the unanswerable question. journalist email ethics.
Eugene Cho has been put in that very uncomfortable situation of having to answer the Question by Dan Savage, who had (inadvertently or intentionally?) released a private personal email on his own blog and the 300+ comments shows how heated a topic this is (near impossible but still necessary in our times)::
Last week, I very much enjoyed reading the thread of comments from Scot McKnight’s [jesus creed] post about the church’s lack of compassion with the gay community. I had no idea that I’d be smack in the middle of this conversation as the culprit of that bigotry…
That was initially triggered by Scot McKnight being asked the Question::
Exactly what does it look like to, as they say, hate the sin and love the sinner on this issue? This problem obviously exists with other sins, but I think this particular situation causes me the most angst. How do I love my homosexual friends and neighbors without appearing to approve of their lifestyle?
It seems to me what makes this question impossible to answer is the question behind the question: would I support legislation? would I support a theology that celebrates that lifestyle? would I support ordination? When these are the only questions that matter, to some, answers are unsatisfying except for those who can answer in the affirmative, but that disallows any other opinion in a diverse pluralistic society, like a more nuanced Christian perspective of “welcoming but not affirming“, cf. Stanley Grenz’s Welcoming but Not Affirming: An Evangelical Response to Homosexuality.
Grey is a former fundamentalist Christian, who is blogging about his new faith perspectives; in 100 Things I’ve learned about church, he writes about Gays and Judgment:
- Most christians have no idea how much gays have suffered in the hands of so-called ‘christians’.
- Many christians believe that all sin is equal, yet they judge gays for their sins much more harshly.
- Every time I’ve thought someone should be excluded from the church for some reason, I find out that I should be excluded for reasons which are just as equal.
- Most christians are unaware of the amount of promiscuity that goes on within their church.
- Most churches would rather appear without blemish than to provide a safe forum for their members to work through issues of sexuality. Whatever the church ignores, grows.
and his 42 scenes in the life of a former fundamentalist christian, on Homosexuality:
- I once believed that it was impossible for a practicing homosexual to be a christian, live a ethical life (christian or not), or go to heaven without denouncing their “sin”.
- Heard the stories of many christian and non-chrisitan gays.
- Began questioning my conservative beliefs that gays were sinners and must be converted “or else”.
- Learned that the biblical evidence against gays wasn’t all it was cracked up to be due to bad translation, poor understanding of ancient culture and just plain missing the point.
The issue is yet all the more complicated b/c of its political subtext. According to 2 (right of center) advocacies, there is this 1989 book titled “After the Ball – How America will conquer its fear and hatred of Gays in the 90s“, which proposed these strategies to change public perception and acceptance of homosexual lifestyle, allegedly a “hidden” agenda for a homosexual movement: (cf. Putting strategies to work: the homosexual propaganda campaign in America’s media)
- “Talk about gays and gayness as loudly and as often as possible.”
- “Portray gays as victims, not as aggressive challengers.”
- “Give homosexual protectors a just cause.”
- “Make gays look good.”
- “Make the victimizers look bad.” They portray people of faith — people who have legitimate and biblical reasons to oppose homosexual behavior — as homophobes and bigots. They also try to “muddy the moral waters” by getting liberal churches, many of which have thrown out a great deal of the Bible, to say that homosexual behavior is just fine from a theological perspective.
- “Get funds from corporate America.”
[update] hat tip to Pomomusings for this latest find::
Regardless of your stance on the issue of homosexuality and the church, it is pretty impressive and important to note when three former leaders for one of the largest “You’re gay? We’ll fix you!”-ministries [Exodus International] publicly apologize for their part in the ministry.
In this LA Times article, “3 Former Leaders of Ex-Gay Ministry Apologize,” the former leaders publicly stated that Exodus International’s attempt to fix gays is psychologically harmful and has caused very serious depression in some and suicidal tendencies in others.