Letters To The Editor

Readers are an integral part of Whosoever. We appreciate hearing from our readers, whether they have praise or hot coals to heap on our heads. With the new year, we're beginning this new feature of a reader forum. Here's some of the things our readers are saying.

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Editor:
A thousand Amens to what you had to say. I left the Episcopal Church because the Holy Spirit said it was time to stop being tolerated and reconciled and accepted and affirmed, in other wods stop playing at being an ugly duckling and become the swan that the Christ has been trying to tell me I am. I got to MCC and found a mess of swans pretending to be ugly ducklings and trying to recreate the same theology and practice that led to their being driven out in the first place. I could scream every time I hear our Pastor say, we're not a gay church. we're a Christian church, because I know she means "don't rock the boat, you'll upset people."

Thank God for Nancy Wilson and Bishop Spong amd now yourself.

--Robert Batten
Santa Rosa, CA


Editor:
I am a first time reader of your column. I am not gay and I consider myself a conservative Christian. I would like to share with you a differing opinion about those ads you say is just a hate campaign. If the motive of those who sponsored the ads was only to raise money for political reasons, don't you think a different approach would be more effective in creating fear and hate against gays and lesbians? The ads are reaching out to those who are gay for whatever reason and have lost hope that they could ever be anything but gay.

Your letter quotes John 3:16 and I assume you believe what it says. "Whosoever" refers not only to gays but to us heterosexuals as well. We need that hope as well as you do. Without it we ALL perish. We need to change as much as you do when we come to Christ. He loves us too much to leave us in our sinful condition. I am sure that homosexuality is an issue that nobody fully understands but God. But if God can tell the thief to stop stealing, the adulterer to stop cheating on his wife, the fornicator to stop using his body only for his own selfish pleasures, and tell the prostitute to "Go and sin no more", why would He say it's OK for the homosexuals to continue in their ways?

"Go and sin no more." Those are tough words spoken by the one who is the epitome of the love and truth. I do not believe He would say that without offering us hope to live a holy life. Obviously, those ads will not stop the person who is gay and happy in that lifestyle. It is meant to offer hope for those who are gay and are not happy that way. I'm sure you have met many gays who are miserable in their lifestyle, why would you be against them getting help by those who have come out of that lifestyle? Sure it is going to make some gays uncomfortable to read but for those who need and want help it is a lifesaver. For non gay readers, I believe it shows them that gays are not reprobate to God because of what they do, but that they are normal people that can receive the same kind of hope, help and love from God as we have.
--JC


Editor:
The so-called "pastoral statement" from some of the bishops at Lambeth is not in any way a message of solidarity with gay and lesbian people. It appologises for any "sense of rejection" that we feel - well actually, rejection does actually occur. It is not merely a feeling that us poor little queers get! This is not a supportive document, it is a fence-sitting document. The bishops signing it seem to want to be all things to all people, and therefore give up on the gospel imperative for justice. "Pastoral Caring" like this is actually about silencing. It is about bishops being able to say "arn't we wonderful liberals" without actually working for justice at all. This pastoral caring is someting you do to make yourself feel better about complying with oppression.

I am very upset to see my own bishop, David Coles of Christchurch, New Zealand, who has turned me down for ordination purely on the grounds of my sexual orientation then signing this "pastoral statement". It seems to me that he is not standing up for justice, but merely trying to defuse the backlash to such blatent violation of human rights.
--Martin Dickson


Editor:
I want to thank you for the reminder that you send out to people on your mailing list (how often we forget to check sites that have impressed us without an occasional reminder), and thanks also for your coverage of the Lambeth Conference. As an Episcopalian Christian, the results of that meeting have been weighing heavily on my heart and mind. It was through reading your current issue that I discovered that my bishop signed the Statement to Gay and Lesbian Anglicans. I will feel much better when I greet him at the end of this month on his visit to Guam.

Please keep up the good work that you do. God bless you for what, at times, must be a time consuming and frustrating job. The message is getting out and God is using you as His messenger. Thank you so very much
--James Moore
Tumon, Guam


Editor:
Thank you for your analysis of the passages in the Bible purportedly dealing with homosexuality. I have returned to your site several times to read and digest them thoroughly, and found it extremely helpful. As a gay Christian I too have come to the conclusion that it is a very minor concern at most, in the scheme of things. I don't believe God cares that much about sexual orientation. The commandments to love God and one another are so much more important.

Even if some nomadic tribesmen a long time ago didn't like gay people, I hope that there has been some progress during the past two thousand years of human development. Morality too must evolve if we are to bring about the Realm of God on Earth -- which can only happen through the power of love. Thanks again for providing this much-needed service.
--David


Editor:
I just wanted to, drop this note to you saying, it must have been God's grace that called you to post such a wonderful site. The love of Jesus not only lives here, but also In the hearts of every one who belives in our king Jesus Christ. I know that I don't have to be ashamed of what I am. God made me a transsexual female. I know also, that he wanted me to be a lesbian, something that's hard for the right wing fundies to understand. I pray that, God has, mercy on those who can't lay down their hate for us. Keep up the good work, and God's work.
--Elizabeth C.


Editor:
I have just been browsing through the website for Whosoever and felt the need to send you this e-mail. I am relatively new to the Net so have never really had the chance to surf.

Anyway, I just want to say that reading some of the articles in Whosoever has given me the hope that I need to carry on being a Catholic lesbian. I have also been looking for ages for the passages in the Bible that are quoted against GLBT people and the response that is given to them. Finally! I've found that here too!

Thank you for doing all that you're doing. I hope that others like me or people that are still in the closet will be lead to your site. I live in a very homophobic country (Malaysia) but have been fortunate enough to have the support of my friends and the understanding of my parents. Being Catholic has created a lot of difficulties for me but I think I'm beginning to work past the obstacles and guilt that I grew up with and to finally understand and share in God's love. It finally occurred to me (after browsing your site) that I CAN use the words gay and Christian in the same sentence when describing myself!

Please continue the good work.

God bless

--Cat


Editor:
Just a word of encouragement. I happened across your magazine today and, as an editor of a church newsletter who dreamed of doing that long before I had the opportunity, I can appreciate your desire to edit a magazine like this. It's a very impressive publication -- great title too!

I discovered it through a circuitous route that went something like this: I was reading messages on the United Methodist message board, where there was a discussion going on about inclusivity/exclusivity. Someone mentioned a UM church site in Seattle that in his opinion had some "unbelievable" links and suggested readers check it out. Out of curiosity, I did, and one of the links was to your magazine. My reaction wasn't quite what he had in mind, I guess, because rather than being appalled I was impressed. I appreciate your commentaries and other features, including the prayer requests (having already prayed for some of the concerns mentioned there).

As a college professor who recently started working with our United Campus Ministry, I'm sometimes challenged by the tensions on our campus. Evidently members of some other Christian groups on campus delight in sending "negative" e-mail to gays and lesbians. Last year our group and the Catholic group held a "dialogue" session to which the entire Christian and gay and lesbian communities were invited; the meeting seemed productive but, in the chaplain's words, "tense." Our ministry seeks to respond differently from most others (for example, recently helping sponsor a campus-wide forum on sexual orientation) yet some of us still struggle with these issues. How do we relate on the one hand to the other Christian groups who see homosexuality as as sin and on the other to the G/L group that doesn't seem to have any particular interest in our ministry? So, maybe your magazine will help me reflect on these matters and continue growing in the direction I feel God is leading me, that is, towards an increasingly "inclusive" outlook.

--Martha Rowe Dolly


Editor:
Your words were inspiring to me as a Christian lesbian. I denied my sexuality for years because I thought it was wrong. I am happier now than I've ever been. My partner and many friends of mine are also Christian gays. We as a society are forced to make a choice: either maintain a loving gay relationship and abandon our Christian beliefs or be unhappy and be a Christian. It's good to know now we can maintain a healthy, loving, gay relationship and still maintain our christian beliefs. If only the heterosexual world would catch on too! Sincerely,

Gay and happy in Carrollton, GA


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