|A Sinful Theology||email steve|
Letters from Steve S to Steve C and Maggie
A Sinful Theology
Four Letters from Steve
C to Steve S
|Date: Thu, 20 Mar 1997
To: Steve C
From: Steve S
Steve C., I appreciate your tone very much. Clearly, you are not out to provoke or intimidate with your opinions and I appreciate that you took my more provocative statements with grace and patience.
I have to say that I truly despise these "ex-gay" groups and I more than despise the harm and fear they thrust into young impressionably hearts and minds. However, having said that, I will also confess that in chatrooms, when confronted by gay people who honestly feel and believe that they are doing wrong in the sight of God -- even tho I strongly disagree, and even though I attempt to show them with scripture that their beliefs are misguided -- if they still are filled with guilt and shame, I have told them about people like you and about groups which purport to help people change their sexuality.
In reading your comments about how you changed to hetero, I can only state that, since you make such a point about masculinity and fatherhood and these kinds of needs that you were not gay at all. You might have indulged in gay sex in order to fulfill some kind of psychological problem with your parental unit, but that's not being gay. That's just having gay sex.
That sounds like a person with problems trying to work them out. It makes me very happy that you worked them out or you might have broken some trusting truly gay man's heart along the way. I've seen this before. If gay sex is a sin, then it's only sin if you aren't gay. I believe that it's a sin for me to have straight sex since I am not a hetero.
I had a most loving father, a Baptist preacher and never felt for one moment any loss of a relationship with him or any other man. I was never molested and my three brothers are totally hetero. I can look back and see that I was gay from the time I remember being able to think.
I told my own story at the request of people who were interested. I *was* a gay man. I described how I experienced my own sexuality as homosexual, my life during that time, and my journey to heterosexuality. I do not believe I made general comments about other people's homosexuality, ("regarding gays") as the above statement implies I have.Then I take back anything that implied that you might have said so. And I ask the question. Is it a sin for me to have gay sex?
I believe your story. I believe you liked gay sex and that you worked through it and now like straight sex. Call it post-gay or call it "finding yourself" or anything else you want to. I've stated my opinion on your "gayness."But this illustrates that even those who try to not be prejudiced toward gays are inherently bigoted"Bigoted" is a pretty heavy word. I take it that you don't use it casually either. What I'm wondering is am I *accepted* without bias for who I am as ex-gay (post-gay)? Will you defend my right to my experience and sexuality as post-gay as long as I don't insist on it for you?
Would you defend my right to speak about it as freely as *you ask for that right?*If we cannot speak freely, then we are wasting our time.
Steve, the thing I find hard about that statement is its clear refusal to accept *my journey and sexuality.* Your sexuality is not tacit rejection of mine, so why does mine ("ex-gay", "post-gay", or whatever) seem to be an affront ("inherently bigoted") to yours?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.
Also, with all due respect, I can't help but notice you speak for "gays" (plural). Is it safe to assume that *all gays* internalize your experience of "prejudice" the same way?I speak only for myself.
The myth that gay sex performed by gay people is a sin.because, underneath it all, they still believe all the same old myths. They want it both ways.That's a little nebulous. Can you expand on it so we can discuss it - specifically what "myths"?
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.And it starts with the interpretation of the Bible that being gay is a "sin."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 - *actions*.
I expect my understanding (or, from your viewpoint *lack of understanding* :-) ) will be problematic. That's fine - they are my beliefs and I'm not asking you to believe them too. I extend to you the freedom to hold different views and only ask the same consideration.You may believe whatever you wish, Steve. I speak strongly on this subject because I was torn to pieces for too long and didn't speak out. As continue to run into young gay kids who are seriously suicidal because of what they are being taught in church, I find my patience coming up short.
I see though, you feel my beliefs are "evil". At least we agree there is such a thing at least in some sense tangable enough to warrent a word to describe "it". That's important as it demonstrates that there really *are* such things as moral qualities intrinsic to at least some beliefs and actions. We just don't agree on *which ones* they are.Everything in my own theology begins and ends with the way we treat other people and with the effect our beliefs have on others. Of course I believe in evil and sin. I just don't think it has to do with who I fall in love with. What's evil is the theology that has a young gay kid who thinks he is separated from Christ because of his homosexuality, and who is holding a gun to his head since he cannot change.
I close respectful of you as a person including how you experience your sexuality and ask for the same consideration.Steve, I have all the respect in the world for your sexuality, whatever it might be. I'm so happy you found your true self. Few people find even that much.
My experience is that I spent over ten years begging God to change me. I agreed with him in the Holy Spirit. I had laying of hands. I lived a celibate life and prayed continuously for this change. After ten years, I was not more heterosexual than I had been when I started.
The effect of this "betrayal by Jesus" led me into devout atheism and a total rejection of the Word. It took years and years before I would even talk about God. The circle back to faith has been long and arduous. How I wished someone had told me a the beginning that I didn't have to "change" and that I could live a full, loving rich spiritual life and still be gay.
I've been "married" to a man for 12 years now. My life is guided by forces from above by a God who seems to love me exactly as I am.
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?
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