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  • nyguy_1225
    Apr 4, 2004
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      abcdnewdude: Although you've chosen to include Jeremy Marks and his
      Courage ministry in your extensive list of "defections and
      scandals," it should be pointed out that as Jeremy became
      increasingly unconvinced by the conventional exegesis of the proof-
      texts usually cited to support the anti-gay evangelical position, he
      did not as did most, throw out the baby with the bath water.
      Rather, after 14 years as the "ex-gay" leader in Britain, Jeremy had
      the real courage to shift the ministry's focus from sexual
      orientation "change" to the integration of unchanged sexual
      orientation with an honest life of Christian discipleship. Jeremy's
      Courage ministry is quite alive and, as irony would have it,
      stronger than ever.

      Marks has stated: "In my own pastoral work with gay people over 14
      years, it has become obvious that the church's hard line anti-gay
      stance (and Courage's too in earlier years) has not only failed to
      preserve the moral purity of gay people (or the church) but, on the
      contrary, has proved to have an extremely destructive effect on the
      lives of many gay people. Worse still, such a line has had an
      extremely corrosive effect on their faith in God. ... Of course the
      pro-gay lobby's view, that espouses a "free-love/anything goes"
      approach, can be equally destructive in its effect. . . . So, at
      the end of the day, whilst wanting to be considerate of the EA's
      biblical convictions and moral conscience, and work towards
      Christian unity on this issue, I felt I just could not compromise
      what I believe that God has clearly revealed – that God loves and
      accepts gay people as much as straight people; that He loves and
      accepts us as we are; that He does want to see a change of heart
      because we are all sinners; but apparently He is not all that
      bothered about the gender of the people we feel attracted to! … In
      recent years, therefore, I have seen that God accepts gay
      partnerships, entered into freely, sincerely and on the basis of
      love and mutual respect."

      Personally I believe Jeremy's pastoral motivation and his integrity
      should be commended and applauded. In addition, he is a brilliant
      and gifted writer with a keen grasp of the issues involved. For
      those who are serious in mind and of heart about their Christian
      faith, his web site is also chock full of rich material.
      [http://www.courage.org.uk/%5d

      -Alex



      --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, abcdnewguydude
      <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > Am new here, but wanted to say sup. It's good to know that there
      are
      > other Christian gays here. Anyway, one thing that has gotten me
      > through life as a gay person living in a loving gay, Christian
      > relationship has been my faith...so here's a good site to check
      out
      > guys for those who don't know the vibrant gay, Christian
      > community...it's not 100% complete by any means but it's good...
      >
      > http://www.christianlesbians.com/congregations/
      >
      > Also, here are some interesting articles...God Bless.
      >
      > __________________________________________________
      > From the very beginning, the "ex-gay" ministries have been
      enmeshed
      > in a
      > series of high profile failures. In addition to the crestfallen
      > Paulk, the
      > following are the most well publicized defections and scandals in
      the
      > colorful annals of "ex-gay" history:
      >
      > * In 1973, John Evans, co-founded the world's first modern "ex-gay"
      > ministry, Love In Action, on the outskirts of San Francisco.
      However,
      > after
      > Evans' best friend Jack McIntyre committed suicide in despair over
      > not being
      > able to change, Evans realized that the program was not working and
      > denounced Love in Action. To this day, the co-founder of the
      world's
      > original "ex-gay" ministry condemns the program as a dangerous -
      and
      > sometimes fatal - fraud.
      >
      > * In the early 1970's Gary Cooper and Michael Bussee were
      counselors
      > at an
      > "ex-gay" ministry in Anaheim, Calif. In 1976, they organized the
      first
      > national conference of "ex-gay" ministries. At this conference,
      Exodus
      > International was formed and it is now the world's largest "ex-gay"
      > organization. While traveling on behalf of Exodus, the two men
      > acknowledged
      > that they had not changed and were in love with each other. They
      soon
      > divorced their wives, moved in together and eventually held a
      > commitment
      > ceremony.
      >
      > * In 1979, Seventh Day Adventist minister Colin Cook founded
      > Homosexuals
      > Anonymous (HA). Appearing twice on the Phil Donahue show, he
      > solidified his
      > reputation in the early 80's as the nation's premier "ex-gay"
      > spokesperson.
      > But Cook's efforts collapsed in 1986 after he was exposed for
      giving
      > clients
      > nude massages. Cook moved to Colorado and made a comeback in 1992
      by
      > helping
      > Colorado for Family Values and Focus on the Family promote their
      anti-
      > gay
      > agenda. But in 1995, Cook's efforts unraveled, once again, after
      > several of
      > Cook's clients accused him of phone sex and inappropriate hugs.
      >
      > * In 2000, Wade Richard's appeared as a media spokesperson for a
      group
      > called the Saviors Alliance for Lifting the Truth and gave his
      > testimony of
      > "change" at a major press conference sponsored by right-wing
      leader
      > Peter
      > LaBarbera, who now works for an affiliate of Concerned Women for
      > America.
      > But a year later, Richards rebuked the "ex-gay" ministries when he
      > came out
      > in an interview with the Advocate magazine.
      >
      > * In 1987, Jeremy Marks founded Courage, London's first "ex-gay"
      > ministry.
      > In 2001, after nearly 15 years of watching people - including
      > himself -
      > struggle in vain to change, he renounced Exodus's methods by
      saying
      > that
      > they were failing in their efforts to change peoples' sexual
      > orientation.
      >
      > "Those who do not study history are destined to repeat it," said
      > Herrschaft.
      > "And the history of the 'ex-gay' myth is clearly one of extreme
      > sadness and
      > failure. We implore Focus on the Family to stop this campaign of
      ill
      > will
      > and tell the truth: Many people escape the 'ex-gay' hoax and go on
      to
      > live
      > satisfying, spiritually-fulfilling lives as openly gay men and
      women."
      > _____________________________________________________________
      >
      >
      > Search for biological roots of homosexuality leads to
      genes<o:p></o:p>
      >
      > Judy Foreman<o:p></o:p>
      >
      > <o:p></o:p>
      >
      > Published December 7, 2003<o:p></o:p>
      > FORE07<o:p></o:p>
      >
      >
      > Is there a biological basis for homosexuality?
      >
      > With gay marriage likely to be a hot-button issue in the
      presidential
      > campaign, the question of whether sexual orientation is an innate
      or
      > acquired trait is increasingly urgent.
      >
      > Since at least 1991, some scientific research has suggested a
      > biological basis to homosexuality -- meaning sexual orientation is
      > probably at least partly not a choice. But that point is open to
      > political and scientific debate, and our understanding of how
      biology
      > drives sexual orientation is still fuzzy. An estimated 2 to 4
      percent
      > of the general population is homosexual, although activists say
      the
      > figure is higher.
      >
      > Some data on identical twins suggest that homosexuality --
      > particularly in men -- is inherited. Other scientists have tried
      to
      > pin down differences in brain structure.
      >
      > Understanding homosexuality, or even heterosexuality, involves,
      among
      > other things, figuring out how the brain, the seat of all complex
      > behavior, becomes male or female in the first place.
      >
      > Until recently, researchers thought that a surge in the male
      hormone
      > testosterone in the fetus set the brain on a male track. Without
      > testosterone, the brain continues on a female track.
      >
      > But in a study published in October, California researchers
      > identified 54 genes that play a role in the expression of sex --
      > before hormones are ever released.
      >
      > "This refutes the idea that hormones are the only story in sexual
      > differentiation of the brain. That has been the dogma in the field
      > for 30 years," said lead researcher Dr. Eric Vilain, assistant
      > professor of human genetics and urology at the David Geffen School
      of
      > Medicine at UCLA.
      >
      > The study's implications are many. An estimated one in 4,000
      babies
      > is born with "ambiguous genitalia," making it difficult to tell
      > whether the baby is a boy or a girl. By analyzing chromosomes and
      > looking for internal sexual organs such as ovaries or prostate
      gland,
      > doctors make their best guess as to the true sex of the child and
      > sometimes perform surgery to make the anatomy conform to that. DNA
      > analysis of the variations in these 54 genes and other genes that
      > interact with them may help doctors in figuring out the child's
      > gender, Vilain says.
      >
      > Genes and gender identity
      >
      > The 54 genes may also help explain transgenderism. That condition,
      > which affects about one in 50,000 people, is characterized by the
      > feeling that one was born the "wrong" sex. Some transgendered
      > individuals simply live as the gender they feel they are,
      regardless
      > of anatomy; others have sex-change surgery.
      >
      > The UCLA study does not address homosexuality directly. But other
      > data suggest that 75 percent of boys who were confused about their
      > gender identity as children grow up to be gay, Vilain says. The
      > study, he said, may help "pave the way to find out about gender
      > identity" in such children.
      >
      > Other studies on the genetic roots of homosexuality are mixed.
      >
      > Dr. Richard Pillard, a professor of psychiatry at Boston
      University
      > School of Medicine, has studied male and female homosexuals. In
      men,
      > he said, sexual orientation is often inherited. In
      women, "sexuality
      > is not as rigidly set."
      >
      > In identical male twins, his research shows, if one is gay,
      there's a
      > 50 percent chance that the other one is, too. If homosexuality
      were
      > totally genetically determined, that figure should be 100 percent.
      On
      > the other hand, in male fraternal twins, there's only a 20 percent
      > chance that if one is homosexual, the other will be.
      >
      > In 1991, an autopsy study by Simon LeVay at the Salk Institute for
      > Biological Studies in San Diego found that part of the brain
      called
      > the anterior hypothalamus was twice as large in heterosexual men
      as
      > in homosexual men, suggesting a biological basis for
      homosexuality.
      > Because the gay men in the study all were infected with HIV, it is
      > possible that the disease, rather than their homosexuality,
      > transformed their brains.
      >
      > Proof proves evasive
      >
      > Other studies that have tried to draw a biological link to
      > homosexuality have faced problems, as well.
      >
      > In 1993, Dean Hamer, a molecular biologist at the National Cancer
      > Institute, studied 40 pairs of gay brothers and published his
      results
      > in Science. With a technique called linkage mapping, Hamer
      identified
      > a region called Xq28 on the X chromosome (inherited from the
      mother)
      > that was statistically correlated to homosexuality. In 1995, a
      second
      > study by Hamer and others confirmed that finding.
      >
      > In 1999, researchers at the University of Western Ontario studied
      the
      > same brain region in 52 gay male sibling pairs and reported
      > contradictory findings.
      >
      > Clearly, more research is needed to prove homosexuality is
      inherited.
      >
      > However, Dr. Fred Berlin, a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins
      University
      > School of Medicine, said the basic conclusion is already clear:
      > Homosexuality "is not due to voluntary choice. None of us as kids
      sat
      > down and said, 'Do I want to be attracted to members of the same
      > gender?' "
      >
      > Judy Foreman is a lecturer on medicine at Harvard Medical
      School.She
      > can be reached at judyforeman@m...
      >
      >
      ___________________________________________________________________
      >
      > A call for intense dialogue: Catholics need to do their own
      research
      > and search their consciences before reaching conclusions, pastor
      says
      >
      > THE REVEREND SCOTT GALE
      >
      > -------------------------------------------------------------------
      ---
      > ----------
      > Reverend Scott Gale is pastor of St. Andrew's Roman Catholic
      Church
      > in Thunder Bay (in Canada). This is his homily of last Sunday
      which
      > first ran in The Chronicle-Journal. Reprinted with permission.
      >
      >
      > In the present ongoing discussion about same-sex marriages, the
      one
      > thing that seems to be missing within the Roman Catholic Church
      and
      > within our country, is a dialogue among people who respect one
      > another.
      >
      > And for me, as your pastor, it is much easier to remain silent,
      than
      > to take up the challenge to use my own mind, and to listen to my
      own
      > conscience, about how to deal with this very contentious issue,
      and
      > to share some thoughts with you today.
      >
      > I do not mean to be disrespectful towards the Pope, or towards our
      > Canadian Bishops, but I am concerned that we are being treated
      > like "parrots" rather than being recognized for the important role
      > that we have as members of the Body of Christ of being pastors,
      > parishioners, and yes, some are even parliamentarians. What we
      need
      > is dialogue, not dictates.
      >
      > As your pastor, I try, through my homilies, to challenge myself,
      and
      > you, to lead Christian lives and to follow Gospel values. Can
      > homilies not also be challenging to those in leadership positions
      as
      > well?
      >
      > In my homily today, I am not trying to tell anyone how they should
      > vote or act. I am merely presenting other perspectives to consider
      as
      > you form your own conscience on this important issue.
      >
      > Certainly the recent Vatican statement must be considered, but it
      > must also be studied to see if it reflects the lived experiences
      of
      > the People of God, and whether it has been truly received by them.
      >
      > We are in the midst of great social change regarding our
      > understanding of homosexuality, spurred on by scientific studies
      > about human sexuality. What is needed now is an intense dialogue
      > among people of goodwill that will incorporate this new
      understanding
      > of sexuality into our theology.
      >
      > In past centuries, theologians and the Church used to consider
      women
      > as being less human than men because of ignorance about
      reproduction.
      > No one would dare suggest such a concept now.
      >
      > For centuries the Church tolerated slavery, and, once again, no
      one
      > would dare suggest such a concept now.
      >
      > The Vatican's harsh language in the document Considerations
      Regarding
      > Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual
      > Persons is very hurtful to our gay and lesbian relatives and
      friends,
      > and their families. I can only hope that a serious dialogue will
      take
      > place between gay and lesbian Catholics and Church leaders, in
      order
      > that the lived, loving experiences of gays and lesbians can be
      truly
      > listened to, and taken into account in a re-examination of the
      > Church's attitudes regarding homosexuality and those persons with
      a
      > homosexual orientation.
      >
      > But there are two issues here.
      >
      > There is the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church's leadership on
      > homosexuality, and there is the question of civil recognition of
      same-
      > sex marriages. With regard to the legal recognition of homosexual
      > unions, the recent Vatican document states that "... the Catholic
      > lawmaker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and
      > publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favour of a law so
      > harmful to the common good is gravely immoral."
      >
      > And yet, how do we reconcile this statement with what the Second
      > Vatican Council teaches about the dignity of one's own moral
      > conscience?
      >
      > For in the Pastoral constitution On The Church In The Modern World
      it
      > states: "Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he
      has
      > not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever
      calling
      > him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, tells him
      > inwardly at the right moment: do this, shun that.
      >
      > "For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God. His dignity lies
      in
      > observing this law and by it he will be judged. His conscience is
      > man's most secret core, and his sanctuary .... Through loyalty to
      > conscience, Christians are joined to other men in the search for
      > truth and for the right solution to so many moral problems which
      > arise both in the life of individuals and from social
      relationships."
      >
      > In Vatican II's Document of Religious Liberty, it further
      > states: "The search for truth ... must be carried out in a manner
      > that is appropriate to the dignity of the human person and his
      social
      > nature, namely, by free enquiry with the help of teaching or
      > instruction, communication and dialogue.
      >
      > "It is by these means that men share with each other the truth
      they
      > have discovered, or think they have discovered, in such a way that
      > they help one another in the search for truth ... It is through
      his
      > conscience that man sees and recognizes the demands of the divine
      > law. He is bound to follow this conscience faithfully in all his
      > activity so that he may come to God, who is his last end.
      Therefore
      > he must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience."
      >
      > I believe that Prime Minister Jean Chrtien and Paul Martin are
      right
      > in stating that, although they are Roman Catholics, in acting as
      > Members of Parliament, they must take into account a much wider
      range
      > of factors than the Vatican's directive on same-sex marriage.
      >
      > How politicians should deal with conflict between their own
      personal,
      > moral or religious beliefs and their obligations as
      parliamentarians
      > is very complex.
      >
      > All politicians, not just religious ones, are open to such
      conflicts,
      > because all have we hope moral beliefs. As is required, they must
      act
      > in good conscience and with integrity. Sometimes that can require
      > having the courage to accept either political damage or the wrath
      of
      > their religious community.
      >
      > If Parliament and the Supreme Court agree to law reforms that will
      > give the country same-sex marriage, it will be only one more
      example
      > of the state respecting the individual's freedom to choose without
      > impinging on the freedom of churches or other faith communities to
      do
      > their best to persuade people to behave otherwise.
      >
      > This should not offend churches and other faith communities. For
      any
      > church or citizen group is free to teach Canadians that homosexual
      > behaviour is still wrong, and same-sex marriage is a sin, if that
      is
      > what they really believe.
      >
      > They just won't have the arm of the law reinforcing their beliefs.
      > Such legislation will hardly amount to a social revolution. It
      will
      > be more of an evolution.
      >
      > If we accept sexual diversity as believing Christians, it does not
      > necessarily mean that we approve it, like it, or understand it. It
      > does mean that we can live with it because it is in everyone's
      > interests, even when that can mean rethinking what many Christians
      > see as the sacrament of marriage.
      >
      > Marriage has traditionally been the precious way that a man and a
      > woman have shared themselves with one another, in joys and in
      > sorrows, in bearing one another up, from youth to old age. Gays
      and
      > lesbians are telling us that is precisely what they want to do
      too.
      >
      > Their way of doing it may not be your particular choice, but
      courts
      > in Ontario and Quebec have ruled that denying same-sex couples the
      > right to marry contravenes the spirit if not the explicit letter,
      of
      > the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
      >
      > And let us not be distracted by the argument about the primacy of
      > Parliament over the courts, or about free votes in the House of
      > Commons, or about the 1999 Commons resolution on the definition of
      > marriage.
      >
      > The Charter is the law of our land, and both the courts and
      > Parliament must follow it. For extending marriage rights to gay
      and
      > lesbian couples is fundamentally a matter of law, not religion.
      > Church groups will still be free to bless only those marriages
      that
      > their religious denomination recognizes.
      >
      > The Vatican directive also takes aim at gay parents being able to
      > adopt children. It says: "As experience has shown, the absence of
      > sexual complementarity in these (homosexual) unions creates
      obstacles
      > in the normal development of children who would be placed in the
      care
      > of such persons. They would be deprived of the experience of
      either
      > fatherhood or motherhood.
      >
      > "Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such union
      > would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense
      > that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in
      an
      > environment that is not conducive to their full human development."
      >
      > This position has been condemned by the Canadian Psychological
      > Association as repeating misconceptions about same-sex parents
      that
      > are scientifically unfounded, since psychosocial research into
      > lesbian and gay parenting indicates that there is no basis in the
      > scientific literature for this perception.
      >
      > One might ask whether the Vatican opposes adoption by single
      parents,
      > since those children would have only a mother or father.
      >
      > In many cases, gay and lesbian couples have adopted children who
      are
      > often considered not adoptable because of age, race or special
      needs.
      > Are these children better off in revolving foster homes and
      > orphanages? For who is truly acting in the best interests of the
      > children? The gay and lesbian couples who open their homes to
      those
      > vulnerable children or the Church hierarchy that has a terrible
      track
      > record of protecting children?
      >
      > Before you sign any petitions or write any letters, I urge you to
      > consider all the information at your disposal.
      >
      > Talk to your friends, talk to someone who is gay or lesbian, read
      the
      > Vatican document (off the Vatican Web site), read Bishop Colli's
      > letter at the doors of the church this weekend, read the
      newspapers,
      > and do your own research. Draw your own prayerful conclusions and
      > then act as your conscience dictates.
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