|Date: Fri, 21 Mar 1997 00:17:29 -0500
From: Steve C
To: Steve S
Subject: the divide
On Thu, 20 Mar 1997, Steve Schalchlin wrote:
And I ask the question. Is it a sin for
me to have gay sex?
Well, although not in dialogue with you Steve, I've been here before
and the answer is still the same.
What difference does it make what *I* think?
My thinking it *is* or *isn't* won't change any reality of morality one
little bit. What matters is what *you* think.
the views reading the very best writers *from both sides* and draw
your own conclusions. Perhaps you feel that you have done that and
are comfortable with your conclusions. I have no quarrel with that
and don't intend to *get into one*. :-)
Just so I don't leave you feeling I'm completely
evasive I'll answer this question - "Does Steve C. think that gay sex is
sinful for Steve C.?" The answer to that question is yes. (If
it wasn't there wouldn't *be* a divide to bridge.)
Steve S. said: [snip]
The bigoted remark I make refers to any theology or belief system which
insists that homosexuality is sinful since sinful implies a separation
from God, the most horrible accusation of all.
(NOTE: this does not "snip" well - Steve S. is NOT saying he made a
bigoted remark. It refers to, what he believes is a bigoted remark
by religious conservatives.)
I think we may be able to come to some common agreement
but I need to understand first if you believe that all human beings start
from a point, or condition, of sinfulness.
Steve S. had written in earlier email:
because, underneath it all, they still believe all the same old
myths. They want it both ways.
Steve C. had responded:
That's a little nebulous. Can you expand on it so we can discuss it
specifically what "myths"?
Steve S. wrote:
The myth that gay sex performed by gay people is a sin.
Of course, again, if no one held that belief there would be no "divide".
That *is* the divide that Mitzi
Henderson spoke about bridging recognizing that it exists and that inspite
of it, there are caring people on both sides who need to connect.
I often get this question and it certainly
seems to be *the* watershed issue that creates the "divide". I also
have been disappointed with any representation I've seen on the web of
just *why* a conservative Christian holds these views. For that reason
I plan to do an apologetic for my beliefs in that area. As I've said
to Maggie, I don't hold these views because I'm *mean* or I *like to*,
they just seem TO ME to be where the preponderance of the evidence points.
(It would be *no skin off my nose* if it were
otherwise and many believe it *is* otherwise. Again, I have no quarrel
with them I just don't understand it the same way they do.)
Steve C. had written in earlier email:
That's one of the "myths" that's a myth, Steve. I've often said
that we don't choose our feelings (sexual orientation). Emotions
just "are" and they are neither morally right or wrong in themselves.
So, no - being gay (feeling attracted to the same gender and/or having
a gay "identity") is NOT, IMO a moral issue. Morals are about behaviour
Steve S. responded:
Ah, and here's where the real debate begins, my friend. This is the
old "love the sinner, hate the sin" crap that allows "Christians" to believe
that they are not bigoted when they assault young gay people with their
own anti-gay theology.
"'love the sinner, hate the sin' crap", "Anti-gay theology." (I think
I hear my "rhetoric detector" sounding. :-) )
I don't like that phrase "love the sinner,
hate the sin" either.
One of the articles that b-a linked to, written by a conservative Christian
(cC), Thomas Schmidt talked about exactly that phrase and suggested it
be banned from cC's language. (cC is not to be *AT ALL* confused with
the Christian Coalition.)
As far as "Anti-gay theology" - well, that's
kind of a good rallying cry to stir the pro-gay troops but IMO, it isn't
a very careful way to approach the subject of theology.
Steve S. wrote: [snip]
Let me ask you this: Can you tell a young gay person that he can live
a full, sexually active (monogamous) life and still be completely Christian?
I'd need to know what you mean by "completely Christian" before I'd
attempt to answer your question.
Thanks for the insightful comments and observations,
Steve. (I'm sure glad this one's done and that
"God's love" is next. :-) )