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Re: [HoB/D] Concerns about the widespread problem of promiscuity
> I thanks for your kind input in repsonse to my latest
Thanks for your kind response to mine.
>> I once lived a very promiscuous life. At the time,
>> promiscuity was what the
>> church told me all homosexuals practices, and I was
>> foolish enough to
>> believe it. I had never met any gay people living
>> another way, nor did the
>> church give them any visibility when I was a young
> RECOGNIZING THAT ANY COMMENTARY ON YOUR FAITH JOURNEY
> WOULD SEEM INAPPROPRIATE, I SAY THIS WITH ALL RESPECT.
> YOU CLAIM THAT YOU WERE PROMISCUOUS BECAUSE THE
> "CHURCH" TOLD YOU THAT ALL HOMOSEXUALS ARE
> PROMISCUOUS. DID THE CHURCH NOT RATHER TEACH THAT
> HOMOEROTIC ACTS ARE SINFUL? WHY WOULD YOU NOT REFRAIN
> FROM PRACTICING SUCH ACTS IF THE CHURCH'S TEACHING WAS
> DETERMINATIVE OF YOUR BEHAVIORS?
BECAUSE is your word, not mine. Never have I said or thought that I was
promiscuous BECAUSE the church told me that all homosexuals are
promiscuous. I said "I was foolish enough to believe it." I take
responsibility for my 'foolishness' and invite the church to take
responsibility for its.
We cannot call on gay and lesbian Christians to be monomagous in their
commitments when we condemn their commitments as of one kind with
In his new book on blessing lesbigay relations, Gray Temple+ describes a
vision he had in which God asked him, as you have asked this forum, "Are
you as upset as I am about all of the promiscuity of gay males?" (I'm at
Sewanee and away from my copy of the book, so this is my paraphrase)
"I don't like it at all," Gray replies, in much the disgust Peter
manifested on the rooftop in Joppa when God offered him 'nasty' food on a
"Then what action can you take to reduce that promiscuity and promote
responsible relationships?" God asked Gray+.
Stunned, Gray+ replied, "God, surely you don't mean THAT!"
When I finally came out sexually at the age of 28 (in 1964), the church
offered no visible examples of faithful monogamous relationships of gay
and lesbian people. Most condemned us whether active or celibate; it was
very clear that one risked being dismissed from jobs and kicked out of
schools even if just known, whether active or not.
>From the earliest realizations in puberty that I was different, I did not
want to be sexual, because being sexual with my body meant being
homosexual. I studiously tried to avoid all the tell-tale signals. I
crossed my legs only at 90-degree angles. I never wore green on
Thursdays. I practiced speaking in the lowest possible pitch...
Meanwhile I loathed myself, and those from whom I sought counsel offered
little solace. At Baylor in the 1950s I sought the help of a Christian
psychiatrist, who said that I was going through a phase, that I just had
to get over my fear of girls. I told him I had no fear of girls, that
many of my dearest friends were girls.
He insisted that I date them. "I already go out for meals and movies with
girls. We collaborate on assignments....."
"Do you hold hands?" he asked.
"No," I said. "I'm not attracted to them that way, nor they to me.
"Try it," he insisted.
At the movie that night, I held the hand of Bobby Jean. It felt awkward.
I realized from her squeeze that it meant more to her than it did to me.
"Great! This is progress," the doctor said when I answered his questions
about what had happened.
"Did you kiss her?"
"Why on earth would I want to do that?" I asked.
"Don't be afraid of her," he insisted.
"I'm not," I said honestly. "But why should I kiss her and make I feel
something sexual for her when I don't."
"Do it and you will," he said, with obvious excitement.
In those days girls had a curfew at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and
for the quarter of hour before midnight, a couple could hardly squeeze
into a place on the long porch of Bobby Jean's dorm, where dozens huddled
in deep and passionate kissing. In the past I had taken my
dates home earlier to avoid this spectacle, but to accommodate my doctor I
took Bobby Jean to the dorm at 11:45p. I kissed her as I would have
kissed an aunt or a cousin.
At our next appointment the doctor was ecstatic.
"But shouldn't I tell her?" I asked.
"Tell her what?" he said.
"That I am doing these things at your suggestion, that I have no sexual
feelings for her and that I would have to fantasize about some guy to feel
anything at all," I explained.
"Don't tell her that now," he said; "that would break the spell."
That broke the spell all right. I realized that this guy had no interest
in her vulnerability nor any real interest in who I am, only in the
idolatry which he wanted to prescribe for me. We were the guinea pigs of
his enthusiasms which were almost prurient.
I stopped my visits to him. I told Bobby Jean why. We remained friends.
(Years later she told me that she wished her two former husbands, both
heterosexual, would have been as truthful in advertising as I was.) And I
remained committed to the chastity belt that I felt God had damned me to
At 28 I had had enough. All my efforts to please God had failed. I was
self-absorbed about my 'problems' to the extreme. None of homosexual
desires would go away, and I spent an inordinate amount of time and energy
fighting them and hiding them.
When I chose to act sexually, I did so in conscious rebellion against God.
I even left the country so that I would be far from home should I ever
be arrested. I did not like who I was, but I had lived long enough to
know who I was. I fully believed that God is the God of heterosexuals
only and of those gays that will refuse to be fully human.
I gave up on God, but God never once gave up on me.
In 1973 I met Ernest. We courted for five months and then committed
ourselves to each other before God for life. No longer was I a divided
self; no longer was sexuality something hidden or at odds with
spirituality; no longer was it an obsession. Sex integrated easily with
all other aspects of who I am. I became focused on others, not on myself.
My life began to flood with joy and kindness.
I was experiencing wholeness, and could account for that wholeness only
with the language of faith from which I thought I had been included. It
is no accident that I used the word "integrity" to name the organization
that I first advertised 30 years ago this month.
>> We need to be much
>> more concerned with their thirst than with their
> I AGREE WITH YOU, AS FAR AS IT GOES. MY GREATER
> CONCERN HAS TO DO WITH OUR PUBLIC VOICE. AT A TIME
> WHEN 1/3 OF YOUNG ADULTS SUFFER FROM SOME FORM OF STD,
> IT SEEMS THAT OUR WILLINGNESS TO QUESTION TRADITIONAL
> SEXUAL MORALITY BOARDERS ON CRIMINAL. SETTING ASIDE
> ISSUES OF HOMOEROTIC EXPRESSION, THERE IS ALSO A MIXED
> MESSAGE ON HETERO-SEX OUTSIDE OF MARRIAGE; THE IDEA
> THAT LOVE MAKES SEX GOOD HAS LEAD ANY NUMBER OF YOUNG
> PEOPLE TO ASSUME THAT THEIR FEELINGS (CALLED 'LOVE')
> JUSTIFY THEIR BEHAVIORS (PREVIOUSLY CALLED
> FORNICATION). IN LIKE MANNER, MARRIED COUPLES WITH
> ALARMING REGULARITY BREAK THEIR VOWS AND MARRY SOME
> OTHER. YOUR PASTORAL SENSITIVITY IS COMMENDABLE, BUT
> IF IT IS NOT SUPPLEMENTED WITH SOME PROPHETIC
> CHALLENGE SOME TIMES THEN PASTORAL CARE WEAKENS THE
> MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL. WE BOTH KNOW JESUS WAS MOST
> WELCOMING OF ALL, AND NEVER SHY ABOUT SAYING THINGS
> THAT WERE ALMOST RUDE. IN TODAY'S GOSPEL JESUS SAYS OF
> THE WOMAN CRYING AT HIS FEET THAT "HER SINS ARE MANY."
> YES, HE FORGIVES THEM, BUT HE FIRST SAYS THAT THE SINS
> ARE THERE. I FEAR THAT TOO MANY YOUNG PEOPLE ARE
> HEARING FROM YOUTH MINISTERS AND PRIESTS, YES, MAYBE
> BISHOPS, THAT CONCERN FOR CHASTITY IS AN OUTDATED
I share your concern that much in our culture promotes sex divorced
from any spiritual concerns. Most people, young and old, want wholeness,
but wisely question those of us who claim to know something about that.
Too many Christians are erotophobic and act as if in making sex God was
doing something nasty. Many hear as a sub text in the Church's witness,
"Sex is dirty; therefore, save it for marriage." Paul talks about
marriage as lust control, and Scripture does not let us glimpse (unless we
work at it) the erotics of Jesus. For over half of its history,
Christianity in the west required all clergy to be celibate.
I believe that God did not turn out the light when God made our sexual
parts. At each stage of creation, God said, "It was good."
I hope we can find a way to share this good news.
The young people whom I talk to want a life of integrity, they want a life
of commitment, they want a relationship that has justice in it, a
relationship in which each partner has the chance to be whole.
Louie, Newark Deputation, Member of Executive Council
Louie Crew, 377 S. Harrison, 12D, East Orange, NJ 07018
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Louie Crew, 377 S. Harrison, 12D, East Orange, NJ 07018