38 thoughts on “The power of soup and a listening ear.

  1. Oh, God!!

    You honestly believe this, don’t you? That you are being “generous and supporting”, all the time believing that his God-given sexuality is evil and that he must be celibate unless he can change it. I don’t care if you haven’t told him yet. If you inveigle him into your church, someone will.


    • Hi Clare. Sorry to burst your bubble, but he actually asked me about what I thought during that first long conversation. He had attended Christian schools and wanted to know my thoughts. There will be no bait and switch. I can love someone without feeling like their attractions are central to their identity. I don’t have to encourage him to have gay sex to be his friend.

        • I told him that he is not condemned for his feelings, that none of us choose our feelings. God loves him. God longs to make up for what he has missed out on until now when it comes to a Father’s interest, protectiveness, and provision. We all have to choose what we do with our feelings and that is to what the Bible speaks. He had heard of sex from the biblical perspective just as “don’t do this and don’t do that.” So we also talked about the role of sex within marriage, how it is a gift which knits husband and wife together and makes new life. And that when that new life comes into the world, the child has both a mother and father. That God’s principles exist not just for our good but for our children’s as well.

          • Actually, I do think you have to tell him that gay sex is not necessarily condemned. He has learned from others that they disparage his masculinity. He has been made to feel less- less than human, really, there are “real men”, and then there is he, not enough, not adequate, not masculine. He needs built up. But rather than building him up, you tear him down. First you assume he is straight, and then when he tells you he is not you say this is “such a personal revelation”. It isn’t. Your assumption was wrong. So he told you. But you just looked at him. Then you tell him that straight sex is God’s gift to straight married people, much like telling me that writing is God’s gift to right-handed people. Brilliant! Hurrah! Good luck to you!

            You see, I get that “God loves you, but wants you to be celibate” is not quite as poisonous a message as “You will never be a proper man, you are going to Hell, and no church community should ever accept you even if you are celibate”. It is just not enough. You tear him down, even as you imagine you are building him up.

          • Oh heavens, Clare. I “just looked at him” because I had to switch gears from thinking about the price of brussel sprouts and turn my attention to a deeper more personal conversation. Obviously, this has struck a personal chord with you. But unfortunately, I cannot tell him that “gay sex is not necessarily condemned.” On that note, your quarrel is not with me. It is with God who did not give one positive depiction or endorsement of homosexual behavior throughout 66 books of scripture that spanned more than 2,000 years of human history. Encouraging someone to engage in anal sex is not the way to “build them up.” We build people up by letting them share whatever they want about themselves and then inviting them back to our home again and again regardless of what path they choose to follow. I know of some gay friends who risked sharing their same-sex attractions with someone, and then that person avoided them from that point on. That’s pretty hard on the self-esteem, wouldn’t you say? I cannot help you, Clare. Your beef is not with me. But I am sorry, as it is clear that at some point, or many points, in your life you probably needed someone to sit and listen and share soup with you as well. And then invite you back again and again.

          • I have no beef with God, I assure you. God has no objection to LGBT. Though I will hardly convince you here: read a sensible book on the subject.

            Coming out to your family is a really big deal. Coming out to a new acquaintance isn’t. It shows some self-confidence, which you proceeded to do your best to destroy. However much soup you gave, your total interaction harmed him greatly.

          • Whatever you say, Clare. He didn’t seem “destroyed” as he scarfed down steak-kabobs and laughed at German sitcoms at our place last night. 😉

          • Clare, good to see you are not letting your personal bias lead you to assumptions. Quick question, how do you explain the difference of position on LGBT between you and almost all of Christianity?

    • Clare: You seem to require that all agree with your viewpoint in order to love you. Indeed, all must agree with your viewpoint or you will tear them down. I’m sorry for whatever made you feel that way. I want to tell you that love isn’t about agreeing. You don’t have to tear others down if they don’t believe as you do. And you don’t have to be torn down for your beliefs, either.

      • It is not a matter of agreeing with my viewpoint, but of not erasing my existence.

        There are some people who identify this as a sibboleth: they disapprove of gay sex, and therefore imagine they are Good Christians who Respect the Bible, as opposed to the false Christians who celebrate gay marriages and the World, abandoned completely to sin. Perhaps such a sibboleth gives you comfort, but is not necessary, even to your amour propre.

        On the other side there are the LGBT, continually persecuted not for some silliness on our part but for our very God-given nature- knitted together in my mother’s womb.

        Hewho asked why the church disagreed with me. I am unsure. Why has the Church ever clung to human desires? Love of authoritarianism and ignorance have been common reasons, see Galileo, slavery, support for Franco, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc,…..

        • Clare, do you have a theological augment to support your position? Evidence? Would you not be better served by trying to resent your argument in a compelling way as opposed to snipping and insults? I for one would like to hear your hear the theological argument for your position.

        • Clare: ….you have a flair for the dramatic. You just simply aren’t going to find that everyone agrees with you, no matter how passionately you believe you are right. If you are demanding that all Christians “prove” their love by accepting your worldview, your demands won’t be met. If you can love sincerely even in the absence of full agreement, maybe you’ll find no one is trying to “erase your existence”

          • Homelessness and suicide are tragic no matter where they occur or to whom. I don’t see how that means it’s imperative that all people be forced to accept your worldview.

          • Precisely, Tisha. You don’t understand. So you carry on doing the harm you do.

            There are people in the church who say that being manly in a way other than the Complementarian would imagine being manly, being same sex attracted, all of that is OK, as long as you are celibate. This is in itself binding a heavy load on others which the binder is often unwilling to bear, and a bad thing; but that demand of celibacy, that seeing the gay person as less, encourages those who bully others for not conforming to that “manly” stereotype, so causing the increased levels of suicide and homelessness observed in LGBT youth.

            Believe it as a guide for your own behaviour if you really must, but don’t express it. Expressing it encourages the bullies and the oppressors, however “loving” you imagine yourself to be. Consider the consequences of your actions.

          • Clare. It is terrible when anyone experiences depression and even more so when that person considers taking her life as a result. And I will not deny that LGBT youth experience these two hardships at increased rates compared to the rest of the population. But this “kids will commit suicide if you tell them gay sex is wrong” seems to be the trump card that some LGBT advocates use when they are losing a debate. What you seem to be suggesting is: if only kids were encourage to have gay sex then the homeless and depression/suicide rates would decline. Many studies have shown that LGBT youth are at increased risk for suicide and depression. It is sad and true. But few studies make a distinction between youth with same sex attractions and those who are engaging in same-sex behavior. But this study (http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/0021-843X.112.1.144) did make that distinction and here’s what it found: “When homosexual attraction, homosexual identity, and same-sex sexual behavior were entered to predict suicide attempt, only same-sex sexual behavior was significantly predictive.”

            Also, risk factors increase for those who identify as gay at a younger age. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/87/6/869.abstract

            Tisha isn’t harming anyone by not endorsing their world view. Please don’t resort to the emotional weapon of “suicide” to shut down the conversation. Because none of us want that. Gay sex, especially at a young age, may be part of the problem for LGBT youth. We can (and should) be supportive of same sex attracted youth without encouraging them (or any child/teen) to engage in sexual activity.

          • And Gay-Straight alliances in schools reduce the incidence of suicide attempts of gay pupils by half. What you say matters. You don’t want their suicide, you claim, but you will not support the action which reduces it.

  2. Are you trying to say here that boys grow gay if they don’t have strong male influence in their life?

    • FyVa, thus far, social science has not told us why some people develop a same-sex attraction. But I know of some men who feel that their sexual cravings are actually a longing to be connected with other men in a non-sexual way. And who see how they were denied that very thing through their childhood and adolescence. I write more about my thoughts in the “Aren’t People Born Gay” link above.

      • Yes, by all means keep telling him, that he may not be gay, that one day maybe he’ll find a nice woman and marry her, and have a child with her, and then after a few years he’ll realize that he’s really been gay all this time and divorce that unlucky woman, and then one day some Robert Lopez will help that woman write an angry diatribe that says that all that because gays are allowed to marry. The circle will complete once again,

        • I didn’t tell him that he wasn’t gay. I didn’t refute in any way that his feelings were real and powerful. But I also didn’t tell him that he has to order his entire existence around his attractions either. I actually didn’t tell him to *do* anything. Question for you, Fyva. Is the only way for me to “love” him to tell him he should have gay sex? If so, then I welcome you to have the final word here because there is nothing more for us to discuss. But if you have some suggestions about how I can serve him without endorsing homosexual behavior, I would welcome your suggestions.

          • “Is the only way for me to “love” him to tell him he should have gay sex?”. Ah, that is THE question, my friend!

          • Tisha,
            The issue here is not what he should do. The issue here is whether he should not be told lies and disparaged from having a full life.

            Some day he may meet a nice guy and fall in love with him. And he may want to get intimate with the man he loves. If you were to make him believe that pursuing his heart is wrong and sinful, and being that way is unnatural (and all other stuff you can hear from AFA and FRC and NOM and Witherspoon crowd full of unhappy gays), he will not have a chance to lead a happy life. That’s what’s at stake.

          • “he will not have a chance to lead a happy life”

            Happiness is not achieved by following a “do whatever you want” mantra. If that were true, the vast majority of the Western World would be blissful.

    • Late teens. Heading to college this year. I speak a little German but it’s not great. We were using a mix of English and German during that first conversation and he used the words “boys” so for the sake of clarity I did too.

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