Tuesday, December 19, 2006

More Tent Talk

Post #21: Understanding Homosexuality by pastor and author David Glesne dialogues with Straight Into Gay America by pastor and author Lars Clausen

Dear Lars,

I especially appreciated your most recent post because I think it brought greater clarity for me as to your perspective and how you have come to pattern your life. It is a good thing when a dialogue can result in greater understanding and clarity. Thanks for sharing your story so openly and honestly.

I think what I will do here is follow your most recent post and make comments and/or ask questions as they arise in my mind as I read. I’m not so concerned then with a seamless response as with just responding to thoughts that come to mind as I read.

Different Sides of the River
The subjective and objective views of reality come into sharper contrast with this imagery. The objective view of reality side of the river flows from God being there and speaking to human beings (revelation). God reveals that He is a holy God with a moral character and a God of love. In other words we live not in an amoral universe but in a moral universe in that morality is rooted in an ultimate personal reality. There are some things that are congruent with God’s character (right or good) and some things that are against His character (wrong or evil). We can call these moral absolutes. God’s moral law (centered in the 10 commandments and in Jesus’ two great laws of love) then flows from His moral character, which are not arbitrarily rights and wrongs but firmly rooted in His character.

In this objective view, then, love and holiness can never be separated for they are both equally rooted in God’s character and being. God's love is always informed by holiness. Love shows me how to do something, it doesn’t tell me what to do. So in God’s love, the internal moral compass is holiness. We see this lived out in the life and teaching of Jesus when he says, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.” Here true love is defined by holiness, the commandments that tell us what it means to love God and to love one’s neighbor. Love is not just a contentless emotion or feeling defined by a particular situation, but has a definite content as it is rooted in God’s holiness.

If I understand the subjective world view on your side of the river properly, it is a view that holds to no moral absolutes but “lives from an irrational faith in the absolute centrality of compassion, making all things subject to its critique.” I would venture saying, then, that while you would deny absolutes, you nevertheless hold to one absolute – compassion. It seems to be the one thing upon which everything in your subjective view hangs. But it is an absolute that is relative. So perhaps we need to rephrase it and say that relativity is absolute. So, yes, from the subjective side of the river, everything -not only on your side of the river but on my side of the river - is viewed through the lens of the relative and is viewed as subjective. When one starts with the subjective and works consistently outward from that starting point, one is never able to break out of the tent of subjectivity to anything objective.

Here are some questions that come to mind: From your side of the river, do we live in a moral universe? If so, what is the basis of morality and that moral universe? On what basis can you say something is right or something is wrong, something is good or evil? In what is that right or wrong, that good or evil rooted? What happens on your side of the river if one person’s compassion says an action is right while another person’s compassion says that very same action is wrong? When one person says something is good and another says it is evil? How do you live together in society? How does society function when “everyone does what is right in their own eyes?”

Fullness of life
You acknowledge that your tent is a low one, Lars, not knowing answers to the most basis metaphysical question of why something is here rather than not being here (origins), or the question of how we can know anything for certain (epistemology), or the question of knowing right and wrong (morality). I hope I am representing your thoughts fairly here – and tell me if I am wrong. Rather, you “seek only after the fullness of life in the context of love.”

From the objective view side of the river come these questions: Have you not in fact put yourself in the place of God and become the moral arbiter of the universe? I can’t help but think of a couple long ago who were tempted to become like God - knowing good and evil, who were temped to grasp something of God. Their hope was that through this grasping they would have a fuller life and know more of what it is to be a human being – to know more of the fullness of life. But instead of laying hold of a fuller life, they laid hold of death as God had said they would. My question is, at the end of the road of the subjective, will one encounter fullness of life or a loss of humanness? I think of the sequence of Van Gogh's self-portraits as under the low ceiling, he pictures himself becoming increasingly less and less human.

Causing damage
You make the statement that my tent is causing damage to many LGBT people, that there is damage caused that need not be. Let me broaden this a bit. From the objective view side of the river, after human beings broke relationship with God by rebelling against God and falling into sin, we are now all born in sin and are held captive by its compulsive impulses. And I like my condition. It is very comfortable. It feels very natural. I like my sin. I’m very content in it. I’d rather not be disturbed.

But God’s holiness and Law is proclaimed to me and it tells me I am a sinner, I am separated from God by true moral guilt, I am out of relationship with God, I am living at odds with the character of God himself, I need a Savior to rid me of my guilt and restore my relationship with God. The Law is unrelenting. It condemns me. It kills me. But I don’t like being killed. It hurts bad. I don’t like dying. It doesn’t feel good. In fact, I’m offended by God and His Law. The Law causes me huge damage and that’s not an insignificant by-product of its work. That is its main purpose and work on me. So the Law not only causes damage to a small minority who identify themselves as LGBT people, it causes damage to me, and to every other sinner on this planet.

So why does a loving God kill me with the holiness of His Law? Why does a loving God cause me so much damage? God kills me with His law so that He may give me LIFE through His Son, so that I might see my need for a Savior and turn to Christ who pays the ransom and restores my relationship with Him! The cross of Christ has always been an offense to people. It always will be an offense. Yet the cross is our only hope. In our feel good, therapeutic culture, where people are offended so easily, the offense of the cross is especially intense it seems to me. So even the Law does damage and kills me, the Law is good, because it drives me to Christ who reconciles me to God and gives me his righteousness and holiness as a gift. There are social dynamics peculiar to LGBT persons in our day, that is true, but when it comes to standing as sinners before the cross we all stand in exactly the same place.


Reflection from inside the big tent
You ask me to look again at the scientific data that I use. Looking at scientific data carefully is always wise counsel. This conversation has reminded me of the importance of that. As a friend of mine tells me, that is especially the case when one thinks of the distinctions between the “hard sciences” and “soft sciences”. He tells me that hard sciences like physics and chemistry have more broadly-agreed basic concepts, and relationships between those concepts, that together largely provide coherent understanding of their field that gives greatly increased control and predictive capabilities in their field. But there are no hard sciences with respect to human behavior and human society. There are lots of theories, and some amount of statistical data, but no stable generally-agreed body of knowledge that support prediction and control. As one of our readers has commented, statistical data is hard to come by.

In our discussion, it has been very easy to discredit sources and data and studies. It has been extraordinarily more difficult to provide data and research of one’s own. Lest one settle too quickly into putting uncritical confidence in certain scientific associations and researchers of the day, it may profit one to read an article such as “The APA and Psychology Need Reform” by Nicholas Cummings, a past president of the APA, who chides the APA for giving into the temptation to sell out its science and profession to political ideology and political correctness. (http://www.narth.com/docs/cummings.pdf)

You ask me to look again at my claim that the Bible is unambiguous in its judgment on homosexual behavior. In Part II of my book Understanding Homosexuality I spend a significant amount of time addressing the revisionist interpretations of the last 60 years. I have dealt with the major revisionist arguments. I have done this to see if the revisionist arguments held together. I am fully aware of the frequent attempts made by revisionist scholars to neutralize the historical teaching of Scripture on this subject. My conclusion has been that the revisionists have failed to make a good and convincing case from Scripture.

You ask me to look again at how culture changes the interpretation of the Bible over time. Again, I have addressed in my book the two issues you mention – slavery and women – and given reasons why I believe these are in reality bad analogies to use in the homosexuality debate in the church. Here again, I think, the two world views come into play. From the subjective viewpoint, each individual context tends to give the meaning. From the objective viewpoint, each individual context has a context, the bigger context of God being there and speaking into the smaller context giving it His meaning.

Parents and children
I would remind you of page 163 of my book where I describe three basic ways parents react when sons and daughters inform them that they are gay or lesbian: a) defend their child’s sexual behavior – all grace and no judgment and no reconciliation needed; b) disavow their homosexual children – all judgment and no grace and no reconciliation possible; c) neither reject their child nor accept the behavior of their homosexual children – acceptance but not approval – judgment, grace, and a genuine yearning for reconciliation that informs and directs the relationship.

It is a gift that we can have this respectful conversation. It is a good thing when iron sharpens iron. I wish you and your family and our readers a most blessed Christmas Season!

With gratitude,
Dave

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

The way in which you describe the effect of the Law on gay people suggests a deep disconnect from the actual experience of persons with homosexual orientations. You seem to suggest that the Law imposes a gigantic burden on all people equally, and that the experience of persons with homosexual orientations differs by some small "social dynamics peculiar to LGBT persons in our day." I would argue that this is, in fact, not the case.

Your description of the Law as cause you "huge damage" seems to me to be extremely overwrought. Of course, I do not know your personal life, but I would challenge you to describe in what manner the Law causes you "huge damage." Rather, I anticipate that, in reality, the Law as you understand it provides you with a great deal of comfort and direction, that it provides you with self-discipline and fulfillment. I anticipate that the Law has steered you away from several actions that are, in the long run, to your own detriment. I anticipate that your observance of the Law has been a source of great happiness and has allowed you to avoid much suffering. I challenge you to name a single time when you obeyed the law such that it conflicted with your best interests over the long term, a moment that even today you wish fervently that you could have acted in a manner contrary to the Law, a moment when you broke the Law that today you do not regret.

I anticipate (please do correct me if I'm wrong) that if you truly reflect on the Law's impact on your life that you will find that the "huge damage" the Law causes you is largely imaginary. The damage it causes for persons with homosexual orientations is far more real and far more grave. Taking your position to its logical conclusion, all persons with homosexual orientations who cannot alter that orientation (that is, all but perhaps a tiny minority) must live a life of permanent celibacy. That it is, as the Catholics describe it, "their cross to bear." To suggest that the imposition of such a burden is nothing more than part of the "social dynamics peculiar to LGBT persons" trivializes their experiences in an unacceptable way.

Indeed, I would suggest that your entire approach to this discussion trivializes their experiences. You have not once attempted to answer the question: If gay relationships are an abomination, what then are people with homosexual orientations to do? You have uttered the word "celibate" but once throughout this entire discussion. You seem to have no comprehension of why any person with a homosexual orientation would object to living a life without a single romantic relationship or even the prospect thereof, why a twenty year-old would rebel at a theology that tells him he has a moral obligation to die an eighty year-old virgin. Most frustratingly, you will not even admit that this is the logical conclusion of your own position. Even among the tiny minority of gays who choose to abstain, almost all describe celibacy as a hard life, difficult and considerably lonely. This is a burden you have not known, and you have not lifted a finger to try to make it easier to bear. You have not even conceded that the burden exists at all. How you can describe such a burden as a mere part of dealing with the "social dynamics peculiar to LGBT persons in our day" defies belief.

Dan

Joe Norquist said...

I admire both of you for the respect and interest you both show for each other's ideas. In many ways, you are both right.

Certainly David quotes Scripture accurately and Lars feels with all his heart the compassion for our human world community.

I praise God that the "revisionist writings" have liberated thousands of GLBT people, formerly enslaved by rigid and archaic enforcement of irrelevant Scripture verses. How wonderful to know that God loves and blesses GLBT believers with the sure knowledge that they are children of God, created in God's image and now enabled by God's grace to live fulfilling, moral, productive lives in loving, commited relationships.

The verses of Leviticus, the story of Sodom, quotes from Romans and 1st Corinthians are no more relevant than the commandment to kill anyone who works on the Sabbath or the prohibition of women from speaking in churches.

"At the end of the road", gay Chrisitans will be able to look back on their lives in Christ and living as gay people with satisfaction and joy and fullness of love and grace in Christ Jesus just as legitimately as straight persons.
Most Christians know that we have much evil in the world and in our lives; but this is not because of original sin. Humans are by nature both good and evil. There has always been sin and sickness and death, even thousands of years before Adam and Eve when the "fall" was supposed to occuer according to the Bible story.

Sexual orientation is a natural phonomenon, not a result of some story that occured some 7000 to 8,000 years ago. I cannot buy the theology presented in David's book and I hope the pastors of the ELCA will not either.
Dr. Joe Norquist

Nadine Anderson said...

I would like to have you use a different word for “objective” as related to revelation. The way you are using objective / subjective is very confusing to me. I would agree that subjective is experience based. Objective is usually based on observable fact.

My dictionary defines “objective in several ways, none of them relating to revealed truth.
Adj. 1. Pertaining to a material object rather than a mental concept. 2. Having actual existence. 3. Not influenced by emotion or personal opinion. 4. Grammar -- a part of speech is defined.
N 1. Something worked toward or aspired to: goal. 2.. Grammar again. 3. The lens in a microscope or telescope that is closest to the object.

Revelation is understood as based on faith – indeed, it requires faith as we cannot prove it. So could you use revealed views of reality or revelation rather than objective to describe God's revelations?

Having been involved with science for several decades, I cannot get my mind around revelation as objective. Revelation would not need faith if it was observable and quantifiable and provable – all the things I associate with objective.

I am also a bit concerned with the implication of the use of Jesus statement, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.” Is the implication that GLBTIQA people do not love God if they do not follow Rev. Glesne’s views of God’s commands? That is not stated and I hope Rev. Glesne would not accept that implication.

Again, Rev. Glesne is saying give us better data or he’ll use what he has. BAD DATA IS NOT WORTH USING. If data is collected to find out about risky behavior to try to address that risky behavior, how can you then use that data to describe the entire group? That comes only from someone with a predetermined view who insists on using anything that supports that view, however much is left out. That Norm Cummings thinks the APA is too politically correct does not make bad data good. It may explain why good data is not collected, but it does not make bad data good.

Have a great Christmas and a blessed New Year.
Nadine Anderson

Tim Fisher said...

Dave wrote:
>>In our discussion, it has been very easy to discredit sources and data and studies.>>

That's because the sources and data you have supplied are obviously unacceptable. It's not hard to discredit Paul Cameron.

>> It has been extraordinarily more difficult to provide data and research of one’s own.>>

Dave, do you even read what I and others have provided? Sheesh. You talk talk talk about bringing our data "to the table," but, increasingly, it seems as if you think yours is the only table and yours is the only data. I've presented a great deal of substantive challenges and my own research. Stop pretending.

>> Lest one settle too quickly into putting uncritical confidence in certain scientific associations and researchers of the day,>>

Oh, please. You know full well, Dave, that I have not simply relied on "well, the APA says such and such."

We deserve a better discussion than this.

Tim Fisher

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I must concur with Mr. Fisher here as to the scientific angle. While I do not want to impute bad faith on your part, Mr. Fisher's preparation of rival statistics was very thorough, and you simply must respond to them if you wish to be engaging on this issue:

http://timrfisher.tripod.com/dgstats.htm

Moreover, I would note that Cameron's work is discredited not because it comes to conclusions that certain people don't like, but because it actually is scientifically discredited. Even Dr. Warren Throckmorton, an associate professor of pyschology at a Pennsylvania Bible college--he has some associations with ex-gay work and is just about on the rightward end of scientific respectability on homosexuality issues--refers to "the discredited work of Paul Cameron."

( http://wthrockmorton.com/2006/12/02/narth-article-asking-why-homosexuality-isnt-a-disorder/ )

-Dan

Dr Chapman said...

Hi Dave,
I'm surprised that you once again use a NARTH reference, knowing that they are essentially discredited and certainly not respected by the scientific community.
I agree with the sentiments of others here - just because you have been using discredited and fabricated data does not mean we should throw our hands up in the air and declare all is lost. There is a tremendous amount of good data out there - sociological, psychological, anthropological, and even biological. Yet, I've not seen an attempt on your part to actually investigate it. (I'm gathering that the readers of these blogs can provide you with a substantial amount of peer-reviewed information if you so desired).
One of the major concerns I have with evangelical Christianity is the time and effort they spend trying to discredit science. The attempts at discrediting do not often deal with the actual research. Instead, they challenge the motivations of scientists and then declare that all scientific research (at least those which contradict their views) have been discredited. Your NARTH reference is a perfect example of this. As someone with a PhD in biological anthropology, and as someone who teaches evolution (often with evangelical students objecting to every statement I make - unfortunately, they trust their leaders who have done nothing but misinform them and lie to them), I am extremely disturbed by this behavior. If you do your homework you will find that psychologists had fully legitimate reasons to remove homosexuality from the DSM - it was not simply a political action.
Related to this, I am also disturbed by how casually you ignore the realities of life for homosexuals. The recent Colorado pastor scandals should make all those who condemn homosexuality take notice. These pastors tried for decades to change. They did not choose their desires. They cried themselves to sleep praying for change. They were overwhelmed and had tremendous feelings of guilt because they could not change their desires. I know exactly how they felt - I went through ex-gay ministries, I prayed, I did everything I could think of. To then have a pastor write that my orientation does not exist, that it's simply a behavior I've learned (even though I was celibate into my 30s - I didn't even masturbate until my late 20s because I wanted to please God), is simply and unequivocally insulting. As Lars has stated and highlighted in his book, the Straw Man that conservative Christians have created in their discussions of homosexuality, simply do not represent me or the vast majority of homosexuals I know.

I apologize that I have not read your book to see how you deal with Scriptural "revisionists" (I hope you mention that the first time 1 Corinthians 6 and 1 Timothy 1 used the word "homosexuals" is 1952 - exactly who is doing the revisioning here?). However, I hope that you could briefly comment on 2 simple things in one of your upcoming blogs: 1) why is lesbianism never mentioned in the Old Testament? The OT goes to great lengths to discuss other sexual behavior on the part of females, and even mentions both male bestiality and female bestiality, yet it never mentions 2 females together. Why is that? 2) Why are the only 2 Old Testament references to male-male sex (other than prostitution or rape) found in the purity code? Why do you think it is not mentioned elsewhere, when other sexual sins are, particularly knowing that it was known in other Mediterranean cultures?
I appreciate your dialogue with Lars and your explanations of your views. I hope you will see me, and those like me, not as a Straw Man concocted by evangelical leaders, but as real people who cannot be brushed aside with comments such as "gay lifestyle".
Sincerely,
Dr Chapman

one spirit said...

I would like to share something for consideration,from ACIM.
10.How is judgement relinquished?
1.Judgement,like other devices by which the world of illusions is maintained,is totally misunderstood by the world.It is actually confused with wisdom,and substitutes for truth.As the world uses the term,an individual is capable of "good" and "bad" judgement,and his education aims at strengthing the former and minimizing the latter.There is,however,considerable confusion about what these categories mean.What is "good" judgement to one is "bad" judgement to another.Futher,even the same person classifies the same action as showing "good" judgement at one time and "bad" judgement at another time.Nor can any consistent criteria for determining what these categories are be really taught.At any time the student may disagree with what his would-be teacher says about them,and the teacher himself may well be inconsistent in what he believes."Good" judgement,in these terms,does not mean anything.No more does"bad."
2.It is necessary fot the teacher of God to realize,not that he should not judge,but that he cannot.In giving up judgement,he is merely giving up what he did not have.He gives up an illusion;or better,he has an illusion of giving up.He has actually merely become more honest.Reconizing that judgement was always impossible for him,he no longer attempts it.This is no sacrifice.On the contrary,he puts himself in a position where judgement through him rather than by him can occur.And this judgement is neither "good" nor "bad."It is the only judgement there is,and it is only one:"God's Son is guiltless,and sin does not exist."
3.The aim of our curriculum,unlike the goal of the world's learning,is the recognition that judgement in the usual sense is impossible.This is not an opinion but a fact.In order to judge anything rightly,one would have to be fully aware of an inconceivably wide range of things;past,present and to come.One would have to reconize in advance all the effects of his judgements on everyone and averything involved in them in any way.And one would have to be certain there is no distortion in his perception,so that his judgement would be wholly fair to everyone on whom it rests now and in the future.Who is in a position to do this? Who except in grandiose fantasies would claim this for himself?
4.Remember how many times you thought you knew all the"facts"you needed for judgement,and how wrong you were!Is there anyone who has not had this experience? Would you know how many times you merely thought you were right,without ever realizing you were wrong? Why would you choose such an arbitrary basis for decision making? Wisdom is not judgement;it is relinquishment of judgement.Make then but one more judgement.It is this:There is Someone with you Whose judgement is perfect.He does know all the effects of His judgement on everyone and everything involved in any way.And He is wholly fair to everyone.for there is no distortion in His perception.
5.Therefore lay judgement down,not with regret but with a sigh of gratitude.Now are you free of a burden so great that you could merely stagger and fall down beneath it.And it was all illusion.Nothing more.Now can the teacher of God rise up unburdened,and walk lightly on.Yet it is not only this that is his benifit.His sense of care is gone,for he has none.He has given it away,along with judgement.He gave himself to Him Whose judgement he has chosen now to trust,instead of his own.Now he makes no mistakes.His Guide is sure.And where he came to judge,he comes to bless.Where now he laughs,he used to come to weep.
6.It is not dificult to relinquish judgement.But it is difficult indeed to try to keep it.The teacher of God lays it down happily the instant he reconizes its cost.All of the ugliness he sees about him is its outcome.All of the pain he looks upon is its result.All of the loneliness and sense of loss;of passing time and growing hopelessness;of sickening despair and fear of death;all these have come of it.And now he knows that these things need not be.Not one is true.For he has given up their cause,and they,which never were but the effects of his mistaken choice,have fallen from him.Teacher of God,this step will bring you peace.Can it be difficult to want but this?

Thank you for letting me share,and I trust that I am not the only one that this makes sense to.

Peace,Steven

Joe Norquist said...

I think it is appropriate and relevant to our discourse to realize that homophobia is a prejudice, and to recall the classic book on prejudice, “The Nature of Prejudice” by Gordon Allport written in 1947, before the Civil Rights movement, before interracial marriages were allowed and before there was much knowledge about sexual orientation.

Allport concluded that prejudice was not caused by African-Americans, Jews, women, or gays, but rather by the prejudice of people who had certain characteristic traits of personality. These prejudiced persons tended to be:

Rigidly moralistic,
Uncomfortable with ambiguities,
Authoritarian,
Liking what is familiar,
Safe, simple and definite;
Believing there is only one right way to do most things;
Believing the “world is a hazardous place in which people are basically evil;
Believing more in absolutes than relative values.
Tending to be nationalistic and super-patriotic,
Tending to be anti-internationalist, anti-aliens,
Opposed to the United Nations (the evil “world government” Biblically prophesied.

Allport said, “Demagogues play up false issues to divert public attention from the true issues, saying:

“You’ve been cheated because of Jews and communists. We must do something.”
“We cannot trust foreigners. Internationalism is a threat”
“There is a conspiracy against us.”
“There is no middle ground. Those who are not with us are against us.”
(“Homosexuals will bring ruin to our nation.”)

Prejudice fulfills a specific irrational function for its bearer.

“Prejudice exists whenever there is irrational hostility toward a group of people whose evil attributes are exaggerated and over-generalized.”

“While there are often irreconcilable differences between contrary sets of absolutes, in practice there are usually ways of accommodating these differences in a peaceful manner. Militancy however, is likely to sharpen the conflict to the point of an open clash. Most apparent of all is the tendency for religious issues to become a rallying point for all sorts of irrelevancies. And whenever irrelevancies cloud realistic conflict, prejudice is in command.”

“Piety may be a convenient mask for prejudice.”

“Segregation (in military, employment, ordination), has no root purpose except to stamp one group (blacks, women, Jews, GLBT) as inferior to another.”

Allport suggests a test to discern whether a person is simply making an erroneous judgment or prejudice. If a person can rectify this erroneous judgment in the light of new evidence he is not prejudiced. Prejudgments become prejudice only if they are not reversible when exposed to new knowledge. We tend to grow emotional when a prejudice is threatened with contradiction.”

In our discussions, I think we have some prejudice on both sides of the river. On Lars’ side there are those who would make light of the promiscuity which is probably more prevalent in gay men than in straight men; some say that sexual orientation is immutable under knowledge that some people can move in either direction in the scale of sexual orientation, but probably never from complete, obligative homosexual to complete obligate heterosexual; others will ridicule people with opposing opinions. On David’s side of the river there are those who ignore respectable science and espouse pseudo-science which agrees with their opinion; some refuse to accept the fact that sexual orientation is not chosen, in spite of the strong evidence; others refuse to change their opinion when confronted with convincing arguments contrary to their beliefs.

That is why it is good that you all are conversing in your respectful ways and hopefully coming to a better understanding of the real solutions to the issues. It is more important that we, the Church, be honest and willing to change, rather than to insist our GLBT members change. Dr. Joe Norquist

Tim Fisher said...

Dear Joe,

Thanks for your note above. I think it is helpful. We don't want to think of ourselves as prejudiced or bigoted, but you are right to point out that such is the case for some on all sides of this debate.

The church needs to find a way to look at the issue clearly. Right now, there is still a lot of static in the air. The "scientific" portion of Dave's book is adding to that static, I believe. So is Merton Strommen's short commentary in the current issue of the MetroLutheran (a Twin Cities Lutheran newspaper).

We can't helpfully address real problems with promiscuity (for instance) if we use that problem as a club against all gay people and as a shield against change in church teaching and policy.

Usually the best antidote to bad information is good information--but one does begin to wonder if it ALL ends up being heard as static. The only way that we will see through this debate is by the cross--and I don't think the church has yet picked up the cross when it comes to GLBT people.

The new ELCA Task Force Study Guide Part III might be of some help. We shall see . . . .

Grace and peace,

Tim Fisher
Minneapolis, MN

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