Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The conversation with an ignorant friend

So lately I feel like blogging about how I am christian and gay is like trying to get twenty puppies to go on a walk together. So I hope to put up a couple of posts on the stuff I'm reading.

But first of all, yesterday when I was out to lunch with some friends. One of them followed her story about how a woman at church asked her and her friend if they were together, with a short sharing on how her pastor is doing ministry to gay and lesbian folks. I asked more about it. She said he ministers to them by going out to the bars to stop male prostitution. WHAT?!?!

I responded that, that is NOT the same thing. I asked her more. She got all defensive (I thought) when I challenged her. I wanted to out myself to her right then and there. To say to her "When you look at me do you think 'male prostitute'"? I had a feeling she wasn't safe and now I know she isn't. Granted I do have an advantage in that if she knew I was gay she probably wouldn't say something that stupid. But still.

It made me think of this blog post. This person is just graduating from Seminary, so it caused me to have renewed frustration at ignorance in pastors. Homosexuality is not equivalent or related or anything to either prostitution (in the case of my conversation) or abuse (in the case of this story below) any more than being straight is, just in case you didn't know that. Here's the quote from his conversation with a pastor and his wife.
Sure enough, everything played out just as I planned, though of the two, only the wife was present for the conversation. After casually chatting over tea, we turned to more challenging topics. When I posed my question, she responded as I expected, affirming the need to support “Hank” through this challenge. I was triumphant! Surely they would help me walk this mess out.

Then she paused, considered something, and said something that snapped me back to reality:

“The only change would be that I would not want Hank to be alone with my young sons.”

In an instant, with a crushing weight I could not have anticipated, my hope evaporated. With that simple sentence, my struggle with homosexual attraction, something I had never acted upon, had been equated with child molestation. In the instant of my confession, I would have become someone to be helped, but not trusted. Someone capable of unspeakable evil to children. At that stage in my life, the thing that brought me the greatest spiritual fulfillment was my role as a camp counselor at several Christian summer camps, at which her sons had been in my care. Not only would my future with those ministries become questioned, but my past behaviour would immediately become suspect.
After that... do you want to read some real research? Some facts?

This is an older but updated post I just found. "Organic Behavior, No Fault Identities" is THE BEST relatively short version in the blogosphere of information on current research on homosexuality. I highly recommend it. There's a lot of big words here. :) Here's the into. quote:
Since this is more a personal than a scholarly or comprehensive tour of the literature I hope you will forgive some rough approximating that follows. I characterize the progress of the research by noting each decade had a dominant tool for its research. Whether that is exactly true is not too important. That the tools have gotten much sharper and their results harder to refute is what matters.


triciac said...

I didn't get a chance to say it yesterday - but I felt frustrated right alongside you at lunch. Many times I think "so and so here can handle knowing", and then they go and say things like that which makes me do some serious self-doubting about how well I know people.

I heart you.


Meghan said...

My first thought re: that "male prostitution" minister is what that "ministering" is all about, and if there's not something deeper going on with that guy's sexuality. I'd love to hear more about what that whole "ministry" looks like.

What a crap thing to have to sit and listen to. Ugh. :(

GreenSmile said...

Thanks for the link. That is just what I wanted that post to be for readers.

I am doing some housecleaning and the blog title will change to "Pithing contest" but the content and URL will remain as is.

I have a few updates to the research findings that I will be adding since you and gretachristina send me readers makes it worth the upkeep.