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The Discussion - Part 1B

Tuesday's discussion group had five people plus the pastor. Two were from our sister church. Pastor said there were some there who had asked for this discussion, as well. Everyone seemed to be on the same page, for the most part. One lady didn't say much, but she sat next to another who had positive things to say. The quiet lady never looked uncomfortable with anything that was brought up.

I wish there was a more diverse group of people, but it isn't terribly surprising that those who are not supportive of the gay community would have no interest in discussing it. Many with that mindset believe they already know all they need to know. They have their minds made up, so why talk about it? Perhaps they think inclusion is inevitable, or perhaps they think inclusion will never happen. At any rate, they apparently don't wish to express their feelings to any who might contradict them or to associate with anyone who would support people whom God has "condemned."


We discussed some personal stories. I relayed a conversation with my elderly neighbor across the street. I told him about my brother and he said, "I don't care if someone's gay or not. I just don't want to see two guys kissing or anything. Now if it were two women..." ;) I said, "That's because you're a straight man. What about me? Do you think I might find it hot to see two gorgeous guys kissing?" He laughed and said, "I never thought of that." ;)

My male friend told of being asked if he's gay. His typical reply is, "No, but thanks for noticing my earrings." He dresses like a hippie biker. People who judge by appearance don't think he belongs in church. He was nearly arrested for loitering one summer evening as he waited for someone to unlock the door for choir practice. ;)

We talked about the fact that there is a better representation of gays and lesbians in the media than there was even just ten years ago. I went into detail about the Luke and Noah storyline on "As the World Turns," the boundries pushed and the way the producers pulled back when the American Family Association and others made a fuss about it.

We also talked about terminology, including the meaning of the word "homophobia." We talked about why straight men are more homophobic than straight women (The pastor and my friend were the only men in the room.).

As I said, the book we are using was published in 1994. The word "homosexual" (as opposed to "gay") is used a lot more than it would be if the same book were published today. I told of the survey that was released earlier this year regarding "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal. Support for repeal was greater if the words "gay" and "lesbian" were used than if "homosexual" was used. Is it that "homosexual" contains the word "sex"?

I think "homosexual" will eventually become an antiquated term, like "negro" is today.

Pastor also used the phrase "same sex attractions" at one point. I remarked that this phrase is used mostly by those who endorse "conversion therapy," the belief that gays can be turned straight. Somehow, "same sex attractions" sounds more like a condition rather than a state of being - a disorder that can be fixed.

Words do matter.

For a bit of homework, we were given the "clobber passages" - the Bible verses that are used to justify an anti-gay stance. We will be discussing in detail the issues with translation and the intent of those verses.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
audreyscastle
Feb. 13th, 2011 03:29 am (UTC)
I wish I lived close enough to go to your church.
bonnie_halfelvn
Feb. 13th, 2011 04:00 am (UTC)
The services are very traditional. Nothing innovative here. A dying church with a dwindling congregation.

I just have a really open-minded pastor. :)
mishlai
Feb. 13th, 2011 08:02 pm (UTC)
I'm definitely interested to see how this progresses.
bonnie_halfelvn
Feb. 14th, 2011 12:40 am (UTC)
I'll keep you updated.
dreamer_98
Feb. 13th, 2011 09:14 pm (UTC)
Glad the discussion seemed to go pretty well.

Love the story about the conversation with your neighbor. It's commonly accepted that straight men like to see two attractive women together, but it's still considered shocking for the most part that the same would be true of women and two guys.

I never thought about the use of the word "homosexual" but I think that's true. I think it will become an outdated term. It's not like we go around calling each other heterosexuals all the time.
bonnie_halfelvn
Feb. 14th, 2011 12:46 am (UTC)
For a man who's around 80 years old, I thought he was pretty open to my ideas.

At PFLAG today, this conversation took place:

First guy: "I knew from an early age that I liked girls. I never thought about whether I was heterosexual or not. I was just born that way, and there's nothing I can do that will change it."

Second guy: "We can help you with that." ;)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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