Tag Archives: lgbt issues

More musings on choosing friends.

[Content Note:  Homophobia, problematic and difficult friendships.]

Just my sense of humor, too.
Just my sense of humor, too.

I have to admit that Sunday’s post about ending friendships was not a topic I chose out of thin air.  It was primarily inspired by the day last week when I was looking through my blog visitor statistics and discovered that someone had found my blog through the search phrase “being gay and having a homophobic friend.”  My immediate reaction to reading that was to think of the old adage:  With friends like that, who needs enemies?

Rather then immediately responding to that query and the subject of dealing with homophobic friends, I decided to write Sunday’s post and talk about the liberation I found when I realized I’m allowed to choose my friends and even terminate current friendships if I feel it’s the best choice for my life.  After all, when dealing with a friend who is homophobic and making my life miserable because of hir homophobia, having the option to walk away altogether is a powerful thing.  Whether a person is virulently homophobic by spouting hateful slurs or merely inundating me with subtle microagressions like meeting every mention of my love life with cold and disapproving silence, that thing can get wearisome.  And it’s good to know that I don’t have to put up with it for the sake of some idealistic notion about “friendship” and “friends are forever1.”

Mind you, that doesn’t  mean that I can or should immediately kick every person out of my life.  Sometimes, there really are things about the friendship that make it worth sticking it out.  (But I get to decide whether that’s really the case.)  Sometimes, other factors require me to keep that person in my life.  Perhaps a given “friend” is really a relative that I simply will not be able to avoid or cut off all communication with without making family functions horribly awkward.  Maybe we’re on the same sporting team or  involved in the same project and I’m unwilling to give that up in order to avoid them2.  There are other reasons as well.

But knowing that I ultimately have the option to terminate a friendship with someone who cannot accept me for who I am — even if I decide that option is not a good choice in a particular situation — allows me to think of my many options of how to deal with such a person.

1As an aside, while searching for a graphic to include in Sunday’s post, I was disturbed by the sheer volume of images that promoted this “friendship is forever/never let go of a friend if you’re a real friend” thinking.

2I will note, however, that in such a scenario, I still have the power to limit my interactions with that person.  I may have to be cordial at team or group functions, but I don’t have to go beyond that.  Nor do I have to pretend we’re bosom buddies.  This is where it’s helpful to keep in mind that there are not just friends, but also acquaintances.

An interesting article about a retreat for LGBT Muslims

As a white, middle class gay man from a Christian background1, it’s easy to forget what other LGBT people who face further problems due to other bases for marginalization they may face.  It was with this in mind that I read a Washington Post article about the experiences of people attending a Pennsylvania retreat for LGBT Muslims.

The article brought home the whole concept of intersectionality and why it’s important when they quoted one attended:

“On the one hand, I was bullied at school for being a Muslim,” said Alam. “On the other, I was worried my parents and other Muslims wouldn’t accept me for being gay.”

When there are multiple prejudice-based reasons for people to hate or mistreat you, the number of people who will accept you for all of who you are shrinks even more.  That’s something that’s easy to forget for some of us.  (We mustn’t forget, no matter how easy it is.)

Of course, it’s also easy for many of us who have fought with the dominant religious culture in our society — Christianity — over our worth as human beings who happen to be part of a sexual minority to forget that there are those LGBT people among us who are having those same exact fights within their own minority religions.  How well do we support them in that fight, I wonder.  (Not very well, I suspect.)

I highly encourage everyone to go read the Post article.  It gives a brief description of what the retreat meant to and has done for a handful of those who attended.  I really have nothing else to say, other than, “Listen to them.”

(Related:  I also highly recommend watching A Jihad for Love, a documentary about the lives and struggles of LGBT Muslims worldwide.)

1While it’s true that I’m now part of a religious minority, I think that the fact that I started life and spend over two decades as a part of the mainstream family of religions her in the U.S. still grants me a certain amount of privilege.

Spotlighting a Couple of BTG Posts

I really don’t have much to say today.  This is fine because it gives me the chance to point out a couple of posts written by Wendy over at the Bridging the Gap blog.  The first post is where she gives a brief summary and a few thoughtst about about the GSCR.  As I’ve blogged a bit about my own experiences at the retreat, I thought some readers might be able to hear someone else’s thoughts.  I particularly liked the sampling of quotes Wendy included from various attendees toward the bottom of her post.

The other post I want to draw readers’ attention to is one in which Wendy talks about a video showing a discussion between Rob Bell and Andrew Wilson in which the topic of the morality of same sex sexual relationships comes up.  Wendy offers her thoughts on how she might have responded to Wilson’s comments and questions, had she been in Bell’s position.  Her detailed and thoughtful analysis of some of the underlying questions — questions that don’t always have to do with human sexuality no less — that must be answered, as their answers will greatly influence how someone approaches the whole topic.

Wendy, being who she is, ties it back to Generous Spaciousness:

My point is not to argue for Rob Bell’s position. My point is that there are robust theological reflections that help us to understand why we can come to such different perspectives on matters such as our theology and ethics of sexuality. My point is to try to demonstrate that generous spaciousness is not some weak, compromise that is simply motivated by keeping up with culture and trying to make God relevant in a gay-positive context. Rather, generous spaciousness costs us our pride, it costs us the luxury of arrogant certainty. Generous spaciousness costs us our security in our exegesis, our hermeneutics, our interpretations. (especially when such exegesis and hermeneutics result in prohibitions for others that do not personally affect ourselves) Generous spaciousness forces us to find our security in the wild, untamable revealing of Jesus Christ to us through the Holy Spirit, through the Scriptures, through tradition (including contemporary tradition), through the academic disciplines, and through our experiences. And the truth is that this revelation is not in our control – it is in God’s control. This demands our humility, our openness, our fearlessness, our willing to risk following – even when it seems God is doing a new thing.

I absolutely love it when Wendy — or anyone else — talks about humility and then goes on to practice it.  I find her willingness to let go of determining what is right for someone else’s life and leave that in God’s hands refreshing and powerful.  I also think it takes no small amount of faith, personally.

If you haven’t done so already, go read Wendy’s posts.  The whole blog, if you have the time.

Asking to be treated like everyone else is demanding “special rights”: Immigration edition

Same Sex CouplesRight now, Congress is working on legislation for immigration reform.  Some people have had this “radical” idea that such reform should also speak to the fact that in some parts of our country, same-sex couples can legally get married.  After all, our laws already take people’s marriage to different-sex couples into account when making immigration decisions (e.g. we generally let an immigrant who is married to a citizen stay in the country), so it only makes sense to give married same-sex couples the same kind of consideration.

Unless you’re someone like Eugene Delgaudio, who had this to say about the idea in a recent fundraising email he sent on behalf of the Public Advocate of the United States:

You see, the Homosexual Immigration Act would give homosexuals a preferred immigration status and lead to the defacto nationalization of homosexual “marriage.”

Pay close attention to that statement.  According to people like Eugene Delgaudio, acknowledging that same-sex couples who went through the same process to gain the same legal recognition of their relationship as many different-sex couples and therefore deserve the same legal considerations that those different-sex couples receive — and often take for granted — is giving them a “preferred immigration status.”

Placing people on equal legal ground now constitutes “privileging” them?  Is there any evidence that would be more convincing than this that people like Eugene Delgaudio really have no idea what words “privilege” and “preferential status” mean?

I also think that it’s telling that he mentions this “granting of preferred immigration status” before the idea of “nationalizing homosexual ‘marriage.'”  It suggests that for all the anti-gay rhetoric about “protecting marriage” and “making sure every child has a mother and father,” the real motivation behind fighting marriage equality is that it still gives them ways to treat LGBT people as second-class citizens.  Stop and think about it.  If they deny that there can be such a thing as same sex marriage, they can continue to claim that treating same-sex couples with the same dignity and respect is perfectly okay.  Breaking up same-sex couples through deportation is okay because they were never a “real” couple.

That is an act of aggression against same-sex couples.  It’s an act of bigotry.  It’s an act of bigotry that is enabled by every person who opposes marriage equality, especially those who refuse to acknowledge how the lack of marriage equality negatively impacts same-sex couples.


Soon, I’ll be Canada-bound

Tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be headed to a Christian retreat center in Canada.  There, I will spend the weekend hanging out with other people at the Generous Spaciousness Conference Retreat.  Here’s a brief description of the retreat:

A safe place to be
authentic, to share, to worship, to learn and to grow! All are welcome
to enter this experience of Christian community with generous hearts, a
listening and humble posture, to experience God’s outrageous love and

The retreat is being organized by New Direction Ministries of Canada.  I’m looking forward to it for a number of reasons, including the fact that attending means I finally get to meet Wendy Gritter, with whom I have conversed online for two (three? four?  I’ve lost track!) years now.  Wendy is one of the driving forces behind the concept of Generous Spaciousness and has done a great deal of blogging about it.  Her thoughts on the topic are great.  I’m not sure if this particular description was written by her, but I think it accurately reflects her vision of Generous Spaciousness:

What is Generous Spaciousness? GS is a relational posture
that acknowledges the reality of diverse perspectives on the question
of faithful discipleship for same-sex oriented people. These differences
have polarized the church, hindered our public witness as the Body of
Christ, and alienated LGBT people from the church.

This posture prioritizes nurturing a safe and encouraging environment for gender and sexual minorities to explore and grow in faith in Jesus Christ,
entrusting each individual to the leading of the Holy Spirit while
encouraging them to be a part of a Christ-centered community.

Generous Spaciousness seeks to build bridges, to find unity in our diversity, and to pursue peace.

I’ll admit that earlier this week, I was very skeptical about the concept of Generous Spaciousness, or at least whether it could ever be successfully applied.  To be honest, between reading material that called me and other LGBT people to tell our stories and educate Christians in spite of the fact that many Christians are poor listeners at best and actually hostile to the listening process at best and being faced with some Christians who are unwilling to let go of their overpowering need to “answer the morality question,” I found myself disillusioned.

But then I remembered that people like Wendy have demonstrated both an eagerness to listen and engage with LGBT people and have even been willing to set aside the “morality question” or at least accept it as a disputable matter which Christians can disagree on in good faith, allowing them to focus on hospitality and fellowship.  As I considered these things the past couple days, my hopes for finding Generous Spaciousness and the retreat to be something worthwhile have returned.

I’ll blog about how it went and my thoughts sometime after I get back.

I am not a theological problem to be solved

[Content Note:  Disappearing LGBT Humanity, Religious Supremacy.]

Earlier this week, I posted a few thoughts about a paper by Nigel Chapman about same-sex sexual relationships and evangelical Christianity.  Since then, Mr. Chapman and I have had a chance to discuss things.  (Our conversation starts at comment #5.)  I eventually summarized my central point thus:

insistence by heterosexual Christians that they must first answer
whether LGBT lives and relationships are moral before they engage in
acts of love toward and relationship with LGBT people is an aggressive
act of power against and privileging heterosexual Christians over LGBT
Christians. As long as heterosexual Christians insist on reserving that
power and privilege for themselves, they are actively causing harm
toward LGBT people. I call this sin and would ask that all evangelical
Christians who believe that harming LGBT people and exercising power
over them to be sinful to call all who engage in this particular act of
aggression and pride to repentance.

To me, Mr. Chapman’s paper feeds into the evangelical desire to privilege their sense of entitlement to be the moral arbiters of LGBT people’s lives over their duty to be good and loving neighbors to LGBT people.  After all, rather than saying — as I have called him to do — “Hey, the morality of what LGBT people do is not your primary concern.  The morality of how you treat them is,” he’s saying, “Okay, we can worry about how you treat LGBT people after we figure out whether what they do is moral.”

I also want to draw attention to is Mr. Chapman’s own description of his paper:

So my paper isn’t advocacy, and is only indirectly concerned with listening, rather, it’s theological problem-solving…

This is the other problem with playing into the idea that Christians need to answer the “morality question” about LGBT relationships first:  It’s a line of thinking that dehumanizes LGBT people and our lives into a theological problem to be solved.  Not humans first and foremost to be loved and related to.  An “issue” to talk about and work out.

The sad thing is, I get a clear sense that Mr. Chapman ultimately wants to help LGBT people, make things better for us, and make evangelical Christianity more welcoming of us.  But he’s so deeply entrenched in the systems of privilege and power that are still part and parcel of his religious subculture that he’s unable or unwilling to see that his methods of trying to help actually play into those systems and allow them to continue to other and marginalize the people he wants to help.  You cannot help LGBT people and still treat us as a theological problem to solve or even allow others to continue treating us as such.

I hope that Mr. Chapman comes to realize this some day.

Welcome to the Conversation…Forty Years Late

Dear heterosexual evangelical Christian (or any other heterosexual person) who is looking to join in the LGBT conversation,

I’d like to welcome you to the conversation.  It’s a conversation that’s quite important to me as a gay man who has Christian friends, gay friends, trans* friends, and friends who belong to more than one of those camps.  It’s a conversation that is absolutely necessary for all of us to live peacefully and share this world we live in together, so the more people who join in with that aim, the better.

Having said that, I would like to take this time to remind you that this is not a new conversation, even though you may be joining it for the first time.  This conversation is older than me, having been started more than forty years ago.  This conversation was long established when I joined it over seventeen years ago.  In all that time, much has been said, re-said, examined, discussed, deconstructed, reconstructed, and rehashed.  In short, this conversation has a lot of history behind it.

As a newcomer to this conversation, you would do well to familiarize yourself with some of that history, as it will help you get up to speed when it comes to participating.  After all, this isn’t some small discussion about unimportant matters.  This is a discussion about real people, real relationships, and real struggles they face.  And as one of the people this conversation is directly about, I would appreciate it if you’d treat it with the seriousness it deserves.

As a newcomer to this conversation, you’re going to have to deal with a lot of new ideas.  You’re bound to have a lot of questions that are new to you.  The thing I’d like you to remember, however, is that these are not new ideas to those of us who have been involved in this conversation for a while.  We asked those same questions ourselves years — even decades — ago.  Since then we’ve answered them, explored those answers, criticized those answers, responded to those criticisms, modified our answers, and in some cases even come up with new answers.  Similarly, a lot of those ideas that you may run across or come up with have been  presented, hashed out, rehashed, debated, debunked, shored up, and in some turned into a deceased equestrian that should not be beaten ever again.

So please understand that when you bring up certain ideas or ask certain questions, no matter how novel they may seem to you, they are tiresome old topics — and often dead ends — that some of us don’t really care to spend any more time on.  In case of questions, many of us will try to direct you to recorded instances — via books, blogs, and other sources — where those questions have already been addressed.  In the case of ideas, we might do likewise (some ideas have been proven so thoroughly invalid and even fraudulent so many times that some of us are exasperated that some people out there can still be unaware of just how off-base those particular ideas are).  When we do so, please look up the information we tell you about (or find it yourself via Google) and answer your own questions and engage in at least a first-round critique of your own ideas that way.

The one thing I would absolutely ask that you not do is pretend like you’re the first person who came up with the question or idea — and certainly don’t bask in your self-perceived genius for coming up with it.  New ideas and new questions do come up from time to time, and you may be someone who does come up with something new at some point.  But remember, you’re joining a four decade conversation that has involved many different minds — some of which spent huge swaths of their lives thinking about these things.  The odds really aren’t in your favor at this point, so I’d ask that you show a bit more humility.

Another good reason why I’d recommend humility is that you and evangelical Christians and institutions are joining this conversation very late in its development.  While you may be a young adult and therefore have valid reasons for coming so late to the conversation, your religions and the institutions that represent it do not.  Many of those people and institutions have patently refused to join in the conversation — and certainly would not listen to LGBT voices at all — in the past.  That’s a big point of irritation for me and some other LGBT people.  Especially when you ask us to deal with questions and ideas that we’ve already discussed to the point of exhaustion.  And while you may be young enough that this represents your first opportunity to engage in this conversation, please bear in mind that your forebears’ choice has contributed to your current level of ignorance.  Had they joined the conversation when they were first invited, they’d be able to fill you in on much of that backstory and background information you’re missing.  The fact that they didn’t and you’re now left in ignorance isn’t necessarily your fault.  It’s just not mine either.  However, I would appreciate it if you’d take the lion’s share of the responsibility for fixing it.

Also, bear in mind that part of the reason that your forebears chose not to engage in this conversation before is because it did not affect them.  Like you, many of them were heterosexual so LGBT issues, LGBT lives, and the choices we LGBT people were faced with were things they didn’t have to think about.  Unlike me and those like me, they had the luxury to just ignore it all and go on merrily with their own lives.  In reality, you still have that choice.  This conversation does not affect you the way it does me, and you could fairly easily make ignore it all and move on.  I don’t get that choice.  The things being discussed in this conversation impact my life every single day.

Now, understand, I’m glad you’re choosing to get involved, rather than ignore the whole conversation.  It suggests to me that you and others like you are realizing that completely ignoring the real struggles and lives of your fellow humans is not cool and that you want to be more compassionate and concerned.  That’s a good thing.  But I’d encourage you to follow that thinking further and understand why compassion might call you to acknowledge how you handle yourself in this conversation, especially considering how much catching up you have to do and how it ultimately affects you and I in different, unequal ways.

Thank you.  And thank you again for joining in the conversation, even at this point.


Musings on “Torn”: On LGBT people telling their stories.

[Content Note:  Subtle homophobia and derailing tactics.]

I want to continue to comment on Justin Lee’s suggestions on moving forward in the “Gays and Christianity” discussion that he lays out in his book, “Torn:  Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays v.s Christians Debate.”  A little over a week ago, I looked at Justin’s call for Christians to show more grace, especially in the face of disagreement.  I thought that suggestion was spot on and that people needed to simply understand just what showing grace might look like when dealing with LGBT people (not to mention subtle ways Christians can be ungraceful).  I find the suggestion I want to cover this week more problematic.

We must educate Christians.

The short answer to this is “No.”  The slightly longer answer — and the answer that might cause some readers to stop reading an dismiss everything else to say — is “Fuck that shit!”  My purpose for existing is not to educate other people about the issues that are near and dear to my heart.  To put it bluntly, if they want to understand the issues that are near and dear to my hear — and if they care about me, they want to do exactly that — they need to educate themselves.  Full stop.

Truth be told, there are dozens of resources out there for people to learn about LGBT issues, the things that LGBT people struggle with — both collectively and individually — that these Christians in need of education already have access to.  There are hundreds of LGBT bloggers (in fact, Fred Clarke has created a still-growing list of LGBT bloggers who blog from a Christian perspective, and the count on that list is up over 100 alone.)  Collectively, those bloggers share personal stories, commentary on political issues that affect LGBT people, cover the latest acts of both ex-gay ministries and anti-gay organizations and how they are harming the LGBT community, and dozens of other topics.  All any Christian needs to do to become educated on these matters is open their favorite web browser and submit a few choice words and phrases to their favorite search engine.  They will learn all kinds of things.

And yet, Christians aren’t doing this.  This suggests to me that they don’t want to be (further) educated on these subjects.  So I see no point in wasting a lot of time and energy into doing something for people that those people don’t want — or at least aren’t willing to put any effort into themselves.

Or perhaps some Christians really do want to be educated, but on their terms.  Sparky talked about this phenomenon quite succinctly in his post, “Is There a Duty to Educate?“:

When you ask us to educate you and get mad
when we say no, you are not lost and alone in the wilderness, hopelessly
ignorant without any help you find your way out. You are already wallowing
in all the information you need – you just can’t be bother
to take the effort to read it when you can make one of us spoon feed

If Christians want to be educated — and they should — then they need to quit expecting LBGT people to show up at their churches, behave in a certain way, and act as if it’s some great honor to be invited to come talk to the nice Christian folks.  They can instead come to those places that we LGBT people find some measure of safety and therefore are already sharing our stories there.  They can reach out to us with a humble and honest desire to listen to our stories.

And while they’re at it, they can listen to what we actually say rather than listening just long enough to reconstruct our stories to fit their preferred narrative.  (For more thoughts on that phenomenon, see all Shakesville posts labeled “Validity Prism.”)  Then can fight the impulse to stop listening or “lighten the mood” when the education (or story telling process) causes them discomfort.

So a big portion of my problem with Justin’s advice is not that I don’t think LGBT people should be telling our stories[1] or engaging with Christians.  For the most part, I take issue with the apparent implication that we haven’t already been doing this.  We have.  The Christians who still need to be “educated” simply aren’t listening, either due to lack of desire on their part or an insistence that we do everything on their terms.

[1]  Though I will note that this is a decision that every LGBT person has to make for themselves and I think many LGBT people have valid reasons not to do this.  Sharing one’s story requires a great deal of vulnerability and often has the effect of painting a bright red target on oneself for those who want to take shots, attack, and denigrate.  Expecting any particular LGBT person to do that is pretty demanding, so I do take issue with Justin phrasing this suggestion as an unqualified “must.”

A heterosexual evangelical Christian writes about LGBT matters and a friend (foolishly) asks for my thoughts.

I was going to write and publish another post containing my musings on Justin Lee’s book, “Torn:  Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays vs. Christians Debate.”  However, blogging buddy Matt Stone dropped me a note on Facebook inviting me to offer a critique of Nigel Chapman’s paper, “Gay Sex for Evangelicals:  Why gay sex is biblically condemned, and how this understanding solves the Evangelical impasse over same-sex attraction.”  It’s basically a paper written by a heterosexual evangelical Christian to other heterosexual evangelical Christians (and possibly gay evangelical Christians who take a view that’s commonly called  Side B among gay Christians and those who interact with (or discuss) them.  He breaks the paper down into two parts:

  1. A section in which he describes the current state of affairs of how LGBT Christians generally experience life in their evangelical churches and explains why this should be a great concern for pastors and all evangelical Christians everywhere.
  2. A section in which he explores places where the Bible condemns same sex sexual activity in an attempt to understand why it does so and how that applies to same sex sexual activity in general and even sexual orientation.

Overall, I really don’t have much to say on the actual content of either of those sections or the arguments he makes.  I think they’re pretty spot on, and reflect what has already been said on the subject (I’ll come back to that statement in a bit).  However, I do have a few thoughts on the paper, it’s presentation, and the general culture which inspired it.  And I will share those thoughts roughly and as-is now.

  1. Oh look, another heterosexual man has decided that he has something to say about LGBT issues.  Am I really supposed to be excited by this?  I mean, heterosexual men’s voices aren’t exactly underrepresented in this conversation.
  2. The above thought is somewhat (but only somewhat) mitigated by the fact that Chapman encourages fellow heterosexual Christians to actually listen to LGBT people and even offers quotes from LGBT youth in the first part of his paper.  All the same, just once, I’d like one of these heterosexual men to do exactly that and then stop without adding his own commentary.
  3. All of his arguments in part two look great to me.  Then again, they looked great to me the dozens of other times I’ve read them when they were put forward by other people, often LGBT Christians who struggled with these questions for years.
  4. I’m deeply bothered by the fact that Chapman doesn’t seem to acknowledge that he’s covering new ground and that his arguments have long been put forth by others, namely LGBT Christians.  (See my first point in this list.)
  5. When those same arguments were put forward for years by LGBT people, they were summarily dismissed by many heterosexual evangelical Christians on the grounds that LGBT Christians were “just trying to rationalize their sin.”
  6. The fact that Chapman is presenting these arguments and claims that they are (now) “unassailable” is contemptible in my book as a result.  The fact that a heterosexual man is now presenting these arguments does not magically make them “objective” whereas they were biased back when LGBT Christians were presenting them.  The fact that Chapman doesn’t address this issue and charge his fellow Christians for dismissing “unassailable” arguments simply because they were originally offered up by LGBT Christians is something I believe he needs to repent of.
  7. I really wish he would have stopped after the first part.  Not because I disagree with his conclusions in the second part (in fact, I’m inclined to agree with them), but because it continues to play into the contemptible notion that it’s up to heterosexual evangelical Christians to determine the moral way for LGBT people to live their lives and that it’s the most important question to the whole “Christian theology about LGBT people and the issues they face.”  It would be nice if for once, heterosexual evangelical Christians would let LGBT people worry about what the most moral course for their lives would be and instead focus on things they are responsible for and can change:  Like the hate or lack of love (because let’s face it, there’s a lot of wiggle room between hating someone and being loving toward them) that LGBT people feel around them and in their churches.  That’s something that they should be able to answer without delving into questions about the morality of same-sex sexual activity.  And that’s a fact that gets ignored every time someone like Chapman insists on answering questions about the morality of same-sex sexual activity every time he talks about how Christians should treat LGBT people and the issues they face.

“Deeply negative implications” aren’t motivating enough?

Recently, there’s been a bit of a brouhaha between Exodus International’s Alan Chambers and others in the ex-gay industry due to Chambers’s rejection and criticisms of reparative therapy.  Recently, NARTH president Joseph Nicolosi chimed in, correcting some of Chambers’s statements and criticizing the Exodus International president.

I want to focus on the last paragraph of Nicolosi’s email:

If homosexual acts truly constitute sin, as you say you believe, then people deserve to be able to avail themselves of all reasonable therapeutic tools to diminish unwanted SSA and explore their OSA potential. You are discouraging them from having such tools, and also as a Christian, you are reassuring them that they are OK whether they “fall” or not, which gives people very little reason to struggle against a condition which has very deeply negative implications for both themselves and for our culture.

It’s unclear to me what Nicolosi means when he suggests that Alan Chambers is “telling them [gay people] that they are OK whether they ‘fall’ or not.”  Some, such as Dave Rattigan, have interpretted “OK” to mean “Will go to heaven.”  I can certainly see where one might interpret the statement that way, though I’m not convinced it’s the only explanation.  Nicolosi could also, for example, be suggesting that he still champions the belief that even being attracted to members of the same sex is sinful and problematic, a belief that has been discarded by most.  Or he could simply be suggesting that Chambers should be encouraging gay people to feel miserable about themselves and are full of self-loathing.  Quite frankly, I don’t find either of my alternate interpretations any less detestable than Rattigan’s, but I think it’s important to include them.

I think what’s more interesting is Nicolosi’s suggestion that gay people need some sort of external impetus — be it the threat of hellfire or people encouraging them to view themselves with self-loathing, to change.  And while Nicolosi thinks that without such impetus, people won’t be motivated to change and avoid the “very deeply negative implications for bot themselves and for our culture.”  To me, that begs a qustion though:  why aren’t those “deeply negative implications” motivation enough?

If the condition of being gay negatively impacts people, then that should be sufficient reason for them to seek change.  And yet, they’re not.  Nicolosi is himself admitting that they’re not and won’t.  I can only assume that Nicolosi simply doesn’t think people are adults and lack the maturity to do the things in what’s their best interests or that Nicolosi is being dishonest — with others and possibly even himself — about these supposedly “deeply negative implications” he mentions.