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« "Ex-Gays" Change Their Minds | Main | CALL TO ACTION-New Holiday Protest Against UCC Ad Censorship »

December 06, 2004

Comments

Jeremy Marks

Just wanted to thank you for your comments and mentioning your grounds for disagreement with my article/viewpoint. In fact, I have revised that article a couple of times since first writing it, but my own thinking contiues to develop and I appreciate your thoughts on the matter. It is not very practical to keep re-writing former material because life moves on, but I shall bear in mind your comments should I have time to revise the article at some future date. Best wishes

Jeremy Marks, Courage

Darryl

Wow guys!
I think I'm way out of my depth here but anyway, I get that most places I go.

But I am wondering about the boxes, or perhaps they are wineskins, new or old that our love gets slotted into. Maybe God or whatever it is, get drowned just as easily in new wine as old?

Whether we are struggling to revamp old orthodoxies or build new ones, they are actually or incipiently, orthodoxies.

I wonder whether Jesus could have been telling a truth and I mean actually telling the truth when he told us that we had to be like children, most of whom are not fundamentalists, revisionists or even integrationists.

Maybe Jesus was wrong not to identify with a particular set of boxes, flowcharts, schemas or mind-maps. Maybe he was mistaken to link himself with god and link the average Joe in the street with himself?

I admit that I'm probably an intellectual sloth looking for ways to dip out of the intellectual rigour of a particular model. But I wonder is there not some benefit to looking at the everyday lives and loves of ordinary people and finding in them the infinite diversity of love/god itself?

Give them a chance to understand what you are talking about and the average Joe in the street will tell you that the love they experience in their lives can't be bounded by God's so-called will, eros, agape, homophilia, heterophilia or whatever time-bound, culture-bound, language-bound concept you want to invent.

It seems to me that in many ways Jesus has set a seemingly impossible task. The church in its many forms and its successors have largely shyed away from that task. He was right in suggesting that the law and the law makers would always be with us, if not in one form then another.

Mark, maybe the task is to learn a lesson from Jesus' life in his total identification with the poor the lame and the outcasts. Did Jesus heal people because they needed to be made whole or did he identify with them and their pain because others defined them as not whole? Was he able to forgive sin because he was God or because he understood the sin only existed because the lawmakers/phlosophers/theologians coined a concept and believed it therefore represented reality?

I look forward to the day when the love and inclusiveness of God and the fundamental respect of the Universe is reflected in the love, respect and inclusiveness of people who say they are our spiritual leaders..

Not only did Jesus say we should become as children. When Jesus spoke about children and letting them come to him, he said another hard thing. He said it would be better that people who harmed children and kept them from God's Kingdom had a millstone put around their neck and be thrown into the sea. We should remember that a sizeable number of those children were gay/queer/other and that Jesus's message was inclusive of them and was uttered for the benefit of us all.

The question of including gay people in the church is not just about accommodating our laws, philosphical standpoints, dogmas, scriptural interpretations etc., it is about daring to be like God. And for a Jesus person his contribution seems to me to be that the closest we can get to God is to identify with him and along with him, with those we define as the lowest of the low.

Thanks again for this blog and the opportunity to comment. I'm learning heaps, honest.

Darryl

Jeremy
My very great apologies for getting your name wrong in my previous post.

Darryl

Joe Perez

Darryl: I really like your formulation "The question of including gay people in the church is not *just* about accommodating our laws, philosphical standpoints, dogmas, scriptural interpretations etc., it is about daring to be like God."

I put the emphasis on "just," because I don't want to lose the significance of using philosophy, dogma, scriptural interpretations, etc. as valuable tools for good spiritual work. But the being like God part is the more important element by far.

Michael HH

Hi there.

My biggest question regarding gays and the church is - Why do religious people/organizations seem to find sex and companionship so very important to the foundations of their faith? How did the issue or non-issue of homosexuality become so fundamental to the church. If peoples attention was truly on their enlightenment and increasing faith in God and loving others then my belief is that they would really have little time to judge such un important events such as who their neighbor was choosing to live with or who their son was choosing to have physical contact with. By demonstrating that this issue is so pivotal to the very unity of the Church, I think that the modern church has demonstrated that its focus is not on the spirit or faith but with circumstance and physicality. Their years of choosing not to adress homosexual union (except for an outright ban) in the hope that a. it would go away/resolve on its own, or b. that their silence would fool the public into believing that the church's focus WAS on more important issues has fallen away to reveal that the organised church really IS obsessed, base and physical and that the heterosexuals and homosexuals within said organisations are deeply insecure about their own relationships and completedness as sovereign singular human beings.
I believe that the future will challenge us to harmonize the male and the female within each of ourselves, and then as an effect, bring this harmony to our society, modern groups, families and to the way we treat the earth we live on. Strangely enough, the 'difficult' gay people will be able to lead in this effort. The dominance of 'male mind' - of the physical, of definitions, hierarchy and of laws will errode to reveal a necessary human compassion, a human family of diversity that will struggle together to provide as best it can, a loving passage for all of us through what might be difficult times ahead...
Obsession now with silly rules and definitions of marrige is going to look pretty trite to a God who will return to see how we spent our energy to reduce suffering and increase loving acceptance for all while we are here on earth...

PS. The church was never God and it needs to stop trying to act like one.

Joe Perez

Michael,

Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I enjoyed your remarks and found much to agree with. Here's a much too short reply on a very complex subject, especially a few issues for you to consider.

I think it's entirely appropriate for spiritual traditions to place a high amount of attention on sex and gender issues, relationships, and marriage. I find no fault on conventional religion on that score. What I see is a developmental hierarchy in the ways that people understand sex and gender, and the things that you are objecting to about religion's high degree of attention on homosexuality are attitudes and beliefs that arise from low stages of development.

Harmonizing the female and male within, as you propose, is also a perfectly appropriate resonse at a certain level of development; however, I don't think it's a universal goal for all, nor is it the highest goal (see David Deida's writings on sex/gender for more about the stages of relationship and higher stages of consciousness around sex/gender).

John McClaskey

I have been a devout Roman Catholic for these 56 years of my life. I have also been a homosexual for as many of those 56 years that I can remember. I have read the concepts of abuse, lack of fatherly or motherly love, and an array of other reasons that many elude to being the root to homosexuality. Or, at least contribute to homosexuality. I cannot say that I understand any of them. Because I was not abused, my parents were only very loving devout Catholics and were wonderful to me and my siblings. I know of no reason for my homosexual desires other than within me and me only. While I do not understand why these are my feelings, I blame no one for the way I feel or live my life. Further, I make no excuses for my feelings no more than a man would for his feelings for a woman. I believe it is time that all people understand and face homosexuality as they do any other issue we deal with today. I write this now because I reject any idea that being homosexual is a learned, chosen, or persuaded condition. Should you consider today how homosexuals are treated by our Government, Society and Church, just ask yourself why would any person choose this type of lifestyle.
Sincerely,
John A. McClaskey Jr.

God

I am NOT gay. So deal with it.

joe perez

NOT gay? Well then since God is All that proves you're not really God!

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