Church Discipline Saved My Faith

Church discipline tends to get a bad rap. Pastors and congregations that practice it are often vilified as unloving, “religious” posers who misrepresent the tender and compassionate Christ. However, the tender and compassionate Christ was actually the first one to prescribe church discipline:

If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” – Matthew 18:15-17

Years following Jesus’ instructions, Paul instructed the Corinthian church not to associate or even eat with a person who bears the name of Christ yet is guilty of perpetual, unrepentant sin (1 Corinthians 5:11-13). In the specific case of a man guilty of sexual immorality, he commanded the church to take the following action:

“For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 5:3-5

The aim of church discipline is restoration, of course. In Paul’s next letter to the Corinthian church, he implores them to invite this [now repentant] man back into the fellowship:

“For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him.” – 2 Corinthians 2:6-8

To be clear, Jesus and Paul were not describing the Christian continually battling sin. There is always a place in Christ’s church for the struggling saint—and good thing, because we all bear that badge. The person Jesus and Paul were describing is the one who claims to know Christ yet persists in unrepentant sin. They were describing the person who revels in iniquity with no remorse and who expresses no desire to cease from their rebellion. They were describing the obstinate, hardhearted person who professes faith but whose life bears no markings of that faith.

They were describing the person I was four years ago.

The first quarter of 2013 was a scary, sin-soaked season for me.  Depressive feelings were beating my happiness to death, and both Satan and my deceitful flesh were working double-time to convince me that the “restrictions” God imposed on my life were responsible for my misery. However, the truth was that an unrepentant disposition toward sin was solely responsible for every ounce of my misery. I had entered into an immoral relationship with someone and was unwilling to separate myself from that person and resume an obedient posture before Jesus.

I was very forthcoming with my pastor and fellow church members about my rebellion, as counterintuitive as that might seem. I wasn’t hiding my sins; they knew the ins and outs of the entire situation, and, as any truly loving church would do, they pleaded with me to turn from these poisonous vices and throw myself onto the mercies of God. They gently yet firmly insisted that my refusal to loosen my grip on sin was the reason for my soul’s anguish. With tears, they begged me to remember the goodness of Jesus and cling to him in humble trust, assuring me that faithful submission was the path to true peace.

But I plugged my ears to their pleas and continued in my sin. I still showed up at church, attended community group, and made regular late night visits to my pastor’s house (at his prodding) to talk about my “issues.” However, I persisted in my resistance against Christ’s call to repentance. I wasn’t “struggling” against my flesh; I was gladly and unashamedly embracing it.

Then the day of reckoning arrived. My pastor extended yet another invitation for me to turn from my sins and told me that, if I refused, we were going to have to move forward in the process of church discipline. He said he and other members of the church had confronted me on numerous occasions about my unwillingness to repent, and the next step would be the whole congregation confronting me and calling me to repentance. If in the months following that meeting I persisted in my rebellion, my exclusion from the covenant community would be the inevitable result. I would still be able to attend worship services, but I would no longer be a covenant member of the church. 

My hard heart finally began to tremble—not necessarily because I feared losing my church family (as great as they are), but because I realized that the consequences I was facing with my church were indicative of the consequences I would face with God. Just as I would be severed from the visible body of Christ if I refused to turn from my sin, I would be severed from Christ if I refused to turn from my sin. This prospect terrified me. Something inside of me still knew that there is no life better than one spent knowing and walking with Jesus. Something inside of me still knew that I would be destroyed by the wrath of the Lamb if I refused to love and obey him. Propelled by both a great fear of God and great longing for God, I ended the immoral relationship, set my gaze Heavenward, and began running after Jesus—and I have yet to stop.

By no means have the past four years been easy or free of sin. I still struggle with the flesh. However, my spiritual disposition is entirely different than it was before. I do not approach the Christian life passively. I do not view myself as a helpless victim. By the strength the Spirit supplies, I actively resist my sinful urges as I run after the Lord. And when I fall, I take responsibility for my sin, confess my sin, and, by God’s empowering grace, get back up and keep running. My life has changed for the incommunicably better since that step of repentance in 2013—a step that I’m not sure would have been taken had my church been unwilling to practice church discipline. Had they, in the name of “love,” merely given me silent smiles and affirming hugs as I rebelled against Christ, I don’t know where I would be today. I don’t know *who* I would be today.

  • Lyle Nelson

    What a beautiful picture of a God who can neither ignore sin nor allow us to continue on as if it were inconsequential. So thankful that your church followed this Biblical procedure. Had your church either ignored the sin, or taken a very harsh “one strike, you’re out” approach, it seems very unlikely that your faith would be what it is today. Thank-you for a God and a church of second chances, and thank-you, Matt, for sharing a real-life illustration!

  • A few weeks ago, I started bringing my neighbor to church, as he is going through depression over the loss of his wife. The pastor had made a key point in the sermon, and I touched him on the shoulder to draw his attention to it. It was very innocent enough, and I had no intentions, but a person in our congregation who knows of my past, called me out on it, to make sure I hadn’t lapsed back into the life. I was surprised, and even a little angered at first. I had worked so hard in living free from the gay lifestyle, didn’t they trust me.
    Later, I realized that it wasn’t a matter of trust, but it was because he cared, making sure I was still right with the Lord. He had been correct. I began at the next service to ask a number of people who know my past, to pray for me and to hold me accountable and if they see something, then to say something. I am easily tempted, and ONLY by the grace of God have I not succumbed to the temptation. He was absolutely right to question me, and I said so, because I never want to fall into that trap again.

    • Michael Gerner

      Bless you Bradley. That moved me. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. You are in a great place brother to receive great grace. Thank you for your honesty and insight, and for sharing so that others would be helped.

    • Regan DuCasse

      Wow. I mean, seriously…wow. You couldn’t even have a casual and innocent act of affection and caring towards another man, without raising suspicion?
      And yes, the reason was because many in the church and other religious communities HAVE been unloving and present gay people with impossible and rather cruel DOUBLE standards when it comes to having relationships.
      It WAS a matter of trust. Gay people aren’t trusted, and aren’t considered equal in needs, or desires or goals.
      No it WASN’T right for you to be questioned, and you are NOT THE ONLY ONE.
      Every other gay person has to keep living this suspicion down. And some have paid with their jobs, their families and their lives.
      So you assuring your church you’re ‘not that way’ or not that way any more, truly grieves me.
      It does.
      Because what I hear from church members and their expectations of gay people isn’t realistic, nor compassionate at all.
      It’s like being invited to a feast, but only allowed the crumbs people deign to leave you.
      While they gorge themselves, YOU are expected to be on a diet. And like being fed what they themselves never have to eat or worry about eating.
      I was raised in the church. And temple, for that matter.
      And at different times, when it’s been convenient to the power structure, those of us expected to stay on the margins, are told to behave this way, to not challenge what people think is loving, and generous authority over our lives.
      How sad that your act of affection was challenged at all. People should be free to treat each other that way.
      But again, double standards for the gay folk.
      And women for that matter.
      And sometimes for people of color too.

      • But what if I had fallen back into the life style? What then? How much would God hold my friend accountable for not at least questioning me on it? Trust is one thing. I can be trusted to not steal money from the offering plate. But can I be trusted with other men? Given my past and how bad it was, I would say he was right to express concern.

        • Regan DuCasse

          I have spent decades with gay folks such as yourself. And to be brutally frank, I truly just grieve for what you’re doing.
          I have no qualifications to know what it’s like to be gay. But I have eyes, I have ears, I have a brain.
          What I AM, is very, VERY empathetic to what I see a minority going through, to fit a heterosexual ideal that even heterosexuals can’t fit.
          Minority, as in gay or transgender, means RARE. And the world hasn’t made it easy, nor free to be gay.
          It’s HARD to be gay, in so many different areas of the world.
          Therefore, trying to find an oasis, some place to be comforted and needed and wanted…isn’t surprising.
          But religious communities saying that harbor is with THEM, at the expense of your identity, your freedom, and ability to navigate more than what’s inside church walls, is a lie.
          A very cruel one.
          There are less gay folks to go around, especially those who haven’t been damaged or done damage to each other because of the influence of anti gay hostility.
          Just as I see my fellow black folks in America having to navigate economic and socio/political disparity, their identity is tied up in hyper masculine cultural expression and misogyny. Hence, the traps set for them in sexual activity and emotional damage towards each other.
          I know what I’m witnessing.
          Gay people buying into the stereotypes, then going out of their way to assuage the ones who foment them.
          ‘Given my past’.
          And?
          What’s THAT supposed to mean?
          I’ve noticed that what gay people do, is treated like the greatest sin and shame, but it’s innocent when heterosexuals do it.
          Gay people are attracted to other gay folks, you have romantic and sexual feelings like heterosexuals do.
          And you’re expected to deny it, WHY?
          NONE of that has improved society in the least.
          Celibate, neutered gay people accomplish little, but can definitely be counted on to NOT challenge religious authority.
          Even when it bleeds into the socio/political sphere as public and civil policy.
          You’re not in the fight, that’s actually advanced FAR more freedoms than gay folks EVER saw before.
          I won’t slam you for not being strong enough to do so.
          But let me just say, the neutered, celibate gay people doesn’t and never did sound like themselves.
          Or act like themselves. There is a star bellied sneeches quality to how you sound and defend yourselves.
          And unfortunately, along with that comes a blandness, beige, uninteresting aspect that doesn’t in the least seem genuine.

          There is no courage in doing what you do.
          Nor what Matt does.
          Some gay people have been told from youth that their lives are an inevitable parade of sexual promiscuity, which leads to disease, which leads to much social dissatisfaction and personally stunted growth.
          That’s been true also of heterosexuals who are given negative messaging their entire lives.
          It’s only religious communities that are given a pass on the damage they can and have caused.
          So, Matt’s comment that such communities are getting a bad rap, isn’t because they haven’t earned it.
          It’s because they HAVE.
          And the issues of gender and sexual orientation are taking the hardest hits and always have.
          Slut shaming is a full time job there, when it comes to those communities and the gender variant.
          If you had other emotional or psychological issues at play, then THAT isn’t blamed as it would be in a heterosexual, but your orientation is.
          “Falling back into the life style”.
          First of all, it’s NOT a lifestyle. It’s not called that when defining heterosexuality.
          A person is going to be gay or straight, regardless of having an active romantic sex life.
          So actually having one is a sin for one, but not the other?
          Double, impossible, cruel and frankly stupid standards.
          And to what end, what GOOD does being a celibate, neutered gay people actually do, ultimately?
          If you think of something, I’m listening.

          • mike

            There is at least some truth in your rant. You have no qualifications to speak about being gay. Because you are not SSA’d yourself, you have no personal experience of what it means to be SSA’d, to live in a gay lifestyle, or therefore to understand gay brokenness. You are not qualified to speak. So don’t!

          • Leon Checkers

            Why disqualify the messenger when you’re partly receiving the message? How is that any different that what the Pharisees did to Jesus?

          • mike

            Correction. The messenger is a fraud. She has no qualifications to speak by her own admission. Consequently, her eyes don’t see clearly. She is blind to what really is true about the brokenness of those with SSA and what is best for them.
            But your comment is equally absurd. This woman is NOT Jesus but a false prophet who is no prophet at all and needs to be exposed!

          • Leon Checkers

            As a SSA man, I don’t see why all that judgment is necessary, lol. I didn’t claim anyone to be Jesus, I was just referring to all the offense that’s taken place, when there’s so much in the message regardless of who the messenger presents themselves to be. That’s all, it’s all love. That’s like saying a whole bunch of heterosexuals just received an amazing word from a pastor, but if later the pastor said they are SSA, that disqualifies everything the received from the word. That’s simply not true. But us SSA have to stick together & find freedom in being who we are, not allowing it to define who we are as well.

          • Regan DuCasse

            There ya go! I want my fellow human beings to be free to be themselves, that’s the only way the truth will be out and free for people to see for themselves and learn for themselves.
            Hiding behind the Bible and God and Christ is only going to prolong false ideas and prejudice.
            That’s why I asked when hiding being gay, or repressing that aspect of sexuality and attraction ever did ANY good?
            Why do Christians act like it’s a formula that’s worked well and did no harm?
            That in and of itself is fraud.

          • Regan DuCasse

            Yessh, Mike. I’m not trying to be a prophet. I’m only someone who has empathized with a marginalized minority because I’m in a minority who has been treated with similar injustice and misrepresentation.
            And the message of Christ was to be empathetic. So I am.
            It pains me to see gay people try to contort themselves into yet another dark box to appease other human beings who refuse to understand what gay identity is.
            The human race is diverse, varied in tremendous ways. And I love that diversity, and I resent religious communities interfering with opportunity to know gay people fully, and with the freedom to be so.
            You made a claim.
            So back up why you say I’m a fraud. I haven’t made a claim of being something I wasn’t.
            Not once.
            I AM qualified to talk about empathy, and courage. And the need for more people to have those qualities in the world.
            And it looks to me like certain types of Christianity, don’t imbue those qualities whatsoever.

          • mike

            “And the message of Christ was to be empathetic. So I am.”
            Telling half truths is fraudulent.
            Yes, I agree Christ was/is an empath. The story of the woman caught in adultery is an example where Christ showed that. He did not judge her for her sin. But Christ did not leave her in her sin but said “go and sin no more”. She would have said how? And the answer was to follow Him and hence Christ had a devoted group of women followers because Christ as well empathized with their bad treatment at the hands of chauvanistic men.
            Now, you empathize BUT unlike Christ you leave them in their gayness. You assume that’s all they need. But Christ empathizes and says “such were some of you” that is Christ offers them freedom from their homosexual pasts.
            Empathy is not enough if you leave them in there misery.

          • Regan DuCasse

            Oh but I AM very qualified to speak. And many, many members of the LGT TRUST me to speak for them.
            Because I know how to defend minorities and women, against the ways in which they are slut shamed or told they aren’t fit to walk the Earth, if they don’t toe some religious authority line.
            I would rather die than betray the trust that’s between me and the LGT folks I’ve come to respect very much.
            I have personal experience with trying to love within a vilified and marginalized community (black men).
            Much of the experience, is the same.
            There is a lot in common.
            And I’ve tapped that empathetic nerve, and it’s been effective so far.
            No one answered the question about what GOOD, especially to other gay folks, is a celibate, neutered gay person who is most likely either fatigued, or bitter about their experience.
            Or both.
            Who isn’t?
            Relationships are difficult.
            And sometimes the predatory Christian community, sense vulnerability, or enables it in gay people and wants you to excise yourself from the very thing that would raise the most passions and challenge to religious belief (if not authority).
            What you call ‘brokenness’ in a gay person IS A MYTH.
            It happens to heterosexuals in which relationship cohesion and endurance is elusive and difficult too.
            But only gay people are required to use their orientation as the excuse.
            Which is exactly the ridiculous double and impossible standards I’m talking about.
            Being gay isn’t being broken.
            It’s part of the wondrous diversity and variation on gender our Creator has gifted us with.
            It’s like the fingers and thumbs working together on the hand.
            Acceptance of homosexuality for what it is, is the HEALTHIEST means of navigating everything else.
            Instead of leaning on it like a crutch to excuse everything else.
            I speak from more experience than you care to believe.
            Deal with it. I’m not a liar.

          • mike

            No. You are not qualified. Just like I am not qualified to speak about Black people because I am not Black! Moreover, you were asked by Matt to lay off this blog. Be respectful of Matt and show some class.

          • Tim Walstrum

            As a gay man I say Regan is right on point. Self loathing gay men who fall victim to religion are just sad. It is very cult like.

          • mike

            Tim, one of us is in a cult :). We both can’t be right therefore one of us is wrong! But, it’s still a free society isn’t it? So, if your into gay and happy. Then be happy. I’m very happy where I am. So, we are both happy :). Nothing sad. Let’s drink to that! And btw, I don’t hate myself nor do I consider myself a victim. It’s Regan that is unhappy and that’s sad :(.

          • Tim Walstrum

            It is funny and ironic you are projecting on Regan. She hasn’t said anything that makes me feel she is said. Just pissed off at homophobia both externally in the world and internally in people like yourself that has been taught that something is wrong with them. That is the sad part taught to hate and loathe a part of yourself. To be taught you will never have that one special person in your life. Truly sad.

          • mike

            You want to know what is sad and disgusting. That people like Regan think they can bully their way into a blog like this. They have been told to lay off by the owner of this blog. They know they are not welcome with their views. They can’t respect others views in this still free society. They think they can just arrive and dump their rant which is not only unwelcome but their behavior is arrogant and sick. It shows how degraded is their moral compass. What is ironic is they think they are compassionate and righteous in their actions. How far from the truth! Now that is sad and pathetic. Who gave Regan the right to bully me and tell me how to live?

          • Hear hear!

          • Tim Walstrum

            You are promoting an ideology that is harmful to the GLBT community. Guess what when you publish a blog that promotes harmful things you need to be ready to have people challenge it. You don’t get a free pass to promote harm then whine when someone says nope this is wrong.

          • mike

            I don’t publish a blog. Talk to Matt.

          • Tim Walstrum

            You are the one complaining she comes here to comment. I am telling you like it is.

          • I don’t care if I “harm” the LGBT community. It promotes an ideology that is contrary to furthering my Father’s Kingdom. This is all temporary. God is eternal. If some gets offended by me “promoting” it, then let them go to a safe space.

          • Tim Walstrum

            Yes heaven forbid a gay kid kills himself because of those like you that work to shame them and tell them they aren’t worthy of romantic love. No skin off your nose.

          • I’m not responding to the angry activist (I guess a snarky comment about her needing Xanax counts though) but I suppose you are okay – for now.
            The goal is to get them to love themselves, to try to prevent suicide. Despite the propaganda of the LGBT movement, there is Christian love for those who are SSA. But there are standards. One does not tell a kleptomaniac that it is okay to steal because God loves them, nor does one tell an adulterer that it is okay to sleep around because God loves them (well maybe Ms. Activist). Why should there be a separate standard for those who are SSA? Is it because it might make them uncomfortable or is it to further the political power and pride of those who say they are for us?
            Again I question Ms. Activist motives. Does she really care about a person’s well being as she claims, or does she want dependence on a political organization so she can take pride in it?

          • mike

            When the gay community eventually get what they want: all of us in jail, the church underground, and the elimination of gender then they won’t need Ms. activist! They will discard her like their trash because she isn’t one of them. She’ll see the light then. She’ll repent of her evil. There is hope — always hope.

          • manlambda

            Awwww the homophobes are scared. Don’t worry just like racists you will still be able to hold your backwards hatred. You will just be marginalized. By the way mike and Bradley you sound very little like the Jesus you claim to follow.

          • Regan DuCasse

            Much like the Civil Rights Movement, and it’s moral center, the gay community launched a remarkable revolution that’s been essentially peaceful, courageous, compassionate and ALL through DUE PROCESS OF LAW.
            Even if one of their number has been brutalized, they haven’t responded in kind. There were Christians who went to jail, or lost their church communities and pastors who were fired for SUPPORTING gay equality and marrying gay couples.
            Thousands of gay people participated in the civil rights movement, and one of Dr. King’s own associates who was instrumental in organizing the march on Washington was a gay man. Bayard Rustin.
            Many of the civil rights warriors, were undeniably supportive and still are, of gay equality.
            Coretta King, Rep. John Lewis, Andrew Young, Julian Bond..Mrs. Mildred Loving.
            No doubt they knew the gay folks who marched alongside them.
            Due process of law.
            The goal of gay folks, is to be treated with the same protections the Bill of Rights and Constitution guarantees. That’s all.
            I’ve been discarded and dismissed like trash, usually by CHRISTIANS.
            For defending gay and trans folks.
            I can take it. My skin is very thick.
            I’ve noticed that many Christians like you are about as durable as a snowflake.
            Your predictions, like those of so many like you who think they know what the gay community will do or wants, has been very wrong.

          • mike

            I see Matt continues to allow your posts and you continue to do so despite previously being asked to desist.
            You think you know gay brokenness because you have talked to gay people. But you only know what they tell you and feed you. Hearsay is not always accurate. You don’t personally know what it means to have gay attractions or to have been involved in gay behaviour. Moreover you equate being black to being gay as if it is the same thing. I do not agree and you need to respect that.
            I’m in Canada. Gay folks here have attained what they wanted: respect in the workplace, legal gay marriage with equal rights, and changes to school curriculums. But, they continue to parade with in your face sexuality! Why? Clearly, they want more. Why more? Because they are just not happy with what they have achieved. There is further agenda. Unlike the Black community who no longer hold protest parades here the gays continue. Why?
            What is the real reason? If you have same sex attraction you would not have to speculate. You would know that gay behaviour does not lead to happiness. Gays think they aren’t happy or content because of some external ‘homophobia’ from people like me! They don’t want to believe like you that the real reason is not that. They think that if they eliminate ALL perceived ‘homophobia’, eliminate people like me, eliminate all gender speak and create a gay planet where we all are gender-less and switch back and forth then they will be happy! I predict they will achieve that since they are a powerful well funded lobby and have people like you working aggressively but naively for that cause. But I also predict Ragen that when they achieve that they will still be unhappy. And in their unhappiness they will turn on you for the only reason that you are not one of them. Call me a nut Ragen but time will tell.

          • Regan DuCasse

            It’s not about what gay people ‘feed me’. I know and have borne witness to how gay people ARE TREATED.
            THAT has been my greatest concern all along.
            I know that bigotry, being MISREPRESENTED by a public hostile to you, and distrustful, leads to unhappiness.
            Black people DO have protests. Haven’t you seen the responses to the heightened visuals that show black men being gunned down by police officers, even if they have their hands up in surrender?!
            It’s likely going to be impossible to remove all bigotry from society. But certainly removing it from PUBLIC POLICY is necessary and warranted. No civil law should allow it.
            Period.
            And it’s civil law that should be colorblind, and genderless, even though our humanity ISN’T and can’t be.
            Everything you’re describing about gay people and their intentions and ‘brokenness’ only feeds prejudice and distrust.
            And always has.
            Matt’s articles, if they only generated comments from people who agree with him, and stroke him only with the same high praise over and over again, would get kind of boring after a while.
            Why shouldn’t I come here to shake things up a bit? Most of all, cutting off dissent would be censoring, and denying that dissent is legit.
            And it would be a rather weak thing to do to cut off dissent and would only prove that Christians can only deal with people who agree with them and obey them.

          • mike

            What is bigotry? My dictionary defines it as: intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.
            So, with that definition I find you Regan a bigot. Yes, you can disagree. But you don’t! You vilify with your poisonous rants people who understand something you don’t have.
            Talking all over them with your own little opinions. Yes, your opinions are little just like mine are. But if you want to talk about what is legit then talk plainly and truthfully: you are bigoted toward people like Matt, myself and others. If it quacks like a duck it is a duck and I’m telling you I feel mistreated by you because you won’t accept my color!

          • manlambda

            So those who oppose sexism, racism, and antisemitism who bigoted. Wow who knew?

          • Stacy

            Nailed it!

          • Regan DuCasse

            And by the way, heterosexuals have ALWAYS attained the freedom to marry who they please, and flaunt THEIR sexuality in all kinds of public bacchanals, but again the DOUBLE standards of what defines open sexuality for gay folks and for heterosexuals is always two very different things.
            Such as anyone taking homicidal offense if two men or two women are affectionate in public.
            The irony that violence is more acceptable and even entertainment in general society, rather than affection between ss couples, clearly escapes you.
            So I don’t give much credence to anyone who complains about what gay people display in public.

          • mike

            Wow Regan can you not stick to the topic? I’m talking about gay parades. There are not straight sexuality parades! No straight ‘pride’ parades. That’s the double standard I’m talking about. I don’t give much credence to a poster or activist who can’t stick to the topic.

          • manlambda

            Have you been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans?

          • manlambda

            Gay Pride parades and festivals are not protests but a celebration. Much like the Irish festivals, Italian Festivals, Latino Festivals etc we have in our fine city.

          • Regan DuCasse

            Thank you, exactly my point. You should see the fashions at the Afro Punk Fest in Brooklyn, for example.
            Mardi Gras is precisely the bacchanal I’m talking about. I AM trying to stick to the topic, you’re the one that goes off on the rails because you can’t understand the comments.

          • Regan DuCasse

            Sorry manlambda, that last sentence is directed at Mike.

          • Regan DuCasse

            Comparing the behaviors of stealing and adultery to being gay, is an exact example of not differentiating behaviors that cause harm and distrust and behaviors that do not (homosexuality).
            I said I worked in law enforcement, first responders know human depravity very well.
            And adultery and theft, are acts AGAINST another human being. A betrayal of their trust.
            THAT is why there needs to be a separate standard, because the RESULT is NOT the same.
            My motives are to see an END to the prejudice, and suspicion and threat to gay people in which even casual contact can become a homicide.
            I’m not making CLAIMS.
            I’m talking REAL. I would love it if anti hate and discrimination groups didn’t have to exist. But they DO for a very specific reason. And the fact that you’d slam any of them is disgraceful.
            I worked in law enforcement for the same reason.
            That you would take issue and make a crack that my motives are nefarious is just so rich, coming from someone like you.
            There are different sites that I go to, that I have to check in on, to be INFORMED. So that when I lodge a comment, it’s a well informed one.
            Years ago, I’d read about a site called ruralgay, in my hometown newspaper (Los Angeles Times).
            I told everyone there, that I wasn’t gay, nor rural. But that a politically active person like me, needed to check in on the local politics, how the people in the chat room were doing, and their fears and needs.
            The site was up for six years, and I made several LIFELONG friends from it.
            So, I’m here to see what ELSE Matt is talking about. He’s articulate, quite sophist.
            But his articles all point in the same direction, with an intent he thinks is going to smooth things more between gay people and the religious or the public at large.
            It won’t. He’s reinforcing more stereotype, more unrealistic expectations of gay people.
            So, I won’t know anything about Matt, unless I read his blog regularly.

          • So you admit you are a troll! An angry, bitter, two faced troll, who wants me to abandon God and give my support to the LGBT (isn’t there a Q somewhere now, I can’t keep up). Well you can’t have me, and I have warned others about you who post here. Rant all you want. Consider Xanax. God loves you. Good night.

          • Regan DuCasse

            You’re only proving how abusive an avowed Christian will get, when challenged. I bring up an experience with a site that gave me lifelong friends, and you act as if you uncovered a major crime.
            So what if I visit websites for connection, research and edification.
            So. What.
            Do you Christians have to make up such a persecution complex so badly that you accuse anyone or turn a casual mention, into a screed about trolling to do so.
            I thought you weren’t going to reply to me any more.
            You insult me, then you tell me God loves you, then you tell me you love me and will be my friend, if I let you.
            You called me two faced. But this last comment could give someone whiplash you flipped so fast from one thing to the other.
            Why would I want to be your friend after that, since you’re intimating I can’t be trusted?
            Initially, I was willing to examine the story you told about experience a church family member of yours, checking your casual gesture of affection, as having some other motive.
            As if such a simple act, a well meaning one, means something else when a gay person does it.
            I thought to myself, how hurtful, and tension inducing in a gay person, who has to behave that way.
            Don’t make a claim of what I want, be wrong, and then don’t OWN it.
            I said early on, that despite the betrayals of people closest to me, I don’t hate or try to get back at the members of the group responsible for it.
            Bitter, angry people don’t do that.
            I act on behalf of those who shared my experience to work to change the laws, and social awareness about it.
            I don’t need a church, or contradictory religious person to tell me about God.
            You don’t have to abandon God, to support gay people where it matters.
            But don’t act like what you do has been a part of the advancement of gay people. You don’t want them to advance.
            And regardless, those advancements were necessary, and made a better world and country for gay people.
            Contradicting what YOU say and do to the faces of gay people.
            So your assertion of me being two faced, is YOU projecting yourself on me.
            I don’t try to change gay people into gospel repeating automatons, that wouldn’t or couldn’t challenge religious authority over the lives of their brethren everywhere, whether they chose the religion or not.
            I don’t try to tell them God loves them in one breath, and that they are sinners unworthy of equal treatment under the law, in another.

            Matt and yourself and the typical visitor to this blog, say the same thing, profess to do the same thing, and behave as if it’s been a working thing to do, for the gay community.
            You’re not doing a thing new, that hasn’t been done and expected of gay people for the last 45 years.
            And your cheap crack about considering Xanax…?
            As I said, you’ve proven how abusive a Christian will get, and will turn on a person in a heartbeat if you’re not praised every two seconds.
            Bradley, we’re done.
            We were done, before I said a thing.

          • Regan DuCasse

            There it is.
            Bradley finally said what I knew all along.
            “I don’t care if I harm the LGBT community”.

            I did remind you that furthering the Christian agenda was all you cared about.
            Being gay isn’t an ideology.
            And anyone calling it “brokenness” is insulting gay people.
            The Christian doctrine towards gay people at it’s heart, is cruel and ruthless and destructive.
            It’s only very recently some Christians have admitted that, and even apologized for it.
            At least they owned it.
            And I own that seeing injustice and the kinds of insults that say that gay people are unworthy, unless they toe the hypocritical and contradictory religious line, makes me angry.
            The suicides and religious bullying of gay kids pisses me off ROYALLY.
            Because I’ve mentored youth, and tried very hard to undo that damage. In the individual, and society at large.
            The total blindness and deafness some of the religious are to the destruction they’ve caused is unforgivable.
            God and Christ are still intangible.
            Gay people, are not. And I know there is so much more there that I and others deserve to know, that the religious keep trying to repress.
            I KNOW all about being Christian, and the aim of Christians.
            I was THERE for that MY WHOLE LIFE.
            I don’t want to hear from you anymore, I want to know the REAL gay people who should be unsullied by doctrine that’s interfering with getting to know each other better.
            THAT is the knowledge I want to know.
            So don’t try to keep it from me or anyone else who wants to know, AND SHOULD.

          • Regan DuCasse

            You’re feeling bullied? Really?
            I didn’t even know you existed until you went on the offensive. If you can’t stand the heat, don’t start the fire.
            Tell me what’s so degraded about my moral compass. No doubt you want to tell me, right?
            Again, you rang the bell, now deal with the consequences.
            The drama queen act in here is predictably tiresome.
            I tend to try to give everyone another shot at actually being intellectually honest.
            But, I guess that’s an impossibility.

          • Regan DuCasse

            Oh, so you know that about me, then? What are you all of a sudden?
            Don’t put words I didn’t say, and don’t assume (that’s what makes you keep making the same mistakes over and over).
            A I can speak for myself.
            Better minds understand me. So if you can’t, that’s not my problem, it’s yours.

          • mike

            Regan, Regan it is you who assume. Where did you get this “sexual orientation” idea from? What is it? How many are there? Who decides? Who’s right? You assume that there more than one. Who told you?
            Look, the ordinary man on the street without any education or reading of this blog will tell you that two males don’t have the anatomy to have sex. To put it bluntly the rectum was designed for only one purpose and it was not sex!
            So, you think that if you created a gay planet without people like me then all would be well? Maybe internalized homophobia is simply that gay behavior is inherently against the grain and doesn’t work and is not fulfilling. How can it be? The parts don’t fit!

          • Regan DuCasse

            Of course, you’re going to reduce this to ‘the parts don’t fit’. That doesn’t seem to matter with men and women’s mouths.
            The ordinary man in the street without any education, and KNOWS he is without education and is a decent person, will not argue with those who clearly are better thinkers and educated than he is.
            His decency will help him recognize when he doesn’t know anything about a certain subject, but his courage and compassion will allow him to ASK in order to BE more informed.
            You’ve reduced gay people to the sex act, without regard to that attraction would still be there without a sex life in evidence.
            A heterosexual is still their orientation, regardless of having a sex life.
            Human behavior isn’t simple. And human beings aren’t either.
            There are a lot of things that on the surface, or even a bit below it, are mysterious and not easy to understand.
            Doesn’t mean they aren’t legit. And complexity, is over your head, as your comment attests by itself.
            Who decided that gay people were unworthy of being treated like human beings with the potential to do good?
            Those that decided that, created a world of hurt for millions.
            The ones who have been accepting, did not.
            THAT is how you can discern what’s right or not.
            The results.
            They’ve spoken for themselves when the opportunity has been accorded.
            Got all that?

          • mike

            You didn’t answer any of my questions Regan. You need to think about them and respond or else this isn’t a conversation but you preaching at me.

          • Regan DuCasse

            I answered your questions, I also gave the clinical and precise definitions of not only of sexual orientation, but it’s origin and in context to clinical studies.
            I pointed out to Bradley that what I believe about God, is between me and God, and is private and special.
            At no time, did I EVER dismiss the God that created me.
            Nor gay people. The same God created us both.
            What “studied people” are you talking about that proved that decades of research was nothing?
            I know exactly what happened in ’73, with the medical and psychiatric establishment, Dr. Evelyn Hooker pioneered a different methodology and case subjects.

            After considering her research, other doctors followed the same methods and that eventually led to the DSM changing the definition.
            I already told you that all doctors are required to update their research, and case subjects. They are morally and ethically obligated to do so.
            When they don’t, why would you go to a doctor that didn’t think anything SHOULD change, in 2,000 years?
            So it’s your constant referring to the Bible, as if it’s the answer for the complexities of a clinical subject, is what makes no sense in that context.
            Since so many contributors here are gay, would you prefer they were locked up, and subjected to cold showers, electro shock, and the same constant messaging that would keep them imprisoned in mental institutions for years and years, damaging their ability to work and be self reliant.
            I didn’t dismiss anything, I just didn’t happen to mention it.
            And you’re making declarations and assertions about what God do worship or made up for myself.
            With NO evidence anywhere on this thread that I ever did that.

            Another irrefutable example of you putting things in I didn’t say, or shouldn’t have to.
            You scolded me and said you wanted a conversation, and no preaching from me.
            I tried, but instead, you wanted to be the one to preach.
            So you contradicted yourself.
            AnotherMike and Joshua and I were the ones having a conversation, use that example as what one is really like.
            The Bible has been around a long time. I’ve read it before, many times and I have a good memory.
            I own one. It’s a little worn, but I got it when I was confirmed in the Episcopalian church.
            There are so many other books I need to read. Telling me to read the Bible, or that I have to believe in God the same way you do, is something I’ve heard all my life, and have no need to keep hearing it constantly.
            It’s being done to the point of a saturation, I don’t think enough Christians ever considered.
            Beating someone over the head, with the fire and brimstone bit, is going to not necessarily turn people away from God, but away FROM YOU.
            There is NOTHING new in the Bible. But people are learning to understand each other in remarkable and essential ways, and I find the rhetoric here, acting like a restraining chain on one’s better angels of curiosity, and respect for separate and diversified experience.
            Equal treatment under the law, and protections therein, that keeps one from one human abusing another, is a result I have faith in, because it’s worked well so far.
            And there is nothing wrong with it, and others here should appreciate.
            Because as I said, they wouldn’t be free to express themselves in any way whatsoever. Even their religion, because sometimes, religious fervor is integrated with mental illness.

            You were answered with a lot more respect, than you gave.
            And it took so little to set you off, with some serious invective that was uncalled for.
            If it will put your mind at ease, I actually love God, although the faith has been tested. And I love enjoying all the tremendous opportunity I’ve had to know so many different people and their backgrounds.
            I know who to thank for that too.
            I like NEW information, and new opportunity to explore it.
            The Bible isn’t one of them, because I’ve been there and done that already.
            So lighten up.

          • mike

            Regan you have been at this so long it hard for you to see what is happening to you. You rationalize even your standing before God that somehow it’s “private” and “special” that no one else can understand? That is not what followers of Jesus do. To love God is to obey Him. That’s what love is. It’s in the context of a relationship that God cultivates with us for ALL to see. You discount the teachings of the Bible yet you say you love God. Read John 14:15-24 and see what loving God means?
            Moreover regarding the APA’s decision regarding homosexuality. It was not due to some groundbreaking new empirical research. If that was true the vote should have been unanimous! Instead only 55% voted for that change. So, you don’t know “exactly” what happened in 1974 when that change officially took place. It is shocking to me how that change occurred and it should be shocking to the whole scientific community!
            No Regan, from what you write you love psychology when it suits your purpose. Don’t talk about loving God. Tell the truth.

          • Regan DuCasse

            Evidently mike, you don’t respect or care about what relationship I actually have. Because I didn’t mention it before, you decided all on your own, that I dismissed God.
            The problem here is that, you’re using your identity as a Christian, as a someone claiming to be a lover of God, to qualify yourself and other people, with no regard to any personal history or experience I’ve had.
            You’re belaboring a point, that doesn’t need it.
            And when a conversation requires more than just the constant refrain about your beliefs, God and Christ and virtually NOTHING else, except that you expect utter agreement or praise…then you say something to infer that the science that I know, is worthy of not being believed.
            Or that I love psychology when or because it suits my purpose.
            Your double standards on this, are showing.
            Because that’s how you use your Christian beliefs, to your own purpose.
            Except that said Christian teaching and doctrine has had many centuries, and the other has not.
            And when someone gets offended by the length of my posts (then it’s not going to help to try and put EVERY fact, or thought into a comment, now is it?).
            The thing is mike, God and Christ don’t hold you or any other Christian accountable for what you do. Not in the clear and present physical sense.
            Any punishment, shunning, exclusion, restrictions or enforcement (i.e. OBEDIENCE), is demanded and carried out my mere mortals like yourself.
            I’m only mortal too.
            And I’ve seen considerable disparity in the way women are supposed to obey, as opposed to what happens if men do or don’t obey.
            The God of the Bible doesn’t suit a considerably large part of the human population in the way you’d like to think. Or force it, if you could.
            I just said, other than being murdered outright, gay people were otherwise locked up and tormented with treatments that aren’t and couldn’t change what they are.
            And no mental illness (if anyone is still going to call homosexuality that), is cured or tempered in a healthy way by prayer or harsh restrictions that aren’t imposed consistently on heterosexuals for THEIR less than perfect adherence to religious doctrine.
            It’s a long way from 1973-74.
            And I told you that much more empirical research has proven that gay people aren’t broken, or sick, or emotionally incompetent. Or incompetent at all SINCE the earlier research.
            This was part of the evidence, proof and witnesses who participated in the legislative and courts and why the laws changed and HAD to.
            You seem to be very hostile, to these changes.
            And you keep making the claim that the changes in the DSM or how anyone studied homosexuality 40 years ago, wasn’t legit, or came under duress.
            So your preference is for gay people to be locked up?
            To be kept from pursuing life, liberty and happiness without the stigma?
            Looks to me like Christians want to continue to PROFIT from the stigma.
            So I won’t talk about loving God.
            Why bother if you don’t believe me anyway?

            The greatest epiphany I ever had about my fellow man, was being in a crowd of MILLIONS who turned out to watch the space shuttle Endeavor make a slow journey (over nearly two days) down to major Los Angeles streets.
            I’d never seen a more joyful, respectful crowd of the diversity that we humans represent.
            And all there to see what human collective ingenuity, cooperation, courage, compassion and love for human progress could do.
            It was a time when I loved God a great deal, actually. And was grateful to see so many people be awestruck.
            A modern Tower of Babel, so to speak.
            I’ve always told the truth here.
            And you’re in no position to call me a liar.
            You just say whatever you want, whether it’s true on not, you don’t care.
            But because you are behind the anonymous safety of a computer, and not to my face, you can try and stir up a mob scene here to point a finger that I don’t love God enough to suit YOU.
            You’re mind is stuck, and stuck like epoxy to a single, narrow and very small thing.
            I’ve been more places than you dare to go.
            No matter how many times you scold me, or demand I read the Bible, I know it already. Don’t need to read it, every time you tell me to.
            Might be refreshing if Christians stopped talking to adults and ordering them around as if they are dealing with willful children.
            What I want to see happen, is that men like Bradley aren’t suddenly suspected as if they are a criminal, for a casual, well meant affectionate gesture towards another man.
            But since YOU are just as suspicious, I’m guessing you prefer to be suspicious all the time, and make accusations and decide on the guilt of someone’s lack of piety (in your estimation).
            It’s shocking to you how that change occurred? As long as you believe it happened completely the way you claim.
            But I think you like shock, and the drama of what you want to believe and that might explain why you make extreme claims, to give them heft, while it hasn’t occurred to you that I know more than you give me credit for.
            It shouldn’t be necessary to write so much context in this forum.

            But, since I HAVE been at a lot of things for a long time, you didn’t even ask my cultural origins. You never really asked anything about me that’s personal.
            But you sure went for attacking me personally, when I did no such thing to you.
            YOU got that started.
            And enjoyed doing it, too. When a person isn’t ‘obeying God’ to your satisfaction (how you expect to know that when this is an online forum), shouldn’t matter.
            But you try to humiliate in the course of that kind of thinking.

            Us black folks tended to be invisible to the white majority. As if we were these silent, non emoting shadows. But there are times when white people NEVER ASK about a black person, let alone care to know if they felt anything or had an opinion.
            And also get spoken to (me included) as if we’re children that need to OBEY white people.
            And if we dare to challenge the authority white people thought was theirs alone, then comes the humiliation and sometimes outright violence.
            Those are the earmarks of an abusive relationship.
            And I know much about those too.
            In some Christians, there is that quality, and then they say “it’s God’s law, not mine, I didn’t make them up”.
            Leaving God to take the blame for the abusive nature of what Christians expect from others.
            Not all Christians of course.
            I know much better Christians than that.
            But you never asked except questions from which to launch into a sermon.
            I’ve heard all the sermons.
            I’d really like to hear something else.

          • mike

            If I didn’t care about you Regan I wouldn’t be talking to you. If you dismiss the Bible you dismiss God. If you can’t understand that statement then you are in trouble. Did you read those verses in John? Now don’t go making this conversation into a racial thing. Because it is not.It is whether you follow the Bible or your psychology research that you quote.Can you at least think about that and answer it. But don’t go telling me it’s “private”! Because then there is no discussion.

          • Regan DuCasse

            mike, would you lighten up? How many times reading the Bible will satisfy?
            It’s been around a long time. It’s not saying anything differently to me, than it did when I first attended Bible study as a seven year old (and very precocious reader).
            It’s not new. It’s something that will have staying power long after you and I are dust.
            Did you not just read what I said I felt, when I saw so many of our fellow humans gathering for a momentous event?
            I don’t have to keep thinking about the Bible. I’ve done that. Many times before, after a while, other things have to be thought about.
            New discoveries have to be made. New things to talk about, new approaches to problems the older ways haven’t solved.
            Such as why gay and trans people raise such conflict, when there isn’t any difference that requires to be cautious around a gay person, when they ARE accorded the same that heterosexuals take for granted.
            You didn’t answer my question to the ethical aspect of resentment that the mental illness definition was changed.
            Do you prefer gay people to be murdered, or locked up?
            Because those have been the only options up until now.

            You don’t believe there is such a thing as sexual orientation, you have already said as much.
            So why don’t the talents and potential to contribute, mean nothing, but focus on the sexuality of gay people is at the expense of ALL else?
            You keep asserting I’m dismissing God, you use that word a lot.
            All the while, you’re the one who is dismissive.
            You have NO respect for the fact that I’m more curious to know more about gay people, and have acted accordingly in the manner in which to gain this knowledge.
            The Bible didn’t help me before, it won’t now.
            Because the constant referral to the Bible, that if you knew anything about medical history, political structure and the Roman Empire for example, you’d understand the context in which NOW, the present…requires more than just reactionary attitudes, exemplified in the Bible.

            I only presented a racial example, in order for you to understand that all kinds of people have been abused by religious certainty that a group was offensive to God.
            A GROUP, not individuals.

            I’ve heard all kinds (if not every kind), of Biblical excuse (if not reason) to abuse people whose existence wasn’t easily explained in Biblical times (among other things), but is still called a lie, even when it IS explained.
            I dunno mike.
            Some of these thoughts and experience, I had questions about since I was a child. Made aware of and experiencing deep realities, from young.
            Losing both of my parents to death, by the time I was 15 years old.
            Having friends coming out to me, at about that time.
            Being assaulted and sexually objectified once my body developed. Slut shamed by a Christian neighbor I’d loved since I was a child, for joining a family entertainment company as a performer.
            She MEANT to hurt me, and she did.
            Why did my black skin get me into trouble, when I was innocent?
            Same thing I saw with gay people, being treated horribly, no matter how innocent.
            And now, you expect me to defend whether or not I show the kind of piety you think is required to be considered fairly at all?

            I’ve had to work through things that are in conflict with what people TOLD me.
            That even contradicted their Biblical assertions.
            And I’ve so far, found that there was a lot of wrong in what I was told.
            The Bible isn’t enough, mike.
            Not enough.
            And the rather weak gestures of saying I was cared for, after some very insulting disrespect for me, and for my experience…aren’t either.
            More needs to be done.
            But I find most people here hard pressed to extend themselves that far.
            Sad.

          • mike

            Regan, that you were hurt by people, by religion is evident. I see alot of hurt in you. Where will you find healing? In being an activist to people who are not your own. Have you found healing there? Maybe community with others who have been hurt. But that is not enough. I sense your pain is still deep.
            I hate religion and churches who pretend but are hypocrites and help no one but themselves. Stay away from those people and places.
            No. No, I’m not against gay people. I don’t want them locked up or hurt anymore. But I hate a solution for them that hurts them even more. Matt was there but he is not now. He has found healing. That is evident. That’s what I want for gay people.
            Yes, you’ve been hurt. So have I. But you hating me because I say the solution to pain and hurt is in the Bible. My precious invective was not against you personally but against your ideology that being gay is good. It is not. It is a counterfeit thing which does not bring fulfillment no matter what laws are in place.
            I am against religion and if you remember Jesus was too. He called the religious white washed tombs because they were hypocrites.
            But the Bible speaks of relationship with God restored by Jesus. He said I came for the sick because the healthy don’t need a physician.
            You and me Regan are sick and hurting because of religion and people who have been mean. You and I need to forgive them and move on.
            I do care about my gay brothers and sisters. But the Bible is enough Regan. It is the only truth that offers a way out of pain and bitterness. Not psychology. No.
            I care that you find healing, an end to bitterness, and that you can forgive those who have hurt you and who have hurt gay people.
            There is no healing outside the God of the bible. Do reread John 14. Have you read it recently?

          • Regan DuCasse

            I mentioned before, that despite all the things that have happened, I have NO ill will towards the ALL the members of the GROUP they belong to.
            I can compartmentalize very efficiently.
            A necessary quality when you’re in a big city, crime scene photo unit.
            I mostly see people as individuals, and place them in the correct categories if necessary.
            The problem is, that there isn’t a way to see people like that coming from a mile away or avoiding them. Some of this happened between me and people I loved and cared about for YEARS.
            That’s the only thing that made the betrayal so profound and destructive.
            Those that have no personal connection to me that much, don’t and can’t affect me.
            But being motivated and strong and able to keep moving, I have found through working at something in the service of other people, or the community I live in.
            That’s what anti hate activism and education is all about.
            That is what reaching out to different people with NO ulterior motive to make them follow the same line, and obey the same God, is all about.
            I told you, I know the Bible, I know what it says.
            I”m very well versed in much philosophy, and the patterns of thought through the centuries.
            I read a lot.
            There IS healing outside of God and the Bible.
            There always has been.
            I should be able to take a different path, as long as I get to a good place where PROGRESS is made, and people aren’t stuck in the same old line, and trying to tell people there is only a single line to follow.
            There isn’t.
            For instance, you can take a Catholic like Kahlil Gibran, and read The Prophet, and he’s filtered some of the Christian and other faiths down to mesmerizing and beautiful writing.
            Or you can read Goethe or Robert Fuhlgum, and get similarities, but Fuhlgum is more entertaining and relatable.

            When all your paths all lead to ONE book and ONE God and ONE prophet, it’s not as engaging as you like to think it is.
            I need more. And I usually get it, the more people I see, the more diversity and variation I accept.
            That most people want the same things, and what’s concerns me, is why gay people are singled out, and confronted with the double standard they MUST do everything the same as everyone else.
            When they aren’t the same, and won’t be. And shouldn’t be.
            Thumb to the fingers, mike. Left hand with the right.
            We are beautiful in our difference. God, likes flavors and spice, and colors and changes.
            As I said, Christians have gamed a lot of time on this, and made a mess and refuse to own the mistakes when it comes to certain members of the human family.
            It’s not that the Christian’s time is over.
            It’s that it’s someone else’s turn.

          • mike

            “There IS healing outside of God and the Bible.”
            You can search for it. But you yourself Regan haven’t found it. I don’t see it in you. I see it in Matt, but not in you. You owe yourself more. But there is still time to find healing for yourself Regan. May you find it one day. But all roads don’t lead home. But this is true that you’ll find God on every one of those roads seeking relationship with you and inviting you to follow Him unto the only road that leads home. There is only one road home… Please do read John 14 again.

          • Regan DuCasse

            Mike, you didn’t see me at ALL, in the beginning. And if you don’t see it in me, it’s because there isn’t a single way to heal. Any more than there are single ‘slings and arrows’ so to speak in life itself.
            You really don’t need to keep telling me the same thing over and over. I spent the morning with a good friend’s two children.
            Three year old girl, and her 5 mo old brother. They are a Jewish family, and we were discussing getting to temple for Rosh Hashanah, and what other Jewish activity I might participate in with them.
            The little girl and I had a great time together. I’m teaching her how to dance, and catch and throw a ball.
            Her baby brother likes being talked to, his mother has a beautiful singing voice. Actually, I sing too.
            But THERE is where God is.
            In the meditation I employ when I’m drawing and painting, I specialize in portraiture, which has been extended into forensic art.
            God is in the faces I see for what they are, a work of art.
            I love music, and God is in the voice of Lawrence Brownlee (one of the best tenors that ever lived), or Ella Fitzgerald singing the Gershwin songbook.
            God is in the statue of David or the Pieta, God is in the magnificent Chinese magnolias that bloom here in Los Angeles.
            I’m pretty sure God is in the hideous Jerusalem crickets or Asian hornets that should scare the piss out of anyone (and that’s when I’m like why God, WHY?!)
            And God is in the dawn I enjoy when I’m working out in the mornings.
            And I told you where God was, when so many millions of people turned out to see a space traveling chariot that visited the heavens God built.
            Don’t you worry about a thing.
            I’ve got this.

          • mike

            At least you’re not yelling at me anymore. I guess you’ve decided I’m harmless!
            Yes, those are good examples. But are they not just the fingerprints of God. He’s really not in the statue. He created the people and gave them gifts to paint, sculpture and dance! But where is God? Where does He live? Have you found Him and heard His voice?
            Good, you like singing. Here is a favorite song about where to find God.

            One day a young girl sat upon Daddy’s knee
            If you could be God, Daddy, where would you be
            In a cloud? In a church? Or a boat on the sea?
            Or maybe a sycamore tree?
            Do you think you would live in a tree?

            White clouds would be fine but they never leave heaven
            and churches are empty six days out of seven
            there’s not much to do when a boat on the sea
            and I don’t think I’d live in a tree, my child
            I don’t think I’d live in a tree

            Then where does God live? Daddy where does he go?
            I do want to find him, I do want to know
            I’ve looked for him here and I’ve looked for him there
            and I’ve looked just about everywhere, now
            I’ve looked just about everywhere

            Then listen my child, and the truth I will tell
            come out with your Daddy, come out to the well
            look deep in the water, now what do you see?
            Daddy, I only see me, she cried
            Why Daddy, I only see me

            My child you may travel the sea or the sod
            and find many things but you’ll never find God
            but if you will search with a heart that is true
            you will find he is living in you, my child
            you’ll find he is living in you

            Bonnie Casey

          • Regan DuCasse

            Sweet.
            I like the poem about Kublai Khan,
            Has a very similar outcome, except that KK met an angel as he woke from ‘a great dream of peace’.
            I used to know that poem by heart. I have so many rolling around in there, that a few would take a bit of concentration to recall.
            Anyway, I’m concerned about a GROUP of people who haven’t had their chance to be seen and heard, and living out in such a way that people accepting them is routine, but also no more potential to do great things is lost.
            This is a group that’s being isolated and treated differently than any of the other people in this world considered sinners.
            I don’t especially like being called a sinner, out of hand, because a religion considers everyone a sinner from the outset.
            That seems to contradict that goodness and God is in each of us.
            I volunteer alongside believers and agnostics and people who are outright atheist, in an institution I’m very proud of here in Los Angeles.
            The Simon Weisenthal Center.
            He was a Nazi hunter, who’d lost 90 members of his family in the Holocaust.
            The mix of people who are committed to teaching against any form of prejudice and resistance to open mindedness, is tremendous.
            We’re all different, but our purpose is the same. It has nothing to do with whose religion is right, or whether someone is religious at all.
            I know what I want, mike.
            I was told a very interesting story about my heritage when I was touring with a show. One of the other performers told me about HIS religion and the many generations of priesthood that were in his family.
            I’ve already fulfilled the destiny of THAT remarkable story, and didn’t think I would.
            But people with children tend to love the story. And I’ll tell it to you sometimes if you want.
            For now, I’m totally wiped. I have a crazy schedule that just started and I haven’t adjusted yet.
            Talk to you later.

          • mike

            “I don’t especially like being called a sinner, out of hand, because a religion considers everyone a sinner from the outset.
            That seems to contradict that goodness and God is in each of us.”

            That is an honest reply Regan. No one likes being called a sinner. Permit me to expand.
            But if you’ve observed any two year old. No one has to teach that one how to sin. It’s a period called the ‘terrible twos’ for a reason not just a negative way of talking. We are born genetically able to do what is not good. The two year gets angry and hits her brother. No one taught him that. It’s innate.
            The bible says we are made in the image and likeness of God. But this image has been crippled by bad genetics we inherited when things went bad with our first parents who disobeyed God by their own free will. Sin always has consequence and for Adam & Eve it was banishment plus the curse that affected our DNA as well as all creation.
            Originally, God was with us as described in Genesis when He walked in the garden. You can ask your Jewish friends about that. After the fall God’s presence left.
            Today, God is back living in those who desire a personal relationship with Him. That’s why I wondered if you might read John 14. It speaks that if we love God then the Trinity will come and live inside of us. How wonderful is that. For me, it made all the difference. For a long time I thought I was junk but the God of the universe would not come and live in junk but in people who are very valuable to Him. Having God live in me has completely changed many things. I can hold my head high because of that and no human laws could ever accomplish that confidence in me!
            So, I’m getting an inkling of your quest and mission to help minorities. But Regan not all minorities are the same. Surely the boy lovers being a minority should not be championed by anybody despite their protest that boys of nine can decide to love whomever they want. But this is also my issue with homosexuals. Theirs and my same sex attractions don’t benefit from acting them out. Since becoming a follower of Jesus my eyes have been opened to that truth. I am not brainwashed, nor do I have what others say of me that I have internalized homophobia. Having a relationship with Jesus has revealed to me how same sex pursuit is injurious to me and in fact that behavior keeps me hostage from the freedom that I can have to really love Jesus and experience the fullest of that life.
            Regan you have spent too much time as an activist with PLFAG et al to see that and you have not personally been yourself in that lifestyle to see the tread mill of the gay life. I do not believe as I said that if this planet turns to gay with that being the fashion of the age as it was in the days of Lot, Greece, or the Roman empire will gay people be truly happy. A counterfeit happiness yes but nothing compared to what Jesus brings. Sorry if I’m bantering you.

          • Regan DuCasse

            You actually went there?!
            How DARE you?!
            This isn’t just about ‘defending minorities’ and definitely not ANY and ALL minorities.
            And then you DARED to include pedophiles into the mix as IF I wouldn’t know the difference between THAT minority and gay people?!
            I’m the one that already posted the difference between MORAL sins, and religious sins that no longer exist because of the medical, technical and social justice progress that must move forward.
            Moral sins, NEVER have changed. Their result can never be accepted because of the harm it does as one individual against another’s physical and personal safety and public trust.

            Between us, I’m the one who spent many years working to FIGHT crime.
            That was a DISGRACEFUL thing to do, while I was really trying to have a ‘conversation’.
            And I used to nanny, and still spend a lot of time with very small children because I love them, but their parents trust me to help them teach their children to be right in the world.
            So now you’re comparing gay people to toddlers, who have no self restraint but have to be taught to follow God in order to keep that restraint in place.
            And if a gay person doesn’t toe that line, they are going to be spoken to, scolded, and so on, as if they are disobedient children.
            You have NO idea what you just did.

            We’re so done.

          • mike

            Now now Regan. You completely misunderstand me and you took what I said out of context from my discussion. How quickly you get offended.
            If you think for a minute that man/boy love won’t become lawful then think again. It existed in antiquity and will once again!
            I wasn’t comparing adult homosexuals to pedophiles at ALL.
            What I was saying is that there are minorities and then there are minorities.
            For you to say the adult homosexual minority is equivalent to Black minority is equally offensive to me and I won’t get boiling mad about that with you.
            So, understand me and don’t jump to strange conclusions.
            If we are here to talk then respect my side as well. You talk morality. Yours is different than mine. You must respect that if you are going to have a conversation.
            Look, I respect everyone’s choice. But, it should be an individual choice without censoring by someone else who has decided they are God and have the right to decide what is true for everyone.
            So Regan, if you want to continue to defend homosexuals do so by talking to those who want that lifestyle. But people like Matt have the right to express a different point of view. People who have same sex attraction should be allowed to read Matt’s blog and decide for themselves. That is no crime. But what exactly is your mission here on this blog and what are you really defending when you speak of the gay minority?

          • Regan DuCasse

            I misunderstand you.
            I have NEVER said that blacks and gays were equivalent.
            What I SAY is, that blacks and gays have been misrepresented, mistreated, and have endured a legacy of prejudice and discrimination that’s damaged trust and the ability for people to see past their distinctions, to see the human being fully.
            I have HEARD your side.
            Why do you keep acting like it’s new? Or never been heard before, nor isn’t interpreted for exactly what it is?
            As if Christians haven’t expressed themselves, and haven’t had the ability or right to all this time?
            I’ve heard it ALL my life!
            I KNOW your side. It’s been out there.
            Your side isn’t shy, or has been hidden, nor has to suffer much or sacrifice much to do so.
            What already IS lawful, is man/GIRL love. There are archaic laws still on the books that allow grown men to marry young girls.
            And every last powerful, public Christian I contacted to address this reality, blew it off.
            Girls, females in general, aren’t much of a concern really.
            And never really have been.
            That is why man/boy love won’t become lawful, because there is an inordinate and obsessive need to protect boys from suspected gay men, not from men in general.
            Anyone with sense SHOULD take offense, so don’t turn it on me as if I was quick to be offended wrongfully.
            You WERE offensive.
            Your condescending tone when telling me this minority from that minority, wasn’t a strange conclusion. That’s how you behaved towards me.
            You don’t think I’d know a minority of criminal child rapists, from the numerical minority that gay people represent?
            Matt’s point of view has been a part of the life of gay people for millennium.
            His point of view, is a point of view that’s mostly been imposed, actually. For a long time, and there has been a very high price paid for the luxury that religious communities have accorded themselves in doing so.
            Whether or not it’s a crime, is what’s debatable.
            Because defamation, slander and libel follow closely after. Incitement of threat, distrust, violence, and panic…there is a reason that modern social justice laws, disqualify such utterances as healthy speech or an exchange of ideas.
            What I’m doing is checking in to see how much of THAT is going on.
            And I have a right to know.
            That is what makes what you think is a choice, not really one at all, unless you like to think a choice between a rock and a hard place is a choice.
            Yes, it is.
            But not much of one.
            You know damn well how much Christians influence people in this country and elsewhere. You know how much they demand to. And still complain about not having prayer in public schools, or some public events, as if there aren’t any other options all over the place to do so.
            You know how many layers of that influence there has been that’s been challenged in a very short time, when it comes to public policies that aren’t a choice for most people.
            People who have same sex attraction will be confronted on Matt’s blog, with the same thing they’ve already heard most of, if not all of their lives.
            And ELSEWHERE other than Matt’s blog.
            I never had need of being only around those who agree with me. I’m taking the temperature of progress on that order.

            I should be able to choose what to do too. I’m not hurting anyone, and offense goes both ways.
            But so far, it hasn’t been as much of a two way street for gay folks. Their side is still blocked and not as free to express themselves because of the influences of religions that a lot of people haven’t chosen, but are confronted by anyway.
            Why DID you bring up the man/boy love issue, then?
            As if girls aren’t constantly under threat, and as if there isn’t considerable double standards when it comes to the gender/sexual orientation factor and the abuse of youngsters?
            You brought it up, now explain yourself.

          • Regan DuCasse

            Correction, I DIDN’T misunderstand you.

          • mike

            If you read back I said I’m getting “an inkling” of “your quest and mission”. Since you don’t yourself have SGA and haven’t needed to yourself process that, I’m naturally suspicious of what is up with you. I wanted to flesh that out so I and others could see.

            Your writing style makes sorting out an “inkling” difficult. You
            are interested in minority rights. So am I. I too am interested in
            injustices against Jews, Blacks, the poor, and of course people who have SGA. I don’t want them hurt as well by either religious people with their bible clobber verses or people who don’t understand homosexuality and just think its great!

            You abhor the man/boy love minority. So do I! Why? Who told you it was wrong? It wasn’t wrong in ancient Greece which was a highly developed society steeped in enlightened philosophy. You told me that your idea about sexual orientation comes from psychology. Well psychology has its origins in ancient Greece where man/boy love was tolerated. How then can psychology be trusted? We have seen in the Western world that the age of consent to sexual intercourse has been steadily dropping. How far will it go? Maybe there will be “decades of research” soon to cause the APA to vote that it too is normal for mature consenting man/boy partners like they did in 1973 when they changed homosexuality by 55% of the vote! If your moral compass is based on psychology then things go in circles and soon we’ll be as in ancient Greece because psychology is obviously quite fluid! That’s why I brought up man/boy love. It was to get you to think about where you
            got that idea. In fact the world has been divided by Athens and
            Jerusalem in terms of moral compass. Only Jerusalem with its Bible has the moral compass to say man/boy sex is wrong. That’s were you and I got that idea. It was God through the ancient Jewish Bible who set the parameters for sexual intercourse. Psychology did not nor did religion!

            In Biblical thought sexual intercourse = marriage, and marriage was heterosexual between adults. This was God’s idea. The Bible condemns homosexual sex and therefore likewise homosexual marriage.

            Ok, it’s fine to be for minority rights. I don’t want gays abused either. But people who claim gay sex is good but man/boy sex is not are thinking illogically. The source for that standard needs to come from somewhere, not out of the blue because you just know. You need to think why you know. Because if the source is psychology with its “decades of research” then lady you are on shaky ground about everything and what is true today will not be tomorrow. But if your moral compass is God with His written word the Bible then what was true in antiquity is true today and then you’ll have some credibility.

          • Regan DuCasse

            The bait you’re laying is disgusting, mike. You’re really trying it with me aren’t you?
            “But people who claim gay sex is good, but man/boy love is not, are thinking illogically.
            I didn’t say, nor get my information regarding orientation, based only on ‘psychology’.
            There are physiological, genetic and biological factors that have proven that sexual orientation is all of those things.
            We ALL HAVE ONE.
            Different types, which are all GENDER based.

            People who abuse the young, are NOT an orientation, but a paraphilia. Which is an obsessive,non correspondent, non mutual attraction.
            The object of the attraction does not feel the same mutually.
            This has been settled, and done and no credible psych peers agree that youngsters or teens, can consent or should.
            It takes males even longer to mature than females.
            But evidently, NONE of this matters to you. And you can deny it the way the most gay hating person tends to.
            Who TOLD me it was wrong?
            Nobody really had to. Because I’ve been objectified in MY life, and there are some instinctual things that are known in individuals, but cultural and social mores change those instincts.
            Females are socialized all the time to not defend themselves.
            To dismiss their flight or fight instincts when something or someone feels wrong.
            THAT’S why.
            Referring over and over again to ancient cultures that didn’t categorize or engage in much by way of the recent research, proves you don’t want to believe that such a thing has existed and has evolved.
            Your roads all lead to the same bait and switch way of having a ‘conversation’.
            I don’t need to think why I know.
            Does it not occur to you that perhaps it’s strong maternal PROTECTIVE instincts.
            I was told a lovely, and whimsical story by a man whose religion I doubt you’d respect, but he’s from a long line of priests that represent it.
            People with children love to hear it.
            I thought maybe you might too.
            It all boils down to being a warrior and protector as literally a calling. Because of the race I belong to.
            But you’re a bait and switcher.
            And frankly, it’s disgraceful the direction you turned the conversation, and you turn my stomach.
            You’re a creep.

          • mike

            Regan Regan when pushed into a corner all you can do is hurl insults! How mature. You need to do more reading and studying instead of talking.
            You have been exposed. You don’t know what you’re talking about. My earlier inkling was correct. You are not qualified to speak about homosexuality. We have reached an impasse. There is nothing more to say…

          • Regan DuCasse

            You insulted first, and now you’re being all offended?
            I do know what I’m talking about, you were being manipulative. And I called you out on it.
            And you didn’t like being told that.
            You’re not saying anything new, nothing of new import or that will actually do some good towards changing things.
            You’re invested in fomenting the same old common stereotype, that gets gay people distrusted, (like Bradley).

            Don’t act like you ‘exposed’ anything, as if you saw a crime committed or because I’m not genuflecting, I’m not displaying the right amount of piety, it’s akin to a crime.
            If YOUR only qualifications to speak about homosexuality, is in the constant refrain that it’s not a real concept, it’s not morally benign, and gay people can only be trusted or integrated, if they are religiously disciplined and virtually castrated, then you deserve to be challenged.
            More than ever.
            Your way, YOUR qualifications, mean less and less freedom, more and more confusion and lack of confidence and impossible standards no one else is required to meet.
            YOUR way, hasn’t worked all that well. Not where it REALLY counts.
            You’re right, YOU should say no more, because you’ve said the same thing over and over and over again.
            As have others.
            It’s high time, the new information, and experience have it’s time in the sun.

          • Thank you for saying EXACTLY what was on my mind. The Holy Spirit has told me not to respond to the rants of fools (Proverbs 26:1-12), and to let others who are better equipped fight the battle. Thank you again for reaffirming what I was told!

          • mike

            Are you going to talk or preach at me? Talking is being polite and answering questions posed in a conversation. You answered none of my questions. Do try to stop preaching and try to converse.

          • Regan DuCasse

            Mike, your questions were rhetorical. You weren’t really interested in anything I had to say. Your first response to me was a complaint that I was here at all.
            I DID answer your question, you didn’t like the answer. Or didn’t read it.
            I didn’t get the ‘sexual orientation’ idea.
            It’s the result of decades of research into standards of attraction that aren’t just about gender. Sexual orientation is mutual correspondent sexual attraction to someone who shares the same.
            Not to be confused with pathology, or paraphilias, which are not exclusive to any of the four essential orientations. These are non correspondent, obsessive behaviors with objects,or living things that cannot, and won’t consent, nor have mutual feelings.
            No one person, nor one researcher found this, many did and many came to the same conclusion and result.
            Further, macro geneticists have found the genetic code for sexual orientation, and there are no defects, or anomalies that distinguish one from the other. Meaning, heterosexuality isn’t the ONLY norm.
            As you should know, there are many kinds of things that can be different, but normal.
            Like blood types. There are four basic, common ones, and rarer ones.
            But that doesn’t mean the rarer type is abnormal or indicates illness.
            Not all things have to be the same to work well together.
            The thumb is in opposition to the fingers. Fingers are also the majority on a hand.
            But the hand is less strong and skilled without the thumb.
            Gay and hetero could work well together if each were mutually understanding of each’s purpose.
            This isn’t an all gay planet, mike. This is a planet of many kinds of people, and things.
            Under population is hardly the problem. Indeed, overpopulation seems to be. And since gay people are a minority, under population because gay people don’t spontaneously procreate, is hardly a problem.
            The way to decide who is right, is by the result of gay individuals being respected, and protected with the same opportunity, rights, freedoms and responsibility, accorded heterosexuals.
            You can’t believe that religious or any other prejudices against gay people has done GOOD in the world?
            It’s led anything from talented and productive people being kept from doing so, to outright homicide.
            And when young gay children are exposed to constant negative messaging they and their peers are taught, they are at risk of being bullied, abandoned by their families, addiction and suicide.
            Do you consider these positive outcomes from the controlling interests of those who don’t want homosexuality (so therefore gay people) to exist?

            It’s a fact that religious teaching has influenced thousands of years of social construction that hasn’t all been positive or healthy.
            And in that context, gay people haven’t had nearly the freedom, or ability to contribute to the truth of their identity and lives.
            It’s just a matter of fairness to let their side be accorded this, and the truth will speak for itself, when the truth can actually be spoken by those this issue most affects.
            I answered your questions mike, and from a combined experience of forensic science that includes human behavioral teaching. And as I said, very close and profound relationships with many members of the gay and trans community.
            I have no reason to lie. Not here, not anywhere.
            To anyone, about something this important.

          • mike

            My questions were “rhetorical”! No.
            What is clear is this Regan: ” I see the Bible as a chronology of thought at the time, philosophy, parables, and metaphors.
            NOT necessarily a guide book on how to LIVE. ”
            Having dismissed the God who created you Regan you reveal your actual god to whom you turn: “decades of research” for “how to LIVE”!
            But studied people know about that research which proves nothing Regan!
            The APA in 1973 changed their minds about whether sodomy was a mental illness not on “decades of research” but on the gay lobby and politics. Now that is a fact you cleverly dismiss.
            The Book you dismiss for “how to LIVE” if you read it has only one kind of marriage and it is not several.
            But you can’t dismiss God so easily who gives you time to repent of this error of yours. You remind me of that woman Jezebel of the Church of Thyatira of Revelation who misleads God’s servants into “sexual sin”. God gave her time to repent and then came an end to it. You can read the rest in the book.
            With your fast typing you dismiss the God of the Bible in place of a humanistic god of your own making who is no god at all.

          • Bryan Matthews

            People who rant about how much gay people hate themselves because they choose to follow Jesus are actually the ones who loathe self. It’s a fact! People hate the things about others that they want for themselves. Being gay is not a sin.

          • I only know that before I knew Christ that I loathed myself. I wanted to die. After I knew Christ I didn’t. But that is a path that Ms. Activist will never understand.

          • manlambda

            Since Jesus isn’t real that just makes them delusional. But hey it’s a great way to get people like you to hate yourself.

          • Bryan Matthews

            I don’t hate myself! I’m living a great life with Christ Jesus! See I know something that you don’t! I never want or need sex with a man or a woman. I never feel the desire to be naked with another man and I don’t want anyone touching me for sex! I am just simply happy. See, through God’s deliverance from my flesh and it’s lust, I have more peace than you have ever had, on the best day of your life!
            I wish that you wanted to know that kind of peace and security! I don’t hate you or want bad things for you! I want you to know this Jesus!

          • Regan DuCasse

            Well, what do you want for such a declaration? Applause, a medal? An attaboy, you ain’t gettin’ any?
            Well, so what?
            You say you don’t hate or want bad things for those of us who don’t feel the way you do, but you called the gay community at large, coercive and propagandizing lies.
            That’s quite a hateful statement to make.
            You have no idea what peace a person has had, on the best day of their life? You have no way to qualify that, except through the believer or non believer lens.
            You’re an example of how a Christian will give with one hand, then take back what they gave you with the other.
            Which leaves…nothing.

          • Bryan Matthews

            No although you obviously think that you do! But guess what? You don’t, you’re like a broken record! “I want!” ‘I need!” I’m San because I can’t wear my butt less chaps out to eat at a family restaurant! Who cares if kids see all my package!”
            FYI 1 Cm isn’t a package its a latenite punchline!

          • Regan DuCasse

            The stupid irony of your statement is, I’ve been spending a lifetime to LEARN about it. And keep getting stonewalled by the likes of people such as yourself.
            Whose only references are religious, or from outmoded information that no longer applies, if it ever did.
            Your information, that you insist I read, has already been gone through.
            I’m looking for more, something different, something more than stereotypes.
            With Christians working to game the information track, it’s not even right to scold, or insult someone for trying to go deeper, and while YOU are trying to control everything about being gay.

          • This is my blog. It is the story of my life. And where were all the LGBT community members when I had my stroke? Certainly not at the hospital, nor were they there when I went for my HIV test. They weren’t there when I was relearning how to walk again, and they certainly weren’t there when I was ready to kill myself.

            The only one who was there was God.

            https://brokenbutredeemedblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/introduction/

          • Regan DuCasse

            Bradley, you’re not the only one to ever suffer a serious health setback, and not have people around you that you expected.
            I could tell you about my husband and his parents (who NEVER missed church), but when I was suffering terrible pain, and scary diagnosis and one surgery after another, my husband abandoned me and his parents chose that time to gang up and kick me while I was down.
            Evidently, their lifelong membership in Christianity didn’t teach them anything but to be judgmental.
            Again, I didn’t blame ALL WHITE PEOPLE, because of those particular white people.
            Nor all Christians.
            And I can name a few things that happened to me because of A FEW lying, nasty gay people.
            But I won’t BLAME ALL GAY PEOPLE.
            And black women can say they and their children are abandoned regularly by the men who fathered their children.
            But I don’t BLAME ALL BLACK people.
            You see the issue here?
            You’re blaming a group, who you think failed YOU, but I don’t hear that you did ANYTHING for them.
            After a while, an ‘ex gay’ person inevitably will throw themselves several pity parties in which to disparage gay people for what could be personal shortcomings.
            But then, you’re giving anti gay bigots the fodder they want, and at the same time YOU don’t want to feel any accountability for it.
            I would never betray black folks the way you have other gay people.
            Because at the end of the day, black people have been betrayed by religious communities in their way, when the going got tough to defend a minority it wasn’t popular or easy to defend.

          • I can see you are very angry about your past. Full of resentment. I understand this. But I not a victime, nor will be sucked into the culture of victimhood. I am not a minority that needs “protection” from a political group or a government. I a child of God, no more, no less; and that is the greatest equality I ever could hope for.
            I think what frustrates you is that I recognize that I need help from my brothers and sisters in Christ to stay celibate. You think I shouldn’t seek solace in God but in the political movement du jure. They don’t represent me, nor does anybody on Earth. I have an advocate who is above all that, He being Jesus Christ. I am not “brainwashed” or part of some dumb cult. I was largely raised without “religion” and when I was exposed to it, it was false.
            Also, saying that I am not the only one who faced a health “setback” and at saying that I should support a minority organization is kind of two-faced, isn’t it. What I experienced brought me closer to God than all the religions combined. I noticed that you responded to Mike that you are qualified to speak for LGBT members, but you aren’t qualified to speak for me. No man can but Christ. He can speak for you too, if you let Him.
            Believe in Him, trust in Him. He was faithful to me even after I rejected Him. He even sent me the stroke, knowing that I would come back to Him, and that I would have to fully trust in Him to get me by. Seek Him! Let go of your rage and anger about your past! Ask Him to forgive you of your sins, as He forgave mine.

          • Regan DuCasse

            You were the one expressing anger and resentment about who didn’t support you during a crisis.
            Don’t project onto me.
            What I said was, that I had a similar experience, but didn’t blame anyone for it.
            Unlike you, is is expounded upon to reject who and what you are and blame THAT and others like you for it.
            Big difference, so recognize THAT.
            Did you just say all this for an opportunity to preach? Because typical of self interested Christians, you didn’t LISTEN.
            Your brothers and sisters in Christ, as you call them, aren’t doing anything new that isn’t and hasn’t been EXPECTED of gay people all along.
            I don’t care or expect you to join a political movement, but calling it ‘du jure’ is a disgustingly dismissive attitude to take considering who fought hard, died and made sacrifices for the freedoms and protections that exist now.
            You can’t thank the Christian community that would prefer you didn’t for that.
            I don’t have to speak for you.
            But don’t pretend I don’t recognize you.
            Or every other gay person like you.
            Because you talk the same, say the same things, over and over again as IF I haven’t heard it before.
            And by the way, you talk about rage or passion as if it’s a BAD thing.
            Because I’ve gotten mad at injustice, at AIDS, and at wrong doing towards my LGT brothers and sisters and I ACTED and produced RESULTS in that regard.
            I turned what I experienced into something positive and effective for OTHERS where it mattered.
            In ways that are different from what Christians think they’ve accomplished.
            What I’m talking about is blaming your sexual orientation and those who share it, for other troubles.
            And then using religion as a substitute for what’s truly necessary:
            being authentic, being genuine.
            Being closer to God isn’t a bad thing.
            But you’re doing it at the expense of something else very important.
            THAT is what I’m talking about.
            This is the only subject that brings out the same, tread worn sermons, and not an in depth discussion about the real matter at hand.

          • Not replying to you anymore, as you only want to argue. I am tired and I have things to do. I do have a life outside of your attempts to get me to ‘love’ myself and ‘accept’ what I am. Report me to your superiors if you must (just a joke, as I have a sense of humor about these rants). Christ cares for you and loves you. Seek him, while you still can…

          • Regan DuCasse

            I had a question or two for you, you didn’t answer.
            And as someone who says they find answers in God and Christ, the basket you offered was still empty.
            I’m not the one who wishes you never walked the Earth.
            Go in peace, then.

          • Leon Checkers

            Mannnn Regan, you just PREACHED! I appreciate your words & understanding. Im glad to be in the fight in changing the ‘norm’ of how LGBT are viewed through the lens of Christian thought. People like you are a blessing to help bring context to this issue. You’re absolute right, no ones sexuality is a lifestyle; it’s an identity. Still trying to figure out when heterosexuals chose to be straight, lol.

          • Regan DuCasse

            Thank you so much, Leon Checkers. A pleasure to see your comments also!

        • Joshua Johnson

          Haha, seriously though. I’d like a boyfriend, too, but I can’t justify it. It’s weird seeing gay friends and acquaintances either “married” or hooking up and I’m sitting here doing it the hard way. Lord, help me.

          • I would recommend that you stay pure. Do not listen to the uninformed opinions of those who claim they love us and understand us. Stay faithful to the Lord. Ask for help: there is no shame in this. Don’t feel compelled to seek out anyone, for this is selfish. Seek God first, and let Him guide you where He wants. The world wants us to fall prey to our desires, but what does God want? Follow Him! He will help you endure.

            All my prayers for you!

          • Joshua Johnson

            That’s rather condescending (you’re in no position to “pity” me) Tim Walstrum, but hey, I forgive ya! Thank you, Bradley Joel Morton.

          • Regan DuCasse

            Well, you see how I was dismissed as having “uninformed opinions”, and wasn’t asked about my exceptional EXPERIENCE with gay folks, who fortunately, have been very open, loving and trusting of me. Something I cherish very much.
            Perhaps because I have such remarkable and talented friends, it feels like I’m blessed. And I am always so grateful and humbled by that experience.
            And believe me when I say I know who to be grateful to for not just the love, but the open hearts that gave me the experience.

          • Tim Walstrum

            I am a position to pity you. Self hatred is really sad. It is a sickness. And religion is what you use to further it. So so sad.

          • Regan DuCasse

            Uninformed opinions? Really?
            I’m RIGHT here, Bradley. Right here.
            Tell me how I’m uninformed? Tell me.
            Because I was raised in the church AND temple.
            I own a Bible, and a lot of other religious texts.
            I’m a FEMALE, the religion never invested much in us females, except as in servitude to the male hierarchy, and over the centuries it’s only been males wo entitled themselves to how church doctrine would be implemented and enforced.
            Most of the victims of the Inquisition were women. And don’t get me started on the Magdalene laundries that only incarcerated girls and women.
            Who do you think YOU are talking to?
            Black people weren’t allowed to marry, and certainly weren’t allowed to marry someone a different color until RECENTLY. I’m not talking ancient history here.
            Did you ever ASK me, how harsh things could be for a black woman?
            No.
            In my gay brothers and sisters, I found kindred spirits, not people to suspect. And the considerable universal aspect of gay people to all human life and history, is the story of a remarkable human minority that hasn’t waged wars, and bloody decimation of entire indigenous people (the way the Christian march over all the continents did that).
            And even the recent changes that have occurred, in which marriage and having children and being considered by skill set FIRST, is all due to bravery, compassion and love, not DOMINANCE and control.
            Christians can’t say that.
            But gay folks can.
            MY culture, wasn’t originally Christian. But the acceptance, inclusion and respect for gay people AS gay people, has done a world of good for millions.
            I dare you to say that isn’t true.
            Relationships are very hard for black women and men. The greater influence of systemic bigotry and discrimination rears it’s head every day in ways this country preferred to think didn’t happen.
            YOU advising someone to not seek out a relationship, and another level of human life that tests unselfishness and responsibility is ridiculous. And shame on you.
            You can’t even express a casual gesture of affection without checking yourself.
            Which is extremely sad.
            At the end of the day Bradley, the Bible doesn’t tell you it loves you. It won’t hug you, or place an affectionate hand on you. When you were ill, it didn’t hold you or give you support.
            And if you reject it, it won’t cry or feel depression or sadness.
            It’s a book.
            The human touch, the human connection is the greater after all.
            And continuing to use the platitudes of “Jesus loves you, believe, it’ll be all you need”, is just another kind of distance you’re keeping from another person.

          • Boy are you angry. Did you ever try Xanax? I’m done.

          • Tim Walstrum

            Sad just sad. Well those of us blessed to have loving husbands not chained to archaic religious views pity you.

          • Shawn Ruth

            Keep up the good work and fighting the good fight!

        • Regan DuCasse

          Yes, but you’d be a lot happier if all the other gay people chose God too, and not really be gay people or engage in a romantic relationship with another gay person, though right?
          That would make all the other Christians you associate with, just as happy to have that happen.
          Which is why they appeal to the Senate, Congress, SCOTUS and are willing to change the tenets of the Constitution to MAKE SURE that no gay person will have any such pursuits of happiness of THEIR choosing.
          So, you chose God.
          But let’s not pretend what the Christian agenda has been for thousands of years.
          Trust me Bradley, they’d just as soon you didn’t exist at all, but since you MUST…
          What you’re doing now, will just have to do.

      • AnotherMike

        In reading what Bradley states above, I can only surmise that the physical contact on his guest’s shoulder brought the question into the mind of his brother who then asked if Bradley had fallen back into a worldly life. In you stated reply I need to ask if you are responding to a conclusion stemming from within yourself and your past or is there something in Bradley’s statement above that reveals something I do not discern? Bradley himself admits he was angered initially until he thought it through and realized his brother was inquiring just a he should when we hold each other accountable so that we do not lapse back into sinful worldly patterns that lead us from Christ.
        At this time, I must let Bradley tell his story by his words and see if there is unresolved issues that call into mind questions that help us grow. And what I read in both Matt’s and Bradley’s stories are stories of accountability in action. For if there is no accountability between brothers and sisters in Christ in the Church, then what is the reason for Christ and Paul even speaking on the matter in Matthew and 1 & 2 Corinthians?
        Please help us understand your story so we can understand the WHY for what you are saying.

        • Regan DuCasse

          Hello Mike, appreciate your question.
          This isn’t anything new to me. I’m a naturally analytical person and have had many long conversations and even tried to access the kinds of ‘reparative therapy’ programs set up only for gay people in Christian and Jewish religious communities.
          This accountability you speak of, would seem reasonable, rational and necessary to said religious communities.
          But on very clear headed and practical scrutiny, it’s intent and results, aren’t actually for the gay person’s well being.
          Because it’s a known and verifiable fact, that the kinds of expectations these communities have for gay people is unhealthy repressing of very natural and necessary needs, desires and goals.
          What is expected of gay people, is harsh under the light of reality. And again, NOT NECESSARY, except to meet unrealistic, yes, unrealistic religious rules and standards that I already said, are not required nor can be met by heterosexuals.
          “Sinful worldly patterns”.
          What is THAT defined by?
          Evidently, even monogamous, responsible and healthy sexual commitment, for a gay person.
          Flirting, wearing certain types of clothes…
          Even casual affection is regarded as a warning sign that gay person is slipping their knots.
          Interest is considered a violation. That’s hardly extreme behavior that should set up a person’s discomfort or the religious community’s idea that gay person is ‘falling back into their sin’.
          I’ve also had members of that same community say that all gay people deserve to be banned from being around children.
          And don’t deserve to hold any positions of influence or higher office in church hierarchy.
          Let alone served when trying to access goods and services legally open to any other members of the public, yes…even the other sinners who happen to be heterosexual.
          This kind of scrutiny of one’s most innocuous behavior is bad enough.
          But it doesn’t take anything extreme for a gay person to be distrusted, and rendered extremely suspect.
          That’s no way for ANY human being to have to live.
          My skin color has rendered me also highly suspect. For my entire life, it was difficult for me to talk with another black person in a workplace without someone coming up on us demanding to know what we were up to.
          One black person is unwelcome, two is a conspiracy in the minds of passive bigots.
          And using the veil of religion to exercise bigotry isn’t any less detestable, harsh and irrational.
          So why are gay people the ones left to defend their existence, and justify their intentions?
          Why are THEY questioned, no matter what their level of responsibility and social adjustment?
          Because religious communities have created the problem for gay people, and have the arrogance and moral cowardice to try to run from the ruins it creates in so many lives.
          Sure, Bradley and Matt and so many other gay people can say it’s their choice, to commit to God and Christ and they LOVE it like that.
          But in a way, it’s demurring other gay people who have had the courage to be themselves openly and without guilt.
          But it’s also another way to not have to deal with how tough it is to be gay.
          That I understand, just what it feels like to be a member of a suspect minority. To always have your intents, purpose, wants and needs DENIED as simply and reasonably the same as anyone else who is reasonable and rational.
          But it always comes back to gay people’s orientation being a flaw, an outsized lust, with no context to it’s origin except as just something gay people do.
          And can turn off and change, and SHOULD.
          While all around them, NOBODY else is treated this way, they are not suspect, nor have to explain themselves or else be told over and over again their presence is not just worthless, but a threat.
          Unless they become shills for the Christian agenda.
          I always found that those Christians who reached out to Jews to try and convert THEM was another level of treating another human being as not worth as much, the way they already were.
          In context to Jews constantly being under siege, who are a minority that has been on the receiving end of attempts at genocide (as have gay people), it’s another way of losing more members of this minority, without actually killing them outright.
          I find this kind of treatment of gay people to be similar. A kind of genocide, a means of keeping gay people’s identity, needs and truth away from those who are interested in who gay people really are.
          Who don’t suspect gay people, but have every reason to suspect the religious communities who want gay people to HIDE.
          What accountability are you talking about then?
          Accountability for wanting to be loved, not suspected in every thing? For meeting someone with the hope they could be a life mate?
          Accountability for wanting to raise children who need a home? Or serving one’s country in uniform?
          Accountability for doing what heterosexuals do without challenge everyday? Indeed, are even APPLAUDED?
          These are the impossible, and irrational double standards that confront the gay folks. But it’s the courageous, and considerably reasonable gay folks that broke through that wall, and built a less harsh and cruel society.
          NOT Christians like Matt, or Bradley…or others like them I met along the way.
          The unspoken truth here is, they are rather weak people, who didn’t see any options or other avenues to bravely take.
          They took the path of least resistance, and don’t want to admit it or have anyone say it.
          Because that too, is another unpalatable reality they don’t want to have to deal with.
          A person is still their orientation, as I said, regardless an active romantic sex life is in evidence. And the public life (not private life) of a gay person is still suspect, even with a casually affectionate gesture that was no more than that.
          And still, Bradley had to check himself.
          I’m betting that there are parents in his church that wouldn’t want him around their children either.
          Or who’d expect him to be held accountable if there is a job they don’t think is appropriate for a gay person to have.
          Like teaching Bible class, only under strict supervision.
          The thing is, ALL gay people are at risk of this impossible ‘accountability’.
          Ancient cultures had unreasonable and barbaric methods, and modern social justice has changed that.
          But let’s get real, the only people who want to continue with enforcement, is against gay people where convenient.
          And neither Matt, nor Bradley have had the stomach to change those things. Not for themselves, not for their fellow gay and trans brothers and sisters.
          That’s fine.
          But don’t kick ME because I know what the deal is.
          I pointed out the moral sins, that have NEVER changed in how it effects individuals, and communities in result.
          And I pointed out the religious sins, that have been modified (and rightly) as human progress and experience warranted.
          The matter of gay people is one of them. So is the matter of women, and gender in general.
          I would only appreciate accountability, if it were APPLIED equally and some good came from it.
          But my question of what public and social good ever came from the celibate, neutered gay person that’s done good for EVERYONE, never got answered.
          I already know the answer though, but it’s telling that those here who act SO CERTAIN of their intent and purpose, didn’t want to consider the question.

          • AnotherMike

            Hello Regan,
            Thank you for responding.

            You started with expectations and a discussion of what is ‘good’ and the ‘well-being’ for the people in some communities. If I am wrong on this then I apologize. You then shift back to accountability with a question and a statement.
            ———
            In an effort to stay in line with what you wrote I will also start with communities and look at what they consider as ‘good’ and ‘well-being’ for the people in the communities.

            I am asking we try to avoid some of the rabbit trails by looking at communities as families so we can examine them as singular entities (families) that are just as diverse as actual families are.
            (smile) And yes, we would be making the families large families in an effort to remain in context as much as possible. This should enable us to build a foundation by which we can discuss communities and the concepts of ‘good’ and ‘well-being’.

            So in simple terms, what does a family (ideally) consist of? And (ideally) do families look for what is ‘good’ and best for the ‘well-being’ of the family members?
            ———
            I cannot address distrust of people based on sexual orientation, skin color, or other differences for the simple reason that everyone alive experiences this feeling and exhibit distrust through action/inaction. This is not to push it to the side as not important, I just cannot discuss it at this time as it muddies the water so we cannot see the bottom (select topics) without chasing side topics that do not address select topics. We can discuss some of the side topics at a later time if you desire or if entry of a side topic becomes necessary.
            ———
            In the middle of all this you ask me about my use of “sinful worldly patterns” and what they are defined by.

            Just by asking the question I must ask the following so I can answer your question.

            Do you believe in God? (and) If yes, in your own words, please tell me about God.
            ———
            You shift to accountability by asking me what accountability I was writing about.

            The accountability I wrote about is the same accountability described by Matt and Bradley and shown in Matthew 18:15-17, 1 Corinthians 5:3-5, and 2 Corinthians 2:6-8.

            I did immediately recognize that your use of accountability does not match with its definition and we must use the same definitions if we are to understand each other. This does not mean we will always agree but at least we will understand each other.

            To start, ‘Accountability’ is a verb and means “the quality or state of being accountable; an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.”

            Wanting to be loved cannot be an obligation or a responsibility. You cannot have an obligation or responsibility for hoping someone could be a life mate. You cannot be have an obligation or responsibility for wanting to raise children.

            Accountability while serving one’s country in uniform is possible where you and a ‘battle buddy’ or ‘wingman’ (depending upon Service) are accountable to each other, keeping the other in line with what the particular Services’ regulations/instructions dictate.
            ———
            At the end you identify both Matt and Bradley as not being strong but describe them as being weak. I do not understand. You state it takes strength to openly declare who you are? If so, then how are Matt and Bradley different for declaring who they are? The path they are walking is filled with resistance from all sides.

            Open declaration is the same action they took when they stepped out the first time and declared their same-sex orientation. They have done a second open declaration and have had and continually deal with added resistance. Matt has already addressed his experience and thoughts on this in the blog.
            ———
            Near the end of your reply, you ask the question, “What public and social good ever came from the celibate, neutered gay person that is good for everyone?”, but immediately after asking the question you admit you already know the answer. I am curious what the answer is that you know.
            ———
            If you have other questions for me, please ask and I will try to answer to give you a picture of who I am as well. My questions are to help me come to know you better so we can communicate.
            Mike

          • Regan DuCasse

            Thank you so much Mike, for your thoughtful response, I truly appreciate it.
            I will say this.
            The legacy that originated in the Bible and other religious texts as to the treatment of gay people, has been a tragic and harsh one.
            With the concept that gay people, or let’s say those who engage in any sex that is not for the purpose of procreation, is committing a grievous sin.
            But as further human experience has shown, this is not a threat, nor are the people who engage in it.
            Much of the legacy of prejudice and threat that gay people deal with, is rooted in misogyny, or from a time when childbearing was a mortal issue for females and the infants as well.
            Women are not a minority, but sometimes I think that’s why females have so little value. It’s taken for granted there are many for anyone to choose from and should.
            Gay people, those who are transgender, are taken for granted as people who have no value in procreating, so therefore no value in any other area of life.
            But since it’s religious communities that have demanded and have had the most influence on who they think gay people are, then they deserve to be held accountable for the tragedies and denial of human rights that gay people experience.
            Families, are where gay people come from. But to hear those who object to the existence of gay people, it’s the choice of gay people to exist, and their presence in a family, deserves specific and determined isolation and separate standards for participation in what people expect.
            To eventually take responsibility in a relationship and what children might issue from it.
            Such an endeavor signals and usually has, that person has matured and has promised to be responsible for those they have chosen to journey life with romantically, physically and socially.
            Which is what makes relying on gay people to eschew the same goal, especially cruel.
            As if requiring them to attend a feast, they cannot have the same food or any of it.
            And no undeserving heterosexual person is kept from the feast, no matter how many times they’ve proven their lack of ability to function fully as a responsible person.
            For example: people who are murderers in prison, not being kept from the right to marry. But fully contributing, law abiding gay people, could not.

            As young people in families are exploring their burgeoning needs to have relationships, and navigating the insecurities of romantic urges and profound longings and crushes, gay young people are expected to repress and deny them.
            And instead, try to find some reciprocity in God and Christ. Who are INTANGIBLES.
            And all around them, other young people are fully free to find their way with learning to have relationships. Some have the examples of their own parents, for good or not.
            Some do not.
            Certainly heterosexual parents have already been at a loss as to how to comfort or understand their gay child’s needs.
            But to wholesale tell that youngster, ‘not for you’, while their siblings, friends and other adults are not so held in restraint.
            And are kept from other gay people who are a fine example of success and function and integration.
            How can a young person look at all the contradictions, hypocrisy, and their own real and intense feelings are required to be held in check. That everything they feel and know or want, is suspect.
            This is what has led to misguided outreach, promiscuity and other dysfunction borne from repression, and arrested ability in relationships.
            This has put young gay people at risk of suicide, depression and health problems.
            Bradley being an example of that.
            Once again, God and Christ are INTANGIBLE. Accountability and consequences are ABSTRACT.
            Not real.
            It’s only ever been other human beings who have isolated, punished and set aside gay people for specific expectations that are RADICALLY different from what REALITY can address.
            Bradley said he counseled young people with SSA.
            He’s someone I would absolutely KEEP AWAY from a gay kid, because his influence would be extremely damaging and more of the LEGACY of damage focused on and that only affects gay and trans individuals.
            Most of all, as a minority, globally, not just nationally, the idea that MORE repression, MORE disappearance and MORE secretion of NORMAL and NEEDFUL functions of homosexuality, is expected.
            That would make a significant part of humanity, not be around to teach and honor the truth of their GOD GIVEN existence.
            The presence of gay people has just been too complex for some ancient cultures to accept or understand at the detriment of millions.
            And other cultures, that were fully accepting and understood homosexuality more for what it was, found themselves punished for it, by the march and influence of religion across the continents.
            I’m talking about BAD influence that has done a GREAT deal of harm, and has been predatory on the vulnerable, insecure and battle fatigued from having to live with such societal and political influence over their lives.
            That hasn’t been a good thing.
            But Christians like to pretend it HAS been.
            It’s only been a few short decades that gay people have been so visible, and remarkable in how social justice has advanced for them.
            No thanks to the Christian and other religious communities that protests this advancement, or the gay people who capitulate to it.

            Christians and other religions have had the floor for centuries, and expect to ALWAYS have it, and all access. And demand it.
            What a graceless way to behave.
            I get the scold and admonishment to “go read the Bible” or “accept God and Christ” as if I never have. Or what that books says is new every time it’s read.
            I and others can’t be spared such a thing hardly any time of the day.
            But I am one of millions who are tired of it. And want to hear from the gay folks for a change. What their experience has been but most of all, what THEY want, and need.
            I already know what Christians want. But no one has had as much opportunity to hear from gay people.
            And it’s long past due.
            Bradley, Matt…et al. They say the same things, over and over again. There have been so many ex gays that wrote books, but all the books and their pasts were cut from the same stereotypical mold.
            I continually get Biblical references, but none to do with civil law and public policy. No referrals to heroic gay people, no referrals to the historic changes that JUST HAPPENED.
            Ancient history is just that. I see the Bible as a chronology of thought at the time, philosophy, parables, and metaphors.
            NOT necessarily a guide book on how to LIVE.
            And certainly not anything to do with how things actually happen.
            My degree is in forensics and crime science.
            My job with the police, put me up close with the most depraved of human behavior there ever was.
            The moral and ethical imperative, is to know what human beings are dangerous.
            Which is why I distinctly pointed out moral sins that never change, and why they compromise human safety and trust and community cohesion.
            And the kinds of behaviors that are morally neutral, and do not harm human safety and trust or cohesion.
            Christians, especially conservative ones, REFUSE to acknowledge these specific differences.
            They continue to posit gay people as perverts, a threat to children, and whose motives are suspect and evil.
            And whose existence offends God, and the presence of gay people is a work of the devil.
            And gay people just behave that way TO offend God and Christians in particular.
            This is the legacy that the religious refuse to own up to. And what a MESS they’ve made. Even when gay people neuter themselves and eschew a romantic life.
            Other gay people have had to pay for it, in ways that disturbs the peace of truly fair minded, rational people.
            Communities aren’t bettered by the repression of gay people and never did. Because eventually, the larger community is being cruel in their expectations on that order.
            And even good intentions, can have disastrous results. And it’s arrogant of religious communities to not acknowledge that.
            Through my work with PFLAG and other family orientated support groups for the LGT, the religious have been at the root of their problems and reconciling both, extremely difficult.
            But it’s definitely been more of a boon to families, than the kind of outreach to young people Bradley said he did.
            He had to spend WAY too much time, trying to check himself on a casual spontaneous gesture of affection towards another male.
            Which tends to be a homicidal disaster for gay people all the time.
            THAT is what has to change. And should.
            NOT what gay people do and express romantically or not as their orientation has warranted all along.

          • AnotherMike

            Hello Regan,

            It is obvious you possess two qualities.
            1) you are a prolific writer/typist
            2) you are well practiced in what you put forward

            I say this because you posted an extensive reply within an hour after my post and that is working within the mindset that you read what I wrote.

            Reading your reply I noticed you emphasized certain statements by the use of capitalization to draw my attention. I also am under the impression you are an advocate for a people group that you yourself are not a member of.
            ———-
            I did go looking for answers to the questions I asked and did not find any straight answers.
            ———-
            So I will start with what I am able infer and that is you disagree with the Bible. What exactly you disagree with in the Bible is a great topic for a later time if you are willing. But overall the Bible has little or no discussion value if you do not believe God exists.
            ———-
            I cannot actually see if you do believe God exists because you never simply state if you do or do not believe God exists. What I did see are two statements basically saying that God and Christ are intangible.

            The first time you use it, I could understand as the definition of “Intangible” (as I know it) is its use as an adjective meaning incapable of being perceived by the sense of touch; immaterial. And following this line of logic, we are intangible to each other; you are intangible to me and I to you since we cannot sense (touch) the other. We can only infer each other’s existence because we are responding to each other on this blog.

            Thus, I was able read it as God and Christ are immaterial. But so is the air we breathe, the WiFi we use with our computers, the electricity powering pretty much everything we use, etc… So the inference is easy for me to read and comprehend even though I cannot agree with the sentence it is embedded.

            The second time you use it you added “Accountability and consequences are abstract. Not real.” Here you lost me on several levels. As I cannot discern if the “Not real” statement is acting as an all-inclusive additive to the two previous sentences or not.

            Whether it is all-inclusive or not I have to ask if you really believe that ‘Accountability and Consequences are Abstract’ and ‘Not Real’? If you do it gives the impression that you are stating accountability has no value because it’s impractical or theoretical because it is not real; and consequences have no value because it’s impractical or theoretical because it is not real. Somehow with all your passion being an advocate for the LGBT community this does not ‘square’ with what you are posting.

            So exactly what are you stating here?
            ———-
            Lastly, you mention you have a degree in forensics and crime science, which I believe to be an excellent degree that makes use of logic and deduction for law enforcement. The only other person I am acquainted with the same interest and is known as a celebrated cold-case detective. You may know or heard of him, J. W. Wallace.
            Mike

          • Regan DuCasse

            I admit in my own writing, I might become abstract myself, if not circumspect. I apologize.
            Let me try to clarify.
            I do, in fact believe in God. Or some form of higher power and Creator.
            I have been so fortunate to have learned and experienced a lot early in life. But most of all, to be dazzled by such simple things as a night sky full of stars, the varieties of flowers and trees, and the wealth of colors my eyes can see.
            I’m a photographer and artist, so visuals are important to me as are their interpretation.
            However, I am frustrated that people can know and understand this level of diversity, but solidly believe that humans themselves only come in a few genders, one superior color, and so on.
            And certainly have hurt each other over the differences, rather than accept them and keep learning.
            Even in this day and age when the opportunities are so accessible and doesn’t require much sacrifice.
            Which is why, it feels like the expectation that gay people aren’t meant to be or aren’t a part of the greater of God’s plans, is offensive to me.
            And using religious tools to further repress that, so that it’s harder to learn about gay people, or what they’d be like and accomplish without the legacy of restraint, does as well.

            When gay people are hurt by it, those who have caused it, balk at being held accountable, and ignore the consequences of THEIR actions.
            Indeed, just keep right on steam rolling as if this has worked and hasn’t left considerable wreckage in the process.
            Wreckage that Bradley barely survived.
            They just retooled what’s been expected all along. SOS, DD as it were.
            It was a mystery to the gay and trans folks I’ve known so well, that I was so fierce in what I was doing.
            I had no children, siblings…no one at least in my family. I started all this as a teen. But only a few years before, had seen the civil rights movement, women’s liberation…and experienced Jim Crow personally years later.
            Anti gay people never knew what to make of me, except to say I was some kind of traitor.
            Betraying other heterosexuals for being so accepting.
            But how else is anyone going to learn anything, unless they accept they ARE ignorant, and can’t speak for the group they don’t trust, nor want to hear from.
            I was ever curious and analytical. The only people to learn from, were the people who experience their lives unadulterated by the kinds of interference I see from religious groups.
            I saw it with people who wanted to maintain segregation.
            I saw it with men, who expect women to only be seen as at their service and objectified.
            And I experience that first hand.
            Now, it didn’t me make a man hater, or racist myself. The negatives I’ve experienced. Such a response is worthless to growth and education.
            But as for accountability, the religious use the intangibles of reward/punishment through heaven and hell or what God will or won’t accept.
            When we both know, it’s only other humans that have judged, enforced and punished other humans.
            God hasn’t been in the mix on that tip, whatsoever.
            so it’s trying to make people believe the intangible, as opposed to the tangible that’s messed up their lives.
            And also as a female, I can put it together to just what level misogyny and it’s extension through anti gay and trans sentiment, permeates the most influential religions, so therefore, I feel no support from it.
            Some residual knowledge of my cultural origins had a FAR more logical and compassionate reason for accepting the gender variant than any other religious are going to convince me of.
            And then there are the stereotypes, the ready and easily believed myths about being gay. Or what’s in store for gay people, if they don’t believe or comply with whatever church community requires of them.
            So much slut shaming, and asserting that being gay is just so miserable, and disease ridden, and horrible, NO ONE would want THAT!
            And virtually to a ONE, an ex gay, or gay person like Matt, will over and over again, talk about being promiscuous, or addicted, or having some other kind of season of misery, until…they saw the light.
            I don’t know if you have ANY idea how often that song gets sung, and it’s very much a part of the Christian roadshow.

            So I think what I meant by the consequences and accountability, I am WITNESSING first hand, the double and unrealistic standards placed on people who have barely had the floor to give truth that really has to be heard.
            There is NO accountability from the religious for the damage, no consequences to them. Not really.
            And only once, did a few Christians show up at a rally to APOLOGIZE for just what I’m talking about.
            I’ve had it with the running interference (which is essentially what Bradley says he does with outreach to youngsters who are SSA).
            God and Christ are not immaterial.
            But God and Christ are used as cover for some serious miscalculations by other human beings. To put it mildly.
            How this persists against ONLY gay people would make any logic based, fair minded person very anger.
            And certain kinds of anger, which I possess, has helped me get to what I’ve wanted. An enduring, and very loving relationship with a LOT of different people who are gay and transgender.
            I know what the more conservative religious people say about people I consider treasured family.
            That is where you see a lot of stupidity, cruelty, vicious misrepresentation and defamation.
            And that also makes me angry, because their ignorance and repeated interference is DANGEROUS.
            So what can be done when people are that wrong, but don’t care and are certain God is on their side?
            With so many lives in ruins sometimes, or the resentment at the triumph of the gay community, all things considered….
            It’s fair to say that the religious have been very, very wrong.
            From reading Matt’s articles, he’s not stupid, and he’s certainly not mean spirited.
            But I get the sense that he just couldn’t and didn’t want the kinds of burdens that being gay brings.
            Burdens that religious communities have so thoughtlessly piled on.
            I know what the burden of my skin color and gender feels like.
            But I’ll be damned more, for capitulating to anyone who thinks I’m not fit to walk the Earth because of them, either.

          • Regan DuCasse

            Thank you very much. Forgive me. My new job is nights, and I had to give up my usual dose of caffeine (my only vice, well maybe buying shoes).
            So If I have moments of incoherence, I came by it honestly.

          • AnotherMike

            Hello Regan,

            Thank you for the response you sent.
            ————
            The word ‘Wow’ pretty much sums up this week so far.

            With the coming weekend I look forward to actually doing something like painting the stairwell (something I really have no desire to actually do but after this week it is looking enjoyable … who knew). I feel safe making the statement that we all go through periods of frustration and this week has been a daily exercise of frustrating circumstances. The handling of the overall circumstances has resulted in failure in large part as I am able to deal with most of it but somewhere my patience becomes thin and then I am unable to let it go until without time to properly address it and letting it go at the cross.
            ————
            Photography is an activity I did at one time when we had the old Canon cameras with film (black and white or color), F-stops, filters, and shutter speeds. You had to really look around with a careful eye to see potential photographic pictures before you ever pressed the button to actually take the picture and I remember going through a lot of rolls.

            I agree with you that visuals are important and photographers (generally the more than a hobby photographer) have the capacity to provide a glimpse to others of what caught the photographer’s attention in a still. Interpretation, on the other hand, is something beyond our control and I cannot hold anyone else to my interpretation, even if interpretation is similar to my own.
            ————
            I am at a loss at what SOS and DD stand for in your reply. Based upon my background SOS is Morse code for distress but the DD, I have no idea.
            ————
            Thank you for some of your background information. In turn, I am the oldest of one of two children. I am married and have three children. Though I have experienced some of the effects either through witnessing or directly, I am not intimate with them as they do not The civil rights movement, women’s liberation, and Jim Crow are topics by which I am familiar but not intimate. College took an extraordinary amount of time to complete unless someone is of the opinion that 25 years is actually a short amount of time for a BS degree. My areas of interest are varied and are reflected in my quarter century trek to obtain a degree (which shifted through all of the following: computer programming, computer science, computer administration, biology, marine biology, philosophy, leadership, management, business management, and history). I ultimately was led to discover I have a gift for logistics and logistical coordination though it was not by choice.
            ————
            Regarding religion, I did at one time think all religions as being one of the primary reasons for conflict within the world. After study and thinking it over for several years I admit to having come to a different conclusion and includes the accountability segment as well. The irony of the situation has been the need to not just relearn once but to continually reexamine and reevaluate much of what I had learned and thought as true for the majority of my life.
            ————
            Thank you for writing that you do believe in God or some form of higher power and Creator.

            There are people in the world who do not share your belief.

            I ask if you would share your description of God or the form of higher power you believe in.
            ————
            Shoes! Good grief. Yes, I know someone who loves shoes also and it is not me.

            It does make for some good comedy.

            Mike

          • Regan DuCasse

            Hello AM, thanks for writing again.
            As I’ve been saying, the sorts of gay men especially that Matt and a few others here represent, are part of the process of trying to learn more about their change.
            It’s been over twenty years.
            And the answers I get, are the same over and over. There is not just a similarity in their answer (that is to keep referring to the Bible as if I never have), but eventually THEIR backstories all sound the same too.
            Even though they are different people.
            What SOS DD means is ‘same old sh*t, different day’.

            As a person of science, there also is a requirement to continue to be updated, to continue research, to continue to express that need and desire to do so.
            And although so many things change, evolve and become better as far as experience goes, the subject of the gay and trans community, is suffering some of the worst drag on that access I’ve ever seen.
            So it’s more than fair to see the continuing scold (or admonishment) to ‘go read the Bible’, is more and more obfuscation.
            Instead of enlightenment.
            mike became what I could see as manipulative, because his comments eventually came around to inferring that accepting homosexuality, is or must require that pedophilia and pederasty must be also.
            My background is CRIMINAL science, with specific requirements to understand criminal behavior and it’s results.
            Which is why I have explained over and over again, that moral sins, that attack, or harm another human being’s person, or property ALWAYS have the same results and damages trust and social safety.

            But that religious definitions of certain behaviors and actions that were considered sins, aren’t any longer and RIGHTFULLY, because the results are either benign, have no personal or social affect.
            Even specific taboos, like birth control or non procreative sex, are BENEFICIAL to society and individuals.
            As are autopsy and organ and blood donation. There are still religious communities that do not allow these, even though the benefits have been life giving.

            But in other media, the persistent prejudice that homosexuality is unhealthy, has a moral foundation, or renders gay individuals to discipline themselves away from the natural and normal instinct of ss attraction, is in and of itself very unhealthy.
            As is the denial that this is true.
            And yet again, the constant refrain to go and read the same thing, over and over again, as if that will bring a different result.
            What I’m wanting, and a lot more people are wanting is SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
            We KNOW what the religious texts say.
            We KNOW what the PAST has done.
            Looking BACKWARD, at 60 year old data from the psychiatric community of that time, or referring to thousands year old religious texts isn’t NEW.
            So in giving this crew here the opportunity to do something new, say something other than the predictable, isn’t forthcoming.
            Therefore, the actual truth won’t be.
            However much they insist they have the truth.

            Experience, and much better empirical evidence has said and told me differently.
            And especially in context to recent history, and how exposure means expansion and tremendous changes where it matters.
            Such as in gay people serving openly in the military, marriage equality and stronger hate crimes laws.
            The people I worked in the trenches with, have much to be proud of, but also there is much left to do.
            It’s not hard to see that most of those who support Matt and are on board with him, aren’t going to be and never were a part of that kind of fight.
            They can benefit from it, even so.
            But they didn’t fight, or sacrifice for it.

            Not everyone is cut out to be that kind of warrior, or deserves to be criticized for it.
            But the common thought here is different from that. It’s the kind of mentality that enables oppression, and to hear them tell it, being pious enough, would have kept them from being locked up, or fired or battered.
            History would not, and does not accept that.
            And neither will I.

          • AnotherMike

            Hello Regan,

            If I understand you correctly, you are trying to gain an understanding what it was that caused the change of Matt and others from within the LGBT community to outside the LGBT community. Provided this assumption is correct, I can relate in part as I read Matt’s blog to assist myself in gaining perspective (similarities and differences) of the individuals who have come out of the LGBT community and what difficulties are encountered. However, Matt is not the only person I have read who has come out of the LGBT community as followers of Christ. I do find Matt’s topics worthy reading as he actively confronts the subject matter, as a follower of Christ, by using his reasoning and understanding of scripture to address it.
            ———-
            I had to re-read your statement that the answers you continually receive are the same, over and over again, as it brought to mind the statement that if you do a chemistry experiment using the same chemicals over and over again, you should not expect to receive a different result. It will be the same each time.

            I must ask, as I do not have access (and probably the time as you have been doing this for 20 years), what is the common element in each of the backstories?
            ———-
            I am at a loss as to what “worst drag” means.
            ———-
            You turn the discussion to admonishment and I had to smile as this is an area we should all be familiar with as it has been a part of our lives from today to way in the past when we were children.

            My thoughts on admonishment are: We all have perspectives and bias, that is unavoidable. The question we need to ask ourselves is can we step away from them when necessary. This is a difficult exercise to do as we especially if we have never experienced the opportunity enabling us to view the world (and by world, please acknowledge my usage is usually tied to people or reality – context tends to indicate which) through different lenses (perspective).

            People who declare themselves as biblical Christians, depending upon maturity, will eventually understand that with our commission we also have different roles both within and outside the church community. One of those roles is likened to a watchman on a tower. If danger is seen for the people in the watchman’s immediate surroundings then the watchman is obligated to raise the alarm. How the alarm is raised differs from individual to individual. Admonishment is one of the methods of raising the alarm. While warning with an admonishment does work it certainly is not the only method possible to give warning. It just tends to be more of the default position we have, for whatever reason.

            I am unsure if you would agree but I anticipate you might that we can see this default setting in ourselves whenever we must correct someone in our work places if something is done or being done incorrectly. By “default setting” I mean that an admonishment leaps into our mind as the means of correcting a wrong or what we perceive as wrong.

            What tends to be left out in an admonishment is personal knowledge of the individual being admonished and, therefore, lacks any tempering of what is spoken with compassion.
            ———-
            What you sent has me asking so many questions in my head begging for clarification so I can understand the context and I do not want to just ask them all.

            So I will just ask a few of them.

            From your statement,

            “…I have explained over and over again, that moral sins, that attack, or harm another human being’s person, or property always have the same results and damages trust and social safety. But that religious definitions of certain behaviors and actions that were considered sins, aren’t any longer and rightfully, because the results are either benign, have no personal or social affect.”

            You mention ‘religious definitions’ which require greater clarity for better understanding because all religions do not agree with each other, so…

            * What religions are being discussed?
            * Where did the religious definitions come from?
            * What is the foundation for the definitions the religion(s) use(s)?
            ———-
            The next set of questions come from the statements…

            “We know what the religious texts say.
            We know what the past has done.
            Looking backward, at 60 year old data from the psychiatric community of that time, or referring to thousands year old religious texts isn’t new.
            Therefore, the actual truth won’t be.
            However much they insist they have the truth.”

            * What does the religious texts say and about what?
            * What was done in the past?
            * Since the statement addresses a singular truth, is there more than one truth?
            ———-
            With your answers providing me the needed clarity and context I must request, in your own words, a description of who (or what, based on the answer you provided last time) God is (or the higher power).
            ———-
            How is the night shift and when do you come off of nights?

            Mike

          • Regan DuCasse

            Thanks for writing, I appreciate the thought you put into your comment, and the questions.
            And I will answer them for you as best I can. And certainly with honesty.

            Actually, I’m not looking for the cause of what made Matt or the others on this thread change with regard to being within or without, the LGT community. It’s quite evident and I’m not wrong or misled.
            They’ve all pretty much said the same thing.
            If THEY claim to be telling me the truth about themselves, then slamming me as NOT knowing it, doesn’t make any sense.
            However, coming out of the gay community, is at the expense of that community.
            Several of the comments here, did assert commonly held negative stereotypes, and opinions that have been dangerous and destructive to that community, that is only a hair away from the disaster that systemic prejudice continues to represent.
            To dismiss that, or to comment and behave as if this is none of the fault of religion, or religious doctrine, is the moral dishonesty that is also evident here.
            At the very least, such doctrine is embraced by individuals here, and asserted as if it’s been and always will be the healthiest course to take, when it’s not.
            The influence of religion, especially the most influential ones (Judeo-Christian and Muslim), is generational and familial.
            For a long, long time now, it’s broken up families, and the ignorance in those families about homosexuality and gay people, puts the very young gay person at risk.
            Look right below at BJM’s comment.
            “Who says I’m not happy?” I have no reason to dispute him saying that.
            Except very bigoted anti gay people insist that in no way a gay person can EVER be happy.
            And the ONLY course for a gay person to be, is either affect heterosexual behavior, or live as a celibate, devout and virtually priestly gay person.
            So who are heterosexuals to decide THAT?
            And work overtime in creating a social atmosphere so hostile and negative, there really isn’t a choice for a vulnerable gay young person.
            I asked mike if he preferred that gay people be locked up. And never have any physical, professional or social freedom, as the alternative to showing a life of religious discipline (if that).
            He didn’t answer that.
            Other than being killed outright, as religious texts instruct, the alternative HAS been jail, or some other cruel punishment.
            Regardless of contribution, look at what happened to Oscar Wilde and Alan Turing.
            They were beaten down hard by the mores of the day that saw and betrayed gay people as broken, deranged, mentally sick and unstable.
            mike also commented on the psychiatric community’s sea change when it came to a radical difference in the research and study of homosexuality as if that came at the expense of truth, or from militant homosexuals threatening that community.
            Which would tell anyone that he believed the stereotype, or at least doesn’t see gay people as RIGHTFUL demanding change and challenging the bigotry that risked their lives and freedom.
            The comments here, in no uncertain terms, have disdain for gay people who do that.
            And certainly those of ignorance about being gay and who are hostile, believe the same things about gay people that mike, Bradley and the rest believe.
            This, AM… is NOT how progress came about and it never would have.
            But the dominant thought here is, that it shouldn’t have, or that the stakes involved deserve no mention.
            They don’t care that other gay and trans people are paying the price for this.
            Their mission, is wholly for themselves, and where their comfort zone actually is.
            Bradley saying he counseled young people who are SSA that “God loves them”…
            Well, again, God is intangible, it’s going to be the fellow humans who need persuading, and Matt et al….think that saying all that from the Bible is enough and should be for anyone.
            It isn’t.
            And never was.
            Bradley continuing to call me an angry activist, like an epithet, or like it’s a bad thing, only speaks to his petulance.
            Us angry activists were the ones standing up for gay youth, when their religious families beat them or kicked them out.
            Us angry activists, required doctors and other members of the medical and psychiatric establishment to change up their methods, which changed the laws that required the physical freedom of gay people and get effective treatment for HIV/AIDS.
            Us angry activists, created the change we wanted to see in the world.
            Didn’t they see Bishop Desmond Tutu angry?
            He’s certainly a man of God.
            Or Dr. King, or any number of angry activists that got their hands dirty, and inspired the rest of us to as well?
            Sometimes, I’ve seen gay people who have eschewed being gay, as similar to an anorexic.
            Who is most affected by anorexia? Females. Our culture, glamorizes and rewards extreme thinness.
            Females have undergone painful starvation to meet that cultural ideal. It’s not healthy, no matter how much that young woman will insist she’s healthy and happier being so thin.
            I’ve known (and experience it myself), the beauty standards that made black features negative and undesirable.
            Black people endured burned scalps and other skin disorders, trying to keep their hair straight.
            Some have undergone plastic surgery to change their noses.
            Light skinned blacks, have more social success than the very dark skinned.
            So a gay person trying to assume the ideal of what a gay person is supposed to be in the dominant culture isn’t new to me, nor such negative feelings about it, not understandable.
            What I won’t accept, and neither should anyone else, is the capitulation to those negatives. And using the excuse that God wills it, and others are right to enforce it.
            Bradley couldn’t show any casual affection towards another man without drawing suspicion and checking himself for fleas.

            That is a happy environment? Ok, if he insists.
            But other males, very young ones, got beatings for it. So thanks a lot Bradley for saying those who suspect you, are right to suspect everyone just like you.
            Hell yeah, I’d be angry about that. And I DO something about that boy or girl risking getting assaulted.
            What’s Bradley going to do? Tell them, “God loves you?”
            What does THAT matter, when nobody ELSE does?

            You asked me about the religions and the foundations for these differences in moral, as opposed to religious sins.
            Well, not all religions have been non accepting of gender variance. But the aforementioned most influential religions have been.
            And that influence has been something forced on most people. If you grow up in an Islamic state, choosing the alternative religions isn’t an option.
            I already did say how religious and moral sins are defined.
            Moral sins by their affect on individuals and society at large. Violence, theft and betrayal, without cause are ALWAYS with the same results.

            Religious sins, have more to do with application towards what one consumes, does for work, what is worn, what is required of individuals that is reasonable and can be achieved by most individuals as well.
            The religious taboo on birth control, is fine as a personal choice. But as a societal one, is VERY unhealthy, for example.
            The religious taboo on organ and blood donation, or autopsy. Even for individuals, refusing such options can threaten life. But acceptance for society, has been supremely beneficial.
            GENDER is morally neutral for example, as are it’s attendant components which homosexuality and being transgender represents.
            These are STRICTLY gender based behaviors, with no moral implications.
            Everyone benefits by channeling sexuality into monogamy, fidelity, responsibility and care.
            A heterosexual or homosexual person has someone who is correspondent to their orientation, but they both benefit from the same things and are HARMED by the same things.
            RESULTS always matter where such things in society occur.
            That is how a morally honest person examining those results, can come to the same conclusion.
            But gay people are excluded and have been from participating in these results being accomplished.
            And the religious restrictions on homosexuality have repressed that opportunity.
            So, what I mean to say is, that participation, that ability to be fully accepted as a moral equal, hasn’t been an option for enough time yet.
            So the religious disciplines that Matt, et al participate in, further foment the ignorance and expectations that gay people have conditional existence, isn’t realistic.
            And especially isn’t healthy.
            But there isn’t any reason to accept that discipline be the norm or dominate our culture ever again.
            But all that’s been accomplished so far, never would have happened.
            So that’s why it’s back to square one, for matt et al.
            I won’t dispute if they are happy or not.
            But the other side having a say, is long overdue. And it’s more than reasonable for the public at large to hear the OTHER side of any of this.

            It’s just that matt, et al are representing something that’s already been going on for a long, long time…and isn’t as acceptable or healthy as they wish it was.
            Or want it to be.

            I’m working on a fun gig at Universal Studios for Halloween (oh those PAGAN holidays!), and right after, I have a part in a major movie fantasy (got prostheticd cast, it’s going to be a 4-5 hour make up session). I already met one of the leading men for this movie.
            Can’t say much else about it. But HE is the lead in a movie opening soon about Richard and Mildred Loving, the interracial couple in the landmark Supreme Court case). So I’ll be off nights by the end of the first week of Nov.
            Which reminds me.
            A LOT of my fellow performers, some of my supervisors, are gay. Some of the straight guys, I’ve noticed, are affectionate, and very secure about their orientation.
            One in particular, has been like a big brother to several of the other gay guys. He’s an actor (he’s gorgeous), he’s very kind and hugs them all the time, asks if they are doing ok (the job is very rigorous and takes a lot of physical stamina).
            I spoke to a girl that he’s falling for, and we both agree, straight guys who are THAT secure in their sexuality, and not only like gay people but embrace them as the family they are, are hotter than fish grease.

            I hope I’ve helped you understand how my mind works in all this. I am just very, very protective of the gay kids that really need to be heard, understood and have their lives be accepted.
            It’s been extremely difficult over the noise that the religious insist on making to drown out THOSE voices.
            I just want to hear the other voices now. It’s only fair, and it’s time.
            You’ve been really good to talk to and I appreciate that.

          • AnotherMike

            Hello Regan,

            I must ask for forgiveness on not responding in a timely manner (within a day) as I was able initially. My time is being pulled to other issues both at work and home that delay my answering sooner.
            ——
            I had to laugh at what you wrote about answering the questions the best you can and with honesty (smile) as my expectation from our correspondence has led me to believe otherwise would be wrong.
            ——
            As stated before in the last reply, I do read Matt’s blog to help me gain understanding of the struggle he faces. From what I have read and my understanding of Matt’s struggles as he continues to grow as a follower of Christ. Additionally, from my perspective, the struggle Matt writes about, in many ways, reflects everyone’s struggles in degree, if not kind, as a witness that life is not easy nor fair.

            Note: I am aware this perspective can be disputed but if it is then the question must be answered, “By what foundation does a person claim that life should be easy and fair?”
            ——
            I admit that when I read any blog or articles I usually stop reading at the end of the article or just skim the first couple of comments. In the past whenever I have ever written out a reply to a comment it would not go through and I never really knew why. So imagine my surprise when my reply to you actually went through. I was actually stunned for a moment when I realized it actually went through and I am now filled with joy that we are able to actually have a lengthy correspondence. How long this blog’s article will remain open for replies is uncertain but I did provide a means to contact me directly if the site does stop further comments.
            ——
            As in my work environment and here in the Comments, I dislike answering for other people nearly as much as I dislike it when other people answer for me. Now, do I follow this perfectly? The unfortunate answer is, no, I do not. So when our conversation started, I was answering, in a sense, for Bradley which I really had no right to do as I do not know Bradley.

            So I tend to work on the expectation that everyone on article/blog comments are providing what they believe.
            The question is, is what they believe true?

            Previously I asked the question, can there be more than one truth, and I will state that my position is the answer is no, there cannot be more than one truth. Some with agree and some will disagree (shrug) and such is the world we live in. I can understand some disagreement as I too at one time thought that, yes, there could be more than one truth. The problem was I was not being intellectually honest to myself and others because I really never examined what it was I was saying and thought was true. This was a question I had to answer; I had to face; and then I had to decide what I would do with the knowledge once acquired.

            For ‘mike’, ‘Bradley’, ‘BJM’, and others, in the comments section of the article, I have not read anything they have written, with one exception and to it I did answer. When I do respond to comments I try to give a thoughtful response on what I is presented and what I know of the person I am responding to. To do otherwise means I am liable to make a uninformed judgment of the person I am sending the reply and I, all likelihood, actively resisting the wisdom that when we comment without context we are making essentially comments on pre-text and pre-text is a void usually filled with assumptions and biases.

            At the end of the day, I really try to have little to no interest in comments others wrote because our conversation is just that, our conversation; you and me. The reasoning is for me to respect you and continue respecting you, I need to concentrate on the conversation we are having. My thinking at times gets cloudy enough, I do not need it that in the middle of our communication. Plus, and this is important, I am unsure if you are actually seeking an “answering” response from me or if you are expressing yourself so you can help yourself in your thoughts.

            As you are probably aware, we will find we will disagree on many issues as my positions or stances to align with yours. The differences are expected and at times invigorating as it gives opportunity to discuss them to grow understanding, respect, and friendship that can help provide the “hand and foot” grips for future encounters with other people we have not yet met.
            ——
            Now I believe in God. I know from what you wrote previously that you believe in God or a higher divine power/creator. Now I have asked what your description of God is and when I never see a clear answer I had to think upon the question itself I realized just how difficult that question can actually be to answer.

            The way I framed this issue in my mind is this is like someone who learns all that can be known about Michael Jackson. Just knowing everything about Michael Jackson is nice, but if you had a personal relationship with him, prior to his death, the more difficult it becomes to do justice in describing him to others because you are working from a whole mental picture of who he was (my mind thinks of 3-D) and communicating that mental picture requires a lengthy discourse.

            Now there are many avenues available to one who wants to learn more about God (attributes, references to what he has done in history, studying the created world) and this something I do regularly to know more about Him, but when I started pursuing a personal relationship with God I have found the difficulty to answer a descriptive question increases dramatically as I try to bring a whole mental picture of God to mind and that is impossible for how does the finite hold the infinite?

            I look at what Matt puts forward in his blog and I see a man who is actively seeking to grow in his personal relationship with God and he is telling us this growth. He does this by taking small issues, like compassion and the compassion of God, and discusses them and his struggles living as a child of God.
            ——
            Working at Universal Studios for Halloween sounds great and gaining work in a movie sounds really neat. And (as if no one ever asks (smile), “Do you and the rest of the employees gain any special benefits for working at Universal Studios?” and “Do you have an idea as to the release date of the movie?”
            ——
            I do understand some of what you say regarding the protective workings for those who are unable to protect and defend themselves. As people, we have thoughts and emotions. We have the ability to plan for the future and we have wants and desires. We have all these for a reason and as societies and communities, we all fall short of the mark in clearly addressing with understanding and compassion each of each other’s shortcomings. I applaud your ability and gift to be one who is available to hear the thoughts and goals of those who cry out. In being able to accept them as individuals with dignity and respect they deserve for being a person made in the image of God. This is what we all are suppose to do as it is a reflection of what God, Himself does.
            ——
            Have a great weekend.
            My wife and I have planned a visit to a vineyard and bringing back a few bottles of wine. (Need to get some cheese and fruit ready!)
            I also look forward to completing this one segment of the home painting project. (I am not sure if I mentioned it before but painting is one of my least like activities.)

            Mike

          • Regan DuCasse

            I am impressed by how timely your responses are. Do not apologize. I thought about something important though: that Bradley, and mike and several others have expressed and are in sync with what extremely prejudiced anti gay people say about gay people too.
            This is disturbing, and in the real world, the consequences have been hostile, tragic and most of all, foments continued misunderstanding and distrust of gay people.
            If you have not read their comments, then I suppose you don’t know or haven’t made the comparison.
            This is what most concerns me.
            Not that Matt or Bradly have worked towards a relationship with God and Christ, but that it compromises the relationship that gay people have with their fellow human beings.
            After all, what started much of this thread, and the intensity of the exchange, is that Bradley’s casual and innocent show of affection towards another man, was met with suspicion.
            In so many other instances of the same happening, or just the ACCUSATION that a gay person looked to long at another person, got that gay person or someone suspected of it, assaulted.
            Children have assaulted each other, to the point of the victims of it, have committed suicide.
            One of the youngest victims of this, was Carl Walker-Hoover, he was only ten years old. And subjected to anti gay assault and battery.
            Matt and his supporters here, spend a LOT of time on the same subject, regarding their belief in God and Christ, and support each other in making their lives celibate from gay romantic lives, but that would seem to me to be a given that is their stated goal.
            But it’s also the goal of some very serious anti gay socio/political action (which thankfully has failed in some areas, but at great cost).
            The British gov’t was recently on track to pardon gay men whose lives had been devastated by criminal records for their homosexuality.
            But I think a few members of the Parliament made that die in committee.

            If you think there is only ONE truth, then how about the truth that gay people, or those suspected of it, have been brutalized, and had their potential to do good in the world destroyed.
            And the belief system here, is saying that no gay people can have a romantic life (as evident to me God intended), AND participate fully in the liberties and protections, rights and cooperation so cherished by free and industrious countries.
            As I’ve been saying all along, that expectation for gay people, who are required to follow a religious, celibate life, and restrain their orientation, is NOT required of heterosexuals. Heterosexuals are NOT required to pursue a religious life at the sacrifice of THEIR freedoms, and protection and personal pursuits as happiness, interest and skill would warrant.

            So when there are societal double standards such as these, and if the world would continue to have serious problems, regardless…then the TRUTH is, that the world isn’t improved by neutered gay people. But in fact, WORSE has and will happen.
            It is a moral imperative to recognize double standards, and most of all consider who is really better off as a result.
            And the truth in that is, not who is most affected by this.

            So, it’s a lie that individual lives, and a greater good is served by gay believers who do not pursue their orientation’s path. It’s a lie that society is improved by it.
            Because society never HAS been improved by it.
            All that belief does, is mute the necessary noise that has to be made, that’s all.
            And as I’ve also said, the religious have had many thousands of years for THEIR side to be heard, and gay people have had precious little of it for the TRUTH to be heard from THEIR side.
            You’re right, that in SOME aspects, there is only one truth.
            And I’d say, that the religious haven’t heard it from the very people whose truth they are doing a lot to mute.
            And let’s not pretend there isn’t a truth there to BE told, learned and understood.
            I’ve heard believer’s version of what they think the truth is. And it ironically isn’t RINGING true. I’ve heard it over and over, all my life.
            And it’s not as true as they say it is.

            My work in the HHN, show at Universal isn’t without it’s hazards. It can be physically grueling, and we’re instructed in orientation to eat properly, pace ourselves, get rest.
            Very few people have the stamina, and we’ve lost a lot of performers by attrition, injury.
            Friday night, a guest deliberately punched me in the nose. It hurt, but fortunately wasn’t broken and didn’t bleed. There is some bruising. Another young women got her nose broken, the same way.
            And a few weeks ago, a guest deliberately with an open hand, slapped my face.
            This was not the result of being startled, or a fight or flight response, there are people using this occasion to assault us, because the rules for us performers are to absolutely not respond directly, nor speak, nor hit back.
            There is considerable vulnerability there because of this. There is the option of making an arrest. We have sheriff’s deputies throughout the park, and there are show controllers there with radios whose job is to specifically follow and identify bad guests. Guests are immediately ejected, and banned for years if necessary.
            The man who punched me, was a big, burly man…and when he told his side of it, it didn’t ring true to park security either.
            He’s someone I consider a real pussy. Hitting a woman, trying to run, trying to deny it.
            That’s kind of what I think of people who use religious oppression to justify injustice and unequal treatment meant for everyone.
            They know their socio/political power, and despite obvious hypocrisy, plenty of time to be challenged, and regardless they’ve made disasters, refuse to own it, let alone apologize.
            But instead, double down as if it’s the best thing EVER and always has been.
            I know such behavior when I see it. And if bigots, and those who interest is really to see every gay person disappear, never to be heard from ever, embrace what Matt, and Bradley et al want to believe, then the truth is, the bigots deserve to have their bell rung with the truth that their beliefs blow.

            Thanks for writing.

          • AnotherMike

            Hello Regan,

            The after Halloween door knocks are past and the left over candy is now at work for the occasional visitor needing assistance to snag from the candy bowl and now the scheduled gym times are looking bigger on the calendar every day.

            I do not know what the HHN is at Universal Studios. What I am completely surprised at is you getting punched in the face. I am happy to read that injury was minimal, at best, and not serious; however, I am not happy that it occurred in the first place.

            Getting slapped is no better than getting punched and I am not amused nor happy that you or any of your fellow performers have to endure it much less experience it.

            We all do activities either for work or personally that can at times cause injury. It is my prayer that you will see less of this type of hostility and at the same time I pray that you are able to extend forgiveness for injuries received to the one(s) who caused them whether or not the forgiveness is relayed or not and is accepted or not.

            I cannot adequately discern what the motivation would be for anyone to do such actions other than the common standard I, Matt, and Bradley have already recognized and can quickly point toward as we ourselves fall into the same category, we are fallen.
            ——-
            I had to read what you wrote a several times at the start of your reply as there was something that I initially skimmed through quickly that sent a discord sounding within me (similar to how words can be put together that emulate a texture that is almost tangible but really is not) and it has taken some time to for me to figure out the odd note.

            I have centered it to what you wrote in the beginning: “Not that Matt or Bradly have worked towards a relationship with God and Christ, but that it compromises the relationship that gay people have with their fellow human beings.”

            This sent is what created the distinct tone off in me that had me needing time to think upon the “why” it did not sit right within me.

            What I have been able to piece together is also based upon what I wrote the last time, “…when I started pursuing a personal relationship with God I have found the difficulty to answer a descriptive question increases dramatically as I try to bring a whole mental picture of God to mind and that is impossible for how does the finite hold the infinite? … (Matt) is telling us this growth. He does this by taking small issues, like compassion and the compassion of God, and discusses them and his struggles living as a child of God.”

            This is where a difference of how we view the world (worldview) becomes apparent. I can understand what Matt and Bradley post on the web because of what Matt (especially) and Bradley (from the little I have read) have already stated, which includes their declarations as being followers of Jesus, what it means to live in and to live for Jesus, and the struggles/difficulties they face as they live in and live for Jesus.

            The view of the world, that I am able to surmise, I share with both Matt and Bradley is centered on Jesus, the gospel, and placed against (what I would term) as the 100 year criteria position.

            All three of these positions do share a center on two fairly fundamental questions which also require exploration questions that help provide clarification.

            First question is, “Does God exist?”
            Exploration question is, “What are your thoughts on God?” The answer to this question should address worldview positions on a) creation, b) purpose, c) value, and d) morality.

            Second question is, “Is God good?”
            Exploration of this question must address objections regarding a) the destruction of the Canaanites, b) slavery, and c) hell. What may be missed is this question also addresses Justice.

            There are other questions, such as “What are your thoughts on Jesus?”, “What the gospel means?”, and “What is the 100 year criteria position?” which only contain value once the other questions are discussed.

            My past is likely no different (in degree) than Matt’s or Bradley’s (or anyone else for that matter) because at one time I would have an opinion or stand upon on various topics such as ‘the injustices in the US and the world’ and (what I would term as) ‘hot button’ topics that I have had to completely reevaluate or am still reevaluating since I answered the call and started to follow Jesus.

            I would venture to say I am a young follower of Christ Jesus and I do not have all the answers. I would venture to state that no one alive walking the planet today can provide all the answers. And even if all the answers could be provided they are of no use or worth if the answers are rejected. Nevertheless, when time permits and questions are asked I am willing to talk and express my views so long as I am granted an open floor and allowed to speak.

            But just as everyone today (generally) was at one time a child growing up learning to walk, not everyone learned at the same time (e.g. 6-months, 9-months, 13-months, etc.). The same goes with followers of Jesus who try to relay/discuss who Jesus is, the gospel, and why it matters. What must be understood is how we present Christ and the gospel varies from person to person and many cannot successful do so without creating greater offense than the offense the gospel already creates.
            ——
            I read about the UK’s move to pardon people (men only?) convicted for what was termed as ‘homosexual activity’. I am unsure of what to make of the story or effort yet, but the story has received little attention in the main stream media (MSM) after the initial article so I have not been tracking it.
            ——
            I am guessing my statement about truth is an issue as you capitalized ‘truth’ in your reply. If I was unclear, please forgive me. The context of what I stated was at one time I carried the general statement that something could be true for me and a different true for someone else. What must be clarified is the topic of discussion a topic of fact or opinion. If the topic is subjective, then the response will generate a response that is opinion. (e.g. if you are going on a vacation the best destination is …). If the topic is objective, then there is only one truth (e.g. if you are diabetic the best medication to stabilize blood sugar levels for healthy living is insulin).

            So I was not implying that people with same-sex attraction or orientation have never been brutalized, stigmatized, or killed.

            But since the subject is on the table (so to speak), I can say with absolute certainty that people with same-sex attraction/orientation and people who have participated in same-sex sexual actions/behavior have been brutalized, stigmatized, or killed.

            I can even go so far as saying that this continues world-wide today.

            I can say this because it can be shown to be an objective fact today, world-wide. However, to ignore applying the question to other people groups or belief groups and asking have they also not been treated the same way today or in the past (not just in the US but world-wide) is wrong as well? (For is that also not marginalizing others?)

            It is a world-wide fact, depending upon location (US, Europe, Middle East, etc.), you will find different people groups being brutalized, stigmatized, or killed because of who they are and/or their belief systems.

            Quick examples from today and throughout history:
            People of Jewish decent or identify as being Jewish or follow Jewish customs/traditions experience brutalization, stigmatization, and death at the hands of other people.

            People with same-sex attraction/orientation or practice same-sex sexual activity/behavior experience brutalization, stigmatization, and death at the hands of other people.

            People who identify as being Christian no matter the denomination experience brutalization, stigmatization, and death at the hands of other people.

            If your sex is female in or out of utero experience
            brutalization, stigmatization, and death at the hands of other people.
            ——
            You brought us the topic of double standards. Double standards is never a ‘fun’ topic to discuss but it is a ‘necessary’ topic that must be discussed and it must be discussed because it actually deals with ‘justice.’ What is interesting is we (as human being’s) possess an innate understanding of justice that has been tested/studied all the way from the elderly all the way down to toddlers. The results of the toddlers was apparently eye catching (not just because the subject group was toddlers) but due to the expressions toddlers used when witnessing ‘injustice.’ Which if you are able to discern means toddlers understand ‘justice’ and ‘injustice’ before they are taught/show what either means by their parents/caretakers.

            An observed constant (so it comes close to qualifying as fact) in people alive on the planet today is we have a default position where we judge people by their actions but we judge ourselves by our intentions. I am not the individual who came to this conclusion nor do I state it is an ‘always’ but as a ‘default,’ what we do without thinking. This is easy to demonstrate.

            Quick example: Have you ever witnessed someone running a red light or stop sign and wondered where was a police officer when you needed one to stop that dangerous driver and give him/her a ticket?
            (If not, I would ask, “Do you drive at all, for how long have you been driving, and where?”)
            But back to the example: Have you ever ran a red light in your entire experience of driving?
            (Clarification on what running a red light means is necessary. It means being anywhere in the intersection when the light turns red. Clarification on running a stop sign. It means not coming to a complete stop at the stop sign prior to proceeding forward. These definitions are per DMV handbooks nationwide.)
            If the answer is “yes” to either or both of these, then the question must be asked, “Did you immediately drive to the nearest police station or stop a police officer to turn yourself in for running the red light or stop sign? If not, then a double standard (also known as hypocrisy) was displayed and you are guilty of the same activity (never mind what activity) as what is being pointed out in other people.

            In short, we all are guilty of hypocrisy and operating under a double standard. But it also shows us all something many people fail to think through. Our ability to recognize other people doing wrong actions or failure to act when they should means our “radar” for detecting these types of actions/inactions is functional and working. The question is why do we not turn this same radar on ourselves and address the wrongs to which we are guilty?

            At this point I will stop discussing double standard (hypocrisy) for comment.

            Mike

          • Regan DuCasse

            I’ll try to work through each of your statements and try to simplify my answers so you don’t have to spend too much of your precious time reading it all.
            For me, it’s hard not to believe in God, when I’m surrounded by so much that is fascinating, beautiful, interesting and constantly keeps me engaged in observing it and looking for more to learn about.
            There is a form of meditation that takes over me when I’m rendering artwork, or listening to exquisite music and I’m happy with those inventive and courageous humans that have so enhanced our lives since the Bible was written.
            They deserve to be thanked, as much as the God that guides such commitment.

            As for Jesus: he was a radical whose activity and views wouldn’t be any more accepted now, than then. Of that I’m certain.
            Precisely because of the closed minds I’m encountering here. Not just closed, but hostile to any other range of thinking than Jesus experienced in his time.
            Not a lot is new under the sun now, that a lot of people don’t know or haven’t experienced.
            So of the base philosophy of Jesus and his Jewish roots are valid, but much of it wouldn’t apply in the same way.
            Except for the ability of most people to have a serious and special love for God.
            But treating another as you’d be treated, can qualify the most illiterate and isolated person for humanity and compassion when they remember that ethic with each of their actions.
            Those who fail at this often, but claim to be obeying Christ and charge other people to do so, lost their cred to so.
            It’s that simple.

            As for justifying their actions, specifically towards gay people, as a means of saving them from a fate worse than death: the failure here is continuing to conflate and analogize gay behavior as anti social along with categorically anti social behavior, when doing so sets up the wrong application for the wrong reasons.

            Why tell someone NOT endangering themselves or others to stop doing so?
            Or why would a doctor, who is supposed to be a trusted person, as Christians demand to be trusted, say someone HAS cancer, or IS a cancer, when they are not?
            They’d be considered a very incompetent doctor, and not to be trusted.
            Well, this is what so many Christians are confronting, that there ARE people who know better and see Christians behaving incompetently, if not nastily and expect a Christian to stop when THEIR behavior isn’t working or is doing harm.

            But the bigger problem is Christians who are so certain they are right, and refuse to own the problems they cause.
            THEIR wrong actions deserve challenge.
            Religious belief is a convertible and modified acquisition. It’s not a biologically programmed behavior.
            And the religious are very wrong in comparing THAT behavior to a genetically coded factor of all human life.
            And singling out gay people as the only ones who can control it, and worse, not act on it.
            The only thing that’s true, is that a person can not engage in sexual behavior by choice.
            But repression by social coercion is not healthy for anyone gay or not.
            And no medical or psychiatric professional recommends treating people that way.

            For BJM to say he counsels young gay people and in that way, will tell them that being gay is a negative and undesirable factor of themselves, is precisely the kind of damage that sets up gay people to not be able to channel their sexuality in a healthy way.
            They will be confronted with people pair bonding and enjoying it freely without misjudgement, while being told to repress their own urges on the condition that it’s either stay a lifelong virgin, or be at risk of disease, promiscuity, abuse and societal isolation.

            That is a disgraceful way to treat a very young person whose own self awareness or feelings towards their sexuality is still unsure and possibly without positive role models.
            No, God and Christ are NOT the only role models they have the option to follow.
            And certainly not Bradley or Matt.
            They are evidence of the damaged goods that Christians predict and keep pressing to control.
            Despite ALL of their assertions this was their choice, the real deal is that Christians would prefer that ALL gay people were like them.
            Despite the fact, then are not.

            When it all came down to it, BJM, and a few others became vicious, used name calling and obvious hostility, which was neither deserved nor necessary.
            That’s who they really are.
            No dialing that back, nor pretending they didn’t say it.
            And most likely why they had such a hard time as gay people.
            But not because they were gay, but because of other personality issues that behavioral scientists would recognize.
            When heterosexuals display anti social behavior, their sexual orientation isn’t blamed. Their anti social behavior is then isolated from that orientation.
            But gay people don’t get the same consideration, but they MUST.
            Because that is the ACCURATE and correct way to know about sexual orientation.
            Anti social behavior cannot be prayed away.
            And sexual orientation certainly cannot be.
            Most gay people who claim to not be engaging in any sex or romantic lives, don’t talk about what kind of interests or professional expertise they have.

            Over time, ALL they talk about is being fully engaged in their church, God and Christ and eventually all sound the same, say the same things and are boring as hell.
            Because no real person, no INDIVIDUAL aspects emerge.
            Because I know in some religious circles, the gay person is so policed in their behavior that might include other gay people who aren’t religious, the fear is “falling back into the gay lifestyle”.
            Hence, some gay people feel better not having any social life with gay people.
            And perhaps their attitude puts other gay people off.
            Because those gay people know how rote an ex gay is.
            And that gay Christian’s agenda is to see all gay people disappear and be overshadowed by religious discipline.
            BJM, threw in that I’m promoting “gay propaganda”.

            Well, HIS propaganda is that being gay is nothing desirable, and has no redeeming or pro social qualities and inevitable gay people are sluts, disease carrying, superficial self serving and self involved people.
            Yes, in the same way I hear that stereotype, he and several others here, have propagated that.

            If I do anything, it’s to make the mob here understand that I’ve heard their side, all my life. And that there isn’t anything new, or different that they’ve said that I haven’t known.
            But what do you and they do?
            Keep repeating to me, what I just told you I know already.
            No wonder you think there is only one path. If you’re all going in a circle, that’s what it’s going to be like.

            Courage, isn’t a strong suit here.
            I think some people believe they have it, because being a gay person isn’t easy, so therefore eschewing what they think a gay lifestyle is, must seem like a bold step to take against the challenge of it.
            Well, that’s crap.
            Christians know their view has a lot of influence. They demand it should, and expect it to.
            They don’t care how damaging that is to their credibility, but instead blame a fallen world, rather than just the opposite.
            A world moving towards infinite knowledge, compassion and invention, because human endeavor to takes us out of regressive ideas.
            Strict religious adherence and enforcement, led much of the world into the Dark Ages.
            But Christians aren’t going to own that.
            And they should.
            And MOVE ON.
            But no, not here.
            I’m being spoken to as if I’m a stubborn 3 year old.
            Not a grown woman, quite expert actually, in human behaviors because of so many years in a profession that requires it.
            Attacking homosexuality as anti social, without qualities necessary, desirable and productive, is and always has been wrong.
            I put the question before the group here, that gay people can and do achieve the same things that heterosexuals are supported and even applauded for.
            And yet, are vilified, and kept from achieving these things.
            Which is also wrong.
            Considering what I said about the ex gay not talking about interests or professional expertise, makes me consider that they are of the sort who couldn’t achieve very much personally and also take it out on their orientation.
            I had to mention other work that also added to my experience, which puts me in the position of knowing who is ignorant about something and who is not.

            Such as a comment by jstan, that homosexuals started the world’s problems with STD’s and that HIV/AIDS was a punishment on gay people.
            That is not only wrong, but dangerously irresponsible thinking.
            So I had give credentials in how I know differently.
            And BETTER than he did.
            Nobody else here seems to have those kinds of credentials.
            So therefore, their opinions are just that. And evidently they don’t care if they are wrong.

            This is how Christians contradict themselves, and how it inevitably results in hypocrisy.
            And how religious belief interferes with necessary and consistently important knowledge that differs from what the Bible SAYS.
            Not necessarily instructs.

            So, when people like Sandralee, just display outright denial, or assert that what I know is “feelings based”, that’s just patently stupid.
            It really is.
            I did the work and continue to, of knowing gay and trans folks BETTER than such religious people care to.
            And that’s not about being arrogant, but ACCURATE.
            Accuracy matters, as does how are people going to treat another person who actually IS more experienced and unafraid of anything.
            Even God.
            Being fearless, is exactly how people learn more, and ADAPT accordingly.
            Evidently, too many here are afraid of that. And it’s too bad.
            But holding others back out of that fear, helps nothing and no one.

          • AnotherMike

            Hello Regan,

            I am reading a level of anger in your response simply from the what you have put the words together and some of your word choices.

            Is the anger in the reply in response to what I wrote or from some other source?

            If it is from my previous reply then so be it.
            If it is from some other source or sources, then that is OK as well.
            I am just not positive if the reply I sent to you warrants the level of anger I perceive. (Note: the tone was established by your first sentence.)

            In the past several back and forth replies we have sent out in our conversation I am seeing a pattern in how you relay some of our thinking about God. You make the distinction of “God and Jesus”. This was further expanded on what you state in the last reply with, “As for Jesus” he was a radical whose activity and views wouldn’t be any more accepted now, than then. Of that I’m certain.”

            Are you implying that Jesus was nothing more than a man who was a radical?

            I have thoughts on “closed minds” but am reserving them for the moment other than stating closed minds are universally hostile (e.g. people with closed minds are automatically hostile to that which they have closed their mind towards).

            I am not sure what it is you are stating with, “Not a lot is new under the sun now that a lot of people don’t know or haven’t experienced” as I cannot connect it with the context of what your wrote prior or immediately afterward.
            Please clarify.

            On the topic of philosophy, I am not following you as Jesus was not putting forward a philosophy. Now the customs and mannerisms of the Jewish culture in the 1st century prior to the start of Jesus’ ministry followed the Old Testament laws from the Jewish Torah (or what was the Holy Bible of the time) written in Hebrew or the Greek translated copy commissioned by Ptolemy II called the Septuagint, you are correct much does not have any application today for people who are not orthodox Jews. However, the laws within the Old Testament consisted of three types of laws: ceremonial (purity) laws, civil (judicial) laws, and moral laws. Of these laws only the moral laws have relevance today and no one walking the earth keeps them, whether they claim to be Christians or some other belief system.
            (Note: belief system here is world view)

            At the beginning of your reply, you write about God about how it is not hard for you to believe in God when you are surrounded by all the fascinating and beautiful and interesting things (?) people (?) both (?) and being constantly engaged in observing it and looking for more to learn about.

            Do you believe that God created everything?
            (Note: I am not asking a “How” question, just a creation question.)

            Insofar as I know I am not writing to you as if you were a 3 year old. If you are reading my replies in that light, I can only say I am sorry. The way I talk is the way I write and what I say and write is I take my thoughts and break them down into the simplest form I can think of to help bridge the communication gap/barrier with other people. In short, what I think I chose to communicate I envision a picture (a word picture, if you would) and I then seek the means of communicating that picture. If that is simplistic, so be it. It is not always effective as the images I try to relay may not speak to the individual or audience as the image may hold different meanings and therefore the communication is broken until resolved.

            As for being stubborn (smile) who is not stubborn?

            On people who no longer live as a people following their sexual orientation and making it their identity because they have become followers of Christ, it does make sense if you would give me a moment.

            As a person who observes other people, I would guess you might agree that people identify themselves as being something like a fireman, a police officer, a teacher, a soldier, truck driver, a store manager, etc. What the common denominator is these are vocations. People who identify themselves as “gay”, “lesbian”, “homosexual”, etc. are not identifying a vocation, they are identifying an orientation or a behavior.

            In identifying oneself as something we tend to invest everything of ourselves into the identity. For people who are declared followers of Christ Jesus, their identity is in Christ Jesus. So why would they be talking about interests outside of Christ or professional expertise? What followers of Christ do is take their interests and professional expertise and learn how to engage them in honoring Christ.

            Mike
            Note: if you are angry at me. Please say it with an explanation of what is causing the anger.

          • Regan DuCasse

            Not angry at you, AMike, but check BJM’s and other responses. They are angrier and nastier than mine, and no one is calling THEM out on it.
            However, BJM and I have been exchanging emails as per his request, and Stacy and BJM made a miscalculation.
            BJM at least was contrite about it.
            I have however, been spoken to and scolded as if a stubborn child who won’t take his medicine.
            I’m scolded to read the Bible or trust in God and Jesus, but again, that’s a redundant way to talk to someone who has said they own a Bible, and read it and no amount of reading it over and over again will change what it says.

            What HAS changed, is how people have learned more about each other and the world and there isn’t anything edifying in telling someone who has experienced this, and is willing to learn more, to stop doing so or deny what I know.
            Or what other people know very empirically.

            I know the difference between a vocation and one’s sexual orientation.
            But the majority here, doesn’t know the difference between a sexual orientation, and anti social behavior.
            Or a biologically preconditioned behavior, and a religious calling.
            I’m confronted with dangerous intellectual disconnects, and the religious here won’t own it.
            As if their Bible based moral direction is irrefutable and has always been right.
            It hasn’t.
            Religion based intractability, really never serves the human need for ADAPTING to the very changes I’m mentioning in what is moral and pro social behavior, compared to what is not.
            No one can agree or disagree with what a sexual orientation is. That is what there is no room for.
            And most people can agree that channeling it into responsible and committed relationships IS acceptable.
            As I keep saying, what is good for heterosexuals to aspire to, is also good for gay people to aspire to also.
            And since it’s achievable, is possible.

            For anyone to argue that this isn’t the case, is blowing up the wrong skirt, really.
            And such inconsistency in how people are treated so differently on the basis of sexual orientation, is going to have to be answered to us mere mortals.

          • AnotherMike

            Hello Regan,

            Ok. I was wondering from where the root of the angst I read in your post was centered.
            ——
            I have not read the posts of BJM or others, nor have I read the new blog articles posted by Matt for the last couple of weeks after the one article (That One Time I was almost Kicked Out of my Church) we are piggy-backing on for our communication. So my ability to comment on the discussion(s) is rather limited.

            The two things I will comment upon are:

            1) Not all people who claim to be Christians are Christians. I say that because it is easy to make the claim but the question is what is the person’s commitment to Christ? Is the person making the claim seeking to please Him or their self? How does one make the determination? Should a person be making the judgment call as to whether or not a person is a Christian?

            2) Even those people who are Christians will still fall into old behavioral patterns prior to their coming to faith in Christ. Therefore, a follower of Christ will still struggle with gossip as their biggest failing. Another will still struggle with anger. Another will struggle with addiction. Another will still struggle with sexual orientation and lust. Another will still struggle with pride. Another will still struggle with envy.

            Do you believe these types of struggles indicate that a person is not a follower of Christ?

            Of the above questions only the last one is one I am really asking. The other questions are more rhetorical though they are valid.
            ——
            I guess I need to ask, what is the difference between sexual orientation and anti-social behavior (briefly and in your words)?
            ——
            On biological pre-conditioned behaviors, what do you see (examples please) as biological pre-conditioned behaviors?
            ——
            I do agree that there are some dangerous intellectual disconnects when it comes to religion for the simple reason that religions are different though they are offering answers for some common fundamental questions.
            ——
            On the assertion you have made that the Bible no longer contains irrefutable and correct moral direction, I must respectfully disagree.

            And while I must disagree I cannot even start discussing the Bible until questions concerning God are discussed using logic and reason in the same manner consistent seen with a court case.

            Now while I am not a forensic technician or scientist, I am an analyst and looking for and isolating facts, putting them together, and drawing conclusions from the results is what I do for a living for over 20+ years. So based upon what I know of myself and what you have told me, we are alike in the regard of how we think; through analysis. I say that because people are different and differences in thinking varies from person to person. Now while we may be alike in this regard, we will have difference experiences which will influence our analysis. This cannot be helped as we all have biases. What is not readily apparent is whether or not all information is granted entry for categorization or is only some information granted entry for categorization.

            Several years ago I was confronted with the answers concerning God which led me to a dilemma or situation where I had to make a choice. A choice about who I thought God is and my position relating to God’s position. Since that time I have been on a continual journey not just learning about God but entering into a personal relationship with God.

            This is why I keep coming back to you regarding your thoughts on God. In essence, what do you know about God and where does God fits into your life? (Note: I know you regard God and Jesus as intangible, but that really does not tell me anything other than you do not regard God or Jesus as physical.)

            Now if I had a blog like Matt does, I would surmise I would be writing about the different struggles I face, how I think my way through them, and what I learn about the journey so others may read and consider what I was experiencing for their own journeys.

            From what I have seen, Matt has had a lot to write about and I am really behind in reading his blog.

            Mike

          • Regan DuCasse

            “Not all people who claim to be Christians, are Christians”.
            So?
            What does that matter?
            The point is, anyone whose personal claim to be so, is the impetus behind their feelings and beliefs and disregard for the modern science, technology, social justice and empirical evidence and experience the learned have employed to advance human life and relations, then there isn’t any room to deny it.

            To front their opinions and offerings in a discussion about said advances in human life, with Scripture, sermons, religious doctrine, then there isn’t anything in denying it that’s going to help change anything.
            And these changes in human life have been extremely important, because history has proven that Christians and their power and influence has been horrific and damaging to very specific people on the basis of gender in particular.

            I’m in a ridiculous exchange with mike, in which he’s conflating homosexuality with anti social behaviors.
            Ant social behaviors, clearly are not exclusive nor more evident in anyone regardless of sexual orientation or gender.
            There are Christians here who flat out deny these facts, and the scientific and justifiable processes that came to that conclusion.
            With few exceptions, EVERYONE here is a Christian and would be offended if I denied them that identity.

            So it’s even MORE offensive, for a Christian to deny the identity and benign and morally neutral factors of sexual orientation in general.
            But homosexuality in particular.
            As I keep saying, Christians and Christian influence has made mistakes and harmed gay people, and expect to be unconditionally accepted, when no such accommodation is being made here.
            And Christians are losing that influence and SHOULD because of the inconsistency in which they take the benefits of modern justice for themselves, but aren’t willing to share it with such distinct human beings as women and gay people.
            And women and gay people haven’t had the socio/political freedom to make as much progress as anyone else.
            So my ‘angst’ as you call it, is justifiable, because I’m a woman.
            And because I see how societies all over the world are ignorant, and destructive when it comes to the issue of gender.
            Anti gay sentiment is an extension of misogyny.
            And averse attitudes about contraceptive sex.
            There is no means of measuring a Christian’s sincerity by their claims.
            But there is by their actions.
            And when a conversation turns nasty, and the denials of how human progress has changed gay lives for the BETTER is in evidence, then each and every Christian that does that is only proving their investment IS selfish and self righteous.
            No turning that attitude into a silk purse my friend.
            Being irrational is more valuable than being reasoned, and nobody wants people like that to influence their days and nights, nor should they.

          • AnotherMike

            By the way, is BJM shorthand for Bradley Joel Morton?
            Mike

          • Regan DuCasse

            yes.

          • AnotherMike

            Thank you.
            I have reached out to Bradley.

          • AnotherMike

            Hi Regan,
            Thank you for your reply. Please forgive my late reply. I have not forgotten to reply, I have just been unable to do so.
            Mike

          • Regan DuCasse

            Do not apologize, my friend. You have a life, it’s understandable. I would miss having this exchange with you though.

          • AnotherMike

            Hello Regan,
            As I do not know when this blog article will shut down I am giving you my yahoo prefix. This way we can continue talking. Jeremiah160364
            Mike

          • Bryan Matthews

            I only got as far as where you say, “In context to Jews constantly being under siege, who are a minority that has been on the receiving end of attempts at genocide (as have gay people)”, and had to stop reading! When and where was the Gay Holocaust!? You are undeniably one of the most delusional, self-inflated, egotistical people (perhaps on the globe) that would ever put a thought that compares what the Jewish People endured in with, on a equal level none the less, what homosexual people are going through, implying that the gay people are still in Concentration Camps or for that matter ever have been in anything much less comfortable than a new pair of shoes! You!, don’t talk anymore! Maybe never! For crying out loud read something besides road signs and the “Style” section of the Newspaper.

          • manlambda

            You really can’t be this stupid can you? Gay people were killed by the Nazis too. http://homocaust.org/

          • They also killed believers, but that’s okay I guess.

          • Regan DuCasse

            They killed people who worked to defend Jews, or other dissenters. There wasn’t this wholesale program to LOOK for believers. Jews being the only believers in God, that the Nazis took special care to arrest and put in the camps.
            Some Jews and their allies, WERE DISGUISED AS Christians to ESCAPE the Nazi pogrom.
            Your ignorance about that, is unforgivable, really.
            And if not for a gay man, who’d been the team leader at Bletchley Circle and built a forerunner of a computer to decode the Nazi’s Enigma code, your ass might not exist at all.
            And the rest of the world might still be under Nazi control.
            And Britain punished a hero, so deplorably, for being gay.
            Which led to his suicide at age 42.
            A Christian like you will express your religious teaching, but RECENT history got by you.
            WTH, Bradley?
            Maybe if you’d known of heroics like that, and knew other gay people who knocked down walls, and did so much for others, and were such positive role models, you wouldn’t have gotten on your knees the way you have, for the handlers who police your every move.
            And certainly aren’t going to let you associate with positive gay people, and evidently, you don’t want to except to proselytize.

          • Bryan Matthews

            Very few and many different people were killed, but not like the People of God! There wasn’t a focused attempt made to kill gays and extinguish them as a whole people!

          • Regan DuCasse

            Gay people WERE murdered by the Nazis and put in concentration camps. I said that the push to use religious doctrine to make them not be gay anymore, and affect heterosexual behavior is another form of working to make gay people DISAPPEAR.
            That would be a way to continue to expect gay people to NOT be gay and control what gay people do.
            And in such a way, that’s unworkable, and frankly diabolical.
            Also, when a gay person does impart any experience with such attacks on their character, intentions and potential, the common retort is, “well at least you’re in America and not a Muslim country where they KILL YOU!”.
            So that threat, that continued religion induced paranoia and distrust of gay people, NO MATTER how responsible, contributing and kind, is real.
            And people who are looking for gay people to trip themselves, and if they don’t, are willing to trip up that gay person, have a very insane entitled attitude to do so.
            Always claiming their religious belief requires it.
            Where I volunteer, is a place YOU need to visit, and learn.
            So your insult is going to be taken for what it is.
            That you ARE too stupid to be able to handle what I said.
            And if you can’t read my comments, or insult them, I doubt you’re capable of reading the Bible, let alone simple documents like the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

          • Bryan Matthews

            Regan, I was gay since I can remember, so you are wasting your peculiar way of stringing nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Contrary to what people may say, I didn’t live all those years under a rock or in a cave, therefore I have managed, even if by osmosis, to acquired a great amount of insight into the gay community. Whether any would admit that my short segment written here is anything other than “gay- hate speech”, “insults towards the gay community”, “A Christian homosexual with self-loathing issues”, ETC. I’m going to do my best to be clear with you, Regan and with the vast majority of “The Letters List” what I am blessed to be able to understand and witness the coercive and to discern the lies propagandized by the gay community.
            Even though there are many groups that profoundly despise gays , the people that are spoken out against with the most fervor and haste should the ones that LOVE YOU MOST. The followers of the only Son of The Living God. It’s us, Regan that love everyone of y’all, only to be called a Hate-filled , stupid Jesus Freaks that only want to be unhappy!

            A list you can find on much of the ones dealing with Christians:
            -That would be a way to continue to expect gay people to NOT be gay and control what gay people do. And in such a way, that’s unworkable, and frankly diabolical.”
            – when a gay person does impart any experience with such attacks on their They killed people who worked to defend Jews, or other dissenters. There wasn’t this wholesale pr ogram to LOOK for believers. , intentions and potential, the common retort is, “well at least you’re in America and not a Muslim country where they KILL YOU.
            – So that threat, that continued religion induced paranoia and distrust of gay people, NO MATTER how responsible, contributing and kind, is real.
            – people who are looking for gay people to trip themselves, and if they don’t, are willing to trip up that gay person, have a very insane entitled attitude to do so.
            – Always claiming their religious belief requires it.
            Many gay people seems to have the same narration on hand and quote it like scripture! So now for the truth, “Is the suffering by Gays .005% of what the Jewish people went through?” LOL!! It was me you called stupid….LOL

          • Regan DuCasse

            Um Bryan, I’m going to ask you several questions.
            And try to get what you’ve said correct in my mind.
            You’re gay since you remember.
            Check.
            And you have very strong opinions about other gay people (as well as me), you called me delusional at one point.
            And you’re prepared to be answered with responses that you’ve heard before about YOURSELF.
            So, you considered yourself blessed to be able to understand and witness the “coercive and to discern the lies propagandized by the gay community”.

            So, please tell me what lies and coercion?
            Specifics are needed.
            Let me say, that my social network is intensely integrated with Jews and blacks. I was raised in the temple, nearly as much as church (having had a childhood friend who was Jewish).
            And I’m a black woman, who is well versed in the history of several different cultures, but specifically, those still struggling with the legacies of anti Semitism, racism and so on.
            And you have stated more than once, that you don’t believe gay people have endured anything close to what the Jews have.
            I would like to know, how you know that?
            But more importantly, why you have asserted that the gay community lies, and is coercive.
            As a woman of a distinct minority, in a country with it’s legacy of racism and the attendant problems among blacks in America, I wouldn’t for one second, say that my group deserves the negative messaging that’s followed them so many centuries in this country.
            So, you have the floor.

        • Apparently Regan did not fully read the blog I sent her, or just dismissed it as the rantings of a religious fanatic. I WAS asked to teach several times (the book of Daniel and have been asked to teach again on Ecclesiastes). I have also helped parents who have children who are SSA, to know that they are loved by God, but hey, since when does the truth matter?
          She is an angry activist. I don’t know her motivations, and I really don’t care. If she truly cares about me and just wants me to be happy, then I find her attitude condescending. Who says I am not happy? I certainly was not when I nearly killed myself. I certainly was not when I nearly sold my body for sex. I certainly was not when I was seeking love from men (confusing love with sex).
          If her motivation is far more sinister, then it won’t work. She can spout all the facts she wants. She only wants me to stray from my Lord and is angry that I won’t and I took steps to make sure I stay in Him. I have to question why. Is there an ulterior motive? She will deny it and probably call me delusional. Been called worse.

          • Regan DuCasse

            I did read it. And you were repetitious and said absolutely nothing new that I haven’t heard that was already applied to gay people.
            And you opened the door and expressed YOUR anger at gay people you felt had abandoned you when you felt you needed them the most.
            You helped children who are SSA, and why are you so sure of that?
            Dismissing me as angry, is a cheap shot.
            Very cheap.
            Being suicidal, nearly prostituting yourself, looking for love in a way you were told was wrong, and in the wrong places?
            Bradley, how is that a GAY thing, and not something that many people who have been given the wrong messaging go through?
            But you are told to blame being gay (and/or) the devil.
            But the same thing happens to heterosexuals, right?
            So why does being gay get blamed, but being heterosexual does not?
            Sounds like for gay people it’s a stereotype and expected of all gay people if they don’t follow the Christian path.

            What I’m trying to impart to you, isn’t questioning whether you’re happy now or not.
            But that what the Christian’s idea of what gay people do to be happy, and what heterosexuals do, are different things and the standards aren’t fair, let alone workable.
            And you’re working over other young gay people with the same standards, before they’ve even had a chance to understand their orientation fully and what it means and what to do with it.
            You’re in denial of the damage that’s been done by that.
            And you’re acting as if it’s worked well, when it hasn’t.
            Your cheap shot also is a dishonest way of pretending there isn’t any reason to be.
            I’m an EFFECTIVE activist.
            Do you think gay people would have ever been able to get married, or serve openly in the military and so on, if YOU and your ilk been at the wheel?

            Talking about me, without me. Yeah, that’s another way to shun and treat another person in a way you wouldn’t accept if I treated you that way.
            You’re actually demonstrating how mean you can be, when you can’t articulate what’s more important here.
            And if you’re trying to defend what a reasoned Christian you are, you’re doing a bang up job.
            And in no way now, could I expect any more of you.

          • Regan DuCasse

            And Mike was asking ME. Not you.

          • manlambda

            You have helped parents of GLBT children to know they are loved their kids not so much so she is exactly on point.

          • AnotherMike

            Hello Bradley,
            God knows what is in our hearts and we do not. If we did then walking perfectly as Christ did would be done already and even He dealt with the temptations His trials presented to him. We struggle because we lose our focus and allow the world to distract us. When we, by the grace and strength of God, are able to put a particular sin to death we always seem to find another waiting behind it. We must always remember we are in His story for His glory, not ours for ours and it takes work to remember that.
            In a blog or email format it is easier to order your thinking and reasoning to say what needs saying as you have time to look at what it is you are preparing to send all covered by prayer and thanksgiving for the opportunity to even converse with another.

            We were lost at one time, as if at sea, before the Truth was revealed to us, and we were pulled from the water. We now extend our hands to others in the water; to be the means by which God uses so they too can be saved.
            Remember always you are in the ark and look to the world with tears because of the lies that are binding so many of the people we know. Praise and prayer as we walk together carrying the light of truth, calling out into the darkness to for people to come, hear, confess, repent and accept Christ as Lord.

          • AnotherMike

            Hi Bradley,
            I am inquiring on the gist of a conversation both you and Regan are having on another one of Matt’s articles.
            Since Matt went on a massive writing spree within the last couple of weeks I have no idea which article you both are (for lack of a better word) sparring.
            Which article is it that you two are having your discussion?
            Thanks
            Mike

          • Hi Mike! Reagan started sparing with me back in the article titled “The One Time I Was Almost Kicked Out Of My Church”, dated September 26, 2016. I had related a story how a church member, who knows of my homosexual past, was concerned that I may have gone back into it. She expressed outrage and went off on a tirade. Not knowing who she was, I made the mistake of replying.
            After a few posts and a comedic comment from me that she needed Xanax, I was instructed by the Holy Spirit to make no further comments because she is a fool (Proverbs 26:1-12)
            I saw that she left a brief comment in the article titled “Reviving Childlike Faith” dated October 10, 2016. The comment she made was that it was National Coming Out Day. I said to rant away. She did not reply.
            On the article titled “The Perilous Sin of Affirming Sin” dated November 2, 2016, she began her rants again. I made the comment that she needed a great big hug and lots of Xanax. That really set her off, accusing me of insulting her. I apologized, saying that I didn’t realize she had no sense of humor. She really became angry again. I tried calmly speaking to her, giving my testimony on why I had left the homosexual lifestyle. I was accused of sterotyping gays (even though I and everyone who I had been with lived that lifestyle). Another person got involved and exposed her as a potential fraud in being involved with crime scene photography.
            I then asked her to clear up the matter. We then began a dialog on my email. I do not fully trust her. She claims that she was raised in church, but shows no signs of a believer, just someone who has some knowledge. She seems only to care about gay issues, but not having the slightest clue on what a hell being gay is about. I can share with you the email dialog with you if you want. 🙂 I just want this to be over. She seems determined to have her say, and nobody is correct unless they believe everything she does.

          • AnotherMike

            Hi Bradley,
            Yes, please send me a copy of the email(s) to me at Jeremiah160364 in yahoo.
            This way I can at least see what the discussion is.
            If you have not been following the conversation Regan and I have been having, it is all in this blog article’s comments. I did a count and we have had roughly 18 postings between the two of us. I am unsure as to when Matt will lock this article down from more comments but with your email and Regan’s email addresses a different conversation can ensue or at the very least the conversation can continue.
            If you read the conversations and disagree with anything I have stated, please let me know. Like all of followers of Christ, I am not all knowing, just growing.

      • Bryan Matthews

        Every few times in my life have I read an “argument” as long or as detailed as the one above, that said absolutely nothing.

        • Regan DuCasse

          No, it said a lot. It was over your head, that’s all. Better minds can deal with it. That’s all too.

          • Bryan Matthews

            Simpleton, listen to me. Even if 15% of your brain functioned within normal perimeters and you had just graduated with an advanced degree in at out smartin
            me, you would still fail the class! Learn Your place!

          • ROFLMAO!

          • Regan DuCasse

            Bradley, if you were as interested in being a good person, let alone decent Christian, you wouldn’t be so amused by Bryan’s name calling and leading a serious discussion down the path that turned this forum into a mob mentality that’s not healthy between adults, let alone for a subject like this.

            You would have exercised some patience, and at least asked me the kinds of questions Joshua from Singapore did.
            He managed to comport himself decently, without the predictable scolding trap you fell right into.
            You never asked me if I believed in God. Not once.
            You didn’t ask me where my passion came from, you just asserted over and over that I’m angry, and mentioned several times that I needed to take Xanax.
            Bradley, at least I read your blog like you asked me to. What did you think I’d come away with from doing so?
            Your story is a familiar one. It has much of the same background as other gay people who have done the same thing you have.
            The crucial question is: why do you think you’re different, when thousands of years of Christian teaching isn’t going to change?
            You talk to me as if you didn’t mention at all that I was raised Christian, and spent time in temple with a close childhood friend who was Jewish.
            You didn’t acknowledge THAT at all.
            I didn’t need you to tell me God loves me.
            The point is, that I didn’t need you to scold me into loving God, either.
            In fact, it’s best not to talk to anyone that way.
            That is between me and God. It’s something I consider to be quite private and special.
            And now you’ve done something very unfortunate, instead of giving me a little room, like Joshua did, you got real mean, real fast, even when a comment wasn’t directed at you.
            Perhaps that’s who you really are.
            As is Bryan Matthews.
            I didn’t really want to judge you that way.
            But now, you didn’t give me much choice.

          • Cal Teichmann

            You are very much out of order…..plain and simple.

          • Bryan Matthews

            Regan why don’t you go find a man instead of hanging around like one of THOSE girls who always want to be around gays?

          • Bryan Matthews

            Was that over your head?

      • Cal Teichmann

        I totally agree with your statement. I also have suffered undo suspicions from overly “religious” type Christians and suffered terrible verbal labeling and accusations. Funny, the very people who were supposedly called by the Lord to be spiritual leaders, ended up divorcing, and their son is now in the gay lifestyle.
        This “accountability teaching” which causes people to find a so-called “spiritual mentor” to be their “accountability” partner is truly unbiblical, and causes true believers to be dependent upon man rather than Christ, and usually are signs of a “cultist” mentality.
        This I experienced a great deal back in the 90’s within the Wimber, Vineyard movement, which had many “Catholic” practices, since it was ecumenical in it’s foundation, and totally not founded by sound Biblical doctrine.
        I left the group because the Lord taught me a better way. Total Dependence upon HIM, and NOT man.

        • Regan DuCasse

          Thanks for you comment, Cal. I was wondering why I kept getting slammed for keeping whatever my relationship with God or not, something that’s between God and myself.
          It’s been hard to trust the hard sell tactics employed much of the time. Very few days go by when there isn’t casual street preaching, and prosyletizers setting up in public.
          Most churches are quite prominent, and you figure if you want to get with God and like minded people, there are so many thousands of ways to do it.
          And yet, no matter what was said about reading the Bible, and having one: the order to keep reading it is the same.
          The attitude you get is that it’s not “good enough”, there has to be some kind of demonstration of piety to satisfy all the different ways a Christian will come at you to be “accountable”.
          It’s exhausting really.
          To keep it up, has to take on the characteristics of obsession.
          But the more I experience gay folks who aren’t restrained by their spiritual lives, the more I find a very rich and bracing way of navigating negative social standards.
          We are diverse in life. Human beings most of all have the gift of adapting. Which seems very restrained by religious mores, unless the religion also adapts.

    • Leon Checkers

      Hey Bradley, Im blown away that you had to experience that guilt trip in such an innocence expression. More than anything I think the touch to your neighbor challenged the status quo of masculinity. I honestly think the same guy who questioned you about it is dealing with repressed same-sex attraction & just took it out on you. Stand strong in your intentions in what you do. Certain ways we touch each other as men has nothing to do with sexual orientation but are just blatant ways to communicate & share love. Don’t let someone’s fragile masculinity discredit your good intentions. More power to you man!

      • He isn’t gay or repressing. I would know (have a knack for those things). He was just concerned because he knows of my past and how bad it was. He had every right to be concerned to make sure that I hadn’t lapsed (I have been celibate 12 years now). It was a big deal and I took steps to ensure that I would have another 12 years and I want 12 more after that, if the Lord hasn’t called me home. Also I felt no guilt. Guilt implies that I did something wrong, which I did not. Yes I am not afraid to touch another man, but not to his detriment, especially if it can be taken the wrong way. How would that further the Kingdom of God?

    • Shawn Ruth

      Another example of why I don’t go to church anymore…

      • You mustn’t let yourself get discouraged. I became very bitter and angry because of what happened in church years ago, so much so that I wouldn’t step inside a church except on Easter and Christmas, and then only to be seen as one of the faithful. Mercifully the Father sent me the stroke and wiped out my mind so I could come back to Him, not knowing why I was angry.
        Sure learning that I was gay twice in my life was very hard, but it made me a better person, and I learned a lot about forgiveness. I was initially angered about the incident at church due to my own pride in being celibate, but my friend, my brother knows about how bad my past was, and was making sure that I hadn’t gone back to it.
        Not everyone is a bigoted homophobe, despite the claims of others. Some people genuinely care, like my friend did. I urge you to go back, if only for a sense of community.

    • Cal Teichmann

      I do understand what you went through, and I will disagree with you on the point of asking “others” to keep you accountable. Christ and His Holy Spirit will keep you accountable, leaning upon others is a fleshly trap, because it keeps you from being dependent upon the Lord.
      Your heart was not guilty of any hidden motives, but with my many experiences with “self-righteous” persons, that person, who chided you, though probably had good intentions was in fact truly out of order. It was “fear” that caused them to do that, and a sign they were spiritually immature.
      You can know for yourself “if” your heart was in the right place, and it seemed it was.
      Yes, other Christians will cause undo pain upon us who came out of the gay life, but many that do so, are truly hypocrites themselves and hold themselves in high esteem, while they forget who they are in Christ and what the Lord brought them out of.
      Maturity in Christ makes you more aware of your true state, that you truly are a sinner saved by the Grace of God through the Faith of Christ. And nothing of yourself is involved, it truly is ALL from Him and by Him. And that causes you to walk with far more understanding of others and their struggles, and to be more compassionate and patient, and to Love one another as HE has LOVED US.
      True maturity in Christ makes you realize YOU are NOTHING and HE is EVERYTHING….
      Unfortunately multitudes within the “organized, government institutional Church” breeds self-reliant, self-satisfied, self-righteous hypocrites and are governed by “cult” like leaders/teachers.

      • While I do understand what you say, I also do not trust myself. The only way God could stop me is to strike me down. I have a while left on this earth. I want to spend it remaining pure.

  • anti 9marks

    Church discipline is a boon for control freaks who can’t abide people not marching in lockstep.

  • Ben Kolly

    Your honesty is to be commanded Matt.
    Love what you write, this article and others.
    Thank you very much.
    Keep the good fight as the reward is incomprehensible but promised by Jesus who cannot be doubted as even history written by no believers speaks of him

  • Shari Snelling

    Oh Matt, such powerful truth: We overcome when we “stop faithlessly settling into a passive, victim mentality, confess our sins, and, by the strength the Spirit supplies, fight them with unprecedented ferocity!” Keep up that good fight, and bless you for sharing both the struggle and the victory.

  • Since when did this become a forum for activists to spew their hate? I am not sorry that I related what happened in church, but I am sorry I ever gave the Angry Activist any bit of energy. She does not believe in free speech, nor does she want me to pursue my own life in God’s eyes. I wish her well (she should really consider Xanax though).

    • manlambda

      Free speech doesn’t isolate you from criticism. You obviously don’t understand the concept. When someone criticizes sexism, racism, or in your case homophobia they aren’t preventing your free speech. They are actually countering it with their own free speech.

      • Free speech is one thing, prosletizing (did I spell that right, getting tired, it’s a stroke thing) is another. She says I am wrong, that I have betrayed other gays for not supporting the gay life style. That is not free speech. It is marxism.

        • manlambda

          No it is rightly calling out your homophobia. You sound like the racists who whine when someone challenges their hatred.

          • It is kind of hard to be homophobic when you lived that life for twenty years. 🙂

          • Joshua Johnson

            You’re giving them too much ammo, man. Haha! They’re just trolling.

          • You are right! Thanks bro! I guess it is that combative nature in me. I don’t have to have the last word, nor do I have to defend myself to an unbeliever.

          • Tim Walstrum

            Nope you have internalized homophobia that makes you hate the fact that you are gay and now you take it out on those who are leading the life you never could

          • William Okc

            Some people don’t want to be gay. It’s a big world, with lots of points of view. Screaming *homophobia* at everybody who doesn’t embrace gay ideology is getting old. As Dieter used to say on SNL, “your story has become tiresome.”

          • Tim Walstrum

            There is a difference between deciding you don’t want to be gay and telling others they are mandated not to have relationships. I agree if one chooses to be celibate and not prescribe it for all other gay people no homophobia there. Though saying someone doesn’t want to be gay is like saying someone doesn’t want to be black.

          • William Okc

            No, it isn’t the same thing as being black. You have a habit of telling people what is. Very controlling!

          • Tim Walstrum

            Actually it is. It is an immutable characteristic that is why ex-gay groups like Exodus have failed. So sad that science is on my side.

          • William Okc

            You sound like you’re assuring yourself. Are you insecure in your beliefs?

          • Tim Walstrum

            Nope just correcting mouth breathers who try to justify their homophobia

          • Bryan Matthews

            Here again! No, he doesn’t sound like he is assuring himself!

          • Regan DuCasse

            No, color isn’t the same as gender, and nationality isn’t the same as sexual orientation either.
            But historically, people have been mistreated for any one of most of those things.
            The point being, it’s wrongful to do so, WHETHER it’s orientation, gender or color.
            And those most mistreated for their singular distinctions, shouldn’t have to keep defending their right to be treated the way anyone else expects to be.

          • Regan DuCasse

            Being gay isn’t an ideology. For God’s sake, you can’t even make up your damn minds, and you NEVER hit the right definition of sexual orientation to begin with.
            So when you miss the target, what you aim to do backfires too!

          • Bryan Matthews

            Umm, great effort but still so far off! I’m guessing that you were attempting to psychologize Bradley and as I have studied and made a career as a psychologist I feel that I have to let you know that I can’t find, not even one, use of the correct term for what I think you’re wanting to say. Then you have used symptoms and confused the condition to which they apply. Please stop! Use things with which you have at least a nodding acquaintance.

          • manlambda

            Ummmm since the APA doesn’t consider being gay a mental illness I highly doubt you know anything about psychology.

          • Bryan Matthews

            Humm, since you apparently see no need for anything other than putting nonsensical tag word as a comprehensive comment, I doubt you know you’re name.

          • ROFLMAO!

          • Regan DuCasse

            Well no, not really.
            In the early 50’s for example, Dr. Benjamin Clark and his wife, studied hundreds of black children of all ages, who had lived under Jim Crow and it’s incessant negative messaging.
            They used dolls of various shades to discern what children thought negatively or positively of people according to their skin color. There have been variations on this study to gauge what effect systemic bigotry has on young people.
            The work of the Clark, was instrumental in the Brown vs. Brd of Ed decision, and school segregation was declared illegal by SCOTUS in 1954.
            The reason I brought that up, is it’s very possible to have an intense dislike for your ethnic, or sexual orientation grouping.
            Because there are pockets of social networks harsher than others depending on one’s distinction as black, or gay…as you know, one can be both.
            When you participate in the kinds of programming, that initiated and implemented the negative messaging, then you’re a part of the problem.
            I’ve learned about a kind of psychology in gay folks like yourself, I’ve recognized in other people, depending on how they were raised.
            I used to know a teenager, that a one time said he hated being Jewish. He didn’t exactly say he hated other Jews, but since he was raised in Soviet Russia, and the repression of Jews remained harsh, his outburst was painful to hear, but understandable.
            Some blacks, raised under Jim Crow, have been known to hate being black.

            But of course, the attributes of color, or sexual orientation, are not the problem.
            The systemic prejudice is.
            And THAT is what any normal and decent person would work against.
            However, Bradley, you’re not defending the sexual orientation of being gay, nor are you able to morally, or intellectually reconcile doing so.
            There is nothing wrong with being gay, but your chosen faith tells you otherwise.
            So yes, you don’t think you’re, but what you think and what you DO, are two different things.
            And your DEEDS will matter more.

          • Bryan Matthews

            Madam,
            I concede that before my Lord delivered me from being gay, I wanted so much for it to be ok with Him! I thought about the things that this group would say and studied the Bible pleading to discover where acting on those homosexual desires was de rigueur!
            Now I am very thankful that God lifted the scales from my eyes! I can see now how extensively vast the devil’s deception really stretches! Also, I am able to see how explicitly dark, evil and lavish that life was to me and still is to those who have never been given a tiny glancing view of what it’s like inside the vortex. I was given a rare thing, one night I stood face to face with satan and we talked for just a few moments. So there’s no hate in me at all for all who are either still inside or outside still struggling with SSA!

          • manlambda

            First thing the name Man-lambda should have given you a clue that I am a guy. There is no evil in being gay. I have been with my husband over 28 years. As for the hate part the only one struggling with their gay orientation is you Sir. You have internalized that hate.

    • Bryan Matthews

      Bradley,
      Any site where there’s some people talking about or sharing their own persuasion of the God of All! Furthermore, to expatriate Christ Jesus as God’s Only Son, tends to engender the monomaniacs of the world to reinaugurate that Xerox tabulation of their apparent bête noire. At times one could circa the schlick vaudevillian, were it not due to the unambiguousness in this exhaustive, blind hatred for the Truth. It’s perpetuum aggrandized by today’s society, with such vigor, that satan no longer having to quarterback with the same tenacity.
      As there always must be one in the crowd that is insistent, armed with the delusion of their supremacy, that without fail must adduce how another person has, in circus fashion, revealed that the poor soul has no knowledge of simple terms…oh like “criticism”…

    • Regan DuCasse

      When it became a forum for gay people who continue to foment stereotypes, and misrepresentation of homosexuality, that’s why.
      I do believe in free speech, I haven’t advocated that you couldn’t speak your mind about loving God, and Christ.
      I haven’t advocated that you be deleted, banned and shut down.
      Remember that Christians have had ample opportunity to speak their minds, have influenced a great deal that’s had negative and destructive outcomes for women and gay people in particular.
      And gay people have NOT had the same opportunity to be open, truthful and free to from threat, for a long time.
      You have been quite tone deaf all along to that.
      Calling me “angry activist” and to consider using Xanax, is exactly the kind of contempt that comes out eventually for what YOU consider not toeing the same line you think I should.
      I told you, I was raised in church, AND temple. I know the Bible quite well, and the constant scold that I need to, is also a show of your assuming I know nothing about Christians or being one, when I do.
      Only to glad that you pursue YOUR life.
      Just don’t come at anyone else, specifically gay young people.
      Because if you want to pursue YOUR life, then gay young people who have yet to, deserve to pursue theirs without the kind of mistake in judgement that’s often what Christians do.

    • Stacy

      The best way to get rid of the trolls is not to feed them.

      • 🙂

        • Stacy

          People like Ducasse are only meant to distract you, frustrate you, make you mad. Don’t let them get under your skin. Spend your energy where it’ll be fruitful, not wasted! :o)

  • Shawn Ruth

    Thanks for your honesty. I haven’t been keeping up with your posts…partly out of forgetting partly out of not wanting to be convicted and partly out of jealousy. Yup…jealous of your walk with Christ and jealous that you have such a supportive church. No one…well few really care about me and my spiritual well-being…count your blessings…

    • I care.

      • Shawn Ruth

        Thanks Bradley

        • If you need anything – to talk, moral support, a friend – anything at all, I can be reached. God brought me though so much, even in my darkest hour and when I was filled with so much rage at Christians. He was there for me. He will be there for you, and I will be too.

    • Joshua Johnson

      God cares.

      • Shawn Ruth

        Thanks Joshua

  • Joshua Tang

    I think that for Regan, she did experience many traumatic things in her life because of the evil of people doing to her. We may not understand all of it cos suffering these traumatic things can be so painful. In releasing her anger here, i just want to acknowledge that it’s true that if there were reprehensible evil done to her, that it’s an evil deed done by evil people. We all share in it, either sinning against others or had others sin against us. So sorry to hear of what happened to Regan but it’s true that Christ did suffer enormously too and i believe He can understand at least. But people may feel He can’t and it’s ok. Perhaps, a lot of supposed Christians had done evil to Regan and for that we, as Christians, would apologize for those evil. (writing from Singapore)

    • Regan DuCasse

      Thank you, Joshua.
      During a time of serious and painful illness and professional challenges, my husband was very abusive, and sabotaged the few options I had left to make something of myself. The thing about domestic abuse is, the perpetrator can hide this from other people and play the part of a very different person in public.
      My in laws, on a visit, revealed quite profoundly in what way they approved and enabled the abuse and pretty much, ganged up on me too.
      They never miss church.
      And clearly, they learned nothing about compassion in a person’s time of need and pain, that I had no choice in.
      During the time of anti gay equality political action, I appealed to many powerful churches and other houses of worship and that their political influence would do a lot of good if directed a laws concerning domestic violence.
      No sale.
      Wouldn’t even have the conversation. So, after many years of trying to get the attention of such powerful voices in the country, it was clear that hating on gay people was more important than changing the laws, that would save the lives of those in domestic violence situations.
      This is why it’s more than a suspicion of just how tone deaf religious communities are to OBVIOUS problems. “I’ll pray for you” or “you need Jesus” rings extremely hollow, when what a person needs is the action put towards keeping gay people from marrying, towards laws that would give people more time in jail to give their victims more time to escape.
      Certain Christians aren’t about to suffer anything, for the sake of what’s right towards another human being’s safety.
      Indeed, much in the Bible supports abuse of those whose social status is vulnerable. Such as slaves and women.
      But I have come to the defense of others who are also very vulnerable. And that vulnerability and social status is exploited by Christians so that gay people are more socially accepted if they assert how religious they are and at the expense of their identity and equal needs in any given community.
      You see how I’ve gotten treated for that.
      And not a lot has been done here to make me feel or think any more or less of how exceptionally hostile anti gay sentiment is.
      To be fair, and fortunately, I know so many other Christians who would put people like Matt to shame. They ARE better, more morally and intellectually honest people.
      I know that.
      Which is why I haven’t thrown up my hands completely. But those Christians tend to be the ones fully understanding of what gender actually is. And sexual orientation.
      And had the capacity to reconcile it with their love for and belief in God.
      I never said I was AGAINST God and Christ.
      But I know ABUSE when I see it, and will call it out for what it is.
      It can be subtle, just as some forms of racism are too.
      And I don’t deserve to be treated badly for knowing the difference.

  • William Okc

    I guess this is one of those issues that is a “work in progress”, as more gays come into (or back to) church, we all have to learn new ways of relating to each other and holding one another accountable. Let’s all be patient with the imperfections of others, as this is not always an easy or clear issue, and it takes time for people to adapt to new changes in society.

    • Tim Walstrum

      Luckily many GLBT people of faith are finding church homes that don’t find same sex relationships sinful.

      • William Okc

        Good for them.

  • Bryan Matthews

    How expected! My comment back to Regan, after it was him that asked, has been deleted even before I could finish writing it! See you can’t talk about how people that engage in Same Sex ARE GOING TO HELL IF THEY DON’t REPENTand stay out of that lifestyle designed for satan and his group! They love it and want to make us love it too. They want to keep our minds tuned into another station that reports, ” God made you a faggot Bryan, so He must want you to be happy and of course He wants that sex addiction pleasured! Don’t listen to all those haters! Heaven is yours!”
    The facts are that I was gay most of my life and I wanted it all the time! After Christ offered salvation to me through His Blood, I started to see that , just as I had said these things to,

    “IT IS A PART Of THE HOMOSEXUAL GOAL TO SAY HOW MISERABLE THINGS ARE FOR THEM AND HOW “WE ARE CURSED, TAUNTED, DENIED THINGS, AND SO MUCH HATE IS SPREAD TO US ALL THE TIME. WE ARE HUNTED LIKE THE JEWISH PEOPLE AND KILLED IN HORRIBLE WAYS! WE CRY FOR OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS AND STAY HIDDEN AWAY IN OUR HOMES.”

    What a bunch of lies! Most gays are loud and feminine, screaming about how hot a guy is in a crowded mall, that’s when they are not having their Pride Prance with fully naked men doing it all in doorways, hallways, on the grass cut in a park, etc.
    Let’s all cry for the hardships that Gays go through, it can’t be easy to find a place to park when guys are doing it in the parking lots.

    Oh they won’t stop having sex if you are going to a shop or walking down the street with your kids! See how much gays are bullied?!

    • Regan DuCasse

      Okay, I understand now.

  • Regan DuCasse

    Shonah Tovah 5777!

  • “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” Romans 10:1-3

    “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:9-13

  • About to get all religious here, and I’m not sorry if this offends you who are reading this. I had an epiphany the other night, and have had what I was thinking about confirmed by others who are dealing with SSA (Same Sex Attraction). The issue at hand is the topic of the Ten Commandments. We all know the story, how they were given by God, written in stone, to Moses. This is detailed in the book of Exodus 20 of the Bible. I won’t go through them all, because that is not the issue.

    Jesus Christ came and expounded on the Ten Commandments, that it wasn’t just about obeying the letter of the law, but of the spirit. This is detailed in Matthew 5:21-28. This applies to ALL the Commandments. But what about the tenth one? For those of you who do not know, the tenth Commandment from God is “Thou shalt not covet” as detailed in Exodus 20:17. The meaning that is applied to this is to not be jealous over what your neighbor has. This is regarded as relating to material possessions, and can be easily dismissed.

    But what was Christ saying about the spirit of the Law concerning coveting? This applies to us who are SSA, especially: we NOT are to covet the natural attraction that straights have towards women. So much sadness, so many mistakes in my life could have been avoided if I had just understood this commandment.

    I got with my wife, because I thought it would make me straight. It didn’t. I was coveting what I saw in other men who are straight, and I paid for it in marital strife. God did bless our union with children, and I will not disrupt family harmony by telling them, as it would be self-serving, to relieve some kind of guilt I feel about not being upfront with my wife. Guilt is a tool of the enemy to drive a wedge between man and God. I love my wife, and will do anything to protect her, even if it makes me uncomfortable.

    Matthew 19:12 in the Bible says “For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.”

    A eunuch is one who does not reproduce, either naturally or a man-made eunuch (although this rarely happens anymore). Because I was SSA, and didn’t understand this Commandment, I coveted what my brother (all normal men) had: attraction to women.

    There is wisdom when Jesus said it was good not to marry (Matthew 19:10). If we who are SSA covet what a straight man has, then we are not seeking the advancement of God’s Kingdom. I urge anyone who is SSA to not covet what a straight man has and seek the advancement of God’s Kingdom.

    Thus ends the theological discussion for today.

    • mjoinsd

      I think you have some serious misunderstanding of coveting with respect to SSA – aka Homosexual immorality in the bible. Your coveting what straight men had was NOT coveting. It was your real, God-born self seeing what is righteous in the eyes of God, and your God-born self trying hard, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to turn away from your sin of SSA.

      Instead, your explanation depicts the deceptions that Satan comes in with extreme subtlety. He convinced you that that wanting to be straight is the same as coveting. But it isn’t. It is only wanting to live a Christian life, one who fears God and gives him glory.

      We need to be careful attributing to God the work of Satan, or the work of Satan as the work of God. Attributing your desire to be straight as a violation of the covet commandment is coming close to mis-attributing the works of God or Satan. This act is an unforgivable sin of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, the one Christ himself declared unforgivable.

      I pray you will find your peace in Christ, and see the truth in this deception, and that the Holy Spirit will fill you with peace.

      • Hi mjoinsd! Sorry for the delay in respoding to your comment (I went to a funeral several hours from my home).
        SSA is difficult at best. Wanting to live a Chistian life, in fear of God, is one thing. But for many years I did not. I was angry at God, angry at Christians, angry at myself. I kept telling myself ‘If only I wasn’t gay, the God would accept me.’ I thought of myself as God’s bastard child, his pet faggot. I had no relationship with Him.
        One of the things I had to accept is that you can not pray the gay away. I have known only one gay man who has been ‘cured’. But in that cure he has no sex drive at all; in fact the thought of being with either makes him nausous. I have been celibate 12 years (and I pray for 12 more). I have been with my wife for 19 years. After all this time, if it was God’s will that I would be delivered from this affliction, He would have done so.
        But in all this time (30 years or so) the delivery hasn’t happened. I wanted so to be straight; but was that what God wanted? Did He want me to give up one form of lust for another? Or did He want me to work for His kingdom, encouraging younger people who are SSA and have not engaged. Letting them know that the Father loves them.
        I have a weakness, but that weakness has become the Father’s strength. I allowed Satan to exploit my weakness for his nefarious purposes, and it nearly killed me. I sought to have a wife, but only to satisy my own lusts – I wanted what I saw my brothers had. It was something I did not have (and still don’t), and that is fine. Like any addiction, I was not satisfied, because I did not know the love of God.
        I have a friend at church who is a recovering methamphetimine addict. He has been clean five years. He loves God and is very faithful, but not a day goes by where he doesn’t feel the pull of the drugs. The pull of the drugs is a natural reaction of a fleshly body, not what his spirit wants. I am SSA, my fleshly body wants one thing and my spirit wants another. Just because I am SSA does not mean I love God less. It means that I have a human weakness that He can use to further His Kingdom.

        • mjoinsd

          Thank you so much for your candid response, Bradley. I understand exactly what you are saying. The reality is God’s time is so much different from ours.

          I have my struggles, too. Mine are lack of love for others, from an outward perspective. Internally, I deeply love everyone around me. My biggest lack of love is toward those I don’t know, those who offend me on the road especially.

          I also am acutely aware of what resides in my heart, and my perception of other’s perception of me is that I am a horrible person. I am utterly mean to telemarketers, offering terrorist threats and other offensive words.

          I pray daily for God to take that from me. I know it will happen in his time. IT is simply a matter of trust. Trust we cannot develop on our own, but only trust that God gives us the ability to exercise.

          I invite you to my ministry site: seekingrealtruth.net. Look at the bottom two articles under features. There is one about “Proper Praying” that may be of comfort to you.

          It has been 12 years since I wrote those pieces. God did deliver me from anger and bitterness just as I was on the verge of a very violent retribution series of acts Satan had planted in me. My spiritual life has not been easy in that time. My faith in Christ, and my trust in God has grown exponentially, but my own behavior has not grown with that level of faith.

          Your SSA is no worse than my internal and external aggression. God will forgive it all. We need to, as Christians, understand that Satan will continue to attack us at our weakest. For you it is SSA. For me, anger and rage. We are both unclean and unworthy.

          But in Christ, we do have victory.

          Maybe if you and I stop trying to fix this on our own, and just let God fix it, maybe then we can be more victorious!

          One other point on God’s time. I am 56 years old. When I was 17, I knew I wanted a baby girl. God finally granted me one after two failed marriages, and in my third (and hopefully final), when I was 53 years old.

          I was about to give up on it. My wife and I were talking vasectomy for me, because we wanted to get her off the pill. Before we could move in any direction, God saw fit to give me what I had been wanting and praying for over 35 years to have.

          God’s time is not like our time. He doesn’t understand long or short as we do. To him a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day.

          I pray you will find my ministry website and find comfort in my writings. Please do find the contact email address and feel free to contact me directly. I would love to carry on this discussion and encouragement offline.

          mj

  • mjoinsd

    Been there, done that. Thanks for writing this.

    Funny, isn’t it, how when we are moving toward our strongest moments of faith, the greatest sins abound in our lives. Well, not haha funny, but you know what I mean.

    The two times I was approached and executed church discipline on me, both times I was increasingly involved in church activities and ministry work. I was asked to drop all extra activities, but welcomed to services. Membership was not revoked.

    Both times, it was sins of the flesh, unequally yoking myself to an unbelieving women, whom I ultimately married and eventually was divorced. My third/current wife is not unequally yoked with me. It has gone much better, and now I even have a little girl of my own. Waited 35 years for this blessing.

    Yet today, even now, as I have read the bible dozens of times in recent years, Satan is heavily attacking me on many fronts. Yet I stay faithful, resisting the heinous sins I formerly was part of, and despite my untamed tongue, because I fear the words in Hebrews 6:

    Hebrews 6:4-6 New International Version (NIV)

    It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

    So I simply stay in the word. The struggles increase day over day, but I am good to know I have victory in Christ, even when (especially when) I don’t “feel” it.

    “Feelings” with respect to faith is pure fictional heresy. Faith has nothing to do with you you ‘feel’. Emotions are unreliable indicators of faith.

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  • Bob Mullins

    Hi Matt… yes we have all been there i think in one form or another…. Another friend also Blogs wrote this that you might find helpful https://lifeintoharmony.co.uk/2017/03/01/do-you-love-me/
    Blessings! BobM