Letters, sermons, etc. about homosexuality
Two Emails that we have received
homosexuality, with our responses
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
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!":
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!!!"
"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.
An anonymous 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."
"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:
- 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.
- 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
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."
- 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/
Copyright © 2003 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2003-JAN-5
Latest update: 2011-JAN-16
Author: B.A. Robinson