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  • Andy Spedden
    Hi I m Andy So.....okay this isn t a 12-Step meeting so I guess I don t hear Hi Andy in response..... I don t know why I m gay. I choose to embrace the
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 10, 2006
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      Hi I'm Andy So.....okay this isn't a 12-Step meeting so I guess I don't hear "Hi Andy" in response.....

      I don't know why I'm gay. I choose to embrace the mystery of that. I DO know that my identity "Christian" was attained through salvation and baptism. Paul wrote something about that somewhere in his letters, when he wasn't rambling about his sarx. (That's "flesh" in Greek.) Paul also wrote that in Christ'a family there can be no division between male/female, slave/free, Jew/gentile. In my mind that effectively challenged the most common inferior/superior divisions in Paul's time. Unfortunately, there remain those who adhere to what I call PVC, (Penis-Vagina Christianity), mostly fundamentalists, literalists, and conservatives, but also liberals, with their Women's Bible Study groups, their Men's Bible Study groups, etc.

      In a nutshell, I highly recommend an excellent book: "Sex and the Church: Gender, Homosexuality, and the Transformation of Christian Ethics" by Kathy Rudy. READ IT! It will explain to you why I am a progressive. I am not a liberal. Liberals have their own horse-blinders.

      So I am a progressive, free-thinking Christian who is also queer. Don't like the "Q word"? Well, to me, elgeebeety sounds like a McDonald's sandwich, and anyone who's seen the documentaries "McLibel" and "Super-Size Me" know that McDonald's is not a good way to be stewards of one's body *HELLO*.

      I'm an active member of the faith community at First Presbyterian Church in Lancaster Pennsylvania USA earth galaxy universe etc. My pastor has two children one of whom is gay, so although not everyone in the community is on an accepting/affirming page, the pastor's pretty much the boss and he drops mention of his position when it's appropriate. We have three services: informal, contemporary, and traditional. ALL HOMOS ARE WELCOME! He might say it differently, but you get the point. Please visit www.firstpreslanc.org for more info. If you're passing through town and need a friendly, welcoming place to worship.....

      So that's the faith-based part of my story. Now for the legal-based. I'm a convicted, registered, and RECOVERING (meaning FORMER) sex-offender for having had a very large stash of underage pornography. I served 5.5 months in 2003 and bailed out. Within 90 days of that momentous event (which was not covered by the local yokel media as much as my arrest was), I was in SLAA (please visit www.slaafws.org and www.starhealing.org for more info about sex/love addiction recovery), a therapy-group, pastoral counselling, Stephen Ministry, and a local programme EXIT (EX-offenders In Transition; Christian fellowship programme).

      All of these activities are weekly and continue to this day! Well, except today I had a maintenance polygraph so I was excused from group session but since it was an irregularly scheduled session it bumped into my weekly Stephen Ministry hang-out time so I met with them yesterday..... Where was I? Oh yes... I'm on "Megan's Law" until 2015 which is nothing more than a way for citizen vigilantes to find out where I live and come kill me but that hasn't happened yet thank God. I've also asked several people if they feel safer knowing where I live and none of them have gotten back to me. I'll take their silence as a negative response.

      Anyway, my pastor's been in AA for 25 years so he knows a LOT about 12-Step recovery so I'm very very fortunate in that regard.

      I live with my dysfunctional parents who've been divorced just over 9 years but due to individual and mutual codependency and unresolved issues actually live together. I stay up in my room or out of the house as much as possible. I worked in CD packaging for most of 2004 and 2005; lost that long-term temp job cuz some authority-figure had an issue with my legal situation. Last week I was canned from another full-time temp job I'd had for 3.5 months, except that was more about the supervisor's choice to enforce selected policies with me but not with the company employee who was doing the same things, but that employee was complaining about me to the supervisor and who has more sway: a permanent employee or an expendable temp? Life goes on and God provides for my needs. I've a cat, Testa Koole. She's a nut. Yes, I see the light brightening over your noggin...you get the joke...

      Okay that's my story and I'm stickin' to it. Have a good night, a pleasant tomorrow, and stay the heck out of gay-dot-com which is nothing but a haven for people with unresolved issues.

      Andy So


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    • Norm
      Welcome to the group, Andy! Thank you for sharing your story. I have heard other people distinguish themselves as progressive versus liberal , but I
      Message 2 of 4 , Aug 11, 2006
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        Welcome to the group, Andy! Thank you for sharing your story.

        I have heard other people distinguish themselves as "progressive"
        versus "liberal", but I haven't heard an explanation. What do you
        see as the difference? I have used both terms in describing myself,
        but it's not clear to me what the difference is.

        You mentioned Kathy Rudy's book, but I would be interested in
        knowing what has helped you to reconcile your faith and gay
        identities (assuming that there was a conflict). For me, it was re-
        discovering and learning about Christianity and re-thinking some of
        the Christian doctrine was raised with.

        Wow, thanks for sharing some of your legal history. I'm glad you're
        in recovery and seeking support. It's pretty courageous for you to
        be so open about your conviction. I can't imagine how difficult it
        is for you having had media attention and a criminal record. I
        don't know if it is of any interest to you, but the weekly paper in
        my city did a cover story profile of a young, convicted sex offender
        last May (http://www.wweek.com/editorial/3229/7594).

        The group has been pretty quiet lately. To be honest, although I
        founded this group, I haven't spent a lot of time participating in
        the discussions. But I wanted to thank you for sharing and hope
        others' contribute as well.

        Norm! aka nojam75@...

        --- In exexgayministry@yahoogroups.com, Andy Spedden <aspedden5@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Hi I'm Andy So.....okay this isn't a 12-Step meeting so
        I guess I don't hear "Hi Andy" in response.....
        >
        > I don't know why I'm gay. I choose to embrace the mystery of that.
        I DO know that my identity "Christian" was attained through
        salvation and baptism. Paul wrote something about that somewhere in
        his letters, when he wasn't rambling about his sarx. (That's "flesh"
        in Greek.) Paul also wrote that in Christ'a family there can be no
        division between male/female, slave/free, Jew/gentile. In my mind
        that effectively challenged the most common inferior/superior
        divisions in Paul's time. Unfortunately, there remain those who
        adhere to what I call PVC, (Penis-Vagina Christianity), mostly
        fundamentalists, literalists, and conservatives, but also liberals,
        with their Women's Bible Study groups, their Men's Bible Study
        groups, etc.
        >
        > In a nutshell, I highly recommend an excellent book: "Sex and the
        Church: Gender, Homosexuality, and the Transformation of Christian
        Ethics" by Kathy Rudy. READ IT! It will explain to you why I am a
        progressive. I am not a liberal. Liberals have their own horse-
        blinders.
        >
        > So I am a progressive, free-thinking Christian who is also queer.
        Don't like the "Q word"? Well, to me, elgeebeety sounds like a
        McDonald's sandwich, and anyone who's seen the
        documentaries "McLibel" and "Super-Size Me" know that McDonald's is
        not a good way to be stewards of one's body *HELLO*.
        >
        > I'm an active member of the faith community at First Presbyterian
        Church in Lancaster Pennsylvania USA earth galaxy universe etc. My
        pastor has two children one of whom is gay, so although not everyone
        in the community is on an accepting/affirming page, the pastor's
        pretty much the boss and he drops mention of his position when it's
        appropriate. We have three services: informal, contemporary, and
        traditional. ALL HOMOS ARE WELCOME! He might say it differently, but
        you get the point. Please visit www.firstpreslanc.org for more info.
        If you're passing through town and need a friendly, welcoming place
        to worship.....
        >
        > So that's the faith-based part of my story. Now for the legal-
        based. I'm a convicted, registered, and RECOVERING (meaning FORMER)
        sex-offender for having had a very large stash of underage
        pornography. I served 5.5 months in 2003 and bailed out. Within 90
        days of that momentous event (which was not covered by the local
        yokel media as much as my arrest was), I was in SLAA (please visit
        www.slaafws.org and www.starhealing.org for more info about sex/love
        addiction recovery), a therapy-group, pastoral counselling, Stephen
        Ministry, and a local programme EXIT (EX-offenders In Transition;
        Christian fellowship programme).
        >
        > All of these activities are weekly and continue to this day! Well,
        except today I had a maintenance polygraph so I was excused from
        group session but since it was an irregularly scheduled session it
        bumped into my weekly Stephen Ministry hang-out time so I met with
        them yesterday..... Where was I? Oh yes... I'm on "Megan's Law"
        until 2015 which is nothing more than a way for citizen vigilantes
        to find out where I live and come kill me but that hasn't happened
        yet thank God. I've also asked several people if they feel safer
        knowing where I live and none of them have gotten back to me. I'll
        take their silence as a negative response.
        >
        > Anyway, my pastor's been in AA for 25 years so he knows a LOT
        about 12-Step recovery so I'm very very fortunate in that regard.
        >
        > I live with my dysfunctional parents who've been divorced just
        over 9 years but due to individual and mutual codependency and
        unresolved issues actually live together. I stay up in my room or
        out of the house as much as possible. I worked in CD packaging for
        most of 2004 and 2005; lost that long-term temp job cuz some
        authority-figure had an issue with my legal situation. Last week I
        was canned from another full-time temp job I'd had for 3.5 months,
        except that was more about the supervisor's choice to enforce
        selected policies with me but not with the company employee who was
        doing the same things, but that employee was complaining about me to
        the supervisor and who has more sway: a permanent employee or an
        expendable temp? Life goes on and God provides for my needs. I've a
        cat, Testa Koole. She's a nut. Yes, I see the light brightening over
        your noggin...you get the joke...
        >
        > Okay that's my story and I'm stickin' to it. Have a good night, a
        pleasant tomorrow, and stay the heck out of gay-dot-com which is
        nothing but a haven for people with unresolved issues.
        >
        > Andy So
        >
      • Andy Spedden
        I once a Norm on TV enter a bar in Boston and say It s a dog-eat-dog world and I m wearing Milkbone underwear. To me, how Rudy describes the limitations of
        Message 3 of 4 , Aug 11, 2006
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          I once a Norm on TV enter a bar in Boston and say
          "It's a dog-eat-dog world and I'm wearing Milkbone
          underwear."

          To me, how Rudy describes the limitations of liberals'
          views of "gayzinthechurch" delineates
          liberal/progressive. I'm more along the lines of
          Bishop John Shelby Spong, Kathy Rudy, etc. In a
          nutshell, if we think that the ONLY way we can be
          sexually expressive AND faithful, is to be in a
          committed monogamous relationship, we need to revisit
          Scripture, church tradition, and reach a more
          comprehensive, deeper understanding of the Christian
          ethics of unitivity and hospitality, which is pretty
          much what Rudy suggests...and that is NOT a liberal
          view; it's a very progressive view.

          A philosophical query I have about "ex" gay people is
          this: Do they become "ex" gay because they couldn't
          get the whole style/colour-coordination thing down, or
          did they lose their sense of style/colour-coordination
          when they became "ex" gay? Because all the "ex" gays
          I see would NOT get into Heaven if
          style/colour-coordination were required *HELLO*!

          Ciao, Andy So

          --- Norm <nojam75@...> wrote:

          > Welcome to the group, Andy! Thank you for sharing
          > your story.
          >
          > I have heard other people distinguish themselves as
          > "progressive"
          > versus "liberal", but I haven't heard an
          > explanation. What do you
          > see as the difference? I have used both terms in
          > describing myself,
          > but it's not clear to me what the difference is.
          >
          > You mentioned Kathy Rudy's book, but I would be
          > interested in
          > knowing what has helped you to reconcile your faith
          > and gay
          > identities (assuming that there was a conflict).
          > For me, it was re-
          > discovering and learning about Christianity and
          > re-thinking some of
          > the Christian doctrine was raised with.
          >
          > Wow, thanks for sharing some of your legal history.
          > I'm glad you're
          > in recovery and seeking support. It's pretty
          > courageous for you to
          > be so open about your conviction. I can't imagine
          > how difficult it
          > is for you having had media attention and a criminal
          > record. I
          > don't know if it is of any interest to you, but the
          > weekly paper in
          > my city did a cover story profile of a young,
          > convicted sex offender
          > last May (http://www.wweek.com/editorial/3229/7594).
          >
          >
          > The group has been pretty quiet lately. To be
          > honest, although I
          > founded this group, I haven't spent a lot of time
          > participating in
          > the discussions. But I wanted to thank you for
          > sharing and hope
          > others' contribute as well.
          >
          > Norm! aka nojam75@...

          Although a leopard cannot change its spots,
          who are we to say its Creator cannot?
          SO
          "tell it to the hand with the hole in it"
          http://www.myspace.com/so_so_so




          __________________________________________________
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        • Scott Russell
          Hey Norm, I ll chime in on this point, as I too describe myself as progressive rather than liberal. For one thing, I think the term liberal has become a
          Message 4 of 4 , Aug 12, 2006
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            Hey Norm,

            I'll chime in on this point, as I too describe myself as "progressive" rather than "liberal." For one thing, I think the term liberal has become a pejorative label that has little to do with it's historical/political context, a bit like "fundamentalist" that is used against very conservative, traditionalist Christians/Muslims/Jews.

            There is a helpful piece on Progressivism on www.wikipedia.org -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressivism

            Simply put, liberals seek an end point -- social justice, economic equity, racial equity, etc. Progressives see political process as more organic and fluid. While we share many of the same values, goals, etc, progressives are more interested in "what's next." There might not be a clear end point to the progressive mission, but rather an operating philosophy -- what needs to be fixed. Another short hand way of seeing it -- liberals are utopian; progressives are utilitarian.

            Another difference is that liberal has become synonymous for many with "Democrat" -- I am a registered independent and regularly bemoan the inability of today's Democratic Party to get their act together and send the neo-cons back to Texas.

            From a religious perspective, as a member of the clergy, I think a progressive religious philosophy is marked by a similar openness to "what's next." While I enjoy very traditional worship at times, I also regularly engage members of my parish in experimental liturgies that in some ways "balance" older forms. I am very attracted to a recent theology known as the "Openness of God" -- kind of a post-modern Arminianism, I guess. Calvinists tend to go into convulsions when reading this philosophy. Ah, here's another helpful wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_theism

            Those are my few thoughts. I'm not sure my views exactly reflect what other people mean by "progressive" -- welcome to postmodernism.

            I too say "welcome" to Andy! Thanks for your frankness and honesty!

            :)

            Scott

            I have heard other people distinguish themselves as "progressive"
            versus "liberal", but I haven't heard an explanation. What do you
            see as the difference? I have used both terms in describing myself,
            but it's not clear to me what the difference is.








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