What Phil Robertson said which drives ‘gays’ out of the Church, and how to win them back.

So Duck Dynasty dude Phil Robertson gave an interview to GQ, and though it’s pretty clear from the writer’s comments that he doesn’t accept Phil’s worldview, I’m just going to take the quotations at their word since Phil hasn’t claimed they are false.  The hubbub has all been around Phil’s comments about homosexuality, in particular in how they relate to Christianity.  They’ve been called “anti-gay” and “gay bashing”.  And whatever Phi’s intent, they’ve sparked a flurry of lash from GLAAD, and A&E has suspended him from the show.  I didn’t want to get in the middle of a societal battle, and I’m not interested in getting in debates about whether A&E should or should not suspend the show, but it’s so relevant to the project and nothing anyone is talking about is promoting understanding or healing.  Instead, I see people drawing battle lines with “Christians” on one side and “gays” on the other, and the Biblical truth is people are not the enemy.  So here goes:


First off, out of the way, is this a free speech issue?

No, the 1st amendment to the U.S. of A. Federal Constitution prohibits the Federal government from stoping A&E from not hiring Phil just as it prohibits the Federal government from passing ENDA.  Phil is totally free to continue repeating his statements at his many speaking gigs around the country without government interference.


What did Phil do that is considered so hateful?

As you read this, if you’re not intimately familiar with what causes eroticized same-sex attractions, keep in mind that eroticized same-sex attractions are caused by 1) needs for love that haven’t been met, and 2) emotional wounds that haven’t been healed.

I hesitate to quote this, but here goes:

“It seems like, to me, a v[jayjay]—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s [component]. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

Phil implies that erotic same-sex attractions are caused by a person’s own sin choice.  While that can happen, it’s not common now-a-days.  David Bowie is one example of someone who actually chose to participate in erotic sexual activities with men despite not feeling an erotic attraction to them, precisely for the purpose of flying in the face of Biblical morality, but today admits he is erotically attracted only to women and always has been.  Simply put, most people who identify as ‘gay’ didn’t choose to feel eroticized same-sex attractions.  So Phil’s statements are just plain uninformed, perhaps a little arrogant for thinking he understood it in the first place.  It’s something every person in the gay lifestyle knows is false, and hearing Phil imply it and then associate it with sin results in believing that they as a person are a sin.  It is critical to note that that is not Biblical morality.  God loves all people, designed us in His image, and Jesus died so that we might be saved.

Then Phil goes on,

“Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

Thanks, Phil, for correctly separating “homosexual” from “offender”, many people forget to.  Of course, he added “It’s not right” to the end of the Bible quote, not sure why.  So what’s wrong with that?  Well simply put, when it comes to meeting people’s love needs, it’s really tough to start from “you’re going to hell”.  Bottom line is this: for pre-Oedipal disorder, the love needs they had are needs which arrive before the concept of right and wrong are understood.  i.e. you can’t meet their love needs with lists of ways to die.  For post-Oedipal disorder, their concept of the opposite sex is bound to grief, you can’t tell someone that not loving something which repeatedly wounds them is a sin worthy of going to hell, they are simply defending themselves.  For those who believe that they ‘are gay’ because they were homosexually abused and enjoyed it erotically, this doesn’t tell them that it’s not their fault, and that all men are fully-functional erotically, sometimes even in their sleep (Ahem, Lot’s daughters, and  Ham and Noah).  Since it’s also a confrontation with The Word of The Almighty, there really isn’t much of an opportunity to take back their adult assertiveness, defend their abused inner child and in so doing feel more powerful than their abuser.  It’s emotionally associating their abuser with God.  Not a good therapy plan, and not a way to draw people into the Church.  Actually, a great way to drive people from the Church, not kicking and screaming, but buckling their seat belt and keeping their beliefs to themselves: it’s a defense mechanism: so they can’t be abused again.

Is his Bible quote inaccurate?  not really.  Does it drive people who experience eroticized same-sex attractions out of the Church?  Yep.  Why?  Because it doesn’t meet them where they are, because it opens emotional memories of wounds from other Church members who have shamed, ridiculed, exasperated, abandoned, and abused them…  hey that sounds like a quote from somewhere.

Ok, so Phil made even more comments:

“We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”

And here the Christians are cheering, the ‘gays’ are revolting, and I’m face palming because they’re both making the same fundamental mistake.  The word “homosexuals”. It’s a word in English.  It has a very poor definition.  It refers to both people who engage in erotic activities with members of the same sex, and to people who are attracted sexually to members of the same sex.  But, it turns out, there aren’t any of those.  What?  Yes, every human being’s erotic drive always, always points to what they find to be their “other”, their “complement”, the completion of who they are.  It’s underlying concept of the “self”, and of the “other” which have 1) not grown completely because of love needs which haven’t been met and 2) emotional wounds that haven’t healed.  But people who experience eroticized same-sex attractions don’t know it’s not a “kind of person they are” because they are looking for an “identity” to fill the need for one which wasn’t entirely formed because of the unmet love needs and emotional wounds which haven’t healed.  So he may mean to establish a list of people who live in discordance with Christian morality, while they hear a list of “kinds” of people who aren’t good enough to be saved”.

Also, listing “homosexuals” along with international mass murderers, probably wasn’t a good idea.  These are people who need acceptance, affirmation, and affection, not an demeaning screening by TSA agents.

Now, to be fair, Phil didn’t believe he was in the process of counseling someone who was, as he puts it, “a homosexual”, he was apparently asked point blank about at least some of this stuff.  And was it a set up by someone discontent over at A&E to try to get the show canned?  Probably.

But in the end, it’s comments by Christians like Phil Robertson’s that drive ‘gays’ out of the Church, and it’s up to us to go win them back.


How to win them back

Well, hey, that’s what our whole site is about really.  One simple rule Richard Cohen gives is “whoever loves the most and the longest wins“.  I encourage you to get a copy of Straight Parents and Gay Children, and follow his advice, appropriately adapting if they’re not your actual child.  Let’s look at a few steps you can take.

1) You must be willing to “do your work”, and do it.  That’s what we say of folks who are willing to deal with the emotional wounds in their own life first.  You must also learn to be a Safe Person.  On our Book page, check out Boundaries and Safe People.  If you are not a Safe Person, you’re not ready to help.  It’s that whole Matthew 7, Luke 6 thing.

2) Accept them for who they are.  Who are they? a man or women, designed in God’s image, broken by sin (by themselves and others), in need of a saviour and loved by Jesus – just as they are.  Remember we know Jesus loved us because he died for us when we were still sinners.  You must see the potential in them, but accept them as they are today.

3) Learn about the causes of SSA.  By doing so, you will understand why they feel as they do.  It may not be “logical” to Phil, but it actually makes a far amount of sense, emotionally.  Understanding emotional patterns like anticipatory shame and defensive detachment will be tremendously helpful in understanding what’s going on during troubling times.  An easy on ramp you can read in 10 minutes is The only 3 things I wish my straight Christian friends knew about homosexuality.

4) Learn to empathize not sympathize.  Brene Brown does an amazing job of describing the difference, how empathy defeats shame.  Shame plays a critical role in creating erotic same-sex attractions.  Our entire project was designed to promote empathy onto.  Check out Act 1 of the first episode.

5) Help them find the way out of double-binds.  A double-bind is a darned-if-you-do, darned-if-you-don’t situation.  Almost everyone who experiences eroticized same-sex attractions has been placed in a shame-grief double-bind.  God promises not to make real double-binds (1 Corinthians 10:13), so there is always a way out.  It may be difficult to find.  If that way out involves a lot of sadness, you need to be there to comfort them. (Matthew 5:4)

6) They need a group for support.  One friend alone is generally not enough.  Encourage your friends to follow you in your decision to help.

7) Don’t assume they aren’t in the Church because they don’t believe in Jesus.  Yes, Jesus is #1 priority in their life, but there are many people who are living the gay lifestyle out of the Church who believe that the Church is simply so corrupted because of the emotionally traumatic things other Christians have done & said in the past.  This is a tragedy.  Christ says we’ll know each other by our love for one another, and frankly, you can’t really blame people for believing the Church is corrupted if they haven’t been getting love.  At the same time, the Church has the most to offer them.  Telling them “they’re gay” because they don’t “really” believe in Jesus “enough” is going to wound them more.  Unless, of course, they really don’t believe in Jesus, in which case, demonstrate Christ’s love and bring them the gospel.

In other words, you have to actually love them like a healthy brother cherishes his siblings.  Not just feel happy about yourself when you imagine that you’d be polite to someone who told you they had erotic same-sex attractions, but you have to actually value them, care for them, think about their good and make it happen.  Not smothering, not bossing, but delighting, empathizing, encouraging, deferring, and persevering.

Do they have a same-sex live in partner?  Guess what, same thing.  Love them.

The only 3 things I wish my straight Christian friends knew about homosexuality

1) There is no such kind of person as “a homosexual”.

An English dictionary is not a great source for a degree in psychology or theology, and the noun definition of “homosexual” blurs the line between people who engage in erotic activities with other members of the same sex and people who experience erotic attractions to members of the same sex.  There is huge overlap between these two groups, but churches have traditionally only been able to address the first, and ignore the second.  I’ve limited this discussion to the second group: men who have attractions to members of the same sex which have been eroticized.  It turns out God did not create such people, He created us male and female, both with erotic attractions oriented towards the “other than self”; instead there are people who’s erotic attractions feel like they are oriented towards members of the same sex because their same-sex attractions (not erotic attractions) have been eroticized.

So what do I mean by “eroticized”?  Culture calls it “gay”, but that’s a socio-political label many people chose not to accept.  Lots of other folks just use the term same-sex attraction “SSA”, but I found that’s not precise enough for what’s really going on.  Merely using the term “same-sex”, from the dictionary definition can actually relate to very healthy desires: our desire to spend time with other men – do things with other men, play football, go fishing, communal showers in the locker room, arm wrestling, or any other activity that men enjoy doing together, and that women typically don’t do with men. In addition, even the perception that another man is “handsome”, “striking”, “fit”, etc.. Is an attraction to his masculine attributes which is not unhealthy, in fact it could be inspiring.  Hopefully, each of us men had a father to whom we looked exactly this way.

Eroticized same-sex attractions are an emotional perception that another member of the same sex is “hot”, or “sexy”. This is different from lust, which is actively fantasizing about having erotic relations with the other person. No amount of “bouncing his eyes”, or “white knuckling” will reduce the feeling that other men are “hot”, because it is not one desire, but two which need to be separated.  There are other ways in which a man may become erotically or romantically attracted to another men, that particular one was what we call “pre-gender-identity disorder,” or “pre-Oedipal disorder”, there are several life emotional dynamics which eroticize same sex attractions, you can learn more about them later, the key is to realize there is no such thing as a single “homosexual desire”, and there is no healthy path into eroticizing same-sex attractions: they are always the result of unmet love needs and/or deep emotional wounds. And once they have been eroticized, there is no path out alone: it always involves someone else working love into our lives. I believe this is why “ever-straight” Christians need to learn about this issue so much: because straight Christians of the same sex as your brother or sister with eroticized same-sex attractions have the most to offer for healing.

The percentages of self-identified “gay”s who experienced sexual abuse seem to be shrinking.  Currently, around 1/3rd report sexual abuse.  Many will not admit to sexual abuse, ashamed they enjoyed it, not realizing the Bible has several examples of men whose bodies were fully-erotically-functional in their sleep.  Others will not report it because they have not identified it as abuse.  For others, it’s an issue they do not wish to discuss with everyone.  Please do not expect or insinuate abuse in someone’s past.  If it happened, and they want to talk about it, they’ll bring it up.


2) Erotic homosexual acts are prohibited by both the Old Testament and the New, for all national origins.

In a misguided attempt to “love”, many “gay friendly” churches have tried to remove or “grace away” what the Bible has to say about erotic same-sex activities.  But despite their best attempts, there is simply no valid Biblical hermeneutic to argue that erotic same-sex activities will be beneficial or healthy for anyone ever.  Robert Gagnon describes from the most liberal possible perspective of scripture that homosexual activities are not commanded or permitted in his book The Bible and Homosexual Practice.

There’s a double-edged sword here, so be careful.  One the one hand, you don’t want to encourage them to engage in erotic same-sex activities by misstating Biblical truth, but on the other hand, if you aren’t accepting of them as a son or daughter of God, they won’t get their love needs met in a non-erotic way.

It’s pretty clear the certain passages in Leviticus and Corinthians indicate that same-sex erotic activities are a sin, and a pretty big one at that.  Some argue that in Christ the law has been removed, but we need to be mindful that while the punishment has been suspended, the things prohibited by God’s law are still unhealthily for us in the long run. When we break God’s law, there are blessings He cannot give us.  God has planned ahead good works for us to do, and the wedding dress the Church (bride) wears on judgement (wedding) day is made of these deeds.  When we sin, God’s grace rescues us, but what? “should we continue sinning that grace may abound?  May it never be!”

So my recommendation is if they’ve ever heard that you don’t believe erotic same-sex activities are ‘ok’, they’re going to remember.  This isn’t like forgetting someone’e favorite ice-cream flavor; this is one of the major ways they define themselves.  Repeatedly telling them what you believe is “right” and “wrong” won’t meet their unmet love needs or heal their emotional wounds.  Because their very concept of “self” has been hurt, they believe “a gay” is what they are, so even phrases like “hate the sin, love the sinner” don’t convey a message that will help them at this point.

The key here is really to just love, and keep loving and keep loving.  Do they have a live-in “partner”?  Love him / her too; remember, they also have unmet love needs and emotional wounds.


3) As straight Christians, you have the most to offer to men and women with eroticized same-sex attractions to help 1) heal their emotional wounds, and 2) meet their needs for love.

Psychologists have identified 4 relationships that men who want to “change” can have, and how they can help:

  1. relationships with other members of the “gay community”
  2. others with eroticized same sex attractions who have chosen not to pursue the gay lifestyle
  3. same sex peers who have not experienced eroticized same sex attractions (i.e. “ever-straight”) who do not know about an individual’s eSSA, and
  4. ever-straight same-sex peers who do know about an individuals’ SSA.

They increase from least helpful to most helpful in that order.  There are very few cities in the US where Christians with SSA can get the kind of vibrant support groups to help meet their needs and heal their emotional wounds.

It’s way too easy to dismiss someone’s subconscious wounds as “childish” because the needs we have are typically met in childhood. It’s important to realize the reason God designs these needs to be met in childhood is not because they are less important or silly in some way, but because they are more foundational.  I’ve even heard well-meaning leaders in Christian ex gay ministries say “we don’t advocate these these kinds of therapies because this isn’t how adults relate to each other.” But when our troubles come from unmet love needs, telling people that they must remain deprived of love is not going to heal them: it’s drives them out of the church.

We need to learn how to empathize, not sympathize, with these men & women, and the easy way to do that, besides going back in time to live their life with them, is to watch reenactments of stories like theirs. Many times, it takes months or years for men and women with SSA to trust us enough to open up about the real source of their pain, if they even realize what it is. That’s the entire reason the Recently Straight project was started: to make an easy on-ramp to forming empathy for these men as a basis for helping the men form support groups to they can get their unmet love needs met and to heal their deep emotional traumas.  In doing so, we’re discipling the Church to fulfill Matthew 5:4: “Blessed are the broken hearted, for they will be comforted.” – Jesus

5 arguments to make for legal same-sex marriage

I’ve been called a bigot for my belief on same-sex marriage, but “bigot” means “not easily persuaded”.  Here I outline a 5 arguments for persuading me that governments ought to issue certificates of authenticity of same-sex marriage.

1) Demonstrate that there is a theological basis for same-sex marriage.

The Biblical God created marriage and defines its purpose.  Some people were incensed to hear Megan Kelley say, “aside from a theological argument, there is no good argument against same-sex marriage”, but she was totally right.  The trouble is that’s misleading, since marriage is a theological concept, so aside from a theological one, there’s no argument for same-sex marriage.  In the Biblical worldview, the sexes were created for marriage, not marriage for the sexes.  God has an intention to “create man in Our image”, he creates an individual man with a task to do (Mankind’s first occupation?  Landscape architect.), and but seeing him alone, God says “a man alone is not complete” – which is the sense of the scripture “not good” in that spot.  He encourages Adam to find a companion, and Adam acknowledges that none of the animals meets the qualifications; God himself creates the first woman.  (Check out Genesis 2).  This is why people get married (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7 and Ephesians 5:31).

In addition, We learn that marriage is the metaphor God uses for the relationship between Himself and His people, and between Christ and the Church.  Check out the entire book of Hosea, Matthew 25, Mark 2, Luke 5 and Relevation 21.  God creates the relationship, creates another relationship as a metaphor for it, and institutes the metaphor, even before sin happens.

The Biblical God establishes rules for marriage and sex, and prohibits same-sex sex.  Having created the concept of marriage for a purpose and the sexes for that purpose, God has the right to do so.  He declares that erotic sexual relations are to be kept inside marriage.  Throughout Leviticus, Jesus’s own words, and reiterated by the apostles, God delivers rules about how marriage is to be carried out.  In no case does He allow same-sex sex.  (Actually, since same-sex sex doesn’t exist, the scriptures go through a contorted description of what that would be, but our culture calls it sex, but it’s not.)  As Jesus’s sacrifice removes the ultimate punishment from our sins giving us grace and mercy instead, still Jesus persists in leading us to obey the law.  From the woman with five former husbands, Jesus says “Go and sin no more”, and Paul’s caution, “Should we sin more that grace may abound?  May it never be!” we see the principal that even if the sin is forgiven, it can still harm you, so don’t do it.

I cannot support same-sex marriage because there is no theological basis for its existence, and there are theological prohibitions against its would-be implementation.


2) Demonstrate observability of an authentic same-sex marriage.

Governments can not create or destroy marriage.  Twice Abraham lied about his marital status to Sarah (Genesis 12 and 20) in lands and to rulers who (apparently) did not respect the Biblical God.  In both cases, the locals treated her as a free woman, and God was angry.  He sent plagues on the Egyptians for it, and made the women of Abimelech’s and infertile.  Evidently, God is more concerned with the reality of the marriage than the local government’s perception of it.  God even came to Abimelech in a dream and ordered him to respect the marriage.  Furthermore, Jesus tells us that it is God who creates marriage: he said “What God has joined together let not man separate”, accounted for both in Mark’s Gospel and Matthew’s (Matthew 19, Mark 10).

Governments must observe, respect and defend marriages.  Before pastors and preachers perform weddings, they evaluate a couple over several weeks or months to verify whether they are fundamentally ready for marriage.  Ok, never “Really” ready, but got the basics.  There are Biblical standards for what the relationship looks like, and many clues for what unhealthy relationships look like.  In engineering, we have tests to tell us whether our devices are functioning as we expect, and in science we use “sanity checks” to check our progress in developing new methods and equations.  Part of the true stories that inspired the first episode of Recently Straight were that people who appeared and professed to be truly in love with each other (and gave all outward appearances of such) are not really.  You think I’m talking about Kevin & Kendrick, don’t you.  Ha!  You haven’t seen Act 3 yet.  With so much deception in gay relationships, how can we determine that any particular gay relationship is authentic?  What are the standards by which a same-sex marriage is authenticated?

So I do not say that marriage is a thing a government can make, only that it can observe.  In that sense, marriage licenses are not charters of marriage, but certificates of authenticity.  Without a set of observable criteria, how does the government determine the authenticity of a same-sex marriage?  Without a theological basis for what constitutes a “same-sex marriage”, there is no non-arbitrary, moral definition for what it is, and therefore it cannot be mutually observed.


3) Demonstrate that same-sex marriages would be healthy or good.

What we find in the “gay lifestyle” doesn’t usually rise to the level of phileo (Greek word for brotherly love), much less agape  (Greek word used in the Bible as the command for “love”).  Instead, emotional dependency and codependency are enshrined as “love”.  Men make failed attempts to meet their unmet child-hood love needs with eros, or suppress their unhealed emotional wounds with eros, accepting storge instead of phileo.  Neither eros or storge bring ultimate fulfillment.  Statistically, same-sex monogamous relationships are few and far between, but the biggest problem I see with presuming that they could all be monogamous if same-sex marriage were the law is the belief that they would be good if they were monogamous.  Monogamy is a Biblical principle for healthy opposite-sex marriage.  Children need multiple other same-sex friendships in order to form a true and healthy image of themselves as a member or their own sex.  If we eroticize that, we call it promiscuity.  But if it is true that many eroticized same-sex attraction get that way because they are based in a true realization that the man needs to find intimate connection with many other men, why would monogamy be a healthy principle for a same-sex marriage?  In fact, many same-sex marriages finally turn into “open marriages”.  How do we know whether same-sex marriage, if it exists, is healthy or good?

In The Netherlands, where there is nearly no “homophobia” and same-sex marriage has been the law since 1996, research found suicide rates amongst married “gays” were eight times higher than amongst heterosexual marriages.  I don’t believe that same sex marriage creates suicide: I believe that the same shame-grief double-bind which so prevalently leads to eroticized same-sex attractions leads to a sense of “there’s no way out”.  Believing there is no way out, or no path to fulfillment in life, may lead one to suicidal ideation.  I believe that upon discovering that same-sex marriage was not the solution as the believed it would be, the sense of “no way out” is heightened.  The authors of the study also point out that HIV and suicide appear to be strongly linked, with HIV far more prevalent amongst those in same-sex marriages.

We do not find that same-sex marriage, if observed, is healthy.  Instead, traditional indicators of unhealthy relationships and emotional distress are high amongst persons identifying as ‘gay’.

With no basis for an argument that ‘same-sex marriage’ is ‘healthy’ or ‘good’, we cannot even begin to make an argument that members of society must respect and defend it.


4) Demonstrate that if a government does not coerce respect for same-sex marriage, there would be harm.

Creating good is not sufficient to make something a law, one must demonstrate that harm will result if the law is not enforced.  This is an argument the gay lobby is adept at making.  They frequently list of complaints of various ways in which laws unjustly affect the “LGBT community”, but most of these can be addressed in different ways, most of them by repealing existing U.S. laws.

a. get married to “be happy” – The Bible tells us that marriage is not a path to make one happy.  Any argument to “let a couple get married so they will be happy” is contrary to Paul’s suggestion in 1 Corinthians 7:28, that marriage causes trouble – or rather, sinners in a marriage cause trouble, and we’re all sinners.  We deal with this issue in Act 1 of Episode 1, though we don’t see the end.  You’ll have to fund our the rest of the episode by clicking our Donate button for that.

b. hospital visitation / medical decision rights – This can be solved easily with a “power of attorney”.  Most hospitals will require a written copy.

c. health-care benefits – If health insurance were taxed like all other goods and services and available in the free market for all, instead of handed out only to employees, it wouldn’t matter what your employer’s policy was on subsidizing health insurance which provides same-sex partner benefits.  I support repealing laws giving specific tax breaks to people who work in the medical profession or for the big health insurance providers.

d. federal tax breaks for married couples – This perhaps seems like the strongest argument, mostly because people are not aware of alternatives to the “progressive” income tax.  I’m against all Federal taxes on individual citizens.  We had a way for the Federal government to fund itself before the covetous personal income tax was passed: the Federal budget was levied on states to pay apportioned by the headcount of the state.  States could levy taxes as they saw fit, some had income taxes, some did not.  Some still do not.  I’ve moved from supporting a flat income tax, to a sales tax, to the realization that getting direct taxation out of the hands of the federal government is the best course of action.  Returning to Federalism, and away from our course towards national socialism, is in the best interests of all Americans, except for the ones who want tyrannical control.  Don’t support eliminating the personal income tax just because that would provide equality for ‘gays’, but because it moves us back toward Federalism.

e. same-sex divorce – The societal problems solved by opposite-sex marriage: fatherlessness, child abandonment, verifying rape, have basically nothing to do with a same-sex relationship, because by design it cannot produce children.  But American culture has abandoned Biblical marriage many decades ago.  We now live with “contractual marriage” or “age-of-consent marriage”:  i.e. anyone is legally allowed to engage in sexual relations with anyone else, at any time, with any number of participants, for any duration, as long as all participants consent and are above legal age for such consent.  Instead, “marriage” as a label is used merely for social status, slightly more formal than Facebook status, but Facebook status is climbing up.  Even though it’s a government status, government truly has no power over the same-sex couple.  In what way is marriage enforced?  What does that even look like?

With so many examples of defending supposed same-sex marriages harming others so needlessly and disproportionately, I cannot make an argument that we must be coerced to tolerate same-sex marriage.


5) Demonstrate that harm produced by not enforcing same-sex marriage rises to the level of powers which may be used to enforce it.

This isn’t an argument concerning same-sex marriage specifically, this is the argument for all laws.  All governments have 3 and only 3 powers: fines, imprisonment & death.  And when you don’t pay your fines, they imprison you, and when you try to escape from prison, they shoot you.  It’s easy to remember these 3.  Remember the Declaration of Independence, our “Creator”-“endowed” rights? “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” ? Well, the original draft read “life, liberty and property”.  Just take those three, reverse them, and you get death, imprisonment and fines (taxation); these are governments’ 3 powers.  Whatever law government passes they can only enforce it with these; without these powers, government is a bunch of narcissistic & opportunistic scam artists with no good or service to sell to earn their keep.  Most people have forgotten that, and that’s why people are stunned Obama’s solution to a perceived health insurance shortage was to fine people who don’t get insurance.  What did you think the legislators were going to do? earn doctorate degrees and diagnose you and prescribe medicine while you had a chat in their office about tort reform?  Earn chemistry and molecular biology degrees and develop new life-saving treatments and drugs?  They won’t do that: they’re the government, they will only coerce you into the desired behavior: it’s their job.


Any behavior which would be justly prohibited by a government must result in the detrimental effects greater than the detrimental affects of the power used to prevent the behavior.  Otherwise, enforcing the law would increase the level of Creator-given-right infringement rather than reducing it.

a. A baker who was prosecuted when she declined to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding.  She was coerced by the courts to bake the cake, not to mention the legal fees, and loss of time to do other work.  A basic human right is that we have the freedom not to engage in trade for any reason, whether that reason is good or bad.  Violating that freedom is what we call a boundary violation, and there’s a book on that, conveniently named “Boundaries”.  The result of the “anti-dicrimination” laws is not liberty: it is tyranny.  Coercing someone to work for you is not equality, it’s subjugation, i.e. slavery.  In this case, “drive-by slavery”.  People have less individual freedom now, because of so-called “equality” laws.  Is going to another baker really so harmful, as to inflict legal proceedings on them?

b. Catholic adoption agencies in Illinois are prohibited from assisting in finding homes for children in the foster care system because they do not allow adoption to same-sex couples.  Children have fewer options for parents now because of so called “equality” laws.

c. Persons who do not believe in same-sex marriage are not permitted to serve on the city counsel in San Antonio, TX.  That’s right: because their religious beliefs differed from the city counsel, they are not permitted to serve on the counsel; that’s the law.  Business owners who do not believe in same-sex marriage are being harassed in that city as well.  People lose their right to select their representation in government because of a single religious issue.

d. Brendan Eich was removed from his CEO position because someone dug up that he supported California’s Prop 8 (a state constitutional amendment passed by the people which ensured that marriage in California would only be between a man and a woman), and changed his mind about it.  Well, they say he resigned, but please, who really still believes that?  That’s right, private companies are now starting boycotts of people who support God’s definition of marriage, or natural marriage.

We find the history of Government enforcement of same-sex marriage is violations of basic human- and citizenship-rights.


The law does not have the power to make a man righteous

As Christians, we are called to offer something greater than the law: we are called to give love, agape love, to love our neighbor as ourselves.  If we are right, and eroticized same-sex attractions are partially caused by unmet love needs and unhealed emotional wounds, and it is God’s desire for us as Christians to love and to heal, Matthew 5:4, Matthew 22:37, then hope abounds for blessings from God.  As straight Christians, please use the resources of the Recently Straight project to help meet the unmet love needs of people with eroticized same-sex attractions, and to support them as they heal their emotional wounds with God’s help.

Another FAIL at gay-affirmative theology

Someone sent me a link to the following article, and though it claims to be “humorous”, humor is one of the mechanisms the gay lobby has used to indoctrinate our culture about homosexuality.  Let’s take a look at each item on their list:


“9 – God knew we would be gay before we were born – and He made us anyway. — (Jeremiah 1:5Isaiah 49:1Romans 8:28-31). He let LGBT people write some of His favorite Gospel songs, direct some of His favorite choirs and called many to television and megachurch ministries.”

None of the above a scripture asserts anything related to eroticized same-sex attractions, or even a passing reference to homosexuality.  This merely asserts something not in evidence, that someone can “be gay”.  This is the very lie we fight against, the one the gay lobby has indoctrinated the culture to believe.

As for all the prominent “LGBT people”, everyone has sinned, so I suppose their next argument would be that God loves all sins.  Argument is invalid because it reduces to absurdity.

“7 – He structured salvation such that every man who wants to be a Christian must learn to love a man named Jesus. — (John 14:23).”

Fallacy of equivocation: confuses eros for agape & phileo.  We promote phileo and agape between men, we do not promote eros between men.

“6 – Jesus never said anything against homosexuality and He approved gender reassignment surgery. — (Matthew 19:12)”

This scripture does not discuss gender reassignment surgery, neither does it grant “approval” to such actions; it merely states that even someone who has been castrated (who were prevented from entering Jewish Temples because causing testicles to become dysfunctional is a massive offense against God) are not prohibited from receiving salvation through Christ.  (Good thing, since salvation is by grace.)

In addition, Jesus did explicitly say that marriage was only between a man & a woman, and did not remove the already-in-place laws regarding homosexual practice.  Mark 10:7  There is no scriptural basis for same-sex marriage whatsoever.

“5 – God uses rainbows in the sky to show his love and covenant of peace with humanity. — (Genesis 9:13) There’s even a rainbow around His throne.– (Revelations 4:3)”

I assume this is one of the more humorous points, sine the two are not related.  I have unfortunately, met people who assume that a rainbow is a symbol of homosexuality.  Instead, God’s meaning for the rainbow is to promise that the next time he judges the world it would be with fire, not with water.

“4 – He published David and Jonathan’s tragic love story in His best- seller, the Bible. — (1 Samuel 18:1-41 Samuel 20:40-422 Samuel 1:25-27)”

The assertion that David & Jonathan had a homosexual relationship is Saul’s assertion, not the Bible’s.  There is literally nothing to indicate that either Jonathan or David had eroticized same-sex attractions, nor engaged in erotic same-sex activities.  This is what we call “queering the text”.  i.e. the’s the Gay lobby’s attempt to inset their political and religious agenda into history.  Robert Gagnon discusses their relationship in detail in the book “The Bible and Homosexual Practice”.

Also interesting that they found no non-tragic “love” stories they could even attempt to queer.

“3 – In the Beginning, all humans were created intersex.
– (Genesis 1:27Genesis 2:21-23)”

There is absolutely nothing in the scripture to indicate this assertion whatsoever.  Neither of these verses indicate that man was created to experience erotic same-sex attractions, nor is the concept of “intersex” even mentioned.  In fact, were this assertion true, Genesis 2:20 wouldn’t make much sense, because he would have found what he needed within him.  In addition, assuming this verse were correct, it ignores the distinction God performs on Adam in creating Eve immediately after, again ignoring Mark 10:7.  In other words.  This is mindless drivel.

“2 – He designed a FABulous wedding in the Holy City of New Jerusalem and invited all his children (male, female and intersex) to come dressed in a gorgeous bridal gown. — (Revelations 19:5-9; Revelations 21:9-11)”

Again, this expresses a spiritual relationship between Christ and the Church, one which God creates marriage to mimic, not an erotic one between all men & women.  Ignores Matthew 22:30 / Mark 12:25.

“1 – And the top way we know God loves gays? Because God IS LOVE. — (I John 4:16John 3:16)”

God does love all people, men and women.  My problem with this is the assertion that there is such thing as “a gay”.  We do not find it evidenced in the research.  Instead, all people are created heterosexual, and feeling eroticized same-sex desires is the result of unmet needs for love and emotional wounds which have not healed.

Do not take the Lord’s name in vain.

Exodus 20:7.  This is a direct command, one of the “top ten”, but it gets confusing living it out in daily life.  What exactly is “vain” and what is “taking” and how does that all fit together?  It gets more muddied, though, when we talk about portraying characters on in a video.  How might this command be applicable to a dramatic production?


False witness:

First and foremost, it is confirmed by other scripture, Exodus 20:16, that portraying false witness is not ok.  In this way, when we say we have true stories I need to make a distinction: we have both amazing true stories to tell, and we have scaffolding on which those stories are presented.  If we showed an actual 2-hour long group therapy session, you would be bored out of your mind because you wouldn’t feel what the participants feel.  So how do you know the difference between true stories and scaffolding?  Easy: the seemingly crazy, unlikely parts are true stories, and the normal everyday stuff is the scaffolding.  In a number of places, the exact wording or the brevity of the character has been altered so that what is happening is clear to the audience.  In other places the scaffolding actually gets acted out in real life.  One of my favorites is Kevin’s line “Now you’re straight, go mate and procreate!” which was an amazing line written by my editor.  What’s true is 1) he uses defensive humor to avoid difficult concepts and conflict in friendships, 2) He construes gayness “conversion” from gayness to straightness as having non-relationship-love qualities, and 3) He believes that the Church promotes instant conversion of fixing his sexual desires for other men.  A month after we shot the scene, a man in our support group (who had not seen the video) at one point was commenting on the problems he’d had with what his church taught him about same-sex attractions.  He said their response had been that once he accepted Christ, “now your’e cured, go be fruitful and multiply.”  Pretty much the same line, it still got a laugh from the group, even though it didn’t rhyme as well.  It’s been both awesome and heart breaking at times to see other scenes, even those which have been scripted but not produced lived out in the lives of men I know.  That’s what happens when the core of the plot is true stories and the characters are matched on real men with authentic stories: life seems to imitate art, but in reality, we’re just making art which is true.


when it comes to what God has said, I take extra care to only actually quote Him as saying things He has actually said, word-for-word.  When Josh gives his testimony of what God spoke to him in the Act 3 final scene, those words are word for word what God actually spoke to me.  Oh, wait, haven’t seen act 3?  Because we haven’t made it yet, check out the last scene, now available through VoD..


Oath taking:

Matthew 5:33-37.  People don’t take oaths much anymore.  Why? I dunno.  I like what C.S. Lewis has to say about it in The Screwtape Letters.  I don’t feel particularly comfortable with asking talent to take oaths.  Being on video doesn’t give us carte blanche license to sin as the characters sin.  Many things we can fake.  Things which involve speaking we can’t fake; these people are actually saying these things.  Did you know Kevin kissing Kendrick didn’t actually happen?  Lloyd made that noise by kissing the back of his hand during post-production.


As an irreverent exclamation:

There are those who argue that using “God” in an irreverent exclamation does not technically violate his command to not take his name in vain, especially if the character would have done so.  I’ve to to disagree, one of the definitions for “vain” is “for show”, and we are definitely making a video series “for show”.  Even though it may be slightly inauthentic to have some characters not making “omg’s” in the series, this is one of the boundaries I have placed.  You might not like all of my boundaries.

Why it doesn’t matter if eroticized same-sex attractions are caused entirely by biology

Science cannot make statements about “healthy” or “good”. You must have theology for that.

Examples of biological conditions which are generally recognized as “unhealthy”:
Sickle-cell anemia: genetic
Cancer: genetic, radiation, bacterial, viral
Alzheimer’s: genetic
Deafness resulting from in utero alcohol: chemical

So, as you can see, there are plenty of examples of conditions, caused entirely by biology, chemistry and physics which we do not regard as healthy. It is not valid to make the statement: “if it is biologically caused, it is healthy,” yet that is what the gay lobby wants us to believe. This has been their strategy for moving forward: use the civil rights movement as a model: to do that they must convince you “gay” is another kind of person, that “sexual orientation” is an immutable aspect of a person, like sex or race, or that they didn’t choose these feelings… The last one I believe, yet it doesn’t imply that their eroticized same-sex attractions are healthy.

So am I saying the causation of SSA doesn’t matter?  No of course not.  I’m saying if you are in a scientific argument with someone who is using a variety of facts against your position, facts you can neither verify or disprove, you don’t have to end up with “my authority says” vs. “your authority says”: you can use a presuppositional argument instead.  Show that in their worldview their argument wouldn’t be valid even if their facts are true using the above evidential critiques.

So what does tell you “healthy”?  Your worldview, your religion, your theology.  The Bible explicitly forbids erotic same-sex activities in numerous passages Old and New Testament.  There have been those who attempt to re-write the Bible to not say things it does, but a rigorous application of proper hermeneutics comes back to the original plain reading of scripture: no, two men are not allowed to have sex.  Even under grace of Christ where “all things are permissible” still “not all things are beneficial”, and now we’re back to this concept of healthy – does something build you up or tear you down?  According to Christianity, erotic same-sex activities tear us down.  According to Christ, the sexes were inherently designed for heterosexual marriage, or as the case is: just “marriage” is inherently heterosexual.  There is no such thing as a homosexual marriage: God never invented it.  He didn’t do it then, and contrary to what some say, homosexual marriage is not a new work of the holy spirit.

The Bible places no conditions on its prohibition of erotic same-sex activities: in that way there are no valid arguments to be made in the Biblical worldview that result is supporting the ‘ok”-ness of erotic-same-sex activities.

So when does causality matter?

Causality matters once you realize you have a problem.  I should stop for a second and explain why is seems odd that I alternately say that causation doesn’t matter but then it does.  God has used a technique called “memoization” to tell us that same-sex erotic activities are not “ok”.  In reality whether anything is good is only one thing: if it follows God’s plan.  Zip zero end of story.  Fortunately, for humans, he has clarified his plans for us: 1) love God with everything you are, and 2) love your neighbor as yourself.  Jesus didn’t give these commands for the first time in the New Testament: these had been the highest laws the whole time.  Jesus further clarifies “all of the law and the prophets hang on these”.  Catch that? everything does relate back to a single goal.  The law gives us lists of ways we can fail to comply with these top two commands.  Computer scientists call this “memoization”, when an answer is very difficult to figure out, once you figure it out, you store it in memory (write a “memo”) so that the next time you need the answer, it’s there waiting for you.  In reality, none of the 10 commandments present any kind of an action in which something other than loving God or loving your neighbor has gone wrong: think of them as a top-ten list of ways to fail God’s top command.  So does the causality of erotic same-sex attractions matter in whether it’s healthy?  of course, but God already gave us the answer, so whatever else you think you’ve come up with, sorry, you’re wrong.

Why Romans 1:18-32 doesn’t apply to everyone

Once the ministry of a church told me that eroticized same-sex attractions were a “sin attraction” and were the result of “replacing a desire for God with man.”  I asked for scripture on this, and they sent Romans 1:20-32.  How wrong can someone get when quoting the Bible, let me count the ways:


1) Their quote ignored the antecedent of “them”

Verse 18 contains the antecedent of the pronoun “them”.  It is “men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.”  Verse 22-23 further narrows the set of men about whom this verse applies to men who have engaged in idol worship.  It bothers me greatly that you expect this verse to explain equally the origin of same-sex attractions in men who have never accepted Christ as Lord, and in those who accepted Christ at age 8, and developed same-sex attractions at age 14, since it would appear not to describe their actions.


2) This passage does not report the origin of the “Desires”

Supposing my previous point is incorrect, and this verse does apply to everyone, it does not indicate the creation of new “sinful” desires in these men, rather that God is not protecting them from these desires anymore.  Thus, it does not explain the origin of same-sex attractions, but the aside-from-God’s-intervention-unbreakable hold of sin in their lives, similar to Romans 6:20.  The origin of these precise desires lies elsewhere, not mentioned in this scripture.

I specifically consulted with theologian & researcher Robert Gagnon, author of “The Bible and Homosexual Practice:…”, on this point.  He replied, “Romans 1:18-32 does not explain how sinful impulses originate but rather how in the Gentile world they become overriding controlling influences particularly among those who don’t honor God as God. When impulses to do what God expressly forbids overtake us to a point where we act on them, it is because we do not find fellowship with God sufficient for our happiness and so seek God substitutes. In 1:29 the offender list continues with such things as greed and envy. We wouldn’t say that greed and envy as sinful impulses originate with a turning from God but rather becoming controlling and enslaving impulses when there is a rupture in our relationship with God and we seek gratification from God-substitutes. Scripture does not explain how homosexual impulses originate. Sin in general is viewed as an innate impulse passed on by an ancestor. But no explanation is given in Scripture as to why some experience homosexual attraction while others do not.”

While I do not agree with everything he writes in that book, or even his perception of scripture, on this one point, I agree.  What he does do in that text, however, is blow the “gay-lobby’s” arguments for Biblically-compatible same-sex erotic activities out of the water using the most liberal possible interpretation of scripture.  The response I quoted above, is in personal response to my question, not a quote from the book.  He gave a very good plenary lecture about how a Christian led by the Holy Spirit would never be led into the “gay lifestyle” at the Restored Hope Network Conference in June.  The video, or at least the audio, should be available online, somewhere. If you can’t find it, let me know, the videographer is a friend of mine.  His comments are in stark contrast to Alan Chambers, who led Exodus into a ditch the day before, about whom your pastor seemed to agree whole heartedly in his blog post a few days later.


3) The passage does not claim to be all-encompassing

Supposing that this passage does imply the creation of new same-sex lusts which were not pre-existent, this scripture does not claim to provide an all-encompassing origin for what you call “sin attractions”.  Instead it claims to document how some sins became widely practiced.  In other words, it says “If A then B”, where A is “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” and B is “gay sex & other stuff”.  It does not follow that “If B then A”.  Your argument, “same-sex attractions are a sin-attraction caused by the individual suppressing the truth in unrighteousness” is “if B then A”.  You would need other supporting scripture for that.  After spending 11 years looking for such a passage, I discovered there isn’t any.


4) You presume same-sex attractions are inherently lust

You presume that same-sex attractions are a lust.  In reality, lust obscures the underlying emotional wounds, but it’s the underlying wounds which percolate to same-sex attractions as a symptom.  This is why overcoming same-sex attractions is so difficult – because it is a confusion of your very perception of yourself and the “other”.  I suppose I should really stop using the phrase “same-sex attractions”, since there isn’t any such thing.  There is no feeling, no emotion, no desire which is in itself an erotic desire for the same sex.  God created us male and female, not male, female, gay, lesbian, transgendered and bisexual.  This may seem like a far too minute detail since the end result is men with SSA see other men as “hot”, “sexy”, or “cute”.  But, it’s actually critical in understanding how to help these men.  The desires which have become mixed up are not a need God placed in us for Himself being replaced by a man, but instead a desire God placed in us for a sense of belonging with members of our own sex getting bound to the erotic desire (not lust) God placed in us for our complement.  That’s why “pray-away-the-gay” is so statistically ineffective at removing same-sex attractions – there isn’t anything to remove.  Instead there’s something to fill and two things to untwist, and God has commanded us that parts of it are to be filled by our fathers, brothers and other same-sex peers, as I will demonstrate throughout the rest of this letter:  (oh, yeah, and I know enough to know that lesbianism is somewhat different, so please don’t mistake my statements as having applicability to that.)


5) There are other Biblically-valid causal factors for wounds than the sin of the individual

Ultimately, mankind’s original sin was trusting himself more than God.  That sin, and God’s punishment for it, negatively affected everyone.  But that’s not all.  Ephesians 6:11-12 indicates the devil actively schemes against us.  Sin’s influence frequently reaches beyond the person who commits it.  So although attempted usurping God’s place in our lives would be bad for us, it could also lead to bad for other people – people who didn’t commit the sin.  If that weren’t the case, I submit Romans 12:19 doesn’t have full context in which to function.  To assert that “If B then A” – for each individual – above ignores this path for damage.  Colossians 3:21 supports this notion, that a father can sin in a way which negatively affects his child emotionally.

Why I never say “childish” needs.

I’ve referenced on this website over and over again that eroticized same-sex attractions are caused by needs for love that haven’t been met.  Specifically, for pre-Oedipal disorder, these needs are those which arrive in early childhood.  Others have criticized our belief that meeting these needs as children have them met in healthy ways is inappropriate.  Thought not everyone uses the term “childish” needs, this is a similar implication.  Or rather, the implication is that you don’t need to get your childhood needs met.  And certainly, the fact that a man is full-grown complicates matters physically, but not psychologically.  Childhood needs can’t be skipped over, they are not silly: they are more fundamental.  That’s why God has us need them first.  It is on top of meeting our childhood needs that we build the rest of our lives.  When people haven’t had their childhood needs filled, they aren’t able to begin the next step in their psychological growth, at least not in a healthy way.


I’ve heard many well-meaning Christians offer terrible advice when someone with SSA reveals their troubles in life.  They hear unhelpful messages like “man up”, “grow up”, or the infuriating reference to completely inappropriate 1 Corinthians 13:11.  Little do they realize it’s through meeting our childhood needs – our more fundamental needs – that our ability to “man up” comes.

“Isn’t this just a psychological issue, not a religious one?”

There is no standard of healthy/unhealthy or good/bad outside of religion, so one must consult religion to determine whether SSA is unhealthy in the first place.  Furthermore, the kind of “all acceptance” that is critical in successful counseling for SSA seems to me to come truly from one place only: salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ.  The Bible tells us that “there is now no condemnation” for someone who has trusted Jesus, who says “Blessed are the broken-hearted, for they will be comforted.” And let me tell you, these are some broken-hearted men.  That’s why we promote love, grace, healing and comfort for them.


“How does changing orientation relate to salvation?”

Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ is the #1 issue facing any human.  Changing any particular emotional wounds or behavioral patterns, though possibly beneficial for others, is ultimately moot when contrasted with the consequences of eternal judgement.  Jesus reiterated God’s top priorities for man: first love God with everything you are, and secondly love your neighbor as yourself; ALL the law and the prophets hang on these.  My experience is that pursuing a change in sexual orientation lead me to be able to empathize with others and thus love them more truly.

Part of this comes from a better understanding of the 4 meanings in Greek of what we label “love” in English.  And more comes from an understanding of our how people express love to each other.  The Bible teaches us we forgive because we’ve been forgiven, we lend because we’ve been lent, and we love because we’ve been loved.  When our love needs have not been satiated, we won’t be able to share healthy love, though we may reach out for it in ways which aren’t ultimately healthy.  It’s our goal at Recently Straight to train the Church to help meet unmet love needs which lead to eroticized same-sex attractions.