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Re: [ExExGayMinistry] Digest Number 543

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  • Legal Alien
    This topic has raised an intriguing question for me of how we conduct ourselves and how we run the risk of abandoning our intellect. Clearly, not everything
    Message 1 of 9 , Feb 17, 2006
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      This topic has raised an intriguing question for me of how we conduct ourselves and how we run the risk of abandoning our intellect. Clearly, not everything that people may do to other people is helpful, even if it is in the guise of spiritual ministry. After all, casting out the demon of homosexuality is done as a spiritual ministry by many.

      Larry's initial message was little disturbing for several reasons, but his subsequent clarifications made it appear somewhat less dubious in nature, particularly with regard to the confusion over where he draw the line with respect to age (Larry himself admitted that his post could be interpreted in a negative way, even though it wasnt meant as such). I do not think this whole approach can be considered simplistically. It is true that the Bible has been used to attack some practices and persecute some people, including women, africans and homosexuals. It is also true that the Bible has been used to support some dubious practices, such as handling poisonous snakes as a worship act.

      We are created as rational and thoughtful beings and are called to use our intellect. Blind acceptance of every action just because it is a committed by a fellow victim of some persecution or prejudice is equally as dangerous as blind criticism and persecution. Taking the theory that we should accept all ex-ex-gays with fetishes simply because their are ex-ex-gay is specious. To illustrate to the point of ridiculousness, suppose one fetish was castrating other men? I know this is a ridiculous example, but I want to demonstrate that we need to consider evertyhing with care and judgement, not blindly accept, or blindly denounce.

      I am not entirely sure that Larry is prepared to consider whether his ministry is truly of God or not and appears from the context of his message to believe himself to be misunderstood and any criticism is just people twisting the Bible to support their message. I cant really say on this, as there isnt enough information. However, people with this attitude I would treat with great care, purely because it seems to me to be an unhealthy approach.

      As for the spanking, I still do not believe it to be a healthy practice. It is effectively therapy without supervision, which is mistrusted through the mental health profession. Because of the very personal nature of the practice, it is also susceptible I think to actually causing mental and spiritual problems, not curing them. Larry may elaborate more in response to this.

      Please let us keep the issues separate. If you have a fetish for spanking or being spanked and you engage in a consenting manner purely for pleasure, feel free and dont think I'm judging you - on the contrary, enjoy it. If you have a fetish for spanking (and I'm not clear that Larry does, though his message implies he might) and spank people with the outward message being that you are "helping" them, this gives me cause for concern, not least because you have mixed motives and probably not maintaining the necessary "professional" distance.

      Now before I get flamed to eternity, please stop and read carefully what I've said. I'm not judging Larry for having a fetish, or for spanking men. I am raising concerns about this spanking being labelled a ministry that is helping people, when such behaviour is usually associated in much more negative contexts.

      Alan


      ========================================
      Message Received: Feb 17 2006, 04:28 PM
      From: quisquose@...
      To: exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com
      Cc:
      Subject: Re: [ExExGayMinistry] Digest Number 543

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      <tt>
      Clearly, Larry, you are way ahead of the curve<BR>
      as far as this is concerned! More power to you.<BR>
      <BR>
      -----Original Message-----<BR>
      From: exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com<BR>
      To: exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com<BR>
      Sent: 16 Feb 2006 22:06:10 -0000<BR>
      Subject: [ExExGayMinistry] Digest Number 543<BR>
      <BR>
      ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor <BR>
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      There are 3 messages in this issue.<BR>
      <BR>
      Topics in this digest:<BR>
      <BR>
      1. Re: Let me introduce myself<BR>
      From: jeffrey moore <phisheefu@...><BR>
      2. Re: Perhaps ministry is the wrong word<BR>
      From: "Norm" <nojam75@...><BR>
      3. Re: Let me introduce myself<BR>
      From: Nathan Figueroa <nathanfig@...><BR>
      <BR>
      <BR>
      ________________________________________________________________________<BR>
      ________________________________________________________________________<BR>
      <BR>
      Message: 1<BR>
      Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2006 20:00:13 -0800 (PST)<BR>
      From: jeffrey moore <phisheefu@...><BR>
      Subject: Re: Let me introduce myself<BR>
      <BR>
      I cannot speak for anyone else, but as for my own<BR>
      part, I accept you as God made you. Admittedly, when I<BR>
      first started reading this email I found my self<BR>
      giggling some what. I think that was just my defense<BR>
      mechanism responding to something I'd never heard or<BR>
      really considered before. By time I got done reading,<BR>
      I really got a sense of where you were coming from. To<BR>
      keep this short, just let me say that...Larry, you<BR>
      posses a very unique point of view, but at the end of<BR>
      it all your still a gay man, who loves God and you<BR>
      will get no negative judgement from me.<BR>
      <BR>
      phish<BR>
      <BR>
      --- Larry <dadheniso@...> wrote:<BR>
      <BR>
      > After reading all the attacks on my Christian walk<BR>
      > and my outreach to others (which I call<BR>
      > ministery), I had to check whether I had joined the<BR>
      > group that I thought that I joined. I had<BR>
      > joined a group which stated:<BR>
      > "This is a group for those who question the<BR>
      > effectiveness and safety of "ex-gay" ministries<BR>
      > and therapies. We concur with the growing number of<BR>
      > Bible scholars and theologians who<BR>
      > believe Christian hostility towards homosexuality<BR>
      > and homosexual relationships rests<BR>
      > entirely on an interpretation of the Bible that in<BR>
      > many respects is open to question. We also<BR>
      > believe there is no credible evidence -- biblical,<BR>
      > scientific or otherwise -- to suggest that<BR>
      > sexual orientation is chosen or mutable.<BR>
      ><BR>
      > Throughout church history most Bible-believing<BR>
      > Christians who have used the Bible to<BR>
      > condemn other Christians were acting in good faith.<BR>
      > They thought they must defend<BR>
      > against an attack of what they believed to be the<BR>
      > clear teachings of Scripture. History has<BR>
      > revealed, however, that what many were defending was<BR>
      > their presumption of what the<BR>
      > Bible teaches, not the truth of Scripture. As<BR>
      > best-selling author and former professor of<BR>
      > biblical exegesis F.F. Bruce put it: "It is not<BR>
      > enough to say: `The Bible says'... without at the<BR>
      > same time considering, to whom the Bible says it,<BR>
      > and in what circumstances."<BR>
      ><BR>
      > Contributions are welcome from all -- especially<BR>
      > those seeking to reconcile a Christ-<BR>
      > centered faith with their sexuality. Discussion is<BR>
      > encouraged, but please respect others'<BR>
      > views...."<BR>
      ><BR>
      > Then I read messages comparing me to a child abuser<BR>
      > and to having fetishes. I was told<BR>
      > that I was using the Bible to prove my way of life,<BR>
      > instead of agreeing that the Bible is open<BR>
      > to interpretation even to fetishes prevalent within<BR>
      > the Gay Community.<BR>
      ><BR>
      > Folks, I was asked to explain. I do not say that<BR>
      > what I do is right for all people. I did not<BR>
      > use as an example, Christ in the temple whipping the<BR>
      > money changers as proof that what I<BR>
      > do is what Christ would do. What I said is that<BR>
      > there are some men who for one reason or<BR>
      > another feel that they need to be punished and I<BR>
      > believe God sends them to me.<BR>
      ><BR>
      > Perhaps my error was in not going deeper into what I<BR>
      > feel my ministry is. I pray over the<BR>
      > men I spank, as I spank them, sometimes silently,<BR>
      > sometimes out loud. You see, my God<BR>
      > knows what I do. We talk about it.<BR>
      ><BR>
      > A man comes to me to be spanked. I do not just<BR>
      > spank him, I talk with him. I try to find<BR>
      > out the reason(s) he feels that he needs to be<BR>
      > spanked. I do spank him but I also mentor<BR>
      > him as a Daddy. I talk to him and I love him.<BR>
      ><BR>
      > One of my success stories involved a man who had<BR>
      > been going to prostitutes to be<BR>
      > spanked. He was referred to me. I talked to him,<BR>
      > spanked him, prayed over him as I<BR>
      > spanked him. And he told me he would be back. A<BR>
      > month later I got an e-mail that he<BR>
      > would not be coming back as God had healed him of<BR>
      > the need. He stated that he had<BR>
      > made up with his wife, that their marriage was<BR>
      > better than it had been and he no longer<BR>
      > felt the need to be punished. I told him how happy<BR>
      > I was but that I would be here if he<BR>
      > ever did feel the need to be spanked again. That<BR>
      > was two years ago.<BR>
      ><BR>
      > I use the term ministry to refer to the way I<BR>
      > interact with people. I am sorry that so many<BR>
      > in this group misunderstood my explanation. I did<BR>
      > not mean to offend you. I am not a<BR>
      > pedophile and have no interest in sex with children<BR>
      > of any age. I see the Daddy/son<BR>
      > relationship more like a Big Brother/Little Brother<BR>
      > program, not as being sexual but as a<BR>
      > way of mentoring the younger by the older.<BR>
      > Unfortunately there will always be people who<BR>
      > jump to the conclusion that sex has to be involved<BR>
      > in everything that two people do when<BR>
      > they get together.<BR>
      ><BR>
      > One thing that did come out of your criticism of my<BR>
      > writings is, I had to stop and think<BR>
      > about what my cut off was with regard to age. I am<BR>
      > not sure which author brought it up<BR>
      > but he was correct, by saying that I set my lowest<BR>
      > limit for sex, "due to law", it made me<BR>
      > sound like I would go younger if the law did not<BR>
      > exist. In my past I have mentored young<BR>
      > people both male and female younger than 18 but I<BR>
      > have never had sex with them. As I<BR>
      > grew older, I found that younger children got on my<BR>
      > nerves and I started avoiding them. I<BR>
      > recognise that there are many under 18 who need an<BR>
      > adult to mentor them, just not me.<BR>
      ><BR>
      > This group, I joined, because I thought it would<BR>
      > understand how I felt, to be a Gay man<BR>
      > who was told that I had to be Ex-gay in order to be<BR>
      > accepted by the religious "Right"<BR>
      > establishment, then had found another group who told<BR>
      > me that I could be Christian and<BR>
      > still be (live as, with all my fetishes) Gay,<BR>
      > Ex-ExGay.<BR>
      ><BR>
      > I guess my question is. What Kind of Gay person do<BR>
      > I have to be to be Accepted by the<BR>
      > members of this Group? Are Gay people with Fetishes<BR>
      > not acceptable to you?<BR>
      > Larry Rogers<BR>
      ><BR>
      ><BR>
      ><BR>
      ><BR>
      ><BR>
      ><BR>
      ><BR>
      <BR>
      <BR>
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      Message: 2<BR>
      Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2006 17:34:54 -0000<BR>
      From: "Norm" <nojam75@...><BR>
      Subject: Re: Perhaps ministry is the wrong word<BR>
      <BR>
      Larry,<BR>
      <BR>
      We are all "odd ball"s. Despite my name, I would hate to be<BR>
      considered "normal". So, please don't misunderstand that we are<BR>
      attacking your uniqueness.<BR>
      <BR>
      I will admit that I do take issue with your description of your<BR>
      fetish as a "ministry". That term is particularly sensitive in this<BR>
      group since most ex-gay groups also proclaim themselves<BR>
      as "ministries" (not to mention this group too). The "ministry"<BR>
      term implies that ministry leaders endeavor to demonstrate God's<BR>
      love and sincerity and not cause further harm.<BR>
      <BR>
      Although you seem to say that your "spanking" practice is not<BR>
      necessarily sexual, you also acknowledge that it is a fetish (or you<BR>
      identify yourself as part of the fetish community). An action does<BR>
      not have to be sexual in order to be harmful, unhealthy, or<BR>
      inappropriate. The authority figure role you place yourself in and<BR>
      your disturbing view of minors, also raise questions to me about<BR>
      your sincerity.<BR>
      <BR>
      This may sound passive-agressive, but I don't mean to attack you.<BR>
      This is a discussion group and we all have different viewpoints and<BR>
      will probably disagree with each other on issues. I don't know much<BR>
      about the fetish community and you're the first person I've heard<BR>
      who connects fetish and faith. So, thank you for sharing and I hope<BR>
      you're not offended by all the questions.<BR>
      <BR>
      Norm!<BR>
      <BR>
      <BR>
      <BR>
      --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, "Larry" <dadheniso@...><BR>
      > ...<BR>
      > Yes, I am an odd ball. But I know there are men out there who are<BR>
      > hurting and need to be accepted as they are. Men who come to me<BR>
      > because I will give them the spanking that they need, for what<BR>
      > ever reason they need it. Someone they can trust. I speak of my<BR>
      > ministry. Perhaps it is the wrong word. I think of myself as a<BR>
      > lay minister to be used by God.<BR>
      ><BR>
      > The funny part is that I do not enjoy spanking.<BR>
      <BR>
      <BR>
      <BR>
      <BR>
      <BR>
      ________________________________________________________________________<BR>
      ________________________________________________________________________<BR>
      <BR>
      Message: 3<BR>
      Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2006 08:48:06 -0800 (PST)<BR>
      From: Nathan Figueroa <nathanfig@...><BR>
      Subject: Re: Let me introduce myself<BR>
      <BR>
      I agree.<BR>
      <BR>
      Larry, I'm so sorry that people have been rude to you on this list. I'm <BR>
      sorry<BR>
      that people felt the need to presume both your intentions and <BR>
      convictions.<BR>
      <BR>
      I'm glad you had the courage to share your experiences. It has made me <BR>
      challenge<BR>
      my own assumptions about people who are different from me.<BR>
      <BR>
      And I hope the undeserved and unrequested criticism you have received <BR>
      here does<BR>
      not deter you from sharing your experiences in the future.<BR>
      <BR>
      Peace,<BR>
      <BR>
      - Nathan<BR>
      <BR>
      <BR>
      <BR>
      --- jeffrey moore <phisheefu@...> wrote:<BR>
      <BR>
      > I cannot speak for anyone else, but as for my own<BR>
      > part, I accept you as God made you. Admittedly, when<BR>
      > I<BR>
      > first started reading this email I found my self<BR>
      > giggling some what. I think that was just my defense<BR>
      > mechanism responding to something I'd never heard or<BR>
      > really considered before. By time I got done<BR>
      > reading,<BR>
      > I really got a sense of where you were coming from.<BR>
      > To<BR>
      > keep this short, just let me say that...Larry, you<BR>
      > posses a very unique point of view, but at the end<BR>
      > of<BR>
      > it all your still a gay man, who loves God and you<BR>
      > will get no negative judgement from me.<BR>
      ><BR>
      > phish<BR>
      ><BR>
      <BR>
      <BR>
      <BR>
      <BR>
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    • Norm
      Hi Alan, Thank you for your thoughtful comments regarding the spanking/fetish controversy. You more clearly articulated many of the thoughts that I have been
      Message 2 of 9 , Feb 22, 2006
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        Hi Alan,

        Thank you for your thoughtful comments regarding the spanking/fetish
        controversy. You more clearly articulated many of the thoughts that
        I have been struggling with in responding to Larry's comments. I
        particularly agree with your comment:

        "...Blind acceptance of every action just because it is a committed
        by a fellow victim of some persecution or prejudice is equally as
        dangerous as blind criticism and persecution. Taking the theory
        that we should accept all ex-ex-gays with fetishes simply because
        their are ex-ex-gay is specious..."

        I probably would not have felt the need to respond to Larry's
        original posts if he had not phrased the spanking fetish as
        a "ministry" or a type of therapy. But I don't think we can let a
        controversial ministry/therapy be presented and accepted simply
        because the advocate is a member of the ex-exgay community. It
        would be hypocritical for us to criticize ex-gay ministries while
        not also scrutinizing the ministries and therapies we advocate.

        I'm still not sure how we should respond to Larry's professed
        ministry/therapy. Larry has chosen not to elaborate as to how his
        ministry/therapy does not cause harm. Like ex-gay ministries, he
        provides anecdotal evidence of how he helps men through spanking. I
        have to admit that I'm skeptical that a simple hug, prayer, and "I
        love you" automatically makes the spanking practice harmless.
        Afterall, many ex-gay counselors proclaim their good intentions and
        Godly love of gays and lesbians as justification for their
        ministry/therapy.

        I'm not trying to judge, persecute, or harass Larry and his
        beliefs. Certainly, all of us have responded to our ex-gay
        experiences in a wide range of spiritual paths. So, it should be no
        surprise that many of us will disagree with each others'
        viewpoints.

        What is interesting is that I think this controversy is mainly
        sparked by Larry's mixing the *seemingly* seperate worlds of fetish
        and faith (i.e. Saturday night spanking fetish, Sunday morning
        Christian). If Larry simply mentioned that he had a personal
        spanking fetish, I don't think there would be much controversy. I
        would generally agree, Alan, that what two consenting adults do for
        pleasure is not for us to judge.

        However, I think most Christians feel called upon to spiritually
        justify their actions. Instead of compartmentalizing a fetish
        seperate from faith, Larry seems to be trying to explain his fetish
        in terms of his faith. Larry's charismatic/pentacostal faith seems
        to allow him to "hear" or feel God's approval. Whereas I think many
        of us have tried to discern God's creation through other methods
        (theology, research, analysis, etc). Is that a too simplistic
        summary?

        Norm!


        --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, Legal Alien
        <legalAlienInDC@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > This topic has raised an intriguing question for me of how we
        conduct ourselves and how we run the risk of abandoning our
        intellect. Clearly, not everything that people may do to other
        people is helpful, even if it is in the guise of spiritual
        ministry. After all, casting out the demon of homosexuality is done
        as a spiritual ministry by many.
        >
        > Larry's initial message was little disturbing for several reasons,
        but his subsequent clarifications made it appear somewhat less
        dubious in nature, particularly with regard to the confusion over
        where he draw the line with respect to age (Larry himself admitted
        that his post could be interpreted in a negative way, even though it
        wasnt meant as such). I do not think this whole approach can be
        considered simplistically. It is true that the Bible has been used
        to attack some practices and persecute some people, including women,
        africans and homosexuals. It is also true that the Bible has been
        used to support some dubious practices, such as handling poisonous
        snakes as a worship act.
        >
        > We are created as rational and thoughtful beings and are called to
        use our intellect. Blind acceptance of every action just because it
        is a committed by a fellow victim of some persecution or prejudice
        is equally as dangerous as blind criticism and persecution. Taking
        the theory that we should accept all ex-ex-gays with fetishes simply
        because their are ex-ex-gay is specious. To illustrate to the point
        of ridiculousness, suppose one fetish was castrating other men? I
        know this is a ridiculous example, but I want to demonstrate that we
        need to consider evertyhing with care and judgement, not blindly
        accept, or blindly denounce.
        >
        > I am not entirely sure that Larry is prepared to consider whether
        his ministry is truly of God or not and appears from the context of
        his message to believe himself to be misunderstood and any criticism
        is just people twisting the Bible to support their message. I cant
        really say on this, as there isnt enough information. However,
        people with this attitude I would treat with great care, purely
        because it seems to me to be an unhealthy approach.
        >
        > As for the spanking, I still do not believe it to be a healthy
        practice. It is effectively therapy without supervision, which is
        mistrusted through the mental health profession. Because of the
        very personal nature of the practice, it is also susceptible I think
        to actually causing mental and spiritual problems, not curing
        them. Larry may elaborate more in response to this.
        >
        > Please let us keep the issues separate. If you have a fetish for
        spanking or being spanked and you engage in a consenting manner
        purely for pleasure, feel free and dont think I'm judging you - on
        the contrary, enjoy it. If you have a fetish for spanking (and I'm
        not clear that Larry does, though his message implies he might) and
        spank people with the outward message being that you are "helping"
        them, this gives me cause for concern, not least because you have
        mixed motives and probably not maintaining the
        necessary "professional" distance.
        >
        > Now before I get flamed to eternity, please stop and read
        carefully what I've said. I'm not judging Larry for having a
        fetish, or for spanking men. I am raising concerns about this
        spanking being labelled a ministry that is helping people, when such
        behaviour is usually associated in much more negative contexts.
        >
        > Alan
        >
      • Nathan Figueroa
        I don t agree that faith and sexuality can be compartmentalized. Our mental, physical, spiritual, and sexual beings are all inseparably entwined together. I
        Message 3 of 9 , Feb 23, 2006
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          I don't agree that faith and sexuality can be
          compartmentalized. Our mental, physical, spiritual,
          and sexual beings are all inseparably entwined
          together. I especially don't see sexuality as
          something that is outside of our religious lives, or
          vice versa.

          Larry has not asked anyone to accept his "actions" or
          beliefs, he has asked to be accepted as a person in
          this community. He deserves to be welcomed, not
          criticized or interrogated or compared to a child
          molestor.

          No one should have to justify their spiritual or
          sexual practices (or their intersections), so long as
          they are consensual and don't cause serious harm. I
          especially don't think it is right to judge someone's
          religious beliefs, simply because they are unusual or
          different. So much suffering has been inflicted
          throughout human history by people who believed that
          others' religious practices were strange and contrary
          to their own beliefs.

          - Nathan
        • Bob Griffith
          ... Nathan, I wonder how far you are willing to take this belief. I understand your feelings, but there always comes a time when critique, evaluation, and yes
          Message 4 of 9 , Feb 23, 2006
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            --- Nathan Figueroa <nathanfig@...> wrote:
            > I especially don't think it is right to judge someone's
            > religious beliefs, simply because they are unusual or
            > different. So much suffering has been inflicted
            > throughout human history by people who believed that
            > others' religious practices were strange and contrary
            > to their own beliefs.

            Nathan,

            I wonder how far you are willing to take this belief. I understand your
            feelings, but there always comes a time when critique, evaluation, and yes
            even judgment and condemnation must be made. What do we say about
            religions that practice mind-control(cults)? Religions that sacrifice
            chickens? Religions that sacrifice humans (and some still exist)?
            Religions that practice female-genital mutilation? Religions that kill,
            figuratively or literally, homosexuals? There have been and are
            atrocities perpetuated against innocent people in the name of religion,
            but if we don't make judgments and at times condemnations we are guilty of
            enabling those atrocities to continue.

            Frankly, much of the suffering that has been inflicted in the name of
            religion has been because too few people have risen up, critiqued,
            evaluated, and made judgments that the suffering and pain caused were
            contrary to the teaching of the religion - Christianity in particular.

            Bob
          • Christine
            ... Nathan, I welcome Larry to this community. Larry, I welcome you as a fellow ex-gay survivor. But Nathan, I don t have to agree with some of the things he
            Message 5 of 9 , Feb 23, 2006
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              --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, Nathan Figueroa
              <nathanfig@...> wrote:
              >
              > He deserves to be welcomed, not
              > criticized or interrogated or compared to a child
              > molestor.

              Nathan, I welcome Larry to this community.

              Larry, I welcome you as a fellow ex-gay survivor.

              But Nathan, I don't have to agree with some of the things he said in
              that original post. And I think it is OK for us to explore these
              issues and talk about what we agree/disagree on. That was what I was
              reacting to. And again....for the record...I *never* said that the
              actions themselves (the actual act of two adults engaging in a fetish
              behavior) were comparable to child molesting. Please, if you guys get
              nothing else, would you please drop that? Re-read my original post.
              Re-read the one where I further clarified. And stop repeating this
              twisting of my words.

              >
              > No one should have to justify their spiritual or
              > sexual practices (or their intersections), so long as
              > they are consensual and don't cause serious harm.

              I think this is what some of us were questioning - the idea of it
              causing harm to someone who was viewing it as a form of "therapy" -
              not as a consensual sex act for pleasure. So it looks like we are in
              agreement on this.

              Again, Larry, I welcome you to this community as someone who has also
              survived "the cure." I may not agree with all that you've said or the
              conclusions you've come to, but I separate that out from your worth as
              a person.

              Nathan, I agree with parts of what you've said and maybe in talking
              ABOUT Larry, instead of TO Larry, we really have been behaving more
              like what we've run from than we realize.

              Christine
            • Nathan Figueroa
              I think you have misunderstood my beliefs. I feel religious beliefs should not be judged SIMPLY BECAUSE they are different. The examples you gave are wrong
              Message 6 of 9 , Feb 23, 2006
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                I think you have misunderstood my beliefs. I feel
                religious beliefs should not be judged SIMPLY BECAUSE
                they are different. The examples you gave are wrong
                because they are nonconsensual and inflict serious
                harm.

                In other words, they are wrong regardless of whether
                they are done in the name of religion or not.
                Impugning someone's beliefs just because they are
                incongruent or unorthodox in comparison to your own is
                wrong.

                - Nathan




                --- Bob Griffith <blgriffith@...> wrote:

                > --- Nathan Figueroa <nathanfig@...> wrote:
                > > I especially don't think it is right to judge
                > someone's
                > > religious beliefs, simply because they are unusual
                > or
                > > different. So much suffering has been inflicted
                > > throughout human history by people who believed
                > that
                > > others' religious practices were strange and
                > contrary
                > > to their own beliefs.
                >
              • Legal Alien
                Bob, I agree with you, but I would like to add the further points: 1) we are accepting Larry as a person 2) I am not judging Larry s sexual enjoyment in
                Message 7 of 9 , Feb 23, 2006
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                  Bob,

                  I agree with you, but I would like to add the further points:

                  1) we are accepting Larry as a person
                  2) I am not judging Larry's sexual enjoyment in spanking - I'm very happy for him to do that if he wishes
                  3) I am not questioning his behaviour simply because it is unusual...What I am questioning is the link of spanking to a "ministry" that has potential to cause harm, regardless of the intent. As has been said already, ex-gay groups are usually well-intentioned but cause harm.

                  I wont repeat myself further :)

                  Alan


                  ========================================
                  Message Received: Feb 23 2006, 06:57 PM
                  From: "Bob Griffith" <blgriffith@...>
                  To: exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com
                  Cc:
                  Subject: Re: [ExExGayMinistry] Re: Digest Number 543

                  <html><body>


                  <tt>
                  --- Nathan Figueroa <nathanfig@...> wrote:<BR>
                  > I especially don't think it is right to judge someone's<BR>
                  > religious beliefs, simply because they are unusual or<BR>
                  > different. So much suffering has been inflicted<BR>
                  > throughout human history by people who believed that<BR>
                  > others' religious practices were strange and contrary<BR>
                  > to their own beliefs.<BR>
                  <BR>
                  Nathan,<BR>
                  <BR>
                  I wonder how far you are willing to take this belief. I understand your<BR>
                  feelings, but there always comes a time when critique, evaluation, and yes<BR>
                  even judgment and condemnation must be made. What do we say about<BR>
                  religions that practice mind-control(cults)? Religions that sacrifice<BR>
                  chickens? Religions that sacrifice humans (and some still exist)? <BR>
                  Religions that practice female-genital mutilation? Religions that kill,<BR>
                  figuratively or literally, homosexuals? There have been and are<BR>
                  atrocities perpetuated against innocent people in the name of religion,<BR>
                  but if we don't make judgments and at times condemnations we are guilty of<BR>
                  enabling those atrocities to continue.<BR>
                  <BR>
                  Frankly, much of the suffering that has been inflicted in the name of<BR>
                  religion has been because too few people have risen up, critiqued,<BR>
                  evaluated, and made judgments that the suffering and pain caused were<BR>
                  contrary to the teaching of the religion - Christianity in particular.<BR>
                  <BR>
                  Bob<BR>
                  </tt>



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                • Norm
                  Hi Nathan, I did not intend to claim that faith and sexuality *should* be compartmentalized. If anything, compartmentalizing any aspect of our lives (work,
                  Message 8 of 9 , Feb 23, 2006
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                    Hi Nathan,

                    I did not intend to claim that faith and sexuality *should* be
                    compartmentalized. If anything, compartmentalizing any aspect of
                    our lives (work, entertainment, hobbies, shopping, politics, etc.)
                    from our faith often leads to hypocracy.

                    I do welcome Larry as a member of this discussion group. He shared
                    part of his testimony to the group and advocated his
                    ministry/therapy. My main concern was the ministry/therapy he
                    advocated. Questioning or disagreeing with someone -- especially in
                    a discussion group -- does not mean they are unaccepted.

                    Although I generally agree with your statement, "No one should have
                    to justify their spiritual or sexual practices (or their
                    intersections), so long as they are consensual and don't cause
                    serious harm.", I think many of us do have concerns about Larry's
                    ministry/therapy causing "serious harm".

                    Norm!

                    --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, Nathan Figueroa
                    <nathanfig@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > I don't agree that faith and sexuality can be
                    > compartmentalized. Our mental, physical, spiritual,
                    > and sexual beings are all inseparably entwined
                    > together. I especially don't see sexuality as
                    > something that is outside of our religious lives, or
                    > vice versa.
                    >
                    > Larry has not asked anyone to accept his "actions" or
                    > beliefs, he has asked to be accepted as a person in
                    > this community. He deserves to be welcomed, not
                    > criticized or interrogated or compared to a child
                    > molestor.
                    >
                    > No one should have to justify their spiritual or
                    > sexual practices (or their intersections), so long as
                    > they are consensual and don't cause serious harm. I
                    > especially don't think it is right to judge someone's
                    > religious beliefs, simply because they are unusual or
                    > different. So much suffering has been inflicted
                    > throughout human history by people who believed that
                    > others' religious practices were strange and contrary
                    > to their own beliefs.
                    >
                    > - Nathan
                    >
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