Wednesday, October 19, 2005

35. Boston Marriage

I had never heard the term “Boston Marriage” until CK mentioned it in one of her comments.  So, of course, being the internet nerd that I am, I looked it up.  I found a few websites, but this one was probably the most succinct, defining it basically as 19th century romantic friendships between women that involved cohabitation, but may or may not have included sex.  The thinking (at least from what I’ve read) is that while some of these Boston Marriages probably were sexual relationships, the evidence seems to suggest that most of them were not.  

The first bit of reading I ever did on the topic of homosexuality and Christianity, many years ago, was a chapter in Tony Campolo’s book 20 Hot Potatoes Christians are Afraid to Touch, and in that chapter he mentions something that sounds very similar to a Boston Marriage – two people (men, in the examples he uses) who commit to each other (officially and publicly), live together,  but also commit to remain sexually celibate.  I remember when I read this, I got so excited.  I recognized the inherent problem – simply put, that it might be difficult to remain celibate in that situation – but still, it gave me the first glimmer of hope I had felt in a long time.  Hope that maybe I could have a relationship, that I could love and be loved, and still not cross ‘the line’ (whatever that line may be).  Hope that I might not have to be miserable for the rest of my life.

When I wrote the post “The Line”, I have to admit that while it was mostly motivated by simple curiosity, part of it was that after all the reading I’ve done, that ‘celibate marriage’ idea (or Boston Marriage, I guess) is still the only thing I’ve ever read that gave me that feeling of hope.  I read all the Side A arguments, and they make so much sense, and I love things that make sense… but on a deeper level, one that does not involve my brain I suppose, I’m just not convinced.  I should point out that when I read the Side B arguments I’m not convinced either, and the level of not being convinced there usually does involve my brain… but that’s just it.  I’m not convinced of anything.  And it’s kind of hard to move when I’m stuck in the middle like this.  The Boston Marriage idea is an idea that can exist in the middle (although, I suppose, at its core, it is Side B).  Boo did say that it’s not likely that anything any one person will write or say will convince me, and she’s right, it will take something more than that.  (I’m still going to read, because… well, I like reading, and… I like things that make sense.)  But I’m not sure if (or when) that ‘something more’ will come.

So, to continue the question I asked in “The Line”, if sex was not part of the equation (and assuming a “Side B” stance), would something like a “Boston Marriage” be a sin?  And let’s not assume that it would be ‘impossible’ to resist the temptation because that is simply not always going to be the case.  Not to equate being gay with alcoholism, but some recovering alcoholics avoid all circumstances where alcohol will be involved because they are unable to resist, whereas others are able to hang out in bars, drinking seltzers or soda with no problem.  People are different.  Not all people are strong in the same area, and not all people are weak in the same area.    So, here I go again, with fear and trepidation, asking a question and opening the floor to all of you.  You guys kind of scared me last time… but I’m doing it again.  I’m very brave.  Or stupid.  Take your pick.    

40 Comments:

E said...

See, now you're reading my mind. Must be a dimensional vortex thingy or something like that.

Every time I raise the question of celibate partnerships I quickly get shot down by those who say it could never remain celibate. I understand the difficulties involved, but I'm not convinced that it's as hopeless as everyone seems to think it is.

E said...

Oh yeah, and Exodus types generally think the idea is just as bad as an actual gay marriage, since you're supposed to leave yourself open in case God has heterosexuality and an opposite-sex spouse in mind for you a decade or five down the road...

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...

Here's my take, only because you've said you're still not genuinely sure about where God stands on this.

IF you allow that homosexuality is sinful, then isn't the sin the fact that you would be trying to get out of a relationship with someone of the same sex that which should only be gotten out of a relationship with the opposite sex? And sex itself is only one part of that. I think you'd have to extend it to include basically anything in the nature of romance with someone of the same sex, because the relationship itself would be romantic, and if you allow for the anti-gay viewpoint, then it's the whole relationship that's wrong. So this sounds like a have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too kinda thing.

I only mention this because I think that even though God doesn't hold loving faithful same-sex relationships to be sinful, He's also not big on people who try an end-run around their consciences.

Whew, lucky for me I know same-sex relationships aren't sinful ;-)

Boo

JJ said...

Boo,

From what I've read of the Side B opinion, it is not that homosexuality is in itself sinful... it's that 'homosexual behavior' is sinful... which when you read into it further, the homosexual behavior they refer to seems to specifically be the 'homosexual act'... which is a funny phrase (...cause seriously... is there a heterosexual act?) Actually, if I think about this then most of the books on the "Side B" list I have are in fact probably not Side B -- probably somewhere between Side B and Side X (ex-gay advocates).

As far as getting something out of a gay relationship that 'should only be gotten out of a straight relationship'... I see what you're saying. But again, this seems a bit dodgy, because of two things. 1, the double standard between straight and gay. I heard recently of a 'couple' which consisted of a divorced woman and a single man. They dated, went to family functions as a couple, spent loads of time together, but because of the Biblical rule against divorced people remarrying, they did not marry (and presumably did not have sex... this is an assumption, but one I think I'm safe to make because of their willingness to obey the rule about not marrying). I think most conservative Christians would praise them for this even though they are 'getting things out of this relationship' that they should not because it is sort of adulterous (by the biblical definition). Specifically by abstaining from sex (not the rest of the relationship) they are not sinning... at least I think that would be the general consensus. Maybe I'm wrong... but if I'm right then there is a double standard, and that bothers me. Not to mention that our culture is full of stories of 'couples' who loved each other but never married (or even had sex), and technically, you shouldn't be getting 'those things' out of anything other than a marriage relationship, right? But we love those stories, they are the ultimate in romance. And people don't see sin there either.

The second problem I have with this is less cerebral... it's that all of the Side B books I've read concede that the celibate life is a lonely one, and if we believe in a loving God who desires good things for us, then surely there must be something more.

I would want to point out one other thing. When I say 'celibacy' I almost always mean way more than not having sex, but as one particular friend always points out to me, at it's core, that's all celibacy means. She also has said that 'sex is the only thing sacred to marriage'. At a basic level I agree with her on this... that is the only standard I would place on single, heterosexual Christians. I would not think to tell them that they couldn't fall in love, kiss, cuddle, or have romantic relationships if they were not married... even if they never married I wouldn't expect them to live up to that. And when I think of it that way, putting a different standard on gay people just makes no sense.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe I'm about to go here...

Ok, bearing in mind that I DO NOT BELIEVE HOMOSEXUALITY IS SINFUL...

For a pedophile (and I trust we all know that I am NOT claiming gays are pedophiles, being gay myself) is the "attraction" to children sinful? Well, I would say at the very least it's unhealthy. Is sex the only wrong thing a pedophile could do with a kid? Hugging, open-mouth kissing, etc all ok? Setting up house together ok?

IF you allow for the principle that homosexuality is sinful, then I don't see how the same standard wouldn't apply. Whether individual Christians are inconsistent in applying the same standard to divorced heterosexuals is really beside the point, because this is about God's opinion, not theirs.

Quite honestly, this sounds like an attempt to avoid the choice you know you're going to have to make some day.

In line with that...

Ye shall know them by their fruits.

The fruit of the anti-gay side is:

Loneliness
Sham marriages
Constant "falling"
Self-hatred
A strong tendency to make up and repeat vicious lies about gay people

The fruit of what you call Side B seems to be:

Loneliness
Constant self-doubt

The fruit of a loving, committed same-sex relationship is:

A loving, committed relationship.

just something to think about.

Boo

JJ said...

Oh wow Boo, I'm so shocked you went there! I'm not offended, because I understand what you are trying to say, but whoa!

Okay, here's my response. There is an inherant violent act in pedophilia. If you read this post I discuss pedophilia a bit. I'll try and sum it up. Children cannot consent, especially not to an adult, so in any act with a child of an even remotely sexual or romantic nature there is an act of violation, and the adult (unless they are severly mentally disordered) would be aware of that, and that's where the sin would lie, in the violent act of violation (whether or not physical (and/or sexual) violence is involved. Between adults, consent is possible so there is an fundamental difference.

Anonymous said...

I was afraid it might be too shocking an analogy to get the point across. I wasn't talking about why pedophilia is wrong. That's a given. My point was that, given that the sexual desire for children is sinful, then any positive action resulting from that desire is sin, whether or not it involves actual sex. The desiring itself is disordered.

IF homosexuality is sinful, it can't just be the sex itself. The desiring for a member of one's own sex must then be inherently disordered, and therefore any positive action in pursuit of that desire would have to be sin.

Boo

JJ said...

It is hard for me to see past my feelings on pedophilia, that's for sure.

But the reason I started talking about 'why pedophilia is wrong' is because I think that the very nature of the sin in pedophilia makes it quite different from any possible sin in homosexual behavior... to the point of them being incomperable. I am Protestant, so I do believe that all sins are equal, but I do not believe that all sins are the same.

For example, lust and deceipt. Both sins, both equally wrong in the eyes of God, but one begins in the mind, and one requires action. I can think about deceiving you all I want, I can even fully intend to deceive you. But in the end, if I end up telling you the truth -- or at least end up not deceiving you through word or deed -- then I have not deceived you. Whereas, lust... well, I just need to think stuff for that to be a sin. And if you read this post, you will know that I see lust as a sort of violation.

I realize that there is a sexual aspect to both pedophilia and homosexuality, but there is no violation and/or violence inherent to homosexuality, and that is what makes the nature of the sin (if there is a sin in homosexual behavior)different to me. And therefore, in my mind, I can't compare the two.

Oh, and "IF you allow for the principle that homosexuality is sinful, then I don't see how the same standard wouldn't apply. Whether individual Christians are inconsistent in applying the same standard to divorced heterosexuals is really beside the point, because this is about God's opinion, not theirs"

I realize I keep using people as an example, but well... I don't want to speak for God because in this area I am sooo incredibly unsure, but I don't think God would see that divorced woman/single man couple as sinful. I say this because I know I would look at that couple and think "wow, look how they are obeying God's law in spite of their feelings!"

Maybe this is my own issue, maybe I'm putting something onto God that isn't there, but I think He would say that they are obeying His law. And that seems more than unfair to me, it seems unjust. But as I said, I do not pretend to know God's mind in this area. I wish He would send me a memo or something... it seems He's always sending memos to Pat Robertson... why not me?

JS said...

I have to say I am fascinated by this blog. It is the most interesting find I have stumbled on in several years.

Anonymous said...

A good snog with a girl would be an action tho, not a thought.

Mmmmmmm... good snog with a girl...

"I wish He would send me a memo or something... it seems He's always sending memos to Pat Robertson... why not me?"

Cause you're supposed to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, silly :-)

Boo

JJ said...

"A good snog with a girl would be an action tho, not a thought."

Oh, I know, I was just saying that different sins begin in different places, and that was the first example I could think of. And personally, I think there is a clear difference between the nature of pedophilia and homosexuality that would make any sin begin in a different place.

"Cause you're supposed to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, silly :-)"

Yes, yes... I know. I just wish there was lesswork... and fear... and trembling...;-)

...snogging girls...hmmm...

...moving on...

JS, thanks!

Anonymous said...

"...snogging girls...hmmm...

...moving on..."

Hey, I'm 30, cute, and single, so any time you want to fly down to the States... ;-)

Boo

JJ said...

"Hey, I'm 30, cute, and single, so any time you want to fly down to the States... ;-)"


Oh my... you saucy minx!

Can I be blamed for giggling like the girl I am when I read that? I suppose, given my present state of mind, I should be grateful you live so far away... but I would love to have a gay Christian female friend up here (not necessarily to date, just to hang with), especially someone so opinionated. I love it when people have opinions and aren't afraid to voice them. Some of my best friends and I disagree on almost everything! Well, that's probably not true, but one of my best friends is Pagan (ie: worships goddesses and the like), another is an athiest... I love discussing differing points of view, as I'm sure you've noticed!

CK said...

JJ,
Can I recommend, with some hesitation, Bernadette J. Brooten's "Love Between Women"? The reason I hesitate is that she concludes Paul was against homosexuality, and since my bias is that homosexuality is not wrong, I don't want to lead you in that direction.

However, her book sheds light on the church's response to female homosexuality, which is an overlooked topic, even in today's world (female sexuality in general is not studied with much regularity or depth). She has a discussion on Clement's view of female marriage (marriages involving sexuality) that you might find interesting.

Re Boston Marriages, I guess my reason for bringing it up was not necessarily to suggest you enter into one, but to demonstrate the absurdity of certain ways of looking at homosexuality. These marriages were not necessarily always between women we'd characterize as lesbians today--some of them were probably feminists who were trying to set up a non-patriarchal structure. However, the relationships were still threatening to Christian orthodoxy, seen as sinful, and imbued with deviance in the eyes of their beholders.

To me, that shows how Christianity has a very narrow view (which you could argue is divinely given, sure) of relationships. And it also sheds light on possible reasons that Paul felt as he did towards female homoeroticism (leaving aside the question of his inspiraiton momentarily).

Quoting Brooten on Clement:

"Woman-woman marriage exemplified for Clement the antithesis to the proper Christian life. He believed that Christ, by means of his exhortations, can cure the unnatural passions of the soul. By engaging in sex for a purpose other than procreation (italics mine), these women violated nature. Since God had created nature, and since Christ could have cured them of their unnatural passions, their marriages insulted both God and Christ. In Clement's view, these women should have been living lives of obedience to Christ and submissiveness to their husbands, assisting God in his creativity by presenting their uteri to be filled with male seed.

Clement's teachings on female homoeroticism thereby promote a particular social order and thereby contribute to the subordination of all women, regardless of their sexual inclinations or behavior.

Brooten, page 336 (U Chicago Press, 1996)

CK said...

Oh, and JJ, though I have a partner, I would invite you over for dinner in a heartbeat if you were in the states.

I think you and Boo should definitely meet :)

CK said...

(To meet my partner, is what I meant in my last post!!)

Anonymous said...

Meeting would be fun. I ain't doin nuthin physical till you get this worked out tho :-)

Boo

JJ said...

CK,

One of the best things about this whole blogging thing has been meeting (well, sort of) people, and hearing what you all have to say. I wish I could meet all of you (and your partners!)

I knew you weren't trying to encourage me to go into a "Boston Marriage", but when I looked it up and saw what it meant it just reminded me this idea I'd already been thinking about, and it was kind of neat to be able to give it a name. From what I've read, most of the Boston Marriages were probably not 'lesbian' per se, but I'll probably continue to use the term, because it is such a convenient short hand. I don't know that much about it (having not known about it until yesterday) but I can't see how would be seen as sinful by the church unless it was assumed there was sex involved. I didn't read of any condemnation of these arrangements, but I admit my 'research' was sort of perfunctory.

Boo,
Don't worry; I have no plans to do anything physical until I get this sorted out (if then!).

Oh, and I thought of a better example than the lust/deceit thing. I hesitate to use it because of the present state of things, but I will anyway.

This example, by the way, is inspired by various Irish television shows I watched while I lived there. I have no concrete evidence that this sort of thing happens (beyond these shows), but I would consider it very unlikely that this sort of thing has never happened.

Consider a priest who has, of course, taken a vow of celibacy. (I do not believe that celibacy should be required for priests, but I believe that once you've taken that vow you should not violate it, at least not without renouncing the vow first) Let's say that he develops feelings for one of his female parishioners, and she for him. They probably never talk about their feelings, but they spend a great deal of time together talking and growing closer to each other. She starts cooking him meals, and he starts doing stuff around her house (this is all very stereotypical, I know... but again, based on TV!). If it weren't for the fact that he is a priest, everyone would probably assume they were a couple, in fact, they would probably think they were a couple. Has he violated his vow of celibacy? Let's say one day they kiss, but never go any further than that... has he violated his vow of celibacy? Let's say she happens to be his housekeeper, and lives in his home (in a separate bedroom of course), and all of the stuff I've mentioned previously happened. Has he violated his vow of celibacy then? When does he violate that vow?

I think this is a far more parallel situation to the Side B argument than the pedophile thing, because this situation involves adults, and no one is being violated. In the case of pedophilia, the 'sin' would probably begin way before anything sexual happened. In the situation with the priest and his parishioner, I personally think that there would have to be some overt sexual behavior before the 'sin' (or the violating of the vow) would begin -- and I suppose it would be up for interpretation whether or not something like kissing would be overtly sexual, or if it would have to be something more than that. From what I have seen and heard, I think the Catholic Church's stance would be the same... the only thing that can violate the vow of celibacy is actual sexual contact. And again, I would say that the same standard should apply to gay people... if celibacy is demanded of us, it should not be that we should be 'more celibate' than others who are called to be celibate.

...anyway... to Everyone,

I am away for the weekend, I'll be back on Sunday night, but I doubt I'll get around to this blog until Monday. As I mentioned before, I am going to a counselor with my mom tomorrow morning, so those of you that pray, I would really appreciate your prayers for that. Thank you all!

Angel said...

Hi JJ, over here from Eric's blog :)

Just wanted to offer my support, for what it's worth, from a straight/married/Christian woman.

Prayers for a good session tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

Personally, I'd call what you describe above a violation of chastity, if not directly of celibacy, but maybe it's cause I'm just so sweet n' innocent.

Boo

Liadan said...

There is a book by Emma Donoghue called "Passions Between Women: British Lesbian Culture 1668-1801" that has a fairly long and involved treatment of the Boston Marriage / romantic friendship type of thing.

If you can find it in a library or a bookstore it's informative while still being fairly easy to read.

Elizabeth said...

I choose brave. ;P

And not to mention well-spoken!

Christinewjc said...

Hello JJ,

It's been a while since I posted here. First, I am sorry that I did not read enough of your blog to realize that you are female. I guess the confusion was because I assumed that most homosexually-oriented females call themselves "lesbian", not "gay." My bad.

Next, I would like to know if you would consider reading this Article and telling me what you think of it. Could it be that this kind of "marketing" by activists have only added to your confusion on this issue?

Thanks,
Christine

Anonymous said...

Christine-

Do you mean the marketing by two gay guys who wrote a book or the marketing by anti-gay people like the author of the article?

Where are my 500 sex partners, dangit? Well, you can keep 499 of them, and the bondage stuff- ick!

Boo

Christinewjc said...

Did you even read the article?

Do you deny that the two gay guys flagrantly dressed up, packaged, unashamedly presented, and scandalously marketed homosexuality in order to sell it as a 'good' thing to the general public? The article CLEARLY shows that they LIED about MANY things in order to do their evil and indecent convincing.

No matter if a person is gay or straight, just the reality of MANY gay activists (not only two)sending such a huge level of deception and delusion into the minds of the public in order to brainwash them through the power of their immoral strategies, should be grossly alarming to us all.

If one claims otherwise, then truly their bias on this issue is glaringly showing.

JJ said...

Christinewjc

I am still reading the article, so I don't have much of a comment on it yet, but as to your statement "just the reality of MANY gay activists (not only two)sending such a huge level of deception and delusion into the minds of the public in order to brainwash them through the power of their immoral strategies, should be grossly alarming to us all."

It should be pointed out that there is deception on either side of this debate. The ex-gay activists are constantly making claims that have no basis -- ie: All gay people have been abused (blatantly not true, and ridiculous to assert), or that Spitzer's study proves that gay people can change, when Spitzer himself says that his study proves no such thing, and the fact is that his study was really poorly executed (I did read it, and even I could point out the faults without needing a 'gay activist' to show them to me. When emotions get high, people (even Christians) resort to all sorts of things, including deception.

Like I said, I haven't finished the articule, so I don't know what you mean about the two gay guys flagrantly dressed up, etc... but I think that it is probably true that neither side is innocent here.

Anonymous said...

Christine-

"Do you deny that the two gay guys flagrantly dressed up, packaged, unashamedly presented, and scandalously marketed homosexuality in order to sell it as a 'good' thing to the general public? The article CLEARLY shows that they LIED about MANY things in order to do their evil and indecent convincing."

I haven't read this book, so I have only the article author's assertions about it to go on, but even assuming everything he accuses these guys of is true...

so what?

Two gay guys wrote a book. In it, they allegedly advocated depceptive tactics in the fight for gay equality. So... The Gays are all bound by what two guys wrote in a book 17 years ago? I seriously doubt the vast majority of gay people have even heard of this book, much less read it, much less agree with what the article claims the book is advocating.

Who are these other "Many" gay activists? In any civil rights movement, you're going to have a radical wing, an accomodationist wing, and everything in between. Is the entire racial equality movement to blame for the fact that Louis Farrakhan is off the deep end?

From the article:

"We can change what people actually think and feel by breaking their current negative associations with our cause and replacing them with positive associations."

Exactly what is wrong with this? Among the goals of the civil rights movement was to break the association in the white mind that every black man is a potential rapist. Was that wrong? The only instance of alleged dishonesty he could cite was to claim that Mathew Shepherd's death wasn't an anti-gay hate crime, which seems odd given that the killers tried the "gay panic" defense. Not to mention that the Wyoming police say it was a hate crime:

"I once thought all crimes were hate crimes," said Cmdr. David O'Malley of the Laramie, Wyo. Police Department. "I have changed my mind after working on the Shepard case because I have never seen a clearer example of hate motivated crime and the negative ramifications it has on our society."

Back to the article:

"In other words, sadomasochists, leather fetishists, cross-dressers, transgenders, and other "peculiar" members of the homosexual community need to keep away from the tent and out of sight while the sales job is under way. Later, once the camel is safely inside, there will be room for all."

Sadomasochists, leather fetishists, cross-dressers, transgenders, and other "peculiar" people are just as prevalent, if not more so, in the straight population as in the gay population.

"In today's polarized climate, however, it seems most of us either condemn homosexuals as evil corrupters of society or we fawn over them as noble victims and cultural heroes. We either accuse them of "choosing" to be "wicked sexual deviants," or we claim – utterly without evidence – that "gayness" is an inborn, genetic trait."

Oh, how nice that he condemns those who "condemn homosexuals as evil." Except... oh wait, the book is called "The Marketing of Evil."

Here's the part you may have trouble grasping: in any community, you've got some people who engage in bad behavior (and I know enough about research methods and the history of gay research in the social sciences to know that the "studies" people like the author always cite claiming that all gays have thousands of partners and molest children and only live to 40 never bear out). In an equality movement, people are going to focus on the positive- the stable couples with children, etc., and not on the negative. There is nothing inherently deceptive about that. Civil rights marchers did not carry huge photos of black convicted murderers in their marches, not because they were trying to "hide" anything, but because the bad behavior of some people in a group is not a legitimate excuse to deny equal rights to the entire group.

Boo

JJ said...

Christinewjc

Okay, I have finished the article and, well... to answer your question, no. I do not think that I have been manipulated by the gay rights movement. I remember being aware that I was gay (although I didn't know that word) and praying and trying to change long before I knew there was such a thing as the gay rights movement... and I have spent most of my life ignoring it, and arguing against it and saying things like that article said.

I would also point out that I don't see much value in that article. I talked about stuff like that a bit when I wrote this post. Looking at how the gay rights movement has begun and is being 'strategized' is no different than it would be if I brought one of my non-Christian friends to a Christian meeting on 'how to evangelize', with topics like 'how to start conversations with non-Christians' or 'how to begin friendships with non-Christians in order to convert them... Friendship Evangelism'. It's different to us, because we believe we have the truth, so our somewhat covert methods seem harmless, but... well, so do these gay rights activists, they think they have the truth.

And Christians aren't the only example I can think of. I am a history buff, and I have read about and researched various aspects of history with great delight and have uncovered some rather shocking thing. Martin Luther King Jr is one of my heroes, I have a poster of him in my house, but do you know that he made sure that the little girls in his parades wore white dresses so that blood would show up better on TV? How's that for manipulation, and how horrible is it that he let these little girls be in his protest when he suspected that there would be violence? Sometimes people use questionable means to achieve noble ends. It doesn't mean that they did the right thing, but it doesn't negate their mission either.

I also want to point out that that article trades in stereotypes, as Boo alluded to. If you were to round up all the 'sexual deviants' (and I use that term rather hesitantly) -- the sado masichists, the leather fetishists, the transvestites... you would find that the vast majority of them were straight. To make it sound like only gay people engage in those behaviors is highly disingenuous, and to make it sound like all gay people engage in them is nothing more than blatant deception.

...anyway, all of that to say that 'no', I do not think that the 'marketing' by activists has confused me. Some might see that as a sign of the extent of my confusion, but well... I don't. I have not really been a part of that movement at all.

Christinewjc said...

JJ stated: "It should be pointed out that there is deception on either side of this debate. The ex-gay activists are constantly making claims that have no basis -- ie: All gay people have been abused (blatantly not true, and ridiculous to assert), or that Spitzer's study proves that gay people can change, when Spitzer himself says that his study proves no such thing, and the fact is that his study was really poorly executed (I did read it, and even I could point out the faults without needing a 'gay activist' to show them to me. When emotions get high, people (even Christians) resort to all sorts of things, including deception."

Can you please cite some examples of ex-gays claiming that ALL gays have been abused? I have done extensive research on several ex-gay ministry sites and I have never read anything of the kind. In fact, one prominent ex-gay ministry advocate states specifically that he was not personally abused. The secular re-orientation website NARTH doesn't make such a claim either. Can you give me some examples?

Mr Spitzer was being honest. Re-orientation therapy isn't 100% successful and I don't know anyone who has claimed otherwise (unless you can cite some examples like I previously requested.)

Just the fact that there are thousands of ex-gays who have successfully ceased the behavior and also successfully left the identity shows that change is possible. Possible for everyone? Probably not. It may have a lot to do with motivation as well as many other factors.

Not all alcoholics successfully leave that behavior either. But because some aren't successful should anyone claim that "change isn't possible" at all for any alcoholic? Of course not.

But this is what the gay activists want the general public to believe. Their tolerance is very one-sided. The moment a formerly gay person leaves that behavior and/or identity, they become the "enemy" of the gay community. What's up with that?

I have personally communicated with at least 4 people (one in person, three via internet and phone) who have successfully left gay behavior and identity. Their individual conversion stories are quite compelling. All four were as a result of being born again in Jesus Christ. I may have taken a few years, but their conversions were complete. Yet, the public is being told that they don't exist. How lame is that?

At the end of your comment you accused Christians of deception. Care to prove that with some examples?

I am glad to read that you don't feel that you were influenced by the deceptive marketing strategies of the gay activists. It is my concern that many children and grandchildren today will not be so lucky as you were.

I was a bit surprised to read your opinion that Christian evangelism is proselytizing. Usually, I only hear that term from non-Christians. I found it curious since you say that you are a Christian.

Christinewjc said...

anonymous,

The article was written by the author of the book, The Marketing of Evil. It was the entire first chapter of the book. The research done is documented as fact. The gay activists were quoted accurately. Do you still not admit to their blatant deception?

anonymous stated: "The only instance of alleged dishonesty he could cite was to claim that Mathew Shepherd's death wasn't an anti-gay hate crime, which seems odd given that the killers tried the "gay panic" defense. Not to mention that the Wyoming police say it was a hate crime:

"I once thought all crimes were hate crimes," said Cmdr. David O'Malley of the Laramie, Wyo. Police Department. "I have changed my mind after working on the Shepard case because I have never seen a clearer example of hate motivated crime and the negative ramifications it has on our society." "

Well, the truth is that it later became public that the true reason the men attacked Shepard was to steal money from him. They used the 'gay panic' defense at the trial because the media got it wrong in the first place and claimed that it was a gay 'hate crime'. The lawyer used this tactic to their advantage (or so they thought it would be) to try and get his clients the best deal. I'm sure that there are articles out there if you do a Google search that will tell the truth of the matter. No matter what the reason was, it was an awful crime! But I see many problems with elevating a perceived 'gay hate crime' above any other kind of murder. There is to great a chance that the law would be abused by gays who might fake a crime against them. It has already happened. There was a lesbian college student who spray painted her car with derogatory terms describing gays, and then claimed that a 'hate crime' was done against her. She finally confessed that she did the damage.

This is the problem I see with 'hate crimes' legislation. Isn't every murder a hate crime, no matter what the reason it was done? I do believe in strengthening existing laws. The campaign to have Jessica's Law (named after Jessica Lunsford who was sexually abused and brutally killed by a formerly convicted pedophile) passed for first time pedophile sex offenders to get 25 years in prison is desperately needed to keep such monsters from abusing and killing more children.

I also think that the 'gay panic' defense law should be changed. When I heard about the transvestite who was stabbed 30 times and killed because he deceived an illegal mexican immigrant into thinking he was a woman, the lawyer used the 'gay panic' defense and the guy got a light sentence. Awful!!

Well, didn't mean to go so far off the topic. But I do think that Mr. Kupelian's book is going to have a huge impact on our culture. Not for the purpose of taking away the rights that gays already have, but it will serve as an argument against gay marriage and any other laws that the majority of the public thinks shouldn't be included in the political victories gays already have gained.

Another example is the current push to criminalize Christian objections to homosexual behavior based on Biblical authority. If gay activists (I'm not claiming all gays feel this way)had their way they would silence Christian free speech (specifically) and go even so far as to criminalize those who would speak about Bible verses that condemn homosexual behavior. It could frighteningly go as far as criminalizing "thought" for disapproval about homosexual behavior and advocacy.

It is already happening in Canada and Sweden. A pastor in Sweden was arrested and jailed for 'hate speech' against homosexuals because he held a sermon (complete with Bible verses) showing why Christians should be against the behavior.

A Canadian professor was fired from his job for speaking out against homosexual activism. This sets a dangerous precedent and needs to be stopped in its tracks. I see that Kupelian's book will help do that here in the U.S.

JJ said...

Christinewjc,

Thanks for being willing to engage in this conversation, by the way.

Examples? Okay, well, most of the books I've read that come from the conservative opinion (the right hand column of this blog) express the opinion that homosexuality is the result of 'childhood trauma' (which is sort of code for abuse). Tony Campolo is an exception, but even he believes that among lesbians, abuse is a major causal factor. Also, there is this article in which Melissa Fryrear, a Christian who works for Focus on the Family (so that is an example of a Christian), says that she has never met a gay person who was not abused... which I realize is not the same thing as saying that all gay people were abused, but if you read the article, that is the conclusion that is drawn, and I believe that was her intent.

As for using Spitzer's study falsley, this happens so often I don't even know where to begin. Again, the books on the right (with the exception of Tony Campolo's book) use Spitzer's study to prove that gay people can change if they really want to. Also, on Dr. Phil recently, there was an ex-gay priest who used the study to say that change was a possibility for anyone who really wanted it. When Dr. Phil challenged him (sayinig that the study was really faulty), he dismissed this saying that 'only gay activists debunk the study', which is also blatantly false (and again, this is an example of a Christian using deception... or maybe he himself is deceived... who knows).

Most reasonable people who are involved in ex-gay ministries do not say that all people can change, or all gay people were abused (I would point out Joe Dallas's book as an example... he is quite reasonable), but just as there are extremists in the gay rights movement, there are extremists in the ex-gay movement.

One of my main problems with the ex-gay movement is the use of phrases like "with the proper motivation", because these phrases put the blame back on the person who went to them for help when their treatments fail (which in the majority of cases -- not all, but most -- they do). I had motivation... motivation to spare. I was afraid I was going to hell for merely existing... do you think I didn't really want to change? I totally believed that God could do it (still do)... I had a friend in highschool who was given 2 weeks to live, and after he was prayed for he came back from the brink of death... I had the faith. When I prayed (and prayed, and prayed and prayed...) to change, and didn't change... and when I asked others to pray for me to change and I still didn't change, I came to the conclusion that either God didn't love me enough or I didn't love God enough... either way, I was doomed. This is my problem with those ministries... they help some people, that's for sure... but not all. And those that aren't helped are left think that they have been abandoned by God... unless they come to the conclusion that there is no God, or at best, that these ministries are deluded.

And as far as refering to evangelism as proselytizing (a word I didn't use, by the way), what I meant was that if I took a non-Christian into a Christian service on evangelism they would feel that they were being manipulated. I'm sure I would have conversations with them like "So, when we talked about my mother's death, you were trying to convert me? You didn't really care about my pain?" Evangelism is important, and I don't necessarily think that these seminars on how to evangelize are bad, but seen from non-Christian eyes, they would be seen as manipulative and deceptive, I'm sure (which is why we don't bring non-Christians to those meetings). And to make the parallel clear, to look at the methods of the gay-rights movement when you aren't a part of it, it can be seen as manipulative and deceptive... but that could only be a matter of perspective. Not to mention the fact that most gay people haven't even thought of or heard of the methods that that article was talking about.

Anonymous said...

Christine-

Just call me Boo. It's easier if another anonymous person comes along.

"The article was written by the author of the book, The Marketing of Evil. It was the entire first chapter of the book. The research done is documented as fact. The gay activists were quoted accurately. Do you still not admit to their blatant deception?"

I was trying to point out that it's a little disengenuous to condemn people who call gay people evil if you've just called gay people evil.

As for the book, I think you're missing my point. I haven't read it, but I'll assume everything the article claims about the authors is true. Ok. And...? The gay rights movement is set in stone by what two guys wrote in a book 17 years ago? The article did not provide any examples of of dishonest tactics used by gay rights activists. He cited the Dr. Laura boycott. Ok, what's wrong with boycotts? They're a time honored tradition. Right-wing groups boycott Disney all the time for supporting gay rights. They may be huffy because the Dr. Laura boycott actually worked, but, well, too bad.

He cites 20/20 claiming the Shepherd murder was motivated by money. Well, you'll pardon me if I have a hard time taking the word of a couple of convicted murderers who change their story long after the fact. Not to mention that a simple mugging turning into a crucifixion for no particular reason really doesn't track. Other than that, he had no actual evidence that gay rights activists have used this book as any sort of a "Bible."

As far as hate crimes, whether or not there are crimes that can be bundled into a specific category of appearing to be motivated by bias against race, sexual orientation, religion, or whatever and known as "hate crimes" is a separate issue from whether or not these crimes should recieve stiffer punishments than the same crime with a different motivation. Personally, I don't think they should, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

The problem with what's happened in Sweden and Canada comes from them not having as strong free speech protections as we've got here in the US. Any attempt to criminalize anti-gay speech is going to run smack into the First Amendment. The right wing groups know this; it's a scare tactic. They do regulate speech sometimes in schools, but dealing with minors is a special case, and it's kinda hard to learn if the person sitting next to you keeps whispering that you've got to "change" or you'll go to hell.

There probably are some gay activists who would like to criminalize anti-gay speech. There is also a movement known as Christian Reconstructionism that would like to establish the Mosaic Code as the law of the land (or at least some of it, I'm not sure what their position on poly-blend fabrics is) and make teaching all other religions illegal and kill all gay people. Should I judge you as a professing Christian because of them? Should I quit my church because some people in some other church are whackos?

"I have personally communicated with at least 4 people (one in person, three via internet and phone) who have successfully left gay behavior and identity. Their individual conversion stories are quite compelling. All four were as a result of being born again in Jesus Christ. I may have taken a few years, but their conversions were complete. Yet, the public is being told that they don't exist. How lame is that?"

There are two basic problems with the ex-gay movement. One is their nebulous and ever-shifting definition of "change." There is no objective evidence that anyone has ever changed from a homosexual orientation to a heterosexual orientation (although there's some evidence that women's sexual than men's). There are people who have stopped having sex with members of their own sex. That's not changing orientation, that's celibacy. All you need to do if you don't want to have sex is... not have sex. Personally, I think the real question is why should anyone want to change their orientation (after all, girls are pretty and soft and smell nice and have considerably less body hair than guys and can communicate in more than just grunts) but that's just me. Gay people can stop having sex, but they're still gay as ever a gay there was. Gay people can even marry someone of the opposite sex, but...

True story- about 7 years ago I was trying to find the original South Park cartoon online, but I couldn't find it, so I was surfing around, and South Park sites led me to anti-South Park sites, which led me to conservative Christian sites, which led me to this ex-gay site. I looked at it for a while thinking something was odd, and it finally hit me that the logo strongly resembled a bent-over rear. So I emailed them to tell them about it. I got a series of very angry emails in ALL CAPS from this guy named Stephen Black who runs an ex-gay ministry in I think Oklahoma city accusing me of being a gay guy trolling for sex. He refused to believe that I was a Christian virgin, and I don't think I ever got around to telling him I'm not a guy. Eventually it stopped. Several months later, I got an IM out of the blue (I had checked back at the site once in the interim: they changed the logo.) saying "You want to have sex with lots of guys?"

It was Stephen Black.

He's married.

Second and far more serious problem (except to people like Black's wife), and most of the reason gay people react so negatively towards ex-gays who speak publically, is that virtually all ex-gays who speak publically are affiliated with right-wing groups that are working to deny us equal rights. If someone wants to try and change their sexual orientation, then I think they're being silly, but as long as they aren't trying to deny me my rights it's none of my business.

Boo

Christinewjc said...

JJ said: "Thanks for being willing to engage in this conversation, by the way."

You're welcome. Thank you for not labeling me as a 'bigot' or 'homophobic' on this issue.

I have been in several similar conversations between people with different ideologies in the past at my blog and another blog. However, we soon discovered that several of my Christian friends were shamelessly 'talked about behind our backs' on a third blog where many gays held discussions disparaging us. They tried to appear one way on our two Christian blogs, but then showed their true colors on a third blog. It was truly disheartening and unfortunate.

The term 'trauma' can mean many things. In some cases, it can mean physical abuse. Others, sexual abuse. Others, lack of contact and love of a mother or father. Others, a result of the loss of a mother or father at a young age. Using some celebrity examples, it is known that Rosie O'Donnell lost her mom at a very young age. Former lesbian lover of Ellen DeGeneres (Anne Heche) was sexually abused by her father who was a bi-sexual and died from AIDS.

I have met with a man who admitted to me in a face to face interview that he had entered into homosexual behavior in order to 'punish' his father for his (then perceived) rigid religious beliefs. I have communicated over the internet and via phone with a man who was once a promiscuous homosexual with over 100 sexual partners. He also got involved with drugs and was on the fast track to destroying himself. The reason? His father never showed love, affection, approval or offered him any appropriate physical touch when he was a child. I have been in touch (via blogging, email and phone) with a woman who was caught up in the lesbian life for 20 years! She has been delivered from the sexual acts, the identity and also the alcohol abuse that she was involved in. She told me the reason that this happened was the lack of a mother's love. So yes, it does OFTEN (not saying always!) have to do with trauma; especially trauma that has occurred in a person's childhood.

All three of my examples had been released from homosexual behavior and identity through coming to the saving grace of Jesus Christ when they were born again. For some, it didn't happen overnight. But through the sanctification process after conversion, they were all able to successfully leave their former lives and each have told me that they would (and wouldn't ever want to) never go back.

I would imagine that release from gay behavior and identity through a secular (psychological) method such as NARTH might require motivation.

I am not claiming that you are not motivated or couldn't achieve this as well. Perhaps God is allowing this 'thorn in the side' for a specific purpose. Your blog, for example. You are probably giving a lot of hope and encouragement through it. The fact that you are celebate as you deal with your current 'confusion' (just using your words, not judging you)shows that restraint is possible even if total release from the temptation and identity has not happened yet.

It is interesting for me to note that you have named your blogspot, "Christian, Gay and Confused," however, the URL in the address bar says, "Gay and Christian blogspot." This shows your struggle. Which is more important? What comes first? Your Christian identity or gay identity?

I see that your Christian identity will win out in the end, JJ. If you didn't care what Jesus thought of your current struggle, you would have already given in to the temptation. It isn't a sin to be tempted. It's a sin when we give in to it. I admire you for your tenacity, JJ. You are a good role model for others who may be Christian and struggling with this issue, too. I can just imagine the Lord smiling down upon you for each day you resist such temptation.

I was so glad to hear that your prayer for your friend was answered! Answered prayer certainly is an example of God's mercy and grace upon us. He cares about what we care about.

The answered prayer that I have seen in my own life has greatly strengthened my own faith over the years. I am not the same person I was when I was first born again (thank God!).

Our secular world of reason and knowledge demands "seeing before believing," yet the Bible tells us to "believe and then you will see." So true!

I can't say why God has chosen not to answer your prayer for deliverance yet. Remember that Paul asked for that "thorn" to be removed from him his entire life. The "thorn" had a purpose that perhaps only the Lord knows. Even though Paul's thorn wasn't removed by God, he led a life of faith and dedication to Jesus. He truly received the praise of "well done, my good and faithful servant."

My friend struggled in the lesbian lifestyle for 20 years before she was delivered! I pray that your deliverance will happen sooner. But no matter what, He is with you through it all, JJ. You can trust in His promises.

JJ said: "Not to mention the fact that most gay people haven't even thought of or heard of the methods that that article was talking about."

Of course, whether one is gay or straight, the general public probably has no idea how they have been manipulated in their thinking on this and other issues. They haven't heard or thought about the manipulation that the article (and entire book) shows was done to market an issue that this particular group wanted people to be brainwashed into. The book covers other issues (like abortion) where the same kind of techniques were used to manipulate the thinking of the public.

Speaking of abortion, here's a comment about that chapter:

""David covers everything from the gay rights movement to the ACLU atheist agenda to big-dollar medical establishments promoting abortion as "a woman's right to choose." Even the very slogan "a woman's right to choose" generated laughter when it was coined. It was part of a cold and calculated marketing scheme."

Can you imagine it? Laughter over the murder of a baby in the womb? It's disgusting and horrendous! Grieves the hearts of millions of Americans and I'm sure it also grieves the heart God.

Since the liberal left owns the media, the only place that you will find discussion of this book is on the net and Fox News Channel. The liberal left who use these techniques to hoodwink and dump the average American do not want people to read this book! Christians who already adhere to Biblical morals and values haven't been swayed by such techniques. But the general public has.

It's just like any other issue that the mainstream media does not want the public to discuss. They squelch any voice out there that doesn't agree with their ideology. They also demonize anyone who disagree with their ideology. That is why the entire gay right agenda was framed as it was. To get people to believe that those who do not agree that 'gay behavior is good' are bigoted, homophobic and discriminating against them. There are things in life that we DO need to discriminate about. Tolerance does not mean acceptance, yet this is what the gay activists want to achieve. TOTAL acceptance of what THEY preach with TOTAL suppression of what a pastor might preach on homosexual sin as it is recorded in God's Word, the Bible. This is a twisting around of moral values, a staunch goal to end the free speech efforts of those who oppose their views, and a denial of the right of people to freedom of association (e.g. boy scouts constantly attacked by gay activists even though the Supreme Court ruled in the scouts favor!!). This is why Mr. Kupelian titled his book "Marketing of Evil: How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised as Freedom." Can you at least admit (after reading that first chapter) that the political gains afforded by gay people over the past 30 years has now gone to far and is now being used to turn the tables on Biblc-believing Christians in order to silence them into submission on this issue?

JJ said...

Christinewjc

About the name of my blog vs. the URL, I tried to have "Christian" first in the URL, but every address I tried that had "Christian" first was already taken, so I went with the next obvious choice.

About "childhood trauma", of course it can mean several things, but when I read it in the books I've read it is almost always code for sexual abuse (if they are talking about poor relationships with parents, they usually say "a breakdown in the relationship with the same sex parent"). And the fact is, that not all gay people experienced childhood trauma of any kind (emotional, physical, sexual) at all... in fact, any study I've read says the numbers are the same among gay people and straight people. And the thing about those theories is that apparantly 1 in 4 women were sexually abused as children (I've read that statistic many times, and honestly, it bears out in my life with the friends I've had). The numbers are lower among men, and yet every statistic you will encounter will tell you that there are more gay men out there than gay women. These theories just to seem to hold up under much scrutiny (at least not under my scrutiny). The two close gay friends I have (I've met others, but only two of them would I say are close) did not experience sexual or physical abuse, and both had ideal relationships with their parents. If you want to read another example of a Christian gay person who had a wonderful, abuse-free childhood, you can read this testimony.

And just to step back a minute, I know many straight people who lost parents, had abscent or distant parents, were physically/sexually/emotionally abused as children (in other words, suffered Childhood Trauma), and yet they are as straight as they come. Maybe some people become gay as a result, but not all, in fact, not most. These theories seem to be nothing more than guesses.

And just to touch on the media thing, I guess I don't see it as "brainwashing"... for so long (and it still continues to a certain degree) gay people have been seen as predators who recruit and/or abuse children, who live promiscuous lifestyles, who are Godless heathens, etc... it is not "brainwashing" to convince people that these things are not true, that gay people are merely people like everyone else who have the same hopes and dreams, who may be their neighbours, their colleagues, their children, etc... As to the free speeh thing, I guess I can't really speak to that, because everyone keeps saying that Canada (my country!) doesn't have strong free speeh (which strikes me as odd, because during the time I lived in the States I felt a little stiffled in what opinions I could and could not express). From what I've read of the laws in Canada, the laws are being written quite carefully to protect "religious speech" (not only Christian, but Muslim, Judaism, and other religions that believe homosexual behaviour is a sin). I hadn't heard about that case in with the professor.

Oh, another thing... I did see a friend brought back from the brink of death through the power of prayer... but I've also seen a friend die after being prayed for by my entire church (and we all fully believed that God would do it... it was such a shock when this friend died). God does not work the same way all the time... even most of the time.

Your question: "Can you at least admit (after reading that first chapter) that the political gains afforded by gay people over the past 30 years has now gone to far and is now being used to turn the tables on Biblc-believing Christians in order to silence them into submission on this issue?"

See, I just don't think so. I think there are extremists in the gay rights movement who may want to silence Christians (just like there are extremists in Christendom who commit horrible crimes against gay people). Not all gay people, or gay activists, think this way. And I don't think that either of our countries will be able to stop people of faith from believing what they believe and preaching it in their churches. Religious freedom is a fundamental right (which is why organizations like the KKK are allowed to exist, recruit, and preach their hate filled sermons, even though we all know that it is a horrible organization). I don't think anyone will be able to stop it. If you step outside of yourself just for a moment, the things that gay rights activists are asking for are not that extreme. I know it is hard to see things from an oposing perspective, but for just a moment imagine that you are denied the right to marry someone you love (who you don't believe it is a sin to love)... It is not extreme to ask for that right. Gay rights activists are not asking for the right to force everyone to agree with them, to come to their weddings, to officiate their weddings, to give them presents, to like them, etc... they are asking for something that is really kind of basic. You may disagree, and that's fine, you may believe that their love is invalid, or deviant, or whatever, but understand that they do not agree with you on that point, and therefore in their mind what they are asking for is to their minds a fundamental human right.

And a quick comment on the Matthew Shepherd case... perhaps his attackers were after his money, but you don't beat someone to within an inch of their life, and string them up and leave them for dead if you just want their money. It doesn't make sense. Hate and fear got involved in that somehow. But even if it didn't (which I can't fathom), there are plenty of other cases where gay people have been beaten, tortured and killed for no other reason than that they were gay. You can take Matthew Shepherd away and there are still plenty of cases of gay bashings to point at.

Anonymous said...

JJ-

I think we're saying pretty much the same thing. You seem to be able to make it more digestible tho.

Irony is I'm actually fairly meek in person.

Plus I'm posting from work so I'm kinda rushed for time cause I really shouldn't be online so much...

So, if I come across too harsh at times Christine or anybody, s'cuse me please. I don't think you're a bigot or a homophobe either Christine. (The article author, on the other hand...)

Boo

Angel said...

Christine, give me a break. If everyone "became" gay because of a trauma, then heterosexuals would be in the minority in this country.

You can be a Christian AND gay, or Christian AND a supporter of gay rights. They are not mutually exclusive.

Anonymous said...

Angel- I think what the ex-gay movement, or many groups in them, claim is that there are certain factors which may be biological which can predispose someone to being gay if bad things happen to them in their lives, like not bonding with dad or abuse or whatever. Of course, they back this up with... pretty much nothing.

"The term 'trauma' can mean many things. In some cases, it can mean physical abuse. Others, sexual abuse. Others, lack of contact and love of a mother or father. Others, a result of the loss of a mother or father at a young age. Using some celebrity examples, it is known that Rosie O'Donnell lost her mom at a very young age. Former lesbian lover of Ellen DeGeneres (Anne Heche) was sexually abused by her father who was a bi-sexual and died from AIDS."

There are two problems with your argument, Christine. One is what's known as the "post-hoc, ergo propter-hoc" (I think that's how you spell it) fallacy. I remember reading after one of those bad hurricanes from a while back a spokesperson for the Santeria religion claiming the hurricane occured because they had been temporarily banned from sacrificing goats to appease the sea-spirit. They indeed were temporarily banned from animal sacrifices until they won their appeal. The hurricane did occur. Obviously, one caused the other, right? Is there actual evidence from the gay population as a whole (not simply that self-selected portion that goes to ex-gay groups) that we have a significantly higher rate of being abused or otherwised traumatized than str8s?

Second problem is that "trauma" can be a fairly loose term, especially if you start from the proposition that there MUST be trauma in someone's life to explain something about them. Pretty much everyone has stuff in their past that could be characterized as traumatic if you wanted to do so.

"I have met with a man who admitted to me in a face to face interview that he had entered into homosexual behavior in order to 'punish' his father for his (then perceived) rigid religious beliefs. I have communicated over the internet and via phone with a man who was once a promiscuous homosexual with over 100 sexual partners. He also got involved with drugs and was on the fast track to destroying himself. The reason? His father never showed love, affection, approval or offered him any appropriate physical touch when he was a child. I have been in touch (via blogging, email and phone) with a woman who was caught up in the lesbian life for 20 years! She has been delivered from the sexual acts, the identity and also the alcohol abuse that she was involved in. She told me the reason that this happened was the lack of a mother's love. So yes, it does OFTEN (not saying always!) have to do with trauma; especially trauma that has occurred in a person's childhood."

Again, post-hoc, ergo propter-hoc. I have heard from several ex-ex-gays who claim that while involved in ex-gay groups they were pressured to say they had been abused. Some even came to believe it and accused their parents of abusing them and ripped apart their families until they finally got out of the groups and got their heads together again.

What is "the lesbian life?" I am a lesbian, so apparently "the lesbian life" must be that of a chaste Christian woman who goes to church, rarely drinks and not to excess, doesn't go to bars, has never been abused, loves playing with her nieces and goddaughter, spends a lot of time volunteering, and is otherwise a heck of an all-around gal.

(No JJ, I didn't mean that to sound like a personal ad :-)

Boo

Willie Hewes said...

OK, here's a rebellious little thought for you all--

As far as I've seen, almost all ex-gays claim, including the examples given by chistenejwc, claim they were made gay by some kind of trauma in their childhood (not meant to be code, I've seen various explanations). They went gay in response to this trauma, and got over being gay when they learned how to deal with it in a different way.

What if that's actually true? What if they weren't "naturally gay", but actually turned by the abuse, unlike, of course, the gay people who do not have a history of abuse, and who often have far less of the guilt and shame issues that are so common in ex-gays-when-they-were-still-gay.

If that is so, if people can actually change from being straight to being gay because of childhood abuse (obviously this is very rare as most victims of abuse are straight), then it is no surprise that a very small number of these people find "freedom from homosexuality" after (Christian) therapy.

If that is the case, then it is not a matter of motivation or faith that determines whether anyone can become ex-gay, but a matter of the "cause" of their being gay, whether it's biological or circumstantial.

If this theory is allowed, it also means that "the gay movement" can stop being so stressed about ex-gays and allow them to exist, because their existence does not invalidate the "born gay" theory.

You know, maybe not all people are the same. Maybe not all gays are gay the same way, or for the same reason.

Just thinking out loud here...

PS: JJ, you rule. Been good catching up with your blog.

Anonymous said...

"If this theory is allowed, it also means that "the gay movement" can stop being so stressed about ex-gays and allow them to exist, because their existence does not invalidate the "born gay" theory."

I don't think it's so much a question of "allowing" people to exist. If someone wants to try and convert from gay to straight, then as I said personally I think it's kinda silly, but go right ahead. If someone wants to use people who claim to have converted from gay to straight as pawns to deny gay people equal rights, then that's a problem. About 99% of the animosity directed towards the ex-gay movement stems from the political repression and the fact that "change" does not have an actual definition. Back before these groups became the tools of groups like Focus on the Family, nobody cared about them.

Plus if it turns out that people who think they became gay due to sexual abuse are wrong, then ex-gay therapy has the potential to damage them or at the very least make it harder for them to deal with their real issues.

Boo

Anonymous said...

PS

Oh yeah, and the forcing kids into unregulated "mental health" facilities staffed by unlicensed "therapists" who dispense medication without proper training and impose isolation and weird clothing restrictions. That is also the source of some of the animosity.

Boo