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Exit ArchiveArchive for November 16th, 2004

OK, new subject:

Liza Minnelli: Evil spawn of Satan or overweight demon?


You didn’t really think I was going to let her get in the last word, especially when Bible-thumping?

I’ve been to church many times in my life. As recently as three years ago, I was going weekly. I have read the Bible (well, most of it — I also saw some Claymation versions of the Gospel), and I have a strong sense of what I believe God wants from me.

So, here’s my response to the response:


Dear Linda,

Yes, I see we are not going to agree, but your thoughtful and kind response certainly matters to me, and is something I appreciate. If you do not want to get into a discussion with me, I certainly understand that — but I also believe that if “both sides” agreed more often to genuinely discuss and listen to the other, we may never come to terms and “change sides,” but we may certainly have a greater understanding … and, most importantly, a greater respect … for the other.

Let me reveal something that may surprise you: I go to church. I listen to the Gospel. I believe in its meanings and lessons and what it has to tell us about God’s love. I also believe in the New Testament, and that it sprang from the teachings of Christ — quite different in many cases than the messages conveyed in the Old Testament, as you no doubt are aware. And Christ tells us, time and again, to love one another. No matter what. Even Christ got angry and frustrated at those who seemed to be going against his teaching, as in the Temple with the moneychangers. But even there, he came to understand that tolerance, temperance and the belief in the love of God above everything are what we all should strive for.

Let me say again, as only I can (as only I have lived my life — just as only you have lived yours), that I was born gay. I know this as sure as I know I was born with brown hair and with middle toes that are slightly longer than my big toes. If God did not make me this way, then something or someone certainly did — and I, for one, believe it was NOT the opposite of God! I cannot tell you how much I know this to be true. I don’t “believe” it to be true; I know it is so. And God has blessed me with a loving, gracious, caring, compassinate, good-humored, joyous person in my life. Together, we are facing the challenges that life offers us. We work together to make a home, we pay our taxes, we give to charity, we budget our money, we take care of our neighbors (and they of us). We have cultivated a wonderful circle of friends, some liberal and some conservative, some gay and some straight, some our age and some older. We end each day knowing we are blessed and happy and grateful for the gifts that God has bestowed on us.

In that regard, we are no different, I think, than anyone else you might know. There were some, particuarly in our families, who found it difficult to accept as as a couple when we first were together — but over the years (four so far), we are lucky that every single one has come to accept us as who we are. Talking with his mother the other day, she said, “I don’t even think of you as two men anymore, I just think of you as Jeff and John and I love both of you so much.” How wonderful that is!

I just wanted to point out to you that we are not all that different from any “straight” couple you might know. We have two dogs who take up most of our time and attention, we work in our yards and wash our cars and mostly just stay at home because neither one of us is particularly outgoing in a social sense (though we love movies). That is to say, you might be shocked at how average and, well, boring we actually are.

Again, I can only speak for myself (and for the many friends I have who I know share the same overall sentiments): We certainly don’t have any plans to “recruit” kids or “infiltrate” our community. For myself, to be honest, I’m not so sure I even support the idea of “gay marriage,” since “marriage” has been so poorly respected as an institution in the past 30 years I think it has lost most of its meaning. So, I’m probably with you on that one! We are not and never have been child abusers or drag queens. We don’t have sex in dark corners or condone unsafe sex of any sort among anyone. We believe in monogamy and in the sanctity of our relationship. My friends who are not in a relationship want very much to find someone with whom they can quietly and privately share their lives.

Do I believe that God loves me just the way I am? Absolutely. Just as I believe he loves you. From my end, I believe that if you read the Bible through my eyes, you would see just as many passages that support my stances and views as do yours. I believe Scripture can be interpreted in many different ways to support many different views. I choose to use it to show that God loves everyone, no matter who they are.

One day relatively soon, there may be irrefutable, absolutely incontrovertable proof that the majority of gay people are born “that way.” I do believe (and know from first-hand experience) that SOME people, perhaps 10-15% of gay men and women, are not entirely “one way” or another. And for them, it may very well be possible to “choose” one preferred gender. If for just one single, instantaneous moment you could be inside my head, you would know beyond any doubt that for me, it is not possible.

I wish it were not an issue — just as I’m sure women in 1908 wished their gender were not an issue, or black people in 1954 wished the color of their skin were not an issue. I choose to relate to their struggles, not to alcoholics and wife-beaters, and it pains me to think that you would put gay men and women into the same realm as those troubled souls.

There is little about my life that troubles me, and the things that do have nothing to do with my being gay — they are the same things that probably trouble you (traffic, pollution, mean bosses, the cost of groceries). I am, however, genuinely troubled by those who believe they cannot consider, even for a moment, what it is like to be on “the other side.” Linda, I can never know what it is like to be you, but I do respect your views, your passions and your beliefs. I share many of your beliefs in God and Scripture. And when I pray, it is not for you to “change” (nor for me to “change”), but rather that we can all live together with respect for the way God made us.

I choose to believe he is happy that his children are all so very, very different and that — in the grand scheme of things — they’ve turned out so well. 🙂


I hope people realize what an amazing moment this is. I complained about Linda Harvey’s mindset. John wrote to her. She wrote back.

Now, can they both agree to disagree?

Or is one or the other of them wanting someone to change to fit their concept of reality?

Oh, I’d love thoughts on this! Please! Anyone! Everyone!

Thanks, John, for this fascinating stuff and for putting your money where, as I hear tell, your mouth is.

IF YOU’RE LOST, the following links will help you catch up:

Part 1: “Calm down, calm down.”

Part 2: Bush the Vampire

Part 3: The Evil “Gay” Article

Part 4: John and Linda as Chums

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OK, you asked for it. But you’re right, Steve: You ain’t gonna like it.

The Response


I appreciate your polite and thoughtful letter. I get many that are not so kind, so I really mean it when I say–thank you!

What I want to say, though, is that I’m still going to disagree with you. I’ve known too many people who are former homosexuals–and known them well enough to know they weren’t faking it–too believe a person is born gay.

It all comes down to who is the authority in your life. This is much deeper thelogical subject than I can get into here, but first a person has to want to want to be different. I repeated “to want” deliberately. If a person has decided they want a certain thing, and they love that thing more than they love whatever they have learned about God, then that thing will predominate in their lives, and in their spirits. They will not be able to discern, spiritually, that they are living at odds with the truth.

But if you decide that God and Christ are your authority and that that is the most important thing for you, then this will frame your spiritual life, and your spirit will be amenable to the working of the Holy Spirit, which can begin to change you. Without that “Christ is the boss” attitude, no, you will not sense that you could be a different person.

I don’t believe God made you gay. You somewhere began to form those feelings, and they became more important to you than anything else. Who knows why–but it does have to do with wanting to be in control yourself,rather than trusting that there is a spiritual dimension to life, that Christ is in charge of that, and that the only way the Holy Spirit can work is for us to truly recognize that.

The fact that these feelings felt inborn is not proof that they were. Lots of things feel natural to people that are not good, are ultimately changeable,and we humans will cling to even the most pointless or even destructive behaviors, just because we feel like certain things about the practices, or feel trapped and unable to change. I know it’s not the same, but in one sense it is–when I make the following comparison. The person who is an alcoholic and drinks himself into the gutter–often he knows darn well that this is something they could change. But he continues because he likes to drink, it’s familiar to him, and he doesn’t have enough vision to see that he could be different.The passages in John chapter 3 apply here very well, verses 1 through 21.

The wife abuser continues to abuse until he loses his wife, whom he may feel like he will die without. But he continues the pattern until maybe finally she leaves–or he kills her. This is the story of human nature, so something feeling like a natural response doesn’t mean it is the best, nor unchangeable, nor forever.

This power to transform is the miracle of Christianity. It was completely unknown to me until I really committed my life to Christ. And it has been an unbelievable and life-altering experience. It is truly the power of the Creator of the universe working for you.

It’s hard to explain—- it’s like suddenly seeing things from God’s viewpoint. God made us male and female and would not have made you gay.And God knows the things we deal with, and what it was that originally gave some people gay feelings. His grace abounds so much more when there is more to overcome. That’s why sometimes these “overcomers” have a very powerful presence, because they have had to go through so much–but when they emerge on the other side, they are awesome people, and full of joy.

The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) This is meant to be our guiding principle in those times when we are strongly tempted to go in a direction that God’s Word is clearly tells us we shouldn’t. Many things can seem so tantalizing in the short run, and we say, “But Lord, surely this can’t be so bad!” But in the long run they will be a disaster.

That’s really why we have the Bible, for inspiration but also as a practical guidebook.

The vision many have had is similar to this: ” Lord, I feel totally like I was made gay. But I know what your Word says, so I know you did not make me gay. Therefore, I am going to go with your version rather than my own. Now, I am going to trust you that You will show me how to do this. And keep showing me, until I can grasp this and begin to see how you will transform me.”

God will be faithful to the person who does this out of real faith in Christ, and show him or her the way. It has worked in my life, not in relation to homosexuality, but other things that were also very difficult, and I cannot even describe how stunned I have been at how God can transform. It brings me to my knees. It did not happen overnight, but amazing things have happened in my life. I am only incredibly grateful that I did wake up and find the Lord, at last. It took me long enough in my stubbornness, but thankfully I was given many second and third chances.

I hope I’ve made sense. Please consider these things thoughtfully. Christianity is not a code of ethics–but a person and a spirit–the Holy Spirit of Christ, living in believers.And there’s nothing that He can’t overcome.

Linda Harvey

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Very nicely done. The bitter part of me–recent events and all–believes she would read this and say you are an abomination in God’s eyes. Of course a “gay” person would argue as you did. But she knows right and you, as a “gay” person, are deluded with sin. But that’s the bitter part of me.

You have admirably demonstrated how one can express one’s opinion and one’s reality to someone who wants one’s “gayness” to go away. I would love to hear a response from her, to see if she can match your level of conversation, or if she can only be intolerant of who you are.