I am reposting the letter on my own blog because I think it is a letter that needs to be read and taken seriously. The people who need to read it most, of course, will never read it. Even if they did read it they would not see themselves in it or they would consider it just another attack from Godless heathens.
But I know that more than 70% of Americans consider themselves to be Christians, and I know that Christian men are not exempt from the ranks of married bisexual and homosexual men. Perhaps reading the letter will be helpful to some of you. Perhaps it will impress upon you there are many Protestant denominations which are not Evangelical who see bisexual and homosexual men and women as people God loves rather than as people God hates.
I found, the letter, written by a Canadian citizen, to be interesting because he pointed out that in Canada even their Conservative Party is more liberal than our main stream Democrat Party here in the U.S.
I have admitted before that I am a moderate Republican. Frankly, I'm not comfortable discussing politics to any great extent, and I'm certainly not comfortable suggesting to someone for whom he should vote. But I can shed some additional light on my own thinking. As a moderate Republican, I am not a fan of or a supporter of the conservative wing of the Republican Party. Of course, that means I have little regard at all for the Radical Right wing of the Republican Party. They see themselves as God's spokesmen and even as His enforcers. I want no part of anyone who is audacious enough to see themselves in that roll.
I don't want the Republican Party deciding what should go on in the privacy of my bedroom. I don't want the Republican Party deciding the conditions under which any woman may have an abortion. I don't want the Republican Party deciding another Republican is not qualified to be President based on the fact that he is a Mormon. I don't want the Republican Party deciding what my grandchildren will study in their science classes in school. I don't want the Republican Party deciding which books will be in the school library. I don't want the Republican Party to see itself as the morality police. I don't want the Republican Party deciding which religions are real and which are cults. In short these things are all part of the agenda of the Radical Right wing of the Republican Party and I want nothing to do with any of it.
At the same time, the country is reeling from the lack of leadership and from the underlying assumptions behind many of the policies and practices of the Obama administration. The reality is Obama simply does not have the background or the experience to be President of the United States, and unlike Chris Christie, he didn't have the wisdom to admit that to himself or to us. Yet President Obama does not want to put the government of the United States in our bedrooms. He fully supports the separation of church and state. He fully supports abortion as a matter of choice. He supports science over religious dogma and he is against censorship in school libraries. His stand on these issues is important to me and, I believe, in the best interests of this country. However, the Nation simply cannot take another Obama term. If what we have now is "Change we can believe in," what we need from the next Presidential administration is change we can count on to get this country turned around.
That kind of change can't come from President Obama. He simply no longer has the confidence of the country behind him and he doesn't have the life experience to lead. Neither can such change come from any of the three Republican candidates who are members of the Radical Christian Right as identified by their thinking and their religious agenda. In all honesty, I'd rather have a highly qualified, can do President who is an atheist than either Obama or any of the Republican candidates who are ultra religious in their thinking. I'm a Texan and a moderate Republican, and I include Governor Perry of Texas in the list of those who are too much a part of the evangelical Christian Right in their thinking and in their campaigning to be an effective President.
As a bisexual man, a Christian and as an American I can already see that entering the voting booth in 2012 and deciding for whom I will cast my vote will be a tough decision.
It is time for all Americans to make the same tough decision. The radicals on both sides of the political divide see the political center as wimpish and ineffective. But it is the political center as well as the religious center which has made this country great and which will return it to greatness.
I didn't write the following letter, but I wish I had. Letters like this are why I have come to love blogging. One has the opportunity to express his own opinions and at the same time is exposed to thoughtful opinions from other. This open letter of evangelicals on homosexuality is well worth some thought.
An Open Letter to Evangelicals on Homosexuality
Here in Canada there is an Evangelical call in TV program run by a large Evangelical organization that invites individuals to call in and express their opinions regarding the topic of the evening. In fairness to them, I have seen them try to give time to all opinions, but of course, true to their agenda, after they have disconnected their caller, the host responds with, “well the Bible says....” and that is to be taken “as that” as though their interpretation of scripture is the ultimate trump card.
Unlike the United States, Evangelicals actually constitute a very small percentage of the Canadian population (just under 2 million of the total population). Canadians have historically shied away from dogmatic and polarizing theologies and this has probably been a positive factor in the progressive growth of this nation that so many Canadians are so proud of.
Still bolstered by American type evangelicalisms, they can be a small but vocal group that rides the coat tails of what is happening in the States. The likes of James Dobson, (of the Focus on the Family group), and so many other TV evangelists, eventually make their way into Canada to promote their right wing agendas to the hungry following here.
It needs to be noted that in Canada we are far more progressive than even we ourselves realize. We have three main political parties (the Conservatives, The Liberals and the very left leaning New Democratic Party). Saying that, typically even our Conservatives (with notable exceptions) tend to be more liberal than the Democrats of the US with the Ontario Conservative Party being the government that installed gay marriage in Canada a decade ago.
Recently this TV Program hosted a show on the topic of “The Church and Hypocrisy.” The Program was on the theme of “The Church and Hypocrisy” but somehow ended up as a Program addressing the “homosexual agenda." Somehow the question just seemed as an occasion for extremists to voice anti–homosexual rhetoric instead of addressing the Evangelical Church`s actual hypocrisies.
Without the benefit of a call in Program, please allow me to address my concerns about the Evangelical Church and the way it condemns (yes I do mean it is the Church that condemns) the homosexual community. Here is my Open Letter to Canadian Evangelicals.
The first hypocrisy of the church that I must point out is found in a concern for the individual`s that have been deeply, deeply wounded and scarred by the churches unfathomed message, its leaders and its members, with regards to this teaching on homosexuality. The Church is simply unwilling to recognize or acknowledge their negative impact on people. That the teachings they impart on individuals ... human lives has actually damaged people. The Evangelical Church will not hold itself accountable for their role in suicides by overwhelmed gay individuals, encouraging gay individuals to marry into straight marriages (only to judge them when they fail), and emotionally damaging people with so called reparative therapies.
As counsellors and therapists have long acknowledged, this nation has seen tens of thousands of gay individuals broken by a faith culture of guilt and shame placed on them by a very vocal evangelical community. The hypocrisy that this faith sect claims a reparative message is simply not substantiated by actual evidence. Whereas the damage inflicted is substantiated outside but never acknowledged, examined or addressed within their community. Simply said their message is terribly destructive to the personhood of individuals that do not hold to their endorsed orientation and the Church is unwilling to look at this evidence.
Secondly I have to take exception to the constant nuances about the “homosexual agenda”, Pride Parades and as groups like Focus on the Family alludes, `teaching 10 year olds to be gay. `` Here’s the hypocrisy. That Evangelicals and specifically such Programs and such Broadcasting Networks have a blatant agenda to spread their message and their teachings. That they are clearly trying to influence the thoughts, thinking and minds of children and adults alike. Yet they find it abhorrent when others would in any way attempt to address the thought process of individuals as well. They find it morally evil when others take their place on the podium to address the crowds of a free nation, when their people (and the evangelical community as a whole) do it every day and put forth Billions of dollars to do such? Who has an agenda???
Contrary to the practical actions of many evangelicals, I do maintain that truth with eventually float to the top and that “the truth will set you free.” As with all such social agendas historically, I challenge them to let their version of truth stand amongst what others see as such, and let freedom reign of its own accord. Above all things truth shall persevere.
I would be remiss I was not also to point out the hypocrisy of the evangelical church with regards to its own history in social reform. Unfortunately instead of being a bastion of social reform the evangelicals have typically been stalwarts against social growth. Historically the Evangelicals have been on the wrong side of the battle with regards to slavery and emancipation, the suffragette movement, the civil rights movement, divorce, The HIV Crisis, the environment and agendas as simple as feeding the poor (so often seen as the “Social Gospel. “)
Yes in fairness eventually even these hardened hearts, came around and many of the evangelical faiths eventually came to understand what countless people had been trying in vain to articulate to them for years. But not before the church had left a huge furrow of broken individuals in their wake. Yes folks, in time, even your denominations will understand that in fact it is you that is “hurting the heart of God” and as history has proved over and over again, your grandchildren will come to understand what you cannot and will not now.
Which brings me to my last point of contention regarding hypocrisies... truth. Please understand that I am well versed in evangelical theology. I understand the worldview that says that “Christ, as expressed in Scripture is the truth.” Unfortunately what is not articulated well by evangelicals is that the crux of their “truth” is still ultimately held in their own interpretations. Unfortunately this has always been the Achilles heel of the Evangelicals... a culture of “selective literalism.”
I am not going to get into a theological discussion about this at this time, but I am going to articulate what is glaringly evident to an outsider watching them. THEY NEED THEIR INTERPRETATIONS AND MESSAGE TO BE TRUE! There are so many institutions, credentials, careers and individuals that are dependent on their interpretations being true. Personally I see a culture of fear, which will not allow faithful believers to challenge long held interpretations. There is a mentality of “if this interpretation is not true then all of the interpretations must be incorrect."
As noted, in reality the Evangelical community is a very small segment of Canadian Society. In fact it is a dying segment with the largest denominations like the PAOC, The Christian and Missionary Alliance, The Baptist Conventions, losing members daily and closing dozens of congregations annually. Yes it is hypocrisy to be unwilling to acknowledge that increasingly Canadians are opening their minds to bigger theologies, inclusive atmospheres, and gracious acceptance when followers of their message are in fact dwindling away. Frankly is speaks of sour grapes not concern.
In rereading this letter, I am realizing it may come across far more critical sounding than gracious. I do hope that one can receive my letter in a grace that I may be lacking and in the spirit intended. I truly believe that fundamentally most Evangelicals are individuals that care and want the best for Canadians. Unfortunately I am seeing that they at this time are unable to see their own hypocrisies or the way that they are fostering such in their communities, along with the damage and pain they are instigating. That really is truly tragic and yes I do believe “hurts the heart of God.”