The Subject of Boys

A heterosexual lifestyle

A FaceBook friend of mine, Daniel Orey, got married a few years ago. He ran into some problems because a state-sanctioned, committed, same-sex marriage is not an acceptable lifestyle for Baha'is, according to his NSA:

"Your same sex marriage in 2008 and statements that you have made on the Internet in support of homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle for Baha'is shows that your position has changed. Such flagrant actions in violation of Baha'i law leave the National Spiritual Assembly with no choice but to remove your administrative rights." Let's start with consulting about a letter

Which leaves me wondering how Daniel's marriage differs from mine, if at all.

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Conservative Christians "with a heart for the homosexual" still don’t get it

With the growing openness of gay men and women and as they become more incorporated into the fabric of the culture, conservative Christianity has been challenged to rethink their position.

For years the only visible response was “it’s a vile sin”. As gay people slowly became visible, up sprang vitriolic “family” groups dedicated to fighting for the civil subjugation of gay people and the denial of social equality or even basic civil rights.

Although this approach was often phrased as “love the sinner, hate the sin”, there was little evidence that the “sinner” was much loved at all. Rather, she was reviled as being immoral, militant, radical, anti-family, and a threat to children, the church, and all of Western civilization. Advertising campaigns, legislation, rallies, and political movements were generated to take away his children, deny his employment or housing, ban him from civil service, tax him more heavily, incarcerate him if he dare fight back, and in all ways keep him a second class citizen.

But over time, secular voices were joined by mainline Christians in calling such treatment barbarian and un-Christian. And some of the younger conservative Christians had a hard time aligning the “evil homosexual” image with those gay men and women they know.

{josquote}Woo hoo. A devoted gay relationship is no more offensive to God than cheating on your spouse. Goodie.{/josquote}

So a new face of conservative Christianity is arising calling for more tolerance and seeking to share a loving God with their gay neighbors, to welcome them and love them rather than loudly condemn them.

And almost without exception, they get it entirely, completely, and miserably wrong.

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Today is a wonderful day: my dear friend, Ed, is getting married.

This has been a long time coming, and his engagement holds an even more special meaning for me. You see, Ed and I used to live together. We were roommates at the Winnipeg Baha'i Centre, caretakers, if you will, for over two years. During that time, a number of older friends kept approaching each of us, single guys that we were, and wanted to know when we were going to get married.

There were many evenings, alone in the Centre, over a cup of tea, that we would talk about this. "Why", we asked each other, "are they so concerned about this?" It wasn't like we were their children, or anything. Why were some of the friends so concerned about us getting married?

{josquote}And you know, I was never asked again when I was going to get married.{/josquote}

It bothered us.

It bothered us a lot.

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Series to explore tough questions

{josquote}The role of faiths and their stances on other people’s sexuality, such as homosexuality, bisexuality and sodomy, will be discussed in “Is My Religion Cramping Your Sex Life?” {/josquote}

Several diverse faiths will come together over the next month to debate where religion fits into some of the most contentious issues in our society.

The Interfaith office is holding a series of public discussions with representatives from the Christian, Jewish, Baha’I, Wiccan, Muslim, Hindu and Buddist faiths, as well as different First Nations faiths. The representatives will debate the religious issues implicated within freedom of speech, environmental policy and people’s sex lives.

Reverend Lucy Reid, UVic’s Anglican Chaplain and priest at St. Michael and All Angels Church in Saanich, says that one of the aims of the series will be to dispel stereotypes about theological debate.

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Keeping the Faith While Remaining Unjudging

Catherine Beyer

A recent Baha'i blog post gives a great explanation on how one can be true to the tenets of one's faith without diminishing the choices made by others.

The Baha'i Faith holds that all sex outside of marriage is adultery, including homosexual sex. The faith also holds that marriage is a union between man and woman.

{josquote}Second, he sees himself responsible only for his own behavior, not for everyone else's.{/josquote}

Yet this Baha'i has no issue with the government making gay marriages legal. Why? For one, he sees a difference between religious marriage and legal marriage. Legal marriages is something organized by the state and involves paperwork. If lawmakers want to include homosexuals in this shuffle of paperwork, so be it.

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