The Divide  
Four Letters  from Steve C to Steve S

ex-gay groups

post-gay sexuality

the divide (you are here)

God loves LGB people

Three Letters from Steve S to Steve C and Maggie 

A Sinful Theology

Doubting the Doubts

Ex-Gays and Homosexualities


Date: Fri, 21 Mar 1997  00:17:29 -0500 (EST)
From: Steve C
To: Steve S

Subject: the divide

On Thu, 20 Mar 1997, Steve Schalchlin wrote:
And I ask the question. Is it a sin for me to have gay sex? 

Steve C.: 
Well, although not in dialogue with you Steve, I've been here before and the answer is still the same. 
    What difference does it make what *I* think?  My thinking it *is* or *isn't* won't change any reality of morality one little bit.  What matters is what *you* think. 
     Investigate all the views reading the very best writers *from both sides* and draw your own conclusions.  Perhaps you feel that you have done that and are comfortable with your conclusions.  I have no quarrel with that and don't intend to *get into one*. :-) 
    Just so I don't leave you feeling I'm completely evasive I'll answer this question - "Does Steve C. think that gay sex is sinful for Steve C.?"  The answer to that question is yes.  (If it wasn't there wouldn't *be* a divide to bridge.) 

Steve S. said: [snip] 
The bigoted remark I make refers to any theology or belief system which  insists that homosexuality is sinful since sinful implies a separation from God, the most horrible accusation of all. 

Steve C: 
(NOTE: this does not "snip" well - Steve S. is NOT saying he made a bigoted remark.  It refers to, what he believes is a bigoted remark by religious conservatives.) 
    I think we may be able to come to some common agreement but I need to understand first if you believe that all human beings start from a point, or condition, of sinfulness. 

Steve S. had written in earlier email: 
because, underneath it all, they still believe  all the same old myths. They want it both ways. 

Steve C. had responded: 
That's a little nebulous. Can you expand on it so we can discuss it - 
specifically what "myths"? 

Steve S. wrote: 
The myth that gay sex performed by gay people is a sin. 

Steve C: 
Of course, again, if no one held that belief there would be no "divide". That *is* the divide that Mitzi Henderson spoke about bridging recognizing that it exists and that inspite of it, there are caring people on both sides who need to connect
     I often get this question and it certainly seems to be *the* watershed issue that creates the "divide".  I also have been disappointed with any representation I've seen on the web of just *why* a conservative Christian holds these views. For that reason I plan to do an apologetic for my beliefs in that area.  As I've said to Maggie, I don't hold these views because I'm *mean* or I *like to*, they just seem TO ME to be where the preponderance of the evidence points. 
     (It would be *no skin off my nose* if it were otherwise and many believe it *is* otherwise.  Again, I have no quarrel with them I just don't understand it the same way they do.) 

Steve C. had written in earlier email: 
That's one of the "myths" that's a myth, Steve.  I've often said that we don't choose our feelings (sexual orientation).  Emotions just "are" and they are neither morally right or wrong in themselves.  So, no - being gay (feeling attracted to the same gender and/or having a gay "identity") is NOT, IMO a moral issue.  Morals are about behaviour - *actions*. 

Steve S. responded: 
Ah, and here's where the real debate begins, my friend. This is the old "love the sinner, hate the sin" crap that allows "Christians" to believe  that they are not bigoted when they assault young gay people with their own anti-gay theology. 

Steve C.: 
"'love the sinner, hate the sin' crap", "Anti-gay theology." (I think I hear my "rhetoric detector" sounding. :-) ) 
     I don't like that phrase "love the sinner, hate the sin" either. One of the articles that b-a linked to, written by a conservative Christian (cC), Thomas Schmidt talked about exactly that phrase and suggested it be banned from cC's language. (cC is not to be *AT ALL* confused with the Christian Coalition.)
     As far as "Anti-gay theology" - well, that's kind of a good rallying cry to stir the pro-gay troops but IMO, it isn't a very careful way to approach the subject of theology. 

Steve S. wrote: [snip] 
Let me ask you this: Can you tell a young gay person that he can live a full, sexually active (monogamous) life and still be completely Christian? 

I'd need to know what you mean by "completely Christian" before I'd attempt to answer your question. 
    Thanks for the insightful comments and observations, Steve.  (I'm sure glad this one's done and that "God's love" is next. :-) ) 


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