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« Conversations with angels and toasters | Main | A prayer for Archbishop Prendergast »

December 14, 2006

Comments

Richard

So, am I correct in saying that you think that homosexual acts are sinful?

Huw Richardson

Hi Richard, thanks for the question.

You would be correct if you said I (Huw, that is) had sex in ways that were harmful and sinful in that they misused men: not relating to their full personhood, nor dealing with them as anything other than sex toys - as a result I too, lost my personhood and became that. I can say that for the one time I had sex with a woman as well.

You would be correct in saying that my Church teaches that. But even so, I am aware of clergy who avoid legalism in applying the Church's teaching, opting instead to apply what we (Orthodox) refer to as "economy". Orthodoxy hangs on the application of economy: God's grace doesn't come to everyone the same way. They have gay and lesbian couples in their churches.

I am only clear that sex - qua sex - wasn't working for me. That's a claim I can only make in the first person and in the past tense. That's why I stopped. I'm working out my salvation "in fear and trembling" and don't care to enforce that experience on others, whom I trust to God.

So I can't answer your question beyond saying given my history, they would be dangerous for me. My experience has not given me a healthy - what we would call "salvific" - model. But at the same time I've seen them out there, standing next to me in Church. So there is hope.

joe perez

Huw: One of the things I like best about your post is the humility with which you treat tough questions about identity and its meaning. You told the deacon, "I don't know." You found it difficult to answer Richard's question with a sound bite.

As I write early on in my book "Soulfully Gay": "Homosexuality is a mystery." I have come to believe that shedding ourselves of the illusion of certainty--which is often a protective defense mechanism, whether those certainties are of religious dogmas or the conventional wisdom of LGBT culture--is a necessary step to entering into the fullness of truth. Resting in our unknowing, which mystics tell us is essential for the discovery of our inner divinity, is only possible with an open heart and mind.

Thanks for sharing your journey...

Craig Hickman

I get the "sex as addiction" reality. But chastity is another matter.

Do you believe that sex can be an integral part of spirituality?

Huw Richardson

Joe - thank you for that reply. Humility is something I'm learning slowly. My former ECUSA pastor will tell you that "resting in our unknowing" used to drive me up a wall - especially when other people did it. It's becoming a way of life.

Hi Craig - this I can answer in a soundbite: Yes. Not sure yet how. But yes.

joe perez

My soundbite on chastity: I've often had to learn to make chastity a part of my spiritual practice of accepting the given. I just call it "not getting any." ;-)

it's best to remember there are a variety of different approaches to chastity, voluntary and involuntary, short term and long term. And these can be motivated by very different things.

Richard

Thanks Huw for your response to my question! I was fishing a bit, but your answer was authentic and very helpful. Thanks again.

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