots – is welcome to participate. And they have already come up with an agreed upon message:
Only those who do not approve of this message are trying to change it.
Can all the students who want to participate come up with an agreed upon message they would like to put on the cards that are passed out? If the verse in Luke is suggested, it would probably be agreed upon by all. The difference is that it would be their idea which would have much more meaning and impact in how it is sustained in the future.
But to answer your question – YES, it would be nice Eddy to see that in the news more 🙂
Wouldn’t it be great to see a news story featuring a Christian student giving an anti-bullying statement?
I’ve heard Christian (gay and straight) students make anti-bullying pronouncements 🙂
I am so sorry – this is the phrase I wanted to comment on. The other one is from another thread. Please ignore #92589.
I don’t know a great deal about the Day of Silence, but I think that was its original intent – its my understanding that no one is excluded from participating
Then why is the description “Christian” used in posts when talking about this? Isn’t everyone capable of doing the right thing or is it just limited to those with this particular belief? I would hope we would encourage everyone to do the right thing and from that any current divide will be diminished. As long as we are catagorizing who is what, and who can and cannot do what, that is where the emphasis will be. Just makes my hair hurt!
If we could get to the parents and the kids who are responding by staying home and persuade them to accept the response we’re discussing, then I don’t care much what we call it. Wouldn’t it be great to see a news story featuring a Christian student giving an anti-bullying statement?
Its my understanding from the definitions we’ve given that Identity is something that is chosen whereas Orientation is not.
Then why is the description “Christian” used in posts when talking about this? Isn’t everyone capable of doing the right thing or is it just limited to those with this particular belief? I would hope we would encourage everyone to do the right thing and from that any current divide will be diminished. As long as we are catagorizing who is what, and who can and cannot do what, that is where the emphasis will be. Just makes my hair hurt!
is this exercise limited to Christian kids or would it be a good idea to include ALL children, regardless of their religion, to demonstrate their ability to denounce any verbal or physical abuse on others?
I don’t know a great deal about the Day of Silence, but I think that was its original intent – its my understanding that no one is excluded from participating 🙂
is this exercise limited to Christian kids or would it be a good idea to include ALL children, regardless of their religion, to demonstrate their ability to denounce any verbal or physical abuse on others? I think the golden rule is accepted by most people as a good thing and not exclusive to only a certain group of people. That is probably why there is so much contention to begin with.
It seems to me that Christian kids could be leading the way with a pledge to keep the Golden Rule.
I know that you didn’t mean anything by saying this – and perhaps you even thought that this was implied in what you said, but this is something I talked to Wendy Gritter about on another blog – when you say Christian kids, it almost sounds like you’re suggesting that some of the gay students aren’t Christians. It might be better to talk about some conservative Christian kids as non-gay-affirming Christians. Just a suggestion you can take or leave 🙂
I love the idea of a healthy Christian response rather than the negative statement of staying home. Always analytical, I was envisioning the Christian student trying to guesstimate how many cards he’ll need.
That led me to think: how could we get the Christian kids down to just one card too. Which led to: what if the Christian kids could actually join in the day of silence with their own cards with the message you described and a strong anti-bullying statement.
Dr Throckmorton – and I’m sure it pains you to think of it – but many who profess Christianity are actually Pharisaic. To many, the bullying and violent suppression of overt sinners at schools is not a bug, it’s a desirable feature. A duty, even.
You don’t have to go very far on the net to find some of the more robust Christian groups seriously and rationally debating whether homosexuality should be a capital crime or not. These are not the Fred Phelps exhibitionists, they are far more widespread.
There are many places in the USA where pastors preach that the duty to suppress sin – especially at schools – outweighs Luke 6:31. And that that suppression includes punishing the unGodly, that it is a positive duty so to do.
A Psychologist will naturally recognise the pattern – of having one’s baser instincts given an “Ok” by higher authority which not just sanctions bloodlust, it makes it into a virtue.
Lest anyone think they’re immune to it, which of us have not felt at least a momentary urge to commit mayhem when we see a story about a paedophillic rape/murderer being let off on a legal technicality?
Many people think that Brandon David McInerney had the right idea – they just don’t say so unless amongst those of like minds. Your proposal, while a worthy one for demonstrating what we *should* do, will fall on stony ground with the majority of those who should be heeding it.
NARTH distanced itself from Mr Berger’s comments, seeing the danger. And I’m certain Mr Berger did not intend “disapproval” to extend to execution. Perhaps a few broken bones though. Because that’s what usually happens.
staying – I meant staying!!!!!!! 🙂 LOL
It seems to me that Christian kids could be leading the way with a pledge to keep the Golden Rule.
I think this would be a wonderful thing!!! Far better than having some conservative Christians stayin home to boycott an event that is aimed at furthering tolerance and understanding.
To answer your question above: while this is a student led movement, principals can either be supportive or not. Some schools recognize that some students will participate that day without verbal communication. Other punish the students if they participate in the Day of Silence.
In answer to your question, allow me to use an analogy.
Let’s pretend that Christians were regularly murdered in this country for no reason other than their beliefs. Let’s pretend that they tried to get Congress to include them among other groups protected by hate-crime legislation: to declare that just as murdering a black man solely because he is black is motivated by hate, that murdering a Christian solely because he is Christian is also motivated by hate. Let’s pretend, for whatever bizarre reason, the “Americans for Tolerance” activist group is opposed to the inclusion of Christians in hate-crime legislation and fights it tooth and nail, saying that Christians shouldn’t receive special treatment because violence is wrong, no matter who it is against (ignoring that this Americans for Tolerance group’s members are protected by those very laws that exclude Christians). Then, let’s say, Christians and their allies decide to do some grass-roots activism by remaining silent on a particular day to highlight the violence done against them. Well, upon hearing this the Americans for Tolerance attempt to draw attention away from the violence done to Christians by proclaiming it “Be Nice to Your Neighbor” day. They’re not doing this after consulting with Christians to find out how they can best help; instead they’re doing it because they really don’t like people viewing Christianity as a legitimate religion. They fear that if people hear how Christians are persecuted, they might become sympathetic to what Christians have to say and maybe even accept them. Furthermore, when pressed on the issue Americans for Tolerance will not actually admit that Christians suffer unjust violence (perhaps because they think the violence is just), nor will they speak out against the violence against Christians, they’ll simply encourage people to be nice. And when the Christians complain about the competing message, the Americans for Tolerance simply say – how could you not want people to be nice?
Don’t you think Christians would be skeptical over the Americans for Tolerance group’s motivations? That the Americans for Tolerance actions contradict their message of being nice? That the very act of offering a second message for the same day is not, in fact, nice? That in reality the Americans for Tolerance are not so concerned about everyone being nice as they are simply trying to distract people from hearing what the Christians are saying? That if the Americans for Tolerance really wanted people to be nice, particularly to Christians, they would actually join forces in proclaiming that violence against Christians is wrong?
Does that help you understand why your suggestion just comes across completely contrary to what you are advocating? The reality seems to be that you do not want people to become sympathetic to the fact that gays and lesbians suffer considerable violence, because you fear they will become sympathetic to gays and lesbians in general. You are not working with the gay community to find ways to help prevent the violence, you are deliberately offering a second voice to drown out the first. As Timothy said above, if you were really all that concerned about wanting people to obey the Golden Rule, you’d pick any one of the other 364 days of the year to proclaim it (if not every day). But no, you pick the one specific day that gay and lesbian students are highlighting that they are often the victims of violence.
Yes. I lose patience.
Baby steps are positive.
Ooops, it should read
“Kids, being kids, eventually start picking on the different children: the black boy, the Asian girl, and the kid whose clothes are hand-me-downs.”
Picture if you will, a room full of children with two adults. All the children are white kids with dark hair except for a black boy, an Asian girl, and a child from a very poor family.
Kids, being kids, eventually start picking on the different children: the red haired boy, the Asian girl, and the kid whose clothes are hand-me-downs.
One adult says, “Now, now children. We don’t pick on people. We like and respect poor kids and Asians.” The other adult says, “Black people are worse than terrorists, they are destroying our nation. God says so.”
It doesn’t take a Child Psychologist to know the result. The message is very very clear: don’t pick on anyone…. except the black kid.
Warren, how is speaking out against violence directed at gays and lesbians contrary to Christian tradition and beliefs? Is it that Christian tradition supports violence against gays and lesbians? Is it that Christian beliefs support violence against gays and lesbians? Please clarify.
Nick – I do not offer an alternative message to respect for all people. The message offered in my suggestion is quite compatible. What about the Day of Silence conflicts with treating others the way you want to be treated? What I suggest allows Christian kids to respond in a way that respects their tradition and beliefs but also conveys respect for the lives of others.
Timothy – Baby steps, my friend. This would be the beginning of a dialogue which might not change minds regarding beliefs but I hope would support mutual respect.
Warren, I never said they spoke for you. But I certainly hope you condemn what they say. You do, don’t you?
I do find Steve’s comments belittling. Gays and lesbians are often singled out for violence. Although singled out for violence, Steve is saying we shouldn’t single out gays and lesbians by highlighting the violence done to them for being who they are. The argument that you and he are putting forth is that instead of openly acknowledging and condemning violence against gays and lesbians, Christians should just say follow the Golden Rule. Do you see why that perspective belittles gays and lesbians?
On a day we use to highlight the violence done against us in an effort to prevent it, you advocate offering an alternative message. When several voices speak at once, their words become difficult to hear. The alternative message implies that you don’t want people to hear the first message – specifically that violence against gays and lesbians is wrong – otherwise you wouldn’t be speaking at the same time. Does that make sense? If not, consider Christmas. There are competing voices at Christmas-time over what the holiday means. Many conservative Christians are upset that their message is not being heard because of the competing voice that is raised. The second message drowns out the first, and Christians don’t like it. But, now, with the Day of Silence Christians are trying to drown out the first voice by offering an alternative. Ironically, the Christians are doing to others as they don’t like being done to themselves.
The DOS is a teachable moment, whether conservative Christians acknowledge it or not.
Gay kids are watching to see how “Christians” will behave. As are all the secular kids. And the Jewish kids. And the media. And the world.
So far, conservatice Christian leadership is confirming every bad stereotype that anyone has ever heard about intollerant hateful bigoted arrogant self-righteous jerks. So far, every response could have come straight from the old Church Lady skit on Saturday Night Live.
Warren, I think your solution fails in that it doesn’t address the concerns of the kids who are being bullied for being gay. They are asking for help. And we know, without question, that the Christ-based response is to heal the wounded and protect the vulnerable, regardless of how it effects the Culture War or whoever’s agenda.
But it certainly is more Christ-like than anything else I’ve heard from that branch of Christianity. And I really do like the idea, just not as some response to the Day of Silence.
I think the best choice would be for Christian kids (conservative or mainstream) to wear a cross on their lapel and join in silence for the day. And then at another time have a Golden Rule day. I think that a lot of kids would respect Christianity more if they though the Golden Rule was part of it rather then the opposite.
PS – It doesn’t appear to me that Steve was belittling anyone
Nick – I am not speaking for all those people you mentioned and they do not speak for me.
Don’t belittle the tremendous violence done to gays and lesbians. Conservative Christians constantly use the “it’s not right to separate out a group for attention” verbage in this situation (or hate-crime legislation), yet they constantly do it when it serves their purposes. For example, when religion was considered being included in hate-crimes legislation, they were silent. When the disabled was considered being included, they were silent. When it was race, silence. When it was ethnicity, silence. When gays were considered, suddenly “Christians” found their voice. Apparently, it’s only wrong to single out a particular group when it is gays – when it’s Christians or anyone else it is ok to single them out.
The FBI indicates that gays & lesbians are the #3 recipients of reported hate-crimes. This is the reality that we face. The reality that we face is that conservative Christians regularly make statements about us that can inspire violence against us. For example, an Oklahoma state representative recently said that we are a greater threat to this country than terrorists. Those words can inspire violence against us. After all, our nation teaches us that if terrorists are a threat, we should get them before they get us. Well, gays are apparently worse than terrorists. While a rational person will see the utter bigotry in such a statement and not be inspired to violence against gays, it is not the rational person who would normally do violence. The problem is the irrational people who are easily influenced by respected leaders will be inspired to violence. Seattle area “Pastor” Ken Hutcherson was recently quoted as saying that if an effeminate man held the door open for him, he would rip his arm off and beat him with the bloody end. I didn’t hear any Christians speak out against this, even though it made the local newspapers and hit the internet blogs.
So, conservative Christians don’t restrain their words when it can incite violence against gays, but when it comes to preventing violence against gays, suddenly it’s wrong to single out a particular group. Do you see how your Christian witness is not judged as Christ-like, loving, or very inspiring? Do you see how the recipients of your “love” don’t regard it as such? Do you see how your silence in addressing the violence and hatred against us is only further evidence that you honestly, genuinely do not care? That by trying to diminish our efforts to speak out against the violence, you are, in fact, part of the problem.
Philip Yancey mentions how while Christians say they should love gays but also give them a message of judgment, only the latter is ever expressed. Until you actively, vocally, and specifically denounce violence against us, you cannot say you love us and expect us to believe you – especially when the violence done to us is often in the name of Jesus. Is that clear?
“Nemario, I think the message gets blurred. I doubt anyone I know wants violence perpetrated on anyone else – for any reason.
Right, which just goes to show that this is an event with political and anti-religious motivations. Kids should either ignore it or stay home that day.
Nick and Michael,
You two seem to be suggesting that conservative Christian students join forces with the Day of Silence for the benefit of gay students above anyone else.
Warren’s suggestion is not aimed toward anyone in particular but everyone in general. You want Christians to single out a particular group for attention, when in reality no one should be singled out.
Do unto others, no matter who they are, not do unto others on this particular day who are part of this particular group.
I think Warren has a point about this being a teachable moment.
There are plenty of Christians who don’t hesitate to condemn violence against gays, and they aren’t seen as being “pro-sin.”
As for the woman, Jesus told her to sin no more.
Just imagine what would happen if “Christian” organizations joined forces with “Gay” organizations to stand together against the mistreatment of gays. People might get the impression that Christians actually care.
Warren, I appreciate the sentiment. However, there is a difference between words and deeds, with deeds being louder. A better approach is for Christian students to participate in the Day of Silence by being silent, just like those who oppose violence directed at gays, They can even wear a sign saying that they are “Conservative Christians opposed to violence against gays”. That, Warren would do more than handing out little cards saying people should follow the Golden Rule. It would be the Golden Rule in action. Deeds, not words.
I think the message gets blurred. I doubt anyone I know wants violence perpetrated on anyone else – for any reason.
Again, I object to the implication that it’s “Christians” and “Christian kids” on one side and those nasty, pro-gay activists pushing immorality and progay political agendas on the other. I agree with Nick. Real Christians take the risk that they may be seen as “”pro-sin” by speaking out against the mistreatment of gays. It’s what Jesus would have done. Read the account of the woman caught in adultery if you doubt that.
I agree with you Warren and think it is a wonderful idea and opportunity. I wll be sharing it with some of my teacher friends. Just getting the idea out there is a start.
Nick – Maybe it is not clear what I mean. My alternative is not to the Day of Silence (although I am not a big fan of politics intruding in schools), I am suggesting that Christian kids can make a statement about tolerance and non-violence by affirming the teaching of Christ about loving others (treating others the way I want to be treated).
There is no need for an alternative. Do conservative Christians think that violence against gays is wrong? If they think it is wrong, then they should support efforts to eradicate the violence. If they don’t think it is wrong, then they should stop saying they follow Christ.
I, for one, am tired of conservative Christians giving the implicit message that they either support the violence or prefer to ignore the violence. This is evidenced by the opposition to the Day of Silence and by their opposition to hate-crime legislation – apparently Christians are content to already be one of the protected groups because of their religion, even though they rarely suffer violence in this country for it, but oppose including groups who do suffer tremendous violence. Do not even try to spread the Golden Rule if you are not willing to explicitly, vocally decry violence against the glbt community. When I hear you loudly decry the violence against gays, then I might listen to what you have to say. Until then, you are a noisy gong and clanging cymbal – nothing else.
I read the link to “conservative Christian” organizations (namely the AFA) that are encouraging their “Christian” kids to stay home. As if only non-believers would be opposed to anti-gay violence! They (the AFA) claim that the event is really about “coercing students to repudiate traditional morality”, promotoing “homosexual activism” and “pressuring students with a polarizing political agenda”.
Talk about reactionary! Consider this statement from the AFA: “GLSEN should cancel its celebration of that code of silence about the severe public health hazards of homosexual behavior, and any school administrator who continues to stand silent while enabling the promotion of such harmful behavior should be sued for criminal negligence.”
Criminal negligence? Come on. I read nothing on the Day Of Silence website about coercing students or promoting immorality — just a day to bring attendtion to the problem of anti-gat bullying and violence. You’re not pushing homosexuality by standing against anti-gay hatred, name-calling, bullying and violence. That’s something all real Christians should do. Isn’t that what the Golden Rule is all about?
Christian parents may want to avoid confrontation but the existence of DOS provides a teachable moment it seems to me.
Because the Day of Silence is directed at conservatice christians. I would think some parents just want to avoid the confrontation and conflict altogether.
I read the Day Of Silence website and it sounded like GLSEN is promoting and organizaing this, but that students will be doing this on their own — being silent, holding a card that explains their silence, etc. I did not get the impression that the schools will be promoting this as something as some sort of official school function that all students should or must do. Am I correct?
I don’t understand why Christian parents would keep theri kids home just because some other kids will be maintaining a day of silence to bring attention to anti-gay violence and bullying. For one thing, this seems to assume that only Non-Christians would want to protest anti-gay hatred. I am still confused. What’s the problem?
Michael – I added a link to the Day of Silence website which describes it.
I don’t get it. Why stay home? Forgive my ignorance, but is this something that the schools themselves are suggesting that schools should or must do — or only something GLSEN is promoting? Can someone fill me in?
Dave – It is a transparent suggestion. Even if we disagree, we can find common ground around mutual respect as taught by Christ.
The problem with this of course is that it plays into the hands of putting the emphasis on gays, even if you’re trying to view it as countering the day with a day to speak out that everyone should treat anyone the way they would want to be treated, the fact that you’re doing during a pro-homosexual event ruins it. You wouldn’t have any reason to do it on that particular day if the “Day of Silence” didn’t exist.
If schools are going to allow this kind of peer-pressured, school allowed indoctrination parents should just as well let their kids stay home that day. That’s probably what I would do as a student as opposed to going and humoring it. I’d probably end up talking anyway and that would just leave a stupid impression.
I support this idea.
I think the Day of Truth is sort of misguided and used incorrectly by some christians. I’d prefer it did not exist and instead children showed real care towards eachother as you suggest.
Assuming you intend that as an expression that they’re genuinely supportive of gay students, rather than it being an underhanded FU to the Day of Silence (coming from any other source, it wouldn’t be a surprise), I’d say that’s a very Christlike option.
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