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Thursday, October 14, 2010

It Gets Better

You've probably seen the "It Gets Better" series of messages from various LGBT "starts" (like Ellen) to religious leaders to regular kids who have made it through the turbulence of adolescence as an LGBT person.

Here's Bishop Gene Robinson's contribution. It's warm, eloquent and spot on.

It's a powerful antidote to the toxicity of the messages that are still coming from the Religious Right. Even our own. (Warning: Don't click on that link if you have high blood pressure or a short fuse.)

Please help pass +Gene's video along in your "social networks". The more this video is viewed, the faster it will rise in the Google searches, the easier access it will have to young kids who may be searching the internet for a positive message.

Thank you. Let's get the message out that God loves us - as +Gene is fond of saying - "beyond our wildest imaginings".


Kirkepiscatoid said...

So when are you doing yours? I would think you would have a powerful one!

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I'll have to find a 10 year old boy to help me video it and then upload to YouTube. I'm absolutely clueless. ;~)

Geeklet said...

I have to second the wanting of a video message from you!

Matthew said...

I love this project. My favorite is still the openly gay Fort Worth city councilman. He made me bawl like a baby.

Charlie Sutton said...

Phil Ashey says, "Here is our authority, given by God. We can trust it, and we can trust our bishops when they teach according to what God has revealed to us." Bp Nazir-Ali grew up in Pakistan, where Christians are a despised minority. His father was a convert to Christ from Islam - a step that risked death. Bp Nazir-Ali's life was threatened by the leadership of Pakistan in the mid-80's. He could have recanted his faith instead of going into exile. (Other Pakistani Christians have been killed for their faith; the police often look the other way.) Bp Nazir-Ali stood firm because he was convinced that the Bible is reliable.

And what does Bp Robinson base his comments on? Personal experience and his position in a body now ruled by pressure politics. Pretty thin stuff.

If you think that what Phil Ashey said is only for the stout of heart, you would have an apoplectic fit if you attended the large,thriving, and cheerful Christian Reformed Church I now happily attend.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Phil Ashley spreads the hate that leads to the despair that is at the bottom of the impulse for suicide.

He ain't no Bp Nazir-Ali and neither are Gene Robinson, who also bases his authority to speak on Scripture.

Warning to others who hold a similar position as Charlie's: I only printed his comments because he owned them. If you do not sign your name to your comment, I will take great delight in hitting 'delete'.

Charlie Sutton said...

Thanks for allowing my post, Elizabeth. I know that you are very careful about opposing voices.

I have to admit that I responded to the first clip that came after I clicked on the link, in which Phil Ashey spoke about the Bible and its reliability. I just clicked on it again, and found the one that directly addressed the suicide of Mr Clementi. It is hard for me to see how an emphasis on the mercy and grace of God is an incitement to hatred.

Of course, he does say that "homosexuality" is contrary to the Word of God. I do wish he made a distinction between the condition of being sexually attracted to members of one's own sex and the actions of engaging in same-sex sexual activities. One seldom, if ever, directly chooses those tings by which he is tempted, and the Bible does not say that having an attraction to one's own sex is wrong. It does however, say that engaging in same-sex sexual activity is wrong. But all of us are tempted by something, and most by many things, and all of us are guilty before God for any number of violations of his holy Law. And God tells us that we are to love everyone. I suppose that love at times might feel hard, but it not loving to allow someone to step off the top of cliff when he has no idea of the danger he is about to encounter, simply because that person would resist hearing the call.

Mr Clementi committed suicide. His partner of that evening, also (one would think) someone who would identify as "gay," did not. It looks as if something more than having one's same-sex sexual encounter filmed and made public was at work.

Hatred and bullying are wrong. But all those who are bullied are not same-sex attracted. And I think that if you polled kids between 13 and 19, you would find that 80% (at least) had pondered suicide to some extent. I know I did - because life is painful if you are not one of "the golden ones."

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Charlie - This will be the last post of yours that I publish here. It drips with the dangerously destructive axiom, "Hate the sin, love the sinner." You can say the word "love" but what everyone else - especially teens - hear is "hate" and "sinner". It's still a message of hate and condemnation.

This is why suicide, while admittedly high during adolescence, it's even higher among LGBT teens.

I will go a step further. It's a message of idolatry. I don't believe in a God who gave me the gift of sexuality only to say, "But, you can't use it." What a cruel, pernicious understanding of God! That may be your image of God and that's fine, I suppose. But to insist that I and others separate our God-given sexuality from "behavior" is to insist that I and others embrace YOUR image of God. I can't - I won't - do that.

I know God through Christ Jesus and Jesus not only said nothing about homosexuality, he called us to 'love one another'. Ashley's message - the message of the so-called "orthodox" Religious Right - is not only far from what Jesus revealed about God, it is hateful, cruel, judgmental and killing.

Let me ask you, Charlie: When did you choose to be heterosexual?

Right. You didn't. It's what you are. The only choice you have - I have - is to be the special child of God we were made to be.

My beloved and I have been together for 34 years. Together, we've parented six children and raised them to be intelligent, caring, compassionate citizens of the cosmos. We have 5 grandchildren who are also being raised to be intelligent, caring, compassionate people.

Jesus knows us and God judges us by the fruits of our lives - not by the revulsion in your psyche. Thanks be to God!

May God soften your heart and open your mind, Charlie, to embrace the unfathomable Truth of God.

Charlie Sutton said...

Elizabeth, I am writing this, knowing that you will not post it, but simply to reply. (It would not matter if you did post it; the original is at the bottom of your blog and few venture that far.) When I post a comment, I try to respond to what is actually said, which I mention because I never used the old expression, “Hate the sin, but love the sinner.” I simply spoke of loving everyone, according to Jesus’ instructions. I did say that love would not necessarily feel like a “warm fuzzy,” for you know, simply as a mother, that an act or word of love is not necessarily appreciated by its recipient as love at the time. I am not trying to say that I am acting from a superior position, as a parent to a child; that is simply an example. My stance is predicated upon the Bible being both reliable and authoritative, having as its ultimate author the Holy Spirit. I know that you do not accept that position, but it is the one I operate from. (From my position, nothing makes sense without God’s self-revelation through his Son, the Living Word, and the Scriptures, his written Word.)

As I reflected on your comment, I recognized that I would not use, “Hate the sin; love the sinner.” What the Bible calls sin I recognize as sin, and I affirm what Scripture says. The only sins I hate, however, are the ones I struggle with myself – gluttony, for instance (I am a lifetime member of Weight Watchers), or sloth (in spite of a PDA and its “to do” list, I am perpetually behind), to mention two. I believe that same-sex sexual activity is dangerous, both to those who engage in it and to society at large; there is no culture in history that sanctioned “free love” and long survived, but I do not hate it or those who engage in it.

As you have noted before, we do come from quite different starting points, not only on what the Bible is, but on theology in general. I am Augustinian; you are Pelagian (as far as I can tell). You believe (I think) that all will one day be in heaven; I believe that the nature of sin is such that those who refuse to lay down their sin would be in misery in heaven – for sin is rebellion against God, and those who will not accept God’s righteous rule will hate that rule. From what you write, it seems that for you (and for many Progressives) psychology is the interpreter of, and basis for, theology. And I have yet to see an internal consistency in the “theological arguments” of Progressives; they seem mostly to be justifications for a particular position on a given issue, rather than part of a larger, more systematic body of doctrine. Of course, that is no surprise; let go of a basic, foundational document – the Bible – and there is no center. (Even with the Bible, things can be hard; Evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics have only the core doctrines in common.)

Charlie Sutton said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Charlie - You presume much and know little.