Friday, May 11, 2007

How do you answer?

I just got home from work and read this e-mail from my cousin Jo:

Dear Matt,

I had a close friend today send me an email asking for prayers. She has a young friend, a girl who is 20, who apparently is in love with a guy who thinks he is gay. The girl and my friend both say that God doesn't make people gay; that it is a choice. I feel like banging my head on a wall, because how do you deal with people like that? The guy is dealing with enough as he tries to figure out his sexual orientation. And of course he isn't "saved," a term that I am coming to dislike very much by people in other faiths who use it. So not only does he struggle with being gay, he struggles with God, because people tell him that God doesn't make gay people!

Would you ask your readers how they deal with this? I know it is impossible to change the minds of those in faith who see God as totally against gay people. It frustrates me to no end. How can they see a judgmental and unloving God towards one group of people? How do you and other gay people come to grips with your belief in God, and what on earth can be said to those people who insist that being gay is a choice?

I just want to cry, because I can't believe that people will tell someone that being gay is a choice, so God doesn't love them!

People really have no clue, do they? What about 'walk a mile in my shoes?" They just don't believe it. I think we need a national "adopt a gay for a day" day, just so people will realize what it is like to come to terms with your identity, and to try to live in a world filled with unacceptance.

Love you much, and Scott, too!

Jo


So, I'm putting the question out there: How would you answer this? I already replied to Jo with how I would usually answer, but the more opinions the better. (And I know, it can be tempting to respond with sarcasm, ridicule and put-downs, but I think I know my dear readers well enough to know you'll honestly try to give her some good advice).

Thanks, everyone.

11 comments:

CondoBlogger said...

There is no arguing with fantatics.

If I was your Cousin (who I assume is a believer), I would reply to the email asking for prayers thusly:

Dear Friend,

The object of your young friend's desire must be a very courageous young man. It's never easy to take the road less traveled by, or even just to detour onto it. Harder still to be as honest as this young man apparently has been.

If you feel the need to pray on his behalf please pray that he continues to have the strength and courage to live his life with continued courage and honesty. Pray also for those who love him that they will see and know the good in him regardless of who he chooses to love.

Have a nice day,
-Matt's Cousin

I think you're crazy just like me said...

I would be very riled as well... I would be more up front and ask "Who are you to judge? God loves us ALL"

But that is just me.

johnmichael said...

I struggle with this issue all the time. In case you haven't guessed, I'm very religious and I'm gay.

I read the Bible daily and the main message I get from it is that God loves his children, all His children. His main message was to accept His son Jesus as a savior.

I've come to understand that we are created in His image. I have come to understand that God doesn't make mistakes in His creations.

I don't think being gay is a choice. Really, why would a person choose such a hard road to walk down. Take it from me, I'm not out of the closet. It's a hard road because I can't tell my family who I am. It isn't a choice.

But I love God and I know He loves me. I've received so many blessings from Him. And He has shown His mercy on me so many times. This to me shows that He loves me.

I just have to learn to love myself, as I am, as He created me.

JohnMichael (Open A Window)

Michael said...

The issue of choice is, of course, completely ridiculous. Does this young man remember a day when he woke up and said "Think I'll be gay!" Conversely, do any straight people remember the day they chose their orientation?

That said, you might recommend that this couple, or the young man in particular, find another church. Not all Christian denominations feel the same way about gay people. There are many who embrace the differences in God's children and even have ordained gay and lesbian ministers. The most important thing for this young man to realize is that it's possible to be both a gay man and a good Christian. He just needs to find the environment that will let him be both those things.

Lewis said...

Such a myriad of confusing emotions....on many sides. The choice factor is not an issue....it usually stops when I ask a straight person what day they decided to be straight. Dead silence.

The girl in love with the potentially gay guy: It's the story of many girls in many a gay guy's life...including my own. Had I been honest enough with myself at that point in my life, I would have been able to say to themn "You're welcome to be my friend, and I wish you would -- but I am gay." Instead, I led them on and on through the years -- possibly with some false hope of spending life with them. Horribly unfair.

Dishonesty in any fashion leads to heartache, heartbreak, depression, anxiety, suicide, and many other issues.

My one former pew sitter to another, be honest...be real....be the best you that God designed you to be. And, for god's sake, go find a church that you can be at home in....I've got a long list if you want to contact me.

Atari_Age said...

I'm tired of trying to reason with people who seem to just know being gay is a choice.

It's time to call these people out.

Just say it flat out to those that say it's a choice:

"If you say being gay is a choice, I call you a big fat liar. If you have ears to hear you should be well aware now of endless stories of gay people making it very clear that this is who they were from the time they were young.

"Yet you choose to not hear this and say 'no, I think it is a choice'.

"You yourself are not gay, so you have no clue. Have you talked to a bunch of gay people and asked them to recount their realizations of being gay? No? Then you don't know anything at all.

"And yet you continue to say - as fact - men loving men is a choice which can, in turn, be unchosen. And because the truth is all around you, easily accessible for all to see, but you choose to say the opposite of the truth - then you're lying.

"And you can continue to lie to yourself if you'd like. But I refuse to let you spread the lies to others. I'm calling you out.

"And find someone who's not gay to fall in love with. It will make life easier all around."


Ok - sorry for the rant. I couldn't help it. :)

David said...

I'm with Lewis on this one. I once said simply, "I've been gay as long as you've been straight." It wasn't the most accurate or best statement, but it conveyed what I meant and she got it. One thing that I would avoid is an aggressive confrontation. That just hardens a person's position and they become unwilling to consider another point of view.

But that girl in love should move on anyways. That's the short answer.

jo said...

I want to thank everyone for their comments. You're all the greatest for sharing your lives and your stories. Thank you!

The Thunderbird said...

Tell Jo to tell her friend that if she believes that God does not make gay people, then she neither knows nor recognizes the full and true face of the great “I Am”. Yes, tough love this is, but it is to the very heart and nature of God. God has his hand in a lot of covenants with a lot of different groups. It is folly (and pathologically narcissistic) for each group to think they are the only group God loves. As a matter of fact, it is as much a folly for Earth to thing that it is the center of the universe. Mankind is but a spec of dust and a momentary flicker in the overall scheme of God’s creation. This I know to be true.

Tell Jo to tell her friend that if she believes that God does not make gay people, then she neither knows nor recognizes the full and true face of the great “I Am”. Yes, tough love this is, but it is to the very heart and nature of God. God has his hand in a lot of covenants with a lot of different groups. It is folly (and pathologically narcissistic) for each group to think they are the only group God loves. As a matter of fact, it is as much a folly for Earth to thing that it is the center of the universe. Mankind is but a spec of dust and a momentary flicker in the overall scheme of God’s creation. This I know to be true.

As usual, Lewis is on the money with his reflections. The fruits of dishonesty, deception and lies are ALWAYS bitter in the end. ALWAYS (just ask Bush and Cheney). God made each individual a unique creation that serves a unique purpose in creation. It is a crime to not strive to become the divine version of who God created you to be. Sign me: A diamond still very much in rough.

LSL said...

I can never really get engaged in these types of conversations (would go ballistic) and think it's good that others can. I've enjoyed reading everyone else's thoughts.

Paul said...

WOW. This is a topic that deserves a logical, empathetic response. But unfortunately, I've yet to really see one.

- - - -

Some/many things JUST ARE.

And someone can either choose to accept them, or not.

I always say, "God made me short; I'm just glad that he didn't make me bald, too." (And not that I have anything against short, bald people.)

For me, it's important to live with the things you can't change, and to be thankful for the gifts you've been given.

If anyone is struggling with the God and gay issues, I'd encourage them to go read the many Mormon/SSA blogs. There's some incredible testimonies -- both from gay guys that are married and from gay guys that found they could not remain married.

I just pray they find peace.
.