Letters To The Editor

Readers are an integral part of Whosoever. We appreciate hearing from our readers, whether they have praise or hot coals to heap on our heads. With the new year, we're beginning this new feature of a reader forum. Here's some of the things our readers are saying.

Want to add your comment? Fill out our reader survey.


Editor:

I have just this afternoon found whosoever.org, and I just wanted to send you my great thanks! I am 26, gay, living in NYC, and been discerning for the ministry for a couple of years in the ELCA. I have yet to find (and perhaps yet to look strongly enough for) a truly enriching GLBT ministry from which to take ideas and to which I can contribute my own, although I feel that as part of God's calling in my life. Sometimes I lose some faith in this, but am always brought back to the right path with something encouraging, and can tell that this wonderful resource will offer great encouragement to me. I look forward to reading all of the articles here, and I hope at some point to be able to contribute to them as well.

God's peace and blessings be with you,

Chris


Editor:

The article on the Love Won Out conference by Darrell Grizzle [Fear and Loathing at the Ex-Gay Conference] intrigued me because I attended one of the first of these conferences, held in Memphis, to see for myself what was being taught. Security was not yet as tight as what Grizzle describes, so perhaps they have had some problems with protestors in the time between our experiences, but the descriptions of the various presentations were familiar and accurate. I was glad to see he did not pit the story entirely as an "us" (protestors) versus "them" (conference-goers), but instead was willing to show many of the hearts of those protesting the conference were also not in the right place. In our own community we elected not to organize a protest exactly because we felt it would escalate tensions. Instead, we chose to hold our own conference and celebration at one of the gay affirming churches in our community on the same weekend. Grizzle's desire that we not just hold beliefs we feel are right, but also that we to be authentic in our spirituality, is commendable. However, his own "wounds" and resentments show in the story. For example, calling John Paulk "hostess" of the conference was unnecessary and obviously intended as a demeaning jab, and such a comment seems to reflect a certain bitterness towards its target. I hope this is not an attitude Mr. Grizzle aspires to in his pursuit of spiritual integrity, and I hope he will prayerfully examine his feelings towards Mr. Paulk and other ex-gays.

Jason Crockett

Darrell Grizzle Responds:

Dear Jason,

Thank you for your thoughtful response to my essay. I appreciate your feedback.

My reference to John Paulk as "hostess" was sarcastic in tone (as was much of the essay) and was intended as an "inside joke" from one queen to another. As you probably know, gay men often refer to each other as "girlfriend," etc. I realize John Paulk would object to being called a hostess or a queen, or even a gay man, but if it walks like a duck . . .

What I feel towards John Paulk and the other organizers of this conference is not bitterness but anger. Because of their theology and propaganda, thousands of gay teenagers and "pre-homosexual" children are going to endure a living hell, created for them by parents and ministers acting out of homophobic hatred masquerading as love. Many of these young people will attempt suicide, and some of them will succeed at that attempt.

Anyone who wields that kind of power, and uses it to such destructive ends, is evil. John Paulk and company deserve our prayers and our compassion, but not our respect.

Darrell Grizzle


Editor:

I have looked over your web site and find it interesting. I find very little reference to N.T. scripture/theology. Plenty of reference to God and Jesus...but, I am left with some questions regarding your perspective. (I will not try to hide that I do not agree with your position...even so I would like to better understand your thought).

What is your position/teaching on sin? the idea of total depravity? How do you deal with the "homosexual" verses of the NT? (that may be too huge a question...I guess i am thinking of Romans 1, 2 and the verses in Rev. and Galatians that seem to indicate that homosexuality is a sin)?

Would you endorse bestiality? (I am not trying to be stupid...I am wondering how far your "whosoever" goes...) What about pedophilia?

I hope you don't mind my questions (I assume since you opened an open forum you don't mind helping others understand how you think...).

I appreciate your response.

Steve

Editor Candace Chellew Responds:

Steve,

Thanks for your email.

I'm not sure how much of the site you've read but we have a very strong grounding in the NT at Whosoever. In fact, the magazine's entire premise (that of "whosoever") is, to me, the foundation of the New Covenant (Testament) that Christ instituted. Through his living and dying, Christ cleared the way for "whosoever" to come to the cross and be saved by his abundant grace. If that's not a major league reference to NT scripture and theology then I don't know what is!

You might want to take a gander through some of our issues to get a better picture of just how grounded in NT theology our writers are.

What is your position/teaching on sin?

Steve, I've dealt with enough of my critics to know a trick question when I see one. Let's suffice to say I'm against it.

the idea of total depravity?

I believe we saw a wonderful example on Sept. 11. And it was total depravity draped in religious fervor. I see a lot of examples of that kind of total depravity from our American fundamentalist friends as well.

How do you deal with the "homosexual" verses of the NT? (that may be too huge a question...I guess i am thinking of Romans 1, 2 and the verses in Rev. and Galations that seem to indicate that homosexuality is a sin)?

Not a huge question at all and something we've covered already on this page: What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality.

Would you endorse bestiality? (I am not trying to be stupid...I am wondering how far your "whosoever" goes...) What about pedophilia?

Maybe you can help me understand something, now. Why is it that Christian conservatives make the ungodly leap from homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia? This is a serious question that I'd love to have answered. The leap, to me, is illogical.

Your question is rather odious and really doesn't deserve an answer, but since you say it's an honest question I'll try to enlighten you. Of course I don't endorse bestiality or pedophilia (which, according to statistics, most pedophiles are HETEROSEXUAL in their adult relationships). No one in their right mind would. Why? Simply because bestiality and pedophilia are based on imbalances of power and not mutuality within relationships. We can't have mutuality with animals and children can't make the informed consent that mutuality or sexual relationships require.

Homosexuals, just like heterosexuals, seek mutuality and commitment in their relationships. Do some homosexuals go out and engage in promiscuous sex? Certainly. But so do some heterosexuals. In fact, since there are more heterosexuals than there are homosexuals, it's safe to say that there are MORE promiscuous heterosexuals than there are promiscuous homosexuals. Total depravity is not a market that has been cornered by homosexuals.

You seem to believe that gays and lesbians see sex as the ultimate goal in life. Maybe for some misguided folks in our community it is. But you'll find a majority of gays and lesbians are just trying to get along in the world ... find someone to love ... someone to settle down with and grow old with. We seek love, commitment and family just as much as any heterosexual does.

Once you stop focusing on our sexual practices and focus on us as people, brothers and sisters in Christ, maybe you'll finally recognize our humanity and stop equating us with pedophiles and people who would endorse bestiality.

I pray one day it will be so.

Blessings,

Candace Chellew
Editor


Editor:

I've read "Whosoever" from time to time and always enjoy your words. Sometimes I even quote them when I preach at All God's Children Metropolitan Community Church. After reading your article Even the Demons Believe I just wanted to say "Thank You!"

Keep up the good work and don't let the devil get you down.

I pray that you have a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.

A proud father of a gay son,
Al


What's your opinion? We want to know!! Send a letter to the editor or fill out our reader survey!!

Back To The Table of Contents


Other Comments and Letters:

Reverent Responses

Seeds of Hope






Whosoever logo