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Meet Adele Sakler! Her and I set this interview up to intentionally force a conversation - not a debate - about Christianity and Homosexuality. Her and I's hope is to help those of us conservative minded Christians to at least hear from the 'other' side.

Adele currently resides in Richmond, Virginia and blogs as the Existential Punk and is the creator and site administrator of Queermergent and you can also find her on Twitter as well. She is currently going through long-term treatment for Chronic Lyme Disease, other tick-borne diseases, and heavy metal toxicity.

Adele has been a Christ-follower for 20 years and an “out” queer woman for two and-a-half years. Her involvement with the emerging church and Emergent Village has filled the better part of 10 years. You can listen to a recent interview with Adele on Irreligiosophy and read a recent article she published on The Ooze.

1. Tell us a little about yourself, your partner and what you're up to right now in life.

I have been a Christ-follower for the past 20 years and involved in the emerging church conversation for a better part of the last 10 years or so. I attended Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, where I was born and raised, getting my BA in Communications/PR & Advertising. I attended Regent University to pursue an M.Div, but disliked the program due to its overly intellectual focus. I struggled with deep depression and attempted suicide at one point because I was told I would go to hell if I pursued being gay. I then entered the Communication School at Regent and received my MA in Film. In 1997 I moved to Los Angeles to work in the entertainment industry. In 2002 I moved to Richmond, VA to live with a friend for 5 months to save money before moving to N. Ireland for 2 years to work with YWAM (Youth With A Mission). I returned to Richmond in 2004 really ill and was diagnosed in March 2005 with Chronic Lyme Disease and other tick-borne diseases that I had since I was around 7 years old. In September 2006 I finally came to peace with myself in relation to my sexuality and at peace with G-D. I came out and have been the happiest, most joyful ever in my life.

I met my partner that following December and we just celebrated 2 years in December. This past October we were married in California before Prop 8 passed. My partner is a wonderful friend and care-giver. She teaches scuba diving, First Aid with the American Red Cross and aquatics classes at a local gym. We have a small travel business that she mostly runs.

I am currently going through long-term intensive treatment for my Lyme Disease, other tick-borne diseases and heavy metal toxicity. I am unable to work due to the nature of my illness as it affects my energy, joints, muscles and cognitive such as short-term memory loss, word-finding problems, brain fog, etc.

To keep sane I blog, Facebook and Twitter. I am hoping to write my memoir and have some upcoming possibilities of being involved with some other writing possibilities for books.

2. Summarize for us your journey in life up to this point.

I grew up Presbyterian as my mom was an elder in our church. My dad was a non-practicing Jew who only attended our church at Christmas and Easter. My Jewish grandparents paid for me to attend Catholic private schools starting in fifth grade. My father was emotionally and physically abusive and so I saw G-D as a mean old man sitting up in heaven waiting to punish me for every wrong move I made. During my junior year in high school mu father became deathly ill with an incurable cancer. From diagnosis to death, which occurred three weeks before my 17th birthday, was five months. Nearly three months to the day after he died, his parents and grandmother, the Jewish side, were killed in a fire in their home caused by faulty wiring and a faulty alarm system wherein the house was struck by lighting. I complete lost my faith in G-D for over a year until a desire started coming back towards the second half of my senior year. My Catholic high school showed me great love and support and I believe this was the catalyst that drew me towards the Divine once again.

Twenty years ago this month I had a ‘born-again’ experience at a charismatic church where an American missionary to S. Africa was speaking. Hell was one of the topics being preached, so at the end of the evening I went forward for the altar call to ‘receive’ Jesus into my heart. I did this because I was afraid of going to hell. Thus, I was purchasing my ‘fire insurance’. I attended Pat Robertson’s graduate school in Virginia Beach, Regent University, to obtain an M.Div so I could be a youth pastor. I began to seriously look at my life-long struggle of same-sex attractions. The school and my therapist along with my charismatic church back home always communicated that being gay was a sin, a choice, and those who actively pursue it will go to hell. I was shell-shocked and confused. I attempted suicide and spent a month at two different times in a psychiatric hospital. I even did reparative therapy and attended ex-gay ministries to 'pray away the gay', which never worked.

In 1997 I moved to Los Angeles and began living a double life as a Christian and as a gay woman. I began to read Brian McLaren and found him writing things I had felt inside but was very afraid to express outwardly to anyone. In 2002 I went to Northern Ireland to do a DTS (Discipleship Training School) with YWAM. I met the great Peter Rollins and we developed a great friendship. His teachings and writings on postmodernism and Christianity radically shaped how I viewed my faith. I could no longer hang onto certainty with regards to interpreting scripture. There were more important things in kingdom living than where we go after we pass from this world to the next, like poverty, AIDS, the environment, etc. About 2.5 years ago I FINALLY came to terms with my sexuality. I found peace with myself and with God. Coming out was fairly painless with the exception of a few people who still think I am in sin and going to hell. I no longer hold this view and I am ok if people think that about me. I hate labels as they are so limiting, but are sometimes a necessary evil. After being a right wing Republican most of my voting life, I now consider myself an independent that leans more liberal than moderate.

3. My hope here Adele is that the one side, the more conservative Christian side, can hear from the other side, the more liberal. I think a lot of Christ followers have a hard time understanding how you can say you're a lesbian and actively living that lifestyle and at the same time say you are a follower of Jesus. Explain that.

I do not see being queer anymore a lifestyle than straight people see themselves living a lifestyle. I do not see being queer as a sin and the way I understand and interpret the scriptures used to speak against homosexuality is different. I lived many years thinking and believing the way conservatives view scripture and gay people. Yet, through my journey I have come to the conclusion that those scriptures are taken out of their cultural and historical contexts. I see the Bible as a story of G-D's relationship with people and not a 'how to' manual meant to be used for all time. I cannot help that I am a queer woman and I would have never chosen this way of life due to all the hatred towards us. I could ask all the people who call themselves Christ-followers how they can be Christians when they act so diametrically opposed to Christ with their unloving and hateful actions and attitudes to those they disagree with on whatever issue it mat be. Yet, there is a G-D who love us all unconditionally and extends grace and mercy to us all. I get it more wrong than I do right but I love G-D and Jesus and do my best to follow G-D and Jesus. Could I be wrong? Sure, but I am living my life as best as I can and at the end of the day, it is between me and my maker and nobody else. What gets me though, is how certain many conservatives think they are in their beliefs and interpretations of Scriptures. In my opnion, none of us has a monopoly on what G-D's full intent for our lives is as we only use 10% of our brain capacity. G-D is knowable yet is a mystery too.

4. Many Conservatives believe that you are not born gay, but rather that you are choosing to live a lifestyle that is both unnatural and immoral - what is your response to that kind of thinking?

Heterosexuals do not choose to be heterosexual anymore than gays choose to be gay. I do believe a genetic component is a part of it. Why would I choose to be gay when there is so much hate directed to my community? I look at my being queer as a gift and am happy even though it is a tough road to walk because of all the insensitivities expressed towards us queer people. I think they are uninformed and ought to get to know some gay folks for who they are rather than just pass on simple judgments.

5. My side of the fence, if you will, is constantly being asked to be more open minded, but that is a two way road. I believe you and I can believe fundamentally different things about God but still be in relationship with one another, still be friends. But what do we do to bridge the gap between my beliefs, which sees homosexuality as a sin and yours? How do we both find a middle ground?

I agree we can believe different things and still be friends. I have several conservative friends who have issues with this topic. I respect their beliefs but where the rubber hits the road is that they love me unconditionally and do not hurl insults at me. We agree to disagree. Not everyone has to come to my way of believing and interpreting scriptures. I just ask us all, conservative and liberal, to hold our beliefs loosely and to show respect and love. Just a word of note: Those in the LGBTQ community have often been deeply wounded by hurtful hateful and hypocritical conservatives so we are raw and reactive at times due to this. I think conservatives need to recognize this.

I also think we need to begin looking at the planks in our own eyes rather than looking at the specks in the eyes of others. We need to find common ground and have dialogue from those point of interest. To tell someone they are not a Christian because of X, Y or Z is very unhelpful and extremely arrogant. G-D is the only judge of that issue!

Circular arguments of repeating mantras on either side must stop and true listening must take place. That is where getting to know both sides - real human beings - is very important in my opinion. Tearing each other down gets us nowhere and I think brings Jesus to tears.

6. Another big point of contention, most recently emphasized in Prop 8, is the legalizing and redefining of marriage. Explain your stance on gay marriage and specifically why you think domestic partnership and marriage are not equal.

I am all for gay marriage. Conservatives say we are trying to redefine traditional marriage. Traditional marriage as we know it today was redefined from a long time ago. In Biblical times marriage was where a man owned the woman as property and there was not much love in those relationships. Gay marriage does not threaten marriage but rather strengthens it. We get yelled at by conservatives that we are living together out of wedlock but when we want to marry, we are told we are a threat. How illogical this argument is to me! My wife and I have the same ups and downs, struggles and enjoyments of any married couple. We pay taxes and should have all the same federal benefits as straight married couples. We were married in California in a civil ceremony. To me it is fear and ignorance to say we threaten marriage. Gay marriage has been around for many years in other countries and those countries have not broken down and fallen off the face of the earth. We live in a country where it is NOT a theocracy and where there is separation of church and state. We are all created equal under our nations Constitution and religious entities cannot impose their beliefs on society at large. Domestic partnerships are not offered in every state and where they are offered, differ on the rights afforded people. We must pay attorney's fees in order to get medical directives and power of attorneys and we still do not have the over 1100 Federal rights afforded Heterosexual married couples. States do not have to recognize marriage or domestic partnerships from other states under the federal DOMA (Defense Of Marriage Act).

Here is a very true but sad story for you to consider: A lesbian couple from Washington State, who have children, had all their ducks in a row with regards to power of attorney, medical directives, etc. They went on a Rosie O'Donnell family cruise leaving out of Florida. While on the cruise, the one had a stroke and was flown to a hospital in Florida. The partner had her paperwork faxed to the hospital but the hospital would not allow her or their children in to see their family member. The woman ended up dying. If there were federal protections for gays, we would not be having to hear about this very sad story.


A big thank you to Adele for taking the time to answer my questions and for the courage to do this. Please respect Adele, me and yourself and do not leave ignorant, empty or hateful comments. We all need to move from debating to conversing and modeling the Christ we follow - the same Christ who was only ever abrasive and spiteful to the know-it-all folk of His time. No anonymous comments will be accepted on this post - if you don't have anything nice to say, just keep it to yourself.

29 comments:

Bob Smith said...

Kevin and Adele, thank you for this conversation. While I can't reconcile your gay lifestyle with scripture and stand in opposing of gay marriage - I also know that many Christians use homosexuality as a lighting rod, while distancing themselves from the issues of poverty, AIDS, racism, and other social issues that separate us as Gods children. My prayer is that God will use us all to His glory and not our own agenda.

Ryan said...

This is probably one of the best posts I have read in awhile. Even as a more "Liberal" thinking christian, not just politically but even in some aspects theologically.

Homosexuality is an issue I really struggle finding a good answer to. I have Gay friends, and I have issues telling them that after 20 years together they should have to separate should they decide to follow Christ. I struggle with not wanting to pop the head off of conservatives when they try to tell me from a "scientific" perspective, that homosexuals choose to be homosexual. I find it comical to this that anyone would choose the torment that homosexuals typical receive. Even I at times wish I could just change my mind on the issue because of the flak I get for my "liberal" views.

Im really glad we are having this conversation, and that it, forgive the pun, is out of the closet. It needs to be, we need to dialogue about the topic, we need to continue relationships even if we don't agree. The future of the church depends on it.

Johnny said...

GREAT interview.

Thanks Kevin and Adele

Grace & Peace

J

Kevin Davis said...

Bob - it is unfortunate how lop sided we treat homosexuality and abortion, like the whole of the worlds problems boiled down to just those two issues. And Jesus was so gentle when dealing with sexual sin - never hated, based or judged - so we have to find a way to dialogue with everyone who thinks differently about God, scripture and sin and stop all the brow beating.

Ryan - glad you enjoyed man and this is what I was hoping for. We need to live in the tension of the topic and stop avoiding it. Everyone has their opinion about it, but rarely, if ever, actual talk with someone who opposes them. I need more friends like Adele who balance me and challenge why I believe what I believe.

Johnny - thanks for stopping by.

Liz said...

Kevin,

Thank you for doing this interview with Adele. I have only been reading her blog for a short
while but I find her to be appropriately transparent and one of the kindest, most civil and
compassionate Christians in the blogosphere.

Ryan – Thank you for being willing to struggle with your beliefs about homosexuality – not
everyone is willing to try to get to the bottom of why they believe what they believe. My son
told me a few years ago that he was gay and like you I began to be uncomfortable with
the pat answers I had and what I thought I knew. One of the things I did was really
dig into the original language and historical context of the scriptures that mention homosexuality.
I read both sides of the argument – those that interpret scripture to condemn homosexuality
and those that say scripture does not condemn homosexuality. I came to the conclusion
that scripture does not condemn homosexuality in general anymore than it condemns
interracial marriage and that the homosexuality that is referred to in the NT was a
promiscuous, lustful and lewd practice that was taking place in that culture, at that time.
Because of the lack of evidence I believe that I would be unjust in the eyes of God to condemn
homosexuality. I guarantee you that my son did not choose to be gay and that he is
a committed follower of Jesus Christ and struggled for many years, completely alone, afraid to
tell anyone (including me) about something that was at the core of who he was because he
believed that this part of him was “wrong and sinful”. It breaks my heart to think of how I failed
to be there for him because I believed something I had been told instead of finding out for
myself. I encourage you to try to come to scripture fresh – stripping away all that you have
been taught before – looking at what is said – who it is said to – what was going on at that
time – and the words that were originally used in the original language (that have been translated
to the word homosexual in our language).

Adele – Thanks for all you said here. I agree that we all need to learn to have good, loving
relationships even if we disagree but I don’t know if I believe that is possible until conservatives
in general (and I was one of those for most of my life) start admitting that even though they
may believe that homosexuality is wrong they don’t have much to back up that belief. I think
we have to get to the point where scripture is not the deciding factor in this as I believe it
is becoming pretty obvious that scripture is practically silent on whether a loving, monogamous
homosexual relationship is right or wrong. My son and I have a great relationship now but
I think the real turning point for us was when I finally said “I believe its wrong but I am not sure and
I am going to honestly try to find out if I have any basis to believe that homosexuality is wrong”
and then I had to be humble enough to admit that I could not find enough evidence to support
what I had believed for so long.

Existential Punk said...

@Bob - Thanks for your comment. While i respect your beliefs, even though we disagree, i wish you and others who believe like you, could be open to the possibility that your interpretations of scripture could be wrong, as i have stated that i could be wrong. Can you stretch a little? That's my challenge to those who disagree with me.

@Ryan - Thanks for your thoughts and seeing the need to get this topic out and in the open! It is much needed!

@Johnny - Thanks for visiting and commenting, mate!

@Kevin - You make a great point about how lopsided it is the way Christians treat abortion and homosexuality when there are so many more important issues that weigh on G-D's heart!

@Liz - Thanks for being one of those Christians who allowed herself to be challenged to rethink her long-held beliefs. Your son, myself, and other queer people are thankful for people like you! Cheers to you for holding your beliefs loosely!

Warmest Regards,
Adele

allie said...

You and Adele may be interested in chatting to a couple of my friends in the same situation, Kevin.

A few of us in Blogland have been dialoguing with them for a while and we are all benefitting - plus enjoying it hugely.

Email me and I will give you details if you like.

A small matter maybe, but I just want to pick up on something in your last paragragh - I don't think Jesus was ever spiteful to anyone.
He told the truth but it was always for the good of those He spoke to: spite is not.

N8'sSpace said...

Great article Kevin, it takes guts to pose questions that challenge one's core beliefs.

I think over time and especially now I have come to the conclusion that gay is an orientation. I believe it is not chosen. Should we keep our sexuality in lock down? I think that is easier said than done, and I think that God is the judge.

Adele is a human being and I know how God has commanded me to treat other humans. To love them, He even goes so far as to tell me to love my enemies. I do not believe that we treat others how we wish to be treated, by taking away rights.

Why do Christian's not point their fingers at all the obese people at the church, or hold up signs in protest in front of the fastfood resturants everytime someones eyes were bigger than their stomach. Is glutony not a sin yet it goes on repeatedly in the church, hell I am guilty...so I guess the real question is; do I get to be a Christian.

Existential Punk said...

@Allie - i'd definitely be up for talking more about this with your friends. Thanks!

@N8'sSpace - Thanks for your insightful observations! i appreciate them.

Warmest Regards,

Adele

Heather Nicole said...

@ Liz - I would just like to applaud you first. To me, it shows intelligence that you took the time to read and research homosexuality instead of being ignorant and turning your son away. I'm sure he appreciates that...

@ Adele & Kevin - What a great conversation. Again this shows two intelligent people willing to open up and talk instead of bashing and hating...congrats on that! I grew up in a strict Christian family like you Adele & my family does not condone homosexuality. However, I am absolutely open to the fact that maybe we are interpreting gods word wrong. But I believe Christians don’t want to think that because it opens up the flood gates to so many more issues that we could have wrong. I cannot say that homosexuality is a sin...I cannot say that it isn’t either. I can however say that nobody, gay or not deserves to be bashed and treated the way Christians treat gays. If you can’t wrap your mind around the fact that there is a possibility we are interpreting gods word wrong than at least take this advice from my mother...hate the sin, not the sinner. We are to love everybody and show the same respect to everyone regardless of race, sexuality or beliefs. This is just my opinion...

Thanks to you both & God Bless! Heather

Julie said...

Thank you both for having a conversation that a lot more people need to have but are too scared to do it!

Kevin Davis said...

Liz - thanks for sharing your story.

Allie - I'd be interested as well and it was a small matter - I mean the only times Jesus was short, abrupt or harsh.

N8 - I'll look forward to this topic on our Saturday morning breakfast discussions.

Heather - it is definitely no easy task, but one we must continue to wrestle with. We all know right and wrong exist, but have to be faithful with what we feel convicted about and leave the rest up to God. Hopefully this is only the start to need conversation on the topic.

Existential Punk said...

@Heather - Thanks for being open enough to see that G-D's word could be interpreted wrong. i think you are right that it scares people that a floodgate will open on other passages. Far too long we used the Bible in the past to condone slavery and treating women as second class citizens.

@Julie - Thank you and glad you joined the conversation!

Warm Regards,

Adele

just_me_tiff said...

Thanks so much for sharing. This has really been insightful and I love the open discussion. I am so sad that Christian have proven to be mean and have done unforgivable things to people they disagree with. For my own understanding I wanted to know how homosexual Christian interpret those versus in the bible that do speak on homosexuality like Romans 1: 26-27?

gracerules said...

Dear just me tiff - I am not a homosexual but one who has sincerely searched the scripture and could not find evidence to condemn a loving monogamous homosexual relationship. If you have a particular verse in mind I could respond to that or if you want a more complete response here is a good site to check out http://www.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible-gay-christian

Existential Punk said...

@just me tiff - i am using info from the site (Soul Force) grace rules references because it says best what i believe about the passage you refer to in your question. This was one of the places i read in my searching and i hope it helps:

"What does Romans 1:26-27 say about God?

For our discussion, this is the most controversial biblical passage of them all. In Romans 1:26-27 the apostle Paul describes non-Jewish women who exchange "natural use for unnatural" and non-Jewish men who "leave the natural use of women, working shame with each other."

This verse appears to be clear: Paul sees women having sex with women and men having sex with men, and he condemns that practice. But let's go back 2,000 years and try to understand why.

Paul is writing this letter to Rome after his missionary tour of the Mediterranean. On his journey Paul had seen great temples built to honor Aphrodite, Diana, and other fertility gods and goddesses of sex and passion instead of the one true God the apostle honors. Apparently, these priests and priestesses engaged in some odd sexual behaviors -- including castrating themselves, carrying on drunken sexual orgies, and even having sex with young temple prostitutes (male and female) -- all to honor the gods of sex and pleasure.

The Bible is clear that sexuality is a gift from God. Our Creator celebrates our passion. But the Bible is also clear that when passion gets control of our lives, we're in deep trouble.

When we live for pleasure, when we forget that we are God's children and that God has great dreams for our lives, we may end up serving the false gods of sex and passion, just as they did in Paul's time. In our obsession with pleasure, we may even walk away from the God who created us -- and in the process we may cause God to abandon all the great dreams God has for our lives.

Did these priests and priestesses get into these behaviors because they were lesbian or gay? I don't think so. Did God abandon them because they were practicing homosexuals? No. Read the text again.

In our Soulforce video, There's a Wideness in God's Mercy, the Rev. Dr. Louis B. Smedes, a distinguished Christian author and ethicist, describes exactly how the Bible says these promiscuous priests and priestesses got into this mess. Once again it has nothing to do with homosexuality:

SMEDES: "The people Paul had in mind refused to acknowledge and worship God, and for this reason were abandoned by God. And being abandoned by God, they sank into sexual depravity."

SMEDES: "The homosexuals I know have not rejected God at all; they love God and they thank God for his grace and his gifts. How, then, could they have been abandoned to homosexuality as a punishment for refusing to acknowledge God?"

SMEDES: "Nor have the homosexuals that I know given up heterosexual passions for homosexual lusts. They have been homosexual from the moment of their earliest sexual stirrings. They did not change from one orientation to another; they just discovered that they were homosexual. It would be unnatural for most homosexuals to have heterosexual sex."

SMEDES: "And the homosexual people I know do not lust after each other any more than heterosexual people do... their love for one another is likely to be just as spiritual and personal as any heterosexual love can be."

Thank you, Dr. Smedes. (To get a copy of the video featuring Dr. Smedes, There's a Wideness in God's Mercy, visit www.soulforce.org.)

Getting to know a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender person of faith will help you realize that it is unreasonable (and unjust) to compare our love for each other to the rituals of the priests and priestesses who pranced around the statues of Aphrodite and Diana. Once again, I feel certain this passage says a lot about God, but nothing about homosexuality as we understand it.

You'll also note that Romans 2 begins with "Therefore, [referring to Romans 1], you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself..." Even after he describes the disturbing practices he has seen, Paul warns us that judging others is God's business, not ours."

Warmest Regards,

Adele

Denise said...

Adele,

I understand that you are trying to fight a fight that seems un-ending, and i truly do appreciate your transparency. It takes a lot of courage to speak on a topic that is so sensitive to many active church members, or just to everyone. I read your response to 'just_me_tiff's question and although your reply is well worded and well researched i do feel that the last bit toward the end was a bit harsh. I don't think she was passing judgment, but just genuinely asking a question based on what you called one of the most controversial scriptures in regard to homosexuality. I think many people will interpret the Bible to the best of their ability, such is the case with Rev. Dr. Louis B. Smedes, but that's it, just an interpretation... I wish i knew the answer to this question though, and wish that the scriptures were clearer in regard to this subject, but i do know this... i know that as followers of Christ we are to love each other, regardless of the disagreement. It's like Ryan said in his comment 'We need to continue relationships even if we don't agree. The future of the church depends on it.'

Kevin Davis said...

Tiff - thanks for reading and interacting.

Grace Rules - thanks as well for the resource and comment.

Adele - thanks for taking the time to write that response. Speaking at least for myself, this is why I wanted this conversation, to hear how you interpret, defend and understand God's words to in your life.

This does expand more of the 'open minded' comment I made in our interview though. We, the fundies, are always being accused of being close minded and narrow. But we are just trying to interpret the scripture into our own lives and do it faithfully. Granted we don't get it right, i.e. heterosexual divorce within the church at over 50% (and many more example could be sited), but we are still trying. So though we don't live perfectly and though we have unfortunately come across as flat out judgmental, it doesn't open the door for others to paint us as ignorant or too dumb to appropriately understand scripture and history.

If we are willing to step back and say 'we don't understand it all,' then the more liberal minded folk have to afford us the same courtesy. You are living true to the wrestling match you've had with religion, scripture and sexuality and we are doing the same.

Denise - thanks as well for reading and interacting. In Adele's defense, I don't think she was accusing Tiff of judging, I think she was just citing the context of the scripture she referenced and the warning to us all, lib's and fundies, to not judge as it is only the business of an infinite God. And Tiff was not being judgmental at all, just asking - which is the whole point of this conversation. :) word.

Existential Punk said...

@Denise - i was not being harsh towards Just Me Tiff and did not think she was being judgmental. If you reread my comment i said i am using info from the site (Soul Force) grace rules references because it says best what i believe about the passage you refer to in your question. This was one of the places i read in my searching and i hope it helps and THUS QUOTED FROM SOUL FORCE'S SITE GRACE RULES MENTIONED ABOVE.

@Kevin - you make a good point not to paint all 'fundies' or conservatives in broad strokes but do understand where we gays are coming from after often times being treated harshly, through narrow minded eyes. i think us liberals can be fundies too and that's why i think we all need to challenge ourselves to hold our beliefs loosely. REALLY conversing and trying to understand one another is key. It's just that all too often it's the conservative side that is shouted from the rooftops and gays diminished.

Thanks for all the great conversation everyone.

Warmest Regards,

Adele

Carol said...

Kevin, Adele, and so many others -

I commend you for opening this up through Adele's interview, and the comments that followed. As the former wife of a gay man, and also as one who has followed Christ since I was young, I had to look very honestly at my faith when he came out to me (and our four kids). There was so much assumption on my part because of my fundamentalist faith. I realized that if I was going to survive (because the world was really colliding for me) I had to reconcile the reality that my husband was gay, and the truth that God still loved us both. There were several stages along the way.

I have been so helped by people like Adele and others who have share their stories of being gay and Christian. She is blazing a trail by sharing her search to follow God as well as the reality that she is gay.

Thank you, Kevin, for pursuing the interview with Adele, and for opening these comments to civil, honest questions and answers. I hope many will try to understand.

Existential Punk said...

@Carol - Thanks for your love and support! You are one of my heroes!

Love,
Adele

hillsideslide said...

Nice to see people reaching across the divide to converse, and hopefully, learn from one another.

Informative.

Respectful.

Thanks!

Existential Punk said...

hillsideslide,

i agree and thanks for stopping by!

Adele

Kevin Davis said...

Carol - thanks for stopping by and sharing part of your story. I also checked out your blog - thanks for the link love.

Hillsideslide - thanks as well for reading and commenting - I enjoyed the MLK video you have posted.

wendy said...

Thank you Adele and Kevin for a flesh and blood example of the kind of conversations that will help to bridge the gap. We are seeking to play our part in the Canadian context here: www.btgproject.blogspot.com

grace and peace,
wendy gritter

Kevin Davis said...

Wendy - enjoyed perusing around BTG and will have to spend more time there. Thanks for stopping by.

The Common Loon said...

Kevin and Adele, I can't thank you enough for engaging this topic with refreshing Christ-like kindness and humility.

Because so much of the gay marriage debate has been dominated by both extremes of the political spectrum who prefer to shout at each other instead of having a respectful dialogue (like the one you've beautifully demonstrated), it's nice to finally read something that doesn't forcefully demand that I take up arms and join the fight to destroy one "enemy" or the other.

As someone with an odd mix of politically progressive yet theologically conservative views, I’m still struggling to think coherently on this issue, but the complexity and sheer grayness of it all is overwhelming. Simplistic slogans and name-calling from both sides only make it harder to be thoughtful and reflective.

I have yet to come across an issue that eats me up inside as much as this one, but your conversation has given me hope that there is a way forward that is not afraid to examine the complexity in order to move us beyond the reactive culture wars of right vs. left.

While I try to hold my beliefs with an open hand, I have no doubt that I'll see both of you in heaven. Blessings.

Existential Punk said...

The Common Loon,

THANK YOU so much for your kind, loving and encouraging words.

Your honesty is refreshing and i appreciate it.

Part of my activism is to bridge this gap and find ways both sides can talk about this divisive issue with maturity, kindness, open hearts, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, with LOVE!

i see both sides play a part but us in the LGBTQ community for so long have had insults, bigotry and hate thrown at us that we do often react out of hurt and rejection. Not making excuses, but when you have been on the end of sheer meanness and hatred it hurts like hell.

i wish you blessings and peace.

Warmest Regards,

Adele

The Common Loon said...

Adele,

Thanks again for your courageous efforts to help bridge the gap.

I've been doing some more thinking lately on how to improve the tone of the gay marriage debate. If anyone's interested, some of my ideas can be found here:

http://thecommonloon.blogspot.com/2009/04/how-not-to-argue-about-gay-marriage.html

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