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Louie & Ernest Clay-Crew
Married February 2, 1974


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Bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ

  • Subject: Bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ
  • From: Louie Crew <>
  • Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2007 07:26:16 -0500 (EST)

> Another attendee has described the exchange as her responding to a
> question about the possible organic/genetic origins of homosexuality by
> paralleling it with alcoholism and suggesting that gay people are like
> alcoholics who though alcoholic by nature could enter a program and be
> cured by that and grace.

I have met many well-meaning persons who have not ascended far enough on the
learning curve about lgbts to pick up on the offensiveness of drawing a
parallel between gays and alcoholics.  For some, the parallel actually seems
a first step toward empathy, in that it acknowledges that being gay is not
an identity casually adopted nor is it something that the lgbt person may
abandon.  One is gay for life.

Might [your friend] need education in empathy more than exposure for 
malice? I don't know.

Our PB, whom I respect immensely, recently coupled homosexuality and
alcoholism in a similar way, and when a gay friend of mine (The Rev. Peter
Carey in NYC) pointed this out to her privately, she apologized and thanked
him for increasing her sensitivity.  See his report of this at

In the 1960s, when I abandoned the doctrine of white supremacy that I had
been taught by all who loved me in my native South, I joined the NAACP,
where I met a black teacher who taught at the black high school in my town.
I was teaching at an Episcopal School in Delaware that had not yet 
integrated.  He and I were the first friend either had ever had of the 
other's race, and we treasured each other.  I walked on egg shells trying 
not to offend.  In my part of the South, the word used by respectful 
people was "Nigra," but I knew well that black people were offended by 
that pronunciation.  I worked hard to say "Negro," so hard that it did 
not sound natural to my friend.

"Louie," he told me one day, with a big grin on his face, "you are my
friend, and as my friend, you will not offend me if you say "Nigra" or even
that other word, but please don't say "Negro" the way you do:  you sound
like you have pebbles in your mouth when you say it."

Perfect love casts out fear.  Clearly lgbts and straights are not there yet.
Meanwhile, it seems to me much more important that people behave justly
(whether they want to or not) than that we pronounce it correctly.

Love, Louie

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