You may think of this discussion as somewhat of a reprise or follow up to an earlier discussion of mine "Guilty Gay Theists". 

This issue goes much further than just feeling guilty for being gay based on ones religious persuasion. But its an issue of simply not wanting to know, in other words being wilfully ignorant. I was browsing the LGBT category on Yahoo Answers a short moment ago, where I came upon this question:

My own response was naturally:

"You can't. Suppressing your thoughts like that can lead to all sorts of psychological traumas. And I will tell you its normal, regardless. This IS what you need to hear, its just not what you want to hear. Your religion is contradicting reality, thats the fact of it. 

People shouldn't be living their lives based on commandments, thats called oppression. Those commandments are the unnatural thing if you want to know the truth. 

This is reality sweetheart, learn to live with it. If your religion is contradicting reality, its time to at least question it."

But what are your views on this issue in regards to religious gay persons who just don't want to hear the truth, but at the same time seek a solution? What advice would you give them? And what do you think of my advice; was I perhaps too harsh? Or perhaps not harsh enough?

Tags: Christianity, LGBT, force, homosexuality, oppression, religion

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Well I must say, this is an excellent response Ari. You are very welcome in reference to me bringing this issue up. Sadly religion tends to conflict with sexuality issues quite a lot and I believe it is very relevant. 

You have offered some really valuable advice here, particularly the very last suggested question for the homosexual believer. 

Thanks again 

That's awesome, my line of thought on this issue is much the same

...but it's really because I care about my community. Many of the arguments people have against gay marriage are typically rooted in tradition roles and values. I want everyone to know that homosexuality is natural and that the relationships can be just as healthy and diverse as heterosexual ones.

That's a beautiful thing! It's good to know your way around these arguments because you never know when your knowledge can be called upon to open up someone else's mind...with the strong emotion involved around self-acceptance, a convincing argument can change lives--perhaps even save a life.

Welcome to TA, Ari. Please stick around.

LGBTers who want to keep their Christianity are like those people with abusive parents who go out of their way to try to get their approval. Which will never come. Because they are abusers.

You could probably drop the 'like' and still be on the money in quite a few cases.

But what are your views on this issue in regards to religious gay persons who just don't want to hear the truth, but at the same time seek a solution? What advice would you give them? And what do you think of my advice; was I perhaps too harsh? Or perhaps not harsh enough?

My reply would resemble yours; assurance that LGBT thoughts and feelings are natural, that repressing or attempting to change them can be harmful, and that religiously-motivated anti-gay bigotry is unnatural.

If there's resistance, throw the weight of science behind it, drawing upon the probable biological origins of sexual orientation, and the longstanding consensus of other research in medicine, mental health, and social science, which consistently finds that same-sex romantic and sexual thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are "normal and positive variations of human sexuality". This is the stance held by every reputable professional organization of psychology in the world, including; the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of Social Workers, the National Institute of Mental Health, the World Health Organization, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and the Chinese Society of Psychiatry.

It's difficult not to be reassured when there's so much positive information out there and it keeps piling on. But I think for many people, a lifelong exposure to the negativity and ignorance of religion is the only frame of reference they have. The proper response to ignorance is education, but as you point out in the title of this thread, sometimes people resist becoming informed when they don't like the information, even when there's good reason to accept that it's true.

I have  gay and religious friend and I asked her how she reconciles these two. She is Lutheran, and simply states that she doesn't believe that god condemns homosexuality. So, to her, there is no conflict. I think this can be a perfectly valid response because, as we all know, the bible can be made to say almost anything one wishes if you cherry pick the lines you will pay attention to. Not only is that what every Christian sect has done, I suspect that almost every Christian out there does the same thing. (Even the fundies can't believe EVERYTHING in the bible since it contradicts itself so often).

She would have to do the OPPOSITE of cherry picking to ignore the rather clear and unambiguous anti-homosexual passages in The Bible.

There's really not many of them. I guess it easy to ignore them and focus on others.

It's one thing to say you don't believe in those particular passages from the bible. But is it really that intellectually honest? They would be better off being deists in my view, at least that way they can be consistent

...I'm religious and have may commandments to follow...

I don't know how else to say this, but the pressure to believe in one interpretation of absolute morality over other interpretations is inhumane, and unfair. Religion is a cultural construct that varies by culture, and the only the only "validation" of accuracy in scripture comes from fallible human beings.

Humans were not anti-gay, until authority figures took it upon themselves to invent and perpetrate artificial purpose for human existence, and artificial rules about morality. Most people of the world are just not allowed to think for themselves about what life's rules should be, and too many are not allowed to just be who they are.

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