This weekend in a church near Palm Springs, speaker after speaker from Focus on the Family will tell ministers and family members that gay people can “come out of a homosexual lifestyle” and live celibate.
Yes, they will trot out some married ex-gays to hint and suggest that gay people can miraculously become heterosexual but behind the token wives and children is the message that for the vast majority of gay people, Focus’ goal is a life of celibacy.
Hey, that’s not so bad, is it? It’s only eternal abstinence.
But when advising their own (i.e. heterosexuals), Focus on the Family has a very different approach. In an article titled Get Married, Young Man on the Focus website, they acknowledge that living celibate isn’t quite such a desireable life
As a single man in my early 20s… I was not fooling around or hooked on pornography, but I found sexual thoughts and attractive women to be a recurring distraction from my walk with God. Every few months it seemed that a platonic or professional relationship with an attractive non-Christian woman would develop alluring sexual potential. You don’t have to date a woman nowadays to get into compromising situations. A single man with strong sexual interests (and that’s most of us men) and available sexual encounters (and that’s most of us) is in frequent danger.
I’ve found that protection against sexual sin and the opportunity and the pleasure associated with monogamous sexual intimacy with the woman I love to be a very real benefit of marriage.
The writer, one Alex Chediak, continues on with a litany of joys that reside in marriage without the slightest thought that his organization also spares no expense to make certain that some readers cannot enjoy any of these delights.
Though the article is rife with irony when read by a gay man (“most singles aren’t gifted for lifelong celibacy”), it is in the paragraph I quote above in which I see demonstrated the cruelty and callousness of Focus on the Family and their campaign against the lives and freedoms of gay individuals.
They freely acknowledge that a single man with strong sexual interests and available sexual encounters is in frequent “danger”. And I this is no less true for gay Christian young men than it is for heterosexual Christian young men.
And Focus readily concedes that protection against sexual sin and the opportunity for pleasure associated with monogamous sexual intimacy is a very real benefit.
But should a young Christian gay man, or other gay man whose moral code requires marriage covenants for sexual intimacy, seek to partake of this recommended pleasure, Focus stands in the way to bar him from such joy. Should he belong to a fellowship of faith that would encourage him in a committed covenanted relationship, Focus is there with millions of dollars to fight against that relationship in every manner they can.
Then instead of joy and pleasure, marriage magically becomes about children and children alone. All joys and benefits are dismissed and ignored and Focus portrays marriage as about nothing more procreation.
But this is nothing but a smokescreen. Focus doesn’t really believe that marriage is only for children though this is what they claim over and over without hesitation or shame. Read the article, they believe nothing of the sort. Focus would bar such a young Christian man from marriage for one reason and one alone. Because he is gay.
So in the midst of all their “love the homosexual” and “hope for healing” that they will be proudly proclaiming to the Coachella Valley this weekend, remember this one thing: Focus believes that “God has wired most of us with a longing for the sexual and emotional intimacy of marriage” and says “get married, young man”.
But not you. Oh, no. For you, Focus offers a life of celibacy.