KNOWING THE CONTRARY “ME”– A challenge to any and all who love the non-straight neighbor among you…

witherI was utterly privileged this last week to have an article published in the Public Discourse page of the Witherspoon Institute. I was approached regarding this by Sherif Girgis and Ryan T Anderson, who, along with Dr Robert P George, last year authored an amazing, accurate, and concise study of the marriage controversy facing our nation and beyond, its relationship to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights and needs, and if what is commonly called “marriage equality” is indeed the answer or not. A link to this book is located at the end of this page, and I would highly recommend it to any who may not have read it or wish to learn more on the topic. Having said that…

http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2014/04/13097/

The timeliness of their use of this article amazed me totally, as this very same week a potent new video, while not directly dealing with the marriage issue, was released which delivers a powerful punch in regard to the ever more visible need for the Church to effectively assist those of us from SSA (same-sex attraction) backgrounds to live our Christian (in my case Catholic Christian) Faith more effectively. Among other things, this video touches on many of the ways to reach out with realistic compassion towards those of us who at times have greatly struggled in integrating the Faith with our inner scuffles and sometimes severely wounded pasts, or even presents.

To me the two are one. They each represent the puzzlement and seeming contradiction that is me. In the article I attempt to present some practical ways to connect with SSA persons, and the video does the same thing but in different but complementary ways. Together, read and watched with care, they will show you who I am. This is the “me” you could not figure out before, and who at times has frustrated or disappointed many of you with my moments of anger towards the Church I love while yet wishing to follow her now and always. And I would point out that it is some of you on each side of this timely, thorn covered issue who have felt both the disappointment and even at times a betrayal as you observed my inner and outer tussles over the past few years. These two together will clarify much of that if you allow them to. I hope that you will.

http://www.blackstonefilms.org/films/the-third-way/index.html

I do not ask you to necessarily agree with the concept of a “Third Way.” In fact we may or may not ever see eye to eye on it and that is okay. But I have found it to be based upon what I believe is objective Truth, and the one perfect balance between the late Fred Phelps’ idea of railing against both the sinner and the sin, and the opposite extreme of promoting and imposing upon society the radicalism of the very real actively LGBT agenda which does not plan to stop until same-sex marriage is not only legal but promoted in every church, classroom, and nation. I believe that both extremes are real, and that each are impoverished in that they miss the very real concerns, fears and pains of the other “side.”

So, if you have ever wished to understand your brother, your cousin, your uncle, your friend, your co-worker, and your neighbor, all of who happen to be me, this is that most excellent opportunity to do so. The video is around 30 minutes, so get a soda or cup of coffee and take your time to absorb the many pieces of a story you may have never heard before. The article may take you 15 minutes, especially if you read it without skimming and I would implore you to do so rather than grabbing a sentence here or there away from the context of the rest. Too often today we do this in our blog-infested world, and sound-byte past the most important points in a story or article. Please do not do so this time around.

Thus I am asking for 45 minutes of your time. It is the only time I will ever do so, but I pray that every person I know and who claims to care about me will decide to do so. Your understanding of me would mean the world to me, even if we never agree on the topic. And your dialogue would be so very, very welcome. Please then grant me 45 minutes of your life—you may be surprised at what you learn, not just about me but about yourself, if you do. Thanks so much and God bless.

http://www.amazon.com/What-Is-Marriage-Woman-Defense/dp/1594036225

what-is-marriage-man-woman-defense-sherif-girgis-paperback-cover-art

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3 Replies to “KNOWING THE CONTRARY “ME”– A challenge to any and all who love the non-straight neighbor among you…”

  1. I just read your article in full over on Public Discourse and enjoyed it? Appreciated it? “Had no problem” with it? Was at ease with it? Whatever the proper expression, thanks for publishing it. I guess I’m as straight as they come. And so? The biggest problems you’d have with me are that a) I’m a blowhard BSer, b) I’m Lutheran and c) I live in Virginia. But I’d enjoy having you over for a beer after any Easter Vigil, or on any evening in the Easter Octave, whether you’re crashing and burning or not — or you could invite me and I’d come. I’m recently retired (at 60) and my wife would love it if I had more guys to hang out with. Save for Va. Tech football or ACC basketball, I can pretty much do without sports. Theology’s more my bag. But what the heck? Who’s really normal? Which is all my way of saying, I am sad for your loneliness, and I hope more folks see the blessing I’m sure you are and will take the time to be your friend. Maybe your essay will rattle a few cages. God bless you.

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    1. Well thanks and what a nice comment! I used to live in Richmond, VA many years back in fact. And would love the theological chat, even if, for now, just on here! God bless you for your kind words
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    2. I would like to add one other thing, I have numerous friends of both genders, and a good family. But what happens does go beyond SSA–anyone who is permanently single, a priest, a widower or widow, or many others in each of our lives could have written much of what I said. I think there are certain unique needs for those of us who do have SSA in our lives, but by no means is aloneness unique to our situation. My biggest purpose in writing this was to provide a platform for thinking about those in one’s life, and pretty much everyone has 1 or more, who do happen to be same-sex attracted and how to best integrate us into their lives and the Church. The Easter ham situation just happened to be a very good starting place to point it out. We often assume, even those we care about, are “already taken care of” when it comes to holidays or even just in their general lives. And it is not always true. So yes, you are surely right that it goes beyond those with my background. It is the human condition. Again many thanks for your good words.

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