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Letters, sermons, etc. about homosexuality

Two Emails that we have received
about homosexuality, with our responses


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Background:

We frequently receive negative E-mails from our website visitors. Most are abusive; occasionally they contain death threats. Many assume that our website is run by Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Scientologists, etc and then proceed to attack us for our faith. They don't seem to realize that we are a multi-faith group consisting of an Agnostic, Atheist, Christian, Wiccan, and Zen Buddhist.

Fortunately, the number of positive E-mails is three to four times more common than the negative ones.

The occasional Email discusses the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and transsexual (LGBT) communities; a few of them open dialogue.

We have decided to show two Emails concerning LGBT topics here, with our responses. One is full of hatred; the other is an attempt to change our understanding of same-sex sexual behavior.

We carefully paraphrase the incoming E-mails as necessary in order to remove any identifying information so that the visitor remain anonymous. We hope to add others in the future.

The hate Emails often end with an enthusiastic anticipation of how God will torture lesbians, gays, and bisexuals forever in Hell, with no hope for the end of their pain, because of their prior behavior on Earth.

These Email exchanges contain personal opinions of one staff member of the organization that sponsors this website. They do not necessarily agree with the beliefs of the remaining staff members.

We have a similar list of E-mails about the second of the most controversial religious topics: abortion access.


An E-mail from "T" who is apparently a woman:

Incoming E-mail, whose subject was "SATANS!":

"SODOM..SOUNDS FAMILIAR?

GOD CREATED ADAM AND EVE  NOT DISGUSTING FILTH MEN HAVING SEX WITH MEN AND WOMAN WITH WOMAN...

[You write that] IT'S DEEPER THAN THAT...WE HAVE RELATIONSHIPS, WE UNDERSTAND ONE ANOTHER?

YOU JEST? YOU'RE ALL LOATHING AND VILE IN GOD'S EYES  AND  GOD'S GOING TO BURN THE FILTH OFF OF YOU FOR ALL ETERNITY IN HELL!!!
"

Our response:

"You seem to believe that our group -- who maintains the ReligiousTolerance.org website -- is made up of lesbians and gays. You are wrong. All five of us are heterosexuals with either married spouses or significant others of the opposite gender.

The facts are that child psychologists can identify with about 85%accuracy which 5-year-olds will be gay or lesbian when they become adults. It is not a matter of choice.

All across North America, couples meet, enjoy each other's company, fall in love, form an exclusive relationships, have sex, get engaged and decide that they want to marry -- often in that order. The vast majority are opposite-sex couples. A small minority are same-sex couples. In Canada, couples of all gender combinations can marry; in the U.S., same-sex couples can only do so in one of 6 states and Washington DC.

We feel that each committed relationship should be treasured and encouraged. They bring great benefits to the couple involved and to society.

Try not to hate so much. It is bad for your heart. Please consider befriending a lesbian or gay person. Studies have shown that this is the best way to change people's opinions about those with a homosexual or bisexual orientation. If you can't do this, then please read the letter of a gay person to his church in this website."

Sadly, the Email was not delivered to "T." The error message said that the Email "failed permanently ... sender is blocked." Pity.


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An anonymous E-mail:

Incoming E-mail:

"Here is some additional information you may be able to use on your site. Stephen Bennett is an ex homosexual who changed through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit. Please read the 'about' section on his site. 1 Yes, homosexuals can change."

Our response:

"Thanks for the information.

As we explain in our Christian, Intra-religious Translating Dictionary, it is almost impossible for a conservative Christian to carry on a dialog or discussion on many topics with a person who follows another religious tradition. This is true for abortion, homosexuality transsexuality, and many other topics. This is because the fundamentalist and other evangelical sub-culture often assigns different meanings to specific words. Any attempt to communicate must then begin with a lengthy attempt to define meanings for common words. For example:

  • "Homosexual" to a conservative Christian describes what a person does. It refers to a person who regularly has sex with a person of the same gender. Using that definition, Stephen Bennett has indeed converted, through prayer, from homosexuality to heterosexuality. He has a wife and two children to prove it.

  • "Homosexual" to gays, lesbians, bisexuals, religious liberals, human sexuality researchers, mental health professionals etc. describes what a person is. A homosexual is a person who has a homosexual sexual orientation. Their fantasies and self-identification are homosexual. A homosexual may be celibate and not engage in sexual activity at all; or she/he may be sexually active with persons of the same gender. Just as a heterosexual has no feelings of sexual attraction to members of the same gender, a homosexual has no feelings of sexual attraction to members of the opposite gender.

  • "Bisexual" is a term that is rarely used by conservative Christians. "Bisexual" to gays, lesbians, bisexuals, religious liberals, human sexuality researchers, mental health professionals etc. refers to a person who is attracted, not necessarily to the same degree, to both men and women. A bisexual may be celibate and not engage in sexual activity at all; or they may be sexually active with men, with women, or with both.

As is normal for conservative Christian testimonies dealing with sexual behavior, Bennett is rather vague on the details of his sexual orientation, and is very specific on his past sexual behavior.

I offer two suggestions:

  1. He has a bisexual orientation and has always been a bisexual. He first became sexually active with male strangers and acquaintances, then decided to settle down with another male in a multi-year relationship. He became convinced that this behavior was against the will of God. He dated a woman and eventually married her. He remains attracted both to men and to other women, but does not act on these attractions because he is married.

  2. He has a homosexual orientation and has always been a homosexual. He is sexually attracted only to men. But he became convinced that his behavior was against the will of God. So he dated a woman, became friends with her, and married her. When engaging in sex with her he has sufficiently strong fantasies that he can imagine making love to a man and is able to complete the act. His two children are the result. But his sexual orientation remains homosexual.

There are other options as well, but I think that the two above are the most likely.

I hope that the first suggestion is the valid one. Otherwise, his chances of remaining faithful to his wife are very small, and the probability that his marriage will survive is quite slim.

As we describe in our essay on reparative therapy, there is no really accurate data about what percentage of persons with a homosexual orientation can convert to a heterosexual orientation. Indications from four studies show that conversion therapy has a failure rate of 99.8% or more. In fact, there may be more suicides resulting from failed therapy than there are successes where people have been able to change their sexual orientation."


References:

  1. Stephen Bennett, "God's Amazing Grace: The Miraculous Story of Stephen Bennett." It is no longer available on his site http://www.sbministries.org, but what appears to be a copy is at: http://www.hopeway.org/

Site navigation: Home > "Hot" topics > Homosexuality > Essays etc. > here


Copyright © 2003 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2003-JAN-5
Latest update: 2011-JAN-16
Author: B.A. Robinson

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