From A Tenable Belief:
I wish that anyone struggling with sexual orientation and religious issues could get a clear message from ex-gay ministries and gay-affirming folks alike: We want you to survive, first and foremost, take care of yourself, and be healthy. With that, you’ll have the chance (time, energy, intellect) to work through whatever else you need to do.
I know what it’s like to live in dark places. Not related to orientation or religion in many years, but the kind of difficult places that make it hard to believe that some sort of light or peace is going to break through the cloud tomorrow, or next week.
“Better dead than gay,” and less severe variations on that message, contributed to the death of ATB author Steve’s deeply religious partner Dale several years ago. And it is a message allegedly uttered and later denied by Exodus board member John Smid.
The message exemplifies, for me, one of the dangers of projecting one’s own personal quirks, animosities and fears onto spiritual faith, and then — deliberately or incidentally — cherry-picking the Bible verses that conform to one’s pre-existing mindset.
The unconditional desire for people who are “different” to excel requires a good dose of good will and charity. Good will and true charity, in turn, require ministers and counselors to grow outside of their own personal boundaries — their own egos, insecurities, and assumptions.